Life briefs: Richland Academy classes, AU art exhibit, new ODNR cadets and more

Richland Academy of the Arts class registration underway

Richland Academy of the Arts online registration is underway for all group classes and private lessons in dance, music, theatre, visual arts and martial arts.

This fall there are new class offerings along with some returning class favorites. Some new opportunities include hip hop, pilates, exploratory puppetry, kickboxing, jazz/tap for dancers age 5, Wild for Watercolor and A Journey Through Musical Time.

There are daytime and evening classes and lessons offered for all ages from birth to 60+. For more information, visit or call 419-522-8224.

'Five Easy Pieces' exhibition at Coburn Gallery

ASHLAND — “Five Easy Pieces,” an exhibition featuring Ohio artist Justin Sorenson, will be hosted by the Ashland University Department of Art + Design and the Coburn Gallery, 331 College Ave., from Aug. 21-Sept. 24, with an opening reception scheduled from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday. The reception is free and open to the public.

“Five Easy Pieces” pulls from Sorensen’s studio practice, which spans multiple mediums and visual traditions. His work explores a range of themes, including time, religion and technology.

Justin Sorensen
Justin Sorensen

Sorenson, an associate professor of art at Mt. Vernon Nazarene University, has shown his work internationally in Russia, Canada and Japan, and at exhibitions throughout the United States. In 2018, he received a research fellowship from the Nagel Institute at Calvin University, allowing him to spend two weeks studying art and religion in China. Previous exhibitions that have featured his pieces include David Krut Projects in New York City, Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., the Riffe Gallery in Columbus, and the North Dakota Museum of Art in Grand Rapids, N.D.

The Coburn Gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and noon to 4 p.m. weekends. Gallery admission is free and open to the public. For more information about the exhibition, reception or upcoming activities, call 419-289-5652 or find the gallery on Facebook.

Newest Ohio wildlife officer cadets begin training

COLUMBUS — The 32nd Ohio Wildlife Officer Training Academy to prepare the next class of 14 cadets began Aug. 14, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. Among the newest cadets are Payton Phenicie of New Washington and Joshua Quail of Crestline.

The 14 cadets were hired from a pool of 993 applicants and will complete 21 weeks of Ohio Peace Officer Basic Training and 8-10 weeks of specialized training from the Division of Wildlife. Training includes law enforcement procedures as well as skills for wildlife and fisheries management, communications, ATV and vehicle operations, as well as advanced firearms and self-defense.

Fourteen cadets are part of the 32nd Ohio Wildlife Officer Training Academy, including two from Crawford County.
Fourteen cadets are part of the 32nd Ohio Wildlife Officer Training Academy, including two from Crawford County.

The newest Ohio wildlife officers will graduate in April 2024 and be assigned to individual counties or serve in an at-large capacity in the wildlife districts.

Phenicie is one of four cadets with law enforcement experience and past academy training who will be assigned to wildlife district operations while the rest complete peace officer training.

Ohio wildlife officers have statewide authority to enforce wildlife regulations and protect state lands, waterways, and property. As state law enforcement officers, they contribute to public safety in their local areas and Ohio’s great outdoors. They also speak to hundreds of clubs and groups about conservation and wildlife programs, perform fish and wildlife conservation duties, and provide technical advice and instruction about wildlife management issues, hunting, fishing, and other outdoor related recreation.

ODNR invites Girl Scouts to experience an adventure-filled weekend at Ohio State Parks

COLUMBUS — The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is calling on all Girl Scouts to explore and learn during the fifth annual Girl Scouts Love Ohio State Parks weekend, Sept. 8-10.

Several state parks around Ohio will offer various programs for Girl Scouts of the USA where ODNR naturalists guide girls through different activities — which can count towards badges and journeys. Mohican State Parks is among the participating parks, where there will be a nature hike, archery and reptiles from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sept. 9.

For more information, visit

Miller selected as AU’s new VP for Institutional Advancement

ASHLAND — Jason Miller, the chief advancement officer at Ashland University, has been named the university’s new vice president for institutional advancement, effective Sept. 1. Miller has served various roles in the advancement office since January 2011.

Jason Miller has been named Ashland University's new vice president for institutional advancement.
Jason Miller has been named Ashland University's new vice president for institutional advancement.

Miller. a 1996 AU graduate, has spearheaded a number of successful fundraising initiatives the last 13 years at AU. He has raised more than $10 million in new scholarships and another $10 million in estate gifts that will support the university’s endowment. Specific projects he has led include $350,000 for the Dwight Schar College of Nursing and Health Sciences campaign and $150,000 for a new press box at Ferguson Field.

Prior to joining AU, Miller was in pharmaceutical sales for 15 years, working for Sanofi-Aventis Pharmaceuticals, Novartis Pharmaceuticals and UCB Pharma, Inc.

This article originally appeared on Mansfield News Journal: Richland Academy classes, Coburn Gallery exhibit, ODNR cadets