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The Director's Desk


Greetings, ICAPP friends! We have had a wonderful year! We welcomed ONU’s new leader, President Melissa Baumann, Ph.D., on the un-Capp it! Podcast; registered students for the 2022 midterms; published new and interesting pieces in our “Critical Questions” series; and conducted the 2022 Northern Poll. You can read about each of these in greater detail below.

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I feel fortunate that we are continuing to strengthen ONU’s civic literacy and broaden ICAPP’s reach in public affairs. Policymakers and media outlets are taking notice of the activities that are being developed through ICAPP.


You are receiving this because I think you can be a great friend to ICAPP. I invite you to reach out to me if you have ideas, feedback or would like to contribute to ICAPP in whatever way you see fit. Support from alumni has been essential to our success and can be seen through the generosity of those featured in this edition – our Team ICAPP members.


Robert Alexander, BA '94
Founding Director, ICAPP
W. Binkley Endowed Chair of Political Science

Contribute to ICAPP


'un-CAPP it!' podcast highlights multiple alumni, scores interview with President Baumann

Photo of Hailey and Kennedy with President Melissa J. Baumann from thier podcast

Fellows Hailey Trimpey and Kennedy Aikey finished Season 2 of their podcast, “un-CAPP it!," last fall. They produced nine episodes on a range of topics including the war on terror, mental health law, and an episode where the hosts went about campus to interview their peers. President Melissa J. Baumann, Ph.D., joined Trimpey and Aikey to discuss her path to ONU and her thoughts on the importance of civic engagement.

This spring semester, Trimpey and Aikey have continued producing episodes with fascinating guests, with topics ranging from prescription drug price increases to Gen-Z's take on third-party candidates. The podcast continues to grow listeners and has reached an international audience with listeners from nine countries. The co-hosts are looking forward to interviewing more guests and addressing exciting topics. Catch up with the podcast on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.

Critical Questions continues to provide objective analysis on difficult issues


ICAPP furthered its Critical Questions series, with three new publications produced last fall and four produced this spring. The Critical Questions series examines current events and issues garnering public interest. Most recently, ICAPP fellows collaborated to write about the 2022 midterm elections and the impact young voters had on its outcome.

Photo of group of people around a table
They also published a piece on misinformation and the ways that it affects the political environment of the U.S. as well as a Critical Question on the Biden administration’s proposed student loan forgiveness program. ICAPP Fellows were interviewed by local media on multiple occasions as a result of their work. The Critical Questions series has also examined topics such the State of the Union address and mindfulness in politics. Questions are written by ICAPP student fellows and can be found here.
Photo of students around spirit rock that says Vote Nov. 8

Voter registration efforts with the Campus Vote Project


ICAPP has partnered with Campus Vote Project (CVP), a nonpartisan organization dedicated to improving and encouraging voter registration and turnout among college campuses.

ONU students Nicholas Maccani and Matt Petrella currently serve as CVP Fellows. Last fall, Maccani and Petralla, with assistance from ICAPP, focused their attention on voter registration and education drives. They were able to help dozens of students register to vote and had successful activities around National Voter Registration Day and National Voter Education Week.

The CVP fellows procured a $1,000 grant from Campus Vote Project, which helped support their activities throughout the semester. With ICAPP’s help, ONU also has achieved the “Friendly Voter Campus Designation” by the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators and the CVP, a significant achievement.

Photo of students with a faculty looking at laptop

Northern Poll serves as catalyst for public engagement


During the Fall ’22 semester, Drs. Alexander and John Curiel, along with Dr. Tyler Steelman from the University of North Carolina, conducted the Northern Poll.

The Poll questioned 668 likely Ohio voters on a number of issues, including political races, political civility, election administration, redistricting, and the Electoral College. It was widely cited in media outlets such as the Washington Post, The Hill, the (Cleveland) Plain Dealer, the Columbus Dispatch and Spectrum News Ohio.

Dr. Alexander provided media analysis to outlets including Fox News, Real Clear Politics, CTV-News Canada, Al-Arabiya Television, the Plain Dealer, the Cincinnati Inquirer, and WTOL-11 Toledo News, to name a few. He also served as the Constitution Day speaker for Bluffton University and was a speaker at the University of Tennessee and Marquette University. His favorite guest lecture was for alumna Megan (Harrison) Lawhon’s class at Gallipolis High School.


Collaboration with Pi Sigma Alpha


ICAPP regularly works with Pi Sigma Alpha (the political science honor society). Last fall, they were awarded a grant by the national office to support the “Empowering Youth Through Civic Engagement Essay Contest” for those at Ada High School and ONU. This contest was designed to have students consider the importance of civic engagement in their communities.

Photo of High school aged ladies at a desk

Members of Pi Sigma Alpha evaluated all essays, with three winners from Ada High School and three winners from Ohio Northern chosen.


All participants were honored with a luncheon and Ada’s Chamber of Commerce president, Lindsay (Walden) Hollar, BSBA ’19, was the keynote speaker. ICAPP was instrumental in advertising and supporting the event.

With the support of another grant, ICAPP and Pi Sigma Alpha hosted a leadership summit in March for middle school girls in Hardin County. The Girls Increasing Representation Leadership Summit (G.I.R.L.S), was designed to help young girls explore leadership and public service. Mayor Christina Muryn from Findlay and Mayor Sharetta Smith of Lima participated in a panel where they discussed their experiences as local leaders, their roles as mayors, and answered questions from participants.


Following the panel, students had the opportunity to identify a problem that they encounter in their local community or school and worked to solve that problem. Ohio Northern student leaders helped facilitate the participants with their projects.
We are excited about the impacts ICAPP is making in our local community.


ICAPP Spotlight


For this edition’s spotlight, we want to introduce our Team ICAPP Working Group. We are thankful to the following individuals who have devoted their time, ideas, feedback and financial support to ICAPP. With their help, we have seen great growth over the past year and have big plans for the future.


Strategic Plan Team
LaMont Eanes, Leader
Mike Smith, Alumni
Kelly Morman, Alumni
Cheri Mason, Alumni
Gina Grandillo, Alumni
Andrea Hoffman, ICAPP Fellow


ICAPP Speakers/Programming  
Melissa Wheeler, Leader
Stephanie Crandall, Alumni
Kelly Morman, Alumni
Steve Nord, Alumni
Kennedy Aikey, ICAPP Fellow
Hailey Trimpey, ICAPP Fellow


Finance Team
Scott Miller, Leader
David Bobb, Alumni
Bob Smith, Alumni
Jay Meyers, Alumni
Mark Schloemer, Alumni
Caleb Clayton, ICAPP Fellow


ICAPP on social media and holidays


ICAPP has increased their presence on all social media platforms. ICAPP is active on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tiktok. They have been able to celebrate all major holidays, including Black History Month and Women’s History Month. Social Media has also been a great way to promote the new podcast and the returning Critical Question series. ICAPP can be found on all social media platforms with the handle @onu_ICAPP.

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