October 14, 2005
Osterthun leaving after 13 years at college
Having spent the past 13 years handling the college’s public relations duties, Cowley College Director of Institutional Communications, Rama Peroo, is resigning to become the marketing specialist in the office of University Relations at Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, Mo.
Osterthun received his bachelor’s degree from Northwest in 1983.
“I just loved it there,” Osterthun said. “It was small enough to where you got to know a lot of people, yet it had the feel of a big-time university.”
After graduation, he served as the sports editor for the Maryville Daily Forum for two and a half years. However, he left Maryville in August 1985, and never really thought about one day working for his alma mater.
“It just kind of came about,” Osterthun said. “I am familiar with the area and certainly familiar with the university and the community. I am very excited about getting started. I am sure there are a lot of people up there I will get reacquainted with.”
His duties will consist of developing the marketing and advertising materials for the university. He also will work with the various departments on campus, such as enrollment services.
The university draws students from the three-state area of Missouri, Iowa, and Nebraska.
“It will be fun to market the university in my home state of Nebraska,” Osterthun said. “Also, there is southwest Iowa, since the university is only 20 miles from the Iowa border. And being only an hour and a half north of Kansas City and having access to that metro area is attractive.”
Terri Morrow, dean of development and college relations, will miss working with Osterthun on a daily basis.
“He has done a lot of great work for the college,” Morrow said. “You could go to him with any request and he would not only get it done, he would get it done well. He was so involved with the college and was thoughtful to everyone. We will definitely miss him.”
Osterthun came to Arkansas City in December 1989 as he left a job as the sports editor at the Grand Island (Neb.) Daily Independent to become the managing editor at the Arkansas City Traveler. He remained at the Traveler until July 1, 1992 when he was hired at the college to serve as the school’s coordinator of public information. He also served as the journalism instructor, and advised the student newspaper (Cowley Press) and student magazine (Cowley Pulse).
Osterthun taught journalism for four years until being named the college’s Director of Institutional Communications in the summer of 1996, and has held the position ever since.
As the college’s PR director, Osterthun has handled, among other things, submitting press releases to the media and taking photographs to accompany releases and promotional materials.
“I have always considered myself a people person, so I have really enjoyed working with the students and the college’s faculty and staff when the need was there to write about them,” Osterthun said.
He has been in charge of editing the copy that comes out of the college, and has assisted with the website to make sure the information posted is accurate and up to date.
Osterthun also handled the college’s marketing and advertising until recently, and oversaw the gathering of information for the course catalog and class schedules.
“I loved the variety of the job, no two days were ever alike,” Osterthun said. “One day you might be in your office the entire day writing stories and working on the computer, the next day you might be following a film crew around getting video footage for a television commercial or an online viewbook.”
He also interviewed alumni for the Tiger Alumni News, and handled the design and layout for the publication for 13 years.
“That was always one of my favorite things to do was interview alumni, and do their stories,” Osterthun said. “I really enjoyed getting to know a lot of our alumni.”
Osterthun received awards for his work on the Presidents Annual Report, the Tiger Alumni News, the viewbook, and the 1996 Spring Sports Guide.
Cowley College Athletic Director Tom Saia is among the numerous individuals who are sad to see their friend leave.
“He was a true professional, and did an outstanding job for the college,” Saia said. “He is also a good friend and I will miss him.”
Osterthun also was an active member in the community. He spent the past 16 years on the Advisory Board of The Salvation Army of Cowley County, and served as the organization’s chairman for four of those years.
“It has really been rewarding, I thoroughly enjoyed the volunteer work,” Osterthun said. “It made me feel good to do something for someone less fortunate.”
He has served on the Arkansas City Convention and Visitors Bureau Board from 2001 to the present, and has been on the Arkalalah Queens Committee at the college since 1992. Osterthun is also a former Rotarian.
“I felt it helped me connect with the people in the community,
and that I had something to contribute,” Osterthun said. “I
think everybody should get involved to some degree.”
Osterthun will begin his new position on Oct. 18. His last day at the college is Friday.
“I think the college has been great for Ark City and great for Cowley County,” Osterthun said. “I have really been pleased to have been a part of it for 13 years. I have enjoyed my co-workers and have made a lot of good friends here. I have seen a lot of good people come and go. I will leave with some great memories and the thankfulness to be able to build a lot of friendships with a lot of different people.”
Dejon Ewing, Humanities Department Chair/Instructor, summed up the feelings of the people who have been lucky enough to work with Osterthun during his time at Cowley.
“I honestly do not know what I will do without him,” Ewing said. “He always went over and above to help people. He is just a superior individual and I will greatly miss him.”