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2017 Key Note Conference Presenters

Adam Rapp, Ph.D.


Dr. Rapp is the Executive Director of the Ralph and Luci Schey Sales Centre and Associate Professor of Sales at Ohio University.  During Rapp’s presentation, he will provide insight, tips and tools on “Closing the Generational Gap through Motivating, Communicating and Developing Millennials” based on his research working with millennials and employers in the sales and marketing industries.

Thomas Dixon, J.D.



Thomas Dixon is an Employment Law Attorney at Eastman and Smith located in Toledo, Ohio. In addition to representing private and public employers in all aspects of labor and employment law, Thomas A. Dixon has a well-established reputation for audience-friendly coaching and training at every level of an organization including executives, HR teams, first-line supervisors and others. Training curriculums are tailored to the specific needs of the organization or team and can include: EEO/Diversity, Harassment, Codes of Conduct, Positive Employee Relations/Union Avoidance, Internal Investigations, Management Skills and a variety of other compliance and/or litigation avoidance topics.  Mr. Dixon is a member of Eastman & Smith.

E. Sam Sovilla



E. Sam Sovilla is the retired Associate Provost and Director and Professor of Professional Practice at the University of Cincinnati.  Sovilla served the University of Cincinnati’s Division of Professional Practice for over 25 years, and has significant experience and success in the building and management of programs in Cooperative Education and experiential education, as well as consulting experiences with a broad spectrum of higher education institutions. He is nationally recognized for knowledge about the history and the evolution of co-op programs in the United States. He is a trainer, speaker, and consultant for college, corporate and government programs, involving work integrated learning models. 

The E. Sam Sovilla Award for Excellence is the highest award and honor presented by the Ohio Cooperative Education Association each year at their annual conference.


Kelly Harper


Kelly Harper has over 15 years of experience in higher education/student affairs working in areas dealing with career development, student transition to college and diversity.  She assists students and industry professionals in hiring for cooperative education, internships, full-time and part-time employment.  In addition, Kelly has taught courses in public administration, freshman orientation, career and job preparation and soft business skills development.  


Kelly has served in many leadership roles regionally and nationally focusing on connecting college students to employment.  Most recently, Kelly has served as the President of the Cooperative Education and Internship Association, which is an association that remains a leader in providing professional development and resources to practitioners in the fields of cooperative education and internship program management.  



    OCEA History

    We were built on a strong foundation and continue to strive towards building cooperative education in Ohio. To read more about the history and founding of OCEA. Click here:Our History

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                Ohio Cooperative Education Association
                P.O Box 5066
                Cleveland, OH 44101

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