Explore What Is Here: Video Transcript

Dr. JoAnn Rohyans (Miami, 1968) [pediatrician]: Well, I came from Whitefish Bay which is a suburb of Milwaukee, and Miami was one of those schools that students at our high school just looked at; we knew that it was a good school. We looked at DePauw, Denison, and everyone seemed to go to Miami, too. There were actually ten people from my high school and four people from my graduating class. So, that's really why I chose Miami, and it was also very affordable at the time. I tell people that it was $1600 a year, room and board, and out-of-state tuition, and everyone kind of goes, "Oh, my goodness."

John Rohyans (Miami, 1966) [real estate lawyer]: The one thing when I came to Miami I really didn't know what I wanted to do. I guess I was the classic student and started off in Arts and Science like many folks do and I kind of liked government courses, I kind of liked history courses, and probably about halfway through my sophomore year I said, "Okay, what's it going to be?" and I really thought "I think I eventually want to go to law school." And so kind of the combination of government classes and history classes; I also saw it was important to have a business background, so I kind of gravitated to the school of business. And they had kind of a neat major back then; it was called the general business major where you didn't have as many required courses which also enabled me then to take courses in government and history which were kind of what I really liked also to take. So they kind of customized it for me and it kind of fit perfect for me to head off to law school and that's what I ended up being.

JoAnn Rohyans: The area of study I chose at Miami really came from looking through that book during summer registration. My mother wanted me to get a career so that I would graduate with a bachelors in something that was a career. So my science background — my interest in science — we chose medtech, but I ended up getting registered by a professor, Robert Hayes, and he was a ZOO [zoology] professor so I became a ZOO major.

John Rohyans: Well I think probably the person who had the biggest impact on me, kind of why I came to Miami, was a next door neighbor of mine, a name that many people might recognize. His name is Scott Knisley, and Scott was a great Miami graduate, and eventually became chairman of the board of trustees down here. But Scott was my neighbor and he and I were close friends. He was not that much older than me, probably 15 years older than me…20 years older, and we did a lot of things together, sports-wise and whatever, and he said, "You need to go down and look at Miami when you are thinking about college." And Scott drove me down here one Sunday afternoon with my dad and we took a walk around Oxford and Miami campus here and it was like that's where I want to go to school. Scott was a big influence on me there.

JoAnn Rohyans: I mainly focused on science related things; I would stay sometimes for summer school so I got more opportunities to be on this beautiful campus, and take some courses in a more relaxed and beautiful weather environment I guess. And I worked in Wisconsin in Milwaukee as a nurse's aid, because that was hospital based, and then in a research lab at Marquette University in Milwaukee.

John Rohyans: Well, currently I'm retired which is the best thing in life. And Miami really prepared me to be retired by giving me a great career which really gave me the opportunity to have a good retirement. I guess the background of Miami and the diversity here from the standpoint of different classes, different courses kind of always got me a broad view of how I viewed things. When I got ready to retire, I still had that same broad view of what I kind of wanted to do in retirement. And one of those issues that I kind of just discovered over the last 15 years was this acute interest in the environment and what's going on in our planet. That background from Miami, that openness to new things kind of really opened up this avenue. And now, my real passion in life is telling people about the environment, trying to do things that will help save the environment and save the planet. I'm hoping my grandkids and kids will have the same opportunities that I was fortunate enough to have.

JoAnn Rohyans: When students first come to Miami they just need to explore what is here, whether different colleges…if they thought they wanted to be in Arts and Science but they find that they like working with children, they may change to education. There is just a lot of diversity and very, very good programs here at Miami. So be open minded, look at the different colleges, the opportunities that are here, and you can easily change your major. And certainly look at the counseling programs they have in each school because I think that the counseling programs such as the pre-law program and the pre-med program have really blossomed in the last 10-15 years…10-20 years. And it's such a good basis for the students to look at their careers.

John Rohyans: In a couple of years…I'm kind of trying to look out into the future, trying to envision where I might be and I hope I am kind of in the same place, but hopefully a little bit smarter. Hopefully, I've been able to spread my interest in the environment to a broader number of people. Hopefully, I can look back and say, "You know, you made a difference." I think in life you are always looking for that opportunity to make a difference. It's kind of like when you join and organization, you always kind of want to leave an organization better than when you joined it, and it's kind of like the planet here. Hopefully, when I am no longer around, the planet's a better place than when I started off. So, hopefully, I will look back and say my grandkids and kids think grandpa did right by 'em.

JoAnn Rohyans: The most satisfying aspect of being a pediatrician is working with not only the patients but the families too. It can be making that good diagnosis that we call the 'zebra' meaning some difficult diagnosis, or it could be just developing rapport with those patients and families. I like to be a teacher too, so it's teaching them good health habits, teaching them about the disease they may have. But what it really boils down to the rapport and camaraderie that you get as a physician.

John Rohyans: I'd love to tell the story about how JoAnn and I met, and since we are a Miami merger everybody assumes one thing — that we met at Miami. And oddly enough we didn't meet at Miami. But we met because of Miami. I always jokingly tell people, I say, "Well, she knew who I was, but I didn't know who she was", but I don't get by with that too well anymore. But it was really some common — mutual — friends who lived in Cincinnati…went down to see them, and one of them happened to know her, and I met her one night, and it just so happened the next week she was coming to Columbus for a wedding rehearsal, and I said, "Why don’t we go out?" And we had this very long romance; I think it lasted maybe 7 weeks and we were engaged. So we had a great romance and we have had a great life together here. So Miami was really the 'connective tissue' here.

JoAnn Rohyans: My medical background really helped me go to medical school. As I worked as a medical technologist, I saw all the students I helped through Miami. Or I say that I helped through Miami, that borrowed my notes and things. And so 7 years after I graduated from Miami, I went to medical school, and so it was really the foundations of the courses at Miami and the good experiences that I had that led me to do what I did.

[April 2013]