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Making connections: How ONU's Dave Dellifield is the leading force of McIntosh Center

Dave Dellifield as seen outside his office, talking to some of his staff (Northern Review photo/Jacob Byczynski).

Dave Dellifield as seen outside his office, talking to some of his staff (Northern Review photo/Jacob Byczynski).

While David Dellifield is busy connecting campus organizations to their audiences through A/V equipment, he has devoted his life to making meaningful personal connections with others. While many of those connections are professional due to his work on campus as Director of Ohio Northern University's McIntosh Center, Dellifield always manages to make every interaction he has feel very personal, even when things are going wrong.

Senior civil engineering major Nathan Miller, one of Dellifield's Information Desk workers, praises his boss's work ethic: 

Everything could be falling down around him, but Dave would have a smile on his face and know exactly what to do.”

During the school year, many know Dellifield as the man whose office is behind the front desk in McIntosh Center, but he does more than coordinate rooms and events in the student union building. He is in charge of making sure all of those events run as smoothly as possible and each room is used to its fullest potential.

Juggling the building where many campus organizations hold events, meetings, and advertise is only the surface of his job. Within his domain of McIntosh, Dellifield reigns supreme. Nothing is too broken, unplugged, or technologically advanced for him to set right. Having worked extensively in the audio-visual field, he knows exactly how everything in his building interacts, works, and sometimes fails. But when this inevitably happens, he is right there with a fix.

Beyond McIntosh, Dellifield is also in charge of all accommodations for student summer camps and programming that are run throughout the school year. To help him do this, he has a number of student workers, Summer Conference Coordinators [SCC], who are on campus all summer. With Dellifield’s guidance, these students make sure all of those camps run smoothly. He just has one simple rule for them: “You can’t tell the customer no."

That means as long as it’s within the realm of possibility, the only thing stopping the SCCs would be the cost to the customer for any particular request.

While Dellifield works in the summer with his SCCs, he acts as a mentor to his entire student staff, walking them through the many technical aspects of their jobs. This aspect involves helping the students work the various electronics in McIntosh.

More than just a boss to these students, Dellifield looks to help them succeed in all aspects of their lives. Miller comments, “Dave is the best boss I’ve ever had. If I have any problems, I can go and ask him for advice.”

Dellifield's work personality can be seen in not only his interactions with his student workers, but all of the people that he meets. While seeing these students as an extended family, Dellifield is very focused on his life at home. With two children, he states they were a driving factor in his return to Ada and Ohio Northern University in 2006. While he started in the purchasing department, his expertise quickly landed him a role in running one of the most important buildings on campus.

As upbeat and optimistic Dellifield's attitude can be, in 2011 he had a brush with throat cancer that he says altered his viewpoint. He says that he “has an appreciation...for littler things...that can’t be explained until you have lost it."

After a very successful treatment he has been cancer-free since. But even cancer couldn't keep him down for long as he was soon back at it, although he remarks about his sense of taste: “Some things still taste funny. Ice cream to me, that taste never went away...unlike [everything else], wherever those taste buds fall."

With the connections that he has made throughout his life, Dellifield strives to show his family and students that those relationships you make, both in and out of school, can make all the difference as our world continues to get smaller and smaller.