Bob and Gerry Hikida on boat

WOUB Member Spotlight: Bob and Gerry Hikida

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The Hikidas have been members of WOUB since 1984

ATHENS, OH – When Bob and Gerry Hikida came to Athens 53 years ago, there was a void.

“We came here from New York City, and when we were in New York, we really got into listening to the local and international news,” said Bob. “When we got here, we were disappointed initially because we weren’t getting the information we were used to.”

As a quick fix, Bob subscribed to the New York Times, which helped. But Bob said he wasn’t completely happy until a few years later.

“When WOUB started broadcasting NPR programming, that really made up for the lack of information we were getting,” said Bob. “I listened in my car and while I was working. I had WOUB on in my Ohio University lab while I was conducting my research.”

Bob is a retired distinguished professor of biomedical sciences. His research on the development, maintenance, and rejuvenation of muscles, particularly in birds and humans, was supported by numerous grants from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Olympic Committee, and Ohio University. Hikida was published in journals such as American Journal of Anatomy, Cell and Tissue Research, and Science in Sports and Exercise.

“Because of my work, I like listening to programs like Science Friday on WOUB. But we also both really enjoy Morning Edition, Weekend Edition and All Things Considered,” said Bob. “We also listen to Live from Jorma Kaukonen’s Fur Peace Ranch. I really like the kinds of music that they bring in on that program. It’s music you can’t really get around here normally.”

Bob and Gerry also enjoy watching WOUB TV, especially Antiques Roadshow.

“We never miss it. It’s interesting to see what people consider valuable,” said Bob chuckling. “We have also watched several episodes of WOUB’s Our Town series and really enjoy it. It’s interesting and brought out some things that I didn’t know about the region, which is really surprising since we’ve been here for so long.”

During his time at Ohio University, Hikida taught graduate and undergraduate courses for 25 years, then joined the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine to help teach medical histology while continuing to teach his Arts and Sciences courses in biological sciences. He was named the Outstanding First Year Basic Science Faculty for 12 continuous years, was voted Outstanding Graduate Professor in 1976, received the Jeanette G. Grasselli Faculty Teaching Award in 1992, and was named Outstanding Faculty Member in 1993. In 1996, he was awarded the Ohio University Distinguished Professor for his career in research. In retirement, Hikida continues to support students in any way he can. He is an avid sports fan and loves to cheer on Ohio University athletic teams.

“Ohio University Men’s Basketball Head Coach Jeff Boals was an advisee of mine when he was a student in the 1990s,” said Bob. “He was studying physical therapy, and it was a tough program. I was impressed that even though he was very busy as a member of the Ohio University basketball team, he worked hard and still got great grades.”

Gerry retired two months before the pandemic began. She was a teacher’s aide working as a librarian at Morrison-Gordon Elementary School in Athens for 45 years. She was presented with awards and citations from the school, city and state upon her retirement, and the library at the new Morrison-Gordon Elementary School will be named after her.

Bob and Gerry love to travel, read and garden, and continue to appreciate WOUB as their connection to what’s going on in the world.

“It’s so important to support public media. The money goes for programming, and that’s really important to me because I enjoy the programming so much,” said Bob. “WOUB brings what is going on in the world to our area. It’s worth pledging to support the information we get.”