The Ohio State University at Mansfield


Ohio State Mansfield Graduate Finds Success in Hometown


Mansfield, OH -- From million-dollar movie sets to haunted ghost tours, Ohio State Mansfield graduate Dan Smith has a part in all of the action as the marketing director at the Ohio State Reformatory.

Smith grew up in the Mansfield area. From a young age, he knew he wanted to attend The Ohio State University at Mansfield. “Probably around 9th grade, I made up my mind where I wanted to go,” Smith reminisces. “My mom went to Ohio State Mansfield and a lot of my friends went here and loved it. I knew it was the place for me.”

He began his college career as a business major then changed to communication. “The small classroom environment and the ability to communicate one-on-one with professors gave me the support I needed.” Smith continues, “Ohio State Mansfield is big enough to get the education you need but small enough to be intimate. The campus made it easier for me to figure out my passion.”

Smith transferred to the Columbus campus but continued to live in Mansfield and commute. “I think going to Ohio State Mansfield then to Columbus was great because I had the small atmosphere and that’s what I really enjoyed. If I would have gone straight to Columbus, I don’t think I would have had the success that I did. I was able to interact with the teachers and know them on a more personal level.”

When a position opened in the marketing department at the Ohio State Reformatory, he jumped at the opportunity to remain in his hometown of Mansfield.

Smith uses the knowledge he obtained in the classroom every day in his work at the historical prison. He explains, “A lot of the history and lessons I learned during class, I am putting to use now. Especially from my film studies class taught by Dr. Norman Jones.”

Smith has also had the pleasure of meeting “The Shawshank Redemption” star, actor Tim Robbins when flew out to Hollywood in for the movie’s 20th anniversary in 2016. He says, “Sometimes I have to step back and realize that I actually do this for a living. It’s amazing. It’s a wonderful place to work.” He continues, “Ohio State Mansfield really developed me into the person I needed to be for my career.”

“Without Ohio State Mansfield, I would never have been able to have the kind of success I have now,” Smith said. “I believe that 100%.”