From the Dean

Ohio State Mansfield and North Central State College, our co-located technical partner, have been engaged in a process of surveying residents, employees, and employers of the communities that surround us in an attempt to figure out the current state of the relationship between our combined campus and the community, or what I like to call our “town-gown relationship.”

Happily, More than 700 people working and living in Richland County chose to participate in our survey, and the initial results are nothing short of fascinating!

First, we have made some important gains in building our town-gown ties over the last several years, especially with sectors of the community that historically have been disconnected from our campus.

Second, in many ways our best connecting points with the community are happening with and through our students!

I will be providing a brief overview of the results for the Richland Community Development Group in early August, and then will be laying out the first full sets of analyses during a campus-wide presentation I will make during the common hour on Wednesday, Sept. 17.

As dean, I’ve thought a lot about the relationships between universities and the cities where they live, and connecting these relationships to my own research interests in family dynamics.

I discovered that town-gown relationships and marriages share a lot in common. The vows that state “for better or for worse, in sickness and in health,” and so on, are an applied fact of life for any college town.

During the presentation, I will define the four distinct types of town-gown relationships – devitalized, conflicted, traditional, and harmonious – and where respondents tell us we are in these relationships. I’ll also reveal where respondents think we are in terms of the level of comfort and level of effort of our relationship.

This is one presentation you will definitely want to attend!

 

Stephen M. Gavazzi, Ph.D.

Learning to span the ages

Whether you are 18 or 80, The Ohio State University at Mansfield offers higher-education options to suit your interests. Students can take a course or two, or obtain an associate’s, bachelor’s or master’s degree right on campus.

Ohio State Mansfield serves as the gateway to Ohio State for most students who attend the campus. After completing 30 credit hours, which can usually be accomplished in a year, students can seamlessly transition to the Columbus campus to earn one of more than 170 undergraduate degrees.

Students may also stay at Ohio State Mansfield and complete one of nine bachelor’s degrees offered on-campus, including Business Administration, Criminology, Early Childhood Education, English, History, Middle Childhood Education, Psychology, Social Work and Sociology.

New this year is a writing concentration in addition to the literature concentration for English majors. The new writing concentration focuses on nonfiction writing, the art of persuasion (rhetorical theory), and literacy.

“Basically, it’s our version of the Communications major,” said Norman Jones, English program coordinator. “But in the broadest terms, it’s about making written communications but also digital and online multimedia communications.”

The Associate of Arts degree is an option for those who want to earn a diploma to mark two years, or 60 credits, of successful college coursework. The AA degree can be a stepping stone to a bachelor’s degree, or can be a stand-alone degree. Evening and online classes are available for those who cannot attend during the day. Credits also apply to an Ohio State bachelor’s degree.

Ohio State Mansfield also offers a Master of Arts in Early and Middle Childhood education and a Master of Social Work.

Mary Jo Hawk, program coordinator for Social Work, sees some returning students as more agencies require a master’s degree to meet federal and state guidelines. Others who want to help people, especially children, are switching careers. And recently graduated students are continuing their education to further their employment opportunities in a fast-growing profession.

“They all see it as a positive career move to a profession with a high employment rate,” she said.

Ohio residents 60 or older can take undergraduate and graduate classes at The Ohio State University at Mansfield tuition-free on a space available basis. No credit is given and the courses can’t be applied toward a degree, but it’s a wonderful opportunity to take that history or business class you always wanted to take.

Program 60 students attend the same classes with enrolled students taught by world-class faculty. It provides an excellent opportunity to remain engaged in intellectual activity with people of all ages. Program 60 students add valuable life experiences to classroom discussions.

English writing concentration

A new writing concentration has been added as an option to the English bachelor’s degree. The concentration focuses on written communication as well as digital and web multimedia communication.

“There are a lot of students who want to focus on writing and be better communicators but who might not love analyzing literature,” said Norman Jones, English program coordinator. “This is a way for them to really be able to focus on a broader kind of writing, especially on non-fiction writing.”

The program will take advantage of state-of-the-art technology in the Learning Collaborative Classroom at the Bromfield Library and Information Commons. Susan Delagrange, one of the professors who will teach the writing concentration, has won numerous national awards for composition in digital media.

“We emphasize the real-world implications,” Delagrange said. “Writing occurs in all professions. People feel that it is a very practical aspect of English studies.”

Building student success is campus-wide initiative

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Students participating in Camp Hetuck learn team-building and problem-solving. These students must learn to adapt to an ever-shrinking group footprint.

The Ohio State University at Mansfield is known for its friendly caring attitude and those qualities show from the minute new students commit to “Buckeye North” and continue through their first year and beyond. In fact, that strong foundation towards building student success is one reason students decide to stay for a second, third, and four year with us.

Natasha Stouffer, Admissions and First Year Experience coordinator, says the goal is to try to help students through different stages of development, both academic and social.

“Students are feeling different things during this time, like ‘am I academically prepared for the first year.’ Some are moving to a new area and meeting potential roommates. If they are commuting, they have a newly emerging role of independent adult, yet are still living at home.”

Ohio State Mansfield offers many opportunities to smooth the transition to college life.

Orientation

Admitted students become Buckeyes at Orientation. They experience college traditions, receive their BuckID and leave with their first schedule of classes. Sessions for parents include financial aid, health insurance, safety on campus and how to be a part of their student’s success during the first year.

“Orientation also serves as the venue for new students to meet their new collegial classmates,” said Collin Palmer, Admissions counselor.

Student Welcome Leaders play a large part in making the new students and parents comfortable.

“When I’m at orientations, I try to make those personal connections with parents and students,” said Psychology major and Welcome Leader Mark Matthews. “I want them to know that faculty and staff genuinely care to a degree that goes so far beyond academia and social aspects to a personal level that you don’t get anywhere else.”

At orientation, students also learn about other pre-enrollment programs like Camp Hetuck, SMART and First Generation Connection Learning Community.

First Year Experience

Admissions counselors at Ohio State Mansfield also act as First Year Experience counselors.

“As an Admissions counselor, I get to know prospective students and they know I will be there with them throughout their first year,” Stouffer said.

FYE spans pre-enrollment through a student’s first year of college.

Pre-enrollment is about breaking the ice and getting rid of some of the myths that students might have about college, according to Stouffer. Engaging students becomes a campus-wide initiative. Activities such as the Buckeye Book Experience, Success Series and Convocation provide further engagement.

During the first semester, it’s all about making connections. Students who feel connected to their campus within the first six weeks are more likely to stay, according to Stouffer.

During the second semester, that foundation is built upon.

“At this point we want them to take the positive experiences they felt in their first semester and take more of a leadership role to continue the cycle,” Stouffer said.

Camp Hetuck

Ohio State Mansfield’s Camp Hetuck, in it’s 10th year, is one of the most prestigious campus events for new students. Sixty new students and a dozen student facilitators who are past participants converge in July for two days, including an overnight in Molyet Village student housing, to learn leadership skills.

“It’s almost like a secret society,” said Elise Riggle, director of Student Engagement. “They say ‘I’m a Hetucker’ like it’s a badge of honor.”

Teams of upper class leaders partner with new students to participate in competitions and games but also to have some serious conversations about leadership.

“What ends up happening is that you have students who have never met each other and within two days they are sharing things that they would only share with their most intimate friends,” says Matthews, who is also a facilitator.

SMART

Students Making a Realistic Transition is designed for students of color and for those who feel they might be challenged in making the transition to college, according to Renee Thompson, Office of Diversity and Family Engagement.

“College is very different from high school,” she said. “You can have a student who was very successful in high school, socially and academically, and then feel after the first semester that he has failed miserably. It requires a different sort of discipline and a lot more responsibility from the student.”

A two-part session titled Be the Difference introduces students to community services and activities. Thompson also offers a one-credit Seminar for Students of Color that anyone may take, which explores diversity.

First Generation Connection Learning Community

Ohio State Mansfield has a large first generation college student population, according to Stouffer.

“Many of our students are the first in their family to attend college,” she said. “The parents usually are the ones who would tell students what to expect, but in this case they are the pioneers in the family.”

Twenty students are accepted into the program each year. They participate in group activities during Welcome Week and attend at least two classes together as a group. During the second semester, they engage in a service-learning project.

“They take what they learned in the classroom about social empowerment and justice and apply it in the community,” Stouffer said. “This is a great opportunity to see our students go from feeling unsure to feeling that they are important to our community and that they are giving back.”

Follow our newest Buckeyes through social media. Go to storify.com/osumansfield

Welcome to ‘Buckeye North’

Ohio State Mansfield students in the 2013-14 school year came from 42 of Ohio’s 88 counties. As the demographics change to a more residential campus, more services will be needed.

Ohio State Mansfield students in the 2013-14 school year came from 42 of Ohio’s 88 counties. As the demographics change to a more residential campus, more services will be needed.

When Molyet Village first opened to students 10 years ago, the private apartments housed just a few dozen students the first year. The apartments became part of university housing four years later, and are now home to 197 students who attend The Ohio State University at Mansfield.

Molyet’s opening signaled a subtle shift from a commuter campus for students in Richland and surrounding counties to an increasingly more residential campus.

“Traditionally we recruited in a five-county area surrounding Richland County,” said Shari Petersen, director of Admissions and First Year Experience, who has worked in Admissions for 12 years. “However, the addition of on-campus housing was our first opportunity to really begin to expand recruitment efforts and attract students from Northeast Ohio.”

This year, students came to Ohio State Mansfield from 42 of Ohio’s 88 counties, with the largest growth coming from the northern counties. Mansfield Board member Dave Daniels nicknamed the campus “Buckeye North” for its northernmost location relative to other regional campuses, but also to recognize the growing enrollment from the Cleveland, Akron and Canton metropolitan areas.

While Richland County still yields the most incoming freshmen to Ohio State Mansfield (30 percent of the student population), the next largest group came last fall from Cuyahoga County with 16 percent, or nearly 100 students.

“Students come to Ohio State Mansfield because they want to be a Buckeye,” Petersen said. “The benefits they discover are small class sizes taught by distinguished faculty who care about student success and a small college setting that can provide them with a world-class degree that is internationally recognized.”

Faced with an increasing waiting list of students for housing, Dean and Director Stephen Gavazzi worked with University Housing Solutions (which included private developers Adena Corp. and MKC Architects), who now are erecting the first two of five dorm-style housing units along Lexington-Springmill Road that will eventually house 500 students in Buckeye Village.

“The additional housing will allow more students to take advantage of the Mansfield opportunity,” Petersen said. “With the move to a more residential campus, the university has developed a first year experience program to assist students with the transition to college along with bolstering its co-curricular offerings in student engagement, athletics and the arts.”

With the opening of the Ohio State Cleveland Recruiting Center last year in the downtown Cleveland Tower City complex, there are even more opportunities for enrollment growth.

“Jointly we are now able to reach even more students with the one university-many locations message,” Petersen said. “For many students, Mansfield is the best fit.”

A college typically is considered residential if more than 25 percent of the students live proximate to campus, according to Donna Hight, Chief Student Life and Retention Officer. If Molyet Village and Buckeye Village fill available beds this fall, the number of residential students could exceed 32 percent.

Ohio State Mansfield has taken steps to plan for an increasingly residential campus. Bromfield Library and Information Commons is now a vibrant technology-driven learning environment. University Food and Dining services has expanded offerings to include meal plans, and the cafeteria in Eisenhower Hall will undergo a $1 million renovation this winter to make the space more user-friendly, particularly for residential students.

Administrators are seeking funding and community partners to renovate the Campus Recreation Center and Student Union, as well as a partner for student health services.

“I really think it’s an exciting time to come together and have conversations about what a residential campus means to how we serve students,” Hight said.

“A residential campus means you need to provide increased student services like health and mental health care, extended food service hours, gathering places to study, an enhanced health and wellness area with recreation facilities and a modern student union where more lectures, programs and activities mean a more vibrant and rich student experience.”

From the Dean

This year, our Ohio State Mansfield students come from 42 of Ohio’s 88 counties. We truly have grown beyond a regional campus and into a destination spot for higher education.

Sixteen percent of our new students come from Cuyahoga County. Crystal Brown, who hails from Cleveland, has made a real impact on the Ohio State Mansfield campus. Crystal lived on campus and quickly got involved in the Campus Activity Board, as well as becoming a cheerleader for the Mavericks collegiate sports program. No doubt, you have seen her smiling face on area billboards as she represented Ohio State Mansfield in local and regional advertising campaigns.

Mikayla Bodey, from St. Paris, a town just north of Dayton, parlayed connections with internship coordinators Pam Schopieray and Tracy Bond into an internship with the National 4-H Council’s Citizenship Washington Focus Program. She is one of nine students from across the nation that have been chosen to participate in this leadership initiative.

Many students choose Ohio State Mansfield for the research opportunities available with renowned faculty. Leah Schwechheimer, a local grad and a junior in Biology, teamed with Assistant Professor Carol Landry to study white mangrove pollination in the Bahamas. Leah came back to Ohio State Mansfield from Columbus her junior year for the opportunity to conduct research with Dr. Landry. And her hard work has paid off. She recently received a $3,500 fellowship that will allow her to continue her research this summer in the Bahamas.

With our increasingly active recruitment efforts in both the Cleveland and the Akron/Canton metropolitan areas, the numbers of students who choose Ohio State Mansfield as their destination campus to begin college will surely grow. It is imperative that we plan for this growth, both on campus and in our anticipated campus district. Even the most studious of residential students expect on-campus activities nights and weekends, as well as 24-hour dining options.

To meet these needs, we’ve made headway with library renovations and the addition of an information commons in Bromfield Hall. In addition, a long-needed overhaul of the Eisenhower Hall cafeteria starts soon. But our key recreational and student gathering areas – the Campus Recreation Center and the Student Union – remain desperately in need of modernization, and therefore are likely to attract our immediate attention once all other renovations are complete.

Relatedly, the next phase of our capital campaign will focus on providing a better overall college experience for our students, whether they are here for a year or two, or choose to graduate at Ohio State Mansfield. We ask that you join us in the weeks and months ahead as we sharpen our focus on specific projects and objectives that will be designed to enhance the student experience of our campus.

Go Bucks!

Stephen M. Gavazzi, Ph.D.

Ohio State Mansfield launches campus-community survey

As The Ohio State University at Mansfield and North Central State College begin conversations with the community about creating a campus district, leaders are seeking input about current campus-community relationships through an online survey.

“What we hope to get out of this is an understanding of how community residents and employers are currently looking at the relationship to our campus both in terms of the amount of effort they see us putting into the relationship and the comfort level that people have with us,” Ohio State Mansfield Dean and Director Stephen Gavazzi said at a press conference announcing the survey.

“We actually hope to combine those two sets of information in a way that might help us to understand better what our relationship currently looks like and also start some goal setting around the kinds of things that we would like to do in the future in order to increase the community’s perceptions of us as a resource and as a stronger partner.”

Residents and employees of Mansfield, Ontario and Shelby are invited to complete the survey, which can be found at http://go.osu.edu/osumsurvey, from May 12-30. Ohio State Mansfield and NC State employees and students will be surveyed in the fall. Staff at the Mansfield, Ontario and Shelby libraries are available to assist those who don’t have internet access.

The Mansfield campus is the best kept secret in Richland County, Gavazzi says.

“I found that to be slightly disturbing and over time, that so many resources that we have to offer here both on the two-year side as well as the four-year side, have largely gone undetected over 50 years of being in Richland County,” he said.

NC State President Dorey Diab added that that in order for the community to prosper, education attainment is key for economic development.

“It’s going to take a community to turn this community around and Ohio State Mansfield and North Central State College are very willing to take the leadership to make that happen,” Diab said. “But the leadership cannot make it happen on its own. It takes the whole team working together to do so and we look forward to working with the community to achieve that goal.”

May study abroad offers unique opportunities

 

Students from Steven Joyce’s study abroad class last May gather for lunch in Corfu, Greece.

Students from Steven Joyce’s study abroad class last May gather for lunch in Corfu, Greece.

This month, two Ohio State Mansfield professors are leading Ohio State students on study abroad trips to broaden their college experience.

Steven Joyce, associate professor of German, is leading a month-long trip to Corfu, Greece, while Ozeas Costa, associate professor of Earth Sciences, is spending nine days in Costa Rica with 38 students from Ohio State and community colleges in Georgia and Arizona.

It’s Joyce’s second May semester study abroad. Twenty students, including two from Mansfield, will earn credit for Introduction to Western Tradition & Contemporary European Issues during classes taught by professors at Ionian University in Corfu who specialize in topics ranging from ancient to modern age Greece.

Group excursions to locations such as the site of the ancient oracle at Dodona and the Byzantine museum in Corfu will allow students to see and experience firsthand what they have learned in the classroom.

“It’s an unfolding set of stories,” Joyce said. “It’s absolutely great. Everything they are learning in the classroom is right there.”

May semester was created last year as the university transitioned from quarters to semesters. Up to three credits of May semester courses are offered free of tuition, although there is a cost for study abroad travel, lodging, meals and other expenses. The four-week courses allow students to get an extra class in before they head off for summer jobs or other endeavors.

“We wanted this class to be a regional campus initiative,” Joyce said. “Regional students don’t want to be gone for a long time, so we thought if we could offer a class they can finish in four weeks, they would be interested.”

The Costa Rica program, Environment and Culture in Costa Rica, includes lectures at Ohio State the first and fourth weeks of the semester, as well as nine days of travel through the country of Costa Rica, visiting coffee plantations, national parks, cloud forests, a nature preserve accessed by boat, and wetlands. In each location, participating students from various programs, including zoology, environmental and natural resources, journalism, environmental health and strategic communications, will interview local managers, ecotourism operators and scientists about sustainability.

“This trip will allow students to challenge the idea that conservation and economic development cannot work together,” Costa said. “Those two things don’t need to be antagonists. And Costa Rica is an example of that.”

Every other day, students will have time to reflect on those experiences and how it ties into their own academic plans and perspectives for the future. They will also have the chance to write about their experiences from the perspective of their major.

Of concern to both professors was promoting the trips university-wide while working from a regional campus. But social media and word-of-mouth from students, as well as the excellent reputation of the professors, sold the classes. Costa’s students have either taken a class with him, or are friends with one of his students. Students from last year’s trip to Greece posted photos on Facebook of their experiences. This year 50 students applied for the Greece trip, but there were only 20 slots.

“It was really tough to tell 30 they couldn’t go,” Joyce said. “They all meet the requirements academically for study abroad.”

For many students, it’s the first time they have left Ohio. Instructors, as well as the Office of International Affairs in Columbus, work with the students to prepare them culturally.

“Corfu is Orthodox Christian,” Joyce said. “We teach them that there is a certain way to dress and act. We talk about the perceptions Greeks have about Americans, especially women, and generally about college students. We remind them that they represent The Ohio State University and the United States when they are visiting the country.”

Dean’s Report April 18, 2014

Dear Ohio State Mansfield Colleagues,

I continued the celebration of our esteemed faculty last week by attending the reception for Sergei Chmutov regarding his Honors Faculty Service Award from the College of Arts and Sciences. His department chair and several fellow Math Department faculty members from the Columbus campus were on hand for the Faculty Club gathering, with many accolades being made about his outstanding contributions to student learning. There was a clear sense of pride on display by his colleagues and chair!

Decision-making about faculty and staff positions

At long last, an official offer has been made to our top candidate for the T&L position at the rank of full professor. We hope to celebrate an acceptance soon.

Just yesterday, the EEOB department confirmed the search committee’s recommendations regarding the open position. I will open negotiations with the top candidate immediately.

Development of majors, destination programs, and other academic offerings and issues

Last Friday, I met with Bruce McPheron, the Dean of the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, in order to discuss potential partnerships stemming from the EcoLab plans and our desire to have an environmental studies program on our campus. Dean McPheron was very interested in collaborating with us on a number of fronts, and suggested that the next step would involve a meeting with Jeff Sharp, the Director of the School of Environmental and Natural Resources.

Diversity and inclusion issues

There is nothing new to report at this time.

Land use

Many thanks to Ozeas Costa and Brian White for donning rain gear with me and showing off our wetlands and vernal pools to a potential donor this past Monday. The donor was soaked and enthusiastic at the end of our outdoor meeting, with many ideas that I will be taking back to MKSK for inclusion in a first sketch about our EcoLab efforts.

Planning in support of a more residential campus
Last week we hosted a meeting on our campus with representatives of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and Avita Health Care Systems. There are clear indications of interest in bringing health care to our campus in the very near future.

Renovation and repair

Last Thursday we had a reception and a soft opening of the Bromfield Library and Information Commons (BLIC), which also was used as an opportunity to thank donors and campaign volunteers for their efforts to bring the first $3M phase of our capital campaign to a successful conclusion. We also used this time to officially rename Bromfield Hall as Conard Hall in celebration of the significant amount of financial support we have received to date from the Conard Family Foundation.

Town-Gown relationships

Yesterday we finally received an IRB response regarding our proposal to conduct a survey on campus-community relationships (conditionally approved pending our supplying a small amount of additional information regarding our recruitment strategy). Residents, employees, and employers in Mansfield, Ontario, and Shelby will be invited to participate in this information-gathering process in mid-May, and then faculty, staff, students, and board members of both Ohio State Mansfield and NCSC will be asked to participate in the survey process in early Fall Semester.

Mood elevator

While Spring Semester is beginning to wind down, there are many activities that will keep us busy through the end of this month. Taken together, they have enormous influence on our ability to “push the up button” on the campus mood elevator. One great example is the student appreciation lunch that was held yesterday in the Conard Learning Center. This event was designed to thank the student tutors who gave generously of their time and efforts in order to help fellow students survive and thrive some of the more difficult courses offered on our campus. This has become one of my new favorite activities to attend, as I get the chance to rub elbows and break bread with some of our best and brightest students. Many thanks to Andrew Mueller and Darla Myers for hosting this event! And thanks in advance as well to all of the faculty and staff members who are involved in planning and executing the rest of the upcoming celebratory activities on our campus. Go Bucks… Going Up!

Dean’s Report April 4, 2014

Dear Ohio State Mansfield Colleagues,

Beyond any doubt, the headline news for these past two weeks has to be Steven Joyce being given The Ohio State University Alumni Distinguished Teaching Award. This is the highest instructional honor that anyone can receive at our university, and it is richly deserved. The testimony from students and faculty peers alike is unequivocal in its judgment of the impact that Professor Joyce makes to the classrooms of Ohio State Mansfield. Heartiest of congratulations!

We witnessed another component of teaching excellence that gets wedded to scholarship efforts vis-à-vis our students’ participation in the Denman Undergraduate Student Research Forum. Congratulations go out to Ohio State Mansfield students Tanesha Gardner, Leah Schwechheimer, Collin Sipe, and Samantha Ulrich, who were selected to showcase their research last Wednesday on the Columbus campus. I witnessed each of these students’ projects firsthand at the Denman show, and I must say that each and every presentation made during the poster session was nothing less than spectacular. The enthusiasm and knowledge base put on display by our students was extremely impressive. And behind every budding student scholar is a dedicated faculty member putting in countless hours of mentoring. This year’s students were provided exactly this sort of expert guidance and feedback from Rachel Bowen, Mollie Cavender, Carol Landry, and Heather Tanner. Many thanks to these faculty mentors for their ongoing efforts to foster such rich scholarship experiences for our Mansfield students!

Decision-making about faculty and staff positions

We finally have been given the go-ahead to make our leading EDT&L candidate an offer at the rank of full professor. We are compiling the paperwork and hope to have the formal offer to the candidate in the very near future. Interviews for the EEOB position have wrapped up this week, and it is now safe to say that we attracted three exceptionally impressive candidates. Many thanks to Carol Landry for leading this Search Committee, and thanks as well to everyone who attended the candidate talks and gave feedback!

Development of majors, destination programs, and other academic offerings and issues

Yesterday, our campus witnessed a signing ceremony regarding the articulation agreement between our campus and our co-located technical partners at North Central State College. Dr. Tom Gregoire, Dean of the Ohio State College of Social Work, was on hand with NCSC President Dorey Diab, and myself to bear witness to this accord. In brief, the articulation agreement creates a streamlined opportunity for NCSC students who graduate with an associate’s degree in human services to enter our bachelor’s degree program in social work with maximum credit for the academic work they accomplished while attending NCSC. Thanks go out to Social Work Program Coordinator Mary Jo Hawk for her unswerving pursuit of this arrangement in partnership with her Columbus campus and NCSC colleagues (including Molly McCue, an Ohio State MSW program graduate!).

Diversity and inclusion issues

This past Wednesday, Renee Thompson provided the Ohio State Mansfield Board subcommittee on External Relations with an update on the SMART (Students Making a Realistic Transition) program, which will focus on leadership, service, and academics for students of color in the upcoming year. The early arrival program (directly preceding Camp Hetuck) will consist of a two day introduction to the campus and community. The theme of the first day is “Be the Difference,” and will include a panel discussion of community leaders who will encourage students to lead by serving with excellence. The second day will focus on habits that lead to successful academics. In addition, Renee will be the lead instructor of the ASC 1101 Seminar for Students of Color, and will be incorporating concepts from Getting Ahead in a Just Getting by World and Bridges Out of Poverty (you will recall that these resources were used in last year’s Beginning Anew initiative) to help students think through issues of generational and situational poverty among other important topics.

Land use

We hosted our sixth and final Community Engagement lunch this past Monday, with a specific focus on our budding environmental studies program and associated EcoLab initiative. This was one of the most well-attended lunches of this sort that we have hosted over the past two years, and undoubtedly it was because of the extraordinary interest being generated in the community about our nascent conservation and scholarship efforts in this area of inquiry. With Professors Ozeas Costa and Carol Landry being on hand to answer questions about our curricular efforts, I presented slides from the MKSK design group’s first attempt to create some visual aids regarding the emerging “Eco Lab” concept. That same day, our campus hosted a group of Ohio State faculty and staff who are interested in partnering with FirstEnergy on any number of research endeavors related to the power line right-of-way corridor that runs through our campus. Many thanks go out to Ozeas Costa for leading this meeting, as there were many potential next steps identified that can and will create opportunities to enhance student and faculty research efforts that focus on the natural resources found on the Ohio State Mansfield campus.

Planning in support of a more residential campus

The conversation regarding health care services on our campus recently has been revived. Although there are no details to report at this time, l look forward to near future communications about this important service for students (that quite possibly will be of benefit to faculty and staff as well). For now I will remain cautiously optimistic that we can and will have something available by Fall Semester of this year. Stay tuned!

 Renovation and repair

No news to report at this time.

Town-Gown relationships

Two Mondays ago, a meeting took place with the Richland Community Development Group (RCDG) long range planning committee to discuss the draft report presented to RCDG by City and Regional Planning students who have been working on their Richland County Economic Development project. Using the Mansfield campus as a meeting site, the committee plans to have these students make a presentation on April 22nd to key community stakeholders. More details about this gathering will be forthcoming.

Mood elevator

The end of March and beginning of April was a very busy time on our campus (and of course is a hint of more to come!), especially as it related to efforts to show off the high quality of our students and their work. Among other events over the last two weeks was the 2014 OSU Mansfield Student Art Exhibition, which opened with a public reception in the Pearl Conard Art Gallery. If you happened to visit this exhibit, you know what I mean when I say that I was astounded by the high level of quality represented by this body of work. And just yesterday, we hosted the 5th Annual Ohio State Mansfield Student Research Forum and the Academic Awards Celebration, which included book award presentations for academic departments and special awards in various disciplines. Again, the words “astounded” and “quality” equally apply here. The caliber of student work – and the amount of faculty mentoring that supports these activities – was nothing short of breathtaking.

It is very clear that there is so much hard work being undertaken to move the Ohio State Mansfield campus forward. Go Bucks… Going Up!

Capital Campaign exceeds $3 million

Group study rooms at the Bromfield Library and Information Commons will be named for donors.

Group study rooms at the Bromfield Library and Information Commons will be named for donors.

Ohio State Mansfield will celebrate reaching it’s $3 million capital campaign goal and dedicate the new Bromfield Library and Information Commons at a public reception the evening of Thursday, April 10. Support from hundreds of campus and community members, including capstone gifts from Next Generation Films and the John & Pearl Conard Foundation, will provide new and expanded student scholarships and internship opportunities, as well as key improvements to campus facilities.

The Bromfield Library and Information Commons, the campaign’s main strategic priority, nears completion of the $3 million renovation into a vibrant high-tech learning environment. The crowning jewel of the space is the Learning Collaborative Classroom, funded through a $300,000 grant by the Richland County Foundation. This innovative space, shared by Ohio State Mansfield and North Central State College as well as available for business and community programs, will leverage advanced technologies to support collaborative learning.

Other vital study rooms and instructional areas have also been created through gifts from Mechanics Bank, Richland Bank, CenturyLink, FirstEnergy, and Shelby Foundation. With a $500,000 gift from the Conard Foundation, the building will be renamed Conard Hall at the April 10 ceremony.

The Gorman family helped establish a new Business Internship Program endowment with their generous leadership gift. More than 75 students from Ohio State Mansfield and North Central State College have benefited from internships this academic year with 40 local businesses, getting paid while gaining hands-on experience in engineering, business and other trades. An internship meet and greet in December attracted more than 200 students and potential employers, evidence of the great need within the community.

More than $600,000 has been pledged for scholarships in the But for Ohio State Mansfield campaign, including generous support by Vic Smith of Galion to create the new NCSC Buckeye Scholarship. The new Tyger Scholarship will help local students start college, and the new Board Leadership Scholarship will help them complete their four-year degree on the Mansfield campus. With an expanded Engineering program, the new Jack Hire Scholarship will also help the campus recruit and support new students in this exciting growth area.

“This goal could not have been met but for the dedication of our campaign volunteers who spent countless hours meeting with prospective donors, explaining our vision for our students,” Dean and Director Stephen Gavazzi said. “Our students will reap the benefits of their hard work for years to come.”

There will be many people to thank. Former Director of University Relations Rodger Smith laid the groundwork for the campaign through his decades of service before he retired in 2012. Campaign co-chairs Pam Siegenthaler and John Riedl, along with honorary chairman James C. Gorman, provided essential leadership throughout the campaign in partnership with Ohio State Mansfield Board members. NCSC Chief Public Affairs Officer Betty Preston, on loan for the campaign, was instrumental in securing the Hire Family Foundation grant; English Professor Susan Delagrange led support efforts for Bromfield renovations. Community volunteers also played key roles by raising tremendous awareness and funds for the campaign. They include Mary Bolin, Dave Carto, Don De Censo, Evelyn Freeman, Scott King, Jay Miller, John Mount, Brad Preston, Lydia Reid, John S. Roby, Doc Stumbo, Karin Turowski, Dick Walters, and Sheila York.