Mansfield Campus Partners Awarded National Grant

North Central State College and The Ohio State University at Mansfield are among four Ohio institutions of higher learning who have been awarded a national technical assistance grant from the Ohio Board of Regents to help bolster science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs. Ohio is one of five states to receive the national Complete College of America Award from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.

The Ohio schools, also including Central State University and Shawnee State University, will receive training to help them strengthen their STEM programs and design pathways to ensure students who sign up for these programs can get into the required courses, graduate on time and receive assistance in finding employment in their fields upon graduation.

“The four campuses selected have shown great leadership in embracing this effort. The leadership of each of these institutions is deeply committed to establishing reforms that improve student achievement in STEM fields, and maximize the in-depth technical assistance provided by this grant,” Board of Regents Chancellor John Carey said.

NC State and Ohio State Mansfield plan to further develop collaborative associate’s to bachelor’s degree programs in engineering with the grant support. NC State advisors will help students identify and be successful in essential STEM courses in order to advance in their engineering major and then continue toward a bachelor’s degree at Ohio State Mansfield.

“We hope to extend this type of advising to other majors in the future,” said Ohio State Mansfield Dean and Director Stephen Gavazzi. “But, we felt that in engineering, if students are not adequately prepared, they don’t usually fare well and there’s a lower success rate.”

“Our strong partnership with OSU-Mansfield, especially in the STEM areas, and through the vision of the one-campus district that we are collaborating on, will take our service to the community to higher levels than ever seen before,” said Dorey Diab, President of North Central State College.

The initiative supports Governor John Kasich’s commitment to having an Ohio workforce that is prepared for the jobs of the global economy.

“Continuing to ramp up our focus on the sciences means Ohioans will have the skills to take advantage of the rising demand for scientists, technology experts, engineers and mathematicians. It also means that Ohio will be able to more effectively compete against other states for jobs requiring these skills,” said Tracy Intihar, director of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation.

Bromfield Library Under Construction, Re-Opening This Spring

Dream becomes reality as the Bromfield Library and Information Commons renovation nears completion. Funded, in large part, by community donors through the But for Ohio State Mansfield campaign, the $3 million project is scheduled for completion in March, 2014, with a rededication ceremony in April.

Designed for community and campus, according to Susan Delagrange, Director of the Information Commons, the collaborative space fulfills traditional library and research roles as well as functioning as a comfortable informal area for faculty, students and the public to meet.

“We wanted to create a technology-rich open environment that was conducive to flexible learning,” said Brian White, superintendent, Mansfield Campus Plant Operations and Maintenance.

Shared by Ohio State Mansfield and North Central State College, the 23,000-square-foot space will include a library instruction classroom and six private group study rooms, as well as collaborative seating areas throughout the space. Faculty will have use of a media center with a sound studio to create multimedia for classroom use and distance learning courses.

A trio of help desks will also be located in the open-plan Library and Information Commons, says Pam Benjamin, Director of the Library, to assist students with reference, research, writing and technology questions.

“There’s nothing else like this in Mansfield,” said Dean and Director Stephen Gavazzi. “Our students will have access to the resources they need to help them succeed in college and beyond.”

Through a generous grant from the Richland County Foundation, planners also were able to include a high-tech learning collaborative classroom in the Information Commons. Gone are lectures from podiums; instructors will encourage team-based learning and problem-solving from anywhere in the classroom.

“The skills that are required for these activities are the most sought-after by employers,” says Joseph Fahey, professor, Theatre. This model of self-directed and peer-oriented learning is the new direction in higher education. It is the key to preparing our students to be leaders in their fields, their institutions and their communities.”

Framework Plan Implementation Transforming Mansfield Campus

A new bridge behind Ovalwood Hall connects Mansfield campus with Molyet Village housing, the athletic fields and walking and bike paths.

In March, The Ohio State University at Mansfield and North Central State College published the Mansfield Campus Framework Plan, an extensive look at how the campus’ 640 acres, buildings and academic missions might evolve in the next 50 years. Campus leaders promptly went to work, securing funding and creating partnerships of opportunity to support the plan. Their successes to date –

Enhancing campus access: Plans are moving forward to create a new front door for the Mansfield campus through solicitation for a criteria architect for the $1.5 million project. The Lexington-Springmill entrance will be relocated further south, connecting community and businesses to the campus and increasing visibility of the campus. The SR 39 entrance has been redefined as an environmental entrance. About 75 saplings, identified by the Extension study as natural species, were culled from campus acreage and replanted along the entrance.

Modernizing Student Life facilities: In addition to the Bromfield Library and Information Commons renovation, design has begun for $1.1 million renovation of the cafeteria in Eisenhower Hall in late 2014, restructuring the kitchen service area for better efficiency, and adding new finishes and furniture in the cafeteria and coffee house. University Dining Services began providing meal and food service for the Mansfield campus in July.

The original bridge

Addressing student housing needs: A desire for additional housing sparked the interest of University Housing Solutions, who has built off-campus housing in other areas of Ohio. The private venture just south of the campus on Lexington-Springmill Road, called Buckeye Village, broke ground in August. The foundation is laid for the first phase to be completed, with framing to begin soon, weather permitting. The first housing units are scheduled to open in August for 158 students.

Enhancing campus wayfinding: A new attractive full-width bridge across the stream behind Ovalwood Hall greets bikers and walkers as they enter the bike path to Molyet Village student housing, access to the athletic field and the wooded walking paths. The $72,000 project is wide enough for small maintenance equipment to cross; soon-to-be-added directional signage will enhance wayfinding.

Preserving wetlands and woodlands: Steps were taken this year to begin a comprehensive land-use management plan. Ohio State Extension and the School of Environment and Natural Resources have become integral partners in preparing a land resource inventory; a surprising find—more vernal pools than initially thought. Students in a May semester 2014 course will further refine the plan. Extension also called Mansfield campus home for the Ohio Woodland Stewards program, a living laboratory of classes geared towards Ohio’s 340,000 private woodlands landowners.

Internships Build Tomorrow’s Workforce Leaders

Students from Ohio State Mansfield and North Central State College attend a Richland Area Chamber of Commerce event in the hopes of landing an internship with a local business.

The next time you are in a doctor’s office, Panera Bread, Pier 1 Imports, or an AMF bowling facility, check out the cabinets, counters and booth walls. They were likely made at Cooper Enterprises in Shelby. Monty Friebel ‘82 and his brother Edward are the third generation to have a hand in the family business, created by their grandfather in 1965.

The business has enjoyed success through the years, boasting resilience and financial strength even in a stagnant economy. But company leadership is aging, so to Friebel, it makes sense to invest in the Mansfield campus Business & Industry Internship Program.

“If I don’t bring in and start to develop young leaders today to become my leaders tomorrow, I’m going to be in trouble when everyone decides to retire,” Friebel said. “As my business grows, I need to identify leaders who are smarter and younger than us to help fill those leadership needs.”

The internship program got a jump-start this year as The Ohio State University at Mansfield and North Central State College joined forces to win a competitive grant in the JobReady Ohio program. The program grew from 6 students last year to 34 students in the summer and fall semesters as well as signing on 15 partner employers this year.

The grant reimburses private industry to offer paid internships to undergraduate students, according to Tracy Bond, internship program coordinator.

Bond helps students become “internship-ready” by offering classes in resume writing and career coaching, then matches them with prospective employers who will provide learning opportunities.

“It’s not as simple as ‘here’s a job, let me apply for the job, let me go work,’” Bond said. “Internships apply to the real world. They connect students’ studies with eventual careers.”

Friebel met Engineering major Brian Kurtz at a business luncheon at the Mansfield campus. Kurtz has since interned at Cooper Enterprises for two semesters. Another student, Business major Tom Boggs, interned over the summer.

Regardless of the internship, Friebel places the interns on the shop floor for the first couple of weeks.

“We want them to understand the culture of the business, understand our processes and operations, the parts and products that we are making, materials that we are using, so when Brian begins to make drawings, he will understand what he is drawing, and so Tom will understand the materials better for product identification,” Friebel said.

An endowment was established during the But for Ohio State Mansfield campaign to continue to fund internship opportunities. Although Friebel self-funds his internship positions, he hopes other employers will provide opportunities for students through the endowment.

“I see it as giving back,” Friebel said. “This is part of economic development. If we can start developing leaders and show them where there’s opportunities here in our local community, and they stay in the community, it’s wonderful.”

Tyger Scholarship Creates Opportunities for Local Students

Raheem Washington says he’s been given a gift, one he is more than willing to pay forward. The Mansfield Senior High graduate is the first recipient of the Tyger Scholarship, created by the Mansfield/Malabar Alumni Association, and bolstered through the But for Ohio State Mansfield campaign.

“The Tyger scholarship was a blessing,” Washington said. “It was so random, I didn’t think I would even be eligible. I hope I can help them bring more awareness to the scholarship.”

Mansfield students simply need to graduate on time and complete university admissions paperwork to be eligible. Ohio State Mansfield math professor Lee McEwan suggested that Washington apply. Family Engagement and Outreach Coordinator Renee Thompson, who maintains an office at the high school, further planted the idea with Washington that he could attend college.

Washington, who is pursuing a degree in Education to teach middle and high school math, spent five years in McEwan’s Algebra Project. High school students in the program commit to enrolling in a double-period of math throughout high school.

The freshman is also involved in STEMpowerment at the campus, which provides mentors and service learning experiences between college and K-12 students in science, technology, engineering and math.

Washington walked away from a chance to play college football to attend Ohio State Mansfield.

“I fell in love with this program more than football,” he says, simply. “I could see myself doing more here in five years than after five years of playing football.”

Washington sees himself staying in the Mansfield area as a teacher, football coach, and eventually, a principal. He also wants to teach the Algebra Project in his own classroom.

“I want students to know that education is valuable,” he said. “You hear adults say it, but I think the young-on-young perspective is the best way to go about it, with students staying positive to students.”