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May 4, 2015


Graduates to hear from OSU President


The 1,007 graduates in the Spring Semester 2015 ceremony this week will hear a commencement address from Michael V. Drake, MD, the president of The Ohio State University, who is nearing his one-year anniversary.  Commencement is Friday, May 8, at 10:00 a.m. at the Celeste Center on the Ohio State Fairgrounds.

Dr. Drake became the 15th president of The Ohio State University last June, following three decades of service as a higher education leader with the University of California.

From 2005 to 2014, Dr. Drake served as chancellor of the University of California, Irvine. He also served as a Distinguished Professor of Ophthalmology and Education.

During his tenure, the Irvine campus increased the number of applicants for undergraduate admission by more than 90 percent, raised graduation rates by 15 percent, and ranked among the top 10 public research universities nationally.

In his last five years at UC Irvine, more than 60 percent of the entering freshmen were first-generation students, and more than 40 percent came from lower-income families; both percentages were among the highest in the nation, and evidence of Dr. Drake’s steadfast commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Prior to Dr. Drake’s arrival at UC Irvine, he served for five years as vice president for health affairs for the University of California system, overseeing academic program policy at the system’s 15 health sciences schools, located on seven campuses.

Before that, he spent more than two decades on the faculty of the UC San Francisco School of Medicine, ultimately becoming the Steven P. Shearing Professor of Ophthalmology and senior associate dean. He has written scores of scholarly articles and chapters, and his fifth textbook was published in 2009.

Dr. Drake is an alumnus of Stanford University and earned his MD at UC San Francisco. He also began his undergraduate studies a half mile from his home at Sacramento City College before transferring to Stanford.

Note about the ceremony:  Because of a very large number of faculty and staff who have indicated they will attend the ceremony, an overflow seating area will be available should attendees exceed the seating on stage.  If you have planned to march in the processional, please arrive by 9:30 a.m. in order to dress in academic attire and line up for the march into the arena promptly at 10:00 a.m.


First Wednesday correction

The President’s monthly meeting, First Wednesday, will be held on Tuesday, May 5, starting at 8:15 a.m. in the Conference Center Ballroom, WD fourth floor. The event will be live streamed as well, at Log in with the password: cougars.


Distinguished Teaching Award finalists named

The finalists for the Distinguished Teaching Awards, which will be given at the Quality Improvement Awards ceremony in June, have been announced. Faculty are nominated by their students for the awards, given for work done in 2014.

They are: Katie Boyd, adjunct instructor, Mathematics; Myung Han, associate professor, Biological and Physical Sciences; Stephen Logan, assistant professor, English; Melissa Logue, assistant professor, Modern Languages; Jerusha McClendon, adjunct instructor, English; Rick Miller, adjunct instructor, Humanities; Margaret Owens, assistant professor, Construction Management; Val Powers, adjunct instructor, Biological and Physical Sciences; Jeff Richardson, associate professor, Biological and Physical Sciences; and Cathy Ritterbusch, instructor, Paralegal Studies.

The finalists each submitted portfolios and were observed in the classroom by the Distinguished Teaching Awards committee members to determine the winners, who will be announced June 30.



John Riley Scholarship endowed

group photo Jarod Anderson, center, and Dianne Fidelibus, right, congratulate Renee Riley on the endowment of her late husband’s scholarship fund.

The John S. Riley, II Memorial Fund was started in June, 2012. In less than three years, the fund has raised more than $18,000 and is now officially an endowed scholarship at Columbus State.

John S. Riley, II, who passed away February 17, 2012, was a dedicated student and respected professional in the addictions field. Although his life and contributions were cut short, his legacy lives on in the lives of those he touched professionally, those who will be impacted by the ongoing training series, and the scholarship that was created in his memory.

The fund supports students who have been impacted by addiction and who desire to work in the human services profession.

The endowment was announced at the John S. Riley, II Training Series seminar held last month. The training series raises money for the scholarship fund and provides continuing education credits to professionals in human services. “It's remarkable that the fund has reached the endowed level in such a relatively short time,” said Jarod Anderson, Columbus State Foundation. “It's all thanks to the extraordinary efforts of Dianne Fidelibus, The Social & Human Services Department, and the incredible generosity and support of John's family and friends.”


Dr. Polly Owen to retire


After more than 33 years of service to Columbus State, Dr. Polly Owen, associate vice president for Academic Affairs and dean of the Delaware Campus is retiring. A retirement reception for Polly will be held Thursday, May 7, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in WD 404.

Dr. Owen has worked for the college in many capacities including Nursing faculty member, Chair of the Nursing Department, Dean of Career & Technical Programs, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and, in July of last year, Dean of the Delaware Campus.  She graduated from Ohio State with both BSN and MSN degrees.  She also earned a Ph.D. from OSU in Educational Policy Leadership.  Polly was recently awarded the 2015 Legacy in Leadership Award.   

“Nearly everyone who works at Columbus State has the talent and dedication to make our institution a better institution,” says Jack Cooley, VP of Academic Affairs. “Some are so exceptional that they elevate and define our college. Polly Owen has been such a person. She brought great integrity and discipline and imagination to nursing, to the career and Technical Division, to the Office of Academic Affairs, and to the Delaware Campus. And in the process, she touched all of us and made us better.”


Whalen with display

Student presents at NASA

John Whalen, a second-year Electronics Engineering Technology student, presented his research on “Comparative Weight Reduction in Airframe Conductor Insulation” at the 2015 Ohio Space Grant Consortium (OSGC) Student Research Symposium held at the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland last month.

Each year the OSGC awards competitive scholarships to two- and four-year science students who research topics to advance the state of the art, and then share their findings. Whalen was awarded a $1,000 scholarship for his work. 






Faculty members assist with Contractor for a Day event

Contractors on banks of Scioto In this panoramic view of the Scioto Mile project, students hear about the Main St. dam removal and greenways construction.

The Ohio Contractors’ Association recently hosted the 14th annual Contractor for a Day event in Columbus, where area high school students learn about what it takes to work in the construction industry. 

Professor David Busch, Associate Professor Dean Bortz, and Assistant Professor Dr. Margaret Owens were guides at the event, and presented information about articulation and dual credit opportunities between tech prep education and Columbus State. Three Construction Management program graduates were on hand with George Igel Co. and Frank Messer Co. to help guide the tour of the project.


Do you know IT?

Are you planning a trip to another college or university? Do you know that Columbus State is the first community college in Ohio to be part of the EduRoam Internet connectivity system that could benefit you on your trip whether you are visiting an educational facility as close as the Ohio State University or far away as the University of Sydney in Australia?

IT is excited to become part of the EduRoam network, a secured global Wi-Fi roaming consortium that allows students, researchers, and employees from participating educational and research communities to obtain Internet connectivity across campus and when visiting other participating institutions by simply opening their laptop.

Now you will be able to connect securely throughout the United States and abroad using the EduRoam system. To see if the college or university that you plan to visit is an EduRoam member, go to and click on the map or country name. To get information to configure EduRoam on your laptop, Smartphone, or tablet, go to


Two artists’ works on exhibition in the Library

The Library is pleased to welcome artists Vivian Pitman and Barbara Thomas to its galleries. Barbara Thomas’ theme is entitled, “Women of Purpose” and she says: “I came from a family of 14 children and have sewn since the 8th grade.  I’ve always made things "freestyle."  I had to make my own clothes and began painting pictures on canvases.  I love soft and warm colors and I love to paint clouds, birds, buildings, and anything that interests me.”  

Vivian Pitman is also a self-taught artist. She says: “I love art. It is a big part of me. I thank God for raw talent. Some folks say I have a third eye. I can see the art finished before I complete it.  I also write and direct plays, as well as design the props and costumes. I make Black history dolls, and my work is with water color and oil.”

The works of these artists are on display in the Library’s galleries throughout the month of May.

Deadline for Employee Fee Waivers is May 6

The deadline for Employee and Dependent Fee Waivers for Summer Semester is Wednesday, May 6.  A Request for Fee Waiver form must be turned into Human Resources by 4:30 p.m. to guarantee that fee waivers will be processed before late fees are assessed.

You may also pay your fees first and be reimbursed within 30 days from the start of the term by completing the Request for Fee Waiver form and submitting an official payment receipt into Human Resources by Friday, June 26.  If you have any questions, please contact Darrylene Mason at ext. 2406. 

Open Enrollment forums to be held this month

Open Enrollment is your opportunity to elect, terminate, and/or modify your benefit choices for the upcoming plan year for medical, dental, vision, and life insurance, and flexible spending accounts. The requested changes will take effect on July 1, 2015, and the deadline to turn in your election form is May 30, 2015.

The Human Resources Department will host Open Enrollment Forums for full-time benefit-eligible employees on the following dates:

  • Monday, May 11, from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. (also live streamed) and 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. in WD 409.
  • Wednesday, May 13, from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on the Delaware Campus, MO 112.
  • Wednesday, May 20, from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. in WD 409.



Submit your news to Update

Do you have news or an announcement for the employees of Columbus State? Send your news to Update, the Columbus State newsletter exclusively for employees. Update is published every Monday and Thursday during the semester, and on Mondays during semester breaks. Send your news to by Friday at noon for inclusion in the Monday edition, and Wednesday at noon for the Thursday edition. Update editors reserve the right to edit submissions for clarity, brevity and editorial style.

Submit your news to students in Campus Life

Are you hosting a special event for students, starting a new class next semester, offering a workshop or seminar of interest, or would you like to share a special student success story? Send your news to Campus Life, the weekly online publication for Columbus State students. Send student news to by Tuesday at noon for inclusion in the Wednesday edition of Campus Life. Campus Life headlines are sent to students via email each Wednesday during the semester.