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August 4, 2016


Columbus State among 12 community colleges receiving $95,000 grant

Pugno and Boster

The sudden rise of Zika virus cases highlights the impact of public health issues in the world. The virus has already caused some high-profile athletes to sit out during the upcoming 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Zika is just the latest public health scare to bring researchers around the world together to find a treatment. It also highlights the important social, political and cultural dimensions of the disease.

The effort comes just as Columbus State is undertaking a project to create the first-of-its-kind introductory course in the United States looking at the history of western medicine, disease and public health. As presented, it will be the first general education-level course on the topic taught at a community college. 

A $95,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and its new Humanities Initiative at Community Colleges makes the course development possible. Among more than 200 community college applicants, only 12 were chosen with Columbus State being the only one in Ohio.  The course, in two sections, will examine the development of Western medical practices, as well as ideas about health and disease, from the ancient period to the present.

The first course will cover western medicine from ancient to early modern periods and include such things as disease and epidemics, magic and medicine.  Course two covers western medicine in the modern period, including modern epidemics, inoculation practices and bioethical issues.

Ben Pugno, Ph.D., and Dea Boster, Ph.D. will design the course sections. Both are Humanities Department faculty members with expertise in the history of medicine. For peer review throughout the design phase they will work with other scholars in the field at such institutions as the Ohio State University, the University of Michigan and Augusta University.

“These course sections will be ideal for any student, but especially for those seeking a career in a medical field,” said Dr. Pugno. “It will give them a perspective on what came before them.”

“This sequence will provide a more contextualized learning experience for students enrolled in STEM fields, or those interested in pursuing a premedical program,” said Dr. Boster.

While the history of medicine and disease may be of special interest to students pursuing a health-related degree, the course will be open to all students. It’s a subject matter that can be of interest to anyone wanting to learn how social and cultural forces have continuously shaped the ways we think about health.


at TasteAdded attraction, ladies– cute chefs!

Special offer for employees going to ‘Taste’

Taste the Future is fast approaching (Tuesday, August 16) and you are not going to want to miss what promises to be the biggest and best event ever! The Foundation is offering a special incentive for employees only, and which applies to those who have already purchased their tickets to Taste as well:  Employees who purchase a ticket by Tuesday, August 9, will be entered into a drawing to win a $50 gift certificate to The Refectory, the award-winning French restaurant on Bethel Road.  Visit them at Taste the Future and then cross your fingers that you win the prize!  


Department exhibit wins State Fair Best in Show

Ansley at Fair Professor Dick Ansley, Landscape Design and Management, instructs fairgoers about 3D modeling for landscape construction.

For the third time in four years, the Design, Construction and Trades Department (formerly Construction Sciences) was awarded the Best Technology Exhibit 2016 Ohio State Fair Technology and Engineering Showcase, Sunday, July 31.

Construction Management faculty David Busch, Margaret Owens and Dean Bortz, HVAC Faculty Bill Highley, Landscape Design Management faculty Richard Ansley, along with  Elena Noriega and Civil Engineering/Survey faculty Jon Link, led almost 4,000 visitors of all ages through the display with hands-on experiences during the all-day event. 

Fairgoers got to spin the “Discovery Disc,” a wheel with program information questions. They had an opportunity to build an origami house, identify different tools including a thermal-imaging camera and survey tripod, work with a model gas furnace, and create traditional and computer-generated landscape renderings, models and displays.  Dozens expressed interest in classes offered by the new department, as well as networking with employers from around the region.

The interactive display was also recognized with the 2016 Ohio State Fair People’s Choice Award for Technology Education. 


Mentors needed for Women’s Connection

logoThe Women’s Connection seeks to connect female-identified students with access to academic, career and personal development tools. We achieve this by fostering character building and leadership development, as well as personal, intellectual and relational growth of participants. Invaluable opportunities are provided for students to network and build relationships with their peers and employee mentors. Participants engage in visible activities on campus and the Columbus community while accessing resources to make strategic decisions about their future. The Women’s Connection Leadership Program is now recruiting employee mentors for the 2016-2017 academic year. To apply as a 2016/2017 Women's Connection Program mentor, please go online here.


performing on stage Mandy Mernedakis performs at the first round of “So You Think You Have Talent.”

Mernedakis to sing in contest

Mandy Mernedakis, teaching assistant in the Social and Human Services program, and an incredible singer according to Dianne Fidelibus, moved into the final round of WNCI's "Hey Columbus, So You Think You Have Talent" contest.  The Final round is Thursday, August 4, at 9:00 p.m., at Tequila Cowboys. Winners are selected by audience applause, so the SAHS Department hopes for a large crowd to cheer her on!






Rhyan to serve on conference planning committees


Kimberly Rhyan, director of Student Engagement and Leadership (SEaL) is a member of the Planning Committee for the Ohio Serve’s 2016 Ohio Conference on Service and Volunteerism. The committee is made up of representatives from the Ohio volunteer sector; they volunteer their time, expertise and energy to develop the conference content and schedule. During this year’s conference, Rhyan will also facilitate a World Café centered on this year’s theme, “Build - Strategize – Connect.” To register for the October 25 conference, go online here

Rhyan will also serve on the 2017 American College Personnel Association (ACPA) College Student Educators International Convention Planning Team. Columbus will be the host city for the conference March 26-29, 2017. Rhyan is one of 67 members and will serve as the Hospitality Coordinator on the Conference Experiences Team. Rhyan will be partnering with local community agencies during the convention to facilitate a service project for the 4,000 attendees.  To learn more about the conference, please visit their site.


Cocchi with friends

Celebrating ADA Year 26

From right, Wayne Cocchi, retired director of Disability Services, Tiffany McClain, director of Disability Services, Nellie Nelson, retired assistant director of Disability Services, and a “live statue” take a moment to pose at the 26th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act Celebration, July 28. McClain is a member of the planning committee for ADA Columbus, a planning collaboration of several local disability-oriented agencies, and many Disability Services staff members volunteered at the event.






Food Service updates

In support of the Pelotonia fundraiser, AVI will adjust the Food Court staffing on Friday, August 5. The Food Court at Union Hall will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., but with limited staffing and service.

During the semester break, the Food Court will be closed the Weeks of August 15 and August 22. It will reopen on Monday, August 29 for the fall semester.

The DX Café will remain open during the semester break.


Faculty Convocation is August 26

The annual Fall Faculty Convocation will be held Friday, August 26. President Harrison will address the faculty in the Delaware Hall gymnasium from 9:00 to 10:30 a.m.

Following the President’s address, faculty are encouraged to join recent Distinguished Teaching Award winners in Delaware Hall, room 121, for a panel discussion and conversation about outstanding teaching. This year’s Distinguished Teaching Award winners will share their unique and effective approaches to engaging students, and invite you to do the same.President Harrison will moderate the discussion and panelists will include Melanie Adams, associate professor, Early Childhood Development and Education; Ron Elizaga, Ph.D., assistant professor, Psychology; Daniel Foor, assistant professor and TechLINK Coordinator, Automotive and Applied Technologies; and Jonathan Kreger, assistant professor, Social Sciences

Learn more about our recent winners at the Distinguished Teaching Award page.



Workshops offered for faculty in August

Columbus State faculty can get recharged for the upcoming academic year through a series of workshops starting August 24th. Choose from the following:

Wednesday, August 24
Blackboard Fundamentals: Covers the policies, processes and support services and some of the basic features.
Blackboard Grade Center: Ready to comply with new requirement to maintain an online gradebook? Learn about using the Grade Center.

Starfish: Our Early Alert system is making a difference for student success. Learn about how to use it fully and effectively.

Proctor U: Come hear why Proctor U is the top pick for online proctoring by hundreds of colleges and universities nationwide, and see how your students can achieve success through Proctor U.

Seven Things to Know about Effective Online Teaching: You will get a preview of the key principles of effective online teaching that can be explored in a three-week “Effective Online Teaching” course. You will also hear stories and testimony from Columbus State faculty on their experiences teaching online.

Thursday, August 25
Starting this fall, faculty can take workshops that contribute toward earning a completion certificate. One certificate is in Cooperative Learning, and all workshops in the sequence will be offered Aug. 25.

Cooperative Learning Fundamentals: What it is, why it is important, and where we stand. A pre-requisite for the others.

Easy-to-Implement Cooperative Learning: Adaptable activities for brief cooperative classroom learning.

Facilitating Cooperative Base Groups: Cooperative strategies for developing student responsibility and accountability.

Cooperative Learning and Critical Thinking: Using cooperative learning to foster deep, careful and critical thinking.

Friday, August 26
Following President Harrison’s address at the Fall Faculty Convocation August 26, attend A Conversation with Distinguished Teachers, where you will hear from our most recent groups of Distinguished Teaching Award winners, and join the conversation about the rewards and challenges of teaching.

August issue of Wellness Online now

In the August issue of Wellness Online, you will find articles about fighting the flu, childhood immunizations, women’s health tips, August recipes and much more!



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.