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May 12, 2016


Youngest Cougar Challenge finisher

crossing finish

Angie Shear, Marketing and Communications, crosses the finish line at the May 7 Cougar Challenge 5K with one-year-old Nolan, who just learned to walk a few weeks ago! Cheering them on at the finish was Angie’s husband Jeff Shear. The race raised thousands for book scholarships at Columbus State, with 128 participants walking and running the 3.1-mile course in Gahanna. Dustin Iacovone, Athletics, and Rich James, Human Resources, came in first and second overall. See all the results online here.


Open Enrollment period has begun

Open Enrollment meetings for full-time, benefit-eligible employees are being held (today) Thursday, May 12, at 10:30 a.m. in WD 404, and at 2:00 p.m. at the Delaware Campus in Moeller Hall 111/112, and Wednesday, May 18, at 11:00 a.m. in WD 409.

The Open Enrollment period ends on May 31, and all changes to your benefit elections must be received in Human Resources by 4:30 p.m. Any changes made during the Open Enrollment period will be effective on July 1, 2016.

Open enrollment is the time to review changes to the various plans. A few important changes will be discussed:

•  A slight cost increase to the PPO/Core plan.

•  The College is now providing a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP/HSA) for enrolled employees with the option to split the HSA contribution by applying half of the existing contribution to the HSA and then applying the other half to offset the premium.

Additionally, completion of the Working Spouse Premium Affidavit is required annually for employees that have a spouse listed on the plan. Annual submission of the Flexible Spending Account form must be completed as well. Should you have questions or concerns, most information and forms can be accessed on the website: or contact Monessa Bradford at ext. 2107.


Shared Governance Policy Council election results final

Congratulations to the newly elected Shared Governance Policy Council members and their departments:

Jill Anderson, Disability Services
Frank Barnhart, Communication
Rita Bedritis, Conference Center
Carmelita Boyer, General Counsel
Terrance Brooks, Student Conduct
Alicia Croft, Institutional Effectiveness
Lisa Carpenter, Student Academic Success
Tony Goins, Marketing and Communications
Richard Hatcher, Employment Services
Jessica Jones, Development Foundation
Kevin Kasson, Institutional Effectiveness
Marcy Leeds, Business, Engineering, and Technology
Janet McDermott, Health and Human Services
Jennifer Miller, Enrollment Management and Student Services
Bart Prickett, IT Support Services 
Paul Rusinko, Institutional Effectiveness
Ruth Sternberg, Grants Office
David Wells, Business, Engineering and Technology
Mary Whitt, Arts and Sciences


Bortz to reach 40 graduations attended


Dean Bortz, associate professor in Construction Sciences, has given himself a goal to attend 100 straight graduation ceremonies during his career teaching at Columbus State, and he is well on his way this Friday, attending his 40th straight ceremony without a missed event! “Now that we’ve switched to semesters and only hold two ceremonies each year, this may take a while,” acknowledged Bortz.

Bortz is known across campus for his “radio voice,” honed with years working as a sports announcer on the air.  He frequently serves as a faculty reader, announcing each graduate’s name as they cross the stage.  When he’s not volunteering as the reader, he’s busy acting as a one-man pep squad to his many graduating students, several of which have delivered the Class Remarks as the Valedictorian, including last fall’s Brian Albright.  Congratulations Dean!


National Security Agency grant to cover cybersecurity workshop

A $94,513 grant from the National Security Agency will fund the Central Ohio Cyber Security Educator Workshop for participating high school teachers. College faculty, led by Gary Clark, instructor in Computer Science, will serve as the trainers, and participants will complete a survey course focused on cybersecurity.

The event will culminate in an industry symposium the final day where employers discuss the career opportunities available in Central Ohio. Participating faculty will be able to share lessons from the field with their high school students and encourage them to explore educational pathways and careers in cybersecurity. Faculty will earn CEU credits for their participation in the workshop through the Educational Service Center of Central Ohio.


New history course funded by National Endowment for the Humanities

A $99,783 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities will fund a two-course sequence in history focused on the humanities electives required by Health and Allied Health Students. Currently, students enroll in general history courses to fulfill this general education requirement. Students enrolled in health and allied health fields have requested a contextualized course that aligns to their interests. The courses, History of Western Medicine, Disease and Public Health I: Ancient to Early Modern Periods, and History of Western Medicine, Disease and Public Health II: Modern Period will provide a foundation in the history of Western medicine, disease, and public health, emphasizing patterns and connections in major ideas and events.

Project directors are Dr. Benjamin Pugno and Dr. Dea Boster, who are subject-matter experts in the history of western medicine. They will conduct research into the course content, develop the courses, manage the peer review by several scholars from prominent universities, pilot test the courses, and oversee a transfer agreement with Ohio State.


Eighty meet to learn about suicide prevention

More than 80 Columbus State students and employees gathered May 5 to learn what they can do to help someone struggling with suicidal thoughts. The event, “Suicide Prevention: With help, there’s hope!” was a joint effort between the Ohio Programs for Campus Safety and Mental Health Collaborative Program Grant and the Columbus State Suicide Prevention Taskforce.

Attendees learned local and national statistics of suicide from guest speaker Rick Baumann, assistant coordinator for Suicide Prevention Services at North Central Mental Health, and watched the film, “The Truth about Suicide: Real Stories of Depression in College,”followed by a panel discussion.

Panelists included: Rick Baumann, Dr. Ameena Kemavor, director of Counseling Services, Sarah Hatch, counselor with Stonewall Columbus, Jason DiGiantonni, outreach coordinator with Columbus Veterans Affairs, and Brandilyn Szpila, student and president-elect for the student organization Mental Health Matters. The panel was moderated by Jorie Schwartz, instructor in Social and Human Services, and included engaging dialogue about warning signs and risk factors associated with suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Panelists also responded to questions related to high-risk populations such as LGBTQ, military and veteran populations. 

To seek help for yourself, or if you are worried about someone who is experiencing distress and who is at risk of suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1(800)273-TALK (8255). This lifeline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you are deaf, contact the Suicide Prevention Lifeline via TTY by dialing 1(800) 799-4889. For immediate help, dial 911. For additional resources about suicide prevention or to learn how you can get involved in suicide prevention efforts at Columbus State please visit the college’s Suicide Prevention web page for more information.


Mental Health First Aid class held

class exercise

Participants in the MHFA class work on an exercise.

Columbus State employees and Netcare Access employees participated in a Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training class April 20.  The training was made available through the Ohio Programs for Campus Safety and Mental Health Collaborative Program Grant. MHFA Instructors were Dr. Yvette Jackson, executive director of the Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation and Tyrrea Byrd with NAMI Franklin County.

The eight-hour course teaches participants how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. The training gives participants the skills they need to reach out and provide initial help and support to someone who may be developing a mental health or substance use problem, or experiencing a crisis.

This is the second time the college has been able to host the MHFA training. Through a partnership with ADAMH, several more sessions will be held through December 2016 on the Columbus Campus.


Watch ‘How to Dance in Ohio’ featuring students

The Disability Services staff would like to take a moment to encourage you to watch the Peabody Award-winning documentary entitled “How to Dance in Ohio.” The film features young adults diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, a number of whom are current or former Columbus State students.  For educational and non-profit screenings, please contact For more information about this movie, contact Adrienne Luke, advisor in Disability Services.



McClain to present at Disability Rights Ohio session

Tiffany McClain, director of Disability Services, will present May 16 at the Second Annual Disability Rights Ohio (DRO) Policy Briefing and Advocacy Session, titled “Education and Transition to Employment.” At the session, participants will learn how education funding impacts the ability of students with disabilities to transition into higher education, competitive employment, and independent living; learn about how Ohio's education policy impacts students with disabilities; connect with other disability community leaders and exchange ideas; and plan how individuals and the greater disability community can be involved and advocate for education and transition issues. 



Semester break foodservice hours listed

During the break between spring and summer semesters, the DX Café will be open for limited service the week of May 16, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Summer hours for the DX Café begin May 23, and will be Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The Union Hall Food Court and Tortillas will be closed from May 14 through May 30. Summer hours will begin May 31, with the Food Court open Monday-Thursday, 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Fridays from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  Tortillas Food Truck will be open Monday-Thursday, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.


News from the Discovery District


The Columbus Museum of Art, in partnership with the Worthington Libraries, welcomes artist, author, and educator Hervé Tullet on May 21, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Tullet, creator of 75 internationally acclaimed children books, will present a workshop for families based on his new book Art Workshops for Children. Tullet will teach fun, engaging activities that will push you to explore their own creativity. A book signing will follow. Find out more here:

Join Thurber House this summer as they offer five different Literary Picnics featuring Ohio-based authors. You can order a picnic dinner with your ticket or bring your own munchies, just don’t forget your lawn chairs! There is an author for everyone this summer, so check out the lineup and get your tickets today:  

Don’t forget to mark your calendar for August 27 at Topiary Park for the movie, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Here is their lineup:




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.