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February 4, 2019

 Relentless winter weather forces College to close three consecutive days

Columbus campus snow image

The Columbus Campus looked like a winter wonderland Friday morning after overnight snow blanketed the region.
Photo by Mark Dudgeon

Central Ohio has been walloped by winter weather leading to an unprecedented number of closings for Columbus State. Even before the Polar Vortex swept down last week, snowfall led to the cancelation of weekend classes on Saturday and Sunday, January 26 – 27.

Then the coldest temperatures in years arrived Wednesday morning along with wind chill warnings. Air temperatures dipped below zero with wind chills reaching minus 30 degrees and lower in some areas. As a result, Columbus State closed on Wednesday, January 30. When conditions did not improve, the College closed again on Thursday. As the Polar Vortex retreated Thursday night and temperatures moderated slightly, a winter storm moved in! The original forecast of one-to-three inches of snow overnight ended up being four-to-five inches. Roads and highways were a mess.

A decision was made just before 5:00 a.m. Friday to delay opening the College until 11:00 a.m. When the snow kept falling, a decision was made at 7:00 a.m. to close for the third day in a row.

Allen Kraus, vice president of Marketing & Communications, says decisions to close are not made lightly. “We have to put the safety of our students, faculty, and staff first. A key factor in our decision-making was the fact that all of the regional school districts were closed. This presents a big childcare challenge for many of our students and some of our employees. These were unique weather conditions for everyone and the President and senior staff members felt the best option was to close.”

For the Facilities Management crews, January was a long month. The department dealt with issues including boiler failures, HVAC sensor failures, and gas leaks. All told,  45 different Facilities Management staff members reported to campus over the three-day closure. Combined, they logged more than 400 work hours of outstanding effort.



Water damage averted at Delaware Campus

Quick thinking – and actions - by two members of the Columbus State Police Department could have saved the College thousands of dollars in damage. It happened overnight Wednesday as Sgt. Shannon Scott and Officer Hunter Reid were out patrolling the regional learning centers and the Delaware Campus. A few minutes after entering Moeller Hall, a water pipe burst. Since they were there when it happened, they were able to shut the water off before there was any serious damage. 

It was later determined that a major sprinkler system line froze. “This type of coordination between Facilities Management and the Police Department staff happens all the time,” says Mark Dudgeon, Facilities Management Director of Operations.” In this instance, damages were prevented because of the decisive actions of all involved.” 


In the news: Columbus Dispatch and Columbus CEO feature College leaders

Dispatch-Columbus CEO logos

The future of work is uncertain, but one thing's for sure: higher education is here to help pave the way. The Columbus Dispatch on Friday published a joint column by President Harrison and Adam S. Weinberg, Denison University’s president. You can read it here.

College completion is always a top priority at Columbus State. Our continuing efforts were featured in a recent article in the February 2019 edition of Columbus CEO Magazine. The story concentrated on how institutions are engaging students who previously dropped out so that they can finish their degrees. Kelly Hogan, executive director of college completion, was quoted.

In the same issue, a story on the high demand for technology security experts included comments from Todd Warner, executive in residence for Workforce Innovation.

You can read both articles here.


Deadline for Policy Council Nominations Extended

Due to last week’s College closure, the deadline for Policy Council nominations has been extended to 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 6. To nominate an employee or yourself, please complete the Candidate Nomination Form and send it to The form can also be found on the Shared Governance Elections web page. Nominees will be contacted later in the week and asked if they would like to be included on the election ballot.   
For more Information regarding the Policy Council, click here. Please contact Sarah Skeen in Human Resources at or extension 2416 with questions. 

Nursing Nominations, applications being taken for Women's Leadership Summit

Columbus State Community College's fifth annual Women's Leadership Summit and Awards will be held on Thursday, March 21. This summit is designed to provide meaningful intergenerational connection opportunities in addition to focusing on leadership development, personal and intellectual growth. This year's theme is ‘W.O.M.E.N.’

W: Women are without limits 
 Women for Ohio 
 Women’s mental health matters
E: All deserve equity 
 We champion non-conformity 

Workshop Proposal Applications
We are currently seeking workshop presenters for the summit. If you are interested in facilitating a break-out session, please fill out this workshop proposal. The proposal deadline is March 1.

Outstanding Woman Leader and Legacy and Leadership
Do you know an outstanding woman leader? Now is the time to nominate a Columbus State student, faculty, or staff member for the Outstanding Woman Leader Award and the Legacy and Leadership Award. The deadline for both is March 1.

Outstanding Woman Leader Award nomination form

Legacy and Leadership Award nomination form (Faculty/Staff nominations only)

If you have any questions, please contact Katrina de los Santos or Jasmine Marks.



American Crossroads symposium February 22

The Humanities Symposium Series will present the second annual “American Crossroads” symposium next month. This year it is entitled “Make America 1919 Again? Anti-immigrant Sentiment, a Century and Back.”

The resurgence of nativism is irrefutable in today’s partisan politics which includes campaign promises for a border wall, a travel ban from six predominantly Muslim countries, “alt-right” demonstrations, and an open mean-spiritedness. Given these issues, the 2019 symposium will examine similar issues from a century ago to help us make sense of our times.

The event will be held on Friday, February 22 from 8:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. on the fourth floor of the Center for Workforce Development. Register and purchase tickets here.

Columbus Call for Advisors

Are you interested in helping students around the college cultivate meaningful leadership opportunities? If so, please consider becoming a student group advisor. An Advisor acts as a mentor, guide, leader, supervisor, and more. Currently, there are two student groups in need of an advisor. 

Columbus State Students for Life

Columbus State Students for Life is a service and activism-oriented group focused on empowering pregnant and parenting students on the Columbus Campus. We aim to equip students with accurate information and continued community support to thrive as student parents! Weekly meetings are held every Thursday at 7:30 p.m. If you have questions, email Students for Life here.  

International Student Association
Would you like to meet with students of diverse cultures? If the answer is yes, the International Student Association (ISA) needs you. This ISA community will facilitate outside-the-classroom learning experiences through leadership and networking opportunities, field trips, and various other events for its members. If you are interested in learning more about this advisor position, please contact student Koffi Edah.

Time-management workshop series for students

The Center for Advising Support and Exploration and the Student Academic Success Office are teaming up to offer “Digitize Your Time.” This is a time-management workshop series providing students with resources, information, and skills to help them be successful. 

The workshops will address the importance of good time management. It will include an interactive presentation, creative tips, and electronic tools you use on a daily basis to help keep the balance of life and school organized. Students will explore how to set up an electronic calendar using whatever tools they’re most comfortable with such as Yahoo, Outlook, Gmail, and more.

Students can log into CougarConnect and register for any of the workshops offered this semester. Walk-ins are also welcome. Academic Advisor Stacie Odhner-Sibley would like to request that faculty and staff share this information with students. If you have questions, her extension is 2431. 


JCPenny “Suit-Up” event for students

JCPenny is stepping up to assist students and recent graduates. The event will allow them to shop for professional clothing at affordable prices. It will be held on Sunday, February 17 from 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. at the JCPenny department store, 1450 Polaris Parkway, Columbus. They may sign up here.

Participants will receive an additional 40 percent off men's and women's career and dress apparel, shoes, and accessories. It can feel overwhelming to shop for professional wear, which is why volunteers will be available to help them pick outfits if needed.




New Student Domestic Travel Packet

All student travel within the United States will now need to be completed using the new Student Domestic Travel Packet. This is a combination of all previously used student travel forms. It was created to help streamline the process, and it complies with federally mandated Clery requirements. If you have questions, or need any further information, please contact Sibhan Courts at extension 2094. 

Safety training collaboration

The Office of Equity and Compliance and Tim Butcher, coordinator for Environmental Health & Fire Protection in Facilities Management, have teamed up to review and update mandatory safety training across the College. These requirements fall under the Public Employment Risk Reduction Program. The requirements include training such as blood-borne pathogens, personal protective equipment, and fire prevention plans. In the next few weeks, invitations will be sent to different departments across campus to discuss this important work. Please watch for those emails.

Spectrum News 1 showcases Mitchell Hall project

A reporter from the local cable news station Spectrum News 1 visited the Columbus Campus earlier this month to update viewers on the Mitchell Hall project. You can see the video here.


Theatre Columbus State takes home four Roundtable awards 

Roundtable group photo
Following a record 22 nominations for the Central Ohio Theatre Roundtable Awards, Theatre Columbus State took home four during the annual ceremony Sunday, January 27. You can see the entire list here online. Faculty member Sonda Staley for Excellence in Direction of a Play, “She Kills Monsters,” which was also awarded Outstanding Production of a Play. It’s the second year in a row that Staley won, and the second year in a row that Theater Columbus State won Outstanding Production of a Play.   

Two students were also winners in additional categories: Cloe Cooper, Excellence Costuming and Makeup for “She Kills Monsters” and Taryn Huffman, Excellence in Acting in a Featured Role in a Musical for “The Cradle Will Rock.”

Attending the awards Sunday were, left to right, Jeremy Harrison, Leland Leger, Sonda Staley, Cloe Cooper, Doug Morgan, and Chloe Beck.



S. Leeman self portraitSelf-portrait painting to be featured in Kansas exhibit

Humanities professor Stacy Leeman's painting “Self Portrait P18” will be on display at the 2019 Heartland Artist Exhibit. It will be held at the Irene French Community Center in Merriam, Kan.
March 2 - 30.





College Recreation and Wellness weekly podcast

For your health and wellness information this week, check out the latest Guidance with Grace podcast. This week’s episode looks at how to “shake the sugar.” Listen to it here.

Department of College Recreation & Wellness offerings

Group classes 

H.I.T.T. at noon
Roll and stretch at 12:30 p.m. 

Yoga at 5:30 p.m. 

Kettlebell express at 11:00 a.m.
Roll and stretch at 11:30 a.m. 

Total body conditioning at 11:00 a.m.
Yoga at noon 

Group classes are held in Delaware Hall room 158.

Self-Defense Program
This empowering self-defense training for men and women combines fitness training and martial arts. It is taught by experienced instructors on the Columbus Campus. All classes are provided free of charge.  

 You can take a few classes, or progress through four levels of training where you will learn valuable techniques to keep yourself and others safe.  

 Mondays at 5:00 p.m., Thursdays at 10:00 a.m., and Fridays at noon.

 All self-defense classes are held in the Columbus State Police Department Training Room in Delaware Hall room 047

 More information is here. If you have questions, email the department at

In case you missed it: Reminders of recently published events



Spring semester blood drives announced

Did you know that a blood donation can save three lives? Mark your calendars. All blood drives will be held from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. in Nestor Hall 106 

Monday, February 11
Tuesday, February 26
Wednesday, March 20
Tuesday, April 30

Note: A blood drive will also be held during our annual In-Service Day on Thursday, April 18 from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. It will be held in a mobile bus and is open to administrators, faculty, and staff.

The Book Club is back

The Faculty Entry, Training, and Professional Development and the Instructional Success committees will once again be partnering to host several book clubs. This semester the club will be reading “The College Fear Factor.”  Some faculty received the book at the 2018 FIX. It focuses on observations and interviews of community college students, and how students and faculty can misunderstand, and ultimately fail each other.  

The book club will meet for a single session on two different dates: Friday, March 1 and Wednesday, April 3 from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. in WD 352.

Register and find more information here

The Book Club will also be discussing “The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher's Life” over four sessions throughout the semester. This book focuses on the concept that good teaching is more than just good pedagogy. It says that good teaching requires an authentic connection in the classroom that stems from the integrity and identity of the teacher. These sessions will be held on Friday, February 22; Friday, March 29; Friday, April 26; and Friday, May 3.  Register and find more information here. 

Please follow the two links for more information and to register for any of the sessions. Contact Karen Rippe for more information at extension 5497.


W-2 information for 2018

Through ADP, our W-2 provider, employees are able to access W-2 forms around the clock.

 How to Register on ADP W-2 Services
Go to
2. Click “Register Now”
3. Enter the Registration Pass Code which is: 1COUGAR-TS  (case sensitive)
4. Enter your Name and select W-2 Services
5. The following information is required for validation purposes:

  • Full Social Security Number
  • Employee ID #   
  • Company Code from Box D   : VJC (case sensitive)
  • Employee Zip Code
  • Tax Year

You will be prompted to complete a registration process during which you will select a unique password.  Your password must contain between 8 to 20 characters and at least one alpha and one numeric character. Additionally, you will be assigned a system generated User ID.  Once you have completed the registration process, you should “Bookmark” or “Add to your Favorites” the new URL

If you need assistance accessing this website to retrieve your W-2, please contact Janiece Brunner in the payroll department at extension 5617.


Faculty Blackboard training

Blackboard Features
Monday, February 4 from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. in CT 106

Learn how to use Blackboard features that will make your life easier. Some are brand new to Blackboard and some are just new to you. Due Date Management, Video/Audio Feedback, Grade Center tips and more! Register.


Blackboard Assignments
Friday, February 8 from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. in CT 106.

This hands-on workshop covers creating, uploading, and grading assignments. You can also look at assignments from the student point of view. We will also show you how to effectively use drafts, rubrics, and Turnitin. Register.


Blackboard Tests and Quizzes
Friday, February 8 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. in CT 106

Discover all the ways to create tests and quizzes in Blackboard in this hands-on workshop. We will go over test pools, random blocks, test exceptions, and feedback options. We will also cover how to extract a Blackboard test using Respondus and how to set up a test in Respondus Lockdown browser. Register.


Blackboard's Multimedia Tools
Wednesday, February 13 from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. in CT 106

This hands-on workshop offers best practices on adding video to your course and the related copyright and captioning issues. Learn tricks involving PowerPoint, adding graphics, how to make online interactive games with StudyMate, and more!  Register.


Introduction to SoftChalk

Friday, February 22 from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. in CT 106

SoftChalk is an easy-to-use digital curriculum authoring solution that lets you take content you already have, combine it with resources from the web, and turn it into easy-to-navigate, professional-looking, interactive, web-based modules — perfect for online learning and integrated into Blackboard. Learn how to create a simple SoftChalk presentation in this workshop, led by Melissa Logue, Associate Professor of Spanish. Register.  



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 9 a.m. for inclusion in the Monday edition, and Wednesday at 9 a.m. 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 9 a.m. for inclusion in the Wednesday edition of Campus Life. Campus Life headlines are sent to students via email each Wednesday during the semester.