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January 17, 2019

 Snowy start to spring semesterstudents outside during winter

Students arrived to a cold and snowy start for spring semester on Monday, January 14. Facilities crews worked overtime this past Saturday and Sunday to clear the snow from parking lots and walkways, making arrival easy for faculty, staff, and students.


Parking Garage technology enhancement

photo of garage entrances

During peak hours in the past, it was impossible to know if there were spaces available inside the Parking Garage. Not anymore! Facilities Management recently installed software and digital signs that count the number of vehicles entering and exiting. The displays reveal the available capacity at the two garage entrances. The software continually provides a near-exact number of open spaces. The College’s current parking management partner, SP Plus, assisted in securing and installing the cloud-based software.

The electronic readout signs are solar powered. A mobile app is in the works which will allow staff and students to check parking availability in the garage on mobile devices. A web link will also be available online. In all, there are 1,250 spaces in the Parking Garage, which opened in 1998.

Foundation names interim executive director

photo of C. Washington

Crystal Washington Booth has joined Columbus State as a senior advisor to the president and interim executive director of the Columbus State Community College Foundation. While Pam Bishop is stepping down as Executive Director from the Foundation, she remains on board with the College leading fundraising for Mitchell Hall and managing several of the College's principal donor relationships.  

Crystal comes to Columbus State from Scripps Networks Interactive/Discovery, Inc. in Knoxville, Tenn., where she was senior vice president for external relations and vendor management. She will lead the foundation while the College searches for permanent leadership this year.

“Crystal is an outstanding community relations builder and will be a tremendous asset in her time with the foundation,” President Harrison said. “This will be a moment to reflect on our foundation growth and success while setting the stage for what’s next in the future. I am grateful to Pam for her years of excellent leadership and for staying on to help us complete our Mitchell Hall fundraising campaign.”

Crystal began her career with Scripps in Cincinnati as community relations director, advancing to vice president of external relations and diversity and inclusion before becoming senior vice president. She previously worked in banking for Fifth Third Bancorp and Provident Bank in Cincinnati and National City Bank in Columbus, as well as Bank One.

Crystal holds a master of business administration from Capital University and a communications arts bachelor’s degree from the University of Cincinnati.


College systems will be offline next Monday

All IT services will be shut down for a portion of the day while Columbus State is closed for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. During the shutdown, IT will be replacing major electrical battery backup systems which are vital to support IT operations.

The IT shutdown will take place on Monday, January 21 from 5:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. During the 12-hour shutdown, these services will be unavailable: Colleague, CougarWeb, Self-Service, Onbase, and uAchieve.

NOTE: Office 365 and Blackboard will not be impacted by the outage.

If you are unable to access any of those systems after the work has been completed, please contact the IT Support Center at extension 5050 during normal support hours.

We appreciate your patience during this campus IT services upgrade.



New grant aimed at suicide prevention

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has awarded a $303,511 grant to Columbus State, in partnership with our Regional Care Provider Network. It will fund the Cougar Courage Campus Suicide Prevention Project.

An overall goal is to develop and implement a comprehensive, inter-departmental, campus-wide strategy for supporting student mental health at both the individual and environmental levels. The Counseling Center has observed a 60 percent increase in students attending appointments during a recent one-year period. Of those, 46 percent were diagnosed with depression and 44 percent suffered from drug or alcohol abuse, or both.

Strategies and interventions developed through the project will include programs such as Fresh Check Day, hosting an Alive Campus Tour, implementing the Just in Case app, and the ULifeline tool.

Goals also include increasing awareness and prevention services at College campuses and regional learning centers and community locations. This includes developing suicide prevention resources for College Credit Plus students, teachers, and parents


Record number of nominations for Theatre Columbus State

Theatre Columbus State has received a record 22 nominations for the Central Ohio Theatre Roundtable Awards. The awards ceremony will take place on Sunday, January 27 at 6:00 p.m. at the Jewish Community Center (1125 College Ave., Columbus). Purchase $15 tickets and see the entire list of nominees here online.

Awards include Excellence in Ensemble Acting in a Musical and Outstanding Production of a Musical for “The Cradle Will Rock,” and Excellence in Ensemble Acting in a Play and Outstanding Production of a Play for “She Kills Monsters.” Our faculty members were also nominated: Frank A. Barnhart for Excellence in Direction of a Musical, “The Cradle Will Rock,” and Sonda Staley for Excellence in Direction of a Play, “She Kills Monsters.”

photo of play cast

 The cast of last year’s “The Cradle Will Rock.”

Chefs featured in Edible Columbus

Two Columbus State chefs are featured in the Edible Columbus winter edition. The coverage includes two recipes and an article, “A few of my favorite things,” by Josh Wickham, director of operations, School of Hospitality, and a recipe by faculty member Adam Hager 

Winter Pavlova
Pomegranate glazed duck breast
Roasted golden beets

Sign up for the annual Fight for Air Climb

person running up stairs

The American Lung Association’s Fight for Air Climb is a unique and challenging fundraising event. It’s a vertical climb up the stairs of one of the tallest buildings in ColumbusIt’s held in skyscrapers in other cities as well.  

By taking part, you will be climbing for those who have been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, and lung cancer, which is a leading killer of smokers and non-smokers. The Air Climb is about raising funds for research, advocacy for cleaner air, and support for those who want healthy lungs and freedom from smoking. It is also about you: each participant will benefit.   

Contact Katina Fitch, extension 5982, if you have questions or want to join the Columbus State team. A prize drawing will be held for those taking part. The Air Climb takes place on Saturday, February 16 at 10:00 a.m. in the Rhodes Tower downtown. The American Lung Association has more information.


Legal assistance available for students today

Do you know a student who is in need of legal assistance? A representative from Legal Aid Society of Columbus will be on campus on Thursday, January 17 from 11:00 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. in Eibling Hall 201. You can stop by or request an appointment here. For additional dates, check CougarConnect.

Topics they may be able to provide guidance on include:

⦁ Benefits including Medicaid, Medicare, food stamps, Ohio Works First, SSI/SSDI, disability financial assistance, Title XX Child  ..Care, and unemployment compensation.
⦁ Family (divorce, civil protection order, custody, and spousal/child support)
⦁ Housing (evictions, conditions problems, and subsidy terminations)

Winter driving tips

photo of motorcarNow that snow and ice are beginning to cover our roads on a regular basis, don’t forget to wipe off your headlights on a regular basis. Salt and road grime can easily reduce their effectiveness after just one drive during or after a snowstorm. Read tips here. 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has winter driving tips here. 



In case you missed it: Reminders of recently published events


PONO for 2019

Spots remain to join the Spring 2019 cohort of the PONO Diversity Learning Community, sponsored by the Global Diversity Inclusion Center (GDIC) 

PONO is a group open to employees and students. It meets for eight weeks to discuss different diversity-related topics including race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, religion, socio-economic status, intersectionality, and more. PONO provides opportunities to build community with others, to share your story, and to gain new perspectives. If you are interested in joining, please register here on this form. You will also find our Spring 2019 meeting dates at the start of the application. 




Third Friday live on Columbus and Delaware campuses

Save the Date: Friday, January 18 from 10:00 a.m. until noon. Join the next Third Friday where our conversation will be focus on our goal of increasing the percent of students completing college math and English gateway courses during year one. Completion is currently 18.9 percent. We want to raise it to 30 percent.

Learn what’s happening with our co-requisite courses and discuss with colleagues how we support our students during the first semester they are enrolled and in subsequent terms. Everyone is invited. We especially encourage faculty across disciplines, advisors, testing support, College Completion team members, Professional Development leaders, Student Support personnel, and regional learning center support staff. Register here on Cornerstone for a spot on the campus of your choice. Seating is limited

Author, activist Michael Eric Dyson speaking at Columbus State

Columbus State Community College will celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at our 30th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Celebration, featuring author and news personality Dr. Michael Eric Dyson as the keynote speaker.

Dyson, professor of sociology at Georgetown University, is an author, a contributing opinion writer at the New York Times, an MSNBC political analyst, a contributing editor at The New Republic, and an ordained Baptist minister for more than 30 years. He is the author of nearly 20 books, including most recently What Truth Sounds Like and Tears We Cannot Stop.

Columbus State has been proud to host many high-visibility speakers for the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Celebration. The College honors Dr. King near but not on the MLK Jr. holiday to maximize opportunities for students, faculty and staff participation on a date classes are in session. Past speakers have included Angela Davis, Donna Brazile, the Rev. Al Sharpton, Nikole Hannah-Jones and Dick Gregory.

This is Dyson’s second appearance at Columbus State; he first spoke at the Day of Celebration event in 2012. He will conclude his appearance with a book signing. Copies of What Truth Sounds Like will be available for sale. (Columbus State is partnering with The Ohio State University to host the appearance; Dyson will also speak at Ohio State later on Jan. 30.)

The event featuring Dyson will take place at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, January 30 at Nestor Hall Auditorium. Tickets - free with registration- are available here



Blackboard drop-in labs for students 

Students can now stop by during hours below for individualized help with Blackboard, including logging in to courses and asking questions. They can also explore a “demo classroom” to practice essential tasks. Seating is limited for the hands-on open labs, which are available at two locations on the Columbus Campus.

Columbus Hall - CO 302
Thursday, January 17 from 1:30 - 3:30 p.m.
Friday, January 18 from 10:00 a.m. - noon
Friday, January 18 from 1:30 - 3:30 p.m.

Madison Hall - MA 203
Tuesday, January 22 from 1:30 - 3:30 p.m.
Wednesday, January 23 from 10:00 a.m. - noon
Wednesday, January 23 from 1:30 - 3:30 p.m.

Deadline for Cougar Fairs is tomorrow

The Office of Student Engagement and Leadership would like to formally invite all Columbus State departments, student groups, and partner colleges to participate in the 2019 Spring Cougar Fairs. This event is free and open to the Columbus State community. It’s an excellent opportunity to showcase the involvement and resources that your organization, department, or college offers to Columbus State students!  
If you are interested in hosting a table during one or both days of the fair, please complete the registration form here on CougarConnect. This fair will occur on two consecutive days to connect with more students' availability.

Spring Cougar Fairs will be held in both Nestor Hall lounges:
Monday, January 28 from 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. 
Tuesday, January 29 from 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. 

Registration deadline to participate in the Cougar Fair closes Friday, January 18.  
For questions, please email or call extension 2637.

W-2 information for 2018

Through ADP, our W-2 provider, employees are able access W-2 forms around the clock.
 How to Register on ADP W-2 Services
1. 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. 

Mileage rates for travel in 2019

New travel rates began on January 1. The IRS standard mileage rates for the use of a car, van, pickup or panel truck will now be 58 cents ($0.58) for every mile of business travel driven.  
Submissions received for miles driven in 2018 will remain 54.5 cents ($0.545) per mile.  

Please use the updated 2019 forms found on the intranet for Travel Request, Travel Expense, and Mileage-Meals Reimbursement Request. 

For more information visit the IRS website. 

If you have questions, contact Tracy Thornton at extension 2443

Faculty Blackboard training


Blackboard Fundamentals small group

Friday, January 18 from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. in CT 119

Are you new to using Blackboard? Do you want to better understand college policies and processes for designing and copying courses? Want to know how to get timely help with troubleshooting or content design? If you said "yes" to any of these questions then this Blackboard Fundamentals workshop is for you. Register.


Blackboard Grade Center small group

Friday, January 25 from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. in CT 119

Need to brush up on your Grade Center skills? This workshop will introduce you to the main Grade Center features. Participants can also schedule additional one-on-one help with the Faculty Assistance Center following the workshop.

All College faculty are required to use the Grade Center in Blackboard. According to a resolution approved by Academic Council: In order to increase student success, the OAA Digital Learning Committee recommends that all Columbus State faculty employ the Blackboard Grade Center for students in a manner which allows students to determine, at any point during the term, their current grade in the course (e.g. a running average; running total, weighted or unweighted; other up-to-date benchmark that allows a student to compare their performance to that course’s overall standards of assessment).  Register.


Testing Center: Successful Test Preparation and Submission

Monday, January 28 from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. in CT 106

Faculty members, do you use the Testing Center? Have you had questions or concerns about the process? Forms and policies have undergone recent changes and we want to make it easier for you! This session will provide details on the best way for you to set up your test in Blackboard, submit it using the proper forms to the Testing Center, and go over how and when to give your tests to Disability Services. There will be three parts to this session, each led by a representative of the Faculty Assistance Center, College Testing Services, and Disability Services. Register.


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.  





Wellness for a new year

As we start a new year, we may think about lifestyle changes we want to make. If we approach it not as a monumental task, but a small step in a life-changing direction, it may seem feasible, and we set ourselves up for success. Our Wellness Coordinator, Nichole Bowman-Glover, encourages you to take time to reflect on your life and set one lifestyle goal for 2019. It could be in any of the following areas: physical, emotional, social, financial, professional, spiritual, or community. Here are two resources that can assist you in making a lasting lifestyle change.

American Psychological Association

National Institute of Health






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.