Dr. M. Valeriana Moeller - Columbus State Community College 50th Anniversary

During the 14 years that Dr. Valeriana Moeller served as President, Columbus State's enrollment nearly doubled—to more than 28,000 students. Her commitment to the mission of the comprehensive community college was demonstrated in the many new initiatives that expanded access to higher education to thousands of Central Ohio residents and helped address the community's need for a trained workforce.

Under Dr. Moeller's leadership, Columbus State launched its online education program. An early innovator in online learning, Columbus State quickly became the No. 1 provider of online learning in Ohio, by 2010 offering more than 500 classes and enrolling more than 16,000 students.

She also led the creation of the Community Education and Workforce Development Division, which primarily offers focused, noncredit courses and programs to the unemployed and underemployed, budding entrepreneurs, recent immigrants, and business executives.

She also led the initiative to acquire land and build the college's second campus, in southern Delaware County. At the conclusion of a nearly decade-long process, Dr. Moeller cut the ribbon to open Columbus State's Delaware Campus in June 2010, and the college began offering chasses there in September. The Board of Trustees elected to name the first academic building on the campus Moeller Hall.

Under her leadership, Columbus State also created the Think Again Scholarship Program, which provided scholarships of up to $3,500 to adults 25 and over who did not have a college degree. The program helped more than 4,500 adults return to college to retrain and change their lives.

Dr. Moeller was known for her promotion of leadership development across all levels of the college. She created the Columbus State Leadership Institute, a 9-month program that helped 200 faculty and staff members develop leadership skills. And she conducted the monthly Val's Book Club, where every quarter, faculty and staff gathered to discuss a book with relevance to higher education.

Active in the community during her presidency, Dr. Moeller served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Columbus Medical Association Foundation, Columbus Technology Council, COSI, and Capitol South; she also served on the Board of Directors of the Columbus Downtown Development Corporation and Fifth Third Bank Central Ohio.

Dr. Moeller was born in India and raised in Portugal, where she began her career as a high school chemistry teacher. She holds bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Lisbon (Portugal) and master's and doctoral degrees from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. Prior to her service at Columbus State, she had nearly two decades of academic leadership experience at colleges in Michigan and Minneapolis.

Images: A Year in the Life of Columbus State