March 20, 2006

Two Columbus State students named to All-Ohio Academic Team

Mary Beth Cligrow

David Kerr Jr.

Two Columbus State students are among 47 of the state's best two-year community and technical college students and have been named to the 2006 All-Ohio Academic Team.

Mary Beth Cligrow and David Kerr Jr. will be honored at an awards ceremony March 29 at the Ohio Statehouse. Cligrow is a mental health/chemical dependency/mental retardation major. David Kerr is an associate of arts major.

The All-Ohio Academic Team provides statewide recognition to outstanding two-year college students and opportunities for cash scholarships. The program is sponsored by the Association of Community Colleges, Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society, Honda of America Mfg., Inc., and the KnowledgeWorks Foundation.

At the ceremony, 10 students will be named to the First Team, 10 to the Second Team, and 27 to the Third Team. First Team members will receive a $1,000 cash scholarship, and Second Team members will receive $500 scholarships. All 47 members receive an All-Ohio Academic Team medallion, certificate and pin.

To be eligible, Cligrow and Kerr were nominated by President Moeller to the All-USA Academic Team. Nominees must graduate during the 2005-2006 academic year and have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.25.

The rankings for the All-Ohio Academic Team are determined by the scores received in the All-USA Academic Team judging. Winners are selected on the basis of academic performance, demonstration of leadership, and community service involvement.

More than 300 guests, including academic team members, their families, college presidents, administrators and state legislators will attend the All-Ohio Academic Team recognition ceremony.

The keynote address will be delivered by Donna Alvarado, chair of the Ohio Governor's Workforce Policy Board and vice chair of the Board of Regents. Others speakers will include Kristine Cohn, U.S. Department of Education secretary's representative for Region V; Ohio Senate President Bill Harris; Ohio House Speaker Jon Husted; and Bill Konstantacos, manager of Corporate Affairs, Honda of America Mfg., Inc.

Phi Theta Kappa, an international honor society for two-year college students, started the All-State Academic Team program in 1994, building upon the success of the All-USA Academic Team program, sponsored by Phi Theta Kappa, USA Today , and the American Association of Community Colleges.

The All-Ohio Academic Team Program started in 1997, making this year's ceremony the 10 th annual celebration.


Columbus State earns perfect score for fiscal accountability from Ohio Regents

In a report released by the Ohio Board of Regents that monitors the financial health of Ohio's state-assisted colleges and universities, Columbus State earned the highest possible scores, one of only two in the state. Belmont Technical College also earned perfect 5.0 ratings. The financial analysis was established in 1997 through enactment of Senate Bill 6, and the 2005 report was presented to the Regents March 9.

"Solid financial health is something we should all be proud of," said Terri Gehr, senior vice president and CFO of Business and Administrative Services. "It demonstrates to our students and to the community that we are prudent with the monies they give us to deliver our programs. The perfect score reflects Columbus State's long-standing commitment to sound financial management. It's something to celebrate."

Columbus State has had 5.0 rating in three of the eight years the scoring process has been effective. Columbus State's average score over the years is a 4.7.

The Ohio Board of Regents is, by law, mandated to measure an institution's financial health on three scales. The scoring process emphasizes the need for colleges to have a strong expendable fund balance, manageable plant debt, and a positive operating balance.

The composite score for each college is calculated by assigning individual scores to ranges of ratios, with 5.0 being the highest possible score. A composite score below 1.75 places the college on a state fiscal watch.

For more information about the Campus Financial Accountability Program administered by the Ohio Board of Regents, go to


Top graduate for winter quarter shares secrets of his success

Winter quarter 2006 class valedictorian Bernie Dziedzic holds a wiggling Foxy, the dog he adopted after completing the Veterinary Technology program. All the animals used in the program are adopted out to students and other approved homes after "working" for two years.
Bernie Dziedzic has a simple formula for academic success at Columbus State: Push early and learn your prerequisites. The veterinary technology graduate earned his associate degree with top honors winter quarter and delivered the student remarks at the ceremony March 17.

The secret is shared by many of the students in the Vet Tech program evidently, because four of the eight Summa Cum Laude graduates (perfect 4.0 GPA) are graduates of the program. Shannon Klein led the Pledge of Allegiance, and Liesel Fleishman and Jillian Hoyng also earned highest honors.

Dziedzic is one of only three males among the 190 students enrolled in the Vet Tech program. The ratio is "usually not a problem," laughs Dziedzic. Even his new pup, Foxy, adopted from the program upon his graduation, is a female. The petite and timid Foxy reputedly did not like men when she arrived at Columbus State but soon was smitten with Dziedzic and preferred him to all the other students.

After earning a bachelor's degree in history from Hiram College in 1994, Dziedzic, 34, worked in various jobs "just for the money." Growing up with a mom who worked in animal rescue instilled his love of nursing and animal care, so he decided to enroll at Columbus State. After working in a variety of clinical settings, such as labs and animal hospitals, he thinks he might someday enjoy teaching the subject he loves.

He'll be certain to teach his students that concentrating on their prerequisites and "really learning them will set you up for success. All it takes is a little self-discipline."