March 9, 2006

Women’s History Month lecture today

From noon–1 p.m. today in the TV studio of the ERC, Roberta Garber, executive director of Community Research Partners (CRP), will lead an interactive forum called “Conversation about Strong Communities that Work for Us All.”

Garber will share research and history pertinent to how central Ohio women have overcome obstacles and shaped our community. Everyone is welcome to participate.

CRP provides data and research to inform positive community change. The organization undertakes community data collection, applied and policy research, and program evaluation projects across a wide range of program areas, both within and outside of central Ohio.

B&I conducts training and validation studies

Columbus State’s Business and Industry Training Services (B&I) is currently working with a variety of local businesses on employee validation studies and trainee programs, English as a Second Language, and leadership and computer training. Through regular collaborations, the division helps organizations meet business goals and become more successful.

In collaboration with research consultant Saville and Holdsworth Ltd., B&I is conducting a validation research study of 150 parole officers with the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections. Through a variety of ability and behavioral tests, the study will evaluate the usefulness of such tests as predictors for future selection of employees and their success in the job. The goal is to determine if there is a correlation between test results and job performance.

In November 2005, B&I, in conjunction with Dick Bickerstaff, chair of Engineering, opened the Integrated Systems Technology (IST) Laboratory on the third floor of Eibling Hall to enhance manufacturing competitiveness in central Ohio. Funded by a U.S. Department of Labor and Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services grant with curricula and lab equipment developed under the leadership of industry giants such as Honda of America Manufacturing and Anheuser-Busch, the lab includes modular components for training in electrical, electronic, mechanical, automation, and process control areas of manufacturing. Columbus State is the first of the Ohio IST programs to have students begin the program, with five currently enrolled and 16 ready to begin.

TOSOH SMD, Inc., a global supplier of inorganic chemicals, petrochemicals and specialty minerals, has experienced a dramatic increase in business and needed to hire more machinists. With a lack of a large enough labor pool, TOSOH decided to hire not only skilled machinists, but also applicants who demonstrate an interest in and aptitude for becoming a machinist.

B&I and Dick Bickerstaff collaborated with TOSOH to conduct an analysis of the machinist’s job, and they developed an employee aptitude test for TOSOH to use in screening applicants and a 4400-hour program of study to help new machinists succeed. This ongoing program will train 20 people the first year.

In another endeavor, B&I developed a program designed for new English as a Second Language employees of a major health care provider. The customized curriculum met the on-the-job needs of the employees and developed a standardized vocabulary. The ESL training occurred two hours per day over two weeks.

A local church, experiencing significant growth in its congregation and diversification of services, found a need for highly skilled leaders and supervisors extending beyond the executive leadership team to the pastoral, ministerial, administrative, operations, bookstore, and café teams. B&I designed specific training for the church to improve human dynamic skills, emphasizing the principles and qualities of genuine leadership, coaching, correcting performance problems, and verifiable goal setting.

In one of their latest endeavors, B&I is collaborating with a local beverage distributor to provide customized Microsoft Outlook training for 180 employees. This training will focus on the areas of Outlook determined to have the greatest impact on the company and will help new and experienced users manage their e-mail system.


Swantek joins Peace Corps to teach in Republic of Georgia

Jason Swantek, adjunct in Communication Skills, has accepted a two-year assignment with the U.S. Peace Corps as a university instructor in the Republic of Georgia, located in westernmost Asia. His assignment, beginning in June, includes teaching university English language classes and conducting English language and literature training and enrichment programs for Georgian university faculty members.

Swantek recently earned a master of arts degree in English literature from Ohio State University. As part of his graduate fellowship, he taught OSU courses in composition, literature and business communication. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in English from Michigan State University in 2003.

In addition to Columbus State, he is employed as a textbook editor in the Columbus offices of the McGraw Hill Publishing Company.


Additional volunteers needed for Science Day

In addition to the judges needed for the Central District Science Day previously announced March 2 in Update, additional volunteers are needed to ensure the event runs smoothly.

The Central District Science Day, being held March 18 on Columbus State’s campus, needs volunteers to help students find their display sites, assist in registration, tally scores, collect score cards from judges, and serve as hall monitors to maintain order and security.

If you are interested in volunteering as a judge or in any other capacity, contact Mike Rennekamp in Nestor Hall 491, at ext. 5012, or or John Blaha in Nestor Hall 495, at ext. 5930 or


Grade entry assistance available

The deadline for entering winter quarter grades is 10 p.m. Saturday, March 18.

The IT Support Center offers this tip: If you are entering grades for your class and find the system is running slowly or the grades are not completely entered after you hit submit, instead of entering the entire class at one time, try entering grades in increments of no more than 10. This will reduce your chances of being timed out.

If you need help with grade entry during finals week, the IT Support Center will be available Monday–Thursday 8 a.m.–8 p.m., Friday 8 a.m.–5 p.m., and Saturday 9 a.m.–noon with extended hours from 2:30–5 p.m. and callbacks 5–10 p.m.

You can either visit the IT Support Center in the ERC lower level or call ext. 5050.


Self-help issues discussed in The Matrix Monitor

The March edition of The Matrix Monitor is now available and contains information on marriage counseling, becoming a self starter, learning to say no, giving your attitude a twist, and more. To read about these issues from Matrix, Columbus State’s Employee Assistance Program provider, click here.