June 29, 2006

FedEx donates Boeing 727 to Columbus State

More than 300 guests attended the landing party June 26 for Columbus State's newest acquisition, a Boeing 727-100 donated by FedEx Express worldwide shipping company.

The jet is making its new home parked on the pad outside Columbus State Aviation Maintenance facility at Bolton Field, and it has displaced every other aircraft owned by the college with its expansive airframe. Work is under way to house the jet on a new piece of tarmac, to be built west of the current facility.

The gift, worth about $1 million because the fully operational jet is now grounded, was secured through a unique partnership between an alumnus, the Development Foundation and two lead faculty members from Aviation Maintenance and Law Enforcement.

Brian Buttermore, a 1989 graduate of the Aviation Maintenance program and currently senior technician for FedEx, contacted Jeff Gruber, an instructor in the department who he had studied with in the 1980s. Buttermore told Gruber about a FedEx program to retire older planes in its fleet, and he encouraged the college to submit a proposal to secure one of the Boeing freight carriers. Gruber and Scott Wagner, professor in Law Enforcement and commander of the Columbus State Police Academy, hatched a plan for a unique, dual training role for the jet--one not found anywhere else in the country, according to the faculty members.

The proposal was for the FedEx donated jet to serve as a training ground for future aviation technicians, as well as provide a totally realistic simulator for counter-terrorism training for law enforcement agencies. The Aviation Maintenance Department could use and maintain the jet, keeping it in operating condition, while the Criminal Justice Department--which also includes Fire Science and EMS technologies--could use the jet for training in such areas as hostage recovery, tactical training, drug interdiction, bomb detection, major incident drills and other terror incidents. This training is not available locally or regionally.

The jet was built in 1967, coincidentally the same year that the Aviation Maintenance Department graduated its first class. The class and the aircraft will celebrate their 40th anniversaries together next year. The jet was a passenger carrier for 11 years for United Airlines before being purchased by FedEx in 1978 to carry freight, and it has more than 50,000 hours logged in the air, as well as over 36,000 landings. It is named "Kira" after the daughter of two FedEx employees.


New CougarWeb feature makes last-minute registration easier

A new feature in Columbus State's computer system is allowing hundreds of students to add last-minute classes without waiting in lines.

During each registration period, it has been the college's practice to allow students to register for courses if the classes have not met, the classes are not filled, the students have no restrictions, and all course prerequisites have been met. In the past, students would have to register in person once the quarter began.

The new computer system fe ature added for Summer Quarter allows students to register via CougarWeb after the quarter has started and before individual classes meet.

The feature was developed to improve service to students and reduce lines during the typical first day rush. As of the morning of Tuesday, June 27, Web add activity was up about 10-fold over previous quarters, with 439 students adding classes via CougarWeb. In Spring 2006, only 45 students performed add activity on the Web, while 40 performed Web add activity on the first day of classes in Winter 2006, and 46 in Autumn 2005.

Perhaps more significantly, statistics appear to indicate that the new process is significantly increasing the total number of students able to add courses on the first day of the quarter--increasing enrollment and enhancing access.

Other add activity comparison numbers for Spring 2006, Winter 2006 and Autumn 2005 are below.

  Summer 2006  Autumn 2005 Winter 2006 Spring 2006
R and R  569 477 743 680
Web 439 46 40 45
TIC 123 8 93 94
Departments 218 295 399 384

Students are not able to register via CougarWeb for filled classes, if they have a restriction, or if they do not meet the course prerequisites. Courses offered in a web format still require the permission of instructors to enter, and the current registration add/drop form is still needed to give permission for filled classes and late registration.


Mary Jo Deerwester
advisor in Advising and Counseling Services

When did you start at Columbus State?
I began at Columbus State in April 1979 and have 27 years of service to the college. Throughout the years, I've served as an Admissions representative and director of Admissions. Currently I am an advisor in Advising Services and have served in this capacity for approximately 10 years.

What is your fondest memory of Columbus State?
My fondest memories are when the college was much smaller. The staff and faculty knew each other better and so it was easier to work together.

What will you miss most?
I will miss my co-workers and students who appreciate the assistance given to them.

What will you do with your spare time in retirement?
There will be lots to do - enjoy time with my family, read, travel, volunteer - who knows what else?

Any anecdotes, stories or thoughts you'd like to share about your time at Columbus State?
When Madison Hall was being remodeled during the 1980's, the Admissions Office was relocated to a construction trailer that rested on cement blocks in one of the parking lots. One day the trailer was hit by a truck going through the parking lot and it was knocked off of the cement blocks. The staff stood outside while we waited for the trailer to be set back up on the blocks. While we were standing there, a bird flew over and deposited its lunch of purple grapes on my boss' (Mike Miller) clean white shirt. Just then Dr. Nestor came over to see what was going on and was laughing and kidding with Mike. At that moment Mike did not find the situation too humorous and rather bluntly communicated his feelings to Dr. Nestor. Fortunately for Mike, Dr. Nestor took it all in stride. After that incident, cars and trucks were no longer allowed in the parking lot near the trailer.


More Web-based courses now available for faculty and staff through MindLeaders

Based on the success of Columbus State's partnership with MindLeaders in providing 24/7 access to over 250 Web-based training courses to all staff and faculty, the college has expanded the course offerings to the full complement of courses currently offered by MindLeaders.

Additional courses, available starting July 1 include a wide array of technical courses such as Oracle, Novell, Cisco, and Windows and an expanded list of business courses including DreamWeaver, FrontPage, retirement planning, and budgeting and saving.

"The great thing is the courses are available 24/7, so you can complete the courses at work or at home. And they are free," says Paul Owens, coordinator of training and development in Instructional Services and co-coordinator of the partnership.

"The many different soft skill and technology skills can easily be incorporated into an employee's human capacity development plan," says Don White, IT project and training coordinator in Information Technology and co-coordinator of the partnership. "The video tutorials that are available would even be great tools to supplement departmental staff meetings."

You can access all these courses, using Internet Explorer only, by accessing the ITI's Employee Enrichment "At your Fingertips" home page at http://iti.cscc.edu/mindleaders.html . You can also access the courses by going to the Columbus State home page, "Faculty and Staff," " Instructional Technologies Institute (ITI)," and " Employee Enrichment a t Your Fingertips . "

To enter the site:

  • Enter your Novell user ID and password and click the login button. Disable any pop-up blocker software before logging in.
  • Click on "View All Learning Resources."
  • Click and expand the "Combined Business and Technical" folder. Select the course you wish to take by expanding the series title and then clicking on the course title.
  • If Macromedia Flash Player is not installed on your PC, you will be prompted to install it when you start a course using Flash technology.
  • To properly exit the course, click the "Exit" button on the MindLeaders screen in the lower right hand corner. This will activate the bookmarking feature so the next time you log into the course, you will return to the same page.
  • Click "Log Out" in the upper right corner to exit the MindLeaders site.

The complete technical course catalog is available at http://catalog.mindleaders.com/catview.asp?obj=tchpkgdqhr&ot=sb&flv=cp.

The complete business course catalog is available at http://catalog.mindleaders.com/catview.asp?obj=bussubgo11&ot=sb&flv=cp.

A helpful end user information guide is available at http://iti.cscc.edu/SIG_CSCC.rtf.

For assistance in accessing the tutorials, contact the Help Desk at ext. 5050 or helpdesk@cscc.edu.

Smoking cessation classes to begin

The Human Resources Department, in conjunction with Sport and Exercise Studies, is sponsoring a noncredit smoking cessation class for all full-time employees. The class will be one hour a week for 10 weeks on Wednesdays, from 12-1 p.m., starting July 5 through September 6.

Contact Lou Ann Carman in the Human Resources Department at ext. 2416 if you would like to sign up for this class.

Newsletters highlight health and wellness

As part of an ongoing effort to provide clients with current health care and wellness information, USI Midwest publishes the "Health & WellnessUSI Newsletter."

This month features National Men's Health Week information and offers a valuable men's health checklist meant to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems. It also features a safety checklist for Home Safety Month from the Home Safety Council, and a heart-healthy recipe for salmon cakes from the American Institute for Cancer Research.

To read the USI newsletter, click here.

Matrix, the college's EAP provider, also provides a monthly newsletter related to health and wellness issues. This month's edition contains information on customer service, building confidence, improving performance, the art of conference going, and more. To read the latest edition, click here.

Parking lots to close for Red White and Boom

Student parking lots 4-S and 5-S along Jefferson Avenue will be blocked off as a staging area for Columbus Police for Red White and Boom. The lots will be closed from 7 a.m. July 3 - 6 a.m. July 4.