Monday, June 5, 2006

Nursing goes non-traditional at Spring Quarter 2006 Commencement Ceremony

"Meet the Parents" has gone full circle at Columbus State this spring quarter. At the commencement ceremonies June 9, there will be a number of male nurses earning degrees, and they won't be like the nervous young fiancé portrayed by Ben Stiller--they are more like the family patriarch embarking on new careers, well into their adult life and proud of their career choice.

More than 700 students are scheduled to earn degrees Friday at Veteran's Memorial, including a large class of nursing students and the first group of nurses graduating from the college's new online nursing degree program.

Jim Tichich, 61, retired from a successful career as an engineer, is living and working in the Middle East. After learning to care for his wife when she was diagnosed with a terminal illness, he vowed to begin his second career in hospice nursing and will graduate Friday from the online nursing program first initiated in 2004. Students in this program attend clinical rotations in hospitals and labs on campus, but complete the majority of coursework on their computers through online classes.

John O'Brien, 52, is one of 11 children whose mother, MaryJane O'Brien, is professor emeritus of the Columbus State Nursing Department. At age 82, MaryJane says that quizzing her middle son through the nursing program has kept her young. John worked in business for many years before deciding to follow in his mother's footsteps to become a nurse.

Moses Sakwa, 39, emigrated from Ghana with his wife Angela and got a full-time job working for Coca Cola to support his family, including sending money home to his family in Africa. He will graduate Friday with a degree in Respiratory Care and kudos on his work ethic from the affiliate hospitals where he completed his clinicals.

And then there are the "traditional" nursing students like Kristen Funk, 21. One of the younger students to graduate in nursing Friday, Kristen "has a special calling to be a nurse," says faculty member Diane Schiffer. "Her compassion and care are that of an old soul," says Schiffer. Kirsten has been enrolled in the OhioHealth partnership program for student nurses and hopes to go into critical care nursing after graduation.

All in all, there are 95 graduates of the nursing program Friday, including Lisa Junk and Kim Mays, two of the 16 summa cum laude graduates, who earned perfect 4.0 grade point averages over the course of their studies.

Delivering the commencement address to the Spring Quarter 2006 graduates will be Joe Blundo, columnist at "The Columbus Dispatch." The student address will be delivered by Thomas Sipes, summa cum laude graduate of the Graphic Communications Technology.



Julie Dudas

Professor and Medical Laboratory Technology program director

When did you start at Columbus State?

I started part time in spring of 1979. I was on maternity leave from my job as supervisor of the microbiology department at Grant Hospital. My second daughter Amanda was only a few months old. I had planned on returning to Grant only part time after my maternity leave when CTI convinced me, after three phone calls, to work a couple mornings a week for them. I swore that I would NEVER become a teacher, but I gave it a try.

I was hired temporary full time in 1981. I worked part time at both Grant and CTI for a couple of years. A full-time position became available at CTI in 1982, and my husband convinced me to take it; he was tired of me working weekends and holidays at the hospital and the 6 a.m.-6 p.m. days.

I took the faculty position, started graduate school, which I had to pay for since I had not been a full-time employee for a year, and still maintained a contingency position at Grant on weekends. My children were three and seven, and life was hectic. My starting salary was only $13,000--exactly half of what I was making at Grant! I must have been crazy.

Since 1992, I have served as the MLT program director.

What is your fondest memory of Columbus State?

My fondest memory is the sense of community and family that Dr. Nestor, Dr. Brown, Dr. Henry Miller, and Dr. Gutter instilled when the campus was smaller.

What will you miss most?

I love the creative aspect of course development, particularly online teaching. I am amazed at the number of manuals, study guides, PowerPoint presentations, test banks, Respondus and StudyMate files I have developed over the years and shared with other colleges.

I will also miss working with other MLT programs throughout the country. I served as a site visitor for our accrediting agency for several years and had the opportunity to travel and visit other programs.

I will miss working with my chairperson, Les King, who is a former student of mine, and my department.

What will you do with your spare time in retirement?

My oldest daughter Amy and her husband recently moved back to Columbus after living in Seattle for five years. She has a 3-year-old old son Jake and another baby that is due in July. She also has her own homecare business, Home Instead, in Granville so I'm sure I'll be assisting her in a variety of ways.

Amanda, who was recently married in Hawaii, and her husband just purchased a home in Columbus--she was living in Virginia before her wedding--and my husband and I have been helping them move, clean, and do yard work.

I sew and enjoy making window treatments for my daughter's homes and making craft projects. I crochet and love to read. I recently completed remodeling and furnishing a dollhouse.

I also plan on playing more tennis and bridge and going out to lunch with all of my retired friends.

Since my husband has been retired for two years, and we already travel quite a bit, we will continue to do so.

Any anecdotes, stories or thoughts you'd like to share about your time at Columbus State?

It has been rewarding to see so many of our MLT graduates successfully employed in the medical technology field and the numerous students that we have helped throughout the years.


Hal Babson

Chair, Business Management and Office Administration Technologies

When did you start at Columbus State?

I began my career at Columbus State in September of 1985 and have 21 years of service with the college.

I have been chairman of three different configurations of the Business Management Department during my tenure. At the beginning, I chaired the largest technical department on campus, consisting of all business programs except Accounting and Computer Science. Ironically, I still head the largest technical program, consisting now of only Business Management and Office Administration.

What is your fondest memory of Columbus State?

My fondest personal memories are attending the graduation of both my daughter Lisabeth and my wife Patricia, and also sitting in on class taught by my son Andrew.

My fondest professional memory has been the tremendous growth in the content and delivery of our courses here in the department. Absolutely incomparable to others I have studied.

What will you miss most?

I will miss leading a wonderful group of dedicated professionals with whom I have shared joy as well as sorrow, missteps as well as shining examples of achievement, and in the end respect and affection.

What will you do with your spare time in retirement?

I will travel to see my four children, travel for leisure, play golf and garden. And teach, of course.

Any anecdotes, stories or thoughts you'd like to share about your time at Columbus State?

I have two funny stories:

A student requesting a retroactive withdrawal submitted as evidence the picture of her relative, whose funeral she was attending, in the casket.

Another story is a trick played on me by Joe Schindler some years ago when he called me to pick up my gift Thanksgiving turkey in the president's office. Don't ask me why, but I showed up and was greeted with incredulous looks by the staff there. In fact, I was the turkey.



Ken Conner

Dean of Enrollment Services

When did you start at Columbus State?

I started at Columbus State in June of 2001 as the coordinating director of Enrollment Services and am currently the dean of Enrollment Services, a position I've held for four years. In total, I have 44 years of service to education spanning three states.

What is your fondest memory of Columbus State?

My fondest memory? That takes some pondering. No single event comes to mind. But, I sure enjoy watching our graduates cross the stage each quarter, and I enjoy working with the Enrollment Services managers and other administrators throughout campus on projects.

What will you do with your spare time in retirement?

I hope to not have any spare time in retirement. I believe that goals and focusing on projects will continue to be part of my lifestyle. I'm also going to be open to new directions and challenges. I want to be active so long as the good Lord allows.

Things I see right now as activities are building furniture in my shop, honey-do chores for my wife, volunteering for service projects with the NOMADS group around the country, assisting and traveling to see our seven children and grandchildren, who are scattered throughout the eastern half of the United States.

Any anecdotes, stories or thoughts you'd like to share about your time at Columbus State?

I don't have any funny anecdotes to share, but I do have a couple I would like to forget.

Leaving is bittersweet. I do have a fondness for Columbus State and consider this college and its mission near and dear to my heart. It represents much of what I think education is all about. I also carry a deep respect for all the employees at the college who work so hard to assist students achieve their dream of building a better life. I wish everyone well.


Harper advises building a strong foundation

Hill Harper, star of "CSI: NY" and author of "Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny" was on campus June 1 to inspire students to build a strong foundation, find their passion, and live their dreams.

His discussion centered on a number of issues young people struggle with, including school, sex, money, and living your truth, but he singled out education as the key to success, urging students to stay in the game.




Sport and Exercise Studies Department inaugurates Alumni Hall of Fame

Ten alumni from the Sport and Exercise Studies (formerly Sports and Fitness Management) Department were inducted into the first class of the Alumni Hall of Fame Thursday, June 1.

"The first class consists of 10 individuals who the committee felt represented the history of the program," said Tom Habegger, Ph.D., professor in the department. "Each honoree was selected for their unique professional and personal story that has made the tapestry that is Columbus State's Sports and Exercise Studies," said Habegger.

Assistant Professor Eric Welch, Associate Professor David Litt, Ph.D., Professor Habegger and a host of current Sports and Exercise Studies students welcomed the inductees and introduced them at a ceremony in the Human Performance Center.

The inductees are:

  • Kristen Barth, physical education teacher at Randolph Union High School in Vermont;
  • Pete Cook, director of National Sales and Managed Care at Columbia Laboratories in Pennsylvania;
  • Wendy Fraley, director of Wellness & Fitness at Wedgewood Country Club in Powell;
  • Velma Garnes, owner/trainer at Studio Temple Fitness;
  • Dale Gresson, owner/trainer at Fitness Boot Camp of Columbus and advisor in the TRIO program at Columbus State;
  • Chris Hill, physical education teacher at Upper Arlington City Schools;
  • Daniel Kambel, athletics media relations coordinator at Florida International University;
  • Susan Kasley, J.D., prosecuting attorney in Mason County, Michigan;
  • Curt Laird, Ph.D., coordinator of the Sport Management Program at University of Charleston; and
  • Catherine Padgett, coordinator of financial collections at Ohio State University.

The 2006 inductees received an award plaque, and their names and accomplishments were placed on a Hall of Fame wall in Delaware Hall room 029.


Mammography screenings to be available on campus

Columbus State is sponsoring mammography screenings offered by the James Mobile Mammography Unit on June 9 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. here on campus. Eligibility requirements for the screening include that you are not pregnant, are not nursing, are asymptomatic, have no breast implants, and have not had previously had breast cancer.

To schedule an appointment, call the James' Mobile Mammography Department at 614-293-4455 or 800-240-4477.



Walker to celebrate 34 years of service

On June 8 from 2-4 p.m. in Nestor Hall Seminar Room C, Columbus State will have the opportunity to wish a happy retirement to Watson Walker Jr., counselor in Community Education Workforce Development. Everyone is welcome to wish him well and thank him for his 34 years of service to the college.

His colleagues will also have a small time capsule and a memory book available to share your words of wisdom and encouragement.

For more information, contact Sharon Ward at ext. 5764.


Grade entry assistance available for Spring Quarter

The deadline for grade entry is Monday, June 12 at 11 p.m. During finals week, the IT Support Center will be available to assist with grade entry. If you need assistance, you can go to the center in the ERC, Columbus Hall lower level, or call ext. 5050.

The center's hours are:

•  Monday-Thursday 8 a.m.-8 p.m. (Monday, June 12 additional callback/e-mail assistance will be available 5 p.m.-11 p.m.)

•  Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

•  Saturday 9 a.m.-noon (callbacks and e-mails from 1 p.m.-9 p.m.)

•  Sunday June 11 (callbacks/e-mails 10 a.m.-9 p.m.)

The support center offers this quick tip: If you are entering grades for your class and find the system is running slow or the grades are not completely entered after hitting submit, instead of entering the entire class at one time, try entering them in increments of no more than 10. By doing this you are less likely to get timed out.


Parking lot closed for the summer

Student parking lot 11-S on the corner of Mt. Vernon and Spring streets will be closed beginning Saturday, June 10, for major repairs and upgrades. The parking lot will be closed until early September. Everyone is asked to park in the parking garage until the work is completed.