News Releases

Owens Signs Transfer Agreement with Siena Heights University

Posted on September 2nd, 2021

Owens Community College and Siena Heights University signed an articulation agreement today creating a seamless transfer path for Owens graduates to complete their bachelor’s degree online with the 4-year university located in Adrian, Michigan.

“We are pleased to offer Owens Community College graduates the opportunity to complete their bachelor’s degree online with Siena Heights University,” said SHU President Sister Peg Albert, OP, Ph.D. “We are excited about this collaboration with Owens Community College.”

The articulation agreement is designed to provide Owens Community College graduates equal consideration with other students seeking admission and financial aid. Credit completed at Owens will transfer toward a SHU baccalaureate degree in Applied Science, Business Administration and Community and Human Services.

“We are proud to partner with Siena Heights University on this agreement,” Owens President Dione D. Somerville Ed.D., said. “Owens remains committed to providing pathways that lead to meaningful student outcomes and this partnership is further demonstration of that commitment.”

In addition, the articulation agreement also provides eligible full-time Owens Community College employees a discounted tuition rate for SHU undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

For the eighth consecutive year, SHU’s undergraduate Online Learning Program was ranked nationally by the U.S. News and World Report. For the fifth consecutive year, Siena Heights was top-rated in Michigan among all institutions. Siena Heights tied for 34th among all public and private institutions.

Owens Community College Welcomes Students, Faculty and Staff to Toledo- and Findlay-Area Campuses

Posted on August 24th, 2021

New College president Dr. Dione D. Somerville kicks off academic year, athletics

PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, Ohio – Owens Community College began its 2021–22 academic year with Opening Week all-campus meetings led by the institution’s new president, Dr. Dione D. Somerville. Fall Semester will begin on Monday, August 30.

Owens will offer a variety of class options this fall, including in-person, traditional online, hybrid and synchronous online courses. At September’s Fall Fest event, students will also be able to begin getting involved in campus organizations and taking advantage of everything Owens has to offer. Dr. Somerville met with faculty and staff on Monday, August 23 to update them on the state of the College.

“Speaking for the entire Owens community, I am so excited to move forward together this school year as we embark on a new semester and a new Owens Express athletics season,” said Dr. Somerville. During her presentations at the Toledo- and Findlay-area campuses, Dr. Somerville noted the following highlights:

  • Owens awarded 970 degrees and certificates in Spring 2021 and 1,841 degrees and certificates in 2020.
  • Assistant Professor of Broadcast Technology Rob Thomas won Owens’ first Presidential Teaching Award.
  • The Coalition on Adult Basic Education named Aspire Program Director Heath Huber Outstanding Administrator of the Year. Workforce and Community Services faculty Dionne Dolsey and Lisa Dowling both won Outstanding Teachers of the Year.
  • The American Association of Community Colleges awarded the Dale P. Parnell Distinguished Faculty Recognition to Sarah Long, Associate Professor of Mathematics.
  • The baseball team had a 35-15 overall record in 2021, won the Great Lakes District and Region XII Championships and were College World Series Qualifiers.
  • The softball team had a 13-7 overall record in 2021 and won the Great Lakes District and Division III Region XII Championships.
  • With the allocation of CARES Act grant funding, the Counseling Services Office hired a third full-time counselor to provide more mental health support to the community.
  • More than $12 million in financial relief has been allocated to students since the onset of the pandemic.

Owens Extends Shuttle Bus Service to Off-Campus Locations

Posted on August 12th, 2021

PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, Ohio – Owens Community College is extending its shuttle bus service to off-campus locations in order to help create a pathway to success for students.

In setting up this free service, Owens identified the highest-enrollment neighborhoods near the Toledo-area Campus where its students could benefit from the shuttle bus service. The service begins Monday, August 30 to coincide with the start of Fall Semester classes.

“We want to eliminate barriers that many of us take for granted, such as transportation,” Amy Giordano, Vice President of Student Services and Enrollment Management, said. “If students do not need to worry about how they will get to class, their focus will be on being successful in class.”

The off-campus pick-up and drop-off locations include Huron Street near the City Grill in downtown Toledo, the Toledo Public Library Locke Branch in east Toledo and near Brentwood Park in Northwood.

TARTA offers service that connects near the Huron Street location in downtown Toledo, providing access to even more students who live in other locations.

The shuttle will make stops on the east and west sides of campus, at College Hall and the Center for Fine and Performing Arts.

The Owens shuttle will run on a continuous loop from 7:16 a.m. until 10:55 p.m. Monday-Friday when classes are in session. Hours will be adjusted when classes are not in session but the College is open.

Riders may be required to wear masks. Please refer to mask policies and further shuttle bus details online at

Owens Adds Late Enrollment Event for Community Members

Posted on August 5th, 2021

PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, Ohio – New students still considering their higher education options will have the opportunity to get started at Owens Community College during Success Express Day on Friday, August 13.

The event will be held from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. on the Toledo-area Campus, located at 30355 Oregon Road, Perrysburg. All attendees will receive a customized campus tour.

“Our faculty and academic chairs will be available to meet with students. So will our financial aid staff, who will talk about the FAFSA and how affordable an Owens education is,” Amy Giordano, Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Services, said. “We want to help students gather the information they need. We want them to know there’s still time for a successful start at Owens.”

Interested students attending Success Express Day will have an opportunity to complete an application and take next steps toward enrollment for Fall Semester, which begins Monday, August 30.

“Students have so many options at Owens, whether they are degree-seeking, want a career certificate to help with job placement, or plan to earn credits and then transfer for a bachelor’s degree,” Giordano said. “Our staff will also help students if they are undecided on their future plans. What’s important is to attend Success Express Day and start the process.”

An RSVP is required to attend Success Express Day. RSVP at


Posted on May 7th, 2021

PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, Ohio, May 7, 2021 – Owens Community College announced today that all five Owens Express sports will return in full for the 2021-22 academic year after being partially suspended this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes women’s volleyball, men’s and women’s basketball, baseball and softball.

With the updated CDC and local regulations, Owens Community College Express Athletic Department feels confident they can provide a safe atmosphere for student-athletes, game personnel and spectators. Safety protocols are in place and will continue to evolve with recommendations and mandates from State and Federal government. Owens will continue to adhere to requiring masks, social distancing and reduced spectator capacity.

“We are committed to full conference and post-season schedules, enabling our programs the opportunity to compete for championships,” stated Shelley Whitaker, director, Owens Athletics. “Institutionally, we feel it is important for our student-athletes to get back to the court/field not only for competitive purposes but also for their mental and social health. We have a rich tradition of success both on the court/field and in the classroom as well as within the community.”

Led by head coach Sonny Lewis, who will begin his 20th collegiate season in 2021, the Express volleyball team won back-to-back national championships in 2018 and 2019 with records of 40-6 and 43-4, respectively. The team has 18 Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) titles and has won the NJCAA Region XII championship for the past five seasons.

During the 2019-20 season, the men’s basketball team was 15-15 overall with a 6-5 record in the OCCAC, while the women’s basketball team was 10-14 overall with a 6-3 record in the conference.

The baseball and softball teams are competing on the field this spring season.

For more information about Owens Express athletics, please contact Shelley Whitaker, director of athletics at

Owens Community College has served Northwest Ohio since 1965 as an accredited two-year, state-assisted institution of higher education with an open-door admission policy. With a commitment to providing small classes, personal attention and unmatched affordability, the College serves the diverse academic needs of credit and non-credit students on the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses. Owens offers associate degrees in the Arts and Sciences and technical program areas in Agriculture, Business, Health Sciences, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Skilled Trades, and Engineering and Transportation Technologies. Owens Community College is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and multiple programs that are also accredited through their discipline-specific accrediting bodies. For more information, visit www.owens.educall (567) 661-7000, like our Facebook page and/or follow us on Twitter @OwensCC



Posted on May 5th, 2021

Dione Dorsey SomervillePERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, Ohio, May 5, 2021 – Following a five-month nationally advertised search by AGB search, the board of trustees for Owens Community College has named Dr. Dione Somerville the institution’s new president. The appointment was announced following today’s board meeting. Her start date is scheduled for June 15.

“It is with great pleasure that we welcome Dr. Dione Somerville to Owens Community College as its 8th president,” stated Mary Beth Hammond, chair, Owens Board of Trustees. “We look forward to Dr. Somerville’s involvement with our students, faculty, staff, community, and Board of Trustees. The Board is confident that with her leadership, the College will continue to grow and thrive in Northwest Ohio as a strong community partner while helping our students be prepared for successful and rewarding careers in the surrounding communities.”

Dr. Somerville began her 27-year career in higher education as the assistant director, Campus Programming at Ursuline College, Pepper Pike, Ohio, before taking leadership positions at Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine, Lorain County Community College, Iowa State University, Bloomsburg University and Hawkeye Community College.

Her most recent position was as executive vice president at Hawkeye Community College. Among her accomplishments, she leads the college’s COVID-19 response, including helping provide leadership to Academic Affairs during the six-month vacancy of the provost position. Responsibilities also include leading enrollment efforts, diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, strategic planning, and creating a Division of Student Affairs. Prior to Hawkeye, Dr. Somerville was vice president for student affairs at Bloomsburg University. In this position, she provided leadership for Bloomsburg’s regional accreditation and the creation of the university’s first Division of Strategic Enrollment Management. She envisioned the student wellness initiative, focusing on mental health and dependency on alcohol and other drugs. Dr. Somerville provided leadership to create the Center for Leadership and Engagement, Center for Diversity and Inclusion, modernize Greek Life, expand intercollegiate athletics, facilitate assessment, and complete fundraising efforts. Dr. Somerville oversaw the University Master Plan process, the revitalization of university housing, and the completion of Soltz Hall, a $61.4 million multi-function building inclusive of the mailroom, bookstore, integrative learning, two dining venues, and nearly 400 suite-style beds.

“I am truly honored and humbled to be selected as president of Owens Community College,” said Dr. Somerville. “I value Owens’ legacy as an institution that creates opportunity for its students and greater community and will strive to further that tradition. I look forward to working in partnership with the students, faculty, staff, Board of Trustees, and the community to continue Owens’ forward momentum.”

Dr. Somerville earned a doctorate in Higher Education Management from the University of Pennsylvania, a master’s degree in College Student Personnel from Bowling Green State University, and a bachelor’s degree in English/Writing from Ohio Northern University. She was a Fellow at the Association of Governing Boards Institute for Leadership and Governance in its inaugural year. She also participated in the Harvard University Institute for Education Management and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Millennium Leadership Institute.

She has been very active in her local community, having served on the Geisinger Bloomsburg Hospital Community Advisory Board, the City of Ames Student Affairs Commission, and Ames Police Community Relations Advisory Committee.


Posted on April 28th, 2021

PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, Ohio, April 28, 2021 – Students pursuing degrees in the critical fields of science technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) at Owens Community College will be eligible for additional scholarships, thanks to the Choose Ohio First (COF) Grant program announced by the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) earlier this month.

“This important grant from the ODHE will allow Owens to help even more students thrive on their path to successful STEM careers,” said Bill Balzer, interim president, Owens Community College. “This additional financial support will provide many students with the additional resources they need to prepare for in-demand jobs and grow Ohio’s talent pipeline. This is all possible thanks to the vision and advocacy of Lieutenant Governor Husted and ODHE Chancellor Randy Gardner.”

The grant will provide $278,100 over five years to recruit and support cohorts of 10-15 students during their educational journey. Students pursuing one of Owens’ more than 75 STEM-focused degrees and certificates are awarded up to $1,500 per semester for fall and spring semesters only.

Part of the COF scholarship program at Owens includes a partnership with Bowling Green State University to assist students looking to transfer to BGSU to pursue a bachelor’s degree in STEM. This partnership provides a four-year degree pathway with an emphasis in robotics for the following programs:

  • Mechatronics Engineering Technology
  • Pre-Mechatronics Engineering Technology
  • Electronics & Computer Engineering Technology
  • Engineering Technology

The Choose Ohio First Scholarship Program is a $100 million investment to be awarded over five years, targeting universities and colleges recruiting Ohio residents into current STEM programs, supporting the increased success of students in those fields, and making substantive improvements to the pipeline of STEM students and STEM educators. Participating institutions award scholarships to students based on need and merit.

For more information about Owens’ School of STEM, please visit

For more information on the Choose Ohio First program, visit


Posted on April 6th, 2021

PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, Ohio, April 6, 2021 – Owens Community College recently welcomed Sherina Ohanian, manager in Program Leadership for Insights Division, North America of Kantar, as the newest member of its Board of Trustees. She is taking the seat vacated by Edwin J. Nagle III and will serve through Sept. 21, 2022.

Ohanian is a resident of Wood County and a graduate of the University of the West Indies with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Management Studies. She began her career as a mathematics and business teacher before moving into strategic business research. She has 24 years of extensive experience working for Fortune 500 companies in technology, automotive, CPG, and finance.

She has been actively involved in the community, currently as a member of the Rotary Club of Perrysburg, a graduate of the FBI Citizens Academy and previously as a volunteer for many other organizations. Past volunteer service has included time as an executive member of the City of Perrysburg Bicentennial Celebrations, public information officer for the City of Perrysburg, president of the Perrysburg Elementary Parent Association and president of Parents Advocating Challenging Education (PACE).

The College’s Board of Trustees comprises nine community leaders appointed by the Governor of Ohio for six-year terms, chosen from the College’s service district of Lucas, Wood, Hancock, Ottawa and Sandusky counties.

In addition to Ms. Ohanian, Owens Community College Board of Trustees members include Mary Beth Hammond, Dr. Srinivas K. Hejeebu, Jason W. Johnson, Karil M. Morrissey, Richard Rowe, Rita L. Russell and Diana H. (Dee) Talmage.

For more information about Owens Board of Trustees, please visit


Posted on March 31st, 2021

ReUp Education’s combination of predictive analytics and personalized support will help students return to school and complete their degree 

PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, Ohio, March 31, 2021 – Owens Community College announced a new initiative to provide a pathway to graduation for students with some education experience but no degree. Developed through a partnership with U.S. startup ReUp Education, the effort will use sophisticated analytics technology, as well as personalized coaching and mentorship to help Owens identify, contact, and support the reentry of stopout students.

“We are very eager to begin implementing this new initiative with ReUp Education,” stated Amy Giordano, vice president, Enrollment Management and Student Services. “Students returning to school have different needs and goals compared to first-time students. This partnership will allow us to offer additional personalized support to this largely underserved population and give them a pathway to complete their degree. Student success is our mission and we want to ensure that students have the tools they need, no matter where they are on their educational journey.”

Completing a college degree has profound impacts on social and economic mobility. Earning a degree translates to an average of $1 million additional earnings over a lifetime. In the U.S., college graduates are half as likely to be unemployed as those with a high school degree. During the economic upheaval caused by the COVID-19 crisis, helping students complete their studies will be even more critical to fulfilling the promise of tertiary education as an engine of economic opportunity.

Owen’s new partnership with ReUp is designed to help remove these barriers and support students throughout the re-enrollment process. Owens is also a member of the ReUp Network — the national on-ramp for college completion. Comprising innovative partner colleges and universities offering unique programs, the Network creates a more dynamic and equitable ecosystem to meet every student’s needs by becoming the easiest way for stop-outs to return or transfer to Owens — to earn their degree and improve their lives.

“ReUp Education helps students across the country achieve their educational goals. As a resident of Toledo, Ohio, I am excited to bring our support services to students locally by partnering with Owens Community College. It is a privilege to partner with Owens, an institution committed to fostering student and community success by offering quality, accessible education opportunities and focusing on positive student outcomes.” said ReUp Education CEO, Sarah Horn.

 ReUp Education helps colleges and universities engage and re-enroll stopout students through a unique blend of predictive analytics technology, data, and personalized coaching. Once students have returned to school, ReUp provides ongoing support to foster personal accountability, encouragement, and guidance to equip students with the tools to persist and succeed.

About ReUp Education 

ReUp Education is the expert in understanding, engaging, and re-enrolling stopout students. Through its unique blend of data, technology, and specialized coaching, ReUp has engaged more than 400,000 stopout students across a wide range of universities and helped re-enroll over 14,000 students.  ReUp is based in San Francisco and is funded by leading education and social impact investors, including Entangled Ventures, University Ventures, Serious Change Investments, and The Impact Engine.   


Posted on March 25th, 2021

PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, Ohio, March 25, 2021 – The Owens Community College Board of Trustees’ President Search Ad Hoc Committee announces three finalists in the national search for the next president are invited to meet the college community and interview with the Board of Trustees.  Facilitated with AGB Search, the Board seeks a candidate with outstanding leadership qualities, proven success leading dynamic complex organizations and a demonstrated ability to build partnerships with key stakeholders.

The three candidates are scheduled for virtual campus visits the week of March 29, with open forums for the community, faculty, staff and students.

The three finalists for consideration:

Brandon Roderick Tucker – He currently serves as the associate vice president of Workforce & Community Development at Washtenaw Community College, Michigan. Tucker leads the College’s efforts to connect with industry and community to develop opportunities and partnerships that support enrollment, apprenticeships, workforce development, and alternative revenue goals. In this role, he has direct responsibility for the departments of Workforce & Community Development, Career Transitions, Public Service Training, College and Career Readiness, Corporate and Community Engagement and Advanced Transportation, a unique college-wide initiative comprised of academic and non-credit stakeholders that have positioned the College to be a state-wide leader in training for the field of Connected and Autonomous Vehicles. He previously served as the academic dean for the Advanced Technology & Public Services Careers division, one of the most diverse academic units. In this role, Tucker served as the academic and administrative leader for the Division which has nearly 2,000 students in both associate degree and certificate program areas, including Automotive Services, Auto Body Repair, Advanced Manufacturing, Construction Technology, Welding & Fabrication, HVAC, Criminal Justice, Early Childhood Education, and the Police Academy.

 Laura J. Treanor – She currently serves as the provost at Vincennes University, Indiana. Throughout her 30-year career, Treanor has served as an exemplary innovator and transformative leader who has developed high-impact teams, heralded new programs and services and championed academic quality.  During her leadership at Vincennes University, the institution was notified of its eligibility for two Aspen Prize Awards that are based on improvements in graduation rates, student success and equitable student success:  The Community College Excellence and Excellence and Equity in Community College STEM awards.  Under her leadership, transfer partnerships have increased and year-over-year growth in dual credit partnerships have also increased. She oversees two of the most successful work-based learning programs in Southwest Indiana:  the Toyota Advanced Manufacturing Technician Program and the Amazon Mechatronics Apprenticeship Program.  The most recent partnership being forged is in cooperation with two local school districts and a regional development foundation:  The launch of an Online Early College model designed to make College more accessible to students.   

Dione Dorsey Somerville – She serves as executive vice president at Hawkeye Community College, Iowa. Among her accomplishments, she leads the College’s COVID-19 response, including helping provide leadership to Academic Affairs during the 6-month vacancy of the provost position.  Responsibilities also include leading enrollment efforts, diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, strategic planning, and creating a Division of Student Affairs. Prior to Hawkeye, Somerville was vice president for student affairs at Bloomsburg University. Among her accomplishments, she provided leadership for Bloomsburg’s regional accreditation, creating the university’s first Division of Strategic Enrollment Management, and envisioned the student wellness initiative, with a particular focus on mental health and dependency on alcohol and other drugs.   Somerville provided leadership to create the Center for Leadership and Engagement, Center for Diversity and Inclusion, modernize Greek Life, expand intercollegiate athletics, facilitate assessment, and complete fundraising efforts.  Somerville provided leadership during the University Master Plan process, the revitalization of university housing, and the completion of Soltz Hall, a $61.4 million multi-function building inclusive of the mailroom, bookstore, integrative learning, two dining venues, and nearly 400 suite-style beds.

Additional information about the Owens President Search, including finalists’ bios and the open forum schedule, can be found by visiting