News Releases


Owens Healthcare Students Gain Clinical Access, Including Supervised Direct Patient Care

Posted on August 15th, 2022

Owens Community College and Blanchard Valley Health System Expand Partnership

Owens Community College and Blanchard Valley Health System (BVHS) have signed a formal agreement that expands clinical site access for tomorrow’s healthcare workers studying at Owens, including nurses and allied health professionals.

The agreement calls for supervised access to direct patient care to provide clinical training and experience for Owens students enrolled primarily in the college’s School of Nursing and Health Professions, from the Findlay-area Campus on Bright Road and the Toledo-area Campus in Perrysburg.

Blanchard Valley Health System’s clinical sites include Blanchard Valley Hospital and Bluffton Hospital, among others. Clinical sites will accommodate a minimum of six and maximum of 10 clinical groups consisting of six to seven students per group during both the Spring and Fall semesters.

“We are very excited about this partnership with Owens Community College, as we work together to offer the opportunity for individuals in northwest Ohio to develop skills and become dedicated healthcare workers,” said Myron Lewis, president and chief executive officer of BVHS. “Collaborations such as these are extremely beneficial to the communities we serve, not only by creating jobs, but also by ensuring quality healthcare services for generations to come.”

“At Owens, we strive to provide our students with dynamic and interactive educational experiences,” said Dr. Dione D. Somerville, president of Owens Community College. “We value our partnership with Blanchard Valley Health System and the opportunities it provides our students and our communities. These kinds of partnerships ensure we educate healthcare workers and other graduates who are prepared and ready for their careers.”

Pre-nursing seats remain available for Fall Semester, which begins August 29. The need for registered nurses is expected to grow by 9 percent by 2030, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Owens students in Ultrasound Technology, MRI, Radiological Technology, Surgical Technology, Sterile Processing and Vascular Technology as well as students in Emergency Medical Services in the college’s Public Safety program also will work clinicals at BVHS.

“The increased clinical opportunities at Blanchard Valley Health System will expose our students to a real-world work environment and demonstrate what is expected following graduation as they begin their careers,” said Irene Jones, Owens nursing program chair. “We are very excited to have these clinical seats for our students.”

“Clinical positions are vitally important to the overall well-being of our public health environment,” said Barbara J. Pasztor, chief nursing officer and chief operating officer of acute care services at BVHS. “Through this partnership with Owens Community College, we are elated to be able to collaborate in order to advance the careers of future healthcare providers within our own region.”

For more information about Owens Community College nursing or healthcare programs, visit www.owens.edu/snhp.


College Hosts Visionary Ohio Author, Big Read’s Saeed Jones

Posted on April 15th, 2022

Owens Community College is pleased to host Ohio’s own Saeed Jones to discuss his recent memoir, “How We Fight for Our Lives,” the Owens 2021–22 Big Read selection. This hybrid in-person and virtual event culminates the year-long, college-wide exploration of Jones’s book, which has included a radio discussion series, ongoing events on campus and in local public libraries, and reading-related community service projects.

Spearheaded by award-winning Professor of English Jen Hazel and Director of Library Services Jane Berger, the Owens Big Read program brings awareness of different perspectives through books and accompanying activities on campus and in our surrounding communities. Accordingly, “How We Fight for Our Lives” chronicles Jones’s own journey as a queer Black man raised in Texas. Since its 2019 publication, the book has won numerous accolades, including the Kirkus Prize for Nonfiction and inclusion on Time magazine’s list of must-read books.

“Throughout this academic year, Saeed Jones’s telling of his personal history has sparked conversations, connections and new understanding on our campuses and beyond,” said Dr. Dione D. Somerville, president of Owens Community College. “We’re excited to host Mr. Jones to conclude the Big Read experience of his memoir and consider its implications on our own lives. I’m also proud to commend Professor Hazel and Director Berger on their shepherding of this year’s program and look forward to seeing what next year’s Big Read brings.”

WHO:              Author Saeed Jones

WHAT:             The Big Read Presents: Saeed Jones

WHEN:             Thursday, April 28

WHERE:           CFPA Theatre (10 a.m.), Toledo-area Campus; and Education Center 111 (1:30 p.m.), Findlay-area campus

LINK:               https://owens-edu.zoom.us/j/83905535192 (10 a.m. only)

For more on Owens Community College’s Big Read, visit owens.edu/humanities/read.


College Receives Nearly $190,000 from State of Ohio for In-Demand Job Training

Posted on April 11th, 2022

The Ohio Department of Higher Education has invested nearly $190,000 in Owens Community College to create the Ohio Short-Term Certificate Grant Program allowing in-state students to receive up to $2,000 in need-based aid toward the cost of in-demand, career certificates.

Eligible students may apply and receive up to three different awards, provided the certificates are completed in succession.

These certificates include 26 credit and non-credit options in manufacturing and skilled trades, pre-apprenticeships, health support professions, logistics, office support, sales and first responders. Credit certificates are 30 hours or less, while non-credit certificates are 900 clock hours or less.

“We are excited to bring this opportunity to Owens Community College students,” said Dr. Denise Smith, Owens Provost and Chief Academic Officer. “After they complete their short-term certificate or credential, they will be prepared for licensure, if it’s required for employment, or they will be able to take the next step in a career pathway.”

Students may apply online for the Ohio Short-Term Certificate Grant Program funds immediately using the online application at www.owens.edu/financial_aid/scholarships/. The total award of $186,966 is available until June 30, 2023.

For more information, email the Owens Community College Office of Admissions at admissions@owens.edu.


COLLEGE CELEBRATES PROFESSOR OF ENGLISH JEN HAZEL FOR NATIONAL AWARD

Posted on April 4th, 2022

PERRYSBURG, Ohio – Owens Community College Professor of English Jen Hazel has been selected for the 2022 Dale P. Parnell Faculty Distinction Recognition by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). Awarded to select individuals who make a difference in community college classrooms across the United States, this highly competitive national designation honors faculty who are active in their students’ lives and in their colleges’ activities to ensure student success.

“My passion for teaching runs deep, so I was honored to be nominated for this award,” Professor Hazel said. “Owens is such a great place to work; I know I am making a difference here. This award motivates me to continue doing the work I love and supporting our students, both in and outside of the classroom.”

“Speaking on behalf of the entire Owens community, I am thrilled for Jen and applaud the award committee’s recognition of what she has achieved,” said Dr. Dione D. Somerville, President of Owens Community College. “Her passion is evident from her many committee activities, her efforts to increase student access to Open Education Resources (OER) and her commitment to providing rich and relevant learning experiences for all. Jen consistently goes above and beyond to find ways that each student can learn, and we are so fortunate to have her on our team.”

Professor Hazel has taught at Owens for 15 years. In addition to her classroom instruction, she serves as the campus Assessment Lead and on the Completion, Center for Teaching and Innovation Implementation, and Opening Week teams. Professor Hazel also co-chairs the Curriculum Committee and the BIG Read and chairs the Oregon Road Film Series and The Silo committees. In the Humanities Department, where she is the Program Director, she currently spearheads the effort to embed tutoring into Composition I courses and is incorporating OER materials into other courses, including Composition II, to ensure students have access to the support and materials they need to succeed.

This is the second straight year that Owens faculty have been recognized nationally for teaching excellence, demonstrating the quality instruction students receive at the College. Associate Professor of Math Sarah Long received the Distinguished Faculty Recognition in 2021. In addition to AACC recognition, award winners also receive a custom commemorative medal and are further celebrated at a private reception during the AACC Annual Convention, which will be held in New York City from April 30–May 3 this year.


Owens Community College to Award 459 Associate Degrees at Fall Commencement ceremonies

Posted on December 13th, 2021

Owens Community College will award 459 associate degrees at the 41st Fall Commencement ceremonies scheduled Friday, December 17 at the Center for Fine and Performing Arts theatre on the Toledo-area Campus in Perrysburg.

Owens President Dione D. Somerville, Ed.D., will preside over her first Commencement since taking leadership at the College in June of this year.

Featuring graduates from both campus locations, including 33 who completed their studies at the Findlay-area Campus, the Commencement ceremonies are scheduled at 10 a.m. for the School of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics; at 1 p.m. for the School of Business, Hospitality Management and Public Safety and School of Liberal Arts; and at 4 p.m. for the School of Nursing and Health Professions.

“An Owens degree is a milestone achievement. It represents an opportunity for anyone motivated to earn it – regardless of age, educational background, financial or housing status, or family situation – and our Fall 2021 class prove how beautifully Owens provides a path for so many people from all walks of life,” Dr. Somerville said.

More than 100 graduates with honors (3.5 grade-point average and above) as well as 12 outstanding academic program graduates will be among those recognized at the ceremonies. Outstanding graduates receive top honors based on wide-ranging success measures.

Outstanding Criminal Justice Award recipient Zackary McCloud of Maumee is a first generation college graduate after being the first in his family to graduate high school in 2006 in suburban Las Vegas. More than 50 percent of Owens students are first generation, meaning their parents do not have a degree from a college or university. Data is not available for a graduate such as McCloud, whose parents also did not have a high school diploma.

The son of drug addicts, he spent part of his childhood in foster care when his mother was dealing with legal issues. After high school graduation, he enlisted in the Army and served 13 years active duty with multiple combat deployments in the Middle East. The 34-year-old disabled Army veteran settled locally with his wife, Kara, also an Army veteran and an Owens student. A father of three, he is one of 12 student veterans in the graduating class.

Graduating with Summa Cum Laude honors and a 4.0 GPA, he will continue at Owens next semester to complete an Associate of Science degree in psychology and then he said he plans to transfer to the University of Toledo to continue his education.

“I’m a full-time student, a full-time husband and a full-time dad,” he said. “My goal is to open a halfway house with my wife to help people who are struggling like I did when I was younger. I want to share my story with them so they know that there is a path forward.”

In addition to McCloud, Outstanding Graduates are:

  • Outstanding Graduate in Business Technologies: Rebecca Shake, Business Management, Toledo
  • Outstanding Graduate in Food, Nutrition and Hospitality: McKenzi Tatum, Culinary Arts, Toledo
  • Gerald Bazer Outstanding Arts and Sciences Graduate: Ryan Jewell, Communications, Sylvania
  • Outstanding Graduate in Applied Engineering and Industrial Technology: Megan A. Malarcher, Environmental Science Concentration, Toledo
  • Outstanding Graduate in Welding Technology: Austen Nissen, Welding Major, Perrysburg
  • Peggy Bensman: Abena Atwimah, Registered Nursing Program, Columbus, Ohio
  • Barbara Rood Student Choice: Brionna Davis, Registered Nursing Program, Toledo; Eunice Dosu Registered Nursing Program, Maumee; Ryan Hall, Registered Nursing Program, Tecumseh, Michigan; Alexander Hartzell, Registered Nursing Program, Waterville; Janelle Nighswander, Registered Nursing Program, Ottawa Lake, Michigan


Owens Receives $1.16 Million Grant to Improve Adult College Readiness

Posted on December 1st, 2021

PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, Ohio, Dec. 1, 2021 – Adults interested in pursuing higher education but unsure where to begin now have additional resources available at Owens Community College thanks to a $1.16 million Educational Opportunities Center (EOC) program grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

Owens will receive $235,050 per year for five years to help unemployed workers, low-wage workers, and returning high school and college students enter or continue a program of postsecondary education. These resources are available to members of the northwest Ohio communities, regardless of which higher educational institution they choose to attend.

“The EOC grant will allow Owens to further our commitment to making higher education accessible to the members of our community,” Denise Smith, Ph.D., provost and vice president of academic affairs, said. “Our goal is to assist adult students in their pursuit of continuing education or higher education by providing one-on-one support in obtaining their high school diploma or equivalent, connecting them with the college admissions application process and increasing their financial literacy and understanding of student financial aid options.”

Educational Opportunities Centers are one of eight federal grant programs known as the Federal TRIO Programs (TRIO), which are authorized by the Higher Education Act to help low-income, first-generation students and student with disabilities succeed in higher education. These programs assist in advancing these individuals from middle school to post-baccalaureate programs.

For more information on Owens Community College, please visit www.owens.edu or call the admissions office at (567) 661-7777. For more information on the EOC program, please contact erica_parish@owens.edu.


Bowling Green State University, Owens Community College and the University of Findlay Establish Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Logistics

Posted on November 12th, 2021

In a unique partnership to meet Northwest Ohio’s growing need for a highly-trained workforce, three area educational institutions have come together to establish the Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Logistics.

The Center will be overseen by representatives from Bowling Green State University, Owens Community College and the University of Findlay and will work with area employers in the Advanced Manufacturing and Logistics sectors to identify and anticipate their immediate, mid-term and long-term needs in workforce training, talent development, innovation, automation, systems integration and supply chain management.

In addition, the Center will serve as a centralized resource where the business community can bring specific workforce needs for customized training solutions. The idea for the Center originated in consistent feedback from regional companies regarding the need for growing and enhancing talent to drive success.

“As an institution of opportunity with decades of history in Findlay, we know this partnership will help to meet workforce demands in advanced manufacturing and logistics. This Center will serve as a model for northwest Ohio and beyond as more institutions of higher education look to power economic development in more meaningful and strategic ways,” said Dr. Dione D. Somerville, president of Owens Community College.

The training and instructional programs will be provided across three locations (Findlay, Bowling Green, Perrysburg) and will range from on-degree track certificates and badges, to degree track curricula for associate, bachelor’s and post-graduate degrees. The Center will also focus on facilitating a wide range of co-op and internship opportunities.

“The Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Logistics demonstrates the power of a four-year public university, a two-year public community college and a private four-year university all coming together to partner and to demonstrate our relevance to Ohio and beyond,” said BGSU President Rodney K. Rogers. “This partnership is one example of how we are meeting workforce demands by connecting education and listening and responding to industry needs.

“We are fortunate to live, learn and work in a vibrant and collaborative community,” stated Dr. Katherine Fell, president of the University of Findlay. “Having a dynamic and flexible mechanism for intentional workforce development is vital the continued growth of our region.”


Owens Community College Invests in Workforce Training by Opening $9.6M Dana Center

Posted on October 4th, 2021

Owens Community College will host a grand opening ceremony at 10 a.m. Wednesday, October 6 to showcase the $9.6 million Dana Incorporated Advanced Manufacturing Training Center, a facility created in response to labor market needs for the purpose of preparing skilled workers for in-demand jobs.

Also known as the Dana Center, the renovated 59,000-square-foot facility provides students with highly technical training in advanced manufacturing and the skilled trades. The Dana Center is located at 458 Depot Road, Perrysburg on the Owens’ Toledo-area Campus.

“This ceremony will allow us to publicly thank Dana Incorporated for making the lead gift that helped create the Dana Center for students of today and tomorrow,” Dr. Dione D. Somerville, Owens Community College President, said. “We would also like to thank the Gene Haas Foundation, JobsOhio and all of the donors whose contributions made this facility possible. This center helps Owens fulfill its goal of working in partnership with business and industry to advance economic development in the region.”

SSOE Group received the 2020 Excellence in Workforce Development Award by the Ohio Economic Development Associations (OEDA) for the Dana Center’s design that provides highly technical and integrated training in a modern setting with amenities including natural lighting, glass walls and polished floors – a clean and safe environment conducive to learning.

Midwest Contracting, Inc. was the general contractor.

The ceremony will conclude with a ribbon cutting and then guests will have the opportunity to tour the Dana Center’s labs and classrooms. Light refreshments will be available.

The College’s academic offerings began in 1965 with four associate degree programs, including two leading to careers related to advanced manufacturing. Today, Owens offers more than 70 associate degree programs and certificates, with more than 20 connected to the advanced manufacturing industry.

More information about the Dana Center is available at www.owens.edu/danacenter.


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 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 owens.edu/success.