News Releases


Owens Community College Invests $31.3 Million to Meet Region’s Growing Healthcare Needs Copy link to clipboard

Posted on November 16th, 2023

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The Center for Fine and Performing Arts rotunda was filled with healthcare students who posed for group photos. They captured the memories but more importantly, they arrived early to be part of the next historic occasion at Owens Community College.

Owens broke ground Thursday, November 16 on a $31.3 million healthcare education center that will support the region’s labor demands by providing highly-skilled healthcare professionals from the School of Nursing and Health Professions.

The renovation and expansion of two buildings on the east side of the Toledo-area Campus will allow for enrollment growth, provide double the lab space and ensure students are working on state-of-the-art equipment.

In all, nearly 200 community members, faculty, staff and students attended the ceremonial groundbreaking, featuring a presentation at the Center for Fine and Performing Arts theatre and then photos with hard hats and shovels in neatly piled black dirt at the nearby construction site.

Among those in attendance were State Rep. Haraz Ghanbari, Tim Schneider, a representative from the office of U.S. Senator JD Vance, and David Wirt, district director of the Office of Congressman Robert Latta.

“We have been educating tomorrow’s nurses and healthcare professionals for more than 50 years,” Owens President Dr. Dione D. Somerville said, “and with this renovation and expansion, Owens will remain at the forefront for students’ healthcare education before our graduates begin caring for patients in hospitals and other medical facilities.”

With an expected completion date of 2025, the center will feature 65,250 in renovated space and 21,300 in new additions to the footprint, providing students with more than 86,500 of square footage as they pursue in-demand careers in healthcare.

The School of Nursing and Health Professions enrolled 1,845 students for Fall 2023, including 1,733 on the Toledo-area Campus, in Dental Hygiene, Health Information, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Medical Assisting, Nursing, Occupational Therapy Assistant, Physical Therapist Assistant, Radiography, Sonography and Surgical. Exercise Science, which also is part of the school, moved its offices and labs to the Student Health and Activities Center this year.

Student leaders representing the 11 departments participated in the groundbreaking ceremony.

“It’s exciting that we will have a primary location to accommodate our interprofessional education approach, which ensures healthcare graduates are well-trained to practice collaboratively and provide patient-centered care to members of the community,” said Cathy Ford, Dean of the School of Nursing and Health Professions. “Our new and expanded center will feature dedicated spaces to create these collaborations.”

Moody’s Investors Service assigned Owens Community College an A2 underlying and Aa2 enhanced rating for a $25 million bond. The bond is the first in the college’s history, signaling the college’s financial stability. The capital project including renovations, improvements and equipment purchases is estimated at $31.3 million, using bond proceeds, state and local funds.

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. Through intentional, adaptive and empowering education, Owens offers more than 160 academic programs to be the first choice for students, employers and the community. As a conduit to changing lives for the better, Owens creates pathways for success. For more information, visit www.owens.edu.


Owens Community College Breaking Ground on $31.3 million Healthcare Education Center Copy link to clipboard

Posted on November 14th, 2023

Media Advisory

Owens Community College will support the region’s labor demands by providing highly-skilled healthcare professionals from a new $31.3 million nursing and health professions education center. A formal ceremony and ceremonial groundbreaking will mark the construction of the renovated and expanded facility. 

Formal ceremony and ceremony groundbreaking

 10 a.m. Thursday, November 16

  • Presentation in the Center for Fine and Performing Arts mainstage theatre
  • Groundbreaking photo opportunities near the construction site to follow
    • Students from the different healthcare departments will participate

Theme

The heart for future healthcare professionals

About the School of Nursing and Health Professions

The School of Nursing and Health Professions enrolled 1,845 students for Fall 2023, including 1,733 on the Toledo-area Campus in three buildings (Heritage Hall, Health Technologies Hall and Bicentennial Hall).

Upon completion in 2025, healthcare students will study in the new center, located on the east side of the Toledo-area Campus in the buildings formerly known as the Library and Audio/Visual Classroom Center. The square footage will feature 65,250 in renovated square footage and 21,300 in new additions to the footprint, providing students with more than 86,500 of square footage as they pursue rewarding careers in healthcare.

The new center will house the following 10 departments:

  • Dental Hygiene
  • Health Information
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
  • Medical Assisting
  • Nursing
  • Occupational Therapy Assistant
  • Physical Therapist Assistant
  • Radiography
  • Sonography
  • Surgical

Exercise Science, which also is part of the school, moved its offices and labs to the Student Health and Activities Center this year.

Owens’ approach of interprofessional education (IPE) ensures healthcare graduates are well-trained to practice collaboratively and provide patient-centered care to members of the community. The new center will feature simulation areas for students to practice the IPE curriculum.

Scope of Project

Moody’s Investors Service assigned Owens Community College an A2 underlying and Aa2 enhanced rating for a $25 million bond. The bond is the first in the college’s history, signaling the college’s financial stability. The capital project including renovations, improvements and equipment purchases is estimated at $31.3 million, using bond proceeds, state and local funds.

Website

www.owens.edu/healthcareeducationcenter


UToledo, Owens Renew Rocket Express Admission Program Copy link to clipboard

Posted on October 18th, 2022

The University of Toledo and Owens Community College renewed a partnership that creates a seamless pathway for students to earn a bachelor’s degree from UToledo after starting at Owens.

The admission pathway program, called Rocket Express, was first launched in 2017.

Owens President Dr. Dione D. Somerville and UToledo President Dr. Gregory Postel renewed the Rocket Express program during a signing ceremony Wednesday, October 19 in the Student Service Center in College Hall at Owens Community College. Owens Provost Dr. Denise Smith and UToledo Provost Dr. Risa Dickson also participated in the ceremony.

“We are pleased to continue our Rocket Express partnership with the University of Toledo.  Our Rocket Express agreement provides a pathway to an additional opportunity in higher education so that our students reach their academic and career goals efficiently. The Rocket Express helps provide support for our students who intend to transfer while saving them time and money. We are grateful to the University of Toledo for partnering with Owens in a way that is meaningful to our students and our region,” Somerville said.

“The strong partnership between UToledo and Owens and our shared commitment to student success provide a great opportunity for individuals in our community to achieve their dream of earning a college degree with increased support from both institutions through our updated Rocket Express program,” Postel said.

A total of 1,600 Owens students are enrolled in the Rocket Express program for Fall 2022 to begin the 2022-23 academic year. Over the first five academic years of the partnership, from 2017-18 through 2021-22, Owens averaged 1,750 students enrolled annually in the Rocket Express partnership. During this time, more than 6,500 students who previously attended Owens then enrolled at UToledo.

Students begin their college journey at Owens and can join the updated Rocket Express program immediately by indicating they intend to transfer to UToledo. Rocket Express students benefit from access to academic advisors at both Owens and UToledo and receive ongoing communication from UToledo as they advance through their academic studies. Program participants also have opportunities to participate in student life activities at both Owens and UToledo, such as clubs, organizations and Express and Rocket athletics games.

As part of the program, students have access to UToledo’s degree audit system to keep track of how their Owens classes will apply to their future UToledo degree program, which is a helpful tool especially if they are considering changing their program of study.

Rocket Express students also do not pay the UToledo application fee when they are ready to transfer.

UToledo and Owens announced the updated Rocket Express admission pathway program during National Student Transfer Week that celebrates transfer students and the professionals who support them.

More information on Rocket Express is available on the Owens website at owens.edu/rocketexpress.


BGSU, University of Findlay and Owens Community College name executive director for Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Logistics Copy link to clipboard

Posted on October 13th, 2022

Bowling Green State University, the University of Findlay and Owens Community College have announced the appointment of an executive director for the Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Logistics. Tim Mayle, who currently serves as director of Findlay-Hancock County Economic Development, will assume the key leadership position in November, bringing more than 20 years of direct experience with economic development to the Center.

Mayle has been with Findlay-Hancock County Economic Development since 2011 and has led the division within the Findlay-Hancock County Alliance since 2016. In his new role, he will provide strategic direction for the Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Logistics, which will support the rapidly expanding workforce need for skilled professionals in the region and state.

“The Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Logistics has incredible potential to shape our economy,” said Mayle. “I am grateful for the opportunity to continue to serve our region and state through economic and workforce development in this new capacity. Ohio continues to see unprecedented investment in the advanced manufacturing and logistics sectors, and I am excited to leverage the strengths of three higher education institutions through this Center to support our economy at such a significant moment.”

“Tim’s impressive success as the Director of Economic Development for the Findlay-Hancock County Alliance bodes well for the future of this game-changing initiative,” said University of Findlay President Katherine Fell. “President Somerville, President Rogers, and I are committed to doing our part to prepare the workforce needed for long-term manufacturing and logistics success in northwest Ohio and we are delighted to welcome Tim to our team.”

Last fall, BGSU, the University of Findlay and Owens Community College announced an innovative partnership among the three institutions, representing a public, a private and a community college, to create the Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Logistics.

The Center will facilitate the growth and sustainability of jobs and company creation in the advanced manufacturing and logistics sectors, providing opportunities for companies large and small to access training, talent and research and development opportunities.

In September, Intel broke ground in Licking County, Ohio, after announcing plans for an initial investment of more than $20 billion in the construction of two new leading-edge chip factories to boost production to meet demand for advanced semiconductors. This week, Honda confirmed it has selected Ohio to lead its electric vehicle (EV) production and announced, along with LG Energy Solution, a joint venture battery plant with a combined investment of at least $4.2 billion.

“Higher education plays a critical role in supporting the vitality of our economy and the Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Logistics comes at an essential time for Ohio,” said BGSU President Rodney K. Rogers. “Through this public university, private university, and public community college partnership, we will ensure our region’s institutions are working together to provide relevant academic programs, facilities and connections with businesses to prepare the trained professionals needed to support and sustain industry growth. We remain focused on meeting our students’ and society’s needs while ensuring Ohio continues to be a leader in advanced manufacturing and logistics.”

The Center will initially have three operating nodes located on the partnering colleges’ campuses, all along the I-75 corridor. Each institution will provide distinctive training opportunities, ranging from non-degree track certifications and badges to associate, bachelor’s and post-graduate degrees, to address workforce needs.

In addition, the Center will also provide applied research, prototyping and experiential learning opportunities to solve industry problems and provide hands-on learning experience for talent development.

As executive director, Mayle will work at the three partnering institutions’ campuses and will foster manufacturing and logistic industry jobs and company creation. He will also manage the Center’s external engagement to integrate the Center’s programs into the region’s ecosystem.

“I am thrilled to welcome Tim Mayle as the inaugural executive director of the Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Logistics,” said Owens Community College President Dr. Dione D. Somerville. “His experience in economic development and his long history in northwest Ohio make him the perfect candidate. Tim will bring an entrepreneurial spirit and the energy that we need to ensure the success of the Center. As a champion of education’s role in the prosperity of a community, Tim has been an invaluable partner. He understands how an alignment between workforce and higher education will help drive our region’s professional pipeline. The Center is poised to have an incredible impact, and we are excited to see Tim’s leadership continue to move us forward.”

Mayle was appointed by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine to serve on the Transportation Review Advisory Council to the Ohio Department of Transportation. He also serves as president of the Ohio Economic Development Association Board of Directors and will continue his work on both statewide initiatives.

He holds a Bachelor of Science in Geographic Information Systems from Ohio University. Mayle is set to begin his role as executive director for the Center of Advanced Manufacturing and Logistics on Nov. 1.

Release courtesy BGSU Office of Marketing and Brand Strategy with collaboration from the Owens Community College and the University of Findlay strategic marketing and communications offices. 


President Somerville Highlights College Achievements, Presents Top Teaching Award Copy link to clipboard

Posted on August 22nd, 2022

Owens Community College State of the College Address

Dr. Dione D. Somerville began her second academic year as president on Monday, August 22 by highlighting Owens Community College’s achievements to faculty, staff and community guests, including Ohio Department of Higher Education Chancellor Randy Gardner.

She also recognized this year’s Presidential Teaching Award recipient, nursing professor Julie Lohse, who also received the 2021 top teaching award in the college’s School of Nursing and Health Professions. Lohse is entering her 24th academic year teaching as Owens, having begun her career in Fall 1998. Other award finalists were Julie Chesser, professor, math; Cory Hoover, professor, English; and Kristin Price, professor, social and behavioral sciences.

Dr. Somerville highlighted enrollment, budget matters and partnerships, among other initiatives, as she spoke on the Findlay-area Campus in the morning and again on the Toledo-area Campus in the afternoon.

“My vision for Owens is our vision for Owens,” she said, referring to the college’s vision statement of being the area’s premier two-year college, a first choice for students seeking higher education and an indispensable partner for businesses, educational institutions and community organizations.

She shared about the implementation of the new Strategic Enrollment Management Plan and its importance considering the projected decline of high school graduates over the next decade. She said the balanced budget, adopted by the Board of Trustees, was built on areas of need with consideration for strategic initiatives, including the new Workday ERP software that will service the entire college.

Since taking over the Owens presidency in June 2021, Dr. Somerville has made it a priority to engage community leaders. More than two dozen community leaders attended Monday’s State of the College presentations.

Looking forward, she spoke about capital renovations and centralizing the college’s nursing and health profession programs on the east side of Oregon Road on the Toledo-area Campus. Construction on the former library building and Audio-Visual Classroom Center is anticipated to begin in 2023 with completion for Fall Semester 2024.

Also in 2023, the Findlay-area Campus will celebrate its 40th anniversary serving Findlay and the greater Hancock County area. Plans are underway to create a planning group for this milestone.

With the college’s current strategic plan expiring this year, Dr. Somerville said Owens plans to continue working with internal and external stakeholders on developing the new plan to ensure Owens maintains its position serving students and the region. She held several listening sessions on the subject, both on campus and in the community, during the past academic year.


Owens President Somerville Among 26 Selected for Aspen Institute’s National Fellowship Copy link to clipboard

Posted on August 22nd, 2022

The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program (Aspen) has named Owens Community College President Dr. Dione D. Somerville among 26 leaders for its national New Presidents Fellowship Class of 2022-23. This program supports community college presidents in the early years of their tenure as they work to achieve higher and more equitable levels of student success.

“I am honored to be selected for the Aspen Fellowship,” said Dr. Somerville, who began as the eighth Owens president in June 2021. “The Aspen Institute is known for its exceptional work with community colleges at the national level. I look forward to working with the distinguished fellows in my class and identifying best practices that will help make a difference for Owens Community College and our students.”

This class of fellows represents the diversity of our nation’s community colleges, collectively serving more than 250,000 students at colleges across the nation, in urban, suburban and rural areas. The incoming class of New Presidents Fellows is 46 percent female and 65 percent are people of color. Located in 19 states, their institutions too are diverse, from a tribal college with fewer than 300 students to an urban college that educates more than 35,000 each year.

The fellows, selected through a competitive process, will work closely with other transformational community college presidents and Aspen leaders over nine months to learn from field-leading research, analyze their colleges’ student outcomes, and clarify their visions for excellent and equitable outcomes for students while in college and after they graduate.

“The quality of our nation’s community colleges depends on the quality of our college presidents,” said Josh Wyner, executive director of the College Excellence Program. “I am continually inspired and motivated by the dedication and expertise that our fellows bring to the work of advancing excellence and equity on their campuses, and I look forward to seeing the changes they make in real time to improve outcomes for their students.”

Prior to taking the presidency at Owens, Dr. Somerville held leadership positions at Hawkeye Community College, Bloomsburg University, Iowa State University and Lorain County Community College. She earned her doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania, her master’s degree from Bowling Green State University and her bachelor’s degree from Ohio Northern University. The Detroit native worked a graduate assistantship at the University of Findlay. Dr. Somerville participated in the Harvard University Institute for Education Management and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities’ Millennium Leadership Institute.

For bios and photos of all 26 leaders, visit highered.aspeninstitute.org/meet-the-new-presidents-fellows.


Owens Healthcare Students Gain Clinical Access, Including Supervised Direct Patient Care Copy link to clipboard

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.


Owens Named Among Ohio’s Inaugural Collegiate Purple Star Campuses as Leader for Military-Affiliated Students Copy link to clipboard

Posted on May 26th, 2022

Owens Community College’s outreach to those who serve or have served our great nation dates to its opening in 1965. The Rossford Army Ordnance Depot once occupied a site that is now a short walk to the College’s Veterans Hall. An Ohio Historical Society marker commemorates the location.

Owens has continued to refine and advance its services for military-affiliated students ever since. As a state leader in veterans’ services, the State of Ohio announced its inaugural class of College Purple Star Campuses, including Owens Community College.

Ohio Department of Higher Education Chancellor Randy Gardner made the announcement in advance of Memorial Day weekend and during Military Appreciation Month.

“Owens Community College has a long history of providing a supportive environment for military-affiliated students,” Dr. Dione D. Somerville, Owens President, said. “Being named a College Purple Star Campus in the inaugural class is truly an honor and a testament to the work we’re doing with our military-affiliated students who are seeking a higher education and pathway forward in life.”

Led by Sharron Pappas, Manager of Veterans Services (Navy), Owens served more than 500 military-affiliated students in the 2021-22 academic year.

Student veterans, active duty service members and dependents and spouses of veterans have access to Veterans Hall, which includes a lounge area, study room, kitchenette and computer lab.  These military-affiliated students also have an opportunity to get involved in the Owens Student Veterans Organization (SVO), which is registered with the national Student Veterans of America. Student veterans have the option to apply for scholarships through the SVO.

A total of 33 colleges and universities in Ohio received the Purple Star designation. Ohio is the first state in the nation to award Purple Star designations.

“Congratulations to the 33 schools chosen as the first College Purple Star Campuses,” Governor Mike DeWine said. “Thank you for being examples of Ohio’s proud tradition of honoring our servicemen and women. With these Collegiate Purple Star Award designations, servicemembers, veterans and military-connected students are able to pursue higher education knowing that their school has the necessary support system and guidance to help them find their next steps.”

For more information about Owens Community College Veterans Services, please visit www.owens.edu/veterans.


State Board Recertifies College’s Department of Public Safety Copy link to clipboard

Posted on April 28th, 2022

Owens Community College Department of Public Safety The Owens Community College Department of Public Safety (DPS), led by Chief Steven M. Harrison, has been recognized by the Ohio Collaborative Community-Police Advisory Board. Created to hold agencies to high standards, accountability and instill a greater confidence with the public, the Ohio Collaborative certified or recertified the College’s department in these three categories:

  • Use of force and recruitment and hiring
  • Community engagement
  • Bias free policing and investigation of employee misconduct

“We are always looking for ways to increase public trust and confidence. Being certified by the Ohio Collaborative helps us improve those efforts,” said Chief Harrison. “People can come to our college and know they are going to be in a safe learning environment.”

The College’s DPS was recertified for use of force, recruitment and hiring standards. In order to receive recertification, the department had to meeting various protocols including:

  • Conduct investigation/report review for use of force policy compliance.
  • Establish an agency recruitment plan.
  • Detail the sworn officer application and selection process.

DPS has received certification for community engagement as well as bias free policing and investigation of employee misconduct standard. To receive these new certifications, the department had to meet specific protocols including:

  • Share photos of agency personnel participating in activities or information exchanges.
  • Document reviews of body camera capture data.
  • Define timelines for the resolution of complaints.

The Ohio Collaborative is a 12-person panel comprised of law enforcement experts and community leaders, originally established in 2014. A total of 573 law enforcement agencies in Ohio have received certification.


Owens Express Baseball Team Hosts Doubleheader at Fifth Third Field April 30 Copy link to clipboard

Posted on April 19th, 2022

The Owens Express baseball team, led by head coach John Parisho, is returning to Fifth Third Field in downtown Toledo for an exciting doubleheader in preparation for the postseason and another run to the NJCAA Division III World Series. The Express will take on the Bryant & Stratton Bobcats on Saturday, April 30, beginning at 4 p.m. in the final “home” regular season games this season.

The Bryant & Stratton games will conclude Ohio Community College Athletic Conference play for the Express, who are in contention for the conference championship before beginning postseason play Tuesday, May 10.

Between games at Fifth Third Field, the Express athletic department will also celebrate its two national championship teams with on-field recognition. The Owens Express women’s volleyball team and head coach Sonny Lewis won its third consecutive national championship in November. Then, in March, the Owens Express women’s basketball team and head coach Stephen Perry, cut down the nets as the team won its first national championship. This was the first time since 2003 that the same school won the national championship in both sports in the same school year.

“We invite the entire Owens community, students and baseball fans to Fifth Third Field because it’s going to be a great Saturday for Owens Express sports in downtown Toledo,” Shelley Whitaker, Owens Express Athletic Director, said. “Our baseball team can’t wait to play a doubleheader at the best minor league stadium in America.”

The Express doubleheader is the start of a multi-year partnership with the Mud Hens and Fifth Third Field. “We are so excited for the return of baseball and look forward to our continued partnership this season and beyond,” said Troy Hammersmith, Manager of Special Events with the Toledo Mud Hens. The Express has inked a deal to host doubleheaders in downtown Toledo for the next two seasons.

Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for kids ages 6-17 as well as Senior/Military tickets. Owens Community College and Bryant & Stratton Students will be able to unlock free tickets using the promo code provided on their respective campuses. Students may present their student ID at the box office as well.

Purchase tickets HERE

For more information about the Owens Express, visit www.owensexpress.com.


College Hosts Visionary Ohio Author, Big Read’s Saeed Jones Copy link to clipboard

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 Copy link to clipboard

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 Copy link to clipboard

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 Adjunct Faculty Recruitment Event Copy link to clipboard

Posted on January 5th, 2022

When: 6-7 p.m. Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Where: Online via Blackboard Collaborate. www.owens.edu/adjunct

What: Owens is seeking adjunct faculty in many academic disciplines, including business (management, marketing, general), culinary, biology, diesel, Caterpillar/John Deere, manufacturing, nursing, STNA and more! Anyone interested in learning more about working as an adjunct faculty member at Owens should attend.

Benefits: The benefits include …

  • Flexible teaching schedule
  • Potential to teach courses online
  • Earn additional income
  • Educate tomorrow’s employees

For more information, contact michael_sander@owens.edu.


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

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 Copy link to clipboard

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 Copy link to clipboard

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 Copy link to clipboard

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.


Community Members, Prospective New Students Invited to Owens Community College Open House Monday, October 11 Copy link to clipboard

Posted on September 27th, 2021

Owens Community College will host an Open House from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, October 11 to provide community members and prospective new students with an opportunity to explore academic programs and transfer options.

The Open House will be located in Veterans Hall 201 on the Toledo-area Campus and Education Center 111 on the Findlay-area Campus.

“Our faculty and staff will be available to talk about our academic majors and our transfer options to four-year colleges and universities,” Amy Giordano, Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Services, said. “In addition to academics, the Owens experience includes our dedicated support services such as academic advising as well as our student clubs and organizations. We will have representatives at the Open House to discuss these services that benefit student success.”

Campus tours are also available. Sign up in advance at www.owens.edu/openhouse.

“The Open House will allow students to explore what we offer to support their educational journey. We also know that many students come ready to take the next step and begin the enrollment process. Our staff will assist anyone interested in completing an admissions application, needing support with the FAFSA, or is ready to sign up for orientation,” Giordano said.

Masks will be required.


Owens Signs Transfer Agreement with Siena Heights University Copy link to clipboard

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 Copy link to clipboard

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 Copy link to clipboard

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 www.owens.edu/shuttle.


Owens Adds Late Enrollment Event for Community Members Copy link to clipboard

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.


OWENS COMMUNITY COLLEGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES SELECTS DR. DIONE SOMERVILLE AS EIGHTH PRESIDENT Copy link to clipboard

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.


OWENS COMMUNITY COLLEGE AWARDED CHOOSE OHIO FIRST GRANT FOR STEM SCHOLARSHIPS Copy link to clipboard

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 www.owens.edu/stem.

For more information on the Choose Ohio First program, visit www.ohiohighered.org/cof.


OWENS WELCOMES NEW BOARD OF TRUSTEES MEMBER Copy link to clipboard

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 www.owens.edu/trustees/.


OWENS COMMUNITY COLLEGE PARTNERS WITH REUP EDUCATION TO OFFER ADDITIONAL SUPPORT FOR STUDENTS RETURNING TO COLLEGE Copy link to clipboard

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.   


THREE FINALISTS ANNOUNCED FOR THE OWENS COMMUNITY COLLEGE PRESIDENT SEARCH Copy link to clipboard

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 www.owens.edu/president-search/.


OWENS ANNOUNCED AS FINALIST FOR NATIONAL AWARDS OF EXCELLENCE Copy link to clipboard

Posted on March 23rd, 2021

PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, Ohio, March. 23, 2021 – Owens Community College has been named a finalist in two categories – Outstanding College/Corporate Partnership and Students Success – for the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) 2021 Awards of Excellence. The national awards recognize exceptional work among the nation’s two-year colleges.

 Owens is one of twelve community colleges and the only one from Ohio to be recognized as a finalist for the AACC 2021 Awards of Excellence.

“We are pleased to be recognized by the AACC as finalists for our corporate partnerships and student success initiatives,” stated Bill Balzer, interim president, Owens Community College. “Fostering success for both students and our community is our mission and we are extremely proud of all the amazing work being done by our exceptional faculty and staff.”

The Outstanding College/Corporate Partnership Award honors local, regional and national collaboration between a college and corporate partner that has achieved demonstrable, multi-year success in advancing the mission of the institution(s), the economic prosperity of a community, region or the nation, and the learning excellence of students.

Owens has been recognized for its partnership with Raise the Bar Hancock County and eight Findlay-Hancock County manufacturers to launch the Ohio Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (OH! FAME) program.

“What makes this partnership successful is the role the businesses play. They are active in developing curriculum, guest speakers, board members, and much more,” said Tracy Campbell, assistant director, Advanced Manufacturing and FAME. “Each student has an employer mentor as well as a college success coach to help guide them on their career path along with their educational path. It is a pleasure to be able to work with the students and employers to help fill the needs of the region.”

The Student Success Award recognizes a community college that has demonstrated, through evidence, a sustained commitment to proactively advancing the cause of student success at a community college.

Over the past two years, the College has transformed its student placement processes and how to improve underprepared students’ success. The College has moved from a single measure of placement to a more holistic approach using multiple criteria and student feedback to provide more accurate placement.

In addition, the College embarked on a complete review of all its associate degrees to decrease both the number of credit hours required and time until completion. The majority of programs now have clear pathways to completion in 60-65 credit hours by streamlining the choice of program courses and removing unnecessary elective credits.

 AACC’s Awards of Excellence underscores the association’s priorities and brings national visibility to promising practices among its member colleges.

Nominees will be judged by a select committee of the AACC Board of Directors. The winners will be announced at the Awards of Excellence Virtual Gala during AACC Digital in May 2021.


OWENS COMMUNITY COLLEGE OFFERS FREE DENTAL HYGIENE DAY FOR KIDS Copy link to clipboard

Posted on February 25th, 2021

PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, Ohio, Feb. 25, 2021 – According to the American Dental Hygiene Association (ADHA), tooth decay is the most common chronic disease of childhood, affecting 60 percent of children ages 5 to 17 and 25 percent of children under the age of 5. These statistics are why Owens Dental Hygiene Department has provided dental care to the underserved for 15 years at its annual Give Kids A Smile event. Due to the overwhelming response to the event this year, the Dental Hygiene Department is offering additional free Dental Hygiene Days for kids.

“This year, due to COVID, we still provided much-needed services to help with access-to-care issues in our community but on a smaller scale, stated Beth Tronolone, chair, Owens Dental Hygiene Program. “The event was a great success. Appointments filled up within a week, demonstrating the need for access to dental care for children in our community. In response, we are offering anyone that could not make the event an opportunity to schedule a free appointment.”

The ADHA believes that the secret to oral health for life is establishing a healthy dental hygiene routine from the start.  When parents understand more about nutrition, fluoride, brushing habits, flossing, rinsing, and more, they start to see that prevention is the key to success.

To schedule an appointment, area residents should call (567) 661-7294 and ask for the Free Dental Hygiene Day for kids. An appointment will be booked during regular dental hygiene clinic hours.

“At Owens, we feel privileged to assist in this long-standing tradition to bridge the gap between providing dental hygiene care and access-to-care issues,” said Tronolone.

Per CDC guidelines, the clinic is limiting the number of children per day to ensure a safe environment.

Owens’ Dental Hygiene program also offers dental services to area residents through its Dental Hygiene Clinic. The 20-chair clinic is staffed by dental hygiene students and supervised by licensed dental professionals at Owens. The clinic provides dental care in the form of exams by a dentist, x-rays, oral hygiene and nutritional education, dental cleanings, fluoride varnish and restorative treatment needs if necessary. Appointments usually are available during the Fall and Spring semesters for a $35 fee.