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

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

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

State Board Recertifies College’s Department of Public Safety

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

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

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:      (10 a.m. only)

For more on Owens Community College’s Big Read, visit

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 The total award of $186,966 is available until June 30, 2023.

For more information, email the Owens Community College Office of Admissions at


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

Posted on January 5th, 2022

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

Where: Online via Blackboard Collaborate.

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

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 or call the admissions office at (567) 661-7777. For more information on the EOC program, please contact