News Releases


Posted on August 4th, 2020

PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, Ohio, Aug. 4, 2020 – Owens Community College Board of Trustees has selected William K. Balzer, Ph.D. to serve as interim president. Balzer will formally assume the interim president position on Aug. 10 following the departure of Steve Robinson, Ph.D. on July 17 to serve as president of Lansing Community College. Robinson served as the seventh president of the College since 2018 after serving as provost and vice president of academic affairs.

“We are very excited to bring Dr. Balzer’s depth of experience to Owens as we search for our next president,” stated Mary Beth Hammond, chair, Owens Board of Trustees. “We will benefit greatly not only from that experience but also the relationships of mutual respect he has built with his colleagues at BGSU and the other four-year institutions that Owens has built partnerships with over the years.”

Balzer has more than 35 years of experience in higher education. Prior to joining Owens, he served as vice president for Faculty Affairs and Strategic Initiatives at Bowling Green State University (BGSU). His responsibilities included providing leadership in the implementation of the collective bargaining agreement with the BGSU Faculty Association, representing the Administration on issues related to the contract, and supporting the professional development of Department Chairs and School Directors at the University. In addition, he had the responsibility of helping support strategic planning and implementation and other strategic initiatives to advance the University.

Following his selection to the interim president position, Balzer said:

“I want to thank the Board of Trustees for both their confidence and the privilege to serve as interim president at Owens Community College. I look forward to working closely over the coming year with the leadership team, faculty, and staff to continue to advance the college’s success in providing students with an affordable and high-quality education to meet their professional and personal goals and enrich the economic vitality of northwest Ohio.”

He earned a Ph.D. in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from New York University, a Master of Science in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Balzer is a member of the Association of Academic Personnel Administrators, the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology and the American Psychological Society. He has also served as a member of several community boards.

The Board of Trustees is in the process of conducting a search to name a permanent president of Owens Community College.


Posted on February 18th, 2020

PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, Ohio, Feb. 18, 2020 – Owens Community College has named Mary Beth Hammond and Dr. Srini Hejeebu to serve as the chair and vice-chair for the College’s board of trustees. Hammond and Hejeebu were elected to their positions by their fellow colleagues during a recent Owens board of trustees meeting and will serve one-year terms.

“My time serving on the Board of Trustees has been personally rewarding for me. As a community college graduate, I take pride in my contributions to the College and hope that I am making a difference in the lives of our students through thoughtful leadership,” said Hammond. “Our Owens Leadership team is stronger than ever, and I look forward to continuing my commitment along with the rest of the Board and President Dr. Robinson to help power northwest Ohio with skilled, competent leaders for years to come.”

Initially appointed to the board in Dec. 2013, Hammond, currently serves as senior private banker at Fifth Third Bank in Findlay and has more than 30-years of financial experience. She supports multiple non-profit organizations, is a past president of the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce and a graduate of The Jo Ann Davidson Ohio Leadership Institute. Additionally, Hammond is an Athena recipient in Wood and Hancock Counties.

Hejeebu, a Sylvania resident, was also appointed to the board of trustees in Dec. 2013. He is currently a professor of Medicine at the University of Toledo and an internist at the University of Toledo Medical Center.

“I am honored to work with Owens Community College to promote education in our community. I look forward to working with President Robinson and the rest of the Owens board of trustees to help Northwest Ohio train and develop outstanding students in our community,” stated Hejeebu.

The College’s board of trustees is currently comprised of nine community leaders from Lucas, Wood and Hancock Counties who are appointed by the Governor of Ohio for six-year terms.

In addition to Hammond and Hejeebu, board members include Charles L. Bills of Findlay, Jason W. Johnson of Toledo, Karil M. Morrissey of Perrysburg, Edwin J. Nagle of Perrysburg, Richard Rowe Jr. of Findlay, Rita L. Russell of Toledo and Diana H. (Dee) Talmage of Toledo.

For more information on Owens Community College, please visit


Posted on February 12th, 2020

PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, Ohio, Feb. 12, 2020 – Owens Community College has received notification from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) that the academic institution’s accreditation has been reaffirmed through 2030. Owens has been accredited continuously through the Higher Learning Commission since 1976.

“Achieving continued accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission takes hard work and dedication. I am very proud and appreciative of all of our faculty and staff,” said Steve Robinson, Ph.D., president of Owens Community College. This acknowledgment reaffirms our longstanding educational commitment to serving our students and the surrounding communities.”

The HLC is an independent corporation that was founded in 1895 as one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States. HLC accredits degree-granting post-secondary educational institutions in the North Central region, accounting for 19 states. By law, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) relies in part on accrediting agencies to determine eligibility for U.S. government assistance under certain legislation. HLC is among these governmentally recognized authorities and seeks renewal of ED recognition at least every five years.

For more information about Owens Community College, please visit


Posted on December 9th, 2019

PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, Ohio, Dec. 9, 2019 – Venezuelan native, Maria Guadalupe Lopez Davila has been selected as the Owens Community College class representative and will address the 398 graduates during the 39th Fall Commencement ceremony Friday, Dec. 13. She is graduating with an Associate of Arts degree in Communication Studies and Cum Laude honors.

The ceremony begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Student Health and Activities Center. Admission is free. Wade Kapszukiewicz, Toledo Mayor, will serve as the commencement keynote speaker.

Lopez Davila came to the United States on an F1 student visa following her 2017 graduation from Juan XXIII High School in Valencia, the third-largest city in Venezuela with a population of approximately 1.8 million. She currently resides in Findlay.

She sought an opportunity to learn and grow away from her native country’s struggles. Civil unrest began in Venezuela in 2013 and has continued to present day due to high levels of urban violence, inflation and chronic shortages of basic goods and services, such as food and water. Widespread political corruption is blamed for much of the country’s problems.

“Maria is a humbly bright individual. Every goal that she sets for herself, she goes beyond it,” Lyndsay Dimick, International Students Advisor, said.

Despite taking English classes since first grade, she said her time at Owens has taught her how to communicate daily in English as she focuses on a Spanish-English communications career in business, journalism or social media. She said she is now beginning to dream in English as well.

Her mother, Dr. Morella Davila, OBGYN, and father, Rostin Lopez, a statistician and broadcaster for the Magellan Navigators professional baseball team in Valencia, hoped to attend the ceremony.

“I was raised in an environment with strong family values. I wanted to make my family proud, to show my mom and dad they did a good job with me,” Lopez Davila said.

After graduation, Lopez Davila has applied for an Optional Practical Training (OPT) extension to her student visa that would allow her to work for a year in a job related to her major before attending a 4-year university.

“I want to be the best of me so that I represent Venezuela and the Latino culture in what I do,” she said. “I have the duty and responsibility to talk about the good that comes from my country.”

Kapszukiewicz was elected mayor Nov. 7, 2017 and took the oath of office on January 2, 2018, becoming the 58th mayor of Toledo.

He received a bachelor’s degree in journalism and political science from Marquette University in 1994 and was named the valedictorian of the College of Communication, Journalism, and Performing Arts. He received a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Michigan in 1996.

Kapszukiewicz is an adjunct professor at Lourdes University, where he teaches a night course in urban policy. An avid baseball fan, Kapszukiewicz had his research published in the Spring 2016 edition of the Society for American Baseball Research journal.

A resident of Toledo since 1973, Kapszukiewicz was born in San Diego on October 30, 1972. He and his wife, Sarah, celebrated their 18th wedding anniversary in 2019. They live in the Old Orchard neighborhood of Toledo and have two children, Emma and Will.

For more information about the ceremony, please visit


Posted on November 19th, 2019

PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, Ohio, Nov. 19, 2019 – In partnership with United Way of Greater Toledo, Owens staff, students and alumni will gather with community volunteers on Saturday, Dec. 7, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Owens Learning Center Downtown Toledo to donate their time and skills to create memorable professional portraits for those in need. Walk-ins are welcome on a first come, first served basis from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Photographers, make-up artists, hair stylists and volunteers will gather to take part in this event to mark the tenth annual Help-Portrait worldwide event. In 2008, Help-Portrait began as an idea that transformed into a movement in just three months.  The idea behind Help-Portrait is simple: 1. Find someone in need 2. Take their portrait 3. Print their portrait and 4. Deliver their portrait.

Celebrity photographer Jeremy Cowart formed Help-Portrait, a non-profit organization, in 2008 as he contemplated using his skills and expertise to give back to those who may not have the opportunity for a professional photo.  The idea is that a photographer has the unique ability to help someone smile, laugh and return their dignity.  It is a movement, a shift in photography.

In the last ten years, more than 75,442 volunteers have given more than 381,856 portraits. Help-Portrait is a global movement in more than 2803 locations in 67 countries. The annual Help-Portrait event takes place on the first Saturday of December each year in addition to special events.

This event is made possible through generous contributions made to the Owens Community College Foundation.

The Owens Learning Center Downtown Toledo is located at 1301 Monroe St., Toledo. For additional information or questions, please contact Krista Kiessling at


Posted on October 18th, 2019

PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, Ohio, Oct. 18, 2019 – Owens Community College announced today a second major gift of $100,000 from the Owens Alumni Association for the new Dana Advanced Manufacturing Training Center, seven weeks after receiving a $1 million investment from Dana Incorporated (NYSE: DAN). The announcement was made at the Foundation and Alumni Association’s Annual Dinner Meeting, Thurs., Oct. 17. The gift will result in naming rights within the center and will help to establish the Owens Alumni Association Advanced Manufacturing Scholarship.

“The Alumni Association is excited to be part of the Dana Advanced Manufacturing Training Center through this significant investment, while also establishing an endowed scholarship to directly benefit those students seeking degrees and certificates in the manufacturing and skilled trades areas,” said Tom Daniels, president of the Owens Community College Alumni Association. “This facility will be a game-changer for Northwest Ohio, and we are doing our part to help advance the region.”

The modernized facility will transform the College’s ability to meet the region’s most critical economic challenges of developing and training a skilled workforce for manufacturing employers.

Labor data forecasts more than 2,100 advanced manufacturing job openings paying an average annual salary of $63,000 in Lucas, Wood and Hancock counties in the next five years.

Designed to provide highly technical and integrated training in a clean and safe environment conducive to learning, the Dana Center includes amenities such as large windows that allow more natural light, glass walls and polished floors. The facility will also provide corporate partners with access to offices and conference space close to technical labs, classrooms and faculty offices.

“The Owens Foundation greatly appreciates this gift in support of the Dana Advanced Manufacturing Training Center at Owens Community College,” said Philip J. Rudolph, Jr., Chair of the Owens Community College Foundation. “The Owens Alumni Association’s investment in the Dana Center is an investment in future alumni who will continue to power Northwest Ohio’s workforce.”

For more information about the new Dana Advanced Manufacturing Training Center, please visit


Posted on September 6th, 2019

PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, Ohio, Sept. 6, 2019 – The Ohio Association of Community Colleges’ (OACC) recently awarded the Terry M. Thomas Friend of Community Colleges Award to former Owens Community College trustee, Edward J. Reiter, as part of the OACC 2019 Excellence Awards program.

Steve Robinson, Ph.D., president, Owens Community College, nominated Reiter for his leadership, passion and efforts to further technical education and help community college students throughout his 55 years of involvement within the communities of northwest Ohio and at Owens Community College.

“Ed Reiter has been a good friend to community colleges and higher education for many decades while serving in several leadership roles at Owens Community College and numerous other community boards,” said Robinson. “His tireless advocacy on behalf of education and specifically community college students has left an impact that will be felt for many years to come.”

Reiter, a resident of Bowling Green, graduated from Bowling Green State University and then served in the U.S. Army from 1962-64.  After teaching for several years in area high schools, including at Penta County Vocational Schools. He joined Mid American National Bank and Trust Company and worked his way up through the ranks, eventually becoming chief executive officer of Mid American and then senior chairman of Sky Financial (formerly Mid American) from 1998-2005.

From 1976-1985, he served on the Owens Community College Board of Trustees including a term as chairman from 1979-1981.  He also served on the Owens Community College Foundation Board of Directors from 2002-2004 and remains an Emeritus Director.  The Edward and Linda Reiter Endowed Scholarship Fund was established in 1984 and has to date awarded 50 scholarships.

Deeply committed to his community, Reiter has long been active in civic affairs, including service on the BGSU Alumni and Foundation boards, the COSI Board of Directors, the Toledo Community Foundation Board, the Toledo Symphony Board and the United Way. In addition to his service at Owens, he is a former Trustee of Lourdes University (formerly Lourdes College) and Davis College.  He served on the Boards of the Toledo-area Chamber of Commerce, Cherry Street Mission and the Boys and Girls Club and is a founding member of the University of Toledo Center for Family Business.

The Terry M. Thomas Friend of Community Colleges Award is presented annually to someone who has had a major, positive impact on community colleges in Ohio, the award is named in honor of the OACC’s founding Executive Director.


Posted on August 28th, 2019

Owens Embarks on Capital Fundraising Campaign for New $9.6 million, 59,000 Square-foot Facility to Promote Development of Skilled Workers in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan

PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, Ohio, Aug. 28, 2019 – Owens Community College announced today it received a $1 million investment from Dana Incorporated (NYSE: DAN) for the new Dana Advanced Manufacturing Training Center. The new facility will help address the shortage in skilled workers throughout Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan. The announcement kicks off a capital fundraising campaign to support the initiative.

Focused on increasing training and development of skilled workers in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan, the project will renovate a 59,000 square-foot existing facility, which will feature six skilled technology labs, including computer-aided design (CAD); computer numerical control (CNC) and manual machining; electrical; heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) and alternative energy; mechanical and pneumatics; and robotics and programmable logic controller (PLC).

“The skills gap is one of the single biggest constraints on growth in our industry and the economy as a whole.  According to estimates from the Manufacturing Institute, there will be more than 4.6 million manufacturing jobs in the U.S. to fill by 2028.  At current rates, we will only have 2.2 million skilled workers for these positions. That is a gap of over 2.4 million jobs,” said James Kamsickas, president and chief executive officer of Dana.  “Dana’s investment with Owens Community College will help to bridge that gap by offering critical training in advanced manufacturing and skilled trades to support the manufacturing base of northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan.”

The State of Ohio has approved $4 million in capital funding and Owens will invest up to $3.6 million of its local dollars to support the project. The capital campaign will focus on securing the remaining $2 million funding gap to complete the project.

“The new Advanced Manufacturing Training Center will house all of our advanced manufacturing and skilled trade programs in one building, offering our students a more conducive environment for learning current and advanced technologies that are critical for the workforce in our region,” said Steve Robinson, Ph.D., president, Owens Community College. “The generous support from a major corporation like Dana demonstrates the trust and confidence we have been able to cultivate through our many years as northwest Ohio’s leader in workforce training.”

The new facility will transform the College’s ability to meet the region’s most critical economic challenges of developing and training a skilled workforce for manufacturing employers.

“Toledo has more robots per capita than any metro area in America, but until today, the area did not have the training partnership between educators and the private sector that can supply the talent needed to grow the modern manufacturing sector of the economy,” said Lt. Governor Jon Husted. “The advanced manufacturing partnership between Owens and Dana is exactly what Northwest Ohio needs to compete educationally and economically.”

For more information about the new Dana Advanced Manufacturing Training Center, please visit

About Dana Incorporated  

Dana is a world leader in providing power-conveyance and energy-management solutions for vehicles and machinery.  The company’s portfolio improves the efficiency, performance, and sustainability of light vehicles, commercial vehicles, and off-highway equipment.  From axles, driveshafts, and transmissions to electrodynamic, thermal, sealing, and digital solutions, the company enables the propulsion of conventional, hybrid, and electric-powered vehicles by supplying nearly every vehicle and engine manufacturer in the world.  Founded in 1904, Dana employs more than 36,000 people who are committed to delivering long-term value to customers.  Based in Maumee, Ohio, USA, and with locations in 33 countries across six continents, the company reported sales of $8.1 billion in 2018.  Having established a dynamic, high-performance culture, the company has been recognized globally as a top employer, with significant honors in Asia, India, Italy, Mexico, and the United States.  Learn more at


Posted on July 18th, 2019

PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, Ohio, July 18, 2019 –  Ramadevi Kannan, professor of accounting, has been named a regional recipient of the 2019 Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) Teaching Excellence Award. The ACBSP recognizes individuals each year who exemplify teaching excellence in the classroom.

Professor Kannan was honored, along with other regional recipients, at the 2019 ACBSP Conference in Houston, Texas in June. She received a crystal medallion and a $250 check. In addition, Ms. Kannan was selected from all regional award winners as the recipient of the ACBSP International Teaching Excellence Award for 2019, which was not announced until the awards ceremony at the conference. She was presented with an engraved crystal award and a check for $500.

“Ms. Kannan has a reputation for working very closely with students to ensure they have the tools needed to be successful. She is fair and kind when dealing with students’ issues and she delivers the curriculum to suit multiple learning styles. Furthermore, I recently learned that Rama even went so far as to financially assist a student whose laptop was stolen during the semester. That level of dedication to students is extraordinary, and illustrates her kindness and compassion for helping students succeed,” said Elizabeth “Libby” King, chair, Business Technologies, Owens Community College.

The ACBSP Associate Degree Commission established the International Teaching Excellence Award in 1995 to recognize outstanding classroom teachers. In 2002, the Baccalaureate Degree Commission created a similar award to recognize excellence in teaching at the baccalaureate/graduate degree level. ACBSP is the only specialized body for business schools that presents an award recognizing excellence in teaching, open to application by the entire membership.

“It is more important than ever for business programs to produce graduates who are ready to enter the global marketplace,” said Jeffrey Alderman, ACBSP president and CEO. “ACBSP has a mission to develop, promote and recognize best practices that contribute to continuous improvement of business education. Recognition of teaching excellence is one way we achieve this goal,” he stated.

About ACBSP 

ACBSP’s mission is to promote continuous improvement and recognize excellence in the accreditation of business education programs around the world. ACBSP,, is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) as a specialized accreditation agency for business education. ACBSP is the only global accrediting body to accredit business, accounting, and business-related programs at all degree levels. ACBSP currently has 1,100+ member campuses in 60 countries. Of those campuses, 942 have achieved accreditation and more than 150 are in candidacy for accreditation. Individual members on these campuses now exceed 13,000. FAQs / Accreditation FAQs 


Posted on June 13th, 2019

PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, Ohio, June 13, 2019 – General Motors Co. (GM) has chosen Owens Community College as one of seven community colleges in Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania to launch its GM Dealer Technician Scholarship, a program that can help students graduate debt-free with a two-year associate degree in automotive technology, beginning fall 2019. This scholarship is offered through the Owens Community College Foundation to assist eligible students who are enrolled in the GM Automotive Service Educational Program (ASEP) with full tuition and fees.

“This is great news for our students who are looking to enter the automotive technology field with low cost, high-quality training,” said Steve Robinson, Ph.D., president, Owens Community College. “We are proud to continue our more than 25-year partnership with GM to help fill the gap between industry needs and qualified workers.”

The GM Dealer Technician Scholarship will help address the growing demand for highly trained automotive service technicians. The Ohio Occupational Employment Projection Report estimates that the industry will need 28,675 more technicians by 2026 due to anticipated demand and attrition.

Owens Community College works with nearly 50 GM dealerships in the region to provide students the opportunity to work alongside experienced technicians to maintain and repair today’s high-tech vehicles.

There is a 100 percent job placement rate for students completing the GM ASEP program at Owens.

The end goal of exposing these students to many of GM’s industry-leading technologies, including battery-electric vehicles, semi-autonomous driver assistance systems like Cadillac Super Cruise and built-in Wi-Fi connectivity is full-time employment at one of more than 4,000 GM dealerships around the country.

“We’re tearing down the barriers that stand in the way of people pursuing these good-paying, high-tech jobs,” said Terry Rhadigan, executive director, GM Corporate Giving. “After two years, we want people to hit the ground running, so we will help them get a quality education, technical training and hands-on experience without the burden of student loans.”

Students interested in the scholarship program should contact Owens Transportation Technologies department at (567) 661-7388.