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CLASS REPRESENTATIVE STRIVES TO BE HER BEST WHILE REPRESENTING HER FAMILY, VENEZUELA AND LATINO CULTURE

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 www.owens.edu/commencement.


OWENS AND UNITED WAY OF GREATER TOLEDO TO HOST EVENT CELEBRATING THE 11TH ANNIVERSARY OF HELP-PORTRAIT™

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 krista_kiessling@owens.edu.


OWENS COMMUNITY COLLEGE RECEIVES LEAD GIFT FROM DANA INCORPORATED FOR NEW ADVANCED MANUFACTURING TRAINING CENTER

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 www.owens.edu/amtc.

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 www.dana.com.


OWENS CUSTOMIZED TRAINING HELPS FIRST SOLAR INVEST IN TRAINING ITS WORKFORCE

Posted on August 5th, 2019

PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, Ohio, Aug. 5, 2019 – According to LinkedIn’s 2018 Workforce Learning Report, 93 percent of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their careers. For 19 First Solar employees, this statistic became more of a reality when they earned a state certificate at a special ceremony Friday at Owens Community College after completing customized training made possible through a partnership with Owens Community College and First Solar.

The First Solar employees earned the 34-credit hour Industrial Maintenance Certificate in accelerated time, covering the 13 classes from January to July. A typical student may spend up to 18 months earning this certificate.

Owens customized the educational makeup and delivery of the certificate so First Solar employees attended classes Mondays and Wednesdays in two 12-hour shifts, 6 a.m. – 6 p.m. or 6 p.m. – 6 a.m.

Additional examples of the customized training included utilizing First Solar blueprints in the Mechanical Print Reading class and starting an Electrical Principles class at 2:30 a.m.

First Solar began partnership talks with Owens officials in the spring of 2018, immediately after announcing its building expansion in Lake Township and the need for additional employees.

“When First Solar could not find new, qualified employees, they sent their existing employees to us to upgrade their skills. We were excited to provide career growth opportunities for their manufacturing operators and technicians,” said Rob Kraus, executive director of Owens Workforce Training. “What we did with First Solar, we can do with other companies. We offer multiple pathways to train incumbent and future workers and help them earn valuable knowledge and skills to succeed on the job.”

First Solar has already moved forward with another customized training opportunity, enrolling manufacturing operators in Manufacturing Engineer Technician classes leading to a certificate of completion.

“First and foremost, we would like to congratulate our First Solar associates on this wonderful accomplishment.  As we move forward with our vision to lead the world’s sustainable energy future it will be critical to have the most highly skilled associates on the front lines in our manufacturing facilities,” said Jay Lake, manufacturing workforce development and community relations manager, First Solar. “Training programs such as the one that First Solar and Owens Community College have developed will be paramount in bringing this vision to fruition.  We are confident that we will be able to provide cost-advantaged solar technology through innovation, customer engagement, industry leadership and operational excellence with the help of our talented workforce.”

Approximately 50 people attended the graduation ceremony in College Hall.

For more information on customized workforce training, please visit www.owens.edu/workforce_cs or call (567) 661-7357.


622 GRADUATES PREPARE FOR OWENS COMMUNITY COLLEGE SPRING COMMENCEMENT

Posted on May 7th, 2019

PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, Ohio, Tuesday, May 7, 2019 –  622 candidates for graduation, including 67 from the Findlay-area Campus, will receive their degrees during the 53rd annual Owens Community College Spring Commencement on Friday, May 10. The ceremony will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Student Health and Activities Center on the College’s Toledo-area Campus.

Owens’ commencement ceremony is free and open to the public. Owens is asking graduates to share their celebration photos and updates by including the hashtag #owensgrad in their social media posts.

Jennifer Gebes, a dental hygiene technology major with Summa Cum Laude honors, has been selected as the Owens class representative and will address the graduates during the ceremony.

The 1991 Fostoria High School graduate already has two certifications and a bachelor’s degree, completing the Pharmacy Technician non-credit certificate and Medical Transcription certificate from Owens and Applied Health Science bachelor’s degree from Bowling Green State University.

“She is a diligent worker and pays great attention to detail,” Beth Tronolone, Dental Hygiene Chair, said. “She is kind, caring and provides a high standard of care with her clinical patients.”

Gebes, 46, is a single mother to two boys, Brendan, 16, and Landon, 14, the youngest who had significant special needs in his early childhood years.

As an infant, Landon Gebes was exposed to a virus that caused encephalitis on the left side of his brain, which controls speech and language. Despite years of doctors’ visits and tests, a correct diagnosis was not made until closer to his 5th birthday. Some medical professionals suggested he would never speak. Gebes said she would not accept that outcome for her son’s life.

Gebes began working with a Ph.D. from Sylvania, who now works at the Cleveland Clinic, on behavioral replacement therapy, learning a picture communication system with positive reinforcement to in turn teach her son. She started with a picture of a cat and piece of candy.  She said “cat,” and until her son said “cat,” he could not have the candy. It took eight weeks, working 50 hours a week, before he said that first word, “and then our world was open.”

Assisted by two BGSU graduate students, the learning evolved to the point Gebes immersed her son in a public school full time in third grade. Today, Landon speaks, reads and continues to learn with his classmates.

Her time freed up, Gebes returned to Owens to pursue an Associate of Science degree – a degree she said she was one class short of completing. She transferred the credits to BGSU for her bachelor’s degree, graduating with a 4.0 GPA and Summa Cum Laude honors.

Wanting a career that would provide for her sons, she applied to Case Western Reserve University’s master’s degree program for anesthesia. From a pool of 1,200 qualified applicants, she was one of 18 accepted. She lived in an apartment in Cleveland during the week and came home on the weekends for two semesters. But she did not complete the five-semester program, giving it up in 2017 because she said her boys needed her at home.

“For me, that meant coming home to Owens. I found a degree in dental hygiene that seamlessly adopted my bachelor’s degree and used my knowledge of head, neck and oral anatomy.”

Rodney Rogers, Ph.D., president of Bowling Green State University, will serve as the keynote speaker.

Rogers assumed the role as the 12th president of Bowling Green State University on February 23, 2018, after serving in the interim post since January 1, 2018. Prior to being named president, Rogers had served as provost and senior vice president since 2012 and, before that, dean of the BGSU College of Business since 2006.

Before joining BGSU, Rogers served as associate dean and director of academic programs within the School of Business at Portland State University, in Oregon. He has taught financial reporting, performance measurement and international financial reporting at various universities including Portland State, Case Western Reserve, Thunderbird: The American Graduate School of Management, and the École de Management at EuroMed-Marseille, in France.

Experienced in both academia and business, Rogers has a Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University, an MBA from BGSU and a B.A. in music from Ohio Northern University. Before completing his doctorate at Case, he practiced as a CPA for 10 years.

Rogers is a former member of the Wood County Hospital board and currently serves on the board of directors of the Toledo Zoo and Aquarium. In addition, he serves on the executive committee of the Regional Growth Partnership and on the board of trustees for the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce.

For more information regarding Owens’ commencement ceremony, please visit www.owens.edu/commencement.


OWENS ALUMNI ASSOCIATION HONORS LOCAL FIRST RESPONDERS WITH OUTSTANDING SERVICE AWARDS

Posted on April 25th, 2019

PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, Ohio, April 25, 2019 – Owens Community College’s Alumni Association has chosen fourteen area first responders to receive the 16th annual Outstanding Service Awards for their tremendous contributions to Northwest Ohio’s communities. The recipients will be honored as part of a community celebration Friday, April 26 in the Veterans Hall on Owens’ Toledo-area Campus beginning at 7:45 a.m.

Award recipients are Kurt Schroeder, Luis Munguia, Matt Gazarek, Dave Molter, Alicia Cryan, Dustin Glass, Kim Katafias, Chris Klewer, Scott Moskowitz, Donny Widmer, Bryce Blair, Scott Perry, Katherine Taylor and Chad Morris.

This year’s awards are presented within the categories of Outstanding Police, Firefighter, Emergency Medical Technician and Service to the Community. Selection criteria is based upon a nomination process for candidates demonstrating exceptional service related to dedication, ingenuity, bravery, special skills or assistance in a unique situation. The awards are not limited to a single recipient and can be a group honor where teamwork was a key element.

The recipients of the Outstanding Police Award are Patrol Officer Kurt Schroeder (Perrysburg Township Police), Sergeant Luis Munguia (Owens Community College Police Department), Lieutenant Matt Gazarek, Sergeant Dave Molter, Officer Alicia Cryan, Officer Dustin Glass, Officer Kim Katafias, Officer Chris Klewer, Officer Scott Moskowitz and Officer Donny Widemer (Perrysburg Township Police Department).

The recipient of the Outstanding Firefighter Award is Battalion Chief Bryce Blair (Toledo Fire & Rescue Department).

The Outstanding Emergency Medical Technician Award will be presented to Scott Perry, paramedic (Sylvania Township Fire Department), and Katherine Taylor, emergency medical technician and volunteer firefighter (Rossford Fire Department).

The Outstanding Service to the Community Award will be presented to Lieutenant Chad Morris (Sylvania Township Fire Department).

The Owens Community College Alumni Association recognizes the tremendous contribution that police, fire and emergency medical professionals make to our communities. Their selfless acts of courage make our lives safer. We honor those whose actions went above and beyond the high standards of their profession, often serving in conjunction with other public safety departments to help those in need. The Alumni Association is privileged to sponsor the Outstanding Service Awards Celebration.

For more information about Owens Community College, please visit www.owens.edu.


CHILDREN RECEIVE FREE DENTAL SERVICES DURING ANNUAL GIVE KIDS A SMILE DAY AT OWENS

Posted on January 23rd, 2019

PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, Ohio, Jan. 23, 2019 – Owens’ Dental Hygiene program, in collaboration with the Toledo Dental Society, will be offering a day of free dental services for children ages six months to 18 years with limited or no access to care. The event will take place Friday, Feb. 1, 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 4 p.m. at the College’s Dental Hygiene Clinic located on the second floor of the Health Technologies Hall on the Toledo-area Campus.

Give Kids A Smile Day is a national initiative by the American Dental Association, dedicated to focusing attention on the epidemic of untreated oral disease among disadvantaged children. Held each February in conjunction with National Children’s Dental Health Month, Give Kids A Smile Day provides free oral health education, screening and treatment services to children from low-income families across the country.

Owens Dental Hygiene second-year students, faculty and alumni, and area dentists will be conducting dental services, which will include dental education and screening, X-rays, oral prophylaxis (cleanings), limited restorations and dental sealants. In addition, first-year students from the health programs will provide educational presentations for parents and children.

Owens’ 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, and appointments are available during the Fall and Spring semesters for a $30 fee.

Individuals interested in receiving free dental service are encouraged to contact the College’s Dental Hygiene Clinic at (567) 661-7294 or 1-800-GO-OWENS, Ext. 7294. Appointment reservations must be made prior to the event.


TERHUNE GALLERY HOSTS EXHIBITION FEATURING BASQUIAT, CONTEMPORARIES

Posted on January 9th, 2019

PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, Ohio, Jan. 9, 2019 – Contemporary Art Toledo and Owens Community College are thrilled to present “Zeitgeist: The Art Scene of Teenage Basquiat,” Friday, Jan. 25 – Friday, March 22 in the Terhune Gallery at the Owens’ Center for Fine and Performing Arts. This extraordinary exhibition focuses on the creative community Jean-Michel Basquiat helped galvanize in gritty, pre-AIDS, downtown New York—a time when decay and dissolution fueled a boom in creativity and where the definition of fame, success and power was not based on money, Instagram likes or self-promotion.

Zeitgeist complements and amplifies the film by Sara Driver, “BOOM FOR REAL: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat” that was released from Magnolia Pictures in May 2018. Driver teamed with culture critic Carlo McCormick and Mary-Ann Monforton, associate publisher of BOMB Magazine, along with the New York gallery Howl! Happening to curate the expansive exhibition that features works by Basquiat himself and more than 30 friends and contemporaries, including Nan Goldin, Kenny Scharf, Al Diaz and Lee Quiñones.

A public reception for the exhibition will be held Saturday, Feb. 9 from 5-7 p.m. followed by a public screening of the film “BOOM FOR REAL: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat.” Special guest for both the reception and the film will be curator Carlo McCormick.

Known today for his outsized role in the rise of Neo Expressionism and recent record-breaking auction sales, the late Jean-Michel Basquiat was first recognized for his graffiti work in the Lower East Side of Manhattan in the late 1970s and early 1980s. In the emerging artistic circles there, the focus was not on creating content the established art market could readily digest and profit from, but on creating a community that stood in opposition – fostering unfiltered, uninhibited expression.

Basquiat’s work illuminated the contradictions of society – its opposing realities, inequalities, injustices – through a mix of disparate artistic traditions and unrefined, raw emotion fueled by the punk and hip-hop movements of the time. In only a few years, he went from supporting himself through panhandling and selling painted T-shirts and postcards while homeless, to being one of the most celebrated artists in New York, bringing the street level politics of what was an underground counter-culture collective with him into the spotlight.

Zeitgeist offers a unique opportunity to revisit the explosive, pre-fame period of Basquiat and his contemporaries. For these creators, to be a penniless published poet or a musician gigging at a local club was the height of success. In the rawness of the work, the focus on street art and graffiti, and the experimentation and cross-pollination of styles and disciplines, the era has become a flash point for younger generations seeking to learn about and understand the authenticity, closeness, and community expressed in the work of the artists in this truly unique exhibition.

Featured artists and friends in both the film and exhibition include Alexis Adler, Charlie Ahearn, Ted Barron, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Robert Carrithers, Henry Chalfant, Brett De Palma, Al Diaz, Barbara Ess, Coleen Fitzgibbon, Fab 5 Freddy, Futura, Robert Goldman aka Bobby G. Godlis, Nan Goldin, Michael Holman, Becky Howland, Tessa Hughes-Freeland, Jim Jarmusch, Justen, Ladda, Ann Messner, Mary-Ann Monforton, James Nares, Glenn O’Brien, Franc Palaia, Lee Quiñones, Walter Robinson, Christy Rupp, Luc Sante, Kenny Scharf, Paul Tschinkel, Robin Winters and Bob Gruen.

For more information, please visit www.owens.edu/fpa/terhune or call Paula Baldoni, River House Arts, at (419) 494-6536.


461 GRADUATES PREPARE FOR OWENS COMMUNITY COLLEGE FALL COMMENCEMENT

Posted on December 10th, 2018

PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, Ohio, Dec. 10, 2018 – 461 candidates for graduation, including 82 from the Findlay-area Campus, will receive their degrees during the 38th Owens Community College Fall Commencement on Friday, Dec. 14. Of those graduates, 98 will graduate with honors. The ceremony will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Student Health and Activities Center on the College’s Toledo-area Campus.

Alexandra R. Kania of Toledo has been selected as the Owens Community College class representative and will address the graduates during the 38th Fall Commencement ceremony. She is graduating with an Associate of Applied Science degree in the Early Childhood Education Technology program with Cum Laude honors.

Kania is currently student teaching in an inclusive preschool classroom at Whiteford Elementary School in Sylvania. She has accepted a paraprofessional teaching position at the school following graduation.

Her love for education began growing up in a large, blended family with two older stepsiblings, one younger biological brother, two younger half siblings and a younger, adopted cousin who she now says is her brother.

“With my younger (biological) brother, I was teaching him how to read when I was 8 and he was 4. I always forced him to play school,” said Kania, 21. “My grandma found a report card I had made for my little cousin. … I was always playing the teacher role. I knew I wanted to be a teacher.”

She said working with her adopted cousin, who has special needs, inspired her to work with preschoolers who have special needs.

“As a teacher of young children, Alex is very intentional in her planning and attentive to the individual needs of every child,” Elisa Huss-Hage, Professor of Teacher Education, said. “She reflects the professional standards of our nationally accredited program, setting a high bar for her performance in all her classes and generously offering advice, suggestions and support to her classmates.”

After graduation from Perrysburg High School in 2015, Kania did not consider Owens. She wanted to live what she called the California dream and moved to San Diego, where she enrolled at MiraCosta College to study early childhood education. She also worked three part-time jobs to pay her rent. Nine months later, her car’s engine blew.

“I had no one to call except my mom in Ohio,” she said. “I realized it was time to come back home and get my life together.”

She started a full-time job working as a nanny for a Sylvania family with three children ranging in age from 3-13 and enrolled at Owens.

Kania soon learned she would have a child of her own, starting a whirlwind 15 months culminating with her Owens graduation.

In October 2017, Kania discovered she was pregnant. In April 2018, she and her future husband, Jed, bought a house. Their daughter, Rae, was born in July 2018. They married in August 2018.

“You can make plans all you want, but life doesn’t always care about your plans,” she said. “I’m still planning, but I know that life may not go the way I want it to. I say in my speech; failed plans are beautiful sometimes. My daughter wouldn’t be here if my plans had gone the way I wanted them to. She’s the best thing that happened to me. No matter what life throws at me, I know I can handle it.”

Brian Kennedy, president, director and CEO of the Toledo Museum of Art will serve as the commencement keynote speaker.

Born in Dublin, Ireland, Kennedy studied art history and history at University College in Dublin, earning bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees.

Prior to coming to the United States, Kennedy spent eight years as assistant director of the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin (1989-1997) and seven years as director of the National Gallery of Australia (1997-2004) in Canberra. While in Australia, he initiated a free admission policy, increased attendance through a series of major exhibitions and acquisitions and oversaw a total building refurbishment as well as an expansion to accommodate major temporary exhibitions.

From 2005-2010, Kennedy was director of Dartmouth College’s Hood Museum of Art in Hanover, New Hampshire, which has one of the largest and finest art collections at an American college or university.

In 2003, he was awarded a Centenary of Federation medal by the Australian Government for service to Australian Society and its art. In 2013, he was appointed inaugural eminent professor of the University of Toledo and in 2014 received an honorary doctorate from Lourdes University. Most recently, Kennedy received the 2014 Northwest Region Ohio Art Education Association’s award for Distinguished Educator for Art Education.

A frequent speaker at conferences and seminars, Kennedy is a respected art historian, curator and author. He has authored six books, most recently books on the artists Sean Scully and Frank Stella.

Owens’ commencement ceremony is free and open to the public. For more information regarding Owens’ commencement ceremony, please visit www.owens.edu/commencement.


ALLAN AND SUZANNE LIBBE RECEIVE INAUGURAL PHILANTHROPY AWARD FROM OWENS COMMUNITY COLLEGE FOUNDATION

Posted on October 30th, 2018

PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, Ohio, Oct. 30, 2018 – The Owens Community College Foundation presented Allan and Suzanne Libbe with its inaugural philanthropy award during its 16th annual dinner meeting and donor appreciation event on Thursday, Oct. 18.

Established by the Owens Foundation Board of Directors, this award recognizes individuals who have demonstrated commitment, leadership, and collaboration through their service and philanthropy to Owens Community College and the Owens Foundation.

The Owens Foundation Board of Directors unanimously voted to name the award after Allan and Suzanne and future recipients will receive the Owens Community College Foundation – Allan and Suzanne Libbe Philanthropy Award. Mr. Libbe’s commitment to Owens Community College and its students spans nearly 30 years while serving in leadership positions.  He was a gubernatorial appointed trustee to the Owens Community College Board of Trustees from 1992 – 2012 and served as chairman of the board from early 1996 through December 1997.  Mr. Libbe currently serves on the Owens Community College Foundation Board of Directors since 2002 and served as honorary chair of a majors gifts campaign that raised more than $2.5 million in gifts, pledges and planned gifts.

“The Libbes commitment to education has impacted thousands of individuals and families throughout our communities,” said Philip Rudolph, Jr., Owens Community College Foundation chairman. “The Owens Foundation views this award as part of their legacy that we are now able to share with others with the same philanthropic spirit who support Owens Community College.”

Also announced was the establishment of the Rudolph Libbe Group – Allan Libbe Honorary Endowed Scholarship. This scholarship is made possible through contributions from the Rudolph Libbe Group, and Allan and Suzanne’s children – John Libbe and Margaret Libbe St. John. This scholarship will continue helping students into perpetuity, many of whom have the greatest needs.

During the meeting the Owens Foundation also elected the following board members to 3-year terms beginning in 2019: James F. Carter, Wood County Commissioner (retired), James H. Geers, Cooper Tire & Rubber Company (retired), Andrea M. Gurcsik, First Solar, Jeannie Y. Hylant, Hylant and Allan J. Libbe, Rudolph Libbe Group (retired). The following individuals were also elected as officers for 2018-2019: Philip J. Rudolph, Jr., (chairman), Diana H. (Dee) Talmage (vice chairman), Michael E. Duffey (secretary), and Alan M. Sattler (treasurer).

For more information on the Owens Community College Foundation, please visit www.owens.edu/foundation.