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From the Heights—Summer 2015 Campus News

Issa Lecture Series Features Sustainability Expert

Sustainability advocate and Stanford University scholar Dr. Mark Jacobson was the featured speaker at the William Issa Endowed Lecture Series on April 15. Jacobson’s topic was “Wind, Water and Solar Power: Roadmaps to a New Energy Future.” According to Jacobson, global warming, air pollution and energy insecurity are three of the most significant problems facing the world today. He has a plan for converting the U.S. and 139 other countries to energy infrastructures powered 100 percent by wind, water and sunlight (WWS). He received the 2005 American Meteorological Society Henry Houghton Award and the 2013 American Geophysical Union Ascent Award for his work on black carbon climate impacts. A reception followed the presentation. The event was organized and presented by SHU’s Sustainable College Committee.

Ross Presents Brain Research at Conference

SHU Assistant Professor of Education Julie Ross presented at the National Consortium for Health Science Education Conference Oct. 15-17, 2014, in Denver, Colo. She presented on brain research and served as one of the keynote speakers. Originally a classroom teacher of the hearing impaired, Ross became a teacher consultant for a variety of students with special needs after getting her master’s degree in learning disabilities. During her more than 30 years in K-12 education, she also served as a literacy consultant, a classroom systems specialist, and an instructional coach. She became interested in the educational applications and implications of brain research nearly 20 years ago. She has made hundreds of presentations to students, staff and parents, which led to her being dubbed “The Brain Lady.”

SHU Faculty Members Attend Religion Seminar at Notre Dame

SHU faculty members Dr. Sheila Nowinski and Dr. Julieanna Frost attended the Seminar in American Religion at the University of Notre Dame last fall.

Porath Accepted Into NACADA Emerging Leaders Program

SHU Director of Academic Advising Wiona Porath presented at the National Academic Advising Conference (NACADA) Oct. 8-11, 2014, in Minneapolis, Minn. The panel session was titled “First Generation Students’ Excellent Adventure: A Panel Discussion on Multi-Institutions’ Efforts to Transform the College Experience.” In addition, she was one of only 10 people nationwide recently selected for the National Academic Advising Association’s Emerging Leaders Program for 2014-16. NACADA started the program in 2007 to encourage members from diverse groups to get involved in leadership opportunities within the organization; outfit participants with the tools necessary to pursue elected and appointed leadership positions; increase the number of leaders from diverse groups; and encourage members of populations who are under-represented in the association’s leadership to attend state, regional or national conferences. Porath also published an article for NACADA titled “Succeeding in the Move from Advisor to Advising Administrator.”

Rhonda DeLong
Rhonda DeLong

DeLong Presents at Criminal Justice Annual Meeting in Chicago

SHU Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice Rhonda DeLong presented on the topic “From Rescue to Rehab: The Prison Dog Program” Sept. 25, 2014, at the annual meeting of the Midwestern Criminal Justice Association in Chicago. The presentation centered on the many programs in place that use dogs as tools for the rehabilitation of inmates. Special Note: In her research, she learned that the first prison dog program was started by a Dominican Sister in 1981! Also, DeLong was one of more than 450 people who attended the State of Michigan Heroin Summit Oct. 20, 2014. Leaders from law enforcement, mental health, corrections, education and community organizations were present.

Tom Wassmer
Tom Wassmer

Wassmer Publishes Research Findings

Siena Heights Assistant Professor of Biology Thomas Wassmer recently published his research findings on the topic of “Seasonal Occurrence (Phenology) of Coprophilous Beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae and Hydrophilidae) from Cattle and Sheep Farms in Southeastern Michigan” in The Coleoptersis Bulletin.

Thompson Named to Library of Michigan Advisory Committee

Corinne Thompson
Corinne Thompson

Siena Heights Instructor of Library Science and Cataloging Librarian Corinne Thompson was selected to serve a two-year term on the Library of Michigan’s MeLCat Advisory Committee. The committee is made up of representatives from libraries around the state and is responsible for advising the State Librarian of Michigan on policies for the statewide catalog and resource-sharing system.

Ethnic and Gender Studies Minor Approved

The new Ethnic & Gender Studies minor was approved and courses began in the winter 2015 semester. The minor requires 21 credits.

Himelhoch Releases Leadership Book

SHU Professor of Management Carol Himelhoch was recently interviewed by Scott Eblin, one of the top 10 leadership bloggers about her book, “Transformational Leadership and High-Intensity Interval Training.”

Mehta Speaks at Canadian Academic Symposium

Dr. Parvinder Mehta, an adjunct faculty member at SHU’s Southfield and Henry Ford College centers, was the keynote speaker at an academic symposium entitled “Justice Denied/Collusion Denied 30 years later; Reflecting on 1984 anti-Sikh pogroms” at the University of the Fraser Valley in Vancouver. The title of her keynote was “Repressive Silences and Whispers of History: Legacies and Lessons of 1984.” Mehta also presented “For(a)ging Power and Desire: Mumbai as a City of Others in Slumdog Millionaire” at the annual conference of Midwestern Modern Language Association (MMLA) in Detroit.

SHU Wins Red Cross Blood Drive Challenge

Siena Heights retained the “Battle for the Blood” Red Cross blood drive traveling trophy for another year, defeating cross-town rival Adrian College. Siena Heights met its goal of 72 units by collecting 73. Adrian College came in at less than 85 percent of goal.

Hudson Named Director of Auxiliary Services

Ashley Hudson was named the new director of Auxiliary Services. The 2005 SHU graduate will oversee the Campus Event Management and Mail Services departments.

Fick Elected to MSHPM Board of Directors

Associate Professor and Director of the Graduate Program in Health Care Leadership Dr. John W. Fick, FACHE, was recently elected to the Michigan Society for Healthcare Planning and Marketing (MSHPM) Board of Directors. As a board member, Dr. Fick serves as a “member at large” on the Society’s Executive Committee. The MSHPM is a membership group for professionals and students who work or are interested in healthcare planning, marketing, communication or public relations.

SHU Healthcare Leadership Graduate Students Win Case Competition

SHU’s Healthcare Leadership graduate student team won the Midwest Chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives Student Case Competition. The team of Sue Celmer-Harter, Christine Lewandowski and Lisa Whitlatch competed against some much larger institutions such as Oakland University, the University of Detroit-Mercy and the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. The judges, all board certified in health care management, scored the SHU team above all of the competing teams. SHU’s Director of the Healthcare Leadership, Dr. John W. Fick, FACHE, coordinated the winning team’s efforts.

Cardella Awarded Early Childhood Scholarship

Jennifer Cardella ’19 was awarded the Michigan Association for the Education of Young Children T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood Michigan scholarship. The scholarship is designed to help early childhood teachers meet professional development goals while working with young children. Cardella currently teaches for Tecumseh Schools and is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Child Development.

SHU Names New Director of Health Services

Sharon Spanbauer, OP, RN, MSN was named the director of Health Services and Campus Nurse. She formally began her role March 9. She previously has served as the Family Nurse Practitioner at the Dominican Life Center since 2001.

Deb Carter
Deb Carter

Carter Receives MIACADA 2015 Pacesetter Award

SHU’s Dean of the College for Professional Studies Deb Carter has won the 2015 Pacesetter Award through the Michigan Academic Advising Association (MIACADA). According to MIACADA, the Pacesetter Award recognizes executive officers, provosts and academic or student affairs officers (i.e., vice provosts, vice presidents, deans, etc.) who exemplify a commitment to academic advising and are true advocates for advising, students and advisors across the institution. Carter was honored May 8 during a ceremony at the MIACADA state conference.

SHU Honored for Work with Local Homeless

SHU President Sister Peg Albert, several staff members and students represented the University as it was honored by the City of Adrian for 10 years of service to the Share the Warmth homeless project (photo above). The award was presented in March at the Adrian Commissioners meeting. SHU faculty member Sister Pat Schnapp, who helped organize and start the project, which works with the local Salvation Army, was also recognized for her efforts.

Karin Barbee
Karin Barbee

Barbee Publishes Story in The Columbia Review

SHU Assistant Professor of English Karin Barbee has a story in the spring edition of The Columbia Review. Barbee’s story, “Mouths Open,” appears in Vol. 96. Issue No. 1 of the journal.

Barst Co-Edits Women’s Studies Text Introduction

Dr. Julie Barst
Dr. Julie Barst

SHU Assistant Professor of English Julie Barst co-edited and co-wrote the introduction for the newly-published women’s studies text “Action, Influence and Voice: Contemporary South Dakota Women,” an interdisciplinary project that began while she was teaching at South Dakota State University. The text highlights the present-day participation and status of women in South Dakota in a variety of fields, including politics, health care, the environment, religion, literature, music and the arts, agriculture, and education. The book contains scholarly essays, interviews with notable women in the state, and creative works by women, including poetry, fiction, and artwork. Barst presented on this project at the National Women’s Studies Association Conference last November in Puerto Rico.

Business Honorary Inducts New Members

The Business and Management Division had its annual Sigma Beta Delta induction and awards ceremony on March 25. SHU’s Sigma Beta Delta chapter inducted the following students based on their outstanding achievements and moral character: Alison Brooks, Kara Ehmann, Halie Baker, Bobby Perry, Sirah Camara, Justin Henry, Michael Hummon, Kiersten Diachun, Kenneth Degraaf, Ryne Sanders, Austin Hauck, Tanya Lake, and Tayler Redinger.

Keynote speakers for the night were entrepreneurs and businessmen Michael Blanchard, CEO of Blanchard Consulting Group, and Brandon Blanchard, Market Partner for Grub Burger Bar. They also were honorary inductees.

Based on their commitment to academics studies, strong character and hard work, the following students were also honored:

  • Accounting: Lucas Bartz, Meghan Dubois, Drew Milligan, Collin Teff,
  • Sport Management: Haley Dennis, Bryce Delamielleure,
  • Business Administration: Tayler Thelen, Meiko McDaniel, Jennifer Sylvester.

Hartz Presents at Appalachian Studies Association Conference

SHU Director of Institutional Research Jason Hartz presented “Community Bands in Appalachia” March 28 at the 38th annual Appalachian Studies Association Conference at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City. Appalachia is home to some of the oldest, continuously active community bands in the country. Hartz’s presentation will propose that the community band, a type of musical group often made of wind instruments and amateur musicians, is a viable topic of study within the field of Appalachian Studies, which tends to focus only on traditional white folk music and its commercial offspring.

buildOn Founder Jim Ziolkowski Featured Speaker at Ethics Lecture

Educational trailblazer and New York Times Education best-selling author Jim Ziolkowski (above) was the featured speaker for the 14th annual Chiodini/Fontana Lecture Series on Ethics March 11. His lecture was entitled, “Walk in Their Shoes,” which is based on his most recent book.

Ziolkowski is the founder, president and CEO of buildOn, a non-profit organization that builds schools in developing countries while also running after-school service programs in America’s toughest inner-cities. At home or abroad, his goal is to break the cycle of poverty, illiteracy and low expectations through service and education. Inspired by his own travels to some of the most impoverished countries in the world and his experiences living in Harlem, he derailed his fast-track career in corporate finance at GE to dedicate his life to buildOn.

SHU Receives High Marks in Student Engagement

According to the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), Siena Heights University scored significantly higher than the national average in several key indicators. Siena Heights was included in the U.S. Catholic colleges and universities comparison group, which was part of the NSSE spring 2014 survey that included more than 355,000 first-year and senior students attending 622 U.S. colleges and universities. NSSE’s annual survey provides colleges and universities with rich data about the undergraduate experience to help institutions improve student learning and success.

SHU had significantly higher scores in its senior student comparison group in the following engagement indicators:

  • Higher-order learning,
  • Reflective and integrative learning,
  • Learning strategies,
  • Effective teaching practices,
  • Quality of interactions.

In addition, SHU also was significantly higher than the national average with first-year students in student-faculty interaction. In the area of Academic Challenge, SHU first-year and senior students reported higher than national average response to the question “To what extent did students’ courses challenge them to do their best work?” A total of 61 percent of first-year students and 75 percent of senior students reported “high” challenge.

Student satisfaction also received high marks, with 90 percent of first-year students and 96 percent of senior students reporting their overall SHU experience to be “excellent” or “good.” When asked if they would “definitely” or “probably” attend SHU again, 81 percent of first-year students and 95 percent of senior students said yes.

Frost Publishes New Biographical Book

SHU hosted a book signing for Associate Professor of History Julieanna Frost Feb. 18. Frost has released her new book “The Worthy Virgins: Mary Purnell and Her City of David.” In this first biography of Purnell, Frost recounts the history of one of the most misunderstood religious leaders of the 20th century in the state of Michigan. Purnell, along with her husband, Benjamin, founded the House of David commune in Benton Harbor. After his death, she had to overcome a series of challenges to create her own colony, the City of David. Some of the tenets of her faith included celibacy, vegetarianism and pacifism. This fascinating story of a charismatic woman will introduce the importance of Mary Purnell to a new generation.

Michigan Campus Compact Honors SHU Students

Ten Siena Heights students were awarded for their dedication and commitment to community service during the 19th annual Outstanding Student Service Awards Celebration April 18, 2015, at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center in East Lansing, Mich. Meiko McDaniel received the Commitment to Service Award recognizing either the breadth or depth of his or her community involvement or service experiences. Only 31 students received this award. Amelia Balinski, Kiersten Diachun, Karley Hatter, Catherine Mangan, Keegan Pabst, Emily Peters, Kristen Pitts, Kaily Sims, and Celsie VanLoon received the Heart and Soul Award. This award is given to students to recognize their time, effort and personal commitment to their communities through service. The Michigan Campus Compact is a coalition of college and university presidents who are committed to fulfilling the public purpose of higher education.

SHU Hosts Scholarship Symposium on Campus

Siena Heights University hosted its first Scholarship Symposium featuring keynote speaker Ann Larabee on April 8 in Adrian. The committee organizing the Symposium was led by SHU Assistant Professor of English Julie Barst. She said the goal of the event was to showcase the scholarship of graduating seniors and other students on campus and allow faculty, staff and the community to view some of the outstanding academic achievement happening at SHU. There were student poster presentations as well as several panels and individual talks throughout the day. Larabee, an English professor at Michigan State University, delivered the keynote address “Dissent and the First Amendment in the Twenty-First Century.” Her address focused on her work on the First Amendment and radical speech.

President Albert Receives 2015 Athena Award

SHU President Sister Peg Albert, OP, PhD, is the 2015 recipient of the Athena Award. This award is for her dedication to cultivating and developing women in leadership. It is given by the Athena Lenawee Council to celebrate community members who assist women in reaching their full leadership potential. She was honored at the annual Athena event May 12 in Dominican Hall.


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