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From the Heights—Fall 2015 Campus News

SHU Named Gold Level Veteran-Friendly School

Siena Heights University was one of 28 Michigan colleges and universities that earned Gold Level status in Veteran-Friendly School program created by the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency. The program recognizes institutions of higher learning for their dedication to student veterans and dependents utilizing their G.I. Bill and other educational benefits.

SHU Again Recognized for Online Veterans Program

Siena Heights University was again recognized as 2015 Best Online Programs for Veterans by U.S. News and World Report. SHU is ranked the following in this year’s listing:

  • 21st overall (tied),
  • Second in Michigan,
  • First among Michigan private institutions.

Last year, Siena Heights was ranked 47th in the same category. To qualify for the Best Online Programs for Veterans rankings, the 737 online degree programs featured first had to be among the top 75 percent of schools ranked in the 2015 Best Online Programs rankings.

Ripper Presents at Center for Scholastic Inquiry Conference

SHU Assistant Professor of Business Matthew Ripper had two papers accepted by and presented at the October 2015 international conference in Charleston, S.C., on behalf of the Center for Scholastic Inquiry. His two papers are entitled “Building an Authentic Workplace Community Through Social Media” and “Community Benefits Districts: Nonprofit Governance Using Social Capital and Cross-organizational Collaboration.”

Weinstein Earns Fiction Writing Award

SHU Assistant Professor of English Alexander Weinstein was recently awarded a Sustainable Arts Foundation Award for his fiction writing. His work was chosen out of more than 1,000 applicants. His short story, “The Cartographers,” was also accepted for publication in the 2015 Lascaux Fiction Prize Anthology. Another of Weinstein’s short stories, “The Museum of False Doors,” was chosen as a finalist for the River Styx Microfiction Prize and will appear in the upcoming issue. He also presented “Locating Digital Storytelling in the Undergraduate Creative Writing Curriculum” at the National 2015 Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference in Minneapolis, Minn. His short story “The Museum of False Doors” received an honorable mention in the River Styx Microfiction Contest and appeared in the summer 2015 issue. Two of his translations of Danish poet Josefine Klougart appear  in the spring issue of The Massachusetts Review.

Finally, his non-fiction essay, “Toward a Fiction of Compassion,” appeared in the winter 2015 issue of Pleiades.

Frost Has Article Published in Lutheran Journal

The Journal of the Lutheran Historical Conference recently published a scholarly article, “Domke’s Garden: A Forgotten Lutheran Artist,” by SHU Associate Professor of History Dr. Julieanna Frost.

Carter Receives Adult Learner Champion Award from CAHEN

Recently retired Dean of the College for Professional Studies Deb Carter received Adult Learner Champion award and plaque at the annual Outstanding Adult Learner event for the Capital Area Higher Education Network (CAHEN) at Cooley Law School in Lansing on April 15. Also, Lacie Hill, a December community services/family systems graduate of SHU’s Lansing location, was named the Outstanding Adult Learner for 2015.

Moody Presents at Association of American Geographers Conference

Associate Professor of Environmental Science Heather Moody presented two sessions at the Association of American Geographers Conference in Chicago last summer. Her topics were “The Racial Gap in Childhood Blood Lead Levels Related to Socioeconomic Position Of Residence In Metropolitan Detroit” and “Ethnic Geography Specialty Group Honors Professor Joe Darden.”

Also, Moody had her dissertation entitled “The Racial Gap in Childhood Blood Lead Levels Related to Socioeconomic Position of Residence in Metropolitan Detroit” accepted for publication by the Sociology of Race and Ethnicity journal.

Student Leadership Awards Announced

The following are the winners of SHU Student Leadership Awards, which were conducted April 15 in Benincasa Hall:

  • Sister Carmelia O’Connor Outstanding Community Service Award: Dominican Young Adults,
  • Saints Pride Award (student-athlete leadership): Sydney Gossett, Reggie Blackmon,
  • Outstanding Educational Program: Beta Beta Beta (Animal Magic),
  • Most Valuable Officer Award (student leadership): Meg Dubois,
  • Organization of the Year: Students Advocating For Everyone (SAFE),
  • Student Organization Advisor of the Year: Jun Tsuji,
  • Halo Award (school spirit): Jarrod Stober, Emily Peters,
  • Emerging Leader Award: Sissy Phillips, Gabby Beveridge,
  • Trudy McSorley Servant Leader Award: Josh Dowell, Erin Russell,
  • Legacy Award (senior leadership): Zak Krug, Katrina Majeske.

Engle Named New Director of Alumni Relations

Jenny Engle ‘12, ‘15/MA was named the new director of Alumni Relations, replacing the retiring Jennifer Hamlin Church. She will begin her new post in mid-November. She has been part of the Advancement Office since 2011. She has coordinated the Siena Summer Spectacular, dedications and donor recognition events. Most recently, she worked on the dedication ceremony of Chaos Getaria.

Garrow Selected as New Siena Heights Registrar

This spring SHU named Joy Garrow its new registrar. She had been serving as the interim registrar since October 2014. Garrow has been with SHU since 2002, and has a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership and a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from SHU.

O’Connell has Article Published in Christianity and Literature

SHU Assistant Professor of Humanities Michael O’Connell had an article published in the June 2015 issue of “Christianity and Literature.” The name of the essay is “ ‘Your Temple is Self and Sentiment’: David Foster Wallace’s Diagnostic Novels.”

SHU Nursing Receives 10-Year Accreditation

The SHU Nursing program recently received a 10-year reaccreditation—the best a program in baccalaureate or graduate nursing education can receive—from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Siena Heights Nursing met all four CCNE standards with no compliance issues. Siena Heights was initially granted a five-year accreditation in 2010 by the CCNE, and recently underwent an extensive self-study process that lasted more than a year. Faculty examined all aspects of the program and interviewed its stakeholders, including students, faculty and staff, alumni and clinical site partners.

SHU Receives Grant to Develop Reading Program

Siena Heights University is only one of four Michigan universities working with the University of Florida’s Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability, and Reform (CEEDAR) Center and the Michigan Department of Education to better prepare general and special education teachers to help students improve reading skills. SHU, as well as Northern Michigan University, Grand Valley State University and Northern Michigan University will use a $200,000 CEEDAR grant to develop a training program aimed at improving reading for students from kindergarten through high school. According to SHU Director of Education and Special Education Program Coordinator Dr. Carrie Mitchell, there will be several leadership teams in which Siena will participate. After a two-year commitment, the participating institutions will help train other universities. The ultimate goal, according to CEEDAR, is to help students achieve better college- and career-ready standards. Mitchell said this is the first time SHU has received such a grant.

Betz Named New Dean of the College for Professional Studies

After conducting a national search, Cheri Betz was named the new dean of the College for Professional Studies. She began her new position Sept. 15, replacing retiring Dean Deb Carter. Betz has been employed at Siena Heights since 2002, previously serving as SHU’s Southeast Michigan regional director, which includes the centers at Southfield, Dearborn and Monroe. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) University, her master’s degree in organizational leadership from SHU in 2007, and is completing her PhD from Olivet Nazarene.

Mathis Selected as New Diversity and Inclusion Director

Sharese Shannon Mathis was named the new director of Diversity & Inclusion. She began her new position July 6. A Lansing native, she received her master’s degree in college student development from Eastern Illinois University and has worked at Northern Arizona and Vanderbilt universities.

SHU SSS Grant Renewed

Siena Heights University recently learned that its U.S. Department of Education grant to fund the Student Support Services (SSS) program was renewed. SHU will receive more than $1.4 million over the next five years to operate the SSS program, which helps increase the number of low-income, first-generation college students and those with disabilities to successfully complete a program of study at the postsecondary level. Siena Heights has had the program on campus since 1979, and it serves approximately 160 students each year. The SSS program provides students with academic tutoring, assistance in course selection, information about financial aid and economic literacy, and support and resources to help students transfer from two-year to four-year colleges or from undergraduate to graduate or professional studies.

SHU and Barry University Sign Agreement for Social Work Students

Adrian Dominican sponsored institutions SHU and Barry University in Miami Shores, Fla., recently signed a five-year articulation agreement that will offer Siena Heights social work graduates preference in acceptance and a reduced tuition rate to pursue a master’s degree at Barry’s School of Social Work Advanced Standing MSW Program. The cost per credit hour for SHU students attending the Miami campus $565, discounted from the regular $960 per credit hour rate. Siena Heights social work graduates will be given every consideration for financial assistance—including graduate assistantships—and will be eligible to compete for non-need-based academic scholarships at Barry. The agreement will run until Feb. 1, 2020.

Recent Retirements from Siena Heights University

SHU Professor of Theater Doug Miller announced his retirement effective summer 2015 after completing 36 years of service at Siena Heights University. The University cited his many contributions to the theatre program, SHU and the local Adrian community. Both his technical skills and ability as a director have enhanced Theatre Siena throughout his years on the faculty.

Other recent retirements include:

  • Director of Student Support Services Michele Buku retired in July after more than 30 years with the University. She served in various roles, including Dean of Students and in the General Studies program.
  • After 23 years, Administrative Assistant Pat Lemanowicz retired from SHU on Sept. 4. She has been the “face” of SHU’s program at Monroe County Community College during her tenure.
  • After 20 years at Siena Heights University, Sally Snyder retired effective Sept. 3. For the last five years Sally has served as Student Support Services office manager.
  • Information Technology staff member Alan Ballenberger announced his retirement effective Aug. 14 after 33 years of service at Siena Heights University.

SHU Staff Members Receive Service Awards

The following employees were honored for their years of service at the All-University Workshop in August:

10 Years

  • Nicole Barkway (assistant director, online learning programs),
  • Tad Dunne (professor of philosophy),
  • Carol Himelhoch (professor of management),
  • Lee Johnson (senior vice president for business and finance),
  • Mike Karabetsos (associate vice president of human resources),
  • Laura Klutsarits (softball coach, assistant sports information director),
  • Joni LeMay (athletics operations manager),
  • Linda Pancone (student accounts advisor),
  • Martha Ruesink (CMS Division administrative assistant),
  • Elly Teunion-Smith (associate professor of criminal justice),
  • Linda Tafolla (Kellogg Community College @ SHU assistant director),
  • Samantha Thacker (assistant director of residence life),
  • Lesley Weidner (Central Michigan regional director).

20 Years

  • Merrie Ann Baggett (custodian),
  • Jennifer Hamlin Church (associate vice president of advancement; director of alumni relations),
  • Sister Pat McDonald (professor of counselor education; director of graduate studies),
  • Sally Snyder (Student Support Services office manager),
  • Marie Suzor (SHU Lake Michigan College administrative assistant),
  • Aldo Zid (men’s soccer coach).

30 Years

  • Tim Bauer (director of track operations; men’s cross country and track and field coach),
  • Fred Shepherd (maintenance),
  • Michele Buku (director of Student Support Services).

SHU Welcomes New Faculty Members

Siena Heights University welcomed several new full-time faculty members this fall. They are:

  • Callie Clare (assistant professor of communications),
  • Elizabeth Davis (assistant professor of social work),
  • Kelly Ford (assistant professor of music),
  • Ryan Hamilton (assistant professor/director of engineering),
  • Jennifer Kling (assistant professor of philosophy),
  • John Labriola (assistant professor of healthcare management),
  • Melissa Lanza (assistant professor of counseling),
  • Dan Oullette (assistant professor of computer and information systems),
  • Dan Walker (assistant professor of theater).

Dunne Has Article Published in Dominican Journal

SHU Professor of Philosophy Tad Dunne recently published “Dominicans, Contemplation & Veritas” in New Blackfriars, the Dominican-sponsored journal of philosophy and theology (July 2015).
He presents recent developments among scholars of spirituality regarding both contemplation and veritas and suggests how these have a significant impact on the Dominican heritage.

Barbee Has Two Poems Published

Director of the Writing Center and Associate Professor of English Karin Barbee had two poems, “The First Woman” and “To Get Out,” in the most recent issue of Whiskey Island. Whiskey Island is published by Cleveland State University.

Tsuji, Former Student Team Up for Research Article

SHU Professor of Biology Dr. Jun Tsuji and alum Lindsay Rupp ‘14 recently published a research article entitled, “Does stem color affect the selection of host plants by the small cabbage white butterfly Pieris rapae?” in the journal BIOS. Rupp is presently employed at Michigan Blood, a nonprofit blood bank serving hospitals.

Schnapp Publishes Poem in Anthology

SHU English faculty member Sister Pat Schnapp had her poem “Mississippi” published in Down to the Dark River, an anthology from Louisiana Literature Press.

New Staff Mentorship Program Unveiled

To help new staff members gain understanding about the Siena community, the Staff Advisory Council and Human Resources Office introduced a new Staff Mentor Program this fall. The program helps our newest staff members to understand our mission of becoming more competent, purposeful and ethical. Mentees (new staff) will be paired with a mentor (a current SHU staff member who has completed an HR-sponsored mentor training). The mentors will work with their mentees throughout the mentee’s first year at SHU to better live the mission, develop relationships and expand internal networks.

Admissions Viewbook Earns Gold Award

Siena Heights University’s College of Arts and Sciences recruitment viewbook developed by TWG Plus received a Gold Award at the 30th annual Educational Advertising Awards, sponsored by Higher Education Marketing Report. The Educational Advertising Awards is the largest educational advertising awards competition in the country. More than 2,000 entries were received from more than 1,000 colleges, universities and secondary schools from all 50 states and several foreign countries. Gold awards were granted to 290 institutions. The “Siena Effect” viewbook is the centerpiece of a family of new marketing publications for CAS.

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