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From the Heights—Summer 2016 Campus News

Adrian Dominican Sisters Gift St. Joseph Academy to Siena Heights University

Saint Joseph Academy
Saint Joseph Academy

The Adrian Dominican Sisters donated the St. Joseph Academy building to the University in February 2016. Located on the Sisters’ campus, the five-story building will be used for academic purposes, classrooms and faculty offices.

“We are grateful to the Adrian Dominican Sisters for this wonderful gift and promise to live out our Dominican values and traditions with all the students who are educated in this building,” said SHU President Sister Peg Albert, OP, PhD. The Prioress of the Adrian Dominican Sisters, Sister Attracta Kelly, OP, JD, noted that the Congregation was pleased to make this gift to Siena Heights University. “Whether through myth, legend or actual history of the Congregation, our Congregation grew when Mother Camilla, with great courage and daring, began the Academy from whence St. Joseph College, now Siena Heights, became a reality,” Sister Attracta said. “We can only begin to imagine the hundreds of Sisters and students who have learned about life and how to love themselves and each other in the classrooms and hallways of the Academy. We know that the many who have now gone to their reward will look lovingly and send special graces to all who keep alive the vision of Dominic there.”

The building, which formerly served as an elementary and high school since its construction in 1948, will undergo renovations this year. The first department to move to the facility will be the Education Department. Renovations will occur in phases, and the total project will cost around $4 million.

Blanchard, Reising Present Essay at Buffalo State

Professor of Marketing Claudia Blanchard and Professor Emerita in Art Christine Reising presented their visual essay, “Women of Worth: Opening Doors to Social Change, at the Czurles-Nelson Gallery,” at SUNY Buffalo State from Oct. 26-Nov. 6, 2015. Spanning three centuries of history, “Women of Worth” showcases nine female business leaders from three industries who utilize their commercial enterprises to create social change.

SHU’s Health Care Leadership Team Wins Case Competition Again

SHU’s health care leadership student team again won the third annual MCACHE Student Case Competition Oct. 2, 2015. This is the second consecutive year SHU has defeated graduate students from much larger colleges and universities in this competition. Team members were Suzanne Celmer-Harter, Lisa Whitlatch and Sandra Ziaja. Professor of Leadership Dr. John Fick lead the team.

Sustainable College Committee Joins AASHE

SHU’s Sustainable College Committee recently received the funds for two years of membership in the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). With this membership, SHU can take advantage of numerous resources and benefits.

SHU Marching Band 2016 Drum Major Selected

The Saints Marching Band announced that junior psychology major Rachel Fox is its 2016 SHU drum major. Fox, a bass clarinetist, is a graduate of Britton-Deerfield High School, where she was drum major for three years. Freshman nursing major Shelby Becker will serve as alternate drum major. Becker, a trumpeter, is a graduate of Onsted High School.

SHU Marketing and Communications
SHU Marketing and Communications

SHU Marketing and Communications Office Earn CASE Awards

SHU’s Office of Marketing and Communi-cations recently won three awards in the Council for Advancement and Support of Education’s (CASE) Pride of District V Awards Program (right). The awards program generated 400 entries from 80 institutions in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin. Siena Heights earned recognition in the following categories:

  • Excellence in Print Advertising: Bronze—Taste of Adrian poster.
  • Best Website, Individual Page or Section: Honorable mention—Find a Program Page.
  • Best Event on a Shoestring: Bronze— Fireside Chat / Food for Thought.

The program honors institutions and individuals who demonstrate outstanding achievement in the concept and execution of advancement programs and communications throughout District V.

Barbee Elected to Midwest MLA Executive Committee

SHU Associate Professor of English Matthew Barbee was elected to a three-year term on the Executive Committee of Midwest MLA, the regional chapter for the Modern Language Association. As a member of the Executive Committee, Barbee will be have a leadership role in planning and coordinating the annual MMLA conference and will contribute to the governance and financial decisions of the organization.

Ripper Presents at Research Conference

Assistant Professor of Business Matt Ripper recently presented two scholarly papers at the International Academic Research Conference on behalf of the Center for Scholastic Inquiry (CSI). His two papers were entitled, “Community Benefits Districts: Nonprofit Governance Using Social Capital and Cross-Organizational Collaboration,” and “Building an Authentic Workplace Community Through Social Media,” respectively.

MIS Cares Grant
MIS Cares Grant

Siena Heights Receives MIS Cares Grant

SHU received a $4,000 grant from MIS Cares at the Michigan International Speedway Community Luncheon on Nov. 17, 2015 (right). The funds were used to help the Share the Warmth Project, an Adrian-based initiative that helps house and feed homeless people in the Lenawee community during the winter months. Sister Pat Schnapp and Tom Puszczewicz helped organize the project and led the SHU volunteer effort over the past several years. They both received the Service Above Self Award from the Adrian Morning Rotary Club for their ongoing work with Share the Warmth.

Retirements from SHU

Dr. Mark Schersten—Schersten, who spent his first 27 years at Siena as a philosophy professor, served as the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 2011-16. He has worked closely with members of the Committee on the Liberal Arts to develop the liberal arts core, and received the Eileen K. Rice Award for Outstanding Teaching in 1989-90. He chaired the Humanities Division from 1996-2011, helped establish and regularly contributed to Common Dialogue Day and took on the responsibility of organizing the Chiodini-Fontana Lecture Series on Ethics. He remained a solid supporter of the liberal arts, working with faculty to establish annual themes in keeping with the liberal arts core development.

Bill Blackerby—Blackerby began his teaching career at Siena Heights in 1979 in the management program. He received the Eileen K. Rice Award for Outstanding Teaching in 1994. He has chaired the Business and Management Division and the business program. For many years he served as faculty athletic representative to the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference.

Claudia Blanchard—Blanchard began her teaching career at SHU in 1997 in the marketing program. She created and taught a variety of business courses for the business program, and also took a primary role in the ongoing curricular development. In 2003, she received the Eileen K. Rice Award for Outstanding Teaching. For 14 years she served as program coordinator of the business and management program.

Sister Pat Schnapp—Schnapp began her teaching career at SHU in 1987 in the English program. In 2000, she received the Eileen K. Rice Award for Outstanding Teaching. She helped plan and host the annual Shakespeare Birthday Party for many years, and served as English program coordinator from 1990-94. A noted author and poet, she has been active in the Lenawee community. She helped establish the Share the Warmth program, which provides shelter to the homeless during the winter months. She also taught inmates at the Gus Harrison Correctional Facility for many years.

Anthony Scioly—Scioly began teaching at SHU in 1985 in the chemistry program. He was awarded the Eileen K. Rice Award for Outstanding Teaching in 1998-99. His service to the University includes a 14-year term as chair of the Division of Computing, Mathematics and the Sciences. He also served for 30 years on the Academic Standards Committee, 27 of those as chair.

Annita Aranda—After more than 30 years, Aranda will retire Aug. 31, 2016, from the position of the Upward Bound Program director. The federally funded program administered through Siena Heights University serves first-generation, low-income and at-risk high school students, preparing them to attend and complete college successfully. Aranda has been involved with the Upward Bound Program since its first year at Siena Heights in 1973. She has directed the program since 1987.

Dr. Patricia Wallace—After 12 years as director of the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program, Dr. Patricia Wallace retired at the end of the fall 2015 semester. Wallace came to Siena in 2004 to join the McNair Program as program coordinator, and within a few short weeks, she assumed the role of program director. Prior to her arrival at Siena, Pat had a 20-plus-year career in public health, including teaching positions at several colleges and universities. As director of the McNair Program, Dr. Wallace has shepherded numerous students from both Siena and Adrian College through the application process to graduate school.

Fick Elected to MCAHCE Board of Directors

Director of the Graduate Program in Healthcare Leadership Dr. John W. Fick, FACHE, was recently elected to serve on the Board of Directors of the Midwest Chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives (MCAHCE) for 2016. In addition to his board duties, he will continue to serve as the chair of the Student Activities Committee of MCACHE and, as a result, he will also serve on the MCACHE Executive Committee. Dr. Fick is board certified in health care management and a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE).

Moody Selected for Local Committee

SHU Environmental Science Program Coordinator Heather Moody was elected to serve as professor of environmental science on Adrian’s Wellhead Protection Plan Grant Committee.

Raab Co-Edits Volume of the Merton Annual

Volume 28 of The Merton Annual: Studies in Culture, Spirituality and Social Concerns, edited by SHU Professor of Religious Studies Joseph Raab and David Belcastro, was published in May 2016 by Fons Vitae Press. The latest volume includes contributions from SHU’s Sister Pat Schnapp, as well as from Pope Francis and Dr. Rowan Williams, the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury.

Barbee Publishes Poem

SHU Associate Professor of English Karin Wraley Barbee had a poem published in an issue of Sugar House Review.

Siena Heights Named a ‘Top School’ by MAE&T

Military Advanced Education & Transition (MAE&T) has named Siena Heights University a Top School in its 2016 MAE&T Guide to Colleges & Universities. The guide, released in December 2015, measures best practices in military and veteran education. It presents results of a questionnaire of the military-supportive policies enacted at more than 600 institutions, including private, public, for-profit, not-for-profit, four-year and two-year colleges. MAE&T is the journal of higher education for service members and veterans making the transition from military to the civilian sector.

Online Learning Again Nationally Ranked by U.S. News and World Report

SHU’s Online Learning Programs were ranked as the best in Michigan among private institutions for the second consecutive year by the U.S. News and World Report. SHU also was ranked nationally for the third consecutive year, finishing tied for 72nd among all public and private institutions. SHU has offered online bachelor’s degree completion programs in selected majors since 2004. U.S. News and World Report’s methodology included student engagement, faculty credentials and training, peer reputation and student services and technology to determine the rankings. Siena Heights was particularly noted for its efforts in student engagement, receiving the second highest ranking of all institutions surveyed (98 out of a possible 100).

Siena Heights Becomes a Test-Optional Institution

Beginning with the 2016-17 academic year, SHU will no longer require undergraduate applicants to submit SAT or ACT test scores for university admission. With SHU adopting a test-optional admissions process, the focus will be on high school coursework and grades as the most important factors in Siena Heights’ holistic review process, along with a student’s writing skills, recommendations, involvement in school and community and personal qualities and character. Students may be required to submit standardized test scores for admission to specific academic programs, validate athletic eligibility or prove eligibility for some federal or state scholarship programs.

Porath to Chair NACADA National Commission

SHU Director of Academic Advising Wiona Porath was elected as the Small Colleges and Universities Commission Chair for NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising. Porath will serve in this position until October 2018. NACADA was chartered as a non-profit organization in 1979 to promote quality academic advising and professional development of its membership to ensure the educational development of students.

Henry Receives Outstanding Adult Learner Award from CAHEN

James Henry was selected as Siena Heights University’s Outstanding Adult Learner Award recipient for 2016. He received recognition at the Capital Area Higher Education Network Outstanding Adult Learner Award Ceremony April 13 at Cooley Law School in Lansing. Nominations were received from SHU Lansing faculty and staff for students who exemplify the leadership and determination in the classroom and in the community. Henry was selected based on his 4.0 GPA, his tenacious nature to defy the odds within his scholastic journey and his gracious heart in having a positive impact upon people in class, at work and within the community.

Siena Heights Responds to Flint Water Crisis

SHU students, faculty and staff responded to the Flint Water Crisis in a big way this winter and spring. Students donated meal plan flex dollars to help purchase water, with Chartwells, the University’s dining service, matching those donations case for case. A class instructed by Kyron Harvell from the Lansing campus delivered 500 cases of water to Flint, including a retirement center with more than 200 residents. They also delivered water to a local church and community center. SHU Campus Ministry collected cases of water during Mass this winter and spring (right). Shown (below right) delivering those cases to Flint are Dave Keller ’75, SHU Chaplain Father John Grace, Mary Poore ’76, and her husband Gary.

Sustainability Expert Speaks at Issa Lecture

The University of Louisville’s Justin Mog, PhD, was the featured speaker at the William Issa Endowed Lecture Series April 6. Mog’s topic was “Embracing the Challenge of Sustainability: Trans-
forming Campuses, Reshaping Minds and Investing in Our Common Future.” Mog, who currently serves as assistant to the Provost for Sustainability Initiatives at UL, has worked with students, staff and faculty there to transform a long-ignored patch of lawn into a living, productive and engaging “horticulture zone.”

SHU Hosts Michigan Psychology Conference

SHU’s Psychology Department hosted the 2016 Michigan Undergraduate Psychology Research Conference April 2 on campus. This was a state-wide conference that provides a forum for the presentation of undergraduate research in psychology. The plenary speaker was Brigham Young University Professor of Psychology Dr. Richard Williams. There were more than 100 guests on campus, and a number of SHU students helped in the planning as well as well presenting their research at the conference.

McNair Scholars Present at National Conference

Six senior McNair Scholars traveled to the National Conference for McNair Scholars and Undergraduate Research at the University of Maryland from March 10-13, 2016. Patrick Allen, Amber Lipke, Carrie Timmerman, Grace Vandervort, Angel Ward and Sam Weber presented their projects to this national audience.

Students Win Commitment to Service Awards

SHU students Kiersten Diachun and Brittany Trout received Commitment to Service Awards at the Michigan Campus Compact Gala April 7 at Michigan St. University. The award recognizes two outstanding students from each of the MiCC member campuses for their commitment to service. Students are chosen specifically for either the breadth or depth of their community involvement or their service experience(s) and the demonstration of meaningful reflection of those experiences. MiCC is a coalition of college and university presidents who are committed to fulfilling the public purpose of higher education.

Thomas Walter
Thomas Walter

Thomas Walter Speaks at 15th Annual Ethics Lecture

Author and “Serial Entrepreneur” Thomas Walter was the featured speaker (right) for the 15th annual Chiodini/Fontana Lecture Series on Ethics this spring. His lecture was entitled, “Ethical Organizational Behavior: A Case Study of Theory Meeting Practice, Resulting in a Small Business’ Success.” Walter is best known as the Chief Culture Officer (CCO) of Chicago-area Tasty Catering, a suburban corporate caterer and event planner. He has more than 40 years of experience as an owner and operator in the service industry. The Chiodini/Fontana series was established to provide students and the community the opportunity to reflect on matters of moral significance that touch many dimensions of today’s society.

SHU Class Skypes with Actor / Author Mariel Hemingway

SHU’s Adolescent Literature class Skyped with author, actor and model Mariel Hemingway April 14. The session focused on her recent book, “Invisible Girl,” written about her early teen years. She is the granddaughter of author Ernest Hemingway. After a successful acting career, Hemingway now devotes her time to creating an awareness of mental illness and the importance of healthy living.

SHU Habitat Members Build Townhouses for Spring Break in Florida

For spring break, six Siena Heights University students and Circulation Service Coordinator Renee Bracey traveled to Atlantic City, Fla., to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity’s Beaches Habitat (right). Bracey and students Keegan Pabst, Sissy Phillips, Bradley Boler, Chelsea Coatsworth, Rachel Wellmen-Benedict and Donte Fox were provided housing in a Community Presbyterian Church. The townhouses the group worked on will eventually house 70 families. Bracey and the students worked alongside families at the build who would be receiving the homes. Bracey and four of the students who attended are part of SHU’s Habitat campus chapter.

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