Tuesday, August 4, 2009

OU-C faculty member Char Miller earns Certified Nurse Educator accreditation

OU-C nursing faculty member Char Miller has earned the Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) designation after meeting strict eligibility criteria and successfully completing a rigorous certification examination developed and administered by the National League for Nursing. The certification establishes nursing education as a specialty area of practices and creates a means for faculty to demonstrate their expertise. It communicates to students, faculty and fellow health-care professionals that Miller has met high standards of excellence in her field. Miller, assistant professor of nursing, earned her Associate Degree in Nursing from the University of Rio Grande and her Master of Science degree in Nursing and Adult Nurse Practitioner from Otterbein College. She is a board-certified nurse practitioner. Miller joined the OU-C faculty in 2004. Her areas of research are innovative teaching strategies, improved health-care access and quality for older adults.

Kids in College partnership continues to enrich summer learning for area youth

Instead of lining up outside movie theatres for the latest Harry Potter movie premier, elementary school kids from all over Ross County explored book details, examined the storyline, made related crafts and even played the magical game of Quidditch at OU-C’s Kids in College. The event, which occurred in the mornings and afternoons for two weeks in July, provided fun, hands-on learning experiences for children grades kindergarten through sixth grade, and some classes for eighth graders. Classes such as Ooey Gooey Science, Animal Safari, A Walk on the Wild Side and Grossology are aimed to spark the imagination and creativity in students by providing lessons not typically used in traditional classrooms. For more than 20 years, Kids in College has made summertime learning fun for youth. ”Students are allowed to hear, see, touch, taste and smell what they are learning,” said June Allred-Smith, Kids in College coordinator. “They observe, plan, create, manipulate, evaluate and share in these class experiences. All of which are skills that will serve them well as life-long learners.” “This is an important and long-lasting partnership that supports the campus’ goal of utilizing education to improve the quality of life for regional residents. At OU-C we see the Kids in College program as not only as a way for us to continue to service the Ross County community and provide enriching experiences to the youth in the region, but as also an opportunity to build a strong foundation of learning for students,” said OU-C Dean Richard Bebee. Along with the Harry Potter course, students are exposed to classes like CSI: Cool Student Investigators. Tapping into the public’s current interest in all things forensic, educator Rolanda Hurtt has used this as a platform to teach science concepts in an exciting, hands on, real-world setting. Students examine fingerprints, microscopically examine “evidence” and solve “crimes” using logic, deduction and observation skills. In addition to innovative classes and learning techniques, Allred-Smith explained Kids in College provides an example of positive learning experiences that enrich a child’s education. “Tapping into a learner’s interests is key to engaging students. There is no pushing or dragging students to learning. In these informal, comfortable class settings, students are eager and excited to learn. They arrive early and linger after classes end. Homework is never required, but many times I hear students talk enthusiastically about going home after class and re-doing experiments they completed in their class, or going online to further investigate something that piqued their interest during class.” The unique atmosphere of the program really drives the interest and success of the Kids in College. “The atmosphere at Kids in College is relaxed, comfortable and inviting, mixed with the excitement that is organically created when students learn and grow. Since participation by students as well as teachers is voluntary, we all want to be there. This creates an atmosphere that is inviting to all who participate – even the parents,” said Allred-Smith. Allred-Smith explains that this environment also breeds excitement of the future of learning and the years of Kids in College programs to come. “Most of the buzz among the students on the last day is about what they plan to take next year!” The hope among educators and administrators involved in the Kids in College program is that creative learning experiences at a young age will foster an interest in continuing education throughout high school and college.

Construction Update

Construction of the campus’ Parkway Project continues to move forward. The storm technology water retention system is 90 percent complete with the installation of storm sewer piping to the east of Bennett Hall. The piping is important to drain run-off water and maintain the asphalt that will be installed for new parking lots and roadway. Also, fiber cable has been rerouted to Bennett Hall. Next steps will include the paving of sidewalks and beginning work to install curbs. In the project to extend air conditioning to Shoemaker Center, one air handler system has been installed, and the steel support structure is in place for the second handler, which is scheduled to arrive by mid-August.