Thursday, December 29, 2011

Technology and Business Development Center becomes operational with winter quarter

Expansion underscores Chillicothe Campus’ vision
by supporting academic mission and as economic driver

Ohio University-Chillicothe takes a major step in its mission of serving its students and serving the South Central Ohio region with the Technology and Business Development Center going online with the opening of winter quarter classes Jan. 3, 2012.

Law Enforcement Technology (LET) classes will be held in the building’s classrooms as well as classes related to Business Management Technology, Technical and Applied Studies, and the Applied Management degree programs, as well as other business and technology classes. The facility includes simulation training areas and other enhancements to provide students in the popular LET program the training they need to become top-flight professionals to protect area citizens. The LET program’s labs and offices were lost when the structure that housed them was destroyed by a storm in the fall of 2008.

Additionally, the building will provides flexible space for OU-C students and regional residents to have access to the resources they need to put their own concepts in motion and launch their own business ventures.

The center is the result of a 8,200-square-foot addition to the Technical Studies Building that increases the building’s total size to approximately 13,900 square feet. Ground was broken for the addition on June 28, 2010. The total cost was $2 million.

“In many ways, this endeavor captures the Chillicothe Campus’ mission by supporting academic programming and further bolstering the campus’ ability to serve as an economic driver for the region,” OU-C Dean Martin Tuck said. “This new space will eventually allow for Chillicothe Campus students and area residents to receive the support they need to take their ideas from concept to reality, and then to the marketplace. This underscores the campus’ commitment to serving as a gateway to promise and, in this situation, that involves providing access to resources.”

OU-C faculty member Tom Brown, who has been a driving force in connecting the building’s capabilities to the campus’ mission, said, “A purpose of this facility is to connect OU-C students and other individuals with the support they need to succeed. This responds to the desire that many students have expressed to develop their own businesses. In this way, enterprising students and community members are positioned to make their own jobs, which has the potential to stimulate the local economy. We are partnering with organizations in the region that have a similar focus so that we best utilize the resources of this area and realize the power of partnerships and teamwork.”

An official grand opening ceremony will be held in late February. Details will be released as they become available.

Also, this structure is the first LEED (Leadership in Environment and Energy Design) certified building on any of Ohio University’s regional campuses. This certification confirms that the Chillicothe Campus is modeling best-practices methods in terms of conservation and sustainability.

Student gains further insights into health-care field during HSA practicum experience

OU-C student Jonathan England had an opportunity to gain a new perspective of his chosen profession during a recent practicum at Berger Hospital in Circleville. The 200-hour experience is part of the curriculum to prepare Health Services Administration students for careers in the health-care field.

“I was able to ‘shadow’ employees in several departments and see how they function from the perspective of an employee rather than a patient, which was very valuable. I learned that there are many little pieces that fit together to make things work,” said England, a Circleville High School graduate. “As expected, it was a pretty quick pace.”

“I loved the practicum. Much of it involved taking what I had learned in the classroom and applying it to a real-world setting. After completing my practicum, I have gained a better understanding of the health-care field.”

As England noted in the capstone paper he wrote about his experience, it is important to remain flexible.

“I kept an open mind … one of my goals in life is to learn as much as I possibly can about everything … I learned a lot about how hospitals function and how to approach certain situations within the organization.”

During the practicum, England was able to participate in some duties as Berger employees were willing to share their insights and experiences.

“All were very accepting, helpful, supportive and insightful during my stay in their area,” he wrote in his paper.

As for his career goals, England is open to any heath care-related career opportunity, and is also interested in obtaining an MBA.

Each student in the HSA program will complete a 200-hour practicum and a 400-hour internship during his/her college career.

These types of practicum experiences allow students to apply concepts they learn in the classroom in a real-life situation. They also help students decide what area of health care they wish to pursue by allowing them to interact with professionals in several different areas so the students can see which pursuits best align with their interests.

“The Health Services Administration practicum is an opportunity for the student(s) to experience different areas of a health care facility and observe how departments operate and interact within the entire system of the health care facility,” said Vicky Parker, the HSA program coordinator. “The practicum also gives the students the opportunity to decide where they would like to focus their final internship in the program. Any time that students have the opportunity apply theory to the real world it expands their horizons.”

The HSA program leads to a bachelor’s degree and prepares students for administrative management positions in settings such as hospitals, physician practices, managed care organizations and other health delivery systems.

Caution and judgment are urged during times of inclement weather

With the opening of winter quarter, it is an appropriate time to remind individuals of the campus’ policy on adverse weather and how it relates to campus operations. Campus faculty and staff members will make every attempt to maintain normal campus operations. Generally, the campus remains operational unless Ross County is under a level 3 weather emergency. Campus community members and visitors should listen to local radio stations, view listings on TV programs and check the Chillicothe Gazette and OU-C web site for closing information.

In situations when the weather is threatening but the campus remains open, members of the campus community are urged to exercise their judgment and to not imperil their safety. Please notify those who are affected by your absence – students, faculty, co-workers or your supervisor -- so accommodations can be made. All faculty members should notify the Dean’s Office if they are unable to hold class.

It is recommended that faculty members include in the course syllabi for winter quarter how they will communicate with students should class be cancelled because of weather conditions.

University procedures are in place for employees who are unable to travel to campus or who need to leave early.

Further, students are urged to register for text messages regarding campus closings to be sent to their telephones through the ‘Mobile Text Alerts’ section of the NBC 4 TV Web site (located approximately halfway down the Web page under ‘Storm Team 4’ heading):

OU-C faculty member Michael Lafreniere earns award that recognizes research and learning environments

OU-C faculty member Michael Lafreniere earned a “Best of 2011 Ed Tech Resources” award for a presentation he gave in collaboration with Ohio University-Athens campus colleague Gregory D. Foley at the recent American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges annual conference in Austin, Texas. The honor, which is in the “EdTech 1:1 Environments” category, is part of an effort by DyKnow software developer to highlight relevant, current research that encourages high-achieving learning environments.

Their presentation, “Tablet PCs: A Tool for Instructional Collaboration,” addressed the advantages of a collaboratory class that allows each student to “come to the board without leaving his/her seat.” The presentation explained steps to create a collaboratory session and how to use tablet personal computers and interactive classroom to further enhance the collaborator session.

Lafreniere’s collaboratory project, which uses technology to further engage students, is supported by an 1804 Grant he has been awarded by the Ohio University Foundation.

Also, Lafreniere was recently nominated for the Ohio Association of Two Year Colleges (OATYC) 2010-11 Teaching Award.

Lafreniere, an assistant professor, teaches environmental engineering and mathematics courses. Lafreniere, who joined the OU-C faculty in 1994, earned both his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from the University of Florida.

Providing holiday cheer for local family

In continuing a holiday season tradition, Chillicothe Campus community members donated approximately $900 for the purchase of gifts for a local family that includes six children, ranging in age from 3 to 15 years of age. Some of the children attend programs at the Child Development Center on campus.