Dear Ohio State Mansfield Colleagues,
I begin my report with outstanding news about our most recent faculty hire, which was announced to the campus last week. Please join me in welcoming our newest Assistant Professor of Psychology, Dr. Amy Brunell, whose transfer from the Newark campus officially will begin this coming Fall Semester. Already an accomplished researcher, Dr. Brunell's primary line of scholarship concerns the role of narcissism in social contexts. She has published papers about the role of narcissism in predicting emergent leadership, greed, academic cheating, and romantic relationship behaviors, and a second line of her research examines intimacy and relationship satisfaction in dating couples. In addition to noting that we are getting both a top-notch researcher and educator, I am happy to mention that Amy and her family already reside in the Mansfield area. Many, many thanks to the search committee and other members of the campus community who worked so diligently to bring Amy to us!
Last week, I met with Superintendent Dan Freund of the Mansfield City Schools in order to discuss next steps in collaboration with the district and community in order to bring about an enduring transformation in how we prepare young people to become successful adults who can contribute to the health and vitality of our geographic area. Building on a number of collaborative ventures already underway between our organizations – most notably in the area of math education – the intent is to open a wider community dialogue about how to create the most positive and lasting impact on Mansfield students and their families, with special emphasis on increasing college aspirations. Three days in May (5/22, 5/23, 5/24) are being set aside for a series of conversations about current activities and future opportunities. The first two days of dialogue will be held both on our campus and in various Mansfield school buildings, and will focus on how our partnership can create increased opportunities for contact between K-12 and Ohio State students in general, as well as building more specific relationships among teachers and their pre-certification counterparts. On the third day, meetings will be held in various locations throughout the greater Mansfield community in order to hear from stakeholders in the business community, the health and human services network, and religious congregations, as well as privileging the voices of family members representing all parts of the city. More information will be forthcoming in the weeks ahead as plans are solidified around this exciting opportunity to expand our ties to the local school district and surrounding community.
Also last week, we hosted a meeting with several individuals from Lorain County Community College (LCCC) in order to advance our discussions about course offerings “up north” (but not too far in that direction!). As plans now stand, we will begin to offer classes connected to our Master’s in Social Work program (MSW) starting this coming Fall Semester, with the idea of having students from LCCC formally enrolled in the MSW program by Fall Semester 2013. Our discussions have included the eventual offering of courses connected to our Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) as well. Many thanks go to Mary Jo Hawk for her efforts to reach out to the LCCC campus and students, as well as to Director of Admissions Ken Sigler, who will be hard at work identifying other opportunities for expansion down the road in additional program areas.
Last Friday, Director of Development Nick Orosan sent out to our campus community the results of a feasibility study compiled by Goettler and Associates, who conducted 35 confidential interviews with faculty, staff, board members, and various community stakeholders. Much of the report contains direct quotes and summary statements that highlight the significant sense of pride that interviewees hold about the OSU Mansfield campus, as well as underlining their sense of understanding about the importance of the campus to the advancement of the community. The report concluded by recommending that The Ohio State University at Mansfield leadership commit to the continued preparation for a capital fund-raising campaign targeting between $2.5 million and $3 million. It is important to note that this report underscored the fact that the success of this campaign will hinge in large part on the preparation and presentation of a persuasive case for support. Most pressingly, this includes an ability to display the significant support of our “Ohio State Family” through the combined financial contributions of faculty, staff, board members and former board members. For this reason, the capital campaign leadership team will be involved in a series of meetings over the course of the next several weeks, including an open forum (with food and beverages!) in the Bromfield Library from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. Please plan on attending in order to learn more about our capital campaign efforts, to lend your voice to the further development of our campaign objectives, and to hear how your own campus campaign contributions will serve to boost our participation rate toward the 100% mark.
Just today, we were visited by a rather large contingent of individuals from the Columbus campus, including the new Dean of the College of Nursing (CON), Bernadette Melnyk, the Senior Vice President for Student Life, Javaune Adams-Gaston (aka Dr. J), and Louise Douce, the Director of Counseling and Consultation Services. As noted in previous biweekly reports, the College of Nursing is going to be launching a new major in the area of wellness and human performance that would serve as an important alternative for students interested in health care delivery. In our meeting with faculty and staff members, we discussed quite a number of exciting possibilities, including but not limited to the development of an online program for regional campus students only (akin to our online general business program). As part of the planning process, the CON staff welcomed the idea of having Advisor Lyndsey Anderson serve as the “point person” for the regional campuses on the CON committee tasked with the responsibility of formulating new programs within the college. Also discussed in this meeting was the possibility of bringing health care services – as well as additional mental health services – to our campus for students, staff, and faculty through licensed nurse practitioners attached to the College of Nursing. We visited a variety of possible sites, and there seemed to be genuine interest in further discussions about this sort of opportunity. Bottom line: there is much to be enthusiastic about as a result of this visit!
I end this report with mention of my office’s commitment to furthering the research goals and aspirations of our faculty. At the beginning of the week, my office announced the intention to support the Professional Development Committee’s recommendations regarding seed grants and Faculty Professional Leave (FPL) proposals. Two of our Assistant Professors – Daniel Amsterdam and Christian Winterbottom – will receive seed grants to fund their scholarship efforts, and two of our Associate Professors – Norman Jones and Heather Tanner – will receive FPLs to pursue their book-writing projects. Congratulations to Professors Amsterdam, Jones, Tanner, and Winterbottom! It is our sincere hope that these investments in scholarship allow each of these professors to increase the significant impact of empirical work being conducted on the Ohio State Mansfield campus by our esteemed faculty.