A Message from Dean Bielski
Dear Campus Community,
As we approach Thanksgiving, I want to share with you the many things I am grateful for amidst continued barriers to complete normalcy in all of our lives. While each of us deals with uncertainty, I take pride in this campus and our ability to carry on our mission. We continue to provide access to higher education for students while serving the needs of our community. Here are just a few examples.
Speaking of students, they remain engaged in the campus and the community. Our Animation Game Design students are participating in events all over the state of Ohio and receiving recognition for their work. Nursing and Veterinary Technology students continue to provide vibrancy on campus and a sense of belonging through their activities in the community. Our students are serving as mentors in our Rising Scholars program for area high school students. In addition, one of our volleyball players received USCAA All-American honors for the second year in a row. The Bowling team is competing state-wide and the golf team finished ninth at nationals. Our basketball team just picked up an important win over D-3 Defiance and are an odds-on favorite to make the tournament. This is just a small sample of the breadth of student success on our campus.
Our faculty are continuing to do great things. Mr. Tim Fritz was recognized as the best teacher in the entire university system. Only three faculty in the university were awarded this designation. Dr. Jeff Osikiewicz was a finalist for the university’s outstanding faculty award for the second year in a row. Recently, Mrs. Mary Cameron and Dr. Denise McEnroe-Petitte traveled to Austin, Texas to present their research work. It seems like Dr. Akpan receives accolades for his research work all the time. Mr. Totten’s works continue to receive awards and recognition. I am also impressed by the numerous ways in which our faculty are committed to campus service. Whether it is Dr. Sharma and his commitment to social justice, the numerous faculty working on our DEI strategic plan, or the folks involved with our Community Engagement efforts, our faculty demonstrate daily their commitment to this special place.
I am grateful for the manner in which we remain an asset to our community. The Small Business Development Center, led by Mr. Steve Schillig, expanded its footprint to include Stark and Wayne counties. Dr. Beisel continues to provide opportunities to deal with our workforce shortage though the Manufacturing Readiness program, among many other duties. Working collaboratively, the division continues to bring in external funding to our Advanced Manufacturing initiatives. The Performing Arts Center is back in business! The Center not only serves as a major venue for national artists, but also furthers the educational mission of the campus. Over 1800 area students attended a recent event focused on the effects of substance use and abuse. We also are an asset to our community through providing basic needs particularly in this season. The food pantry is used extensively. Your donations are appreciated. Recall that we are also feeding twenty families in need this year. I appreciate everything this campus does to assist with the immediate needs of our internal and external members.
I am always grateful for a talented and dedicated staff that has been patient with me as I ask them to do more, or to do things differently. I still have not heard a single complaint from anyone. Bart Cannizzaro helped manage facilities for over a year (more to come on that topic). Laurie Donley helped lead the DEI Strategic Plan on top of her numerous other duties. Carla Barker and Chad Conrad have taken on additional responsibilities with our Foundation. Cathy Spears makes sure everything gets done, even with a smaller staff. Dave Quinlan wrote and was awarded a significant grant that will help us improve our security systems. Network Services ensures that we have the best technology on campus amidst changing systems and vendors.
So here I find myself once again incredibly proud of today and confident for tomorrow. I am perhaps the most grateful person for having the opportunity to come to campus every day and experience first-hand all that is wonderful about this campus and the Tuscarawas Valley community. I will close by sharing a link to an Historic document that reminds me annually that the problems and strife we experience are temporal and that we as a nation have been through difficult times before. Through hard work and sacrifice, we have emerged stronger. Please enjoy this proclamation, by A. Lincoln, my first cousin five times removed.