That first day was a long one!
Dr. David Harrison stepped out of his car at 7:30 a.m. Thursday, July 1 to assume his new role as president of Columbus State, straight into a whirlwind of activity that didn’t end until well into the evening. Take a picture walk through President Harrison’s day by clicking through his First Day Gallery!
As Dr. David Harrison arrived on campus Thursday, he officially became the fifth president of Columbus State Community College. With more than 28,000 students - and a brand new campus in Delaware County offering classes for the first time this fall - he must hit the ground running.
After meeting with cabinet members, he took part in a campus tour led by several Columbus State Student Ambassadors. The afternoon agenda included a series of private meetings with faculty, staff and students.
President Harrison had been the Vice Provost of Regional Campuses for the University of Central Florida since 2004. In that position, he led all functions at 11 campus locations in seven counties. Under his leadership, more UCF degrees were offered on community college campuses, and the number of transfer students earning bachelor’s degrees increased significantly.
Columbus Dispatch Q&A session with Dr. Harrison
Dispatch reporter Encarnita Pyle asked Dr. Harrison a series of questions on his first day, ranging for his plans for the college, to what’s on his iPod. Read the full article here. (below)
1. Given your roots in Ohio, people have likened your return as a homecoming. Did you want to come back to Ohio someday? If so, why?
We have a lot of family here. Ohio has always been home to me. But if we were going to make a move, it had to be for the right opportunity, because we had established roots in Florida as well. The opportunity at Columbus State was one we had to pursue.
2. What were your feelings when you walked across the Columbus State campus for the first time?
The energy from the students was contagious, and a great reminder of why we do what we do.
Dr. Harrison plans to apply that invaluable experience here. “Columbus State's emerging multi-campus plan, maturing online learning strategy and commitment to serving working adults demonstrates the forward-thinking posture of the college and its commitment to meeting regional needs,” he says. “The college's importance to families and employers in the region will only grow stronger in the future. Columbus State is positioned to assume a leadership role in the region and throughout Ohio. The conversations I've had with faculty and staff members at Columbus State tell me that they are prepared to lead the way.”
Dr. Harrison has strong ties to Ohio including degrees from Ohio State University and the University of Dayton and he spent an early portion of his professional career at Sinclair Community College in Dayton. He grew up in suburban Cincinnati.
“I was the first in my family to go to college,” he said, “so I feel like I have a personal connection with students who have barriers put in front of them: finances, academic preparation, the fact that they have to work or take care of family members, or the fact that they just don’t understand the college process because no one they know has gone through it. Community colleges eliminate those barriers. They are the front door to higher education for many students. Over 40% of all undergraduate students in the United States are at community colleges. Columbus State helps students from all backgrounds pursue their goals.”
Dr. Harrison’s next scheduled public appearance will be Wednesday, July 7, when he helps open the new Delaware Campus for business at 8:00 a.m.
$5.4 million ERC renovation begins
The new exterior of the ERC will feature a terraced, amphitheater-like entrance.
An artist’s rendering of the open concept learning commons on the first floor of the ERC.
The Educational Resources Center (ERC in Columbus Hall) will soon begin a year-long, $5.4 million building renovation. Phase 1 of the renovation has already begun with exterior changes that were made to remove benches in preparation for a new entrance to the building.
The ground floor of the building will be shut down in Phase 1 and students, staff and faculty will enter the building at two locations on the east and west sides of Columbus Hall, which will enable them to access the second and third floors.
The ground floor renovation work should be completed during Winter Quarter 2011. The second and third phase of the renovation is scheduled to be complete in August of 2012.
As the building is renovated, it will remain open and as many of the services as are viable will be remain open to students, faculty and staff. During the renovation, the college will indicate where the work is going on and which services are available, as well as those that are unavailable. Information updates will also be communicated through various handouts, posters, publications and the college website.
Financial Wellness seminar offered Thursday
Andy Mechenbier, the Metlife representative for Columbus State's 403B and 457 retirement plans, will be on campus to answer questions regarding retirement options for employees on Thursday, July 8 in Nestor Hall Room 012 from 11a.m.-2 p.m. Stop by any time during that period to ask questions. Mechenbier can also be reached at (614) 264-4476 or email@example.com.
For additional information, contact Nichole Bowman-Glover, wellness coordinator, ext. 3989.
Program for male students offers mentorship, more
Participants in the program have a choice of being involved in one quarter of sessions or in the special MAN Initiative leadership track, which meets as a cohort for the entire academic year. If you are interested in getting additional information, referring someone, or participating in the MAN Initiative for the upcoming academic year, contact Kimberly Brazwell at ext. 2426 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Egyptian and Pakistani students need you!
Later in August, Columbus State will welcome four Egyptian students and two Pakistani students to study in our business and radiography programs for a year through the Community College Initiative (CCI).
In efforts to aid in the adjustment to American culture, each student will be provided with a mentor until the end of Autumn Quarter. Mentors’ roles are to informally expose students to life in the U.S. (i.e., shopping, entertainment, site seeing, errands, home life, etc.) Mentors may also be asked to accompany CCI students on special field trips.
The role of an engaged mentor greatly enriches the experience of these students. We hope that you will consider a few months of being a casual ambassador to students who are preparing for a life-changing program. If you are interested in serving as a mentor this summer and fall, please call or email to Kimberly Brazwell at email@example.com or ext. 2426.
Cougar golfer wins local tournament