A Compendium of Recent News from CIC Member Institutions

Note: This issue of Campus Update includes news that colleges and universities reported primarily during April–July 2020. Because the coronavirus epidemic continues to affect campus operations, institutions may have adjusted their operations and future plans since then.

Celebrating Achievements

NAFSA: Association of International Educators announced the recipients of the 2020 Senator Paul Simon Awards for Campus Internationalization this spring. Two of the three recipients of the Senator Paul Simon Spotlight Award, which honors a specific international program or initiative that contributes to internationalization on campus, are CIC member institutions. Agnes Scott College (GA) was recognized for its SUMMIT Global Learning curriculum and DePaul University (IL) was recognized for its Global Learning Experience program.

The Center for First-generation Student Success, an initiative of NASPA–Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education and the Suder Foundation, recently announced the 2020–2021 cohort of First-gen Forward Institutions. The designation recognizes campuses that have demonstrated a commitment to improving experiences and advancing outcomes of first-generation college students. Of the 77 members of the 2020–2021 cohort, 15 are CIC member institutions: Allegheny College (PA), Champlain College (VT), DePaul University (IL), Kentucky Wesleyan College, Lafayette College (PA), Marymount California University, Monmouth University (NJ), Nazareth College (NY), Piedmont College (GA), Presbyterian College (SC), Saint Peter’s University (NJ), Simmons University (MA), Texas Lutheran University, Tusculum University (TN), and University of Bridgeport (CT). The center also elevated 11 of the inaugural cohort of First-gen Forward Institutions, including Baylor University (TX), to the Advisory Institution designation.

The National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition recently announced the recipients of the 2020 Outstanding First-Year Student Advocate award. The award recognizes educators on college and university campuses across the nation who exhibit exceptional work in the areas of student learning, development, and success. Four of the ten recipients are from CIC member institutions: Katherine Powell, director of first-year experience at Berry College (GA); Heather Thrush, associate dean for student engagement and success at Wabash College (IN); Mary Ellen Wade, associate director of Messina at Loyola University Maryland; and Annette Walstad, director of student academic services and advising at Carroll College (MT).

The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation awarded Guggenheim Fellowships to a diverse group of 175 writers, scholars, artists, and scientists this spring. The 2020 fellows are drawn from 53 scholarly disciplines and artistic fields, 78 academic institutions, 31 states and the District of Columbia, and two Canadian provinces—and were chosen from a group of almost 3,000 applicants. Four current faculty members of CIC member institutions were named fellows: J Stoner Blackwell, awarded a fine arts fellowship, is a fine arts faculty member at Bennington College (VT); Jenny Boully, awarded a general nonfiction writer fellowship, is an associate professor of English and creative writing at Columbia College Chicago (IL); Rick Valelly, awarded a political science fellowship, is professor of political science at Swarthmore College (PA); and Philip Metres, awarded a poetry fellowship, is professor of English at John Carroll University (OH).

Furman University (SC) was named a 2020 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Postsecondary Sustainability Awardee this spring—one of only five higher education institutions in the country to receive the award this year. Furman was recognized for reducing environmental impact and costs, improving health and wellness, and offering effective sustainability education.

With one in four undergraduate students at Mount Mary University (WI) identifying themselves as Hispanic, this spring Mount Mary became one of only two colleges in Wisconsin designated by the U.S. Department of Education as a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI). The classification is based upon an institution’s ability to serve at least 25 percent Hispanic students. It demonstrates an institution’s commitment to supporting Hispanic students and provides access to Title V federal grants as well as other funding. (Alverno College [WI] became the first HSI-designated institution in the state in 2017.)

This spring, Steve Youngblood, associate professor of communication arts and director of the Center for Global Peace Journalism at Park University (MO), was awarded the 2020 Luxembourg Peace Prize for Outstanding Peace Journalism by the Schengen Peace Foundation and the World Peace Forum. The award recognizes journalists or media publications that have used their craft to contribute to peace. Youngblood has taught peace journalism to journalists, academics, and students in 27 countries and territories worldwide, is a two-time Fulbright Scholar, and has been recognized for his service to global peace by the U.S. Department of State and other agencies.

In April, the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation named 62 students—from 773 candidates at 316 U.S. colleges and universities—as 2020 Truman Scholars. Seven of the scholars are from CIC member institutions: Audrey Cope of Augustana University (SD), Wyatt Deihl of Rollins College (FL), Valerie Doze of College of Saint Benedict (MN), Henry Hicks of Oberlin College (OH), Dina Malual of Emmanuel College (MA), Savanna Toure of Lafayette College (PA), and Leah Trotman of Agnes Scott College (GA). The Truman Scholarship is the premier graduate scholarship for aspiring public service leaders in the United States.

In June, the Phi Beta Kappa Society announced the inaugural recipients of a new undergraduate scholarship program designed to connect promising liberal arts and sciences students with opportunities in public service. Selected from over 600 applicants attending Phi Beta Kappa chapter institutions across the country, three of the 20 Key into Public Service Scholars are from CIC member institutions: Jessica Avila of McDaniel College (MD), Bennet Franz of Roanoke College (VA), and Mariam Khayata of Rhodes College (TN).

In May, the Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation (Udall Foundation) selected 55 students from 48 colleges and universities as 2020 Udall Scholars. The scholars were selected from 429 candidates nominated by 199 campuses on the basis of commitment to careers in the environment, Tribal public policy, or Native health care; leadership potential; record of public service; and academic achievement. Students from eight CIC member institutions were selected, including Shay L. Downey of Swarthmore College (PA) and Shyanne S. Eustace of Northland College (WI) in the Tribal Public Policy category; and Leah M. Bieniak of Illinois Wesleyan University, Jacob A. Freedman of Middlebury College (VT), Madelyn A. Hair of University of Richmond (VA), Stephanie E. Hanson of Stetson University (FL), James E. Miller of Gustavus Adolphus College (MN), and Elizabeth M. Sheldon of Central College (IA) in the Environment category.

The Watson Foundation announced the 52nd class of Thomas J. Watson Fellows this spring. Hailing from 20 states and eight countries, 47 students out of 153 finalists were awarded 2020 fellowships. Twenty-two of the selected students are from 14 CIC member institutions: Berea College (KY), Colorado College, Earlham College (IN), Grinnell College (IA), Hendrix College (AR), Macalester College (MN), Pitzer College (CA), Reed College (OR), Rhodes College (TN), Scripps College (CA), Sewanee: The University of the South (TN), Ursinus College (PA), Whitman College (WA), and Wheaton College (MA). The one-year $36,000 grant is awarded to select graduating seniors for purposeful, independent exploration outside the United States.

The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation selected 396 award recipients from 461 institutions for the 2020–2021 academic year. Fifty-nine students from 40 CIC member institutions received the prestigious awards. The scholarship program honoring the late Senator Barry Goldwater is designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue research careers in the fields of the natural sciences, engineering, and mathematics.

Franklin College’s (IN) TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website produced by the college’s journalism students, received an Emmy from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) Lower Great Lakes Chapter for its documentary on Kurt Vonnegut’s well-known book, Slaughterhouse-Five. Produced jointly with WFYI Public Media, the piece, The Children’s Crusade Revisited: Slaughterhouse-Five at 50, won in the category of Nostalgia Program–Program/Special/Series. The documentary is told through the voices of Vonnegut’s family members, friends, and scholars and provides an intimate look at the book and author.

Two photos: 1. students using a videocamera; 2. group of students sing
Graduates of the Champlain College (VT) filmmaking and broadcast media production programs recently won top awards from the 2020 Freedom & Unity Filmmaker Contest, which invites Vermont and New Hampshire residents to create films exploring the life and culture of those two states. The ten-minute documentary Forget Me Not Vermont, created by Champlain broadcast media production majors Travis Washington (’20), Luke Rebman (’20), and Charles Dalgleish (’20), claimed first prize in the adult arts, culture, history, and contemporary issues category. The documentary explores Champlain College’s collection of sheet music and the history each piece reveals throughout time; it was produced as part of the college’s Humanities Research for the Public Good grant project, funded by the Council of Independent Colleges with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Two additional films by Champlain College graduates also won awards. (Pictured: Travis Washington [left] and members of the Purposeful Dissonance, the college’s a capella group that performed select songs for the documentary [right]. Photos courtesy of Champlain College)

Creating Partnerships

Due to school closures related to the coronavirus pandemic, hundreds of K–12 students from 18 states and Canada took advantage of e-tutoring services offered by education students through a collaboration of eight private and public universities in Wisconsin and Georgia. The program, launched by St. Norbert College (WI) in the spring, also includes Lawrence University, Ripon College (WI), University of North Georgia, and the University of Wisconsin Green Bay, Milwaukee, Oshkosh, and Stevens Point campuses.

The Institute for Water and Environmental Resilience at Stetson University (FL) is collaborating with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office for Coastal Management and Sea Grant College Programs in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina to evaluate green infrastructure interventions for reducing flood risks. The collaboration will allow Stetson’s environmental science and studies students to intern with the East Central Florida Regional Planning Council, assist with implementing project objectives, and work directly with the country’s leading resilience experts.

Alvernia University (PA) and Pepsi, the university’s exclusive beverage supplier, expanded their partnership this summer to boost entrepreneurship and the redevelopment of downtown Reading through the university’s Reading CollegeTowne economic development initiative. Under the partnership, Pepsi will become a founding sponsor of the university’s O’Pake Institute for Economic Development and Entrepreneurship and will support experiential learning opportunities for Alvernia students through the institute’s new business incubator and student fellows program.

Gannon University (PA) is partnering with Erie Insurance, the region’s largest private employer, to leverage the university’s Institute for Health and Cyber Knowledge (I-HACK) to revitalize the Erie community through industry collaboration. As part of the agreement, Erie Insurance pledged $1 million to support ongoing construction of I-HACK, including The Hatchery, a dedicated collaborative innovation space designed to integrate industry and professional development with academic creativity and learning. Erie Insurance committed an additional $1 million that will lead to the creation of the Erie Insurance IDEA Lab, where Erie Insurance employees will collaborate with Gannon students, faculty, and other partners on projects that benefit the community.

The Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges, with support from the Virginia Bankers Association Education Foundation, will provide its 15 member colleges and universities a two-year partnership with Realworld starting this fall. Realworld is an online platform designed to help students and recent graduates transition into life after school by providing critical knowledge and skills on topics such as paying off student loans and saving for retirement.

Landmark College (VT) will partner in a National Science Foundation-funded project led by EdGE, the Educational Gaming Environments group at TERC, to help develop a virtual reality education game that will broaden participation in STEM learning by students with autism. Using the prototype of a virtual reality STEM-learning game called Mission to Europa Prime, students will co-design puzzles and user interfaces that support learners with sensory, attention, and social issues; the project will eventually be expanded into a fully immersive, STEM-based mystery game. Other partnering organizations include MXTreality, the Pacific Science Center, and the Boston Museum of Science.

Prescott College (AZ) and Quest University (Canada’s first secular, independent, nonprofit liberal arts university) entered into a transfer agreement that allows Quest students to attend on-campus classes this fall at Prescott College. The agreement includes a waiver of transfer application fees, full acceptance of academic credits, and opportunities for financial aid and scholarships; students who transfer to Prescott will qualify for reciprocal transfer back to Quest when it resumes in-person classes, which have been suspended due to coronavirus precautions.

Two new agreements will provide potential time and cost savings to Regis College (MA) students who wish to pursue a career in law. The agreements with Suffolk University and the University of Massachusetts School of Law will enable Regis students to complete both their undergraduate and legal degrees in six years as opposed to the traditional seven years.

St. Norbert College (WI) and the Medical College of Wisconsin Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences are partnering to offer a dual-degree master of public health 4 +1 program. The agreement strengthens an established educational partnership between the two institutions, which also partner on a pharmacy program.

Concordia University, St. Paul (MN) launched a doctoral program in kinesiology this fall. Partnering with Relearnit, an online program management firm, the fully online program will prepare students for academic, leadership, and clinical roles in health-related fields and disciplines, including physical therapy, athletic training, physical education, and recreational program management for fitness.

Walsh University (OH) announced ten new undergraduate academic programs this spring that will be available to both traditional and Digital Campus students in a hybrid of in-person and online formats, in partnership with the Lower Cost Models for Independent Colleges Consortium. The majors include bachelor of arts degrees in public health and web design; bachelor of science degrees in actuarial science, data analytics, game development, and information technology; and bachelor of business administration degrees in professional sales, supply chain management, esports and gaming management, and human resources management.

Davis & Elkins College (WV) and Carlow University (PA) recently formed a partnership to allow RN-BSN graduates to advance their graduate studies more easily. Eligible students will be able to transition from their BSN program at Davis & Elkins to Carlow’s online MSN program in education and leadership or to several hybrid programs: doctor of nursing practice (DNP) in systems leadership, MSN to DNP accelerated option, family nurse practitioner, or women’s health nurse practitioner.

Ohio Dominican University (ODU) and Wilmington College (WC) (OH) established a partnership this spring that allows WC students who are pursuing a bachelor of science degree in sport management to earn a master’s degree in just one additional year through ODU’s online master of science in sport management program. WC students will take graduate-level courses during their senior year that meet both undergraduate elective and graduate program requirements and spend their fifth year completing requirements for their master’s degree.

In June, University of Holy Cross (UHC) (LA) and the Louisiana Community and Technical College System (LCTCS) signed an articulation agreement that gives students who complete certain associate degrees at any of the 12 colleges in the LCTCS system guaranteed entry to UHC’s four-year degree programs. The degrees included in the agreement are the associate in arts for transfer, associate of arts, associate of general studies, associate in science for transfer, associate in applied science, and other associate degrees where a transfer degree pathway has been established.

This spring, Hiram College (OH), in partnership with Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C), announced an articulation agreement that creates a seamless and sequential progression of academic courses from the associate level to the baccalaureate level for honors students. The pathway offers students direct acceptance into Hiram’s Eclectic Scholars program after completing the honors program at Tri-C with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher.

Bridgewater College (VA) recently signed two new college admission agreements. An agreement with Saint John’s Catholic Preparatory School in Maryland and separately with St. Thomas Aquinas High School in New Hampshire will provide qualifying high school seniors guaranteed admission to Bridgewater as well as scholarships, beginning in 2021.

Bethel University (IN) is partnering with churches to deliver affordable degrees via online courses and practicum experiences on-site at churches in a new Bethel University Extension Studies (BU-X) Program. Initially, all courses for the program will take place online and include Bethel’s existing adult and graduate studies programs that align with the churches. As enrollment grows, the offerings will expand and include on-site practicums.

Major Gifts, Grants, and Campaign Successes

view of new basketball court from bleachers
Rider University (NJ) received a $1 million gift this spring to renovate the university’s Alumni Gym. The gift from a sports-loving couple, Chuck and Isabel Baker, will support the replacement and expansion of chair-back seating, the installation of new bleachers and courtside seats, and the addition of walkway tunnels behind the seating sections. Isabel is a retired assistant professor of college reading at Rider and a reading strategist who works as a tutor in the university’s Academic Student Success Center. (Photo courtesy of Rider University)

Calvin University (MI) in May announced a $22.3 million anonymous gift to launch the Calvin University school of business. The gift will be used to construct the school of business building and to improve shared spaces in the adjoining DeVos Communication Center. In addition, Calvin University in June announced an $11 million gift for faculty development that is designed to deepen the institution’s commitment to teach from a Reformed Christian perspective. The bequest is from the estates of the late Rimmer and Ruth de Vries, longtime supporters of the university who funded the establishment of the Global Faculty Development Institute, which will now be named The de Vries Institute for Global Faculty Development.

In May, Wilmington College (OH) received a $13.5 million bequest from the estate of Catherine (Cathy) Withrow, widow of 1958 alumnus Andrew (Andy) Withrow. The Withrows, who died in 2009 and 2019, respectively, were longtime supporters of the college. The gift will support capital projects and scholarships, and the college’s largest academic building, the Center for the Sciences and Agriculture, will be named the Withrow Center for Agricultural, Life, and Physical Sciences.

A $12.8 million gift from the estate of longtime supporter William Windsor Richardson (’64) has provided endowment funds for four new faculty chairs and their related programs at Austin College (TX). Awarded this spring, the Richardson chairs support the Center for Research, Experience, and Transformative Education; the Philosophy, Politics, and Economics Program; the Professionalism and the Humanities Leadership Program; and the STEM Teaching and Research Leadership Program.

In April, the National Park Service awarded a total of $14 million in African American Civil Rights Historic Preservation Fund grants to organizations across 20 states and the District of Columbia that are working to preserve 51 projects related to the African American struggle for equality in the 20th century. Six CIC member institutions received awards: Benedict College (SC) for the “Starks Center Rehabilitation Project”; Johnson C. Smith University (NC) for “A Virtual Sense of Place: Critical Black Urbanism in Charlotte”; Livingstone College (NC) for “Preservation of Historic Monroe Street School”; Talladega College (AL) for “Foster Hall Interior Rehabilitation” and “Talladega College and the Civil Rights Movement: A Watershed in History”; Stillman College (AL) for “Preservation Planning for Sheppard Library”; and Spelman College (GA) for “Stayed on Freedom: Oral Histories of the Civil Rights Movement at Spelman College.” The grants ranged from $35,000 to $500,000.

In July, John Brown University (AR) announced an $8 million grant from the Walton Charitable Support Foundation to advance the university’s new data analytics and computer science programs. The funds will be used to endow an academic chair for data analytics and to create an endowed scholarship that supports students majoring in either program.

Lifelong supporters of the college, Sara Emma “Emy” Blair (’52) and her husband, H. Duane Blair, left an $8 million estate gift to Agnes Scott College (GA). The Blairs, who died in 2015 and 2017, respectively, designated their legacy gift to Agnes Scott for facilities improvement and scholarships. The Emy and Duane Blair Science Scholarship Fund will provide scholarships for science students beginning this fall.

Sterling College (KS) recently received an estate gift from Carl Dudrey, a former rancher, entrepreneur, and chair of First Bank. The $7.9 million bequest is the largest estate gift in the college’s history; roughly $6.9 million of the gift will support student scholarships and $1 million will be used for construction projects.

Albion College (MI) recently received a $7.5 million bequest from Robert Richmond, a philanthropist and former student for whom Albion left a lasting impression. The funds will be used to give high school seniors whose families were financially devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic special tuition scholarships and to support the college’s landmark Comprehensive Public Health Initiative.

Pharmaceutical entrepreneur and University of the Pacific (CA) alumna Jie Du donated $5 million this spring to found the Jie Du Center for Innovation and Excellence for Drug Development at the university’s Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy. Du earned her PhD in pharmaceutics from Pacific in 1993 and served as the founder, president, and CEO of JDP Therapeutics Inc. until it was acquired in 2019. The gift has been matched by the university’s Powell Match program, doubling the impact of Du’s gift and resulting in a $10 million endowment to the School of Pharmacy.

After the St. John’s College (NM) class of 2019 funded an energy audit of the Santa Fe campus to reduce the college’s carbon footprint, two anonymous donors from the class of 1969 contributed a large gift this spring. Of the $3.2 million gift, $2.2 million will be used to install rooftop solar panels and $1 million will be used to convert the entire campus to LED lighting.

Gustavus Adolphus College (MN) received a $2.7 million gift from two alumni this spring to support the college’s counseling center, which has remained open throughout the pandemic. The gift from Mark Henneman and Terri DeGiusti Henneman, both members of the class of 1983, will help fund current staffing and establish an endowment to ensure future counseling services to students.

Hampden-Sydney College (VA) announced in April that it had received two anonymous major gifts totaling nearly $2.5 million. A gift of $1 million will establish the Hinton Baxter Overcash Immersive Biology Laboratory in the new Pauley Science Center, which will be completed in fall 2021. And a gift of nearly $1.5 million will be added to the college’s endowment to fund scholarships.

In July, Monmouth College (IL) received a $2 million gift to support its science program. The gift is from the estate of Helen McNeel Wiener, a 1938 graduate who died in 2018 at the age of 102, and will support the Bernard A. Wiener Scholarship Fund for Monmouth physics majors.

Hood College’s (MD) counseling program recently received a $2.2 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. To be dispersed over the next five years, the grant will fund Hood’s “Helping the Helper: Supporting Disadvantaged Clinical Mental Health Students” project, which is designed to increase racial and ethnic diversity in the field of clinical mental health counseling in the Frederick, Maryland, region.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation recently awarded $1.5 million in emergency grants to 15 organizations that provide higher education in prison. The grants will allow incarcerated students across the nation to continue learning while in-person instruction is halted to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Prison education providers—including Marymount Manhattan College (NY), Pitzer College (CA), and the University of Puget Sound (WA)—will use the grants to experiment with virtual classrooms, retain key staff, and plan for 2020–2021 instruction.

Willamette University (OR) received a gift from the estate of Sachiko and Taul Watanabe (’41) this spring to fund additional scholarships at the Atkinson Graduate School of Management. Building on a relationship with Willamette that spans more than eight decades, the Watanabe family’s $1 million gift to the endowed scholarship fund will generate about $45,000 annually in additional scholarships for MBA students.

Spelman College (GA) received a $1 million gift in May toward the establishment of scholarships for graduates. The gift from Frank Baker, founder and managing partner of Siris, and Laura Day Baker, an interior designer and philanthropist focused on empowering historically underserved communities, will pay for the spring tuition balances of nearly 50 members of Spelman’s 2020 graduating class and support future high-achieving graduating seniors.

Trine University (IN) received a $1 million pledge this spring for the expansion of Trine’s Allen School of Engineering and Computing. The pledge came from an engineering alumnus and his wife, who asked to remain anonymous.

New Institutes, Programs, and Majors

outside view of Center for Racial Justice
In July, Dillard University (LA) launched the Center for Racial Justice (CRJ), which aims to change the way people of color and their communities are policed through education, community relationship building, civic engagement training, services, partnerships, and relevant resources. The CRJ will become a reservoir for lectures, research, advocacy training, and civic engagement and will soon premiere a 30-hour certificate program. (Pictured: The Dillard University International Center for Economic Freedom building, home to the new CRJ. Photo credit: Sabree Hill/Dillard University)

In June, Shaw University (NC) announced the creation of the Center for Racial and Social Justice (CRSJ) to enable meaningful social change by fostering engagement around civil and human rights, spiritual formation, discernment, and social justice. The center also will support development of healthy congregations and communities. The CRSJ will feature a series of lectures, research activities, and academic programs that advance the understanding of racial and social justice and will introduce a series of certificate programs that promote activism, strategic thinking, and leadership development.

Averett University (VA) is launching a new initiative—the Averett Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation—this fall. The center will serve as a learning lab and entrepreneurial gateway for students, connecting them with regional businesses, organizations, and other partners.

Bethel University (IN) has added a graduate-level leadership program in business to supplement its existing MBA program. The master of arts in organizational leadership emphasizes qualitative business disciplines and is designed for professionals involved in management and leadership.

Midway University (KY) recently expanded its MBA program to include a new concentration area in human resource management and to offer a 4+1 MBA program that enables undergraduate students to earn both their undergraduate and graduate degree within five years. In addition, Midway students now have two additional choices for their majors: a bachelor of science in accounting and a bachelor of science in public health.

Judson University (IL) now offers a doctor of education in computer science program, designed for those who want to pursue careers as computer science strategists, educators, academic administrators, or training and development professionals. The new EdD degree expands on Judson’s rapidly growing undergraduate computer science program.

This fall, McDaniel College (MD) launched an online master of science degree in innovations in teaching and learning. The program focuses on developing master teachers and addresses current classroom challenges and instructional trends in the PreK–12 environment.

Elizabethtown College’s (PA) department of biology and department of chemistry and biochemistry are partnering to offer a new interdisciplinary major: biochemistry and molecular biology. The major will include rigorous laboratory preparation, advanced, upper-level electives in both biology and chemistry, and a required research project. In addition, Elizabethtown’s communications department recently announced a new media analytics and social media major that includes courses in visual communications, public speaking, communications law and ethics, and a capstone course involving media analytics/social media research.

This fall, Northwestern College (IA) added biophysics and physics education to the majors it offers students. Students in the interdisciplinary biophysics major will explore the field in which physics and mathematics are used to describe the mechanisms of biological processes and will prepare for related graduate programs. The physics education program will equip students to become secondary school physics teachers.

Hilbert College (NY) began offering a new program this fall that will lead to a bachelor of arts degree in biology, Hilbert’s first STEM major. The college has constructed a new, state-of-the-art laboratory to meet the needs of the program, which will prepare students to pursue STEM and health care related programs after graduation. This fall, Hilbert College also began offering five new programs fully online: graduate degree programs in public administration, public administration-health administration, and criminal justice administration; and undergraduate completion programs in criminal justice and cybersecurity.

North Central College (IL) introduced a master of physician assistant studies program this spring. The program, which will be housed within the College’s School of Education and Health Sciences, aims to address the current shortage in the nation’s physician workforce and will welcome its first cohort in fall 2021.

Gannon University (PA) recently added a series of programs in the College of Engineering and Business and the Morosky College of Health Professions and Sciences, ranging from undergraduate and graduate-level programs to industry-specific certificate programs. Among the offerings are a master of science degree in biomedical engineering, master of science degree in speech-language pathology, and bachelor of science degree in communication sciences and disorders.

To address the need for skilled leadership within the health care industry, this fall Trocaire College (NY) added a bachelor of professional studies degree in health care management to its slate of program offerings. The curriculum was designed with input from regional employers, industry experts, and scholars and includes courses in health care management, leadership, strategic planning, and quantitative analysis.

Martin Methodist College (TN) began offering a bachelor of science degree in public health education this fall. The major will address critical shortages in the college’s geographic region, which has limited access to health care and an abundant geriatric population.

Albertus Magnus College (CT) began offering bachelor of arts and bachelor of fine arts degrees in game and computer arts this fall. The major will help students prepare for careers in advertising design, interactive media, game design, computer visualization, virtual reality, and 3-D computer design.

Robert Morris University (PA) now offers an online teaching certificate program designed to build educators’ competency in developing and teaching online courses. Students who complete the fully online program and have an Instruction I or II Pennsylvania teaching certificate will receive an endorsement in online instruction from the Pennsylvania Department of Education; the program is also tailored to meet the needs of instructors in higher education.

Delivering on its mission of empowering women, especially when many are forced to reimagine their lives during the coronavirus pandemic, Bay Path University (MA) began offering a free three-credit online undergraduate college course: Fundamentals of Digital Literacy. Designed to help women expand their digital technology skill set and be better prepared for the workforce, the course is offered through the American Women’s College, Bay Path University’s fully online division.

New and Recently Renovated Facilities

Two photos: 1. nature trail with signs; 2. guide stands beside map of trail
In May, Stetson University (FL) announced the opening of the new Bartram Gardens & Trail at the university’s Sandra Stetson Aquatic Center on Lake Beresford. Named after the American naturalist William Bartram, the garden includes a lush, tree-lined path with six large, interpretive kiosks that feature literary descriptions and pen-and-ink drawings and paintings of the creatures, fauna, and plants Bartram found while exploring the area. It also includes small sign panels that provide visitors with information about various planted trees and plants in the naturalist’s own words. (Photo credit: Stetson University/Ciara Ocasio)

Renovations to the Davis & Elkins College (WV) Myles Center for the Arts are nearly complete. The $6.7 million renovation project, generously funded by trustee emerita June Myles, includes a more than 6,000-square-foot, glass-enclosed addition that will nearly double the size of the Joni and Buck Smith Arts Forum; a two-story stone and brick rotunda main entrance; and the installation of an elevator, additional restrooms, and a warming kitchen. Myles Plaza also will be completely renovated: Following curvilinear lines inspired by musical influences, the space will feature walking paths, grassy areas, sections for conversations, and a tiered-seating area that can be used as an outdoor classroom.

The College of St. Scholastica (MN) completed a $1 million expansion of its St. Cloud-area campus this summer that will strengthen its nursing program. The construction project resulted in a doubling of St. Scholastica’s educational space in Sartell, Minnesota. The project added a 36-seat classroom, a new nursing simulation center with multiple acute care and ambulatory care rooms, break-out rooms for student briefings, a commons room for faculty, and enhanced technology to existing educational spaces.

Construction was completed on Manchester University’s (IN) new athletic stadium this summer. The stadium features a synthetic-turf field, an eight-lane track with new field event amenities, aluminum home and visitor bleachers, a press box, a virtual video scoreboard display, and LED lighting.

Campus Name Changes

Several CIC member institutions officially changed their names this summer. Assumption College (MA) changed its name to Assumption University on June 10. And effective July 1: Messiah College (PA) officially became Messiah University; Mount Marty College (SD) became Mount Marty University; Limestone College (SC) changed its name to Limestone University, coinciding with the institution’s 175th anniversary; Elmhurst College (IL) changed its name to Elmhurst University, ushering in a new era for the nearly 150-year-old institution; and Northwest Christian University (OR) became Bushnell University. The university is now named after James A. Bushnell who was the first president of the university’s board of trustees when the institution was founded in 1895.


Have a Potential News Item for Campus Update?

Please email news items for review to Paula M. Miller, CIC editorial and communications director, at pmiller@cic.nche.edu. CIC also is interested in receiving “action” photos for possible inclusion.



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