Huron, Ohio – Twenty-two Bowling Green State University Firelands College students participated in a pinning ceremony on May 16 in conjunction with their attainment of an associate of applied science degree in nursing.

The associate degree program in nursing is a collaborative satellite program offered by Lorain County Community College on the BGSU Firelands campus to provide citizens of Erie, Huron, Ottawa, and Sandusky counties with the opportunity to develop careers as registered nurses.

The pinning ceremony is a 1,000-year old symbol of service to others.  The earliest ancestor of the pin dates back to the Maltese Cross and was adopted by the Crusaders.  The nursing profession assumed the ceremony for their graduates and was soon joined by other professions that serve in direct patient care.

Graduates of the May 2015 class include:

Lynda Ares               Sandusky
Nicole Auvil              Port Clinton
Megan Davidson      Willard
Emily Denhart          Sandusky
Carissa Duncan         Norwalk
DeAnna Fox              Huron
Rebecca Getz            Norwalk
Tamera Helle            Oak Harbor
Lori Jolly                   Sandusky
Sarah Lopez              Gypsum
Alison Lute                Norwalk
Danielle Martin         Galion
Sandra Mays             Milan
Karen Mork               Sandusky
Janelle Smith             Vermilion
Cortney Sparks         Greenwich
Misty Stanley            Green Springs
Mark Towns              Berlin Heights
Nicole Traczek           Sandusky
Marcelina Valliant     Sandusky
Joyce Walton             Bellevue
Nichole White            Willard

Held in the BGSU Firelands Cedar Point Center, the event featured a special welcome to the graduates from Lorain County Community College President Roy Church and BGSU Firelands Dean William Balzer.  LCCC faculty member Jill Reiter was the keynote speaker and graduate Karen Mork represented her classmates.

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May 12, 2015 | Press Release  |  Leave a Comment

Huron, Ohio – Bowling Green State University Firelands College announced today that William Balzer will be ending his tenure as Dean of the College and will now focus full-time on his responsibilities as the vice president for faculty affairs and strategic initiatives on the Bowling Green campus.

Balzer has served as the dean of BGSU Firelands since 2009; in 2013 he assumed the additional university-wide duties as vice president located on the Bowling Green campus.

With pending BGSU faculty contract negotiations and in recognition of the expanding leadership role on future strategic initiatives for BGSU, Balzer’s full-time services on the Bowling Green campus will be critical according to Rodney Rogers, provost and senior vice president at BGSU.

“Under his leadership, BGSU Firelands has made significant progress, including adding new bachelor and associate degree programs, and planning and launching improvements to the physical plant. Bill has also been successful in driving development efforts at the college raising funds for new scholarships and the capital campaign,” said Rogers.

As the dean of BGSU Firelands and working collaboratively with faculty, staff, students, and the community, Balzer has overseen the development of the campus master plan and the current Allied Health & Sciences project, to meet the expanding higher education needs of the community.  Community partnerships have also been a focus during his tenure, including development of the RISE business incubator located on the Firelands campus, in partnership with the Erie County Economic Development Corporation and local foundations, the Big Island Water Works Research Station in partnership with the City of Sandusky to study water issues, and ongoing academic partnerships with Sandusky City Schools and EHOVE Career Center to promote college attendance and career success.

Andrew Kurtz, executive associate dean of the college, will serve as interim dean while a search for a permanent replacement is completed.

Kurtz has been a faculty member at BGSU Firelands since 1995 and teaches courses in composition, literature, and popular culture. He was named associate dean for engagement and outreach in 2006 and has held several administrative positions since that date.  As the executive associate dean, he is responsible for the daily operations of the College, including all academic issues and student affairs.

Kurtz earned a doctoral degree in literary and cultural theory from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pa., a master’s degree in English from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, and a bachelor’s degree in English from the College of Wooster, Wooster, Ohio.

Kurtz and his family have lived in Huron for 19 years.

The transition of leadership at the BGSU Firelands campus will be effective June 22.

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Huron, Ohio – Students and faculty in the respiratory care program at Bowling Green State University Firelands College have launched a crowdfunding campaign to purchase an adult/pediatric ventilator to enhance the learning experience.

With just more than a week left to go in the 30-day crowdfunding campaign, students and faculty in the respiratory care program have already raised more than $4,000 to go toward the purchase of the ventilator.

The ventilator will be used by students in the labs at both the Firelands campus and in Lorain through a joint partnership with Lorain County Community College.

“With the addition of this ventilator, students will be able to learn advanced modes of ventilation that are not available on our current equipment,” said Carol Puder, director of clinical education for respiratory care at BGSU Firelands.

“Adding the Servo-i ventilator in the education of our students has the potential to not only improve student learning and increase the pass rates for graduates on national board exams, but also to ensure competency in patient procedures, increase critical care skills, and make our graduates more competitive in the job market,” Puder said.

The benefits of the new equipment purchase will extend beyond the classroom walls and into the community as well.

“Once our students graduate, they will become employed at health care facilities throughout the region. They need to be familiar with the wide variety of ventilators used in these facilities. Working with different ventilators in the lab allows our students to become competent in providing care with this equipment,” Puder said.

Julie Miles, of Fremont, and a student in the respiratory care program said, “Having the opportunity to work with this new ventilator in our lab will be beneficial to our respiratory care group by helping us become more successful working with critical care patients. It will allow us to become familiar with a ventilator that we will see often.”

Crowdfunding is a relatively new fund-raising tool designed to fund a project or venture through raising smaller amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet. Crowdfunding is driven through personal connections and outreach.

Students and faculty in the respiratory care program have spearheaded efforts for this campaign with a funding goal of $9,000.

To donate or view this project, visit:

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Huron, Ohio – On Saturday, May 9, Bowling Green State University Firelands College will conduct the 30th Commencement Ceremonies featuring keynote speaker Judith Sommers.  BGSU Firelands will recognize the 307 students who earned degrees at the campus during the 2014-2015 academic year.

“This is the culmination of a great deal of hard work and sacrifice for our students who will be graduating this evening, and we are proud that they have achieved their goals,” said BGSU Firelands Dean William Balzer.

The graduating class includes 208 associate degree candidates and 99 bachelor’s degree candidates.  Degree candidates range in age from 18 to 68 and they represent many area of Ohio.  Forty-seven candidates will be graduating with academic honors.

Sommers, a retired high school counselor from Norwalk City Schools, will address the students as they prepare to graduate.

“We are delighted to have Dr. Sommers as the commencement speaker.  She is a champion of education and has been an avid supporter of BGSU Firelands and our entire community,” said Balzer.

Sommers earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education in 1968 and a doctorate degree in school administration in 1995 both from Bowling Green State University.  Her professional career includes nearly 40 years of experience in public education and higher education in Ohio and North Carolina.

Among her many accolades she has earned Outstanding Career Education Program in Ohio, Most Innovative Guidance Program in Ohio, Norwalk Teacher of the Year, the Charles Weaver Distinguished Service Award in Ohio, the Joan Goodwin School/Community Relations Award in Ohio, and she was the Ohio School Counselor Association president.

Sommers’ commitment to education goes well beyond her professional career as she has been a strong advocate and active participant in the success of BGSU and BGSU Firelands.  She served as a BGSU Alumni Board member and an Alumni Chapter leader, a BGSU

Firelands Advisory Board member and past president, a BGSU Firelands Development Board member and past chair, and she currently serves as the chair for the BGSU Firelands Capital Campaign Committee.

Sommers has been recognized for her contributions to the University through receipt of the BGSU Community Service Award and the BGSU Alumni Service Award.

BGSU Firelands 30th Commencement Ceremonies will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 9, in the Cedar Point Center on the Huron campus.  Tickets are required for attendance.

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Huron, Ohio – Bowling Green State University Firelands College was recently notified that the associate of nursing program offered in conjunction with Lorain County Community College has received continuing accreditation through the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.

Started in 1992, the jointly administered program allows students to complete all coursework and clinical experiences in the Firelands area.   Students take all non-nursing course work through BGSU Firelands and full-time LCCC faculty travel to the Firelands Campus to deliver the didactic portion of the nursing curriculum.  The degree is awarded through LCCC.

There are currently 121 BGSU Firelands students enrolled in the program.

The accreditation process included a site visit in September and a self-study submitted in August 2014.  The current accreditation will last 8 years and another evaluation of the program has been scheduled for the fall of 2022.

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