Student requests create study carrel waitlist

first appearance: The Cleveland Stater Vol. 20, No.5, December 10, 2018 print page 6

The semester of fall 2018 marks the first time the rentable study carrels in Rhodes Tower have ever had a wait list, according to Facility Coordinator Kenneth Heiss.

There are 78 carrels available for rent on the second and fourth floors of Rhodes Tower. They are available to rent in six and 12-month periods for a rate of $50 for six months.

Like the free study carrels on the third floor, they each come with a desk, outlets and connections with adjustable vents to the HVAC system. However, the study carrels for rent are individual rooms along the wall, some of which have windows. The free carrels are centered in the middle of the floor plan in a grid like a cubicle, the tops of which have a clear ‘bubble top’ ceiling.

Despite the amenities, they are not to be used as offices and the user contract sent to accepted applicants explicitly prohibits that use.

Heiss said professors once used these carrels as remote research spaces as an alternative to carrying large stacks of books to and from their own offices. However, faculty registration for carrels is down.

Undergraduate students were not able to rent the study carrels until July 2018. Heiss said undergrads have filled the approximate 30 carrels that would normally be empty.

Currently 22 people are on the waitlist for the study carrels, the majority of which are undergrads.

Students who want a carrel must act early because the majority of the people on the waiting list applied after Aug. 31.

Enrollment to undergraduate students originally launched fall 2017 before being abruptly halted by Cleveland State’s legal department. Barbara Gauthier, fiscal officer, explained the board of trustees must approve any new charges applied to the undergraduate students and wait until the fiscal year starts in July.

Heiss said as a response the undergraduates who had already been placed into carrels in the fall 2017 were allowed to renew the following spring free of charge.
Only 70 were available for rent in fall 2018, and the remaining eight should be fully renovated and available for rent in the spring.

Heiss said he is unsure of what the following semester will bring. While the additional eight carrels will help meet some of the demand, he wonders if some on the waitlist will fall off or if the list will grow because of word of mouth.

Tau Sigma hosts National Transfer Student Week at Cleveland State

first appearance: The Cleveland Stater Vol.20, No.3, October 29, 2018, print page. 4

Tau Sigma, the national honor society for transfer students, held a meet and greet and a “fun and games” session Oct. 16 and 17 to celebrate National Transfer Student Week at Cleveland State University.

Arlindo Ahmetaj, Tau Sigma president, said as the official transfer student organization on campus, it held the events to recognize the transfer population on campus.


At Cleveland State  55 percent of the students are transfers. Ahmetaj said they may not engage as a group with events like these as much as they would a smaller community event on campus. However, he said, the organization would like to host more similar events throughout the year.


According to the Community College Research Center, only 15 percent of students who start at a community college graduate from a four year degree program in less than six years. However, at Cleveland State, transfer students boast a 58 percent graduation rate, according to the Office of Institutional Research and Analysis, Book of Trends.



Over lunch in Berkman Hall Oct. 17, participants in the meet and greet had the opportunity to talk about their experience transferring schools and how they have found Cleveland State  so far.


Merlena Ward, a health science major, earned her associate of arts degree from Cuyahoga Community College before transferring to Cleveland State.


She stressed the importance of meeting with advisers and going to orientation to understand what is going on. She listed culture shock as the only big downside to being a transfer student.


“For me, when I came here, I felt a little bit lost about what I was supposed to be doing,” she said. “and then when I figured it out I felt very behind.”


Tau Sigma also hosted a t-shirt swap, where it encouraged students to trade in their old shirts from their first school in exchange for a new Cleveland State shirt. The goal was to sew the collected t-shirts into a patchwork quilt to show the diversity of the student body.

Tau Sigma has 250 members since its founding at Cleveland State in 2015. Interested students are eligible to join Tau Sigma if they transferred to Cleveland State with 30 credits and received a 3.5 GPA their first semester here. Future events will be promoted through Cleveland States campus activity board page OrgSync.




Talbert touts ‘Flipped Learning’

first appearance: The Cleveland Stater Vol. 20, No.3, October 29, 2018, print page 3

Robert Talbert, author of “Flipped Learning: A Guide for Higher Education” is sharing his inverted version of teaching in a series of video discussions sponsored by Cleveland State University’s Center for Faculty Excellence this semester.


Talbert said in his discussion with faculty on Oct. 22 that his model engages students for deeper learning more than the traditional lecture form often used in college classrooms.


Talbert explained that in flipped learning students have their first contact with the concepts outside of the classroom. Faculty devoted class time to activities designed to reinforce the material. He said the teaching model structures a teaching environment in which students teach themselves.


“The idea behind flipped learning is to privilege as much active learning into the face-to-face meetings as humanly possible,” Talbert said. Stressing that the concept extends to hybrid courses and online.


“Some people take online courses specifically to become anonymous,” Talbert said. He explained in his calculous class that after returning graded assignments, students create class content by recording themselves solving the problems and posting them to YouTube.

Talbert touted the use of technology to promote face-to-face contact in online classes as well as a traditional classroom.

Talbert also urged faculty to familiarize themselves with issues students face at the beginning of the semester to help them work around them from day one.


Recalling his own teaching experience as a mathematics professor at Grande Valley State University in Allendale, Mich., he stressed the impact of his approach.

“I love the fact that we have to sometimes start behind the start line in some cases, because it’s so much cooler when they actually make it,” Talbert said. “One third of our graduates with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics start out in college algebra.”

Talbert warned that traditional lecture style classes “kill students.” Adding that the flipped classroom lets faculty focus on the students who need help. “[Traditional learning is] a one-size- fits-all aimed at center mass, so it’s missing half the students,” Talbert said.


Talbert added “It is a moral imperative to start rethinking in a serious way how class time is even being used.”


The lecture series with Robert Talbert will continue in MC 420, Nov. 19 and Dec. 3, from 10:15 a.m. until 11:45 a.m. Reservations can be made at


Entrepreneurship panel leads up to Weston Ideation Center

first appearance: The Cleveland Stater Vol.20, No.2, October 8, 2018, print page 5 *retractions have been made after print

Three alumni from the Monte Ahuja College of Business helped kicked off homecoming week by participating in an entrepreneurship panel, Sept. 24. They discussed what they’ve taken from their time at Cleveland State and what events shaped their journey along the way.

The panel is the first of many events the College of Business is hosting leading up to the unveiling of the Weston Ideation Center in January. The lab will help pair students with resources and mentors to start their own business.

The alumni spoke about their experiences building a business in Cleveland and gave advice to aspiring entrepreneurs. Despite the panelists coming from vastly different fields a few universal themes emerged.

Reliance on other people was one common piece of advice. Radhika Reddy, founder of Ariel Ventures, consulting services, urged students to find people who complement themselves, and to get a financial advisor.

“What you’ve done has already been done by somebody else, so find them,” said Drew Anderson, founder of Cleveland Kraut. Anderson recounted that he started Cleveland Kraut as a hobby with his brother-in-law when he discovered they both independently shared the same hobby of fermenting food.

“In order for any business to grow, you need to rely on other people who are better than you to achieve the things you want to do,” said Mike Maczuzak, founder of Smartshape Design. One of his biggest regrets early in his career was not working hard enough to keep certain people around.

The panelists also agreed that entrepreneurs don’t quit.

Reddy admitted before she could get loans for her business she resorted to turning credit cards to keep going. Anderson said during the day he worked at Key Bank. From 7 p.m. to 2 a.m., he developed his business.

He said their approach was very “ground and pound.” They thrived on hearing from people at local events “I see you guys everywhere.” He added that eventually enough time passes that “it can easily become a full time job.”

The panel also shared why they chose Cleveland to start a business.

Maczuzak said he started his business here because “there are wonderful places all over the world. Cleveland is one of those places.”

Anderson said Cleveland is a great place to start a business because it is a tight knit community, so it is easier to get access to those people at the top.

Maczuzak urged students to keep trying because “every success story looks like it was easy when in reality it came after 10 years of work and it looked like everything was going to fall apart.”

The discussion closed with all three panelists urging students to keep pursuing their dream no matter what.


Education seeks students for accelerated urban teaching program

first appearance: The Cleveland Stater Vol. 20, No.2. October 8, 2018, print page 2

The Master of Urban Secondary Teaching Residency Program (MUST) held an information session in Julka Hall Sept. 26, to inform prospective graduate students of Cleveland State University’s oldest Master’s degree and licensure program.

MUST is a 14-month accelerated program in which teachers work in Cleveland area schools to rejuvenate urban and high-need school districts. The MUST program prepares teachers in math, science, social studies, English and Spanish.

Nancy Ciganko, retiring MUST academic adviser, said most students don’t teach in the type of school they went to growing up. MUST graduates bring a depth of knowledge for their students’ experience that goes beyond mastery of a content area.

Social justice, urban teaching, urban schooling and communities and resilience, resistance and persistence are the four hallmarks of the MUST program. They are designed to assimilate the teacher within an urban school district and to give them the stamina to stay.

In the summer MUST teachers take the bulk of their instruction courses. They also begin to develop a research project they want to conduct in their classroom.

In the fall they begin teaching part-time alongside a faculty mentor in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. In the spring they return to the same class to teach full time.

Ciganko said returning to the same school both semesters is key to establish MUST teachers as faculty within the eyes of students. Rashida Mustafa, recruitment coordinator, said MUST participants can even get paid work as a substitute teacher when their faculty mentor is out.

The last semester of the program a MUST participant submits the action research project they conducted during their residency for publication as their thesis.

Ciganko said Ohio has reciprocity with 40 other states, so after students complete their masters it is easy to get a teaching license elsewhere. She said students have come here from Japan and South America for this program and have gone back to their home countries to teach.

MUST is celebrating its 20th year, and has graduated hundreds of people, with a 91 percent job placement rate.


McNair Scholars Program applications open

first appearance: The Cleveland Stater Vol. 20, No.1. September 17,2018 online

The McNair Scholars Program will host an open house on Thursday, Oct. 18, from 11:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. in Science and Research room 158. The program helps first generation/ low-income students, as well as underrepresented groups, enter STEM and research-based doctoral programs.

The program can fund 30 students. Dr. Graham, director of McNair Scholars, said the goal is to recruit 14 new scholars into the program to replace spring 2018 graduates and to replace those who will graduate this December.

The application deadline is in early November. The program prepares students pursuing a doctorate by matching them to a faculty mentor within their field of research, gives them the opportunity to gain experience through the Summer Research Institute, and offers graduate record examination courses.

“Many parents don’t know the process of applying to grad school.” Graham explains this program offers a “support system to bridge the gap with students who don’t have this in the home.”

“Typically in research-based study, it’s traditionally been white males,” Graham noted, adding the McNair program helps diversify graduate school and immerse students in a culture of academia.

McNair Scholars receive book scholarships as well as stipends to do research over the summer, with room and board. It also offers opportunities to attend and present at research conferences.

The program requires participation in cultural events, because often a by-product of being part of a disadvantaged group is exclusion from those type of events.

Also planned into the program are multiple workshops throughout the semester on varied topics to build a system of resources for students, such as how to reinforce good study habits, and seminars on financial literacy.

The Department of Education funds the McNair Scholars Program at 151 institutions across the United States. Funding occurs every five years, and Cleveland State University has been funded for its third cycle with $195,000 to run the program.

Graham said the scholars program is looking for sophomores. It accepts juniors, but sophomores will have more time in the program. If students enter as sophomore, they can complete their summer internship early, which will increase their chance of getting a research opportunity off campus their junior year.

Although established for students in STEM disciplines, Graham said “plenty of STEM majors never get their PhD because the money is good with a master’s.” She elaborates those in computer science and engineering typically won’t go beyond a master’s degree.

Most of the graduates last term were physics and math majors. However, some psychology majors pursue doctorates as well and Graham encourages them to apply to the program.

Last year the program inducted 13 of the 20 eligible applicants into the program. Applications and interviews will take place in November, and orientation for those selected will start in January.

Sexual awareness week at Cleveland State University

first appearance: The Cleveland Stater Vol. 20, No.1. September 17,2018 online

To help students start the year strong, Health and Wellness Services will host Sexual Health Awareness Week Sept. 17-21 from 11:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. across campus.

Health and Wellness Services has partnered with The Bacchus Network, an organization that focuses on the high risk behaviors of students, and the American Sexual Health Association to promote the full spectrum of free services for students at Cleveland State University.

Denise Keary, Health and Wellness services coordinator said “we know things in life change a lot for people at the beginning of the school year. We want to make sure they start as healthy as possible.”

Beyond practical sex education, Keary explained, this event is about promoting mindfulness and building confidence within students to make better decisions for themselves. Keary emphasizes its goal is “to focus on healthy relationships, consent, and a little on STD’s,” Keary said.

Keary explains thoughts like “maybe it’ll never happen to me,” or “I don’t need this information,” and many other reasons lead to people ignoring problems.

Keary stresses “the relationship you develop is more than physical. You have to take care of yourself first.” Even in non- romantic relationships she urges students to think, “Am I ready for any consequences that come from this?” Adding, “Sometimes we don’t listen to ourselves because of peer pressure.”

At CSU, 100 students have been nationally certified as peer educators through the Bacchus Network of NASPA (National Association of Student Personnel Administrators) training program to promote all-around health on college campuses. They act as personal peer mentors and role models to connect students to local resources.

Health and Wellness Services started the Helping you Through Peer Education (H.Y.P.E.) team four years ago to train students in one of five mentorship specializations: alcohol, tobacco and drug education; general wellness; sexual violence prevention; sexual health and healthy relationships; and suicide awareness/prevention.

The H.Y.P.E. team does everything from handing out pedometers to students walking along the inner link to starting new organizations on campus to connect students, like Battle Buddies for veterans, and Friends of Pride for the LGBTQ+ community.

“Seeing how much peers can influence peers helped us really move in that direction,” Keary said. “We’re expanding to host an international student peer education program.”

Applications to become an international student peer educator are due Sept. 19 through Orgsync. Members will be trained through the Bacchus Network of NASPA training program, Cleveland Rape Crisis Center, and the Center for International Student Services and Programs.

Fall training sessions to join the H.Y.P.E. team as a certified peer educator begin on Tuesday, Oct. 9 from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. Lunch will be provided.