Latest News from Cedarville University

  • Cedarville Cars, Robot Best at Ohio State Fair
  • Cedarville’s Center for Teaching and Learning Wins Two Telly Awards
  • Focus on Cancer Recovery Is Goal of Cedarville Graduate Student
  • Opioid Epidemic Workshop Coming Up September 15
  • "Phone-Free" Zone Builds Community
  • Orphaned Student Receives Foster Care Scholarship
  • Newsroom Will Take Cedarville University to National Audience

Cedarville Cars and Robot Best at Ohio State Fair
Cedarville University’s supermileage cars and robotics team made an impression at national competitions. But now they’re impressing at the grandstand.
The Ohio State Fair wrapped up August 6, but not before Cedarville’s student-engineers scored Best Technology Exhibit for both the supermileage car and robotics displays. The Ohio Technology and Engineering Educators Association awarded the trophies to both teams.  
This was the second honor for the supermileage team, which also earned a People’s Choice Award for Technology Education on July 28.
“We wanted to showcase Cedarville University's engineering program and the success we have had with our competitions in a new venue — the Ohio State Fair,” said Dr. Larry Zavodney, senior professor of mechanical engineering and the supermileage team adviser.
“Dick Dieffenderfer, director of the Technology and Engineering Showcase in the Lausche Youth Building, told our students he would like to see them come back next year,” Zavodney added. “The display got a lot of positive attraction and response. We talked to probably 70-plus families on August 5.”
The Cedarville American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) robotics team showed its competition robot from this year’s ASEE national contest held in Columbus this June.
“Four of our team members were able to share their experiences and demonstrate the functioning robot to young and old fair goers,” noted Clint Kohl, professor of computer engineering and team adviser. “Many were excited and impressed with how capable and sophisticated the Cedarville robot was. It was also a great opportunity to make Cedarville University more recognized.”
Cedarville student-engineers designed and built Urbie, Gold Lightening II and Sting, cars not known for speed but ultra-high energy efficiency. The supermileage cars are designed for traveling hundreds, or even more than a thousand miles, per gallon. The Cedarville robot is designed to complete a unique task while navigating a maze-like track as quickly as possible, without human assistance via remote control.
This year, Cedarville earned fourth place in the urban concept combustion engine division and 13th place in the Prototype internal combustion engine division at the Shell Eco-marathon in Detroit. The fourth-place win garnered a $1,000 prize. This year, the Cedarville robotics team earned a first-place finish in the ASEE national contest.
Zavodney and Chad Jackson, Cedarville’s director of creative services, designed the display, which features 42 STEM-related (science, technology, engineering, and math) majors and special programs at Cedarville. These account for half of all majors and programs at Cedarville.  

Cedarville’s Center for Teaching and Learning Wins Two Telly Awards
This past spring, the Cedarville University Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) won two bronze Telly awards for its videos “Introduction to Literature: Welcome” and “Tools of the Visual Artist” in the non-broadcast productions general education category.
The Telly Awards, founded in 1979, honors excellence in cable television commercials and non-broadcast video and television programming, and represents  the best work created within television and across many video platforms. Telly Award winners include the most respected advertising agencies, television stations, production companies and publishers around the world.

The CTL serves Cedarville’s academic division by promoting innovation and excellence in teaching and learning and providing a variety of consulting, technical, professional development and production services.
Dara Fraley, media designer at the CTL, produced and directed both videos. She also added sound to “Introduction to Literature: Welcome” and edited “Tools of the Visual Artist.”
“I believe that these pieces exemplify industry standard quality,” said Fraley. “Often in education, when one thinks of doing a video, the ideas about what that looks like can vary. The Telly validates our work and our efforts in pushing the videos to levels that exceed expectations.”

Focus on Cancer Recovery Is Goal of Cedarville Graduate Student
How do you beat cancer? Cedarville University graduate student Karen Wonders knows it takes a strong heart and a nourished soul.
Wonders is the founder and executive director of Maple Tree Cancer Alliance, a nonprofit physical rehab program for cancer patients that will open its fifth Dayton-area office September 5 at the Kettering Cancer Center in Kettering, Ohio. She will graduate this year from Cedarville University’s Master of Ministry program.
Maple Tree operates offices at four other locations: Soin Medical Center, Beavercreek; Greene Memorial Hospital, Xenia; Upper Valley Medical Center, Troy; and the Life Enrichment Center, Dayton. Maple Tree offers cancer rehab to patients free of charge.
While exercising during cancer treatment may seem extreme for patients knocked flat by chemotherapy, radiation or surgery, Wonders has learned that getting them on their feet will improve their chances at remission and recovery.
“Exercise minimizes the side effects of treatment,” she explained. “But only 2 percent of cancer patients nationwide participate in rehab.”
One side effect of treatment is cardio toxicity, where the heart muscle doesn’t pump as efficiently as it should.
“Oncology staff will monitor heart function throughout treatment,” Wonders said. “Once they see a decrease in heart function, they will stop that treatment and start a different one, but the new treatment is not as effective as the first.
“The longer you’re able to get the more effective medicine, the longer you’ll be able to fight cancer, so you do see an increase in cancer remission rates, and a decrease in cancer-related mortality because of exercise.”
Exercise also fights the weight gain sometimes associated with breast cancer and prostate cancer. “That always catches people off guard,” Wonders said. “Most people think, ‘I have cancer; now I’m going to lose all this weight,’ but then it’s the exact opposite. They put on 25 pounds, and that weight gain is associated with a whole host of other problems – heart disease, diabetes and hypertension. And all of these other things increase your risk of mortality.”
Plus there’s a financial benefit as well. “The data shows there’s cost savings to the Maple Tree program, not only for the patient, but for hospitals and insurance companies too,” Wonders said. “Even with good insurance, cancer treatment is expensive. Patients who go through our program have fewer emergency room visits, shorter lengths of stay in the hospital and fewer 30-day readmittances.”
Adding the faith element is the dimension that brought Wonders to Cedarville. “I became a Christian in 2009 and started working on Maple Tree a year later,” she said. “I really felt called to focus on physical and spiritual health. The spiritual side was really difficult because I did not feel equipped. I’ve shared the gospel, but to really speak to someone who is suffering and walking through something like cancer, I didn’t feel like I had much to offer but ‘look to Jesus.’”
Wonders is now in the midst of adding a spiritual care component to Maple Tree, which includes training for churches. “Church is the perfect place because we’re called to love one another and bear each other’s burdens,” she said.
Support groups exist, but they don’t start from a Christian spiritual basis, Wonders said. “In these groups it’s just assumed, if you die you’re going to heaven, so don’t worry. If patients make peace with their diagnosis, then they’ll say ‘I’ve found God,’ but that peace means they’ve accepted they will probably die from this,” she said. “But they’re not in church, and they don’t know Jesus.
“Since I started Maple Tree, I have felt this encouragement from God that this is what he has for me, and it’s something bigger than I could imagine,” Wonders added.
Wonders sees Maple Tree reaching for the skies. “I think this program should be in every cancer rehabilitation facility,” she said. “We have the data to prove it works. If I had cancer, I would do this, and if someone I loved had cancer, I would recommend it for them. If I believe in it that much, then we need to take it to everybody.”
Wonders earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in exercise physiology from Slippery Rock University, and her doctorate in exercise physiology from the University of Northern Colorado. She is a professor of exercise physiology at Wright State University and program director for Wright State’s exercise science program.

Opioid Epidemic Workshop Coming Up September 15

Cedarville University will host a continuing education workshop titled “Standing at the Epicenter of the Opioid Epidemic” on Friday, Sept. 15. The conference is from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., and will be held in the Stevens Student Center.
The six-hour workshop will educate pharmacists, social workers, counselors, students and pastors on the ethical treatment of drug addiction. Training is designed to specifically address the pervasive issue of opioid drug abuse that touches the Ohio community.

Cedarville adjunct professor Barry Wideman, LISW-S, LICDC-S, will lead the workshop. Wideman currently works in the Mental Health Clinic at the Dayton Veterans Affairs Medical Center on the suboxone treatment program team. His 28 years of field experience in mental health and substance abuse treatment includes work in rural and urban mental health agencies, substance abuse and DUI intervention programs and countywide crisis intervention agencies.
The workshop costs $79 per person and has been approved for six Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for social workers, counselors, marriage and family therapists and chemical dependency counselors, including three CEUs for ethics.
Morning sessions will provide a brief history of U.S. drug policy, outline different perspectives on addiction and detail the addiction process. After lunch, the workshop will focus on ethical addiction treatment options as well as signs, symptoms and treatment of opioid overdose.
Online registration for this event closes September 8, 2017. All proceeds benefit social work student scholarships.

"Phone-Free" Zone Builds Community

Cedarville University’s Student Life Programs office is working to change the perception that college students are glued to their phones, and it’s using discounted coffee to make it happen. The office’s new program, Coffee & Community, takes place on Tuesday nights from 7-10 p.m., at Rinnova, the campus coffee shop.

The event is hosted by the campus community committee of Cedarville University's Student Government Association.

The idea originated five years ago as Brian Burns, director of student life programs, watched students interact more with technology than with their peers. Burns’ solution, Coffee & Community, is an easy way for students to come to a casual environment and experience true community.

Burns’ goals for the new program are threefold: build community on campus, create intentionality in conversation and encourage authentic relationship-building.

“I hope students stop and take the time to learn each other’s stories, think, debate and come back to truth,” he said.
Brett Sumrall, director of campus community for Cedarville’s student government association, heads a team that will come up with the topics, which will include questions about important current issues like the upcoming election.

“We want to get at issues that we don’t like to talk about a lot but that we need to face, especially as a community of believers,” Sumrall said. “The goal is to foster casual conversations about intentional issues.”

Burns pointed out that what a university celebrates and focuses on shows what it values, so through this program, Cedarville wants to focus on community to show its value.

Orphaned Student Receives Foster Care Scholarship

Each year, Cedarville University awards a full-tuition scholarship to a student who has grown up in Ohio’s foster care system. This year’s recipient is Allie Eybers, a freshman communication major from Munroe Falls, Ohio.

Eybers grew up in a Christian family and committed herself to Jesus at a young age. When she was 12 years old, her mom died from breast cancer.

"After my mom’s death, I really began to doubt my relationship with God,” explained Eybers. “But I still had my dad. He was the one who kept encouraging me and making sure my faith stood solid.”

When Eybers was 16 years old, her dad died suddenly from a heart attack. She felt lost, and nothing made sense to her.

During the summer before her senior year of high school, Eybers went on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic with her school. On that trip, she felt God’s love, and she renewed her relationship with Christ.

Eybers heard about Cedarville University through a friend at school. After she visited Cedarville, she fell in love with it and knew it was where she wanted to be. However, she was concerned about paying tuition.

After talking with her high school’s college placement counselor, Eybers learned that she qualified for Cedarville’s foster care scholarship. After much prayer, she applied and was selected for the full-tuition scholarship.

“It still amazes me that I’m actually here at Cedarville to study,” said Eybers. “Two years ago, I didn’t think it would be possible for me to attend a Christian school.”

In 2013, Thomas White, president of Cedarville University, created the scholarship to answer God’s call to care for the orphans. Since the scholarship’s inception, five students have been awarded full-tuition scholarships.

To be considered for the scholarship, a student must be in custody of either a foster home or a ward of the state, meet all admissions requirements, and annually complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

More information about the foster care scholarship can be found at


Newsroom Will Take Cedarville University to National Audience
Developing greater awareness is a function of public relations. At Cedarville University, this includes finding new ways of telling stories of academic excellence and Christian mission through the media.
By Friday, Cedarville University will have a better opportunity to achieve this objective as it will officially open its first newsroom on campus. The facility, located in Centennial Library, will allow the university to connect its stories and professors’ expertise more easily with local and national media.

“Advancing Cedarville's mission begins with building awareness,” said Dr. Janice Supplee, vice president for marketing and communications. “We’re excited about this newsroom because we believe it will help us expand our reputation as a distinctively Christian university with rigorous academic programs. It will also allow us to engage our culture by speaking into many of today’s current events from a Biblical perspective.”
The newsroom is the result of consistent growth in media exposure at Cedarville University. Since 2012, Cedarville has seen a 492 percent increase in media exposure (156 stories in 2012 to 924 in 2017). Also, 153 faculty and staff participated in interviews that resulted in a news story in 2016-17 compared to 49 in 2012.
Clearing, having faculty being willing to interview on cultural events has been central to this growth.
Dr. Mark Caleb Smith, director of the Center for Political Studies, participated in 295 media interviews in 2016-17, while his colleague, Dr. Glen Duerr, associate professor of international studies, did 105 interviews. Dr. Patrick Oliver, associate professor of criminal justice, and Dr. Marc Clauson, professor of history and law, each conducted 52 interviews during the same period.
And, now, with the newsroom, Cedarville is poised to increase that exposure as national media will have access to faculty experts on multiple topics.
“This newsroom is designed to help us tell our story more fully, and to a larger audience,” said Mark D. Weinstein, executive director of public relations. “Cedarville University has seen significant growth in exposure for its students, our academic programs, and ministries. Through this newsroom, I believe we will be able to communicate more news, and share more intentional content with media throughout the country.”
Developing the newsroom has taken months to assemble, but with a wide spectrum of support from many academic departments, it’s been a smooth process. Spearheaded by the department of communication and the marketing and communications division, the proper equipment was identified and purchased. Shawn Rifner, studio and technology manager for the communication department, and Mark Tucker, Cedarville’s videographer, collaborated before purchasing cameras, lights, editing suite and technology that allows any professor to go live with any TV station.
The newsroom will have two studio cameras, a green screen and other backdrops, studio lighting, a 14-channel recording mixer, a wireless microphone system and TVU ERA and LiveU 200E for streaming video.  Cedarville is believed to be one of the first Christian colleges to have a newsroom for marketing and public relations purposes.
The newsroom will also be used as a learning laboratory for communication students and will allow Cedarville’s marketing team to share content that can help with student recruitment and retention.

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