Cedarville University Headlines

  • 2017 Graduates Prepared to Lead Kosovo Internship Program
  • Record-Breaking Commencement Includes 21-Year Journey
  • Cedarville Trustees Approve Concealed Carry Policy for Full-time Employees
  • Cedarville Engineers Soar in Florida
  • Life-Saving Program Comes to Cedarville

2017 Graduates Prepared to Lead Kosovo Internship Program

After graduation, some Cedarville University students take what they have learned to different parts of the country. Three 2017 graduates, Liss Fanizzi, Cassy Padilla and Mikaila Conforti, will take their education to Kosovo to serve as interns at the Kosovo Leadership Academy (KLA) in Mitrovica, Kosovo.

All three will earn a bachelor’s degree in industrial and innovative design. They will use their education to work with the science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM) program at the KLA to develop and teach a design curriculum.

Cedarville University’s Industrial and Innovative Design program is housed at the International Center for Creativity (ICC) in Columbus, Ohio. As a result of a partnership between KLA and the ICC, graduating students from the program are given the opportunity to serve a one-year internship with KLA.

“We sent a group of five students in 2016 on a short-term trip, and four of them ended up staying almost the entire summer, paving the way for future ICC groups by taking on projects and building relationships,” said Jim Stevenson, president of the ICC and a newly appointed member of the KLA’s school board. “This year’s group is raising the bar by committing to an entire year of service to the school. It’s one step closer to our vision of having an ‘ICC Kosovo.’”

This growing relationship between the ICC and the KLA was a key factor in Fanizzi’s decision to spend a year in Kosovo. While she dismissed the opportunity at first, hearing stories of graduates who previously served at the KLA changed her mind.

“Honestly, this is never something I thought I’d choose,” Fanizzi admitted. “But I just couldn’t get it out of my head.”

Padilla and Conforti had similar experiences after hearing 1987 Cedarville University alumnus Nadine Hennessey tell her story about the work that is taking place in Kosovo. All three graduates knew they wanted to participate in an internship with KLA.

“This is a really good way to use the mindset we’ve learned at the ICC, while also doing something that caters more to my skill set and lets me work with people,” Conforti said.

Fanizzi, Padilla and Conforti will continue to prepare for their internships over the coming months before they leave, including a focus on fundraising.

They considered waiting until January 2018 and only staying for a semester due to the large financial commitment, Conforti explained. After receiving a generous donation to help pay for their housing in Kosovo, the three decided to continue with their original plan of committing to a full year and trust God to provide the rest.

Anyone interested in providing financial support can contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Record-Breaking Commencement Includes 21-Year Journey

A record-breaking 796 students received degrees during Cedarville University’s 121st commencement on May 6. The largest graduating class in Cedarville’s history, comprised of 703 undergraduate students and 93 graduate students, represented every academic department and had students from 42 states and 15 countries.

This year, the university awarded graduate degrees to 93 students from five programs. The School of Pharmacy graduated 45 students from its Doctor of Pharmacy program, while six students earned a Master of Ministry degree, 14 received an MBA, and 12 earned a Master of Education degree, and 16 the Master of Science in Nursing.

While graduation is the beginning of many students’ career aspirations, it also represented the close to two inspiring journeys. The first journey started 21 years ago in Massachusetts, and the other started after an earthquake in Japan.

The most emotional part in the historic ceremony was when Tara Winter received her degree from university president Dr. Thomas White. After a brief exchange of words and a hug, the 6,000 people in attendance applauded Winter for her perseverance.

Winter received a degree in sociology after taking classes since 1996—21 years.  After a series of life-changing events, Winter attended school one class at a time while caring for her family. When her family moved to Springfield, Ohio, she started a job as Cedarville University’s licensure, testing and accreditation coordinator in the school of education. Now 21 years, three children, and two different majors later, Winter finally saw the fruit of her labor when she received her degree from Cedarville president Thomas White.

Jeremiah Pennington’s journey began after a 2011 earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan, where he served as a responder in the U.S. Navy. Convicted to follow Christ and make an impact on children, Pennington enrolled at Cedarville University as a special education major. Through a full load of coursework, a full-time job and a full house of four sons, Pennington completed his degree and accepted a position as an intervention specialist at Fairmont High School in Kettering, Ohio, next year.

Two students received the highest awards given to members of the graduating class when they were presented the President’s Award. Matthew Cumberland of Renfrew, Pennsylvania, and Chandra Swiech of Jenison, Michigan received the honor near the conclusion of the ceremony.

The award is presented to two individuals who excelled in academics, leadership, service, and Christian character.

Cumberland majored in biblical studies with a minor in Greek. He served in the discipleship ministry and took a global outreach missions trip to Costa Rica. He plans to attend Dallas Theological Seminary. Swiech majored in biology with minors in Bible, Spanish, and chemistry.   She plans on pursuing medical school or Physician Assistant studies in 2018.

The following students received the Faculty Scholarship trophy for achieving a 4.0 grade point average during their years at Cedarville:
•         Laura Katherine Allen, early childhood education
•         Sarah Emma Berman, pharmaceutical science
•         Lindsey Anne Chiu, early childhood education
•         Matthew Tyler Cumberland, biblical studies
•         Taylor Elizabeth Hobbs, psychology
•         Mary Katherine Kearney, electrical engineering
•         Kaitlyn Marie Morse, early childhood education.

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 3,760 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 100 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and leading student satisfaction ratings. For more information about the University, visit www.cedarville.edu.

Cedarville Trustees Approve Concealed Carry Policy for Full-time Employees

At its May 5 meeting, the Board of Trustees of Cedarville University approved a campus concealed carry policy that allows full-time employees who choose to complete an application process to exercise their rights to carry under Ohio law and the Second Amendment of the Constitution.

Conceal Carry Policy
The policy specifically “authorizes the President to grant permission to faculty, staff, and trustees with concealed carry licenses to carry a concealed handgun on campus under approved terms and/or conditions consistent with state law.”

The president and administration will finalize the conceal carry procedures this summer, with implementation of the plan taking place August 1, 2017.

Deliberative Process
The concealed carry discussion began with leadership and Trustees in February 2016 when the House proposed a bill allowing Universities the authority to set their own policies. On Cedarville’s campus discussion ramped up soon after the Ohio Senate approved and Governor Kasich signed Bill 199 into law in December 2016.  The law allows the board of trustees of an institution of higher education in Ohio to authorize concealed carry for its campus.

The deliberative process to implement a concealed carry policy for Cedarville included consultations with law enforcement, legal counsel, and insurance representatives; research of other universities’ concealed carry policies; and significant engagement with the campus community.

University employees participated in a town hall forum and provided input to the process through two campus-wide surveys.  Results from the two surveys indicated only eight percent of faculty and staff did not want anyone to conceal carry on campus. The university’s student newspaper, Cedars, also conducted a student survey and reported favorable responses for a policy.

A planning task force made up of University administrators, campus safety officers, legal counsel, faculty, and operational leaders also met to refine the concealed carry policy proposal and to recommend implementation procedures. The result was the policy presented to the trustees for consideration along with procedures that faculty, staff, and trustees who wish to carry must follow.

“The process to bring a concealed carry proposal to our board for consideration was handled carefully, with significant input and dialogue, and always keeping the safety of our campus community as the highest priority,” said Thomas White, Cedarville’s president. “We weighed all of the issues very carefully to ensure we were moving in the best direction for Cedarville.”

Board Action
Board of Trustee chairman Rev. Chip Bernhard affirmed both the policy decision and the process for how this very delicate and serious topic was handled.

“The decision to allow our full-time faculty and staff members to carry concealed is the right decision for Cedarville,” said Bernhard. “The Board discussed this matter, and in our determination, we believed it was important to allow our conscientious faculty and staff to have the opportunity to exercise their second amendment rights, and, if necessary, to defend themselves should an incident arise in the future. It is our prayer, of course, that no one is ever forced to take this type of action.”

Emergency Preparedness
Already known as one of the safest college campuses in Ohio, many believe Cedarville will further strengthen this reputation as a result of the new policy.

The university’s leading criminal justice expert, Dr. Patrick Oliver, associate professor of criminal justice and former chief of police in Cleveland, Fairborn, and Grandview Heights, Ohio, contributed to the policy’s development and supports the trustees’ decision for a concealed carry policy at Cedarville.

“From my perspective as a peace officer in the State of Ohio,” he stated, “I believe the decision to allow law-abiding faculty and staff to conceal carry on campus is strategically beneficial given the growing safety concerns among institutions of higher education.”  

Cedarville’s comprehensive campus emergency preparedness strategy follows the “run, hide, fight” protocol for an active shooter response, and the campus community will be trained accordingly.

Cedarville Engineers Soar in Florida

Cedarville’s aero design team soared against international and U.S. squads during the SAE Aero Design East competition in Lakeland, Florida, this spring.
Cedarville placed third among U.S. teams and scored a second-place finish in the presentation category among all 16 teams in the contest.

Cedarville’s team competed in the advanced class with its remote-controlled airplane built to accurately drop a 2-pound humanitarian aid package from an altitude of 100 feet while carrying additional cargo. The plane incorporated an advanced communication system that streamed a live video feed and altitude data to a ground station.

“It was a great capstone project that provided an opportunity to incorporate what we’ve learned in a variety of our classes into a single project,” said team member Tyler Greenwood from Springfield, Ohio. “We started in the fall and went through the entire design, build and testing phases. Seeing a project through all of these phases gave us a good idea for how a long-term, in-depth project works.”

Tim Norman, professor of mechanical and biomedical engineering, advised the team. “Cedarville engineering students compete very well at national and international competitions,” said Norman. “We showcased our engineering talents among some of the best engineering programs in the world.”

The five-member team was comprised of senior mechanical engineering majors who joined the team as their senior capstone project. All five have landed positions after commencement: Greenwood and John Sandlas are employed at Lockheed Martin, a government contractor that designs and builds fighter aircraft, helicopters and drones; Jared Holsclaw is training as a U.S. Air Force navigator; Wyatt Hartman is working for Parker Hannifin in Macedonia, Ohio; and Matthew Bird is employed at Hobart/ITW in Troy, Ohio.

Life-Saving Program Comes to Cedarville

Cedarville University has partnered with Premier Health/Miami Valley Hospital and a university alum to train faculty as part of the national “Stop the Bleed” program. Stop the Bleed is a nationwide campaign to empower individuals to act quickly and save lives. The Cedarville University School of Pharmacy will be the first department trained beginning May 24.

A person who’s bleeding can die within five minutes, so it’s critical to quickly stop the blood loss. Stop the Bleed focuses on teaching bystanders how to control and stop bleeding and use lifesaving interventions in mass casualty events. No matter how rapid the arrival of professional emergency responders, bystanders will always be first on the scene.

“The citizen component becomes incredibly important in the event of an emergency,” said Andrew Brewer, firefighter at the Beavercreek Township Fire Department, adjunct instructor for the university’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and Cedarville alum. “There are so many things that can change your life in just a minute, so the program will help bridge the 10-20 minute gap between initial incident occurrence and trained first responder arrival in active threat situations.”

The program is geared toward active shooter/threatening emergencies, but can also be applied to natural disasters. It’s federally backed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.

Premier Health will certify faculty in bleeding control measures and also train them as instructors who can integrate Stop the Bleed content in their curriculum.

“The need and desire is there to help train our community to save lives, and we think Cedarville is our primary place to start,” said Mary Lou Kyne, EMS program manager for Premier Health. “With every mission trip and outreach opportunity a student takes part in, we could be impacting so many individuals across the world.”

The program also seeks to place Stop the Bleed kits in locations suited for large gatherings, much like automated external defibrillators meant for use during cardiac events. Stop the Bleed kits include bandages, gloves, gauze and tourniquets for the average bystander to use.
Brewer and Kyne also look forward to training other departments on campus, such as athletic training, nursing, campus safety and the university’s EMS.

“The program is relatively inexpensive and a small time commitment for something that will undoubtedly save lives,” said Brewer.

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