Dear Miami community,
It is hard to believe we are already more than one month into the fall semester. There are so many exciting things happening on our campuses. I am more optimistic than ever about Miami’s bright future. Thank you for all you do for Miami.
Love and Honor,
Thank you to the Strategic Planning Steering Committee, the dedicated group of 14 Miamians that worked throughout the 2018-2019 academic year to complete our new strategic plan. Co-chaired by Professors Julia Guichard and Bob Applebaum, the committee engaged campus broadly through listening sessions, departmental meetings and a website that together drew participation from 74 members of six subcommittees and more than 600 faculty, staff, students and community members.
Inspired by the Myaamia word aanceelintaakani – meaning “an instrument used to change how one thinks” – the committee presented the plan to campus in May 2019 and to the Board of Trustees at the June meeting. The Board enthusiastically accepted the plan. I encourage our entire community to read the plan and 30 recommendations.
This fall, Provost Jason Osborne is launching implementation of the plan under the name MiamiRISE (Research, Scholarship & Artistry; Innovation; Student Success; and Engagement). Please join Miami leaders October 23 at 5 p.m. in the Armstrong Student Center – after my annual address – to learn more about MiamiRISE and how you can get involved.
Work+ helps expand the Ohio economy
An exciting new program at Miami Regionals called Work+ enables students to obtain an associate or bachelor’s degree while working part time, with the employer covering tuition cost. Students work about 25 hours per week and can earn a degree with no student debt. We are excited to partner with Ohio Sen. Bill Coley to bring Work+ to our Hamilton campus. Four regional employers already have signed on to participate in the program: Deceuninck North America, The Fischer Group, Butler County Regional Transit Authority and Thyssenkrupp Bilstein of America. Work+ is an example of the kind of innovation that helps Miami students earn affordable degrees and succeed after graduation, helps local employers hire and train qualified employees and helps expand the Ohio economy.
Recognizing the excellence of Miami student-athletes
For athletic programs in the Mid-American Conference (MAC), it doesn’t get bigger than winning the Cartwright, Jacoby and Reese trophies all in one year. That all happened for Miami in 2018-2019. The Jacoby and Reese all-sports awards honor the best women’s and men’s athletic programs in the MAC. This is the first time ever in the history of Miami that we have won both in a single year. The Cartwright award is even broader, taking into account athletic performance, academic performance and citizenship. And it gets better – Miami Athletics just won the Cartwright Award once again! Congratulations to all of our student-athletes and the entire Miami Athletics staff for such an amazing year. Athletic Director David Sayler has framed the mission and purpose of Miami Athletics as “graduating champions.” We all celebrate these champions together.
Haverkos works on career development for students
Pete Haverkos has worked a variety of jobs at Miami for nearly two decades, but his favorite thing about the university remains constant.
“It is the people, the students, faculty and staff across all campuses that make Miami special,” said Haverkos, senior assistant dean for student and academic success at Miami Regionals. “There is such a commitment to our students, their learning and their well-being, with an emphasis on their academic success and career development.”
Haverkos is a double Miami alumnus, earning a master’s degree in college student personnel in 2001 and a doctorate in student affairs in higher education in 2015. His first position at Miami was in the Rinella Learning Center. In 2004, he was named director of learning assistance on the Hamilton campus and has since worked in a variety of roles at Miami Regionals.
Haverkos has helped lead the implementation of the Work+ program on the regional campuses this fall.
“This program provides an avenue for students to develop career skills and enhance their classroom learning with work experience,” he said. “The career development aspects of the program really excite me. This program can be an enlightening experience for students who are uncertain of their academic interests or career direction.”
Fairness guides equal opportunity officer
Miami University, Kenya Ash says, is a collection of people who come from different life experiences and perspectives.
“While every organization has its ups and downs, I have found in Miami a place – a home – where most people support, respect, accept and include one another,” said Ash, Miami’s director of the Office of Equity and Equal Opportunity, Title IX coordinator and ADA coordinator.
Ash came to Miami in 2006. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Ohio University in 1994 in political science and pre-law with a minor in Spanish, and her law degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Law in 1997.
“The best part of my job is meeting other people who firmly believe that fairness is at the heart of what we do, and they understand that it is what guides the OEEO,” she said.
A new way to recognize excellence in diversity
Vice President Ron Scott and the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion have created a recognition coin to be awarded to any member of the Miami community “spotted” living the values of diversity and inclusion. The coin prominently displays Miami’s signature “block M” logo and “I am Miami” on one side, with the recognition of our powerful partnership with Western College on the reverse side with text from our Code of Love & Honor.
Here’s how you can get involved. Please nominate a colleague – student, faculty or staff – who exemplifies the values of diversity, inclusion, and inclusive excellence by completing this short form.
Chemistry professor honored with national award
University Distinguished Professor Stacey Lowery Bretz has received the American Chemical Society Award for Achievement in Research on the Teaching and Learning of Chemistry, an international prize for boosting chemistry pedagogy. Bretz will receive the award in March at the American Chemical Society Spring National Meeting in Philadelphia. Bretz’s research team, which helps faculty assess students’ reasoning and their ability to connect classroom and laboratory learning, has received more than $5.26 million from the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Education since 2001.
Bretz came to Miami in 2005. In her research, she implements the pedagogies in her own teaching, which has earned her the E. Philip Knox Award for Undergraduate Teaching and the Distinguished Teaching Award for Excellence in Graduate Instruction and Mentoring – the only Miami faculty member to win both awards. She has mentored 23 undergraduates, three master’s students, 14 doctoral students and five postdoctoral scholars. Bretz, a first-generation college graduate, is a member of American Chemical Society and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Miami senior takes advantage of opportunities
Senior Lizzie Luh, a marketing and entrepreneurship co-major with a minor in French, has capitalized on all of the academic, athletic, social, leadership and service opportunities in her years at Miami. She is on the equestrian team, has led Igoodea Creatives and was part of the Creativity City planning committee.
“At Miami, I’ve said yes to the opportunities that have come my way,” Luh says. “This has allowed me to get involved in organizations and groups that have shaped my career through the lessons, experiences and people.”
Luh also has been a summer Altman Scholar for two years, with different internships that helped guide her career choices. “My favorite part about Miami are the people,” she says. “Through the Institute for Entrepreneurship, I have met my lifelong friend group who will always push me to do my best, personally and professionally, and call me out when I should be doing more.”
Miami Consumes Half the Energy of Peer Schools
With efforts that began more than a decade ago, Miami University has reached several energy milestones. The cumulative effect is that Miami consumes half the electric and fossil fuel of its private and public peers.
An energy survey by Sightlines, an agency providing facility and sustainability analysis, found Miami University in 2017 was consuming half the quantity of electric and fossil fuel per gross square foot than at least eight other universities.
While data was disaggregated, the list of other universities includes Carnegie Mellon, Kent State, Northwestern, Ohio State, Ohio and Purdue universities, University of Cincinnati and the University of Notre Dame.
Following an in-depth report on reducing the university’s carbon footprint, we have charged the university sustainability committee with providing additional details about two transparent pathways to achieve carbon neutrality: signing the Presidents’ Climate Leadership Commitment or implementing a university-based plan.
The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) gave Miami its first STARS Gold rating in recognition of its sustainability achievements. AASHE’s STARS program is the most widely recognized framework in the world for publicly reporting comprehensive university sustainability information.