Otterbein Receives Choose Ohio First Grant to Support Math and Nursing Students

Posted Apr 05, 2022

Choose Ohio First

Otterbein University has received a Choose Ohio First (COF) grant from the State of Ohio and the Department of Higher Education (ODHE) to increase the number of Ohio residents completing postsecondary studies in the fields of math, actuarial science, math education, and nursing.

The ODHE committee was so impressed with Otterbein’s proposal that it awarded the University 5% more than the requested $1,199,940. Additionally, a delegation from ODHE will be visiting Otterbein on April 14 to learn more about the University’s work.

“We are so grateful for this grant. The additional funding will support even more Ohio students than we had hoped,” said Janelle Hallett, director of grants and sponsored programs.

The grant of $1,259,937 will support students from Ohio entering Otterbein University’s math and nursing programs with a focus on underrepresented groups in these fields. Otterbein will focus on recruiting men in nursing and women in the fields of math and actuarial science, as well as students with financial need.

“Ohio’s richest resource is our young people. With this grant, we are attracting Ohioans from traditionally under-represented groups in nursing, such as men, individuals from low-socioeconomic groups, and individuals living within Ohio’s Appalachian counties,” said Associate Professor John Chovan, chair of the Department of Nursing.

“Because nurses are in such high demand, the Choose Ohio First grant will help with diversifying the Ohio nursing workforce as well as providing Otterbein-educated nurses to serve as healthcare professionals and role models,” Chovan added.

The Department of Mathematics and Actuarial Science also sees potential to reach new students.

“Where some students may have found college out of reach because of challenging financial situations, the Choose Ohio First grant opens the way to a tremendous opportunity,” said Assistant Professor Kirk Kayser. “The incoming cohorts of motivated and talented students will undoubtedly strengthen the sense of community and enthusiasm for learning among mathematics majors at Otterbein.

“We believe firmly that students who come to Otterbein will find exceptional jobs in central Ohio after graduation and contribute to the excellence of the state workforce,” said Kayser.

Otterbein University currently has two additional Choose Ohio First scholarship awards including support for scholarships for Ohio students in computer science and STEMM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine) and STEMM education.

Additionally, nursing faculty at Otterbein University recently were awarded an Ohio Board of Nursing (OBN) Nurse Education grant of $200,000 to address the nursing shortage within the State of Ohio. This grant will support nurse education programs in Ohio to increase enrollment capacity of nursing students and nursing educators.

These scholarship programs support Otterbein’s work to increase access and affordability to students of all backgrounds, a mission supported by Otterbein’s President John Comerford.

“Access and affordability are key to Otterbein’s mission,” said Comerford. “The students in this program will add to the diversity of campus and help create a better learning environment for all students while we ensure our graduates are ready to meet the workforce needs of Ohio.”