Otterbein Receives Choose Ohio First Grant to Promote Diversity in Math and Nursing

Otterbein received a Choose Ohio First (COF) grant of $1,259,937 from the State of Ohio and the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) to support students from Ohio entering Otterbein University’s math and nursing programs with a focus on underrepresented groups in these fields.

“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 Assistant Professor Kirk Kayser, Department of Mathematics and Actuarial Science.

Otterbein Continues to Climb in National Rankings

In the U.S. News & World Report 2022-2023 edition of “America’s Best Colleges,” Otterbein jumped from 12th place to 9th, placing it in the top 6% among 166 peers in the Regional Universities–Midwest category. In 2021, Otterbein was 21st overall in its category.

Additionally, Otterbein was recognized on the following lists:

MOST INNOVATIVE SCHOOLS
Otterbein debuted at 9th in its category.

BEST UNDERGRADUATE TEACHING
Otterbein jumped from 18th place to 7th, top 5% in its category.

BEST VALUE SCHOOL
Otterbein ranked 37th in its category.

TOP PERFORMERS ON SOCIAL MOBILITY
Otterbein jumped from 121st to 67th in its category.

Otterbein has once again been recognized as one of the nation’s Colleges of Distinction. Otterbein received program-specific recognition in Business, Education, Engineering, Nursing, and Career Development. Otterbein was also recognized for Equity and Inclusion.

Colleges of Distinction’s selection process consists of a review of each institution’s first-year experience and retention efforts alongside its general education programs, alumni success, strategic plan, student satisfaction, and more. Schools are accepted on the basis that they adhere to the four distinctions: engaged students, great teaching, vibrant community, and successful outcomes.

Thank You 2022 Donors!

Grace Rohrer Rymer ’48 has generously supported Otterbein through a gift to the Grace Rohrer Rymer ’48 and Richard Rymer Scholarship. She also continues to support the Otterbein Fund — Grace has been a donor for almost 40 years and is a member of our Cardinal Loyalty Society.

Pamela Hill Lorr ’75 donated a generous gift to support the Pamela Hill Lorr Theatre Endowment Fund, which helps students with short-term financial need and assists the Department of Theatre and Dance with expenses related to the practice of theatre directing for student projects and works and/or support of guest directors for masterclasses or seminars.

Thomas Bromeley ’51, chair emeritus of the Board of Trustees, recently made a generous gift in support of Otterbein and has been a loyal donor and champion for the University for 31 years.

The Campus Center Renovation Fund and the Otterbein Fund have received additional support from President’s Society member Robert Woodruff ’67, who committed $75,000 to advance these two important University priorities.

Donna Kerr H’71 continues to show her kindness and generosity to the University through her recent support in memory of her late husband and former president of Otterbein, Dr. Thomas Kerr. She recently contributed a generous gift to the Campus Center Renovation Fund, in addition to supporting the Thomas J. Kerr IV Scholarship, Donna L. Kerr Scholarship, and the Otterbein Fund.

The Otterbein Fund received significant support over the past year from Trustee Emeritus Michael Ducey ’70 and his wife, Pattie Black-Ducey. The Duceys have been loyal supporters of Otterbein for the past 36 years.

Otterbein is grateful to Richard ’54 and Carolyn Brown ’53 Sherrick for their generous support over the past year for the Otterbein Fund, along with the Sherrick Nativity Collection Endowment.

A Creche From Alaska
A soapstone and bone crèche
A Creche From Cameroon
A ceramic crèche from Cameroon

Otterbein Men’s Basketball team from 1991.

Otterbein men’s basketball alumnus Eric Wagenbrenner ’91 recently donated $10,000 to support the men’s basketball program. During Wagenbrenner’s tenure on the team from 1987-1991, the Cardinals had some of their most successful seasons, reaching the NCAA Division III Final Four and landing the team in the Cardinals Hall of Champions.

Lifelong Learning community Endowments Established

Generous anonymous donors have stepped forward to help create two endowments to support the Lifelong Learning Community (LLC) at Otterbein — one to assist with operations and programming and the other to support the LLC Scholars Award, which provides monetary assistance to Otterbein students during their final year of study.

In addition to the new endowments, the LLC recently dedicated a classroom at The Point as the Dr. Alison H. Prindle Lifelong Learning Classroom, to honor her lifetime commitment to learning and Otterbein.

For more information, call the Office of Institutional Advancement at 614-823-1305 or visit the Lifelong Learning Community Web page.

Find the Perfect Way to Get Involved

Alumni Volunteers

The Otterbein community has a rich tradition of giving back. You can see that today in the actions of our current students; just look at the great work they’ve done at the Promise House and Community Garden, to give two examples. But volunteering doesn’t stop at graduation. Each year hundreds of Otterbein alumni, family members, and friends make it a priority to share a precious commodity with our campus community and beyond: their time. Whether as a member of one of our alumni group boards, an admissions volunteer, a guest lecturer in the classroom, or one of a dozen other ways, the Otterbein community steps up for our students in incredible numbers. Now we’re making it even easier for volunteers — and would-be volunteers — to find the right opportunity for themselves.

Visit www.otterbein.edu/alumni/volunteer-give/ to find the volunteer role that suits you based on your interests and the time you have to devote to the experience.

We hope you’ll join us in supporting Otterbein students in ways that allow you to share the gifts of experience, energy, and expertise that each of you has to offer. Our students and the entire Cardinal family thank you!

Volunteer Opportunities

  • Reunion Committee
  • Admissions Volunteer
  • Career Development
  • Fundraising
  • Community Engagement
  • Special Events
  • Social Media Ambassador
  • Alumni Group Boards

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Students Earn Top National Honor

During the 2022 spring semester, five Otterbein students — Evan Shelton ’22, Lily Nichols ’22, Dylan Gray ’22, Lexie Sherman ’22, and Antonieta van den Berg Monsalve ’22 — were inducted into the national honor society of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB).

Only 33 students across the country were selected for membership in Chi Omega Lambda this year, so the five Cardinals represented 15% of the new class. Additionally, Hope Lewis ’22 was inducted to the honor society in 2021.

Faculty Receive Awards for Excellence

Each year, Otterbein honors outstanding teachers for their impact on their students, colleagues, and the University. Professor of Music Jennifer Merkowitz, the recipient of this year’s Teacher of the Year Award, was recognized for striking a perfect balance between theory and application that leads her students to land jobs and careers they are passionate about.

Associate Professor of Communication Eric Jones received the Exemplary Teaching Award, a national honor sponsored by the United Methodist Church’s General Board of Higher Education. In addition to creating an inclusive, equitable, and understanding learning environment in his classes, he has offered his time and expertise to Otterbein’s Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation (TRHT) Campus Center. He has mentored undergraduate TRHT Fellows as they collect and record oral histories from Otterbein alumni of color, a project at the center of TRHT’s efforts to create narrative change and reckon honestly with the past.

Art Professor Emeritus Nicholas Hill has been visually chronicling the COVID-19 pandemic since it began, creating The Pandemic Portraits Series (2020-present). An exhibition of the portraits premiered at Otterbein in spring 2021. Now a catalog containing 105 portraits from the series is available, with proceeds benefitting Otterbein’s Frank Museum of Art. Click here to order the book.

An internationally acclaimed art exhibition that premiered at Otterbein co-created by English Professor Patricia Frick and Director of Museum and Galleries Janice Glowski is traveling to Chile for its next engagement in Valparaiso in Spring 2023. Lands, Real and Imagined: Women Artists Respond to the Art and Travel Writings of Maria Graham, features five female artists. It is based on Frick’s research on Graham (1785-1842), an accomplished Victorian travel writer, historian, illustrator, and amateur scientist.

Equine Teams Add Another Strong Season to Impressive Program

Otterbein University’s equine teams were back in competition for the first time since 2019 due to the pandemic. All teams had impressive finishes. The dressage team won the Intercollegiate Dressage Association’s national championship — the team’s second consecutive title — and the hunt seat team completed their season as zone and region champions. The hunt seat team placed 13th in the national tournament.

Nursing Certification Rates Outpace National Average

As the nation is facing a nursing shortage, Otterbein is graduating students who are prepared to immediately enter their field. Otterbein’s bachelor of science in nursing graduates achieved a 96.61% first-time pass rate on the National Council of State Boards of Nursing Licensing Exam (NCLEX-RN) in 2021. Otterbein’s rate is well above the Ohio rate of 79.07% and the national pass rate of 82.48%. Additionally, nursing faculty at Otterbein University received 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.

New Center Offers Safe Space and Peer Advocates for Otterbein Students

Otterbein has established a new Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Resource Center with community space, a furnished safe room for any student living in an unsafe situation, and housing for Peer Advocates. Peer Advocates are students who have completed 40 hours of training including trauma informed crisis response, particularly trauma informed response for sexual violence victims/survivors and are qualified to help in many situations.

“We’re the only school in the state of Ohio that we know of that has a trained peer advocate staff,” said Associate Professor Tammy Birk, director of the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program.