Faculty & Staff Newsletter

August 17, 2020 Special Edition

Information Technology

Submitted by Jeff Metzger


Zoom is the new Bon Secours Mercy Health standard for audio/video conferencing. (Skype Conferencing has been discontinued.) Mercy College faculty and staff have been given Zoom accounts and are licensed under the BSMH business plan. If you previously used Zoom with a basic or free account, you will need to switch your license to the BSMH plan to remove the time and attendee limits. To check your license type, open the Zoom application, and click your initials or photo in the upper right corner. You should see the word "Licensed" displayed to the right of your name. If instead, you see "Basic" or "Free", please click "Switch Account" at the bottom of the menu. You will be prompted to sign in and should always click the "Sign In with SSO" button. The company domain is "bsmh" and you can sign in with your college email and password. If you have any questions or issues with logging into Zoom or scheduling meetings, please let us know.

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is a new product for the ministry and is intended to replace the collaboration sites that are currently on the Hub. Teams features channels, files, and conversations to facilitate group work. A Team is ideal for a department, project, or committee whose members need a place to collaborate on documents, exchange files, or have chat conversations. Approximately 20 Mercy College Hub sites have been moved to Teams. If you would like to learn more about Teams or would like to request one for your group, please let us know and we will help get you started.

Phishing Scams

Please be on alert for phishing scams arriving via email. In recent weeks, attackers have obtained the names of Mercy College executives or employees and opened fake Gmail accounts in those names. They then send messages asking for your phone number or other contact information. If you respond, the scammers follow up with text messages asking for money, gift cards, or further information. Always check the return address of incoming mail before responding to messages. If a message seems unusual or suspicious, call the sender to confirm the request is legitimate.

Academic Affairs Updates

Submitted by Trevor Bates

Social Engagement

Social zoology (of a mammal) describes how species are [often] found living together in groups, typically in a hierarchical system with complex communication ( Accounting for statistical outliers, humans are considered [very] social beings who rely on complex communication that is more often non-verbal than verbal and has become more digital and virtual. Different non-human species use a variety of sounds, gestures, expressions, and other forms of communication to share their lives with other members of their community. Taking it to another level, human beings are the most sophisticated mammals on the planet and have the ability to make changes if we decide that addressing the challenges of a few is the responsibility of the many. Survival of the fittest may be the rule in more primitive species, but as human beings we must consistently recognize God given gifts and the call to the higher purpose and serve others. We have shown the ability to survive as individual, but we thrive when we work together.

Based on this information, I offer the questions for reflection.

  • “[How] am I seeking ways to receive what may be complex communication from others who are communicating challenges that do not match my experience(s)?”
  • Do I build real connections to others who are different than me? We…few…must consistently recognize God…and serve others…together.

1. New Faculty & Staff

  • In 2020, Academic Affairs is pleased to welcome seven (7) new Faculty and one (1) new Staff to our community including:
    • Ms. Amber Kelly, Assistant Professor of Nursing
    • Ms. Barbara Frankforther, Assistant Professor of Nursing
    • Dr. Benjamin Parks, Assistant Professor of Medical Ethics and Religious Studies
    • Ms. Jennifer Cruz, Assistant Professor of Physician Assistant Studies
    • Ms. Julie Kish, Assistant Professor of Nursing
    • Ms. Lisa McConnell, Assistant Professor of Nursing
    • Ms. Melissa Korpick, Assistant Professor of Nursing
    • Dr. Padmaja Nandigama, Assistant Professor of Psychology
    • Ms. Sarah Mason, Associate Registrar
  • We are also pleased to announce the following academic instructional staff members were transitioned to Faculty roles including:
      • Ms. Dawn Borgerson, Assistant Professor of Nursing
      • Ms. Emily Scheuer, Assistant Professor of Nursing

2. Academic Search Committees

  • Pending searches:
    • Nursing Skills Lab Assistant and Administrative Coordinator for Academic Affairs
  • Ongoing searches are occurring for positions in Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies.
    • Thank you and please continue to participate as requested in virtual search processes.

3. Process / Document / Contract Review

  • Undergraduate Catalog, Graduate Catalog, Program Handbooks, and Faculty and Staff Handbooks will be completed this week.
    • A new Leave Policy for students will be placed in the 2020-2021 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalogs.

4. Assessment & Accreditation

  • The EMT-B and Paramedic program is awaiting official feedback from their Virtual Site Visit.
  • The developing Master of Physician Studies Program (MPAS) team expects to receive a response from the ARC-PA in September 2020 regarding next steps in the accreditation process.
  • The College no longer offers 5 week courses and will begin offering 7 week courses in the summer of 2021 to [better] accommodate the Accelerated BSN, MHA, MSN, and RN to MSN instructional needs.
  • In the Fall, Dr. Kim Watson and I will be rolling out the College’s plan for annual processes that will support maintaining current information and evidence related to our regional accreditation requirements from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
  • MHA Program – An Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) Annual Progress Report was submitted in June 2020 and the program was determined to be in good standing.
  • The Annual Program Accreditation Report for the Health Information Technology program was submitted in March to the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). No deficiencies were noted and CAHIIM granted the status of “Continuing Accreditation”.

5. Faculty Assembly

  • Faculty Assembly committee officers will be named in early weeks of the Fall semester.
  • Dr. Shah Hasan will be the featured speaker on the topic, “Teaching and Learning in a Community of Meaning” at the Virtual Faculty Development Day on August 18, 2020.
    • The theme of the Faculty Development Day is “Teaching: Tools and Tips”

6. Academic Administration Projects

  • Developing an Academic Strategic Action Plan (ASAP) to actively support implementation and progress of the College’s Strategic Plan. The focal areas are:
    • Faculty Development & Governance Supports
    • Student Education & Experience
    • Program Efficiency and Revenue
    • Institutional Quality Assessments
  • Completed a detailed plan for Fall on-campus teaching activities that will be implemented.
  • The Academic Program Review process is being finalized.
    • Next steps will involve Academic Program Directors and Deans reaching out to campus offices to discuss collaborative ways to improve support and success for academic programs.
  • Center for Teaching and Learning Innovation (CTLI)
    • Physical space adjacent to the Learning Commons has been allocated for the CTLI
    • New digital resources are being added on an ongoing basis to support hybrid and virtual instructional methodologies.

7. Academic Program Updates

  • The CHW program received notification on August 6, 2020 that it will be receiving a substantial HRSA grant that will provide support to students in the program over the next four years.
  • HIT Program
    • Effective August 16, 2020, Judy Dudley and Jennifer Jones will exchange roles within the Health Information Technology and Medical Coding Certificate programs. Judy will transition from the Program Director position to the full-time faculty member position while Jennifer Jones will assume the Program Director role.
  • MSN and MHA Fast Track options
    • The Fast Track will allow qualified students the option to complete graduate coursework that will meet undergraduate requirements. The Fast-Track has the benefit of increasing the value and marketability of all involved programs. These students will take graduate coursework at undergraduate tuition rates and will be able to complete their MSN of MHA degree in only five semesters with the Fast-Track option.

Please direct questions and/or comments about this sampling of Academic Affairs updates to Dr. Bates at

Dr. Trevor M. Bates, DHSc, AT, ATC
Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dean of Faculty, and Professor

Enrollment Update

Submitted by Lori Edgeworth

Welcome back to the Fall semester! An interesting one it is. 😊

Admissions: Our fall credit hour goal is 12,811 and we are working diligently to attain this. As of today, August 17, the total number of students enrolled for fall is 1362, enrolled in 11,792 credit hours. 405 of the 1362 students are new to the College. Please note that this doesn’t include the new BGSU or Tiffin students. We have additional SOAR programs this week to register new students and more continuing students who will be enrolling. It is the hope that we will reach our credit hour goal for the Fall.

Marketing: Yard signs have been ordered for all employees to show our Mercy Pride! “Healthcare Workers Made Here – Mercy College” are being placed in your office. Please take home and put in your front yard to show your Mercy Pride!!!! If for any reason you can't you use the sign, please let Denise Hudgin know.

Financial Aid: Financial Aid remains busy getting all student aid packages posted and students notified so they can pay their bill for the Fall semester!

Alumni and Auxiliary: Hannah Bohn is busy working on Alumni and Friends Weekend which, due to the pandemic, will be limited and virtual. Faculty, staff, and students are invited to participate in the following virtual events, which will take place the weekend of September 26-27: Mercy Mile, Mass, and Virtual Hangout. Information about Alumni and Friends weekend can be found at

Faculty/staff are invited to join the Mercy College Auxiliary. The purpose of the Auxiliary is to enhance the mission of the College through fundraising activities and volunteer services in support of a Christian learning environment. Membership is open to any interested person. The fee for membership is $10 per year or $75 for a perpetual membership. If you are interested, please visit the Auxiliary Membership page or contact Hannah Bohn at Apply for membership by August 21 to be included in the 2020-2021 Auxiliary Directory.

Please do not hesitate to contact the Enrollment team with any questions you may have.


Student Affairs Updates

Submitted by Marc Adkins

The effort to address social and racial injustice is on-going. The resources listed below are for students, faculty, and staff who are in need of support.

Counseling and Wellness - contact Suzanne Hall at 419-251-1454 or In Youngstown, contact Ann Bair at 330-480-2874 or Also, please access the Counseling & Wellness webpage or the Student Success folder on Canvas.

Campus Ministry and Pastoral Care - contact Annie Devine at 419-251-1866,, or the Campus Ministry webpage.

Life Matters – (Faculty & Staff) - Employees can call 877-692-7780 or text “Hello” to 61295. Additional information for Life Matters can be found on the Mercy Health Hub.

Safety & Security

Faculty re-entry plans for the fall semester have been finalized. Due to the increase in COVID cases, staff plans were revised with one Ex. Staff member on duty at the college, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Faculty and staff need to contact the Incident Commander, Marc Adkins, if requesting to be on campus during the aforementioned hours of operation.

As stated in the President’s Message, for the fall semester all coursework and services will be delivered virtually with labs on campus. All clinicals will be at the respective clinical sites. All on-campus activities (labs) will conclude before Thanksgiving (November 24).

Many of the safety measures utilized at the college this summer will remain for the fall semester and be extended to other parts of campus. All safety measures implemented at the college has, and will, follow the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (AICUO) and State of Ohio Governor’s office guidelines for higher education.

Please refer to the President’s Message that was sent to all faculty & staff on Friday, August 14 for additional details regarding opening plans for the fall semester.

Student Life

The annual Student Leader Retreat (SLR) will be delivered virtually, and at the request of student leadership, will be delivered on Friday, August 21 (2 to 5 p.m.), Saturday, August 22 (9 to 11 a.m.), Sunday, August 23 (4 to 6 p.m.). Additional resources and asynchronous sessions will be available to attendees via the Campus Life course shell on Canvas. This year’s theme is “Got Grit” with a focus on resilience, with presenters both internally and externally from Mercy College.

If you, or students you are aware, have food insecurity issues, please contact Annie Devine at or the Food Pantry webpage. Food pantry inquires can also be found in the Campus Life folder on Canvas.

Due to the COVID-19 situation and the revised fall schedule, it has been decided that the Day of Service will be postponed until 2021.

Diversity & Inclusion

The Director of Diversity & Inclusion position is being re-advertised and Mercy Corporate is now assisting the college in finding a qualified candidate.

Academic Support

Please do not hesitate to direct your students to the resources listed below, that will be delivered virtually for the fall semester. Academic support resources, such as tutoring in Nursing or other related disciplines (Sciences, Math & Writing) are available by contacting the Student Success Center at 419-251-1734,, or accessing the Student Success webpage.

In Youngstown, you can contact Somia Abou-Osman at 330-480-3145 or

Students have access to Smarthinking, the FREE, 24/7 online tutoring software that is available through Canvas. Also, on Canvas you will find the Student Success folder that houses resources as well as other helpful materials.

Accessibility & Testing Services

The Accessibility Services Office continues to serve all students remotely. New students will also be provided with services, information, meetings, etc. The remote office is open during normal business hours (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.) during the fall semester.

The design of accommodations is to provide not only equal access to the learning environment but also the same opportunities and experiences that all students have during college. Currently, with all classes being online, there may be some accommodations that may not apply in this situation, such as distraction reduced space or private space. Because we have no control over the student’s environment, it is up to the student to find/create such a space at home. The accommodations that are currently being provided online are:

  • Extra Test Time - the amount of time to take the test can be adjusted in Canvas for individual students according to the amount of extra time that is provided.
  • Screen Reader Program – all students who have been provided with this accommodation have access to the screen reader program on any of their devices and have been provided with instructions on how to set it up. We also offer to work with students to assist them with training. The screen reader program that the college uses, Texthelp Read and Write, works with Canvas.
  • Breaks - students are provided 1-2 breaks during testing for various reasons. If students tested at the Testing Center, they would need to signal to the proctor that they needed a break. The proctor would retrieve the student from the testing room, and walk them to the restroom/kitchen. Students were not permitted to leave the area, could not have their phones, etc.

Accommodations for paper-based/computer testing should first be made in the classroom unless time and/or environment does not allow for uninterrupted testing. Because all students are taking courses online, all students should be tested in the same environment if possible. Please let Christine Miller know if you need any assistance or need to discuss student accommodations as they relate to your course and the requirements.

Testing Services will be closed (both locations) for the fall semester. The only “testing” that will be provided online is the Accuplacer math placement assessment for new students. Because the proctor must have control of the student’s desktop (as well as sharing the screen) to be able to provide the test, they cannot test more than one student at a time and the time for this test is unlimited. Prior, when proctoring course exams in the Testing Center, proctors were proctoring several different paper/computer exams for different courses at the same time. We are not able to do this at this time, and the Testing Center does not proctor entire classes.

Students who are not on campus should not be required to travel to campus to take a test. Until we can provide testing for makeups, tests with accommodations, etc. as before, we will not be open.

We will be glad to notify you of any changes as I am informed. In the meantime, feel free to contact Shelly Clark at 419-251-2106 for testing related questions or Christine Miller at 419-251-1784.


Send a message to Dr. Wajert using this link.

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