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July 8, 2011 / hpclevelandstater

Expanded computer lab in library on tap

Students taking summer classes might have noticed the new desks in the computer area on the first floor of the library.

Information Services and Technology Chief Information Officer Bill Wilson said machines from the fourth-floor lab are being moved down to the first floor.

Moving the computers is part of several changes IS&T has in store. It will also be offering iPads at Mobile Campus.

Adding tablets to the laptop computers available for checkout might not lead to a decrease in the number students circling the computer labs while waiting for a machine to open up during busy times.

The iPads and laptops don’t have heavy-duty software such as Photoshop, so desktop computers are expected to remain in high demand.

It’s possible more computers could be added later. An official announcement on the computers in the first-floor library lab is expected in the fall.

July 6, 2011 / hpclevelandstater

Clock is ahead of its time

I don’t know how long the clock facing south in the plaza outside Rhodes Tower has been 12 minutes fast.

It could be weeks or months. I wish someone would fix it, though. I’ve trained myself to not be fooled by it.

I still look every time I’m walking through the interior connector, hoping it will be correct.

Maybe in time for the fall?

June 30, 2011 / hpclevelandstater

Blackboard is a website? I knew that

While working on a story about technology on campus, it reminded me of my first day back at CSU in January 2009.

I had been away from school for more than seven years. Some of the new ways of doing things, such as registering online, weren’t surprising.  I was caught unaware of one, though.

My first class was in MU 107, the lecture hall in the Music/COM building. After the syllabuses were passed out, one student asked the instructor, Dr. Patty Burant, if she used blackboard.

I thought my classmate was asking because she was sitting in the back and wanted to know if she needed to move up front for the lectures.

Turns out blackboard was Blackboard, the website that houses all of our class information. I knew that. Of course I did.

Not to sound old, but things are a lot more convenient than they were in my first go-around. For example:

– You can register for class, pay tuition, orders book and a get parking pass online.

– If your instructor is Blackboard savvy, everything you need is housed on the class site. In the fall, I had a professor who didn’t pass out a syllabus. It was up to us if we wanted to print it or not.

– You can find out about class cancellations via voicemail, email or text message.

Before students registered online, it could have turned into an adventure if you waited until the week before classes started (never happened with yours truly, of course).

If, while meeting with your adviser, you discovered a class was almost full, you had dash over to the third floor of Fenn Tower and hope no one else signed up while you were in line. Then you had to go down to the floor level of Fenn to the Bursar’s Office to pay the bill. Then it was on to the bookstore and parking. It involved a lot of waiting, and because you waited until the last minute, there was no one else to blame.

Did I mention that there was always a foot of snow and Fenn Tower was 10 miles away back then?

June 9, 2011 / hpclevelandstater

Challenges ahead for new dean

Meredith Bond works with Ph.D student Maureen O’Donnell at the University of Maryland (courtesy Meredith Bond)

When incoming College of Sciences and Health professions dean Meredith Bond begins at CSU on July 18, she will be facing an interesting challenge beyond the budget or research.

In an interview for a story appearing in the June 10 Cleveland Stater, she said several times that she wants to find ways to interact with students – formally, informally, even off-campus.

The problem is the dean’s office. If a movie villain was looking for place to build his secret lair, Bond’s soon-to-be digs would be a good place. It’s located in a nondescript hallway on the third floor of the Science Research building. It’s a floor above the interior connector, so it’s not a place that gets a lot of foot traffic.

Getting out and about sounds like something Bond is going to look forward to. Christine Moravec, a researcher at the Cleveland Clinic’s Department of Molecular Cardiology and a colleague of Bond’s, says she is “very personable, fun-loving and always likes to be in groups.”

Bond also has a great Australian accent (“She thinks she doesn’t have an accent anymore,” Morave joked), and added that she loves the winters here. I asked her if she was just saying that to play to her audience. But she put her money where her snow skis are, saying that she enjoys going to the Metroparks near her home for cross country skiing. Bond has kept her home in Chagrin Falls while working in Maryland the past eight years.

While Bond is making student interaction a priority, outgoing dean Bette R. Bonder said getting back in touch with students was one of the main reasons she’s going back into teaching at CSU.

“As a dean, I don’t see the students as often,” Bonder said. “I tend to only see them when they do something great or when problems happen. I want to see students on a day-to-day basis.”

Bonder will be going back into health sciences scientology and gerontology. She’s leaving the college in good shape. Scholarships increased from seven to 19 during her five-year tenure. The college added health professions to its title a year go.

And the budget. Of course, the budget. It’s hard to talk about anything happening on campus without the budget coming into the discussion. “Our faculty have really stepped up in taking on extra students,” Bonder said.