Mount Union Recognizes Student Success with Merit Pages

ALLIANCE, Ohio – The University of Mount Union is now using a new social network, Merit, to celebrate student accomplishments.

Merit is a social platform that showcases student accomplishments by awarding achievements to students based on their activities on campus. Achievements can include making the Dean’s List, studying abroad, receiving an internship or earning a scholarship. With each achievement a student earns, a unique, specialized badge is added to his or her Merit page. A badge symbolizes the verification of an achievement and connects a student’s accomplishments with the University of Mount Union. All of these achievements and badges build over time and look impressive next to a resume or connected on a LinkedIn page.

Aside from achievements, students can also add their work experience and campus involvement and can include links to photos and videos. This gives students a platform to include more in-depth information than a resume typically includes. Merit also allows students to create a personal biography.

Students can also follow each other to compare achievements, see each other’s experiences and organizational positions and get notifications about each other’s accounts. Having an exceptional Merit page could be the first step toward creating and maintaining a positive and professional online presence that can help students move forward in the academic and career worlds.

Merit allows students to receive the recognition that they deserve. Students can share their earned badges on Facebook, Twitter and other social media websites to let their friends and family know what they are accomplishing while at Mount Union. In addition, Merit also sends hometown releases to a student’s hometown newspaper so friends and family at home can stay up to date on accomplishments.

Students who don’t already have a Merit page will be receiving an email soon and can follow the link in the email to claim their own Merit page and begin taking advantage of all Merit offers to celebrate student success.



Mount Union Engineering Programs Earn ABET Accreditation

ALLIANCE, Ohio – The University of Mount Union’s civil and mechanical engineering programs have received accreditation from the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.

“Mount Union’s engineering faculty members have worked tirelessly to establish and maintain quality standards for our mechanical and civil engineering programs since they were established in the fall of 2010, and earning accreditation is an important milestone for these programs,” said Dr. Patricia Draves, vice president for Academic Affairs and dean of the University. “This national accomplishment places Mount Union on the map as a competitive engineering school with high quality programs.”

“ABET accreditation is the gold standard in engineering education,” said University president Dick Merriman. “Congratulations to the engineering faculty and Dr. Patricia Draves for this notable achievement.”

In order to be evaluated by ABET, Mount Union had to first graduate at least one class of engineering students. The first class of students graduated in 2014 and the accreditation process began as soon as the program was eligible last fall. To date, job placement rate for Mount Union engineering graduates is 100%.

“We are extremely pleased to have received accreditation status for our engineering programs,” said Dr. Osama Jadaan, chair and professor of the Department of Engineering at Mount Union. “Parents and students interested in engineering can come to Mount Union with the assurance that we do have quality engineering programs that are accredited.”

The University’s accreditation is retroactive, meaning all previous graduates have earned degrees from an accredited engineering institution. One reason ABET accreditation is important is that some companies only hire graduates from accredited engineering schools. In addition, grads from accredited engineering programs are eligible to sit for engineering licensure exams.

Mount Union senior civil engineering major Taylor Cline of Madison, Ohio can attest to the quality preparation she’s been given at Mount Union, as she already has a job lined up as an engineer when she graduates.

“Through the smaller class sizes, extensive education inside and outside of the classroom and opportunities given through the program, I have been pushed and challenged to be the best,” Cline said. “Our professors do the best job of not only preparing us every day for the real world but also being there to help us in any way possible. Through the education I have received, I have become an innovative problem solver, creative thinker and a hard worker. I have been pushed and challenged to the extreme, but only because my professors always believed in me. My civil engineering education at Mount Union has been the best, most rewarding decision I ever made.”

“The mechanical engineering program at Mount Union has given me the tools to apply my knowledge of physics and mathematics to an ever-changing world,” said senior mechanical engineering major Nathan Lorah of East Liverpool, Ohio. “Mount Union stands out as a program with the relationships that are built with professors who provide an easy transfer of the material as well as valuable life skills. The engineering department has been able to hire new faculty and add new lab equipment through support from the university, which shows that this program will continue to improve after I graduate.”

To receive accreditation, an institution must have qualified faculty members in place, proper laboratories and facilities for teaching and a continuous improvement process in place within the engineering curriculum. Accredited institutions must establish successful student outcomes and assess that graduates have successfully learned the material they have been taught.

Both the civil and mechanical engineering programs at Mount Union are developed around four pillars of exceptional engineering education: extensive hands-on real world engineering; required international engineering field experience; integrated engineering knowledge and essential business skills and developing students into effective leaders and communicators.

ABET is a non-profit, non-governmental accrediting agency for programs in applied science, computing, engineering and engineering technology. According to the organization’s website, ABET accreditation provides assurance that a college or university program meets the quality standards of the profession for which that program prepares graduates.

Mount Union Class of 2019 Welcomed to Campus

ALLIANCE, Ohio – The University of Mount Union officially welcomed its newest class of students during the annual Matriculation Convocation ceremony held Sunday afternoon.

The Class of 2019 ushered in the academic year with a ceremony held on the lawn of the University’s iconic Chapman Hall. Dr. Patricia Draves, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the University, welcomed new students –approximately 600 in total. Draves encouraged students to make connections with faculty, among different classes, outside and inside the classroom and with members of the Mount Union community.

“Making connections takes work and will require your full focus and dedication,” Draves said. “You have four short years here so make the most of it. Challenge yourself, challenge one another and yes, be sure to challenge your professors.”

Dr. W. Richard Merriman, Jr., who began his role as president of the University in July, noted the unique bond he shares with the Class of 2019.

“As you begin your first year as students at this exceptional university, I begin my first year as its president,” Merriman said. “I understand the natural inclination to feel a little nervous about a big transition in life. Margot and I certainly did when we moved to Alliance just a few months ago. People here have welcomed us warmly and I’m confident that you’ll soon feel very much at home here as well.”

Merriman said the Class of 2019 comes from Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. In addition, international students represent Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Spain and the United Kingdom.

“At Mount Union, you really get to enjoy the best of both worlds,” Merriman continued. “As students, you can thrive in the intimate and caring environment typically associated with a smaller college while enjoying the expanded opportunities and variety of a larger university.”

Dr. Robert Woodward, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry and 2015 Great Teacher, shared words of wisdom with the incoming class. Like Merriman, Woodward told students he shares something in common with them – he was born and raised in a small town in Ohio. Growing up in Ohio, he said, he learned from an early age that the best college football programs in America reside in Ohio – The Ohio State University Buckeyes and the Mount Union Purple Raiders.

Woodward said one of his fondest memories of college football took place last year as Ohio State faced adversity and yet managed to win the Big Ten Championship. He recalled Ohio State coach Urban Meyer suggesting that the family-like culture amongst his players was a key contributor to their success. This idea stood out to Woodward because it’s a concept he’s noticed in his years as a professor.

“Each fall, I actually tell my organic chemistry students that their experience in my course will be exponentially better and successful once they recognize that they are all in this together and become like family to each other,” Woodward said.

Woodward told the Class of 2019 that they are now part of the Mount Union family and shared why a sense of family is invaluable when it comes to success. First, he said, being part of a family means a person needs to be authentic.

“We want you to be authentic, to be your true self. And when you do let this happen, it is going to help create an awesome classroom experience because you will not only engage with others, but also begin to develop the skills necessary to actually think and analyze not just yourself but any situation you may encounter in life,” Woodward said.

Woodward also encouraged students to communicate when problems arise and take advantage of the support system of faculty, staff and fellow students at Mount Union.

Mount Union senior Daria Chalupa, a senior of Parma, Ohio and president of Student Senate, told freshmen that the friends they make this year will be friends they carry into the rest of their lives and the memories they make on campus will be remembered for a lifetime.

“If you need help, any kind of help, there is a Mount Union support system for you,” Chalupa said. We will help you get where you need to go, because we are here to support you.”

Alumni Association representative Bill Schumacher ’82 encouraged students to be involved on campus, both while a student and after graduation.

“I know it’s hard to think a few years down the road to the day you will graduate and all that will come after, but I encourage you to make meaningful connections now that will benefit you long into your futures,” Schumacher said.

After learning about the significance of the Matriculation ceremony from Draves, students had an opportunity to sign the Matriculation Book. Signing the book is a pledge that students will dedicate their efforts and talents to excellence in liberal learning and career preparation. The book, which remains in the care of the Office of the President until graduation, will be on display in the University Store during graduation week in 2019 for students to see.






Department of Art Hosts Exhibit for Russian Landscapes Paintings

ALLIANCE, Ohio – The University of Mount Union’s Department of Art will host a silent auction for paintings based on Russian landscapes which are now on display in the University’s Sally Otto Gallery in the Giese Center for the Performing Arts.

In the winter of 1997, Dr. Frank Triplett, professor emeritus of French, traveled to Kursk, Russia as a participant in the Russia Initiative of the East Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church. While on that trip, Triplett was intrigued with paintings in the University’s art gallery and the works of local artists from the Kursk region.

In 2000, Triplett, with the cooperation of Kursk State University, organized a local Russian competition for a Mount Union exhibit. In May of 2005, Triplett, Dr. Mark Himmelein, professor of German and Robert Buganski, associate professor of art, returned to Kursk and chose paintings that were shipped to Mount Union thanks to the generosity of two private donors. The inaugural art auction was held in February of 2006.

In May of 2009, with proceeds from the first auction and donor support, Triplett, Himmelein and Margo Miller, assistant professor of art, along with several students, returned to Kursk and chose 35 paintings that were purchased and shipped to Mount Union. The second Russian Landscape Exhibit was also successful and proceeds from that auction made possible the latest exhibit and auction to be held through September 26.

Paintings for the current exhibition, “Russian Landscapes – 2015,” were selected by Himmelein with guidance from Joel Collins, professor emeritus of art; Buganski and Miller. Carol Opatken, Mount Union gallery coordinator, organized the show and prepared the paintings for exhibition. In addition to the works purchased from proceeds from the last auction, this Russian Landscape Exhibit contains several donated paintings. Proceeds from the sale of the donated works will be used to support the Ponery Children’s Home in Ponery, Russia.

The works presented in this show were taken directly from nature and are infused with a feeling of the open air. These artists paint subject matter not normally seen, everyday things in surroundings common and familiar to them and with the people with whom they share their lives. They came out of their studios into the open air to create their works and present viewers with an opportunity to sample and enjoy a genuine flavor of the Kursk landscape and of the Russian culture.

The paintings may be viewed at artauction.mountunion.eduand silent auction bids may be submitted at artauction.mountunion.edubeginning September 15. Guests may visit the Sally Otto Art Gallery located in the Giese Center for Performing Arts during regular hours to view the painting in person. There are minimum bids on all paintings and all paintings are framed.   

A reception will take place from 4 to 6:30 p.m. on September 26 in the Sally Otto Gallery. Bidding will close at 6 p.m. and winners of the auction will be announced at 6:30 p.m.


Mount Union Purchases Vicon System for Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

ALLIANCE, Ohio – The University of Mount Union recently purchased a Vicon Motion Capture system for its new Doctor of Physical Therapy Motion Analysis Laboratory. The system will allow students to analyze movements with greater accuracy.

The University will launch a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program in fall 2016. The mission of the program is to prepare sensitive, responsive Doctors of Physical Therapy to utilize evidence and best practices for lifelong service to patients, clients and society. The University of Mount Union has a long tradition of preparing students to be compassionate, caring humanitarians, and this is the foundation for Mount Union’s DPT program. Mount Union’s new state-of-the-art science facility, long-term working relationships with Alliance Community Hospital and Cleveland Clinic and cooperative relationships with Canton and Youngstown area hospitals have built the foundation for a successful Doctor of Physical Therapy program.

Dr. Robert M. Frampton, PT, DHCE, MPT, chairperson and director of physical therapy at Mount Union, said the Vicon system will further enhance the University’s DPT facilities and will be extremely beneficial to students in the program.

“Any time students can be exposed to a motion capture system, it helps bring many of the concepts we’re going to talk about in class to the forefront in an application that you can visualize and get an appreciation for,” Frampton said.

The Motion Analysis Lab will be equipped with Vicon T-series cameras and Nexus 2 software integrated with force plates, EMG systems and other components. The lab’s research will focus on pre- and post-surgical alterations in knee and hip joint replacements, gait analysis, motion capture and the sensory system. The Vicon system will allow information about a movement’s speed, direction, force and muscular activity to be represented diagrammatically, enabling the original image of the movement to be superimposed on a represented skeletal system created from the image data.

“We chose a Vicon system for our Motion Analysis Laboratory because they are an industry leader – the system integrates with multiple platforms far better than any of the competitors,” Frampton said. “This will give students a better appreciation for how things operate in sync with each other and for what patients have to do to accomplish a movement.”

For more information on Mount Union’s future DPT program, visit

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