Mount Union Names Matt Mihelic Head Men's Volleyball Coach

Matt Mihelic

ALLIANCE, Ohio – The University of Mount Union has named Matt Mihelic as its first-ever head men's volleyball coach. 

"Matt's experience, drive and dedication made him an excellent choice to start our men's volleyball program," commented athletic director Larry Kehres. "All of us at Mount Union look forward to working with him in building our program."

Mihelic spent the last two years as the boys’ program director for the Ohio Valley region of USA Volleyball. He has been responsible for the participation and growth of boys’ volleyball in a region that includes Ohio, Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The program has seen substantial growth in many areas, particularly in the 12U and 14U levels and in the creation of a 12U regional championship.

"I look forward to meeting the opportunities and challenges of building and coaching the men's volleyball team at Mount Union," commented Mihelic. "There is such a great energy on the campus and the men's volleyball program will complement the superb facilities, programs, faculty and staff.  I am happy that Mount Union is contributing to the continued growth of the sport in Ohio and in NCAA Division III. I look forward to getting started."

From 2003 to 2015, Mihelic was the head boy’s volleyball coach at Archbishop Hoban High School in Akron, Ohio, where he led the Knights to five regional championships, two state runner-up finishes and state championships in 2008 and 2010. He had a win-loss record of 211-90, winning the Ohio High School Boys Volleyball Coach of the Year Award in 2008 and North Region Coach of the Year honor three times. He is a past regional director and former president of the Ohio High School Boys Volleyball Association.

Mihelic was a four-year starter and two-time captain on the men's volleyball team at Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pa., and holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications. 

Matt and his wife Alicia are the parents of three sons and reside in Louisville, Ohio.

The men's volleyball program at Mount Union will begin competition in the spring of 2019.

Turning Costs into Investments: How the Green Revolving Fund Improves Sustainability Efforts at Mount Union

ALLIANCE, Ohio— The University of Mount Union’s Green Revolving Fund (GRF) continues to make a commitment to sustainability efforts on campus. The GRF was approved in 2016 by the University’s Board of Trustees and has been used to cycle back savings from energy efficiency improvements to fund future sustainability projects on campus.

The focus of the Green Revolving Fund is to develop projects in water conservation, energy consumption, and renewable energy. The projects must have a measurable Return on Investment (ROI) of five years or less to reinvest for projects in the future. The idea is to view these projects as an investment in energy efficiency and to engage the campus community to get involved by proposing their own energy efficiency projects.

“The Green Revolving Fund is an internal investment strategy that provides financing for implementing energy efficiency, renewable energy, and other sustainability projects that generate cost-savings,” said Jamie Greiner, sustainability and campus outreach manager at Mount Union. “The GRF reframes energy efficiency projects as investments, as opposed to how they’re usually viewed: as costs. Utilizing savings from past projects turns the initial monetary allocation into a targeted program of investment. The cost savings and emissions reductions continually accumulate with each round of projects. The GRF just makes sense.”

Based on past completed projects, the University is making considerable efforts towards a more sustainable campus while keeping the goal of climate neutrality by the year 2046 in mind. In 2016, 100 motion sensors, which turn off the lights when areas are not being used, were installed throughout campus. In addition, the Physical Plant staff retrofitted a chemistry lab fume hood and replaced all of the lightbulbs in Bracy Hall with LED bulbs. The payback for these projects is two years.

In the summer of 2017, an effort was made to reduce energy consumption through resident housing lighting renovations. The GRF was utilized to replace regular lightbulbs with LED bulbs in more than 100 apartments, seven traditional and three suite-style residence halls. Of the 19 buildings updated, 17 were completed solely by Mount Union’s Physical Plant staff. With labor coming primarily from these University employees, along with help from Scott Electric and rebates through First Energy, the payback for these buildings is just six months with an estimated energy savings of more than $60,000 per year.

The next phase of campus lighting renovations involves replacing 220 outdoor light poles with LED bulbs. After rebates from First Energy, this update will come at no cost to Mount Union.

The University intends to continue utilizing the GRF towards improving sustainability on campus in the coming years. New project ideas are welcomed and are encouraged. Project ideas can be submitted through the online form at mountunion.edu/green-revolving-fund.

For more information on the GRF and campus sustainability efforts, contact Jamie Greiner at (330) 829-8161 or greineja@mountunion.edu.

Regula Center Sponsors Meet the Candidates Event

ALLIANCE, Ohio – With six candidates vying for three council-at-large seats in the upcoming election, the Mount Union Regula Center for Public Service and Civic Engagement will host a Meet the Candidates night on October 26 at 5 p.m.

The event, which will be held in the Newbold Room in the Hoover-Price Campus Center, will provide community members the opportunity to get to know each of the candidates and their platforms as the election approaches. Each candidate will have time to share about themselves followed by a question-and-answer session. The event will be moderated by students from the Department of Political Science and International Studies at Mount Union.

Audience members will have the opportunity to ask candidates about their political careers, experiences and hopes for the future of Alliance as many of them have not held council seats in the past. In recent months, more interest in the actions of Alliance City Council has been generated and the event will provide a town hall-style discourse about the relevant issues facing the city.

Participating candidates include Donald Bartolet, Brandi Douthitt, Julie A. Jakmides, Brian Simeone and David Smith. Candidates are looking forward to the opportunity to share with the community and meet their constituents.

“Hosting events to engage our students and the Alliance community to participate in local politics in a shared, civil space is important to the center,” said Abby Honaker Schroeder, director of the Regula Center. “We strive to provide opportunities to highlight local politicians and help inform voters.”

Refreshments will be provided at the event, which is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Schroeder at (330) 829-8168 or honakeal@mountunion.edu.

University of Mount Union Recognized as 2016 Tree Campus USA

ALLIANCE, Ohio – For the seventh consecutive year, the University of Mount Union has been recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation as a 2016 Tree Campus USA for its commitment to effective urban forest management. 

In order to obtain this recognition, the University had to meet five standards of conservation. These standards include maintaining a tree advisory committee, developing a campus tree-care plan, dedicating annual expenditures to its campus tree program, holding an Arbor Day observance and promoting a student learning service project. 

“It means a lot to both our campus community and the city of Alliance to once again have the distinction of Tree Campus USA,” said Anson Gross, grounds and fleet supervisor at Mount Union. “We are a progressive and sustainable University, and although the award itself is great, to see people enjoying the trees we plant and the green spaces we have is even better.  

According to the Tree Campus USA website, Mount Union earned this recognition because the university “effectively manages campus trees, develops connectivity with the community beyond campus borders to foster healthy, urban forests and strives to engage the student population in utilizing service learning opportunities centered on campus, and community, forestry efforts.” 

After its founding in 1972, the Arbor Day Foundation has grown to become the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees, with over one million members, supporters and valued partners. Tree Campus USA is a national program created in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation.  

Communication Students Gain Hands-On Experience with New Video Board

BY: Cheyanne Gonzales ’18

Smith VideoboardALLIANCE, Ohio - A group of five students at the University of Mount Union are gaining professional experience by running the new video board for Purple Raider home football games.

There are a group students who take part in the hands-on learning experience as either a communications practicum worth one credit or as part of the work study program. Each student is expected to attend six games with six hours spent at each one.

This is a new experience for the students and for the Department of Communication. When the money was donated for the new video board, it was suggested to the department that students be the ones to run the board.

“One of the things the University is shifting towards is applied learning,” said Dr. Len Cooper, associate professor of communication and program director for interactive media. “This is a professional position and they are producing an entire show.”

The team of students are expected to know their jobs and run the video board from the start of the game to the end.

“It’s a really great hands-on experience for the students who participate in the practicum,” Cooper said.

While Cooper and a few others are faculty advisors for the team, the group is student led, allowing them to learn what it’s like to be on a production team and having to make decisions for themselves.

“This is 100 percent student led and we basically have free reign of what we do and how we do it.” said Logan McGee ’20, an integrated media major from East Canton, Ohio. “As long as what we do fits within the University’s and the NCAA’s policy and rules, it’s really up to us.”

The new videoboard was added to the preexisting scoreboard at the beginning of this semester. It’s the same type that is installed at Progressive Field and Quicken Loans Arena.

Kelby Smith ’18, an art and self-defined double major with a concentration in communications from Alliance, Ohio, believes the experience is beneficial to her future.

“The experience so far has been exciting,” Smith said. “I look forward to each game that I get to contribute to, whether I'm in the press box controlling the replays or down on the field recording the action, this hands-on experience will help me in my future endeavors.”

Each of the students had to go through training in order to use the video board. It allowed them to become familiar with all aspects of the system. In the time since the board was installed, students have been using the lacrosse games as rehearsals for the football games in order to learn about the controls and better plan for what needs to happen.

“A lot of what we have learned was actually through experimentation and just doing it,” McGee said.

The goal is for each person to practice with the various pieces of equipment in order to find out what they are best at before the football playoffs. This will allow each team member to work the piece of equipment that best suits them for the rest of the season.

McGee Videoboard“Because of this, assignments are based strictly on talent and performance, not personal wants. We need to be professional and reliable. That is why we are running the team this way,” McGee said.

The students are gaining experience with more than just running the video board. They also take turns running the two cameras, graphics and replaying the video.

The students who run the board come from a variety of experiential backgrounds. Some are communications majors and sports business, while other have experience through the information technology department and raider student media.

“I wanted to help with the video board because it was a unique opportunity that Mount was offering student,” Smith said. “I'm interested in all forms of media and felt that learning the video board would broaden my knowledge. Plus, I get to enjoy all of the home football games.”

The video board team is run by a different group of students than the traditional scoreboard. While those students also gain hands-on experience, they are not experienced in the same type of technology as the video board team.

The experience the students receive running the video board helps them to grow as professionals and prepares them to be leaders in their future careers.