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Best Online Bachelor's Child Development

Union Institute & University is Ranked No. 1 in Best Online Bachelor’s in Child & Adolescent Development Major

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Union Institute & University has been ranked No. 1 in the Best Online Bachelor’s in Child Development by Online Schools Report for its Child & Adolescent Development (CHAD) major. Online Schools Report ranks online higher education programs based on statistical data points. More information on the methodology can be found here.

Best Online Bachelor's Child DevelopmentDr. Birgit Monks, Lead Faculty of CHAD at Union, reflects on the designation. “The ranking of the Child & Adolescent Development major confirms the quality of student services and student learning that Union Institute & University provides to our students. It shows the high level of knowledge students acquire through learning and instruction as it relates to the field. This ranking also reassures our students they made the right choice by enrolling at Union to obtain a degree and starting or continuing a career working with children, adolescents, and their families.”

The ranking also validates that the Child and Adolescent Development major is making continuous progress to improve the quality of instruction and the delivery methods.

“The ranking is important for our major to make reliable, data-informed decisions to guarantee student success and encourage partnerships and collaboration with other organizations and potential future employers of our students,” said Dr. Monks.

Union’s Child & Adolescent Development major prepares adult learners to excel in a variety of childcare careers. Career pathways range from preschool teacher to daycare owner to child life specialist.

Jennifer Ochoa, alumna 2015, credits her degree for helping her to find and succeed in her career. “I wanted teaching experience and a degree where I can work with children and adults or families. I got the job that I wanted because of my degree. I always wanted to be a teacher and now I am in the profession that I love. I am also a first generation college graduate.”

Union is the perfect choice for the adult learner because of its flexibility in scheduling and more than five decades of identifying and refining ways to structure and deliver education to meet the needs of adult learners online.

 

Union is a global leader in providing higher education degrees for the adult learner. Click here to begin your career in the child and adolescent field. Your Goals. Your Success. Your Union. We’ve Got U!

Robert W. McGee 2019 world championship awards

Alumni Spotlight – At 72, Robert W. McGee is just Getting Started

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Welcome to the “Alumni Spotlight” series. Learn how our Union Institute & University (UI&U) graduates are living the UI&U mission of engagement, enlightenment, and empowerment.

Featured this month: Robert W. McGee

Education: (Ph.D. 1993, Ph.D. 1986)

Profession: Associate professor

At the age of 72, Dr. McGee continues to pursue two different pathways: his prolific writing career and his medal-winning martial arts career. He has written 59 nonfiction books, five novels (and counting) and more than 700 scholarly articles. His latest is “Justifiable Homicide: A Political Thriller” available on Amazon.

In addition, he is a world champion in taekwondo, karate, and kung-fu, and a world silver medalist in tai chi. What’s even more amazing is he didn’t begin taekwondo training until the age of 65! He has been inducted into the United States Martial Arts Hall of Fame.

Dr. McGee also teaches in the Broadwell College of Business and Economics at Fayetteville State University.

Robert W. McGee 2019 world championship awards

Robert W. McGee, age 72, with the six gold and one silver medal he won at the Taekwondo World Championship, July, 2019

His long list of academic achievements include 23 academic degrees, 13 earned doctorates including a law degree and CPA. He has lectured or worked in more than 30 countries. Former clients include United States Agency for International Development, World Bank, African Development Bank and the CIA. Several studies have ranked him No.1 in the world for both his accounting ethics and business ethics scholarship. The Social Science Research Network has ranked him as high as No. 2 in the world [All-Time] among accounting professors, No. 14 [All-Time] among business school professors, and No. 29 [All-Time] among all social scientists.

He credits much of his success to not wasting time, doing what he enjoys, relishing the creative process, and being competitive. Enjoy learning more about Dr. McGee as he reflects on his time at Union and expounds on his remarkable career in the Q & A below.

What has your degree meant to you personally and professionally?

I am an accounting professor, so my Ph.D. with triple concentrations in accounting, taxation and economic history was very important because I needed a Ph.D. in accounting to remain in my teaching position. For my second Union Ph.D., which I completed a few years later, my concentrations were in economics, law, and political philosophy. That degree was important because I gained knowledge that I used to write some of the 59 nonfiction books, five novels and 700+ articles I have published.

What quality do you admire most about your alma mater?

What I like best about the Union program is that they allowed me to do it my way. I already knew what I wanted to research, and the way the Ph.D. program is structured, I was able to do the research I wanted to do instead of being pressured to do research on some topic my thesis supervisor wanted me to do, which is the way things work at many other universities.  

Robert W. McGee awrds from All-Style World Tournament in Dublin, Ireland

Robert W. McGee at the All-Style World Championship Tournament in Dublin Ireland in 2017. He won three gold, two silver and one bronze medal at this world championship. The three gold medals were in taekwondo, kung-fu and karate. One of the silver medals was in tai chi. The other two medals were in mixed martial arts.

 If you could give advice to a Union student, what would it be?

I would advise a Union student to plan ahead as much as possible before starting the program because doing so will shorten the length and cost of the program. Don’t be afraid to approach the best people in the field for guidance. I approached Milton Friedman, George Stigler and James Buchanan, all Nobel Prize winners in economics, and they all agreed to give me advice. Isaac Bashevis Singer, a Nobel Prize winner in literature, also guided me through my Union Ph.D. program shortly before his death. If you don’t ask, you don’t get. 

What would you say has been your greatest accomplishment?

It’s difficult to say what my greatest accomplishment is. Some people are impressed by the fact that I have earned 23 academic degrees, including 13 doctorates from universities in the United States and four European countries, all in my spare time, with the exception of my first bachelor’s degree, which I earned full-time while working one or two jobs. Other people are impressed that I was able to publish so many books and articles.

Because I was in the right place at the right time, I was placed in charge of assisting the Finance Ministries of Armenia and Bosnia convert their countries to International Financial Reporting Standards. I drafted the accounting law for Armenia and Bosnia and reviewed the accounting law for Mozambique. I also helped all the major universities in Armenia and Bosnia upgrade the accounting curriculum to meet international standards.

One of my favorite hobbies is competing in martial arts tournaments. I am a world champion in taekwondo, karate, and kung-fu, and a world silver medalist in tai chi. As of this interview, I have 11 world titles to my credit, and I continue to compete at the age of 72. My career gold medal count now stands at 289. I hope to break 300 in the next few months.

What is your passion away from work?

I like competing in martial arts tournaments and practicing tai chi and qigong. I also enjoy writing novels. I have plots for more than 50 novels, but I probably won’t have time to turn many of them into novels due to time constraints.

 

Today is the day to start your Ph.D. program that incorporates interdisciplinary study to expand and deepen your knowledge and expertise. Click here to get started. Your Goals. Your Success. Your Union. We’ve Got U!

Dr. Webb and Dean Watson

Dr. Karen Schuster Webb Receives Highest Alumni Award from Indiana University School of Education

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Dr. Karen Schuster Webb, President of Union Institute & University, has been awarded the 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award from the Indiana University School of Education.

Dr. Webb earned her bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. from Indiana University and was recognized by her alma mater for her leadership role in higher education and dedication to the IU School of Education mission to improve teaching, learning, and human development in a global, diverse, rapidly changing, and increasingly technological society. Dr. Webb was joined by three other alumni who received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the School of Education. They were David Ambler, Carole Ames, and Marilyn Friend.
“These four alumni have dedicated their careers to improving teaching and learning across their fields,” Indiana University’s Dean of the School of Education Dr. Lemuel Watson remarked. “Their contributions to the world of education are inspiring, and we’re honored to give them this award.” The alumni were honored at a dinner celebration on October 26, 2019.

Dr. Webb at podium

Dr. Webb addresses the crowd at the awards ceremony. Photo by IU Art Director Marie Canning.

Dr. Webb and Dean Watson

President Karen Schuster Webb, Ph.D. and Dean Lemuel Watson of Indiana University’s School of Education. Photo by IU Art Director Marie Canning

Dr. Webb was particularly recognized for her work as founding dean of Alliant International University’s School of Education, which she grew to serve more than 900 students in California and internationally in Mexico, Indonesia, Jordan, and China. She has proven herself as a visionary servant leader who has dedicated her career to educational excellence, and to the advancement of racial, ethnic, and underrepresented populations in higher education. Her contributions to higher education span four decades and reflect her remarkable leadership skills and unwavering passion for equity, academic quality, student success, and diversity.

In 2018, Dr. Webb became the first woman of color to be president of Union Institute & University. Her guiding principle–that attainable pathways to higher education be available to all who aspire–is at the core of her professional and personal work. She established the university’s Union Institute of Social Justice to work toward equality of access, prize all aspects of diversity, and demonstrate a commitment to innovative teaching and learning cultures to promote the common good.

At Union, she leads efforts to expand degree attainment by Hispanic childcare workers, and oversaw an articulation agreement with the Council of Community Colleges of Jamaica to provide accredited bachelor’s degrees.

Dr. Webb serves as chair of ACE’s Women’s Network Executive Council, and as Presidential Sponsor of the ACE Women’s Network of Ohio, encouraging professional development and promoting the advancement of women into senior positions in higher education.

Dr. Webb was named a Top 25 Women in Higher Education and Beyond by Diverse Issues in Higher Education Magazine, honoring her commitment to and advocacy for diversity, inclusion, and mentoring. She was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for her work on equity of access and for mentoring women in higher education by the Gestalt Center, Cleveland. She serves on the advisory boards of Tubman University Foundation in Harper, Liberia; Every Child Succeeds, Cincinnati, which promotes healthy child development; and Women Walking West, Dayton, assisting foreign-born women.

She developed Indiana University’s School of Education’s first multicultural education courses and served as assistant director of the Learning Center. She has held teaching positions at Indiana University, University of Kentucky, George Washington University, Coppin State University, and Howard University, and was dean at Southern University in Baton Rouge.

Union is a global leader in providing higher education degrees for the adult learner. Your Goals. Your Success. Your Union. We’ve Got U! Click to learn more.

Dr. Rosalyn Brown Betty and her daughters

Faculty Honored for Excellence

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Union Institute & University’s National Commencement on Sunday, October 13, 2019 was a day of joyous celebration as more than 120 students from 21 states and Quebec in Canada earned their degrees.

Dr. Rosalyn Brown Betty and her daughters

Dr. Rosalyn Brown Betty and her daughters

Also, recognized were faculty members as part of the Faculty Awards program.
The Faculty Awards program, established by Union’s Faculty Council, provides peer recognition for exemplary efforts and achievements in the areas of teaching, service, and scholarship. This program recognizes that all Union faculty members exhibit commendatory effort on behalf of their students and their professions, and provides an opportunity for faculty members to recognize, on a regular basis, exemplary efforts on behalf of their peers. The awards for Excellence in Teaching are made annually; the awards for Excellence in Scholarship and Excellence in Service are made bi-annually, in alternate years.

Linwood Rumney

2019 Award for Excellence in Teaching
Linwood Rumney, Ph.D., Faculty, Bachelor of Science, General Education

2019 Award for Excellence in Scholarship
Kajsa Brimdyr, Ph.D., Faculty, Bachelor of Science, General Education

Certificate of Distinction for Excellence in Scholarship
Jonina Anderson-Lopez, Ph.D., Tutor, Writing Center

Dr. Anu Mitra

Herbert L. and Dr. Beth I. Alswanger Gopman Research Fund

Dr. Anu Mitra, Faculty, Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies program, received the Herbert L. and Dr. Beth L. Alswanger Gopman Research Fund Award, funded by Union doctoral alumna, Dr. Beth Gopman. Dr. Mitra has developed a project exploring the art and artifacts of the South Asian/Indian people who migrated to Trinidad, Tobago, Suriname, and Guyana in the 1840s. Subsequent to receiving the Gopman Award, Dr. Mitra received a Fulbright Scholarship, allowing her to extend her formal study to seven months in the Trinidad-Tobago region of the Caribbean.

Dr. Golden and Dr. Soto

2019 Greater Cincinnati Collegiate Connection (GC3) 32nd Annual Celebration of Teaching Award

Elden Golden, J.D., Ph.D. is director of Union’s Master of Arts program and serves as doctoral faculty. Dr. Golden was recognized at the Greater Cincinnati Collegiate Connection Celebration of Teaching luncheon. He joined the graduate faculty in 2007, bringing a broad interdisciplinary background with degrees in music theory, law, and humanities. His research interests include the relationship between opera and culture and the history of concepts of creativity.

Ril Beatty III Scholarship for Veterans

Union Institute & University 2019 Cincinnati Commencement

During the national commencement ceremony, two Ph.D. graduates, Dr. Maurice Harris and Dr. Purcell Dye, wore the dog tags of a fellow student, Ril Beatty, who had passed away after just a year into his program.

Ril was a proud veteran, as are both Maurice and Purcell. When Ril passed away in December 2016, his fellow students looked for a way to honor him. Ril was the husband of Dr. Rosalyn Brown Beatty, a beloved member of the Union family and chair of Union’s Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program. At his funeral service in 2016, another doctoral candidate, Jennifer Kramer-Wine offered a gift to Rosalyn and her two young daughters: that those commencing when Ril would have commenced had he not passed away, would wear his military dog tags in his honor.

As the story unfolded at the ceremony, we were honored to announce the creation of the Ril Beatty III Scholarship to assist doctoral students who are veterans and who are pursuing their doctorates in Public Policy and Social Change. The scholarship was seeded by a grant from General Dynamics Missions Systems and facilitated by the vice chair of our Board of Trustees.

Congratulations faculty!

Today is the day to experience gifted faculty in the career path of your choice. Your Goals. Your Success. Your Union. We’ve Got U! Click to learn more.

Shannon Hogan-Cohen

Empowerment of Women Through Storytelling

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Shannon Hogan-Cohen empowers women through storytelling. Having earned a UI&U BA in 1999, she is a current Master of Science in Organizational Leadership (MSOL) student. Through her website, S.H.E. Share Heal Empower ….www.sharehealempower.org, she shares inspirational and heartfelt stories from women across all ages and cultures. Shannon describes the website this way. “We are a community of women worldwide who embody perseverance and have unimaginable human spirits.”

Her recently published book S.H.E. Share Heal Empower is storytelling at its best. Shannon takes us inside the lives of 24 women who have overcome great obstacles in life and who showcase their personal perseverance. Each woman has used her wounds as wisdom and their courage and fortitude to rebuild lives serve as pathways for transformation.

Shannon Hogan-CohenIn writing the book, Shannon says, “I met the most remarkable women worldwide who opened their hearts and shared their stories with me. Their experiences give me – and all women – courage  to continue, despite the setbacks life lobs at us. We learn we are not alone in our struggles.”

Shannon also created the S.H.E. Foundation, which awards grants to improve the health and well-being of its recipients through Career Development, Education and Health & Safety. All S.H.E. book proceeds go into the foundation.

Her next storytelling project is S.H.E. Shares. As she wanders the world, Shannon asks women one question: “If you could share a thought or message to women around the globe, what would you say?”

 

Read and learn more about Shannon and her future plans in the Q & A below:

What do you plan to do with your Master of Science in Organizational Leadership (MSOL) degree?

At this time, I plan to use the MSOL leadership principles and theories and couple them with my life experience to grow the S.H.E. Foundation. In two of my classes, the interrelationship of both ethics and leadership styles have been beneficial and given me new insights.

What led you to this program?

I graduated 20 years ago with a Bachelor of Arts from Union with an emphasis in Interdisciplinary Studies. I travel frequently as a freelance writer. Traditional brick and mortar schools were not an option, as I work remotely.  I chose Union because of the flexibility it offers. The online program has been ideal, coupled with thoughtful professors who understand the juggling act with course work and life work.

My first impression with the current Union environment came from the conversation I had with Wes Atchison, the senior enrollment counselor at Union who I initially spoke with. His enthusiasm and positivity got me excited about the accelerated MSOL program. The yearlong program felt like the right fit. Plus, the timing was perfect, as both my boys have flown and grown, and are attending universities in Arizona.

The accelerated program gives me the opportunity to advance my career and professional development sooner. My long-term goal is to obtain my Ph.D. Once completed, my MSOL will be a bridge into the Ph.D. program. I would like to enter into the Humanities & Culture concentration at Union and eventually teach at the college level.

If you could give a piece of advice to your 20-something self, what would it be?

My advice would be to find potential in the present. Live with an open heart. Everyone you meet can teach you something, but you must listen. Maybe work on being a bit more patient with yourself and realize being perfectly imperfect is good enough.

Who has influenced you the most in your life, and how have they influenced you?

My nuclear family inspires me to be a better version of myself daily. I feel fortunate to have a husband and two adult sons who not only support all my endeavors, but their wit and wisdom make me smile. They keep life fun and tolerate my text messages with random facts.

 

Today is the day to be the leader you know you can be with a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership (MSOL). Click here to get started. Your Goals. Your Success. Your Union. We’ve Got U!

Dr. Robin Martin

Union Institute & University National Commencement Announced

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Union Institute & University National Commencement is Sunday, October 13, 2019 at 11 a.m. at the Hilton Netherlands Plaza in downtown Cincinnati. 

More than 120 students have earned degrees in the following areas: Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Master of Arts, Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Master of Science in Organizational Leadership, Doctor of Education, and Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies. 

Dr. Robin MartinThe keynote speaker is Dr. Robin Martin, Deputy Director of Postsecondary Success at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. She leads strategy, planning, and management efforts, focusing on operational excellence and development and execution of key elements of the team’s work. Dr. Martin brings more than 20 years of higher education experience as an associate provost for diversity and inclusion, a tenure track faculty member, and athletic director and coach, including many years at the University of Cincinnati. She is a master-level certified executive coach and the author of Navigating Courage: Leading Beyond Fear, which offers insights for academic professionals seeking to build a focus on equity within their institutions. Using a design-thinking approach, Dr. Martin specializes in inclusive leadership, organizational change, and an African-humanist philosophy called Ubuntu, meaning, “I am because you are.” 

Dr. Martin holds a M.Ed. in Education from the University of New Orleans, and an Ed.D. in Urban Education and Leadership from the University of Cincinnati. 

Other highlights include the following: 

  • Marvin B. Sussman Award for excellence in dissertation 
  • Brian Webb Award for Outstanding Master of Arts Thesis
  • Award for Excellence in Teaching 
  • Certificate of Distinction for Excellence in Teaching
  • Award for Excellence in Scholarship
  • Certificate of Distinction for Excellence in Scholarship
  • Distinguished Alumni Award
  • Legacy Alumni Award
  • Recognition of veterans Designated by wearing a special red, white, and blue honor cord, in recognition of their service to our country

Union is sought after by adults because of its adult delivery model: Specialized distance-learning programs that combine online and classroom coursework with high-touch faculty attention, designed for students regardless of where they live and work. Union also has a long history of serving diverse populations: Minorities (48 percent), women (53 percent), and an older, adult population (average age of 37) and interweaves social justice in its curriculum. Union students recognize that with knowledge comes the responsibility to serve in advancing a culturally pluralistic, equitable, and interdependent world. We work toward equality of access, prize all aspects of diversity, and live a commitment to an innovative teaching and learning culture that promotes the common good, enriched by the depth and breadth of Union’s international community of students, faculty, alumni, staff, trustees, and partners.

As Dr. King stated so eloquently, the work we each do every day – whether learning, teaching, or serving students and alumni – is dignified and important, specifically because we, together, uplift humanity. The work our students and alumni do each day is critically important. All of us connected to Union strive each day to engage, enlighten, and empower each other as we work to transform lives and communities.

To learn more about National Commencement, click here. To learn more about Union and its mission to engage, empower and enlighten click here

wind turbine alumni story

Union Graduate Taps Nature’s Tools to Benefit the Planet

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wind turbine alumni story

By Maurice A. Ramirez, D.O., Ph.D. (Union Ph.D. 2008, Retired Disaster/Emergency Medicine Physician)

People who want to reduce their carbon footprint might shop with reusable grocery bags, drive hybrid cars, or toss their newspapers in recyclable trash bins. But Maurice Ramirez, D.O., Ph.D. 2008, and his wife, Allison Sakara, N.P., P.H.R.N., have taken a much bigger step to lighten their load on the planet. On March 16, 2019, they erected a 90-foot-tall wind turbine on their Lake Wales, Florida property, the first ever in the state’s Polk County and the first noncoastal grid-tied wind turbine in the state.

The couple already had installed 81 solar panels on their home and improved its air-conditioning system to increase energy efficiency and indoor air quality.

“We then asked ourselves how we could generate power when it’s dark and stormy,” Maurice recalls thinking. “The answer? A wind turbine!”

 

Permits needed

permit needed

While that seemed like a no-brainer, they first had to work with the county to write an ordinance to allow for a wind energy conversion system (WECS). Next was obtaining approval from county commissioners and the board of adjustments. They also had to overcome concerns about the tower’s height, operational noise, and any potential dangers to the environment. The couple lives in a nature conservancy that is home to a number of threatened species, so finding a WECS endorsed by respected experts as native-environment safe was essential. Fortunately, their love of research paid off and they were able to find a WECS endorsed by the Audubon Society as bird safe. They also received endorsements from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and their closest neighboring property holders, The Nature Conservancy. Addressing noise output, however, later proved to be more problematic.

 

Solve noise issue

“After the wind turbine was installed, we discovered that it was noisier than the U.S. Department of Energy certification documents led us to believe,” states Maurice. The turbine sits atop a 90-foot monopole tower, like a “giant pinwheel” on a hollow stick. “And the problem was that this large, hollow monopole tower was acting like a giant megaphone,” he explains. The tower not only carried the noise down to ground level but it also amplified the noise. Thus, the very quiet 30 decibels generated by the turbine at the top grew to 90 decibels on the ground – the equivalent noise level of a riding lawn mower.

Fortunately, as an undergraduate at Florida State University, Maurice, a retired emergency room physician, studied sound physics, and Allison, a regulatory affairs specialist for medical devices, is an accomplished concert musician. Both recognized immediately that the root of the problem was resonance. They designed a system to mitigate resonance amplification in the hollow tower and installed vibration barriers between the turbine and its tower. “Our technology changes wind turbine towers from megaphones into mufflers,” Maurice describes. Their system lowered the noise level to between 38 and 45 decibels, achieving a reduction in perceived noise by more than 90 percent.

It’s a process that’s paying off. “We could not find any patents like our noise reduction technology,” he says. The result: Maurice and Allison now have a patent pending for their multi-modal approach for turbine noise mitigation and tower resonance reduction. That’s one of several patents they have pending or already hold, ranging from support of disaster responders to their innovative Natural Air E-Control system for HVAC energy conservation and indoor air quality improvement.

 

Credits Union with innovative thinking

Asked how they come up with their inventions, “We’re both medical disaster response specialists” replied Maurice. “We’re used to coming up with ‘MacGyver’ solutions,” referring to the famously unconventional problem-solving character of the CBS television series. “This is what made me a good emergency room physician and diagnostician. Its a thought process I learned from the 19 Nobel Prize laureates I studied under at Florida State University and developed during my doctoral program at Union Institute & University.” Such thought processes not only led the Union graduate to a successful career in emergency medicine and multiple patents, but also contributed to Maurice receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award in Disaster Medicine by the American Academy of Physician Specialists.

The fruits of that thought process are not limited to awards and inventions. Everyday benefits of their innovations make the energy efficiency of Maurice and Allison’s home exceptional. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, an efficient new home consumes 30 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per 24-hour day, while the average older home consumes 85 kWh per day. The couple purchased an existing home which was found to consume 90 kWh per day. After completing the initial wave of energy efficiency measures, energy use fell below 70 kWh per day – and that was after adding a swimming pool, hot tub and large koi pond! Now, with an array of 81 solar panels and the wind turbine, Maurice and Allison generate 90 to 160 kWh per day (varies due to weather). That allows them to “bank” energy with the local power company against future needs, then annually sell energy back the remaining kWh to the local power grid.

 

Fourth most energy efficient home

According to the Residential Energy Services Network’s Home Energy Rating System (HERS), the nationally recognized system for calculating a home’s energy performance and the industry standard for that measurement, a home with a HERS Index score of 70 or below is considered ideal. The HERS score for Maurice and Allison’s home was originally 91, which is in keeping with many existing U.S. homes. After all the efficiency improvements, the house scored a remarkable negative 63. This score makes their home the most energy efficient renovated residence ever rated and the fourth most energy efficient home (renovation plus new construction) out of over two million homes rated since the program began.

So why did this couple invest so much time and money into energy efficiency and renewable energy systems? “For most people, including healthcare professionals, their home is their largest and most important investment,” replies Maurice. “Any improvements in energy efficiency that you make to your home not only save you money month-to-month, having a favorable HERS rating boosts your resale value. Some banks also promote ‘green energy’ projects, assisting you with targeted energy-efficiency renovation loans or rewarding your efforts with a reduction of your post-renovation mortgage rate.”

For this couple, their inventions and their renewable energy projects come down to a common motivation. “Allison and I believe that, as healthcare professionals, we have a responsibility to lead by example when it comes to global problems that impact individual and global health,” Maurice explains. “Even if you don’t invest in solar and wind power, just spending a few thousand dollars to improve your home’s energy efficiency and indoor air quality generates both local and global benefits.”


Be the world-changer you’ve always wanted to be. Enroll now in a Union Institute & University degree program that expands your knowledge and expertise. It all starts with You! And it all starts at Union Institute & University. Click to learn more

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Union Institute & University and Rotary Club to host reception for Mandela Washington Fellows

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Pictured left to right: Rotary World Affairs Committee member Baffour Otchere, Fellow Nahla Maalla, Fellow sponsor Megan Fischer of Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank, Fellow Leticia Asangono, Fellow Otil Amoroso Lufuma, Fellow sponsor Richard Stewart of Carriage House Farm, and Rotary World Affairs Committee member Rand Oliver.

Union Institute & University and Rotary Club of Cincinnati will host a reception for Mandela Washington Fellows on Wednesday, August 21 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the university’s headquarters at 440 East McMillan Street in Walnut Hills.

“Union is delighted to join the Rotary Club of Cincinnati in hosting the Mandela Washington Fellows,” said Dr. Rand Oliver, UI&U professor and Director of Alumni Affairs and member of the Rotary Club World Affairs Committee. “Union’s commitment to social justice mirrors Rotary International’s mission to advance goodwill around the world.”

The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders was established in 2014. The flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), it empowers young people through academic coursework, leadership training, and networking. In 2019, the Fellowship has provided 700 outstanding young leaders from Sub-Saharan Africa with the opportunity to hone their skills at a U.S. college or university with support for professional development after they return home.

The Fellows, who range in age from 25 to 35, are all accomplished in promoting innovation and positive impact in their organizations, institutions, communities, and countries. In 2018, Fellows represented a diverse group of leaders from 48 countries across Sub-Saharan Africa.

Meet the four Fellows working in Cincinnati below.

 

Mandela Washington Fellowship Biographies

Amedy Pereira, Sao Tome and Principe. Working with La Terza Coffee.

Amedy Taty Pereira is the manager of Ephraim, a family business that–in addition to producing coffee and cocoa– is also a restaurant and a guest house in the heart of São Tomé. Amedy inherited the company from his father, the only coffee and cocoa producer on the island at the time, at the age of 18 after a health scare. Given the opportunity to manage the growth of Ephraim, Amedy has been at the firm ever since. The opportunity to lead the company fostered a previously untapped entrepreneurial desire. Amedy is also a volunteer and leader in the Association Asas Célélé, which aims to support underprivileged children and orphans in the community of Roça Monte Café. He is a communicative, resilient, organized, and passionate leader that continually looks to develop his skills to add value to Ephraim.

Leticia Asangono, Equatorial Guinea. Working with Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank.

Leticia Alene Nsue Asangono has eight years of experience in the oil and gas industry and works as a contract analyst for Marathon Oil. She is currently studying for her bachelor’s degree in Business Management and Administration at Atlantic International University and is a 2018 Tony Elumelu Entrepreneur. Outside of her studies, Leticia runs ONG Pañales Y Comida Infantil (ONG PACOIN), a non-governmental organization that provides free food and diapers to children in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. As the founder of ONG PACOIN and a single mother, Leticia intimately knows the challenges parents face when raising a child. Leticia also volunteers with organizations, and currently works with the La Ronda Project by donating food and clothing to families affected by fires in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Leticia plans to open new ONG PACOIN branches throughout Equatorial Guinea to support more children and families in need.

Nahla Maalla, Sudan. Working with the City of Cincinnati Office of Environment and Sustainability

Nahla Maalla is a certified energy management professional and the founding engineer of the energy conservation project in DAL Dairy factory. She is an alumnus of the 2018 Arab Program for Sustainable Energy Youth program which took place in Egypt 2018 and was a member of the first prize winner team in the United Nations Development Programme 2015 Social Good Summit. She is also blogger, through which she shares her insights about the energy issues, opportunities and its associated socio-economic impacts on the sustainable development in Sudan.

Otil Amoroso Lufuma, Angola. Working with Carriage House Farm.

Otíl Venancio Amoroso Lufuma is a young farmer from Soyo, Angola with seven years of experience in agriculture. Otíl primarily works in banana and maize production and is the founder of an agribusiness start-up and manager of his own farm. Otíl has completed several trainings on modern farming technologies and volunteers in his community as a leading agriculturalist helping women and young children from low-income families to pursue careers in agriculture. Growing up in a low-income family himself, Otíl learned to farm from his grandparents. Upon completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Otíl’s long-term goal is to work on self-sustainable agricultural growth projects to fight malnutrition, hunger, and extreme poverty.

 

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2019 Mark Dunakin Award recipient

Fallen Officer Memorial Award 2019 Recipient Selected

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Mark Dunakin Award recipient

Officer Kyle Nathan Henricksen has received the 2019 Mark Dunakin Award for Extraordinary Achievement. Union Institute & University presents the award to a graduate of the Criminal Justice Management undergraduate program.

The Mark Dunakin Memorial Award honors the memory of Sergeant Dunakin, a UI&U student who tragically lost his life at age 40. He and three other Oakland police officers were killed in the line of duty on March 21, 2009. The award is presented to a new graduate of the UI&U Criminal Justice Management major who serves in law enforcement and who emulates Sergeant Dunakin’s commitment to community service, academic success, and enthusiasm for the major.

The faculty chose Officer Henricksen as an example of someone who displayed extraordinary achievement throughout his undergraduate program. He not only works hard and maintains high standards, but shows a deep commitment to serving others in his community and beyond. He received the award at the California Commencement on July 21, 2019.

 

About Officer Henricksen

Officer Henricksen is a 10-year member of the Pleasanton Police Department (PPD) and a former deputy with Alameda County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO). With nearly 14 years of experience, he currently serves as Secretary for the Pleasanton Police Officers Association (POA). He is known there for his uncanny understanding of the law, departmental rules, union contracts, and professional protocol. Colleagues also say he’s infamous as a quick-witted, irredeemable jokester.

He completed the police academy at age 22, overcoming a broken foot during training to graduate on time. Immediately upon graduation he started his career with the ACSO, where he was assigned to the Alameda County Jail.

In 2009, he transferred to Pleasanton Police Department where he has served on patrol and joined the motors unit. Mothers Against Drunk Drivers recognized Officer Henricksen for his dedication to reducing drunk driving incidences in 2014.

 

An Officer and a Family Man

A consummate professional, Officer Henricksen is a dedicated father, husband, son, uncle, brother, and friend. He and his wife Jennifer serve as parents not only to their two biological children, but also to Jennifer’s younger sister and Kyle’s niece. The #Henricksen6, as they call themselves, spend their time shuttling among the children’s many sports activities and school events.

With the support of his wife and children, Officer Henricksen sought to fulfill a promise he made to himself, his parents, and his wife by completing his undergraduate education. In 2018, while remaining a fulltime member of the PPD, he was admitted to Union Institute & University where he majored in Criminal Justice Management. He graduated with a 4.0 GPA.

In addition to all of this, Officer Henricksen is currently fighting stage IV pancreatic cancer and undergoing experimental treatments. A true testament to his extraordinary character, Officer Henricksen maintained a full-time academic load after diagnosis and remains an active father and Secretary to the Pleasanton POA. Every day Officer Henricksen demonstrates that he will not not let his diagnosis define or limit him.

Fellow officer Ryan Tujague wrote the following: “Kyle is an amazing person and his family have this bond that you truly rarely see. Kyle is also the secretary for our POA. He continues to hold this position while he is battling pancreatic cancer; traveling to Stanford, getting treatment, attending his kids’ athletic events, and finishing his education. Kyle clearly has lot on his plate and he still answers his phone to answer POA questions from officers and other board members. He is well loved within our department.”

 

Past Award Recipients

Past recipients of the Union Institute & University Mark Dunakin Memorial Award for Extraordinary Achievement are:

  • 2011 – Isabel Resendez
  • 2013 – Frederick Henry Bobbitt Jr. and Tony Silva
  • 2015 – Ray Framstad
  • 2016 – Sergio Lepe
  • 2017 – Orrlando Mayes
  • 2018 – Heather Forsythe

 

 

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portia simpson miller

“Journey, Break Every Rule” Docudrama Features Union Alumna

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The Honorable Portia Simpson Miller, Union alumna and former two-time prime minister of Jamaica, was featured in the docudrama “Journey, Break Every Rule.” The film premiered in Kingston in February. As Jamaica’s first female prime minister, she admits that she had indeed broken some rules as a fierce defender of the poor. Her three “p”s– persistence, productivity, and (putting) people first–led her to the highest political office in the land. Read more in this article from the Jamaica Gleaner.

As a leader in the Jamaican government, Simpson Miller has a track record as a fierce advocate for education. She strongly supports alternative models for those who are not well served by traditional forms of education. Often described as the “heart and soul” of her people, Portia has made remarkable inroads and contributions in her country. From her early days in the House of Representatives, in her positions as minister of a number of offices, to prime minister, she always met challenges head-on with a rare degree of integrity, focus, and positive vision for the future.

 

Voice of the Voiceless

A common refrain throughout Portia Simpson Miller’s long service was that she was the “voice of the voiceless in the corridors of power.” Her efforts and long-term commitment to address the concerns of women, the elderly, the poor, and the disenfranchised are renowned, as is her advocacy for social change, and her unwavering efforts toward peace in an increasingly violent world.

Portia’s deep understanding of community leadership, and her commitment to engage all citizens to be change agents, reflects her lifelong efforts to advance people’s lives through education and empowerment.

As prime minister, Mrs. Simpson Miller lived her creed and also breathed life into our university’s aspirational vision. During a visit to Union, Portia told the audience:

“One committed individual can influence an entire community to come together for a positive purpose. From strong, positive communities we can build strong, positive nations which can transform the entire world.”

Her abiding belief in our individual abilities to give back and to continually strive to make a difference, coupled with her heartfelt desire to improve the lives of her people, make her as an exemplary Union alumna, but even more so, as a citizen of the world. The university awarded her the university’s highest honor, the Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters in 2001.

 

Be the world-changer you’ve always wanted to be. Enroll now in a Union Institute & University degree program. It all starts with You! And it all starts at Union Institute & University. Click here to learn more.