Greene County News Report
FAIRBORN – Wright State’s commitment to supporting and helping ensure the success of its students remains its most important mission, President David R. Hopkins said in his State of the University Address.
Hopkins addressed students, faculty and staff in the Student Union Apollo Room during the Sept. 2 University Convocation, which marks the beginning of fall semester.
“Student success is our number one priority at Wright State University,” Hopkins said. “Student success is everything we think about and I know our faculty think about all the time.”
Hopkins said every student comes to Wright State with a different level of preparation for college, so the university must meet each student where they are academically, financially and experientially.
He said the new Student Success Center will house the support systems that will help meet the students where they are and get them to the finish line.
The center is “something I know our faculty have been talking about and dreaming about for a long time,” Hopkins said.
The Student Success Center features high-tech, active-learning classrooms as well as writing and math support labs. The 67,000-square-foot building features oceans of open study space, including broad-shouldered hallways and corners populated with whiteboards as well as comfortable chairs and benches.
During his address, Hopkins said Wright State works hard to create an inclusive culture, a welcoming environment for everyone from all backgrounds.
He noted that this school year has been designated the Year of the Active Bystander as part of stepped-up efforts to help students, faculty and staff respond productively to prejudice they encounter in their daily interactions.
The designation by Wright State’s Division of Multicultural Affairs and Community Engagement will feature programs focusing on bias in the university workplace and classrooms.
“We must do everything we can to make sure this campus and our surrounding communities are free of violence, free of harassment, free of discrimination,” Hopkins said. “We’ve got to take this on.”
Also during his address, Hopkins ticked off the accomplishments of the last school year. They included the launch of Rise. Shine. The Campaign for Wright State University, which has raised about $120 million of its $150 million goal.
Looking ahead to this academic year, Hopkins pointed to the recent opening of the Wright State Way pedestrian bridge over Interstate 675, which will give students greater access to the surrounding community. He also noted that the university will play a key role in celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Dayton Peace Accords.
“As we approach 2017, we will celebrate 50 years of being a university,” Hopkins said. “We’ve come a long ways, haven’t we? We have so much to be proud of, so much to celebrate, and all of that is because of the hard work of our faculty and our staff and the commitment of our students to do great things.”
During the Convocation, select faculty members were recognized for their excellent work in the classroom including Mateen Riziki, professor in the department of computer science and engineering, who received the trustees award for faculty excellence; Hank Dahlman, professor in the school of music, who was honored as a university professor; Evan Osborn, professor in the department of economics, who received the Brage Golding distinguished professor of research award; Bud Baker, professor in the deparment of management and international business, who received the Robert J. Kegerreis distinguished professor of teaching award; Chris Hall, associate professor in the department of English language and literature, who received the Frederick A. White distinguished professor of professional service award; Sherif M Elbasiouny, assistant professor in the department of neuroscience, cell biology and physiology, who received the early career achievement award; Stephen James Jacquemin, assistant professor at the Lake Campus science and mathematics department, who received the early career achievement award; Drew Swanson, assistant professor in the department of history, who received the early career achievement award; Ronald F. Taylor, senior lecturer in the department of computer science and engineering, who received the outstanding lecturer award; James Tritschler, instructor in the department of biomedical, industrial and human factors engineering, who received the outstanding instructor award; and Jack Dustin, associate professor in the department of urban affairs and geography, who receied an award for community engagement.