For the Gazette
CEDARVILLE — Cedarville University’s Board of Trustees approved two projects totaling $4 million at its recent regular meeting. The board also approved the hiring of nine faculty members.
The largest project approved by trustees is the $3 million renovation to the Jeremiah Chapel, originally built in the Dixon Ministry Center in 1996. Since its construction, it has been the centerpiece of campus. But with enrollment around 3,700 students, more space and better technology is essential.
The renovated chapel will solve these concerns, while enhancing the overall chapel experience with new technology, seating, and cosmetic upgrades. The 20-year-old pews will be replaced with theater-style seats, and with the removal of one classroom that abuts to the chapel, an additional 170 seats will be added bringing the capacity to nearly 3,400. New projectors and screens (for a widescreen 16:9 format) will bring the speaker/program more into focus for those farther from the stage.
“With chapel as the heartbeat of Cedarville University, we want this facility to be state-of-the-art and represent excellence in every way,” said Dr. Thomas White, president of Cedarville University.
Renovation work will commence in April and be ready in August 2016 — in time for the start of the 2016-17 academic year.
Funding for the chapel project is underway with a lead gift of $750,000 already given for the work. Individuals who give $250 dollars or more will receive a plaque of remembrance on a new seat in the renovated chapel. To give or for other ways to support the chapel renovation and expansion campaign, visit cedarville.edu/ChapelCampaign.
Trustees also approved the construction of a $1 million operations center. Construction will begin immediately and is expected to be completed in May 2016.
The operations center will house Cedarville’s 62-member physical plant department that includes mechanical, maintenance, grounds, custodial services, automotive, facility services, and project management and operations administration staff. These functions were disbursed last year so the former operations center could be renovated into the school’s new $5 million science center that opened in August.
The new facility will be located behind the current grounds building on Bridge Street in Cedarville, along the southwestern edge of campus.
The trustees approved the following new faculty appointments for the 2015-16 academic year:
– Melissa Brown, M.S.W., instructor of social work. Brown earned a Master of Social Work degree from The Ohio State University. She came to Cedarville as a counselor in counseling services in 2014 and was a medical social worker for Crossroads Hospice prior to that.
– Christopher Bruno, Ph.D., assistant professor of theological studies. Bruno earned his doctoral degree in biblical theology: New Testament from Wheaton College. He previously was an associate vice president and assistant professor at Southern Seminary/Northland International University.
– Kristin DeWitt, Psy.D., associate professor of psychology. DeWitt earned her doctoral degree in clinical psychology from Argosy University — Florida School of Professional Psychology. She was professor and chair of the psychology department at Clearwater Christian College prior to coming to Cedarville.
– Andrew Graff, M.F.A., assistant professor of English. Graff earned his Master of Fine Arts degree in English (fiction) from the University of Iowa. Since 2011, Graff was a faculty member at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College.
– Isaac Mayeux, M.A., assistant professor of English and assistant director of the Writing Center. Mayeux earned his master’s degree in English and American literature from the University of Dayton. He started as an adjunct professor of English at Cedarville University in 2012 and became an assistant professor of English and debate team in 2014.
– L. Delyte (Dee) Morris, P.E.D., professor of allied health and coordinator of the allied health program. Morris is a licensed physician assistant who earned her doctoral degree in physical education from Indiana University. She has worked at Cedarville University since 1987, first as an adjunct professor before her promotion to professor of allied health.
– Sarah Murphy, M.S., instructor of communication. Murphy earned her master’s degree in communications from Drexel University and has been working in federal and state government campaigns.
– Nina Sekerak, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemistry. Sekerak earned her doctoral degree in chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Sekerak has an extensive background in higher education, including positions at the University of Illinois, the University of Alabama-Huntsville and Pensacola Christian College.
– Andrew Straw, Pharm.D., assistant professor of pharmacy practice. Straw completed his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Ohio Northern University and is certified in medication therapy management. Most recently, Straw completed his residency at South Dakota State University through Lewis Family Drug of Milbank, South Dakota.