Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Dr. Betty Overton-Adkins Elected Chair of UI&U Board of Trustees

CINCINNATI – Union Institute & University (UI&U), a private, non-profit university headquartered in Cincinnati today announced that Betty Overton-Adkins, vice president for academic affairs at Spring Arbor University near Jackson, MI, has been named Chair of Union Institute & University’s Board of Trustees.

“Dr. Betty J. Overton-Adkins is one of the most creative minds in higher education today,” said UI&U President Roger H. Sublett, Ph.D. “Through her vast experience in a wide range of university settings, her commitment to providing learning and mentorship opportunities in innovative environments based on adult learning principles, and her extensive work with foundation programming in higher education, Betty's influence can be seen in historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), Native American tribal colleges, Hispanic-serving institutions and associations, as well as mainstream universities and colleges.”

A native of Jacksonville, FL, Dr. Overton-Adkins is a lifelong educator who began her career as a public school teacher. She has worked at both public and private colleges and universities as a faculty member, department chair, and graduate dean. At Spring Arbor University, she is responsible for all aspects of the graduate and undergraduate academic programs and faculty development, and also serves as professor of English.

Dr. Overton-Adkins previously served for 10 years as director of higher education programs for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Prior to her tenure at the Kellogg Foundation, Dr. Overton-Adkins was dean of the Graduate School at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, where she oversaw more than 20 graduate programs and the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. She has also been a faculty member and administrator at Fisk University, Tennessee State University, and Nashville State Technical Institute. She currently serves as a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Clinton School for Public Service in Little Rock, AR.

For more than two decades Dr. Overton-Adkins has served on numerous higher education professional and credentialing boards and committees, including her present positions on the board of the American Association of Higher Education, and as a commissioner of the Higher Learning Commission, North Central Association of Colleges and Universities. She has served on the boards of the Council of Graduate Schools, and the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE). She has written or co-authored numerous papers and articles, and currently serves on the editorial board of Change Magazine.

Dr. Overton-Adkins earned her Ph.D. in educational leadership from George Peabody College of Vanderbilt University. She received her baccalaureate and master’s degrees in English from Tennessee State University. In 1990 she attended the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard University, and returned to Harvard in 1996 as a visiting faculty fellow at the W.E.B. Dubois Research Institute. Her extensive community service roles include board member for the Quality Board of Foote Hospital in Jackson, Michigan, Sojourner House, Detroit; founder of Women of Color United Against Domestic Violence, Little Rock; governor's appointee to the Arkansas Science and Technology Authority; and former national board member of Bread for the World.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Learners and Families from Across the Globe Will Attend May 5 Montpelier Graduation

MONTPELIER – Adult learners enrolled in Union Institute & University’s BA Colloquium Program will join in College Hall Chapel on the Vermont College of Fine Art campus, 7 p.m., Wednesday, May 5 to take part in the BA Colloquium Commencement. The new graduates and their families are converging in Montpelier from the across the country; 81-year-old commencer Joan Ashley will be joined by her children who are traveling from Asia to see their mother earn her bachelor’s degree.

Learners enrolled in the Montpelier Center’s BA Colloquium program attend two or three week-long residencies in Montpelier and complete the remainder of their coursework at a distance. “Most of our commencers are adult learners who did not find satisfaction at traditional schools, but who flourished at Union, where they were able to do independent and self-designed study,” said Gail MacDonald, assistant director of the program.

Soon-to-be-graduate Joan Ashley of Hanover, NH, was drawn to the program’s flexibility and the opportunity to create a program based on her individual interests, talents, and unique experiences. With the help of UI&U professors, she was able to create a program that allowed her to incorporate her vast knowledge of the world with her work with NGOs.

“I think saying ‘yes’ has opened many doors for me. I thrive on new experiences, and I often say yes and then I see where it leads me,” said Joan. “I cannot say enough about Union’s program,” said Joan. “The faculty is superb, and I love the diversity of the learners. We are of all ages and backgrounds, and when we get together we have real conversation. We find we really care about each other.”

Joan’s children, including two traveling from Ho Chi Minh City and Bangkok, will present her with her diploma. The commencement will also feature a keynote address by BA faculty Marty McMahon. For more information on the UI&U commencement, please contact Gail MacDonald at 802-828-8815 or Nicole Hamilton at 513-487-1194.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Brattleboro BA Program Open House and Commencement Weekend

Saturday’s Open House features presentations by new graduates; Rickey Gard Diamond, founding editor of Vermont Woman, to serve as Sunday’s commencement speaker

BRATTLEBORO - Union Institute & University (UI&U), a non-profit, private university that offers degree programs designed for the busy adult with two centers in Brattleboro, will host an Open House, from 1-3 p.m., Saturday, April 24, at the Brattleboro Academic Center, 3 University Way. The Open House is in conjunction with the BA program’s commencement taking place at 11:45, Sunday, April 25, in the Community Room at the Vermont Academic Center.

Rickey Gard Diamond, contributing editor and founding editor of Vermont Woman, will serve as the commencement speaker. Vermont Woman was voted the New England Press Association’s Newspaper of the Year in 2007 and 2008, and its writers, including Diamond, have won individual awards. Diamond has also published a novel, Second Sight, and numerous short stories, including “Black Bears,” which placed in Glimmer Train’s 2008 Fiction Open. She lives in Montpelier and is a professor at Union Institute & University.

“Most of our commencers are adult learners who did not find satisfaction at traditional schools, but who flourished at Union, where they were able to do independent and self-designed study,” said Sharon Sprague, assistant director of the BA Brattleboro program.

At the Saturday Open House, many of the graduating learners will give presentations based on their studies in the BA program. For example, in her talk, “Ethical Dilemma of Dementia,” learner Mary Daigle - a care giver on a dementia unit in a long-term care facility - will discuss how dementia is viewed by persons of different ethnicities around the world and explore some of the key reasons why some cultures may hesitate at seeking help outside of family for their loved one.

The open house will also feature UI&U BA faculty, Acting Dean Dr. P. Neal Meier and Associate Dean Dr. Ann Stanton.

Union Institute & University’s Brattleboro BA, MA and CAGS programs are located in the Vermont Agricultural and Education Center on Old Guilford Road. The PsyD program is based out of the Marlboro Graduate Center downtown. For more information about the Brattleboro BA programs and the Open House please contact the Brattleboro Academic Center at 257-9411. For information about Union Institute & University visit


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Cellist Michael Fitzpatrick Performs for UI&U's Center for Clinical Mindfulness & Meditation

Fitzpatrick has worked closely with the Dalai Lama for 13 years. His performance marks the launch of UI&U’s Center for Clinical Mindfulness & Meditation.

CINCINNATI - Following his performance for the opening of the Dalai Lama’s teachings in Bloomington, IN, award-winning cellist Michael Fitzpatrick will perform at the New Thought Unity Center for the inauguration of the Center for Clinical Mindfulness & Meditation. The new center is part of the doctorate in psychology program (PsyD) at Union Institute & University (UI&U), a private, non-profit university headquartered in Walnut Hills.

Hailed by The New York Times as “possessing virtuosity, an ear for musical dialogue,” Fitzpatrick is a recipient of the Price Charles Award for outstanding musicianship and has worked closely with His Holiness the XIVth Dalai Lama for the past 13 years. In addition to collaborating with the Dalai Lama at global events, he worked with him on the historic Compassion Rising project inspired by the Dalai Lama’s relationship with the late Thomas Merton. The project featured the unprecedented musical collaboration between Tibetan and Trappist monks recorded and filmed inside Mammoth Cave.

Fitzpatrick was also instrumental in bringing together the Dalai Lama and Muhammad Ali for their historic first-meeting, performing his signature composition Invocation for World Peace for Solo Cello to commence the Blessing Ceremony of the Chamtse Ling Temple in Bloomington.

“Michael is at the forefront of musicians who utilize music as a vehicle for inducing feelings of peace, and we very honored that he is able to perform for the inauguration of The Center for Clinical Mindfulness & Meditation,” said Dr. Richard Sears, director of the new center that is dedicated to researching and promoting the clinical uses of mindfulness and meditation to foster mental wellness in individuals, schools, and organizations.

The concert is in partnership with New Thought Unity with sponsorship from A Small Group. It will take place Friday, May 21, at 7p.m. at New Thought Unity Center, 1401 E. McMillan Street, Walnut Hills. Tickets: $10 in advance, $15 at the door. A reception with Michael Fitzpatrick to celebrate the new center will immediately follow the performance. To order tickets call 513-961-2527 or visit For more information on UI&U and the Center for Clinical Mindfulness & Meditation visit


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

UI&U Hosts Open House Tuesday April 13 To Celebrate Partnership with the Urban League of Greater Cincinnati

Union Institute & University, the Center's Higher Education Partner, Will Host an Open House Tuesday, April 13, from 4-6 p.m.     

CINCINNATI – Lisa Patt-McDaniel, Director of the Ohio Department of Development, today announced that the Urban League of Greater Cincinnati will receive a grant to enable them to serve as the site of the new local Small Business Development Center (SBDC), to be housed at Union Institute & University in Walnut Hills. The Urban League will formally accept the grant at a press conference at 10 a.m., Tuesday, April 13, at its headquarters located at 3458 Reading Road, Avondale.

An open house will be held on that same Tuesday from 4-6 p.m. at the new SBDC site at Union Institute & University, 440 East McMillan Street, in Walnut Hills. During the open house, guests can tour the university’s facility and SBDC offices, gain information on the services available, and receive on-the-spot business counseling.

“The services and assistance provided by the Urban League’s SBDC are critical to the Cincinnati area’s small businesses,” Patt-McDaniel said. “We appreciate the hard work of our dedicated partners who are helping to meet the ever-changing needs of our small business owners and entrepreneurs.”

The local SBDC is partnering with Union Institute & University as well as with the Hispanic Chamber Cincinnati USA to offer the services to area Hispanic small businesses and startups. In addition to housing the SBDC, Union Institute & University will serve as the higher education partner.

The Small Business Development Center, a one-stop location for business and technical assistance, counseling, business training, quality-based assessments, loan packaging guidance, and information on federal, state, and local regulations and programs. Certified Business Advisors® are available for counseling by appointment Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Donna Jones Baker, president and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Cincinnati commented, “We are excited to be selected as the newest member of the Ohio Small Business Development Center Network. This will allow us the opportunity to expand the service offerings currently provided to the clients being served through the Urban Leagues’ Economic Empowerment Center and serve the broader Cincinnati business community.”

For more information about the Urban League of Greater Cincinnati’s Small Business Development Center, please call Sheila Mixon, Director at (513) 487-1274.

The Small Business Development Center of Ohio Network was created in 1985 through a partnership between the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Ohio Department of Development. The program fosters a strong climate for small business growth with many local community partners including colleges and universities, economic development agencies, chambers of commerce, and other community organizations.

The Entrepreneurship and Small Business Division’s mission is to provide innovative programs and services to Ohio entrepreneurs and small business owners, through effective communication, collaboration, creativity, and technology support to encourage sustainable growth.

Working with our partners across business, state, and local governments, academia, and the nonprofit sector, the Ohio Department of Development works to attract, create, grow, and retain businesses through competitive incentives and targeted investments. Engaged every day in marketing, innovating, investing, and collaborating, the Ohio Department of Development works at the speed of business to accelerate and support the teamwork that is absolutely necessary for success by providing financial, informational, and technical assistance to those making an investment in Ohio’s future.