Monday, June 2, 2014

A celebration with Portia Simpson Miller, Jamaica’s Prime Minister

Portia Simpson Miller, Jamaica’s Prime Minister
Saturday June 21, 2014
Hilton Miami Airport
5101 Blue Lagoon Drive
Miami, Florida 33126
5:30 PM Reception
6:30 PM Keynote Address

The Most Honorable Portia Simpson Miller, Jamaica’s Prime Minister and esteemed Union alumna (B.A. 1997) will mark Union Institute & University’s 50th anniversary at a special celebration in Miami, Florida. Click here to purchase tickets. For more information contact Angela Bolt Byles (305) 653-7141 x2108.

Prime Minister Simpson Miller is currently in her second term. Before first taking office in 2006, her illustrious career included serving as Minister of Labor, Welfare and Sport; Minister of Tourism and Sport; and Minister of Local Government, Community Development and Sport. She was recently inducted into the prestigious International Women’s Forum Hall of Fame, joining the ranks of hall-of-famers including Rosa Parks, Nancy Pelosi, and Margaret Thatcher. Prime Minister Simpson Miller earned a Bachelor of Arts from Union Institute & University in 1997.

The Prime Minister is truly a global ambassador who exemplifies the university’s mission, vision, and values in her words and deeds. She, like so many Union alumni and students have pursued their education against all odds in order to transform lives and communities. “Anything I can do to make life better for the poor or the working poor, or wherever there is injustice, I will do,” she has said. “People. That is what influences me. It doesn’t matter what class, color, religion, or creed,” she continues. “I am the voice of the voiceless in the corridors of power.”

Her many achievements include:
• Mrs. Simpson Miller was the leading architect of Jamaica’s Master Plan for Sustainable Tourism     Development, the Honourable Prime Minister has been tireless in promoting and strengthening urban renewal and community development, leading to fundamental reforms in local government.
• As Minister of Labour, Welfare and Sport, she presided over the significant expansion of Jamaica’s Overseas Work Programme.
• National Insurance Scheme was transformed into a major component of the government’s social protection system.
• She was also instrumental in establishing a Labour Chair in the University of the West Indies, Department of Government.
• The Municipality of Portmore in the parish of Saint Catherine was established while she had Ministerial oversight of the Local Government Portfolio.
As both minister and as prime minister, Portia Simpson Miller has received several local and international awards and accolades:
• In March 2007, she was awarded the International Olympic Committee’s World Women and Sport Trophy for outstanding dedication to women in Jamaican sports – both athletes and administrators.
• In 2009 she received the Distinguished Award for her dedication and commitment to urban renewal and community development from the Mayor, City of Miami.
• She also received the Bureau of Women’s Affairs Award for outstanding contribution to the advancement of women’s affairs in Jamaica.

Simpson Miller chose to study at Union Institute & University to broaden her knowledge base and solidify her academic credentials, which became necessary to advance in a political career that began while she was still in high school.

“It did not matter that I had served my apprenticeship in the intensive workshop of politics and government and had been schooled in the university of life,” she told graduates at Union Institute & University's 2001 Florida Commencement, where she received the university’s honorary doctorate for her exemplary efforts to improve the quality of life for all Jamaican citizens. “It did not matter that I was routinely called upon to represent my country at conferences all over the world. The absence of a college degree remained an issue in my life.”

From 1994-1997, Mrs. Simpson Miller attended seminars and periodically met with faculty at Union Institute & University's Florida Academic Center in North Miami Beach as she completed her bachelor of arts degree, while simultaneously attending to her parliamentary duties. When attending classes, Mrs. Simpson Miller was happy to be just another student, something that would have been impossible for her as a public figure in Jamaica.

Not only did she want to ensure that people would never be able to question her intellectual ability, Mrs. Simpson Miller was also motivated to complete her degree to prove something to her constituents, especially to the youth of Jamaica. “Anything you make up your mind to do, you can achieve,” she said. “When you have the power that comes with knowledge, you can use it for the advancement of people's lives. I will never forget my experiences at Union Institute & University because they assist me in continuing to make a difference.” Despite her demanding schedule and extensive responsibilities throughout the years since her graduation, she has maintained her friendship with the faculty and staff at the Florida Center.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Faculty Highlight: Dr. Gerald Fishman

Dr. Gerald Fishman, Union Institute & University

Union Institute & University prides itself on the number of scholar-practitioners we have leading our academic programs. Dr. Gerald A. Fishman successfully combines over three decades of psychological research and practice with a passion for community outreach and the skill and insight for effective institutional administration. He is a resource and model for both students and faculty, and he is a valued member of both his own local community and of the public health, social services and counseling community nationwide.

A New York State Licensed Psychologist and Certified School Psychologist trained in a number of therapy areas related to public health and chemical dependency, Dr. Fishman brings over 30 years of experience from his individual clinical, counseling practice to his role as Associate Dean at the Vermont Center in Brattleboro.

In this role of Associate Dean, he is responsible for administering and providing direct service to master’s and doctoral level graduate programs in psychology. He is active in program development and evaluation, institutional research, outcome assessment, and strategic planning in addition to his teaching responsibilities.

The Master of Arts with a Concentration in Counseling Psychology allows students to become familiar with identifying and treating psychological issues in a variety of clinical, educational and workplace environments. The degree also offers a unique graduate Certificate in Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counseling.  Dr. Fishman’s training in therapy approaches related to chemical dependency and addiction issues, as well as his work with nonprofit organizations, universities, governmental agencies and school systems, make him an invaluable resource and model for students in the program pursuing professional counseling avenues in different areas.

Outside of the academy, Dr. Fishman has used his training to create a number of adolescent chemical dependency and adult disorder programs throughout the state of New York. He is also the director of the Human Services Consultation and Training Institute, in Albany New York, an organization offering statewide and national professional trainings in specific clinical, chemical dependency, behavioral health, and school psychology.

More recently, Dr. Fishman has served as a consultant with Casey Family Programs out of Seattle, Washington. This position involves consultation to not-for-profit community mental health centers and governmental agencies serving rural eastern Kentucky and providing a continuum of care to women, children, and families. In this role, Dr. Fishman participates in formative research, program development, and staff training.

We asked Dr. Fishman to share some of his views about the important topics for current students of psychology, as well as his insights into what it means for him to practice the value of social responsibility.

What started you on the path of psychology, public health, and psychosocial related services?
My interest in psychology and clinical practice with children and adults was sparked by my volunteer work in high school with special education students and peers encountering academic difficulty.  I reflected on the best teachers I ever had, asking what was it about these teachers that influenced positive learning and emotional and behavioral change in their students, and I also included the effects that these teachers had on me.  From these early experiences, I became very interested in understanding and applying principles identified and researched by psychologists to the goal of helping others encountering challenges in their lives.  This essential purpose influenced pursuit of specialized graduate training, certifications, and professional experience intended to address the needs of children and adults across a variety of clinical and behavioral health areas.

What are the top two issues that you believe need to be addressed for your students within the therapy and public health fields?
Addiction and trauma-informed treatment are two critical areas that need to be addressed with students in clinical training programs.  The scope and impact of substance abuse is increasingly apparent in mental health, criminal justice, health, and social welfare settings, with adverse childhood events (including trauma) evidenced to influence poor outcomes for both children and adults in these systems.  The symptoms of trauma and substance use disorders are maintained in a vicious cycle.  Trauma-informed care is based on a model of empowerment that promotes recovery from both substance use and mental health disorders and helps the client build skills to increase safety and effective adaptation in their lives.

What have been the most rewarding aspects of your career within the fields of counseling, teaching, writing, workshop leadership, etc.?
I am both excited and honored by the possibility of making a difference in the lives of others by training future counselors and clinicians in best practices and evidence-based approaches to relieving suffering, enhancing coping skills, and increasing positive life outcomes.  Continued evaluation of educational programs for quality assurance and quality improvement purposes is critical, and informs all of our efforts to provide a valuable and value-laden education for our students.  To this objective, I am actively involved in teaching, practice, and lifelong learning. Engaged study keeps us humble and grateful.  As the mantra goes, “the more I learn, the less I know.” 

What does “social responsibility” mean to you? 
As educators and human services professionals, social responsibility translates to ensuring respect for human dignity and human rights.  Social responsibility and, more broadly, social justice provide a set of principles which guide both the content and the conducting of education for our students.  Enhancing access to education, exploring the nature of responsibility to others through ethical, cultural, and societal lenses, and examining the values which inform our direct actions with others are crucial to influencing fair treatment and equality for all people we serve.

The Retirement Revolution with Dr. Ken Dychtwald

Dr. Ken Dychtwald, Agewave
Hall of Mirrors
Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza
35 West 5th Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Thursday, June 26, 2014
8:00am Breakfast Buffet
9:00am Keynote
10:30am Book Signing

Tickets are now available for our special presentation The Retirement Revolution: How the Age Wave will transform our lives with Union alumnus Dr. Ken Dychtwald (Ph.D. 1976). Click here to reserve your seat. Tickets are $30 general admission or $45 with a personally signed copy of Dr. Dychwald's new book.

Dr. Ken Dychtwald earned his Ph.D. in Psychology from Union Institute & University in 1976. Over the past 35+ years, he has emerged as North America´s foremost visionary and original thinker regarding the lifestyle, marketing, healthcare and workforce implications of the age wave. He is a psychologist, gerontologist, documentary filmmaker, entrepreneur and best-selling author of sixteen books on aging-related issues, including Age Wave: The Challenges and Opportunities of an Aging Society, Age Power: How the 21st Century will be Ruled by the New Old, and A New Purpose: Redefining Money, Family, Work, Retirement and Success
In 1986, Ken became the founding President and CEO of Age Wave (, a firm created to guide Fortune 500 companies and government groups in product/service development for boomers and mature adults. His client list has included more than half of the Fortune 500. His explorations and innovative solutions have fertilized and catalyzed a broad spectrum of industry sectors—from pharmaceuticals and medical devices to automotive design and retail merchandising to financial planning and health insurance. He has just been chosen to serve as Chairman-elect of the American Society on Aging—the largest association or professionals serving the needs of older adults.
During his career, Dr. Dychtwald has addressed more than two million people worldwide in his speeches to corporate, association, social service, and government groups. His strikingly accurate predictions and innovative ideas are regularly featured in leading print and electronic media worldwide, including: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Financial Times, Fortune, Time, Newsweek, BusinessWeek, Inc., U.S. News and World Report, The Economist, HK Daily News, South China Morning Post, The Standard, The Straits Times, 60 Minutes, Good Morning America, ABC World News Tonight, Today Show, PBS, NPR, and BBC.
Through his highly acclaimed presentations, his breakthrough research and consulting initiatives, and his leadership within both the social science and business communities, Dr. Ken Dychtwald has dedicated his life to battling ageist stereotypes while promoting a new, vital and purposeful role for life’s second half.

Free Webinar: What Supervisors Look For in Great Employees

What Supervisors Look For

Presented by Dr. Charles F. Piazza
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
8:30 pm EST

Join us for a free leadership webinar to learn the key qualities and skills that supervisors are looking for in their employees. This webinar will be both a presentation and discussion in which participants will have the opportunity to ask questions.

We will be discussing
• Learning to grow with your job
• Leadership and adaptability
• Collaborating with others
• Dealing with complex situations
• Innovative problem-solving

This event is free and open to the public. Contact or 513-487-1261 to register.

Charles F. Piazza, Union Institute & University

Charles F. Piazza, Ph.D. is an organizational/workplace scholar, practitioner and ethicist, with more than ten years of experience in teaching and assisting individuals to resolve contemporary workplace issues. Dr. Piazza focuses on developing visionary transparent leaders who establish organizational structures, cultures and work environments that foster innovative socially responsive solution building, collaborative knowledge sharing systems, work-life balance, and community involvement.

He has developed virtual learning courses since the late 1990s and has been awarded instructor of the year three times in three different disciplines. Dr. Piazza has worked with professionals to expand their thinking and skill set in sustainable strategic management, global professional ethics, leading organizational innovation, and developing alternative business models.

Dr. Piazza serves as the chair of Union Institute & University’s Master of Science in Organizational Leadership program. He is also the special assistant to the university president, working on university-wide strategic innovation efforts.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Faculty Highlight: Dr. Rick Chaffee

Dr. Rick Chaffee, Union Institute & University

Dr. Rick Chaffee’s understanding of leadership and mentoring practices is informed by a diverse background in professional ski racing, a Master's degree in Economics from the University of Denver and a Ph.D. in Applied Social Sciences from Union Institute & University. Dr. Chaffee’s has experience teaching both at the high school and collegiate level. He also has worked extensively in leadership training for the Marathon Oil Company, as well as working as a manager for the Catholic Diocese of Toledo. More recently Dr. Chaffee has been recruiting and mentoring members of the National Guard and employees of various corporations to focus on their degree completion through Union Institute & University.

Your first career was as an Olympic skier. What started you on that path of professional skiing?

I was born in Rutland, VT and my mom and dad both ski raced. My mom was an alternate on the 1940 Olympic Team but that year the games were cancelled because of the war.

There was a ground swell of interest in skiing around Pico Peak near Rutland as a local woman, Andrea Mead Lawrence, became the first American to win Olympic gold medals in skiing in 1952.
This ground swell of interests gave rise to organized efforts to support ski racing in the region. I ski raced from the age of five or so. My sister, Suzy Chaffee participated with me in the '68 Olympics in France and I competed again in Japan in 1972. Our University of Denver ski team won the NCAA Championships during each of my four years there.

After you transitioned out of skiing professionally, you went on to teach and to help establish the Green Mountain Valley School. What was your vision for that school?

After teaching for six years with Johnson State College, I was asked to help a local academy, The Green Mt. Valley School, become an elite ski racing academy. I taught, coached and was director of community life with the school.

Our vision was to create a high school in which students could excel both academically and athletically. The goal was for faculty, staff and students to create a supportive learning community in which students could pursue their dreams. The school has since developed into one of America’s leading ski racing academies and college preparatory schools.

You teach in Union's Leadership program and are invested in both educational and corporate leadership training.  What are the aspects of leadership that you see as essential today both in the academic world and in the corporate world? What aspects of leadership do you feel are essential for your students to grasp?

Leadership is influence in service of a common purpose. The participants in our leadership classes become excited when they discover that many of the theories validate an intuition that they have had for some time. The courses I teach with Union Institute & University and those I taught in corporate training, focused on helping both leaders and followers organize what they already know so that it becomes more useful to them. Teaching is especially fun when that happens.

Most Union Institute & University students are adults with years of experience in organizations. My role then is to bring together a field of knowledge such as leadership and the lived experience of our participant. When that happens, the learning takes place very fast because the participants already know experientially these concepts and theories.What I find most satisfying about teaching leadership is helping our leadership students remember what is most important to them, which is keeping their integrity.

It seems that we are so challenged by the environments in which we work, so caught up in surviving, that we often lose touch with what is most important to us. Such things as:
  • Doing our best and being of good will;
  • Avoiding the tendency to create in-groups and out-groups in our organizations. Because our mind operates by categorizing, there is a natural tendency for leaders to classify their followers and thereby create in-groups and out-groups. Building high quality one-on-one relationships with each team member, despite the differences in intelligence, motivation, career aspirations, and skill level, will take us a long way toward developing a sound organizational climate.
Here is an example of what I enjoy most in teaching leadership. I ask students to respond to this handout as we approach the end of the leadership course. This piece resonates strongly with our leadership participants:
“You are nearly finished with the course. Whatever you have learned here, the insights from the instruments, from the theories, from your application of theory to the cases, and all the insights you have had from your whole life, these will not be lost. What is important now is this: When you find yourself in a situation, whether you are the leader, follower or a peer, do not try to remember these theories or past insights. Instead, be present to the situation, to the people, to the issues….listen. Be open to whatever is happening…to your own thoughts and feeling and the responses and feelings of the other parties. Then draw on your intelligence, your concern for the well being of people and your sense of beauty and fairness.If you do that, if you do your best to be present to this unique situation and these unique people at this unique moment, with deep concern for both people and the task at hand, what you need to know will be made available to you.It is impossible to determine what to do ahead of time, for every moment is new and fresh and calls for its own unique response.It is in the humility of being open and present, trusting that the right words and responses will come to us, that we find our ‘voice’ and truly serve.” 

Who are the leaders and examples that you look to or aspire to be like? Why?
 In my classes I use Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech and Joshua Chamberlain’s speech to the mutineers of the 20th Maine at the Civil War battle of Gettysburg. I am also a great admirer of Nelson Mandela and the Persian poets Rumi and Hafiz.These are leaders who were fearless in their support of freedom, equality and community. I admire all who try, as best they can, to live the qualities of intelligence, beauty and love.Ultimately, however, leadership is a matter of the heart.

What are your current projects that you’re most excited about? 
Our B.S. Business Management and Leadership faculty have been working together to develop ‘sound guidelines’ for our collaboration forums, ways to strengthen the quality of our on-line courses in CampusWeb.Another project of special interest is an application of ‘Appreciative Inquiry’ to our peer review process. The Faculty Affaires and Development Committee, FAD, has been creating a peer review process that focuses on two things: developing faculty and celebrating the good things happening in the university as we share our interests and our successes with our peers.Appreciative Inquiry is a process for developing organizations by identifying and celebrating its strengths. Or, as Peter Drucker stated so well in one of our training videos for this process [...] “The task of leadership is to create an alignment of strengths that make our weaknesses irrelevant.”

What does “social responsibility” means to you, and how you live out that value in your life?
My interest in social responsibility at the moment is focused on the leader-follower relationship in organizations whether public, private or corporate. The leader-follower relationship has profound ethical implications. Organizations and their leadership have a social responsibility to see that the leader-follower relationship is ethical.There are many methods that leaders can employ to get things done. There is coercion, manipulation, mutually agreed upon transactions, and inspiration. Only two of these are ethical.

Freedom to follow without threat or coercion is part of social responsibility in our organizations. Our essential equality as persons, despite differences in roles, is another requirement of social responsibility in the leader-follower relationship. The leader-follower relationship has not been a focus of social responsibility until recently. It is, however, a major focus in our Ethics and Leadership class.

Within our own organization, Union Institute and University, it is important that we help each other keep our personal and institutional integrity. That’s how we live social responsibility in our own house.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Faculty Highlight: Dr. Stella Marrie

Dr. Stella Marrie, Union Institute & University

For over a decade, Dr. Stella Marrie has been active as a psychotherapist, educator, and community leader. In addition to her responsibilities as professor in Union Institute & University’s Bachelor of Arts program in the Psychology & Human Development concentration, Dr. Marrie is invested in the political and social justice issues surrounding mental health treatment and therapy practices. Over the years, she has served in community centers and women’s shelters, providing training for volunteers working with victims of domestic violence. Dr. Marrie has participated in outreach programs aiding at-risk youth and teenage mothers, as well as individuals struggling with drug addiction and eating disorders. She has taught a variety of courses in group therapy, personality theory, the psychology of trauma, and human development. Her research interests range from Jungian and contemporary psychoanalytic methods of psychotherapy to spiritual development and existential theories of how individuals and communities create meaning in their lives. She is familiar with depth psychology and transpersonal approaches, and her own personal practice of meditation and spirituality has led her to explore the relationship between Buddhism and Western psychology.

What started you on the path of clinical psychology?

I think I was always interested in understanding others. As a child that was expressed in my love for nature and animals. My heroes were people like Jane Goodall, Diane Fossey, and Konrad Lorenz.  I read all their books and thought I would become a research scientist. Goodall was especially inspiring because her method was simply to sit quietly and pay careful attention.  She developed an “I –Thou” relationship with her subjects, which was criticized as “unscientific”, but it was probably the key to her success.As it turned out, I went to the University of Chicago, where a student with my interests was typically directed to the anthropology department.  I studied anthropology for several years but eventually realized that I wanted to work in a way that might benefit others more directly.  I realized that I wanted to be involved in my work in a way that fieldwork did not allow.  As I began to take psychology courses, I found a framework of theory and praxis that wedded my desire to understand others and also to be of some service.   During this time, I was also introduced to Zen meditation.  Zen practice gave me ample opportunities of quiet sitting and careful attention.  This practice of mindfulness also became a core element of how I practice psychotherapy and also how I teach.

One of the formative experiences that led me on this path, both as a therapist and as a teacher of psychology, was through one of my first psychology professors, Gene Gendlin.  He was a unique teacher in that everything he did and said seemed to instantiate the ideas he was presenting. Even if he was talking about something that had nothing to do with psychotherapy, his manner and attitude still expressed the essence of his work as a psychologist.  In this respect, it was sort of impossible not to learn in his presence.  I saw in him a deep integrity in the way that he expressed his life’s work and purpose, and I took this as an example of the way I wanted to teach and what I hoped to offer my own students.

What are the top 2 issues you believe need to be addressed for students within the psychology field?

Many people think of an undergraduate degree as a means to an end - a first step toward obtaining a credential or a job. It is true that career development and advancement are very important and should be a core element of any degree program.  Alongside this is the deeper significance of study in psychology with its potential to change the way we think, feel, and live.  It is important for a psychology program to consider both dimensions and to address the needs and development of each student in a holistic way. This is especially true for adult students who typically bring a wealth of experience to their studies and often have more individual learning goals than traditional aged college students.

Psychology emphasizes many skills and intellectual attitudes that are applicable to a wide range of fields. The skills that are integral to a liberal arts education - communication skills, the ability to view complex problems from multiple perspectives, the ability to work collaboratively, the ability to think flexibly and adaptively, an appreciation for diversity – are all deeply embedded in this field.  These are habits of mind that also promote self-understanding, meaningful relationships, creativity, and well-being. Not surprisingly, they are qualities that are also sought after by employers.  So, I feel that one of the most important things for psychology students to experience in their education is that personal development and professional development are not two separate things, but really one and the same.  An undergraduate degree in psychology provides preparation for a variety of careers and also enhances one’s personal life through a fuller understanding of self and others.  I think that when both elements are addressed, students engage in their learning in a very wholehearted and generative way. Education then becomes a vehicle to many things, but it is always an end in itself.

Who are the leaders and examples that you look to or aspire to be like? Why?

Some years ago, I taught a seminar titled, Committed Lives: Social Engagement in Adult Development. The students in the course picked moral exemplars from whom they took inspiration to study and write about.  From that experience my own list of moral exemplars became quite large!  Public figures come to mind – authors, artists, and scientists who have shaped my thinking – as well as many people I have met in my personal life and though my work as a therapist and teacher.
I am not sure that it actually originated in Zen, but there is a saying popular in the Zen tradition that one should strive to “let everything be your teacher”.  This is generally understood as encouragement to learn from all of one’s experiences, but it is also literally true that when you get to know something or someone well enough; they always have something to teach you.  I think that some of the most influential humanitarian leaders of our time – people like Nelson Mandela, Aung San Suu Kyi, Martin Luther King, the Dalai Lama – all seem to embody this inclusive, awake, mind and heart.  So now, possibly because of that seminar, when I think of leaders, I tend to think less of individuals but of a collectivity of people who seem to stand for something that I believe is available to be cultivated in everyone. I am very interested in looking for facets of that in everyone.

What have been the most rewarding aspects of your career within the fields of counseling, teaching, writing, workshop leadership, etc.?

Teaching is always a two way street, and the process is mutually transformative.  The same can be said of psychotherapy.  So I feel that in both areas of my professional life, the rewards are intrinsic to the activity, as I am always learning and growing through my work.  As a teacher there something especially rewarding about working closely with students and having the privilege of seeing their lives unfold and flourish as the result of their efforts and experiences at Union.  It takes a lot of courage to return to college as an adult with a job, family, and all kinds of responsibilities.  It is inspiring to see them push through internal and external barriers.  Many of them start out on this path to create a better future for their families and only later on realize that it is also for them.  I so admire the determination that they bring to their work.

I have been with Union Institute & University for 14 years, and in that time so many graduates have contacted me for a letter of recommendation for graduate school, a reference for a job, or just to update me on new projects or additions to the family.  I now have the honor of working with students in the doctoral program that I started with in the Bachelors program. These reconnections are like a large informal follow-up study about the effects of a Union education, and they enable me to see the big, long-term picture of the role that the Union plays in the lives of its students – and in society.  The intellectual liveliness, creativity, and commitment to doing good in the world that our graduates express in their personal and professional lives is tremendously rewarding for me and my colleagues.

What does  “social responsibility” mean to you here at Union and outside of Union. How would you describe the role and importance of "social responsibility" in your own life?

I think of social responsibility as an ethical stance rooted in compassion that recognizes the deeply interconnected and constantly changing nature of life.  Unfortunately, we have a lot of social conditioning that runs counter to perceiving suffering and our interconnectedness. So for me, practicing social responsibility involves cultivating an awareness of this interconnectedness on a continual basis and also acting on that awareness in small and large ways.  I feel that the contemplative side of social responsibility is not emphasized enough in discussions of the topic.  It is important because when we have a deep realization of our connection, acting in a purely self-interested way no longer makes sense.  We start to naturally orient our lives in more socially responsible ways through our choices as consumers, our communication with others, and what we are willing to give our time and attention to.  In my personal life, contemplative practice is the method that I use to train my mind to be ready for socially responsible action. I feel that finding ways to skillfully address suffering through my work as a practicing psychologist, and also in teaching my students to respond to suffering in the world, is my primary expression of social responsibility.  Education is also a critical factor in socially responsible action, and I rely on others to help me become aware of the impact of my actions and the social and global issues that I need to be aware of and involved in.

Monday, May 12, 2014

New Board of Trustees Chairperson, Member, and Officers

CINCINNATI – Union Institute & University (UI&U), a private, non-profit university headquartered in Cincinnati announced that Mr. Donald Feldmann, Esq., has been elected Chairperson of the Board of Trustees, Ms. Juana Bordas has been elected to serve on the board, Mr. Roger Allbee has been elected Vice Chairperson, and Ms. Sandra L. Lobert has been elected treasurer.

Union Institute & University’s Board of Trustees members are selected for their commitment to the University’s purpose and mission. Members are active and involved participants in the governance of the institution, and committed to its growth and development. The University Board of Trustees meets four times each year in January, April, July, and October.

“Electing these four stellar individuals to various leadership positions on the board of trustees allows the university to partake of varied and expert knowledge across a wide spectrum,” said Union President Roger H. Sublett. “Their contributions, and those of all our trustees, are pivotal as we celebrate the university’s 50th anniversary.”

Donald Feldmann, Esq. Rippe & Kingston Capital Advisors, Inc

 Donald Feldmann, Esq. is president and CEO of Rippe & Kingston Capital Advisors, Inc. (formerly Winton Associates, Inc.), the broker-dealer affiliate of Rippe & Kingston Certified Public Accountants and Consultants, a regional CPA firm based in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is responsible for advising clients on capital market transactions, including arranging acquisitions, financing acquisitions and growth, mezzanine financing, valuations, and negotiations support. For the past twenty-five years Feldmann has been involved in the money and capital markets, advising clients on M&A transactions and raising capital. This work has involved Fortune 500 companies to companies with less than $5 million in revenues. In 2013, Feldmann was awarded the prestigious Silver Beaver award, given by The Boy Scouts of America. The Silver Beaver Award is the council-level distinguished service award of the Boy Scouts of America. Recipients of this award are registered adult leaders who have made an impact on the lives of youth through service given to the council. The Silver Beaver is an award given to those who implement the Scouting program and perform community service through hard work, self-sacrifice, dedication, and many years of service. It is the highest honor the council can confer on a volunteer and it is the ultimate in local service. Feldmann earned his B.A. from the University of Notre Dame, his MBA from Xavier University, and his Juris Doctor from the Chase College of Law.

Juana Bordas, M.A. - Mestiza Leadership International
Juana Bordas, M.A. is president of Mestiza Leadership International, a company that focuses on leadership, diversity, and organizational change.

As founding President/ CEO of the National Hispana Leadership Institute, the only program in America that prepares Latinas for national leadership, Bordas forged partnerships with Harvard's JFK School of Government and Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) to provide training for Hispanic women. She served as advisor to Harvard's Hispanic Journal on Public Policy and the Kellogg National Fellows Program.

Her twenty-five years of experience managing nonprofit corporations and building partnerships with the private sector to support innovative programs have earned her many awards and accolades including selection as one of 50 leaders chosen by the Colorado Legislature to design the state's future plan and the title of one of most 100 influential persons in the state by Colorado Business Magazine. The Denver Post and the Colorado Women's Foundation recognized her as The 2009 Colorado Unique Woman of the Year. In addition, she was inducted into the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame. The Denver Business Journal selected her for their 2003 Outstanding Women in Business Award.

In 2006, she received the Leadership Legacy award from Spellman College's Center for Leadership. In 2008, she was honored with the 2008 Martin Luther King Jr. Business Responsibility Award.

In 1977, she was a founder of Denver's Mi Casa Women's Center and served as executive director until 1986. Today, Mi Casa is recognized as a national model for women's empowerment. In 2001, she founded the Circle of Latina Leadership whose mission is to train the next generation of Latina Leaders in Colorado. Currently 130 young women have completed the program.

Bordas is the author of two award-winning books, Salsa, Soul, and Spirit: Leadership for a Multicultural Age, winner of the prestigious International Latino Book Award for best leadership book and her new release, The Power of Latino Leadership, winner of the coveted 2013 Nautilus Book Award, Gold Winner in the Multicultural Indigenous category. 

In addition, Bordas has written many publications including "Passion and Power: Finding Personal Purpose" an essay in Reflections on Leadership published by John Wiley & Sons. She is a contributing author to Leadership in the 21st Century in "Rethinking Leadership" published by Sage Publications. Her essay, "Latino Leadership: Building a Diverse and Humane Society" was published by the Journal for Leadership Studies.

A dynamic national speaker and trainer, Bordas weaves leadership, diversity, and community building into a multicultural tapestry. She utilizes music, movement, and leadership practices to illustrate the richness and wisdom diversity brings.

A former Peace Corps volunteer, she received the Franklin Williams Award from the US Peace  Corps for her commitment to advancing communities of color.

She holds a M.S. in social work from the University of Wisconsin, a B.A. in social sciences from the University of Florida, and a Honorary Doctorate from Union Institute & University.

Roger Allbee, former Secretary of Agriculture VermontRoger Allbee, M.A. is a former Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets for the state of Vermont. He has served in numerous roles in both the private and public sectors in agriculture and food systems. These have included Executive Director of the USDA Farm Service Agency for Vermont, a member of the Senior Management Team for the former Farm Credit Banks for the Northeast, a staff member of the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture, and chair of the animal and animal products advisory committee on trade to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and the U.S. Trade Ambassador.

At the state level, he is the chair of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Advisory Committee and an advisor to the president of Vermont Technical College where he also serves as a Senior Scholar in Residence. Allbee is a past chair of the working landscape council of the Vermont Council on Rural Development.

Allbee is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with a master’s in Agricultural Economics, University of Vermont with a B.S. in Agricultural Economics, Cornell University Agricultural Executives program, and Harvard University Agribusiness seminars. He is the founder of AgTech, a company that develops markets for U.S. Specialty food products in foreign markets.
Sandra L. Lobert, Hospice of CincinnatiSandra L. Lobert, is president and CEO of Hospice of Cincinnati, Southwest Ohio’s first and largest provider of comfort-oriented end-of-life care. Since its founding in 1977, Hospice of Cincinnati has provided care to over 25,000 patients and more than 100,000 family members. It has locations in Blue Ash, Anderson Township, Western Hills, and Hamilton, yet a majority of patients are cared for in their homes or in nearly 150 area nursing homes located in five counties.

Under Lobert’s leadership, Hospice wants to help sufferers of chronic disease stay in their homes longer and avoid hospital readmissions. In an effort to change care for the terminally ill, she is leading an innovative project uniting eight local hospitals and health-care providers with Hospice of Cincinnati to form an “End-of-Life Partnership.”

Before joining Hospice of Cincinnati, Lobert enjoyed an extensive 25-year career with Fifth Third Bank serving in a variety of roles including senior vice president of Institutional Trust and vice president and team leader of Metropolitan Lending. She was responsible for institutional trust asset management, retirement plans, foundations, grant-making, commercial lending, retail banking, and branch bank management. 

Throughout her career, Lobert has also been a leader in community service.  She became familiar with Hospice of Cincinnati as a trustee, board chair, and as a leader of its outreach to various ethnic groups. In addition, she has served on boards and committees with Drake Center, Fine Arts Fund/Artswave, Junior Achievement of Greater Cincinnati, Ohio Valley Goodwill Industries, Ohio Valley Foundation, Greater Cincinnati Foundation, and United Way of Greater Cincinnati.
In 2011, Lobert was named one of Cincinnati Enquirer’s 20 Professional Women to Watch. She is also an alumna of Leadership Cincinnati and Leadership Northern Kentucky and a recipient of the YWCA Career Woman of Achievement.

Dr. Virginia Wiltse, Union Institute & University Dr. Gladys Hankins, Union Institute & University

Board of Trustee members Dr. Virginia Wiltse, former chairperson and Dr. Gladys Hankins were reelected to four-year terms. 

About Union Institute & University
The year 2014 marks a milestone in the history of Union Institute & University. The university is celebrating its 50th year of educating adults who seek academic programs that transform lives and communities. The university is a nonprofit, accredited, private university specializing in adult and distance education since 1964. Union strives to engage, enlighten, and empower students in a lifetime of learning and service. The university’s transformational and socially relevant programs promote creative and critical thinking, and connect scholarship with real-world practice. Flexible online classes, brief residencies, classroom experiences, and hybrid models of instruction lead to undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral degrees. Union graduates, including 13 college presidents, leaders in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, members of the United States Congress, and the first female prime minister of Jamaica, promote Union’s legacy of utilizing education to transform lives and communities. For more information about Union Institute & University, visit or call: 888-828-8575.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Nominate Faculty for the Service Award

Deadline: June 30, 2014

Do you have a favorite Union Institute & University instructor who deserves recognition for exceptional hard work and dedication? Students, faculty (including self-nominations), administration, and alumni are welcome to nominate Union faculty members for the Faculty Award for Excellence in Service.

Nominations will be accepted through June 30, 2014. This award recognizes the exemplary achievements by Union faculty in the area of service, it carries a $1000 stipend, and all Union faculty—including full-time, part-time, and affiliate—are eligible.

This award recognizes extraordinary dedication to the university, including performance beyond contractual assignments, and service contributions made without compensation. Candidates should demonstrate a consistent pattern of service of significant importance to the University, to the public, and the community, including significant service in scholarly/professional organizations and enhancing the reputation, prestige, and mission of Union Institute & University.

The winner will be announced in September and will be publicly recognized at the October National Faculty Meeting and the 2014 National Commencement Exercises. 
Nominations should include the following information:
a) a letter of nomination explaining why the nominee is qualified to be recognized in this manner
b) the nominee’s most current curriculum vitae
c) any documentary evidence in support of the nomination which may include up to three letters in support of the nomination
d) information regarding any other financial award or grant that has been received in support of the faculty member’s work that forms the basis of this nomination
e) the identity of the persons making and supporting the nomination.

Nominations may be submitted electronically at by June 30, 2014.

Except for self-nominations, the portfolio should not include any confidential information. For self-nominations, confidential information such as dean’s reviews or peer reviews may be submitted in support of the nomination but any confidentiality in that information will be deemed to have been waived.

In order for a nomination to receive full consideration, items a.) through d.) must be included in the nomination dossier.  Moreover, substantial items and/or amount of the activities of a candidate upon which the nomination is based must be performed during a candidate's employment at Union Institute & University. The quality and thoroughness of the nomination materials, including current Curriculum Vitae, are important factors in committee recommendations. The activities of excellence and quality performance should be demonstrated in a consistent and sustained pattern for a period of time and are continuing at the time a candidate is being considered for the Award by the Committee.  

Friday, May 2, 2014

Call for Faculty Research Papers and Presentations


To Engage, Enlighten and Empower: Celebrating 50 Years of Faculty Research at Union Institute & University

Deadline: June 16, 2014

The Faculty Council is pleased to announce a call for faculty research papers and/or research presentations. This mini-conference is a university-wide event designed to encourage collaboration, communication, and community-building across all academic programs. We hope to include many different voices representing a range of disciplines to promote and grow connections and discussions among all programs.

The projects will be presented on Monday, July 7, 2014, 7:30-9:00 pm EDT at the Holiday Inn in Erlanger, Kentucky and broadcast live via Adobe Connect or GoToMeeting. Specific details will be shared with all participants before to the event.

Research paper presentations
• Approximately 20 minutes long.
• Can range from a more traditional conference paper to a creative work to a description of a community project.
• Send an abstract to Dr. Rosanne Kennedy ( by June 16, 2014.

Shorter research presentations
• Approximately five minutes long.
• Can be varied – anything that you are currently engaged in, working on, thinking about, or have already accomplished.
• Examples: a description of a current project or research interest, an announcement of recently published work, a project in your community, or recent pedagogical strategies developed and implemented.
• Submit your name and a few lines of your topic/interest to Dr. Kennedy by June 16, 2014. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Faculty Highlight: Dr. Michael Raffanti

Dr. Michael Raffanti, Union Institute & University

Dr. Michael Raffanti takes the value of social responsibility seriously—and he lives out the definition of that value in his work, his teaching, his life in the surrounding community and in his outreach.

Dr. Michael A. Raffanti is the Associate Dean in Union Institute & University's Ph.D. program in Interdisciplinary Studies, and he is also a faculty member within the Ed.D. program. Dr. Raffanti has been with Union Institute & University since 2007, but the passion for combining education and social engagement is something that has characterized his life and work for decades.

“Union’s long-time focus on social responsibility is what attracted me to join the doctoral faculty. My professional life has, I think, reflected my desire to connect social responsibility with my day-to-day work," he said. Dr. Raffanti is interested in interdisciplinary approaches to the subject of education, legal issues, social justice, leadership, systems change, qualitative methods, and action-oriented research. Grounded Theory Review, Journal of Qualitative and Ethnographic Research, and Journal of Integral Theory and Practice have all been venues for Dr. Raffanti's research to be published.

His background in history and philosophy, law, and teaching has provided him with an integrated intellectual framework for his engagement of the surrounding community in very practical ways.

In his former career as an attorney in San Francisco, he specialized in issues of poverty law. "My first career as an attorney was primarily spent working in non-profit organizations that focused on serving low-income communities,” said Dr. Raffanti. “This work took the form of housing, immigration, and domestic violence matters; it was a combination of legal advocacy and educating the community of their rights."

He has also worked with outreach organizations supporting the AIDS community, and helping develop HIV prevention programs. In addition, teaching elementary school in high-poverty, urban environments and mentoring high school students through weekend tutoring and workshop programs have been signatures of Dr. Raffanti's commitment to being a socially responsible scholar practitioner.

"By the time I came to Union in 2007," Dr. Raffanti said, "my professional career was a bit eclectic, but it had a common thread of educating people of all ages in the hope that such education would improve lives as it had mine. At Union Institute & University, my sense of worth now comes from helping adult learners, mostly nontraditional doctoral students, achieve something that perhaps would otherwise seem out of reach—a doctorate. As a first-generation college graduate and someone who grew up poor, I understand some of the obstacles that people may face, not only the financial barriers and the academic challenges of higher learning, but also the self-doubts that can arise when perhaps one hasn’t been groomed for higher education. In my current work as an educator and administrator, I gain some satisfaction from knowing that I am helping to facilitate adult learners in their educational journeys. What really motivates me from the perspective of social responsibility is the knowledge that our doctoral students (who already come to us with strong values of social responsibility), will use their enhanced knowledge, skills and credentials, to better serve their communities.”

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Psychology Workshop: Dissociative Disorders

Dissociative Disorders, Union Institute & University

An overview of Assessment, Diagnosis and Treatment
Friday, June 20, 2014
9:00am – 12:15pm
3 CE Credits
Cincinnati Academic Center
440 East McMillan Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45206

Please join us for a presentation on Dissociative Disorders: An overview of Assessment, Diagnosis and Treatment by Jaime B. Willis, Psy.D. This class is part of Union Institute & University’s Spring 2014 Psychology Workshop Series focused on applications of evidence-based practices. Register for this workshop at Regular price is $75 or register 30 days in advance or earlier for $65. Workshop tickets will also be available for purchase at the door.

Despite the high prevalence rates of Dissociative Disorders (10-15% of US outpatient clients) the almost complete absence of training provided by graduate programs leads to the frequent misdiagnosis of Dissociative Disorders. Often these clients are diagnosed as having Borderline Personality Disorder, Affective or Anxiety Disorders, Substance Use Disorders, Eating Disorders, Psychotic Disorders, Somatic Disorders, etc., and end up appearing treatment resistant, decompensating, leaving therapy prematurely or committing suicide. When not accurately identified these can be extremely frustrating and daunting cases. With the appropriate diagnostic and therapeutic tools, these previously challenging clients can transform into remarkably fascinating and rewarding cases.

This workshop will aim to provide clinicians with a general background in the Dissociative Disorders area. It will draw from a broad range of research, clinical experience and case vignettes to educate and illustrate the concepts. The material will provide participants with tools to enable them to assess for, rule out the presence of, appropriately refer or begin to treat these complex and fascinating cases.

Learning Objectives
1. Understand the etiology, theoretical models and prevalence rates of Dissociative Disorders.
2. Identify signs and symptoms of Dissociative Disorders.
3. Know how to use relevant assessment devices that assist in proper identification of Dissociative Disorders.
4. Navigate complex differential diagnostic issues.
5. Become prepared as a therapist to competently treat this population.
6. Become familiar with different therapeutic approaches and standards of care in the treatment of Dissociative Disorders.
7. Access available resources and literature to assist in continued training in this field.

Jaime B. Willis, Psy.D.
Jaime B. Willis, Psy.D. earned her doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from Wright State University School of Professional Psychology (SOPP) in 1999 and completed five postdoctoral years of training in the area of Dissociative Disorders through the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD). Currently she hosts a consultation group for local psychologists treating Dissociative clients, provides training and consultation to colleagues, graduate programs and regional professional organizations. Dr. Willis maintains a generalist private practice in Cincinnati with a focus on assessment, treatment and consultation in the area of Dissociative Disorders.

For further information about this event, or to register, please visit or contact Lauren Wenstrup | 1-800-861-6400 x1269 or 513-487-1269 |

Union Institute & University is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Union Institute & University maintains responsibility for these programs and their content.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Psychology Workshop: Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy

Friday, May 9, 2014
8:30am – 4:00pm
6 CE credits

Union Union Institute & University
Cincinnati Academic Center
440 East McMillan Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45206
NOTICE: This workshop has been cancelled. Please visit to learn more about our other psychology workshops in May and June.

Please join us for a presentation on Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy by Union Psy.D. faculty member Richard Sears, Psy.D., MBA, ABPP. This class is part of Union Institute & University’s Spring 2014 Psychology Workshop Series focused on applications of evidence-based practices. Register for this workshop at Regular price is $145 or register 30 days in advance or earlier for $130. Workshop tickets will also be available for purchase at the door.

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) is an 8-week, evidence-based program which combines mindfulness and cognitive therapy techniques for the prevention of stress, depression, and anxiety. Through lecture, discussion, and experiential exercises, this full-day workshop will cover the characteristics and components of mindfulness, the structure and the delivery of the MBCT program, discuss the constituents of a mindfulness-based approach to working with clients individually, and explore the role of mindfulness for the clinician.

Learning Objectives
1. Explain the structure of the MBCT program
2. Identify the cognitive and emotional triggers of relapse in depression
3. Describe the role that rumination has in perpetuating negative thoughts and behaviors
4. Develop mindfulness-based techniques to help clients de-center from the narrative of negative thoughts and emotions
5. Evaluate the role of a personal mindfulness practice for the therapist

Dr. Richard W. Sears, mindfulness
Richard W. Sears, Psy.D., MBA, ABPP is a core faculty member of the Psy.D. Program in Clinical Psychology at Union Institute & University, where he is the Director of the Center for Clinical Mindfulness & Meditation. He is board certified in clinical psychology, and maintains a private psychology and consultation practice. He is also Clinical Assistant Professor at Wright State University School of Professional Psychology, Clinical/Research faculty at the UC Center for Integrative Health and Wellness, Volunteer Associate Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Neurosciences at the UC College of Medicine, and a Research/Psychologist Contractor with the Cincinnati VA Medical Center.

Dr. Sears is lead author of Mindfulness in Clinical Practice (PR Press) and Consultation Skills for Mental Health Professionals (Wiley). His forthcoming books include: Mindfulness: Living Through Challenges and Enriching Your Life in this Moment (Wiley-Blackwell); Perspectives on Spirituality and Religion in Psychotherapy (PR Press); Building Competence in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (Routledge); and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for PTSD (Wiley-Blackwell). Dr. Sears is a fifth degree black belt in Ninjutsu, and once served briefly as a bodyguard for the Dalai Lama. He has studied the Eastern Wisdom traditions for over 30 years, receiving ordination in three lineages, and authority to teach Zen koans (inka).

For further information about this event, or to register, please visit or contact Lauren Wenstrup | 1-800-861-6400 x1269 or 513-487-1269 |

Union Institute & University is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Union Institute & University maintains responsibility for these programs and their content.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Fifty years on, Union Institute & University keeps quietly growing in Uptown

Mar 19, 2014
Bob Driehaus

CINCINNATI -- Cincinnati can boast of a university perched just north of downtown where undergraduate, masters and doctoral degrees are offered. It's been around a long time, and its graduates include college presidents and even a prime minister.

It may sound like University of Cincinnati or Xavier, but the school is Union Institute & University, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary, fortified by $500,000 in new scholarship grants pledged by Western & Southern Financial Group and the Helen Steiner Rice Fund.

Because of its unusual learning model, UIU doesn't garner the attention of UC or Xavier, or even Cincinnati State Technical and Community College. You won't find teen-agers and early twenty-somethings on the hard court trying to reach the NCAA basketball tournament.

In fact, you'll find few traditional college-age students at all.

Union Institute & University, photo by WCPO
Union Institute is housed in a Tudor mansion that was home to Procter & Gamble's advertising operations. Legend has it that Ivory's 99 and 44/100% ad slogan was born in its board room. Photo: Bob Driehaus WCPO

That's because the not-for-profit university is and always has been a distance-learning center, conducting classes online now – and by other methods in the past – that has focused on adults.

"We developed the idea of online learning before there was the technology to support it," Associate Vice President Carolyn Krause said.

Students come from all walks of life, but the most common are single mothers returning to school after hard knocks or missteps got them off their education and career tracks. Minority representation is also much higher than at traditional campuses, with 47 percent of students being white, 23 percent African American and 20 percent Hispanic.

"She is 38, of color and/or with kids. She's involved with her church and social causes," Krause said of the most typical Union student.

While it's headquartered on McMillan Street in Cincinnati, Union has satellite facilities near Miami, Fla., Los Angeles, Sacramento and Brattleboro, Vt. Total enrollment is 1,640, including 306 students in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Union formed in 1964 after 10 university presidents gathered to dream about the future of higher education, according to the school. They formed a consortium with two goals in mind:

• Create an alternative delivery model of higher education for adult students.
• Inform the field of higher education about what was learned in the process.
Fifty years and the school is still growing.

It offers more than a dozen bachelor's degrees, with many more concentrations; multiple master's degrees and doctorates in psychology, philosophy in interdisciplinary studies and education. In January, it added a new master's of science in organizational leadership, a 12-month online program.

So, with no students milling about campus, no sports teams or other organized extracurricular activities, it's hard to put a face on the university.

But one face is Ginny Ruehlmann Wiltse, who earned her doctorate in 2000 with a concentration in spirituality. She is now a Union board member.

She is a daughter of the late Eugene Ruehlmann, who served as Cincinnati mayor 1967-71. Western & Southern, established a $250,000 grant in his name last fall. The grant is provided to one Ph.D. student each year who is pursuing a doctoral dissertation project that "embodies Ruehlmann's guiding principles of cooperation, collaboration compromise, communication and community-building," with the promise of significantly contributing to a community.

Wiltse's education was happily interrupted by her choice to focus on raising her three children. When she considered her options to complete her doctorate, the flexibility and proximity of Union's program proved most appealing.

"My program at Union was transformative to me," she said. "And it was the perfect place because it was flexible."

Union emphasizes the importance of service the community in its mission, and Wiltse said the doctorate she earned there helped. "I feel like I’m living my degree by the work that I do," she said. "The people who thrive at Union are predispositioned to use their degrees to do good in the world," she said.

Its graduates include Portia Simpson Miller, prime minister of Jamaica, who earned a B.A. in 1997. Sojourner-Douglass College President Charles Simmons, Bethany College President Scott Miller and Thomas Edison College President George Pruitt are among the educational leaders who earned doctorates there.

"It definitely caters to people's busy lives," Krause said.

Like most universities, Union has experienced some headwinds since the 2008 recession, particularly with a dip in employer-sponsored scholarships for workers to earn an advanced degree. Despite those challenges, its surplus and enrollment are up slightly this school year, Krause said.

Its mission has shifted in recent years to send representatives out to businesses and organizations. Instructors hold classes at Colerain's police department, where officers pursue degrees of every level – some to qualify for a promotion, some to earn a bachelor's after work and sometimes military service delayed their pursuit.

Degrees aren't cheap, with undergraduate degrees costing $490 an hour, master's costing between $500 and $778 an hour and doctorates costing up to $1,110 an hour.

But students cobble together financial aid and scholarship packages to make it work. Nearly 90 percent of undergraduates and doctoral candidates receive financial aid, and virtually all master's candidates do, according to the school.

Wiltse looks forward to the Ruehlmann scholarship continuing the mission.

"Union gave a template, an option for women who were underserved," she said.

Copyright 2014 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Kay C. Goss Elected as Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration

Kay C. Goss, Union Institute & University Board of Trustees
Union Institute & University Board of Trustees member and 2013 Sacramento commencement keynote speaker, Kay C. Goss, has been elected as a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. Goss is an internationally recognized lecturer, author, public servant, and highly respected authority in the fields of emergency management, risk communication and general resiliency.

The National Academy of Public Administration is an independent, non-profit and non-partisan organization established to assist government leaders in building more effective, efficient, accountable and transparent organizations. Academy fellows include more than 750 individuals who have served as cabinet officers, members of congress and governors, as well as prominent scholars, business executives and public administrators.

Goss is the founding president and CEO for World Disaster Management, president of the Foundation for Higher Education Accreditation of Emergency Management Degree Programs, a founder of the FEMA Higher Education Program, vice president and director of School Emergency Preparedness Programs, and chair of the Education and Training Committee of the International Association of Emergency Managers. She also serves as first vice president of the International Network of Women in Emergency Management and vice president of Every Child Is Ours Foundation, which is launching the World Disaster Management Community College in Kanana, South Africa. Currently, Goss is an executive in residence in political science at the University of Arkansas.

Previously, Goss served as director of Emergency Management and Crisis Communications for Systems and Research Applications International (SRA) in Arlington, Virginia. At SRA, she developed and enhanced the quality of emergency management services for government, nonprofit and private sector clients. Before joining SRA in 2007, Goss was the senior advisor for Homeland Security, Emergency Management, and Business Continuity at Electronic Data Systems Corporation (EDS) in Herndon, Virginia. 

Goss is the former associate Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) director in charge of national preparedness, training, and exercises from 1994 to 2001. She was responsible for the nation’s readiness for natural and manmade disasters, increasing state and local emergency preparedness capacity, and for growing the emergency management profession.
Before her FEMA position, she served as an Arkansas State official for 15 years, including 11 years (1982–1993) as senior assistant for intergovernmental relations for Governor Bill Clinton.  She coordinated policy and outreach for cabinet agencies handling emergency management, fire service, law enforcement, public safety, and criminal justice. Goss later served as a member of the Virginia Governor’s Commonwealth Preparedness Panel and as chair of the International Association of Emergency Managers Committee on Training and Education.

As a founder of the FEMA Higher Education Program, Goss is active in the academics of emergency management. She has served as adjunct faculty for both the Istanbul Technical University’s Disaster Management Graduate Program and for the Executive Master’s in Crisis and Emergency Management, University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Goss has written five books: The City Manager Plan in Arkansas, The Politics of Constitutional Revision in Arkansas, The Arkansas Constitution: a Reference Guide, The Emergency Management Handboo, and Mr. Chairman: the Life and Legacy of Wilbur D. Mills. She has published hundreds of articles and presented public addresses on state and local government, emergency management, and homeland security. 

She has also earned several awards throughout her career, including a lifetime achievement award celebrating 20 years of service on the Wilbur D. Mills Treatment Center board, Kay Goss Women’s Health Center on the treatment center campus, J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences University of Arkansas Distinguished Alumni of 2006, and Arkansan of the Year.

Goss holds a B.A. and an M.A. in public administration from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. She has participated in doctoral studies in public administration at West Virginia University, Morgantown and American history at American University, Washington, DC. She has also participated in the Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Andrea Scarpino to Host Reading for Poetry Book "Once, Then"

Andrea Scarpino, Union Institute & University
Saturday, April 5, 2014
2:00 p.m.
Joseph-Beth Booksellers
2692 Madison Road
Cincinnati, OH 45208

Andrea Scarpino, MFA, faculty member in Union Institute & University's Ph.D. program will host a reading of her new book Once, Then.

In her debut full-length poetry collection, Andrea Scarpino's elegies move between personal and political loss, between science, myth, and spirituality, and between lyric intensity and narrative clarity. At their heart is a longing for those we have lost, and an acknowledgement that loss irrevocably changes us and what we understand of the world. Blending mythological figures such as Persephone and Achilles, scientific approaches to knowledge learned from her microbiologist father, and a deep ambivalence regarding religious ideas of death and afterlife, Andrea’s poems invite us to examine the world, our own place in it, and what to make of its continual collapse.

Andrea received an MFA in Creative Writing from Ohio State University. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and published in numerous journals, including The Cincinnati Review, Connecticut Review, The Los Angeles Review, PANK, and Prairie Schooner. She is the author of the chapbook The Grove Behind (Finishing Line Press, 2009). In addition to being a faculty member with Union Institute & University, Andrea is a weekly contributor for the blog "Planet of the Blind.”

Andrea’s book is also available on Amazon.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Spotlight on alumna Joanna Hulton (Ph.D. 1998)

Joanna Hulton, Union Institute & University
In the Union Institute & University tradition of transforming lives and communities, alumna Joanna Hulton (Ph.D. 1998) has dedicated herself for the past 30 years, as a teacher, workshop leader, and practicing psychoanalyst. She is committed to improving children's self-esteem, feelings of personal efficacy, and ability to learn by transforming the role of family, school, and community. Union Institute & University’s commitment to “explore ideas and issues from multiple perspectives” inspired her interdisciplinary approach.

Dr. Hulton recently authored the insightful Parent Fatigue Syndrome: What to do When Conventional Wisdom is Not Very Wise. The book combines the knowledge of how children develop emotionally and intellectually, the newest research in infant brain-development, and the humanistic psychoanalytic principles of Heinz Kohut’s Self Psychology. It features 20 warm and poignant case vignettes, all presented in an accessible form for parents.

Dr. Hulton explains that parents' natural re-identification with their own parents as they start to raise children can undercut their parenting ambitions. Steeped in outdated conventional wisdom stored in the memories of their childhood, modern-day parents do not feel that they are parenting effectively. To promote successful parenting and combat parent fatigue, she puts theory into practice and highlights the emotional growth of parent and child that can occur simultaneously when the two work together, using techniques that can be practiced at home, including play therapy, sand tray exercises, storytelling, and puppetry.

Additionally, in the section “The World Beyond: School Daze,” Dr. Hulton argues compellingly that education reform must address the emotional needs of children in the classroom, with practical examples of how teachers can use their skills to become social-change agents.

Dr. Hutton exemplifies Union's mission to inspire learners to “reflect their awareness of the social implications of their studies and of their obligation to share knowledge with integrity in uplifting the communities in which they serve.”