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Shawnee State University

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Shawnee State University
Type Public
Established 1986
Endowment $11.6 million[1]
President Jeff Bauer (interim)
Students 3,582
Undergraduates 3,406
Postgraduates 176
Location Portsmouth, Ohio, U.S.
38°43′53″N 82°59′36″W / 38.731389°N 82.993333°W / 38.731389; -82.993333
Campus 52 acres (210,000 m2)
Colors Navy Blue and Gray
Nickname Bears
Affiliations NAIA Division I — MSC

Shawnee State University (SSU) is a public university in Ohio that was established in 1986, making it one of the state's youngest universities. It is located in the city of Portsmouth in Scioto County, near the Ohio River. The late Vernal Riffe Jr., former Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives, sponsored the House Bill 739 which authorized the university and became law on July 2, 1986. It was established initially as a branch of Ohio State University.

Riffe separately endowed funding for the state-of-the-art Center for the Arts. It was named as the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts in his honor.


Massie Hall is the first and oldest building at Shawnee State University
Massie Hall is the first and oldest building at Shawnee State University

Over $2 million dollars are awarded in scholarships each year. The university offers more than 80 Bachelor and Associate degree programs and 3 Master’s degree programs, at an affordable price. It has the second-to-lowest tuition in the state of Ohio. Students receive a personalized education, with a low student/faculty ratio of 18:1.

SSU offers Master's Degree programs for Education, Mathematics and Occupational Therapy.

Bachelor and Associate degree programs are wide-ranging. The Game Design program has been nationally ranked six years in a row. The health science, pre-med and occupational therapy programs are all regionally recognized. The plastics engineering technology program is the only four-year program in the region.

Shawnee State received $250,000 from H.R. 2829 Financial Service and General Government Appropriations Acts in FY2008 for a new Immersion Technology and Arts Center Motion Capture Facility. The system uses 24 cameras to record movement, store it digitally, and allow it to be converted into animation.[2]

Programs include traditional fields, such as Accounting, Art, Art Education, and Biology, as well as newer ones, such as specialties in Athletic Training, Exercise Science, Design & Interactive Media, Digital Simulation & Gaming, and Gaming & Simulation Arts.

There is an emphasis on teaching technology that has become integral to many fields and preparing people with Associates Degree to get good jobs: Business Management Technology, Computer Aided Drafting & Design, Dental Hygiene, Emergency Medical Technology, Graphic Design, Legal Assisting, Medical Laboratory Technology, Occupational Therapy, Occupational Therapy Assistant, Physical Therapy Assistant, Radiologic Technology, Respiratory Therapy, and Social Science with Legal Assisting.

Other bachelor programs include Ceramics, Chemistry, Communications, Computer Engineering, Culture and Media Studies, Drawing, Education (Adolescent to Young Adult, Early Childhood, Intervention Specialist, Middle Childhood and Visual Arts), Electromechanical Engineering, Engineering Preparatory Studies, English & Humanities, Environmental Engineering, General Studies, Geology, Health Care Administration, History, Information Systems Management, Information Technology Management, International Relations, Language Arts Teacher Education, Management, Marketing, Mathematical Sciences, Math Teacher Licensure, Musical Theatre, Natural Science, Nursing, Painting, Philosophy & Religion, Photography, Physics, Plastics Engineering, Political Science, Pre-Medical Studies, Pre-Pharmacy Studies, Psychology, RN-BSN Completion, Science Teacher Licensure, Social Science, Sociology, Sport Management, and Studio Arts and Technical Study.

Shawnee offers a BA in International Relations, which aims to provide its graduates with the conceptual and substantive tools necessary to function more advantageously and effectively in a "shrinking" world. The degree draws on courses from academic disciplines such as government, economics, business, history, and sociology, and includes SSU's first-ever foreign language requirement. This degree also places SSU in an exclusive group of four-year colleges and universities in the United States that offer this major. SSU is listed by U.S. News & World Report in the top 200 US best colleges offering this degree.[2]

Ohio Appalachian Center for Higher Education

Shawnee State University is also home to the Ohio Appalachian Center for Higher Education (OACHE),[3] an organization that sponsors projects in 40 partner public-school districts and ten member institutions. Its goal is to break down the barriers to access and success in higher education. Twenty-nine Appalachian Ohio counties are in the project area. OACHE-sponsored projects have resulted in an increase in the rate of students in these counties who attend college.[4]

Foreign studies

To broaden the university's approach, SSU has student and faculty exchange programs with several overseas institutions, including the Jaume I University in Spain,[5] Al Akhawayn University in Morocco,[6] Zhejiang University of Technology in China,[7] and the Ludwigsburg University of Education in Germany.

SSU offers study abroad programs in Chile, China, Germany, Morocco, Spain and 30 other countries. These include summer-study programs in Greece, Great Britain, and Ireland. In addition, the university regularly offers travel/study abroad courses to destinations such as Greece, Spain, Britain, and Ireland, in order to increase global awareness among its students. Some of these courses are funded by the Hodgden Travel Fund ; others are partially supported by the Center for International Programs Abroad (CIPA).

Shawnee also has more than 50 international students and faculty representing more than 20 countries, creating an international atmosphere on the small campus.


The Clark Memorial Library
The Clark Memorial Library

Shawnee State, located in downtown Portsmouth, has a 52-acre (210,000 m2) campus, featuring 36 buildings. Highlights include the following:

  • Advanced Technology Center (former home of one of only 50 Digistar II planetariums in the world and now home to the first Konica Minolta MediaGlobe II system in the United States);
  • Clark Memorial Library (which provides access to the 45.5 million items of the OhioLINK libraries' collections)[1]; and
  • the 102,000-square-foot (9,500 m2) Vern Riffe Center for the Arts, which features an acoustically superior 1,139-seat main theatre. It also has one of the few functioning Virtual Audio Listening Rooms designed (by George Izenour.

Other structures include the James A. Rhodes Athletic Center, which includes a gymnasium (home to the Shawnee State Bears), weight rooms, racquetball courts, a dance classroom, and a junior Olympic-size swimming pool. A modern University Center [2], a bookstore operated by Barnes & Noble, and a network of off-campus townhouses for student living are also features of the SSU campus. Up to 1000 students, opting for an on-campus experience, may choose from several newly renovated housing complexes. So many students chose to live on-campus that in 2010, the university had to assign them shared mailboxes.

The Shawnee State University Board of Trustees voted in April 2006 to establish three new centers on campus. The Board established a Teaching and Learning Center, a Women's Center, and a Community Service Center.[8]

The university's Children’s Learning Center serves area pre-school children, and is a lab school for teacher education students at the university.

The university features a computer network comprising 560 student-accessible computers, all of them under 14 years old, available in 30 labs on campus. The university offers free Internet services, as well as a campus e-mail account to each student, faculty, and staff member. In 2010, University Information Systems (UIS), offloaded email services for students onto the Microsoft Live@EDU infrastructure, allowing alumni to retain email accounts after graduation. This gave current students access to Microsoft Skydrive and other online resources.

 Campus Map

Clyde W. Clark Planetarium

Clark Planetarium interior with actual projection.
Clark Planetarium interior with actual projection.

The Shawnee State University Clyde W. Clark Planetarium is situated within the university's Advanced Technology Center.


First opened in 1998, the Clark Planetarium was funded by $900,000 raised as part of "Reach for the Stars", Shawnee State University's second capital campaign. The effort raised $5.9 million in cash and deferred gifts, $5 million of which form an endowment for the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts.

The design of the planetarium includes 66 seats arranged facing the front of the planetarium. Each row inclines at a different angle to provide a good viewing experience from any seat in the room. The planetarium features a 10-meter perforated aluminum dome and a catwalk for maintenance and modification of the facilities.

The funds for the planetarium purchased the original equipment—the Digestar II—which made the facility possible. The remaining funds were used for an endowment. Mrs. Clyde (Maycel) Clark was the principal donor, in memory of her husband Clyde Clark. Some donors are recognized as sponsors of "months" in the facility; they are honored with the stars that are outside on the round shell.

In 2005, the Clark Planetarium replaced its aging Digistar II system with the new Konica Minolta Mediaglobe I/II hybrid system. It was the first institution in the United States to install this system, which allows for simulated tours of the solar system and beyond. The Clark Planetarium retained the ability to use the Mediaglobe I system, allowing a greater flexibility in show production and conversion.

The Clark Planetarium director is Tim Hamilton; he is assisted by three to four student workers who take care of day-to-day activities. The Clark Planetarium is funded in whole by Shawnee State University, the SSU Development Foundation, and private donors.


Clark Planetarium Operator Control Desk.
Clark Planetarium Operator Control Desk.

The Konica Minolta Mediaglobe system provides full-dome digital animation. The Mediaglobe I system provides the ability to display night-time scenery similar to those of Stellarium and other on-earth planetarium software. It also allows the playback of 1280x1024 MPEG video at 30fps using a 1024 pixel diameter inscribed circle. The Mediaglobe II further improves on the Mediaglobe software and hardware allowing for off-earth space simulations similar to those in Celestia. Video on the Mediaglobe II system is more difficult to display and requires a container file linking the OGG sound file and the m2v video file. Scripting for the Mediaglobe II is provided by a Java implementation, while scripting for the Mediaglobe I system is a custom Basic format.

The Clark Planetarium's hybrid implementation of the Mediaglobe I and II systems requires a total of five computers. Each system has its own rendering core, with the Mediaglobe I rendering system using Windows 2000 and the Mediaglobe II rendering system using Red Hat Enterprise Linux. The projector has a Windows XP remote for the Mediaglobe I system built-in for a simple-to-use interface for all Mediaglobe I shows. In the rear of the planetarium, each system has a remote for the rendering cores allowing a trained operator to control both systems simultaneously.

The planetarium's use of an ImageAnyplace machine also allows any video source to be projected with the SX-21 projector, although some criticize this video implementation as it provides roughly 480p video quality on the dome. The planetarium often borrows high-definition projectors from the university for display of PowerPoint presentations and other higher-resolution media.

Clark Planetarium Exterior with Foucault Pendulum.
Clark Planetarium Exterior with Foucault Pendulum.

Shows and exhibits

The Clark Planetarium[9] has a variety of shows dealing with topics such as Black Holes, Space Races, Constellations, Historic Astronomers, and Planets. The listing of shows increases every year as funds become available. Current shows include but are not limited to: Amazing Astronomers of Antiquity, Dawn of the Space Age, Future Moon, Skies Tonight, Seasonal Stargazing, Legends of the Night Sky: Orion, Larry Cat in Space, and Planets of the Solar System. The Shawnee State University Advanced Technology Center and the Clark Planetarium exhibit the Hubble Space Telescope Viewspace system as a permanent display in the lobby. The lobby also features a Foucault pendulum and planning specifications for various installations in the ATC. The Clark Planetarium prides itself in new attractions as it is able to fund them, and is currently exploring many new installations for the future.

Education and public outreach

The Clark Planetarium does not charge for schools in the Tri-State area. The Clark Planetarium also regularly works with the Ohio Valley Astronomical Society to bring telescopes and local talent to the children and community visiting the planetarium. The Clark Planetarium offers free public shows twice a week.

Student life

Student Organizations

Student organizations include AHANA (African, Hispanic, Asian, Native American), Association for Greek Life, Beta Beta Beta (Biology Honor Society), Campus Ministry, Chemistry Club, Environmental Club, Fantanime, Innermission, International Forum, Pre-Med Club, Resident Life Council, S.C.U.G. (Shawnee Computer Users Group), Shawnee State Students for Christ, Silhouette Literary Magazine, SSU Pep Club, Student Occupational Therapy Association, the Gay-Straight Alliance, Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society, and Z.E.D. (Zombie Educational Defenses).

In addition, the university is home to a Humans vs. Zombies game, played once every semester.

The Student Government Association oversees all of the student organizations, numbering in the fifties. SGA is also member of the American Student Government Association (ASGA).

SSU's top news source is the student newspaper: the Shawnee State University Chronicle. The university's Office of Communications provides news and information about SSU-sponsored events.

Greek organizations

Shawnee State University is home to four Greek organizations:

Although there are currently only four organizations, the Greek community is continuously growing.

Campus housing

Shawnee State University is unique in that all residence halls on campus are apartment-style. New students who do not live locally at home, are required to live on campus for at least their first year. Residence halls are staffed with undergraduate and graduate student Resident Assistants, supervised by full-time, Master's-level Residence Coordinators. The Office of Student Activities and Housing manages the residence halls. The full-service, all-you-care-to-eat, dining facility on campus, is managed by Sodexo Food Services.

Campus events

Many campus activities and events are organized by the Student Programming Board. Annual events include SpringFest, which features a concert, "Homecoming," which is held in winter and corresponds with the Bears basketball homecoming game, and the 5k Bear Run, held in both the Fall and Spring semesters. Veterans Recognition Day and Memorial Day activities often include parachuting and other aerial displays.


Shawnee State University teams, nicknamed athletically as the Bears, are part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), primarily competing in the Mid-South Conference. The Bears previously competed in the American Mideast Conference from 1991–92 to 2009–10. Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer and track & field (outdoor); while women's sports include basketball, cross country, soccer, softball, tennis, track & field (outdoor) and volleyball.

Shawnee State University has a rich tradition of success in athletics. As a member of the NAIA, SSU has participated in 24 NAIA National Championships in 6 of 11 sponsored sports. The SSU women’s basketball team won the NAIA Division II National Championship on March 16, 1999 and made an appearance in the Final Four in both 2010 and 2011. SSU also boasts a Men's Cross Country team that is national ranked nearly every year finishing 4th Nationally in 2009 and 2010.


Shawnee's Board of Trustees recently approved a new university master plan, a plan for the "university's growth over the next 20 years. The plan looks to reshape the campus, including new structures and renovations.[10] An extensive renovation to the University's Student Center ("University Center") of $15 million was recently completed.[11]

Working with the city of Portsmouth and Scioto County, the university negotiated to close a portion of Third Street, between Gay and Waller, to vehicle traffic. Completed in 2013, the project would allow future expansion of the campus, as well as limit access to increase its safety.[12]

Notable people


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2011. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2011 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2010 to FY 2011" (PDF). National Association of College and University Business Officers. January 17, 2012. p. 21. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 29, 2013. Retrieved March 8, 2012.
  2. ^ a b Ryan Scott Ottney. "Shawnee funding passes House". Portsmouth Daily Times. Retrieved 2007-07-08.[permanent dead link] Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "ITAC" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  3. ^ "Ohio Appalachian Center for Higher Education". 2012-03-31. Retrieved 2012-06-04.
  4. ^ "Development and Progress of the Appalachian Higher Education Network - History - Appalachian Regional Commission". 1998-09-01. Retrieved 2012-06-04.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2005-03-25. Retrieved 2006-08-11.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-08-12. Retrieved 2006-08-11.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-08-12. Retrieved 2006-08-11.
  8. ^ Emily Salmon (2006-04-22). "SSU to establish three centers". Portsmouth Daily Times. Retrieved 2007-07-08.[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ Clark Planetarium official website
  10. ^ Wayne Allen (2007-07-22). "Trustees Approve Master Plan, Renovations". Community Common ( Retrieved 2007-07-22.
  11. ^ Monica Bradbury (2007-06-12). "SSU to renovate university center". SSU. Archived from the original on 2007-07-07. Retrieved 2007-07-28.
  12. ^ Allen, Wayne (22 April 2013). "Commissioners endorse Third Street closure". Portsmouth Daily Times. Archived from the original on 21 August 2014. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
  13. ^ "Shawnee State Alumna Appears in Playboy" by Jimmy Davis. University Chronicle Archived 2009-10-16 at the Wayback Machine.
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-06-08. Retrieved 2013-02-25.

External links

This page was last edited on 22 September 2018, at 14:53
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