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Students First! News and Updates

January 2014 Accounting ClassManchester’s new sales education program will be “distinctive” and include a connection with entrepreneurship and content on the ethics of listening, says Tim Ogden, professor and chair of Accounting and Business.

In this issue:



$1 million Lilly Endowment grant strengthens student learning, pushes campaign past 90 percent mark

Talk about momentum!

A $1 million grant in December from Lilly Endowment Inc. catapulted Students First! past the $90 million mark and propelled Manchester into the home stretch toward its $100 million goal. The grant is part of $62.7 million that the Endowment awarded to 39 colleges and universities in Indiana and will strengthen Manchester’s efforts to help graduates find meaningful employment in Indiana.

Manchester will break new ground with an academic major and minor in sales beginning in the fall. The University also will add five certificate programs over the next five years, create 60 student internships focused on economic development, enhance our ties with regional employers, and develop a smartphone “app” to encourage students’ career development.

There are few sales programs in Indiana, and Manchester’s will be “distinctive,” says Tim Ogden, professor and chair of Accounting and Business, the University’s largest academic department. What Ogden calls “the Manchester approach to sales” will connect sales with entrepreneurship and include content “that focuses on the ethics of listening in sales relationships.” The sales function, Ogden adds, touches every organization, and Manchester graduates can apply these skills to any professional field.

Among the 60 paid internships are several for Manchester’s Economics Department, which produces the Wabash County Economic Report. The report enhances efforts to attract new employers to the county and provides rich learning experiences for students. “The grant will allow us to make more connections and collect more data in Wabash and surrounding counties,” said John Deal, associate professor and department chair. “Student interns will network with potential employers and they’ll develop skills that are in high demand in today’s job market.”

Lilly Endowment funding also is supporting a consortium that includes Manchester and other northeast Indiana universities and widens a two-way street of communication with regional employers. Through the collaboration, Manchester will better understand employer needs and, in turn, employers will better understand how MU graduates can help their companies prosper and grow.

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Ringeisens give back to Manchester for all their alma mater gave them

Careers in higher education drew Rich and Carolyn Ringeisen to many campuses, but the one where it all started stands alone – Manchester.

Richard “Rich” Ringeisen and Carolyn Byrer were first-generation college students when they arrived at Manchester in 1962. The son of a Church of the Brethren pastor, Rich wanted to go to Indiana University, but he and his dad made a deal: If Rich tried Manchester for a year and didn’t like it he could transfer to IU with his father’s blessing.

Rich formed an attachment to Manchester quickly and lost all interest in transferring when he met Carolyn in Orrel Little’s English class. For Rich, who grew up in Kokomo, and Carolyn, a farm girl from Atwood, Ind., Manchester was a transformative experience like no other. Core courses in art and music cultivated “an appreciation for the arts that we’ve had our entire lives,” reflects Carolyn. Likewise, required courses in religion and philosophy encouraged the couple to explore their beliefs and values.

Rich’s favorite course was Dr. Paul Keller’s “Language and Thought,” an experience and professor that influenced Rich’s entire adult life. “We both modeled our careers after our Manchester professors,” says Rich. The Ringeisens say faculty members continue to make Manchester special.

Married in 1965, the Ringeisens lived in “the little pink house” as seniors. After graduating in 1966, they went to Michigan State University where Rich earned a Ph.D. in mathematics and Carolyn earned a master’s in business education. Rich taught mathematics at Colgate University and Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, was head of the mathematics department at Clemson University, Dean of Sciences at Old Dominion University, and held administrative posts at East Carolina University before serving 10 years as chancellor of the University of Illinois Springfield. Along the way, Carolyn taught accounting, served as an academic advisor, and focused much of her time raising their children, Heather and Bradley, now prominent researchers in child psychology and chemistry, respectively.

Retired in South Carolina, the Ringeisens know their Manchester experience was foundational to the many successes, personal and professional, that followed. They’ve given back with regular gifts to The Manchester Fund, a capital gift for the Science Center, through an endowed scholarship fund bearing their names, and with a bequest that will support endowed scholarships.

“Scholarships are so incredibly important,” says Carolyn. “We want other people to have the same opportunities we had.”

Rich, a former MU trustee, agrees. “Manchester is a special place and we want it to succeed. We’re very proud of Manchester.”

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Michigan native Elli Ray takes a break from her pre-med studies to have fun in the Manchester snow. A senior, Elli plans to practice rural medicine in her home state.

Elisia “Elli” Ray is a small-town girl at heart. That’s why she is laser-focused on preparing for a career in rural medicine.

The senior from Lake Odessa, Mich., has applied to three medical schools in her home state where she plans to practice family medicine. “I love that sense of community you get in a small town. “You can go into town to buy a loaf of bread and you’ll run into five people you know,” says Elli. In Lake Odessa, she says, people “know and care deeply about one another” and there’s always an opportunity for a conversation.

Elli recognized the same spirit when she visited Manchester. “I really fell in love with the campus, and my parents did, too.” After her second visit and scholarship offers too good to pass up, Elli knew, “this is where I want to be.”

The biology-chemistry major works as a student health assistant for Heather Banks, nurse and director of health services at MU. The Dean’s List student also helped Rachel Polando, assistant professor of biology, with microbiology research last summer. Elli is president of MU’s Pre-Professional Science Club, treasurer of the Biology Honorary Society Beta Beta Beta, and a member of American Chemical Society.

Neither of Elli’s parents are college graduates, so she is especially grateful for her faculty mentors. “Dr. Polando has been a great resource to me” and Kristen Short, assistant professor of biology, has advised Elli on medical school admissions essays. In fact, Elli says, all of her professors have been “extremely supportive,” taking time to explain things and providing personal attention she wouldn’t get at a large school. They’re good, too, at pointing Elli in the right direction then giving her the space to make her own decisions. “I couldn’t do it by myself,” she says.

That “better together” spirit is a hallmark of the Manchester experience and it’s helped Elli grow in many ways. “I’m so much more confident than I was in high school,” she says. “I didn’t plan on becoming the person I am.”

Read more stories about MU students like Elli >




Aspiring professor says he learned from the best

Wes HeathAs Wes Heath enters his final semester at Manchester, he’s sad to leave. But new challenges await the sociology-psychology major from Anderson, Ind., and they excite him. “I am absolutely confident that Manchester has prepared me for graduate school.”

A Dean’s List regular, Wes is applying to five graduate programs across the country in pursuit of his goal to earn his Ph.D. and become a sociology professor. He says he’s already had a taste of graduate-level rigor and research, thanks to the high expectations of his Manchester professors. They’re demanding, but for a reason, Wes says. They’d do almost anything to help him succeed.

The senior’s rich academic experiences have included helping Abby Fuller, associate professor of sociology, develop a January session course on “Racial, Ethnic and Gender Inequality” and lead some of the lectures. He traveled to France for a course his first year. And this fall he finished his independent study project, a 25-page paper on mental health which he hopes to get published. “Amazing” scholarships make it all possible and help Wes hold down debt.

In his second year as a resident assistant in Oakwood Hall, Wes has helped other students navigate the pitfalls of university life and life in general. He’s active in a number of campus organizations and is president of two he started: a chapter of Alpha Kappa Delta, the honor society of sociology, and the Sociology Association, a general interest campus group that explores topics such as social media and pop culture.

Both organizations help Wes share his passion for sociology. It’s a common thread, he says, for so many other disciplines — indeed, for life itself. Understanding sociology helps you understand people and that “everyone is different in their own unique, fascinating way.”

Wes looks forward to becoming the kind of professor he’s had at Manchester, igniting in his students an intellectual fire for sociology. “This,” he says, “is what I love.”

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