Clark State College

courtesy of Clark State

The efforts of a local Iraq war veteran to create something special to honor the memory of our nation’s fallen soldiers will be on display today in Springfield, as a student driven art memorial project will be officially dedicated today on the campus of Clark State Community College.

Clark State student Scott Cody is an Iraq war veteran. Last year, he brought the idea of an art memorial to the school's President Jo Alice Blondin, as a way to help veterans on campus feel embraced by the college community. She thought it would be a great gift to veterans on and off campus.

Clark State Community College President Dr. Jo Alice Blondin has just finished her first year on the job at the school.  During the first year of her tenure, she has been busy meeting the challenge of developing ways the college can improve.

Blondin came to Springfield last July from the Ozark Campus at Arkansas Tech University to replace Karen Rafinski. She recently helped Clark State develop a five-year strategic plan designed to improve academic programs, enrollment and graduation rates. Blondin explained that a team effort was needed in order to create an effective strategy.

An open house was held at South High School recently to give residents a look at what will soon become the new educational hub.
Wayne Baker / WYSO

The doors of historic Springfield South High School, which closed in 2008, were once again open to the public this week. An open house allowed residents and alumni to see what will soon become an educational hub for four other Clark County schools.

A community college in southwest Ohio is asking the state for $500,000 to make over its 20-year-old performing arts center.

Officials at Clark State Community College in Springfield say the downtown building needs a new roof and upgrades to the heating and air conditioning systems.

Clark State says the performing arts center has drawn over 1.5 million people in the last 20 years.

The Springfield News-Sun reports that local officials say the performing arts center has been vital to the city's downtown.

A group of religious, business, and law enforcement officials met Monday evening at Clark State to discuss immigration reform. The group held a public forum to talk about providing a path to citizenship for those in the country illegally.

Clark State Community College has selected a new president.  Dr. Jo Alice Blondin will take over for Karen Rafinsky, who announced that she would retire at the end of the school year.

Since 2006, Dr. Blondin has served as the chancellor of the Ozark Campus at Arkansas Tech University. She is credited with growing the enrollment by 600 percent.
Blondin says she is excited about the opportunity to lead Clark State and has identified the challenges that lie ahead.

Clark State Community College President Karen Rafinski, has announced her retirement. She will end her 16-year tenure with the college next June.

During Rafinski's time as president, Clark State’s enrollment has grown to nearly 9,000 students from the 4,000 mark it was at when she took over in 1997.

The college's board of directors says Rafinski helped the school raise more than $100 million through the Clark State Foundation. Officials say the Foundation ranks first among all Ohio community colleges in its endowment funds per student.