Otterbein University news briefs

Otterbein University president announces retirement

Otterbein University President Kathy A. Krendl, Ph.D., has announced her plans to retire at the end of June 2018. Krendl joined the Otterbein community in July 2009.

“President Krendl and her leadership team have made significant contributions to improve the campus, the experiences of its students, faculty, staff and alumni as well forming strong networks in central Ohio and beyond,” said Board of Trustees Chairman Mark Thresher, executive vice president and CFO of Nationwide. “We are thankful for the growth and leadership she has brought to Otterbein during her tenure and the strong commitment she has toward educating the whole person while creating a model community of lifelong leaders and learners.”

Krendl has worked to position Otterbein for continued success through increasing fundraising efforts, launching new academic programs, diversifying revenue sources, building relationships with business and community leaders, establishing partnerships with women’s organizations, and collaborating with non-profits and other higher education institutions. She has also focused institutional attention on recruiting top quality students, faculty and staff to the Otterbein community.

Having joined Otterbein at the beginning of the recession, Krendl committed to identifying strategies to maintain access to an affordable four-year education. She worked with the Otterbein Board of Trustees to freeze tuition costs for students and families. As a result, tuition at Otterbein has been held constant for all students for the past four years — an unprecedented decision in higher education today.

“Otterbein is reaching closure on several major initiatives, and it is the right moment for the institution and for me to begin the process of preparing for the transition to a new president,” said Krendl. “The process of developing the next set of priorities should begin in 2019 and should be led by an incoming president. A new leader will facilitate conversations across the community focused on identifying the next set of initiatives and goals that will continue to secure Otterbein’s future.”

New scholarships and merit opportunities became a key priority in launching a $50 million comprehensive campaign — the university’s largest fundraising effort in its history. Another effort to establish an affordable pathway to a degree was announced this past spring with the development of a new dual admission program with Columbus State Community College. The program drastically reduces the cost of a four-year degree for families making an Otterbein degree more affordable than most four-year public institutions in the state.

Partnerships with local K-12 school districts have also created affordable opportunities for students graduating from Columbus City, Westerville, South-Western, and Whitehall school districts to complete a four-year degree at Otterbein through special financial award packages.

The expansion and diversification of academic programs during Krendl’s presidency have yielded strong enrollments and increased diversity in the student population. They have also helped to define the distinctive identity of the institution. Further expansion of graduate programs, including the introduction of its first doctoral program, the Doctor of Nursing Practice, along with the development of unique undergraduate majors, such as Zoo and Conservation Science and Systems Engineering, heavily focused on Otterbein’s commitment to experiential learning opportunities, have further enhanced Otterbein’s academic reputation and distinguished it as a destination institution for students from across the country.

Most recently, the launch of The Point at Otterbein, an economic driver and collaborative partnership with business and industry, the City of Westerville, and the State of Ohio, has re-defined the future of higher education as students, faculty, and partners integrate the STEAM fields — science, technology, engineering, art, and math — in an experiential, hands-on learning environment. The collaboration will drive economic growth for the region through business development and job creation, while providing student experiences through internships, capstone projects, and research initiatives. This one-of-a-kind concept in central Ohio has been identified as a model of 21st century education by Fortune 500 businesses and government officials who have visited The Point.

Krendl is the first recipient of the Women for Economic Leadership Development (WELD) Riveter Award; she was also named among Ohio’s Most Powerful and Influential Women by the National Diversity Council; she was a finalist for the 2016 Columbus CEO Award; and this month she will be honored as a Progressive Woman in the Smart Women Awards ceremony. She has served on numerous boards including the Columbus YWCA, I Know I Can, Ohio Campus Compact and the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation. As president of Otterbein, she has continued to teach a first-year seminar for entering students on Women and Leadership. She also founded the Otterbein University Women’s Leadership Network to support the mentoring of women and girls in various fields of interest and professional development. She is the first female president to serve Otterbein since its founding in 1847.

A search for Otterbein’s 21st president in its 170-year history will begin this fall led by Otterbein Board of Trustees member Cheryl Herbert, Senior Vice President at OhioHealth.

Otterbein University Hosts National Young Entrepreneurs Academy

Applications for aspiring entrepreneurs being accepted through Sept. 15.

Westerville — Otterbein University is a new host site for the national Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!), and is accepting applications now through Sept. 15.

The YEA! program develops the next generation of innovators, business leaders and community organizers; fosters the entrepreneurial spirit of America’s youth; and encourages business ownership as a viable career path. It not only educates middle and high school students on how to conceive, launch and run a business enterprise or social movement, but also gives them valuable life skills. Participants develop competencies in areas such as problem solving, public speaking, strategic planning, and organization.

Participants meet weekly from October through May.

Through this program, students will:

  • Brainstorm business ideas
  • Write a business plan
  • Interact with business professionals
  • Pitch their business plan to potential “investors” (think ABC’s “Shark Tank”!)
  • Obtain funding
  • Legally register their businesses
  • Participate in a Trade Show
  • Actually launch their own businesses or social movements

Why Apply? This program offers students the chance to:

  • Develop the skills necessary to launch their own business or social movement (hands-on entrepreneurial experience!)
  • Learn about real businesses – why they succeed or fail.
  • Hear from local entrepreneurs.
  • Launch their own business or social movement!
  • Become more confident in their ideas and their abilities.

YEA! is a national program launched in 2004, resulting in more than 100 businesses to date, over half of which students have continued after graduation. YEA! is now accepting applications for the 2017-2018 Young Entrepreneurs Academy class. Applications will be accepted through Sept. 15.

For more information or to apply, visit

Agency Historian Discusses History of the Government Publishing Office

The Courtright Memorial Library at Otterbein University will host a discussion by George Barnum, agency historian for the Government Publishing Office (GPO) in Washington, D.C. The talk will be held at noon on Wednesday, Aug. 16, at Courtright Memorial Library, 138 W. Main St. This event is free and open to the public.

Celebrating Otterbein’s 50 years as a government documents depository, Barnum will show and discuss images illustrating how the GPO has changed over time as it has carried out its mission of “Keeping America Informed.” This “family album” provides a revealing look at the equipment, the buildings, and the working lives of the men and women of GPO over the years. From rooms staffed to the brim with typesetters, to the duck-pin bowling alley installed in 1920 to improve employee working conditions, Barnum pays tribute to this agency and their dedication to making government information public and available.

Otterbein finishes first in Forbes #MyTopCollege category, third overall

You could call it an underdog story. When Otterbein University, a small, private college of 2,900 students located in Westerville, Ohio, decided to participate in the Forbes #MyTopCollege social media contest, nobody guessed it would win big. In the results announced on Wednesday, July 26, Otterbein University finished first in its category and third overall in the Forbes #MyTopCollege social media contest, falling only behind multi-year winner California State University at Fullerton and Fresno (CA) State University.

Otterbein finished ahead in the overall rankings of such nationally known institutions such as the University of Iowa and Michigan State University.

Coinciding with the Aug. 1 release of its America’s Top Colleges publication, Forbes began its fourth annual #MyTopCollege social media contest on June 7. Submissions came from Twitter and Instagram posts that included the university official account handle and the hashtag #MyTopCollege. Posts needed to illustrate what students, faculty, staff and alumni love most about their institution, with a focus on return on investment from an education at your school.

“We know that the numbers can’t tell you everything, especially when it comes to school spirit,” read the official Forbes contest rules. “That’s why we are asking real students, alumni and school community to tell us what makes their college stand out from the rest.”

Each week, the Otterbein University community took to their social media accounts and let Forbes know what being a Cardinal is all about. When the contest ended on June 21, Otterbein had three times as many submissions as the next category competitor. With that much community support, Otterbein was able to not only win the Medium Schools Category (2,000 to 14,999 student enrollment) but also placed third overall among all colleges nationwide.

Current student Ange Leone ’20 highlighted her summer trip to Iceland to study geology with her professor and all the experiences she had right from the start of her college career.

“As a last year freshman @Otterbein, I was able to participate in research and get hands on experience in the field,” she said in a July 11 Twitter post.

Otterbein alumna and Department of Health and Sport Sciences Administrative Assistant Annette Boose ’94 showed how Otterbein has “small town charm and big city ideas” with beautiful pictures from around campus and profiles of student and alumni work.

“Otterbein stayed strong throughout the competition’s duration with over a dozen posts every week about travel, service and school traditions,” said the official MyTopCollege winners announcement.

Read the official contest winners announcement and see the final school rankings on

Otterbein Education Faculty Earn Grants, NCATE Accreditation

The Otterbein University Department of Education has received grants from the Buck Institute of Education and the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE), as well as accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

Department Chair Kristin Bourdage formally accepted the “Out of the Gates” award from the Buck Institute of Education on July 27.

The grant will provide professional development to Department of Education faculty, teacher partners from five different central Ohio school districts and up to 300 Otterbein education majors. The grant funds professional development in Project-Based Learning, a method of teaching that examines real-world problems with 21st century skills.

Otterbein education faculty members also received a subaward from ODHE to work with Canal Winchester Local Schools (CWLS) and the Educational Services Center of Central Ohio. The four-year Straight A grant will fund a project titled Pathways to Possibilities/Ready for the World.

“Otterbein’s role in the project is to provide high-quality professional development to support teachers in developing 21st Century teaching practices,” said Kristin Bourdage, associate professor and chair of the Department of Education.

Guided by EnvisionEdPlus’s Four Tenets for Re-envisioning Education, CWLS and partners will implement a number of strategies to improve education in the district.

They will redesign instructional models, using STEM (strategies that engage minds) pedagogy so all students learn to think, innovate, and lead. Collaboration Design Labs, Blended Instructional Design and 21st Century Curriculum Design workshops will build an extensive local capacity to create lessons, units and courses that reflect the growing demand for future employees who work collaboratively, think critically, and design creatively.

They also will personalize learning for students and staff and train faculty to expand the use of Canvas, an open-source learning management system, to design new courses, lessons and units allowing flexibility in person, place, path and pace of learning aligned to college/career plans.

Lastly, the partners will increase access to middle school college/career experiences and high school pathways aligned to student interest and in-demand careers to expand postsecondary credit or credentials earned.

The Pathways to Possibilities/Ready for the World began in September 2016.

Last fall, the Department of Education at Otterbein earned accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), This accreditation covers initial teacher preparation programs and advanced educator preparation programs at Otterbein. The accreditation and approval of programs continues until 2023. The Department of Education is most proud of the special recognition earned for having all five standards met without recommendations for improvements. These standards include teacher candidate knowledge and skills, assessment, diversity, quality field experiences, faculty qualifications, and unit governance and resources. For the Department, this means the process of preparing future teachers and supporting practicing teachers with ongoing professional development is on track and functioning well.


Works to help establish high quality teacher preparation through the process of professional accreditation of schools, colleges and departments of education.

Founded in 1954, NCATE is recognized by the U. S. Department of Education as a specialized accrediting body for schools, colleges, and departments of education. NCATE and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) have consolidated and are now transitioning into the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

For more information about the Department of Education at Otterbein, visit

Otterbein University is a small private university nationally-recognized for its intentional blending of liberal arts and professional studies through its renowned Integrative Studies curriculum and its commitments to experiential learning and community engagement. Otterbein is a recipient of the 2015 Carnegie Community Service Classification; a finalist for the 2014 President’s Award for Economic Opportunity Community Service; and has been honored With Distinction by the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll since the list’s inception in 2006. It stands in its category’s top 10 percent in U.S. News & World Report’s guide to “America’s Best Colleges.” Otterbein offers more than 70 undergraduate majors; seven master’s programs; and a doctorate in nursing practice (DNP). Its picturesque campus is perfectly situated in Westerville, Ohio, America’s fifth friendliest town (Forbes), just minutes from Columbus, the 14th largest city in the country. Otterbein’s commitment to opportunity started with its founding in 1847 as one of the nation’s first universities to welcome women and persons of color to its community of teachers and learners, which now numbers 2,400 undergraduate and 500 graduate students. Otterbein remains committed to its relationship with the United Methodist Church and its spirit of inclusion, and welcomes people of all backgrounds to Otterbein’s Model Community. To learn more about Otterbein, visit

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