PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, Ohio – Owens Community College has named Dr. Mary Rizza as the new Director of Learning Communities/Gateway to College. Her responsibilities will include overseeing all administrative aspects related to the planning, leadership and management of the College’s learning communities and the Gateway to College initiatives at the academic institution.
In addition, her new position will entail supervising the implementation of program curriculum, serving the educational needs of non-traditional students through innovative services and the development of community partnerships to enhance educational opportunities and resources for current and future students. Rizza will also provide oversight for Gateway to College student outreach, recruitment, orientation and selection processes.
“Student recruitment and retention are pressing issues across the nation and Owens Community College is at the forefront of making a difference for students who might not otherwise see higher education as an option,” said Rizza. “I am proud to be joining such a dedicated group of professionals and look forward to working collaboratively across campus to increase opportunities for all students.”
Prior to her new position at Owens, Rizza served as a School Psychologist for Partners for Success and Innovation in Twinsburg since 2011. While with Partners for Success and Innovation, she was responsible for providing psychological services to kindergarten through 12th grade schools in the Toledo area. She also served as an Adjunct Instructor in Social and Behavioral Sciences and in Teacher Education and Human Services and has taught various academic courses in such areas as psychology and educational psychology for the past two years.
Previously, Rizza served as an Educational Consultant for Gifted Services in the Office for Exceptional Children at the Ohio Department of Education from 2008-09 where she provided educational support and guidance to organizations throughout Ohio in the areas of testing, identification and education of exceptional students. She has been living in Northwest Ohio since 2002 when she joined the faculty at Bowling Green State University as an Associate Professor and Director of Gifted Programs.
Her professional involvement includes membership with the Ohio Association for Gifted Children Board of Governors and Governing Authority President for Bridges Community Academy, as well as Editor of “The OAGC Review” and a Reviewer for “Gifted Child Quarterly”. She previously served on the Board of Directors for the Council for Exceptional Children – TAG Division and the Association for the Education of Gifted Underachieving Students.
The Bowling Green resident holds a doctorate in educational psychology from the University of Connecticut, master’s degrees in school psychology and gifted education from College of New Rochelle and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Queens College.
Owens Community College is an accredited two-year, state-assisted institution of higher education that has served Northwest Ohio since 1965. With a commitment to providing small classes, personal attention and unmatched affordability, the College serves the diverse academic needs of credit and non-credit students on the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses, as well as at the Arrowhead Park Learning Center in Maumee and the Learning Center at The Source in downtown Toledo. Owens offers associate degrees that transfer to baccalaureate degrees in the Arts and Sciences and over 130 technical program areas in Agriculture, Business, Health Sciences, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Skilled Trades, and Engineering and Transportation Technologies. Owens students also can earn the first two years of a bachelor’s degree with a smooth transfer to any area four-year college or university. For more information, visit www.owens.edu.