Heidelberg University

John and Linda Detwiler receive TSEP Special Recognition Award

Winners named during TSEP Annual Meeting

TIFFIN, OHIO – June 25, 2021 – Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership is proud to have honored John and Linda Detwiler with the Special Recognition Award during the 2021 Annual Meeting June 3, 2021.

After 11 years of service, Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Services President and CEO John announced his retirement from the position in March 2020. Born and raised in Tiffin, Detwiler left the community in his late teens and worked in sales and marketing. In 2009, he and Linda returned to the community where he took the job of president and CEO of the Tiffin Area Chamber of Commerce and she became a professor in the Communication Department at Heidelberg University.

“The work that they put in over a decade really elevated the Chamber to a major player in making this community a great place to live, work, play, visit and study,” said David Zak, President and CEO of Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership.

Since joining the Chamber, John has been instrumental in the revitalization of Tiffin, including being involved with Tiffin Tomorrow, a citizen-led group with the goal of promoting and encouraging economic development in downtown Tiffin, and helping to unveil the Downtown Strategic Survey in 2010. John also championed and implemented successful events for the Chamber, especially the Seneca County Farmers Market in Downtown Tiffin. Starting in 2010, John and Linda had been organizing and working the event for two Saturdays a month for much of the year. By laying that groundwork, the Tiffin Seneca Farmers Market now is under the direction of the non-profit organization Seneca County Common Ground.

“Whenever there was a farmers market downtown, you could always find John and Linda in the same spot, watching everything and everybody from start to finish,” said Linda Burns, co-owner of Burns Electric.

“Without John and Linda Detwiler, the farmers market wouldn’t have started, it wouldn’t have been sustained, and look what we have today – we have an independent 501c3, we have a professional market manager, we have a $2.6 million community kitchen project that’s underway, raising money because of what they did. That’s going to be a lasting legacy,” Zak said.

Under his leadership, John brought the county’s visitor services under the direction of the Chamber, renaming the organization the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Services and creating a separate organization in Destination Seneca County under the umbrella of the Chamber.

“Coming on board as the next director of the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce, I want to thank you for the groundwork you put in to support our members, tourism and this community,” said Bryce Riggs, Executive Director of the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce.

“Thank you for everything you’ve done for our members, you’ve done for our community. We wish you well,” he added.

The Detwilers also brought the business community together, with the Chamber’s Annual Meeting, Casino Royale, Golf Outing and ribbon cuttings.

“Congratulations, John and Linda on your special recognition award. What a worthy couple in everything you’ve done in Tiffin,” said Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz.

Montz added that one of his favorite things he does each year is being invited to speak to Linda’s Heidelberg classes about civic engagement.

“I would just like to say to you, John, how much I appreciate the way you led the Chamber. And to you, Linda, over the 13 years that you’ve been a communications professor here at Heidelberg, I really admire the focus and the fire you brought to the classroom for our students,” said Heidelberg University President Rob Huntington.

“Together as a wonderful couple in this community, you helped strengthen our economy, educate our students, and for that, I say ‘congratulations, you really deserve the TSEP 2021 Special Recognition Award,” he added.

To view video of the award winners, click here.

About the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership

Started in 1983 as the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC), the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.tiffinseneca.org.


TSEP Chair Dean Keller (left), president of First National Bank of Sycamore, presents Linda and John Detwiler with the TSEP Special Recognition Award during the 2021 TSEP Annual Meeting.

Heidelberg and Tiffin universities receive 2021 Lifetime Achievement Awards

Winners named during TSEP Annual Meeting

Heidelberg University President Rob Huntington (left) and Tiffin University President Lillian Schumacher stand with award presenter Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz, member of the TSEP Executive Board.

TIFFIN, OHIO – June 25, 2021 – Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership is proud to have named Heidelberg University and Tiffin University as the winners of the Lifetime Achievement Award during the 2021 Annual Meeting June 3, 2021.

Heidelberg College was founded in 1850 by members of the German Reformed Church who named it after the Heidelberg Catechism of 1563. The school was as a co-ed campus from the beginning, which was unusual for its time. Heidelberg’s American Junior Year program at Heidelberg University in Heidelberg, Germany, is the oldest exchange program between an American university and a German university. In 2009, Heidelberg College became Heidelberg University, to reflect more appropriately the academic offerings of the school. Heidelberg offers 36 undergraduate courses of study, four graduate programs, 16 minors, and 13 pre-professional programs.

“We’ve always been a welcoming community, a welcoming campus, and we’ve embraced faculty, staff, to come together to help lift students up from all backgrounds that come to Heidelberg University,” said Heidelberg President Rob Huntington.

Tiffin University was founded in 1888 after Heidelberg decided its commercial management division didn’t align with its mission. The school was founded as Tiffin Business College, first located in Downtown Tiffin and then moved to Miami Street to a former school building, which today serves as the Main Classroom Building. Over the years, TU has successfully transitioned from traditional seated students to a mixture of seated and online students, from across the country and around the world. Today, TU offers more than 25 majors through on-campus and online learning that result in real advantages for its students.

“Over our history, we’ve really grown, not only in terms of our student growth, but also in terms of our campus. If you look around our campus today, it looks very different than it even did 15 years ago, 25 years ago, and definitely 30 and 40 years ago,” said TU President Lillian Schumacher.

Having started as an institution that was one, and then going their separate ways, today the administrations at Heidelberg and TU often seek out opportunities to collaborate, such as the annual Around the Town event.

“Tiffin University and Heidelberg collaborate in many, many ways – and it wasn’t always like that,” Schumacher said. “Our institutions today work really well together, and I think we’re both very proud of the fact that we are part of the education community of Tiffin, Ohio.”

“We share, as I think all people should share, this common goal which is that we want to attract people from outside the area to come to Tiffin and Seneca County, initially through the educational experience at the college and university level, and then we would like them to stay, to build lives here, which I think is great for the entire Tiffin and Seneca County community,” Huntington said.

“These institutions have had a profound effect on our economy, our community, and, for some of us, professionally and personally,” said Lisa Hohman, TSEP board member. Hohman, CEO of Concordance Healthcare Solutions, is a Heidelberg graduate and TU Board Member.

The Covid-19 global pandemic created challenges for the universities, but both managed to adapt during difficult times.

“This school has worked its way through and survived,” Huntington said. “Going all the way through to the global flu epidemic of 1918 to the global covid pandemic of 2019. We’re leaning into it to work our way through this Covid Pandemic.”

“It has been a long almost 13 months now, and higher education, as well as in education in general, not to mention our world, so many of us have had to adapt and adjust due to the pandemic,” Schumacher said. “It was seamless for the most part, but of course, when you go through disruption like this, you grow and adjust along the way.

“Our students are amazing – the college students today, they are some of the most resilient,” she added.

Schumacher thanked TSEP and its members for recognizing both Heidelberg University and Tiffin University for the Lifetime Achievement Award, which Huntington echoed.

“It is so fitting and so appropriate that we would each and together win this award together at the same time, in the same year,” he said.

To view video, click here.

About the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership

Started in 1983 as the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC), the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.tiffinseneca.org.

Heidelberg awarded $300K grant from U.S. Department of Justice

Funds will continue awareness, prevention programs around sexual violence

Press release from Heidelberg University

TIFFIN – Heidelberg University has been awarded a second $300,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice that will continue to address the issues of sexual assault, dating/domestic violence and stalking on campus. The grant authors are project coordinator Ronee Rice and Dr. Marjorie Shavers, director of Heidelberg’s Master of Arts in Counseling (MAC) Program.

“With so much uncertainty and the added challenges of promoting a safe and healthy campus during the pandemic, the announcement of this grant gives us all something to celebrate,” Rice said. “We’re excited to continue this very important work at Heidelberg.”

The original grant, awarded in 2017 and housed in the MAC program, gave Heidelberg the opportunity to establish the Center for Survivor Empowerment. This initiative was led by Rice and the new office was officially established in the fall of 2019. The main goal of Heidelberg’s Center for Survivor Empowerment is to provide resources, advocacy and awareness – and ultimately, prevention – for everyone, regardless of gender.

“The original grant award improved our campus by expanding the outreach and prevention activities, developing the Heidelberg Interactive Theatre First Year Training experience, supporting It’s on Us initiatives and implementing the Green Dot strategy,” Rice explained.

The main purpose of the additional funding will be to embolden the work that has been conducted through the Center for Survivor Empowerment to change the culture on campus and both support and empower survivors. The center will be also moving into Heidelberg’s Student Affairs Division to provide better opportunities for collaboration and to increase accessibility of the services offered to all students.

Rice noted that Heidelberg is one of a few schools across the nation that was awarded the $300,000 grant from DOJ which will provide funding for an additional three years.

The grant funding also will provide a new position on campus dedicated to providing advocacy and counseling services for survivors. The center will continue to collaborate with the Theater Department to continue developing training, expand educational programming aimed at reducing incidents of sexual assault, dating / domestic violence, and continue Green Dot and It’s on Us awareness initiatives.

Heidelberg is looking forward to continued partnerships with the Tiffin Police Department and Seneca County Victim Services, and a developing partnership with Sisters in Shelter.

The grant authors, Rice and Shavers, expressed their appreciation for the contributions to the grant application and recognized that this was a team effort with input from faculty, staff and counseling graduate students.

Heidelberg apartment projects underway

Story published on heidelberg.edu

There’s about to be a flurry of construction activity on campus. In fact, it’s already started.

Construction of the new Townhouse Apartments, a student housing complex on Main street, is well underway, according to Associate VP for Facilities & Engineering Rod Morrison.

The complex will feature 15 contiguous 2-1/2 story, four-bedroom apartments built between Krieg Hall and King Hall, overlooking Rock Creek. The project will create 60 new student residences in two buildings, one with nine unites and one with six units.

Rod reports that excavation of the site has been completed, the foundation for one of the buildings has been poured and with a second to be poured this week. Weather permitting, walls could start to be framed in the next couple of weeks, he added.

After extended planning and some unanticipated challenges, the France Hall restoration/renovation project also kicked off the week before Christmas with abatement of hazardous materials. Demo began late last week and construction moves into high gear this week.

When completed, France will provide about 70 beds for female students, two female faculty apartment annexes, our four female (including one mixed-gender) Greek society halls, a women’s leadership office, a restored parlor, a renovated multi-purpose event hall and a five-story elevator.

The France Hall project is being funded by generous donor gifts and our approved USDA low-interest, long-term loan.  The Main Street townhouse project is being fully funded by the USDA loan.

Targeted completion for both facilities is August for fall semester occupancy.

Additionally, planning and design meetings for the upcoming renovation of Miller Hall are also underway. “If all goes well with the scheduled completion of the town homes and France Hall, Miller renovation will begin this summer,” Rod said.

Heidelberg Announces USDA Rural Development Loan

Press release provided by Heidelberg University.

Heidelberg University LogoTIFFIN – Heidelberg University is proud to announce the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded a $36.5 million low-interest Rural Development loan to support a variety of campus initiatives directed at improving the student experience. The loan is designed to refinance existing debt to better position Heidelberg for long-term economic expansion and improve student housing, student learning facilities and student recruitment operations. Construction will begin soon on the restoration and renovation of historic France Residence Hall to integrate a living and learning community for approximately 70 female students and faculty. Several classroom spaces will also be improved to support new and existing academic programs.

President Rob Huntington states the USDA award is critical for success, “This loan assists our effort to make Heidelberg more financially stable, address student learning needs and greatly enhance student living and engaging spaces.” He adds, “Nearly $20 million dollars will be invested to drive our Academic Strategic Plan, support a living and learning community and create a unique greeting for the Office of Admission that will set the tone for an exceptional and persuasive visit experience for prospective students and their families. We are tremendously grateful to all elected officials in the city of Tiffin and Seneca County who continue to help us process this USDA loan. The loan helps us to restructure our debt and to renovate living and learning spaces on campus to better position Heidelberg in the very competitive higher education marketplace.”

The addition and upgrades to over 300 residential units is a major element in Heidelberg’s Residential Living Plan Vision. Chris Abrams, Dean of Student Affairs, states, “New student townhouse apartments will offer housing options and lifestyle flexibility for upper-class students. The improvements to France Hall and Miller Hall will provide students with modern amenities to help integrate living and learning opportunities.”

The Student & Community Welcome Center will create a “front door” at the East Market Street entrance to the campus. This 10,000-square-foot, two-story facility will house the Office of Admission and become home for the new Town Gown Bookstore. As part of Heidelberg’s Strategic Action Plan, which focuses on transformation, improvement and growth, the University aspires to not only maintain the current undergraduate population but to grow beyond it. The new bookstore will be open and inviting to the entire Tiffin community. Simultaneously, Heidelberg will move the Owen Academic and Career Support Center to the location of the current bookstore to create a larger and more accessible space to support student success.

Kathy Geier, Heidelberg University’s Board Chair agrees, “As Heidelberg University continues to grow, this loan positions us to provide quality facilities and programs for students and faculty. Refinancing, with a better interest rate on our debt, will result in savings. President Huntington and his team did an outstanding job over the course of the last 18 months to secure this loan and Heidelberg’s future.”

Heidelberg, Google partner in new Applied Computer Series

HU one of 5 schools nationally to pilot new courses trending in tech industry

Heidelberg University LogoTIFFIN – Heidelberg University and Google are collaborating to offer computer science, data science and machine learning courses to undergrad students who might not have considered themselves destined for a technology career.

The Applied Computing Series is a new, three-course program that will increase students’ access to quality data science and machine learning education by leveraging new technologies and teaching styles. In partnership with Google, Heidelberg will offer two Applied Computing courses during the academic year, Foundations of Python Programming and How to Think Like a Data Scientist. The third is an advanced course, the Applied Machine Learning Intensive, a 10-week, summer program designed to offer non-computer science majors a crash course in data engineering and machine learning that they can apply to their own majors and areas of expertise.

Heidelberg is one of only five colleges and universities selected nationally to collaborate with Google to pilot all three offerings in the new Applied Computing Series.

“Heidelberg’s partnership with Google will allow us to rethink the way traditional computer science is taught, as well as to prepare students for a new career path in machine learning with great market demand,” said Provost Dr. Beth Schwartz.

According to Google, the Applied Computing Series teaches the foundations of computer and data science, designed to attract students who might not have considered themselves destined for a technology career. All of the courses leverage tools and techniques used at Google and in the wider tech industry, while also teaching the non-tech skills needed to be successful at work more generally: soft skills required by employers, including critical thinking and problem solving, collaboration and the ability to communicate and network.

The courses will teach students more than how to code. They will also teach data analytics, statistical techniques and machine learning modeling. “All of the courses combine high-impact practices that include skills in hands-on, collaborative projects meant to solve real-life problems in the tech industry and beyond,” Schwartz said, adding that the courses will reinforce the goals of Heidelberg’s HYPE Career Ready® Program.

Heidelberg has been piloting courses in this sequence with Google since January, said Sean Joyce, assistant professor and chair of computer science. “These courses complement and strengthen our long-standing computer science and information systems majors in engaging and exciting ways,” he said. “Our partnership with Google provides additional options for students who may or may not be majors but who recognize the importance of computational thinking and data analysis to their chosen fields of study.”


Courses are taught using a “flipped classroom” model, where students review, study and practice material on their own, then work on collaborative projects in groups with coaching by their instructors.

Google is building these robust courses in partnership with highly regarded computer science academics. The Google instructional team builds the centralized content and in-class projects so that students have relevant, real-world problems to solve. The courses are then facilitated by Heidelberg faculty in STEM-related fields.


  • Skills that will position them for entry-level positions in the burgeoning machine learning workforce
  • Opportunities to work with Google engineers to learn about the tech industry’s working environments, challenges and nuances
  • Immersion in a project-based curriculum to help reinforce the computer and data science principles they’re learning


The schools involved in this pilot program were chosen because they have a successful track record of implementing new programs with innovative teaching and learning methods. Google and the schools involved are also interested in investigating new, economically efficient approaches to reaching more students.


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workforce projections in both computer science and data analytics predict that over the next decade, the U.S. will experience a shortage of new talent to meet increasing demand. The skills students need to meet market demand are also rapidly evolving, particularly in the newer domains of artificial intelligence and machine learning.

It’s imperative, according to Google and Heidelberg, that students understand how to use the best available tools to manipulate and understand data; using that analysis to solve business problems will be core competencies in many industries within the next five years.

“This partnership and our new courses demonstrate our continued commitment to the preparation of our students for the professions of today and tomorrow,” Joyce said.


Through partnerships with colleges and universities, Google hopes to develop an ecosystem where each institution can bring what it does best to the collaboration: Google can create cutting-edge, industry-relevant content and projects and colleges and universities can provide experienced faculty and a cohort-based, residential experience for students, all of which have important value in the development of traditionally aged college students into responsible, work-ready adults.

Press release provided by Heidelberg University.

Heidelberg University ranks nationally

Heidelberg University LogoThis week, Heidelberg University was once again among the top colleges and universities in U.S. News & World Report’s annual national survey, ranked at #58 in Regional Universities Midwest (up from #60 last year) and at #30 in Best Value Schools.

“In recent years, Heidelberg has taken important steps to become more contemporary and more relevant for our students,” said President Rob Huntington.  “We have sharpened our focus on the needs and priorities identified in our Academic Strategic Initiatives for Improvement Plan as we also continue to enhance our co-curricular and extra-curricular offerings and resources to ensure our students are successful.

A combination of innovative, new programs – including the Four-Year Graduation Guarantee, new academic majors, minors and tracks, the HYPE Career Ready® Program and the PlusOne Advantage® Free MBA set Heidelberg apart and give students great opportunities and big advantages to prepare for successful careers and great lives lived purposefully and with distinction, Huntington said.

Heidelberg was also recently ranked by College Consensus, a ranking website combining the latest results in the most respected college ranking systems with thousands of real student review scores from around the web to produce an aggregate score, as one of the 25 Best Colleges in Ohio.

More news about Heidelberg University:

Tiffin ranks in top 50 safest college towns nationwide

Safewise_SafestCollegeTowns-WebsiteBadge_2018.pngSafeWise released its 3rd annual “Safest College Towns in America” on August 20th in anticipation of the new semester starting for college students, with Tiffin ranked at #18 in the top 50.

To compile this report, SafeWise safety experts analyzed the FBI’s most recent crime statistics from 2016 to calculate the total number of violent crimes committed in American college towns. To be in the running, cities needed to exceed 15,000 residents and be home to an accredited college that offered four-year degrees. Towns with for-profit institutions, technical and vocational schools, community colleges, seminaries, field-specific institutions, and schools that only offer two-year degrees were excluded.

See the full report, here: https://www.safewise.com/blog/safest-college-towns-america/

Ohio highlights:

  • Two of the safest college towns are in Ohio. Tiffin ranked at #18 and Ashland at #30.
  • All of the cities in the top 50 are at least three points below the national rate of violent crimes per 1,000 people, which is 4.64.

About SafeWise
SafeWise is an online safety resource that helps families and communities make informed decisions. Our mission is to provide helpful reviews, insightful tips, comprehensive resources, and valuable safety information.

New counseling service open in Tiffin

MK Counseling and Consulting taking clients now

McBride Klein HeadshotTIFFIN, OHIO – August 20, 2018 – MK Counseling and Consulting LLC has moved into a newly renovated space at 24 W. Market St., Suite 3 in Tiffin. Dr. Meagan McBride Klein brings more than ten years of experience to the counseling and consulting practice and is accepting clients now.

The office is a new venture for Dr. McBride Klein, who recently took a full-time faculty position at Heidelberg University. “I am passionate about mental health work and as an educator, it is vital that what I teach is aligned with current practice, and my current practice is steeped in the most up to date research and techniques,” she said. “I am also very passionate about Tiffin and excited to serve the community.”

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz welcomed the new business. “Mental health services are in high demand everywhere,” he said. “Dr. McBride Klein’s practice will make a great addition to our community and provide another option for our residents.”

Dr. McBride Klein is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, and Certified Trauma Practitioner with experience providing therapy to adults, young adults, children, adolescents, couples and families. She also has a certified Therapy Dog, Seamus, who assists in treatment on a case-by-case basis.

In addition to helping clients in therapy, she has been an educator for the last eleven years serving in preschool, K-12, and higher-education settings. She frequently works collaboratively with businesses, providers, and other groups to provide trainings and educational seminars.

Dr. McBride Klein earned her PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision from the University of Toledo. She also holds an M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Bowling Green State University and a B.A. in Special Education from Bowling Green State University.

For more information, visit www.mkcac.com or call 567-230-4703 for an appointment.

Started in 1983, the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.senecasuccess.com.

$1.6M residential rehab project receives tax credits

Historic restauration awarded $250,000 to offset restoration costs


Copyright AH Kalnow. Photos may not be reused without permission.

TIFFIN, OHIO – August 14, 2018 – Three residential properties in Tiffin’s historic Fort Ball district were awarded Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credits in the Ohio Development Services Agency’s latest funding round. Monument Properties LLC received a nearly $250,000 credit for the renovation and restoration of 24 and 25 Adams St. and 149 Frost Pkwy, a nearly $1.6 million project.

Monument Properties LLC Owner Andrew Kalnow said the credits will allow for the proper restoration of the buildings’ original architecture. “It is imperative that we keep the historic integrity of the buildings while updating them for modern use. Recouping some of those costs through tax credits makes that goal more feasible.”


Copyright AH Kalnow. Photos may not be reused without permission.

The three residential buildings are located in Tiffin’s Fort Ball – Railroad Area Historic District. Their construction dates range from c. 1856 to 1895. The building at 25 Adams St. is in Queen Anne style and 24 Adams St. is in Italianate style. After rehabilitation, the buildings will serve as apartments and bed-and-breakfast suites. One building may house a small retail space. The project will move forward contingent upon continued due diligence.

France Hall, a 1926 dormitory located on the campus of Heidelberg University, also received credits in the latest funding round. The three-story building will be rehabilitated to continue use as a dormitory, and the attic space will be finished to provide additional space for meeting rooms. Historic features of the Modern English Gothic-style building will be retained, and ADA accommodations, contemporary mechanical and safety systems, and bathroom updates will be added. The $14.6 million project was awarded nearly $1.5 million in Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credits.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz applauded the focus on preservation. “We have many beautiful, historic buildings and homes in our community. These restoration projects are outstanding examples to other historic building owners looking to make improvements without sacrificing the elements that make these buildings unique.”

2018 Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credits
The Ohio Development Services Agency awarded $30,228,955 in Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credits for the rehabilitation of 31 historic buildings. Together, the projects are expected to leverage approximately $348 million in private investment in 13 communities. The awards include projects in two new communities (Somerset and Lorain), bringing the total number of Ohio communities with historic preservation tax credit projects to 67.

Started in 1983, the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.senecasuccess.com.