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Fall Class 2014 Commencement Ceremony was held September 13
Fall Class 2014 Commencement Ceremony held Sept. 13

CCMS celebrated the commencement of the Fall 2014 class on Saturday, September 13th. Forty-two graduates were recognized and are scheduled to receive the Associate of Applied Science degree pending certification by The National Board of Funeral Service Examiners. Thirty-eight of the graduates will continue in the BMS Program to earn the Bachelor of Mortuary Science degree.

A huge thank you is extended to Mr. Mike Ryan, commencement speaker, for delivering such an enlightening and inspiring address. Mr. Ryan spoke candidly to the audience about the importance of time and self motivation. His message centered around using time wisely to both professional and personal success. The message was one in which even the most seasoned professionals benefited from hearing. Great job Mr. Ryan for creating such an inspiring and mindful message for graduates to take as they begin their next journey!

Also in attendance were members of the College's Board of Trustees, many alumni of the college, as well as several service professionals including Duane Hedrick of Dodge Chemicals, David Hicks of Pierce Chemicals, and Lori Hicks of Mueller Funeral Home and OFDA. Ms. Hicks, serving as President of the Southwest Ohio Region District OFDA, participated in the graduate ceremony through presentation of the OFDA Leadership Award and Grant. Congrats to recipient Larissa Jones!

CCMS hosted the graduates, families and friends at the College following the ceremony for a fantastic lunch and celebration. The faculty and staff truly enjoyed the opportunity to meet and speak with the graduates' families and friends. Thank you to all who joined us!

CCMS is proud of the accomplishments, determination, and perseverance of the Fall 2014 graduating class!

Mike Ryan
Mike Ryan, Speaker
Lori Hicks
Lori Hicks presenting OFDA Leadership Award to Larissa Jones

Who are the up and coming professionals of tomorrow?

This year has welcomed two semester cohorts — the spring class in January and fall class in August. These cohorts are the first semester cohorts ever in CCMS history!

Fifty-one students recently began their academic journey at CCMS on Aug. 25. While each new cohort varies in terms of demographics and funeral service experience, we have witnessed emerging trends in recent years, and this new fall cohort is no exception.

Gone are the days when the majority of CCMS students came from "funeral home families." Only 12% of the new students are children of Funeral Directors! So what is it about Funeral Service that appeals to these "outsiders"? If the new cohort is any indication, funeral service is then correctly perceived as that of a "helping profession." Indeed, 82% of new students are entering the profession because they want to "help people."

The new cohort also continues the CCMS trend of enrolling young, well-educated adults. A mere 10% of new students are over the age of 30. More than 25% of new students begin the CCMS curriculum, having already earned a Bachelor’s degree from another institution, while 35% have an Associate's degree. An additional 38% of new students have two or more years of college under their belts.

To better illustrate "who" the CCMS student body consists of, here are some other interesting statistics:
  • 47% had worked in a funeral home prior to enrolling in CCMS
  • 2% have served an apprenticeship
  • 84% plan to use their education in the funeral profession as funeral directors
  • 14% plan to work in fields other than the funeral profession
  • Only 2% are entering this profession as a result of family influence
  • 90% entered CCMS without any alumni/family connection
CCMS is proud to welcome the new students and will work hard to provide them the education they need to succeed in the funeral service profession.

The Outlook Group offers scholarship award
The Outlook Group

Franklin, Ohio - Students interested in a career in mortuary science are invited to apply for the Christian Chambers Mortuary Science Scholarship Award. Established by The Outlook Group in 2013, the scholarship honors one of the finest directors in funeral service. Christian Chambers has served his chosen profession with distinction for more than 21 years. Through 2033, a scholarship of $2,000 will be awarded annually in Chambers’ honor to a deserving student in a mortuary science program accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education.

The first Christian Chambers Mortuary Science Scholarship was awarded to Arielle Jade Fouts. Fouts attends The Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science where she is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Mortuary Science degree.

To be considered for this award, all applicants must submit their application and supporting documentation directly to the Outlook Group.

For more information about the scholarship, please visit: www.theoutlookgroup.com/chambersscholarship/

All CCMS students receive NFDA certified Crematory Operator Certification

CCMS was excited to host the NFDA CCO Training this past August. What a success! Over 80 funeral professionals and students were informatively "entertained" by instructors Michael Nicodemus, NFDA VP, Cremation Services; and Michael Watkins, CFSP, NFDA Senior VP, Operations. Several staff and faculty members trained in CCO, offering yet another advantage to CCMS students.

CCMS President, Gene Kramer, adds "This was a wonderful opportunity for our students, faculty, staff and community professionals. We look forward to working with NFDA on future programs which benefit our students."

The NFDA Certified Crematory Operator (CCO) course is approved by the Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practice (APFSP) for 7 CE hours and by most state licensing boards. Basic state training requirements are met for crematory operators. According to NFDA, Crematory operator training, as a condition of crematory licensing, is required by law in 14 states at this time. For information about an NFDA Certified Crematory Operator Program™ near you and for pricing, call 800-228-6332.

The Columbus Dispatch publishes article featuring CCMS students

A July edition of the Columbus Dispatch featured an article highlighting the growing number of students entering the funeral service profession having had no family history in the business. The article featured current CCMS student Alena Moye, and two recent CCMS graduates, Kaleb Swinehart, Fall 2012; and Melinda Coffman, Spring 2012.

Read the article here or copy and paste the following link in your browser:


CCMS students excel in restorative art
CCMS students excel in restorative art

The following twelve students created exceptional depictions of their subjects in Restorative Art. The below armatures were selected for display in the CCMS campus showcase (in alphabetical order):

Name Restorative Art Description
Chelsea Carter Brian Cranston Actor Extraordinaire
Matt Carter Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. American Writer
Jessi Castells Kevin Spacey Actor
Jessica Fields John Wayne Actor
Arielle Fouts Michael Gross Significant Other
Qween Gray Lauren Hill Singer/Actress
Codi Kindoll Dame Maggie Smith Actress
Kurt Sammons Eric Church Country Music Singer
Gideon Snyder Hannah Snyder Sister
Kyle Van Horn Woody Hayes Legendary Ohio State
Football Coach
Angela Ward Tony Stewart Nascar Driver
Ben Zimmerman Jerry Garcia Musician

A very special congratulations to the 12 of you – your work was exceptional!

The following people also deserve recognition for their work:

Name Restorative Art Description
Alecia Braddock Bob Marley Reggae Singer
Amanda Corey Christopher Walken Actor
Brooklyn Dawson Julian Richings Actor
Candace Kitte Bea Arthur Actress
Josh Martin James Hetfield Singer/Musician
Elizabeth Morgan John Lennon Singer
Michell Schindeler Amy Winehouse Singer

The judges were faced with a very tough decision and you should be proud of both your efforts and the final outcome of your projects.

Articulation helps spread the word about CCMS
Pamela Donlon

Imagine the student living in northern Ohio attending the local community college who knows he/she wants to enter the funeral services profession but doesn’t really know how to get started. Imagine the community college advisor who has a student expressing interest in the funeral services profession but has no idea CCMS offers the two regionally accredited academic programs, the A.A.S. and the B.M.S.

Articulation agreements remedy both of these situations. It puts critical information in the community college advisors' hands enabling them to guide their advisees appropriately. These agreements also give CCMS specific colleges we can refer future students to for completing their prerequisites. Articulation allows CCMS to partner with colleges across the state; in fact, across the country.

Being the leader in funeral service education means that we have to take the initiative to educate other colleges about our curriculum and provide them with the tools necessary to help students progress toward our program. Guiding students’ academic progress (through their current advisors) before they even arrive at CCMS strengthens their success potential once they begin their CCMS academic journey.

We currently have six completed articulation agreements with five more in various stages of completion. Our effective articulation agreements are with:
  • Chatfield College, Downtown Cincinnati and St. Martin campuses
  • University of Cincinnati Blue Ash
  • Columbus State Community College
  • Cincinnati State Community College
  • Terra State Community College, Elyira, Ohio
  • Gateway Community College, Northern Kentucky
The Mortuary Science Program at Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science is accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE), 3414 Ashland Avenue, Suite G, St. Joseph, Missouri 64506 (816) 233-3747. Web: www.abfse.org.

The Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association, 230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500 , Chicago, IL 60604 (800) 621-7440 Web: www.hlcommission.org.

CCMS believes in its student body!

Each term, CCMS employs several students because we believe in them. Students are employed in paid positions in both the clinical lab and in the administrative offices. We love our hardworking students ... and extend a huge thank you to all who have represented this great school.


Alumni News
CCMS was notified of the following:

Bert Haskell, class 1998 – Mr. Haskell and his wife Veronica are pleased to announce the February 2013 purchase of Hammitt-Hott Funeral Home, Wyoming Funeral Home and Toulon Funeral Home from long-time owner Joseph B. Hott. The funeral homes now operate under the name Haskell-Hott Funeral Homes. Veronica Haskell, Bert's wife of 20 years, has devoted herself to implementing and overseeing the firm's family aftercare program. www.haskellhott.com

Carl Swann, class 1998 - Mr. Swan accepted a Faculty position at Gupton Jones College. He credits the CCMS Faculty with preparing him to become an instructor himself. He notes their excellent teaching skils and plans to extend this excellence to his students at Gupton-Jones.

Scott Greenman, class 1997 – Scott purchased Stewart Baxter and manages two locations in Iowa. www.stewartbaxter.com

Aaron Cook, class 2012 – Aaron stopped in to visit and is employed with Newcomer Funeral Homes.

David Tackett, former faculty and former Dean of CCMS, retired from teaching in 2013 and is enjoying a fulfilling career as a licensed funeral director/embalmer in Ohio.

Joe Main, former faculty of CCMS, is enjoying a fulfilling sales career in the funeral profession.

Retiree Announcements
CCMS was notified of the following retirements:

John P. Vollmer ('70) retired from Conroy in Ohio December 31, 2012, after 42 years of service.

Still need CEU's for 2014 compliance? Check out the following resources:

CCMS Resources Page:
GCFSA 2014 upcoming events may be found here http://www.ccms.edu/view/home/news/upcoming-conventions.aspx

NFDA 2014 Convention & Expo Resources (20 CEU available)
October 11-15: Nashville, TN (Questions: Kathleen Walczak 800-228-6332)
NFDA Resources Page: http://nfda.org/about-nfda-/continuing-education.html
NFDA Online Learning: http://olc.nfda.org/

NFDA's CCO Training – remaining 2014 dates (7 CEU)
NFDA Calendar: http://nfda.org/news-a-events/evtcalendar.html
October 11: Nashville, TN (Music City Center)
October 23: Mansfield, OH (Wappner Funeral Directors & Crematory)
October 29: Kansas City, MO (Embassy Suites Kansas City International Airport)

Other Online Learning Resources*
FuneralCE: http://www.funeralce.com/ (Jana Pugh 972-616-1120)
FuneralContinuingEducation: http://www.funeralcontinuingeducation.com/ (Barbara Cardone 718-608-6000)
Elite Funeral: https://funeral.elitecme.com
Thanos Institute: http://www.thanosinstitute.com/ (Mary E. Rizzo 800-742-8257)
Hospice Foundation of America: Contact Chester Velasco 202-457-8511

*It is the responsibility of the licensee to verify the validity of online learning resources and whether available CEU programs are approved for their state.

What's In This Issue?


Staff & Students

Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science
Board of Trustees
John Gay – Chair
David Kolbe – Vice Chair
Frank Rosenacker – Treasurer
Jan Borgman – Secretary
Kathleen Berry – Trustee
Bill Peoples - Trustee
Mark Merz - Trustee
Dennis Stanley - Trustee
Bill Smith - Trustee
Arlene Lawrence - Trustee
Nicole Wiedeman - Trustee
CCMS Staff
Visit www.ccms.edu for Staff Bios
Gene Kramer
Gene Kramer
Leslie Boehm
Leslie Boehm
Bursar/Business Manager
Dr. Blanche Kabengele
Dr. Blanche Kabengele
Admissions Director/Registrar
Beth Williams
Beth Williams
Administration Coordinator &
Student/Alumni Relations
Molly Jones
Molly Jones
Director of Library &
Information Technology
Pamela Donlon
Pamela Donlon
Enrollment Coordinator
CCMS Faculty
Visit www.ccms.edu for Staff Bios
Teresa Dutko
Teresa Dutko
Wanda Lee
Wanda Lee
Faculty/Clinical Director
Melissa Kloss
Melissa Kloss
John Vinnedge
John Vinnedge
Adjunct Faculty
(not pictured)
Adam Kallmeyer
Mark Ivey
Keith Hughes
Holly Sauerbrunn
Bob Campbell
Marty Molony
Tim Schmidt
Joe Getts
Mike Gedert
Bob Shank
Adam Dwyer

Scholarship Recipients
Schaefer & Busby Scholarships
2014 Recipients: Jessi Castells / Codi Kindoll

OFDA Scholarship
2014 Recipients: Jessi Castells / Shirley Wagner

Outlook Group Christian Chambers Scholarship
2014 Recipient: Arielle Fouts

The Conference Scholarship
2014 Recipient: Arielle Fouts

Fall 2014 Highest Scholastic Award Recipients
Summa Cum Laude:
Matthew Carter
Arielle Fouts
Elizabeth Morgan
Michell Schindeler
Todd Steiner
Caleb Turnbull

Magna Cum Laude:
Adam Gibson
Tiffany McKinney
Elizabeth Wallace

Cum Laude:
Shannon M. Hall
Dale Jakeway
Alena Moye
Jeremy E. Richards
Kurt Sammons
Ryan S. Summers
35% of the entire graduating class completed their curriculum have earned Latin Honors

Fall 2014 Award Recipients
This award is given in memory of Arthur J. Russler, who for many years was a dedicated instructor at CCMS. It is awarded to the student who has displayed the highest competence in the clinical setting as evaluated by the clinical faculty.

Fall 2014 Recipient: Kyle Van Horn

This award is in memory of Charles O. Dhonau, who was a pioneer in the field of modern embalming, and was a former President of CCMS. This award, which consists of a plaque and a $100 cash, is granted to the student who has displayed the highest competence in both embalming theory and clinical application, as evaluated by the Department of Embalming.

Fall 2014 Recipient: Ben Zimmerman

This award is presented in recognition of outstanding potential for excellence in ethical and compassionate service, community relations, and personal and professional development, in accordance with the highest standards of funeral service.

Fall 2014 Recipient: Gideon Snyder

This award is presented in memory of Ivan P. Bowsher who established the art of facial restoration as part of the standard CCMS curriculum. This award goes to the student who not only maintained one of the highest course grades in the Restorative Art class, but also demonstrated a high degree of skill in the art of restoration in the Restorative Art lab.

Fall 2014 Recipient: Matthew Carter

The James C. Lyerly Award is presented by the Lyerly funeral Home in Salisbury, N.C., in memory of James Lyerly. Mr. Lyerly was a 1948 graduate of CCMS and always held high regard for the college. After graduation from Catawba College and service with the U.S. Marines in World War II, he attended CCMS. In 1957, he started the Lyerly Funeral Home and was owner of that firm until his unexpected death in 1987. At that time he was president/elect of the N.C. Funeral Directors Association. The award is presented to the student who displays scholastic achievement and potential for outstanding business and management skills. The award consists of a plaque and $150 cash.

Fall 2014 Recipient: Eli Mullins

This award honors Lester W. Wakeham, and consists of a plaque and $50 cash. It is presented to the student who is an Ohio resident and deserves special recognition for achievement in the combined theory and practice of embalming.

Fall 2014 Recipient: Joshua Martin


Fall 2014 Recipient: Ryan Summers

This award is presented to recognize the individual with the highest class standing among those who have completed all 75 quarter hours at CCMS.

Fall 2014 Recipient: Todd Steiner

This award is also intended to recognize outstanding academic achievement. Dr. Sleichter served on the CCMS faculty for over 45 years, and was a former director of CCMS. This award is presented to recognize the individual with the second highest class standing among those who have completed all 75 quarter hours at CCMS.

Fall 2014 Recipient: Elizabeth Wallace

The OFDA Leadership Award is presented by the Ohio Funeral Directors Association in recognition of student display of exemplary leadership qualities and abilities. This candidate has shown ambition, drive, responsibility and “progress-oriented” thinking through their time at CCMS. The student’s name will be added to the master plaque displayed at the college and $500 educational grant.

Fall 2014 Recipient: Larissa Jones

This award is given by CCMS in memory of Joel E. Crandall, who is credited as being the founder of Restorative Art. Crandall researched techniques, developed special waxes and cosmetics, and educated funeral directors and embalmers through continuing education and published articles. His efforts established Restorative Art as an important part of the embalming process. Restorative Art courses continue to be a valuable part of the CCMS curriculum. The award is made to the member of the graduating class whose artistic competence in Restorative Art warrants special recognition.

Fall 2014 Recipients: Codi Kindoll / Angela Ward

The Harold W. Wittmeyer Award
This award will be presented in memory of Harold W. Wittmeyer, a 1944 graduate as well as a former instructor who taught the applied embalming course and in the clinical embalming lab. He was also a Past President of our Board and was the former owner of Schaefer-Busby Funeral Home in Cincinnati. This award has been named after Mr. Wittmeyer in honor of his contributions and life long-long support of the college. And, now to explain the premise for this award: Students entering CCMS arrive with varying degrees of experience in the clinical setting. Many begin clinical lab with little or no experience but leave quite proficient at embalming. In recognition of this accomplishment, the clinical faculty would like to honor this exceptional advancement in the art of embalming.

Fall 2014 Recipient: Adam Thomas

I would like to take this time to recognize those individuals that were the clinical faculty’s assistants. We cannot begin to describe how crazy it gets in the lab. It is the lab assistants who are the crucial link in holding the lab together day in and day out. We truly appreciate their efforts. The extra time they have devoted to the lab is duly noted. We hope they also have received valuable experience during their tenure in the position.

Fall 2014 Recipients: Jessi Castells / Ben Zimmerman


Fall 2014 Recipient: Ryan Summers


Fall 2014 Recipients: Arielle Fouts / Michell Schindeler

Mortuary Sciences Monthly

Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science
645 West North Bend Rd
Cincinnati, Ohio 45224

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