GREENVILLE, Pa.—Thiel College celebrated the renovated spaces in Rhodehouse Memorial Science Building and its first class of Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies and second class of speech-language pathology students Thursday with faculty and administration members as well as local elected officials and economic development officers.
“Trained professionals in the allied health fields are a need in our region,” Thiel College President Susan Traverso, Ph.D. said. “When I talk to hospital and medical leaders, they say that by building these programs, Thiel is not only strengthening the College but the region, too.”
The renovations covered 12,000 square feet of upgrades to the science building include new classrooms, innovative laboratories, a cadaver lab and collaborative learning spaces. The space also serves as the administrative offices for the Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology and physician assistant programs as well as undergraduate programs in the sciences.
“This is essentially a brand-new building,” lead architect Adam Parris said.
These renovations are in connection with the $16 million capital improvement projects on campus that began in October 2020. Traverso thanked the region’s state Senator and Representatives for their cooperation in getting the financing in place for the project as well as the cooperation of Sharon Regional Hospital. She also cited the $1 million for improvements to laboratories, classrooms and common areas awarded to the College through a state Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program and the support of the College’s friends and alumni.
“Dreams do come true,” Vice Chair of the Thiel College Board of Trustees Rod Wilt ’86 said. “To see this facility go from a glimmer to this stage is great.”
Wilt is also the executive director of the Penn-Northwest Development Corporation, which is the lead economic development group in Mercer County and played a partnership role in the project. He is a member of the Sharon Regional Hospital board, too.
Thiel College received provisional accreditation status to open the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program with its first class of 40 students beginning in this month. Those students as well as the second class of speech-language pathology and Master of Business Administration and Master of Arts in Communication and Leadership students were also recognized.
The M.B.A. graduated their first class in May 2021, and the communication and leadership students began their inaugural class earlier this July. These programs are accelerated and can be completed in less than one calendar year.
Thiel will also begin offering a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling in 2022. This program is accelerated as well and can be completed in a year and a half.
“This is an exciting time at Thiel College,” Traverso said. “Our undergraduate students see these impressive graduate students, and it raises their aspirations for academic achievement. In this way, the profile and reputation of the College are strengthened.”
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