Defiance College: a top academic institution in Northwest Ohio

October 1, 2019

DEFIANCE, Ohio - For more than a century, Defiance College has guided individuals to "defy the ordinary" and make a difference in the world. With expert faculty and programs, Defiance College is one of Northwest Ohio's top academic destinations with a global impact.

In 2018, the College's religion department was expanded by a $1 million endowed gift from the Charles K. and Esther C. Krieger Foundation to create a visiting scholar program that brings religious specialists to the DC campus. It is designed to aid students to study and better understand the connections between the three Abrahamic religious traditions: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Through such understanding, students are encouraged to expand spiritual exploration, find their own call to servant leadership through service, and be prepared to confront ethical and religious conflicts.

Defiance College continues to recognize the importance of liberal arts while increasing focus on STEM. Enrollment in DC's STEM programs increased by 50 percent in one year, in part due to adding majors in computer science, environmental science, and clinical laboratory science. Additionally, the College has an Institute for Pre-Health and Wellness Studies with a dedicated dean who works with students applying to all types of medical, dental, and veterinary schools. The dean facilitates trips to these schools and the writing of applications. Due to the generosity of donors and foundations, nearly $400,000 has been invested over the past three years in STEM for student research and facility and programmatic improvements.

"First-year student enrollment is the highest it's been since 2015 and has steadily increased over the last four years," said Defiance College President Richanne C. Mankey, "We value every student who comes to campus. Each arrives with his or her own way of thinking and approaching the world. At Defiance College, we nurture that individuality and help them broaden their perspective to include a global frame of mind through critical thinking and creative problem-solving skills."

With a job placement rate of 91 percent, Defiance College also helps students find their choice career after graduation - including graduate/professional school. With guidance from the Office of Career Development or hands-on field experience, students may find themselves changing to a career path they hadn't previously considered but that better suits them. Every member of faculty and staff are committed to going the extra mile to ensure Defiance College students succeed - and exceed - their college expectations.

"Currently, 73 percent of our faculty hold a doctoral or terminal degree," stated Dr. Agnes Caldwell, vice president for academic affairs and academic dean. "We are proud to say that our campus has expert faculty in a variety of fields and all are very passionate - both about what they do individually and about what Defiance College does together."

One such faculty member to note is Dr. Doug Kane, professor of biology. He has contributed to more than two dozen scientific publications and has been honored with more than a dozen awards including Highly Cited Author Award (2005-2009) for the Journal of Great Lakes Research and the Certificate of Appreciation for service to the International Association of Great Lakes Research. Dr. Kane has led and participated in numerous studies and research, and encourages students to be involved. Most recently, his work has revolved around the harmful algae blooms in Lake Erie and how to manage it. He combines knowledge by working with scholars from other institutions in the area.

Another key component to life at Defiance College is community service, with students providing more than 12,500 hours of service to the community annually. Within the local community, Defiance College students are involved in many projects related to their academic fields or interests. Some of these opportunities have emerged through DC's student-run non-profit: Project 701. This unique organization allows students to develop a service or business in their area of study to address community needs. Examples of projects that serve the community include computer repair and networking services, providing books to children through partnerships with local hospitals, and creating designs for other businesses and non-profit organizations.

Defiance College's service extends beyond the local to leave a global fingerprint through the McMaster School for Advancing Humanity. Since its inception 16 years ago, more than 27,000 people have been impacted through the McMaster School's community-based research projects. Founded in 2002 by a $6 million gift from Helen and the late Harold McMaster, the McMaster School is the embodiment of the McMaster family belief in the potential for alleviating human suffering through knowledge, understanding, leading, and serving. Currently, there are projects located in Belize, Panama, Rome, and locally in the Defiance community.

"The service done by DC students, faculty, and staff aligns with the values expressed in the four pillars of the Defiance College mission: To Know, To Understand, To Lead, and To Serve," said President Mankey. She noted that the College predicts areas of need and then works through community-based research to address them through these pillars. "Exciting work has been completed over the years and everyone is looking forward to the future and all that we will accomplish together."

Chartered in 1850, Defiance College is an independent, liberal arts-based institution in Northwest Ohio offering more than 40 undergraduate programs of study as well as graduate programs in education and business. Defiance College has received national recognition for its educational experience of service and engagement. The College is guided by the four pillars of its mission: To Know, To Understand, To Lead, and To Serve. The College website is