Saturday, April 29, 2017
Pscholka speaking at 50th commencement
Michigan Budget Director Al Pscholka delivers Southwestern Michigan College’s 50th commencement address Saturday, May 6, at 11 a.m. in the gymnasium of the Charles O. Zollar Building on the Dowagiac campus.
Girls exposed to male-dominated fields
Controls engineer Kara Moon wanted to train horses in middle school. Welder Erika Stacey dreamed about dance. Stacey was not a good high school student, but since finding her niche has been inducted into Phi Theta Kappa honor society. Stacey graduates from Southwestern Michigan College with honors May 6, already employed in her field and scouting California fabrication school in July. She’s housesitting to earn extra money in hopes she’s accepted for October.
Campus Bash features bull riding, archery
Whether you wanted to ride a bull, try archery tag with bows and marshmallow-tipped arrows or just release end-of-semester frustration with a few swings of a sledgehammer, bat or crowbar on a battered car, Campus Bash April 19 offered something for everyone.
SMC chemists present in San Francisco
Professor Dr. Douglas Schauer and five chemistry students who spent spring break presenting to the 253rd American Chemical Society National Meeting April 2-6 reflected on their experience at San Francisco’s Moscone Center April 17 to the Southwestern Michigan College Board of Trustees. Schauer introduced Tobias Robertson of Berrien Springs, Jeremiah Wilson of Edwardsburg, Marshall Zerbe of Decatur, Matthew Reeves of Berrien Springs and DeYonte Sullivan of Dowagiac.
SMC sweeps state criminal justice contest third time
Southwestern Michigan College criminal justice students swept SkillsUSA’s State Leadership and Skills Conference in Grand Rapids for the third straight year April 7-9. SMC’s state-champion Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) team consisted of Nyisha Savado of Michigan City, Ind., Skuyler Donaldson of Osceola, Ind., and Ariel Schwemer of Burr Oak. Criminal justice gold medalist Joseph Seidler is from St. Joseph. SMC also sent the other two medalists, Dustin Cochran from Niles (silver) and Andrea Hamlett from Colorado (bronze). All six were new to state competition.
ACEN accredits SMC nursing program
Southwestern Michigan College has been awarded five-year accreditation for its associate degree in nursing by ACEN, the Atlanta-based Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.
Business partners met at SMC
Business partners Virginia Dickman-Lopez of Chicago and Sarah Dwigans of Granger met at Southwestern Michigan College, but to be Sincerely Different, their story traversed Hawaii, Sweden and Indiana before their 2014 reunion. Sincerely Different is what the women, who met in a history class and graduated from SMC in 2004, call handcrafted apothecary products addressing ailments such as insomnia, headaches and damaged skin.
MSU honors Dr. Topping
The irony of winning Michigan State University agricultural recognition is not lost on Southwestern Michigan College’s Dr. Scott A. Topping. SMC’s dean of arts and sciences March 26 received the MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Institute of Agricultural Technology Honorary Certificate in agricultural operations, fruit and vegetable crop management, landscape management and viticulture. Not bad for a non-farmer who grew up next to Borgess-Lee Memorial Hospital in Cass County’s sole city. He still lives in Dowagiac.
SMC ‘blitzes’ ease fear factor
Southwestern Michigan College’s Writing Center “blitzes” classrooms to meet students in their comfort zones. Professors Cody Miller and Stephanie Foreman and student tutor Lauren Mackey presented “Bring the Blintz: The Collaboration of Students, Writing Consultants and Instructors” for their March 24 presentation at the 39th annual Eastern Central Writers Center Association conference.
SMC hosts region's writing centers
Approaching the 40th anniversary, writing centers encompass more than tutoring and polishing papers. A lighthouse symbolized how writing centers “help navigate changing tides of academic life” for the 39th annual conference co-sponsored March 24-25 by Mattawan High School, which just saw its center axed, and Southwestern Michigan College, the first community college to host East Central Writing Centers Association (ECWCA) in 17 years.
Nursing building SMC's largest undertaking
Southwestern Michigan College in June 2016 announced a $9.6-million expansion to its 12,047-square-foot Nursing and Health Education Building, more than doubling it to 29,086 square feet for fall 2018 classes. Since the Michigan Legislature appropriated $4 million, architectural renderings have been developed with bids expected to be awarded in April for a late May groundbreaking while the college readied a $2.6-million major gifts initiative.
170 students attend SMC's first Agriculture Day
Southwestern Michigan College’s inaugural Agriculture Day March 3 exposed 170 Centreville, Vicksburg, Eau Claire, Cassopolis, Niles and Van Buren Technology Center students to more opportunities than people exist to fill them.
Rep. Miller promotes politics to young people
State Rep. Aaron Miller vowed during his improbable 2014 Michigan House campaign to involve more young people in politics. The Sturgis Republican is still only 29 in his second Lansing term representing 93,000 constituents. He returned to his second home, the classroom, on President’s Day to talk to Southwestern Michigan College American government and U.S. history students, familiarizing them with web sites by which they can “monitor the political process,” tracking bills or votes to hold officeholders accountable.
Shelby Pruett to study in Northern Ireland
Immediately after Southwestern Michigan College’s 50th commencement May 6, Shelby Pruett, one of the first eight graduates of SMC’s Michigan State University Ag Tech partnership, flies to Northern Ireland. The partnership helps students earn MSU certificates while working toward SMC associate degrees. She will earn six MSU credits for six weeks studying at CAFRE, the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise.
Supreme Court justice speaks at SMC
Michigan Supreme Court counts on Judge Susan L. Dobrich to teach her colleagues, as evidenced by a glossy two-page feature in “Judiciary Success Stories — How Michigan Judges are Driving Change.” “The team you have here in Cass County is first-rate, the best I’m aware of,” Justice Bridget McCormack told Youth Council’s eighth annual luncheon April 27 at Southwestern Michigan College’s Mathews Conference Center East on the Dowagiac campus.
Katie Travis coaching SMC summer musical
Katie Travis, guest professional coach for July’s Southwestern Michigan College Summer Musical Theatre Camp for “Children of Eden,” tours North America as Christine Daae in “Phantom of the Opera.” Stephen Schwartz, composer of 1971’s “Godspell” and 2003’s “Wicked,” wrote lyrics and music for the musical about the Book of Genesis, with book by John Caird. The intense two-week camp July 16-30 for high school students is designed to encourage the study of acting, singing and theatre production, culminating in three performances.
Staff 18, students 5, in April 19 softball action
Campus Bash concluded the evening of April 19 with the traditional softball clash between the staff and students.
Dr. Fred L. Mathews, 1929-2017
Dr. Fred L. Mathews, age 87, of Dowagiac, MI passed away peacefully on Sunday, March 19, 2017 at Lakeland Regional Medical Center in St. Joseph, MI. A Celebration of Life will be held at 10:30 A.M. Wednesday, March 22, 2017, at Calvary Bible Church, 27032 Marcellus Highway, Dowagiac, MI 49047, with Pastor Stacey Wilder officiating. Interment will immediately follow at Riverside Cemetery. Friends may visit with the family on Tuesday, March 21, 2017, from 4:30 P.M. to 7:30 P.M. at Clark Chapel & Cremation Services, 405 Center Street, Dowagiac, MI. Memorial contributions in Fred’s honor may be made to the Dr. Fred and Thelda Endowment Fund at Southwestern Michigan College. Those wishing to leave an online condolence may do so at www.clarkch.com.
140 area students experience Chicago Auto Show
Southwestern Michigan College’s 140 Chicago Auto Show visitors Feb. 15 saw Chevrolet’s life-sized LEGO Batmobile, the Toyota Tundra Cubs truck toting a 10-foot-tall World Series trophy, a Blackhawks custom Camaro convertible defended by cutouts of hockey players Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane and a three-wheeled Polaris Slingshot motorcycle.
Southwestern Michigan College and Cass County were recognized by the National Weather Service as StormReady communities at the Nov. 17 Board of Commissioners meeting.
SMC's Guse Farm grows scholarships
Edward A. Guse, a self-described “city boy” from Benton Harbor, nurtured a hobby into a thriving Dowagiac farm business that 14 years after his death is still growing — cucumbers, squash, watermelon and $165,000 this year for Southwestern Michigan College scholarships. Mr. Guse bequeathed the farm south of Dowagiac on the west edge of LaGrange Township to SMC when he died at 80 on Jan. 16, 2002.
SMC wins Chamber's ‘Shining Star’
Southwestern Michigan College won Greater Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce’s “Shining Star” Oct. 19 at its annual dinner and membership recognition at Elks Lodge 889.
SMC builds world's largest blanket fort
Southwestern Michigan College students succeeded Saturday in constructing what they believe will be confirmed in weeks to come as the world’s largest blanket fort.
SMC women build momentum in construction
Carlyn McClelland, 35, of Elkhart, a former probation officer, holds a Michigan State University bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. Victoria Knight, 21, of Niles, graduated from Brandywine High School in 2013, then attended University of Saint Francis in Fort Wayne, Ind., for nursing. Ileona Geroux, 18, a 2016 Sturgis High School graduate, imagined taking Glen Oaks Community College general courses. Heaven Burfield, 18, a 2016 Covert High School graduate, wanted to be a lawyer growing up. The four met in September working side by side during year two of SMC building a “green,” 504-square-foot small house.