Monday, March 27, 2017
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.
SMC hosting writing centers from six states
Southwestern Michigan College March 23-25 hosts the 39th annual East Central Writing Centers Association (ECWCA) conference in collaboration with Mattawan High School Writing Center. Theme for the conference is “The Community Lighthouse: How Writing Centers Help Navigate the Changing Tides of Academic Life.”
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.
Chairman Jerdon awarded 25-year service pin
The Southwestern Michigan College Board of Trustees Dec. 19 recognized Chairman Thomas F. Jerdon of Dowagiac for 25 years of service. Jerdon, who joined the SMC board in December 1991, is vice president of Jerdon Real Estate in Silver Creek Township.
Phi Theta Kappa re-pins board Chairman Tom Jerdon
Southwestern Michigan College Board of Trustees Chairman Thomas F. Jerdon figures 11 mentors helped him reach this point. Jerdon, keynote speaker for the induction of 19 students into Sigma Psi Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for community colleges, at the Student Activity Center on the Dowagiac campus was awarded a 5-Star pin by Co-Advisor Colleen Welsch.
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.
Kim Gravel builds up SMC students
Purpose is not what a woman does, but why she was born, like a mission statement: Kim Gravel builds. “Purpose is not a job or talent, it’s a search. I can trace it to 5 or 6, but didn’t get it until much later,” Gravel told Southwestern Michigan College First Lady Sarah Mathews’ third annual mentoring dinner Oct. 4 in Mathews Conference Center East on SMC’s Dowagiac campus.
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.
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.
Diversity ‘more than a collection of colors’
Diversity “is more than a collection of colors, like your crayon box. Diversity is the validation of varied experiences,” Andrews University Associate Chaplain Michael Polite said March 16 during his third speaking engagement at Southwestern Michigan College. “Diversity is boring to many people in love with the idea who don’t understand it as an invitation to go on an adventure,” Polite said in the theatre of the Dale A. Lyons Building on the Dowagiac campus for SMC’s Academic Speaker Series.
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.
Seven new employees for spring semester
Southwestern Michigan College Director of Human Resources Kate Dorner introduced seven new employees at the mid-year update Jan. 5 in Mathews Conference Center East on SMC’s Dowagiac campus.
28 graduates pinned at nursing ceremony
Southwestern Michigan College Vice President of Instruction Dr. David Fleming addressed 28 men and women awarded associate degree in nursing (ADN) pins Dec. 16 in the theatre of the Dale A. Lyons Building on the Dowagiac campus. To keep remarks brief in light of winter-weather advisories, Fleming drew on his English literature background for two limericks.
Southwestern Michigan College and Cass County were recognized by the National Weather Service as StormReady communities at the Nov. 17 Board of Commissioners meeting.
Students enjoy ArtPrize Eight
There’s no place like emoh — home spelled backward. Emoh is Loren Naji’s home away from home, an eight-foot, space capsule-sized sphere with a doorbell and mailbox he lived inside in downtown Grand Rapids throughout ArtPrize Eight Sept. 21-Oct. 9. He represents Earth with 192 pieces of colorful debris from houses demolished in Detroit, Grand Rapids and his native Cleveland as commentary on our backward system of homelessness alongside vacant houses and a fragile environment.
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 dean to lead Michigan nursing education
As president-elect of MCNEA, the Michigan Council of Nursing Education Administrators, Southwestern Michigan College’s Rebecca Jellison will soon lead deans and directors of associate-degree and practical-nursing schools across the state.
SMC repeats as state champions
Four students, the Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) team of Nicole Brill of Niles, Dowagiac Union High School graduate Abbigale Guyott and Tyler Fye of Stevensville and the gold medalist from the criminal justice team, Joseph Herrera of Holland, advance to the 52nd annual National Leaderships and Skills Conference against other state champions June 20-24 in Louisville.
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.