Thursday, February 22, 2018
‘The Secret Garden’ opens March 1
Southwestern Michigan College presents its spring musical, “The Secret Garden,” March 1-4 in the theatre of the Dale A. Lyons Building on the Dowagiac campus. “The Secret Garden,” directed by SMC Manager of Theatre Operations and Applied Performing Arts Marcus Roll, tells the story of Mary Lennox (Morgan Smith), a sickly 10-year-old girl orphaned by cholera in India. She goes to Yorkshire, England, to live with her embittered, reclusive, hunchback Uncle Archibald (Zach Allyn) and his invalid son Colin (Braden Miesse, 11).
SMC celebrates Black History Month with Spaniels Forever
Southwestern Michigan College celebrated Black History Month Feb. 7 with The Spaniels Forever. Despite seamless harmonies which made The Spaniels doo-wop pioneers, three men singing with Billy Shelton each bring their own accomplishments. Guitarist Pernell Davis played with The Staples Singers. Patrick Pitre is reknowned for incredible range, from falsetto to bass. Gene Stewart is enshrined in Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Ed Guse farm yields $277,000 for scholarships
The Southwestern Michigan College Board of Trustees Monday night heard about a bumper crop of $277,200 in scholarships SMC students will reap over the next three years from its farm. In his President’s report, Dr. David Mathews highlighted the Jan. 8 auction at Mathews Conference Center West on the Dowagiac campus which saw a $92,400 winning bid to benefit students across multiple disciplines in addition to agriculture.
SMC announces $250,000 gift for nursing project
In his President’s Report at the Dec. 18 Board of Trustees meeting, Dr. David M. Mathews announced a gift of $250,000 from Kelly Rose to fund the Karen K. Rose Simulation Lab in Southwestern Michigan College’s new $9.6 million Nursing and Health Education Building under construction on the Dowagiac campus.
SMC welcomes vice president of student services
Dr. Joseph Odenwald, Southwestern Michigan College’s new vice president of student services, wants to provide students the same transformative experience higher education gave him. Odenwald, who started Nov. 27, comes to SMC from Louisiana State University, where he was assistant dean of the College of Engineering. LSU’s staff in Baton Rouge is comparable in size to the number of residents of Dowagiac, where he and his wife, Laura, are buying a house.
Miss Blossomtime selects SMC to study nursing
Miss Blossomtime Kaylee Chapin selected Southwestern Michigan College to study nursing. While completing nursing prerequisites, the Watervliet freshman works in SMC’s admissions office as a Student Ambassador, guiding visitors touring campus at such events as Green Flag Automotive Technology Day and Saw Dust Day for the construction trades.
Roadrunner says ‘I do’ in SMC's Alumni Plaza
Zackary Creager’s marriage proposal to Kayla Ellard might be a first for Southwestern Michigan College’s Alumni Plaza. The education majors met in an SMC mathematics class and they are alumni, so the circle of inscribed bricks festooned with flags seemed obvious to Creager, a 2012 Constantine High School graduate from Marcellus. As far as firsts, SMC mascot Ronnie Roadrunner escorted Ellard across stage at commencement in 2015 to accept her diploma from President Dr. David Mathews.
David Baltazar returns for Green Flag Day
Buchanan’s David Baltazar attended Southwestern Michigan College from 2010-14 while completing a Ferris State University bachelor’s degree in technical communication, minoring in automotive technology. Despite long hours traveling for NASCAR from Daytona Beach, Fla., Baltazar, who now markets VIRginia International Raceway, doesn’t feel he’s worked a day since college thanks to passionately pursuing a path to his dream job. Baltazar returned to SMC Oct. 27 as keynote speaker for Green Flag Day, addressing some 270 Coloma, Brandywine, Lakeshore, Dowagiac, Niles and Buchanan high schoolers. “I can’t speak highly enough of SMC’s automotive technology program, which is why I was instantly willing to talk about it. It’s such a great program,” Baltazar said.
Big C Lumber president addresses SMC ‘Saw Dust Day’
Building trades opportunities exist today “like I have never seen in my 34 years in this business,” Big C Lumber President and Chief Operating Officer Bill Wallace told Southwestern Michigan College’s “Saw Dust Day” Nov. 3. Wallace, a Hartford High School graduate, spoke to 180 students from Allegan Area Educational Service Agency, St. Joseph County, Mich., Intermediate School District, Mishawaka, Ind., and Duneland School Corp. in Porter County, Ind., in the theatre of the Dale A. Lyons Building on SMC’s Dowagiac campus. By 2024 the construction industry needs 900,000 new people just to keep pace with demand.
Head Start center opens at SMC
Southwestern Michigan College welcomes a Head Start program to its Dowagiac campus, boosting internship and observation opportunities for early childhood education students. “It’s very unique. There’s nothing like it at the community-college level,” SMC Early Childhood Education Program Director Heather Zile said. “They’re going to get a great experience at the associate-degree level some are only lucky enough to have at a bachelor-degree level.” “Today was the first day of school,” Tri-County Head Start Director Ramona Borowicz announced to the SMC Board of Trustees Oct. 16 as she showed members through the new center. “We’re not just getting children ready for school, we’re getting families ready for school.”
First lady's mentoring dinner hears author
“Projective identification” permeates marriages, dating relationships, teacher-student relationships, parent-child relationships, work relationships and friendships. “All it takes is two players,” Mishawaka psychotherapist Erin K. Leonard, Ph.D., author of Emotional Terrorism: Breaking the Chains of a Toxic Relationship, told Southwestern Michigan College First Lady Sarah Mathews’ fourth annual mentoring dinner Oct. 12 on the Dowagiac campus.
Dahn's Destination was Panama
As one might suspect, Girl Scouts do more than sell cookies. But few Girl Scouts do more than Southwestern Michigan College’s Caleigh Dahn. Dahn, 15, an aspiring zoologist from Coloma, has earned her Silver Award and spent the last two weeks of July in Costa Rica and Panama learning about coastal ecology and assisting with sea turtle conservation.
Sen. Proos tours Niles Campus
State Sen. John Proos toured Southwestern Michigan College’s Niles Campus Oct. 2 to learn about the welding and robotics programs. “These are the in-demand careers of the future that students and parents need to know about,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “That’s why I introduced Senate Bill 344, so they can have more information for future careers.” S.B. 344 authorizes granting high school diploma “endorsements” to students completing a specified number of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) courses.
Navy SEAL channeled injury, despair into helping dogs
Asset or liability. Former Navy SEAL Jimmy Hatch has been both. CNN’s Anderson Cooper chronicled his “war-hero” exploits publicizing Spike’s K9 Fund, but the Virginian spoke candidly at Southwestern Michigan College about darker baggage stuffed in a metaphorical “backpack” during “combat” here and abroad. Hatch, “the only SEAL who didn’t shoot bin Laden,” previewed “The Fly Fisherman” and “The Mechanic,” who appear in his book, which Alfred A. Knopf publishes in June. Hatch talked twice Sept. 14 on “Adventures in Learning: The Hard Way” to students and the community. His almost 26-year career ended with a 2009 leg injury trying to rescue alleged deserter Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.
SMC stages first Renaissance Faire
“King’s Landing” at Southwestern Michigan College’s first Renaissance Faire Sept. 9 wasn’t a “Game of Thrones” reference so much as chunks flying when President Dr. David Mathews’ sword went fruit ninja slashing a watermelon. Mathews, his wife Sarah and their son, Daniel, dressed as royalty, while Information Technology Professor Kyle Kelly wore armor for sword combat with Sentinels of the Rose. The Sentinels include Student Activity Center Evening Supervisor Mollie Grabemeyer officiating the live-steel combat.
Nursing construction celebrated
Michigan Budget Director Al Pscholka celebrated his 57th birthday and construction of a $9.6-million nursing building Sept. 6 at Southwestern Michigan College. Pscholka, as state representative from Stevensville and House Appropriations Committee chair, shepherded the project through the Legislature to secure $4 million from the state.
President Mathews reflects on 20 years
When President Dr. David M. Mathews joined Southwestern Michigan College in July 1997, “We had 45 faculty and a replacement value of SMC facilities of $26 million. “Today, we will have 60 fulltime faculty and a replacement value of $116 million,” Mathews said. “That $90-million increase in facilities is a 4 ½-times increase and includes, of course, on-campus housing for 400 students. “One of the things that is most striking is in the 1996-97 school year, SMC awarded 260 degrees and certificates,” Mathews said. “Last year we awarded 693 degrees and certificates. We are on-track for growth this next year and look forward to breaking more records for the number of degrees and certificates.”
J.D. Power founder's foundation awards SMC $50,000
Southwestern Michigan College’s new nursing building will feature the Dr. Kenneth and Gertrude Pierce Family Hallway of History. The Pierces’ late daughter, Julie, married J.D. “Dave” Power III. They founded a company April 1, 1968, that became a household name in customer satisfaction through independent market research. Power’s Kenrose Kitchen Table Foundation donated $50,000 to SMC’s major gift initiative.
Lakeland awards SMC $50,000
Lakeland Health recently awarded $70,000 to three area organizations on behalf of the Community Wellness Endowment, established in 2014 to help sponsor local organizations that promote community health.
Low vision focused Pompey's perspective
Southwestern Michigan College Student Activity Center Assistant Manager Branden Pompey avoids discussing his 10-year journey with low vision which began at 20 while an SMC student. He made an exception Feb. 20 for SMC’s Wellness Committee since 4.2 million Americans ages 40 and older are visually impaired. By 2030, when the last baby boomers turn 65, that number is projected to reach 7.2 million, with low vision burdening 5 million. February is Low Vision Awareness Month.
SMC creative in enlarging art gallery
Southwestern Michigan College debuted its remodeled and enlarged art gallery at a reception on Feb. 14 by showcasing alumna Jessika Clement’s series of eight outsized oil paintings, “The Generous Deceit of Elusive Darkness.” “We just completed a two-stage renovation,” Visual and Performing Arts Chairman Marc Dombrosky said. “It doesn’t just look different, it sounds different” with an interior wall moved to make the rear gallery as big a space as the front gallery in Room 108 of the Dale A. Lyons Building on the Dowagiac campus.
McKenna Bowdish explores Belize
Visiting Belize in December impressed upon SMC student McKenna Bowdish what she learned fall semester in Deirdre Kurtis’s Southwestern Michigan College environmental science class. “Belize was an amazing place with fantastic people,” Bowdish said. “While I was there I thought about our environmental science class many times.”
McCuistion appointed to foundation board
Southwestern Michigan College Board of Trustees Dec. 18 confirmed the appointment of Elkhart accountant Ann McCuistion to a three-year term on the SMC Foundation board. McCuistion, of Jones, studied accounting at SMC to transition into a new career after earning a bachelor’s degree at Texas Tech University in Lubbock to teach high school science.
St. Denys ‘Foundation of Year’
St. Denys Foundation on National Philanthropy Day Nov. 15 received the Corporate/Foundation Philanthropist of the Year award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), Michiana Chapter. AFP’s 17th annual Salute to Philanthropy awards luncheon, celebrating the philanthropic spirt of the Michiana community, took place at South Bend’s Hilton Garden Inn Gillespie Conference Center and also honored Larry Sehy as Volunteer Fundraiser and Pat Ruszkowski as Individual Philanthropist.
SMC partnering with Ferris State University for bachelor's degree in elementary education
Southwestern Michigan College’s new elementary education partnership with Ferris State University will be available to students fall semester 2018. Elementary education becomes the seventh Ferris State bachelor’s degree offered at SMC’s Dowagiac campus, joining accountancy, business administration, business administration-professional track, computer information technology, criminal justice and human resource management. Early Childhood Education Program Director Heather Zile said besides the affordability of a third year of college at SMC’s lower tuition rates, her program can be a third minor to add ZS endorsement to graduates’ certification.
SMC students coaching in Five Star Life
Six Southwestern Michigan College students are mentors fall semester in Dowagiac Middle School’s “Five Star Life” after-school program, including one former participant. “I’ve been a counselor going on three years,” said Kyron Harris, from Michigan City, Ind. “I personally like to watch the growth from the beginning stages of when I work with kids, throughout the process and how they grow in self-respect and figure out who they are. Here, I get to help them grow academically to achieve better grades.” “It’s a really good program for kids to step outside of their comfort zones and to learn to take leadership,” Harris said.
Students studying for jobs yet to be invented
Students in school today can expect to change jobs 11 times between ages 18-42. Sixty-five percent will find themselves working at jobs which don’t yet exist, Jim Wardlaw, owner and chief change agent for Stitch Brand and Culture in Buffalo, N.Y., said Oct. 26 in “Creative Thinking: A Crucial 21st Century Workplace Skill” for Southwestern Michigan College’s Academic Speaker Series. Four trends drive emphasis on creativity — exponential, overwhelming speed of change; information overload; workplace demand; and new challenges.
McLoughlin Family Foundation funds $50,000 nursing classroom
McLoughlin Family Foundation of Cassopolis is funding a $50,000 classroom in Southwestern Michigan College’s new Nursing and Health Education Building. The foundation’s signature event is the annual Great Start Shopping Spree. The private charity sends busloads of Dowagiac and Cassopolis elementary school students to Benton Harbor to spend $200 each on back-to-school clothes, shoes, backpacks and books during a private Target shopping spree.
Campus Bash features bull riding, sumo wrestling
Fall Campus Bash Sept. 13 featured outdoor mechanical bull riding and sumo wrestling along with burgers, hot dogs, chips and cookies.
Chemical Bank commits $20,000 to nursing project
Chemical Bank’s Community President of the Michiana Community Bank Todd A. Obren delivered a $20,000 check recently to Southwestern Michigan College, where he has served on the Board of Trustees since the beginning of 2015. The donation toward the college’s $9.6-million expansion of its Nursing and Health Education Building symbolizes naming rights on two hospital beds.
Huizenga foundation gives SMC $50,000
Ten years after his death, Charles B. Huizenga continues to positively impact this area, such as the $50,000 classroom Huizenga Family Foundation awarded Southwestern Michigan College’s new Nursing and Health Education Building. He lived two thirds of his life — 60 years — in Niles, serving as Kawneer Co. president, Niles Community School Board president (1966-67, during a tenure spanning 1963-71), Niles City Council (representing second ward, 1982-83) and on the Lake Michigan College board.
Borgess giving $10,000 to SMC nursing expansion
Ascension Health’s Borgess-Lee Memorial Hospital in Dowagiac is giving $10,000 to Southwestern Michigan College’s nursing expansion. “Borgess is very happy to support this project,” Chief Operating Officer John Ryder said July 10 at SMC. “We see it as visionary. We’re happy to know it’s going to provide the latest in facilities and technology for the region. It’s going to serve the community well for years to come.”
Michigan Gateway Community Foundation giving $10,000 to nursing project
Michigan Gateway Community Foundation is contributing $10,000 toward Southwestern Michigan College’s nursing and health education expansion. Founded in Buchanan in July 1978, Gateway serves southern Berrien County and all of Cass County with a mission of “fostering a community of philanthropy, for good, forever.”
Moores make $10,000 gift to nursing project
Certified Public Accountant Becky Moore’s Southwestern Michigan College roots run deeper than serving on the Board of Trustees since 2012. Becky and Jim, her husband of 34 years with Moore Brothers Buildings, gave $10,000 to advance the expansion of SMC’s 12,047-square-foot 1970 nursing and health education building to create a 29,086-square-foot facility.
Lake Michigan Mailers gives $10,000 to nursing project
KALAMAZOO — Lake Michigan Mailers announced June 14 it will donate $10,000 to Southwestern Michigan College to support the expansion of its Nursing and Health Education Building on the college’s Dowagiac campus.
Rowe rewards two SMC students
Two Southwestern Michigan College students won Work Ethic Scholarships from Mike Rowe’s foundation. Elkhart’s Carlyn McClelland, awarded $7,000, and Niles’ Victoria Knight, $2,000, are starting their second year studying construction trades green technology with Larry Wilson, including finishing SMC’s small house interior.
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.
$100,000 endowment funds Wuszke agricultural scholarships
Southwestern Michigan College Board of Trustees May 15 celebrated a $100,000 endowment established by his widow, Nancy, that will fund the George Wuszke Agricultural Memorial Scholarship. This endowment shall provide scholarships for students enrolled in the Michigan State University Institute of Agricultural Technology.