Monday, September 25, 2017
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.
Fall classes start Sept. 5
A festive, travel-themed Freshman Orientation set the stage for Southwestern Michigan College’s Class of 2019 to embark on a two-year journey when fall classes start Tuesday, Sept. 5. Metaphorical references abounded to educational expeditions, with passports stamped at each stop for entry into a prize drawing, including $500 scholarships awarded to Alex Wheeler and Rebecca Fuller.
Southwestern Michigan College sues State of Michigan
Southwestern Michigan College (SMC) on Thursday filed a lawsuit against the State of Michigan to prevent what President Dr. David Mathews described as “the most egregious over-reach of state government” that he has ever seen. SMC was informed recently by members of the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) that the college MUST enroll part-time students who are working on campus into the state teacher’s retirement system.
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.”
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.
SMC's STEM camp is elementary
Southwestern Michigan College’s Aug. 8-10 STEM camp consisted of four workshops — one per letter — for more than 200 students entering grades 4-6 this fall. Campers converged from Bangor, Battle Creek, Berrien Springs, Bristol, Cassopolis, Coloma, Covert, Decatur, Dowagiac, Edwardsburg, Elkhart, Hartford, Jones, Kalamazoo, Lawton, Marcellus, Mattawan, Milford, New Paris, Niles, North Liberty, Parchment, Portage, South Bend, Stevensville, Three Rivers, Vandalia, Vicksburg and Watervliet. “It’s a great age to tap into because of their excitement,” SMC Physics Professor Andrew Dohm said.
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.
‘Children of Eden’ concludes run
Her three-year turn as “Phantom of the Opera’s” Christine Daae done, Bay City native Katie Travis heads home to New York after three days coaching “Children of Eden” for Southwestern Michigan College’s Summer Institute Musical Theatre Camp. The Book of Genesis musical will be presented Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. in the theatre of the Dale A. Lyons Building on SMC’s Dowagiac campus. Visit swmich.edu/boxoffice for ticket information.
SMC takes nursing message to Magician Lake
Ashlie Herman, a May Southwestern Michigan College nursing graduate from Cassopolis, works in Memorial Hospital’s emergency room in South Bend, Ind. “Over half of our staff is from Southwestern. Our director wants our graduates because we’re ready to go on the floor,” Herman said. “Southwestern is known for its nursing program and produces some of the best.”
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.
Foundation united in support of nursing expansion
Southwestern Michigan College Foundation’s board demonstrated its strong commitment to the Nursing and Health Education Building expansion by participating 100-percent in its first fundraising campaign. “This project is going to help double the number of nursing students,” President Ginny Crawford said. “We are unanimous in wanting to demonstrate our commitment to this project and to the college.”
Baker reception overflows SMC art gallery
For a guy Southwestern Michigan College paid to teach people, David Baker paradoxically needs abundant solitude. “My (minimum daily requirement) seems to be about three hours a day walking in the woods, paddling a canoe, riding a bike or, in the case of my sketch books, sitting in the coffee shop, mulling.
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.
14 new employees introduced
Southwestern Michigan College Director of Human Resources Kate Thomas introduced 14 new employees during the Aug. 28 orientation program in the auditorium of the Dale A. Lyons Building on the Dowagiac campus:
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.
Sammy Mathews dancing in NFL
When Southwestern Michigan College alumna Samantha Mathews sees her first National Football League game Sept. 17 it will be from an enviable vantage point — field level of 75,525-seat Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. In May she won one of 32 coveted spots as a TopCat, the Carolina Panthers dance troupe. Mathews, who turned 24 this month, started dancing at age 3. She is likely to be the only NFL cheerleader in Steve’s Run July 29.
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.
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.
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.