Monday, June 26, 2017
Hartford's Amanda Goss speaking at Steve's Run
Amanda Goss was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer on Oct. 15, 2014. The mother of two was 24. Goss, of Hartford, shares her story at Southwestern Michigan College’s Dowagiac campus July 29 at the awards ceremony following the 43rd Steve’s Run. In fact, her ongoing treatment will send her to Minnesota’s Mayo Clinic, which Steve’s Run benefits along with the Steven Briegel Scholarship Fund.
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.”
Dr. Jeff Dennis publishes book
Add author to Dr. Jeff Dennis’s accomplishments. The University of South Carolina Press in Columbia just published Patriots and Indians, the first book by the professor of history at Southwestern Michigan College in his hometown, Dowagiac.
SMC ETS students learn about agriculture technology
After hearing about Three Rivers’ Walther Farms’ drones and tractors plying fields 50 acres larger than Southwestern Michigan College’s entire campus, Brandywine, Cassopolis, Dowagiac, Edwardsburg and Marcellus students may never look at a bag of potato chips the same. SMC hosted 105 middle schoolers May 27 for “Growing Success,” designed to build awareness in the federally-funded Educational Talent Search program about agricultural opportunities.
Rotary hears about nursing project
Southwestern Michigan College’s first 50 years produced 2,974 nurses. From the very first graduation of 20 women from Dowagiac, Cassopolis, Edwardsburg, Marcellus, Decatur, Lawton, Berrien Center, Buchanan, South Haven and Paw Paw on Feb. 5, 1967, at Dowagiac’s Federated Church, nursing has been a flagship program. An abstract statistic morphed into real people during President Dr. David Mathews’ father’s hospitalization before Dr. Fred L. Mathews died March 19.
$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.
Two instructors feted at retirement party
Southwestern Michigan College recognized two veteran instructors, Patricia Mulder and Patricia Frontczak, May 19 with cake at the annual retirement party in the Student Activity Center on the Dowagiac campus.
Pscholka addresses graduates at 50th commencement
Michigan Budget Director Al Pscholka shared a couple of stories May 6 at Southwestern Michigan College’s 50th commencement. And. Then. Some.
Fourth annual Employees of Year announced
Southwestern Michigan College’s fourth Employee of the Year class consists of Gail Shirey, fulltime faculty; Donna Courtney, part-time faculty; Dave Dilno, staff; and Brad Bundy, student worker. The third annual team award went May 1 to the Nursing Department for achieving ACEN accreditation.
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.
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.
HR director gives back as volunteer teacher
Kate Thomas joined Southwestern Michigan College more than four years ago in February 2013, but doesn’t usually teach. She makes an exception each May in a classroom at Dowagiac’s Justus Gage Elementary School. Thomas, SMC human resources director, just completed her third spring as a volunteer teaching Junior Achievement’s “JA Our Nation” to Diane Hartsig’s class.
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.
Fifth Third Bank donates $7,000 to Steve's Run
Fifth Third Bank, premier sponsor of the 43rd Steve’s Run July 29 at Southwestern Michigan College, May 15 presented Race Director Kate Thomas, SMC human resources director, and Board of Trustees Treasurer Becky Moore with a $7,000 donation.
Nursing graduates hear retiring Patti Frontczak
Retiring Nursing Professor Patti Frontczak left five “tidbits of wisdom” from 22 years on the Southwestern Michigan College nursing faculty. “I had no idea what was in store for me, though was excited about the future. I had made it! I was thrilled to be making a whopping $5.40 an hour,” she said on the 38th anniversary of her own SMC graduation at the May 6 School of Nursing and Health Services reception in the theatre of the Dale A. Lyons Building on the Dowagiac campus.
SMC confers 677 degrees, certificates on class of 440
Southwestern Michigan College hosted its 50th commencement May 6 in the gymnasium of the Charles O. Zollar Building on the Dowagiac campus. SMC conferred 677 associate degrees and certificates on the 440-member Class of 2017, including the first sports management degrees and Michigan State University agricultural technology certificates. Eight— Jessica Akey of Niles, Blake Bundy of Dowagiac, Dakotah Haas of Decatur, Courtney Hartline of Marcellus, Victoria Hughes of Nappanee, Annette-Suzanne Markert-Green of Eau Claire, William Mathews of Dowagiac and Claire Wagner of Benton Harbor — graduated with perfect 4.0 grade-point averages. Ferris State University awarded 30 bachelor’s degrees during the ceremony. Michigan Budget Director Al Pscholka delivered the commencement address.
Five earn sports management degrees
Southwestern Michigan College graduated its first Sports Management AAS degree recipients May 6. From left: Brandon Palmer, Aaron Smith, Kayla Handy, Courtney Anderson and Jacob Juhasz.
PTK inductees hear Dr. Naomi Ludman
Good relationships keep us healthy and happy. And resist temptations to build walls, Dr. Naomi Ludman said. Ludman spoke April 28 at Mathews Conference West on Southwestern Michigan College’s Dowagiac campus at the induction of 15 students into Sigma Psi Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for community colleges.
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 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.
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.
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.