SMC leadership summit looks toward fall
Southwestern Michigan College has always strived to develop students, but November’s arrival of Vice President of Student Services Dr. Joe Odenwald from Louisiana State University carries such efforts to a higher level. An overnight “leadership summit” April 13-14 at Crystal Springs Camp and Retreat Center southwest of Dowagiac involved 25 students, including fall Welcome Week leaders, the nine Resident Assistants (RAs) and the new Council of Clubs. Chaperones included Student Activity Center Manager Bill Roggeman, SAC Assistant Manager Branden Pompey, Academic Advisor Katie Hannah and Educational Talent Search Director Jeran Culina. President Dr. David Mathews spoke to students about the importance of “LIBTYFI” — leaving wherever they go better than they found it, whether their college, their employer or a campground.
Dogs offer relaxing respite from finals
Close to 80 students took a finals break to pet and play with therapy dogs for spring semester’s Stay, Study Play.
Hooks named housing director
Southwestern Michigan College’s new Director of Student Housing Jeff Hooks graduated from MSU—Mississippi State University. Like Michigan State, Mississippi State is a land-grant university.
United Way grant funds SMC counseling services
United Way of Southwest Michigan awarded Southwestern Michigan College a three-year, $25,000 per year grant to continue providing counseling services to students. Teens are more aware of issues with anxiety and depression and are seeking help — not just at SMC, but at colleges nationwide. SMC identified the need through a pilot program utilized 75 times during the 2016-2017 academic year and sought funding for expanding the services going forward. SMC tries to identify any factors that might interrupt a student’s successful path to graduation and intervene where possible. Early intervention is a priority because a mental health issue is one of the top reasons students leave college.
Staff versus students in spring softball
Southwestern Michigan College’s biannual staff-student softball game can be counted on to be a spirited slugfest sprinkled with some sparkling defensive gems.