Wednesday, December 19, 2018
Choirs, bands play Holiday Concert twice
Southwestern Michigan College Department of Visual and Performing Arts’ annual gift to the community, the Holiday Concert, took place Saturday, Dec. 15. Twice.
SMC celebrates Diversity Week
Southwestern Michigan College’s second annual Diversity Week celebrated Hanukkah, Diwali, Kwanzaa and Mawlid un-Nabi Dec. 3-6 in the Dowagiac campus’ Student Activity Center. The emphasis of the week was to highlight other cultural observances that occur in November and December.
Tree lit at first Jolly Jamboree
Southwestern Michigan College’s first Jolly Jamboree Nov. 28 featured snacks, elves, music inside and outside the Student Activity Center (SAC) and the lighting of a snow-covered tree in school colors.
Toy designer pursued his dream until he caught it
Mattel toy designer David Vonner is living his superhero dreams after surmounting obstacles, from Gene Simmons of KISS to collateral damage from an attempted robbery which delayed college. Vonner visited Southwestern Michigan College Nov. 15 to speak on “Solving Problems with Creativity and Your Inner Child” as part of the Academic Speaker Series in conjunction with TRiO Student Support Services (SSS) program’s 50th anniversary.
All Faculty Invited to SMC Gallery
Southwestern Michigan College’s annual faculty exhibit is not just art instructors’ work, but pieces from faculty representing nursing, mathematics, environmental and biological sciences, chemistry, communications, English and welding. “This is the first time we decided to reach out beyond the visual art faculty to show work that expresses the creative campus community we have,” Visual and Performing Arts Department Chairman Marc Dombrosky said.
Fricke finishing degree to celebrate turning 50
Janelle Fricke feels elated pondering the third act of her life after Southwestern Michigan College. She’s waited so long. Her first act consisted of 15 years at Dowagiac’s Autocam factory and 12 years at WNDU-TV in South Bend, where she is currently the general manager’s executive administrative assistant and corporate human resources liaison. In the second act, Fricke returned to SMC after 30 years to complete four courses for a general Associate of Arts degree, confronting her lifelong nemesis, mathematics, and pulling a “strong B” to go with A’s in two science courses. One statistics class remains. “I turned 50 this year and one of my girlfriends was going to college for the first time, so I said, ‘If she can do it, I can finish,’” Fricke said.
‘Visionary’ sculpture dedicated to Dr. Fred L. Mathews
“Visionary,” the new Fritz Olsen sculpture in Southwestern Michigan College’s Fred L. Mathews Library, is a personal gift from the Sawyer artist and his wife, opera singer Martha Cares. Dedicated Oct. 25, the wall plate honors the library’s namesake, who chaired the SMC Board of Trustees for half a century before his March 19, 2017, death at 87. The plaque memorializes “a man with vision and foresight who persevered and prevailed with determination and love for his community.”
Renowned magician headlines new fall variety show
“Scenes from the Station,” Southwestern Michigan College’s new fall variety show, pairs Stuart MacDonald, an internationally acclaimed magician, with top student talent for a time-traveling train trip. SMC Express passengers will be entertained twice this weekend with singing, dancing, jazz, Victor Borge’s Phonetic Punctuation, the eye-popping comedy of Craig Wells and even stage combat.
SMC nursing graduate serves by heading into hurricanes
Southwestern Michigan College 1981 nursing alumnus Rick Hess is accustomed to serving as the tip of the federal response spear as commander of a disaster medical assistance team (DMAT). His first mission in August 2004 encompassed Hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne lashing Florida back-to-back. Their mass shelter accommodated 20,000 people for care at the Orlando convention center.
1st Source Bank donates $100,000 to Southwestern Michigan College
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — 1st Source Bank recently donated $100,000 to support the construction of a state-of-the-art nursing education building on the Southwestern Michigan College (SMC) campus in Dowagiac, Mich. The funds will be used to create a collaborative working space in which students and professors can work side by side.
‘Coach Dan’ gets back in the game
Southwestern Michigan College’s new intramurals coordinator, Dan Cunningham, brings 42 years of educational experience, including teaching, coaching and as a high school principal and athletic director. Cunningham, of Magician Lake, retired in 2016 after 12 years as principal of 1,800-student Concord High School in Dunlap, between Elkhart and Goshen.
Surf's up for sunny Campus Bash
Ideal end-of-summer weather proved perfect for a cookout and filled the expanse in front of the Student Activity Center Sept. 12 with outdoor activities, informational booths, voter registration and a few dancers.
Renaissance Faire completes Welcome Week
Falconry, live-steel combat, rapier sword parrying and sharp repartee were all on display at Southwestern Michigan College’s second annual Renaissance Faire capping Welcome Week Sept. 8. Both the Sentinels of the Rose and the Swords of Valour returned to SMC’s Dowagiac campus, as did Ruby Jazayre’s Sisters of the Nile Middle Eastern belly dancers. The Renaissance Faire aims to involve students in SMC’s vibrant campus life.
Art award winners announced
Southwestern Michigan College’s annual juried student art exhibition closed on April 25 with an awards ceremony in the remodeled Art Gallery, room 108 of the Dale A. Lyons Building on the Dowagiac campus. Graphic Design II student Maria Freed won David Mathews’ Presidential Award and a $500 Best of Show scholarship was presented to Leigh Todt for Ceramics 1. The show celebrates students enrolled in drawing, painting, graphic design, two- and three-dimensional design, ceramics and photography. Eliana DiMarzio sang the national anthem to open the event.
Third Honors Showcase fills SMC art gallery
Exemplary Southwestern Michigan College students displayed their work at the third Honors Showcase Dec. 12 in the art gallery of the Dale A. Lyons Building on the Dowagiac campus. Fifteen students in SMC’s Honors Program presented posters and answered questions, simulating a professional conference experience unheard of for most college freshmen and sophomores.
Hinton graduating early, destined for engineering in Utah
After three semesters, Jenny Hinton’s time at Southwestern Michigan College soon draws to a close. She’s graduating in December, and in January the Illinoisan transfers to Utah State University to study electrical engineering. Graduating with an all-A grade-point average means a scholarship saving 90 percent on tuition. Besides math and science ability, which propelled her into SMC’s Honors Program and an officer’s position in Sigma Psi Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the two-year college international honor society, the softball and volleyball standout learned rock-climbing at SMC.
Bosch renews grant for 2019 SMC STEM camp
Bosch Community Fund’s board has awarded a $5,850 grant enabling Southwestern Michigan College to continue offering a STEM summer camp in early August 2019. Last summer’s camp consisted of four workshops — one each for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics — for 230 students from across Michiana entering grades 4-6.
Roadrunner Trails a winter wonderland
Mother Nature took advantage of an unusually early snow day the Monday after Thanksgiving to decorate for the holidays.
Cass County sophomores attend Career Awareness Day
Five hundred Dowagiac, Cassopolis, Edwardsburg and Marcellus sophomores attended Lewis Cass Intermediate School District’s Career Awareness Day at Southwestern Michigan College on Nov. 16. Participants toured the Dowagiac campus and experienced five 30-minute career sessions with SMC faculty
Predicting serial murders not an exact science
Southwestern Michigan College Criminal Justice Program Director Don Ricker applied sociology Nov. 13 to analyze “The Social Construction of Serial Murder.” Despite considerable research, predicting serial killers is not an exact science. “It’s like trying to predict a Category 5 hurricane,” Ricker said. “You can’t predict human behavior. There are too many variables.”
Wallenda extols perseverance to SMC students
Persevere. Don’t give up. The show must go on. Good advice for college students and tightrope walkers alike, Tino Wallenda said Nov. 7 at Southwestern Michigan College. Wallenda is the sixth of eight generations of circus performers, including his three grandchildren. His family came to America from Germany and debuted at Madison Square Garden in 1928. He demonstrated balancing on his big toes, heels to the inside, while focused on a point. “A regular 5/8-of-an-inch wire is the size of my thumb,” he said. “Always keep your focus and never give up your dreams,” Wallenda said.
SMC expanding IUSB business pathways
Indiana University South Bend (IUSB) and Southwestern Michigan College (SMC) are expanding their partnership to add advertising, marketing, health services management, accounting, finance, human resource management and general business pathways to students interested in completing a four-year degree while staying in the area. In September 2017, IUSB and SMC unveiled an agreement to help nursing students chart a smooth route from an associate-level Registered Nurse to a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing.
$17,500 awarded in Ed Guse ag scholarships
Southwestern Michigan College Trustees met Edward A. Guse Agricultural Scholarship recipients at the Dowagiac campus greenhouse prior to their Sept. 17 meeting. Students Hannah Gibson and Andrea Lee visited with Trustees Keith McKenzie, Todd Obren and William White, Guse estate executor Cliff Poehlman and Stacey Rocklin, coordinator of Michigan State University College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Institute of Agricultural Technology.
SMC upgrades theatre lighting
Southwestern Michigan College has completed the first $34,000 phase of a theatre-lighting upgrade introducing more flexible, energy-efficient LEDs to the Dale A. Lyons Building on its Dowagiac campus. Niles’ TPC Technologies Inc., which specializes in theatre lighting and sound design, hung 14 ColorSource spotlights, Manager of Theatre Operations and Applied Performing Arts Marcus Roll said.
SMC 3D design students create art from old computer parts
Southwestern Michigan College’s new Information Technology lab in the Barbara Wood Building will see double duty as an art gallery thanks to a creative recycling project. Kyle Kelly “commissioned” faculty colleague Shannon Eakins’ three-dimensional design students to create art from obsolete computer equipment.
SMC, IUSB tackle Earth Day together
Southwestern Michigan College’s Honors Program and environmental science students teamed up April 20 for “Earth Day Service Day” with Indiana University South Bend peers to beautify the banks of the St. Joseph River. This collaboration is one of many being pursued by the two institutions separated by only 30 miles. Besides developing partnerships by which SMC graduates can transfer seamlessly to IUSB, this shared commitment to the region's environment could be further enhanced this fall with plans for a similar clean-up on the Michigan side of the state line.
SMC student wins national Student Developer Champion award
Southwestern Michigan College student Ethan Pawelski earned a $2,500 scholarship as national Student Developer Champion for software development at the League for Innovation in the Community College’s conference in National Harbor, Md. National Harbor sits along the Potomac River just south of Washington, D.C., so Pawelski and Christine Stiles, the SMC instructor who nominated him, were also able to visit the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum and research complex, with 19 museums.
SMC agriculture scholarship recipients meet Mrs. Wuszke
On Sept. 5, three Southwestern Michigan College agriculture students from Berrien County met Nancy Wuszke, benefactress of their more than $2,500 in scholarships. Jessi Mazigian, Dakota Kiernan and Gregory Kugel are all enrolled in Michigan State University’s Institute of Agricultural Technology at SMC in agricultural operations, fruit and vegetable crop management or landscape management.