Friday, February 22, 2019
SMC’s ‘Sweeney Todd’ opens Feb. 28
Southwestern Michigan College presents its spring musical, “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” Feb. 28 and March 1-3 in the theatre of the Dale A. Lyons Building on the Dowagiac campus. The production stars Noah Yardley of St. Joseph in the title role, Kayla Rose of Paw Paw as Mrs. Lovett and Joshua Bennett of Berrien Springs as Judge Turpin.
New SMC degree harnesses entrepreneurial spirit
On Feb. 4, Southwestern Michigan College’s Board of Trustees heard two business-oriented presentations — a new Associate in Arts in Entrepreneurship degree for Fall 2019 and paid Crowe accounting internships introduced on the Dowagiac campus. “These are two very exciting sets of opportunities for SMC students,” President Dr. David Mathews said.
Band Director Dr. Jonathan Korzun retiring
Southwestern Michigan College Director of Bands Dr. Jonathan Korzun will be retiring July 1. The New Jersey native started at SMC in August 1991. “It has been a pleasure and an honor to serve as Director of Bands at SMC these 28 years,” Korzun said. “To quote my colleague Bill Rothwell, SMC is a great place to work if you like to teach.”
SMC celebrates $9.6-million nursing building
An eight-year effort to propel Southwestern Michigan College’s flagship program into a new era culminated Jan. 9. SMC celebrated completion of a $9.6-million expansion that more than doubles its Nursing and Health Education Building to 29,086 square feet. “The goal of this project was to create a facility matching the quality of the program we were already delivering,” President Dr. David Mathews said. “Although this is a beautiful building, what happens here happens because of the people delivering education. The next 50 years of nursing and health education at SMC is going to be even more exciting than the last 50.”
SMC greenhouse MAEAP-verified
On Dec. 20, Southwestern Michigan College’s greenhouse completed the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) verification process.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
SMC pins 23-member nursing class
Southwestern Michigan College recognized 23 new nursing graduates during its Dec. 20 pinning ceremony in the theatre of the Dale A. Lyons Building on the Dowagiac campus. These students received associate degrees in nursing (ADN) and joined the ranks of 3,051 SMC nursing graduates since 1968.
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
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 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.
‘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.”