Saturday, October 20, 2018
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.
Honor society thanks trustees for freezer
Southwestern Michigan College trustees recently provided a Frigidaire chest freezer to the campus food pantry, the Roadrunner Kitchen. Trustee Todd Obren visited the pantry at Fred L. Mathews Library on behalf of the board to thank Colleen Welsch and Natalie Anagnos, advisors of Sigma Psi Chapter, Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), the international honor society. PTK launched the Roadrunner Kitchen earlier this year on the second floor of the Dale A. Lyons Building; the pantry has since moved to the library.
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.
Community responds to Welcome Week
The Southwestern Michigan College Board of Trustees Sept. 17 heard a Welcome Week recap from Vice President of Student Services Dr. Joseph Odenwald, including gratitude from ACTION Ministries for assistance that SMC students provided on Friday’s Community Service Day. ACTION — Area Churches Together in One Network — operates a food pantry at 301 Main St. in Dowagiac. After being oriented to their new community Thursday evening, Aug. 30, with a Downtown at Dusk scavenger hunt, concert and barbecue picnic, many SMC students returned Aug. 31 to volunteer.
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.
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.
SMC Board reviews summer, previews fall engagement strategies
Southwestern Michigan College’s administration reviewed summer activities and previewed fall strategies at Monday night’s Board of Trustees meeting in the David C. Briegel Building on the Dowagiac campus. Summer started on a high note when SMC won “Best Local College” in Leader Publications’ 2018 Best of the Best Readers’ Choice Results, President Dr. David Mathews said.
SMC hosts 230 for STEM Camp
Southwestern Michigan College’s Aug. 7-9 STEM camps consisted of four workshops — one per letter for science, technology, engineering and mathematics — for 230 students entering grades 4-6 this fall. Campers converged on the Dowagiac campus from across Michiana.
SMC hosts first ETS Entrepreneur Academy
Jossalyn Rogalski wondered how Lyons Industries decided to produce bath products. Dowagiac Mayor Donald Lyons, addressing Educational Talent Search’s inaugural Entrepreneur Academy July 23 at Southwestern Michigan College, recalled introducing plumbing vents to the mobile home industry. Injection-molded plastic pieces three inches tall by two inches in diameter sold for 49 cents. “We sold 17,000 in 1970 and 19,000 in 1971,” Lyons said. “By 1975, we had sold over a million.” But Lyons knew he needed to identify something he could sell for $49 to sustain growth. “As we developed more products, we found any time we dealt with something plumbing-related made from plastic, that venture was successful. I didn’t start with a product, just the knowledge I couldn’t work for somebody else.” Now, the four-acre Lyons factory on M-62 West run by his son Lance employs 125 people.
SMC interns restructure IT Service Catalog
For their 144-hour Southwestern Michigan College Application Development internships, Kathryn Woodward of Baroda and Jacob Gordon of Berrien Springs bring student perspectives to navigating the SMC web site’s information technology services. Working on laptops alongside web developer Diana Litaker in the Computing Services Department of the Barbara Wood Building on the Dowagiac campus, they reorganized Wired’s IT Service Catalog tab this summer.
SMC businesswomen's endowment named for early faculty member
Joyce Hopkins spent only a couple of years in Dowagiac teaching secretarial science on the business faculty of then-new Southwestern Michigan College, but the time here forged her daughter’s first indelible memories. Pam Catlin, who, like SMC, was born in 1964, recalls gazing up N. Front Street from their house to A&W, now Taqueria Del Rey Mexican restaurant, where they walked for ice cream. They attended First United Methodist Church, now Beckwith Theatre.
Chemical Bank awards PTK's Roadrunner Kitchen $5,000
Not only did Chemical Bank in Niles step up with a $5,000 donation for Southwestern Michigan College’s Roadrunner Kitchen food pantry, but the bank intends to make it an annual contribution, Michiana Community President Todd Obren said. “I felt moved when I presented the freezer recently on behalf of the Board of Trustees,” Obren said. “I saw the need and what a great thing it was for students.”
SMC Art Gallery exhibits Berrien artist collective
Fun Squad’s “The Kids’ Table” multi-media art exhibition fills Southwestern Michigan College’s gallery through Nov. 1. The Benton Harbor artist collective builds interactivity into every show, from indoor swings to free haircuts. For The Kids’ Table, visitors are encouraged to “unleash their inner child” by coloring, exploring and creating — or playing ping-pong on — a collaborative table.
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.
Steve Vojtko remembered through agriculture scholarships
Southwestern Michigan College alumnus Steve Vojtko’s July 1 death at 61 left a void in two states. His active life enhanced communities 35 miles apart — New Carlisle, Ind., where he was Town Council vice president, and Eau Claire, where he managed the Fruit Exchange for 16 years. Mr. Vojtko, who had also farmed in the Cassopolis area, completed SMC associate degrees in agriculture management and in business management in the early 1990s. His memorials will help fund additional SMC agricultural scholarships.
New HR director traveled “long, winding path” to SMC
Fire and ice loom large in the life of Heather Hess, Southwestern Michigan College’s new human resources director. Hess, of Sister Lakes, joined SMC on June 4 after five years in HR at Northwestern Michigan College (NMC) in Traverse City. Her husband, Jeremy, is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). They are the parents of two young sons.
SMC pins 28-member nursing class
Southwestern Michigan College’s 28-member spring 2018 class received associate degrees in nursing (ADN) pins May 5 in the theatre of the Dale A. Lyons Building on the Dowagiac campus.
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.
Abigail Craft receives math/science award
Niles STEM major Abigail Craft April 27 received Southwestern Michigan College’s 2018 Math/Science Department Appreciation Award at a reception in the David C. Briegel Building on the Dowagiac campus.
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.
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.
Cass County pays tribute to Barbara Wood Cook
Southwestern Michigan College founding trustee Barbara Wood Cook brings so much to the table, Cass County created a new Legacy Achievement Award. It took eight speakers and two state legislators May 3 to extol the educator’s accomplishments at a reception in the Kincheloe room of the 1899 Cassopolis courthouse. Chairman Terry Ausra presented the award on behalf of Commissioners Clark Cobb, Roseann Marchetti, Michael Grice, Dwight Dyes, Dixie Ann File and Robert Ziliak.