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Maintenance SMC ‘Team of the Year’

Southwestern Michigan College’s Maintenance Department, led by Director of Building and Grounds John Eberhart, won Team of the Year at the sixth annual Retirement and Recognition Program in Mathews Conference Center East on the Dowagiac campus. Team members include John Behnke, Eddy Fielder, Rich Hiler, Dave Dussel, Dave Laymon, AJ Most, Dave Phillips, Chris Pullins, Pat Robbins, Andrea Swartz, Ron Tyler, Tony Walker and Jack Wood.

Maintenance was nominated for a specific project in the Dale A. Lyons Building, but as Vice President and Chief Business Officer Susan Coulston said, “This group does similar work day in and day out across our entire campus. When I look at groups recognized in the past — Financial Aid, Nursing, Wellness Committee, Honors Program — it’s inspiring! We have a well-rounded institution with great people throughout. While it may not be the first group you think of affecting student success, the nomination by two faculty members definitely pointed out how their work does, in fact, affect our students’ success.”

Maintenance refreshed the Fine Arts and Performing Arts areas in cost-effective ways, such as repurposing doors from the old nursing building for the Art Gallery.

“Students observed the costume closet converted into a functional practice space,” the nomination states, “modeling flexibility and problem-solving for our students in real time. In the case of the Art Gallery, students are able to now see their work presented in a state-of-the-art venue. Respect for the space immediately translated to respect for our community of learners. Maintenance staff is part A-Team, part Avengers. Their support makes a huge difference in our ability to work with our students to activate new learning styles.”

The College cabinet cooked and served the Team of the Year breakfast on May 16.