Social justice educator Jen Fry to speak to SC4 campus community Oct. 9

St. Clair County Community College invites the community to attend a presentation by social justice educator Jen Fry at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 9. The presentation is offered through SC4’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and will take place via Zoom.

Social justice education assists everyone in critically thinking of how to become culturally competent, how to self-reflect on one’s position, power and privilege, and how to create an inclusive culture that allows diversity to be a part of the culture, not BE the culture.

Jen Fry is a native of Arizona, a Division II athlete, and veteran volleyball coach with over 15 years of experience at the collegiate level with coaching stints at Elon University, the University of Illinois (2011 National Runner-Up), Washington State University, and Norfolk State University. She turned social justice educator when she realized there was a need for educating not only our student-athletes of all ages, but the administration, staff, and coaches who train them through an antiracist lens on issues of race, inclusion, intersectionality, diversity, and equity. She is also working on her Ph.D. in Geography at Michigan State University.

She spoke at TEDxDuke in February 2019 on the topic of “Radical Social Justice Education Through High Fives.” A video of her presentation can be viewed on YouTube at https://youtu.be/IvVIRx1ejz0.

To reserve your spot and receive Zoom login information, email SC4’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at dei@sc4.edu. The deadline to reserve your spot is Thursday, Oct. 8.

Registration open for SC4 late-start fall classes

Registration is open for late-start fall semester classes at St. Clair County Community College. Seats are still available in 12-week classes starting the week of Sept. 21 and eight-week classes starting the week of Oct. 19. Classes are available in Port Huron and online.  

Late-start classes allow students to earn credits at a faster pace. Class topics include biology, business, English, history, math, political science, psychology, sociology and more.

Examples of some specific courses offered this fall include:  

  • BIO 271 – Human Anatomy and Physiology
  • BUS 110 – Human Relations
  • BUS 150 – Principles of Business
  • BUS 153 – Business Law
  • BUS 155 – Principles of Management
  • BUS 258 – Human Resources Management
  • CIS 115 – Microcomputer Applications
  • ENG 102 – English Composition II
  • GEO 101 – Earth Science
  • HIS 150 – History of U.S. 1877 to Present
  • MTH 120 – Introduction to Statistics
  • MUS 106 – Music Appreciation
  • PE 128 – Weight Training
  • PSY 180 – Introduction to Psychology
  • PSY 220 – Life Span Developmental Psychology
  • PS 101 ­– Introduction to Political Science
  • SOC 101 – Introduction to Sociology
  • THA 105 – Oral Interpretation  

Current students can search for all courses and sections at sc4.edu/schedule. They can register and pay for classes online in the SC4 Portal at portal.sc4.edu. New students can start at sc4.edu/starthere.  

Registration service also is available from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday at SC4’s One-stop Student Services Center located in the Dr. James C. Acheson Welcome Center on the corner of Erie Street and Glenwood Avenue on the Port Huron campus. Services are being provided in the public areas of the first floor only. Face coverings or masks are required to receive service. Online, remote, and phone services continue to be available.  

Bank senior vice president Gary Schlinkert’s success began at SC4

Gary Schlinkert is a big advocate of community colleges. The Marysville High School graduate attended St. Clair County Community College from 1973 to 1975.

“Both my folks and I felt that two years at SC4 would be best – and a lot cheaper,” said Schlinkert, who is senior vice president of West Shore Bank in Ludington, Michigan. “I learned a lot and enjoyed my time there. I was involved in Student Government as a representative of Phi Theta Kappa, played sports and got to know other students, many of whom I am still in contact with to this day.”

According to Schlinkert, he also was inspired by SC4 faculty members to pursue new interests in economics and the stock market.

“I had several excellent professors while I was at SC4, particularly in the areas of economics, physics and mathematics,” he said. “Professor Tansky and Professor Falls were excellent instructors. I learned a lot from them. The fact that I remember their names after so many years is a testament to the impact they made on me as a young student.”

Schlinkert transferred from SC4 to Lawrence Technological University in 1975 to pursue a degree in architecture. However, he soon changed his path back to his interest of economics and finance, enrolling at the New York Institute of Finance. There he earned several certifications that prepared him for the licensing required to be a registered representative, insurance, options and commodity broker. 

Most of Schlinkert’s career has been spent as an executive in the financial sector. He was a licensed stockbroker for more than 30 years and was originally involved in bringing stock brokerage services to community banking customers at what is now a large regional bank. In his current position at West Shore Bank, he oversees wealth management, deposit operations, human resources, compliance and internal audit.

Schlinkert, who lives in Manistee, is in the process of transferring credits to SC4 to earn his Associate in Arts and Associate in Science degrees for summer 2020 graduation through the reverse transfer option. He maintained ties to SC4 through his son, Craig, who served for 20 years in the U.S. Navy, graduated from SC4 with his associate degree, and went on to Rutgers University and its National Transit Institute for Procurement. Schlinkert also has two daughters who received their bachelor’s degree, one from Oakland University (Jaime Greene) and the other from Alma College (Carly Schlinkert). Jaime also has her MA in Human Services. His grandson (Andrew Chambers) is currently enrolled at Macomb Community College.

Schlinkert plans on retiring in a few years after a long and successful career. He said he is proud of his family and of all others who choose to pursue higher education, especially at a community college. 

“The cost of a college education at a private or state university has become prohibitive,” he said. “The opportunity for a student to take their core classes at a fraction of the cost at a community college should resonate as this next generation of college-aged student prepares for their next step.”

“Not every job requires a four-year degree in order to be successful either,” he continued. “In addition to preparing for a four-year degree, community colleges also offer technology and certification programs to train future employees for good paying jobs.”

Schlinkert also serves on his bank’s scholarship committee, which gives multiple scholarships every year to qualified and need-based area students going to West Shore Community College. He recently helped establish an internship program at the bank to identify current and future West Shore students who have the potential to succeed in the world of finance.

SC4 hosts a Virtual Job Fair

PORT HURON – St. Clair County Community College will host a Virtual Job Fair on Aug. 18 and Aug. 20, 2020. The event will allow employers to connect with job seekers who are actively seeking work in the Blue Water Area. The college has several partners helping to make this event a success, including the Economic Development Alliance of St. Clair County; the City of Port Huron and McMorran Place; Macomb/St. Clair Michigan Works; and the Blue Water Area Chamber of Commerce.

The deadline for employers to set up open positions and 15-minute long appointment slots is Friday, Aug. 7. Job seekers will then review the list of job openings, select appointment times, and enter their contact information during the week of Aug. 10 to 14.

Job Seeker on the telephone

Employers can sign up for as many appointment slots as they desire. SC4 is handling registration and communications with employers and job seekers.

For more information and to register as a company or job seeker, visit sc4.edu/virtual-job-fair.

SC4 to open an on-campus health clinic with St. Clair County Health Department

The St. Clair County Health Department and St. Clair County Community College announce the creation of a health clinic on the college’s campus.

The St. Clair County Board of Commissioners authorized the Health Department to work with the college to create the clinic, which will have a full-time nurse on staff. The college will reimburse the Health Department up to $90,000 for staffing and also will provide the office space and utilities.

The clinic will serve as a bridge between pediatric and adult health care in the area, with direct links to the Health Department’s Teen Health and Personal Health clinics.

“This type of community collaboration is a win-win for everyone,” said Dr. Annette Mercatante, Medical Health Officer of the St. Clair County Health Department. “Health is a team effort and we are delighted to have this opportunity to work with our local college and this population.”

In addition to providing important preventative services to the area’s college-age population, it will improve accessibility to health services to those who typically are working or in class during regular clinics’ office hours.

“We’re pleased to establish a health clinic on our campus,” said SC4 President Dr. Deborah A. Snyder. “Health and safety are top priorities for our college. Having the clinic located at SC4 will further enhance the student experience and provide a vital new service to our campus community this fall.”

The Health Department and the college are finalizing the clinic’s location on campus. The clinic is expected to open during the fall semester.

SC4 Foundation awards $186,233 in scholarships

The SC4 Foundation has a long history of helping area students from all walks of life succeed. This spring the Foundation continues that tradition by awarding $186,233 in scholarships for the upcoming academic year. Recipients are pursuing a variety of majors, from health sciences to business to communications.

“Education changes lives, and providing access is even more crucial in these uncertain economic times,” said SC4 President Dr. Deborah Snyder. “Our donors contribute to the future of individual students and to our community through their generosity.”

Two of this year’s recipients were awarded scholarships from newly established funds – the Marysville Police Explorers Scholarship Fund and the Janet S. Albrecht-Hillaker Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Established by Dick Hillaker in memory of his late wife, Janet, the Albrecht-Hillaker Memorial provides scholarships to full-time SC4 students who are graduates of Port Huron High School or Port Huron Northern High School. Janet taught kindergarten for more than 30 years, so this scholarship has a preference for supporting education majors.

The first student to receive the Albrecht-Hillaker Memorial is Port Huron High School graduate Jenna Holzberger. She plans on attending SC4 for two years before transferring to a 4-year university to pursue her bachelor’s in elementary education.

“My desire is to return to St. Clair County and start my career as a kindergarten teacher and coach,” Holzberger said. “I had the incredible opportunity of having a kindergarten teacher at Michigamme Elementary who inspired me to become a teacher.”

The Marysville Police Explorers Scholarship Fund was created by Officer Dan LeVey of the Marysville Police Department for criminal justice majors at SC4 who are current or former participants of an Explorers or Cadet Program in St. Clair County.

Natalie Stroh is a recent graduate of the Marysville Explorers program who has had a life-long passion for law enforcement. She will continue her criminal justice studies this fall at SC4 and is the first student to receive the Marysville Police Explorers Scholarship.

Natalie Stroh
Natalie Stroh

“One of the noteworthy improvements to the scholarship process for the SC4 Foundation is application cycles that are open year-round. Any remaining scholarship dollars at the end of a cycle are made available to eligible applicants,” said William Oldford, President of SC4 Foundation. Check the SC4 website for more information.

Scholarships are a big part of what the SC4 Foundation does, but it’s not the only way it helps students pursue their educational goals. The Foundation also supports other projects and programs that provide students with better learning experiences.

Unrestricted giving to the SC4 Foundation allows greater flexibility to how dollars are used to better meet current college priorities. In recent years, the Foundation has helped expand the SC4 Experience Center programming, provided funding for local students to visit the Experience Center, as well as grants towards the Tarbosauras skeleton cast added to the Nasr Natural Science Museum.

“The greatest gift a donor can leave is an unrestricted gift the SC4 Foundation can use for greater impact on campus,” Oldford said. “SC4 Foundation is proud to offer donors the opportunity to support the college’s priority areas, including their long-term vision for student success and enhancements on campus.”

The St. Clair County Community College Foundation started in 1963 to raise friends and funds to benefit SC4 and the students it serves.

SC4 Creates Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

PORT HURON – A new Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion has been created at St. Clair County Community College to advance the college’s efforts in providing educational access and support for all. As part of the enhanced focus, a national speaker series will be launched on campus to support diversity, equity, and inclusion awareness and action this fall.

The series will kick-off October 9 with Jen Fry, a nationally recognized social justice educator speaking on campus. Another initiative is a campus book discussion. The college has ordered several books suggested by Ms. Fry on topics of equity, white privilege, and racism which will be available for faculty and staff to read this summer and fall. Informal book discussion sessions will be coordinated on campus this fall through the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to foster understanding.

SC4 also will officially recognize Juneteenth, the commemoration of the emancipation of slaves after the Civil War, as a college holiday on June 19 each year.

“The trustees are very supportive of these efforts to ensure that the college is a place where all are welcomed to learn and grow,” said SC4 Board of Trustees chair Dr. Nicholas DeGrazia. “The new Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will be instrumental as we continue toward our goals of growth, sustainability, and creating a stronger community that reflects the world we live in.”

Jessica Brown will lead the office as Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and will work to develop a comprehensive and cross-functional emphasis on these critical issues at SC4. Brown has more than a decade of higher education experience, having worked previously at Davenport University, Rochester College, and Macomb Community College before joining the SC4 team in 2014. She has served as the director of the college’s TRIO Student Support Services program since September 2015. The program works with first-generation and other high-risk college students to support them throughout their college career and has been very successful in increasing student retention and graduation. She also is a member of SC4’s Global Diversity Advisory Council. Brown has Bachelor of Business Administration and Master of Strategic Management degrees from Davenport University.

$1 Million fund created to help SC4 Students

PORT HURON – SC4 is providing $1,000,000 in emergency aid funding to support SC4 students impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The money is available to currently enrolled SC4 students who are experiencing additional financial need caused by the public health emergency. Awards are available to help students who are working toward the completion of a certificate or degree.

This one million dollars in funding to support SC4 students includes $954,739 received as part of the Federal Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act recently approved by Congress, as well as additional college emergency scholarship funds dedicated to supporting students. Awards are in addition to any other financial aid support the student may have received.

Students experiencing challenges are asked to complete a brief form online at sc4.edu/CARES. Additional details about the program are also available on that webpage.

Emergency aid is intended to help students with expenses that may affect their ability to attend SC4, including things such as housing, transportation, basic living needs and other college-related costs. Students experiencing hardships due to unemployment or reduced financial support from their families are encouraged to apply.

Comments about SC4 during the COVID-19 situation

SC4 is an amazing place to learn and work. Even in the face of an event unlike anything we’ve ever experienced, there’s been so much positivity and support from students, faculty and staff. Here’s just a sample of positive comments that might bring a smile to your face today:

  • “Thank you for being so dedicated to your students. During this time of uncharted waters for all of us, I wanted you to know that you are appreciated for all the work you are doing behind the scenes to create progressive and positive changes for the success of each of us on our academic journey.” – SC4 Student
  • “Thanks for sending that email to all students. Great info!!” – SC4 Faculty
  • “I just did my first student appointment using Microsoft Teams and it worked great! The student was super nice and understanding of the technical difficulties at first; once we got that figured out, it worked great.” – SC4 Staff
  • “I wanted to take a second to tell you how much I appreciate the updates, the constant flow of information, the smooth and cooperative work we are accomplishing. This is why I love SC4 so much. We are a family. When times are tough, we come together and work it out. We have done some truly amazing things in a week.” – SC4 Faculty
  • “I really want to learn, it this been my favorite class so far in my degree. Thank you to the IT Team for making it possible to keep going!” – SC4 Student
  • “Thanks for sending this out… so important! I requested each of my students contact me and let me know how they were preparing and tell me how they were doing. Surprisingly 86 out of 90 responded within 12 hours and I reached out to the other four and they all answered quickly. By and large they are thanking us for the work we are doing to help them finish the semester. Thanks for all your encouraging e-mails – I feel SC4 has our back!” – SC4 Faculty
  • “The student expressed her appreciation for all of us still working hard to help our students be ready for the next semester. I thought that was nice to hear; through this “rough” transition of working from home students are understanding that it isn’t easy and are appreciative of our help!” – SC4 Staff
  • “Change is necessary right now. The additional workload that you have encountered through this shows your dedication to the success of our college and its student body. I for one trust your guidance and feel less worried knowing you have my back. Thank you! See you all on the flip side of this craziness.” – SC4 Student
  • “Many thanks to our academic leads and secretaries, IT and Help desks, for all you’re doing to make this situation as ‘easy’ as it can be given the circumstances!” – SC4 Faculty
  • “Got it! Had to configure my drivers. Thanks for the heads up. Good class today!” – SC4 Student
  • “Nothing is too big for SC4! We’ve got this!” – SC4 Faculty

It’s inspiring to see how the entire SC4 community is working together and making progress. We’ll continue to provide updates at sc4.edu/coronavirus and will share additional positive news in the coming days. Thanks again for your efforts.

SC4 to present K-12 student art exhibition

St. Clair County Community College will present the 52nd annual Beatrice Thornton Student Art Exhibition in February and March in the college’s Fine Arts Building.

The exhibition, which is free and open to the public, will feature art by students from across St. Clair County at schools in East China, Marysville, Memphis, Port Huron, Yale/Avoca and more.

The exhibition will be split into two shows.

  • Elementary school art will be in the first show Feb. 3 through 15, with an opening reception from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6.
  • Middle school and high school art will be in the second show Feb. 24 through March 7, with an opening reception from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27.

Hours for both shows are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

St. Clair County students who are home-schooled and want to display art can call Debbie Sta Cruz at 810-989-5760 or dstacruz@sc4.edu to have their work considered for the exhibition.

Pictured above: 2019 51st annual Beatrice Thornton Student Art Exhibition