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’s Josephine Cassar wins MASFAA State Leadership Award

St. Clair County Community College’s Director of Financial Assistance and Services Josephine Cassar has received the State Leadership Award from the Midwest Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (MASFAA). Additionally, the Summer Institute and Leadership Symposium Committee on which Cassar is a member received the Committee of the Year Award.

cassar-jo-img_1093.jpgAccording to the MASFAA website, the State Leadership Award is annually presented to recognize outstanding leadership and performance of a member from each of the nine states within MASFAA. Cassar was recognized for her exceptional contributions to the financial aid profession at the state and regional levels and for her integrity, character and creative leadership.

The Summer Institute and Leadership Symposium Committee received the Committee of the Year Award as a result of the committee’s performance and significant contributions it made to MASFAA.

Cassar, who also was recently honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Michigan Student Financial Aid Association, brings more than 30 years of experience in higher education to MASFAA and SC4. She is known as a leader among financial aid professionals in the state and across the country.

“We are so proud to have Jo on our team,” said Vice President of Student Services Pete Lacey said. “Jo has helped improve college access for thousands of students and families by sharing her knowledge and expertise. Congratulations to her on another outstanding and well-deserved honor.”

SC4 to host annual Financial Aid Night Oct. 3

St. Clair County Community College will host its annual Financial Aid Night at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 3, in the college’s Fine Arts Theatre.

Open to students, families and all area residents, the event connects SC4’s financial aid experts with the community to share valuable information about financial aid processes, opportunities and tips to maximize the money students can receive.

With the 2020-21 Federal Application for Free Student Aid (FAFSA) becoming available Oct. 1, the event provides timely assistance for anyone who wants to learn more about paying for college. While Financial Aid Night is hosted by SC4, students and families interested in any college are welcome to attend.

“If you’re interested in earning a degree or certificate and want to learn more about federal, state and private funding sources and scholarships that might help you achieve your goals, this event is for you,” said Director of Financial Assistance and Services Josephine Cassar.

The college also hosts a number of other financial aid info sessions throughout the year both on- and off-campus. For instance, those unable to attend the Oct. 3 workshop at SC4 can attend the below upcoming SC4 workshops:

  • Oct. 17 at Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School, 6:30 p.m.
  • Oct. 21 at Sandusky High School, College Night, 6 p.m.
  • Oct. 22 at Algonac High School, 6 p.m.
  • Oct. 28 at Yale High School, 6 p.m.

Learn more about making college affordable at

SC4 students to benefit from Janet S. Albrecht-Hillaker Memorial Scholarship

The SC4 Foundation has a rich history of providing scholarships to students from all walks of life and from all communities in our region.

In 2019 alone, the SC4 Foundation provided over $100,000 to deserving students. Each year, students can apply for awards from more than 50 scholarship funds at the SC4 Foundation.

The Janet S. Albrecht-Hillaker Memorial Scholarship is a new fund recently established by Dick Hillaker in honor and memory of his late wife, Janet. This scholarship will support future teachers since teaching young children was Janet’s life mission.

Read more about the scholarship from the Community Foundation of St. Clair County.

Dr. David H. Sturtz honors parents, supports SC4 students with new $50,000 endowed scholarship

“There’s an old saying: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,’” says Dr. David H. Sturtz, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon and St. Clair County Community College alumnus. “My mother was an avid reader and believer in higher education, though neither of my parents attended college. St. Clair County Community College was there for me. It’s where I got my start.”

Dr. Sturtz’s love and admiration for his parents, appreciation of his community college, and passion for improving the health and wellness of his patients inspired him to establish the David and Anne Sturtz Endowed Scholarship in memory of his parents to support SC4 students pursuing health care and STEM programs. The scholarship will help new generations of SC4 students positively impact quality of life in the Blue Water Area and far beyond for years to come.

Screen Shot 2019-05-13 at 9.45.37 AMDr. Sturtz grew up in Lexington, Mich. Upon graduation from high school, he enlisted in the United States Navy as a way to serve his country, see the world and secure a more stable path to a college education. The Vietnam War veteran chose SC4 at the end of his term to save money and get basic credits out of the way. According to Dr. Sturtz, SC4 advisors and faculty members provided immediate and lasting support and assistance.

“Our ship got in about two weeks into the start of the semester,” he says. “SC4 agreed to accept me late. Advisors like Paul Geer and professors such as Chris Russell took a chance on me and gave me invaluable advice. They helped guide me toward becoming a health care professional.”

Dr. Sturtz earned his Associate in Science from SC4 in 1974. He then transferred to Albion College, where he graduated summa cum laude as a pre-med major before enrolling at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry. There, he met his wife, Barbara – the only U.S. Navy scholarship student in a class of more than 150 – and earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery.

Though he had already spent years pursuing his dream career in health care, the organizational skills and perseverance learned in the Navy continued to serve him well in the years that followed. Dr. Sturtz completed his residency in oral and maxillofacial surgery at the Naval Hospital San Diego, followed by a three-year tour at the Naval Hospital Yokosuka Japan as the chief of oral and maxillofacial surgery.

He retired from the Navy in 1999, practiced at a number of offices around Metro Detroit, and purchased Plymouth Oral and Facial Surgery, PLC offices in Plymouth, Ann Arbor, and Chelsea. In addition, he has taught as an adjunct professor on the U-M School of Dentistry faculty for years and went back to school to earn a Master of Science in Business Administration with a health care administration specialty from Madonna University.

With vast professional experiences and credentials earned from a wide variety of prestigious institutions, Dr. Sturtz’s belief in SC4 holds strong.

“My mom always said the best investment you can make is in yourself,” says Dr. Sturtz, who resides in Northville with his wife and two daughters. “The quality of education and the support and services I found at SC4 were on par with anywhere else I went. I feel very fortunate to have started at SC4. It provided me with a solid foundation, great experience and a seamless transition.”

SC4 Foundation supports students with more than $100,000 in new scholarships

The St. Clair County Community College Foundation (SC4F) recently approved $100,500 in new scholarships for the upcoming 2019-20 academic year. Students pursuing programs in all fields of study at the college may benefit from the scholarships, especially those in health sciences.

“We are grateful to the SC4 Foundation and its continued assistance in helping to maximize student success at SC4,” said SC4 President Dr. Deborah A. Snyder. “With an aging population and health-related job projections showing immense growth in the coming years, health care professionals are more in demand than ever. We have a long history of preparing tomorrow’s health care leaders, and support for our students and college helps us tremendously.”

Read more about the SC4F scholarships and find out how they’re making a difference for students like Dana Bauer.  

SC4 grad succeeds with help from Community Foundation’s Complete Your Degree Program

The Complete Your Degree program is celebrating the graduation of its first class of students.

“My time at SC4 in the CYD program has helped me tremendously financially, academically and emotionally to transfer to a university,” said CYD recipient Brittany Simpson. “Being at SC4 and in the program helped me save money because I got to live at home and work while the program covered my tuition.”

Simpson and six of her Marine City High School classmates were accepted into the CYD program when it first launched in the fall of 2017. This is thanks to the generous support of the Alexander & Celestine Lamere Fund.

Read more about Brittany and the CYD program from the Community Foundation of St. Clair County.

SC4’s Jo Cassar receives Michigan Student Financial Aid Association Lifetime Achievement Award

Cassar, Jo IMG_1093St. Clair County Community College’s Director of Financial Assistance and Services Jo Cassar was recently honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Michigan Student Financial Aid Association.

Cassar is only the 14th person among all colleges and universities in Michigan to receive this prestigious recognition since it was first awarded in 1985. With more than 30 years of experience in higher education, she is known as a leader among financial aid professionals in the state and across the country.

“We are so proud to have Jo on our team,” said Vice President of Student Services Pete Lacey. “After joining SC4 in 2001, Jo has helped improve college access for thousands of students and families by sharing her knowledge and expertise. Congratulations to her on this outstanding and well-deserved honor.”

SC4 student Kristyn Franzel named Michigan’s 2019 New Century Transfer Pathway Scholar

St. Clair County Community College student Kristyn Franzel has been named Michigan’s 2019 New Century Transfer Pathway Scholar and will receive a $2,250 scholarship.

New Century Transfer Pathway Scholars are selected based on their academic accomplishments, leadership, activities, and how they extend their intellectual talents beyond the classroom. Over 2,000 students were nominated from more than 1,200 college campuses across the country. Only one New Century Transfer Pathway Scholar is selected from each state.

The program is sponsored by The Coca-Cola Foundation, the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, Phi Theta Kappa and the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC).

“We congratulate Kristyn Franzel for receiving this prestigious scholarship, and we are honored to partner with the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, The Coca-Cola Foundation and the AACC to recognize her outstanding achievements,” said Phi Theta Kappa’s President and CEO Dr. Lynn Tincher-Ladner. “Scholarship programs like this are integral for creating opportunities for two-year college students to succeed and for putting college completion within reach.”

The New Century Transfer Pathway Scholars will be recognized at Phi Theta Kappa’s Presidents Breakfast in Orlando, Florida, on April 15 during the AACC Convention.

“I am beyond blessed for this opportunity and to be bestowed the honor of New Century Transfer Pathway Scholar,” Franzel said. “St. Clair County Community College and Phi Theta Kappa have held such an important place in my life and being affiliated with them will be crucial to my success in the future.”

A Sandusky High School graduate and Clyde, Michigan, resident, Franzel will soon graduate from SC4 with an Associate of Science degree and has plans to transfer to Oakland University to pursue a mathematics degree with a specialization in secondary education.

Phi Theta Kappa is the premier honor society recognizing the academic achievement of community college students to grow as scholars and leaders. The society is made up of more than 3.5 million members and nearly 1,300 chapters in 10 nations. Learn more at

SC4 to host Degrees and Donuts Open House April 27

St. Clair County Community College will host an open house from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 27, in the SC4 Welcome Center, Room 150.

Degrees and Donuts will provide an opportunity for prospective students to take a campus tour and learn about in-demand careers, SC4 programs, transfer opportunities and support services. The event also will feature donuts from Chef Shell’s Restaurant and Catering and coffee from the Exquisite Corpse Coffee House.

“We are excited to offer this unique open house opportunity,” said Admissions Director Tom Kephart. “With our commitment to maximizing student success combined with top programs in high-demand fields, expert faculty, small class sizes and affordability, an SC4 education just makes sense.”

He added, “We look forward to assisting anyone with questions on April 27, and we are grateful to Chef Shell’s and the Exquisite Corpse Coffee House for their support.”

Faculty members from various program areas, as well as representatives from Admissions, Advising, SC4 TRIO, the Achievement Center, Walsh College, Ferris State University and UM-Flint, will be in attendance at the event.

SC4 offers students a wide array of degree and certificate programs taught by faculty members that have spent time in both the classroom and the workforce. Students also have the option of completing the 30-credit Michigan Transfer Agreement, which allows them to easily transfer a block of general education courses to any participating four-year college or university in Michigan.

Degrees and Donuts is free and open to all prospective students and their families. Learn more about SC4 programs and how to apply at