TRIO Student of the Month — Ann Mole

Ann Mole had some information from an insider when she decided to return to school to pursue a degree in graphic design: Her husband.

“He would talk about how much his instructors cared and helped him to achieve his goals,” she said, “so I chose to attend SC4, too.”

The TRIO Student Support Services program has proved to be an important part of Mole’s educational journey at SC4, and it’s provided extra support and encouragement for her when needed.

“The one-on-one advisor appointments gave me the encouragement to get through the semester,” Mole explained. “I’m grateful to Shawne Jowett, Amy Hengehold, and Jessica Brown, who I could always talk to when I needed somebody.”

“My graphic design instructor, Craig DesJardins, also helped to build up my confidence,” she continued. “Andrea Coleman helped me with my grammar and suggested the Grammarly program, which was very helpful. Adobe Creative Cloud software was new to me when I started, but with help from the instructors and other students, I was able to overcome that barrier.”

Mole would recommend the TRIO program to other students because of the feeling of support she’s received that has helped her reach her goals at SC4.

“Along with my husband, the TRIO program helped build up my confidence,” she said.

She’s planning to return to the classroom next year to continue toward her bachelor’s degree in graphic design. For her successful decision to return to school, Ann Mole is the March 2021 TRIO Student of the Month. Congratulations!

David Webb receives SC4 Distinguished Faculty Award

David Webb has been selected as the recipient of the SC4 Distinguished Faculty Award for 2021. Webb has been a professor of biology for 24 years at the college, teaching introductory biology and zoology.

His colleagues describe him as an endlessly curious person who lives what he teaches. He is passionate about birds and, when not in the classroom, is likely out observing them and other parts of nature. His knowledge of insects, parasites, birds, ecology, comparative anatomy, and general biology is “truly amazing,” according to one of his nominators.

Webb has traveled all over the United States in search of unseen species of birds and their habitats. He’s also an avid reader, not just about biological topics, but also other areas of science, American history, psychology, and politics. He’s well known for being the first person in the Clara E. Mackenzie Building every day, often working with students who need extra time to learn their course material, and he’s also a regular tutor in the Achievement Center.

“I go to him with my questions,” said fellow biology professor Bob Moldenhauer, “and I cannot remember an instance where he didn’t know the answer.”

Also nominated this year were Sarah Flatter, Arts and Graphic Design; Jim Jones, Criminal Justice; and Julie Perry, Nursing.

The Professional Development Committee annually coordinates nominations of faculty by their faculty peers for the Distinguished Faculty Award. As a member of NISOD our DFA nominees and winner are also submitted for the NISOD Excellence Award.

The winner is awarded a Golden Apple by the chair and also receives a $1,000 stipend to use towards professional development. NISOD provides medals to all of the nominees and a plaque for the winner, all of which are given to the parties at the all-faculty-in-service the following Fall semester.

Registration open for summer 2021 classes at SC4

Registration for summer classes at St. Clair County Community College is now open, providing a great opportunity for students of all backgrounds to earn valuable credits at a fraction of the cost of a four-year institution.

SC4 students continuing their education, guest students from other institutions, qualified Future for Frontliners students and MiReconnect prospects and community members looking to take courses for personal enrichment are encouraged to browse the full list of available summer courses online at sc4.edu/schedule.

Many courses that qualify for the Michigan Transfer Agreement are available, covering a range of subjects.

Classes are available in accounting, business, computer information systems, English, history, math, music, psychology, sociology, welding and more.

Additionally, students looking to complete health science prerequisites such as human anatomy and physiology, and medical terminology can benefit from summer courses.

Many summer classes are offered online. Courses also are offered in varied lengths for students to create flexible schedules.

Summer semester begins Monday, May 17. Students not currently enrolled can start the application process at sc4.edu/admissions/starthere. Current students can register online through their student portal or on the SC4 mobile app.

To speak with an admissions representative about options, or for details on how to get started, call (810) 989-5571.

SC4 checked all the boxes for alumnus Don Caluya’s mission

Don Caluya has already come a long way. But he’s just getting started.

While many people dream of traveling, Caluya’s target destination is in the night sky, about 239,000 miles away. He wants to be one of the next people to fly to the Moon, and one of his earliest steps toward that goal was on the campus of St. Clair County Community College.

“As an immigrant from the Philippines, I didn’t believe I had any chance of attending college,” Caluya explained. “SC4 allowed me to break generational barriers which gave me the confidence to follow my educational and career aspirations. Once I became engulfed in college classes at SC4, I knew that I could do more with my life.”

Caluya graduated from Port Huron Northern High School in 2008, and initially wanted to be an architect.

“When choosing a college, I looked for an option that was cost-effective, but which also had a great history and reputation,” Caluya said. “SC4 checked all the boxes and I was able to accomplish my education goals.”

SC4 offered Caluya the opportunity to get started and prepare for the bigger things he had planned.

“I got the best education at a fraction of the cost,” he said. “SC4 has top-notch educators who love their jobs and are willing to go above and beyond to help their students. The staff made helping people their top priority. They assisted me with all of the steps, including admissions, financial aid, and registration.”

Caluya is also excited about the Challenger Learning Center at St. Clair County Community College that will open on SC4’s campus in early 2022.

“The Challenger project within SC4’s walls will be the pride of the community,” he said. “It’s the first of its kind in Port Huron and the only one in Michigan. SC4 students and the community will have the resources and tools to be prodigious!”

After SC4, Caluya joined the U.S. Air Force, where he had the chance to travel all over the world. He became the proud father of “the most beautiful little girl in the world.” After the Air Force, he attended The Ohio State University, graduating in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in aviation and air transportation. He’s currently pursuing his master’s in business administration at Lindenwood University while working for The Boeing Company and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

“Long term, I’d like to be a test pilot for NASA, SpaceX, or Boeing,” Caluya said. “But my ultimate goal is to become an astronaut.”

Caluya has fond memories of his time at SC4 and believes that community college is a great place to start for students regardless of their long-term plans.

“Community colleges like SC4 provide not just an excellent academic infrastructure, but they also provide students hope, encouragement, support, and pride,” he explained. “SC4 gave me, someone from a small town in the Philippines, a sense of confidence and self-worth. I’m thankful to those who helped me along the way… my dearest and sincerest thanks.”

“Everything worth having has a stable foundation that it’s built on,” Caluya continued. “For me, this foundation came from Port Huron and SC4. Even though my bachelor’s diploma says, ‘The Ohio State University,’ it should also say ‘St. Clair County Community College,’ because a quarter of my credits came from there.”

Caluya also noted that NASA and large aerospace companies have programs that target community college students. The NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars (NCAS) program offers support to students looking to enter the field. “NASA never overlooks top talent,” he said, “and they know the worth of these local institutions.”

Whether your dreams are in the stars or a bit closer to home, SC4 can help you get there. Just ask Don Caluya, who’s already come a long way but is still looking up.

SC4 to host Futures for Frontliners Admissions Advising Day

St. Clair County Community College invites front line workers who have been approved for the State of Michigan Future for Frontliners Program but have not registered for classes yet to get assistance from the SC4 admissions team.

Students ready to take classes, but have not registered, or those who have questions about the application, acceptance and registration process at SC4 can get help during the Futures for Frontliners Admissions Advising Day.

Interested students can schedule a time to talk to an admissions advisor from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 23. Appointments will be over the phone with an opportunity for a virtual visit if preferred.

Schedule an appointment by emailing recruitment@sc4.edu.

TRIO Student of the Month — Marshal DiGiovanni

“Not everyone comes from a situation where going to college is a family tradition.”

Marshal DiGiovanni is one of those students, and for him, SC4’s TRIO Student Support Services program has been the perfect compliment to his college experience.

“It’s the welcoming support system where everyone genuinely wants you to achieve your goals,” he said. “As a first-generation college student, this support helped me. If I ever had questions about financial aid, scheduling, or transferring, the TRIO staff have always been there. If they couldn’t answer it, they pointed me in the right direction.”

DiGiovanni chose SC4 because of the affordability of community college tuition, but it was more than just price that attracted him.

“I knew that community college classes transfer well, so I figured it was a great place to get started,” he explained. “And I’d heard about the TRIO program, which offers priority scheduling and quality tutors. It helped me achieve my goals by being my support system. There’s no reason to make college harder on yourself, and the TRIO program has plenty of resources to help you now and to prepare you for the future.”

The challenges of the past year with the COVID-19 pandemic moving many classes online or to a remote learning format posed additional challenges for many students, DiGiovanni included.

“I think I can speak for most students when I say online classes aren’t exactly my preferred method of learning,” he said. “Having to juggle tons of dates, a calendar, and a whiteboard changed my life. Face-to-face learning will always be ideal for me, but it is the current situation we live in and we must adapt.”

“I’m forever grateful to my family and my friends for always being there and supporting me,” DiGiovanni continued. “I also want to thank the professors at SC4 for their hard work during this pandemic. It’s not only the students who have been impacted; this has been a challenge for everyone.”

DiGiovanni is planning to transfer to Western Michigan University in the fall to complete his Bachelor of Science degree in computer science. He’s not sure where he’d like to work after that, but he has a “huge interest” in software development and machine learning.

“Until then, I’ll keep putting my best foot forward in the classroom and enjoying each day with those around me,” he said.

For his positive attitude and success in the classroom, Marshal DiGiovanni is the February TRIO Student of the Month. Congratulations, Marshal!

Challenger Learning Center to open on SC4 campus

Challenger Center, a nonprofit science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education organization and St. Clair County Community College (SC4) are teaming up to open a Challenger Learning Center on the College’s campus. Challenger Learning Center at St. Clair County Community College will serve Michigan and Ontario students using programs that introduce STEM subjects and careers and inspire students to pursue these essential fields. The Center is scheduled to open in early 2022.

“SC4 is an ideal location for a Challenger Learning Center,” said Dr. Deborah Snyder, president of St. Clair County Community College. “We are committed to expanding student interest in STEM and encouraging STEM higher education opportunities on our campus. The addition of a Challenger Learning Center supports the college and our community by fostering a robust culture of STEM, strengthening STEM education opportunities, integrating business, industry and educational entities, and creating high-quality educational experiences for learners of all ages.”

The new Challenger Learning Center will be part of the Challenger Learning Center network that has reached more than 5.5 million students worldwide. Challenger Learning Centers offer a variety of hands-on STEM programs, with the core being its simulated space-themed missions that take place in a fully immersive Spacecraft and Mission Control and Briefing and Transport rooms. Aligned with national education standards and informed by real science data, these Missions excite students about STEM, introduce students to careers in various STEM fields, and help students build critical 21st century skills.

“We are excited to welcome St. Clair County Community College to the Challenger Center organization and look forward to seeing the students of Michigan and Ontario experience our unique STEM programs,” said Lance Bush, president and CEO, Challenger Center. “This year marks Challenger Center’s 35th Anniversary. For us, there’s no better way to recognize such an important milestone than to reach more students, and this new Center at St. Clair County Community College will do just that.”

Registration open for SC4 late-start winter classes

Registration is open for late-start winter semester classes at St. Clair County Community College. Seats are available in 12-week classes starting the week of Feb. 8 and eight-week classes starting the week of March 15.

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 winter include:

  • BUS 153-64 — Business Law
  • BUS 252-60 — Consumer Behavior
  • CIS 110-62 — CIS Concepts and Careers
  • CIS 115-81 — Microcomputer Applications
  • CIS 205-61 — Intro to Web Development
  • FR 102-02 — Introductory French II
  • GEO 233-60 — World Regional Geography
  • HE 101-65 — Math Related to Drug Admin
  • HE 102 — Medical Terminology (sections 62, 63, 65, 66)
  • HIS 102-63 — History of Western Civilization Since 1715
  • MTH 075-62 — Pre-Algebra
  • MTH 104-63 — Foundations of Math
  • MTH 113-64 — Pre-Calculus
  • MTH 120-65 — Introduction to Statistics
  • PE 128-01 — Weight Training
  • PSY 230-61 — Psychology/Effective Leadership and Supervision
  • THA 105-63 — Oral Interpretation

Current students can search for all courses and sections at sc4.edu/schedule. They can register and pay for classes in the SC4 Portal at portal.sc4.edu or on the SC4 mobile app.

New students can get started at sc4.edu/starthere.

For more information, contact Enrollment Services at enrollment@sc4.edu or (810) 989-5500.

Time at SC4 prepared alumnus Lauren Tuckey for professional illustration career

For as long as she can remember, Lauren Tuckey has enjoyed drawing things. Now she’s enjoying seeing her work in print as the illustrator of her first children’s book.

After graduating from Yale High School in 2013, she chose to go to SC4 to save tuition costs and stay close to her family in Port Huron. While taking general education classes, Tuckey also took plenty of art classes on the side.

“In my art classes, I made many of my closest friends,” Tuckey said, “and was able to work on diverse art projects I wouldn’t have been able to do from home. I was featured in and worked on the annual Patterns book, too.”

She learned from her many talented art instructors, as well as other SC4 faculty, but has a special memory of one class that changed her approach to her art.

“Color and Design with Doug Frey was the most beneficial art class I took,” Tuckey explained. “He helped me step out of my comfort zone as an artist and explore techniques and styles that helped me sculpt the more well-rounded style I have now.”

After graduating from SC4, Tuckey had the chance to work with an author from North Carolina, Phil Routszong, to create illustrations for a children’s book titled Hobgoblin Humbug, which was published in October and is available for ordering through Amazon. She also stays busy illustrating custom portraits through her shop on Etsy.

Tuckey is a strong believer in the importance of community colleges.

“Colleges like SC4 are a great asset to students who want to save some money while still gaining a valuable education, experience, and great memories,” she said. “I’m thankful for everything SC4 equipped me with as I move forward as a professional illustrator.”

Photo: SC4 alumnus Lauren Tuckey (right) with author Phil Routszong and their book Hobgoblin Humbug.

SC4 professor teaches to help students obtain their dream job

When Professor of Biology Janice Fritz started her Ph.D. program, she had no intention of being a teacher. As a student she was given financial support as a teaching assistant. “I was more than a little uncertain about teaching biology labs to undergrads,” said Fritz. “But it turned out that I loved it.”

The further she got in her Ph.D. program, the more she wanted to teach and the less she wanted to run a research program. After completing her postdoctoral training, she taught part-time at Wayne State University and Lansing Community College. “I really enjoyed both,” said Fritz. “But I really loved teaching at the community college level.”

“I love the focus on teaching, the variety of students, and the interactions I can have given the small class sizes,” said Fritz. “Truly, I have my dream job.” 

Fritz teaches Human Anatomy and Physiology, a core course for allied health programs like nursing and respiratory therapy, as well as pre-professional programs for students looking to go on to become doctors, pharmacists, physical therapists, physician assistants, and more. Given the importance of high-quality health care professionals, it’s important that SC4’s healthcare-related programs, and the courses that feed into them, like Fritz’s, are rigorous and provide students with the information and skills they need to succeed. Fritz wants her classes to be challenging and she tries to provide students with all the tools they need to meet the challenge.

Fritz notes that during the pandemic, it’s been harder to teach students in a virtual environment, but she’s worked hard to give them the best possible experience, using a combination of technology and hands-on experience to replace the activities done normally in the classroom. She uses online digital models to help students identify anatomical structures and students also received supplies for building models, dissecting specimens, measuring vital signs, assessing sensory function, conducting urinalysis, and more. She uses live sessions through Microsoft Teams (recorded for those who can’t attend) to review the activities and demonstrate procedures. She uses a large monitor to see the students and keep an eye on the chat window, a multimedia computer to project documents though an interactive projector so she can add annotations, a document camera for sharing physical objects, a phone for demonstrating apps, and a laptop for accessing other documents. So she has her hands full!

Fritz held a few live sessions where students were able to come to campus if they wanted help with their dissecting. With only a few students in the room, they could maintain social distancing requirements and Fritz used the document camera to show the dissection and point out structures. Sessions were streamed for the benefit of students who couldn’t, or preferred not to, be on campus.

Online learning is definitely a challenge for some students, who have had to cope with computer issues, software incompatibilities, Wi-Fi issues, illness, and more. “Overall, my students are doing a great job engaging, staying on top of the work, and learning the content,” said Fritz. “I have just as much confidence in the future success of my students this semester as any other semester.”

“I teach at SC4 so I can help my students get their dream job like I did,” said Fritz, smiling.

To learn more about available programs at SC4, visit sc4.edu/programs. If you are looking to start your educational journey, let us help, fill out an application today at sc4.edu/starthere.