New scholarship honoring alumna Ellen Petho to benefit SC4 art and design students

Future generations of St. Clair County Community College (SC4) art and design students will benefit from a new scholarship thanks to a generous $100,000 donation from the Petho family in honor of SC4 alumna and interior designer Ellen Petho.

Ellen Petho called Port Huron her home for more than 75 years. She and her husband, Lou, raised their family in Port Huron. Ellen had a long and successful career in interior design. She also devoted herself to philanthropic work. She was proud to earn her advertising and design degree from SC4 in 1988. SC4 was an integral part of Ellen’s education and the beginning of her design career. While at SC4, she formed great relationships and had wonderful mentors.

Sadly, Ellen Petho passed away on Jan. 2, 2023. To honor Ellen and her devotion to art and giving to others, Lou, her daughters and their families have made a generous $100,000 donation to SC4 on its 100th year anniversary. This donation will provide scholarship money to aspiring art students. The scholarship will be called the “Ellen Petho Design Ideas Memorial Scholarship.” Through this scholarship, Ellen’s passion for learning, art and design, and giving to others will live on as her legacy.

SC4 students soon can apply for the “Ellen Petho Design Ideas Memorial Scholarship” at

To learn more about SC4 art, design, and other programs and career pathways, as well as how to apply and register for winter 2024 classes, visit

Petho family, pictured above from left to right: Christine Moore, Lou Petho, Kathy Patterson and Karri Petho

SC4 announces President’s Honor List for summer 2023

A total of 235 St. Clair County Community College (SC4) students earned a spot on the President’s Honor List for the 2023 summer semester.

Students must complete at least six credits and have a grade-point average of 3.0 or higher to make the list.

View the President’s Honor List for the 2023 summer semester—as well as the 2023 winter semester list recognizing 1,355 students—sortable by hometown.

Winter 2024 registration at SC4 now open

Registration for the winter semester is now underway at St. Clair County Community College (SC4). Winter semester courses—which are offered online and on-campus— begin Jan. 8, 2024.

Students interested in earning credits toward a degree or transfer pathway, as well as those community members interested in learning more about a particular topic or passion, can enroll now to secure their classes.

“SC4 credits are a fraction of the cost compared to four-year institutions and they transfer easily,” said SC4 Chief Marketing Officer Kristin Copenhaver. “Plus, we offer our students a wide array of support services, College Housing and exciting campus life experiences.

”A full list of courses and sections is available at, and new students can learn how to apply and register at Current students can register via their Service Center accounts within the SC4 Portal at

“Our successful community of SC4 alumni—who work as engineers, doctors, nurses, lawyers, welders, scientists, public safety officers, designers, managers, entrepreneurs and much more—illustrates there’s no one path toward a successful career,” said SC4 Registrar Carrie Bearss. “Students have many options, and we’re here to help each navigate the process so that they enroll in the right courses, programs and pathways to get to their next educational or career milestone.”

Dual enrollment and early/middle college options are available for current high school students to earn college credits at no cost. However, if cost is still a factor for other types of students, SC4 financial aid experts stand ready to assist.

“Our goal is to help students understand what support is out there so they can focus on what matters most—their classes,” said SC4 Executive Director of Financial Assistance Jo Cassar. “Most of our students receive financial aid, through a combination of federal, state and private funding sources, grants and scholarships. There’s potential support out there, but you won’t get it unless you fill out a FAFSA and apply for admission.”

New this year is the Michigan Achievement Scholarship, which provides eligible high school graduates (starting with the Class of 2023) with up to $2,750 if they attend a community college, per year. Additionally, Michigan Reconnect—which just announced an expansion to assist Michigan students ages 21 and older—pays for qualifying students to attend SC4 tuition-free.

For more information about applying to SC4, contact the SC4 team at or call (810) 989-5571. For course registration assistance, contact Enrollment Services at or call (810) 989-5500. For more information about financial aid and scholarships, email or call (810) 989-5530.

SC4 to open traveling Detroit Historical Society ‘WWII Propaganda Posters’ exhibit Nov. 6

St. Clair County Community College’s (SC4) Fine Arts Gallery will soon offer an unforgettable journey back in time with a traveling “WWII Propaganda Posters” exhibit from the Detroit Historical Society.
The exhibit opens on Monday, Nov. 6, with a ceremony at 6 p.m. in the SC4 Fine Arts Theatre and Gallery featuring SC4 history professors Scott Fernandez and Patricia Frank. The exhibit is open for viewing from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday until Dec. 8, with closure dates Nov. 22-24. 
Posters included in the exhibit highlight key messaging by U.S. Government departments at the time, reflecting themes such as military and nursing recruitment, patriotism, conservation of resources and security. They also highlight the works of specific period cartoonists, illustrators, graphic artists and portraitists.
“We’re thrilled to bring this exhibit to our community,” said SC4 Chief Academic Officer Ethan Flick. “These posters—a primary communication tool long before digital screens and social media platforms existed—help us explore the notion of propaganda and provide a glimpse into a pivotal time in our nation’s history. We look forward to welcoming students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends to this exhibit.”
“WWII Propaganda Posters” is free as an SC4 Community Arts offering to encourage and support the arts in our community. No tickets are needed.
For more information and the most current list of upcoming events, visit Please note that additional programming may be added and event information may change.

Above posters are part of the Detroit Historical Society’s “WWII Propaganda Posters” exhibit at SC4 beginning Nov. 6. 

TRIO Student of the Month — Ben Rodriguez

A first-generation college student, Ben Rodriguez has embraced many opportunities at St. Clair County Community College.

Rodriguez is a full-time student, attends tutoring, works with an advisor, has competed with the Skippers Cross Country team, and is a member of SC4’s Student Government. He also takes advantage of help and support from SC4’s TRIO Support Services Program.

“TRIO has been a big part of my educational journey here at SC4,” said Rodriguez, who also is a fan of country music. “Its staff members have provided encouragement and support, and the program has helped me obtain my goals of passing all of my classes.”

Rodriguez, who has long dreamed of becoming a registered nurse, is currently working on Michigan Transfer Agreement (MTA) course requirements and plans to transfer to the University of Michigan-Flint or Concordia University.

“Ben is a kind, caring and empathetic person,” said Stacy Healy, director of TRIO. “He has the work ethic, commitment and passion to make a remarkable nurse. We’ve enjoyed getting to know him and will continue to cheer him on throughout his time at SC4 and beyond.”

Former Skippers student-athlete receives 1st Team All-American ring, now playing NCAA D1 volleyball

Christina Bohm—St. Clair County Community College (SC4) alumna, current Oakland University student-athlete and St. Clair High School graduate—was present at the Oct. 2 Skippers Volleyball game vs. Mott Community College to accept her National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) 1st Team All-American ring. Bohm is the 17th Skippers athlete to be selected as a 1st Team All-American in the College’s 100 years of collegiate sports.

In addition, Bohm was named the Player of the Year for the Michigan Community College Athletic Association (MCCAA) Eastern Conference in 2022.

Her performance on the court for the Skippers earned her the opportunity to play NCAA Division 1 volleyball at Oakland University. She attributes her success to her SC4 coaches and teammates.

“The coaches and staff have really built a supportive program that people want to be a part of,” Bohm said. “As a whole, our teammates were very supportive of one another and had each other’s backs. I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for the support of my coaches. Even in moments of uncertainty, they continued to push for me and my future volleyball career. Not only did they aid me in the recruiting process, but they were there for me emotionally as well. SC4 created a place in which for the first time I felt fully supported and encouraged by not only my coaches, but an entire staff as well. I am very grateful for my time spent at SC4 and the growth it allowed me to achieve as a person.”

While with the Skippers, Bohm was a dominant force. For the 2022 campaign, in 31 matches she tallied 387 kills, 317 digs, and 941 total attempts. She also chipped in 31 aces and 54 block assists.

Bohm and her teammates won SC4’s first conference title in volleyball since 2015 as they earned a share of the MCCAA Eastern Conference. Her efforts also helped lead the Skippers to a runner-up finish in the NJCAA Region IX Volleyball District A Championship.

Bohm’s future plans include earning a degree in secondary education and eventually becoming a math teacher. She also hopes to one day coach volleyball as well.

Pictured above: Christina Bohm shakes SC4 Senior Vice President Dr. Pete Lacey’s hand at the ring ceremony, Bohm poses for a picture with SC4 Volleyball coaches Monica Freeman (assistant coach), Michelle McCulloch (head coach) and Brenna Donnelly (assistant coach), Bohm is pictured playing volleyball at Oakland University and SC4.

SC4 alumna thankful for SC4 experience in electronics, robotics, coding, welding and more

Like many middle school students, Dakota Makela didn’t know exactly what she wanted to do when she grew up. What she did know was that she wanted to “create cool gadgets and help people fix issues.”

Makela enrolled in the Blue Water Middle College and St. Clair County Community College (SC4) as a high school freshman in 2014, choosing an engineering technology/mechatronics track that would allow her to innovate and solve challenges.

“SC4 gave me a good idea of what to expect in the field,” said Makela, who was homeschooled until enrolling in BWMC. “The classes were set up to be very hands-on and allowed me to get experience in electronics, robotics, coding, wiring, troubleshooting, drafting and welding by teaching me the basics and then allowing me to test out my ideas in the lab.”

She added, “SC4 helped prepare me a lot starting out. My teachers were incredibly helpful and introduced me to the culture of engineering through their own experiences working in production environments.”

Makela graduated from SC4 in 2018 with an associate degree in mechatronics before transferring to Michigan Technological University to earn a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering with a concentration on photonics.

She currently works as an operator controls electrical engineer at Caterpillar and is pleased with where her career path has thus far led her.

“I enjoy being able to continuously learn new things in my workplace,” Makela said. “Working at Caterpillar, there’s a lot of different components working together to get a functional machine and a lot of different people focused on each one. Being at a large company enables me to reach out to people who are masters at what they do and learn more about how things work by talking to them.”

And she credits SC4 for helping her get there.

“Overall, I don’t think I’d be where I’m at today if it wasn’t for SC4,” she said.

SC4 offers a wide array of courses, programs and transfer pathways for students interested in pursuing careers in engineering, engineering technology, electronics, engineering graphics/CAD, mechatronics, precision machining, and welding and fabrication. For a current schedule of offerings—including fast-path classes beginning Oct. 16—visit and apply at

Betty M. (Large) Raetzel named recipient of 2023 Distinguished Alumni of the Year award

Port Huron resident Betty M. (Large) Raetzel was named the recipient of the 2023 St. Clair County Community College (SC4) Distinguished Alumni of the Year award.

Raetzel earned an Associate of Arts from the College—then known as Port Huron Junior College—in 1945. While a student, she participated in the College’s Assembly Board, the International Relations Club and as a Triton yearbook staff member. 

“I fondly remember studying in the Maccabees building with primarily female classmates, as the majority of male students were proudly serving our country in World War II,” Raetzel said. “I feel very fortunate to have attended the College and credit it and its educators for my professional success in life.” 

Upon graduating, she went on to own and operate a successful family retail shoe business with her husband in downtown Port Huron for 50 years. Throughout the years, Raetzel has demonstrated positive, unwavering support and advocacy for the College in the community. 

“The College is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2023 and honoring an alumna who graduated 78 years ago,” said Dr. Karen Niver, chair of the SC4 Board of Trustees. “That’s pretty remarkable and speaks to our rich history of successful alumni and our mission of providing access to quality higher education. Betty has given back to this College and its students in many ways over the years and we are thrilled to honor her legacy.” 

SC4 has recognized a Distinguished Alumni of the Year since 1986. Former recipient Randy Fernandez (2018) was present at a reception honoring Raetzel on Thursday and offered his congratulations. 

“I’m very happy to be here to honor Betty Raetzel as the 2023 SC4 Distinguished Alumni of the Year,” said Fernandez. “I’ve known the family for many years with Raetzel’s Shoe Store in downtown Port Huron. It’s just an honor and privilege to be here to honor such a special alumna who was in one of our beloved College’s earliest graduating classes.”

Betty M. (Large) Raetzel pictured with "Smile and the whole world smiles with you" quote.

Pictured at top in back row from left to right: Acting President/Chief Operating Officer Kirk Kramer, SC4 Board of Trustees Chair Dr. Karen Niver, Dennis Raetzel. Betty M. (Large) Raetzel pictured with award.

Exhibit to showcase faculty talent and passion

St. Clair County Community College (SC4) opens its annual faculty art showcase, “Collectively Independent,” on Monday, Sept. 18, in the College’s Fine Arts Gallery.

The showcase is free and open to the public from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday until Oct. 20. It features thought-provoking pieces on various subject matter in a wide array of mediums. Each piece on display is an original work from faculty members who lead courses in graphic design, art history, photography and more.

Participating faculty include:

  • Sarah Flatter, MFA, Art/Graphic Design
  • Brian Kovach, MFA, Art
  • Jacqueline Mahannah, MFA, Art/Graphic Design
  • Jason Palmer, MFA, Art/Graphic Design
  • Mark Rummel, BFA, Art/Graphic Design
  • Elizabeth Sevick, MFA, Art
  • Alan Vidali, MFA, Art/Graphic Design
  • Jacob Vinson, MFA, Art

“This annual exhibit is an excellent opportunity to become familiar with the very talented art and design faculty here at SC4,” says Sarah Flatter, professor of fine arts. “This exhibit is one of my favorites, because it gives faculty members the opportunity to show off their talents to a wider audience. It is a great show of work and worth checking out!”

From sculptures and photographs to illustrations and more, the exhibit offers a unique opportunity for SC4 students and community members to observe the artistic interests and expertise of SC4 instructors.

For the most current list of upcoming arts and other events at SC4, visit

SC4 offers a wide array of courses and programs for students interested in pursuing the arts. For a current schedule of offerings—including fast-path classes beginning Sept. 18 and Oct. 16—visit and apply at

Pieces from the 2022 showcase are pictured above.

SC4 welcomes eight new full-time faculty members 

St. Clair County Community College (SC4) is pleased to welcome eight full-time faculty members.   

  • Andrew Beaudin, MAcc, Accounting 
  • Ryan Johnson, M.A., History 
  • Cadey Korson, Ph.D., Geography 
  • Jacqueline Mahannah, MFA, Art/Graphic Design 
  • Jacob Vinson, MFA, Art 
  • Kevin Watkins, RN, BSN, Nursing 
  • Christine Yntema, RT(R)(CT), B.S., Radiologic Technology 
  • Linda Ziolkowski, RT(R), BAS, Radiologic Technology 

“These talented professionals and scholars bring theoretical, practical, clinical and creative expertise, certifications and experience to the online and in-person classrooms,” said SC4 Chief Academic Officer Ethan Flick. “They represent excellence across business and information technology, the humanities and fine arts, health care, sciences and social sciences, and general education. We’re thrilled to welcome them to our SC4 team and look forward to the positive impact they’ll have on student success at SC4.”   

SC4 provides access to life-changing higher education. Its alumni are successful health care leaders, engineers, doctors, lawyers, teachers, welders, scientists, public safety officers, designers, managers, entrepreneurs, artists and more.  

Pictured from left to right: Ryan Johnson, Jacob Vinson, Linda Ziolkowski, Christine Yntema, Jacqueline Mahannah, Kevin Watkins, Andrew Beaudin, Cadey Korson