Alumni Spotlight: Elizabeth King

Current or most recent title and employer?
Director – Health Officer

How did SC4 help prepare you?
It allowed me to find nursing as a profession while being close to home and my family. I was a mother of two when I graduated with my ADN. I continue to be an advocate for the nursing profession, emphasizing how broad this path is. Passing my NCLEX was a breeze with the preparation I had both academically and clinically at SC4, allowing me to secure a full-time job quickly after graduation.

What do you like most about what you do professionally?
Prevention and wellness as it relates to not just the science of health but to our community and social determinants of health.

Did you transfer on and earn other degrees? If so, what degrees and from where?
Yes. I earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from U-M Flint.

Challenger Learning Center at SC4 expands mission programming with Operation Comet

Challenger Learning Center at SC4 is pleased to announce the addition of Operation Comet, a new mission that expands Center offering options to learners as young as third grade. Current Lunar Quest mission programming is available to learners in grades five and beyond.

“We’re thrilled to add more fun and exciting STEM learning opportunities at SC4,” said Kristin Copenhaver, chief marketing officer. “When we first launched the Challenger Learning Center in April 2022, there were many requests to bring in younger elementary groups. Many of those groups were able to take advantage of Experience Center programming, but Operation Comet helps us address the growing needs of STEM learning at this younger age level in additional new ways.”

Challenger Learning Center at SC4 is the only Center of its kind in Michigan and one of 40 Challenger Learning Centers nationwide and around the world. It is a fully immersive, space-themed experience aimed at deepening understanding and appreciation of STEM careers and topics and building critical 21st-century skills. It offers unique learning and team-building opportunities for students, educators, corporations and community residents.

In Operation Comet, the mission crew must quickly reengineer a robotic probe so that it can stop a comet from a direct collision with Earth. In Mission Lunar Quest, mission participants deploy a Lunar Exploration Rover to investigate areas of the lunar surface and make critical decisions to turn a potential catastrophe into NASA’s finest hour. Both missions meet national science standards for recommended grade levels and are scalable for older learners.

Since its launch in April 2022, more than 2,500 students, visitors, educators, business employees, community residents and friends from close to 100 zip codes have visited Challenger Learning Center at SC4.

To learn more or schedule a group mission, visit challenger.sc4.edu/visit/. Contact the Challenger Learning Center with questions at experiencecenter@sc4.edu or (810) 989-5789.

Alumni Spotlight: Avery Hoffman

Current or most recent title and employer?
Merchandise Coordinator at Neiman Marcus Group

How did SC4 help prepare you?
I was in Middle College while I was also still in high school. I also stayed home a year to attend SC4 and graduate from the Middle College program, earning two associate degrees. I then transferred to the University of Alabama. I had already completed all of my prerequisites, so I was able to jump right into my core curriculum for my major.

What do you like most about what you do professionally?
I am able to travel while I work from home.

Did you transfer on and earn other degrees? If so, what degrees and from where?
A bachelor’s degree in human environmental sciences at the University of Alabama.

Alumni Spotlight: Roberta Teahen

Current or most recent title and employer?
Associate Provost, Ferris State University

How did SC4 help prepare you?
My SC4 education was exceptionally good. In fact, I often share that I believe my instructors at what was then PHJC were better than I experienced at Michigan State, where I earned B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees. The faculty were dedicated to teaching and their students. It was an excellent foundation for transfer to a large – and pretty non-student-centered – institution.

What do you like most about what you do professionally?
I have had the opportunity to positively influence many students in their education and subsequent careers. I have especially enjoyed the learning that was an integral part of all of my professional roles and the opportunity to interact with other educated, caring, committed professionals and to get to know so many students with potential who had not yet recognized how much talent they had.

Did you transfer on and earn other degrees? If so, what degrees and from where?
As noted above, B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. from Michigan State. Degrees, respectively, were Business Education; Business and Distributive Education; and Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education.

Alumni Spotlight: Shawnna Apley

Current or most recent title and employer?
Front Desk Agent at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids, MI

How did SC4 help prepare you?
I was able to complete my degree in liberal arts at SC4 through the Blue Water Middle College Program. Since then, I have accelerated greatly in my undergraduate courses. I will be getting my bachelor’s degree in hospitality and tourism management from Grand Valley State University in August of 2023 and have plans to attend graduate school thereafter. SC4 and BWMC helped me to grow my professional endeavors by always encouraging me to think big. I am thankful for the position this College has put me in every day.

What do you like most about what you do professionally?
In my professional work, I am able to talk with guests every day, meet new people and expand my knowledge of the hospitality industry. Because of SC4 and BWMC, I am able to not only work in my field while in my degree but study a subject that I am extremely passionate about. Both of these programs truly accelerated my higher education journey. If I didn’t take classes at SC4 I wouldn’t be where I am today.

Did you transfer on and earn other degrees? If so, what degrees and from where?
I am currently a senior at Grand Valley State University and will receive my bachelor’s degree in hospitality and tourism management with an emphasis in lodging and tourism management in August of 2023! SC4 allowed me to be able to go into my bachelor’s degree program knowing exactly what I wanted and saved me huge amounts of money along the way.

Winter 2023 fast-path courses help students and residents earn credits faster, explore passions at SC4

Registration is open for fast-path winter semester classes at St. Clair County Community College. Seats are available in 12-week classes starting the week of Feb. 6 and eight-week classes starting the week of March 13.

Fast-path classes allow students to earn credits that count toward general education or degree requirements at a quicker pace. Sections are available for classes in topics that include art, business, management, marketing, cybersecurity, English, French, history, mathematics, psychology, political science, speech and more.

Offerings this winter help students and community members expand their knowledge base and uncover passions.

Examples of some specific courses offered this winter include:

  • ART 120-67—Art Appreciation
  • BUS 150-66—Principles of Business
  • BUS 155-66—Principles of Management
  • BUS 186-65—Internet Marketing
  • BUS 252-65—Consumer Behavior
  • CIS 105-65—Cybersecurity Essentials
  • ENG 101-63—English Composition I
  • FR 101-2—Introductory French 1
  • GEO 105-63—Introduction to Meteorology
  • HIS 101-64—History Western Civ to 1715
  • HIS 150-61—History of U.S. 1877 to Present
  • MTH 110-62—Intermediate Algebra
  • MTH 120-65—Introduction to Statistics
  • PS 101-69—Intro to Political Science
  • PSY 180-63—Introduction to Psychology
  • SOC 101-65—Principles of Sociology
  • SPC 101-63—Speech Communication
  • THA 105-61—Oral Interpretation

“Whether you’re a student interested in earning credits toward your degree or transfer pathway faster, or you’re a community member interested in taking a course of interest to learn and grow, our fast-path courses are a fantastic option,” said Jessica Brown, Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Student Recruitment, Advising and Admissions.

A full list of courses and sections is available at sc4.edu/schedule, and new students can learn how to apply and register at sc4.edu/admissions/. Current students can register via the SC4 Portal at portal.sc4.edu.

For more information, contact the SC4 Admissions team at (810) 989-5571 or starthere@sc4.edu.

Joe Gibbons receives SC4 Distinguished Faculty Award

Joe Gibbons has been selected as the recipient of the St. Clair County Community College (SC4) Distinguished Faculty Award for 2022. Gibbons has been a professor of chemistry at SC4 for 31 years.

For Gibbons, staying focused on his students and their needs is essential. He is proud of their accomplishments and stays in contact with numerous former students, now calling many of them friends. “It has been a privilege to accompany them on their journeys,” Gibbons says.

In addition to a full-time teaching schedule, Gibbons has served the College in a variety of other ways.

He has taken a leadership role as a department chair several times, currently serving as department chair of SC4’s Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics Division (STEM). In this position, he brings a thoughtful, historical and forward-thinking perspective to STEM departments and disciplines.

Gibbons also has been at the forefront of assessment at SC4 throughout his 31 years of service, leading committees and taking on significant projects to ensure that the information extracted from assessment data is meaningful and leads to improvements for SC4 students.

Also nominated this year for the SC4 Distinguished Faculty Award were Sandra Geliske in radiologic technology, Brandis Hubbard in biology, and Katy McCullough in nursing.

The Professional Development Committee annually coordinates nominations of faculty by their faculty peers for the Distinguished Faculty Award (DFA). As a member of NISOD, SC4 award nominees and winner also are submitted for the NISOD Excellence Award.

​​​​​​​The winner is awarded a Golden Apple and also receives a $1,000 stipend to use toward professional development. NISOD provides medals to all of the nominees and a plaque for the winner.

Alumni Spotlight: Bill Kerr

Current or most recent title and employer?
Superintendent, Peck Community Schools

How did SC4 help prepare you?
The confidence I gained from my experience at SC4 was instrumental in the professional path I’ve taken to this point. The opportunities I was granted at SC4 were unique and I would not have had the same access at a larger institution. That experience was invaluable to me, helping me realize I could set high standards for myself and be successful. I’ll always cherish my time at SC4 and the relationships I made there.

What do you like most about what you do professionally?
I love the positive impact I am able to have on students, staff and the community from my position. My goal is always to put the very best resources and opportunities in front of our students and help grow the teaching profession. I am fortunate to work in the community that helped raise me so it feels like I am giving back on a daily basis. I am proud of the work we do here and the role it plays in helping young people thrive and achieve.

Did you transfer on and earn other degrees? If so, what degrees and from where?
I moved on from SC4 and earned my Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education at SVSU and then went on to complete the Masters in Public Administration program at UM-Flint.

Scholarships available for SC4 students

St. Clair County Community College is accepting scholarship applications from students who plan to attend SC4 for the 2023-24 academic year.

SC4 has many scholarship opportunities available. Some are geared toward students who plan to study a specific subject, while others are intended for students from a particular town or high school. There are also a number of awards open to students based on academic performance and extracurricular activities.

“Whatever your background, there’s likely a scholarship that you are qualified to apply for,” said Executive Director of Financial Assistance and Veteran Services Josephine Cassar.

Visit sc4.edu/money to apply for available scholarships (after applying to SC4), including SC4 scholarships and scholarships through external sources. Apply for multiple scholarships by filling out just one online application. Many scholarships require a completed FAFSA, which can be submitted at fafsa.gov.

SC4, the SC4 Foundation, community groups and private donors offer numerous scholarships to fit nearly all student academic records, backgrounds and financial situations.

The priority deadline to apply for scholarships is Sunday, March 12.

For details, call the Financial Aid Office at (810) 989-5530 or email financialaid@sc4.edu.

March 11 SC4 STEM Fest to feature 100+ hands-on experiences

>>> Register here

St. Clair County Community College (SC4) is pleased to announce its SC4 STEM Fest on Saturday, March 11, 2023, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on its Port Huron campus. The event—which is free and open to the public thanks to generous donations and grants—aims to spark a sense of wonder and features more than 100 hands-on, interactive science, technology, engineering and mathematics exhibits by SC4, Michigan Technological University’s Mind Trekkers, the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum and the Leslie Science & Nature Center.

“We want to inspire the next generation of leaders and innovators in STEM so that they can help solve challenges and have greater career opportunities,” said Dr. Deborah A. Snyder, president of SC4. “We’re proud to collaborate with Michigan Tech’s Mind Trekkers, the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum and the Leslie Science & Nature Center to bring this incredible event to Southeast Michigan. It will have a positive impact on our region, now and in the future.”

Experiences and activities will take place throughout SC4’s Fieldhouse and Clara E. Mackenzie Building / Experience Center, which includes the Challenger Learning Center at SC4, the Dr. Bassam H. Nasr Natural Science Museum, a live sturgeon exhibit, virtual reality experience, health activities, exploration stations, and bird and mineral galleries.

The event’s more than 100 activities and exhibits will have learners exploring a wide array of STEM topics. Some hands-on highlights for the event include Challenger Learning Center mini missions, virtual reality simulations, virtual anatomy dissection, rocket launches, robotics technology, live animal exhibits and wildlife presentations, awe-inspiring experiments using liquid nitrogen—and many more!

Mind Trekkers is a flagship program of Michigan Technological University’s Center for Educational Outreach. Powered by undergraduate and graduate student guides, Mind Trekkers travels across the country to deliver high-energy, hands-on, STEM demonstrations to learners of all ages, inspiring them to pursue post-secondary education.

“Mind Trekkers convenes communities in a shared mission to spark curiosity,” said Cassy Tefft de Muñoz, executive director of enrollment initiatives at Michigan Technological University. “We are thrilled to partner with SC4 to bring the program to Port Huron and amplify the strong STEM ecosystem already present in the region. The SC4 STEM Fest is just one way that SC4 and Michigan Tech are working together to create educational opportunities for youth to access future college and career pathways.”

Added Susan Westhoff, chief operating officer for the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum and Leslie Science & Nature Center, “We know the power of hands-on learning to inspire and open the door of possibility for everyone, young and old alike. Every one of us is a scientist, because we all hold the power of curiosity, of wanting to understand ‘why’ and ‘how.’ Come out to this fantastic day of exploration, where you are encouraged to ask, to discover, and to have fun!”

Register for the SC4 STEM Fest at sc4.edu/stem-fest/stem-fest-registration/. Please direct questions to SC4 at (810) 989-5789 or experiencecenter@sc4.edu.

SC4 STEM Fest