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.

Alumni Spotlight: Dr. Steven Amey

Current or most recent title and employer?
Director of the Law Enforcement Academy, Ferris State University

How did SC4 help prepare you?
My biggest takeaway from SC4 was the quality of the instructors. Still to this day I remember them from having attended and completed a degree in criminal justice and also minored in the German language classes with Frau Pillsbury. The real-life experiences shared in classes kept my interest and prepared me for my own career in law enforcement. While completing my graduate degrees I often returned to campus to see my instructors and frequently was a guest speaker in the same criminal justice classes that I once sat in. Eventually, I returned to teach at SC4 for several years and also helped spearhead the Ferris State University Criminal Justice Satellite still in place today at SC4. The quality, cost and convenience of the courses still today after all of these years is top notch and truly a benefit to the local community. This career is all about connections and without a doubt SC4 provides these connections.

What do you like most about what you do professionally?
Having gone full circle from being educated, a law enforcement career and now the Director of the Law Enforcement Academy at Ferris State University is a goal I set years ago. I enjoy teaching and creating the future of our men and woman in law enforcement. Sharing my experiences and career path for these students, many who come from SC4. is just a natural transition in my mind. I enjoy hearing the students say ” I am from Port Huron, or a little town called Yale, Capac, St. Clair, Lakeport, Port Sanilac, Deckerville, Carsonville, Clay Township, Algonac, Marysville, Marine City and so many places in St. Clair County and its outskirts. I just smile a little more when I hear the student tell me this because they too are continuing the legacy of SC4.

Did you transfer on and earn other degrees? If so, what degrees and from where?
Yes. I earned an associate degree in criminal justice from SC4, a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Ferris State University, a master’s degree in public administration with a leadership concentration from Central Michigan University, and a Ph.D. in instructional design and technology from Wayne State University.

Alumni Spotlight: Dallas Mitchell

Current or most recent title and employer?
Doctor of Chiropractic at Mitchell Chiropractic

How did SC4 help prepare you?
It prepared me for all of my college classes to come. I started at SC4 through Blue Water Middle College when I was 16 years old.

What do you like most about what you do professionally?
I love being able to help people from my hometown area be able to live a long and pain-free life without the use of drugs or other medicine.

Did you transfer on and earn other degrees? If so, what degrees and from where?
I transferred to Wayne State after SC4, which I transferred credits back to earn three associate degrees. After two years at Wayne State I started at Palmer College of Chiropractic where I earned my Doctor of Chiropractic and Bachelor of Science.

Read more about Dallas here.

Alumni Spotlight: Larry Klaus

Current or most recent title and employer?
Police Chief, Central Michigan University

How did SC4 help prepare you?
The instructors at SC4 set the foundation for my future career and for obtaining my bachelor’s degree.

What do you like most about what you do professionally?
The ability to train and work with the next generation of law enforcement professionals in an effort to keep our communities safe.

Did you transfer on and earn other degrees? If so, what degrees and from where?
B.A. from Ferris State University.

Alumni Spotlight: Shelby Pfefferle

Current or most recent title and employer?
Senior Associate, Brady Martz & Associates, P.C.

How did SC4 help prepare you?
My professors led me on the right track to transferring to a four-year university to help me pursue my career in accounting.

What do you like most about what you do professionally?
All of it! I worked closely with clients from different businesses and help them handle financials on a monthly basis.

Did you transfer on and earn other degrees? If so, what degrees and from where?
I earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Northwood University (Midland).

Alumni Spotlight: Amy Robinson

Current or most recent title and employer?
VP, CFO & CAO, Board Treasurer, the Kresge Foundation

How did SC4 help prepare you?
I was just sharing with a colleague that though I had full scholarship offers from four-year institutions back in the mid-80’s, I was engaged coming out of high school so I wanted to stay in the local area and also thought starting in a smaller environment would better support my transition to full-time college student. SC4 was the perfect place for me, with excellent instructors, caring staff and a curriculum that supported my desire to enter into finance/business as my major. My accounting class at SC4 was pivotal in my desire to major in accounting at Walsh, where I transferred to on a full scholarship due to the preparation I received at SC4. I later became a CPA, a career goal of mine from early on.

What do you like most about what you do professionally?
Without hesitation – the people. I am blessed with the best job ever, and to say that after 25 years with the same organization is impressive. I work with the best staff, leadership team and board, who push me to use all of my personal and professional skills to think and act in new and different ways to support our mission and those we serve. The work is challenging, wide-ranging and always changing to meet the needs of our grantees/investees.

The Kresge Foundation is a private, national foundation that, with our work grounded in equity, works to expand opportunities in America’s cities through grantmaking and social investing. In collaboration with our partners, we help create pathways for people with low incomes to improve their life circumstances and join the economic mainstream. I get to use my skills, whether that be in accounting, tax, operations management, mentoring, etc., to support that mission.

Did you transfer on and earn other degrees? If so, what degrees and from where?
After SC4, I transferred to Walsh and earned by BACCT. I also am a CPA. Full bio here:

Alumni Spotlight: Gabrielle Sanchez

Current or most recent title and employer?
Communications Specialist, Michigan Clean Cities

How did SC4 help prepare you?
SC4 helped prepare me by letting me take college courses while I was attending Port Huron High School. I graduated from the Blue Water Middle College program in December of 2019 and earned numerous credits that transferred, while additionally earning two associate degrees in general education and arts.

What do you like most about what you do professionally?
I enjoy communicating and completing outreach with the public, with donors, and numerous organizations that I am able to connect with in my career. I also enjoy providing informational updates on social media and creating graphics to share as well.

Did you transfer on and earn other degrees? If so, what degrees and from where?
I transferred to Michigan State University in January of 2020. I recently graduated in December of 2022 with a high honors bachelor’s degree in advertising management, public relations, and entrepreneurship and innovation.

Alumni Spotlight: Kendall Wingrove

Current or most recent title and employer?
Communications Manager for the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning

How did SC4 help prepare you?
SC4 provided a quality education at an affordable price. As a reporter and editor at the Erie Square Gazette, I assembled a portfolio of stories that helped me secure future jobs and internships.

What do you like most about what you do professionally?
The OHSP provides print and digital traffic safety messages that are designed to prevent fatalities and injuries. It’s rewarding to work in an office that is focused on saving lives.

Did you transfer on and earn other degrees? If so, what degrees and from where?
After graduating from SC4, I completed my bachelor’s degree at Central Michigan University and earned a master’s degree at Michigan State University.