Fall 2023 DEI book recommendation and Nov. 17 discussion announced

St. Clair County Community College’s (SC4) Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion announces “Subtle Acts of Exclusion,” by Dr. Tiffany Jana and Michael Baran, as its fall 2023 book recommendation.
Students, faculty and staff members, alumni, community members and friends are encouraged to read the book—available for free in the SC4 DEI Office, Welcome Center, Suite 250, or by request at dei@sc4.edu—and attend a guided book discussion on Friday, Nov. 17, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in SC4’s Fine Arts Theatre.
Dr. Leah Howell, director of Learning Design at Everspring, Inc., and Dr. Portia Watkins, Michigan State University director of Transitions and Transfer Student Success and a trainer of the Kingian Nonviolence Conflict Reconciliation program, will serve as facilitators for the Nov. 17 event. (Full bios available here.)
“We look forward to welcoming back Dr. Howell and Dr. Watkins to campus as we come together to cultivate a shared experience and participate in group dialogues to enrich our personal reflections,” Brown said. “‘Subtle Acts of Exclusion’ will help us explore our assumptions and understanding of each other. While some may initially dismiss the topic as political correctness or oversensitivity, the text encourages us to consider the lived experiences of others, consider the feelings and reactions to words and phrases, and expand our own ability for understanding, recognizing that viewing the world solely through our own lens denies the humanity of others.”
To register for this free event, visit sc4.edu/office-of-diversity-equity-inclusion/news-and-events/event-registration/ or send an email to dei@sc4.edu with questions.  

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 sc4.edu/schedule and apply at sc4.edu/apply.

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.

SC4 names wheelchair basketball head coach and disability services specialist

Jordan Scheidecker—an adaptive sports and disabilities support services expert, three-time national championship wheelchair basketball player and national championship coach—has been named wheelchair basketball head coach and disability services specialist at St. Clair County Community College (SC4).

Scheidecker brings to SC4 hands-on experience planning and implementing high-quality adaptive sports programs and experiences. He also brings recruitment- and diversity, equity and inclusion-based expertise and knowledge. His past roles include transition and outreach specialist at the Center for Students with Disabilities, graduate assistant of Adaptive Athletics, and assistant director of Wheelchair Basketball Camp, all at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

A disability awareness speaker who travels throughout the Midwest, Scheidecker earned a master’s degree in educational leadership and a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Jordan to campus,” said SC4 Chief Diversity Officer Jessica Brown. “His diverse combination of work and athletics experiences uniquely positions him to lead and support students on the court and across our campus. As one of just a few adaptive sports teams in Michigan—and the only community college in the nation—SC4 and its students will benefit greatly by having Jordan as part of our team.”

“I’m really excited to join the SC4 community and create greater awareness, participation in and support for adaptive sports and students with disabilities,” Scheidecker said. “We want to be a place that helps people find success and ultimately move on to where they want to go, athletically and academically. Through my roles at SC4, I look forward to doing just that by advocating for more awareness, leading and supporting students, and providing information from the perspective of a person with disabilities to an able-bodied, diverse population.”

Scheidecker will start in his full-time capacity in late October, though he’ll be on campus prior to that for the Wolverine Invitational and adaptive sports clinics to teach individuals how to play Sept. 28-Oct. 1 at the SC4 Fieldhouse.

Committed 2023 Wolverine Invitational teams thus far include top teams from across the U.S. and Canada:

  • University of Michigan (NWBA Adult D2)
  • LWSRA Hawks (NAWBL) – Chicago
  • Kitchener Spinners (CWBL D1) – Ontario
  • London Forest City Flyers (CWBL D2 / NWBA Adult D3) – Ontario
  • Brampton Rockets (CWBL D2) – Ontario
  • University of Arizona (NWBA Intercollegiate Women)
  • Southwest Minnesota State University (NWBA Intercollegiate Men)
  • University of Wisconsin Whitewater (NWBA Intercollegiate Men)

With a full tournament schedule forthcoming, the University of Michigan tips off against the University of Arizona at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 29, and the championship game is set for Sunday, Oct. 1, at noon (12:20 p.m. tip off planned). Additionally, SC4’s new wheelchair basketball team will take on Michigan State University on Saturday, Sept. 30, at 12:30 p.m. in the Wolverine Invitational’s Emerging Teams bracket.

“This is high-level competition,” Scheidecker said. “The caliber of athletes is impressive and something the entire region should get excited about and attend. I’m looking forward to it!”

The co-ed SC4 wheelchair basketball team is open to SC4 students and community members with disabilities or those who are able-bodied and passionate about wheelchair basketball, with priority given to students enrolled at SC4. For more information about joining the wheelchair basketball team at SC4, visit sc4.edu/campus-life/athletics/athlete-interest-form/.

To learn more about the Wolverine Invitational at SC4—including ticket information and how to volunteer at the event—visit sc4.edu/wolverine.

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.edu/events/.

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 sc4.edu/schedule and apply at sc4.edu/apply/.

Pieces from the 2022 showcase are pictured above.

Back and bigger than ever: 3rd Wolverine Invitational set for Sept. 29-Oct. 1 at SC4

Excitement is building for the highly anticipated 3rd annual Wolverine Invitational Wheelchair Basketball Tournament, hosted by University of Michigan Adaptive Sports and Fitness in partnership with St. Clair County Community College (SC4) and supported by the Guardian Life Insurance Company.

Scheduled from Sept. 29 to Oct. 1, the event promises to be a thrilling showcase of athleticism and aims to be a beacon for social change. Committed teams include the University of Michigan (NWBA Adult D2), LWSRA Hawks (NAWBL) – Chicago, Kitchener Spinners (CWBL D1) – Ontario, London Forest City Flyers (CWBL D2 / NWBA Adult D3) – Ontario, Brampton Rockets (CWBL D2) – Ontario, University of Arizona (NWBA Intercollegiate Women), Southwest Minnesota State University (NWBA Intercollegiate Men), and the University of Wisconsin Whitewater (NWBA Intercollegiate Men).

The invitational serves as a season opener for all in attendance, and fans should expect teams to come out of the gates ready for high-speed action and strategy. With a full tournament schedule forthcoming, the University of Michigan tips off against the University of Arizona at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 29, and the championship game is set for Sunday, Oct. 1 at noon. Additionally, SC4’s new wheelchair basketball team will take on Michigan State University on Saturday, Sept. 30, at 12:30 p.m. in the Wolverine Invitational’s Emerging Teams bracket.

“The rapid growth of our team has been a delight to watch,” said Dr. Feranmi Okanlami, Director of U-M Adaptive Sports & Fitness. “This team has put in countless hours to ensure that this event is one to never forget. I want to personally thank all the teams, volunteers, referees, and sponsors who chose to support this event. Together we will continue to do great things to support the growth of para sport. Go Blue!”

Added U-M Wheelchair Basketball Head Coach Jessica Wynne, “This tournament is an instant classic. Our players love the camaraderie and competition. We are grateful for our partnership with SC4 and thrilled to see them taking to the courts as a team. Our team has grown immensely and we are poised to contend with every team. We are exciting to watch, steeped with talent, and aim to be the hardest-working team out there. I think everyone in attendance can look forward to seeing some high-level wheelchair basketball throughout the weekend and the season to come.”

People from the community also will have the opportunity to try adaptive sports during an Adaptive Sports Clinic between 5 and 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 28, in the SC4 Fieldhouse.

“SC4 is honored to once again partner with the University of Michigan to host the Wolverine Invitational at the SC4 Fieldhouse,” said SC4 Senior Vice President Dr. Pete Lacey. “The U-M Adaptive Sports & Fitness staff has been instrumental in building awareness and opportunities for our campus and community. We look forward to welcoming so many incredible teams this year and we’re excited to have our own Skippers wheelchair basketball team as part of the event. I encourage all sports fans and community members to come to support this great event. Get ready to watch some of the best athletes in America compete for the Wolverine Invitational title.”

The tournament will follow a round-robin pool play, leading into the quarter-finals and semi-finals on Saturday evening. For more information about the event, including schedules, streaming, ticketing details and updates, visit UM Adaptive Sports & Fitness, follow @umichadaptivesports on Instagram or visit sc4.edu/wolverine.

The co-ed SC4 wheelchair basketball team is open to SC4 students and community members with disabilities or those who are able-bodied and passionate about wheelchair basketball, with priority given to students enrolled at SC4. For more information about joining the wheelchair basketball team at SC4, visit sc4.edu/campus-life/athletics/athlete-interest-form/.

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

SC4 kicks off fall arts season with Lexington Bach String Quartet, Sept. 14

The Lexington Bach String Quartet returns to campus to kick off the fall 2023 arts season at St. Clair County Community College (SC4) with performances at noon and 5 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 14, in SC4’s Fine Arts Theatre.

The Lexington Bach String Quartet features the following musicians:

  • Melody L. Wootton, first violin, is an active performer in the Detroit metropolitan area, playing with Detroit Opera, Broadway shows that appear in Detroit, and as a substitute violinist with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. She is a member of the Baldwin Ensemble, the Fishwick-Levine-Wootton Piano Trio, and performs as a soloist for Detroit area churches.
  • Denice Anderson Turck, second violin, and Lexington Bach Festival administrator, is a freelance violinist and music educator. She is concertmaster emeritus of the Adrian Symphony Orchestra, leader of Regency Strings and performs regularly with regional orchestras. Before moving to Michigan, Anderson Turck developed a highly regarded junior high school and elementary string music program for the Oconomowoc, Wisc., Public Schools. She also served as string coordinator of Project Create, a Suzuki Institute at Carroll University, Wisc., and was a member of the Madison Symphony, Waukesha Symphony and Milwaukee Ballet orchestras.
  • Janine Bradbury, viola, is from Commerce, Mich. She is principal viola with the Flint and Saginaw Bay Symphony orchestras, a member of the Ann Arbor Symphony and is an active freelancer. Bradbury is a former member of the Michigan Opera Theatre Orchestra, the Boulder, Colo., Philharmonic, and has subbed with Windsor, Toledo and Detroit symphonies. Bradbury played Broadway shows in Detroit for 15 years and toured with the Phantom of the Opera. As a freelancer, she has played for Aretha Franklin, Plant and Page, Mannheim Steamroller, The Three Tenors, The Who, and Earth, Wind and Fire. She enjoys teaching violin and viola and frequently adjudicates student performances for the Flint Institute of Music.
  • Irina Tikhonova, cello, began playing the cello at the age of six. Her mother, Lydia, loved to sing and selected cello for Tikhonova because its range is close to that of the singing voice. Before coming to this country, she performed with the Harmony Philharmonic Ensemble of Soloists in Kiev, the Renaissance Chamber Orchestra, and was the assistant principal cellist in the State Symphony Orchestra. Since immigrating to the United States from the Ukraine in 1991, Tikhonova has been principal cellist of the Saginaw Bay Symphony, the Bijou Music Ensemble, the Dearborn Symphony Orchestra, and is a member of the Flint Symphony Orchestra. She has more than 15 years of cello and chamber music teaching and coaching experience. Since 2008, Tikhonova has been on the faculty of Cellospeak in Pennsylvania.

Slated performance pieces include numbers by Johann Sebastian Bach, William Grant Still and Ludwig van Beethoven.

The Lexington Bach String Quartet concerts are free and open to the public—as are all upcoming arts events at SC4—and no tickets are needed. For the most current list of upcoming events at SC4, visit sc4.edu/events/.

SC4 signs on to The Detroit Promise Program, providing free college to Detroit high school students

St. Clair County Community College (SC4) has partnered with The Detroit Promise, a program that provides a tuition-free path to trade, two-year or four-year credentials for Detroit-based students. This expands options for students who live in and attend high school in Detroit to pursue postsecondary education at no cost.

“We are excited to partner with The Detroit Promise,” said SC4 Chief DEI Officer Jessica Brown. “While many of our students are St. Clair County residents, many more come to our college and community from other areas to enroll in classes. Last year, for instance, we welcomed students from more than 200 zip codes. This partnership with The Detroit Promise—enhanced by our College Housing options for SC4 students—will allow us to welcome and support more Detroit-area students seeking higher education.”

“I am thrilled to be expanding our partnerships and to welcome SC4 to The Detroit Promise,” said Detroit Promise Senior Director of College Success and Partnerships Wytrice Harris. “More higher education partners mean more options for students to pursue a degree or credential that will shape their futures. This growing support speaks to the value of this program for the students and educational institutions involved, as well as for the future of the state’s workforce and economy.”

The Detroit Promise works with its higher education partners to ensure improved access to and success through postsecondary education for Detroit students, and the program is celebrating 10 years in 2023 and more than 5,000 students supported from over 50 Detroit high schools. The Promise covers the total cost of tuition and other expenses after any Pell or TIP funding is applied to a student’s bill. The noncompetitive award is available to any student that meets basic requirements and applies for the Detroit Promise.

SC4 is one of just eight community colleges across Michigan that offers College Housing—and the only one in Southeast Michigan.

Additionally, SC4 offers many other free and reduced tuition programs and options to help students across Michigan and beyond earn college credits, including scholarships, dual enrollment, middle colleges, the Michigan Achievement Scholarship, Michigan Reconnect Scholarship, Tuition Incentive Program, Federal Pell and other grants, and much more.

For more information on The Detroit Promise and to apply, visit https://detroitpromise.com/. To apply to SC4, visit https://sc4.edu/. To learn more and apply for SC4 College Housing, visit sc4.edu/housing/.