SC4 students to take on final stage of national cybersecurity competition this weekend

This Friday through Sunday, students in St. Clair County Community College’s computer information systems networking degree program will compete against teams across the country as part of the Fall 2018 National Cyber League (NCL) competition.

ncl-logo_cropFounded in 2011, the NCL provides an ongoing virtual training ground for individuals to develop and validate cybersecurity knowledge in a defensive and offensive puzzle-based, capture-the-flag style competition. Participants play the games simultaneously during a preseason, regular season and postseason, competing as individuals and on teams to test themselves against cybersecurity challenges they are likely to face in the workforce.

SC4’s NCL team is comprised of nine students from the college’s Network Security-Security+ Certification course. Led by adjunct instructor Bill Pilkey, team members took part in the regular season competition Nov. 1 through 2, when participants are only allowed to solve game challenges individually. During the postseason, SC4 students will compete in two groups due to changing requirements that limit teams to a maximum of five players.

“Real-world cybersecurity work is often done in teams, and the NCL postseason event provides a safe and challenging environment for individual players from the regular season to apply their knowledge and skills in a team setting,” says Pilkey. “The team event requires players to work together to solve real problems, with real deadlines, under time — and in some cases — technical and resource constraints.”

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Nearly 1,000 teams representing schools across the country will compete in this year’s NCL postseason. Community colleges are in a unique position, Pilkey explains, as students generally compete for just one year, while students at four-year institutions stay with their teams much longer. “We end up with a new group each year, except for a couple previous competitors,” Pilkey says.

Beyond the thrill of competition and potential recognition for winners, NCL team members gain invaluable hands-on experience that complements their education and helps them stand out to potential employers. “Being in a competition like this is a great addition to students’ resumes. It adds to all parts of data security and hacking, exposing them to every aspect of cybersecurity,” says Pilkey.

The NCL postseason matchup will be held entirely online, running 24/7 Friday through Sunday. To make collaboration easier, SC4’s team members will be working together on campus Friday from 3 to 9:30 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. The NCL season officially concludes Dec. 16.

265 local students to get first look at SC4 Experience Center

On Friday, Nov. 2, 265 students from the STEAM Academy at Woodrow Wilson and Memphis Community Schools will get a first look at St. Clair County Community College’s new Experience Center partnership with the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum before the Super Science Day public preview event Nov. 3.

One goal of the Experience Center is to provide unique experiential education opportunities to local students who may not otherwise have access to them.

“It is so important to have something like this right in our own community,” says STEAM Academy at Woodrow Wilson Principal Joseph Kramer. “Many of our students don’t have the ability to travel to Ann Arbor, Detroit or other areas around the state where these kind of opportunities exist. This is such a valuable resource, and we look forward to making these field trips for many years to come.”

During their visit, students will explore interactive exhibits on science, technology, engineering, arts and math, experiencing all the activities that will be part of Super Science Day ahead of schedule. They will have the opportunity to conduct innovative experiments, engage with live animals, interact with music and movement through a sonic display, explore the inside of an ambulance, learn about solar and wind energy, see an amazing collection of fossils and specimens, and view SC4’s new live sturgeon exhibit.

“This is precisely what we envisioned with this partnership,” says SC4 President Dr. Deborah Snyder. “The Experience Center will allow us to welcome more visitors to campus to provide them with an exciting experience that helps educate and inspire them.”

Super Science Day takes place from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, November 3 in SC4’s Clara E. Mackenzie Building. The event is free and open to the public.

For more information about scheduling a field trip to the Experience Center, send an email to

Area residents can join SC4 on trip to Stratford Festival Theatre

PORT HURON – St. Clair County Community College has announced a community trip — open to all area residents — to the Stratford Festival Theatre for a production of Meredith Willson’s The Music Man on Sunday, Oct. 28.

For $130, participants can enjoy round-trip transportation by motor coach, premier seating at the theatre, dinner, refreshments, prizes, a tour of downtown Stratford and a “Movie-on-the-Move” during the ride.

“I think these trips are a great opportunity for our college and community to come together and share in some truly special cultural experiences,” says Bonnie DiNardo, SC4’s director of community education and relations.

Located in Stratford, Ontario, the Stratford Festival Theatre is North America’s largest classical repertory theatre company, presenting a dozen or more productions across four distinct venues each year.

The Music Man features acrobatic dancing in a family-friendly musical comedy that follows a charming but fraudulent salesman who arrives in River City to work his usual scam.

Space is limited. Those interested must register by Oct. 12. Visit to learn more and secure your spot.


  • 8:30 a.m. – Depart SC4 College Center parking lot.
    • Contests and trivia on the bus.
    • Restroom available on the bus.
    • Rest area stops are planned.
  • 9:30 a.m. – Quick stop for coffee.
  • 10:30 a.m. – Enjoy the unique Tina Tour of downtown Stratford, then take time to shop, explore and have lunch on your own.
  • 1 p.m. – Return to bus for five-minute ride to Stratford Festival Theatre. Explore the gardens, museum and gift shop.
  • 2 p.m. – The Music Man
  • 5:30 p.m. – Dinner at the historic Quehl’s Restaurant in Tavistock.
  • 7:30 p.m. – Depart for Port Huron
    • Movie-on-the-Move and popcorn (The Greatest Showman starring Hugh Jackman).

For questions, contact Valerie Hoste at 810-989-5844 or

SC4’s annual faculty art exhibit puts talent, passion on display

IMG_20180926_131029975St. Clair County Community College’s annual faculty art showcase, “Collectively Independent” is now open for exploration in the SC4 Fine Arts Gallery.

Now in its sixth consecutive year, the showcase 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.

“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 custom-designed skateboard decks and beer labels, the exhibit offers a unique opportunity for SC4 students to observe the artistic interests and expertise of the instructors who interact with them every day.

“This exhibit displays just how skilled and well-qualified our faculty members are,” Says Celeste Skalnek, director of college, cultural and alumni relations. “I think it shows our students and community the level of artistic ability these instructors bring to the classroom as experts in their fields.”

“Collectively Independent” runs until Nov. 12 and is free and open to the public.

New SC4, Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum partnership to bring Experience Center and STEAM programming to Blue Water Area

St. Clair County Community College has partnered with the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum on its new Experience Center, a 16,000-square-foot hands-on science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) center located in the Clara E. Mackenzie Building at SC4. A sneak preview event, Super Science Day, is scheduled from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Nov. 3, and is free and open to the public.

EXp center resized1The center – the only one of its kind in St. Clair County and the Blue Water Area – will provide interactive teaching and learning opportunities for students and guests of all ages through exhibits, a maker space and educational programming opportunities. A series of custom and unique interactive hands-on exhibits will complement the college’s existing exhibits in the Dr. Bassam H. Nasr Science Museum, which is housed in the Experience Center.

The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum, which was founded in 1982 and works together under the Unity in Learning umbrella with the Leslie Science & Nature Center and the Yankee Air Museum, welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. The partnership is opening the expanded center with a traveling wind and solar energy exhibit sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and the City of Ann Arbor’s Energy Office.

“The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum and SC4 share a vision to bring the excitement of learning to as many individuals as possible,” said Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum Director Mel Drumm. “We are pleased to collaborate with such a well-respected and forward-thinking community college partner, and we look forward to expanding interactive learning opportunities for Michigan students and residents.”

ExpCenter SolarIn addition to SC4’s already established Nasr exhibits, Super Science Day will feature travelling and temporary exhibits and programming to give community members a glimpse into the Experience Center’s future potential for the region. The event will offer guests the opportunity to conduct 10 super science experiments, explore music and movement through a sonic display, and marvel at a wide selection of live animals and demonstrations led by Museum and Leslie Science & Nature Center experts.

“This partnership supports SC4’s growth, sustainability and community priorities by strengthening our ability to engage and serve current students, attract future students to campus, and serve as a regional center of experiential learning for our community,” said SC4 President Deborah Snyder. “The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum is well known for its ability to engage and excite. We look forward to working together to inspire future generations.”

Questions regarding the Experience Center can be sent to

SC4 to host community tailgate before Sept. 18 volleyball match

St. Clair County Community College will celebrate another exciting year of Skipper athletics with a community tailgate party at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 18, outside the SC4 Fieldhouse. The family-friendly event leads up to the Skippers volleyball match against Concordia University at 7 p.m.

The tailgate and volleyball match are free and open to the public. Attendees can enjoy food, live music, trivia, lawn games and prizes. Members of the volleyball team also will be on site to meet and greet tailgaters.

If you are interested attending, there is no need to RSVP — just  be sure to bring your appetite and Skipper pride.

SC4 to host more than 200 Michigan educators and advocates for open education resources summit

St. Clair County Community College will host more than 200 open education practitioners and advocates from across the state as part of the second annual Michigan Open Educational Resources (OER) Summit on Friday, Sept. 21.

Organized by Michigan Colleges Online, the MI OER Summit is a daylong event that brings together educators from Michigan community colleges, four-year institutions, state and regional organizations, and libraries to discuss how freely accessible, openly licensed text, media and other digital assets can increase student learning and success while reducing the cost of higher education.

girrardDr. Chris Gilliard, professor of English and rhetoric at Macomb Community College and 2018 Digital Pedagogy Lab faculty at the University of Mary Washington, will deliver this year’s keynote address. His presentation, “Interrogating Access: Privacy, Equity & Open Education,” will focus on understanding the risks and vulnerabilities of OER in contemporary society. Other topics at this year’s conference range from remixing OER for the classroom to measuring the impact of OER initiatives and more.

“The unique thing about the summit is that it caters to many audiences,” said Kendra Lake, SC4 dean of library services and academic technology. “The conference welcomes learners at all stages of their understanding to learn more about open education and the impact it has on the student experience. It also gives the college an opportunity to showcase the efforts that our faculty and staff have put toward embracing OER and the tenants of open education here on campus.”

Prior to the conference on Thursday, Sept. 20, OER leaders from Michigan community colleges and university libraries, along with representatives from the Library of Michigan and the Midwest Collaborative for Library Services, will hold their inaugural meeting on the SC4 campus, where they will discuss the current state of open education in Michigan and the potential for a statewide OER movement.

The 2018 Michigan OER Summit will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. in the SC4 Fine Arts Theatre, 323 Erie St., Port Huron MI. Faculty members, librarians, instructional designers, K-12 teachers and administrators, and students are invited to attend.

To register or for more information, visit