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The Alumni Magazine of JCCC

Reconnect Fall 2009

Visual and Performing Arts Merge



Cover Karen Gerety Folk, curator of art education, Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, and Angel Mercier, program director, Carlsen Center Performing Arts Outreach, developed a new program that combines visual and performing arts for students. (Page 4)

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The Alumni Magazine of JCCC Reconnect is published  three times a year by  Johnson County Community College  12345 College Blvd. Overland Park, KS 66210­1299  913­469­8500  fax 913­469­2559 Reconnect is produced by the  JCCC Foundation, College Information and Publications and the Office  of Document Services. Editor: Emily Fowler Behrmann Reporter: Peggy Graham Photographer: Bret Gustafson Designer: Randy Breeden

For more information  about JCCC Alumni, call the JCCC Foundation, 913­469­3835. 2

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Imagination Soars with

Stages and Studios Program

Stages and Studios: All Arts Day is a partnership between the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art and the Performing Arts Outreach programs.

Field School Unearths

the Past, Builds the Future

In 2008 and 2009, Dr. William McFarlane, associate professor, anthropology, and Dr. Miranda Stockett, adjunct professor, anthropology, led an archaeological field school in Jesús de Otero valley in Honduras.

Legal Studies Makes a Case for Technology JCCC’s paralegal training program now has a dedicated classroom with the latest law office software.

Hiersteiner Child Development Center Gets a New Playground After 19 years, the HCDC is replacing its playground with nature­ based outdoor learning centers.

JCCC Graduate Awarded Prestigious Scholarship Jose Ignacio Carvajal­Regidor is the recipient of a national Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship.

JCCC Grad Receives $25,000 to Attend Carnegie Mellon Mackenzie Evan Smith received two scholarships totaling $25,000 from Carnegie Mellon University.

Second Service Marianne Jones and Becky Wassmer never expected to be two  of the key players on JCCC’s women’s tennis team.

Oda Flies High with His Dream Habtamu Oda has come a long way from the days when he was  a boy of seven herding cattle in the Ethiopian countryside.

JCCC Sows Sustainable Agriculture The Sustainable Agriculture Fall Practicum gives students  hands­on experience at the Kansas State University Research and Extension Center. 

Jobs Wanted Job clubs are just one aspect of JCCC’s Community Career Services.


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Save the Date: Grant Gives Breath of Life

Thu.­Sat., Oct. 1­3, 9­11

JCCC is one of four institutions to receive a $2.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Closer Than Ever – JCCC Academic Theatre,  7:30 p.m., Black Box Theatre, Free

Mobile Clinic Adds Polish to Dental Care

Fri., Oct. 2 JCCC MOVIE: The Hangover, Noon (free) and  7:30 p.m. ($1), Craig Community Auditorium (233 GEB) Free popcorn!

Oral Health on Wheels, a new mobile dental clinic, takes dental hygiene students off campus.

Fri.­Sat., Oct. 2­3 War of the Worlds; The Lost World – Performing Arts Series, 8 p.m., Yardley Hall, $30, $20, 913­469­4445

Auction Raises Dollars for Scholars In April 2009, the Dollars for Scholars auction earned more than $51,000 in net profits to support 31 scholarships and programs.

Cavaliers Win National Championships

Fri., Oct. 9 JCCC MOVIE: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,  Noon (free) and 7:30 p.m. ($1), Craig Community Auditorium (233 GEB) Free popcorn!

Fri., Oct. 9 Tommy Emmanuel, guitar – Performing Arts Series,  8 p.m., Yardley Hall, $30, 913­469­4445

JCCC’s Cavaliers won two national championships during the 2008­2009 academic year.

Kent Shelley – the Winningest Coach in JCCC History The chapters highlighting Kent Shelley’s storied baseball coaching career continue to grow.

Sat., Oct. 10 The Spencers, Theatre of Illusion – Performing Arts Series, 7 p.m., Yardley Hall, $35, $25, 913­469­4445

Fri.­Sat., Oct. 16­17 Autism Spectrum Conference – $10 For more information, or  call Jason Rozelle, 913­469­8500, ext. 4327

JCCC to be Visited by Accreditation Team

Fri., Oct. 23

JCCC will undergo a comprehensive quality checkup visit  Nov. 11­13, 2009.

JCCC MOVIE: Public Enemies, Noon (free) and  7:30 p.m. ($1), Craig Community Auditorium  (233 GEB) Free popcorn!

Let’s Reconnect!

Sat., Oct. 24

Back Cover Want to Learn About Learning in Johnson County? Check out, an online partnership of Johnson County’s public school districts and Johnson County Community College.

Beyond Bounds – GLOW, a benefit for the Nerman

Museum of Contemporary Art

Artists from across the country and around the world

receive a raw material and use their considerable

talents to create an original work of art for auction. 

All proceeds benefit the Nerman Museum.

7 p.m., $40, 913­469­3835

Includes gourmet food, live entertainment and art!

Sat., Oct. 24 Rasta Thomas’ Bad Boys of Dance – Performing Arts Series, 8 p.m., Yardley Hall, $35, $25, 913­469­4445

Fri., Oct. 30 Emma Kirkby, soprano and Jakob Lindberg, lute – Performing Arts Series, 8 p.m., Polsky Theatre, $30, 913­469­4445

Fri., Nov. 6 JCCC MOVIE: The Soloist, Noon (free) and  7:30 p.m. ($1), Craig Community Auditorium  (233 GEB) Free popcorn!

Sat., Nov. 14

Fall 2009

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Some Enchanted Evening: A black­tie scholarship benefit for JCCC students Overland Park Marriott, 6:30 p.m., $250 per person, 913­469­3835

Imagination Soars with SAS O n a warm spring day, 90 fourth­graders from

Starside Elementary School, De Soto, experienced

a full day of visual and performing arts on the JCCC campus as part of the pilot program for Stages and

Studios: All Arts Day, a partnership between the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art and the Performing Arts education programs. The day owed its success, in part, to the organization

of JCCC staff, Starside teachers and parents, volunteer

docents and professional actors and, in part, to the

creativity and imagination of 10­ and 11­year­olds.


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(front row, left to right) Kaleb Freeman, docent Sharon Lund, Emily Robbinson, Colton Pasquale and Jackson Thaemert look at Dancing Coyotes by Diego Romero in the Dean E. Thompson Gallery. Fall 2009

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Karen Gerety Folk led fourth­graders in making a 3­D collage of an imaginary animal. “I thought the day went very well,” said Karen Gerety Folk, curator of art education, Nerman Museum. “The kids loved it, and there was a lot of energy on campus.”

Students arrived for a 9:45 a.m. performance of Spirit Horse, a play that explores family bonds and Stoney First Nations traditions, in Yardley Hall of the Carlsen Center.

“It was gratifying to have the fourth­ grade students on campus giving life to the partnership. The students were very excited and deeply involved in both the performance and visual arts,” said Angel Mercier, program director, Performing Arts Outreach.

“The play was about fighting racism,” explained student Haydn McGrew.

Mercier and Folk are responsible for the creation and implementation of SAS, securing program funding, developing study guides and activities according to Kansas curricular standards for theater and visual arts, precisely organizing students’ time schedules and even mailing an orientation CD in advance to each Starside teacher to familiarize students with the layout of the JCCC campus and museum spaces. 6

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After lunch, students were divided into four groups for the visual arts portion of the day, which included two tours and two hands­on activities. One docent­led tour took students to Native American art on the second­floor galleries of the Nerman Museum and Regnier Center, and the other tour focused on animals in art on campus. In between tours, students created two art projects – a 3­D collage of an imaginary animal created from geometric shapes and a Model Magic clay coil vessel incorporating animal figures. “Art can be unusual,” said Liza Elwell,

student, politely when asked what she thought about campus art. Students returned to the Carlsen Center from 2 to 3 p.m. for small­group tours of theater and backstage spaces and a “talk back” with Spirit Horse actors. During the talk, students were asked to reflect on the music, set, cultural symbolism and implications in the play. Then students had their chance to ask questions and make comments like “Why did you use four actors to play 32 roles?” and “The pits is for people who forget their lines.” Teacher Kristl Llamas said the children seemed to like the day, especially since there were lots of hands­on activities to keep them involved. “We are excited about today because we have students who have never had the chance to go to a museum or a theater,” said Chris Cappel, Starside art teacher.

Tamara Kingston, key stagehand, takes students through the theater department’s scene shop.  Folk and Mercier say they plan to continue SAS with programs four times a year with four different topics for different schools, pending available funding. The pilot program was funded in part by donations from private individuals and by the Performing Arts Education program and the Nerman Museum. “We want to continue offering SAS programs to students who do not otherwise have exposure to the arts,” Mercier said. “This program combines the best of what JCCC’s arts venues have to offer children in the community,” Folk said.

Make a gift to support JCCC arts education in the Nerman Museum or Performing Arts Series. Call 913­469­3835 or go to

Lucas Dunn creates a coil vessel in the Museum’s studio classroom. Fall 2009

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Field School Unearths the Past, Builds the Future Elizabeth Varughese, Sara Ramirez, Dr. Miranda Stockett, Dr. William McFarlane, Samantha Phillips, Michelle Phillips and Nick Erickson made up the first JCCC field school to western Honduras in summer 2008.


uring the summer of 2008 and again in 2009, Dr. William McFarlane, associate professor, anthropology, and Dr. Miranda Stockett, adjunct professor, anthropology, led an archaeological field school from JCCC as part of a community­based research project in Jesús de Otero valley in western Honduras. For JCCC students, this is an opportunity for hands­on excavation of pre­Columbian artifacts while earning credits for two JCCC classes, People and Cultures of Mesoamerica and Archeological Field Methods. “In terms of archeology, the Jesús de Otero valley is a rich research area,” McFarlane said. “It is on the frontier between the Maya and Lenca, so any archaeology done in this area is going to address issues of cultural identity. For example what does it mean to be Lenca and how is that similar or different than being Maya?” Working with the Honduran Institute of 8

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Anthropology and History and community leaders, McFarlane and Stockett, both experts in Honduran archaeology, have identified the research potential of 14 pre­Columbian sites in the valley. Information gleaned from each site will be a piece of a bigger puzzle. “Our question as anthropologists is: Why are there so many sites in this valley? Are there social or political reasons or a chronological reason?” McFarlane said. Before the puzzle is solved comes the arduous work of excavating one site at a time. In 2008, JCCC students began the first excavation in the city of Sinsimbla, centrally located in the middle of the valley, surrounded by agricultural fields. They were digging in the fields from 7:30 a.m. to noon five days a week in the heat and humidity of the Honduran rainy season. After a lunch break, lab work began – washing and documenting artifacts. No lost ark, crystal skull or Temple of Doom were

unearthed, but parts of pots and household tools were prized as windows to the past. “People say that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” McFarlane said. “Just about everything archaeologists look at is trash – things thrown out by people from the past. By looking at this trash, we can infer the range of daily activities conducted at a certain place.” Students spent weeknights discussing readings for their People and Cultures of Mesoamerica class, and weekends provided opportunities for international education and cultural experiences with visits to prehistoric Mayan cities, modern Lenca communities, colonial centers and ecological preserves. Students maintained extensive field notes, documenting everything that came out of the ground. All artifacts excavated by the JCCC field school have been warehoused in Jesús de Otero. Stockett and McFarlane, as project directors, filed a formal report with the Honduran

Institute of Anthropology and History and local government officials. But more than a look into the past, JCCC students and the two JCCC anthropologists are making a contribution to sustainable economic development in the Jesús de Otero valley. Artifacts unearthed will contribute toward a Casa de Cultura in the valley, sought after by locals as a civic center/tourist attraction that preserves archeology, anthropology, theater, music and dance. With encouragement from McFarlane and Stockett, the Honduran Minister of Culture agreed to its funding.  “The responsibility of community­based archaeology is to share what we find out and listen to what community members want from us,” McFarlane said. “The groundwork for a long­term cooperative effort between JCCC, the Jesús de Otero valley community and Honduran government has been laid. Each year we can delve further into the prehistory of the valley.”  Dr. Miranda Stockett, Michelle Phillips, Sara Ramirez and Nick Erickson excavate a residential structure. 

Elizabeth Varughese is photographed in one of the excavation units.

Dr. William McFarlane conducts class out in the field. Fall 2009

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Legal Studies Makes a Case for Technology Legal studies faculty Norma Stratemeier, Jay Nadlman and Anita Tebbe are shown here in the new electronic classroom.


ove over, Perry Mason. Wake up, Judge Judy. The practice of law has gone electronic, and so has JCCC’s paralegal training.

Starting in the 2009 spring semester, JCCC’s paralegal training program opened a dedicated classroom in 379 GEB with 22 computers boasting high­ speed Internet connections, wide­screen monitors and the latest law office software. Gone are the days of poring over volumes of leatherbound books in a law library. Now students have instant access to a complete body of state and federal statutes and cases through WestLaw and LexisNexis from their classroom desks. In addition, students gain hands­on experience with the most popular law office programs including Summation, CaseMap and TimeMap. “Some attorneys are not that computer literate, especially in regards to the new legal software, so they really depend on paralegals for assistance,” said Anita Tebbe, professor and chair, legal studies. 10

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“Anymore, you can’t really be a paralegal without this kind of training.”

video depositions presentation.

“The electronic classroom allows our graduates to leave the program ready to use the latest software and equipment, and prepared to adopt new forms of technology as they become available,” said Jay Nadlman, assistant professor, legal studies.

Tebbe says the courtroom will provide a revenue­generating facility that could be used by outside law firms for mock trials or arbitration sessions, host actual proceedings by an appellate court or trial courts, which are accessible to the public, and allow for realistic student instruction and performance. Legal studies faculty are working with the Workforce, Community and Economic Development branch toward the courtroom’s implementation.

Tebbe anticipates an increased number of working paralegals returning to JCCC for classes because they need this legal software training. Current legal studies faculty credit Mike Pener, professor emeritus, with the idea of a two­phase project to make JCCC’s paralegals more competitive in the job market. The first phase is the electronic classroom, and the second is a courtroom simulation lab. Courtroom plans call for a three­judge bench, witness stand, jury box, court reporter seat and observation area – all equipped with the latest technology for showing



“As the role of the paralegal expands, they need access to the latest research and analysis technologies,” said Norma Stratemeier, legal studies professor. “Our graduates need to be versed in law office and courtroom software.” For more information about the JCCC paralegal program, call Tebbe at 913­469­3184 or

photo credit Craig Sands

Playground Takes a Recess Members of the Allen County Community College baseball team disassembled the old playground equipment for use by the city of Elsmore. 


ho doesn’t remember their first playground, where swinging was almost like flying, and the top of the slide was the summit of Kilimanjaro? Adults think it’s child’s play, but experts in early child care education like Sara McElhenny, program director, Hiersteiner Child Development Center, know that outdoor play develops socialization, fine and large motor skills, imagination, exploration of the senses, respect for nature and cognitive skills. So after 19 years, the HCDC is replacing its playground with nature­based outdoor learning centers designed by landscape architects Bowman Bowman Novick. The play area is divided into three age groups: ages 1­2½, 2­4 and 3­6.

four years. Early fundraisers included T­shirt and HCDC cookbook sales and faculty/staff gifts. The project catapulted with $296,000 from the 2008­09 JCCC budget and $20,000 from the M.R. and Evelyn Hudson Foundation. Donations of $16,000 are still needed to realize a full wish­list of amenities like prairie shades, wooden playhouse, berm embankment slides and the top priority – a rubberized surface that is softer and, in the long term, requires less maintenance than the alternative – engineered mulch. Demolition of the site took place in February, thanks to the donated services of McAnany Construction. The Allen

County Community College baseball team disassembled and moved the old equipment, which was sold to the city of Elsmore. Construction began in April with a community planting planned for fall, optimal planting time for trees, with willow bulbs slated for spring 2010. Chalk marks appeared on campus sidewalks over the summer as children played at alternative campus sites during that time. “I want children to enjoy the outdoors, to know who lives out there, and how to take care of it. Children need to get away from the computer and television and use their imaginations,” McElhenny said.

Of course, safety is the primary issue, as well as physical issues like accessibility, privacy, drinking fountains and protection from the sun and wind. However, the child in all of us will appreciate the fun elements – water play features, embankment slides, musical instruments, tire swing, hollow log, net climber, willow hideaways and gardens. “This is going to be a good learning environment for children, full of things to do,” McElhenny said. The new play area has been a dream of parents and HCDC teachers for about

(left to right) Teachers lead 2½­ to 4­year­olds on a walk past the empty playground before renovations begin. Fall 2009

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JCCC Graduate Receives Prestigious Scholarship J

ose Ignacio Carvajal­Regidor, Lawrence, a Johnson County Community College graduate, is the recipient of a national Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship, which honors excellence by supporting outstanding community college students with financial need to transfer and complete their bachelor’s degrees at the nation’s top four­year colleges and universities. Carvajal­Regidor was notified of the award at a surprise presentation May 1 at JCCC’s Writing Center, where he has been a peer tutor for two years. Carvajal­Regidor has many top honors at JCCC, where he is a member of the Honors Program and Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society of the two­year colleges. He holds a JCCC Board of Directors’ Leadership Scholarship and Honors Program Scholarship. His grade point average has consistently put him on the President’s Honor Roll. In addition to his work in the Writing Center, he is a research assistant for the American Indian Health Research and Education Alliance. This fall, Carvajal­Regidor is attending the University of Kansas, pursuing a career teaching Latin American history or literature while he continues his creative writing. The Jack Kent Cooke scholarship covers unmet expenses up to the amount of $30,000. The scholarship is impressive, made even more significant by the fact that Carvajal­Regidor did not learn English until age 14, when his family moved from Costa Rica to Lawrence. In eighth grade, Carvajal­Regidor took ESL classes for about a year and became immersed in the language living in the United States. After graduation from Lawrence High School in May 2007, he started classes at the college. “At first I didn’t want to come to JCCC, but I didn’t have the money to go to KU,” Carvajal­Regidor said. “Then I came here, took a composition class and got a job in the Writing Center. I really liked my teachers and classes.” In turn, his teachers hold Carvajal­Regidor in high regard. “Ignacio is one of the most remarkable students I’ve ever had,” said William Stockton, history professor. “He is a brilliant student and very professional in dealing with classmates, friends and teachers. He is very conscientious about his work at the Writing Center. He studies and, at the same time, he has a wonderful sense of humor.” At JCCC, Carvajal­Regidor became actively involved in studies and extracurricular activities. He served as the student editor of the 2009 Mind’s Eye, JCCC’s student literary magazine. His forte is poetry. He received a standing ovation at JCCC’s multicultural festival reading his own poem, deconstructing the stereotypes of male Latinos. He is also a member of the 12

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Kansas City Latino Writers Collective. Buoyed by his own confidence as an outstanding student in a second language, Carvajal­Regidor decided to give back. He returned to Lawrence High School helping junior and senior ESL students with creative writing projects. “It was rewarding,” Carvajal­Regidor said. “Even for students who were not into creative writing, it was a nice exercise that was out of the ordinary from the routine ESL classes, which are mostly grammar.” As for the Jack Kent Cooke scholarship, Carvajal­Regidor said, “This is a big step for me. I was confident in my approach to studies and confident in my ability to learn, but this scholarship was a long shot. All I do in life is ultimately the result of the love that God, my mother and family have for me.”

JCCC Grad Receives $25,000 to Attend Carnegie Mellon M

ackenzie Evan Smith, Overland Park, a May graduate of Johnson County Community College, received two scholarships totaling $25,000 from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, where she plans to major in creative writing and minor in Arabic, beginning this fall. After earning her bachelor’s degree, Smith wants to work for the Peace Corps in the Middle East or North Africa, sail solo around the world allowing her to complete and write about anthropological field studies at various outposts, become an interpreter for a nongovernmental agency like Doctors Without Borders in an Arabic­speaking part of the world, and hitchhike on every world continent and write about it. Don’t dismiss Smith’s ambitions as youthful bravado. At 24, she already has an impressive record of volunteering, travel and scholarship. Home­schooled, Smith took five years off between high school and college to accomplish three self­imposed challenges: hike the Appalachian Trail, live in a foreign country on her own and sail across the Atlantic Ocean. She’s crossed them all off her list. In an impressive feat, Smith hiked 2,175 miles by herself from Georgia to Maine in six months. To achieve her second goal, Smith, who earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, lived in Switzerland for six months working at Our Chalet in the Swiss Alps above Bern, a world center for the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. Her third accomplishment was working as a boatswain’s mate for Jubilee Sailing Trust, a charity based in the United Kingdom that enables people of all abilities to sail side­by­side as equals. During her work with the nonprofit agency, Smith traveled from Monaco to Seville around the Mediterranean, then across the Atlantic to the Caribbean, Bahamas and Bermuda. After her worldwide adventures, Smith enrolled in JCCC in 2007 because it was close to home and affordable. “I wanted a college that was cost­effective. I know that with my professional career plans I won’t make a lot of money, so I don’t want to go into debt,” Smith said. “JCCC proved to be a good experience. I am very fond of it, and it’s one of the best community colleges in the country.”

At JCCC, Smith continued her success. She worked as a peer tutor at the Writing Center for three semesters and was a member of the two­year college honor society Phi Theta Kappa, Honors Program graduate, volunteer English conversation partner and the recipient of five JCCC scholarships. She has studied in Morocco and Egypt. Smith says she would like to combine her passion for creative

writing, travel (she’s been to 33 countries), helping people, Arabic language and anthropology to “compose fiction about people and cultures in conflict.” She attributes her sense of adventure to her parents who always encourage her to fulfill her goals and attributes her altruism to her Scouting background. “Volunteering instills happiness,” Smith said. “By the world’s standards I am rich, even though I live my life below poverty level. I feel a duty to contribute to people who don’t have life as nice as we do in the United States.” By the way, Smith arrived to the interview on campus via her bike. And  that  hitchhiking  story  – it  is  underway. She  has hitchhiked on four continents already: North America, South America, Europe  and  Africa, and  will  add  Asia  this  summer. Fall 2009

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Second Service T

he community college system in this country provides people a unique opportunity for a fresh start. Marianne Jones and Becky Wassmer have raised their children and decided to enroll at Johnson County Community College spring 2009 to learn a new trade. Jones is an interior design major, and Wassmer, who has been accepted to the University of Kansas School of Nursing, is taking some of her prerequisite courses at JCCC. What neither expected was to be two of the key players on JCCC’s women’s tennis team coached by Glen Moser.

Jones was asked to join the team after striking up a conversation with Moser during her son’s Tae Kwon Do tournament at JCCC. Jones was wearing a John Newcombe T­shirt, and Moser noticed and asked about it. As they continued to talk, Moser found out she was a level 4.0 United States Tennis Association player and jokingly asked if she would like to join the team. When she informed him she was a student, Moser assured her his offer was serious. Wassmer’s journey to the team roster was similar. A level 4.5 USTA player, Wassmer knew assistant coach Grant Priddy. When he found out she was coming to JCCC for her classes before nursing school, he asked if she would be interested in playing for the team this spring. Both their families were very excited and supportive, and their teammates have been very accepting as well. “I am just thrilled to have this experience,” Jones said. Wassmer expressed the same feeling. “It has been a wonderful experience and it is exciting to be part of this team.” Moser has high expectations for his two new “veteran” players. Both are projected to play in the upper half of the singles lineup and could be paired together in doubles play. 14

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Marianne Jones (left) and Becky Wassmer returned to JCCC for classes and tennis. “We are very fortunate to have them join us this season,” Moser said. “They give us opportunity to contend in our matches this season and continue our streak of reaching the national tournament.”

Story by Tyler Cundith

Support JCCC students and  programs with a donation!  Any amount can help achieve dreams.


hen Habtamu Oda was a boy of seven  herding  cattle  in  the Ethiopian countryside, he saw an airplane fly  over  the  mountains. Oda  told  his father that some day he wanted to fly in an airplane, and his father laughed. A month later, Oda’s father told him that if he seriously wanted to fly in an airplane, then he would need an education. So Oda was allowed to attend elementary school, walking back and forth from his village five miles a day, sometimes barefoot. When it came time for high school, Oda’s father bought him a bike so he could travel an even longer distance. Because of his high grades, he was accepted to Addis Ababa University, earning a bachelor’s degree in economics. “In developing countries, it is not easy to have access to an education,” Oda said. “Most people stay in the fields, marry young and remain in the village where they were born. I appreciate my dad for letting me go to school.”

Oda Flies High with His Dream

After graduation, Oda worked in the Ethiopian Ministry of Finance. Later he took a job as a project manager for registered nongovernmental organizations such as Serve the Children, which provides education and counseling to children and families in need especially in West Africa, India and Indonesia, and Hope Enterprises, which serves people in Ethiopia. And that is when the time came for Oda to fly in an airplane. “If you have a dream and work hard, you can achieve anything,” Oda said. Oda is proof of his own wisdom. Oda has been a college custodian since July 2000 while earning an associate’s degree in 2005 at JCCC and a master’s in social work in May 2008 from the University of Kansas. He worked 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. at the college and attended classes during the day, also spending time with his wife and two children, who were ages four and six in 2000. While Oda already had a bachelor’s degree in economics, he wanted to attend JCCC to familiarize himself with the U.S. education system and complete prerequisites for the KU master’s program. A good student, Oda had a 3.39 GPA

Habtamu Oda earned his master’s degree in social work in May 2008. with 78 credit hours from JCCC and a 3.93 GPA at KU. KU accepted Oda directly into its master’s program based on an evaluation of his Addis Ababa University degree and JCCC courses. “JCCC was the beginning for me,” Oda said. “Attending classes here gave me the energy and courage to get my master’s degree. In respect to education, nothing is impossible.” Oda is grateful to Campus Services supervisors for their support. He was allowed flexible hours in order to fulfill his social work practicums.

goals. Most immediately he wants to work in the Kansas City metro area as a social worker at a social service agency or as a counselor. In approximately eight years, he plans to return to developing countries with a goal to work for an international organization like UNICEF helping children and older adults displaced by war or famine. And finally, he would like to establish an organization to help homeless and disadvantaged children, advocating for human rights on issues of poverty and homelessness in developing countries. “That is my vision,” Oda said.

Now with a master’s of social work, Oda has short­term, mid­term and long­range Fall 2009

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JCCC Sows Sustainable Agriculture Students raise one of three high tunnels in the K­State Research and Extension Center practicum gardens.


erry Sexton, Lawrence, who has plans to be a wholesale grower of ornamental grasses and shrubs as part of a career change, enrolled in the Sustainable Agriculture Fall Practicum, gaining hands­on experience seven hours a week at the Kansas State University Research and Extension Center, 35230 W. 135th St., Olathe.

practicum, students erected high tunnels to allow for three­season gardens – spring, fall and summer. Other tasks include production and marketing of summer and fall crops; planning; integrating crop management and crop rotation; maximizing soil fertility and recordkeeping.

The practicum is part of JCCC’s new 28­hour sustainable agriculture entrepreneurship certificate program that provides education in agriscience and agribusiness, focusing on sustainable agriculture, market farming, the preparation of locally grown food and entrepreneurship. The program is a partnership among JCCC’s hospitality management, horticulture and entrepreneurship programs and K­State.

On the first day of a heavy frost last fall, students tread lightly through the garden so as to not break off leaves of hardy survivors. Floating row covers protect the greens while allowing light, water and air to penetrate. Fall and winter garden crops include Russian red kale, dandelions, radishes, carrots, onions, broccoli, turnips, arugula, Osaka purple mustard, claytonia and hon­tsai­tai. Bok choy and red and green peppers from the summer fill baskets near the barn.

As part of the practicum, students tend three test gardens and two open fields surrounded by woods in a bucolic setting, learning the broad range of tasks encountered by the market farmer. Work is seasonal. During the fall 2008 semester, the first­ever semester of the

The K­State Extension Center is a 342­ acre experimental research center for flowers, vegetables and turfs, tucked away at the western terminus of 135th Street. Dr. Ted Carey, professor of horticulture, K­State, and adjunct professor of horticulture, JCCC, leads


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the class, assisted by Laura Christensen, extension assistant and market farmer. The practicum is offered spring, summer and fall semesters. “Things are way overseeded,” Carey said as students walked through the gardens. “Turnips and carrots need thinning.” Three of the students in today’s class already have degrees: Sexton; Patty Love, Prairie Village, interested in the nursery business; and Chance Hurst, Overland Park, a chef who sees sustainable agriculture as an extension of his profession. At this time, the practicum is listed as a corequisite to Commercial Crop Production, a course designed to familiarize market farmers with plant materials and production, taught by Stu Shafer, professor of sociology and a market farmer for more than 20 years. “There is a need for more people to grow fruits and vegetables for local markets,” Shafer said. “The number of farmers’ markets has grown exponentially, and there is a huge

The 342­acre experimental research center provides a beautiful backdrop for class. demand by grocery stores to find local growers.” Shafer said students in his class who follow through on their sustainable agriculture business plans, their final project assignments, should do well. In spring 2009, Shafer also taught a new class, Sociology of Food, proposed as an elective to the sustainable agriculture entrepreneurship certificate. “This class is about people’s relationships that center around food,” Shafer said. “In studying the ways food is produced and consumed, we will also discover the ways food shapes and expresses relationships among people.” And more sustainable courses are available, including an Energy Performance and Resource Management program. The first certificate in this area will be the Residential Energy Auditor Technician. Other offerings to come.

Remember the JCCC Foundation  in your estate. Call 913­469­3835 for more information.

Students gain practical experience with the broad range of tasks facing the market farmer as part of their Sustainable Agriculture Practicum. Fall 2009

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Jobs Wanted Jennifer Copeland, JCCC administrative assistant, makes announcements at a job club as guest moderator Rich Gregory listens.


job loss is a major life crisis, affecting people financially, emotionally and spiritually; it creates a loss of identity,” said Laura Johannesmeyer, coordinator, Community Career Services, JCCC. In October 2001, Johannesmeyer conceived of the idea of a job club to provide people seeking jobs or career transitions with an environment of support and an opportunity for networking. In June 2008, 60 people crowded into the Community Career Resource Center, 229 CC, for the 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday weekly  job  club  meeting. That’s  when Johannesmeyer initiated a second job club that  meets  from  3:30  to  5:30  p.m. Tuesdays. The groups meet 51 weeks out of the year. “A lot of people are unemployed, but there are also good jobs available,” Johannesmeyer said. “People in the clubs are finding jobs.” Job club participants introduce themselves with a 30­second commercial saying who they are, what they are looking for and where they want to work. New participants get a packet with information on how to apply for unemployment benefits, check out eligibility for Workforce Investment Act funds ($3,000 is available for short­term 18 | Reconnect

training), maintain health insurance and review employer’s outplacement services. A believer in planned happenstance, Johannesmeyer says people who carry printed business cards and know what jobs they want can take advantage of networking, which is much more effective than sitting in front of the computer all day.

Job clubs are just one aspect of Community Career Services, which serves individuals and businesses with the following:

Community Career Services • Career planning workshops – Exploring a Mid­Life Career Change, Career Transitions, Women in Career Transition and Careers After Retirement • Career assessments – individualized and online assessments

Approximately 25 to 30 participants attend each job club. While the participants tend to be Kansans, age 35 and older, white­collar, seasoned professionals with a bachelor’s degree or higher, anyone is welcome, regardless of residence or education.

• Career coaching – includes résumé development, cover letter development, job search campaign and mock interviewing 

A former nurse, Johannesmeyer is an empathetic supporter. She earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Missouri, a master’s degree in public administration with a focus in health services from UMKC and a master’s degree in counseling and psychology from the University of Kansas. She started working in Career Services part time in 1999, full time in 2006. She tries to keep clients upbeat, some who attend job club for weeks and months, and to not burn out herself.

Corporate Career Services

“I enjoy helping people bear their burdens and helping them move forward,” she said.

• Career counseling • Career resources – job clubs and the Community Career Resource Center, which includes more than 650 career reference books, career software programs, access to business databases and other resources, open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday and Friday,  8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday. Career ReDirections: Outplacement Services offers companies that are downsizing assistance from professional career counselors for their exiting employees.  The job clubs and Community Career Resource Center are free. Other services have a fee and require enrollment. For more information, call 913­469­3839 or e­mail

Grant Gives Breath of Life (left to right) Dr. Won Choi, Katherine Redbird, Dr. Christine Daley, Dr. Sean M. Daley and Stacy Braiuca are partners on the All National Breath of Life smoking cessation grant.


CCC is one of four institutions along with the American Indian Council of Kansas City, Heart of America Indian Center and the University of Kansas Medical Center, to receive a $2.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to implement a smoking cessation program with American Indians in Greater Kansas City. The five­year grant is the largest amount awarded by the NIH, and JCCC is one of the first community colleges to receive a grant for this purpose.

Dr. Sean M. Daley, assistant professor, anthropology, and associate director, American Indian Health Research and Education Alliance, is JCCC’s grant investigator, and Dr. Christine Daley, assistant professor, Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, KUMC, and director, Program in American Indian Community Health, is the grant’s principal investigator. The smoking cessation program, All Nations Breath of Life, is tailored specifically to American Indians, respecting tobacco’s use for spiritual and ceremonial practices while addressing the health risks of its recreational use.

American Indians and Alaska Natives have the highest smoking rates of all major U.S. ethnic groups, approaching 40 to 50 percent. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death, and cardiovascular disease is the overall leading cause of death among American Indians. “Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in American Indians,” said Stacy Braiuca, research associate, PAICH and member of the Citizen Band Potawatomi Nation. The plan is to form groups of eight to 10 participants with an American Indian facilitator meeting in eight weekly sessions with follow­up phone calls at four and 12 weeks and subsequent group sessions at six, 12 and 24 months. The grant will pay for appropriate pharmacological aids like nicotine patches, lozenges and gum and the prescription drugs Varenicline or Bupropion. Groups will meet at JCCC, the American Indian Council and American Indian Center locations. All Nations Breath of Life will recruit participants from community groups with help from member organizations of

the American Indian Health Research and Education Alliance. “Historically, the government has forced programs on us. The community­based participation gives us ownership into the program,” said Katherine Redbird, project manager, All Nations Breath of Life, and a White Mountain Apache. JCCC will hire a 20­hour­a­week student research assistant as part of the grant, and Sean Daley will oversee the publication of a book and video on Indian tobacco use, using JCCC student researchers. Data from a pilot smoking­cessation program puts the smoking quit­rate at 25 percent, compared to five to eight percent for those who try to quit smoking on their own. The All Nations Breath of Life program is targeting the 25 percent quit­rate. Christine Daley says the grant will include a cost analysis to see whether it is feasible for community groups to take over the program once grant funding is complete.

Fall 2009

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Mobile Clinic Adds Polish to Dental Care A

new mobile clinic takes dental hygiene students off campus into the world to gain patient care experience with special needs and underserved populations. Oral Health on Wheels, an innovative dental hygiene program, allows students first­hand experience with patients they might otherwise never treat. “We’re still newlyweds at this,” said Heather Flick, professor of dental hygiene. “I’m very excited.” Flick, who developed and coordinates the program, also drives the 10­foot by 40­foot diesel truck. Loaded with a refrigerator, microwave, radio, sterilization unit, two treatment rooms, patient waiting area and wheelchair lift, the team took its maiden voyage in May 2008. “We’re all­inclusive in that truck,” Flick said. “Everything you have in a dental office, we have.” Flick parks the truck at several sites weekly. Along with a dentist, she supervises student hygienists as they clean, polish, examine, X­ray and interact with special needs patients during a three­week clinical rotation. “You draw a lot of pleasure when you see the student learning,” she said. The program targets two populations. 20

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Flick obtained her commercial driver’s license in order to drive the truck. On Mondays Flick, two students and a supervising dentist treat patients with mental and physical disabilities at Johnson County Developmental Supports, Lenexa. On Wednesdays the team, plus an interpreter, provide for pregnant mothers, many Hispanic, at Johnson County Health and Human Services in Olathe. Flick said the mobile clinic serves two purposes – student learning and patient care to special needs populations. “We serve a population that has unmet dental needs,” Flick said. “Access to care

is a problem. Many dentists do not take Medicaid.” Flick secured funding for the program through grants from outside agencies. The college provides for vehicle maintenance and attending dentists. Dr. David Cohen, dentist and adjunct professor, supervises on Mondays at JCDS. He said Oral Health on Wheels prepares students in a unique way. “They will have better empathy and understanding for people in general,” he said.

Mariela Perez (left) interprets for patient Toribia Trejo as student Chelsea Schartz listens.

Dr. Michael Dix assists student Justin Jones (right) in a cleaning procedure. Chelsea Schartz, student hygienist, treated patients during her fall rotation. She said working with patients with mental disabilities requires paying special attention to their needs and knowing how to make them understand. “I frequently give them reinforcement,” Schartz said.


Diana Ogdan, a patient at JCDS, received an examination, cleaning, fluoride and X­ray from Dayne Hubbard, student hygienist. “I liked the dentists,” Ogdan said. “They’re kind and generous.”

Benita Rodriquez, five months pregnant at the time of her appointment, speaks only Spanish. Rodriquez said she felt nervous until learning the clinic provided an interpreter. “I felt more secure about what they told me and what I could ask,” she said. Rodriquez said Schartz put her at ease by explaining the procedures thoroughly. “I believe she did a really good job,” Rodriquez said. “I didn’t feel any pain.”

Story by Linda Friedel

Heather Flick, professor, dental hygiene, sterilizes instruments in the mobile clinic. Fall 2009

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Auction Raises Dollars for Scholars I

n April 2009, the Dollars for Scholars auction earned more than $51,000 in net profits. More than 200 volunteers, including students, friends, alumni, faculty and staff, helped raise funds to support 31 scholarships and programs. Tom and Mary Martha Carrico served as honorary chairs for the event.

Hospitality Management students served dessert to raise funds for the program.

Marlene and Terry Calaway, JCCC president, take a look at baskets of goodies up for bid. 22

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Fashion Merchandising students welcomed bidders at their table.

Dr. Lekha Sreedhar, associate professor, horticulture, and  Dr. Csilla Dunecsky, dean, Sciences

Judy Ogden, professor, information systems, and Marilyn Rhinehart, executive vice president of instruction, chief academic officer

Elaine and Norman Polsky celebrate JCCC’s 40th birthday!

Byron Kurogi, Denny Kurogi, JCCC consultant, Sara Camiscioni

Samira Hussein, professor, business administration, and Carolyn Kadel, director, International Education

Tim Lopatofsky of BillSoft, Inc., Lynn Mitchelson, JCCC Trustee treasurer, Rich Guthrie Fall 2009

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Cavaliers Win National Championships In spring 2009, the JCCC men’s basketball team became champions of NJCAA Division II basketball – again! The Cavaliers, led by head coach  Mike Jeffers, captured their second NJCAA Division II National Championship by defeating Kirkwood Community College, 63­49, at Mary Miller Gymnasium in Danville, Ill. JCCC also won the 2001 national title. ohnson County Community Invitational, Cavalier Cup, Tabor Defense was the key to the Cavaliers College’s Cavaliers won two Invitational, JCCC Short Course championship run. JCCC held their national championships during the Invitational, Emporia State Invitational opponents to an average of 55.7 points 2008­2009 academic year. and the East Jayhawk Conference and a shooting percentage of .378. Championship. In the other two events, In November 2008, battling wind­chill “Coach (Jeffers) knew we had the JCCC placed second at Region VI and temperatures in the high teens, the field offensive firepower, but he told us it sixth at the NJCAA Cross Country of 185 runners representing 27 teams hit would be our defense that would win a Championship. the roads and trails that wove through championship,” said JCCC sophomore Shawnee Mission Park and Mill Creek Then, in  spring  2009, the  JCCC  men’s Nafis Ricks, the tournament’s MVP. Streamway Park at the NJCAA Half basketball  team  became  champions  of “We worked really hard and we came Marathon Championships in Shawnee, NJCAA  Division  II  basketball  –  again! together as a team.” Kan. The Cavaliers, led by head coach Mike Ricks led the Cavaliers with 21 points in Jeffers, captured  their  second  NJCAA The host school of this year’s the final against Kirkwood, and finished Division  II  National  Championship  by championship, Johnson County the tournament with an average of 16.3 defeating Kirkwood Community College, Community College captured the points. Also in double figures were 63­49, at  Mary  Miller  Gymnasium  in women’s team title, their fourth in the freshman forward Kenny Moore with 13 Danville, Ill. JCCC  also  won  the  2001 six­year history of this event. JCCC also points and freshman guard Jared Henry national title. won national half marathon titles in with 11. Both players joined Ricks on the 2003, 2005 and 2006 all under the Five months earlier, Jeffers gave his 2001 all­tournament team. direction of head coach Mike Bloemker. National  Championship  watch  to  his Jeffers now stands 7­0 in national mother to be placed on his father who JCCC had two of the top six runners in tournaments as the Cavaliers head had passed away. His mother asked him if the final standings. Sophomore Temer coach. He was named the NJCAA that is what he really wanted. “I told her Yimer placed third with a time of National Coach of the Year following his that  Dad  and  my  brother  would  be 1:25:08, followed sophomore Francis team’s run through the tournament. watching, and I just had the faith it would Gipson with a time of 1:27:10. Ricks was named the 2009 State Farm happen again sometime. I just didn’t think Coaches’ NJCAA Player of the Year and The 2008 JCCC women’s cross country it  would  happen  five  months  later,” an to the 2009 NJCAA Division II All­ season ranks with the best in team emotional Jeffers said. “I am so proud of America First­Team. He signed a history. JCCC participated in nine these guys. These guys learned to come national letter­of­intent with Missouri scoring events on the season and came together and learned to trust each other. I State University in Springfield, Mo. away winners seven times. Including the told our guys before the game that the Story by Tyler Cundith NJCAA Half Marathon Championship, hard part is over. Getting here is the hard the Lady Cavaliers won the Maple Leaf part, now this is the fun part.”



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Kent Shelley: the Winningest Coach in JCCC History T

he chapters highlighting Kent Shelley’s storied baseball coaching career continue to grow increasingly larger. And even as the wins, awards and honors keep mounting, each milestone becomes more and more memorable for the Johnson County Community College coach.

In May 2007, Shelley was inducted to the NJCAA Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame, joining 77 other community college coaching greats. He is just the second coach from Region VI and the Kansas Jayhawk Conference to earn this prestigious honor. Shelley is in his 23rd season at the helm of the highly successful Johnson County baseball program. The winningest coach in JCCC history, and one of the all­time leaders in the KJCCC, Shelley has amassed an impressive 642­418­1 mark (.606), leading four teams to Eastern Sub­Regional championships and three squads to NJCAA Region VI titles. In 2005, Shelley won his 500th game as JCCC’s head coach, and became JCCC’s all­time wins leader, surpassing JCCC Hall of Famer Sonny Maynard. Win number 599 might just be his most rewarding. That victory gave JCCC its first berth to the NJCAA JUCO World Series. He got win number 600 in his first game of the 2009 campaign. In 1987, Kent Shelley accepted the challenge to build on Johnson County’s rich baseball tradition established by legendary coach Sonny Maynard. Shelley has not disappointed the Cavalier faithful, directing the JCCC baseball program to the forefront of junior college baseball in not only the East Jayhawk Conference and Region VI, but nationwide. In his 22 seasons as a college head coach, he has produced 12 teams that have surpassed at least 30 wins and his teams have racked up at least 20 wins in 21 of his 22 years at the helm. The past two

seasons, Shelley has racked up over 40 wins each year, winning 41 in 2009 and a personal­best 43 in 2009. Shelley’s players have also seen unbelievable success. He has coached five NJCAA All­Americans, two preseason NJCAA All­Americans, one NJCAA World Series All­Tournament selection, five USA Junior College All­ Stars, 14 All­Region VI performers, 81 All­East Jayhawk Conference recipients, 15 NJCAA Academic All­Americans, including six in the last four seasons and 24 of his former Cavalier players have been drafted or signed as free agents by the major leagues since he took over the reins in 1987. Additionally, a total of 191 student­athletes under his direction have transferred to four­year institutions, 152 at the NCAA Division I or II level. Shelley is also highly regarded by his coaching peers and his success at JCCC has earned him national recognition. In the summer of 1994, Shelley served as head coach for Team USA, a select NJCAA team from the United States that played host to a select team from Japan. In 1990, Shelley served as an assistant coach on the first NJCAA team to participate in international competition. He also has been selected as head coach of the Kansas Region VI Eastern Division All­Stars three times and has the distinction of earning the first Louisville Slugger/Region VI coach of the year honor in 1993. Shelley has been active on both the national and international levels of junior college baseball. In 2002 Shelley was selected to serve on the Executive Committee of the ABCA, becoming just the second coach from the community college ranks to earn such an honor. He has continued to move up the ranks, and recently completed the role of president of the ABCA, becoming just the second junior college coach to serve as president. He also served various capacities with the NJCAA Baseball Coaches Association, including president.

Kent Shelley Prior to his arrival at JCCC, Shelley was a collegiate standout catcher at Pratt Community College and the University of Kansas. Shelley, and his wife, MargE, have two daughters: Mandi, 21, and Madison, 15.

Story by Tyler Cundith

Make a gift online and support JCCC Athletics! Go to Fall 2009

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JCCC to be Visited by Accreditation Team


ohnson County Community College will undergo a comprehensive quality check­ up visit Nov. 11­13, 2009, by a team representing the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. JCCC has been accredited by the Commission since 1975. The quality checkup visit is part of JCCC’s participation in the Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP). AQIP provides a process through which an educational institution can maintain its accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. AQIP differs from the traditional accreditation process in that it focuses exclusively on processes, not on end products. AQIP calls upon institutions to undergo a systems appraisal every four years, which allows the college to get expert, objective, third­party feedback on its strengths and opportunities for improvement. In turn, what the college learns from the systems appraisal helps faculty and staff determine the next targets for advancing quality at JCCC through action projects and other plans. The AQIP team is visiting the campus to review successful processes and measure how suggestions made in the systems appraisal report have been addressed. The team will review the college’s ongoing ability to meet the commission’s criteria for accreditation. The Higher Learning Commission is one of six accrediting agencies in the United States that provide institutional accreditation on a regional basis. Institutional accreditation evaluates an entire institution and accredits it as a whole. Other agencies provide accreditation for specific programs. Accreditation is voluntary. The commission is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and accredits approximately 1,100 institutions of higher education in a 19­state region. The public is invited to submit comments regarding JCCC to: Public Comment on Johnson County Community College Commissions on Institutions of Higher Education North Central Association of Colleges and Schools 30 North LaSalle Street, Suite 2400 Chicago, Illinois 60602 The public can also electronically submit comments regarding the college to Comments must address substantive matters related to the quality of the institution or its academic programs. Comments must be in writing and signed; comments cannot be treated as confidential. All comments must be received by Oct. 9, 2009. The commission cannot guarantee that comments received after the due date will be considered.


| Reconnect

Let’s Reconnect! J

CCC wants to reconnect with you – our JCCC alumni. To do that, you’ll receive this magazine – Reconnect – three times a  year.  Reconnect  will  tell  you  about  some  of  the  things  that have  been  happening  at  JCCC,  things  that  make  Johnson County Community College such a vital part of the community. In  turn,  we  want  to  find  out  how  your  start  at  JCCC  made  a difference  in  your  life.  You’re  a  part  of  one  of  the  most outstanding  community  colleges  in  the  country.  We  want  to know what you’ve been doing! To reconnect with JCCC, contact: JCCC Foundation 913­469­3835 or send us an e­mail,

Log in to to see what’s happening on campus. You can also reconnect with JCCC students and alumni on Facebook. Fall 2009

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Johnson County Community College 12345 College Blvd.

Overland Park, KS 66210­1299


Johnson County

Community College

Want to Learn About Learning in Johnson County?


heck out, an online partnership of Johnson County’s public school districts and Johnson County Community College. The site went live Monday, Aug. 17, with these exciting features: ■ News feeds from Johnson County’s public school districts as well as JCCC. ■ A calendar that pulls together days off for all the districts, as well as school and college events of community­wide interest. ■ Original reporting examining the latest education topics that affect the county as a whole. Whether it’s how actions by the Kansas Legislature affect Johnson County schools, or an inside look at innovative classroom programs, will have the story covered. “There is a gap between what the community wants to know about schools and outlets where that news can be found,” said Julie Haas, associate vice president, marketing communications, at JCCC. “Our intention is for to bridge that gap by providing an integrated look at public education in Johnson County.” is hosted by JCCC and edited by Melodee Blobaum, JCCC’s internal communication editor and a former education writer for The Kansas City Star. For more information about the site, contact her at 913­469­8500, ext. 4957, or  by e­mail at

Reconnect, Fall 2009  

The Alumni Magazine of JCCC

Reconnect, Fall 2009  

The Alumni Magazine of JCCC