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Inside this issue: Foundation for the future................... 2 Veteran loves new career with WSP............................................. 3 Nursing grads pay it forward.............. 4 Biology professor retires..................... 5 LCC B-Ball teams win regional championships...................... 7 Rose Center for the Arts opening set......................... Back Cover



Spring 2008

LCC Builds Foundation For The Future Perhaps you can’t repay the people who made your education possible, but you can help give the next generation of students the same opportunities you had.

I am very grateful and proud to be an LCC alumnus. LCC provided a foundation to further my education – just as it is doing for today’s students. If you see LCC the same way—as part of your educational foundation— perhaps it’s time to give back. I can’t repay the people who made my education possible years ago. However, I can honor them by magnifying their hard work and vision. I can pay it forward, helping to give the next generation of students, and the next, a solid educational foundation for their professional, personal and civic lives. It is getting tougher every year to afford a college education—even at community colleges such as LCC that have historically been within most people’s reach. Your contribution could help provide today’s students with the opportunities for higher education that we had in simpler and more affordable times. State support has not kept up with inflation, so tuition has risen faster than wages or other prices. The minimum wage jobs many students count on haven’t kept pace with inflation either, so today’s students are truly at a disadvantage. It’s not unusual for a graduate to take several years to complete a degree, one course at a time. LCC is your college, born of this community’s thirst for knowledge and self-improvement. It is critical to the health and well being of the local community through its various programs, from university transfer degrees to career training programs and English as a Second Language classes. However, it matters in much less obvious ways. The College’s very existence, and the cultural, civic and sports activities it adds to the community, help local employers draw top employees to the Lower Columbia region. The LCC Foundation helps make it happen, providing valuable financial aid, scholarships and grants that help further the cause of education. The past few years, we’ve made an extra push, and are finally nearing the Catalyst is published by Lower Columbia College in coordination with the LCC Foundation. Please contact editor JoAnne Booth with your comments and information at: Lower Columbia College PO Box 3010, Longview, WA 98632 (360) 442-2111, We like to feature our alumni in Catalyst and help you stay in touch with your friends at LCC. Please let us know what you’ve been doing. Contact JoAnne Booth. Wo u l d y o u p r e f e r t o r e c e i v e t h e C a t a l y s t e l e c t r o n i c a l l y ? Are you receiving more than one copy? Are you changing your mailing address? If so, please contact Marcy Gilchrist at (360) 442-2132 or Visit the LCC Foundation’s website at

The Catalyst

$4.5 million target of our Reaching Higher major gift campaign. Thanks to all of the people and companies who have already given. You can still give. Any contributions, large or small, are much appreciated.

Steve Vincent LCC Class of 1971 Chair, LCC Foundation Board of Directors

On The Cover: (Clockwise from top left) Biology student Garth Pederson carries bark chips to spread on the Fox Creek trail in Rainier, Oregon. Story on page 5. Dr. Clint Benjamin points out the cerebellum on a model of the human brain to students during a class session. The young lady in green, Amber Groh, is a 2007 graduate of LCC’s Nursing Program. Her parents met in Dr. Benjamin’s class. Alex King’s intensity shows as he dunks the ball at a home game. The freshman post was named to the Western Division men’s first team. More on page 7. (Photo courtesy John Hamlik)


Spring 2008

Veteran Finds Himself In New Job Finding Others Taking advantage of GI Bill education benefits to get his college degree, veteran and non-traditional student Shawn Smith finds satisfaction in a new opportunity.

Shawn Smith was working for the Department of Corrections, but had his eye on a new career. He was eligible for GI Bill education benefits, having served in the Persian Gulf during the first Gulf War. His wife, Natalie, works for Weyerhaeuser and could keep the paychecks flowing, so he took the opportunity to go back to school. Returning to college later in life really worked for Smith. “I just pounded out the classes at LCC,” he said. “I was taking six classes a quarter...I would NEVER have been able to do this just out of high school” Smith graduated from LCC in 2006 with a transfer degree in Administration of Justice and moved on to Washington State University Vancouver, where he finished his bachelor of arts in Criminal Justice in May 2007. He spoke highly of his instructors at LCC, especially Jerry Zimmerman, Alex Whitman and David McCarthy. “They were great. In fact, I don’t think I had a single bad instructor.”

He found himself well prepared for a 4-year university. “WSU was a breeze after I’d finished up Jerry’s classes.” Smith interned with the Washington State Patrol starting in January 2007, and was hired full-time in June, when a good job became available in the Missing Persons Unit. He had to take a test and interview, as well as undergo a polygraph test and criminal background check. “I understand that they interviewed 35 people for this job.” He’s very happy in his new career. “I love it. I feel like I’m really making a difference in people’s lives.”

Change The Course Of Someone’s Life! On May 22nd, at Three Rivers Golf Course, dozens of dedicated LCC supporters will drive, chip, pitch and putt their way through 100 holes (or more!) to raise money for LCC student scholarships—and they’ll have a great time in the process! Want to join the fun? You can help change the course of someone’s life by golfing with us! Golfers sponsor themselves for $1 per hole and get pledges from the community. They receive great tee prizes; refreshments before and during the marathon; and a fun celebration at the end of the day. Don’t golf? You can still participate by pledging your support to a golfer. It’s easy to contribute by phone with Visa or MasterCard at (360) 442-2132. Donations are tax-deductible (and that feel-good feeling is free). Gregg Myklebust, former LCC Foundation board member and co-chair of this year’s event, had a great time at the 2006 Golf Marathon. He also co-chaired the 2006 marathon, which raised $57,000 for student scholarships.

For more information on how you can be part of this fun event, contact the LCC Foundation at (360) 442-2130, or email

The Catalyst


Spring 2008

LCC Nursing Graduates Pay It Forward Changing careers at a time in their lives when others their age are just getting settled in, three nursing program students decide to help fellow students following in their footsteps.

Ed Hunt, Bryan Lomax and Don Schaefer came to nursing a little later in life. The former newspaper editor, truck driver and restaurant manager were in their 30s with kids to support when they made the jump. When it came to paying it forward, however, they were precocious. The trio launched the LCC Nursing Alumni Scholarship Fund before they had even graduated from LCC’s Nursing Program. Lomax and Hunt graduated from LCC’s nursing program in December of 2006, and Schaefer in 2007. The idea took off a bit slowly. After all, they had yet to receive their first paychecks as RNs. “When we first presented this, people literally laughed at us,” said Hunt. “Our classmates said, ‘We’re just getting started.’” After The Daily News published a story about the scholarship drive, LCC alumni Mark and Theresa McCrady offered to match every dollar raised, up to $10,000. Theresa McCrady is a 1983 LCC nursing graduate and Mark has earned two technical degrees from LCC. Roy and Colleen McCrady (Roy is Mark’s father) joined their match promise. Theresa’s mother, Glenda Schuh, donated $5,000. In December, an anonymous donor called in $4,600 to bring the fund to $10,000, to


Two founders and the chief supporters of the Nursing Alumni Scholarship gathered to celebrate: back row, from left, Glenda Schuh and Theresa, Mark, Colleen and Roy McCrady; and front, from left, Bryan Lomax and Ed Hunt.

take full advantage of the McCradys’ match offer and reach the minimum $20,000 endowment. The fund stands at $26,692—enough to generate earnings for a substantial annual nursing scholarship. Things came together for the three founders too. All are successful Registered Nurses, working in hospitals, nursing homes and hospice care. They say without financial assistance, none of them would have been able to achieve their dream of becoming a nurse. “When we graduated, we were filled with this gratitude to all the people who had helped us make this change in our lives,” says Hunt. “There was no way we could pay them back. This seemed like a way to give to others what we were so lucky to receive.” The scholarship is being managed by the LCC Foundation.

You have a special opportunity to create a lasting legacy in the Lower Columbia College Rose Center for the Arts! Leave your own legacy or make a tribute or memorial gift in honor of someone special by engraving a name on a seat in the beautiful new auditorium for $1,000. Make a statement about your support for excellence in education.

Your name says it all! For information on other naming opportunities on campus, contact Margit Brumbaugh, Executive Director, Lower Columbia College Foundation 360.442.2131

The Catalyst


Spring 2008

Biology Instructor Retiring After 35 Years After a long and successful career at LCC, Dr. Benjamin leaves a legacy of academic excellence and professional achievement, and takes away the reward of seeing his students grow into their own careers.

If you’re an LCC medical or science alumni, chances are you took a class or two from Clint Benjamin, who started at LCC in 1973 and is retiring in June. Maybe you struggled; maybe you loved it. Dr. Benjamin loved it. His 35 years of teaching “have gone quickly.” Students in his specialties (Human Anatomy and Physiology, and General Microbiology) are preparing for Nursing and many other medical and science programs. They work hard, but it pays off with high national test scores and professional success. He reads constantly and attends conferences to stay current, as biology has changed exponentially since he finished his PhD. “I would imagine that a large part of my notes for my first A&P class are no longer applicable.” Benjamin even worked a summer in a medical laboratory to make sure his skills were current. He’s in good company. “I have absolutely wonderful colleagues in the department. They’re not only great human beings; they’re well-trained and competent scientists. It’s fun. We have wonderful discussions. You’re ‘flying with eagles.’” The students are terrific, too, he said. “One of the rewards of this position has been seeing individual students grow into their own professions. Science courses tend to be really

challenging for students, and to succeed, they must spend a lot of time studying. That requires personal and family sacrifices. Those sacrifices, with their accompanying academic and professional successes, are very inspiring.” Benjamin’s other interests might surprise you. He loves to write—an interest that he picked up in high school journalism. In the mid-90’s, he and a colleague at Centralia College wrote a human biology textbook and a microbiology student guide for McGraw-Hill Publishing Company. Photography is his newest avocation, “thanks to (LCC instructor) Judy VanderMaten. I love the technical aspects and am coming to learn and appreciate the artistic aspects of it.” His retirement will be busy. He and his wife, Kathy, plan to spend more time with photography, visiting photographic venues across the country. However, many great vistas are close to home. “My golden retriever and I like to take off into the mountains and explore with a camera.”

Students Help Out, Get Experience LCC Biological Society members and biology students volunteer with local wildlife, habitat and community cleanup projects. The students, often accompanied by instructor Louis LaPierre (the Society’s advisor), have helped with projects organized

by the Friends of Fox Creek (Rainier, OR), Columbia Land Trust, Washington Department of Natural Resources, US Department of Fish and Wildlife, Columbia Springs Environmental Education Center and the Willapa Hills Audubon Society.

The Catalyst


New For Students! Online Transfer Degree

Spring 2008

Gift Highlights

Whether they work rotating shifts, have small children or lack reliable transportation, many people just can’t take regular daytime classes. Online classes, however, are available anytime, and students can now earn their general transfer degree online at LCC. No parking hassles, no lines; just the same, high quality education our on-campus students get. LCC also has transfer agreements with several universities offering online bachelor’s degrees.

These gifts were received by the LCC Foundation between June 30, 2007 and February 28, 2008

Learning Commons

Anderson & Anderson Advisory, LLC

Program and Equipment Support, continued

B-W Construction, Inc.

Steve and Ann Hanson

Baker Lumber Company Inc.

J & S Foundation

The main floor of the Alan Thompson Library is being transformed into the Lower Columbia College Learning Commons. The Learning Commons integrates services that enhance learning, writing, research, and technology while providing a central gathering place for students to study, write, do research, and learn in collaborative settings. Educational support services offered there include academic tutoring, supplemental instruction, research assistance, computer/instructional technology support, and basic skills improvement.

The Boeing Company


Nadine and David Coburn

Dottie K. Koontz

Columbia Analytical Services

Mrs. Herbert H. Minthorn

Online Scholarship Applications LCC has posted its scholarship application online for years, but this year, students can actually apply online, and attach electronic copies of their documents. Our new scholarship application program, STARS, sorts through the dozens of scholarships available to find the ones they could qualify for, and makes sure they’re supplying the correct information and documents. To check it out, go to scholarships. Scholarship applications are due April 15.

In Memoriam Loren E. Claunch, 70, longtime mathematics instructor at Mark Morris High School and Lower Columbia College, died Feb. 16, 2008. Mr. Claunch taught at Mark Morris High School from 1960 through 1995. He began teaching at Lower Columbia College in the mid-1980’s and was still working the week he died. He loved gardening and music and started the pep band at Mark Morris High School. Carl Glen Devin, 74, who retired as associate dean of institutional services in 1998, passed away Feb. 19, 2008. Dr. Devin joined LCC in 1968 as director of vocational education and spent the next 30 years in various positions. He was involved in more than a dozen new building projects, tripling the College’s floor space. Mark Minkler, 49, a maintenance mechanic at LCC since 1996, died Jan. 27, 2008, from cancer. He was an outdoor enthusiast and survival expert, volunteering many years for Search and Rescue. Before coming to LCC, where he earned his degree in Automotive Technology, he was a logger and truck driver.

The Catalyst


Columbia Ford Chrysler Hyundai, Inc.

Lee Foundation

Cowlitz County Deputy Sheriffs’ Benefit Association

Pacific Fibre Products, Inc.

Gene Haas Foundation Greta Harvey

P. J. Peterson and Stephen Jones

Marcella Hatch

Red Canoe Credit Union

Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce

Don and Pat Rodman

Helen and Hilmar Kuebel

John and Phyllis Westervelt

Mark and Theresa McCrady

Weyerhaeuser Company Foundation Matching Gifts Program

Roy and Colleen McCrady Jim and Marianne Mitchell Lower Columbia Pathologists, PS

Richard and Judi Peters

June L. Rose


PEO Sisterhood, Chapter BN Delores K. Rodman Don and Pat Rodman Bob and Glenda Schuh Randy and Sheli Sweet 1 Anonymous

Larry B. Allen Dr. Fred and Barbara Bishop Jeff Ellis James M. Gasvoda Kurt Gray Dr. David and Jennifer Houten Molly Howard

Program and Equipment Support

Karen Joiner

Baker Lumber Company Inc.

Robert and Cindy Keeney

Bob and Ann Beal

Nels Plough

Arlys Clark

Precision Pumping Systems

Community Foundation for SW Washington

Quimby Corporation

Dan Evans

Cheryl Ronish

Evans-Kelly Family Foundation

Wilbur and Louise Spurlin


Mary Stone

GL Booth, JG Davis & Associates, PLLC

Jim Woodworth

Cynthia Jolly

Robert Rodger

Every effort is made to list names correctly. If you have any comments on the listing, please contact Marcy Gilchrist at (360) 442-2132


Spring 2008

Both Basketball Teams Win Regional Crowns LCC’s Basketball teams did us proud again this year, and we’re looking forward to a great spring with our powerhouse Baseball and Softball teams.

Lower Columbia College is one of a kind. We’re the only NWAACC college whose men’s and women’s basketball teams both won regional championships this season. At the NWAACC Tournament in Kennewick, both teams won on opening day, but were eliminated March 1.

ABOVE: New Women’s Basketball Coach Chad Meadors encourages his team. LEFT: Heidi Jackson, one of two Lady Red Devils named to NWAACC Western Division First Team, goes up for a shot. (Photos courtesy John Hamlik)

The LCC men finished the season at 22–9. They captured a West Region championship with a 17-game win streak during the season. For the men, freshman post Alex King was named to the Western Division men’s first team, and sophomore guard Josh Troyer to the second team. Coach Jim Roffler was voted Coach of the Year. The LCC women finished 22–8, also with a West Region crown. Lady Red Devils Nadra Evans and Heidi Jackson were named to the first team, and Katie Garcin to the second team. Sophomore Megan Holmes made the NWAACC Winter All-Academic Team, with a 3.69 GPA. It was a great start for new Lady Red Devils’ head coach Chad Meadors, who came to LCC this fall from Oregon’s Stayton High School, where he led the girls’ basketball team to the Oregon 4A championship last March.

Baseball & Softball off to great start The Red Devils Baseball Team opened the season by taking three of four games in tournament play March 1 and 2 at Parker Stadium in Yakima. Their home opener was the following weekend. The Lady Red Devils Softball Team got the season underway by taking five of six games Feb. 29-March 2 in the Tri-Cities. To get the latest news on their season, game schedules and standings, check the LCC Red Devils homepage:

Pitch In At The Baseball Playoffs! LCC hosts the NWAACC Baseball Championship Tournament again this year. Please join us Memorial Day weekend at Story Field. If you would like to help, we need volunteers for various tasks from ticket-taking to concessions over the five-day event. Call Kirc Roland at (360) 442-2471 to learn more.

The Catalyst

You’re Invited!

Rose Center for the Arts Grand Opening Saturday, June 28, 2008 1:00-5:00 p.m.

Schedule of Events 1:00 Doors Open 1:30 Masonic Lodge Ceremony 2:00 Welcome Program 2:30 LCC Symphonic Band Performance 3:00 Ten-Minute Choral, Drama, and Music

Lower Columbia College 1600 Maple Street PO Box 3010 Longview, WA 98632-0310 RETURN SERVICE REQUESTED

Performances begin on every half hour; last performance at 4:30 Ongoing: Mask Making, Audio Technology Recording Lab Demos, Art Gallery Talks, Acoustic Music Come for the day or drop in any time. Refreshments will be served.


Spring 2008 Catalyst  

The Catalyst! Get the latest on LCC, its faculty and your classmates. Lower Columbia College and LCC Foundation publish The Catalyst newslet...

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