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Graduating Dad Three years later, life is good for this Saint and his son

Citizen B

She came to play volleyball and became an American

We speak math Innovative class breaks language barriers

Earlier works

Concurrent classes and SB 155 open doors for families SEWARD COUNTY COMMUNITY COLLEGE

Volume 2, Issue 1










2018 movers KEY DIRECTIONS

1 Promote a safe & healthy campus 2 Invest in teaching, learning, curriculum 3 Enhance financial & organizational vitality 4 Expect high outcomes (recruitment, retention, graduation)


2 Invest in teaching, learning, curricula 3 Enhance financial & organizational vitality

4 Expect high outcomes in recruitment, retention, grad. 5 Broaden collaboration with community, education,

and business & industry


1 Promote a safe & healthy campus 2 Invest in teaching, learning, curriculum 3 Enhance financial & organizational vitality 4 Expect high outcomes in recruitment, retention, graduation


1 Promote a safe & healthy campus 2 Invest in teaching, learning, and curriculum 3 Enhance financial & organizational vitality 5 Broaden collaboration: community, education, bus. & industry


1 Promote a safe & healthy campus 3 Enhance financial & organizational vitality 5 Broaden collaboration with community, education,

and business & industry


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A SENSE OF PLACE The college world is the same world where our students live and work

The new year is often marked with lists of the top stories of past year and the trends predicted for the future. In this, academia is no different. We wrap up semesters, release grades, compile data, and look forward with anticipation to greater success, more goals met, and more lives changed. Yet as we launch another calendar year that includes groundbreaking for important and transformative structures on our main campus, I am keenly aware of the past. Seward County Community College will soon mark its 50th anniversary. The last “junior college” to be approved by the state of Kansas has had a profound impact on the community and the region. This institution has flourished because of the place it calls home. SCCC has not forgotten its roots or the people who make the community strong and warm and successful. In a region often characterized by a “boom and bust” economy, SCCC has provided job training and retraining, stability, and economic mobility. Most vitally, we have made optimism a realistic mindset for our 8,000-plus alumni. When they come to Seward, they benefit from our support system and our connections to industry, four-year universities, and state and federal granting entities. When they leave, they carry professional credentials, internship experience, degrees —and bright futures. This is evident in our concurrent and SB-155 programs for local and area high school students, which launch them to college and the workforce strong and sure. Building on the foundation of this powerful partnership with state legislators, SCCC has joined USD 480 in an innovative school redesign. This comes at the perfect time, with seven new elementary and middle schools in Liberal thanks to overwhelming taxpayer support, and the college’s own upcoming expansion projects funded through a thriving Foundation. I invite you to read more about these projects and many more success stories, or to stop by the college for coffee. My door is always open.

Dr. T

“We grapple with perennial challenges and opportunities. We must strive to remember what Atul Gawande put so well — that betterment is a perpetual labor. ” SCCC President Dr. Ken Trzaska

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Values, Strategies, Movers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 President’s Message . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Editor’s Note . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Meet the Executive Team. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-5 Capital Campaign Prepares to Build . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10-11

Feature Stories

Math Classes for ESL Learners . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-9 José Sandoval’s Turnaround to Success. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Coach B’s Path to Citizenship. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

Our Work

Tech for All the Ages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6-7 Articulation Agreements Accelerate. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12-13

Prairie View Partnership. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Louie’s Place Cafe. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Filling the Social Work Gap. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Early College Works. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

Worth Noticing

Joshua Revord. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Sonia Hernandez. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 CDL Grads and National Carriers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Auto Body Family . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Valedictorian & Saint Keith Evans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Meet Our Team . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Back Cover Forward magazine is published twice a year by the Seward County Community College office of Marketing & P.R. Contact us at 620-417-1125 or via email, marketing@sccc.


Throughout the magazine, you’ll find mentions of “Movers,” the SCCC term for committee work on special projects. No glacial meetings here; we aim to get things done, and that means movement! Each year, we ask our team to vote on priorities. We listen. The executive team and SCCC Board of Trustees vet the top listed Mover projects ... and then we get to work. The projects interlock with our Key Directions and overlap with one another. This allows us to leverage our hard work. In this publication and on campus, keep an eye out for the colored arrows that reminds us of the big goals we’re pursuing.

His international upbringing and 10-year journey to his PhD give Trzaska —“Dr. T” as students know him — an up-close look at how grit, openness, and a sense of belonging can change a life trajectory. His commitment to No-Door Leadership, collaboration, and fearless pursuit of growth based on core values galvanize SCCC as a thought leader in the region, and a change-maker for a diverse student body.

From farm-boy roots in Forgan., Okla., and high school biology teaching days to a doctorate degree, Carter knows how to excel and stay close to home, and to the lives of his students. When he isn’t crunching data to tackle issues like retention, the needs of first-generation and Hispanic students, and the changing landscape of career-tech-ed aligned with classic academic pursuits, Carter plays a mean bass guitar.



As we begin a new year — and semester — Seward County Community College is excited to publish a new edition of Forward. This occasional magazine serves as a record of our institution’s progress, process, and pride. It’s a combination scrapbook and annual report, with data-backed updates about SCCC, plus the fun stuff: photos, memories, and quotes that sum up moments that define us as a community. My office also thinks of Forward as something like a bullet journal, the latest trendy method for planning and celebrating life’s little milestones and the ways they connect to big goals. More than a to-do list, or a bunch of bragging points, a bullet journal helps track progress. It keeps the grand vision alive while you chop through the minutiae that mark everyday life. I’ve just set up my own personal bullet journal for 2018, as well as one for the SCCC marketing office. I was delighted to discover this organizational approach aligned well with our team ethos: Dream big, be courageous in pursuit of

A field hockey player in college, Donovan brings the same passion and energy to her work today. Overseeing a spectrum of departments, she guides students to success, from financial aid to personal development to graduation. Along the way, she also creates fun and community. You’ll find her mixing mockaritas for Hispanic Heritage Month, or rolling up her sleeves to join Saints in service work projects.

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excellence, and do good work every single day. That’s because every moment — and every student — matters. In this issue, you’ll learn more about how we do just that. You’ll meet the guys on the cover, SCCC alum José Sandoval and his smart, ambitious son, Gavin. Throughout the magazine, you will also meet team members and students from across the vibrant spectrum that comprises our community. You’ll get a glimpse of the future, with drones, virtual reality goggles, and the enthusiasm innovative technology ignites. You’ll step into classrooms that prepare students for higher education and the workforce, with plenty of support from educators and industry leaders. More than anything, I hope you’ll feel optimism about the future here on the High Plains and Southwest Kansas — yours, and ours. Join us as we move forward to 2018.

This Meade, Kan., native has a deep understanding of the regional importance of higher education opportunities. After personal experiences at private and public colleges in state, he traveled north to Notre Dame to finish his education before a return to Southwest Kansas. Sander’s meticulous attention to detail is softened by a dedication to the timely joke, a good cup of coffee and commitment to faith and family.

Rachel Coleman Executive Director of Marketing & P.R.

Widener, a Liberal native and SCCC alum, returned to his roots after working the tech industry in the metro Kansas City area. He joined the executive team in 2017, as part of an institutional reorganization process. In his off hours, Widener performs on stage in musicals and with his church worship team, explores the many local options for authentic Latin American cuisine, and has begun work on his master’s degree.

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Tech for ALL the ages

Above, a student observes a computer-powered experiment during the Hour of Code event for elementaryand middle-schoolers. Right, Trustee Dustin Ormiston tests a pair of virtual reality goggles during a board meeting. Photos: Phillip Lee, Chandler Kirkhart

By RACHEL COLEMAN SCCC Marketing & PR At a monthly Seward County Community College Board of Trustees meeting late in 2017, members took a brief reprieve from finance questions and personnel concerns to step into virtual reality. The new-dimensional experience was prompted by a report from IT team member Joshua Revord, who’s leading the college’s Digital Transformation team. “I’ll pass these around and let you take a look at the future,” Revord said with a smile. “It’s pretty amazing, and something we hope to someday introduce in the classrooms here at Seward.” Revord and Chief Information Officer J.J. Widener picked up the cutting-edge VR goggles during a trip to the virtual learning lab at Oral Roberts University. The information-gathering excursion left both men inspired at the ways technology can transform the standard classroom

experience. While the use of VR goggles remains a hope for the future, other forms of technology have already established a foothold at SCCC. That’s no surprise, noted college supporter and retired educator Ruth Stoops. “I remember when SCCC pioneered distance learning to help teachers earn our master’s degrees,” she said. “That was quite a thing. The instructors would fly in once a week from the university to teach us.” In the 1990s, long-distance education was available via satellite feed to a classroom on campus; former development director Tammy Doll and many other longtime Saints pursued higher degrees via this avenue. A giant satellite dish, unused but anchored in concrete on the north side of the Hobble Building, serves as a reminder of the college’s determination to stay abreast of new technology. As a founding member of the EduKan consortium with other community colleges in Kansas, SCCC explored online course delivery options, long before the concept became mainstream.

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Blendflex breaks barriers

Today, SCCC continues to refine long-distance options for course delivery. In the 2017-18 academic year, the college introduced its own hybrid course delivery method, Blendflex. “Essentially, Blendflex aims to eliminate the barriers that we have identified as reasons for students who stop before earning a certificate or degree,” said VP of Academic Affairs Dr. Todd Carter. “This method of course delivery gives a student the option to attend live classes in the traditional classroom, participate remotely via live feed, or access the lectures on demand at their convenience.” While the concept of partly-online, partly-live classes is not new, the notion that a college should offer a student

fluidity to switch mid-semester is innovative, Carter pointed out. “When a working parent begins a class, he or she cannot predict one of the children may get pneumonia halfway through the semester, or that the scheduling manager at their workplace has other plans for their usual shift,” Carter said. “We look at those situations and say, ‘Life happens,’ but that doesn’t mean a student should lose momentum.” BlendFlex launched three courses in the fall semester, and will add more each semester. The project demanded specially equipped classrooms, flexibility on the part of the instructors, and lots of training. “New technology can be scary,” said Revord, who serves as the first line of training for team members. “The reality is that all of us, even in tech, have to continually learn new skills.”

Robots rule, with drones

Students, who often hail from Generation X, Y, or whatever the next

wave will be called, are notorious for adopting new forms of social media and content delivery with ease. They’re also unafraid of new gadgets and tools. That is music to the ears of Ed Hall, SCCC Computer Information Systems instructor. With instructors in the agriculture and industrial tech departments — and grant funding — Hall has led the way to robot and drone use. “The college owns four drones and a robot right now, and they’re pretty cool,” Hall said. While practical applications of such technology abound, he freely admitted it’s the “Wow” factor that gets students’ attention. “We have demonstration sessions, visits from high schoolers, and when we get the drones out, their eyes light up,” Hall said. “Of course, these aren’t toys, and [agriculture instructor] Nick Noterman and I are still learning the ins and outs of permits, air space, and what these could be used for in the classroom. But the possibilities are pretty much unlimited.” In a classic Seward partnership, the college arranged for use of open field space north of city limits thanks to supporter and land owner John Smith. The development and golf course at Yucca Ridge provide exactly what drones need —air space far from the local airport, and practice projects. “Whenever we can increase these partnerships, it’s a win for industry and for education,” noted Carter. “As we progress, we expect to see our students learn how to use drones for weed and pest control in the agricultural setting, cattle counts, and survey and industrial monitoring.” Hall hopes the robot can be adapted and programmed to harvest tomatoes on the college’s four-acre agriculture plot.

Never too young to code

While old-timers must often stretch to adapt to new technology, youngsters, too, need a bit of a boost to be more than consumers. The buzzword in

elementary and secondary education these days is coding, noted Hall, and he anticipates it will soon be a routine part of the curriculum for all students, a component as essential as math and reading. “That’s why we sponsored our first Hour of Code in December,” said Hall. “It was something promoted nationally for elementary and middle school kids, and it was a big hit.” During two one-hour evening sessions on campus, students got a free, fun introduction to the basics of coding. The event was such a hit, Hall plans to offer follow-up sessions in the spring. “The kids who came are our future students at SCCC,” he said. What’s more, the material they encounter is the future of us all.

As a child, Revord dreamed of the past, not the future. He wanted to be an archaeologist. He’d tell his younger self that his work is to “make things on computer to help people do their jobs better and easier.” This Wisconsin native finds beauty in the Kansas sky, humor on YouTube, and hope in cheering on his beloved Badgers. As leader of Digital Transformation Mover group, he encourages teammates to come with an open mind, ready to discuss change and improvement.

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MORE than A number

Right, Dr. Heather Hannah lectures her algebra students. Photo: Phillip Lee

Students’ individual abilities and challenges warrant attention in SCCC’s innovative dual-language college algebra classroom. By PHILLIP LEE SCCC Marketing & PR When a dual-language class is being offered, you probably think it’s probably basic or developmental English or English as a Second Language. And normally, you would be correct. But that wasn’t the case at Seward County Community last semester. The college decided to think outside the box and offer Beginning Algebra with a twist. It would be offered as a dual-language course – in English and Spanish. It was an experiment and in the end, everyone was satisfied with the outcome. “I’m pretty pleased,” said Luke Dowell, dean of arts and sciences at SCCC. “I think things went really well.” Dr. Heather Hannah, who taught the course, agreed with Dowell. “I think the class worked really hard,” Hannah said. “They’re all doing very well. I knew they were all going to be good students.” According to Dowell, the idea came

from a discussion with Travis Combs, “We wanted to find out if there Installedtechnology electronic dean 1. of industrial andkey adultcards was a correlation between where they basic for education. the front door of the resi- placed and language,” Dowell said. “We started talking about how To be accepted in the experimental dence halls (KD3) can we get students from the Colvin course, Colvin students needed to take Secured an Alcohol Aware-a mathematics test in both English and Adult2. Learning Center on to the SCCC ness that has enabled usSpanish. The selected students, all GED campus andgrant get them to enroll in college level courses after they received to offer more activities and certificate holders, had completed some their GEDs,” Dowell said, adding that education work in their home educational programming forhigher the idea began to pick up steam a year countries. students. ago. “The idea was(KD1, to start 3) getting “These students are coming at a Colvin college Student credit whileUnion higher level,” said Sonia Hernandez, 3.students Remodeled they were still working on their GEDs.” transition coordinator for adult including opening Louie’s After further discussion, the school education at SCCC. Hernandez worked decided on using the dual language with Hannah in teaching the class, concept on a mathematics course. and brought a high level of familiarity “We decided to test the waters with the students’ widely varying with math,” Dowell said. The selection backgrounds. “These students have served two purposes: it would be a test graduated in their respective countries. case, and it would address students’ And they all have their GEDs.” needs. After graduating from the GED Interestingly, when they took the program, administrators observed test, the first cohort performed just as that Colvin students often struggled well as on English as Spanish. in math, placing way below standard “It was a little surprising,” Dowell college-entrance benchmarks when said. “It was hard to say if the language they ventured on to SCCC’s main was the issue. We gave the test in campus. English and Spanish and found no real

FORWARD I Spring 2018 I 9 difference.” He speculated that “students who may not understand the language may have understood the math problem simply by looking at it because math and its formulas transcends language. A plus sign is a plus sign everywhere.” The next step was to find an instructor and a translator. Hannah and Hernandez were ready to work together. “I was really excited,” Hannah said. “It was one class I was really looking forward to.” Hannah said that language was not an issue for her. “I know a little bit (of Spanish) and I have Sonia so I was good to go,” Hannah said. “Math is math. Math isn’t a barrier.” By semester’s end, Hannah said the group of students proved to be one of her hardest-working classes ever. “They each want to learn,” Hannah said. “They want to work. The entire class is motivated and they’re doing really well.” While Hannah teaches, Hernandez takes notes in Spanish and makes sure each student is following along. The notes are put into a binder and can be used by the students to catch up if they miss a class, Hernandez says. It’s a plus that Hernandez has worked at SCCC for 13 years and has tutored and taught mathematics at Colvin: it gives her another level of insight about the learning process for a particular group of students. Her focus is not just helping them master the material, but also easing the invisible adjustments and strains of moving from the adult-education style of classes at Colvin to the more traditional — and often intimidating — collegiate course atmosphere. Hannah is incredibly appreciative to have Hernandez in the classroom. “I trust that she’ll stop me when the students aren’t following me,” Hannah said. “She’ll see that the students aren’t quite getting it and she’ll stop me and ask that I explain it again.” Over the semester, Hernandez and

Hannah developed a nearly wordless communication style, which proved to be a key factor for success. “Sometimes I will see a student and looks like she doesn’t understand, I can look up and Heather will go over it without me saying anything,” Hernandez said. Both instructors agreed that the frequency of stoppages lessened as the semester continued. The daytime class, is schedule for an hour every day, but the instructors allowed for an extra hour afterwards. Hernandez stays with the students to go over homework and any concepts that they do not understand. While a typical college class doesn’t offer this amenity, Hernandez felt the additional layer of support was necessary for students who might otherwise give up if the combination of challenging material and an unfamiliar setting proved too daunting. According to Dowell, the students have acclimated to the class and to the language with the key being to make them more comfortable in the college environment and less fearful of taking college classes. “These are students who deal with a small group (at Colvin) and they come on campus and there’s a lot more students,” Dowell said. “It’s intimidating. I think the dual language helps them get comfortable.” And that goal seems to have been accomplished: The students in this class will be taking more SCCC classes next semester. Hernandez said she’d discussed their potential schedules, worked through the enrollment process, and shared in their newfound sense of confidence. “They are more comfortable,” Hernandez said. “They know where admissions is. They know where financial aid and the registrar’s office is. They will be on campus next semester.” The first class, comprised of nontraditional students, was small. It would have been bigger, but some students who tested into class could not take it due to work or personal issues. As a

result, spring semester’s version of the class will continue the experiment with a shift to evenings. Dowell and Combs hope it will garner more students. Unfortunately, the evening class time means Hannah will not be teaching the class, but Hernandez will continue with it. “We’ll get together (before the start of the semester) and make sure we are on the same page,” Hernandez said, adding that there will be a learning curve with her taking over as the new instructor. A semester of sitting in the classroom to observe Hannah’s approach closely provided a foundation, she added. Even so, “from my perspective, it will be a challenge because Heather was so good. But I am positive things will go well (next semester).”

In 13 years at SCCC, Hernandez has worn many hats — but whether she’s filling out financial aid forms unfamiliar to immigrants, publicizing GED, ESL, and citizenship classes, or helping STEM students, she’s continuing a journey that began at university in Mexico, and led her to Liberal. Like many Saints, Hernandez worked in meat packing while restarting her education. She loves seeing students succeed and flourish. Her favorite role? Encouraging children to dream big.

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Expanded FACILITIES for quality programs that keep this region healthy

By RACHEL COLEMAN SCCC Marketing & PR Years of preliminary fund raising and planning will become reality in 2018 as Seward County Community College breaks ground on the Colvin Family Allied Health Center. The new facility is approximately 20,000 square foot and will bring the college’s Allied Health programs to the main campus with state-of-the-art classrooms for on-site and distance learning, laboratories, and training space with simulation medical manikins and surgical operating spaces. The project is a win for the community and the region. SCCC provides the hospitals and clinics within a 200-mile

radius of Liberal a highly-trained workforce of certified nursing assistants, registered nurses, surgical technicians, and medical laboratory technicians. No other institution in Kansas west of Hutchinson provides this array of programs. While most nurses trained at SCCC immediately join the work force, many complete their BSN at a four-year university. This is a growing trend in the nursing profession, and graduates of our program have multiple options to continue. Some transfer, thanks to articulation agreements with state universities and private colleges. Many opt to work and concurrently pursue more education via distance learning. One success story is SCCC Direc-

tor of Housing Kate Mulligan, who earned her RN degree at SCCC. She is now completing a doctorate in nursing through Washburn University while continuing to manage the Student Living Center. She also works at Southwest Medical Center in Liberal. Because our own nursing instructors are required to hold master’s degrees in nursing, they are familiar with the process and provide personal, relevant career counseling to our students. The college currently lists 31 students with registered nursing as their declared major, with many more on a waiting list. The completion of this capital campaign will create the opportunity to potentially double the program cap for the RN program alone while

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SHARP CHAMPIONS CENTER Honoring a legacy of athletics in the community

further expanding an ever-growing list of opportunities for other programs. • 95% of all respiratory therapists across the 25 counties of Southwest Kansas are SCCC graduates. • 85% of all medical laboratory technicians across the 25 counties of Southwest Kansas are SCCC graduates. • 90% of all surgical technicians across the 25 counties of southwest Kansas are SCCC graduates.

Gene and Jo Ann Sharp have deep roots in the community, and that connection is demonstrated by a $1 million gift to kick off construction of the Sharp Champions Center at SCCC, part of the college’s Capital Campaign. The Center, which includes indoor practice space for baseball, softball, tennis, and the Liberal Bee Jays semi-pro baseball team, serves as a lasting tribute to a family with deep roots in the region. The Sharps’ energy and abilities have been interwoven in the growth of Liberal in ways both particular and deep. Using the welding skills he picked up at age 14 from an uncle in Floris, Okla., Gene helped craft the original stoves used for International Pancake Day festivities in Liberal; the units are put to good use every Shrove Tuesday. For 20 years, Gene served as lawyer for the Bee Jays. Jo Ann served for 12 years on the USD 480 board, as the district built Redskin Field, the Vo-Tech, and lobbied in Topeka for SCCC. “We needed to be that 19th community college in Kansas, and create an opportunity for people who do not have a way to leave the area and go somewhere else to get any kind of education,” she said. She served on the SCCC Board of

Trustees for 24 years. She’s able to list significant achievements of the college during that time: the construction of the cosmetology building, new dorms, the establishment of EduKan distance learning. Another lasting contribution was the start of Kids Inc., which grew out of the Sharps’ belief that the community needed programs for children, just as it had needed a new high school when Gene’s grandmother was a teenager. It was a person’s civic duty to help good things develop. In that same spirit, the Sharps hope the Champions Center will serve not only the needs of college teams and the Bee Jays, but become a center for youth development and community-building. “I’m very hopeful those same kids who participate today in Kids Inc. sports, when we get this Champion Center up, will be able to go to some camps or work sessions with the Bee Jays and the college boys. I hope they’ll feel they can have a part of that,” said Jo Ann. The Sharps hope to Liberal’s population make the project a true community effort. To contribute, contact the SCCC Office of Development, 620-417-1131, or via email at

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AGREEMENTS CLEAR PATH SCCC works in tandem with state universities to craft articulation agreements across disciplines for seamless transfer.

By PHILLIP LEE SCCC Marketing & PR Seward County Community College and Fort Hays State University signed a set of landmark articulation agreements to provide expanded pathways for success. From agriculture to social work to technology leadership, 15 seamless transfer options have been created for Southwest Kansas students. SCCC President Dr. Ken Trzaska and FHSU interim President Dr. Andy Tompkins signed the articulation agreements at a ceremony on Wednesday, Nov. 29, on the SCCC campus. SCCC and FHSU have partnered in many academic endeavors for more than 20 years and the latest agreements set a course for the future. Both Trzaska and Tompkins agree that this is another step in benefiting the students and communities of both Seward and Hays. “The journey of our students at Seward County

Community College is quite remarkable,” Trzaska said. “We serve a majority of first generation students. An opportunity such as this to provide those students an opportunity to continue their education at Fort Hays State University is equally remarkable. We’re grateful for this partnership. I hope this is the beginning of much, much more to come between both of our organizations. “We value this relationship tremendously,” Tompkins said. “We have a real vested interested in wanting to try and increase our opportunities for these students. There’s a mutuality. There’s great opportunity for your students and great relationships and partnerships.” The degrees include: Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice; Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Business; Bachelor of Business Administration in Management; Bachelor of Business Administration; Bachelor of Business


SCCC President Dr. Ken Trzaska, center right, and FHSU Interim President Dr. Andy Tompkins, left, sign agreements. Photo: Rachel Coleman

FORWARD I Spring 2018 I 13 Administration in Marketing; Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance; Bachelor of Science in Biology; Bachelor of Science in Mathematics; Bachelor of Science in Psychology; Bachelor of Social Work; and Bachelor of Science in Technology Leadership. Many of these degrees offer concentrations in certain areas.

Unique opportunities open through KU SCCC recently confirmed establishment of an ICCAE Intelligence and National Security Studies degree through support from the Defense Intelligence Agency grant partnership with KU. The fledgling program includes $79,000 in funding support. Dean of Arts & Sciences Luke Dowell said this special track that builds on criminal justice, law, and the humanities gen-eds was of particular interest to hiring agencies because of SCCC’s unique student demographic. As a Hispanic Serving Institution located in a county with the highest percentage of foreign-born residents in the nation, SCCC offers an extremely appealing pool of potential intelligence officers, Dowell said. “It’s not something our students often consider, but their ability to learn language and move between cultures

is a strength for this kind of work,” he said. The intelligence program track would set up a clear “stackable” degree program for transfer to KU, where students would complete their bachelor’s degrees in a specialized, high-demand field. While details are still being finalized, Dowell said he expects to begin enrolling students in the program by fall of 2018. The new program joins another highly specialized partnership program between SCCC and KU—the respiratory therapy bachelor’s degree completion articulation, which was signed in 2016. Through partnership with KU’s highly-acclaimed respiratory therapy program, graduates of the SCCC program, which results in an association degree and certification, can go on to earn a bachelor’s degree in respiratory therapy. The beauty of the program, noted SCCC Respiratory Therapy program director Ed Anderson, is that it can be completed remotely, while the student works. “Right now, it’s possible to work as an RT with the twoyear credential, but we know the field is moving towards a four-year degree entry point,” he said. “Currently, more than 90 percent of the respiratory therapists in our service area (a 200-mile radius) are SCCC graduates. They can keep working at their jobs in their communities, and still complete the next level.”

Undergrad research through K-State The Bridges Program partnership between SCCC and K-State, funded through a National Institutes of Health grant, has long provided a seamless track for students interested in the biosciences to transfer to K-State. Most students at SCCC are first-generation college participants, and while they may be gifted science students, classroom performance does not always lead to easy navigation through the world of college. Bridges provides exactly what its name promises — a connecting path from community college to higher-level degrees. Another avenue for collaboration comes through the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation grant, also administered via K-State. SCCC hopes to expand its work with this grant, from English and math focuses to an inter-disciplinary effort between Biology, agriculture, process technology, transportation, manufacturing and design faculty.

Lab expertise SCCC microbiology instructor Myron Perry,

left, checks a petri dish that’s part of Bridges students’ research. Perry, who received Faculty of the Year honors in 2017, mentors cohorts of around 20 students at a time. Photo: Rachel Coleman

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Road Ready

Jose Pando, Oscar Chavez, Elias King, Brandon Smith and Jesus Morales show off freshly-minted Commercial Drivers License diplomas after completing the six-week course in October. Michael McCarthy, lead instructor of the CDL program, said each student already has a job lined up. Ed Kentner, director of social media at National Carriers, said his company regularly looks at the program for drivers. “We know they have a good program and good foundation,” Kentner said. “They do things right (in teaching drivers) and not in a slipshod way.” The six-week program is offered six times a year. For more information, contact the SCCC admissions department at 620-417-1102. Photo: Phillip Lee


Our Youngest Saints

Louie the Saint, the SCCC mascot, shows up to boost first-day-of-school morale at Liberal’s brand-new Prairie View Elementary School. As part of the school’s AVID program to prepare students and their families for advancement to college, SCCC has become PVE’s partner school. Above, A.B. Amador, an AVID student at Seymour Rogers Middle School, helps younger children with a college-night activity. Amador, who plans to attend SCCC, worked at the college information table. SCCC installed larger-thanlife window decals with our Saints athletes and role models in the PVE gymnasium and makes a weekly team visit to walk and talk with the kids. Photos: Rachel Coleman

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When Jose Sandoval travels U.S. Hwy. 54 from Guymon, Okla., to Liberal, he can’t help but smile as he nears the city limit. The billboard he passes on the south side of the road bears a photo of him in his cap and gown at SCCC commencement, getting an epic hug from his son Gavin. The picture marks a moment three years ago, but that doesn’t matter to Jose. Recalling that moment never gets old. Jose’s pursuit of an associate of applied science in HVAC was more than challenging. “It was really, really tough,” he said. “I didn’t necessarily think about it at the time because I just had my head down. I was taught by my mother to just stand up after you fall. What you do at that moment is what defines everything that comes after.” Jose and his mom moved to Guymon, Okla., in 2000. By 2014, raising his six-year-old son alone, he was struggling to find balance. “In all reality, I was set to be somebody I didn’t want to be,” he said. “I got my jaw broken. I knew I was going to have to change things.” One afternoon, customers at one of Jose’s jobs pulled up in a yellow Corvette. He admired their car, and, he recalled, “I knew they had their own HVAC business. I thought, ‘I know exactly what they do and I could do it, too. I could get a car like that, be financially stable.‘” As Jose and the customer talked, the man said, “you need to go to school for this. Call me when you get done.” The conversation came at the right moment. “I knew I had to get educated in order to succeed, ”he said. “The motivation was there. I got on the website and dug deep. Going to SCCC was the

Game changer Gavin Sandoval, left, with his dad, SCCC alum Jose Sandoval. Gavin, 9, wants to be a Saint like his father, and go on to become a judge. “I was thinking of all the crimes in this world that I could solve just by being a judge. I’d be changing people who speed, people who like to steal cars, all kinds of stuff.” Photo: Rachel Coleman

best decision I ever made.” Jose’s determination was met with support. SCCC instructor Chris Hickman was willing to work with his student’s challenging schedule. “At the beginning, I was trying to come in every day for class, but that didn’t work because I couldn’t earn enough working in the evenings to support my son,” Jose said. “I asked Mr. Hickman if I could come in once a week and go through as many modules as possible. He said it would be fine.” That simplified one part of the situation, but the modified routine was still demanding. “We’d get up at six a.m., eat breakfast and I’d take Gavin to school. Then I’d go to my first job from 8 to 5, my next job from 5 to 9:30, and then I’d work from 10 to 3 or 4 in the morning at this nightclub,” Jose recalled. There was literally no time for school. Things turned around a bit when the HVAC company offered to help Jose combine work and study. “They took me on while I was in school. I was the first guy they ever

apprenticed from a technical school, so there was some pressure,” he said. But Jose had already accepted his role as a person who should provide a good example for Gavin; this was just another step in the same direction. In fact, the arrangement was such a success, the company continued to recruit students from SCCC as apprentices —with Jose serving as a workplace mentor and trainer. These days, the image of Jose and his jubilant son appears on billboards and semi truck trailers used by SCCC students in the truck driving program. The picture, he said, holds true. “That moment was when it all changed,” he said. The story, however, is far from over. “I’ve been looking into becoming a contractor, or a teacher, for HVAC. I think you have to have a lot of field experience, but I definitely want to exceed my expectations, I want to be more than I am now, and I want to instill in my son that education is 100 percent important.”

16 I Spring 2018 I FORWARD


By EARL WATT Courtesy of Leader & Times

The journey to becoming an American citizen took 13 years for Lady Saints volleyball coach Thais Baziquetto-Allen, and when it came to taking the citizenship test, she was more worried about the interview than answering questions about America. “You hear these horror stories about what they might ask,” she said. “But it wasn’t like that at all.” Still, she had a slight memory lapse that gave her a scare. During her time in America, she married Roy Allen, who has become Seward County’s athletic director. “They asked me, ‘When is his birthday?’” she said. “I freaked out. I said, ‘Uh, uh, it’s in January, I know that.’ But we are a legitimate couple. So I was nervous about that.” She made it through the interview and on to the written test, but if her father back home in Brazil would have had his way, his daughter would have never made it to America. Thais had been playing volleyball her entire life, and through high school, she played three volleyball seasons a

year. When she turned 18, she started the process to see if she could play for an American college. “My dad said, ‘No, you aren’t going,’” she said. “I spoke no English. I was 18. We started the process and I got an offer two weeks later, and my dad said, ‘You aren’t going.’” But Thais’ mom talked to her dad, and she was able to play for a community college in Florida before finishing up her college career with Western New Mexico. Still, dad wanted his little girl back home. “When I came home for my first Christmas, my Dad said, ‘You can stay if you want,’” she said. “But I said, ‘No, I think I need to see this through.’” Thanks to Skype, Thais was able to communicate with her family in Brazil, but after college, she wanted to see if coaching was right for her. Thais applied for a work visa and continued to teach and coach for the next five years which also brought her to Liberal to coach the Lady Redskin volleyball team. She renewed her green card for three years, at a cost of $1,500 each time. Last February, she applied for citizenship and started the process of becoming an American. (SEE PAGE 18)

FORWARD I Spring 2018 I 17

a cup of Joe with LOUIE


Louie the Saint, official mascot of Saints athletics at Seward County Community College, is on campus. Starting in October, he began serving up coffee, snacks, and other convenience foods for students at Louie’s Place, located in the Industrial Technology Campus student lounge. The opening of the c-store style cafe opened for business was welcomed by students and team members. “They were serving coffee and cinnamon rolls the other morning, and it was great,” said one student as he rushed to class. “I’m glad it opened.” Louie’s Place occupies space once known as “The Snack Bar,” back when the Industrial Technology division was a separate entity — the “vo-tech.” As times have changed, the college and technical school joined forces, and students came and went. But the space intended to serve as a student lounge did not keep pace with progress. That changed when SCCC launched its Connections Trails project, starting with a walking path to connect main campus and Industrial Tech. “One of our focuses at SCCC is to enhance the student experience,” said college president Dr. Ken Trzaska. “Our students must balance life, work, studying — and everyday needs like good food — we want to address that.”



We’ve guided more than 430 people through the process of becoming U.S. citizens since 2010.

Trzaska noted the creation of Louie’s P l a c e connects to one of the college key directions as set out by the executive team and board of trustees. “Promoting a safe and healthy campus is one of those key directions,” he said. “This goes beyond security and safety measures to us thinking of the whole person.” Louie’s Place is a joint venture of SCCC and its contracting food provider, Great Western Dining, which helped chip in for improvements. The cafe offer hot sandwiches, pizza, multiple flavors of cappuccino, hot cocoa,

custom-made fresh salads, and an assortment of “grab and go” foods in refrigerated, freezer, and off-the-shelf displays. “The idea is convenience, of course, but something healthier and more satisfying than getting something from a vending machine,” said Jerry Odle of GWD. “We’ll have staff here to cook for patrons, and the hours will be expanded as an option when the cafeteria is closed.” “This is a positive step for the students in Industrial Tech,” said Dean Travis Combs. “It’s really important for us to provide a space where students can catch their breath, socialize, or do homework.” Community members are welcome to patronize the coffee shop, and relax at cafe tables, an Apple computer lab, ping-pong, and pool tables.

SCCC BUILDS COMMUNITY In Southwest Kansas, we tackle challenges as a team, and our team crosses the boundaries of age, race, & language.

18 I Spring 2018 I FORWARD

Social work degree possible in 3 years, via SCCC/FHSU

By PHILLIP LEE SCCC Marketing & PR Among the many programs offered by Fort Hays State and SCCC through articulation agreements, one program in particular —social work —presents a unique opportunity for students in Southwest Kansas. According to Luke Dowell, SCCC Dean of Arts & Sciences, the two institutions offer the program specifically because of the need for social workers in the area. The bachelor’s degree program would take three years to complete with a combination of online and once-a-week, face-to-face classes at the SCCC campus. Students could take SCCC classes to fulfill general education requirements and electives towards their FHSU degree as well as completing their associate degree. Students would be able to complete their degree in the area and not have to leave. The program is non-traditional in that it does not require students to attend fulltime, daytime classes. However, it is open to traditional students as well. “When we tried to recruit those nontraditional students who are already working and have degrees, we were not coming up with the numbers. So I asked would be possible to offer this to students who haven’t finished their first two years yet,” Dowell said. The course of study is ambitious, but “... if a student completed their first year or second year, then it might be possible,” Dowell said. “We just floated it out there to the students on campus trying to get the word out and we had a few students who expressed interest.” These sorts of unplanned opportunities are increasingyl interwoven into SCCC’s culture. “It’s really about taking advantage of opportunity,” Dr. Todd Carter, Vice President of Academic Affairs, said. “We have this opportunity so how can we make it work for different student population.”


responsibilities of being an American citizen where you can be the person you She also made the move to coaching want to be. The American Dream allows the Lady Saints at SCCC, and she now you to be that person. I am honored to sees young women coming to America become a citizen.” like she did. She is still Brazilian, too, but being “It’s good that I have been in their American is just as important to her. shoes. I know they are far away from “They told us, ‘Don’t forget your home. We can prevent a little of that culture, but embrace this culture, too,’” homesickness. We get them involved in she said. “I am 50 percent American, the community. We have to overcome 50 percent Brazilian. This country has the language barrier, so I don’t let them given me opportunities I never would use any other language but English on have had. I am very appreciative. At the court and in the classroom. That is Liberal High School, I said the Pledge of what they need to learn. When they go Allegiance hundreds of times in fourth on from here, they might not be where hour. But now it has a new meaning. It you have the support system we have. is my country I swore to defend, and I So you have to overcome the language am proud of it.” barrier. You have to speak English.” EDITOR’S NOTE —Along with Coach B, Thais passed her citizenship in Au- SCCC instructors Nina Highfill and Dr. gust with a perfect score, pulling in all Maria Fe Laguitan became American cither resources of friends and faculty to izens in October 2017. Joining them were study. In October, she was sworn in as a several ESL students from the SCCC Colcitizen of the United States. vin Adult Learning Center. Since 2010, “It’s a very neat ceremony,” she classes at SCCC have helped more than said. “You talk about your rights and 430 people become U.S. Citizens.

La Familia in Auto Body

Members of the SCCC Auto Body Family pose for a portrait with college happiness ambassador, Hamlet the Pig, and his newly-painted wheels. Instructors Bree Downs, left front, and Randal Levings, front right, worked to create intentional community and a sense of belonging to improve student retention rates. “Our deal is that we want to be better than average,” said Downs. “That’s why we chose the motto ‘Don’t be basic.’ We want to do great things.” The Family raised funds to attend the SEMA show in Las Vegas, conducted a food drive, and delivered holiday goods to 11 familes in the community. Their retention rate? 100 percent of the students completed the semester successfully. Photo: Rachel Coleman

FORWARD I Spring 2018 I 19

EARLY COLLEGE WORKS Top of his class

Liberal High School Valedictorian Keith Evans, right, with his mother, Lana, earned an associate degree concurrently while completing his high school diploma. Many families in the SCCC service area have found the affordable price of two years at community college offsets the ever-rising costs at state universities, while streamlining the time it takes to complete a bachelor’s degree. Photo: Rachel Coleman Concurrent enrollment at Seward County Community College has engaged hundreds of high school students in hands-on work and career-strengthening studies, thanks to the introduction of SB155 in 2012, and concurrent classes offered in high schools throughout our service area. The combination of these traditional concurrent courses and SB155 classes taught on campus to high school students account for 27 percent of the credit hours generated. Such programs have proven to be beneficial for SCCC over the past five years. We see increased revenues through tuition paid by concurrent students, and thanks to the state-funded reimbursement scale of SB155. More important is the impact on the region. It is profound, going far beyond dollars. The Kansas Department of Education states “the main purpose of [SB155] is to stimulate growth in Career & Technical Education at both the secondary and post-secondary level in Kansas. The Kansas workforce will increasingly demand a more highly-technical and highly-skilled worker and Senate Bill 155 is aimed at meeting those future demands.” The SCCC mission is to “provide opportunities to enrich and improve each person’s life through a range of academic programs, including technical education, certificate and degree programs, and transferable degree programs, for the advancement of the individual and the community.” Real-life examples reveal the ways that concurrent and SB155 courses fulfill both missions. * Optometrist Dr. Ryan Farrar started college with concurrent classes provided at Hugoton High School. Today, he is

partner in a thriving practice, and serves on the SCCC Foundation board. * Young entrepreneur Andy Davis drew statewide attention when he graduated from SCCC before Sublette High School. Davis started a business and bought a house at 21, staying in his hometown. * Liberal High School valedictorian Keith Evans was one of more than 30 LHS 2016 graduates from the entire spectrum of demographic groups who earned a college certificate or associate degree simultaneously. * Ambio Farah, who emigrated to the U.S. from Somalia, used SB155 to start college while finishing high school and working full time. She is pursuing a degree in biomedical science. SCCC occupies a unique role in Southwest Kansas, where our county population numbers a higher percentage of foreign-born residents than California. Through concurrent courses, we introduce these community members to the power of higher education, in terms of human potential and earning power. We also extend greater opportunities to families who have chosen to remain in ever-shrinking rural communities. Data shows that ZIP code, as much as race, color, or economic status, determines the trajectory of a person’s life. Our concurrent and SB155 programs overcome these challenges. This, in turn, strengthens our part of the state of Kansas, growing industry, equipping the work force, and generating income and development.



Arts & Sciences Meet the Team Bert Luallen



Meet the Team Rachel Coleman



and transformation

Meet the Team Dennis Mulanax


Meet the Team Faye Zimmerman


Math, Science & HPERD

Meet the Team Sharon Brockmann



and transformation

Meet the Team Janice Northerns


English, Creative Writing Assessment

Meet the Team Teresa Wehmeier



Meet the Team Chandler Kirkhart



Meet the Team Alex Widener


TRiO Student Support

Meet the Team Travis Combs


Industrial Tech & ABE Meet the Team Manuel Hernandez


Truck Driving/CDL

Forward Magazine Spring 2018  
Forward Magazine Spring 2018  

Stories that illuminate the mission and movement of Seward County Community College in Liberal, Kansas. We're in the business of changing li...