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| FRIDAY, MARCH 10, 2017

50 years of service

ifty years ago, the people of Mason and Manistee counties were faced with an important choice: Whether or not to support a new community college to serve them and future generations. We all know the decision the voters made on March 6, 1967. Since then West Shore Community College has grown and changed, in direct response to the demands of our communities, businesses, and partner institutions. When computers started entering the workplace, we added them. When businesses needed skilled workers, we developed programs to produce them. When four-year institutions adapted to a changing world, we worked to ensure students were prepared to succeed at those institutions. And when our region sought cultural and performing arts opportunities, we provided them. All of these efforts have made your community college what it is today. We can’t know what the future will bring, aside from one thing: Constant change. Some would find that daunting, or frightening, but I can assure you that your community college is ready for it, ready to respond, adapt, and support our communities to address and conquer anything the world throws at our corner of West Michigan. I know I speak for the Board of Trustees and every single college employee when I say that we deeply appreciate your continued support. We’re excited about the next fifty years, and we look forward to discovering what they hold together. Kenneth E. Urban, Ed.D. President of West Shore Community College

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r. Kenneth Urban is a man who appreciates the importance of community in higher education. It is fitting, then, that Dr. Urban is the president of West Shore Community College, an institution that works closely with communities from Mason, Manistee, Lake and Oceana Counties. When Dr. Kenneth Urban was interviewing for the position of president of West Shore Community College, he described himself as a learner, and a man who would work to honor the title and

the surrounding communities the college serves. “I see too many leaders who see president as a title,” he said at the time. “A title doesn’t do honor to a person, a person does honor to the title. That’s what I would strive to do, bring honor to the title.” Urban was hired by the WSCC Board of Trustees in 2015. His tenure formally began in July, following a board approval in May. Urban is the fourth president of the college, a position previously occupied by John Eaton, William Anderson and Charles Dillon. Kenneth Urban earned his bachelor’s degree from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio,

a master’s degree from the University of Toledo and an educational doctorate (Ed.D) from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Before coming to WSCC, Urban served as interim president of Nicolet College in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. He was drawn to the sense of community surrounding the college, the integrity and devotion of the faculty and staff and to the passion of the board of trustees. For WSCC’s 50th anniversary, Dr. Urban spoke to the Daily News about the college’s recent accomplishments, and what he hopes to see in the next 50 years.

Dr. Kenneth Urban

A conversation with Dr. Kenneth Urban Tell us a bit about your background prior to coming to West Shore Community College? How did you become involved in education? My undergraduate training was in experimental psychology and biology, so the first part of my career was as a research scientist in human factors engineering. So much of that work was understanding how people work and how processes to get things done are designed. That knowledge has served me well throughout my career. From that work, I moved into marketing, operations and information technology work in manufacturing environments. During the first ten years of my career, I continued going to school, earning master’s degrees in psychology and business administration. In 2000, I moved into a Wisconsin technical college, a long-time dream of mine. Once there I earned my doctorate in higher education leadership, and moved through a series of progressively more responsible positions before starting at West Shore Community College as its fourth president. What attracted you to the position of president at WSCC? My wife and I did a lot of research when I started actively looking for a college presidency. What made West Shore Community College stand out

How has it changed in Since you began your tenure in 2015? Since I’ve arrived, we’ve worked hard at expanding our work with local PK-12 districts even more. I like to think what’s even more important is what hasn’t changed over that time, which is our commitment to being our communities’ college. How would you describe WSCC’s social, economic and educational impact on the overall culture of the area (Mason, Lake, Oceana, Manistee counties)? The impact WSCC has is wideranging. Many people don’t know that since 1970 — our first graduating class — nearly 6,400 people have graduated from West Shore. That’s equivalent to almost one out of every eight people in Mason and Manistee counties. JEFF KIESSEL | DAILY NEWS WSCC graduates are the accounDr. Kenneth Urban, West Shore Community College’s fourth president, is helping the college celebrate its 50-year tants, managers, nurses, and othmilestone. er professionals you cross paths was the people — both on staff, and colleges with disconnected trustees, Over the last twenty years, the with every single day. We have in the community. or trustees with personal agendas. college has steadily moved forward. the outstanding Manierre Dawson It was clear to me that this colBut spend five minutes with any of We’ve expanded our programs, built Gallery, amazing community mulege enjoys strong support from WSCC’s trustees, and you’ll soon a premier, on-site Career and Techsical ensembles, and a performing the communities it serves, and the come to the conclusion that their nical Education collaboration with arts series that I’d rank against longevity of the staff sent the mesonly agenda is the success of this the West Shore Educational Service any small community college sage that this was an institution college. That’s both refreshing, and District, and established strong con- in the nation. Those things are that cared about the people and priceless. nections to many four-year partners just the tip of the iceberg when communities connected to it. Once I like Ferris State University, Michigan it comes to our social, economic, came to interview, it became immeHow has the college changed in State University and Grand Valley and educational impact. diately apparent how outstanding the last 20 years? State University. the Board of Trustees was. I’ve seen SEE URBAN, PAGE 4



URBAN: Looking to the future of WSCC FROM PAGE A3

What achievement(s) are you most proud of as president of WSCC?

‘I’m proud of the things we’ve done over the past year to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the college. Over the next fifty years, I want WSCC

to get better and better at providing a seamless pathway for students to become lifelong learners.’

Kenneth Urban

college. I’m also very proud to have presided over the College’s reaffirmation of its accreditation early last year, which allows us to provide Federal financial aid to our students. And finally, I’m proud of the things we’ve done over the past year to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the college. What are your hopes for WSCC’s next 50 years? Over the next fifty years, I want WSCC to get better and better at providing a seamless pathway for students to become lifelong learners. What do I mean by that? The average student at WSCC takes around 8 credits per

Celebrating Founders Day College to recognize individuals, businesses and foundations

I’m very proud that our collaborative Ag Science program with Michigan State University started during my tenure, and I’m proud that we’ve started the shift to using more data to inform the decisions we make across the

semester; that means it takes seven or eight terms to earn an associate’s degree. A seamless pathway means that when a high school student enters WSCC, the college credits they earned there apply to their program here; it means that rather than making the associate degree the first credential, those students can earn shorter-term credentials that help them get a better job and when

they move to the next credential all of the earlier credits apply; it means strong relationships with four-year partners so students can spend three years here and earn a bachelor’s degree in a year there. We need to build a lifelong learning pathway that’s like a freeway with on- and off-ramps. (231) 843-1122 x 309

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sen, philanthropists, established WSCC scholarship funding. GERALD SVENDOR, Professor Emeritus and Vice President, moved the College to a continuous improvement model

CURRENT MEMBERS of the Mentors Society are Dr. William Anderson, Roger Baerwolf, Leonard Bestrom, Barry Bourdo, Richard Bourgault, Larry Bradford, Robert Bradley, John R. Bulger, Arnold Carlson, Dennis Cawthorne, Donald Clingan, Oliver DeJonge, Bruce Draper, Dr. John Eaton, Ellen Elder, Leonard Gavigan, Maurice Goodreau, Dr. Robert Harrison, Dr. Charles The 50th anniversary of the founding Keil, Fred Killen, Dr. Kang Lee, Bayard of West Shore Community College will Lyon, Beth McCarthy, Helen McCarthy, be celebrated at the college’s Found- Martha Paine, William Paine, A. Ivan Pelers Day Dinner to be held the evening ter, Daryl Peterson, E. Dean Raven, Doroof March 10, in the Administrative and thy Hall, Morgan Hall, Jack Ham, Budde Conference Center. Reed, Sadie Riffle, Joan Schoenherr, Lee The Founders Day Banquet is held in Schoenherr, Richard Seemuth, Kenneth early March to commemorate the day Stephens, Ruth Stephens, Dr. Dale SutWSCC was established by of vote of ton, Leo Teholiz, Tom VanBuren,and Ron the people on March 6, 1967. In 1987, Wood. the College celebrated its 20th anniversary with the first Founders Day DinAs part of the 50th anniversary, the ner.  That evening, the Mentors Society College has created a new award called was born with the recognition of 11 peo- the Cornerstone Society. While the Menple for their leadership in the founding tors Society honors individuals, the Corand development of the College. nerstone Society honors businesses, orSince 1987, West Shore has held its ganizations, and foundations that have Founders Day Dinner every five years, provided financial resources to move during which time 32 more names were the college forward. added to the Mentors Society. The first Cornerstone inductees are: This year, eight more distinguished individuals will be added to the list: PAINE FAMILY Foundation, William and Martha Paine and Family SHARON BLUHM, Professor Emeritus, for DELTA FOUNDATION, Anonymous being instrumental in the establishment WEST SHORE Bank, Raymond Biggs. of the Manierre Dawson Gallery. SEN. DARWIN BOOHER, for securing “The college bestows these honors evstate funding for the college. ery five years and it takes on added sigRUTH GUSTAFSON, executive assistant nificance during our 50th anniversary for two former presidents. when we remember all of the previous CHRISSIE HALL, philanthropist and com- inductees and the important contrimunity volunteer, for providing finanbution they made in their time,” WSCC cial resources and moving the college President Kenneth Urban said. “Each of forward. our inductees have demonstrated the DAVID HALL, philanthropist, educator kind of commitment that has helped and writer, who has been instrumental in move the college a step closer to fulfillproviding financial resources and moving ing its promise to our students and comthe college forward munity.” JAMES PINKERTON, advocate for voca“For 50 years, we have combined our tional programs in area schools, helped efforts to make a real and lasting impact implement the Career and Technical so that each student and community Education partnership on campus. member has the opportunity to fulfill JACK RASMUSSEN and Shirley Rasmushis or her potential,” Urban added.

FRIDAY, MARCH 10, 2017






rom the air rushing past your face to the satisfying scrape of your slush-covered blades on the ice, skating is something new to love at West Shore Community College. Well, relatively new. The arena was established in September 2001, made possibly through a Michi-

‘This didn’t happen by accident. Many people have played key roles in attaining this grant.’ Budde Reed Chairman Ice Arena Committee

gan Department of Natural Resources grant and community donations — which totaled more than $940,000 — from residents, area counties and businesses like the Little River Casino Resort. The facilities are designed for year-round use, with seating for 320 spectators, four locker rooms, a concession stand and skate rental. The arena is owned by Mason County and maintained by the college. “This didn’t happen by accident,” said Budde Reed, who served as chairman of the ice arena committee during its development. “Many people have played key roles in attaining this grant, from the Mason County Board of Commissioners, to County Administrator Fabian Knizacky to Mark Bergstrom


The West Shore Community Ice Arena was established in September 2001 through a state grant and donations from local residents, counties and businesses. of the WSCC staff. We’ve also received a lot of assistance from Rep. Mead and Sen. Bill Schuette and from the staff at the DNR offices.” Today, the 36,000 squarefoot arena is just as popular as it was when it opened, with a slew of new programs and daily open skate hours. It’s a good time to go, says West Shore Director of Recreation Services Michael Moore. “This is our peak,” he said. “After December it really picks up, kids are getting new skates for Christmas. They’re looking for something to do, getting a little stir crazy.” Admission is $5 and skate

rental is $2. A family rate is also available for $20, and covers up to five family members. Children six and under are free. Open skate runs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on weekdays and 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

LEARN TO SKATE Skating hopefuls can learn some new skills and get more comfortable on the ice through the arena’s Learn to Skate program. “There is a registration process for it, they take place on Sunday afternoons, usually right after our open ICE ARENA, PAGE 5




Skaters enjoy the West Shore Community Ice Arena during a weekday afternoon. Free skate is offered every weekday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The ice arena also offers programs like Learn to Skate, hockey leagues for various age groups and a figure skating club, which is run by Devin Carrasco.


skate,” Moore said. “There’s different age groups, and they run from 3 p.m. to about 7 p.m. at night, depending on the age. Learn to Skate is a sixweek program and costs $50 per skater. “It’s actually where everybody kind of gets started, and it’s a platform for both hockey and the figure skating club,” Moore said.

HOCKEY A hockey program is also offered. “We actually take registrations throughout the year,” he said. “Obviously, you’re probably behind the eightball if you were to sign up now, but not for the younger age groups, 8 and under, 9 and under, 10 and under, those are all still taking sign-ups,” he said. “We’d love to have more registrations for that. “Same for the adult league, you could still sign up now.” Both hockey and Learn to Skate are broken down into different sessions held throughout the year. “If a kid decided just last week they wanted to start skating, we have multiple opportunities,” Moore said.


FIGURE SKATING CLUB Those looking to hone some of skating’s more intricate skills can check out the arena’s Figure Skating Club. “That continues to grow every passing week, it seems like, we get more and more people involved in the figure skating part of that,” Moore said. Devin Carrasco serves as head instructor for the club. “She’s spearheaded the two synchronization classes that we have going on right now,” Moore said. “It’s pretty neat.”

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The West Shore Ice Arena is also the home of the Manistee Chippewas, a hockey collaborative of Manistee, Mason County Central, Ludington, Hart and Shelby high school students. West Shore Wolves hockey teams, which are divided by age group, also play at the arena.

FRIDAY, MARCH 10, 2017




WSCC opens doors to new science wing BY CHERYL HIGGINSON OF THE DAILY NEWS January 2002 was a time for celebration at the college, which marked the opening of a new, state-of-the-art science wing. The addition was the largest to the campus since 1992, adding four science labs, a cadaver lab, a greenhouse and a lecture room. It also included storage and preparation areas for each lab and 10 classrooms. “This is a milestone in the college’s history,” said thenDean of Liberal Arts and Sciences Elaine Collins. “We need to all celebrate this moment. Everyone, from the faculty, staff and trustees to the citizens, they have all had a part in fulfilling a vision we had for this college.”

“This new facility will ensure that our students have the best in technology and have ample and flexible space to work in.” Mike Ennis, chairman of the WSCC board of trustees, said the dedication of the new addition was a long time coming but was worth the wait. “We now have a cutting-edge facility to offer students,” Ennis said. “I think it speaks will for everyone involved in the project that they had the vision to see the need for this.” As visitors toured the new facility, of special interest was a 4 foot by 8 foot mural which graces the main hallway. The mural was created by students in Rebecca Mott’s advanced pottery class at the college. Each student participated and contributed a minimum of five tiles.


The West Shore Community College established a new science wing in 2002, which houses a number of labs.

West Shore Community College for 50 Years of Excellence! MASON COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY, INC. 1687 S. Lakeshore Dr., Ludington, MI 231.843.4808

Celebrating 50 Years!


Manierre Dawson Gallery





WSCC opens new Science Wing.

Free Ride program begins.

Groundbreaking for Schoenherr Campus Center.

WSCC launches Honors Program.

WSCC opens Community Ice Arena.

Community Ice Arena

WSCC Graduate

Schoenherr Campus Center





Remodel of Arts & Sciences Center includes Manierre Dawson gallery.

WSCC opens labyrinth disc golf course.

Academy of Math, Science & Technology graduates first class.

Dr. Kenneth Urban appointed new WSCC president.

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The Schoenherr Campus Center now houses the offices of the West Shore Community College Student Senate and other groups, and is a popular hub for students in between classes or looking for a study or hangout space.

West Shore Community College Inspiring students toward greatness!

Congratulations WsCC on 50 Years! • 231.613.2717

On Celebrating 50 Years of Serving our Community with Education Excellence

109 S. James St., Ludington 231-843-4411

FRIDAY, MARCH 10, 2017

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A new space for students In 2007, West Shore Community College opened renovations of the Schoenherr Campus Center, which offers a library, cafe, office spaces, a book store and plenty of seating areas for student to rest, chat and study.

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The West Shore Community College Library was relocated to the Schoenherr Campus Center in 2007. Now, the library houses an extensive collection of books and a full computer lab, which is open to students for use.

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Recognizing the arts at WSCC

With a new science wing offering state-of-the-art technology for students, 2010 was a time to turn to the arts. West Shore established the Manierre Dawson Gallery in late 2010, naming it after the famed Riverton Townhip-based artist. The college worked with Dawson’s grandson, Pere Lockwood, to properly honor Dawson through the gallery, and coincided with a generous donation of “House at Bridge,” a work by Dawson completed in 1910 and valued at more than $100,000. The opportunity for the college came about during Professor Sharon Bluhm’s sabbatical, during which time she researched Dawson and created a manuscript about him and his

work that includes some of his journal entries. The manuscript is currently under final consideration at a university press, she said. The 100-year-old painting was completed in one of Dawson’s most significant years in his work as one of the first American abstract artists, Bluhm said. Now, the gallery is a well-loved and well-used staple on campus, housing art shows for local high school students and featuring the works of major artists during temporary exhibits. The Manierre Dawson Gallery is located in the Arts and Sciences Center. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and during events held in the Center Stage Theater.

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Just as they do today, in 2000, West Shore Community College graduates were all smiles as they walked to Pomp & Circumstance and received their diplomas.


At 2016’s graduation ceremony, more than 230 students were able to toss their hats in celebration. More than 20 of those graduates earned multiple degrees or certificates. “We hope you’ve found your time with us fulfilling and memorable,” said WSCC President Kenneth Urban during the ceremony. “What really matters in life are people. And we hope you remember our people.”

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WSCC faculty SHELLEY BOES, Associate Professor of Nursing, Nursing & Allied Health Division

hood Education & Child Development, Social Sciences Division

DAVID CUTLER, Professor of Welding, Technologies Division

REBECCA MOTT, Professor of Fine Arts, Arts & Humanities Division

STEVEN DELLER, Professor of Nursing, Nursing & Allied Health Division PAUL DRELLES, Professor of Mathematics, Math Division, Chair of Math JOSEPH GROCHOWSKI, Paul Drelles Professor of Math & Science, Science Division

MICHAEL NAGLE, Professor of History and Political Science, Social Sciences Division, Chair of Social Sciences

Mike Nagle

JODI RADLOFF, Professor of English, Communications Division

DR. HAMDY HELAL, Professor of Biological Sciences, Science Division SEAN HENNE, Professor of English & Education, Communications & Social Sciences Dvisions WADE JAMES, Professor of Mathematics, Math Division DR. GEOFFREY KRAMER, Professor of Psychology, Social Sciences Division

Matthew Sanderson

DR. CONNIE SCHWASS, Professor of Accounting, Business Division

DR. SONJA SIEWERT, Professor of Chemistry, Sciences Division DR. AMY WOJCIECHOWSKI, Professor of Marketing & Management, Business Division, Chair of Business

JENNIFER LUNDBERG-ANDERS, Professor of Communications, Communications Division THEODORE MALT, Professor of Music, Arts & Humanities Division, Interim Director of Performing Arts DR. MICHAEL MCKINNEY, Professor Of Biological Sciences, Science Division, Chair of Science

Michael McKinney

LISA MORLEY, Professor of Early Child-

DR. MATTHEW SANDERSON, Professor of Philosophy & Ethics, Arts & Humanities Division, Chair of Humanities


Professor of Nursing, Nursing & Allied Health Division

John Wolff

JOHN WOLFF, Professor of Humanities, Communications Division, Chair of Communications

Fond memories

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Thom Hawley reflects on time at WSCC, what’s to come BY RILEY KELLEY DAILY NEWS CORRESPONDENT How long have you been at West Shore Community College? I have had a long association with the college. I began as a student and later served on the college’s foundation board of directors and alumni association for almost 11 years. I have been employed by the college since 2002, where I serve as the Executive Director of Communications and Community Engagement. I have oversight for marketing and public relations, the WSCC Foundation, the Performing Arts Series and the Business Opportunity Center. How has the college and its place in the community changed — grown, expanded — in your time there? While the physical appearance of the campus has changed dramatically with the addition of the Schoenherr Campus Center, the West Shore Ice Arena, and additions to existing buildings, one thing hasn’t changed and that is the long tradition of a high quality education offered by excellent faculty. The college’s academic programs continue to gain the respect of students, businesses and many other colleges. More students are beginning their college education at West Shore. More businesses are coming for customized training. More four-year colleges and universities accept our classes for transfer. If you think about it—in one way or another in the last 50 years---the college has touched almost every family, every business, and every organization in our area. Do you have any memories you’d like to share from your time as a WSCC student? One of my fondest memories is when I served as the president of the Student Senate. I personally grew from the experience and felt we had the full support of the college’s administration for initiatives,

‘Community service’ are the words imprinted on the seal of the college. It is the reason we exist. Many people have chosen West Shore to begin their college education, master new technology, to begin a new career, to refine existing skills, or even to strengthen their competence as a citizen and community member.’ Thomas Hawley projects and events we felt were of value to the students. Making “connections” with students can be challenging at a college whose students commute to and from the campus; often students come and go without experiencing a strong connection to the faculty, each other or campus life. West Shore connected me to a world of possibilities and helped me to become a more engaged learner and a better community citizen. As an alumnus, I can say, without question, that West Shore has enriched my life and career. Can you provide some perspective on the college’s evolution? Do you have any thoughts you’d like to share regarding how Mason County has changed as a result of WSCC and the opportunities it offers people in the community? I would answer this question by posing my own, “What would our community be like if the college had never existed?” “Community service” are the words imprinted on the seal of the college. It is the reason we exist. Many people have

chosen West Shore to begin their college education, master new technology, to begin a new career, to refine existing skills, or even to strengthen their competence as a citizen and community member. The college’s commitment to access and an affordable education is clear; our community college has made it possible for every member of the community to acquire the competencies and the skills needed to enter the mainstream of economic life. How could that not change the communities the college serves? Can you comment a bit on Sarah Jensen’s upcoming book, “West Shore Community College: The First Fifty Years?” I am grateful Sarah agreed to author our history book; one of the legacy projects as we celebrate the anniversary. She is uniquely qualified to write the history because she grew up on the property which would later become West Shore and she is a proud alumna as well. She is doing a great job of capturing the unique stories of the last 50 years and I am confident the book will be a keepsake spanning the early roots of the college to the present, with dozens of photographs of the people and times which makes the college a special place. Finally, I know that there is plenty of information about how WSCC is commemorating its 50th anniversary, but are there any events, activities, or celebrations that you’d like to inform (or remind) our readers about? Save the date! In the latter part of June, we are planning an alumni picnic on the campus with retired and current faculty, administrators and staff. We will be contacting alumni soon with details with all of the arrangements for this special event. It will be a perfect opportunity to reconnect with old friends and reminisce about the great times and memories we share. Stay tuned — there is more 50th anniversary celebrating to come!

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Putting students first since 1967 West Shore Community College has been

part of the community since 1967, and the word “community” is more than just our middle name—it’s our reason for being here. We’re here to serve all our communities with quality educational and instructional programs, job training, cultural arts and enrichment, recreation and wellness, and much more.

WSCC graduating class of 1974.

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Profile for Shoreline Media

WSCC 50 years pt 3  

WSCC 50 years pt 3