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Spring Issue 5

Mountain woman see page 3

May 5, 2017

Embarrasing moments See page 6

white house gassing See page 7

St. Louis Community College at Forest Park

Architects to design new building

By Niki Best The Scene Staff Forest Park is getting a new Allied Health Center, its first new building in nearly two decades. The four-story, 65,000-square-foot structure will be built on the north side of campus, between A, B and C towers and Oakland Avenue. It will house nursing, dental hygiene and eight other health-related programs. “It will serve two purposes,” said Vincent Featherson, dean of natural science education and physical education, which includes allied health. “It will really give Forest Park a beautiful ‘front door’ appearance and make it more attractive. “The second (purpose is that) technology is always changing. We need to stay up-to-date on our programs, and this building will give us that opportunity.” STLCC officials have discussed the need for a new Allied Health Center for years. Its programs are among the most popular at Forest Park, and its classrooms and labs are scattered throughout campus. The St. Louis Community College board of trustees voted on Feb. 23 to hire KAI Design & Build architectural firm to design the new building. It’s expected to be completed by August of 2019. “KAI presents an experienced, diverse project team that has done

By Chris Cunningham The Scene staff

Photo by Garrieth Crockett

Respiratory care program director Lindsay Fox going over the use of equipment in pulmonary function test class offered through the allied health program considerable design work for the college,” said STLCC Chancellor Jeff Pittman. “They demonstrated a clear vision for the transformative nature of the new building, as well as a creative preliminary solution to the site development, acoustic concerns and future campus space requirements.” Allied health is “a vast community of occupations that strive to better the health of others,” according to

Webster’s dictionary STLCC has offered allied health classes since 1967. Most have been on the Forest Park campus. “The new Allied Health Center will be a significant addition and improvement to the Forest Park campus,” said Provost Larry Johnson. “Replacing a more than 50-year-old structure, the new building will really reintroduce the

See Building page 2

When police approach: What to say, do

By Jeffrey Wallace Richman The Scene Staff Did you know that you should keep your hands on the steering wheel during a traffic stop so a police officer won’t think that you’re reaching for a weapon? Are you aware that you can say “no” when a police officer asks to search your car because of your Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches and Kenner seizures? Those tips were among many offered by Forest Park police officer James Kenner in a recent presentation called “Ethical Interaction upon Police Contact.” “I give this ethical interaction class just to teach the students how to positively interact with the police upon contact,” he said. And to help avoid tragedies like the one in Ferguson. On Aug. 9, 2014, the St. Louis suburb was turned upside-down when police officer Darren Wilson, 28, shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown. Protests led to rioting and looting and

Employees work hard to keep accreditation

intensified after a grand jury elected not movements while retrieving wallets or to indict Wilson, deciding he acted in cellphones during traffic stops. Kenner emphasized that negative self-defense. “There are some officers who act out responses or disrespectful behavior and racially profile,” Kenner said. “To toward a police officer could result prevent another Ferguson, we need to in additional charges, such as failure teach the community how to act when an to comply or disturbing the peace. Touching a police officer can be assault. officer approaches.” “I learned that I need to be cooperaKenner has worked in law enforcement for more than 25 years in the tive and have positive manners because you don’t U.S. and overseas, “If the officer asks you for your name want a situation to get includworse,” ing Russia, and you tell him your name said theKosovo and G e r m a n y respectfully, then the officer will treat ater major Derrick during miliyou with respect. If you respond with Owens, 28. tary serBaking vice. He an attitude, that officer will respond and pastry joined the arts major St. Louis with an attitude.” Wi l l n e l l e Community – Student Willnelle Warren Warren, 18, College also attendstaff six ed the presentation. One of the things years ago. About 15 students attended Kenner’s he learned was how a traffic stop can go presentation on April 11 in the one way or another based on the way a Highlander Lounge at Forest Park. It driver answers questions. “If the officer asks you for your name was sponsored by Campus Life. Kenner advised students to always and you tell him your name respectmake sure their vehicles are properly fully, then the officer will treat you with registered and that they are carrying respect,” he said. “If you respond with proof of insurance; and to avoid sudden See Police page 2

It’s easy to write off the accreditation process as a bunch of bureaucratic red tape, but the stakes are high. If St. Louis Community College wasn’t accredited, students wouldn’t be able to get financial aid or have their credits transferred to fouryear universities. “The accreditation process might seem a big dry, but this is really important,” said Brenda French, Forest French Park accreditation liaison. The entire STLCC district is preparing for an evaluation next year by the Higher Learning Commission, which accred- Johnson its colleges and universities in 19 states, including Missouri. The process takes place every 10 years. “I can’t say it is stressful,” Roach said Forest Park Provost Larry Johnson. “I have served in the role of evaluating a college before, so I already have prior experience.” At this stage, administrators, faculty and staff are updating records and compiling information on the Forest Park, Meramec, Florissant Valley and Wildwood campuses. Commission representatives will visit in February. “It is a big event that they are coming for – the 10-year accreditation – but the work is every day,” said Ame Mead Roach, dean of humanities and social science. “We need to operate in a way that makes the student the focus. What we have been doing in the last 10 years is what they are looking for.” If standards aren’t met, colleges are given probationary periods to make improvements.

See Accreditation page 7


Building campus to the St. Louis community in a bold and vibrant way.” By “50-year-old structure,” Johnson was referring to the fact that the Forest Park campus opened in 1967, so most of its buildings are 50 years old. Nearly 500 students are enrolled in allied health programs at Forest Park. Those that will move into the new building will include nursing, dental hygiene, respiratory care, clinical laboratory technology, diagnostic medical sonography, dental assisting, emergency medical technology, paramedic technology, radiologic technology and surgical technology. Fire protection technology and funeral service education fall under the allied health umbrella, but they won’t be housed in the new building. “I think this will be a great addition to the campus,” said Lindsay Fox,

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assistant professor in respiratory care. “I’m very excited to have a new lab for my students to pursue their careers in. We’re all very excited to see what the new addition will bring.” The Allied Health Center will allow some programs to expand and may result in more classes or sections. Architecturally, it will be modern but designed to fit in with existing campus structures. The college and architects are aiming to get Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certification by making it energy efficient and environmentally friendly. “This building will help us prepare our students for immediate employment in the healthcare field,” Featherson said. “We couldn’t be more excited to make this happen.”

Police an attitude, then that officer will respond with an attitude.” Kenner was impressed by the openness of audience members about personal encounters with police. One student talked about running late for class and being stopped on school property just because he looked suspicious. Another person told of her daughter recording a conversation with a police officer who asked to search her car. She was heard on tape saying “no” and sounding upset. “I think the way the people interacted during the class will change the way these students interact with the police,” Kenner said. “(They) were very active

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and very open on a lot of topics like race and racial profiling.” As for the Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches and seizures, Kenner explained that a person can say “no” to a police request, but that doesn’t mean the officer will say “OK” and walk away. He or she might still search the vehicle. If this happens, drivers should get the officer’s name, car number and date and time the incident happened. By obtaining this information, they can legally report it. For more information about what to do and say to a police officer, contact Kenner at 314-644-9700.

Scene THE

Managing editor: Chris Cunningham Layout editor: Darryl Reece Administrative assistant: Kalia White Reporters/photographers: Garrieth Crockett, Shileha Churchill, Nana Ramsey, Niki Best, Timothy Bold, Isaiah Brooks, Serenity Ghidoni, Claudio Cobos, Antonio Lloyd, Jeffrey Richman, Daphne Drohobyczer, Kayla Arnold Faculty advisers: Teri Maddox, Fred Ortlip The Scene is a publication written and designed by students at St. Louis Community College at Forest Park, 5600 Oakland Ave., St. Louis, MO 63110. The office is in F Tower, Room 408. The telephone number is (314) 644-9140. The e-mail address is All text, photos, graphics and other content are property of The Scene and may not be used without permission. Views expressed are not necessar-

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ily those of St. Louis Community College, its Board of Trustees or administration. The Scene welcomes opinion pieces and letters to the editor. They should be signed and include the writer’s student or staff number. They can be mailed to the above addresses or delivered by hand. We reserve the right to edit for length and taste. The Scene will run classified ads for students free of charge. They should be submitted in the manner described above.

May 5, 2017


Professor hikes, skis, climbs mountains She’s worried about effects of climate change

Collins at a glance • Her father was a geologist. • She attended University of Colorado.

By Shileha Churchill The Scene staff

Earth science isn’t just a subject for professor Jennifer Collins. It is a part of her life and philosophy. She has visited 15 countries and about a dozen national parks in the United States. She has gone hiking and skiing in the Himalayas of Bhutan and the Dolomites of Italy. In 2005, Collins climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania for her 50th birthday. It took her seven days to reach the 19,341-foot peak. “I have even climbed Mount Stromboli in Sicily and sampled lava flows,” she said. Collins is driven in part by her love of nature. She believes human beings should respect the earth and take action to stop climate change. She also has a special interest in natural disasters, considering them Mother Nature’s way of taking back what is hers. “We have a huge effect on the environment, and we can’t control the environment,” she said. “We do things to it we shouldn’t.” Collins has been teaching at Forest Park since 1992. Her classes include earth science, geology and physical science. Students like it when she incorporates personal experiences in her lectures. “(She) is a fun teacher and very adventurous,” said former student Kayla Arnold, 20, an art major. “When she explains her travels, it makes you feel like you are there. “She is also nice and goes out of her way to be more than just good as a professor.” Collins got interested in science as a little girl. Her father was geologist. While attending Regina High School in Chicago, she moved toward geology. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at University of Colorado. “I’ve always loved science and the history of earth,” she said. Collins started her career as a technology officer in the oil industry in

• She once worked in the oil industry. • She is married with two grown children. • She likes to hike, ski, camp and collect rocks. • She has visited 15 countries. • Her favorite U.S. national park is Bryce Canyon. • She likes to read, especially “David Copperfield.” • She doesn’t like to cook. • She loves spending time with her 2-year-old grandson.

Jennifer Collins explores Inca ruins in Peru in 2008. Houston. One of her most memorable moments was getting caught in a sand storm and having to pull over on the side of the road on her way to an oil rig. “The oil industry was an interesting field to be in,” she said. “When I was in it, the industry was booming.” Collins left the oil industry in 1992 and became a stay-at-home mom. She has two children, son Tommy and daughter Beth, both in their 30s. Collins later started teaching, retired and then changed her mind and returned to the classroom. Concerned about climate change, she wanted to help students learn how the earth works. “(She) is a great at being handson with students, and the students enjoy it,” said Teresa Alvare, science

Provided by Jennifer Collins

Jennifer Collins, second from left, poses on the top of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania with husband Tom, daughter Beth and son Tommy.


department chair. “Her classes are always full and a great alternative to more of the general-education science classes.” Throughout her career, Collins has found time to explore nature, although she steers clear of caves. They make her claustrophobic. Her favorite U.S. national park is Bryce Canyon in Utah. It’s known for its “hoodoos,” which are totem-polelike rock formations. Collins travels mostly with her husband, Tom. He describes her as an “adventurer.” “She loves the outdoors, and whether it’s hiking in the Dolomites or Bluff State Park, we always enjoy being out,” he said. “The only negative is that we always wind up with rocks from wherever we go. And I’m the one who has to carry them.” Collins’ son, who also has a geology degree, likes to hike. Her daughter isn’t as enthusiastic but is sure to look good on the trail. Collins has a particular love of minerals, such as tourmaline, which is multi-colored and most often pink, red, green and blue. She jokes that she would buy some if she won the lottery, as it is very expensive. She advises anyone who wants to go into geology or learn more about the earth to enroll in classes and observe nature, visiting national parks whenever possible, but also taking advantage of state and local parks on a regular basis. In her free time, Collins enjoys reading, watching sports, collecting rocks and spending time with her 2-year-old grandson, Booker, who goes hiking and camping with her. Collins has met most of her own life goals. Now, she just tries to stay active. “Nothing feels better than taking a walk in the country,” she said. “Our local parks are beautiful.”

May 5, 2017 The Scene

Photo by Serenity Ghidoni

Jennifer Collins helps students review for a final in her earth science class.


Jennifer Collins and her son, Tommy, hike at Arches National Park in Utah in 2007.

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A Day in the Lif

Photo by Timothy Bold

St. Louis Community College Foundation and Auxiliary Services raised $29,000 at the 13th Annual Bowling for Scholars event April 21 at Tropicana Lanes in Richmond Heights. More than 250 people bowled and participated in raffles. The money will be used to provide textbooks and other school supplies for needy students. Above, Jenny Cloninger, 39, got a spare with this roll. Right, Jasmine Armstrong, 23, reacts to her strike.

Photo by Antonio Lloyd

Provost Larry Johnson, right, stops to chat with Joshua DeWitte, manager of heating and air conditioning maintenance, in the Forest Park cafeteria.

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May 5, 2017

fe at Forest Park

Photo by Antonio Lloyd

Social work major Gabrielle Dortch studies in the cafeteria.

Photo by Timothy Bold

The Academic Support Center at Forest Park sponsored a Learning Lab Fair last month. Left, Administrative Clerk Tanya Carr serves cotton candy. Right, Dwight Canning, an accountant and vice president and chief financial officer of St. Louis Community Foundation, gives a presentation on accounting careers.

Photo by Isaiah Brooks Photo by Isaiah Brooks

May 5, 2017 The Scene

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Campus Chatter Dalia Alehiwai, 19, English as a second language “In 2016, on vacation in Iran with my family, I accidently stopped the subway by pushing the (emergency) button, opening the door for my father. “

Jimmy Sherrell, 24, graphic design “When I was in high school giving a speech, someone pulled my pants down in the front of the whole student body.”

Devante Paster, 19, general education “I hate when my dad calls me by my nickname in front of people.”

Dejuan Baskin, 33, communications secretary “I got out of the pool at a hotel without my swimming trunks on, chillin’ with this female.”

What was your most embarrassing moment? By Timothy Bold

Joshua Carter, 37, adjunct faculty member “I had to rap the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles song in front of a large crowd (and media) at the victory podium after my race.”

Leah Blanchette, 23, business “At my high school graduation ceremony, I tripped walking on stage and fell on my face before I received my diploma.”

Kayla Jefferson, 19, criminal justice “I locked my keys in the car at the Panda Express without a spare.”

Paul Schneider, 27, IT department “When I was in summer camp changing in the bathroom, I made myself a dressing room wall with towels between the sinks. This guy pulled down the towels, exposing me to everyone, and now we’re best friends.”

Peyton Tufts, 22, nursing “I fell on my head tumbling during a cheerleading routine at halftime at a high school basketball game.”

Edmond Brown, 50, veteran affairs administrator “When I was a kid playing dodgeball. I ran, jumped and ducked into the ball, right in the face.”

Thomas Zirkle, music professor and conductor “I played the crash cymbal in an orchestra and missed my part in the percussion section while the audience waited for the ending. I left the stage before the musical ensemble was over.”

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Trista Lewis, 33, business “In middle school, my band won first place, and I dropped the trophy at the assembly.”

May 5, 2017

Flip Side

Rich could solve health care crisis By Daphne Drohobyczer The Scene staff Dear “Doctor” Donald Trump: You’re trying to eliminate Obamacare and replace it with legislation that would cut coverage to millions. The existing law is the best thing to come along thus far, providing relatively affordable coverage to working people, a goal stated by another Republican president, Richard Nixon, in 1972. In an address to Congress, he said, “An all-directions reform of our health care system — so that every citizen will be able to get quality health care at reasonable cost regardless of income and regardless of area of residence — remains an item of highest priority on my unfinished agenda for America in the 1970s.” Because I think that health care is a bare necessity for all Americans, I have a proposal to make: universal health care for all. It would be bolstered by something we’ll call “The Physicians List.”

Insurance costs could be supplemented by a voluntary group of very wealthy individuals who would designate a specific amount of money to help fund not only medicine but also research and pharmaceutical production. Wealthy individuals could choose to be listed on The Physician’s List or to remain anonymous. They could be listed with the businesses they are associated with. Linking corporations to their founders or CEOs might generate even more revenue from consumers thankful of their generosity for making a contribution through The Physicians List. When communities see who is paying for some of their health care, they are more apt to patronize those businesses. As business and revenue increase, more money is produced for the greater good. Let’s face a worn-out fact: Rich people know how to get richer, turning people’s pennies into half dollars. The Physicians List would allow the rich to expand their wealth, making it easier to share that wealth and provide a big boost to a shrinking middle class. Having grown up with parents who are from Europe, we relish the fact that universal health care can exist in the post-modern United States of America. We are the richest country in the world, rivaling countries like the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia. Why the heck are we not providing health care to all Americans, while simultaneously cashing out doctors with with huge salaries and allowing pharmaceutical companies to gouge consumers?! Every other modernized country in the world provides low-cost health care, so why not us? We are all aware that President Trump wants to make America great again, and a key element is our birthright to health care. Millions of employees who lack insur-


ance through their employer are hurting; so are those who are disabled or make too much money to qualify for Medicaid. Even citizens who are covered are getting squeezed by higher deductibles and soaring medical costs. There is no excuse for the health of American citizens to be compromised be-

Accreditation “Of course, there are a billion steps between here and no financial aid,” Roach said. “It is not like a light switch.” The commission decides what is the appropriate probationary period. “It would be fairly lengthy, not months,” said Denis White, Florissant Valley professor of reading and English who cochairs the college’s HLC Self-Study Hubble Committee. “After the visit in 2018, there will be one in 2022, so it could be that they wait until then.” The commission bases evaluations on five criteria. The college has formed a comMunden mittee for each. Committees are creating reports that will be submitted to the commission as one document called an “assurance argument” in November. Its length is capped at 3,500 words. “It is the most important document right now,” said Linda Hubble, learning experience consultant/course accessibility specialist at Forest Park. Hubble and mathematics profes-

cause they lack insurance or can’t afford it. GOP presidents, including Nixon and two Bushes, have touted the sanctity of American life. The challenge for contemporary Republicans to advance this goal. The Physician’s List is a hand up and not a handout, a win-win for all Americans.

from page 1 sor James Munden are co-chairing the committee for criteria No. 3, which is Teaching and Learning: Quality, Resources and Support. They feel it’s the most important criteria for the college. “We are looking at processes that have needed fixing for years,” Munden said. He describes the committee work as a positive experience. “You get to see how the college operates on a global level,” he said. “You get an opportunity to interact with staff you wouldn’t normally, plus other campuses, which I think is important. “It is a lot of work,” he added. “But it pays off on in the end. Hopefully, I can improve the teaching and learning at the college.” Hubble sees the accreditation process as an opportunity for employees to get a refresher on the college’s mission and their place in it. “It reminds us why we choose to teach here and why we choose to work with students,” she said. French encourages students to participate in the process by filling out an online survey that will be emailed to them next semester. “The survey tells (the commission) what’s the quality of our classes, their student experience and if they would recommend STLCC to others,” she said.

Cartoon by Kayla Arnold

May 5, 2017 The Scene

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The Scene Issue 5 Spring 2017  
The Scene Issue 5 Spring 2017