On the Record: Celebrating diversity

diversityLocally, probably no other institution reflects the changing face of America better than Washtenaw Community College.

More than 1,000 students from over 100 foreign countries choose WCC as the catalyst for their futures, according to International Student Services. Furthermore, nearly one-third of WCC’s students are from minority groups, according to the WCC Institutional Research Department.

To showcase that remarkable diversity, WCC held its first-ever Diversity Day event.

The celebration took place on Sept. 23 on the first floor of the Student Center building. Attendees learned about various student clubs that support diversity at WCC and gathered information about services for women and international students.

Why dedicate an entire day to celebrating diversity? “We want students to celebrate all the ways in which they’re diverse,” said Rachel Barsch, coordinator of Student Activities. “We want WCC to be a safe place for students of all backgrounds to attend.”

Read the rest [here].

On the Record: Culinary Arts and Hospitality workshop scheduled for Oct. 8

culinaryHere’s something to chew on. If you’re interested in learning about the different facets of the culinary arts and hospitality industry, then you’ll definitely want to check out the Cutting Edge Careers in Culinary Arts and Hospitality workshop.

Set for Thursday, Oct. 8 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Washtenaw Community College in the Great Lakes building, room 202, this event is sure to be a treat, pun intended, for all those who attend.

Sponsored by the Student Resource Center (SRC) at WCC, the workshop will include tableside cooking demonstrations presented by faculty, as well as a delicious lunch prepared by WCC Culinary Arts Instructor Terri Herrera’s CUL 120 Classical Kitchen Operations class.

“We are excited that those who attend this event will take away some great experiences and learn about the different careers within the industry and learn how to prepare for a future in the Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management program,” said Eleanor Brundage, SRC Case Manager. “They will meet and chat with WCC faculty, current students, industry experts and entrepreneurs.”

Read the rest [here].

On the Record: Beautiful day, beautiful welcome

welcomeIt was a picture-perfect day and pictures, among other things, were the order of the day at Washtenaw Community College’s 13th annual Welcome Day event at Community Park.

More than a thousand people crowded the campus park on Sept. 15 to sample food, learn about college clubs and organizations and for many, take selfies with WCC President Dr. Rosa B. Bellanca.

Approximately 40 representatives from businesses within the Ann Arbor area were present, including Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches, Marco’s Pizza and Old Carolina Barbeque.

In the last 10 years, Welcome Day has grown from having only 14 display table attendees to 96 this year. It’s believed that this year’s event drew its highest turnout yet at nearly 2,000 students.

Welcome Day may appear carnival-like with tents, food and music, but its main purpose is to inform students about available programs and services and encourage them to get involved outside of class.

Read the rest [here].

On the Record: Poetry soothes soul, improves teaching

zimmerman-300x272Long-time English faculty member Tom Zimmerman is a man of his words.

Between teaching English and literature at Washtenaw Community College for the past 23 years and serving as faculty advisor for the poetry club, editor at The Huron River Review, and director at the writing center, it’s hard to believe that Zimmerman has any time to create, but when he does, he turns to poetry.

“It’s one of the most important things in my life. It enriches everything that I do,” Zimmerman said. “I think it improves my teaching and gives me some extra insight while helping students with their writing because I’m in it myself.”

Over the course of his 30-year career, Zimmerman has had more than 600 poems published in several poetry magazines, including Big River Poetry Review, Curio, Rasputin, Antiphon and most recently, The Sacred Cow.

Read the rest [here].

On the Record: Start-ups start here

Entrepreneurship Center at WCC offers business workshops, weekly networking over coffee

Starting your own business isn’t easy. In fact, it can be quite a challenge.

But with the knowledge acquired from workshops such as the “Starting Your Own Business (SYOB)” workshop, your start-up can be successful.

Recently, a group of 20 aspiring entrepreneurs learned the ins and outs of entrepreneurship at the SYOB workshop, sponsored by Ann Arbor SPARK and the Entrepreneurship Center at Washtenaw Community College. The event was open to everyone.

“Attendees received all-day training on various aspects of starting a business. It was a great collaboration with Ann Arbor SPARK and a great turnout,” said Kristin Gapske, manager at the Entrepreneurship Center.

The workshop was packed with all the essential steps in starting a business. These included financing options, product development, crowdfunding (the act of funding a project or venture through the efforts of others), accounting and insurance, and creating a marketing plan. It also covered other aspects that aspiring entrepreneurs don’t typically think of when starting a business, such as personality traits that impact entrepreneurialism. Also included was lunch and a tour of the Entrepreneurship Center.

Read the rest [here].

On the Record: From WCC to U of M and back

WCC students (from left to right) Taiwo Adeniyi, Davon Shackleford, Nicole Lang, Ederson Tobisawa and Angel Izaguirre participated in the University of Michigan Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program.For five Washtenaw Community College students, there wasn’t much down time this summer.

Taiwo Adeniyi, Angel Izaguirre, Nicole Lang, Davon Shackleford, and Ederson Tobisawa spent most of their summer participating in the University of Michigan (UM) Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP).

With opportunities available in all fields, including arts and humanities and engineering, this 10-week paid program is designed for community college students who plan to transfer to UM–Ann Arbor. According to UM’s website, the program provides students with the opportunity to complete individual research projects, learn firsthand about what it’s like to be an academic researcher, explore academic and postgraduate careers, all while developing mentorships with faculty and staff and friendships with their peers.

“The best thing about the program is that we worked directly with staff and became more familiar with UM’s campus because UM can be very intimidating if you’re not already there,” said Shackleford, a WCC sophomore, whose major is general studies. “It provided a bridge to transfer and it made me feel more comfortable and more at ease to apply. In fact, I’ve already started my application.”

The program concluded with poster presentations at a symposium, where students explained their lab, research and findings to a group of judges. One of the many highlights included the moment when Izaguirre, Shackleford and Tobisawa walked away with blue ribbons.

“It was very thrilling because we spent a lot of time researching,” Shackleford said. “It showed that I had passion for the research I was a part of, and it was just a rewarding feeling to know that you are among the best.”

Read the rest [here].

On the Record: Dr. Michael Nealon appointed WCC’s VP For Instruction

After decades of singing and having his musical compositions premiered and performed on stages nationally and internationally, Dr. Michael Nealon is taking yet another stage and this time it’s at Washtenaw Community College as the new permanent Vice President for Instruction (VPI). The Long Island, NY native comes to WCC with more than 25 years of experience in higher education. His first official day began Aug. 10.

“WCC has a fine reputation in the state and in the region,” Nealon said. “I’ve been very aware of the quality of programs here for quite some time. When the opportunity to join this distinguished team came along, I thought this would be a great place to start a new chapter in my life.”

Before making his way to WCC, Nealon served as Associate Vice President of Engaged Student Learning at Lansing Community College (LCC), which is Michigan’s third-largest community college and home to more than 17,000 students. He also served as LCC’s Dean of the Arts and Sciences division for five years, Chair of the Humanities and Performing Arts department for two years, and Lead Faculty in the Music Program for eight years.

In fact, Nealon credits his music background in helping him to be able to lead effectively and efficiently in his past positions, as well as his newest role. “So much about music-making turns on one’s ability to listen carefully and play off the strengths of fellow performers,” he said. “These are equally important in my work as an administrator.”

Read the rest [here].