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College Matters
July 2010
Faculty and Staff,

Beginning this month, the employee newsletter will be sent out on the first of each month.  The deadline will continue to be one week prior, so be sure to mark your calendars if you have news you would like us to include.

Send your submissions to either of the following email addresses, and we'll get the word out!  The deadline for the August Newsletter is Monday, July 26.
Hamra Receives Excellence in Business Award
Event honors his contributions to OTC and the community

Hamra and Anderson at the event.Springfield businessman and attorney Sam Hamra, owner and operator of the Springfield area Wendy's restaurants, was honored with OTC's annual Excellence in Business Award at a ceremony on June 24. The event, held at the Tower Club, included "A Conversation with Sam Hamra," led by Jim Anderson, president of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce. 
Hamra practices law in Springfield, and serves as Chairman and CEO of Hamra Enterprises, which owns and operates 75 restaurants through Wendy's of Missouri, Chicago Bread, LLC, and Boston Bread, LLC.  He also operates businesses through SJH Inns, LP, and Jade Properties, LLC.  He is a current Board member for the OTC Foundation and for the Harry S. Truman Library Institute in Independence, Mo., and is an Emeritus member of the Board of Directors of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.  He has also served as a member and President of the Board of Directors of Cox Health Systems, Charter President of the Springfield Southeast Rotary Club, member of the Board of Directors of the Smith-Glynn-Callaway Medical Foundation, and member of the Board of the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. 
Recipients are selected based on the following criteria: leader of an Ozarks regional business, entrepreneurial success, innovative business growth, ability to overcome challenges with integrity, supporter of educational development, customer-driven quality, and community achievement. Past recipients of the award include John Q. Hammons, members of the O'Reilly family, SRC's Jack Stack, Great Southern's Bill Turner, and real estate icon Carol Jones.

Pictured:  Hamra (left) and Anderson during the "conversation" portion of the event.
Official summer enrollment up 11.7%
4,351 students are taking summer classes this year

Students checking out at the OTC bookstore.Enrollment at OTC continues to grow, with total of 4,351 students enrolled this summer, 11.7 percent higher than the summer of 2009.  While every location has experienced noticeable growth, the majority of students are enrolled at the Springfield campus, which welcomes 2,086 students, up 8.7 percent from last summer. 
"Our student population continues to grow, and we are pushing the limits of our facilities as we work to meet the students' needs," explained Dr. Higdon.  "The recently-announced capital improvement plans are more necessary than ever.  When these projects are completed, we will be better prepared to keep up with the demand."
Enrollment is up by 17.1 percent at Richwood Valley, with 226 students taking classes this summer.  Online enrollment has increased by 11 percent, with 1,675 students taking online classes.  The Branson Education Center is up 22.7 percent, with 119 students, and the Lebanon Education Center is up 35.3 percent with 157 students.  The Waynesville Education Center is up 42.3 percent, with 74 students enrolled for the Center's second summer semester.
Employee Wins Award at SATO48 Film Festival
Entry earns Best Poster; places among the top in additional categories

Jeff Johnson, Coordinator of Videography and Video Editing, and his sister, Julie, have once again turned in a standout film at the annual SATO48 Film Festival, held recently in Springfield.  This year's film, "Game 5," earned the top award for Best Poster, placed in the top 5 for Direction and Art Direction, and placed in the top 10 in Editing and Sound.  Nearly 100 teams were registered to participate in this year's festival; Johnson's film making team operates under the name Green Circle Productions.

"Each year, I participate in SATO 48 with my sister," said Johnson.  "Most of the time we use the same actors that we have previously used, and it has become something that many people mark their calendars for every year."

In the SATO48 festival, participants have 48 hours to complete a short film from scratch.  The festival planners provide each team with an "inspiration package" before the filming begins; this year's package featured instructions to include a prominent sound in the beginning and end of the film, to involve a shadow in the film's turning point, to use a provided prop in a scene, and to use the numbers 1-5, one per scene and in sequence, during the film.

"We wanted to film someplace interesting that could provide us with some action and great sound, so my sister suggested that we try a bowling alley," explained Johnson.  "Wanting to keep to our dark comedy tradition we decided to use some 'Phantom of the Opera' elements, combined with an over-the-top lead character and a spooky sage to bring the story together.  My favorite part of our film this year was how we used organic numbers we found in the bowling alley as our number sequence."

In addition to Johnson's participation, several OTC students entered into the competition.  OTC's Electronic Media Production instructors were in their classrooms for the entire 48 hours, so that students could have access to the editing labs.  Thank you to these instructors for going the extra mile and demonstrating their commitment to their students!

Johnson's production team will be making a second film this year, as a part of the Vignette Project, a local project conceived after this year's SATO 48 challenge.  This will be the first time Green Circle Productions has produced two movies in one year.

Johnson's film is now available to view on YouTube.  To watch "Game 5," click here.  For the other films in this year's competition, click here.  Congratulations to Jeff and his team on their great success!
The Same 10 Questions We Always Ask
Todd Wilkinson, Service Desk Manager, Learning Resources Center - Main Campus

Wilkinson in traditional Scottish dress.Describe what you do at OTC in 50 words or less. One of my major duties is to contact students regarding overdue library books, videos, CDs, etc.  I also process books requested by OTC students, faculty & staff via MOBIUS, and staff the LRC service desk.

How long have you been at OTC, and where were you immediately prior? I've been at OTC for six years.  I was the Assistant Circulation Manager at the Drury University Library before coming to OTC.  I also worked as a seasonal park ranger for the US National Park Service at Wilson's Creek National Battlefield.

What do you hope to accomplish in your position or department in the coming year?  I want to increase efforts to let our students, faculty and staff know about all of the resources the LRC has to help them in their research.

What is your favorite thing about working at OTC? The whole community college ethos - that education should be accessible to all.
What is your favorite thing about living and working in the Ozarks? I love the area state & national parks, such as Nathan Boone Homestead, Roaring River, Wilson's Creek National Battlefield and Ozark National Scenic Riverways.

Tell us about one person who had a significant impact on your professional life or career choice. Marshall Trimble, Arizona's State Historian and a community college instructor in Arizona history.  My grandfather took me to meet him when I was 12, and I always I knew I wanted to work in education since then.  He grew up in the same town as my Dad (Ash Fork, Arizona).

What do you have on the walls of your office? Flags, a Canadian First World War recruiting poster, a map of Missouri in 1820 and, of course, pictures of my wife and "wee bairns."  I also have an aluminum can airplane that my grandfather made hanging from the ceiling.

If you could have dinner with three famous people, alive or dead, who would they be?  The Scottish poet Robert Burns, John McCain & Teddy Roosevelt.

If you were to write a book, what would it be about?  A history of the 11th Iowa Infantry Regiment - my great-great grandfather served with the 11th during the Civil War as a 1st Lieutenant.

What were the last three songs played on your iPod (or what was the last music you listened to)? I listen to a lot of different types of folk music while driving in my car.  One of my favorite groups is Cowboy Celtic, which highlights the Scottish & Irish roots of Cowboy songs in the US & Canada.
In This Issue
Hamra Receives Excellence in Business Award
Official summer enrollment up 11.7%
Employee Wins Award at SATO48 Film Festival
The Same 10 Questions We Always Ask
Campus Notes
Local Happenings
Quick Links

Newsletter Archive
Campus Notes
  • A message from Jeff Jochems, Assistant Vice President for Administrative Services:  "I wanted to express my sincerest gratitude and thank you for all of the thoughts and prayers for my family's loss.  The plant/flowers were greatly appreciated and the support I received was very much treasured.  My father was deeply touched by the support shown to him through me by the OTC Family.  These few words do not do justice to how comforted it made me feel.  On behalf of my father and family, thank you very much."
  • Student Services is moving to a centralized check-in area, located at the front desk on our first floor.  Previously, we had been operating two check-in desks on separate floors, ultimately causing confusion for the students.  The implementation of a centralized check-in will help to streamline and improve our service.  In the future, when referring students to Student Services for admission, registration, financial aid, advising or placement test matters, please direct them to our first floor location with their smart card.  Our Representatives will ensure that students are connected to the correct department.  You may continue to refer students for Counseling Services and Career Employment Services directly to the second floor.
Local Happenings
  • July 2:  First Friday ArtWalk, downtown Springfield.  Experience a variety of shopping, sights and sounds as you explore downtown's 40 restaurants, 20 art galleries, 16 movie screens, 5 live theatre venues.  The Sounds on the Square summer concert series continues this month, and the Friday night Farmer's Market will offer local produce, meats, breads, crafts and more!  For details, call (417) 831-6200 or see
  • July 7-18:  "Guys & Dolls," presented by MSU Tent Theatre 2010.  High rollers meet holy rollers - and love takes all - in this classic musical comedy.  For details, call (417) 836-7678 or visit
  • July 6-10:  Einstein on Ice... Race to the Green Flag, Discovery Center of Springfield.  Each day's events will include a cutaway engine exhibit which demonstrates how a car engine works, a display of unusual and vintage race cars, an area where kids can use recycled materials to build their own race car, and free Andy's Frozen Custard.  For details, call (417) 862-9910 or visit
  • July 24:  Frontier Days, Rutledge-Wilson Farm Park, Springfield.  Saddle up and join us for a western celebration down on the farm!  Take a journey through hundreds of years of history as we explore the ways of the old west.  For details, call (417) 837-5949 or visit
  • July 24:  Pancakes in the Park, Dickerson Park Zoo, Springfield.  Enjoy a feast with the beasts during the annual pancake breakfast at the zoo.  Village Inn Restaurants will prepare a pancake and sausage breakfast at the zoo's Bush Country Café.  Special "early bird" zoo admission discount offered from 7-9 a.m.  For more information, call (417) 833-1570 or visit
  • July 30 - August 8:  Ozark Empire Fair: Rock, Roll and Ride, Ozark Empire Fairgrounds, Springfield.  The largest annual event in the Ozarks returns with grandstand concerts, motor sport entertainment, more than 40 rides, street performers, livestock shows, thousands of exhibits, unique shopping, fabulous food, and fun for everyone!  For details, call (417) 833-2660 or see
July 1 -  Gretchen Gawron
              Cindy Phillips

July 2 -  Cliff Davis
              Angela McChesney

July 3 -  Devon Ellis
              Ryan Farmer

July 4 -  Jimmy Bridwell
              Hope Brooks-Lovan
              Jill LeGrand
              George Southwick
              Pete Sullivan
              Jessica Whittington
              John Yinger

July 5 -  Alan Church
              Rebecca Noel
              Don Reeves

July 6 -  Julia Edwards
             Gerardo Maupome-Millan
             Gloria McTeer

July 7 -  Theodore Hertzog
              Jana Owen

July 9 -  Phillip Duncan
              Ryan White

July 10 - Robert Johnson

July 11 - Jackie Jenkins
              Albert Simmons
              Deborah Whitaker

July 12 - Bruce Clemens
               Valentin Curutiu

July 13 - Benjamin Breed
               Kim Greene

July 14 - Gary Williams

July 15 - Stuart Foraker

July 16 - Andrea Fish

July 17 - Beth Elliott

July 18 - Gary Powell

July 21 - David Aderhold
               Richard Anderson

July 22 - Franklin Copher

July 23 - Judy Brake

July 24 - Jon Ames

July 25 - Gwendolyn Comer
               Sherry Griffitts

July 26 - Claude Crain

July 27 - Jason Gomez
               Daniel Hopkins
               Rebekah McCormack

July 28 - Donna Koehler

July 29 - Steven Polk

July 30 - Robin Schaffrinna
New Employees, Transfers and Promotions

New Full-Time Permanent Employees:
  • Guy Barrett, Custodian.  Begins July 6.
  • Teron Allen, Custodian.  Began June 6.
  • Jane Cowden, Developmental English Instructor.  Begins August 18.
  • Shanna Grooms, Bookstore Shipping and Receiving Supervisor.  Began June 28.
  • Kelly Greenwood, Secretary to the Vice President of Finance.  Begins July 12.
  • Vasile Iacob, Custodian.  Begins July 6.

Transfers and Promotions:
  • Joan Barrett, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs.  Begins July 1.