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College Matters
August 2012
Gov. Nixon Announces Grant to Fund Collaborative Health Professions Academy
New program offers accelerated training for health care jobs

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon visited Springfield on Wednesday, August 1, to announce a new Innovation Campus grant for a collaboration between several area organizations, including OTC.  The grant will fund the new Health Professions Academy, a combined program involving a variety of health and educational entities in the Springfield area, including CoxHealth and Mercy Health Springfield Communities, Missouri State University, Ozarks Technical Community College and the OTC Middle College, Springfield Public Schools, and Greene County.


The Health Professions Academy provides an opportunity for area high school students, primarily from low-income backgrounds, to receive accelerated training through the various cooperating institutions and enter the health care workforce in 3-5 years after high school - with little or no school debt.

"This collaborative effort is yet another example of area organizations working together to improve our community," said Dr. Hal Higdon, chancellor of OTC.  "The funding from this grant will make it possible for more young people to get an education and begin a career.  The students will benefit from the opportunity, and the community will benefit from having more qualified health care professionals in the workforce."  

Students who complete a bachelor's degree through the Health Professions Academy program will receive priority hiring at CoxHealth and Mercy.  Enrollment in the program will open in the fall of 2012.


Practical Nursing Recognition Ceremonies Held in Springfield and Reeds Spring
85 nurses honored for program advancement or completion

The 2012 Practical Nursing Recognition Ceremonies were recently held in Reeds Spring and Springfield, celebrating the achievements of students in the College's Practical Nursing program.



The OTC Springfield Campus held its ceremony on July 26 at the Gillioz Theatre in downtown Springfield (pictured, left).  A total of 32 nurses received their caps in recognition of program advancement, and 28 nurses received pins in honor of program completion.



The ceremony for the Reeds Spring students was held July 25 at Our Lady of the Lake Parish Center in Branson (pictured, right).  A total of 25 nurses received their pins before a packed audience of families and friends.  



Congratulations to all of these nurses on their successes!   

Open Houses Held at OTC Lebanon, Branson, and Waynesville Centers
Community members come out for tours, information, and to register for classes

The Open House events for the OTC Lebanon Center, the OTC Branson Center, and the OTC Waynesville Centers were held in July, and they were each a great success!   



Hundreds of community members came out to tour the facilities, learn about our programs and financial aid options, meet the faculty and staff, and much more.  Current and future students were also able to register to win $500 toward their textbooks for the fall semester!   



This year's events also included local radio remote broadcasts, free t-shirts, and free food.  At the OTC Lebanon Center, visitors enjoyed demonstrations of the new 3D printer, and the employees of the OTC Waynesville Center turned their Open House into a disco-themed party!   




For more photos of all of the Open Houses, check out the OTC Facebook page!  



Pictured, from top:  Recruiters Brittany Vineyard and Chelsey Taylor talk with potential students at the OTC Branson Center; OTC Lebanon Center Director Jeff Kulback demonstrates the 3D printer; OTC Waynesville Director Rosalind Pride poses with a part-time employee and student.  

Student Learning Committee Corner
Check here each month for the latest news about assessment at OTC

Welcome to the first installment of the Student Learning Committee Corner!  The Student Learning Committee is OTC's faculty-led Assessment Committee.  Please see our folder on the R: drive for more information, meeting minutes, etc.


This month we want to remind you about the new LENS Mini-Grants that will be available this fall.  As you prepare for a new semester, don't forget to brainstorm with your department/program and apply for a LENS Mini-Grant to fund your idea to improve student learning at OTC!  You will be provided more information at your beginning of semester division meetings.



Focusing the LENS on Student Learning...


We know great things are happening in assessment around the college that we don't know about, so each month we will pose a question related to assessment in this section of the employee newsletter.  Please email your responses back to the Student Learning Committee and we will share YOUR great ideas with the rest of the college in next month's newsletter.


This month's question: What strategies do you use to keep students motivated around the time of the semester's first big exam/project?


Email your responses to by August 15 and check back next month for some great ideas from your colleagues!


Pulmonary Function Tests Now Available for Full-Time OTC Employees and Dependents
Testing available at no cost thanks to the Respiratory Therapy program and the Health and Wellness Clinic

The OTC Respiratory Therapy program has teamed up with the OTC Health and Wellness Clinic to provide no cost pulmonary function tests for full-time employees and their dependents.  These lung tests determine how fast a person blows air out, the total amount of air contained in the lungs, and the integrity of the membrane between the air sacs of the lungs and blood supply surrounding them.  All pulmonary function tests require a physician's order.   
According to Dr. Jim Blaine, Health and Wellness Clinic Medical Director, "Physicians use pulmonary function tests to diagnose and assess lung diseases that include asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pulmonary fibrosis and other lung conditions.  Most physician offices have simple office spirometry testing; complete pulmonary function testing is more accurate and is usually only available in hospitals or in large multi-specialty clinics.  We are fortunate that the OTC Respiratory Therapy program is willing to provide this valuable and convenient service to our patients."
The pulmonary function laboratory and associated equipment is housed within the respiratory therapy lab in Lincoln Hall.  The equipment is the same that is used at local hospitals and was obtained through an enhancement grant a few years ago.  Until now, the program has used the equipment for research and teaching purposes only.
"Pulmonary function testing normally costs hundreds of dollars," said Doug Pursley, director of the Respiratory Therapy program.  "In partnering with the Health and Wellness Clinic, not only are we providing a service to college employees, but we also will be providing a service-learning project for our respiratory therapy students in the fall and spring semesters."
Since starting the partnership in early June, fifteen patients have undergone pulmonary function testing, with many more expected over the next year.  


Seen at OTC...
A quick look at what's happening around the College


On Saturday, July 14, Fox KRBK held local American Idol auditions at the OTC Richwood Valley Campus.  The event began with a line of people camped outside!  Everyone in line eventually made their way through the audition process, but only one lucky winner, Josh Bebout , was selected for a guaranteed audition in Tulsa, OK, plus $300 for travel expenses.  Thanks to all who helped make this exciting community event a success!  (Pictured, left to right:  Fotsch from Power 96.5 and winner Josh Bebout.)  




Two students from the Hearing Instrument Science program joined Program Director/Instructor Dr. Larry Brethower at the OACAC Back to School Fair in Marshfield on Thursday, August 2, to perform hearing screenings for students from the Marshfield area.  Approximately 120 kindergarten through 6th grade students were expected to participate in the fair, which was held at Faith Southern Baptist Church in Marshfield.  (Pictured:  an OTC HIS student prepares a Marshfield student for testing.) 




On Wednesday, July 25th, Chef Paul Trout held a session on "Creating Food Art" at the Howard Johnson Inn and Conference Center Ballroom, as part of the 43rd Annual Missouri Association for Career and Technical Education Conference.  He and his team presented on Garde Manger artistry to several ProStart instructors from across the state, while highlighting the OTC Culinary Arts program.  Participants learned professional preparation, plating, garnishing, and food art presentation techniques that they can share with their students in the classroom.  The entire presentation was videotaped by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for future broadcast. (Pictured:  A member of Chef Trout's team demonstrates a fruit cutting technique.)


The Same 10 Questions We Always Ask
Lynnar Hamilton, Technical Education Specialist

Describe what you do at OTC in 50 words or less.

The majority of my duties include assisting with special projects within the Tech Ed Division, and coordinating and reporting various data to DESE. I also teach Technical Math.

How long have you been at OTC, and where were you immediately prior?

My career was Quality Assurance Manager of the Delta Rocket for McDonnell Douglas; we then moved here to the Ozarks to finish raising our children.


What do you hope to accomplish in your position or department in the coming year?

Continue to streamline the Technical Skills Assessment process and update the post-secondary Perkins plan to the new DESE criteria.


What is your favorite thing about working at OTC?

The environment and the culture at OTC are wonderful to work in. I am proud of our programs and services to students and the community. 


What is your favorite thing about living and working in the Ozarks?

It's beautiful!


Tell us about one person who had a significant impact on your professional life or career choice.

My father - he suggested Quality Assurance when I wanted to change my chemistry major to something else.


What do you have on the walls of your office?

I share my workspace; however, I do have a small picture of a young college student we support in India.


If you could have dinner with three famous people, alive or dead, who would they be?

Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul, and Ben Franklin


If you were to write a book, what would it be about?

"From a Community College to Rockets and Back Again"


What were the last three songs played on your iPod?

"It's a Beautiful Morning," "Great is Thy Faithfulness," and Yiruma's "Kiss the Rain."

In This Issue
Gov. Nixon Announces New Grant
Practical Nursing Recognition Ceremonies
Open Houses Held
Student Learning Committee Corner
Pulmonary Function Tests Now Available
Seen at OTC
The Same 10 Questions We Always Ask
Campus Notes
Local Happenings
Quick Links

Newsletter Archive
Campus Notes


  • OTC's Respiratory Therapy program recently received the Distinguished RRT Credentialing Success award from the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care.  The RRT (Registered Respiratory Therapist) credential is conferred after successfully passing a series of three exams given by the National Board of Respiratory Care.  Presented to OTC's program in July in Santa Fe, NM, at the American Association for Respiratory Care Summer Forum for Respiratory Therapy Educators and Managers, this is the highest standard of professional achievement in Respiratory Therapy.  The award recognized those programs that have a 90% or greater RRT credentialing success for graduates.  Only 32 programs out of 444 in the nation received the award.  Nationally, OTC's program ranks in the top 2.5% of all AAS programs, based on the criteria used to determine recipients for this award.  Congratulations to the faculty, staff and students of the Respiratory Therapy program on this outstanding achievement!   


  • A message from David Walker, OTC Scheduling Coordinator: "Thank you for your thoughtfulness and the beautiful plant that was sent due to the death of my sister.
Local Happenings 


  • Now - August 4:  Ozark Empire Fair, Ozark Empire Fairgrounds, Springfield.  For more than 75 years, the Ozark Empire Fair has been a Springfield tradition.  This family-friendly event features fun food, amazing rides, live shows, and a huge variety of displays and exhibits.  For Fair hours and ticket prices, call (417) 833-2660 or visit


  • August 3-19:  Bass Pro Shops Fall Hunting Classic, Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World.  This event is the largest hunting sale of the year!  Celebrate with local hunting professionals, check out vendor booths, and get great deals at this year's event.  For details, call (417) 887-7334 or visit  


  • August 3-18:  "Boeing-Boeing," Springfield Contemporary Theatre at the Vandivort Center, Springfield.  The Tony Award-winning comedy makes its Springfield debut!  This swingin' 60's show is about an American architect balancing three air hostess fiancees and a friend visiting his apartment in Paris.  For show times and ticket information, call (417) 831-8001 or see the Springfield Contemporary Theatre website.


  • August 10:  The 151st Anniversary of the Battle of Wilson's Creek, Wilson's Creek National Battlefield.  This year's ceremony will be held on the front lawn at the Visitor's Center, and will feature a variety of guest speakers, including the new Miss Missouri.  In addition, several volunteers will be dressed in period clothing to assist with the presentation of colors, the presentation of a memorial wreath, and the firing of the cannon.  The Wilson's Creek National Battlefield Foundation will provide refreshments immediately following the ceremony.  For details, call (417) 732-6596, extension 224, or visit


  • August 11:  2nd Annual Birthplace of Route 66 Festival and Car Show, Park Central Square, Springfield.  The event will feature a car show, food vendors, a kids' area, live music and more.  Visit the Festival Facebook page for more information.


  • August 18:  9th Annual Discovery Center Moonlight Bike Ride, downtown Springfield.  This has become one of the area's most popular summer events!  The pre-party begins at 7 p.m., with prizes for best costumes and largest team.  The race begins at 8:30 p.m. and will be followed by pancakes from Village Inn.  To register or for more information, call (417) 862-9910.


  • August 24:  An Evening with John Prine, Gillioz Theatre, Springfield.  John Prine is considered a "songwriter's songwriter," and has written songs recorded by such diverse artists as Johnny Cash, Bonnie Raitt, the Everly Brothers, John Denver, Kris Kristofferson, Carly Simon, Ben Harper, Joan Baez and many others.  For details, call (417) 863-7843 or visit




2    Nathan Cassady

      Rufus Kelly


4    Rickie Taylor


5    Phillip Dodge


6    Michele Charlebois-


      Carol Curtis

      Jack Dozier


7    Jessica Walter


8    Sheila Kaylor

      Jason Moody

      Kara Starnes


11  David Ball

      Renee Graves


12  Lisa Beebe

      Sean Dronick

      Jody Pena

      Teri Summerfield

      Marcia Wheeler

      Danny Whisler


14  Gabriele Barber

      Stephanie Brown

      Dawn Busick

      Tracy Lansdown


15  Terry Goodman

      Joyce Hill

      Doug Pursley


16  Teresa Burks

      Rachel Demoro

      Elizabeth Hetherington

      Melissa Trader


17  Doug Akers


18  Alan Papen


19  Chris Delp

      Paul Ehrich

      Michael Holik

      Cindy Stephens


20  David Pope

      Shirey VanHook


21  Steve Bishop

      Amy Hart

      Shane May


23  Kathy Christy

      Matt Harris

      Alice Ramey


24  Layton Childress


25  Abby Benz


27  Susan Blakey

      Meg McElhany

      Eloise Thomas


28  Joann Alburquerque

      Gayla Fewell


29  Daniel Hieber


31  Tracy Hudgens

New Employees, Transfers and Promotions


New Full-Time Permanent Employees:

  • Daniela Brink, Instructor - Nursing, Reeds Spring.  Began June 4.
  • Nancy Hoedl, Instructor - Occupational Therapy Assistant/Fieldwork Coordinator.  Began July 1
  • Kelly Miller, Instructor - Psychology.  Begins August 15.
  • Todd VanGorden, Instructor - Physics.  Begins August 15.
  • Melissa Wittmer, Instructor - Mathematics.  Begins August 15.
  • Brian Towry, Instructor - Master Welding Program.  Began July 18.
  • Thomas Love, Assistant Coordinator - User Support - Media and Extended Hours.  Began June 11.
  •  Nathan Colba, Coordinator of Design.  Began July 2.
  • Matthew Scott, MOHealthWINS Recruiter/Retention Specialist.  Began July 2.
  • Joseph Bennett, Custodian.  Began July 2.
  • Teresa Burks, Custodian.  Began July 2.
  • Joshua Gose, Custodian.  Began July 2.
  • Stacy Hardnett, Custodian.  Began July 2.

Transfers and Promotions:

  • Steven Fritts, Instructor - ASL Program.  Begins new position August 15.
  • Kayla Porter, Secretary to the Dean of Academic and Student Affairs, OTC Richwood Valley Campus.  Began new position July 1.
  • Gwen Gilpin, Technician - Document Imaging.  Began new position July 1.
  • Pam Collard, Financial Aid Representative.  Began new position July 1.
  • Anita Beeler, Coordinator - Advisor Training and Development.  Began new position July 1.
  • Cindy Tuttle, Assistant to the Registrar - Degree Check and Graduation.  Began new position July 1.
  • Jan Fleischman, Secretary to the Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.  Began new position July 1. 
Next Newsletter Deadline:  Friday, August 24


The employee newsletter is sent out on the first of each month.  The deadline is one week prior, so mark your calendars if you have news you would like us to include.  The deadline for the September newsletter is Friday, August 24.   


In the meantime, be sure you are putting your events on the campus calendar for inclusion in the weekly "Upcoming Events" emails.


Send your newsletter submissions to either of the following email addresses, and we'll get the word out!