President's Message


HLC Reaccreditation Process

Thank you all for supporting completion of the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) institutional reaccreditation process and Site Visit. As you may know, the HLC Site Visit Team completed its review of MCC and is recommending full 10-year reaccreditation. While the process is not yet complete and the Team is recommending some areas for improvement for the College, the tenor of the draft report is very positive. We all should celebrate this moment in the process.

The MCC HLC Steering Committee, faculty, staff, students, trustees, administration, community members, and many former and retired MCC personnel helped move the process forward. All should be rightfully gratified. The Steering Committee, chaired by Institutional Research and Development Director Anne Meilof, will remain engaged with the MCC community and with the HLC. The Committee will continue to work diligently toward completion of the process. Finally, a thank you is in order for the HLC Site Visit Team. Comprising a member of the faculty, a dean, a director of finance, an academic vice president, and a president, the team committed significant time and energy to the process. Again, thank you all for your efforts.

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Office/Division Spotlight - Office of Human Resources

Each month Campus Connections will feature an MCC Office or Division. This month the Spotlight is on the Office of Human Resources.

The Office of Human Resources falls under the direction of the Executive Director of Human Resources and administers recruitment and selection of Full-Time Faculty, Clerical and Custodial and Maintenance Staff, employee relations, Staff Development and training; Employee Benefits, and Employee Leaves of Absences.

The Office of Human Resource office is currently located in room 400. The Human Resources Department includes

Ronald D. Bush, II, JD
Executive Director of Human Resources

Aaron Hilliard
Director of Human Resources

Beda Dubois
Employment Services Manager

Tammisha Morris
Receptionist - Human Resources

Welcome to Ron Bush

The position of Executive Director of Human Resources, and Special Assistant to the President, is a new one at MCC and Ron assumed this position at the beginning of October. So far Ron has enjoyed getting to know the faculty and staff at MCC. Going forward he plans on looking at Wellness and Preventative Care programs at MCC,

Prior to coming to MCC Ron served as the director of labor relations for Wayne County, the deputy emergency financial manager and chief of staff for the City of Highland Park, and the executive director for 100 Black Men of Greater Detroit. Ron has a longstanding interest in West Michigan as his family maintained a second home in Spring Lake during his youth.

Next month's Spotlight will shine on the Academic Affairs Division.

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New Additions to Address Autism and Learning

The number of students identified as being on the autism spectrum is rapidly growing. Our communities must address the issues and concerns of our young adults leaving the K-12 system. While students are eligible for services in grades K-12, they are no longer eligible after graduating. Where does this leave them? Many families in our community are wondering just that. Muskegon Community College has a great opportunity to become an active partner with these students and students specializing in special education.

Our Early childhood Education Department has developed courses to address this concern. The IAC, Instructional Affairs Council voted to accept three new Autism classes for Winter 2011. The classes are: Fundamental Concepts of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) This course will explore Autism Spectrum Disorders from birth through adulthood. It is designed to assist caregivers, family members, educators and other professionals in recognizing autistic characteristics and understanding the effects of implementation of early intervention strategies and programs. A minimum of twenty-five (25) hours of fieldwork will be required for all students. This semester the class will be HYBRID, meeting every other week with online work in between.

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International Education Week at MCC

International Education Week is an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide. Muskegon Community College again has activities planned to participate in this joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education, preparing students for a global environment. Activities taking place, which are open, and free, to the public include;

10th Annual International Panel Discussion – Monday, November 15 between 6:45 – 8:00pm - Stevenson Center for Higher Education, Room 1100. Come meet some of MCC’s international students as they talk about their homelands. There will be student speakers from Russia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Sweden, Zimbabwe, Bosnia and Costa Rica. The students will share insights about their corner of the world and their experience in the United States.

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Institute for Healing Racism

Did you know that the Institute for Healing Racism is now located at Muskegon Community College? The Institute for Healing Racism presents both a Basic Institute, entitled "A Conversation on Race" and Institute II, "The Next Step" which focuses primarily on institutional racism.

Institute I Upcoming Dates
- November 10 & 11 (Wednesday & Thursday) 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
- December 7 & 14 (Consecutive Tuesdays) 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Institute II Upcoming Dates
- November 16 & 17 Tuesday & Wednesday 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
- December 14 & 15 Tuesday & Wednesday 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

For more information, or to sign up, call Larry Lundquist at x536 or visit the IFHR website at .

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Stevenson Center 15 Year Anniversary Today!

Prior to 1995, a desire to take classes at a public four year institution meant long commutes for Muskegon area students. The Stevenson Center for Higher Education at Muskegon Community College (MCC) changed that when it opened its doors and higher education partners Ferris State, Grand Valley State, and Western Michigan universities began holding classes in Muskegon. Fifteen years later, thousands of students of students have benefitted from the Stevenson Center by being able to concurrently take classes at MCC and a four year institution.

To celebrate this anniversary, all four education partners are holding an open house on Thursday, November 11 between 2 and 7 pm. At 2 pm, the college presidents of MCC, FSU, GVSU, and WMU will participate in a signing ceremony of a contract that extends the partnership agreement currently in force through 2025.

With this commitment in place a Community Forum on Higher Education will take place at 4pm. This input session is part of a larger needs assessment being carried out by MCC and is seeking to better understand which degree programs are most needed by the community.

More information about the Stevenson Center and the Anniversary Celebration are available at or by calling Dan Rinsema-Sybenga at x569.

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MCC Hosts Alumni Reunion

On October 30, Richard Kraft hosted a reunion of MCC alumni who graduated between the years of 1948 and 1950. For a few alumni it was the first time they had visited the "new" campus as when they were students, MCC was located a a variety of buildings downtown Muskegon. It as a wonderful night of reminiscing, catching up with old friends and being introduced to the Reach for the Stars campaign to refurbish the Carr-Fles planetarium, a project that Mr. Kraft recently pledged $50,000 towards. A number of future alumni events are also being planned. For the latest information visit, call Julie Weller for more information, or "like" the MCC Alumni page on Facebook!

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Participate in MCC's Needs Assessment

Muskegon Community College (MCC) is conducting a series of surveys and assessments, to ensure that we are meeting current needs. Students, alumni, community members, local businesses, education partners, and other stakeholders will participate in surveys, focus groups, and other methods of determining community perceptions and needs. The first phase of this process, an online community needs assessment survey, is now available from All community members are invited to participate in this survey, the deadline of which has been extended to 12/31/10.

This process will inform the College’s Strategic Plan which is currently being updated. Community input will help determine the biggest educational obstacles facing our community and will provide direction about which types of academic programs and services are needed in Western Michigan, especially in the counties of Muskegon, Ottawa, Newaygo, Oceana, and Kent. A researcher from the School of Communications at Grand Valley State University is working with the College’s Office of Community Relations to advise and help coordinate the project.

Those with questions about MCC’s needs assessment project are invited to contact Tina Dee, Director of Community Relations, at (616) 777-0660 or

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Participate in MCC's Community Events!

One of the results of the College’s recent restructuring is that the Office of Community Relations is now responsible for Mayfest, Love in Action, and Women of Accomplishment. Going forward, we are very much interested in your input and participation as we work to present these events in a cost-efficient and mission-driven manner. Dan Rinsema-Sybenga will chair the Mayfest Committee; and if you are interested in joining him on that committee email him at As we plan the 2011 edition, we would like to find ways for this event to showcase our academic programs and the outstanding expertise of our faculty.

We also have plans to build on the success of the Love in Action event. We are seeking input from MCC’s Diversity Committee to determine how we can best expand on this event and present a signature annual program that celebrates diversity. Also contact Dan if you have any ideas or would like to be involved with this event. Dan and Paula Halloran are the MCC co-chairs of Women of Accomplishment, and again please contact either Paula, or Dan, if you are interested in assisting with that event.

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United Way campaign update

MCC is proud to support United Way of the Lakeshore in their effort to promote education, income and health in our community.

We need your help! Currently only 20% of MCC staff have pledged, compromising 39% of the campaign amount. The United Way campaign wraps up in the next two weeks.

The current state of the campaign means that Aaron Hilliard, Director of Human Resources, will get off the hook on his promise to dance to the song of the employees choice during half time of an upcoming Jayhawks basketball game. Let's reach that 90% mark and make him follow through!

If you need that extra convincing about why you should donate to the United Way check out their new campaign video on the United Way of the Lakeshore website.

For more information regarding our campaign, donating and getting involved - contact Erin Patrick at x614.

Let's make that goal and see Aaron's moves as a Jayhawk!

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Andy Wible's New Book

Muskegon Community College (MCC) instructor Andy Wible has combined two of his passions in a recently released book he edited titled, Golf and Philosophy: Lessons from the Links, published by the University of Kentucky Press. An addition to the Press’s Philosophy of Popular Culture Series, the book’s 18 holes, or chapters, explore ethical and metaphysical issues within the game and then use golf as a catalyst to pondering many of life’s fundamental questions.

The front nine of the book explores the aesthetic value of the game, the moral development of players, race and gender issues within the sport, and the rationality of playing the game.

The back nine takes a turn to the metaphysical, looking at golf from the perspectives of different thought systems such as Taoism, Confucianism, and the teachings of Plato. Topics on the back nine include mysticism, personal identity, idealism vs. realism, friendship and the meaning of life. Wible ends the book with fourteen golf related philosophical tidbits (called “swing thoughts”) that are intended to spur further thought and discussion.

With the holidays coming this makes the perfect gift for the golfer on your list and you can even get it signed by the author personally on November 17 from 11am-1pm at the MCC Bookstore!

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CIO Message

A big part of Information Technology is (of course) managing the information itself: how to store it, protect it, and make it accessible to the people who need it. Here are three projects underway in OIT right now that deal with managing information, and what these projects mean to you.

Shared Storage/Storage Increase Project: As the complexity of information grows, along with the number of users that need to access and save information, the need for additional storage becomes increasingly important. In September, the Muskegon Community College Board of Trustees granted permission to the Office of Information Technology department to seek bids on hardware to increase the storage capacity of the college’s network system. The technology used to increase information storage is known as a “Storage Area Network” or SAN.

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Need MCC branded products?

We know you all love to give away and promote MCC with fun and useful items (okay, some more useful than others!). Now there is an easy way to get all kinds of ideas and centralize this process. Visit and see some of the items you can choose from, already customized with the MCC logo! We would like to put in a quarterly order, so the more orders, the better the price. That will help all of us! If you have more questions or don't see the item you are looking for please contact Amy James.

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Don't go Postal! Reminders from the Mail Room

Remember to please put a department code or name when sending mail to be processed at the MCC mailroom. That way our staff can send it out faster without hesitation. It can either be on the envelope directly or securely fastened in some manner. Don't hesitate to call John Skidmore for any information regarding mailing and parcel services at MCC.

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President's Message continued

Strategic and Master Plans

Achieving the Dream Is Here!
Next week, the College will begin working in full force toward integrating our activities toward priorities articulated in the upcoming Achieving the Dream (ATD) initiative. The ATD Kickoff will be led by Dr. Linda Watkins (ATD core team advisor) and Dr. Lynda Villanueva (ATD data team advisor). Dr. Watkins is retired President or San Jacinto College South in Beamer Texas, while Dr. Villanueva is Associate professor of Psychology and Director of Transitional Education at Brazosport College in Lake Jackson, Texas.

As mentioned earlier, the ATD process allows for the college to benefit from the expertise of faculty and staff from other institutions skilled in the art of student success and persistence. Based upon our own data, ATD will allow for us to develop and enhance our student success and completion practices, whether they ensure that students complete an associate degree or certificate, or complete a single course designed to train students for specific skills or jobs. ATD Team Leaders Kelley Conrad and Jenny Klingenberg have worked with the College community to form “core” and “data” teams designed to help us understand our challenges and to implement state-of-the-success tools designed specifically for MCC. These tools will work hand in hand with the ongoing HLC accreditation process and ensure that MCC is able to articulate student needs and satisfy them in an efficient and effective manner.

Reorganization Continued
As you are aware, we are in the process of making some changes due to the 27 recent/pending retirements. These changes provide the opportunity to look at things from a new perspective and find new efficiencies to help us better serve our students and community. One of the efficiencies is in the Office of Community Relations. It is my intent that the College have one point of contact for anything brand, communications, or image-related. To this end, the area currently known as “Graphics” is now managed by the Office of Community Relations with Amy James and Victor Raczok reporting directly to Tina Dee. Please work directly with Tina on any communication project; she will delegate tasks to members of her team as needed. Some duties related to these areas will be reassessed once we have a new VP of Administration in place. Further, Amy will report to me (President) for purposes of her other areas of responsibility, e.g., those not graphics/mailroom related, until the VP of Administration is in place. These areas include Purchasing, Capital Assets, and Business Services.

Thanks in advance for your support of this process. We appreciate your patience as we complete the reorganization process. Please refer to my email to you dated October 29, or contact Tina or me with any questions.

What Else is on the Horizon?
Growing Enrollments. Enrollments to date for Winter 2011 are above the previous year. Thanks to the yeoman’s efforts of Student Services staff, particularly student services and financial aid. This makes it even more important for the College to develop and implement the data analytic tools and student success processes resulting from Achieving the Dream.

Board Prioritization of the Facilities Master Plan
On November 17, the MCC Board of Trustees plans to prioritize key recommendations of the 2010-15 Facilities Master Plan. Recommendations include but are not limited to enhancements to the Bartels-Rode Gymnasium, visual and performing arts space, science/lab space, a downtown Muskegon location, and campus way finding. These decisions will set the direction of the College and go and place an indelible stamp on the college that will be appreciated for years to come. The hard work of the Board must be recognized as this work comes on the heels of budget approval, review of campus reorganization, support, review and participation in the HLC reaccreditation process and many other challenging processes.

Please enjoy the fall months here on campus, including the lecture series, plays, performances, athletic events and other activities that make MCC great. As usual, continue to strive for excellence.

Best regards,

Dale Nesbary, Ph.D.

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Autism continued

Educational and Assistive Technologies- This course will explore the use of technology in teaching as a managerial and instructional tool. Evaluation of various software and technology applications will be provided on an experiential basis. This course is designed to meet the requirements of pre-service technology adopted by the state of Michigan for all entry-level teachers. A minimum of twenty-five (25) hours of fieldwork will be required for all students. The class focuses on many special needs in the classroom, although the emphasis is Autism and communication devices.

Introduction to ASD Therapies I- This is the first course in a series of two that transmits information on how teachers and others can support and teach students on the ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) Spectrum. Participants will also learn how we can make life for all persons on the Autism Spectrum more rich and rewarding. The Muskegon Community college students will have the opportunity to learn up-to-date, comprehensible, and usable information on Autism in order to support those on the spectrum. Students must pass a background check and complete 25 hours of fieldwork. A minimum of twenty-five (25) hours of fieldwork will be required for all students.

All three of these classes are being taught by qualified instructors with years of experience in special education and/or autism. All of the required fieldwork is with an autistic student or in an autism classroom.

Muskegon Community College and MOKA of Muskegon have collaborated to develop a Social Coaching class aimed at young adults on the autism spectrum ages 16 -24. After students leave the K-12 public school system there is little in place to assist them with life, secondary education, and career skills. Last February we held our fist social coaching class for six area students. Classes are held here on campus and facilitators from MCC and MOKA are used to lead the students. The pilot program went well, so we are now running two fifteen week classes, each with six students. Ms. Bessy Braley works with the Tuesday evening class, and Lynda Ferry facilitates the Saturday morning class. Students learn such skills as conversations with acquaintances, peers and instructors or co-workers; advocating for themselves at school, work, or in public; classroom etiquette, college preparation skills, job interview skills, and basic manners. Another very important component in this program is dealing with stress and anxiety. The students currently in this program have Asperger’s syndrome. Some are current MCC students while others have recently graduated from high school and haven’t yet decided whether to attend college or go directly into the workforce.

Article written and submitted by
Lynda Ferry,
College Success Center Course descriptions submitted by
Sherry Fairfield-Tagle

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International Programs continued

North Face movie screening - Tuesday, November 16 at 6:30pm – Blue & Gold Room. Based on a true story, North Face is a gripping adventure drama about a competition to climb the most dangerous rock face in the Alps. In July of 1936 - less than a year after the most recent and fatal attempt, two top German mountaineers take up the challenge to become the first to scale the infamous rock face, the so-called Murder Wall. Check it out at

Travelogue India - Thursday , November 18 between 6:45 – 8:00pm - Stevenson Center for Higher Education, Room 1100. Join Dr. Tom Donahue, a humanities instructor at MCC, as he presents an exciting travelogue of his adventures in India. A reception with samples of Indian cuisine will be available. .

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CIO Message continued

Why is this important? Quite simply, more storage on the network means more storage space for our information. A SAN also makes it easier to protect information through allowing better methods to backup and restore. Because a SAN shares storage for multiple systems, information can be stored more efficiently, making it less costly to manage information storage.

Red Flags & Security Awareness Project: Developed by the Federal Trade Commission, the Red Flags Rule requires colleges to implement a written Identity Theft Prevention Program designed to detect the warning signs — or "red flags" — of identity theft in their day-to-day operations. In September, the Information Technology Council formed the Red Flags Subcommittee to help develop the necessary documentation to meet these requirements. Along with a written program, the Red Flags Subcommittee is charged with developing a security awareness presentation for those who work with personally identifiable information (PII).

Why is this important? While the college has already implemented several methods to prevent identity theft, collecting this information into one program meets the needs of the FTC’s regulations. Because new threats to information security are constantly emerging, Security Awareness allows people to learn ways to protect their information: not only at work, but at home as well.

Data Warehouse Project: A data warehouse is a separate location to store information. Data warehouses are designed to promote the ability to generate reports and perform analysis. The Office of Information Technology is implementing a data warehouse in order to take advantage of these capabilities.

Why is this important? Information is only useful when it can be organized into meaningful patterns and used to make informed decisions. When completed, the data warehouse will give the college the opportunity to use mainstream tools to analyze and interpret information. Organized Information should be readily available to those that need it. Because the information is stored in a separate location, performing complex searches and analysis doesn’t impact performance of the live system.

Mike Alstrom
Chief Information Officer

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In This Issue

President's Message

Office/Division Spotlight

Autism and Learning

International Education Week

Healing Racism at MCC

Stevenson Center Anniversary

Mid-Century Alumni Reunion

MCC Needs Assessment

MCC Community Event News

United Way Campaign Update

Golf and Philosphy: New Book

CIO Message

MCC Branded Products

Reminder from the Mailroom

Creative and Performing Arts Schedule

MCC November Birthdays

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MCC Links

MCC Event Calendar

Reach for the Stars campaign

Achieving the Dream

MCC News Stories

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Creative & Performing Arts

November events


Tim Norris: Fire Paintings, Carbon Drawings, And Earthwork Models
November 8 – December 17, 2010
Free Public Reception: Wednesday, November 17, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Gallery Talk At 6:30 pm by Tim Norris
Gallery Hours: 9:00 am To 4:00 pm
Overbrook Art Gallery, MCC Campus


West Michigan Concert Winds
Angels In The Architecture
Sunday, November 7, 4:00 pm
Reeths-Puffer Rocket Centre for the Fine Arts

West Michigan Youth Symphony
Fall Concert
Sunday, November 21, 3:00 pm
Spring Lake High School

Coming in December


West Michigan Concert Winds
Musical Gift Packages
Sunday, December 4, 7:00 pm
Central Methodist United Church

Jazz & Wind Ensembles
Wednesday, December 8, 7:00 pm
Overbrook Theater, MCC Campus

MCC College Singers
Holiday Concert
Sunday, December 12, 7:00 p.m.
Immanuel Lutheran Church

“The Secrets of Abu Ghraib Revealed”
SPECIAL AGENT Michael Collins and ASST. ATTORNEY GENERAL Chris Graveline, Investigator and Prosecutor of the Abu Ghraib scandal
Thursday, December 9, 4:00-6:00 p.m.
Overbrook Theater


Wednesday – Saturday, December 1 – 4, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, December 5, 3:00 p.m.
Overbrook Theater, MCC Campus

Information or Tickets call: 231-777-0324

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MCC November Birthdays

James Donohue - 10
Beverly Hair - 11
Janice Alexander - 13
Erin Hoffman - 4
Jeanne Kuiper - 16
Kathleen Krentz - 18
Patricia Davignon - 19
Christine Nowak - 25
Thomas Tisue - 25
Rebecca Evans - 27

MCC December Birthdays
Thomas Wolters - 3
Jody Zerlaut - 3
Kathleen Bates - 4
Susan Frazier - 7
Eric L Serna - 9

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Campus Connections is published by the MCC Office of Community Relations the first Tuesday of each month. If you have an item you would like to share with the MCC employee community please email the information to communityrelations
by the last Tuesday noon of the month. For more information contact Tina Dee at 231-777-0660 or Dan Rinsema-Sybenga at 231-777-0569

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