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College Matters
November 2012
OTC Brings Home Four Awards from 48th Annual MCCA Convention
The event also included a wide variety of faculty and staff development opportunities 


Representatives from OTC have returned from the 48th Annual Missouri Community College Association Convention with four awards in hand.   



Held October 31 through November 2 in Kansas City, the convention drew hundreds of faculty, staff, and administrators from the 12 community college systems across the state.



The college received the following awards:   



Jackie McKinsey, founding member of the OTC Board of Trustees, was honored with the Trustee Leadership Award.  In addition to her service with OTC, Mrs. McKinsey has served on a number of other boards throughout the city and state, including 12 years on the Springfield School Board, two years on the Mo. School Board Association, and 20 years on the Mo. Special Education Advisory Board.   



Michael Pulley, instructor of English, received the Senior Service Award.  Pulley has spent the majority of his career teaching at the high school and collegiate level, and has been a faculty member at Ozarks Technical Community College since the day the institution opened its doors in 1991.  He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Southwest Baptist University and a Master of Arts from the University of Missouri - St. Louis.   




Two students were chosen for the Student Leadership Award:  Christina Polosky, a student at the OTC Richwood Valley Campus, and Fran Ferguson, a May 2012 graduate.  Polosky plans to graduate from OTC in December of 2012.  She has been involved in Phi Theta Kappa, and has served as a tutor at the OTC Richwood Valley Campus. After OTC, she plans to transfer to a four-year institution to earn a degree in Math.



Ferguson has also been involved with Phi Theta Kappa, as well as OTC's Student Government Association.  In the fall of 2013, Ms. Ferguson plans to attend Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia, where she will study psychology and communications.  After that, she plans to attend Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, to finish a master's degree and Ph.D. in positive psychology and leadership studies.  



The convention also included special speakers from around the country, a wide variety of breakout sessions, live entertainment, and much more. 



Congratulations to this year's award recipients, and special thanks to all of OTC's presenters for helping to make this year's conference a success!   









Pictured, from top, left to right:  presenter Abby Benz, research assistant; award recipient Jackie McKinsey, center, with President of the Board of Trustees Larry Snyder and Executive Director of MCCA Zora Mulligan; Mulligan with award recipient Michael Pulley; award recipient Christina Polosky with Mulligan; award recipient Fran Ferguson with Mulligan; Accounting Technician Virgie Greer with the Classified Staff poster display; presenter John Clayton, college director of Research and Strategic Planning; presenter Christie Cathey, lead instructor of Psychology; presenter Chasity Daniels, senior staff accountant; Matthew Simpson, research assistant, with the Bridge to Success Developmental Education Evaluation poster; presenter Cliff Davis, vice chancellor for Advancement | Student Affairs | Workforce Development; presenter Hope Brooks-Lovan, assistant director of Creative Services; presenter Betty Denson, grant accountant; presenter Brenda Woods, secretary to the provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs; Benz with Chancellor's Office Assistant and Student Advocate Amy Bacon and Secretary to OTC Richwood Valley Campus President Ann White in the MCCA Photo Booth; presenter Marcia Wheeler, director of Institutional Effectiveness.

Mary Lou Casey, Donor of OTC Lebanon Center Facilities, Passes Away

Mary Lou Casey, who, along with her husband, Reuben, donated the buildings and land that make up OTC's Lebanon Center, has passed away following a short illness.  She was 84 years old.


"Mrs. Casey has been a friend to OTC, and has invested a great deal in the education of the Lebanon area community," said Dr. Hal Higdon, chancellor of OTC.  "We are saddened at the news of her passing, and we are thankful for her support and her contribution to the college."


Reuben and Mary Lou Casey have operated a warehousing company in San Clemente, Calif., since the late 1970's.  They completed two buildings in Lebanon, Mo., in 2007.  In 2009, due to changes in the economy, they began searching for an education institution to which they could donate the buildings.  They chose OTC after the college presented the couple with a thorough plan for how it would use the facilities.


"In the time since they presented their gift to OTC, I have had several opportunities to visit Mr. and Mrs. Casey and spend time with them at their home in California," said Cliff Davis, vice chancellor for Advancement | Student Affairs | Workforce Development and executive director of the OTC Foundation.  "I have enjoyed getting to know this remarkable couple, and I will miss Mrs. Casey."


Mr. and Mrs. Casey donated the two buildings and more than 13 acres of land to OTC in 2009.  The property is the largest gift the college has ever received. OTC Lebanon Center's Casey Hall is named after the couple.

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


Congratulations to the six Fall 2012 LENS Mini-Grant recipients!  For the next three months, we will briefly describe two of the LENS Mini-Grant recipients' projects here.  This month, we begin (in alphabetical order) with:


ENG 040 & 050 Instructor Training for Writing Proficiency

The English Department's project focuses on ensuring that exiting students have met the course objectives through a writing proficiency demonstration that is evaluated by other instructors.  Funds will be used in "Norming" training sessions for instructors to ensure consistent assessment of student writing.


Immediate Feedback Assessment Technique (IF-AT)

Funds for the Biological Clinical Science Department's project will be used to purchase IF-AT "scratch" cards for use in the BCS 132 course.  The immediate feedback assessment technique transforms multiple-choice testing into an interactive learning opportunity for students and instructors.


Look for all LENS Mini-Grant recipients to present the results of their projects to the college community by the end of the Spring 2013 semester.


Questions?  Comments?  Email  


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.

Center for Workforce Development Holds Open House Event
The Center invited to public to learn more about its programs, facilities and equipment

The Center for Workforce Development at OTC held an Open House on Tuesday, October 23, at its facility in Springfield.  Highlights of the event included interactive demonstrations of emergency transportation simulators, plus opportunities to learn about the center's state-of-the-art equipment for training area healthcare professionals.  Additionally, the staff and instructors of the Center for Workforce Development were on hand to answer questions about their programs, equipment and facilities.


The Open House showcased new training programs benefitting businesses and organizations in southwest Missouri.   Many of the programs featured have been made possible by funds from the state Training for Tomorrow and MOHealthWINS programs, as well as by grants from the Community Foundation of the Ozarks.


For more photos of the Open House, visit the official OTC Facebook page

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


The children of the OTC Early Childhood Education Center marched in their annual Harvest Parade on Friday, October 26.  The costumed little ones collected candy as they paraded across the OTC Springfield Campus, bringing delight to the faculty, staff and students along the way.  For more photos of this year's parade, visit the official OTC Facebook page.



The 2nd Annual Halloween Trunk or Treat community event was held Friday, October 26, at the OTC Springfield Campus.  Plus, this year, the OTC Waynesville Center also hosted a Trunk or Treat!  The free events included games, candy, arts & crafts, snacks and more, and children from all over the OTC community came out to collect candy and have some fun.  Pictured:  a family at the OTC Waynesville Trunk or Treat event.  More photos available at the OTC Facebook page.




The 2012 Community Career Fair was held Tuesday, October 30, in the Jared Family Atrium on the OTC Springfield Campus.  This year's Career Fair featured representatives and information from 50 area companies, including City Utilities of Springfield, Cox Health Systems, Kraft Foods, Mediacom Communications Corporation, Missouri State Highway Patrol, O'Reilly Auto Parts, Silver Dollar City Attractions and more.  Pictured:  representatives from City Utilities talk with a job seeker.  More photos available at the OTC Facebook page.  



Dental Hygiene students provided sealants and other dental help for about 80 local students during the recent "Make a Difference Day" event.  The dental work was valued at approximately $20,000, and was provided for free to the students.  The OTC Dental Hygiene Students were dressed in Halloween gear to entertain the kids.  Pictured:  a Dental Hygiene student dressed as the Tooth Fairy works on a child's teeth.  More photos available at the OTC Facebook page.



The fall 2012 induction ceremony for OTC's chapter of Phi Theta Kappa was held Thursday, October 11, at the historic Gillioz Theatre in downtown Springfield.  Phi Theta Kappa is the international honor society for students at two-year institutions.  Pictured:  Admissions Representative Danny Gutirrez speaks during the induction ceremony, as Instructor of Early Childhood Education and Phi Theta Kappa Advisor Jo Fritts looks on.  More photos available at the OTC Facebook page.




Congratulations to the first graduates of OTC's Building Maintenance Technology program!  This eight-week program provides certification in cleaning and maintaining hospital facilities, as well as OSHA and CPR certifications.  The program is funded by the MOHealthWINS grant.  Pictured: the graduates with Instructor, Robert Sherman (back row center).



A Transfer Fair was held in the Jared Family Atrium on the OTC Springfield Campus Wednesday, October 24.  Nearly 20 colleges and universities were on hand to answer questions and provide information for OTC students looking to transfer to a four-year institution in the future.  Pictured:  a student talks with a representative from Pittsburg State University.  More photos available at the OTC Facebook page.



 The Fall Development Day event was held Tuesday, October 9, at the University Plaza Convention Center.  The event included the State of the College address from Dr. Higdon, the announcement of this year's Excellence in Education award winners, and employee longevity recognitions, as well as a keynote address and breakout sessions led by Dr. Lynn Tincher-Ladner, director of Institutional Research for the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.  Pictured:  Carolyn Lee, director of Health Sciences, receives her 20-year longevity award.

The Same 10 Questions We Always Ask
Jennifer Dunkel, Lead Instructor for Developmental English


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

I help align the course curriculum according to the state and college's standards, develop assessment processes to measure course outcomes, and provide professional development to help promote the best practices of the field. The best part of my job, however, is teaching.


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

This is my sixth year teaching at OTC. Prior to OTC, I taught full-time at State Fair Community College for two years.


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

For the next academic year, I want to scale-up a department-wide developmental writing assessment plan I've been working on for the past several years.


What is your favorite thing about working at OTC?

I have so many favorites: the students, my zombie class, the English department, my hallway office mates, and restrooms and stairways around every corner.


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

During the zombie apocalypse, the Ozarks area will be a pretty good place to attempt survival: plentiful wildlife and readily-available ammunitions, friendly folks (except for the ones trying to eat you, of course), and beautiful scenery to enjoy during the end-times.


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

My high school English teacher, Ms. Fletcher, encouraged me to pursue my interests in teaching and English. She showed me how much of a positive influence one teacher can have on a student. Most importantly, though, she taught me through her actions that a teacher should have high standards of ourselves and others, stand up for those standards, and, when we (or those around us) fail to meet those high standards for whatever reason, have someone who will encourage us to try again.


What do you have on the walls of your office?  

Behind the stacks of papers, I think there are some pictures of my husband, my kids, and my dog, a framed cross-stitching of a zombie and me, drawings by my kids, a few teaching awards, and maybe an accidental coffee splatter or two.


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

The more important question, for me, is what's for dinner? Is it a steak dinner? If so, I would choose Steve Inskeep, Stephen King, and Jerome Monroe Smucker. And if there's room for one more, George Romero.


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

I would write a book called "A Love Letter to Red Meat."


What were the last three songs played on your iPod?

"Race Car Ya Yas" (Cake), "They Call Me Dr. Worm" (They Might be Giants), and "Total Eclipse of the Heart" (Literal Video Version). 


Pictured:  Jennifer with her daughters, Piper and Charlie. 

In This Issue
MCCA Convention Results
Major Donor Passes Away
Student Learning Committee Corner
CWD Holds Open House Event
Seen at OTC
The Same 10 Questions We Always Ask
Campus Notes
Local Happenings
Quick Links

Newsletter Archive
Campus Notes



  • Want to get your event on the Campus Calendar?  It's easy!  You can submit your event directly from the online calendar by clicking the "Add Event" button on the top-left corner of the page.  Three key things to keep in mind:    

    • Make sure the TITLE of the event is exactly what you want to appear in the "Upcoming Events" email.
    • Make sure you include a brief description of the event, including exact location, full name of any involved campus organization, and who is able to attend.  
    • You will not be able to make corrections yourself after you submit the event.  Any changes or updates should be sent to Dana Mason at

  • OTC is partnering with Missouri State, Drury, Evangel, SBU and College of the Ozarks to provide approximately 1,000 volunteers for Meals a Million, a three-day event to package 1,111,111 meals for impoverished people from Nov. 9-11 (Friday-Sunday) at the Springfield Expo Center.  We need your help to make it happen!  If you can volunteer a few hours on any of the three days, contact Karen at Friends Against Hunger at (417) 773-1639 to sign up.  For more information about Friends Against Hunger, visit



  • El Club de Espaņol is raising money for Hurricane Sandy victims through sales of tamales and tres leches cakes!  The items will be available Tuesday and Wednesday, November 13 and 14, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Jared Family Atrium on the OTC Springfield Campus.  Tamales are $2.50 each, $9 for one half dozen, or $17 for one dozen; the cakes are $3.50 each.  Fifty percent of the proceeds will be given to Convoy of Hope to help with Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.  Pre-orders are welcome.  For more information or to place an order, contact Elena Blackmon at  

  • A fundraiser for next year's OTC trip to China will be held Monday, December 2, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m., in the IC Atrium.  The sale will feature a wide range of affordable gift items and Christmas ornaments from China.  For further information about the fundraiser or the trip, contact Jessica Gerard at

  • A message from Max Layman, son of Jeff Layman, treasurer of the OTC Board of Trustees:  "Thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful gift of Cardinals gear and balloons.  I've been able to get some wear out of my new outfits recovering at home cheering on the Cardinals during the NCLS!  Your gift has made me feel so special, I can't thank you enough!!!  Thank you for everything!" 

  • A message from Rona Butrick, secretary for the General Education Division:  "Thank you to my OTC family for the plant that was sent when my mother passed away.  Your thoughtfulness meant so much to me and my family."

  • A message from the family of Linda Caldwell, Psychology and Criminal Justice instructor/department chair, upon the passing of her brother:  "Thank you for the flowers sent in memory of our husband, father, grandfather and brother.  It was greatly appreciated.  God bless all of you!"

  • A message from Linda Johns, A+ Program coordinator:  "Thank you for the beautiful peace lily in memory of my Mom.  Your thoughts and prayers have been a source of strength during this difficult time.  Once again, thank you for your thoughtfulness."

  • A message from Lavonna Franklin, programmer analyst:  "I wanted to say thank you for the beautiful flower arrangement.  I really appreciate all the support and friendships, calls and cards.  You all are such a wonderful group of people.  I couldn't work for a better place."   



Local Happenings 



  • Now - December 8:  "A Christmas Snow" Live at the Starlite Theatre, Branson.  Award-winning actor Muse Watson returns as Sam in the critically-acclaimed stage production of "A Christmas Snow."  The heartwarming holiday story will delight the whole family.  Call 1-888-227-4937 or visit for showtimes and ticket information.



  • Now - January 1, 2013:  "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" Gallery Exhibit at the Titanic Museum, Branson.  For the first time, an entire gallery is dedicated to one of Titanic's most popular and most colorful passengers, Margaret "The Unsinkable Molly" Tobin Brown.  You'll see personal possessions, rare and never-before-seen photographs, and the priceless costumes Debbie Reynolds wore in the 1964 movie musical "The Unsinkable Molly Brown."  For more information on the exhibit or for admission prices and museum hours, call 1-800-381-7670 or check out



  • November 8:  Evangel University Chorale and Chorus Concert, Evangel University Chapel Auditorium, Springfield.  Two of the university's premiere vocal ensembles will perform a free public concert at their campus in Springfield.  For more information, call (417) 865-2811 or check out



  • November 10:  Veterans Day Parade, downtown Springfield.  Come honor our community's veterans at the new Veterans Day Parade!  For the parade route, maps of available free parking, and additional information, call (417) 869-5400 or visit the official parade website.



  • November 10:  Children's Choirs of Southwest Missouri's "Holiday Dazzle" concert, Gillioz Theatre, downtown Springfield.  This annual holiday prelude concert will feature five graded choirs and a Young Artists Showcase.  The choirs and soloists will present holiday classics and carols from around the world.  For ticket information or other details, check out the Gillioz Theatre website.



  • November 16:  Cup O'Cheer Homes Tour, Springfield.  Tour six of Springfield's most beautiful homes, all decorated for the holidays!  The final destination is the Ronald McDonald House, where a Holiday Tea featuring elegant desserts will be served.  There will also be a silent auction open to the public throughout the day at the Ronald McDonald House.  For ticket information and tour details, call (417) 875-3522.



  • November 17:  Hobbitfest at the Library Center, Springfield.  Bring the family and celebrate all things Tolkien, in anticipation of the new film version of "The Hobbit."  The event will include a viewing of the 1977 version of the film (not rated), making of delicious hobbit-style snacks, and an opportunity to craft your own elf ears.  For more information, visit



  • November 23 - December 9:  "It's a Wonderful Life," Landers Theatre, Springfield.  Based on the film by Frank Capra, this timeless tale of dreams, disillusionment, and the power of love and family is an uplifting story of the importance of the individual.  George Bailey puts his dreams on hold to take over the family business.  One Christmas Eve, feeling despondent and alone, his guardian angel appears to show George how many lives he's touched and how different the world would be had he never been born.  This is warm and wholesome holiday entertainment for the whole family!  For show times and ticket information, call (417) 869-3869, or check out



  • November 29 - December 2:  "Sweeney Todd," Craig Hall, Missouri State University.  Combining chills, suspense, and dark humor with a powerful musical score, "Sweeney Todd" is the story of "the demon barber of Fleet Street," his downstairs neighbor Mrs. Lovett, and her mysterious and popular meat pies!  For details, check out the MSU Theatre and Dance website.








3    Ted Collier


4    Dana Burpo

      Kay Murnan


5    Joel Doepker

      Kitty Estabrook

      Sandra Lewis

      Pete Rothrock

      Kim Sutton


6    Kristina Bridges-Templeton

      Danny Lane

      Lisa Mitchell


8    Gail Garton

      Allen Lieske


9    Lawrence Lininger


10  Robert Clark

      Sherry Coker


12  Kimberly Whalen


13  Andrew Aberle

      Linda Dyer

      Lisa Roberson


14  Michelle Howard


15  Charnell Allan

      Elaine Coates

      David Fotopulos

      Harlan Hill

      William Stage


16  Katie Moore

      Joyce Thomas


18  Benjamin Miller

      Ronald Timmins


19  Peter Edwards

      Chelsey Wright


21  Lacey Mattheis

      Russell Wydeen


22  Tara Lawless

      Barrie Talbott


23  Daniela Brink

      Mindy Gomez


24  Christopher Cole

      Jennifer Hartman

      Ellen Newby-Hines


26  Diana Hopkins


27  Amanda Walker

      Katherine Webb


28  Amanda Stone


29  Ethan Hart


30  Malari Vandervort 

New Employees, Transfers and Promotions


New Full-Time Temporary Employees:

  • Bryan Wolf, Temporary Full-Time Groundskeeper.  Began September 4. 

Transfers and Promotions:

  • Tracy McGrady, Assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Advancement | Student Affairs | Workforce Development.  Began new position August 1.
  • Katherine Craft, College Director of Grant Development.  Began new position August 1. 
Next Newsletter Deadline:  Monday, November 26


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 December newsletter is Monday, November 26.   


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!