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College Matters
March 2013
OTC Allied Health Clinical Simulation Center Holds Grand Opening Event
Event included a variety of simulation demonstrations, plus tours of the center


The OTC Allied Health Clinical Simulation Center held its grand opening event Tuesday, February 5, offering an opportunity for members of the community to learn more about the facility.


Designed as a simulated hospital environment, the Allied Health Clinical Simulation Center is a 2,000-square-foot, multi-disciplinary high-fidelity simulation lab that will allow OTC to educate more than 600 students across 12 programs, including all of the college's Allied Health programs. Additionally, the center will provide training for a variety of healthcare professionals already in the workforce.


The event included demonstrations illustrating the various scenarios that can be simulated through the center's specific rooms. The facility includes an intensive care unit/emergency room, a birthing suite, a medical-surgical room, and a residential suite, as well as a dedicated debriefing space, providing opportunities for hands-on, fully immersive practice for a variety of health care professions.


The OTC Allied Health Clinical Simulation Center was constructed and furnished with the help of several generous organizations: Ashley Furniture, Audio Acoustics, Brigittes Wig Boutique, the Community Foundation of the Ozarks, CoxHealth, Laerdal Medical Corporation, and the Sunderland Foundation.


Pictured, from top:  Allied Health Clinical Simulation Center Director Michelle Howard leads a tour of the facility; a student demonstrates the functions of one of the center's interactive manikins. 

OTC Choirs Raising Funds for Trip to NYC
Variety of events scheduled to help students

The fundraising is underway as the OTC Concert Choir and Chamber Singers prepare for their residency and performance in New York City in May! The ensembles, led by Director Kathryn Cole, are currently working to raise $1,600 per student to pay for the trip.

The following events will help the students to earn the needed funds:

Monday, March 4, 5-9 p.m.

Choir Give Back Night at Qdoba Mexican Grill

401 S. Kimbrough Avenue


Monday, April 15, 5-9 p.m.

Choir Give Back Night at Chili's Grill and Bar

3020 S. Glenstone Avenue


Friday, April 26, 9 a.m. 1 p.m.

OTC Spring Picnic Raffle, OTC Springfield Campus

1001 E. Chestnut Expressway


Thursday, May 9, 7 p.m.

OTC Fine Arts Spring Concert, Lincoln Hall Room 211, OTC Springfield Campus

1001 E. Chestnut Expressway

The OTC Concert Choir is a 30-member auditioned ensemble; the Chamber Singers are comprised of 15 selected members of the Concert Choir.  

Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY) has invited the college's vocal ensembles to participate in the DCINY Concert Series to be held Memorial Day weekend in New York City. They will join performers from other choirs in a five-day residency led by world-renowned composer and conductor Mark Hayes, culminating in the world premiere performance of Hayes' Requiem. The final concert will be held on May 27 in Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center.


DCINY, a production company based in New York City, has produced choral and instrumental concert series in world-class venues including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Centers Alice Tully Hall, and Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. For more information, visit


Pictured, from top:  Members of the choir with director Kathryn Cole (far right) during the Choir Give Back Night held at Pizza Inn in February; a member of the choir working the Pizza Inn event.

OTC Receives Proclamation from City of Springfield
Proclamation presented during Career and Technical Education Celebration 

In honor of National Career and Technical Education Month, the City of Springfield presented OTC with an official proclamation recognizing the college for its leadership in providing valuable career and technical education for the citizens of Springfield and the surrounding communities. Mayor Bob Stephens presented the proclamation on Wednesday, February 6, during the college's Career and Technical Education Celebration.  


In addition to the celebration on February 6, the college recognized Career and Technical Education Month on Friday and Saturday, February 8-9, when it hosted the district competition for SkillsUSA. District winners will advance to state competition in April, followed by national competition in June.   


Pictured:  Mayor Bob Stephens reads the proclamation before presenting it to Dr. Hal Higdon, chancellor of OTC. 

FAFSA Frenzy Event Held at OTC
Area schools partnered to help prospective students


Several colleges from around the Springfield area came together on the OTC Springfield Campus to host a free FAFSA Frenzy event on Sunday, February 24.  Approximately 300 people came out for the event, which was designed to help prospective college students to file their FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid.


Financial Aid advisors and other volunteers from local colleges and universities, as well as from area public schools, helped prospective students and their families to fill out the necessary financial aid forms.  In addition to the one-on-one financial help available at the event, students had the opportunity to enter a drawing for scholarships.  


The Springfield FAFSA Frenzy was one of several held across the state on the same day, and was offered through a partnership between Ozarks Area Key Financial Aid Personnel (OAKFAP), the Missouri Department of Higher Education, the Missouri Association of Student Financial Aid Personnel (MASFAP), the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority, the Lumina Foundation for Education and USA Funds. For more information, visit


Pictured, from top:  Lisa Hearn, coordinator of Communications Management - Financial Aid, helps with FAFSA questions; future OTC student Connor Dykes and his mother, Michele Rohrer, during the FAFSA Frenzy event. 

OTC Fine Art Gallery: 
Photographer Gretchen Miekley

March exhibition will open during First Friday Art Walk

The OTC Fine Art Gallery is proud to present the work of photographer Gretchen Miekley for its March exhibition!  An opening reception will be held in the gallery during First Friday Art Walk on Friday, March 1, from 6-10 p.m.  The gallery is located on the third floor of the historic Gillioz Theater complex in downtown Springfield.


Miekley, who specializes in photographing life stories, has been in business for 14 years.  This exhibition will feature photographs of people fighting against being labeled, including everything from learning disabilities to physical deformities.  According to her artist's statement, "The approach you will find with her work is a way that is both technically correct as well as free from boundaries.  She believes it is the little moments that are sometimes overlooked when they should be the ones celebrated most."


In addition to the photographs on display in the gallery, OTC is collaborating with MSU's English Department to bring a celebration of visual and performing female artists downstairs, both in the lobby and on the main stage of the Gillioz Theater.  Past and current female student artists will have artwork showcased.  Also, local emerging artist Jamie Blaine will be painting live on the Gillioz stage from 7-9:30 p.m. while a host of local female bands perform.  During this special First Friday Live event, audience members and guests will be able to bid on Jamie's live creation and it will be sold at the end of the evening.  Jamie Blaine's original creative talent can be viewed at her YouTube page.  


The OTC Fine Art Gallery's regular hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays.  For more information, contact Kat Allie, Fine Arts and Humanities department chair and OTC Fine Art Gallery manager, by calling (417) 447-8975, or by emailing


Pictured:  A sample of Miekley's photography.

Student Learning Committee Corner
Focusing the LENS on student learning

This month we would like to present an upcoming opportunity for increasing student learning through assessment for faculty.  Johnson County Community College is hosting the Third Annual Regional Assessment Conference for Community Colleges on Friday, April 19, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This year's plenary speaker is Dr. Susan Hatfield, the Assessment Coordinator at Winona State University and a Visiting Scholar on Assessment at HLC.  The theme for the conference is "Assessment Matters."  Breakout session topics will include, but are not limited to:  planning your assessment activities, writing a strong research question, assessing service learning, the cycle of assessment, and revamping general education.  More information about the conference can be found at


Interested and able to attend?  The first five faculty (full-time or part-time) to email will have their $75 registration fee paid, courtesy of the Assessment Committee and the LENS group.  A huge thanks to Dr. Kathy Perkins for these funds!


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.


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

OTC Research Assistant Matthew Simpson has received a Presidential Scholarship from the Association for Institutional Research, the world's largest professional association for institutional researchers.  Simpson used the $600 scholarship toward classes through the association's Data and Decisions Academy, a program designed specifically for community college institutional research professionals.  Simpson, who has worked at OTC since 2011, holds a bachelor's degree from Missouri State University and a master's from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn.  He is a resident of Springfield.  Pictured from left:  OTC Chancellor Dr. Hal Higdon, Simpson, College Director of Research and Strategic Planning John Clayton.

The recently-elected - and first female - president of the American Welding Society, Nancy Cole, visited the OTC Springfield Campus on Monday, February 11, for a tour of the college's welding facilities and a meeting of the American Welding Society's local chapter.  Cole, who was the first female to graduate with a degree in metallurgical engineering from the University of Tennessee, owns a welding engineering consulting firm in Florida.  She has received several industry awards, has authored more than 35 technical publications, and holds three patents.  Pictured:  Welding Technology Instructor Jim Bridwell with Cole.

Winter weather tends to bring out the playful side in everyone, as demonstrated by OTC student Teka Johnson and her friend Katie Claxton after the most recent snowfall!  Johnson and Claxton spent an hour building a snowman in the roundabout at Central Street and Sherman Avenue, on the west side of the OTC Springfield Campus.  Pictured, left to right:  Johnson, Frosty, and Claxton.





Before the snow arrived, Ed Roffmann of Ava took advantage of a nicer day to do a little drumming on his djembe in one of the parking lots at the OTC Springfield Campus.  Roffmann is a student at OTC, and has been playing the instrument for seven years.  Pictured:  Roffmann with his djembe.  For more photos, visit the OTC Facebook page,  







The Same 10 Questions We Always Ask
Tim Baltes, College Director for Human Resources


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

I oversee all the Human Resources function at the College.  This includes, but is not limited to, performance management, training, selection, retention, compensation strategy, employee relations, benefits, on-boarding and the separation process.  I see Human Resources as the department that removes barriers, provides solutions, and engages the workforce to reach its maximum potential.


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

My hire date was January 14.  I was previously at Springfield ReManufacturing Company (SRC) for five and a half years.


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

First and foremost, I want to build trust with every employee I or my team meet.  Secondly, I would like to build the department's reputation to be known as a problem-solver, a solution provider, a partner of high integrity and professionalism that is committed to providing outstanding customer service to every internal customer.  Here is a hint - if you are reading this, you are one of my customers.  Once we establish that we are a unit that can be trusted AND are known as an innovative problem-solver, we won't have to seek out where to spend our time.  Once you build that reputation, the people will come to you.  Build the trust and they will come...   


What is your favorite thing about working at OTC?

I am addicted to helping people.  It is my fix - it is what drives me.  Quite frankly, when I am participating in a meeting, developing a policy, analyzing department-specific training concerns, whathaveyou - if I feel that I am making a difference, making an impact, a substantial impact, then I am a happy man.  My wonderful HR team allows me to do this every day, as they deal with a lot of the day-to-day issues for me.  THANK YOU TEAM.  Additionally, I may have lucked out with potentially the best mentor/manager this side of the Mississippi.  Is this Rob Rector guy for real?  He has been great to work for - er, don't tell him I said that, OK?  After all, he is a Steeler fan - I am sure he has many more flaws I will find at a later date...   


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

I grew up in Ohio... so this area is still growing on me.  However, as I am first and foremost a father and husband, I immensely appreciate the overall innocence and "small town" feel that Springfield still possesses.  In general, it is a safe place with a lot of good-hearted people.  That means that my family has a better opportunity to live a happier life.  Their happiness equals my happiness.

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

Unfortunately, I really didn't have anyone make a significant impact on my career choice.  I always knew what I wanted to do.  With that being said, once I did get into grad school, I had a professor from MSU, Dr. Thomas Kane, who was the first real "mentor" I had ever had.  He was all the things you look for in a leader.  I would follow him in about anything... and I am a leader, not a follower.  We are still close today, and as good a leader/mentor that he is, he is an even better person.   

What do you have on the walls of your office?

Ah... I just got here... so, kinda bare.  If anyone wants to come by and decorate, have at it!  I have pictures of my family, my diplomas, a certification plaque and a St. Louis Rams calendar.


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

Hmmm, I don't really get into famous people.  Aren't we all famous in our own right?  But, if you insist - JESUS, Abraham Lincoln, and John F. Kennedy.

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

Good question.  I love writing and have always wanted to write a book.  I have thought about this many times.  The subject matter is private (sorry), but it would be a best-seller.

What were the last three songs played on your iPod?

Seriously?  Unfair question - when I am in high concentration mode (which is now, as I am still learning where everything is) I listen to more "soothing" songs... so ask this question in about three months and I will have Metallica, Offspring and some 80's hair bands... but I have to be honest, so the last three songs are, "Some Nights" - F.U.N.; "I Will Not Give Up" - Jason Mraz; and "Already Gone" - Kelly Clarkson.   

In This Issue
Clinical Simulation Center Grand Opening
Fundraisers Planned for OTC Choirs
OTC Receives Proclamation from City
FAFSA Frenzy Event Held at OTC
OTC Fine Art Gallery
Student Learning Committee Corner
Seen at OTC
The Same 10 Questions We Always Ask
Campus Notes
Professional Development Schedule
Local Happenings
Quick Links

Newsletter Archive
Campus Notes


  • As a reminder, Spring Break is March 11-17.  No classes will be held on those days.  The college offices will be open Monday through Thursday (March 11-14), and will be closed Friday, March 15, through Sunday, March 17.


  • While the college is open during the week of Spring Break, March 11-14, the Facilities and Grounds Department will conduct annual training for maintenance and custodial employees.  Limited services will be provided by the department during the week of training.  If you need to report any issues during this time, please contact


  • On Friday, March 15 (rain date: March 16), electrical testing will take place at the OTC Springfield and OTC Richwood Valley Campuses.  If you have questions, please contact the Maintenance Department via e-mail at, or by phone at (417) 447-4801.  The affected buildings, listed below, will be closed while the testing occurs:  


Graff Hall

Lincoln Hall

Information Commons West



OTC Richwood Valley Campus


No Computer Access:

Early Childhood Education Center

Continuing Education Center



Professional Development Schedule

The March 2013 Professional Development Schedule is now available! 

A wide variety of opportunities are on the schedule for this month, including sessions on STAR Seminars, PSRS/PEERS, how to take advantage of the Behavioral Intervention Team, new Blackboard features, and many more.  Plus, new sessions are available in the "20 Minute Mentor Commons."

If you have suggestions or would like to present a session, please contact Marcia Wheeler at

Local Happenings 


  • Now - March 15:  Sun, Sports and Summer Fun:  A Celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the Springfield-Greene County Park Board, the History Museum for Springfield-Greene County, Park Central Square, Springfield.  The Springfield-Greene County Park Board is celebrating 100 years!  Take a step back in time and see how our parks have changed, and how they have contributed to the community and its people for a century.  Enjoy wonderful images and artifacts of sports, picnics, boating, playgrounds, wild animals, camps, caves, springs, ice skating, lakes, swimming, amusement rides and more!  For museum hours and admission information, call (417) 864-1976 or visit the museum website.


  • Now  - March 31:  Bass Pro Shops Spring Fishing Classic, Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World.  Celebrate this free event with fishing enthusiasts of all ages!  There will be huge savings on fishing merchandise, seminars hosted by professional anglers, and much more.  For details, call (417) 887-7334 or check out


  • March 15 and 17:  Springfield Regional Opera Presents "La Traviata," Gillioz Theater, downtown Springfield.  In honor of the 100th Anniversary of composer Giuseppe Verdi's death, Springfield Regional Opera will present his masterpiece, "La Traviata."  Originally set in the mid-1800s, this opera gem tells the heartbreaking story of the love affair between Alfredo Germont, a gentleman of Parisian society, and Violetta Valéry, a Parisian courtesan.  Director Jeff Carney transports the tale to 1920s Paris, a time cascading with luscious distractions and exuberant style.  Verdi's breathtaking score reveals the exalting beauty and fragility of a love caught in the crossfires of social pressures and mortal illness.  For show times and ticket information, visit


  • March 16:  St. Patrick's Day Parade and Celebration, downtown Springfield.  This annual celebration kicks off with booths and vendors open at noon, both at the Jefferson Avenue Footbridge and on Park Central Square.  The parade will begin at 2 p.m.  For more information on the parade and the day's other events, check out the official parade website.


  • March 16:  35th Annual Ozarks Model Train Show and Swap Meet, Remington's, 1655 W. Republic Road, Springfield.  This year's event will include top model train manufacturers, how-to clinics, photo and model contests, door prizes, interactive opportunities for kids, and much more.  For hours and admission prices, call (417) 883-5350 or visit


  • March 23:  Neon Trees with Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, Gillioz Theater, downtown Springfield.  Come hear rising pop stars Neon Trees in concert with local favorites Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin!  For ticket information, call (417) 863-9491 or visit


  • March 22 - April 7:  "A Chorus Line," Landers Theater, downtown Springfield.  On a bare stage in a New York theater, 17 hopeful and desperate dancers, some bright-eyed novices and some jaded veterans, audition for eight coveted roles in a Broadway musical.  Between the grueling audition routines, the director-choreographer interrogates the dancers, compelling them to reveal their individual dreams, secrets, and shortcomings.  A timeless tale of high kicks, bright lights, standing ovations, and defying the odds, "A Chorus Line" is a celebration of the over-dedicated, underpaid, highly trained chorus dancers and the American musical itself.  For show times and ticket information, call (417) 869-1334 or visit the Springfield Little Theatre website.







1    Cheryl Vaughan

      Deborah Weatherly


2    Kari Reichert

      Daniel Templeton


4    Michael Peña


5    Charlotte Choate

      Gene Hogue

      Joe Millsap


6    Jonathan Christenson

      Brian Towry


7    Lisa Hunter

      Holly Hurshman

      Jason Morgan

      Julie Penick


8    Jane Harmon


9    Susan Forte


10  Carole Atkins

      Jenna Reeves


12  Dennis Brown


15  Carolyn Brockman

      Craig Schutt


17  Lori Minor


18  Katherine Craft

      Ida Guynn

      Jon Trogdon


19  Anita Beeler


20  Joseph Woods


21  Carolyn Lee


22  Cathy Clemens

      Toni Marchese

      Deborah Thompson


23  Melissa Freres


25  Tracy Livingston


26  Jill Cox


30  Chip Broemmer

      Jason Monroe

      Michael Pulley


31  Becky Crocker 

New Employees, Transfers and Promotions


New Full-Time Permanent Employees:

  • Steve Meadows, Middle College Resource Specialist (Grant Funded Position).
  • Anthony Anchor, Custodian.
  • Johnny Haynes, Custodian. 
Next Newsletter Deadline:  Monday, March 25


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 April newsletter is Monday, March 25.   


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!