Category Archives: Campus Events

Campus Events

Romanian Native among US

She’s a doctor (of history) not a mathematician
Lily Petit
Staff Writer

History has molded our society, and in turn our lives. However, history may have impacted St. Clair County Community college adjunct instructor, Oana Suditu the most.
Suditu teaches History 101 and 102. She fostered her affinity for the past as early as the age of five, encouraged by the historical stories her father and grandfather told. At a very young age, she knew history would play a large role in her life.
Suditu completed her first Master’s degree in history at her “Iasi University” in Romania. Suditu moved from Iasi, Romania to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where she attended Carnegie Mellon University and received her second Master’s in history.
The move brought educational challenges and personal joys. Suditu met her husband and SC4 philosophy professor, Jim Soto, at Carnegie Mellon. Soto was offered a teaching job at SC4 in Port Huron. When Soto took the job, Suditu applied to teach at the same college. “I jumped at the chance to teach,” said Suditu.
Teaching also brought its own challenges and joys. Suditu admits teaching is not a lucrative profession, but she would be heartbroken to leave it behind. Suditu enjoys the variety of people she’s encountered at SC4. “They keep you on your toes,” Suditu said while reflecting on approximately three years of teaching here. She has also learned a lot about American life, motivations and struggles. Suditu says, “I’ve become American learning from the students.”
Suditu’s American life includes four rescue dogs which take up a lot of her and her husband’s time she said. Additionally, gardening, biking and reading have a place in her day to day life.
Soto says, “She’s a great historian. She studies the soviet experience so we have all these Soviet history books around the house.” Suditu says she is constantly studying and bringing in new information. She attributes discipline and steadiness in her studying to her success in her education. “Study a little every day. Don’t let yourself go,” Suditu recommends. While Soto also holds a Master’s degree from Carnegie Mellon he always says, “She’s the smart one in the family.”
Suditu’s tactics are paying off. Student, Josiah Pankiewicz, 20, of Columbus Township says “I legitimately enjoyed that history class (HIS 101) and I’ve never enjoyed history before. “ Pankiewicz also enjoyed Suditu’s personality, “She’s no nonsense, but also very fair. I love her accent and how fierce of a woman she is.” Another student, Vaux Adams, 20, of Armada says, “She’s straightforward and doesn’t take anyone’s crap, but she’s also funny.”
Both students know Suditu rides her bike to school every day. “It’s very green, which is cool,” says Pankiewicz. Suditu says she will ride her bike to class until the ice gets too dangerous in the winter.
Despite the bitter cold winter, Oana still loves Port Huron. “I tend to make a home wherever I go. I’ve changed places a few times in my life and I tend to see the positive. I love Port Huron and I don’t want to live anywhere else… This city has such beautiful light. There’s a quality of the light here that is really spectacular. It’s fantastic living so near the lakes. It’s like you’re in a vacation resort town everyday of your life.”
Suditu has no plans to leave Port Huron any time soon, so if you’re interested in learning from this well-cultured, well-educated instructor visit the Wave. You can find class times, details and register for History 101 and 102 on the Wave.

Free College Day brings crowds to SC4

Knowledge is power
Nick “Chico” Hernandez
Managing Editor

People of all ages and walks of life flooded SC4 for the 13th annual Free College Day on March 28. The school-wide event taught about 150 classes from their starting time of 8 a.m. to their ending time of 4:30 p.m. including modeling, cooking, accounting, clay working, and even meditation. Paul Mitchell students also provided free manicures in the Student Center.
The classes were spread out between the Fine Arts Building, North Building, and Main Building.
Agnes Malberry, 82 and a retiree of Port Huron, with a smile, said “I sure like this Free Day they’re having. I got to practice my sewing technique, and then learned how to better balance my checkbook. They never let us have this much fun in the home!”
Not everyone was as excited as Malberry, as many spots in classes were filled early due to early registration.
Deshawn Linckon, 35 of Fort Gratiot, found some frustration over not registering early saying, “Man! I didn’t even know they had pre-sign ups. I’m stuck with slim pickings. But shit, it’s free. Can’t argue with that.”
Dan Sterling, 28 of Marysville and a sophomore studying Business at SC4, enjoyed Free College day commenting, “Free College is one the better idea the higher-ups have had. It helps to expose new people to the college of all ages and all up bringings. From a business stand-point, it makes sense. I think all they were missing was a Mixology class.”
Even the cold weather didn’t deter people from attending Free College Day. Michelle Gretrech, 41 of Tampa, Florida, explained how her niece, Sherly Gretrech who attends SC4, told her to sign up while she was up here for a family event. “Even though I had to bundle up in three layers and walk in the ice cold wind, I still had fun. I don’t see this very often in Florida, and I’m glad my niece picked such a nice college to attend.”

It can happen to anyone

SC4 hosts sexual assault awareness, prevention program
Angie Stoecklin

On Monday April 20, SC4 will host a sexual assault awareness, prevention, and survival program. According to a letter by Criminal Justice Discipline James Jones, the presentation is in the Fine Arts Theater and starts at 1 p.m. and should last until about 3:30 p.m. Jones noted that the presentation is free and does not require registration.
According to the e-mail sent out by Jones, the presentation will cover topics such as prevention and awareness, laws dealing with sexual assault, date rape drugs, services provided to survivors of sexual assault, and campus security protections.
The agenda and presenters of the event are as follows:
Sexual Assault Awareness and protection by Adrianne Mynsberge
Prosecuting Offenders and Victims’ Rights by Mike Wendling
Information about Date Rape Drugs by James Jones
Sexual Assault Victims Support Services by Chelsea Manning
Safety Services Provided at SC4 by David Rickerman
Jones said that during the presentation, a survivor of sexual assault will also address the audience on her experiences of survival after the assault. The presentation will be followed by a panel to answer questions about the topic.
The event is sponsored by SC4 with help from the Criminal Justice Club and Gay Straight Alliance student clubs.
For more information on this event, contact Jim Jones at (810) 989-5694.

The results of the Student Government Election are in

New faces enter office
Tyler Smith
Sports Editor

On Monday, March 30 and Tuesday, March 31, the college center held the St. Clair County Community College student government elections.
Eight candidates ran for the four positions of the Student Government; two for President, three for Vice President, two for Secretary, and one for Treasurer.
With 102 votes cast forth, the winners of the election are President elect Joe LaFontaine, with 65% of the votes and had a 39% overtake of his campaigning opponent Terrence Warner, with 26%. Along with a 23.50% over take by Vice President elect Mark McIntyre against his opponents John Jones and Mairead Warner that both had 22.50% of the votes. For the secretary position, Candice Swinson with 47% claimed victory by a close 5% over take of opponent Bill Kirby, who gained 42% of the votes. Then a last lone campaigner Lila Ali was elected with a 67.50% of the votes.
The newly elected officials will receive scholarships for the upcoming fall semester, the same semester they will take office. The president and Vice President will receive a full scholarship while the secretary and treasurer receive a three-quarter Scholarship.
Joe LaFontaine said that he is looking forward to becoming the new Student Government President and with help from Sherry Artman, Secretary to the Vice President of Student Services; he plans on working on key points for the next semester.
LaFontaine said that some of the plans are to improve communication with the clubs, getting packets to the clubs, and educate them on how to do everything from the event register forms to the minutes, and make sure there is structure.

A showcase of student talent

Patterns Magazine to hold award ceremony
Jenelle Kalaf
Photo Editor

Patterns Magazine, one of SC4’s artistic traditions, will hold the award ceremony to honor the students whose work judges selected to be placed in the magazine.
The 57th annual ceremony will be held in the Fine Arts Building on April 26 at 2 p.m.
“The ceremony is the first night the magazine will be available,” Cliff Johnson, the head of the committee for Patterns, said. “It’s a chance for the students to get their chance on stage, but we will also announce the prize winners for the top works.”
Johnson also explained that the students know that one of their works will be published, but aren’t sure what one it will be.
“We have a physically big magazine this year because of the number of high quality works that were submitted,” Johnson said.
Johnson also said that if any student is interested on entering any art, poetry, essays or pros, to head over to to submit your work as they are already accepting submissions.
More information can be found on the portal or by calling (810) 989-5709.patterns1patterns3patterns4patterns5

Legislator Q&A

M&M club invites government officials to a discussion at SC4
Mel Buskirk
Copy Editor

On Thursday, April 2, almost 100 people filled the seats of the Fine Arts Theater in order to meet our state’s legislators and ask them questions. The legislators in attendance were Rep. Dan Lauwers, Rep. Andrea LaFontaine, Rep. Paul Muxlow, Sen. Phil Pavlov, and Mike Brownfield.
The free event, hosted by the Marketing and Management club, invited the public to join the dialogue and have their wide range of questions answered by Michigan’s government officials.
Topics brought up during the Q&A varied from the government outlook on the economy, plans to fix the roads, healthcare, and funding for education amongst many other topics. One subject brought up during the Q&A that truly affects students is tuition.
John Lusk, professor of English and Journalism at SC4, asked, “Students here face a tuition raise in the upcoming fall semester. Part of the reason the board explained was lack of funding at appropriate levels by the state. So my question is what’s being done to address that perceived lack or real lack of funding so students don’t face yearly increases?”
Sen. Pavlov responded with, “In 2011, to your point John, we expanded dual enrollment opportunities, so if you’re in this classroom you might’ve been in high school, as low as 9th grade you have an opportunity to test in to take some college credits. Now why is that important? It’s important because we’re able to pay for that college education for those actual credits at the same time we’re paying for the foundation allowance to your traditional public school. So what kids could do is leverage their ability to draw down their college credits at the same time working on their diploma. We also expanded a pretty good expansion into the Middle College program, where we’re allowing, essentially, a grade 13 program so that when you do graduate from high school you have a diploma in one hand and an associate’s in the other. The beautiful part about that is the student wouldn’t have accumulated any personal debt; their speed to degree has increased incredibly. And the other thing is you’re now prepared for the next step in your education. If you decide to use the career certificate plan, you have that available. The last barrier that we have to hurdle is to have universities to accept the credits they have earned without having to go back and take remedial classes. That is an opportunity to cut your education in half.”
Rep. Muxlow added, “Over 25% of enrollment here is dual enrolled or through Middle College. There’s another three-quarters of enrollment that needs help. I think it’s a big step and we’ve been working on it and tuition and we need to continue to work that way as costs go up every year.”
Mike Brownfield, the deputy director of strategy for Governor Snyder’s office, stated, “The governor’s 2016 budget called for a 1.4% increase in community college funding just on operations, but it called for an overall funding about an 8% increase. If we look back to 2011 there’s been about a 30% increase if you look at operational costs and retirement costs. Just on that level of funding there’s been an increase. Just a point about the dual enrollment, we’re certainly in support of, he (the Governor) wants to expand it. He also called for in the budget this year, a $6 million expansion in the grant program to assist students with tuition as well.”
Other topics heavily discussed during the Q&A included gun control, the budget for fixing the roads, job creation, incarceration rates, and environmental protection of the Great Lakes.
Brian Prigeo, 24, accounting major of Clinton Township, said, “I thought it was interesting. I never done anything like this before. It was interesting even though they were just giving politically correct answers. I thought they dodged some of it (the questions).”

Tuition increase on the horizon

Tuition rate rises explained
Angie Stoecklin

SC4’s yearly tuition rise is approved to go into effect for the upcoming fall semester. Each tuition category, in-district, out-district, student fees, etc. are on the rise for varying amounts.
Here’s how much each category will increase:
In-District: $3 rise
Out-District: $6 rise
Out-State: $9 rise
Student Fee: $7 rise
Technology Fee: $2 rise
Nursing Program Fee: $2 rise
Online Fee: $3 rise
While SC4 increases their tuition rates about once a year, this is, according to Board of Trustees Chairman Dr. Nicholas DeGrazia, a part of SC4’s strategy to avoid having to increase tuition all at once. Some other colleges freeze tuition, keeping it the same for a couple years, then when costs for the college increase over the period tuition is frozen, the college is forced to increase tuition by a much greater percentage. For this reason, DeGrazia said, “It’s a lot smarter to have a small annual increase.”
According to SC4 student Emily Atherton, 18, sophomore of Port Huron, if other community colleges freeze tuition, than SC4 should do the same, “If that’s how other community colleges are doing it then we should probably follow in their footsteps.”
While students like Atherton would like to see a less frequent rise in tuition, DeGrazia says that SC4’s tuition and fee level is lower than the state average, so SC4 is neither the lowest nor the highest in regards to tuition average.
The college has three sources of revenue. One being tuition and fees, which is the only category that DeGrazia says SC4 can control, and the other two being state appropriations, and property taxes. DeGrazia says that SC4 operates on about a 2 to 3% per year tuition increase, to maintain the things the college already has.
Some students may be wondering why with the college receiving money from the state tuition is still rising? Well according to Vice President for Administrative services Kirk Kramer, the money received from the state is the same amount as it was in the year 2000. The amount of money received by the state is determined be several factors, one of which being graduation rates. “The graduation rate comprises over 25% of a formula the State of Michigan uses when determining the state aid appropriation for Community Colleges,” Kramer said.
Since graduation rates haven’t changed much in the last 15 years, the college continues to receive the same amount through state appropriations.
The final factor in the college’s budget is property tax, which makes up for about 31% of the overall budget. The money from property taxes is split up into two millages, one being a general or perpetual millage, which has been in effect since 1967 according to Kramer, and is currently in effect for 1.394 mills.
To better understand how a millage works, the explanation of a “mill,” according to an article from, “applied to taxes, 1 mill is equivalent to $1 in taxes per $1,000 in taxable value.”
The second millage, a smaller one that is voted for re-approval by voters in the St. Clair County Community College district every four years, and is currently in effect for .4951 mills.
“This additional millage is used to support buildings, infrastructure, and additional items not possible without the additional funding,” Kramer said.
One could ask so why doesn’t SC4 raise the millage instead of tuition? Well again, SC4 is not in control of anything except for tuition as far as sources of revenue go. DeGrazia explains how the money from property taxes is determined, “If a college is in a district with a higher tax base, their percentage of their total revenue from property tax will be 50% or more, so they’re far less dependent on tuition and fee revenue as a component of the total revenue.”
And, since Port Huron and SC4 have had their fair share of financial hits from the recession back in 2008, the tax base for this area hasn’t changed much.
“In 2008, we and many other colleges across the country took a major hit in the recession, state appropriations went down, and property taxes went down because property values fell. We now find ourselves in a situation where about 20% of our revenue comes from state appropriations,” DeGrazia said.
Although the recession is largely to blame for the frequent increases, some students are still not satisfied with the way SC4 increases tuition rates on a yearly basis.
SC4 sophomore Adam Kentchuski, 24, of Port Huron said, “It’s a load of bullshit that goes straight to the top of the food chain. I get that SC4 is the cheapest school in the area, but for how long?”
While tuition rises may seem “overly frequent” to some students, SC4 Freshman Stacey Kish, 20, of Marysville, sees an annual tuition increase in an understanding light. “I can understand their reasoning for raising the prices frequently, rather than all at once. The lesser of two evils, I suppose. We can’t all have cheap, affordable college like the rest of the world,” Kish said.
According to DeGrazia, tuition increases are a part of maintaining a balanced budget.
“Students should know that we the trustees approve a balanced budget each year, balanced being that the revenue and expense projection each year is equal. You don’t know that you’re going to receive all that revenue or that you will have that exact amount of expenses, so it’s an allocation of money assuming that you will have expenses that will arise in various categories. 80% of the budget on the expense side is people, and a very high percentage in addition to that is support (technology, supplies, etc.) for those people/academic programs (employees, teachers, etc.)
You may or may not spend each of those items in the budget. In some cases, you’ll get halfway through the year and realize that you’re not going to need to have to spend all of that money in that particular category, and so the administration would have the flexibility to move that into a different category where the need is greater,” DeGrazia said.

It’s just good business, Jack

Marketing and Management club hosting events to help you
Tyler Smith
Sports Editor

The Marketing and Management club are holding to two events on St. Clair County Community College’s campus.
Representatives Dan Lauwers, Andrea LaFontaine, and Paul Muxlow along with Senator Phil Pavlov and Deputy Director of Strategy Mike Brownfield will be welcomed to the St. Clair County Community College Campus by the Marketing and Management club to discuss what the state is doing to promote local jobs and growing the economy as well what role community colleges play. The Port Huron community and students are invited to the March 30th event at 4:30pm in the SC4 Fine Arts Theatre.
There will also be the Countdown to Career Fashion show after spring break on April 14th from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at the Fine Arts Theatre to show the best and worst clothes to wear to a job interview and to educate students before going out into the workplace. Local human resource representatives and business owners from places such as Semco Energy, St Clair County, Talmer Bank, and Detroit Edison will be present to give tips and advice to help you conduct an impressionable interview.

SC4 players brings stalking to the spotlight

Performance of the play “Boy Gets Girl”
Jenelle Kalaf
Photo Editor
Who’s to say that your blind date from last week, the one that you weren’t into, won’t turn on you? You just met them and you already gave them your cell phone number and a Facebook invite.
How can you know they already want to control you?
On March 19-22, SC4 players acted out just this situation in the stage production, “Boy Gets Girl,” and it very well could be anyone’s story.
The story follows Thersea Bedell, a reporter for The World played by Leah Gray. She goes on a blind date with Tony, played by Marcus Taylor.
When the date doesn’t go the way Thersea imagines it, she breaks it off with Tony, but he won’t let go.
His “romantic pursuing” turns quickly into stalking and death threats.
In the end, she can’t take the fear and changes her name, moves to another town and leaves her old life behind.
The subject and the acting were all executed perfectly. The play also dealt with subjects such as the act of “thanking women for sex,” the victim feeling as if it was all their fault and stereotypes on both men and women.
“I think it’s one of those responsibilities of art, and theatre in particular, to reflect the realities of society, both positive and negative,” Tom Kephart, the play’s director, said.
“It’s important for us to understand how this subject affects everyone,” Ashley Hall, the assistant director, said.
Hall also said how interesting it was that the audience found some of these rude comments said in the beginning funny until they realized how terrible the situation really was.
The audience left with the feeling of uneasiness, leaving one question in mind:
What’s stopping this from happening to me?
Interested in being part of the next production? Auditions for The Fantasticks will be held on March 30 and 31, from 4:00 to 6:30 p.m in the Fine Arts building in room 26. Call backs will be on April 1, if needed.
Auditions are open to all SC4 credit and non-credit students, all alumnus, SC4 staff and faculty, and community members. Please call Tom Kephart at (810) 989-5721 for any questions.

Board of Trustees chair vacant no more

Geoffry Kusch fills board seat
Angie Stoecklin

After James Relken’s resignation from the SC4 Board of Trustees, the board received over 20 applications from those interested in filling the vacant seat. After carefully reviewing the applications, the board selected Geoffry Kusch, 66 and a retired physician and Port Huron resident since 2011.
Kusch and his wife moved from Midland, Michigan to Port Huron in 2011 to be closer to their daughter and her three children. Since the move, Kusch and his wife have been pleased with the welcoming atmosphere Port Huron offers them.
“Port Huron has been very welcoming and has given us opportunities to get involved, we really appreciate that,” Kusch said.
The Board of Trustees seat that Kusch now fills is a volunteer 2-year position that expires on Dec. 31, 2016. Other than volunteering at SC4 as a board member, Kusch and his wife both retired early and now help out the community through helping out with various organizations.
“My wife and I both had set a goal to retire early and devote as much time as we could to doing volunteer work, which we did and we continue to enjoy our volunteer activities,” Kusch said.
Kusch is on the board of directors at the Blue Water YMCA, and is also a member of the board at Marwood Manor nursing home. He also volunteers at the Port Huron soup kitchen Mid City Nutrition.
“I enjoy all of the things I do,” Kusch said.
Prior to his retirement, Kusch worked as a family physician for 15 years, he then left family practice in Midland to work as an occupational physician for Dow Chemical Company.
Kusch said that he ended up getting into the benefits side of human resources at Dow and spent the last 5 years or so of his career as the director of global benefits at Dow.
“I’ve had two very different careers and enjoyed both of them immensely,” said Kusch.
Kusch said that he applied for the board position because he believes that the community college is extremely important in today’s world because it trains people who do not have the ability to go away to a four year college. “I felt like there are huge challenges right now for SC4 and I felt that maybe I could make a contribution,” he said.
In regards to his new position on SC4’s Board of Trustees, Kusch said, “I want to do whatever I can to help the college be successful.”