Aug 31, 2011

Adult Scrubs Camp

Central Lakes College, Brainerd, will host a healthcare career exploration event, Adult Scrubs Camp, Sept. 26-29 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Based on Room E203 of the Business and Industry Center, the hands-on course is designed to include relevant activities to enable participants to understand pre-requisites and obtain certification in First Aid and CPR. Facilitators include Connie Frisch, Jean Mershon, Kateri Mayer, and Dawn Michel from CLC healthcare programs, as well as expert guest speakers in radiology, imaging, lab tech, phlebotomy, pharmacy, chiropractic, and massage. Professionals from St. Joseph’s Medical Center, Cuyuna Range Medical Center, and Rural MnCEP, Inc. will make presentations. Guests will explore what motivates career choices, analyze career opportunities and personal attitudes in the healthcare industry, and examine the skills associated with adaptability. The fee is $30 with a limited number of scholarships available through Jean Mershon at 218-855-8236 or 1-800-933-0246. Register by calling 218-855-8142.

Aug 30, 2011

Marathon man for a cause

Only months after running the Grandma’s Marathon in June, Central Lakes College student Steve Sabin is hitting the pavement again, this time pledging to run the Twin Cities Marathon for the Minnesota State College Student Association Leadership Program. “My hope and drive for this campaign is to further increase the awareness of the leadership scholarship and its benefits to provide opportunities for the future leaders of tomorrow,” Sabin said of his fundraising run. (He is pictured after finishing Grandma's Marathon.) After raising over $1,000 by running the Grandma’s Marathon, Steve has doubled his goal: to raise $2,000 by Twin Cities Marathon day, October 2. Sabin’s effort is two- fold: To promote healthy living and to support the scholarship program that inspires him. When asked what was his motivation behind choosing the MSCSA scholarship program he said, “This scholarship helps to pave the way for the students of today to become the future leaders of tomorrow. These are students who will become the future leaders, business owners and innovators.” Check donations may be sent to the MSCSA office: MSCSA- Steve Sabin Run, 505 Como Ave., St. Paul, MN. 55103

International students

Central Lakes College international students have been introduced to the lakes area with several field trips while enrolled at the community and technical college in Brainerd. Karmila Seran from Indonesia, Ngobile Mahlangu and Shanice Hector from South Africa, Genevieve Avevor from Ghana, Naresh Chunara from India, Imran Samuel and Irshad Hussain from Pakistan, and Carlos Monestel from Costa Rica were excited to visit the source of the Mississippi River at Itasca State Park. They also witnessed the pow wow on a recent weekend at the Mille Lacs Reservation where they toured the museum. The students are attending CLC for one year through the Community Colleges for International Development program sponsored by the U.S. State Department.
See more images:

Aug 29, 2011

Center for Lifelong Learning

Central Lakes College has announced a new venture aimed at providing lifelong learning opportunities to older adults throughout the lakes area: The Center for Lifelong Learning, which begins programming this fall. Coordination and planning have been in the works for several months, said Bill Brekken, Center Coordinator. “The Center is a cooperative venture involving Central Lakes College, and will rely largely on volunteer help from the community to provide quality programming to older adults. Essentially, the Center is aimed at meeting the growing and diverse needs of our area’s aging adult population, as well as providing an outlet to showcase their unique value as part of an extended learning community.” The program will kick-off with a community information session in September to outline offerings and elicit ideas and support for the Center and its functions. In October courses and opportunities will be offered. By January, the hope is to have an expanded set of offerings in place, including discussion groups, how-to sessions, volunteer connections, and enrichment classes. For information on The Center for Lifelong Learning, contact Bill Brekken at (218)-855-8146 or email

Students assist Habitat for Humanity

On a recent Saturday morning before their first game of the season, Central Lakes College football players provided their services at the Lakes Area Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Brainerd. The 56 student-athletes hauled items to new locations, trimmed grass, pulled weeds, and generally helped organize the facility's inventory, which includes low-cost materials that are too good to be dumped in the landfill and very affordable to those in need. Decent, affordable housing for families in Cass, Crow Wing, and Hubbard counties is the goal. The ReStore provides building materials, furniture, cabinets, appliances, plumbing, electrical and much more, as the CLC athletes discovered. Coach Greg Medeck and the Raiders received a big thank-you from the organization for donating their time and muscle to the ReStore at 1110 Wright Street. Service learning and civic engagement are part of the college mission to Build Futures. Images from the day may be viewed at

Railroad Days

Central Lakes College was well-represented at the annual Railroad days Celebration in Staples on Saturday, Aug. 27. Led by CLC President Lary Lundblad, the CLC contingent walked the one-mile parade route to greet parade-watchers who lined both sides of the street during the entire route. They distributed candy and warm fuzzies from the college that cares (and builds futures). Those participating were Jeff Wig, Jill Albie, Diane and Les Breitling, Cindy Hase, Linda Bartylla, Erich Heppner, Nathan Peterson, Ethan Peterson (Staples campus student senator) and Kendrich Heppner (Staples campus student senator).

Aug 24, 2011

CLC to share $4.99 million

Central Lakes College, the lone Minnesota partner in a 17-state grape and wine production educational consortium, is among the recipients of a $4.99 million National Science Foundation grant that will establish a National Center of Excellence. CLC, as a member of the Viticulture and Enology Science and Technology Alliance (VESTA), will receive $203,233, about $50,000 per year, during the four-year period. Purpose of the grant is to enable colleges across the country to train technicians with industry-validated credentials in grape and wine production. VESTA began in 2003 as a three-state partnership and has since expanded to enroll almost 800 students from 41 states while increasing its network of partner vineyards and wineries from 64 in 2007 to 140 in 2011The VESTA National Center of Excellence incorporates distance education to provide two-year institutions and the larger grape and wine production industry access to knowledge and skill development programs that would not be available if each institution had to sustain a program of its own. CLC offers the Associate in Applied Science degree in Enology (wine production) and Viticulture (grape growing), with shorter diploma options. The coursework is online and includes internships. A local vineyard demonstration site at the CLC Agricultural and Energy Center at Staples features several grape varieties in partnership with the University of Minnesota. More than 100 grapevines boast winter-hardy grape varieties suited to the north central climate.Minnesota has nearly 30 wineries in production, using grapes grown and harvested in the region.

Mn Teen Challenge scholarship

A scholarship for Central Lakes College students who are graduates of Minnesota Teen Challenge will come from a new endowment with the CLC Foundation. An anonymous donor of $1,000 had created the educational opportunity, said Pam Thomsen, director of resource development and CLC Foundation. “The initial donation is from a supporter of both the Teen Challenge program and higher education,” she said. Thomsen encourages additional contributions to this tax-deductible fund, “so that the scholarship becomes meaningful to a student.” The scholarship will be awarded to the eligible recipient who has completed MnTC, provides a letter of recommendation from the center director or dean and demonstrates financial need, said Sam Anderson, director of Central Minnesota Teen Challenge, Brainerd.

Aug 23, 2011

Cultural Arts Series

National and internationally known artists will converge on the Brainerd Lakes area as part of the 2011-12 Cultural Arts Series sponsored by Central Lakes College Theatre. Series producer Patrick Spradlin calls this the most ambitious season of the series’ history, with 15 scheduled events and plans to add additional programs later. “I’m really excited about the lineup of shows I’ve been able to find for this year,” said Spradlin. “There are some returning favorites, some legendary performers, and several new offerings that I think people will really enjoy.” Also, for the first time since the series began, ticket packages tailored to particular interests are available.

Aug 22, 2011

Fall term begins

On a sunny, late summer day the fall semester of the 2011-12 academic year began today at Central Lakes College, Brainerd and Staples. At each entrance and in various locations inside each building, staff members helped students find their classes. Kari Christiansen, vice president of administrative services, helped Hannah Hinnenkamp of St. Joseph, a Holdingford High School graduate and transfer from St. Cloud Technical and Community College, find her first class of the day on the Brainerd campus. For CLC events, go to

Aug 18, 2011

College in the Schools

Central Lakes College hosted more than 100 high school instructors, counselors, and administrators on Thursday, Aug. 18 for an in-service day at the Brainerd campus. The College-in-the-Schools program allows high school students to take college-level courses taught in their home district by qualified high school instructors. The credits are fully transferrable to CLC and many other colleges and universities. In the mathematics discipline, CLC collaborator Sandy Porter and Sauk Centre math teacher Scott Bergman used Scott's latest gadget, a Casio tool for myriad calculatons. This was an adventure for Texas Instruments-oriented Porter. Many other exchanges focused on information sharing and policies were covered in meetings among the instructors, as well as principals, superintendents, and counselors. The districts attending included Peqot Lakes, Pine River-Backus, Crosby-Ironton, Brainerd, Onamia, Little Falls, Aitkin, Long Prairie-Grey Eagle, Staples-Motley, Upsala, Royalton, Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa, Nashwauk-Keewatin, Deer River, Parkers Prairie, Browerville, Northland-Remer, Freshwater, Isle, Infinity, Pierz, Holdingford, Greenway (Coleraine)and Swanville. For images of the event, go to

Aug 17, 2011

Faculty return

A sure sign that the fall semester of classes at Central Lakes College is fast approaching was the return of instructors. On Wed., Aug. 17 they convened in the cafeteria of the Brainerd campus, greeting colleagues old and new for the first of two Duty Days. Included in the agenda are administrative updates from President Larry Lundblad and other administrators. The president updated everyone, including several staff who took time to attend, about the Strategic Plan that has been re-worked to include directions for management growth and sustainability, responsive programs and services, regional economic leadership, improved communication, and financial viability. On Thurs., Aug. 18 the faculty will welcome high school partners from the large area served by the College in Schools program at CLC. Administrators, counselors, and instructors are set for a day of presentations in large groups and break-out sessions on various educational topics. For images from the event go to

Aug 16, 2011

Mexican experience

Heidi Wille, a 2010 Central Lakes College grad now a senior at Augsburg College in Minneapolis, recently studied abroad in Cuernavaca, Mexico, through the Latin American Context program. The experience was life-changing. Heidi has found that “it is much easier to feel compassion for people when you understand what they are talking about, see where they live and where they are coming from.” Heidi was introduced to Latin America as a sudent at CLC. “I didn’t know how awesome Mexico could be until I learned some of the language and got a look at the culture through school.” Heidi received the Poland/Kurtz scholarship at CLC in 2009. It enabled her to increase her chances of being accepted into the Augsburg Center for Global Education program. Heidi and fellow travelers converted the Mexican minimum wage into real purchase power for an assignment. "As our investigation looked at basic items such as clothing and food, we knew the situation in Mexico must be dire, because none of these goods could possibly be within reach of most Mexican families," she said. The group visited the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City and learned of the nearly impossible restrictions on obtaining a visa for travel to the United States from Mexico.
Information courtesy of Staples World newspaper

Community band season to start

The fall 2011 season for the Central Lakes College Community Band will begin on Monday, Sept 12 at 7 p.m. in the rehearsal hall of the Brainerd campus. “European Night,” the theme for the fall concert, will be the atmosphere of the music. All wind band players of at least 16 years of age are welcome. In July the band traveled to Central Europe for a nine-day, five-concert tour. “Those of us who traveled have a few stories to share with any newcomers,” said Conductor Steve Anderson. The fall concert will be presented on Tuesday, Nov 8 at 8:01 p.m. (1 minute after the polls close.) There will be a discount for all those who come to the concert with an "I Voted" sticker visible. For information on the band, contact Anderson at 218-855-8215, 218-831-3652 or

MnSCU chair visits

Scott Thiss, chair of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees, and Cecilia Retelle, manager of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce Education and Labor Management Policy Committee and a lobbyist for Minnesota business, came to Central Lakes College Tuesday, Aug. 16, to visit with administration and tour some of the Brainerd campus. They were acompanied by Bernie Omann, a CLC alum (baseball pitcher) and former legislator from the St. Cloud area, who is now the legislative liaison for MnSCU. Chairman Thiss, president-CEO of an Edina holding company, is completing his six-year MnSCU board term that expires June 30, 2012. He was appointed by then-Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

International flags

Larry Kellerman was busy on the Brainerd campus the week before faculty returned for the 2011-12 academic year at Central Lakes College. The librarian was adjusting the display of nation flags that occupies the cross beams on the south side of the center of campus, along the vision wall. Larry reports that we have flags representing 51 nations, each representing at least one international student, past or present, from the respective nations. This year CLC has students from Costa Rica, South Africa, Indonesia, Hong Kong, India, Pakistan, and Germany.

Aug 15, 2011

Cultural Thursday

The Central Lakes College Community Band tour of Central Europe is the first Cultural Thursday program of the new academic year at Central Lakes College, Brainerd. It is Thursday, Sept. 1. The free, 50-minute public event starts at noon in Chalberg Theatre. It will showcase the July 18-28 concert tour undertaken by the 44 musicians and 10 traveling companions. They traveled to the Czech Republic, Austria, and Hungary as well as Slovakia, playing five concerts and witnessing the Old World architecture and pervasive hospitality of enduring cultures. “We saw opulent architecture, breathtaking art, squalid poverty and people from other countries and cultures going through their daily lives,” said Steve Anderson, conductor and lead presenter for the Sept. 1 program. The travelers were awestruck by splendorous architecture restored following the war, along with an abundance of public art, mainly sculptures. Many paid tribute to iconic figures such as Beethoven, Mozart, and Goethe.

VB practice starts

The volleyball season at Central Lakes College has begun, with 12 student athletes joining Head Coach Jane Peterson and Assistant Ken Miller for drills as of Aug. 12. The team hosts an eight-team scrimmage on Thursday before its official opener in a two-day intensive at Ridgewater (Willmar) vs. teams from Iowa, Montana, North Dakota, and Minnesota. The returning sophomores from last year are Melissa Widman, Betsy Helmeke, and Samantha Heagerty. The scrimmage competition this week includes Minnesota State, Anoka-Ramsey, Hibbing, Rainy River, Northland, Itasca, and Mesabi Range.


New employees at Central Lakes College began their orientation Monday, Aug. 15 with a welcome from CLC President Dr. Larry Lundblad, followed by presentations from Nancy Paulson, Director of Human Resources; Kari Christiansen, Vice President of Administrative Services; Chris Vopatek and Sheila Edin from the Business Office; David MacArthur from Auxiliary Services; Rick Otteson from Maintenance/Facilities; Nick Heisserer from Records and Registration; Mike Barnaby from Financial Aid; and Ken Dickinson from Security. Vice President Suresh Tiwari and Deans Rebecca Best, Kelly McCalla, Michael Amick, Jeff Wig, and Beth Adams also greeted the new employees. President Lundblad noted the growth and demographic data of CLC, which draws most of its students from the counties of this region but also has students from throughout the state as well as an international contingent. All CLC faculty return this week for two days of workshops ahead of the Monday, Aug. 22 fall term start.

Aug 11, 2011

Team building seminar

It wasn't your average seminar. Rick Rassier, a motivational enthusiast who specializes in team building, came to the CLC gym on Aug. 11 for a couple hours of strategy built on the lessons for success. He put the Raider football team through a series of exercises to establish the framework for not only teamwork but dedication to taking ability to the next level -- all in the name of progress. The activity was a fun -- and frustrating at times -- way to provide further bonding of a talented assembly of individuals who will get their first test as a team on Sat., Aug. 27 vs. Fond du Lac in the Kickoff Classic at St. Cloud State University.

MnSCU chair to visit

At approximately 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 16, Scott Thiss, chair of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees, is scheduled to visit the Brainerd campus of Central Lakes College for about 90 minutes. Accompanying Chairman Thiss will be Bernard Omann from MnSCU Legislative Relations (Mr. Omann is a CLC alumnus), and Cecilia Retelle of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce Education, Labor, and Management Committee. The entourage is expected to tour the Brainerd campus with President Larry Lundblad of CLC. They will discuss business and industry connections. Chairman Thiss, an Edina resident, is president and chief executive officer for Sailforth, Inc., an Edina holding company with selected business investments. He previously served as president and chief executive officer for S&W Plastics, LLC, in Eden Prairie. He was appointed in July of 2006 to his six-year team by then-Gov. Tim Pawlenty and will serve until June 30, 2012.

Aug 10, 2011

Assistant hired

Angie Brown, a native of Marshalltown, Iowa, has been assigned to the Central Lakes College Foundation, Brainerd and Staples, and the Brainerd Lakes Area Community Foundation Women’s Fund as an assistant to build an alumni and donor base. According to Pam Thomsen, director of resource development and the CLC Foundation, Brown’s main tasks during her year of service will be to help the organization build a foundation to increase employment opportunities for individuals in the community through instruction, mentoring, networking, and internships while engaging CLC alumni. Additionally, Brown will assist in activities leading to empowerment and employment of women in the Brainerd Lakes region.

Aug 9, 2011

Auditions Aug. 24 and 25

The Central Lakes College Theatre Department will host auditions for “The Miracle Worker” at 7 p.m. Aug. 24 and 25 in Chalberg Theatre on the Brainerd campus. Immortalized on stage and screen, William Gibson’s classic tells the story of Annie Sullivan and her student, blind, deaf and mute Helen Keller. “The Miracle Worker” dramatizes the volatile relationship between the lonely teacher and her charge. The cast calls for seven men and seven women ranging in ages from 16 to 65. The cast also includes five young girls. Those auditioning for Helen Keller should be at least 10 years-old and no taller that 4’3”. The cast includes three Afro-American characters: a boy 10 to 14 years old, a girl 8 to 10 years old, and one woman over the age of 18.To audition, actors should wear work-out clothing and tennis shoes. Actors will read from the script and due to the nature of the production will participate in a physical movement audition. Production dates are Oct. 7-9 and 13-16. For information call or e-mail Director Dennis Lamberson at 218-855-8202 or
Photo: Anne Bancroft, Patty Duke in the 1962 movie. Courtesy, Spokane Public Library

Aug 5, 2011

Memorandum of Understanding

Central Lakes College will expand its service-learning opportunities for nursing students during the forthcoming academic year and on a long-term basis, according to a Memorandum of Understanding signed Aug. 5. Dr. Larry Lundblad, president of CLC, and Mark Schmitz, superintendent of the Staples-Motley School District (Independent School District 2170), enacted the MOU by signing the agreement. Witnessing were Rebecca Best, dean of workforce, economic, and regional development at CLC; Connie Frisch, director of nursing at CLC; and Ryan Luft, principal at S-M High School. CLC students will work with high school students in a variety of health and wellness activities under the supervision of faculty from both schools and area nursing personnel. The agreement also provides opportunities for CLC and ISD 2170 faculty and staff to work collaboratively, said Best. “It provides for opportunities that will be mutually beneficial to all parties and the citizens of the Staples and Motley area,” she said.

Aug 4, 2011

George Winston concert postponed

The Friday, Aug. 12 benefit concert by Grammy Award-winner George Winston for the Central Lakes College Foundation has been postponed. Winston’s management firm, Dancing Cat, issued this statement regarding the postponement: “Due to circumstances beyond our control it has become necessary to postpone and reschedule several of George Winston’s upcoming events. We are very sorry for having to send this notice and hope we can work together to find another mutually agreeable date for a future performance.” Winston, who had performed at CLC each of the last two years for the Cultural Arts Series, was to present a solo concert in Tornstrom Auditorium as a student scholarships fundraiser. Pam Thomsen, director of resource development and the Foundation, said she will try to reschedule the event. The Foundation is sending a letter to all ticketholders with three options: 1. Request a refund; 2. Convert the purchase to a tax-deductible contribution; and 3. Hold tickets for a future date. Information may be obtained by calling (218) 855-8135. Watch the Foundation web page for updates.

Aug 2, 2011

European tour success

The 44-member Central Lakes College Community Band experienced its inaugural European Concert Tour July 18-28, making music and traveling to where some of the most beautiful music in history was created. Ten companions accompanied the musicians, who performed for five audiences in four countries. They played in Prague, Vienna and Budapest. "We saw opulent architecture, breathtaking art, squalid poverty and people from other countries and cultures going through their daily lives," said Director Steve Anderson. "We saw the sum of almost a thousand years of European culture accumulated in places which had been conquered by invaders and oppressors, ruled by royalty both wise and foolish, and freed by the irrepressible spirit of their people." Side trips included the Mauthausen Holocaust museum, the Mozarthaus, State Opera House, Parliament, City Hall, the Imperial Palace and the Cathedral, Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna, and a dinner cruise on the Danube in Budapest. Images can be viewed at our Flickr site:

SEaM Camp

STAPLES – Thirty-two youths in grades 7 -12 attended the sixth annual Summer Engineering and Manufacturing Camp at Central Lakes College in Staples July 11-15. SEaM camp is an opportunity to experience hands-on electronics, motor controllers, mechanical drafting, manufacturing machining, and robotics automated systems. Participants built robots for competition using identical components with individual creativity and teamwork guided by college mentors. Families and friends witnessed the concluding competition. Participants included Kyle Huepenbecker, Carter Diers, Keaton Riley, Megan Pachan, Hackett Cook, Austin Domino, Joshua Tracy, Jacob Donner, Nick Finken, Jared Brever, Dane Petron, Samuel Petron, Eli Uban, Paul Leinen, Joseph Sanders, Justin Sawatzke, Jon Maschhoff, Dakota Lemke, Anna Stevens, Jeremy Lemke, Jordan Diers, Brett Gontarek, Erick Jacobson, Logan Sonnenberg, Andrew Holzgrove, Dylan McLain, Nathan Manuel, Aaron Nilsen, Devon Perich, Josh Lentz, Hunter Cavallaro, and Matthew Sanders. Mentors included Dylan Arceneau, Michael McColgan, Greg Scheler, Trever Gutzman, Nate Peterson, Shylo Moyer, Tim Thorson, Mark Dahmes, Matt Kroneman, and Garry Donner.