Dec 21, 2009

Instructor on state panel

Donna Salli of Brainerd, an English instructor at Central Lakes College, recently served on a seven-person panel selecting the 2010 grants to support state poets. Salli and a panelist from Duluth represented out-state Minnesota to award grants from $2,000 to $6,000 to support poets in various stages of their careers. The funding is coordinated by the Minnesota State Arts Board. The panel included writers, editors, and arts administrators. The group forwarded the names of 25 Minnesota writers to receive grants. Salli, a playwright whose inaugural drama “The Rock Farm” has been staged in Finland and at CLC in Brainerd, has a Master of Fine Arts degree in poetry from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and was a winner in 2000 of a Mentor Series Award in Poetry from The Loft.

Basketball: Winter Classic

The Central Lakes College men's basketball team defeated Ridgewater, 65-64, on Dec. 19 in the CLC Winter Classic to move the season record to 10-3. Marcus Ayala led the team with 16 points, followed by Nash Faulk with 12. The next game is Jan. 6 at home vs. Itasca. The CLC women's basketball team lost to Ridgewater, 93-58, after defeating Minnesota State Community and Technical College (Fergus Falls), for the Raiders' first win of the season. Cassie Pearson scored 23 points in the win over the Spartans, which avenged a loss to the Fergus Falls team just six days earlier. Trisha Wippler scored 17 in the loss to Ridgewater. The CLC women are now 1-10 on the saeason, heading into the Division competition that starts Jan. 6 vs. Itasca.

Dec 16, 2009

Veterans' center donations

Members of a local AFL-CIO labor union presented the Veterans’ Resource Center at Central Lakes College in Brainerd with a 21-cu. ft. freezer donated by Electrolux Home Products, St. Cloud, and a check for $550 on Dec. 16. The group will provide $400 worth of food to stock the freezer, which is part of the veterans’ food shelf. Taking delivery were Don Pfeffer and Tyra Oswald of the Higher Education Veterans Program, which is helping about 300 campus veterans and families this holiday season. Presenting the union donations were Mary Beth Juetten, AFSCME Council 5 organizer; Myron Stevens, AFSCME steward at CLC; and Wayne Fleischhacker, area labor council representative.

Dec 15, 2009

Honor society induction

The Central Lakes College honor society, Upsilon Omega chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, on Sat., Dec. 5 inducted new members. PTK is the international honor society for two-year college students and is the largest honor society in American higher education with more than 1.3 million members who have achieved membership due to academic standing. To be eligible for membership a student must have earned a 3.5 GPA while enrolled for at lest 12 credits of education. By increasing membership 25 percent over last year the chapter has earned the Pinnacle Award. This means five $45 scholarships that must be used for International Membership fees for a new inductee. The scholarships will go to deserving, eligible students who otherwise could not afford to join Phi Theta Kappa. Advisers are faculty Nancy Smith and Ryan Deblock.

CLC joins unique partnership for grape and wine education

Viticulture and enology are two words we'll all become familiar with now that Central Lakes College has joined the regional center of excellence known as "Viticulure and Enology Science and Technology Alliance." It is focused on grape and wine education for the 21st century. CLC is the only Minnesota college in the eight-school consortium. It means CLC is able to offer an online certificate and degree program that can lead graduates to enter the grape-growing or winemaking industry as well as providing professional training for existing industry workers. The other schools are in Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Illinois, Oklahoma, and Michigan. VESTA is funded by the National Science Foundation. Dr. Suresh Tiwari, CLC's Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs, is a member of the management team and is the state coordinator.

Farewell Fritz!

Central Lakes College English instructor Fritz Bertelt is winding up a career in higher education that spans nearly four decades. The CLC icon was surprised by friends with a Fond Farewell in the office suite known as "Happy Valley." On a phased retirement until this semester, Fritz says it is now time to move on and enjoy retirement. One of his favorite pastimes sure to keep him busy: Ham radio operation. The Bertelt Career: 1964-65 (1 year), Mt. Iron; 1965-68 (3 years) Brainerd High School; 1968-69 (1 year), Bemidji Sate University; 1969-74 (5 years), Worthington Community College; 1974-2007 (33 years), Central Lakes College = 43 years. And two additional post-retirement semesters of teaching in fall of 2008 and fall of 2009 --- post-retirement --- make 44 years.

Steeles holiday show is Saturday at college

The Steeles will present a holiday show in Chalberg Theatre on the Brainerd campus of Central Lakes College Saturday, Dec. 19 at 7:30 p.m. The Steeles are a family group of brothers and sisters -- J.D., Fred, Jearlyn, Jevetta, and Billy. They have been singing together since they were young children growing up in Gary, Indiana, and developed their style and soul after moving to Minneapolis. The Steeles have earned every award that the music community has offered in the state of Minnesota in the past 20 years. The Steeles have collectively released seven CDs. The family has traveled around the world in the musical “The Gospel at Colonus,” including a Broadway run at the Lunt Fontanne theatre in 1988. For more information about the group, go to and for information about the Cultural Arts Series, go to

Mary Sam named Director of Diversity at CLC

Mary Sam of Onamia is the first Director of Dioversity at Central Lakes College. She will lead the college’s effort toward intercultural competency by implementing a Diversity Plan. The job also entails development of a Native American Indian certificate program at CLC and increasing visibility and awareness of the Skone Family Conservatory Housing the CLC Humphrey Center for American Indian Studies. Mary will be responsible for the development of an American Indian Center at CLC. She comes to the college after seven years of employment with the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe. She also has experience as a school administrator for Nay Ah Shing Tribal School, and she was in social work for the Robbinsdale School District from 1989 to 2002.

Medical Assistant students donate to Hands of Hope

The Medical Assistant students of Central Lakes College recently presented a check for $183 and holiday gifts to Hands of Hope. Located in Little Falls and Long Prairie, Hands of Hope is a non-profit agency that offers services to people who are or have been in abusive situations, find themselves homeless, or who need advocates for navigating the court system. Students hosted a chili supper fund-raiser and secured a $200 service learning mini-grant from the college to bolster the project. They had met with CLC alumna Jamie St. George (left) from Hands of Hope to learn of the services provided by the agency. St. George was accompanied by a county attorney and local police officer to explain their roles working with the victims and perpetrators.

Dr. Suresh Tiwari named vice president

Dr. Suresh Tiwari, who had served as interim vice president, has been appointed to that position on a permanent basis at Central Lakes College, Brainerd and Staples, Minn. Dr. Tiwari had been a dean at the largest technical college in South Carolina and former dean at Hawkeye Community College in Iowa prior to taking the interim post at CLC last spring. Dr. Tiwari has many years of administrative experience in two-year colleges. He most recently was the Dean of Arts and Sciences at Greenville Technical College, the largest technical college in South Carolina. He has nearly 13 years experience as an academic dean responsible for such activities as teaching and learning, the development of programs and services, and guiding both undergraduate and graduate research. “I am delighted to be here at Central Lakes College,” Tiwari said. “I am proud to be part of a team that includes a tremendous management team and dedicated faculty and staff focused on the welfare of students.”

Dec 10, 2009

CLC among 50 fastest-growing colleges in nation

Central Lakes College, Brainerd and Staples, was the 22nd fastest-growing public, two-year college in the nation within its enrollment category in 2008. The Community College Week newspaper on Nov. 30 reported that it had compiled data on the nation’s fastest-growing community colleges. The survey was conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics, a division of the U.S. Department of Education. The Fall Enrollment Survey surveyed enrollment headcount increases from fall 2007 to fall 2008, which placed colleges in four enrollment categories for comparison. Central Lakes College showed a 15.4 percent increase. The year before, CLC had grown by 14.8 percent to rank 12th. CLC’s headcount went from 3,343 to 3,858, an increase of 515 students, among colleges with enrollments of 2,500-4,999.

Mar 31, 2009

International students present program for Youth Connection

Central Lakes College's International Club members spent after-school time at Forestview Middle School recently, talking about their homelands and answering questions from the curious youngsters in the Youth Connection program operated through Brainerd Community Education for grades 5-8. The CLC international students included Brittany (pictured) and Brooke Bjerke of Brainerd; Jun Shin and Subin Jang, both of South Korea; Kiattiyos Towan, Kittipong Seangwanakul, and Poom Chatpaitoon, all of Thailand, and Ivy Guan of China. Clubs such as this at CLC are involved in numerous community service projecs as well as function to support fellow students at the community and technical college. Members will be among those recognized at the annual Awards Day events, which are April 29 at noon in Brainerd and April 30 at noon in Staples. Both events will incldue a free lunch and be held in the campus cafeterias.