May 28, 2010

Energy resource adviser

Bob Hanson, a customized training representative at Central Lakes College, Brainerd, has earned recognition as an energy resource adviser, certified by completion of an online course and a two-day workshop at Lanesboro. He is the only affiliate of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system to receive ERA certification as a “green” consultant in the community and workplace. The online certificate program concluded with a hands-on, skills demonstration at Eagle Bluff Learning Center offered through Winona State University. Hanson will use the information from this workshop to continue development of the renewable/sustainable energy programs offered at CLC. The adviser certification will complement renewable energy and related industry certifications and programs that CLC is planning to offer through the Central Lakes Ag and Energy Center near Staples.

Health careers exploration

Brainerd High School students are learning about health careers through a Central Lakes College course offered in collaboration with Brainerd Lakes Health System. Students in the Health Care Professionals class learn about the healthcare industry, why it’s growing and what career opportunities are available. They have the opportunity because BLHS foresees a shortage of healthcare professionals. “One course objective is to encourage high school juniors and seniors to consider coming back to central Minnesota once they have completed their professional career studies,” said Jean Mershon, instructor. Students participate in classroom work, hear presentations by St. Joseph’s Medical Center employees about their healthcare job cluster, and shadow staff in various departments. The culmination of the course includes a presentation by the students on specific health careers. Career presentations emphasize the importance of direct patient care and supportive roles, exposing students to a broad scope of opportunities in the healthcare field.

May 27, 2010

Empowering students

Twenty-nine profesionals in higher education -- mostly from Central Lakes College -- attended a three-day On Course I workshop on the Brainerd campus May 25-27. Purpose of the training was to allow the participants to strategize for empowering students to become active, responsible, and successful learners. Billed as a "festival for learner-centered educators," the professional development event gave everyone -- faculty, staff, and adminstrators -- a new way of looking at their work with students. Facilitator was Robin Middleton. President Larry Lundblad addressed the participants briefly as the workshop concluded.

EZ Enrollment

On Thursday, May 27, about 115 new students enrolled at Central Lakes College by participating in the Brainerd campus EZ Enrollment Day, a one-stop means to come away with a fall schedule for courses to be taken when the fall semester starts on Aug. 23. Met by admissions reps John Richardson and Joe Kavanaugh as they entered the building, the new arrivals came from near and far and were not only traditional college-age enrollees but also a few years out of high school and eager to get on the collegiate express at CLC, where "We're Moving Forward For You" joins "We Build Futures" in the promise to enrich lives and achieve career satisfaction. Counselors, financial aid staff, student services volunteers, and business office personnel team up to help new stduents complete the admissions process in a matter of hours. The next EZ Enrollment Day is June 10 at 9 a.m. on the Brainerd campus at 501 W. College Drive. The summer term of classes runs June 7-July 30.


Nine Central Lakes College horticulture students are now certified tree inspectors. The students ended the semester-long integrated pest management course, taught by Theri Wasniewski, with the certification exam. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources facilitates the tree inspector program, which certifies individuals to help alleviate invading pest problems. The inspectors’ main focus is on emerald ash borer, long-horned Asian beetle, Dutch elm disease, and oak wilt. The tree inspectors are the front line for detection in the field and they provide tree disease information to the public. The inspectors will attend an annual seminar to remain certified. The students are Erin Billig, St. Cloud (front left); Candice Lipinski, Watson; Anne Smith, St. Joseph; Brittany Tasche, Brainerd; Lance Kierzek, Avon (back left); Michael Seppelt, Pierz; Tanja Turcotte, Brainerd; Jordan Danielson, Elk River; and Brady Corcoran, St. Michael (not pictured).

May 24, 2010

Nathan honored

The Central Lakes College Foundation recently honored Dale Nathan, a retired administrator and accounting instructor, at its annual faculty emeritus reception on the Brainerd campus. Nathan, who retired in 1985 after 22 years with the college, and wife of nearly 60 years, Ardis, had front-row seats for a program in the Jon Hassler Library that featured remarks from former colleagues Ray Frisch and Glen Peppel, Nathan’s son Craig and brother Herman, CLC President Dr. Larry Lundblad, retired Foundation Director Diane Scearcy, and Librarian Larry Kellerman. Kellerman, as emcee and coordinator of a slide show with images from Nathan’s tenure at the college, read a congratulatory letter from Dr. Tina Royer, provost of Mesabi Range Community and Technical College. She began her career in higher education during Nathan’s time as vice provost in Brainerd. Nathan joined the Brainerd Junior College staff in the fall of 1963 as an accounting instructor and director of the night school. In 1965 he was appointed assistant to the dean, serving under President John Chalberg. In 1967 Nathan was appointed assistant to the president when the college became part of the state community college system. While serving as dean of students in 1969, he was named executive secretary of the newly formed College Foundation as he continued to teach accounting and set up the school’s financial aid program.

May 21, 2010

New degree

Central Lakes College, Brainerd, has established a Theatre Performance Associate of Fine Arts degree, which transfers to Southwest Minnesota State University, Marshall, as part of a Theatre Arts bachelor’s degree at the university. The 60-credit transfer meets half the requirement for SMSU’s 120-credit BA, according to an articulation agreement approved by the Minnesota State College and Universities board of trustees. “This is the first such articulation agreement between us, and we anticipate there may be other programs in which we can offer similar credit transfer opportunities for degrees,” said Dr. Larry Lundblad, president of CLC. Dr. Lyn Brodersen, dean of the College of Arts, Letters, and Sciences at SMSU, joined Lundblad and Dr. Suresh Tiwari, vice president of academic and student affairs at CLC, to sign the agreement on May 21. Brodersen was at CLC as a dean when planning began more than two years ago for the new degree. She has been at SMSU for one year following time in administration on a Wisconsin campus.

May 19, 2010


The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, Minnesota Association of Professional Employees, and American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees co-sponsored the annual "Energizing Our Front-Line Network" conference at Central Lakes College May 19 and 20. CLC President Dr. Larry Lundblad welcomed the 300 guests from MnSCU institutions across the state. Bob Ash of Indianapolis (far left) opened the conference as keynote speaker in a one-hour, story-filled address well-stocked with humorous and uplifting anecdotes. The conference continued with afternoon sessions of various topics, such as building stress hardiness, recognizing and preventing violence in the workplace, mid-career planning, and strategies for diversity. Chancellor James McCormick and Vice Chancellor Lori Lamb presented a half-hour talk May 20 and Mary Margaret Anderson was the concluding keynote speaker.

Front-Line photos

Snapshots from the Energizing Your Front-Line Network Conference at CLC May 19 and 20.

New president

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities today appointed Richard A. Hanson as president of Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College. Hanson, 60, has been interim president of North Dakota State University since Dec. 1, 2009. Previously, he served as president of Waldorf College, Forest City, Iowa; professor of sociology, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college, all at Augustana College, Sioux Falls; associate vice president for academic affairs, associate director of human development in the Extension Service and director of the Family Studies Institute, all at North Dakota State University; and chair of the Department of Home Economics at California State University, Chico.

Tuition and fees

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees approved a budget that holds average annual tuition and fee increases to $205 for undergraduate students at the state colleges and $301 at the state universities beginning this fall. Central Lakes College tuition will be $4,322 for a student taking 30 credits, an increase of $215 from $4,108 the previous year. The average at 25 community and technical colleges will be $4,902, an increase of 4.4 percent. Students at the seven state universities will pay an average of $6,596, an increase of 4.8 percent for tuition and fees. Most students get help financing their education. About 54 percent of the state college students received financial aid, averaging $5,755, to pay education and living expenses. About 60 percent of state university students received an average of $8,931 in financial aid, which includes state and national grants, scholarships, loans and work-study funds.

Credits transfer

Nearly 91 percent of students transferring within the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system experienced no loss of credits toward their degree, according to a study released today. In presenting the study findings to the Board of Trustees, John Asmussen, the system’s internal auditor who conducted the study, said: “Credit transfer is not broken. It needs fine tuning, but it’s not broken. We are transferring credits in large numbers.” The Board of Trustees directed Asmussen to conduct the study after students and legislators raised concerns. Increasing numbers of students have been transferring within the system in recent years. In 2008, for example, 504,000 course credits were transferred within the system, up 66 percent since 1999. The auditor’s study also found that 1,533, or 9.4 percent, of the 16,309 transfer students lost an average of six credits, which may have cost them additional time and money to complete their studies. Six additional credits would cost an estimated $1,080.

Softball and golf end

The Central Lakes College women's fast-pitch softball team ended its season on Saturday, May 15 at Grand Rapids, losing the Region 13B championship game to the nation's second-ranked team, Itasca. Thus, the Raiders got within one game of the national tournament and finished with a 27-16 win-loss record for 2010. Itasca defeated CLC six times this spring, but the Raiders pushed the Vikings into extra innings twice. Itasca is led by All-American Katie McBride, daughter of the team's coach and an almost-untouchable pitcher. In the 9-2 loss to the regional champs, CLC scored on solo home runs by Trisha Wippler and Alicia Johnson (pictured). Ashly Erickson pitched the the Raiders, giving up 14 hits. In golf, the CLC women competed at Daytona, Fla., in the National Junior College Athletic Association championship tournament. The team includes Tracy Gustafson, Caitie Kavanaugh, Melissa Welshons, and Morgan Morris. CLC was in 19th place out of 19 teams after the first round. Tracy: 51-53= 104; Caitie: 46-59=105; Morgan: 54-54=108; Melissa: 54-56=110. Team: 427. Top 5 Teams: Daytona State 1. 298; 2. McLennan, 312; 3. Redlands, 320; 4. Western Texas, 323; 5. Texarkana, 326. Day 2: CLC is closing in one the 18th place team from Bismarck, N.D., which held a one-stroke edge over the Raiders, 855-856 after 36 holes. Day 2 CLC scores: Tracy 101, Melissa 102, Caitie 112, Morgan 114. Day 3 scores: Tracy 95, Melissa 107, Caitie 119, Morgan withdrew. CLC was listed as Did Not Finish along with Bismarck and Pima.

May 17, 2010

New Foundation director

Pam Thomsen of Brainerd has been named the Central Lakes College Director of Resource Development and Foundation. She replaces the retiring Diane Scearcy, who has been with the Foundation since 1999, the past 10 years as director, and worked at Central Lakes College for 21 years. Like Scearcy, Thomsen is a CLC graduate (1980). She earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting from St. Cloud State University. She has been an accounting instructor at CLC since 2001 and before that served as director of the Small Business Development Center (1993-2001). Her first post at CLC was as a small business instructor in 1987. Thomsen has experience in non-profit organizations as a board member and executive officer. Under Scearcy’s direction, the CLC Foundation greatly increased its endowment count and volume with assets of more than $4 million and annual fund-raising of $300,000 to $350,000. During the 2009-2010 academic year about 400 CLC students received a total of $266,800 in scholarships and Random Acts of Kindness aid from the Foundation.

May 13, 2010


More than 300 Central Lakes College students were honored Wed., May 12 at the spring commencement for 2010 graduates of the Brainerd campus. A record of more than 1,000 students were eligible to graduate. Ceremonies at the gymnasium in Brainerd High School again packed the house with families and friends. Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Paul H. Anderson (left) provided the commencement address. CLC President Dr. Larry Lundblad addressed the graduates, and Vice President Dr. Suresh Tiwari recognized the honors graduates as well as the families and friends of the graduates. Deans at the college assisted with the conferring of degrees, diplomas, and certificates. Charles Albrecht, Class of 1977, provided alumni remarks, and Adam Bybee, student senate president, gave the student perspective. The CLC Community Concert band provided the music.

On Thurs., May 13 in the gymnasium at Staples-Motley High School about 125 graduating students from the Staples campus received their recognition for completing educational programs. The commencement speaker was Dan McElroy (left), commissioner of the Department of Employment and Economic Development and a member of the MnSCU board of trustees. Gordon Vierkant, a 1977 graduate now teaching in the Heavy equipment program provided the alumni remarks. Jordan Zwart, student senate president, gave the student perspective. The CLC Brass Ensemble provided music and the Staples VFW Post 1910 was the color guard.

May 11, 2010

TRiO celebration

The TRiO/Student Support services program held its annual Graduate Celebration and Recognition Luncheon on May 10 at Prairie Bay. Fifty TRiO students are graduating this spring, completing their time in the program that provides support to students who are first-generation college students, low-income, or have a documented disability. The program included comments from CLC President Dr. Larry Lundblad, as well as Jeff Wig, dean of enrollment and student services; Charles Black Lance, program director; and advisers Jane Vogt and Sue Austin. Students introduced one another. Educational objectives and career plans were discussed. The students are graduating in areas such as nursing, accounting, law enforcement, horticulture, business management, child development, medical secretary, and photo imaging as well as earning the AA degree with transfer to places such as Bemidji State, St. Scholastica, Winona State, St. Cloud State, Minnesota State at Mankato, Oklahoma State, University of Hawaii, and the University of Minnesota, Morris. The TRiO program motto is "Building foundations for successful futures one student at a time."

Summer theatre

Central Lakes College’s summer theatre season will celebrate its 40th year with “A Salute to Show Biz.” The Brainerd campus venue includes Mel Brooks’ zany “The Producers,” Michael Frayn’s madcap “Noises Off,” and The Adventures ’n Theatre’s “Magic Theatre Trunk.” All three shows deal with the backstage antics of show business and will be produced by a company of 54 actors and technicians. The casts were chosen from auditions in April. The summer theatre season plays June 15 through July 17. Tickets from the box office (218-855-8199) are $10 for general admissions and $8 for students. There are discounts for groups of 10 or more. CLC students are admitted at no charge. All tickets are $5 for Adventures 'n Theatre performances.

May 10, 2010

Retirees honored

Central Lakes College on Monday honored eight retiring employees with nearly 200 years of service to the State of Minnesota. The eight were among those acknowledged at the annual Recognition Event as the academic year comes to a close. The retirees include DelRay Lecy (pictured), associate dean of entrepreneurial development, 36 years; Wendy Schluender, dean of technical and career programs and the Staples campus, 29; Judithann Richer, dean of students, 27; Shirley Judd, Ag Center and management programs support staff, 24; Diane Scearcy, CLC Foundation executive director, 21; Mary Marquardt, practical nursing faculty, 21; Susan Caquelin, financial aid assistant, 21; and Thomas Schulz, farm business management instructor, 17. They also will be recognized at CLC commencement ceremonies this week -- Wednesday in the Brainerd High School gym and Thursday in the Staples-Motley High School gym.


Ridgewater's athletic baseball team was too much for the Central Lakes College Raiders on Sat., May 8 at Findorff Field, where the Raiders dropped their final two games of the 2010 season, 12-1 and 9-3. The Warriors didn't get away from the hosts until late in the first game, scoring seven runs in the fifth inning after hurler Kyle Schaible tired. He pitched a good game but didn't get much help in the field nor at the plate from his teammates, who managed just four hits to Ridgewater's 16. Josh Janzen was the losing pitcher form CLC in the second game, when the winners outhit CLC, 9-6. The Raiders' Aaron Olafson went 2-for-4 with an RBI in the second game. CLC finishes with a record of 9 wins and 28 losses, 5-11 in the Central Division of the Minnesota College Athletic Conference.


Central Lakes College lost three of four Minnesota College Athletic Conference tournament softball games over the weekend (May 8 and 9) at Sauk Rapids, but the Raiders still qualified for the Region 13 B tournament at Grand Rapids. CLC is the No. 4 seed of the four-team regional, playing favorite Itasca on its home field Thursday at 10 a.m., with the regional champ advancing to the national tournament. Itasca is ranked No. 2 in the latest NJCAA poll and has defeated CLC every time they've met this season. At the MCAC meet, which was delayed one day due to Friday's rain, the Raiders lost to Ridgewater, 18-13, defeated Hibbing, 12-4, and dropped games to Rochester, 4-0, and Rainy River, 10-9. The team carries a 25-14 record into the regional, where the other contenders are North Dakota State College of Science (Wahpeton) and Rainy River. It is a double elimination tournament.

May 7, 2010

'Conversations With Jon Hassler'

Joe Plut, retired Central Lakes College instructor, signed copies of his book, “Conversations with Jon Hassler,” May 6 in the Jon Hassler Library at CLC. Joe’s book features interviews with his former CLC colleague and novelist Hassler, including numerous revelations on characters and symbolism from nine Hassler books. The two friends spent many hours over a four-year period in conversations to shape the book before Joe retired in 2001 after 36 years at the college. Jon Hassler, who died in 2008, began his writing career during 12 years on the CLC faculty before moving on to St. John’s University, Collegeville. The book signing at CLC was the first of several such appearances for Joe, affectionately known as “the mad hugger” when he taught creative communication, film appreciation, and other English and humanities courses at CLC. In his early retirement, Joe also taught three semesters of "The Novels of Jon Hassler" in which he incorporated his conversations with the author.

May 6, 2010

Greenhouse sale

Central Lakes College Horticukture students on may 6 hosted the annual Greenhouse Sale on the Brainerd campus. Hundreds of annual and perennial flowering plants as well as vegetable plants were on sale at the conclusion of the academic year. Students sported shirts that read "Hort students make Dirt look good." Proceeds from the sale help the Hort program purchase seeds and supplies to sustain another year of growing good things. The community is welcome to participate in the sale, which runs from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Students Constance Hinnenkamp of Osakis(left) and Joanna Jeanetta of Duluth picked out some annual flowering plants for a customer at the sale.

Cinco de Mayo

The Spanish Club at CLC hosted Cinco de Mayo activities on May 5 in the Brainerd campus Multi-Purpose Room. Jan Kurtz, adviser, said the event celebrated Mexico's triumph over the French. Activities included a serenade from Jose 'El Charro,' bilingual games, Mexican jugo y galletas for snacks, crafts, face painting, reading in Spanish by CLC Spanish students, and a piƱata finale.

May 5, 2010

Continuing the tradition

The Sigma Delta chapter of the American Criminal Justice Association at CLC recently participated in the Cinco de Mayo festivities on the Brainerd campus, hosting a taco bag lunch as a fund-raiser for the club. Club members served the delicious Hispanic treat that had been prepared by the Brainerd campus food service. By 12:30 p.m., more than 70 people had purchased either the $3 bag or the $4 bag and beverage. Funds from such projects help defray costs to attend a national conference. Several club members returned this spring from national competiton held in conjunction with the annual ACJA conference, bringing trophies for performances in law knowledge, firearms, physical agility, and more. CLC President Larry Lundblad congratulated the members on continuing a tradition of national prominence. Advisers are Terry Fairbanks, Dave Stumpf, and Gae Davis as instructors in the Criminal Justice program at CLC.

Psi Beta induction

The Central Lakes College chapter of the Psi Beta national honor society in psychology for community and junior colleges indcuted five CLC students on Wed., May 4. The ceremony was conducted by Martha Kuehn, adviser of the CLC chapter and an instructor in psychology. Inductees were Thomas Britz, Lucas Morcomb, Carol Osborne, Stephen Sabin, and Casey Wagner. The members and their guests were welcomed by Dr. Suresh Tiwari, vice president of academic and student affairs. Psychology Club President Sabin provided remarks and reviewed activities undertaken by the club in its community service mission. This academic year included the hosting of public forums on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and depression, aided by professionals on a panel setting to discuss the psychological issues. The CLC chapter was chartered on Nov. 13, 2002. This was the first induction in three years.

May 4, 2010

Building at the Arb

Central Lakes College Landscaping Technology students are working at Northland Arboretum tocreate a waterfall and pond near the visitors' center parking lot. They are following up on the work begun by students at CLC more than a year ago under the guidance of instructorJeff Dirks and WoodSpirit Gardens of Backus. About 18 students were putting the finishing touches on the project this week. Non-profit entities are often aided by the Horticulture program,and since CLC has a Memorandum of Understanding with the Arb, a number of interactive opportunities will continue to involve CLC faculty and students. The students joined volunteers with the University of Minnesota Extension Service and DNR master naturalist program to place tons of boulders and materials to create an area for future generations to enjoy in the middle of urban Brainerd/Baxter. The project is expected tobe finished Wednesday, May 5.


Jeremy Reed of Grand Rapids, a 2009 Greenway High School graduate, is the first recipient of a scholarship honoring the memory of a Central Lakes College Criminal Justice graduate. Reed receives $500 as winner of the Patrick Jay Callaghan Memorial Scholarship, an annual award earmarked for a current CLC law enforcement student. The Central Lakes College Foundation directs the application screening and awarding through a fund established by instructor Dave Stumpf of the Criminal Justice faculty. Callaghan, a 1999 CLC graduate and former Raider baseball player during his two years at CLC, was an Alexandria police officer when he died at age 31 in a snowmobile accident last January. The committee that interviewed applicants and chose Reed for the scholarship included two Alexandria High School graduates who came to CLC with Callaghan in 1997 -- JJ Larson and Josh Wilcox.

May 3, 2010

Band trip meeting Thursday

The Central Lakes College Community Concert Band is planning a European concert tour for July of 2011. A free informational meeting with refreshments will be held in the rehearsal hall (E471) on the Brainerd campus on Thursday, May 6 at 7 p.m. with a Power Point presentation on the locations of the stops on the tour as well as information on registration and costs. "Interested persons may still sign up to go along on the trip whether as musicians or travelers," said Steve Anderson, director. For information, contact Anderson at or (218) 855-8215.

Thiesse leads Raiders

GRAND RAPIDS - Dani Thiesse (left) slugged three home runs and three doubles as the Central Lakes College fastpitch softball team swept the Jenny Guyer tournament Sat., May 1. The Raiders defeated Vermilion 6-3, Mesabi Range 19-14 and North Dakota State College of Science 8-3. Ashly Erickson was the winning pitcher for all three games. Thiesse, a sophomore from Brainerd, was 2-3 with a double and the first home run of her collegiate career in the first game. Trisha Wippler went 2-3 with a pair of doubles. In the second contest, Thiesse went 5-5 with another home run, a pair of doubles and 3 RBIs. Tika Nichols, Lindsey Fryer, Wippler, Alicia Johnson and Carissa Utsch each stroked a home run. Johnson went 4-5 with a double. The third game featured Erickson pitching a complete game and batting 3-3 with a double and a home run. Thiesse, Johnson, and Ashley Rodriguez hit homers. The team, 24-11 on the year, is in the Minnesota College Athletic Conference tournament Friday at Sauk Rapids, hoping to win a Regional berth.

Big games this Saturday

The Central Lakes College Raiders swept Northland, 11-7 and 4-1, Sunday, May 2. Jake Serfling hit an RBI triple in the second, a two-run single in the third and a two-run homer in the fourth to lead the first win. Josh Janzen, Keegan Meagher, Paul Williams and Kyle Schaible all hit doubles and the Raiders defense turned double plays. Schaible pitched a gem to win the second game. After an eight-batter first inning, he retired nine of the last 10. He struck out four and allowed just the three hits. Saturday, CLC was swept by Northland 7-6, 7-4, committing five errors in the first loss. Schaible was 2-2 with an RBI, Janzen was 2-3 with a triple and an RBI and Serfling finished with a double, triple and an RBI. Meagher went 2-4 with three stolen bases and both CLC runs in the second game. CLC (5-9, 9-26) trails Northland by one game in the Division, with a home doubleheader vs. Ridgewater Saturday. Two wins would put the Raiders in the state tournament. A split would mean the final spot for state determined by a tiebreaker.


Central Lakes College will hold its spring commencement exercises next week. More than 950 students have applied for graduation. Students completing programs at the Brainerd campus will be recognized on Wed., May 12 at 7 p.m. in a ceremony to be held in the gymnasium at Brainerd High School. Students finishing programs offered at the Staples campus will graduate on Thursday, May 13, at 7 p.m. in a ceremony scheduled in the gymnasium at Staples-Motley High School. Receptions follow both events at their respective campuses. Paul H. Anderson (far left), a Minnesota Supreme Court associate justice, will deliver the commencement address for Brainerd campus graduates. Dan McElroy, commissioner of the Department of Employment and Economic Development, is the graduation speaker for the Staples ceremonies. McElroy is also a member of the board of trustees of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system.