Jul 30, 2010

Energy job training

The Minnesota State Energy Sector Partnership has awarded 14 green grants totaling more than $1.1 million to train Minnesotans for jobs in energy efficiency and the renewable energy industry. Central Lakes College was awarded $99,125 in partnership with Zenergy, Jim's Electric Co. Inc., RetroGreen Energy, Rural Renewable Energy Alliance and others to offer regional short-term job readiness to incumbent and dislocated workers in energy efficiency and electric power generation. MSESP is funded by a three-year, $6 million U.S. Department of Labor grant to provide training, job placement and related activities in the energy-efficient building, construction and retrofit industries; the renewable electric power industry; and the biofuels industry.

Jul 29, 2010

'The Rock Farm'

“The Rock Farm,” a play about heritage, love, family, and the magnetic attraction of home, will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 5 in Dryden Theatre at Central Lakes College in Brainerd. The play was written by award-winning Brainerd poet and CLC English instructor Donna Salli, who is from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, born to parents of full Finnish descent still living in Wakefield. Her play also will be staged Saturday, Aug. 7 at the historic Ironwood Theatre in Ironwood, Mich. “The Rock Farm” is a play about the Finnish-American culture of the Upper Peninsula. The story focuses on a family of women anxiously awaiting the safe arrival of other family members during a horrific snowstorm. Director Patrick Spradlin has assembled a local cast that includes Meredith Bjorkquist of Crosslake, who plays Raija; Dwana Paplow of Brainerd as Ann; Lydia Hawley of Emily portraying Sarah; Audra Albrecht of Brainerd as Carolyn; and Meagan Kedrowski, CLC alum now performing with Moorhead’s Strawhat Players, who will perform the role of Helmi. Tickets for the CLC production on August 5 are available at the door on the night of performance, and cost $5 general admission seating.

Jul 27, 2010

Energy and Hort Day

The Central Lakes College Agricultural and Energy Center at Staples will host Energy and Horticulture Day on Thursday, Aug. 12. The event starts at 2 p.m. with a free energy crop tour and bio-diesel presentations by Robert Schafer, director of the center. Oilseed and bio-diesel crop production will be discussed at 3 p.m. At 5:15 p.m., a dinner featuring local foods will be followed by Horticulture presentations. The cost for the evening program and dinner is $10. Experts such as Chef Tom Kavanaugh (pictured) will discuss garden-fresh meals, Minnesota vineyards, raised-bed gardening, hoop-house food production, and the benefits of backyard birds. Register by calling 218-894-5161 or e-mailing dbreneman@clcmn.edu.

Jul 26, 2010

Fall term starts Aug. 23

Central Lakes College in Brainerd and Staples will start the 2010-11 academic year on Monday, Aug. 23 with a fourth straight year of enrollment growth. As the first day approaches, nearly 3,400 students are registered, including nearly 2,200 full-time (at least 12 credits). Almost 2,400 enrolled for the fall term are returning students. That is about 7 percent ahead of the same point last year. Physical changes to the campuses include the creation of a Brainerd campus 48-person computer lab as part of a mathematics curriculum change, remodeling to create a larger capacity and technology-equipped classroom, new air handlers, high-traffic carpeting, and gymnasium improvements. The Staples campus has a state-of-the-art Videography Production lab equipped with cutting-edge tools. Chalberg Theatre on the Brainerd campus is to re-open in October with new seating, technology, and other updates. Among those working on technology upgrades for classrooms and other facilities is Scott Streed (pictured), director of technology services at CLC.

Jul 22, 2010

Candidate visits

Mark Dayton, a DFL candidate for governor of Minnesota, stopped by the Brainerd campus of Central Lakes College Thursday, July 22. He toured part of the campus and witnessed an EZ Enrollment Day at which nearly 130 new students registered for the fall semester that starts Aug. 23. Over the lunch hour he addressed a gathering of college employees, mostly members of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). He focused on educational issues facing the state and policies that he would implement or alter. He discussed biofuels research being done at the Central Lakes Ag and Energy Center near Staples and reiterated his stance on making the wealthiest Minnesotans pay their fair share -- the same tax rate as lower income citizens -- as part of the plan to reduce the state budget deficit. Dayton is a former U.S. senator and held state office under previous DFL governships. He is on the Aug. 10 primary ballot seeking the right to campaign in the general election held in November.

Jul 21, 2010

American Indian veterans invited

The Central Lakes College Veterans’ Resource Center in Brainerd on Tuesday, July 27, will host an afternoon for American Indian military veterans, spouses and their dependents. The event is for anyone interested in exploring higher education and educational benefits that are available through military education programs. Veterans and their families will meet in C226, which is the Veterans’ Resource Center at Central Lakes College, from noon to 4 p.m. Following a light lunch, guests will receive a tour of the campus, and a presentation about the programs and services available to veterans, spouses and dependents. Staff from the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs Higher Education Program and Veterans Upward Bound will be available to provide one-to-one guidance to explore education benefits. Staff from Central Lakes College will be available to provide additional assistance. For information, contact Deb Dewey, Veterans’ Resource Center civic engagement coordinator, at 218-855-8279 or email at ddewey@clcmn.edu

Jul 15, 2010

Animal-friendly campus

A Brainerd Eagle Scout candidate is making the Central Lakes College campus in Brainerd animal-friendly. Joshua Hofmann has built 13 homes for birds and small mammals on the 121-acre campus near the Mississippi River. The sites range from small and close to the ground for Orchard Mason bees to a rooftop pad for the Common Nighthawk. The most time-consuming houses to build were the Northern Flicker nest boxes made of 2 x 10 lumber with inner walls offering horizontal grooves from top to bottom so flicker chicks can easily climb out. The nests sit about 12 feet up and at a 15-degree angle facing south toward an open area. Other houses built were two for Flying Squirrels, two for Robins or Eastern Phoebes, two for bats, and one for Barred Owls. Hofmann, 13, chose the animal-friendly campus theme for his Eagle Scout project. It is one of many steps to earning Eagle Scout status, which should be achieved by the time he reaches age 15. “I just wanted to do something that involves the outdoors and the animals that might find a good place to live,” said Hofmann, whose father Paul teaches in the CLC marine and small engine program. He is also a scout troop assistant.

SEaM Camp

Brady Dunham (right), 14, of Palisade and his cousin, Dylan Smith, 15, of LaPorte constructed a winning robot at the sixth annual Central Lakes College Summer Engineering and Manufacturing Camp. SEaM Camp is a week of entertaining education for grades 7-12, emphasizing hands-on work with electronics, motor controllers, mechanical drafting, manufacturing machining, and robotics automated systems. Held on the Staples campus of CLC, the camp concludes with Battlebot competition, robot hockey, and an obstacle course. The top three teams receive awards. Brady and Dylan excelled in all areas with their design of a well-balanced, maneuverable, and durable robot. Judges were impressed. Thirty-six youths participated in this year's camp.

Jul 14, 2010

Summer work

Central Lakes College has numerous remodeling and campus improvement projects under way this summer. The Brainerd campus is filled with the sound of workers installing heating and ventilation ducts, as well as converting classrooms to more efficient and specific spaces for new curriculum. There's also new carpeting in the first floor of the 15-year-old west wing and the older gymnasium-area north hallway. Hallway walls are being repaired and repainted. The gym floor gets a new logo painting, and there have been window replacements in the east wing. Many technology upgrades are also planned, according to Michael Amick, dean of academic and technology services.

New registrar

Nick Heisserer has accepted the position of Central Lakes College Registrar and will start in the position on or about August 4. We know Nick from his work as Assistant Director of our TRIO/Upward Bound program from 2004-2008. Nick also served as Interim Director of TRIO/Upward Bound during 2008-09, taught a full load of Business Management courses this past spring, and has co-led our successful non-instructional assessment initiative this year. He holds a degree in Social Studies from Bemidji State University and a Masters in Management and Organizational Development from the College of St. Scholastica. Nick replaces interim registrar Rick Kangas, who has requested a return to Counseling and other coordination and management duties upon Dean Judy Richer’s retirement.

Jul 1, 2010

Psychology partnership

Psychology students at Central Lakes College will earn bachelor’s degree credits at St. Cloud State University thanks to an articulation agreement signed July 30 by CLC President Dr. Larry Lundblad. As part of the agreement, the one-hour lab portion of an online St. Cloud State Psychology course will be offered at CLC starting with the fall semester Aug. 23. CLC, the community and technical college in Brainerd and Staples, on Wednesday mornings will host the lab for Applying Psychology. Four credits will count toward the university’s Community Psychology Bachelor of Science degree. Many students at CLC take courses in psychology. The study of psychology is an excellent preparation for further study in numerous fields such as teaching, health care, social service, criminal justice and business. Barbara Vesely, a Brainerd resident, is the SCSU instructor for the university psychology course, one of several she has taught each semester for 19 years. Already providing such opportunities with offerings from the College of St. Scholastica and Bemidji State University, CLC partnerships prepare graduates with the Associate in Arts degree for their junior and senior years at the traditional four-year institutions.

Facilities upgrades

The campuses of Central Lakes College, Brainerd and Staples, are dotted with construction zones as remodeling and ventilation improvements take place this summer. Here are some of the projects: 1. New Videography Production studio and Mac lab at Staples; 2. Chalberg Theater, where work begins July 19 to install new seating, technology; 3. Creation of a 48-person computer lab from 2 Brainerd math wing classrooms; 4. New air handlers for science labs, classrooms, gym, weight rooms, and Robotics; 5. New gym floor logo and wall painting; 6. New carpet and east-end windows; 7. New Brainerd campus weight room equipment; 8. Technology upgrades in classrooms. Much of the work is scheduled for completion prior to the Aug. 23 fall semester start. The theater renovation is scheduled to be completed by the end of September, according to Kari Christiansen, vice president of administrative services.

Moose conference

Dr. William Faber, a natural resources instructor at Central Lakes College, Brainerd, was on the organizing committee for the 45th North American Moose Conference June 23-26 at Voyageurs National Park near International Falls, and Central Lakes College was one of 14 co-sponsors of the event. Faber chaired a two-hour conference session entitled “Thermal Management and Moose Ecology.” Experts presented research about moose in southern New England coping with high temperatures, as well as a climate and range study of female moose in southern Norway, heat stress in northern Scandinavia, and a high-density moose population in Alaska. The conference also addressed climate change and forests in Minnesota, moose populations in Ontario, Wyoming, and Minnesota, moose parasites and research in Voyageurs and Isle Royale national parks. More than 130 from across the globe attended. Faber spent 13 years in Sweden and elsewhere in Europe researching moose while earning his doctorate before joining the faculty at CLC. Next year's conference will be in Wyoming.