Dec 29, 2011

Food drive

The Central Lakes College Foundation has been awarded the traveling food drive trophy as well as refreshments from the CLC Student Senate as the winner of the Fall Semester Food Drive. The Foundation earned this honor with a total of 162 pounds donated to the campus food shelf. "Collectively, with all the clubs/organizations donating we took in 335 pounds of food," said Steve Sabin, Brainerd campus senate president.

Dec 28, 2011

Pine River courses

Central Lakes College is offering two courses at its Pine River Outreach Site, as well as many more online. Introduction to Manufacturing, a two-credit class that provides a basic overview of manufacturing processes and opportunities, will be held from Jan. 31 to April 24. Practical Writing, a three-credit class, will meet from Feb. 2 to April 26, helping students learn to structure business correspondence, including memos, letters, executive summaries, and e-mails. The Outreach Site includes a computer lab that is open from 4 to 9 p.m. daily at 980 First St. North in Pine River. The facility enables students to take online and on-site classes from Central Lakes College toward an Associate in Arts degree. To register, call Admissions at CLC toll-free, 1-800-933-0346. Information is available at This higher education project is made possible by a partnership of CLC, Initiative Foundation, Cass County Economic Development Corp., and Pine River-Backus School District.

John Jorgenson Quintet

The John Jorgenson Quintet will be on stage at Central Lakes College Saturday, Jan. 28 at 7:30 p.m. for a concert in the Cultural Arts Series. Jorgenson, founding member of the Desert Rose Band, the Hellecasters, and a six-year member of Elton John’s band, is a pioneer of the American gypsy jazz movement. Since rising to prominence in the 1980s with the Desert Rose Band, he has performed as a solo artist and collaborated with other musicians all over the world. Although Jorgenson is well-renowned in the pop, country and rock world, gypsy jazz is the style of music closest to his heart. Jorgenson admits he is a “Djangomaniac,” His reproduction of Django’s playing was applauded throughout the world by many critics and the media. It led to the formation of the John Jorgenson Quintet. At a John Jorgenson Quintet performance, audiences are amazed by Jorgenson’s dazzling guitar work as well as his mastery as a clarinet player and vocalist. Whether playing his accessible compositions or classic standards, this band makes music that is equally romantic and ecstatic, played with virtuosity and soul. Tickets can be purchased at or by contacting the CLC Theatre Box Office at (218) 855-8199.  Cultural Arts Series information can be found at

Dec 22, 2011

Director hired

Deb Norlin, former Distance Learning Coordinator/Adviser for Southwest State University (1998-2007) on the Brainerd campus, has been hired as Central Lakes College Director of Career, Transfer and Placement Services effective Jan. 4. Announcement was made Dec. 22 by Beth Adams, Dean of Students. "Deb brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in career and transfer advising, job and internship placement, and academic advising," said Beth. Deb also served as SWSU's Assistant Director of Enrollment Services and Alumni Director as well as Coordinator of New Student Recruitment.

Dec 16, 2011

Club Olympics, tree decorating

The Student Senate announces the following winners from recent activities at CLC: Holiday Tree decorating - Staples Campus - Best Overall: Medical Assistants Club; Unique: Diesel Mechanics Club; Brainerd Campus - Best Overall: Medical Secretary Class; Most Technologically Advanced: IT Club; Most Creative: International Club. Club Olympics. Clubs had the opportunity to compete against one another for a period of 7 weeks. Each week an activity was held that was either academic or athletic based. The Student Senate voted to award $1,000 to the winning club, Law Enforcement; $500 to Natural Resources for second place, and $250 to Welding for third place.

Kids holiday party

More than 80 children of Central Lakes College parents enjoyed the 2011 holiday party on the Brainerd campus Dec. 14, where the Staples and Brainerd campus student senates coordinated activities for a festive and fun-filled evening. The party is held annually for all CLC single parents and their children. The party includes games, crafts, dinner, and a visit from Santa Claus. Thanks to the generosity of CLC staff and students, each child went home with a gift. "The Student Senate really looks forward to this event each year and senators are already talking about next year," said Erich Heppner, director of student life. Santa was Staples Student Senator James Deegan.

Dec 13, 2011

Student Services reorganizing

Changes are ahead for the Brainerd campus Student Services Department, according to Beth Adams, Dean of Students. Starting Monday, Dec. 19, office reassignments will relocate more than two dozen employees. "We are in the process changing our counseling and advising services model. After Spring Semester, the Counselors will no longer be providing academic advising services to students.  Their focus will be on developing and implementing retention programming and continuing to see students who are seeking personal and career counseling services," Beth said. "We are making significant changes to office assignments and  consolidating our 4 reception areas into one area on the Brainerd campus (the current Records/Registration, Financial Aid, Business Office windows).  There will no longer be a reception area in the current Admissions and Counseling suite and all students will be routed to the windows to make appointments or request service.  This change will provide us with a pool of support staff to whom we are referring as generalists."

Faber appointed to state committee

Dr. William Faber, a Central Lakes College natural resources instructor, has been appointed to serve along with 11 other new appointees on the Minnesota DNR Wildlife Oversight Committee. His term runs from Dec. 15, 2011 to Dec. 14, 2014. Tom Landwehr, DNR commissioner, informed Faber of the appointment. He said the committee is responsible for oversight of the Game and Fish Fund under Minnesota Statutes, section 97A.055, subd. 4b. The orientation meeting of the group is scheduled for Dec. 20 in the DNR Central Office, St. Paul. Faber will meet with Dennis Simon, chief of the DNR Section of Wildlife, and fellow committee members to begin working on budget oversight and management of game and fish resources. The New York-born Faber is a native of Fridley, a 1985 University of Minnesota graduate in Wildlife Biology, and has a second degree from St. Cloud State University, where he taught for three years. He is a moose expert who spent 13 years in Sweden and elsewhere in Europe for doctoral research. Faber is in his eighth year as an instructor at CLC.

Dec 12, 2011

Natural Resources Advisory Committee

The Central Lakes College Natural Resources Advisory Committee met on the Brainerd campus recently to review curriculum and internships as well as forthcoming faculty assignment changes. Instructors Gary Carson and Dr. Bill Faber conducted the luncheon meeting. Volunteer members include Marc Bacigalupi, Andy Carlson, Gary Drotts, Jeff Halverson, Mike Loss, Mark Mortensen, Pam Perry, Paul Roth, Ron Sanow, and Bill Schnell of the DNR, Phil Baird, Dr. John Loegering, and Dr. Dan Svedarsky of the University of Minnesota-Crookston, Jay Brezinska and Brian Dirks of Camp Ripley, Darrin Brezinska and Gary Roerick of the U.S. Forest Service, Walter Ford of Rice Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Jake Frie and Kirk Titus of Crow Wing County Forestry, Frank Svoboda of Svoboda Ecological Resources, Jessica Weiss of NRCS, and Steve Windels of Voyageurs National Park. NR instructor Kent Montgomery and Michael Amick from Administration are also CLC members of the group.

Dec 9, 2011

After-school lab

Twenty-four Staples-Motley fourth and fifth graders enjoyed two days of special, after-school learning Dec. 6 and 8 at Central Lakes College in Staples. Their teachers were CLC students in anatomy and physiology, whose service-learning exercise required them to provide stations demonstrating skeletal, muscular, and nervous systems. The CLC students are enrolled in a semester-long class taught by Ann Domagala, biology and chemistry instructor. They worked in teams to offer interactive exploration and measurable outcomes. The collegians included Michelle Herbst, Stephanie St. Hilair, Erica Munsch, and Becky George, Baxter; Meleah Holbrook, JoLeen Buchta, Laura Moore, Anne Holker, and Rachel Keehr, Brainerd; Alanna Tibbetts, Aitkin; Amanda Brown, Staples; Ryan Markham, Pequot Lakes; Jennifer Swanson, Upsala; Nanci Dupre, Royalton; Meg McArdell, Fort Ripley; Leah Peterson, St. Cloud; and Molly Anderson, Randall. Photos by Mark Slupe

Dec 7, 2011

Salsa for stress relief

The Central Lakes College Psychology Club sponsored Student Stress Day Wednesday, where club members provided activities and advice to alleviate stress just days before final exams. One display offered "the miraculous medicine of laughter." The club provided chair massages by Club President Casey Burnett, CMT,  color therapy, hand treatments, free cookies and drawings for prizes during the four-hour event. Meanwhile, a noon-hour stress-reliever sponsored by Student Life was a Latin American salsa dance lesson led by Carlos Solano of Costa Rica and Lori-Beth Larsen, co-adviser of the International Club. Stephanie Stine of Walker was one of the students enjoying this activity in the Multi-Purpose Room. Fall semester exams are Dec. 13-16. The semester break ends on Jan. 9, 2012 when the spring term starts.

College applications skyrocket

Applications to Minnesota State Colleges and Universities skyrocketed over a year ago during the first-ever National College Application Week, an initiative to increase access to college, particularly for students from groups underrepresented in higher education. Nearly 10,000 high school students submitted 15,600 applications to the 31 state colleges and universities, compared to 4,900 students who submitted about 5,500 applications during the same week in 2010.  Central Lakes College received 213 applicants during the period this year, compared with 73 the same week a year ago. “This initiative was tremendously successful,” said Chancellor Steven Rosenstone. “Collaboration clearly encouraged more high school students to apply to college, and we look forward to welcoming them to our campuses as freshmen this fall.” Each college and university waived its $20 application fee from Nov. 14 to Nov. 18, resulting in the colleges and universities collectively forgoing about $300,000 in revenue. Students could complete one application and submit it simultaneously to more than one Minnesota state college or university, a service that had not been available before this year. Gov. Mark Dayton proclaimed Minnesota College Application Week as part of a national initiative by the Council of Chief State School Officers and the State Higher Education Executive Officers.  The week provided a framework for high schools and post-secondary institutions to collaborate in a concentrated push to engage underrepresented students in applying for college and to highlight college and career readiness programs throughout the state.

Kinship kids

The Drug Awareness class that meets on the Brainerd campus at Central Lakes College received a Youth As Resources (YAR) grant to create a fun evening for the Kinship Kids waiting for partners. YAR is a program under the direction of the Greater United Way of Brainerd. "The CLC students chose this project to give the children a fun night with positive role models and show them that the dream of college is attainable, for anyone," said Jean Mershon, instructor. "The class organized the project because it’s so important to let kids know that someone cares about them and that they can reach their goals and dreams." The event was held in late afternoon-early evening Tuesday, Nov. 29.  Activities included basketball, tag and dodge ball in the gym with the men’s and women’s basketball team, a scavenger hunt throughout the entire campus taking the participants through all the different areas and programs available at Central Lakes College,  games, crafts and tie dye T-shirts. Donations from Little Ceasar’s, Central Lakes College Food Service, Mid-Minnesota Federal Credit Union, Affinity Plus, and Walmart helped to make it possible. On hand to assist from the YAR Board were Kelsey Binggeli and Julie Ashburn.  Members of the Drug Awareness class on hand were Molly Nelson, Skyler Shearer, Sam Erickson, Suzy Cavalier,  Jeff Grimsley, Adam Gunderman, Ariel Switajewski, Nicole Mason, Kelsey Schwartz, Jed Jaekel,  Michael Farmington, Kahreem Horsley, Robin Turner, Sophia Hotzler, Rachel Borgschatz, and Kaycee Nelson.To see images go to

Dec 6, 2011

Career exploration

About 225 students from five area school districts on Dec. 2 sampled careers at the Staples campus of Central Lakes College. At this Career Exploration Day each high school student could choose three, 30-minute sessions. The students were from Little Falls, Staples-Motley, Pequot Lakes, Pierz, and Pine River-Backus. CLC provided presenters on academic degree programs in photography, communication art, diesel tech, heavy equipment, nursing, child development, welding, robotics, horticulture, criminal justice, medical assisting, and liberal arts. Minnesota State Community and Technical (Wadena campus) programs represented were computer network, medical office, and cosmetology, and  a local dental hygienist covered dental assisting. Images by Mark Slupe can be viewed at

Steele Family Christmas

The Steele Family returns to Central Lakes College for concerts Friday, Dec. 9 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 10 at 2 p.m. in Chalberg Theatre on the Brainerd campus. This is a CLC Cultural Arts Series event. The Steeles are the First Family of Twin Cities gospel, soul, and jazz. Join Jearlyn, Jevetta, Billy, J.D., and Fred for a musical treat the whole family will love. Prices for The Steele Family Christmas range from $10-$25, depending seat location. Ticket details and seating charts are available at

Merry Tuba Christmas

The Central Lakes College Music Department will present its annual “Merry Tuba Christmas” at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec 10 in the Herberger’s court of Westgate Mall, Brainerd/Baxter. Rehearsal is at 10 a.m. in the Music Hall on the Brainerd campus (E471). All trombone, euphonium (baritone), and tuba players are welcome to participate in the event. Music and stands will be provided, and refreshments will be served after the rehearsal. “This is the 16th year that CLC has hosted this celebration of Christmas and low-brass music,” said Director Steve Anderson. "Come join us in making a joyful noise with our special approach to Christmas music. See you there.” For information contact Anderson at 218-855-8215, 218-831-3652 or

Rock & Roll Xmas Spectacular

On Wednesday, Dec. 14 at 7:30 p.m. in the Chalberg Theatre on the Brainerd campus the Central Lakes College Cultural Arts Series presents Rock & Roll Xmas Spectacular, a Las Vegas-caliber, multi-media, full-production show that mixes an eight-piece band with music, comedy, parodies – even a game show. What would Christmas be without Led Zeppelin? Jethro Tull? AD/DC? It wouldn’t be Christmas without the Rock & Roll Xmas Spectacular. Join an all-star cast of musicians as they rock their way through timeless holiday classics and bring new takes on hit songs you didn’t even know were holiday classics. Rock out to traditional Christmas songs played in a non-traditional way, with a tribute to the great rock bands of the world. Come hear what audiences around the state are calling the greatest (rock Christmas show) on earth. Tickets range from $10-$25, according to section. Tickets are for assigned seats. For full ticket details and seating charts, go to each event’s page at The Theatre Box Office window is open one hour prior to show time for rush seats if the show isn’t sold out. CLC students are admitted for $10. For information, call (218) 855-8199 or email

Dec 5, 2011

Students meet Attorney General

Central Lakes College international students recently toured the state capitol in St. Paul and met with Lori Swanson, state attorney general. The group included Carlos Solano Monestel, Costa Rica; Shanice Hector, South Africa; Nqobile Mahlangu, South Africa; Dennis Musasizi, Uganda; Swanson, Steve Wenzel (adjunct political science instructor), Karmila Seran, Central Java, Indonesia; Genevieve Avevor, Ghana; Erich Heppner (director of student life), Georgi Georgiev, Bulgaria; and Irshad Hussain, Pakistan. The students were given a tour by former state representative Wenzel. The tour included a visit to House chambers, where the students learned about the significance of the art work and how legislators produce laws when in session. The students also were also shown the Senate chambers and the historic former Supreme Court chambers. The group met with the Attorney General Lori Swanson.

'Winnie the Pooh'

The Central Lakes College Adventures ’N Theatre musical “A Winnie the Pooh Christmas Tail” will be staged in Dryden Theatre on the Brainerd campus Friday, Dec. 16 and Saturday, Dec. 17. Performances are 7:30 p.m. both days, with matinees at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Dec. 17. Adventures ’N Theatre is a young people’s acting troupe designed for performers ages 7 to 17. The 12-song musical tells the story of how a bear with a very little brain,Winnie the Pooh, and his friends help the gloomy, tail-less donkey Eeyore have a very merry Christmas. Actors include Andy Hopps (Eeyore), 15, Baxter; Abby Pratt (Piglet), 7, Merrifield; Matthew O’Reilly (Winnie the Pooh), 13, Brainerd; Andrew Smith (Owl), 14, Brainerd; Theodore Wadsten (Christopher Robin), 10, Merrifield; Justin Lane (Rabbit), 12, Brainerd; Luke O’Reilly (Tigger), 10, Brainerd; Sydney Stock (Kanga), 13, Brainerd; and Trinity Shields (Roo), 9, Brainerd. Members of the Rabbit Chorus are Emily Dechaine, 12, Brainerd; Emma Ferrie, 11, Brainerd; Lauren Forsythe, 12, Brainerd; Abby Larson, 12, Brainerd; Ahnicka Perez, 9, Brainerd; Kristen Schroer, 11, Brainerd; Lizzy Thurlow, 14, Nisswa; Laura Wadsten, 12, Brainerd; and “grandpa rabbit,” Nathan Shetka, 13, Pine River. For information contact Lamberson at 218-855-8202 or

Dec 2, 2011

Stand up

Carl Wilkens, recognized as the only American in Rwanda to remain after the genocide started in 1994, spoke in the Brainerd campus cafeteria Friday, Dec. 2, giving a one-hour talk about the courageous people who took a stand during that period when more than 800,000 people were killed. Wilkens is the former head of the Adventist Development and Relief Agency International in Rwanda. He is credited with saving hundreds of lives, aided by the people he befriended -- especially the calming, honorable older women of the region where he and his family resided. He is advising his audiences that even the smallest gesture that builds relationships can stop racism, bullying, and intolerance. Even a Facebook acknowledgment can counter forces that create chaos and destabilize nations such as Rwanda, where mineral exploration feeds the consuming world's lust for high technology such as modern communication tools. For more, go to

Nov 30, 2011

Blood drive

Brandee Stomberg, Menahga, was among the 80 people who gave blood on Wed., Nov. 30 in the Brainerd campus gym as the Student Senate-sponsored project for the American Red Cross attracted numerous walk-in volunteers willing to donate a pint of red. Brandee said her fellow members of the Natural Resources Club hoped to contend for the prize awarded to the campus organization donating the most blood. The club captured that honor. This was Brandee's first such donation, and she did so just because she knows there is a critical need -- and you never know when you yourself may be the recipient of this life-sustaining gift. The senate thanks everyone who gave during the five-hour event. We'll get another opportunity in the spring at the Staples and Brainerd campuses.

Senators visit

Members of the Minnesota Senate Capital Investment Committee, led by Chairman David Senjem (R-Rochester), were welcomed to Central Lakes College Wed., Nov. 30 for a series of bonding presentations for proposed projects that could be approved for funding in the next legislative session. Other members scheduled to meet at CLC were John Carlson (R-Bemidji), Keith Langseth (D-Glyndon, ranking minority member), Carla Nelson (R-Rochester), Sandra Pappas (DFL_St. Paul), LeRoy Stumpf (DFL-Plummer), David Tomassoni (DFL-Chisholm), and Chuck Wiger (DFL-Maplewood). Other projects scheduled to present requests during the stop: Cuyuna wastewater infrastructure upgrades; Cuyuna drinking water infrastructure upgrades; Paul Bunyan Trail; Backus wastewater treatment facility improvements.

Check & Connect

Ann Chouinard and Aaron Mertes are two new employees at Central Lakes College, hired for the Check and Connect disabilities support program. They are referred to as “coaches” who will work as part of a team that includes counselors, advisers, Occupational Skills Program and disabilities services staff, faculty, family members, and the qualifying students. Ann last December received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Work from the College of St. Scholastica after receiving her AA degree from Central Lakes College. Chouinard began as a C and C coach in May and she is a licensed social worker. Chouinard resides in Aitkin. Aaron earned his B.A. from the University of Minnesota Duluth after receiving an AA degree from Central Lakes College. He is a Brainerd High School graduate and had been employed at Confidence Learning Center, Pine River-Backus High School, and Life Support Services to gain nearly six years’ experience working with people with disabilities. Check and Connect is an initiative funded, in part, by a Transition Program for Students with Intellectual Disabilities (TPSID) grant for higher education. Partners in securing the grant include CLC and the OSP and disabilities programs at Ridgewater College, Willmar, and the Institute on Community Integration at the University of Minnesota. The Check and Connect program at CLC is an inclusive and comprehensive model for engaging and retaining students with intellectual disabilities in higher education.

Nov 29, 2011

Humphrey Center donation

A bow that once belonged to the late Pete Humphrey has been placed in the Skone Family Conservatory housing the Humphrey Center for American Indian Studies. LaVonne Danzl, whose late husband Bob had received the six-foot basswood hunting bow as a gift from his canoeing pal, Humphrey, recently donated the bow to the Humphrey Center so that it may be displayed along with the many other artifacts housed in the facility adjacent to the Jon Hassler Library at CLC. Humphrey had bequeathed his collection to the CLC Foundation in 1995. Bob Danzl died in 1999. The latest addition to the conservatory is in line with expansion plans, said Mary Sam, CLC director of intercultural services, diversity and tribal relations. “Our long term plan is to generate dollars to fund building interactive kiosks within the Center, a smart board for showing American Indian films and teaching for all ages, and a hands-on area that will allow guests to learn about American Indian crafts,” Mary said. Total cost of this undertaking will be about $45,000. Mary said the goal is to utilize the Center as a cradle to college learning and community engagement on American Indian issues.

To be a better teacher

“B is for Bully,” a new production by Theatre for a Diverse Population at Central Lakes College, explores the lasting effects of bullying. Designed to stimulate discussion, the show features student actors, including Amy Claypool of Bemidji (pictured). "I like being in this cast," she said. "And showing everyone that bullying happens all the time and it's not right. We need to start making some changes. I'm planning on being an elementary teacher, and I think this play is a great experience to learn about bullying. When I see it as a teacher I'll be able to help students. It happens way too much in our society. People are taking their own lives because of what's going on. No one should feel this way. People need to be aware...I don't have any acting experience, but I feel strongly the message needs to get out there. That's why I am performing in this show." CLC instructor Nancy Smith and members of Phi Theta Kappa honor society, will conduct a talk-back session after each performance. The show will be staged Nov. 30 and Dec. 2 at 10 a.m., Dec. 1, at noon, Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m., and Dec. 3 at 2 p.m., with American Sign Language interpretation. Joining Amy in the cast are Alex Schmolke, Garrison; Jeremy Boltjes, Brainerd; Ann Campbell, Fargo; Grant King, Germantown, Tenn.; Cassandra Patrick, McGregor; Dillon Pool, Rockford; and Bea Mitchell, Onamia. Tickets are pay-what- you-can, with a $1 minimum. Recommended ticket cost is $5. To reserve tickets call the theatre box office at 218-855-8199 or on the web at

Nov 28, 2011

Fall celebration

Forty students were recognized as fall graduates of the Central Lakes College Heavy Equipment Operation and Maintenance program at Staples on Nov. 23. Keynote speaker at the fall celebration was Andy Mack of Strata Corp., Grand Forks, N.D., a member of the Heavy Equipment Advisory Board at CLC. Zachariah Helton of Baxter and Tad Woessner of Fergus Falls shared Outstanding Student honors for their participation level and demonstrated teamwork. Instructors participating in the event were Andy Anderson, Jeff Klehr, Mike Kuklok, John Maleski, Michael Sams, Corey Uhrich, and Gordy Vierkant. Staff participants included Jeff Wig, dean of career and technical programs and Staples Campus; Pam Thomsen, executive director of the CLC Foundation and Alumni Association; and Nancy Schmidt, Heavy Equipment Operations and Maintenance program coordinator. 

Nov 23, 2011

Prize winners

Prize winners have been announced from the Oct. 27 and 29 Tour of Manufacturing in Brainerd, Crosby, Jenkins, and Merrifield. Elias Peterson of Aitkin won an Ipad. Mitch Treichler and Branden Spaid, both of Brainerd, won Ipods. Prizes were donated by Clow Stamping Co., Graphic Packaging International, Lakeland Mold Co., Pequot Tool and Manufacturing, Precision Tool Technologies, and Central Lakes College. The tour attracted hundreds of guests to five area manufacturers for an inside look at good-paying jobs and the training designed to put skilled workers into those local opportunities.The Bridges Career Academies and Workplace Connection along with Central Lakes College collaborated to get the word out to students.