May 31, 2011

CLC to host international students

For the 2011-12 academic year at Central Lakes College, Brainerd and Staples, Minn., eight Community Colleges for International Development students and two Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals German students will be enrolled. They will arrive the first week of August and be welcomed by mentor and host families ready to establish lifetime friendships. The students are Carlos Solano Monestel, Costa Rica; Nqobile Mahlangu, South Africa; Karmila Seran, Indonesia; Abhirup Barua, India; Naresh Chunara, India; Irshad Hussain, Pakistan; Imran Samuel, Pakistan; Chanice Hector, South Africa; and Germans Antonio Brauer, Saxony; and Franziska Losch, Baden-Wuerttemberg. For information, contact Joan Jenkins, at 218-855-8263 or

Want to host a young German?

Central Lakes College is looking for hosts to accommodate two young German students for the 2011-12 academic year. The students: 1. Antonio Brauer, 21, a native of Leipzig who would like to study engineering and enjoys sports (especially rowing and jogging), politics, and aviation. He is eager to share what he knows of German and European culture and to understand American culture. 2. Franziska "Franzi" Losch, 22, of Esslingen, which is a southern city of more than 90,000 near Stuttgart. Since 2008 she has been an apprentice as a Management Assistant in Informatics at Daimler-Chrysler, where her duties involve pricing and product management of Mercedes-Benz truck parts. She enjoys swimming, riding motor bike, reading fiction, botanical work, and gardening. The two are participating in the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals, a scholarship program that includes studies at a college and a six-month paid internship in their career field. Hosts may be individuals, couples, families with children, and grandparents. Hosts can request a monthly stipend of up to $225, provide two meals a day, a private bedroom, and integration into daily life. Participants help in the household and participate in family activities and celebrations. The CLC contact is Joan Jenkins, 218-855-8263, or contact Beth Uding at 212-497-3512,

May 26, 2011

Grant for virtual welder

The Welding program at Central Lakes College has been awarded a $15,000 grant from the Minnesota Agricultural Education Leadership Council to purchase a Lincoln Electric Virtual Reality Welding Training System. The virtual welder training system will be used as a student assessment tool as well as in recruiting and as a secondary educator training tool, according to instructor Michael Reeser. It is an immersive, three-dimensional system featuring realistic environments and producing cutting-edge solutions to meet costly and growing training needs. The system is expected to be in use when the 2011 fall term begins at CLC.

May 25, 2011

Concert on the Lawn

The Central Lakes College European Tour Band, under the direction of Steve Anderson, will perform its 2011 Tour Concert on Saturday, July 16 at 6 p.m. on the south lawn of the Brainerd campus. The concert is free and open to the public. The band will depart on Monday, July 18 for 11 days in Central Europe with concerts in Prague, Karlovy, Vienna and Budapest. The 44-member CLC Community Concert Band will perform a program of Americana with selections by George Gershwin, J.P. Sousa, Morton Gould, Frank Tichelli, and one by a former member of the band, Jeff Liebsch. Audience members are encouraged to bring picnic dinners to enjoy while listening to the concert. There is ample parking along Mississippi Parkway at the concert site. See you all there.

May 24, 2011

SBDC donations

The Small Business Development Center based at Central Lakes College in Brainerd reports that it has received $11,500 in donations in recent weeks. The Initiative Foundation, Little Falls, made a cash grant of $10,000, reports Greg Bergman, SBDC director. “The Initiative Foundation has been a long-term supporter of the Small Business Development Center,” said Bergman. “They recognize the value of small businesses in Central Minnesota to our economy.” Mid-Minnesota Federal Credit Union has made a $1,000 donation. “We appreciate the support of financial institutions like Mid-Minnesota Federal Credit Union,” Bergman said. “They are great partners in supporting small businesses in our region.” Farmers and Merchants Bank of Pierz made a $500 donation. Bergman said: “We appreciate the support Farmers and Merchants Bank of Pierz has committed to the SBDC to help small businesses in our region.”The mission of the Central Lakes College Small Business Development Center is to improve economic growth in Minnesota by providing assistance to small businesses in order to increase the number of new business start-ups, expand existing small businesses, and reduce the number of small business failures.

May 23, 2011

New employees

New employees announced by the Human Resources Department at Central Lakes College include Ann Chouinard of Aitkin as the Check & Connect Coach and Curtis Pribnow of Mankato as a Law Enforcement instructor. Ann will work as a team member with the Check & Connect grant personnel, Occupational Skills Program staff, counselors, advisers, disabilities services staff, faculty, family members, and students in support of academic and social competencies. Curtis fills a fulltime teaching post in the Criminal Justice program starting with the fall semester. Ann has a BA in social work and experience in child and adult protection, life skills training, and housing management. Curtis has taught at South Central Technical College, Hibbing Community College, and Rasmussen College. He has a master's degree from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Paul Bremer has accepted the vacant college lab assistant position in Welding. Paul has a wide background in manufacturing and is also a former law enforcement officer. He has substitute taught in the Welding program.

Tour de Staples raises $700

The Tour de Staples 5K Walk/Run, sponsored by the Staples campus Student Senate of Central Lakes College, has raised $700 for the CLC Veterans Resource Center. Sixty-five runners and walkers participated in the May 7 event held near the Staples campus, where volunteers also received donations for the Staples All-Veterans Park. Ranging in age from 9 to 70-plus, walkers and runners either competed for fast times and prizes or enjoyed a leisurely pace in groups or teams for whom funds had been pledged. Everyone received a T-shirt and refreshments. The top 5-kilometer finishers were (men) 1. Wes DeLong, 18:14; Chris Hanson, 20:47; 3. Mike Cullen, 23:47; and (women) 1. Staci Schultz, 22:30; Carrie Beachy, 23:30; and Jesci Rydbom, 25:29. The event, which will be held again in early May 2012, was created to further substantiate CLC’s ranking as one of 31 military-friendly colleges. The publication G.I. Jobs provided the designation in a 2010 survey of schools doing the most to embrace American’s veterans as students. Tyra Osvold, assistant, and Dan Davidson, veterans representative, were pleased to learn of the donation on behalf of the center. Erich Heppner, director of student life, made the presentation.

May 20, 2011

Nash Faulk to Tabor

Central Lakes College basketball standout Nash Faulk has signed a letter of intent to play basketball next season for Tabor College, Hillsboro, Kan. Nash, a 6-3 guard from Howard Lake, averaged 16 points per game and 4.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2 steals, while shooting 45 percent from the field and 39 percent from behind the arc last season. Nash earned all-state honors last season as well as being named to the Minnesota College Athletic Conference All-Division teams for two years. Nash was named Southern Division Player of the Week twice this season while helping the No. 6-ranked Raiders to a Division title and 26-3 record. He excelled in the classroom with a grade-point average above 3.0 and twice was named to the MCAC All-Academic team. Congratulations and best wishes for continued success to this CLC alum.

May 19, 2011

Innovation of Year

The League for Innovation in the Community College has named Central Lakes College as a winner in the 2011 Innovation of the Year competition -- specifically the Agriculture and Energy Center at Staples. Every year the League honors outstanding innovations which have been recognized by member institutions as Innovations of the Year. These innovations represent capstone achievements and the continuing renewal of the spirit of innovation and experimentation upon which the League was founded. As nominated by President Larry Lundblad of CLC, the Center is recognized for applied research that continues as an initiative to explore energy crops (such as miscanthus, pictured) with economic development consequences for otherwise unproductive, dryland acreage. The national honor, which is to be acknowledged at the League for Innovation website, included a framed certificate for the individual team members involved in the renewable energy crop production effort. They are Robert Schafer, Ron Nelson, Shelly Johnson, DelRay Lecy, and Rebecca Best. The League for Innovation Award website is

Retirees honored

Central Lakes College paid tribute to 11 retirees at its annual Recognition Event May 13. The retirees are Russ Jenkins, 17 years, welding; Terry Fairbanks, 20 years, criminal justice; Shirley Johnson, 20 years, Staples information center; Gerald Goltz, 22 years, Staples maintenance; Lee Todnem, 24 years, farm business management; Marilyn Moses, 26 years, English; Donald Garey, 26 years, communication art and design; James Takala, 28 years, farm business management; Nancy Smith, 31 years, health; Constance Vieths, 36 years, medical secretary. A number of employees were honored for years of service, and Betsy Picciano was acknowledged for being named one of four 2011 Outstanding Educator honorees selected by the MnSCU Board. Images:

May 18, 2011

Scholarship runner

A few years ago if you told Central Lakes College Student Steve Sabin that he would lose 90 pounds, breeze through a 10K and complete both a half and full marathon, there is no way he would believe you. Today, Steve has not only accomplished all of these things, but he has also has ambitiously decided to take on running the Grandma’s Marathon to fundraise for a cause he is passionate about–MSCSA’s Leadership Scholarship Program. The goal is to raise $1,000 for the Leadership Scholarship Fund by the June 18 Grandma’s Marathon. Steve is very excited about this unique opportunity to promote two causes that he holds near and dear to his heart. “I truly believe in MSCSA’s mission to advocate for affordable and accessible higher education and leadership development. I also feel strongly about educating and inspiring people to live healthier lives. It is in these two causes that I have blended an opportunity to raise money for the MSCSA Student Leadership Scholarship and promote healthy living,” says Steve, who is president-elect of the Brainerd campus Student Senate for 2011-12. MSCSA Student Leadership Scholarships are awarded to recognize student leaders for their community service as well as academic achievement. Steve decided to make a drastic change in his own life after being inspired by Danny Cahill who lost 239 pounds on the Biggest Loser television show. After seeing Danny’s success, Steve was determined to lose weight and become healthier. In accomplishing his weight-loss goals and running the Grandma’s Marathon, he hopes to inspire others to do the same. Photo: Steve Sabin (right) with his wife Catie after running the Twin Cities Marathon in 2010. To donate:

National honor

For the third straight year Central Lakes College has been placed on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement. The Corporation for National and Community Service, which administers the annual Honor Roll award, admitted a total of 641 colleges and universities for their impact on issues from literacy and neighborhood revitalization to supporting at-risk youth. Of that total, 511 were named to the Honor Roll, 114 received the recognition of Honor Roll with distinction, 11 were identified as finalists, and six received the Presidential Award. CLC is one of just five Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system two-year colleges to receive the 2010 award. It is given in collaboration with the U.S. Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact, and the American Council on Education. Honorees are chosen based on a series of selection factors, including the scope and innovation of service projects, the extent to which service-learning is embedded in the curriculum, the school's commitment to long-term campus-community partnerships, and measurable community outcomes as a result of the service. Among activities associated with service learning at CLC are education and screenings at Community Health Fairs (pictured), Habitat for Humanity, Lakes Area Soup Kitchen, and Northland Arboretum, school-based mentoring, reading/math tutoring in local schools, and introducing the college and its programs to younger students in after-school sessions.
News release:

Computer lab at Pine River

Central Cass County residents will soon have a new resource for higher education. The Cass County Economic Development Corp. recently received a grant from TDF Foundation of Washington, D.C., to operate a computer lab at the new CLC Community Outreach Site in partnership with Central Lakes College and the Pine River-Backus School District. “The TDF Foundation is honored to be a partner in the Pine River project. It is our mission to bring broadband connectivity, education resources and innovation to the community,” Linda Nickell, foundation director, said. Cass County Economic Development Corp. Executive Director Gail Leverson said growing the educational level will make Cass County more attractive to new businesses. “We at CLC look forward to this being a great draw for students who want to improve their education using our online courses,” Larry Lundblad, CLC’s president, said. The CLC Community Outreach Site will be located at the Pine River-Backus former ALC/District Office at 401 Murray Avenue, Pine River. The grant will provide five new computers, one desktop printer, five MS Office licenses, software and a part-time coordinator to work at the site and assist students. The outreach site computer center will be open Monday through Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m. for twelve months starting in mid-August. There will be no charge for residents to use the site to improve their computer skills or take computer workshops. Online courses from CLC are tuition-based, although the coordinator’s assistance is free.

May 17, 2011

Softball season ends

The Central Lakes College softball team was two runs shy from making the NJCAA national tournament Friday, May 13. After sending the Region 13B tournament into sudden death with a 5-0 Game One victory, the Raiders fell 4-3 to Itasca Community College to conclude their season with a 21-15 record. Sam Harting pitched a three-hit Game One gem. She walked one and struck out one and Stephanie Neugebauer continued her power surge with another home run for all the offense CLC would need. Steph finished 2-3 as did Lindsey Fryer. “Sam was incredible,” said CLC head coach Greg Medeck. “Our bottom of the order produced some runs and Steph came through with the big hit with the home run. That really got us excited for the opportunity to continue our season.” Sam continued her precision in Game Two for all but inning. The freshman pitcher allowed six hits, five runs and two walks, while striking out two in the finale. All five runs came in the second inning. The Raiders rallied with three runs as Ashley Zimmerman tripled, Steph hit another home run and Alicia Johnson was 3-3 with a home run.

May 15, 2011

Student recognized

Clayton Lenk, a PSEO student at Central Lakes College who will graduate this spring from Brainerd High School, was recognized by CLC through presentation of a framed certificate thanking him for his assistance during the delivery of German courses. Clayton not only was in attendance for nearly each session of German I and German II classes this year. He volunteered to monitor equipment used in this unique delivery of German to students on the Brainerd campus. Their instructor, Ann Tuomi, was in Finland and taught using the Skype software system. "He made sure everything ran smoothly," said Ann. He assisted Karen Mertes with duties such as distributing and collecting assignments. Clayton and two classmates, Dr. Paul Carey and Larissa Anderson, had a common thread as employees of Essentia Health (St. Joseph's Medical Center). "Clayton was instrumental in assisting," said Karen. "At times the connection was lost and he was always there to get it back up and running. He was faithful in at the hospital and goes to school full-time."

May 13, 2011

Graduation held

Central Lakes College 2011 commencements have been held for a record number of graduates. Ceremonies were held May 11 in Staples and May 12 in Brainerd, with nearly 1,200 candidates applying for degrees, diplomas, and/or certificates. Commencement speakers were two Minnesota governmental officials -- Sec. of State Mark Ritchie at Staples and Attorney Gen. Lori Swanson in Brainerd. Student senate presidents participating in the programs were LaToya Ross-McRae at Staples and Tony Allen at Brainerd. Alumni speakers were Mike Vogt at Staples and Kari Frisch at Brainerd.

SOFTBALL: Raiders advance

Brainerd Dispatch 5-12-11
Sam Harting and Steph Neugebauer (pictured) combined their efforts to win two of three games Thursday and lead the Central Lakes College softball team to the championship round of the double-elimination Region 13B tournament Friday. Harting pitched three complete games while Neugebauer dominated at the plate, going 8-for-10 on the day, including four home runs. The Raiders face Itasca at 10 a.m. Friday and need to defeat the Vikings twice for the championship and right to advance to next week’s national tournament. The day didn’t start well for the Raiders as they let an early 8-0 lead slip away in the final four innings of Game One, losing 12-8 to North Dakota State College of Science. “We had the game in hand and we let it slip away,” said CLC coach Greg Medeck. Neugebauer was 3-4 with a home run and Dani Thiesse was 5-5 with a double. Harting helped her cause by going 3-4 at the plate. In Game Two, CLC held a three-run lead going into the bottom of the seventh, only to see Northland rally to tie in the bottom half and force extra innings. The Raiders bounced back to win 7-4 in the eighth. Neugebauer hit another home run while going 2-3 and Thiesse added another double to finish 2-5. Game Three saw the Raiders avenge their earlier loss to NDSCS, winning 9-7 as Neugebauer exploded offensively with two home runs and going 3-3 with six RBIs, including the game-winning RBI with a single in the sixth. Katie Boody added a home run and finished 2-3 and Hallsey Olson was 2-2. “We’re in the exact same spot as last year, needing to beat Itasca twice to get to the nationals,” Medeck said. Last year, the Raiders lost every regular-season game with Itasca and the Vikings took the first game in the championship series, ending CLC’s hopes. This year, CLC is 4-2 against Itasca going into the region tournament. Neugebauer as named to the All-MCAC team for 2011.

Pinning ceremony

Associate Degree Nursing sgraduates from Central Lakes College in 2011 were recognized at a Pinning Ceremony May 12 in the gymnasium at CLC. There were 44 from the Brainerd campus and 41 from Staples. Kelly Hemmerbeck was the stduent speaker. Instructors participating were Darci Goeden, Gayle Nielsen, Becky Gammon, and Vickie O'Brien, as well as Director of Nursing Connie Frisch. Special recognition went to seven Outstanding Clinical Performance winners -- Christina Biermaier (pictured), Asha Poepping, Krista Spizzo, Catherine Thorson, Carrie Koop, Jenifer Skaro, and Bethany Zetah.

CLC budget shortfall

By Jennifer Stockinger, Brainerd Daily Dispatch
Central Lakes College is projecting a $2.1 million budget shortfall in the 2012 academic year and the administration may cut two programs, reduce 10 full-time equivalent positions and raise tuition by 3 percent. CLC president Larry Lundblad said in an interview Thursday the $2.1 million in reductions or a 12 percent decrease of state appropriation, is a “worst case scenario.” Lundblad said college administrators were waiting for the Senate and the House to pass the higher education bill to determine what the college will receive in state appropriations. Late Thursday, the Higher Education Finance Committee completed its work to cut $411.1 million in funding from the forecast base, a reduction of 14.3 percent at Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, which includes CLC. Under the bill, MnSCU cannot raise tuition by more than 3 percent per year at the two-year colleges. CLC already had projected a 3 percent increase in fiscal year 2012. Tuition at CLC currently is at $147.09 per credit and with the 3 percent jump, it will increase to $151.50. The increase in tuition will bring in about $318,000 in 2012.
Brainerd Dispatch Photo by Steve Kohls

May 11, 2011

Student for 20 years

When he turns 86 in June, Lester Netley of rural Pine River will have been a student at Central Lakes College in Brainerd for 20 years. He never intends to graduate. He doesn’t keep track of credits, because he’s here for the joy of machining and enrichment. College Registrar Nick Heisserer reports Lester has completed 160 credits, the equivalent of more than two associate degrees. The retired machinist last worked a real job in 1988, leaving after 36 years with Northern Pump Co, a Naval ordnance factory in Fridley. By 1991 he had found his way to family property near Whitefish Lake in Cass County and also found the college. Within a year he registered for the first in a string of open welding labs. He splits his time nowadays between welding and a small-engine lab. Machines have always been part of his life. His tinkering continues to this day on equipment of various sizes, from a tractor to a one-cylinder Maytag washing machine engine. The 1930-vintage “one-lunger” has a fresh coat of green paint and may be long-gone from original purpose but has been mounted on other platforms to power such things as go-carts. What does he do at CLC? He helps younger students who are unfamiliar with some of the older, enduring machines showing up for repair. He likes attending what he calls “a highly rated college” and finds the younger students to be likable and willing to let a grandfatherly figure hang out with them. Such dedication warranted designating a portion of the welding lab as “Les’s Machine Room.”
News feature:

Youth actors to perform

Central Lakes College Theatre Department’s Adventures ’N Theatre will present Conrad Seiler’s comedy “The Clown Who Ran Away” Friday, May 20 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, May 21 at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the Dryden Theatre on the Brainerd campus. Adventures ’N Theatre is the department’s youth performing company designed for performers who are 7 to 17 years old. This is the story of Dodo (Molly Busch), the clown who runs away from the circus in search of adventure. On Main Street he meets many interesting people including Mrs. Frumpkins (Emma Ferrie) and her assistant, Alice (Madison Yeager) who make the best dolls in the world – life-size dolls that sing and dance, talk and do math. When the dolls are stolen it is up to Dodo to rescue them from two bumbling robbers (Matthew and Luke O’Reilly) with the help of Gladys (Lauryn Simonson and Emily Severson), a horse with perfect penmanship.

Faculty hires

Brian Miner has accepted the temporary full-time position at Central Lakes College for next year in Occupational Skills. "Brian has done an excellent job this year in the absence of Tammy Myran, who will be continuing on leave next year," said Jeff Wig, dean of career and technical programs and Staples campus. Brian has an extensive background in working with students with intellectual disabilities in both school and residential settings. Mike Reeser has accepted the unlimited full-time position in Welding, taking over the program from the retiring Russ Jenkins. Mike has been the temporary full-time instructor in the evening Welding cohort over the past two years and has been integral in expanding the program from a 32-credit diploma to a 44-credit diploma next year.

Faculty Emeritus

Retired instructor Dick Ashmun was honored Tuesday by the Central Lakes College Foundation at its annual Faculty Recognition Reception in the Jon Hassler Library on the Brainerd campus. Dick is a Brainerd High School and Brainerd Junior College graduate (1947) who went on the receive his doctorate from the University of Minnesota. He taught at Pine River and Brainerd high schools before joining the faculty of Brainerd Junior College where he remained from 1958-1960. Dick then moved on to teach Marketing and Business in Wisconsin and at the University of Minnesota. Dick has been a faithful volunteer, supporter and board member of the CLC Foundation since 1997. He earned a degree from Carleton College and spent nearly seven years in the U.S. Army. He served as an instructor and administrator for 26 years, including the U of M. He is also an Outstanding Alumni Award recipient at CLC. Guest speakers included Ray Frisch, Diane Scearcy, and Dr. Wayne Little.

May 10, 2011

Student YouTube video

Why is Central Lakes College important to you? Central Lakes College students weigh in with videotaped comments on the value of their educational experience at the community and technical college in a YouTube clip that runs two minutes but conveys a powerful message. With their short statements, CLC students demonstrate their dreams of accomplishing great things as graduates entering the workforce. "It is the collective effort by faculty, administration, and staff that gives us the tools to help us on our way," stated Steve Sabin and Toy Ross-McRae, respective presidents of the Brainerd and Staples student senates. The video went to several legislators who will vote on higher education funding. Replies showed appreciation for and awareness of education as part of the economic recovery. Supportive lawmakers note that higher earnings of CLC students and associated increases in state income expand the tax base in Minnesota by about $16.5 million each year. Some said they are parents of successful CLC graduates for whom the experience was essential enroute to employment. The video can be viewed at the following link:
News release:

May 9, 2011

Dick Ashmun honor

Dick Ashmun will be honored Tuesday by the Central Lakes College Foundation at its annual Faculty Recognition Reception in the Jon Hassler Library on the Brainerd campus. Dick has been very active as a member of the CLC Foundation Board, including service as president. He is a strong advocate for college education as well as numerous other civic missions that receive his time and resources as a volunteer. A Brainerd native, Dick followed his time at Brainerd Junior College in 1946-47 with a degree from Carleton College and nearly seven years in the U.S. Army. He earned additional degrees in marketing and business, attainign his doctorate from the University of Minnesota. He served as an instructor and administrator for 26 years, including the U of M. He is also an Outstanding Alumni Award recipient at CLC. Guest speakers at the 3:30-5 p.m. program will be Ray Frisch, Diane Scearcy, and Dr. Wayne Little.

Employee recognition event

Eleven Central Lakes College retiring employees will be recognized Friday morning at the annual Employee Recognition Duty Day on the Brainerd campus. They have accumulated 281 years of State service. They include Connie Vieths, medical secretary instructor, 36; Barb Cline, customized training, and Nancy Smith, health instructor, 31; James Takala, farm business management, 28; Donald Garey, communication art and design, and Marilyn Moses, English, 26; Lee Todnem, farm business management, 24; Gerald Goltz, maintenance, 22; Shirley Johnson, Staples campus information center, and Terry Fairbanks, criminal justice instructor, 20; and Russ Jenkins, welding instructor, 17. A total of 32 employees will be recognized for reaching 10, 15, 20, 25, 40, and 35 years of State service.

Softball team to Regional

The Central Lakes College softball team was eliminated from the state playoffs last Friday, winning one of three games in the MCAC tournament in Cloquet, but the Raiders qualified for the Region 13B tournament at Itasca. In the opening round at State, CLC lost to Minnesota West 12-1. Trisha Wippler had a double while Sam Harting was tagged for the loss, pitching all five innings giving up eight earned runs, striking out three and walking three. Sam also drove in the only run for CLC. In the second game, Lindsey Fryer blasted a two-run homer to lead CLC past Northland, 3-2. That win qualified the Raiders for the region tournament that is scheduled for Thursday and Friday at Grand Rapids. Sam pitched all seven innings and struck out eight. The Raiders were eliminated from the state playoffs, 4-3, vs. Rochester, which later lost to Anoka-Ramsey. Trisha slapped a two-run, first-inning homer. Dani Thiesse (pictured) went 3-4 with a pair of runs scored. Lindsey and Heather Zetah each ahd two hits. Sam pitched the third game, giving up three earned runs, striking out three with no walks over six innings. CLC next plays at 10 a.m. Thursday vs. North Dakota State College of Science. CLC is the No. 3 seed, and NDSCS is No. 2. Host Itasca is the No. 1 seed and will play Northland, No. 4 seed. The winner of the double-elimination tournament advances to the 8-team NJCAA national championship tournament at Rochester May 19-21.

Baseball season ends

Leading 3-0 in a quest for the first win of the season, Central Lakes College gave up four runs in the last three innings and lost 4-3 to Northland Sunday at Thief River Falls. The Raiders led 3-0 in the bottom of the fifth. Northland scored once in the fifth, twice in the sixth and won it with one run in the bottom of the seventh. “It was one of our best games of the year,” CLC coach Pat Held said, “and we saved it for the end.” Pete Lucken pitched a complete second game for CLC. The Raiders received base hits from Hunter Young, Jaron Hanson, Lucken, Ted Rohr (RBI single), Tony Madsen and Mike Gontarek. In the first game Sunday, Rempel, Adam Tautges, Tim Chandler and Madsen singled. CLC collected just five hits in losing 12-2 and 16-1 to Ridgewater in a Central Division doubleheader Saturday that was moved to Spicer since the field in Willmar was under water. Jon Rempel, Josh Edwards and Ted Rohr singled for the only CLC hits in the first game. Rempel and Rohr had the only hits in the second game. The Raiders finish 0-14 in the division, 0-31 overall.

May 6, 2011

Four hired

Central Lakes College welcomes the following people to employment at the community and technical college, effective with the fall 2011 semester: Beth Adams -- Dean of Enrollment and Student Services, starting part-time May 17 and full-time July 6. Beth comes to us from Lake Superior College, Duluth, where she had served as Vice President of Student Services since 2000. She earned her Bachelor of Arts from the College of St. Scholastica and Master of Arts from the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Sarah Jennisen -- Practical Nursing Instructor. Sarah has been a Registered Nurse for 10 years and has been teaching part-time at CLC as well as developing an online clinical orientation site for nursing students in collabration with Pine Technical College. Dustin Schilling -- Diesel Mechanics Instructor. Dustin has been a College Lab Assistant in the program and working as a Diesel Technician. He earned his AAS in Diesel at Alexandria Technical College. Heather Gangi -- Accounting Instructor. Heather is a CPA who has been teaching at Hennepin Technical College while working as a Senior Financial Analyst with Medtronic Inc., Fridley. She has bachelor's degrees in Accounting and English and is on her way to a Master of Business Administration from the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management.

May 5, 2011

CLC among 120 best in U.S.

In its first step to identify the nation’s best community colleges and award $1 million in prize money, the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program on April 25 ranked Central Lakes College as one of the nation’s 120 best community colleges. CLC will compete for the December prize by insisting on high standards for learning, college completion without delay, and serving as a training ground for jobs that pay competitive wages. The full list of eligible institutions can be found at Josh Wyner, AICEP executive director, said, “We must set the bar much higher than we have in the past. To achieve excellent student outcomes, we need to highlight our country’s success stories and learn from them so that we can keep reaching higher. Recognizing community colleges like Central Lakes College sends a message to others that aspire to excellence, while encouraging Central Lakes College to apply for the nation’s top community college prize. We need all community colleges to graduate more students with the knowledge and degrees they need to be successful in the workforce.” Central Lakes College and 119 other community colleges will be winnowed to eight-to-10 finalists in September based on how much students learn, how many complete their programs on time, and how well students do in the job market after graduating. CLC is submitting an application with detailed data on these criteria and will demonstrate that it delivers exceptional student results, uses data to drive decisions, and uses that information to continually improve over time.
News Release:

Greenhouse sale

The annual Horticulture program fund-raising greenhouse sale is under way today on the Brainerd campus, where Spring Greenhouse Production students in bright green shirts outnumbered customers by 9 a.m. following the 8 a.m. rush of early-bird shoppers. The sale provides funds to purchase additional seeds and supplies for the following year's use in the career education program at CLC. "This spring there is not quite as much variety as some years, but we have some new vegetables and herbs that might be of interest," saidJeff Dirks, instructor. Look for annuals such as impatients, pansies, geraniums, begonias, petunias, and more, as well as foliage plants, herbs such as parsley, basil, and sage, perennials, and vegetables such as tomatoes, and hanging baskets. The sale continues until 4 p.m.

May 4, 2011

Going to Disney World

Central Lakes College student Jeffrey Wuollet isn’t just going to Walt Disney World after graduating this spring. He’s going to work there. And he’s going to college. The Staples resident and Associate in Arts degree earner was awarded an expense-paid internship for the fall semester in which he originally planned to attend Southwest Minnesota State University, Marshall, to pursue theater arts. Now he’ll be earning credits as a Disney College Program cast member in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., which is accredited by the American Council on Education. At Disney, Wuollet’s role will be to work in food and beverage, multi-tasking as he fills orders using cooking equipment and performing many other tasks associated with customer service as part of a large team.Wuollet’s experience in theatre at CLC includes acting in “The Drowsy Chaperone,” “The Doctor In Spite of Himself,” and “When Life Hands You Lemons.” He also plays euphonium in the CLC Community Band and has enjoyed intramural activities such as broomball sponsored by CLC Student Life. In Florida during what is called the “Fall Advantage Quarter,” Wuollet expects to add studies in business management and entrepreneurship. The five-month internship includes classes as well as networking opportunities. He will earn a wage slightly above the minimum and pay only for textbooks. His award includes food, housing, and transportation throughout the massive resort complex.
News release:

Locks of Love

The second Locks of Love event at Central Lakes College is today (Wed., May 4) from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. the Brainerd campus. Locks of Love is a non-profit organization that accepts donated hair and resources to provide hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children under age 21 with medical hair loss. The children receive hair prostheses free of charge. To be an eligible donor, please have 6-10 inches for a hair donation. Cosmetologists providing the hair-cutting would like a $10 donation for each cut. They donate this money to Locks of Love. Participating are Panache Salon, Hair & Beyond, Nona’s Hair Studios, Halo Salon and Spas, JC Penny Salon, and Cabana Hair Salon. In addition, chair massages are available throughout the day.

May 3, 2011

American Indian Educators Summit

Central Lakes College is a co-host of the May 2 and 3 American Indian Education Summit at Grand View Lodge, Nisswa. This Minnesota State Colleges and Universities event featured a panel on institutional leadership May 2. Mary Sam, Director of Diversity at CLC, moderated the one-hour program, and President Dr. Larry Lundblad of CLC was one of four presidents serving on the panel. Joining President Lundblad on the panel were Dr. Earl Potter of St. Cloud State University; Larry Anderson of Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, Cloquet; and Dr. Richard Hanson of Bemidji State University. Their topic focused on "Closing the Achievement Gap and Creating Community." Several CLC staff were in attendance at the event, which winds up this morning following presentations by Dr. Anton Treuer of BSU, Carlos Mariani, Executive Director, Minnesota Minority Education Partnership, Inc.; and Dr. Don Day, Director of the American Indian Resource Center at BSU. Other instituional co-sponsors were Lake Superor College, Duluth, and Minnesota State University, Mankato.

17-7 softball team heads to State

The Central Lakes College softball team takes its late-season surge to the Minnesota College Athletic Conference tournament Friday at Cloquet in search of post-season opportunity. CLC swept Vermilion on Monday, led by Stephanie Neugebauer's three home runs. In the regular-season finale at Ely, Stephanie and Trisha Wippler provided the bat power with homers in the 14-6 opener, and Dani Thiesse joined Stephanie as a round-tripper in the 16-8 wrap-up of a Northern Division doubleheader. Sam Harting pitched all 14 innings for the Raiders (17-7), who have a shot at advancing to the regional -- and perhaps national tournament -- the way they're playing. The regional is at Itasca (Grand Rapids) May 12 and 13. The 8-team national is again hosted by Rochester Community and Technical College May 19-21.

Brainerd campus librarian

Pam Wible, our new Brainerd campus librarian, comes from the north central part of Iowa: Forest City, where Winnebago Motor Homes are manufactured. She qualified for IPERS, and last June took early retirement from the Forest City Community School District ,where she taught Freshman English for 21 years and then served as Media Director for the past 12. She was a co-founder of FCTV - the education access television project originating in the district in 1980. Pam served on the Board of Directors of the Winnebago Historical Society, Heritage Park of North Iowa, and the Forest City Public Library. She enjoys jazz, quilting, shopping, and traveling. She is a dog lover and is proud owner of "Tory," a standard schnauzer puppy.

May 2, 2011

Instructor to lead national webinar

Kari Frisch, an online speech instructor at Central Lakes College, will lead a one-hour, national webinar, “How'd You Do That? Tips and Tricks That Might Account for My 95 Percent Retention Rate,” on May 10. Kari was selected to be a presenter by the Washington, D.C.-based Instructional Technology Council, which recognized her high-quality online instruction and for whom she presented at a national conference. In 2009 Kari was named one of 29 Outstanding Educators by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees. Her online courses include interpersonal communication, intercultural communication, online social networking, introduction to mass communication, and service learning. Kari tracked her retention rates over two consecutive full-time semesters, and every class came in between 92 and 98 percent. In the webinar she will share 10 tips and tricks from her online teaching experience that might have contributed to those high results. She will highlight teaching ideas, best practices and even some course management tools which are transferrable to most disciplines. Most ideas can be easily implemented into existing online courses regardless of the course management system. The webinar is from 1 to 2 p.m. Central Daylight Time, and details can be found at

Cultural Thursday: Germany

Barbara Felix from the Bavaria region of Germany will present the next free Cultural Thursday program on May 5 at noon in Chalberg Theatre on the Brainerd campus of Central Lakes College. Barbara has been at the Brainerd campus through the year-long exchange program, Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals. She and Wolfgang Zollner are among 75 German scholarship recipients. CLC is one of 59 colleges in 32 states hosting the students. Barbara has education and experience in health insurance customer service, having worked as a social insurance clerk from September 2006 to July 2010. Barbara has been active in the CLC International Club, helping at the recent Celebration of Nations. She completed a month-long internship in Washington, D.C. and has been looking for opportunities to work in the Brainerd area. Barbara will share information about her country, its people, and the experiences she has enjoyed as a citizen of Germany. The public is invited to the program, which is the last of the current academic year and runs until 12:50 p.m.

Graduate earns state honor

Jennifer Perez, a 2007 graduate of Central Lakes College in Brainerd, has been named a 2011 Minnesota Trio Achiever. Jennifer, the first CLC graduate to attain the honor, received the award at the annual Trio conference in Chaska. Trio is a national student support program that helps low-income and first-generation Americans complete college. Sue Austin, assistant director of Trio Student Support Services at CLC, nominated Jennifer as an extraordinary participant who has obtained a college degree and is working within a field of choice. Jennifer earned a bachelor’s degree in social work from the College of St. Scholastica in 2009. She is a case manager for Lutheran Social Services, working with families to prevent homelessness. She said that Trio advisers kept her focused on a positive life direction to complete her goal of college degrees.
News release:

George Winston concert

The Central Lakes College Foundation presents George Winston in concet for its annual fundraising event at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Aug. 12 in Tornstrom Auditorium. George plays over 100 solo piano concerts a year in America and beyond, inspired by the seasons. These concerts feature a variety of styles, including his melodic folk piano, stride piano, New Orleans R&B piano, Vince Guaraldi’s Peanuts pieces, songs by The Doors and more. He also currently plays solo guitar concerts, solo harmonica concerts and solo piano dances (with R&B, slow dance songs and more). Listen to his new CD entitled "Love Will Come -- The Music of Vince Giraldi, Vol. 2" ( to get a taste of his musical style. The Central Lakes College Student Food Shelf will be the benefactor of a food drive during the concert. Please show your support by purchasing a ticket and bringing a non-perishable food item of choice to the concert. The proceeds from this event will go to a scholarship fund created in George Winston's honor; scholarships from this fund will be awarded to students who are active in music while attending Central Lakes College. General seating tickets may be purchased online for $25/ticket by going to VIP tickets may be purchased for $50/ticket by calling Pam Thomsen at 218-855-8129 or Jean Beckmann at 218-855-8135. VIP tickets include reserved seating and access to a dessert buffet held during the concert intermission.

Raiders still in the race

Trisha Wippler went 3-for-7 with a double and home run as the Central Lakes College softball team continued its late-season push toward the MCAC state tournament with a sweep of the Itasca Vikings in Northern Division play Friday. “Incredible defensive plays by both teams,” Raiders coach Greg Medeck said. “It was nice getting a couple of wins against a good team.” Trisha went 2-4 with a home run during a 7-5 Game One extra-inning victory while Lindsey Fryer finished 3-4, and Dani Thiesse went 2-5 with a double. Trisha collected her second double during a 5-3 Game Two win with Alicia Johnson finishing 3-4 with a double. The Raiders trailed in each game, overcoming the Vikings in extra innings in the opening contest before totaling four runs in the sixth and seventh innings of Game Two to complete the sweep.