May 31, 2012

Nursing accreditation

The Central Lakes College Practical Nursing (PN) and Associate Degree (AD) Nursing programs have always had Minnesota Board of Nursing (MBON) approval and Central Lakes College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. In 2010, MBON mandated that all state nursing programs be nationally accredited within specific guidelines that include Candidacy status by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission, Inc. (NLNAC). Schools have until Jan. 1, 2016 to either have accreditation or be candidates for it. CLC is on track, with Candidacy status attained and a visit from the NLNAC review team planned for August of 2013. "We have every expectation of being accredited well before the deadline," said Connie Frisch, director of nursing at CLC. The nursing programs at CLC -- PN and AD -- continue to graduate professionals who earned nursing licensure at a high, first-pass rate of about 90 percent. That is above the state average. Including instructors in the Nursing Assistant program, CLC offers a qualified faculty of 24 plus an equally qualified lab coordinator with nursing credentials.

May 30, 2012

Bergman article published

Greg Bergman, director of the North Central Minnesota Small Business Development Center at Central Lakes College, Brainerd, is the author of an article published in the 2012 Spring/Summer issue of Community College Entrepreneurship magazine. The feature relates development of a successful Pierz-based business which drew upon the expertise of SBDC counselors and others to assist with a sunflower oil processing operation. "Future Looks Sunny for Minnesota Entrepreneur Team" tells of the work by entrepreneurs Tom and Jenni Smude, who recently received a $298,500 grant from the USDA to be used for planning and marketing. Smude's Natural Sunflower Oil is produced from high oleic sunflower seeds and provides healthy cooking oil with zero trans-fat, high in "good" monounsaturated fat, and low in polyunsaturated fat. "The oil is really catching on with consumers," writes Greg (center with Tom Smude and SBDC consultant Julie Anderholm).

Instructor named

Mandi Yliniemi of Merrifield has accepted the full-time Communication Art and Design instructor position at Central Lakes College. She had been an interim instructor the past two years. Mandi is a graduate of the program and Photographic Imaging (2000) who has professional experience with Consolidated Telephone Co., Range Printing, Lake Country Journal magazine, The Johnson Group Marketing, and Russell & Herder Advertising. She is a multiple Gold and Silver ADDY Award winner as well as an honoree in the National Credit Union Marketing competition and Minnesota Book Awards for best interior book design.

College Drive closure

Anderson Brothers Construction Company of Brainerd has informed the City of Brainerd that construction on College Drive is progressing according to schedule. The project includes the shifting of traffic from College Drive to Mississippi Parkway in the area of the Central Lakes College between the intersections of Mississippi Parkway and SW Fourth Street. College Drive will be closed between these intersections but local access will be maintained to Southwest Eighth Street. Also note that parking on Mississippi Parkway be not be allowed until traffic is restored to College Drive. The Closure will begin at 7AM on Monday, June 4th and will go into July. 

May 25, 2012

McCalla honored

Central Lakes College Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Kelly B. McCalla, has been selected as the 2011-2012 Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Outstanding Academic and Student Affairs Administrator.  The award recognizes an administrator at one of the system’s 31 colleges and universities spread across 54 campuses statewide.   The recipient is selected by peer campus and system administrators based on a series of criteria including innovation, leadership and effectiveness.

May 24, 2012

Transition camp

Central Lakes College, Brainerd and Staples, recently hosted about 50 high school seniors for the Mille Lacs Area Senior High School Transition Camp. The students attended mini-sessions that included interactive dialogue on the following topics with the following experts:
1.      Diversity – discrimination policies, Mary Sam.
2.      Transition -- Lane Beauvais.
3.      Advising -- navigating through the college system, Jane Vogt.
4.      Financial Aid – what do you need to know, Mike Barnaby.
5.      Student Life  -- clubs, activities, sports, fine arts, Erich Heppner.
6.      College/University Communication Systems/Online D2L, e-services, e-mail; why you should stay connected, Julie Jo Larson.
7.      Disability -- reasonable accommodations, supportive services, Aaron Mertes.
8.      Admissions -- career exploration, registration processes, online learning, Rose Tretter.

May 23, 2012

CLC student to AF Academy

Jeremiah Hoffman’s smile speaks volumes, his braces glistening and eyes bright as he describes the thrill of soaring with eagles. The glider’s 60-foot wingspan and warm summer thermals lift the young pilot above a rare panorama of southern Minnesota landscape. “It’s a fantastic experience, to ride from 3,000 feet to 6,000 and sometimes see eagles up there with me,” said the Brainerd teen of his 40 glider flights provided as part of a summer academy offered at Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, through the Civil Air Patrol. At 18, the Central Lakes College student is flying high academically, having been a National Merit Finalist and studied his way to perfect grades. This while serving as commander of the Brainerd Civil Air Patrol squadron.

May 21, 2012

Live radio show at CLC

THE GREAT NORTHERN RADIO SHOW JUNE 16 IN BRAINERD -- KAXE Northern Community Radio's traveling LIVE road show organized by Aaron Brown is coming to Central Lakes College's Chalberg Theatre on Saturday, June 16. The non-profit, grassroots station will be broadcasting and performing live from 5-7 p.m.  Join the fun! Audience members must be seated by 4:30 p.m. as the show is live. Previous shows were at Hibbing Community College (debut Oct. 15, 2011) and the Chief Theater in Bemidji (April 7, 2012).  To view those broadcasts and get a sense of the format, go to

Theatre auditions

Central Lakes College Theatre will hold auditions for its 2012 summer theatre production Tuesday, May 29 and Wednesday, May 30 at 7:30 p.m. in Chalberg Theatre on the Brainerd campus. Those auditioning may choose either of the above dates. Two shows are under consideration: 1.      the classic comedy “You Can’t Take it With You” 2.      an American theatre standard, “The Curious Savage.”

Water study for Camp Ripley

Three Central Lakes College Natural Resources students and an instructor have completed water quality assessments for Camp Ripley Military Training Center. The 2011 monitoring report was prepared for the Department of Military Affairs by Michelle Dickson, Pine River; Blake Quick, Hackensack; and Brian Steffen, Little Falls. Instructor Kent Montgomery, who is working to develop a freshwater studies emphasis in the CLC Natural Resources program, helped direct the activity.

Health care forum

A free public forum examining cost efficiency and accountability in Minnesota’s health care delivery system will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Monday, May 21 at Central Lakes College, Brainerd. It will be hosted by the Gordon Rosenmeier Center for State and Local Government at CLC. The forum will focus on three questions: As premiums keep rising, can health care delivery ever become affordable again for most consumers, should there be better accountability for how premium dollars are spent, and can financing health care be less complicated?

May 18, 2012

Vice chancellor visits

Douglas Knowlton, the new MnSCU vice chancellor for academic and student affairs, visited Central Lakes College yesterday. He met with several deans and directors and toured the campuses in Brainerd and Staples. Knowlton had been president of Dakota State University in Madison, S.D. since 2004 and earlier was vice chancellor for academic affairs and a tenured professor at the University of Minnesota, Crookston. He also has been chair of special education and the Department of Teaching and Learning and associate professor of special education at the University of North Dakota; a faculty member at UND’s Conflict Resolution Center; director of child evaluation and treatment at the UND Medical Center Rehabilitation Hospital; and a consulting psychologist at the Minnesota Health Department. He has served on what was the Minnesota State Board of Technical Colleges and the Minnesota Higher Education Board before the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities began operations in 1995. Knowlton holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Denver, a master's in psychology, and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, both from the University of North Dakota.

May 17, 2012

Book to be published

David MacArthur, director of auxiliary services at Central Lakes College, has been notified that his first book will be published by North Star Press. The scheduled release date is June 2. "The Day the Water Tower Froze and Other Stories From My Days With the Mille Lacs Band" was accepted earlier this year. David said he was "very lucky," in that many prospective authors make several submissions and shop their ideas around before publishers commit to publication. David spent over 15 years working at the Mille Lacs Reservation in various capacities. He began in 1994 shortly after casino gaming came to Mille Lacs. David’s insight as a Native American, a registered member of the White Earth Band of Ojibwa, coincides if not collides with the stories he shares and the learning of his own previously unknown heritage. His poignant stories of people and events are delivered in a heartfelt manner and many times with humor. He began working at CLC four years.

May 16, 2012

Joe Plut honored

The performance of an imitator was the highlight of yesterday's tribute to retired Central Lakes College instructor Joe Plut. Midway through the program, a near-perfect imposter waddled to the podium looking and sounding distinctly like the Mad Hugger in his Creative Communication classroom days. As Joe would say, he was "very amused" by this "grand" gesture. It was a "mesmerizing" performance by friend and former colleague Larry Kellerman, college librarian. The hilarious parody captured mannerisms and idiosyncrasies that are exclusively Jot Plut.

May 15, 2012

Conference on Aging

“The Magic of Health and Happiness” is the theme of the thirty-first Conference on Aging Wednesday, June 6 on the Staples campus of Central Lakes College from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. This event will offer a day of health, wellness and fun for the 55+ population in Central Minnesota. More than 30 organizations and agencies will display relevant products and services throughout the day. Attendees will also enjoy breakfast and lunch, various health and wellness breakout sessions, musical entertainment, and door prizes.

Illustration published

Chris Smith of Aitkin, a Central Lakes College student in Communication Art and Design (CAD), had his illustration chosen for a Lake County Journal essay called “The Whole Tooth” published in the March/April 2012 edition. He earned $50 for the effort, a collaboration between the magazine and the CLC program. Students were assigned the task to create the visual component for the essay by Kathy Schroeder that appears on page 18. The project fits a program objective: relevant, high-impact, effective communication. Smith said he discovered a passion for art after experiencing Photoshop and drawing programs, all part of the CAD toolbox aimed at graphic design careers for graduates. “I’m leaning toward being an illustrator and working with the arts side of things,” Chris said.

May 14, 2012

15 retirees honored

Central Lakes College honored 15 retirees at its 2012 Employee Recognition Event Friday in Chalberg Theatre on the Brainerd campus, where each year a ceremony also pays tribute to employees with longevity of service ranging from 10 to 35 years. Retirees this year have a combined 329 years of service, an average of nearly 22 years in education at the community and technical college. They are Larry Kellerman, librarian, 36 years; Gary Carson (shown), natural resources instructor, 34 years; Charlotte Daniels, admissions director, 27 years; Bonnie Meacham, library technician, 23 years; Susan Bentley McCahan, philosophy/women’s studies, 23 years; Kay Mueller, Staples campus bookstore manager, 22 years; Michelle Sakry-Winkelman, music instructor, 22 years; Debra Mertens, maintenance worker, 21 years; Kathryn Blake, mathematics instructor, 21 years; Patricia Heikes, art/biology instructor, 21 years; Robert Hanson, customized training representative, 20 years; Susan Harlander, human resources assistant, 20 years; Daniel Gunderson, diesel and heavy equipment technician instructor, 17 years; Jean Mershon, customized training representative, 13 years; and Nancy Meyer, nursing instructor, 10 years. Kellerman, Carson, Sakry-Winkelman, and Gunderson are returning part-time in the fall. Mershon now teaches health courses and assists in grant writing at CLC. Images:

Politics program Thursday

Whether the political process fascinates you or frustrates you, plan to join us for this informative and educational presentation led by professor of political science Matt Lindstrom. “The 2012 Elections: Who is Involved. What’s at Stake” will be held at 7 pm Thursday, May 17 in Room E354 at Central Lakes College – Brainerd Campus. Lindstrom is the Edward L. Henry professor of political science at St. John’s University/College of St. Benedict and the director of the Eugene J. McCarthy Center for Public Policy and Civic Engagement. He is co-director of the CSB/SJU Washington, D.C., Summer Study Program and co-director of the CSB Marie and Robert Jackson Fellows Program. He has edited and authored two books and one encyclopedia including Encyclopedia of the U.S. Government and the Environment; The National Environmental Policy Act; and Suburban Sprawl: Culture, Ecology, and Politics. Cost to attend this event is $5 for non-members or free for those with a Center for Lifelong Learning membership. Pre-registration is recommended and can be made by calling Bev at 218-855-8118.

May 11, 2012


About 320 Central Lakes College students from the Brainerd campus were honored as they attended the two-hour, 12-minute commencement ceremony last night at Brainerd High School's gymnasium. Special recognition was accorded to the first two Honors AA degree graduates, Julie Jo Larson and Margaret Tiede, as well as international students, state student leader Steve Sabin, 15 retiring employees, state-honored instructors Steve Anderson and Martha Kuehn, and President Larry Lundblad of CLC for his national award from Phi Theta Kappa. The ceremony was videotaped for airing on local public access channels. Images from both Brainerd and Staples commencements may be viewed at

May 10, 2012

Program changes

Central Lakes College has withdrawn its acceptance of a grant for the 2012-13 academic year to host students from Central American and the Caribbean. Originally the college was to receive 18 students  in August.  These students would have had minimal or no English skills, necessitating an all-out English immersion program for them. CLC was not quite ready, so the $604,000 grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) will be voided. Administration remains hopeful that, once groundwork is laid for such a project, the college would once again be considered. The college continues to be a participant in the Community College for International Development program, which annually provides eight or nine international students with a one-year experience. Meanwhile, progress continues toward establishing a Global Studies emphasis within the Associate in Arts degree at CLC. The Academic Affairs and Standards Council at CLC has approved this emphasis for implementation in the fall. Other emphasis AA degrees approved are Military Studies and American Indian Studies. CLC also will be offering an Associate in Applied Science degree ion Special Education and a Medical Assistant AAS. "These new degrees will significantly enhance our offerings and serve students well here at CLC," said Martha Kuehn, AASC chair (shown). 

Slow down and be safe

The College Drive road construction project in Brainerd is moving along on schedule, but motorists and pedestrians are urged to use extreme caution in this work zone. The speed limit is as low as 20 i the most intense work areas. Otherwise it is 30 mph. Be safe everyone and have an enjoyable summer. The summer term at CLC starts June 4. A number of community events are scheduled throughout the summer for our Brainerd campus.


Approximately 120 graduates of the Staples campus of Central Lakes College participated in commencement last evening in the Staples-Motley High School gymnasium. Kelsie Engholm of Brainerd hugs instructor Dawn Michel after receiving her Medical Assistant diploma. Kelsie is the daughter of a student in the program last year. She is a single mother with two sons who has worked very hard to complete her studies while also being employed. Another 300-plus students of the Brainerd campus are expected to attend this evening's ceremony in the Brainerd High School gymnasium, where the event starts at 7 p.m. and will be followed by a reception for grads, family and friends in the BHS cafeteria. The Staples graduates were recognized for the following programs or degrees: Associate in Arts, Communication Art & Design, Videography Production, Diesel & Heavy Equipment Technician, Engineering Technology, Farm Business Management, Heavy Equipment Operation & Maintenance,  Machine Tool Technology, Manufacturing Maintenance Technician, Mechatronics, Mechanical Drafting & Design, Medical Assistant,  Nursing, Practical Nursing, Photographic Imaging Technology, and Robotics/Automated Systems Technology.

May 8, 2012

Distance learning

CLC President Dr. Larry Lundblad and Dean Jeff Wig were part of the ceremony at the National Joint Powers Alliance office in Staples today, where Colleen Landkamer, USDA Rural Development State Director, signed a symbolic, over-sized replica of the $405,991 check representing a grant to the NJPA for a distance learning project. The college will be heavily involved in furthering educational opportunities in 12 school districts as well as Lakewood Health System, Staples. The NJPA provided $205,000 in matching funds for the Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) program. Schools besides CLC connected to the system will be Browerville, Bertha-Hewitt, Pillager, Sebeka, Crosby-Ironton, Staples-Motley, Menahga, Verndale, Eagle Valley, New York Mills, Wadena-Deer Creek, and Henning. Steve Wenzel, former state USDA Rural Development director and legislator and now a political science instructor at CLC, was part of the college delegation to the project kick-off.

Veterans Career Exploration

Several thousand veterans are returning to Minnesota over the coming weeks.  The pictures and stories of reunited loved shared by our local media has touched all of us.  CLC now has an opportunity to give back to our veterans.  On Wednesday, June 13, from 4 - 7 p.m., CLC will be hosting a Celebrate Veterans Career Exploration event at our Brainerd campus.  The event is one of many being planned by the Brainerd Lakes Community to help veterans and their families through this time of transition and will provide planning and support that will lead to jobs for vets.

May 7, 2012

Beat The Heat Week results

The results of Beat the Heat Week competitions show that Central Lakes College students know how to have good fun with fellow collegians -- and the CLC staff. Erich Heppner, director of student life at CLC, provided the names of winners: Faculty and Staff vs. Students Softball: Faculty & Staff reclaimed the Dirty Cleat Award in a well-fought battle in the field of dreams. Disk Golf: Grand Opening Tournament winner was Joe Ellstrom. Sand Volleyball Co-Ed Tournament champs: Team Ramrod; Medallion Hunt: The Super Sleuth Winner of a $50 Super One Gift Card was Shay Samuelson, also known as The Saturday Night Fever Dancer; Flag Football Champs: Team Wolf Pack; Intramural Softball Champions: The Raging Bulls; Xbox Kinect Just Dance Competition winner: Ms. Sydney Wold. Pictures may be found at the CLC Public Information Flickr web site:

Tour de Staples

The Staples Student Senate once again planned a very well-attended Tour De Staples Freedom Walk/Run Saturday, May 5 at the Staples campus. The $500 raised this year is earmarked for the Central Lakes College Veterans Resource Centers on the Staples and Brainerd campuses. Results of the competitive run: Individual Men - 1. Wes Delong 18:25, 2. Justin Thorr 19:44, 3. Dan Bye 20:58; Individual Women - 1. Elizabeth Stokes 22:33; 2. Caitlin Roth 22:40, 3. Jackie Dahl 25:07; Team - (4 person total) 1. Team Stokes 99:51, 2. Team Robotics 108:29, 3. Team Sheyna 173:42.

May 4, 2012

Plants for sale

While the annual Greenhouse Sale was canceled for 2012, CLC students have still cared for thousands of seedlings and a number of flowering and vegetable plants in the greenhouse on the Brainerd campus. Lawrence Hernandez of Brainerd is one of those students spending several hours each week giving nutrients to encourage optimal production. The Hort students will have a limited number of hanging plants and other arrangements available for purchase in the central core area near the cafeteria and bookstore starting Monday, said instructor Jeff Dirks. These items will have prices with them, payable in the bookstore. Other products of the greenhouse will be planted across the campus ahead of the summer completion of the College Drive Construction Project, so by fall the landscaped campus will look as good as ever.

Presidential weld

President Larry Lundblad took a turn at the virtual welder in the CLC welding lab recently, where instructor Mike Reeser explained how the equipment is used to help students perfect  many types of welding. The Lincoln Electric Virtual Reality Welding Training System is used as a recruiting tool, secondary educator training tool, and CLC student assessment tool. It was purchased a year ago with a grant from The Minnesota Agricultural Education Leadership Council.

Musical, visual entrepreneurs

Central Lakes College honor students, Spencer (17) and Andrew Olson (20) of rural Emily are the subjects of a May 3 MinnPost feature "Rural Minnesota: A Generation at the Crossroads," by Steve Date. They live in a general store their parents bought a couple years ago, have been playing music professionally for over five years, and created their own recording company: Amerimine Records. Spencer has his own computer animation enterprise with some examples on YouTube. Andrew is a Pequot Lakes High School graduate and Spencer, a PSEO student at CLC, is a senior there.

May 3, 2012

Computer Tech showcase

The Computer Technology program at CLC today held a showcase for its Advisory Committee and CLC administration. Students discussed projects and career plans while demonstrating many skills they have attained from their course work with instructors. CLC President Larry Lundblad managed a little keyboard time and took a sneak peek at Windows 8, assisted by student Garrett Wedan. The new software isn't scheduled for public release until next year, but CLC students will be using it fairly soon in the Computer Technology career education program. Advisory Committee members from the community are Jeff Schulz, Angie Adams, Wally Bostrom, Colleen Huseth, Tim Kinnaman, Jeremy Klomp, Tim Larson, Todd O'Hotto, Bob Olson, Greg Parks, and Kevin Parrish. Instructors are Dar and Ron Houle, Chuck Lund, and Ryan Salner.

May 2, 2012

Beat the Heat Week lunch and stress relief

The Brainerd campus of Central Lakes College is observing Beat the Heat Week, sponsored by the Student Senate. The week includes Stress Management Day, which was held today, coordinated by the Psychology Club. The club provided chair massages and certified therapy dogs among other relaxation activities for students in advance of May 7-10 Final Exams. The student senate grilled brats and burgers and had help from the staff of the cafeteria food service to serve this free lunch to all students. Thanks to the sponsoring organizations for making it a rewarding day to be on campus -- inside and out. Good luck with exams, and congratulations to those graduating next week from Central Lakes College.

Faculty recognition reception

Joe Plut of Crosby, a retired Central Lakes College English and humanities instructor, will be the guest of honor at a May 15 Faculty Recognition Reception hosted by the CLC Foundation. The event is from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in the Jon Hassler Library on the Brainerd campus, where speakers will include former CLC president Sally Ihne, retired colleagues Ray Frisch and Evelyn Matthies, and retiring librarian Larry Kellerman.

NACEP accreditation

The National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP) announced today that Central Lakes College and 21 other colleges and universities in Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, and Utah have been granted national accreditation for their concurrent enrollment programs. NACEP accreditation validates the quality of college courses offered in high schools and ensures that the course content and student expectations match the standards of the sponsoring post-secondary institution.

May 1, 2012

Concert Tuesday

The Central Lakes College Music Department will present “By Request,” an instrumental showcase of what band members have chosen to play, at 7:30 p.m. May 8 in the Chalberg Theater on the Brainerd campus. This year’s spring instrumental concert will feature the CLC Jazz Ensemble and the Community Band. Featured jazz musicians to be featured in a six-song set are saxophone players Mike Bender, Crosby; Dominic O’Reilly, Brainerd; Isaac Armstrong, Pine River; and Chris Arvidson, New York Mills; drummer Anton Switajewski, Willmar; trombone player Steve Anderson, Merrifield; trumpet player Sue Kavanaugh, East Gull Lake; pianist Katherine Torbert, Little Falls; and guitarist Greg Botts, Pine River.

Geriatrics learning project

Did you know that the population of persons over 65 years old in Minnesota will more than double between now and 2035? In North Dakota, there will be move individuals who are 65 and older than under18. In fewer than 20 years, almost a quarter of both states will have celebrated their 65th birthday. Obviously, these statistics have important implications for nurses that will be practicing in both Minnesota and North Dakota.  Connie Frisch, Central Lakes College director of nursing, and Staples Campus Associate Degree nursing students Michelle Hart of Wadena and Autumn Urbanski of St. Cloud, attended a gerontology enrichment event April 13 in Fergus Falls, where they joined nursing students from 10 other college and university programs in western Minnesota and eastern North Dakota to further develop expertise in geriatric nursing. The 55 students expanded their leadership skills as well as their knowledge in geriatric nursing. Students had the opportunity to network with students from other schools and participate in learning activities that will contribute to strengthening their school’s curriculum in geriatric nursing. The event was sponsored by the Central Minnesota Area Health Education Center, whose mission is to strengthen the health professions workforce in Central Minnesota through collaborations with communities and academic partners that support life‑long learning and ensure a future generation of health professionals.