Oct 31, 2012

Biofuels collaboration

The Ag and Energy Center at Central Lakes College, Staples, continues to draw interest from those pursuing renewable energy solutions for tomorrow while building the green economy of the United States. Recently the Center attracted a visit from R.T. Rybeck, mayor of Minneapolis, representing agencies and organizations and governmental leaders supporting current U.S. energy policies. He surveyed the marginal cropland on which researchers at Staples have begun to produce fuel and livestock feed from oilseed crops. Straight vegetable oil is already powering diesel-using farm equipment at the Center with plans to expand its use as a cleaner, homegrown source. Also, Lakeland Public TV
and the Brainerd Dispatch
have reported success from experiments in partnership with entities such as Anderson Bros. Construction and the Pillager-based Crow Wing Feeders.
CLC images: http://www.flickr.com/photos/58518185@N04/

Oct 26, 2012


The Central Lakes College Student Senate recently sponsored a leaf clean-up in the Staples and Brainerd communities for those in need. The Student Senate, with help from the Heavy Equipment Club and the Rotaract Club, raked and cleaned a total of 12 yards over a three-day period. This leaf clean-up included 58 student volunteers and produced a total of 251 volunteer hours, said Erich Heppner, director of student life. He gave special thanks to Steve Mau at Brainerd General Rental for donating the use of his leaf blowers for this project. A special thanks is also in order for the Horticulture and Maintenance programs at CLC for letting students use their equipment. A final thank you to Hoffmann Construction for donating the funds for the Heavy Equipment Club to purchase rakes for this project.

College Drive is open

The College Drive Reconstruction Project is essentially completed, making the road that passes the north side of the Brainerd Campus of Central lakes Colege into a four-lane, divided roadway. The project concluded today with a ribbon-cutting and remarks by key partners who have battled weather and other challenges along the way while coordinating this major effort to improve traffic flow and pedestrian safety. The crews from Anderson Brothers, Holden Electric, and numerous other subcontractors and public utlities have installed three roundabouts, two traffic signals, drainage, retaining walls, extensive sidewalk and trail improvements on the route that carries more than 15,000 vehicles daily, including a significant number of travelers to and from CLC. The project involved many long days and countless hours of design meetings, public forums, technical staff time, and visonary leadership. The communities of Brainerd and Baxter deserved the mplementation of the important link among residents, businesses, and agencies serving those who live and work in the area.
Images: http://www.flickr.com/photos/58518185@N04/

Oct 25, 2012

Rosenmeier forum

Wondering why we are voting on two Minnesota Constitutional Amendments this year?  Wondering what the process is to amend the state constitution?  Wondering what other states do?  The Gordon Rosenmeier Center for State & Local Government at Central Lakes College in Brainerd is sponsoring an educational forum on “Amending the Minnesota Constitution” from 7 – 9 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 1 in Chalberg Theatre on the Brainerd campus.

Commissioner presents

Kevin Lindsey, Commissioner of Human Rights for the State of Minnesota, today outlined aspects of two ballot issues ahead for voters Nov. 6. In a program held in Chalberg Theatre on the Brainerd campus, Commissioner Lindsey first provided details of the proposed Constitutional Amendment requiring each voter to present a government-issued photo ID before casting a ballot. He said that, if approved, it would be supreme law of the land with the potential to eliminate absentee voting, same-day registration, and discrminiate against the poor and Minnesotans with disabilities. And it would be costly for each county to put into place. He pointed out that Minnesota research showed that in the last general election there were only 26 to 113 individuals who cast ballots who were found to be ineligible, mostly due to their status as parolees who had been released from prison. They were not impersonators. He also addressed the Marriage Amendment, which would limit the status of marriage to opposite-sex couples by defining marriage as between one man and one woman. The Office of Diversity at CLC hosted the program.

Record gift: $1.145 million

When Jean Marie Porwoll, a 1969 graduate of Brainerd State Junior College, died of cancer in 2010, she left a legacy for female students of her first alma mater: $1.145 million. The Central Lakes College Foundation on Wednesday, Oct. 24 announced receipt of the bequest from Porwoll’s estate – the largest single gift in 75 years of higher education in the region. The news came during the Tree of Giving reception recognizing numerous benefactors of scholarships to CLC students. A medical doctor and for 25 years the director of emergency services for a Massachusetts hospital, Porwoll was a northeast Brainerd native of modest means and high intelligence. “This generous gift will mean more than $35,000 in annual scholarships for the education of women,” said Pam Thomsen, CLC director of resource development and the foundation.
Images from the 10-24-12 Tree of Giving reception: http://www.flickr.com/photos/58518185@N04/

Oct 23, 2012

Alum's business growing

Central Lakes College alumnus Tom Smude and the family business, Smude Enterprises at Pierz, were the subjects of a Business section profile in the Sept. 10, 2012 Star Tribune newspaper. The firm sells sunflower oil, and Tom also raises black Angus beef, works at a John Deere dealership, and owns a gravel pit and a company that builds steel grain bins. Tom, company president and CEO, has a Sales and Marketing degree as well as Farm Business Management, and over the past 15 years has been adding to acreage and production, all while diversifying. The compnay has 14 employees and Janelle Smude serves as vice president and chief financial officer while she and Tom raise their two children. Smude's Sunflower Oil last year had sales of $250,000. The products are available at Lund's, Byerly's, and Coburn's as well as online. More retail outlets are expected to be offering the award-winning, healthy oil. The Small Business Development Center at CLC has worked with Tom and Janelle to establish and sustain a business plan. This year's sales could approach $450,000. For information, go to http://smudeoil.com/

Oct 22, 2012

EZ Enrollment at Mille Lacs

Central Lakes College will hold an EZ Enrollment Day for the Mille Lacs Tribal College on Wednesday, Nov. 14 with check-in from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Mille Lacs Band Government Center. At this special EZ Enrollment the $20 application fee will be waived. A second EZ Enrollment for the Tribal College will be available Wednesday, Dec. 12, also with check-in any time between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Many students spend days applying for a college or university, taking placement tests, and getting help registering for the correct courses to suit their career goals. Central Lakes College EZ Enrollment allows students to complete the process in part of a single day. Everyone attending an EZ Enrollment event will receive personal service from CLC professionals specializing in Admissions, Registration, Financial Aid, and Academic Advising.

HLC evaluators coming

A review team from the Higher Learning Commission, a division of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, will be in Brainerd and Staples Monday to Wednesday. The team is visiting Central Lakes College to evaluate accreditation status. Over the last 40 years such visits to the local college have resulted in sustained accreditation. This is the concluding phase of a process which CLC last completed in 2002. Five consulting evaluators will examine the college’s self-study and assessment procedures, their outcomes, and solicit input from administration, faculty, staff, students, and individuals associated with higher education in the region. Dozens of meetings are scheduled to examine academic leadership and standards, delivery of education, use of technology, access and effectiveness of support services, institutional research, and relations with community, students, school districts, and the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system. The team will be on the Brainerd campus Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and at Staples Tuesday.

Rotaract chartered

The Central Lakes College Rotaract chapter recently received its charter as a collegiate-level branch of Rotary International. Anna Backberg of Brainerd was inaugurated as the first president of the club. Don Cavalier, district governor of Rotary International, installed the first set of officers and awarded the charter on behalf of the worldwide, service-above-self organization. Officers include President Backberg (shown), Vice President Bob Andrys of Pine River, Secretary Harlan Welsand of Brainerd, Treasurer Abdul Qadir of Pakistan, and Student Senate Liaison Shay Samuelson of Hibbing. Megan Heppner, a TRiO/Student Support Services adviser, is the club adviser. Rebecca Best, dean of workforce, economic and regional development, is the Rotary liaison. Club members this fall will be partnering with Brainerd Rotary to carry out the Reverse Raffle and volunteering at the Haunted Trail at Northland Arboretum. In the spring the club plans a large fundraiser and will be a partner with Brainerd High School Interact for other activities.

Lab assistant

Rachel Anderson of Pequot Lakes has been hired as a lab assistant for the Medical Assistant program at Central Lakes College, Staples campus. Rachel will assist during the academic year to set up and provide for the required lab supplies and equipment as directed by program faculty and help operate simulation technology that ensures a safe environment for skill building. As a lab assistant, she also will assist I recording student progress and ensure professional and ethical behavior. Rachel has been a Certified Medical Assistant at St. Joseph’s Medical Center, Pequot Lakes and Crosslake since 2005. From 2002-2005 she was lead CMA at Healtheast Clinic, Cottage Grove.

Oct 18, 2012

Administrative Assistant reinstated

As new and returning students enroll for the 2013 spring semester at the Brainerd campus of Central Lakes College, they are discovering another career education option: Administrative Assistant. The reinstated program provides a 60-credit Associate in Applied Science degree path, with a 33-credit Administrative Support diploma option for shortened training as a path toward entry-level employment. Included in the curriculum is a Microsoft Office Specialist Certificate that can be earned in just 19 credits through six courses. “Many of the courses within the Administrative Assistant program are Business, Management, Computer Technology, and Marketing courses,” said Dar Houle, an instructor in Computer Information Technology.

Oct 17, 2012

Veterans Farm Field Day

Veterans are invited to a Farm Field Day Saturday, Oct. 20 at Central Lakes College, Staples. The event includes presentations, discussions, a trade show of farming resources, catered lunch, tours, and a draft horse demonstration. Partners in planning the event include farmer veterans Mike Sams (a heavy equipment instructor at CLC) and Seth Connell, the CLC Veterans Resource Center, CLC Ag and Energy Center, the Farm Beginnings Program of the Land Stewardship Project, and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. Coffee and doughnuts will begin the event at 8:30 a.m., with an address by Sams and Connell at 9 a.m., a Land Stewardship Project program on “Assessing Your Farm Dreams” at 9:30 a.m., a farm resource trade show at 11:30 a.m., with lunch, tours of the Sams farm and draft horse demonstration at 1 p.m., and evaluation wrap-up at 4 p.m.

Tree of Giving Reception

The Central Lakes College Foundation on Wednesday, Oct. 24 will celebrate the generosity of scholarship donors whose gifts are enabling many students to attend the community and technical college in Brainerd and Staples. The Tree of Giving Reception, which starts at 5:30 p.m. in the Cube on the Brainerd campus, will recognize donors of significantly sizable financial gifts -- from $10,000 to more than $1 million. When scholarship funds climb to the $10,000 mark they become endowments, the earned income from which can flow directly to students eligible for scholarships based on a variety of eligibility requirements. The Tree of Giving can be found near the Brainerd campus bookstore, where Silver leaves recognize donations of $10,000 to $49,999, Bronze leaves contain the names of donors contributing $50,000 to $74,999, Gold leaves represent endowments that have reached $75,000 to $149,999, and Stone acknowledges the top level of giving: $150,000 or more. Speakers Oct. 24 will include CLC President Dr. Larry Lundblad, recent graduate Julie Jo Larson (shown), Foundation Board President Brian Kirkpatrick, and Viticulture instructor Dennis Emslie Drummond. The invitation-only event will be catered by Prairie Bay.

Educator of Year nominations

Nominations are open until Nov. 7 for a prestigious statewide college and university teaching award that since 2008 has included faculty from Central Lakes College in Brainerd and Staples. The Minnesota State College and Universities Board of Trustees Educator of the Year Award for Excellence in Teaching is an honor bestowed upon MnSCU faculty to acknowledge and reward exceptional individual professional accomplishment, and to encourage ongoing excellence, in teaching.  This award is intended to recognize superior teaching at our colleges and universities. The award proclaims, on behalf of the entire system, the Board of Trustees’ pride in the dedication and accomplishment of our faculty in providing instruction that prepares Minnesota’s college and university students for their professional, scholarly, and civic lives.

CLC seeks accreditation renewal

Central Lakes College, Brainerd and Staples, is seeking renewal of accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission, a division of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Since 1972, accreditation visits by review teams have resulted in sustained accreditation that ensures student access to education that transfers credits to baccalaureate institutions. It is seen as a stamp of approval with regard to grants, loans, and valued certification from employers. Accredited schools offer instruction from faculty who meet qualifications and set consistent and high standards for students, as well as policies supporting student rights. A team of trained consultant evaluators from HLC will be on the CLC campuses Oct. 29-31 as the concluding phase of a process last completed in 2002.
News release to media 10-15-12

Oct 16, 2012

Writing festival at CLC

Bill Meissner, director of Creative Writing at St. Cloud State University and author of "Spirits in the Grass"( 2008 Midwest Book Award winner), will be the keynote speaker at the Brainerd Writers Alliance Fall Writing Festival on the Brainerd campus of Central Lakes College 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. on Sat., Oct. 27. There will be readings, a round table discussion on publishing by local published writers, and a writing workshop from featured speaker award-winning author Bill Meissner. A limited number of scholarships are available for CLC students to attend this event for free. Just fill out and send in the registration form found on the Brainerd Writers Alliance website . The event is co-sponsored by the Center for Lifelong Learning at CLC. In addition to novel writing, Meissner has published four books of poems: "American Compass," Learning to Breathe Underwater," "The Sleepwalker's Son," and "Twin Sons of Different Mirrors."  More than 350 of his poems are published in national and regional magazines and literary journals. His two books of short stories -- "The Road to Cosmos" and Hitting Into The Wind" -- depict the subtlety of relationships and small town life. In the afternoon, Meissner will present “The American Compass Traveling Road Show” featuring a reading from his four poetry books, two short story collections, and his recent novel. Informal presentation with Q & A. Writing prompts and exercises included in the presentation. For registration information go to www.brainerdwriters.com or call (218) 828-7750. Registration deadline is Oct. 20.

Oct 15, 2012

Operation Community Connect

The Brainerd campus of Central Lakes College on Saturday, Oct. 27 will host its third annual Operation Community Connect from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It is billed as an opportunity for people to access resources from area agencies and organizations at one location in one day. Free services will be available. They include haircuts, cell phones with up to 250 minutes, veteran assistance, mental health screening, public health, public assistance, food support, housing options, children-friendly space, and lunch served while supplies last starting at 11 a.m. in the cafeteria. Co-sponsors include CLC, the College of St. Scholastica, and the Crow Wing Conty Coalition to End Poverty, whose members represent area organizations. If you need transportation to attend, please contact Annette at (218) 316-2885 by Oct. 22. For information, call Jennifer Perez at (218) 820-3445. Shown: At the 2011 event hair stylists Pam Wachholz (left) and Deb Schey were among those providing free haircuts. Photo courtesy Brainerd Dispatch/Kelly Humphrey

MLB chief exec at CLC Nov. 1

Melanie Benjamin, chief executive of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Indians, will present the Nov. 1 Cultural Thursday program at noon in Chalberg Theatre on the Brainerd campus of Central Lakes College. The 50-minute program is free and open to the public. This program marks the start of National Native American Indian Month. The program focus will be the Tribal Law and Order Act, which helps address crime in tribal communities and places a strong emphasis on decreasing violence against American Indian and Alaskan Native women. Chief Executive Benjamin will examine the Act and relate the act to issues facing American Indian women in Minnesota and the Mille Lacs Band community.

Pfeffer honored

The District 6 Toasmasters organization, serving Minnesota and Ontaio, has announced that Don Pfeffer is the recipient of its Communication and Leadership Award to be presented Oct. 20 at the 2012 fall conference in Brainerd. Toastmasters chose Don for his work with returning military personnel in many areas including higher education. Don, a veteran, has been active with the Legislature where he helped our Minnesota colleges and universities become more veteran friendly. Don is a faculty member at Central Lakes College. He has served as a counselor and a psychology and general studies instructor. From 2006-11, he served as the Director of the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs, Higher Education Veterans Program to assist colleges and universities to provide services to veterans, military members and their families to start and complete college. Don served on active duty from 1971 to 1975 with the United States Air Force Security Service, the electronic intelligence command of the U.S. Air Force. For two years he served as an intelligence analyst and for two more years he served as the Goodfellow Air Force Base Drug and Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Program manager. He also served with the Minnesota Air National Guard for 18 years, retiring in 2002. Don received his Bachelor's Degree in Education from St. Cloud State University and his Master's Degree in Psychology from the University of Northern Colorado.

Oct 11, 2012

Day of Celebration

U.S. Deputy Secretary of Labor Seth D. Harris on Thursday, Oct. 11 joined Central Lakes College leaders and partners at “A Day of Celebration” to inaugurate the Regional Advanced Manufacturing Retraining (RAMR) program at Wilson Tool, White Bear Lake. The innovative partnership involving CLC and three other Minnesota schools over the next three years aim to prepare workers in Minnesota and Wisconsin for advanced manufacturing careers. A $13.1 million federal grant announced Sept. 19 assigned consortium leadership to Central Lakes College, Brainerd and Staples. CLC’s educational partners are St. Cloud Technical and Community College, St. Cloud; Pine Technical College, Pine City; and the 360 Manufacturing and Applied Engineering Center of Excellence, Bemidji State University, Bemidji. Images: http://www.flickr.com/photos/58518185@N04/

Oct 10, 2012

Psychological profiling in politics

Aubrey Immelman, associate professor from the Department of Psychology at St. John’s University and the College of St. Benedict, will present a free, public program on psychological profiling in politics, presidential candidate leadership profiles of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, and his work to develop a deterrence program against North Korean nuclear proliferation at 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 22 at Central Lakes College, Brainerd. Sponsored by the Center for Lifelong Learning at CLC, the presentation will be about 30 minutes in length, followed by at least 15 minutes for questions. It will be held in E354, a lecture hall. His research program since coming to Minnesota more than 20 years ago has focused on the psychology and leadership characteristics of presidential candidates.

Oct 9, 2012

Diversity events

The Office of Diversity and Equity, Student Life, and the Center for Life Long Learning at Central Lakes College have announced three Brainerd campus events for the public: Monday, Oct. 22 -- Mixed Blood Theater Performance: "Theory of Mind," (shown) Chalberg Theatre, 11 a.m.;  Thursday, Oct. 25 -- Commissioner Kevin Lindsey, Minnesota Department of Human Rights, Chalberg Theater, 10 a.m. and 11 a.m.; Thursday, Nov. 1 -- The Honorable Chief Executive of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, Melanie Benjamin,  Chalberg Theater, noon.

Oct 5, 2012

Human Rights programs

Kevin Lindsey, Minnesota Commssioner of Human Rights, will speak at Central Lakes College in Brainerd on Thursday, Oct. 25. In Chalberg Theatre at 10 a.m. he will discuss "hot topics facing Minnesota's human rights -- economics, voting, and amending the state constitution (Voter ID and Marriage amendments)." He will examine Minnesota's changing demographics and implications for jobs, education, and  our state's economic future. At 11 a.m. he will convene a community forum and dialogue regarding the two proposed amendments and the idea that voting is a human rights issue. Before his appointment in February 2011, Commissioner Lindsey was a civil litigation attorney in the Office of the Ramsey County Attorney. He has 20 years of experience in resolving complex legal and public policy questions.

Little Buffalo Creek project

Crow Wing Soil and Water District (SWCD) and the City of Brainerd have released a study on the health of the Little Buffalo Creek. The Natural Resources program at Central Lakes College partnered with the City, Crow Wing County, Land Mosaic Collaborative LLC, and Board of Water Soil and Resources to complete the study. Kent Montgomery, CLC Natural Resources instructor, said: “This partnership was unique because it integrated  our Field Methods and Freshwater class into the project. Students completed initial land use cover and GIS analysis of this watershed.”

Oct 4, 2012

Student Success Day

On Wednesday, Sept. 26, Central Lakes College held its annual Student Success Day for the 2012-13 academic year, with activities aplenty at the campuses in Brainerd and Staples. Thousands of students took advantage of a schedule that gave them workshops for better living, college-years enjoyment, and lifelong success. Dozens of gas cards were awarded as prizes throughout the day from donations made by CLC employees. The keynote speaker was Jermaine Davis. A hypnotist entertained at Staples. A talent show showcased student performers on the Brainerd campus. An array of presentations from speakers with practical knowledge imparted valuable and enriching tips for personal betterment. Student Success Day images: http://www.flickr.com/photos/58518185@N04/

Oct 3, 2012

Sviggum visits

Steve Sviggum, a former member of the University of Minnesota Board of Regents, and an executive assistant to and communications director for the Republican caucus in the Minnesota Senate, was a recent guest of Central Lakes College political science instructor Steve Wenzel. The two share a past as politicians in the Legislature. Sviggum spoke to several of Wenzel's classes on the Brainerd campus. A former Speaker and member of the Minnesota House of Representatives, Sviggum represented District 28B in the southeastern part of the state. Sviggum was first elected to the House in 1978. He served as minority leader from 1993–1999, and became Speaker following the 1998 elections, when the Republicans took control of the House from the Democrats. He began his speakership under unusual circumstances; 1998 also saw the election of Reform Party candidate Jesse Ventura as governor, while the Democrats retained control of the Minnesota Senate. He was the leader of the Republicans in a government divided between three political parties. In the 2006 general election, the Democrats regained control of the House, ending Sviggum's time as Speaker. Though he won re-election to his House seat, he chose not seek a leadership position in the next session. Democrat Margaret Anderson Kelliher succeeded him as Speaker.