MONROE — The Foundation at Monroe County Community College has announced the recipients of the 2013 Enhancement Grants Program awards.

The Enhancement Grants Program assists faculty, staff and students by providing funding for the development and implementation of innovative projects that support the MCCC mission and enrich or improve the quality of education for students.

The Foundation launched the Enhancement Grants program in 2002.  The awards were announced at a ceremony last week. A total of $20,000 was awarded to 18 projects.

The 18 funded grant projects for 2013 and their recipients include:

* MCCC Family Fun Night, applicant Tom Ryder, campus community events/student services coordinator, for an award of $2,000. This award will help offset the cost of the MCCC Student Government’s Family Fun Night. Family Fun Night is a carnival-type event that offers games and activities for young children ages 3-10 years old. It includes games such as the duck pond, car race, golf, basketball free throw and more. The night will also offer giant inflatable items, a magician, face painting, and other family activities. It is open to the entire community and an estimated 1,000 people usually attend.

* Tour of the Charles Wright Museum, applicant Shelley Griffith, adjunct instructor in the Humanities/Social Sciences Division, for an award of $200. This grant will defray the costs for students enrolled in the college’s African-American History course to travel to the Charles Wright museum in Detroit. These students will tour the exhibition, which is entitled “And Still We Rise: Our Journey through African-American History and Culture.”

* The Humanities Experience, applicants Cheryl Johnston, assistant professor of reading and English, and Dr. William McCloskey, professor of English, for an award of $1,400. This award will be used to defray the cost for students to attend live theatre productions. During the Fall 2013 semester, students will attend two plays in Stratford, Ontario during a two-day field trip. The 2013 festival is offering a variety of plays including, “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Romeo and Juliet,” and “Othello.”

* One Book One Community of Monroe County, applicants Cheryl Johnston, assistant professor of reading and English, and Carrie Nartker, assistant professor of English, for an award of $1,000.  This funding will be used to enhance the programming being offered as part of the One Book, One Community reading initiative in 2014.  This will be the eighth year an annual community read is hosted on the campus of MCCC. Activities during the month-long reading initiative include film screenings, community book discussions, a panel discussion, and a variety of community events. The grant will specifically support the public speaking engagement of a guest author/lecturer.

* National College Media Spring Convention, applicant Dan Shaw, assistant professor of humanities and journalism, for an award of $1,400. This award will help defray the cost for The Agora student newspaper students to attend the National College Media Spring Convention in New York City from March 9-12. The conference features nationally recognized speakers, more than 275 workshops and other learning opportunities targeted at college journalism students. The National College Media Spring Convention not only exposes The Agora staff to a wide range of views, it also provides a unique opportunity to build the students’ arsenal of reporting tools and develop a network of contacts in the media world.

* Study Abroad, applicant Dan Shaw, assistant professor of humanities and journalism, for an award of $1,400. This grant will help offset student and faculty expenses for the Study Abroad Program to Spain and Portugal this Spring Semester. The Study Abroad Program will last 18 days and is a 9-credit program. The funds will be used to offset expenses not covered by the base program fee.

* Michigan Society for Respiratory Care’s Annual Sputum Bowl Trivia Contest, applicant Bonnie Boggs, director of respiratory therapy, for an award of $1,400 for 2013 and $500 for 2014. This grant will be used to sponsor five teams from Monroe County Community College to compete in the annual Sputum Bowl Competition conducted by the Michigan Society for Respiratory Care. The competition this year will be in Kalamazoo in conjunction with the annual meeting. The Sputum Bowl is a trivia competition similar to a college quiz bowl.

* Career and Opportunity Expo, applicant Barry Kinsey, director of workforce development, for an award of $750. This grant will be used to defray the cost of hosting the MCCC Career and Opportunity Expo.  The Career and Opportunity Expo is a “job fair” for alumni, students and community members with an emphasis on veterans. This event is intended to assist unemployed and underemployed alumni, students, community members, and veterans in the search for meaningful employment.

* Diversity Mural, applicant Penny Bodell, administrative assistant to the vice president of student and information services, and Molly McCutchan, director of human resources, for an award of $500. The diversity mural will be a visible representation of the college’s commitment to diversity and further establish a sense of community, tolerance and understanding of diversity and harmony. A campus-wide contest will be held for interested artists, and the campus community will be invited to assist in the painting of the project. This grant will defray the costs for the supplies to create the mural.

* International Relations Class Trip to New York City, the United Nations and Ground Zero Memorial, applicant Dr. Joanna Sabo, professor of political science, for an award of $1,000. This grant will help offset student travel expenses for approximately 20 International Relations Class students to travel to New York City to tour the United Nations Headquarters and to receive a special briefing from a U.N. official. Students will gain understanding of the U.N. as an intergovernmental organization and the seat of international law.

* MCCC Viticulture and Enology Project, applicant Chef Kevin Thomas, instructor of culinary skills, for an award of $1,500.   This award will continue the culinary program’s efforts to establish a viticulture and enology program at MCCC, including continued maintenance and expansion of the on-campus V1300 vineyard, curriculum research and development, and the purchase of additional winemaking equipment. Partnerships are also being cultivated to assist with curriculum development, vineyard maintenance and funding assistance. The focus and vision for this project remains to provide MCCC students and the community with more educational, cultural and employment opportunities. Additional funding will make it possible to maintain the vineyard and winemaking labs as curriculum research and development is pursued. Ultimately, the goal is for MCCC to be the first community college in Michigan to address the need for skilled workers in viticulture and enology through the establishment of certificate and degree programs.

* Holocaust Project, applicant Terri Kovach, professor and reference/technical services librarian, for an award of $200. This grant will defray costs for students in Sociology 161: Death, Loss, and Grief to visit the Holocaust Memorial Center in Farmington Hills. This trip is intended to reinforce the theoretical framework students study from the in-class materials and discussions.

* Southeast Michigan and Greater Toledo SolidWorks User Group, applicant Dr. Dean Kerste, associate professor of mechanical design technology, for an award of $1,000. Coinciding with the opening of the Career Technology Center, this funding will be used to start up a SolidWorks user group. The Solid Works User Group Network provides a national forum where local chapters can share information related to mechanical design. These students will network with peers, industries, and companies to provide students with valuable, real-world techniques and methodologies. User group members will share experiences and technical presentations.

* National Student Day, applicant Kelli Plumb, administrative assistant to the director of auxiliary services and purchasing, for an award of $1,200. This funding will offset the costs of hosting National Student Day events on the MCCC campus. National Student Day was started by the National Association of College Stores and is designed to promote student volunteerism and social responsibility through a variety of exciting store events. This day gives the MCCC bookstore a chance to foster a more positive relationship with students by reinforcing the bookstore’s activities as a socially responsible business, building a sense of community on campus, and helping students explore ways in which they can volunteer their time to important causes.

* The Juxtaposition of Ecological Conservation and the Chicago Urban Environment, applicant Lori Bean, associate professor of biology and chemistry, for an award of $1,400. This funding will allow students of the Monroe County Community College Math and Science Society to travel to the Chicago area to visit world-renowned science museums and aquarium. Over four days, the group will explore the Lake Michigan shoreline and the Chicago River and learn of the impact on these waters. MASS members also hope to visit the Openlands Lakeshore Preserve near Chicago. This preserve presents a rare opportunity to visit one of the last remaining ravine and bluff ecosystems in the metropolitan region. North Park Village Nature Center, maintained by the Chicago Conservation Corps, is located just north west of downtown Chicago and is a second site the MASS students hope to visit and learn about the efforts of those concerned with conservation in an urban setting with a population of more than 12 million people.

* Student Chapter of Society of Manufacturing Engineers Sumo Robotics Project, applicant Robert Leonard, assistant professor of manufacturing technology, for an award of $1,550. This grant will fund the creation of a self-driving robot that, when programmed, will be capable of finding another robot within a battle ring, and force the other robot out of the ring. The robot will be autonomous, and students will not be allowed to control the robot during competition. The self-propelled robot will use sensors along with programming software to detect, find and push opposing robots out of the arena. This project will blend electronics, automation, machining, welding and design technology.

* MCCC Prelude, applicant Catherine Brodie, Agora Chorale director, for an award of $1,600. Prelude was started to enable young singers who excel in music a chance to learn varied repertoire vocal exercises, rudiments of good breathing, posture, tone quality, diction, balance and blend as well as being introduced to part singing, harmony, ear training and shared vision of solid performance. The long-term goal of Prelude is to generate the interests of youth to ultimately join MCCC Agora Chorale. These funds will be used to acquire music literature and offer support to students who are in need of financial assistance.    The Enhancement Grants Committee includes John Joy, dean of corporate and community services; Susan R.S. Miller, Foundation director; Jean Guyor, Foundation director; Lana Shryock, associate professor of biology; and Dan Hamman, computer programmer.

To donate to The Foundation at MCCC Enhancement Grants Program, contact Suzanne Wetzel, at (734) 384-4206 or visit

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