IRONWOOD TOWNSHIP — Five new staff members are settling in at Gogebic Community College.
Tara Tregembo, an Ironwood native, is enjoying her first school year as Trio Student Support Services program coordinator.
“It’s been so far, so good,” Tregembo said.
Tregembo studied at GCC before transferring to Northern Michigan University in Marquette, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology. “I think it’s beneficial to students that I am local and a former student here,” Tregembo said. “It helps me to guide them.”
The student support services program is grant-funded, currently serving 152 students who qualify for the program by meeting one of three criteria: being a first-generation college student, low income or having a disability.
Tregembo said some of the services the program provides include workshops on topics like resume building, visits to colleges students are interested in transferring to after their studies at GCC and a careers class.
Tregembo joined the program’s team of Dayle Jackson, director, and career counselor Mark Wendt.
Another newer hire at GCC is Matt Brown, director of the Lindquist Student Center and the school’s housing and intramural sports programs. Serving his second full semester, Brown is also a GCC alum, originally from Saginaw.
After his studies at GCC, Brown went on to Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, earning his Bachelor of Arts in communications and political science. Brown then worked for YMCA programs in Saginaw and Grand Rapids for 10 years before accepting the position at GCC in November 2012.
“I was excited to get into the educational side of recreation,” Brown said.
One challenge Brown has seen working in a small community is in fundraising, he said. Benefits he appreciates include the opportunity to get to know people on a personal level and the way people get together to help get things done.
Patricia Polakowski, of Ontonagon, was hired in July as the assistant of institutional support. Polakowski is a GCC alumnus and also studied at Finlandia University in Hancock and NMU. “I love my new position,” said Polakowski. “Everyone is so welcoming, and it is a great atmosphere here at GCC, a great place to work.” Polakowski has previously worked at the Bergland post office.
Other new hires include Amy Tarro, of Wakefield, as snack bar coordinator. She brings 12 years of food service experience in the Wakefield-Marenisco School District, along with a degree in business from GCC, to the position.
Jennifer Nasi, of Hurley, is the new payroll specialist at GCC. Nasi is a GCC alum with an associate degree in applied business, and has experience in payroll from prior employment.