GCC board hears three presentations


Alissa Pietila/Daily Globe

GOGEBIC-ONTONAGON Intermediate School District students, Jared Sobolewski, standing right, and David Sturkol, also standing, describe Lindsey the Robotic Skier to the Gogebic Community College Board on Tuesday evening. Also pictured are board members, from left, Susan Beals, Robert Burchell (back), David Martinson and Tim Kolesar, and Dean of Business Services, Erik Guenard.

IRONWOOD - The Gogebic Community College board heard three separate presentations to start Tuesday's monthly meeting.

First, Diane Oliver, the President of Snowflake Aquatics, thanked the board for their support of the pool and the Barracuda Swim Team.

Elijah Sprague, Sol Lagalo, Axton Ruotsala, and Luca and Sophia Villanueva, recently competed in the YMCA state swim meet in Brown Deer, Wis. The boys relay team, consisting of the four boys listed above even shaved 2.34 seconds off their time at the meet.

Oliver also informed the GCC board that Snowflake Aquatics will again be operating with a seven-member board, with Oliver to serve as president.

Second, the board heard a presentation from Jim Halverson and Gogebic-Ontonagon Intermediate School District students Jared Sobolewski and David Sturkol, about Lindsey, the Robotic Skier, they created from Legos and 3-D printed parts.

Halverson played a Youtube video the boys created showing how Lindsey works, including shots taken with a Go-Pro camera attached to the robot.

Halverson said he can offer some robotics programming through the GOISD "down to grade three."

To help encourage interest in robotics, Lindsey was taken to the Ironwood, Bessemer, Wakefield-Marenisco and Ontonagon schools.

Third, Dr. Pam Cox-Otto of Interact Communications gave an update about GCC's marketing plan to the board via Skype from Seattle, Wash.

She spoke to the board about the "Go Bold" branding for the college's marketing and advertising campaigns. Cox-Otto said the idea for the branding was compiled after focus groups and other research.

"Everybody in your area has this unique sense of 'We're different. We're not like the lower part of Michigan. We're not like Wisconsin. We are a unique area with a unique pride,'" Cox-Otto said. "... This is a place where people take care of their own, they get stuff done, they don't make excuses. There's a willingness to take the elements as they are."

She said the "Go Bold" branding is a simple way to explain GCC in other places, and is "short, sweet and fits every single program" the college offers.

Three things Interact is currently working on are fall marketing, a focused campaign for students who have "stopped-out" of GCC and finalizing the broad marketing plan.

Program suspension

It was recommended to the board to suspend the Graphic Communications program the college currently offers.

According to information presented, the aggregate enrollments between 2011 and 2014 have decreased by 75 percent-from 17 students in 2011 to four students in 2014. Graduation rates are also low for the program, only graduating one in 2012 and four in 2013.

The four students currently enrolled will all be able to finish their degrees, with graduation expected in May 2016.

The board approved the indefinite suspension of the Graphic Communications Associate of Applied Science beginning with the fall 2015 semester.

New hires

The GCC board approved new hires for three positions.

Kathryn Maciejewski, GCC's current Library Specialist, will now take on the role as the Director of Library and Learning Resources Center, effective immediately.

She has been employed at GCC for more than eight years. Maciejewski will be put at Grade 6, Step 8, on the Non-Affiliated Salary Scale and will have a salary of $44,318.

Jessica Leinon-Novascone was hired as the Director of the TRiO Program and Disability Services, with a start date of April 20. She was placed on the Non-Affiliated Salary Scale at Grade 8, Step 1 with a salary of $50,376.

Leinon-Novascone previously attended GCC. She later graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, and a master's degree in social work from Michigan State University. Leinon-Novascone also has six years of work experience in human services.

In total, GCC received 10 regional applications and interviewed two candidates before deciding on Leinon-Novascone for the position.

Jennifer Forshey was hired as the Transfor Coordinator/Assistant Registrar and will start on April 27. She will be placed at Grade 6, Step 2, on the Non-Affiliated Salary Scale, with a starting salary of $44,322.

Forshey has a bachelor's degree from Grand Valley State University and a Master of Education in Adult and Higher Education, also from GVSU. She has been employed with GVSU for nine years.

Twenty-eight applications were received, all regional except one, and three were interviewed.

The board also:

-approved a budget adjustment to the 2014-15 General Fund Budget. The budget will decrease by $60,282 as a result of enrollment changes.

- approved graduation applications for 133 associate's degrees and 61 certificates, pending satisfactory completion of degree requirements.

-reappointed many faculty members for the 2015-16 school year.

-approved the new Veteran's Tuition policy, which requires the college to offer in-state tuition to veterans.

-heard a short institutional update from GCC President Jim Lorenson, including updates about important legislative measures.


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