During Tuesday’s regular SWCC Board of Trustees meeting, the group set aside time and its normal procedure, swung around its chairs and dimmed the lights for a presentation delivered by Dean of Student Services Beth Kulow in recognition of all SWCC’s student groups and students that have found success over the academic year thus far.
“It is pretty significant when we compile it all together to see the student successes we’ve had thus far in the academic year,” Kulow said. “... And I’m certain I’ll leave out some of the great things that have happened on this campus — there are a lot of very positive activities that happen here at Southwestern, and we just want to recognize them.”
Here are a few of the highlights:
• SWCC’s chapter of its resident national honors society Phi Theta Kappa had one of its own, Cassidy Becker of Diagonal, elected as regional officer during the Phi Theta Kappa Iowa Regional Convention held in Urbandale in March.
SWCC’s chapter, Beta Eta Nu, was also awarded five star chapter status, the highest achievable status level. In addition, SWCC nursing student Selena Sampson received honorable mention as an Iowa Region distinguished chapter officer for 2018.
• Three SWCC students were named to the all-Iowa academic team — Rebekah Kroese, Selena Sampson and Ana Elizabeth Vasquez.
Kroese, a sophomore from Lenox majoring in counseling, and Sampson, a practical nursing student from Creston, are both students at SWCC’s Creston campus. Vasquez, a sophomore from Osceola majoring in business administration and accounting, is a student at the college’s Osceola Center.
• Two SWCC students qualified for the Business Professionals of America National Leadership Conference after competing at the Iowa Spring Leadership Conference held Feb. 19-20 in Des Moines.
Shawna Abell, an administrative office technology major from Greenfield, and Jenna Shepherd, an associate of arts/college transfer student from Creston, will be making the trip to the national conference, from May 9-14, in Orlando, Florida.
• Out of the United States’ 163 career tech programs recognized by the Collision Repair Education Foundation, SWCC’s auto collision repair program was awarded Tier 1 status — an honor awarded to only 16 other programs in the country.
In addition, SWCC automotive repair technology student Dawn Roach recently wrote an article that was published in “Tomorrow’s Technician” magazine.
“It was very well done,” Kulow said of Roach’s article, which appeared in both the print issue and on the publication’s website. “Dawn said in her article she strongly recommends to people, if they want a career in the automotive field, that the automotive program (at SWCC) was a great fit for her.
“She also continued on to say that though the environment is typically male-dominated, today there are more opportunities than ever for females. So she did a great job representing herself and as a Southwestern student.”
• SWCC’s Student Senate, Kulow reported, has grown significantly in its membership, activity and participation over the past three years.
“We used to have maybe three or four students, and they hardly ever spoke,” Kulow said. “And now the entire room is filled, and those students really speak their mind about things — which we of course appreciate, because we like great student feedback.”
One member of the SWCC Student Senate, sophomore Jordan Heath of Osceola, was selected to introduce Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds at the 30th annual Iowa Association for Community College Trustees Student Legislative Seminar at the state capitol in Des Moines on Jan. 24.
• SWCC’s Student Ambassadors helped to pass out hundreds of frozen pork loins to the local community during “Operation Christmas” held Dec. 11, 2017, at the college’s Creston campus.
“On that morning, it was -5 degrees, real temperature, not wind chill,” Kulow said. “And those students were excited to be there. They were happy to be assisting the community. There’s a lot that I know I can learn from our student ambassadors.
“They’re really the front face of us to the community,” Kulow added. “And we don’t honor them enough. They’re a diverse group of students, and they participate in anything that Southwestern is at.”
• SWCC’s dance team received division 1 ratings at the state competition, including a second-, third- and fourth-place finish in various competition categories. They were also named divisional champions for two different dance performances at the regional competition held at Central College.
• SWCC’s volleyball team had several of its players named to the all-region first team, and Kulow reported the program’s new leader, recently-hired head coach Casey Quiggle, has already signed six recruits for the next season’s team.
• Five SWCC cross country runners were named to the all-region team. The team received a national ranking (No. 24) during the season.
“I see our cross country program just getting started on the way up,” Kulow said. “Our coach we have now, Trey Bruton, is just doing a phenomenal job with our athletes.”
In addition, SWCC’s No. 4 nationally-ranked high jumper Ronald Henderson tied for 12th at the indoor track and field national championship. The outdoor championship is still to come. Kulow said if Henderson is able to clear 7 feet during the event, which he has done in practice, he will have a good shot at winning the event.
• SWCC’s golf team has grown tremendously — both the men and women’s team. Kulow said Coach North hopes for eight female student athletes on next year’s team.
• SWCC’s men’s basketball team finished third at the 2017-18 NJCAA D-II Men’s Basketball Championship tournament.
During the tournament, Terence Shelby Jr. was named to the all-tournament team, and Khallid Edwards received the “best small man” award.
• SWCC’s sport-shooting team competed nationally, where Kyle Redinbaugh was named sport-shooting national champion.
“It’s very exciting,” Kulow said, “and we’re trying to plaster this (information) all over. He deserves this recognition for putting in all that time and effort.”
The SWCC spring semester ends May 11, when the Spring Commencement Ceremony will be held 7:30 p.m. in the student center gymnasium.