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May 18, 2017

Joe Verkennes, Director of Marketing and Communications
Monroe County Community College
1555 S. Raisinville Rd., Monroe, MI  48161
(734) 384-4207 (O), (419) 343-3063 (M) 



MONROE, Mich. – The Foundation at Monroe County Community College has announced the recipients of the 2017 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 has awarded more than $250,000 to fund 216 projects since the inaugural year of the program in 2002. 

The Foundation Board of Directors allocated $15,000 for the 2017 Enhancement Grants program. The 12 funded projects and their recipients include:

MCCC Prelude Children’s Choir:  Applicant Catherine Brodie, Agora Chorale director, for an award of $1,600.  Prelude was started to provide young singers who excel in music with a chance to learn a varied repertoire vocal exercises, rudiments of good breathing, posture, tone quality, diction, balance and blend as well as to introduce them to part singing, harmony, ear training and shared vision of solid performance. Prelude has grown nearly every year since it started in 2011.  These funds will be used to acquire music literature and offer support to students in the form of need-based scholarships.

Michigan Nurses March:  Applicant Denise Robinson, assistant professor of nursing, for an award of $600.  This grant will help to achieve the goal of sending all MCCC senior nursing students to Lansing for the Michigan Nurses March in 2018.  The Michigan Nurses March is an annual event hosted by the Michigan Nurses Association.  The event conveys the power and need for political advocacy in order to benefit communities and the health care system.  Registered nurses and nursing students from across Michigan gather at the Lansing Center for an educational conference followed by the entire group marching to the State Capitol for a press conference.  Nursing students learn current legislative acts and efforts, skills needed to be an effective legislative advocate and the power of collective advocacy to benefit public safety and the health care system.

The Agora, College Media Association National Convention:  Applicant Dan Shaw, assistant professor of humanities and journalism, for an award of $1,500.  This funding will allow the members of The Agora staff to attend the 2017 National College Media Association National Convention in New York City.  Featuring nationally recognized speakers and more than 250 workshops, the convention will expose members of The Agora staff to some of the best minds in journalism, introduce them to the media capital of the world and give them training in both fundamental journalism skills and emerging new media. Students can slip in and out of hundreds of sessions, with topics ranging from mining social media to video editing – along with the basics of reporting and writing for print, broadcast, the Web and mobile.

One Book One Community – Guest Speaker and Author:  Applicant Cheryl Johnston, assistant professor of reading and English, for an award of $1,500.  Each year, the One Book, One Community of Monroe County selection committee chooses a readily available and discussable book written by a major author. It invites Monroe County residents to read the same book at the same time, and discuss it through a series of free programs running for approximately one month.  One Book, One Community of Monroe County aims to enrich the experience of reading for everyone, regardless of race, gender, age, income or the neighborhood they call home.  This grant funding will be used to enhance the programming being offered as part of the One Book, One Community reading initiative in 2018, which will commemorate the 12th year of bringing our community together through a common read.

Heart and Lung Dissection Presentations to Monroe County Elementary and Middle School Children:  Applicant Bonnie Boggs, retired director of respiratory therapy programs, for an award of $2,200.  Funding from this award supports the respiratory therapy program service learning project where faculty and students take heart/lung specimens, supplies and teaching models to more than 1,700 Monroe County public, private and parochial school students in fifth through eighth grades.  Included in the lesson are the anatomy and physiology of the heart and lungs, the effects of tobacco and other substances on these systems, health career information on respiratory therapy and encouragement to take math and sciences in high school.

VEX Robotics Event:  Applicant Michael Mohn, adjunct professor for manufacturing technology, for an award of $2,250.  The MCCC Robotics Team (VEX Team Virus) will again host a VEX Robotics Event at the Monroe County Fair and the VEX IQ program in Monroe County in support of the STEM initiative embraced by MCCC.  The VEX program has nearly tripled in sized during the last season, supporting teams at every level of the VEX platform from third grade through the collegiate level.  The VEX Robotics Design System offers students an exciting platform for learning about areas rich with career opportunities spanning science, technology, engineering and math.  Beyond science and engineering principles, a VEX Robotics project encourages teamwork, leadership and problem solving among groups.  Students can jump right in and snap robots together using this intuitive tool less system.  This past year MCCC VEX had much success with eight teams participating in the Michigan State Championships and three teams qualifying for the World Championship. 

Pride Prom:  Applicant MCCC Gay/Straight Alliance and advisor Melissa Grey, for an award of $300.  This grant will fund a community-wide, diversity friendly dance hosted by the Monroe County Community College Gay-Straight Alliance.  The dance will provide individuals the opportunity to express themselves in a fun social setting and will be offered to area high school and college students.  The Pride Prom offers the only openly affirming dance in Monroe for college students, youth and other community members of all sexual orientations, gender expressions and relationship types.  This dance, hosted for the fourth time, fosters a unique LGBTQ-friendly environment where all are welcome and not judged.

Constitution Day Show:  Applicant Demi Heiks, instructor of criminal justice, for an award of $400.  The importance of the U.S. Constitution to each and every citizen is the reason the federal government requires educational institutions that receive federal funds to hold an educational program about it for students.  The Humanities and Social Sciences Division has led Constitution Day efforts on the campus for the past few years, and with this funding the division hopes to build upon last year’s Constitution Day exhibition.  The program, hosted by a panel of speakers, will connect student groups from around campus to demonstrate the Constitution in action through a series of vignettes.  During these performances, students and staff will demonstrate the power of the Constitution. Student participants and everyone in the audience will also receive a copy of the Constitution.   

Global Studies Outreach: Applicant Dr. Joanna Sabo, professor of political science and global studies coordinator, for an award of $700.  Funding will be used to pay for a bus to take students to an international lecture at a nearby four-year institution, exposing them to world-renowned experts.  One of the requirements of the Global Studies designation is for students to begin a portfolio of international experiences.  This grant will be used to help students build this portfolio by attending and participating in an engaging, internationally-themed event.  

FABTECH: Applicant Stephan Hasselbach, instructor of welding technology, for an award of $2,000.  FABTECH is North America's largest metal forming and fabricating event that debuted in Cleveland, Ohio in 1981.  Since its beginning, FABTECH has grown from a regional trade show serving a few hundred attending companies to North America’s most authoritative event for metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing.  Students in the Applied Science and Engineering Technology Division will be supported by the grant dollars to attend FABETCH 2017 in Chicago, Illinois and explore 1,300 exhibiting companies, over 500 new products, and 100 educational programs.  Students will get to broaden their perspective and experience the future of manufacturing through hands-on, live demonstrations; top-notch education programs, and networking opportunities.  Students in career and technical education programs will be exposed to advanced automated systems and combined process technologies for the next generation of welding and machining.

MiAEYC Early Childhood Conference:  Applicant Felice Moorman, assistant professor of early childhood education, for an award of $1,500.  This award will support the travel of second-year MCCC Early Childhood Education Students to the Michigan Association for the Education of Young Children Annual Early Childhood Conference in Grand Rapids.  The conference provides multiple sessions in which early childhood experts and practitioners discuss and engage participants in various topics of importance in early childhood education.  The topics address care and competency areas, including child development and learning, family and community collaboration, child communication and guidance, health and safety, and professionalism.  The conference will enhance students’ knowledge obtained traditionally through didactic instruction and field experiences.

National Student Day:  Applicant Amy Salliotte, administrative assistant to the director of auxiliary services and purchasing, for an award of $450.  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 in 2011 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 its 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 grant will help bring back additional activities for the students to participate in that were previously eliminated due to budget constraints.

The Foundation Enhancement Grants Program Committee includes Dr. Randell Daniels, vice president of student and information services; Jean Guyor, Foundation director; Linda Hawley, accountant; John Joy, retired dean of Corporate and Community Services; Aaron Mason, MCCC trustee, and Susan R.S. Miller, Foundation director.

To donate to The Foundation at MCCC Enhancement Grants Program, contact Joshua Myers, executive director of The Foundation at MCCC, at (734) 384-4214 or visit

About Monroe County Community College

Founded in 1964, Monroe County Community College is a public, two-year institution supported by tax monies from Monroe County, educational funds from the State of Michigan and student tuition.  

The college’s mission is to enrich and transform lives by providing opportunities and excellence in higher education.  The Main Campus is located at 1555 South Raisinville Road, Monroe, Mich., 48161, with easy access to Toledo and Detroit.  The Whitman Center is located at 7777 Lewis Ave.,Temperance, Mich., 48182, near the Ohio-Michigan Border.  Detailed information about MCCC is available at