Glen Oaks Community College Friends and Alumni Update
July 2013


Friends and Alumni of Glen Oaks Community College

Dear Friends and Alumni,
We hope you will enjoy our second edition of the Friends and Alumni Update Newsletter. In this publication you will find feature stories that include checking in on our alumni, activities that support our community and events that have taken place at GOCC. If you have a story to share or know of someone who would like to receive this publication, email us at

Successful Alumni

Reed 99′ reflects on education and personal life experiences

For many college graduates, there is a moment they are able to look back upon, where their goals become clearer and some direction for the future is found.

For T.J. Reed, that moment took place several years ago in a Glen Oaks Community College classroom.

Reed, currently an attorney at Bird, Svendsen, Brothers and Scheske, P.C., in Sturgis, Mich., graduated from GOCC in 1999. From there, he continued on to gather degrees from Western Michigan University and Michigan State University College of Law.

However, before Reed could pass these landmarks on the way to getting his law degree, he first had to take the psychology course that changed his career focus. Reed took former GOCC Professor Sue Reardon’s introductory psychology class, “…and in a long round-about way that was how I ended up where I am. I had a different major at the time but it was her class that helped me decide to switch majors and refocus on where I was going. I would say that was probably the one class and one professor that kind of changed where I was going and where I am now.” He also credits some of his instructors at WMU for influencing him to look at law school after graduation.

Successful Graduate

McLeod recipient of the 2013 President’s Award

When Anne McLeod graduated from Glen Oaks Community College with her Associate of General Studies degree, she was in total disbelief when President Gary Wheeler called her to the stage to announce that she was the recipient of the 2013 President’s Award.

Wheeler described McLeod as being an active learner who provides significant class contributions. “Her cumulative grade-point average, and the positive degree to which she performed in all of her classes, were emblematic of her overall dedication to the pursuit of her educational goals and aspirations,” said Wheeler. “We look forward to her future endeavors, as she builds on these accomplishments, and brings success and honor to herself and Glen Oaks Community College.”

As current president of Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society of two-year colleges and academic programs, McLeod says it was only a few years back when she was in a state of depression and unhappy with where she was at in life. All of this has changed for the better as she has made a total turnaround while at Glen Oaks personally, socially and academically. Her self-esteem and confidence has bloomed and the introverted, quiet person with lack of confidence she once was, has evolved into an individual more than worthy of this prestigious award — she is perceptive, bright and passionate about her work and studies.


Educational trip to Ireland

A group of seven traveled to Northern Ireland, where everything from the train trip to Belfast to the flights home went extremely smooth. The weather was practically perfect the entire time even in the Northern Ireland region. The tour group fell in love with Ireland, seeing many scenic areas such as the Ring of Kerry, the Giant’s Causeway, the Scilly Walk in the coastal town of Kinsale and
the beaches of Killarney National Park. They also explored the many castles, museums, cathedrals and a couple of whiskey distilleries. While visiting the North the group learned about the conflicts that once ravaged the nation. Their tour guide, an Irish history professor, explained the events surrounding the Irish revolution where it is obvious that the area still shows the scars of the rebellionin ways that are not evident in the Irish Republic.

Plans are in the making for the 2014 trip to Italy and Spain, destinations include Rome, Tuscany, Assisi, Florence and Pisa. If you are interested in next year’s trip, please email Jeanne Reed.


Popular event on campus

Over 50 employers were in attendance for the spring Job Fair held at GOCC. A special thanks to all of the area employers for their participation and to all who attended.


Board accepts President Wheeler’s retirement

The Glen Oaks Board of Trustees accepted Dr. Gary Wheeler’s retirement effective June 30, 2014 at a special meeting of the board in June.

Originally intending to leave his post in 2015, Dr. Wheeler voluntarily moved up his retirement date to accommodate the college’s need to move forward.

“These are challenging times for community colleges in Michigan. To assist in ensuring the appropriate leadership is in place to address the issues coming up, I felt it important for Glen Oaks to begin its transition as soon as possible. I thank the Board and staff at Glen Oaks and look forward to my final year at the college while they focus on the hiring of their new president. I intend to help where I can to make the transition successful.”


Register Now

Have you thought about taking a class? We want to help you get started. Contact an admissions representative today! Learn more by calling (269) 294-4253.

Fall Classes begin Aug. 26, please schedule an appointment with an advisor by calling (269) 294-4246 or (888) 994-7818 ext. 246.

The new Fall schedule is available.


Sturgis athlete to receive Foundation Scholarship

Cox awarded the Jim Bishop Memorial Athletic Scholarship
Jalen Cox signed his letter of intent in June to play basketball for the Vikings as either a shooting guard or small forward. Cox is a 2013 graduate of Sturgis High Schools where he averaged 16 points and earned All-Soutwestern Michigan Athletic Conference first-team
honors. “I like the fact that Glen Oaks is so close to home and I just felt it was the best opportunity for me to play” said Cox.


DONATE TODAY to the GOCC Foundation

Our Purpose:

GIVE – financial assistance to students from scholarships as a way of recognizing excellence
PROVIDE – students with enhanced education and cultural opportunities
ENCOURAGE – financial support from friends, alumni and staff for positive development of the college

To learn how to support our goals contact the Executive Director.


Alumni Notice

We would like to hear from you!!
Please fill out the Alumni Information Update form.

The Friends and Alumni Update is our way to promote our Discover Alumni Campaign. Help us out by encouraging those you know, who attended Glen Oaks, to fill out the Alumni Information Form.

Remember to Like Us on Facebook and Connect on LinkedIn.


Manufacturers gather to share workforce development ideas

Over 40 participants attended a Manufacturing Forum Roundtable Discussion hosted by GOCC and shared their “best practices” on workforce development solutions. Forum participants represented manufacturing, small business, education, chambers of commerce, and cities and organizations that support workforce development. More to come on this topic.


GOCC opens tennis courts for community use

GOCC recently completed minor maintenance and restoration work on three of the six tennis courts on campus. They are free and open to
the public daily on a first-come, first-serve basis. Any questions can be directed to the information desk at the college by calling (269) 467-9945. The College is located at 62249 Shimmel Rd., Centreville, Mich.


Ryno receives teaching excellence award

Stephen Ryno, professor of communications at GOCC, received the E.J. Shaheen Teaching Excellence award for 2013. Ryno had always thought about teaching at a college, but felt that he would need to enter the profession through teaching at the high school level and
work his way into the collegiate scene.


GOCC offers summer Continuing Education courses

Glen Oaks Community College announces the following Continuing Education courses that are being offered this summer. Interested participants should RSVP to Dr. Patricia Morgenstern at (269) 467-9945, Ext. 247, or email via our Contact Form.

Watercolors for Beginners

Instructor: Julie Bontrager

When: (Two sessions) Tues, July 16 & Thurs., July 18

Time: 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Where: GOCC Art Room

Cost: $35, plus $3 for supplies will include paper and paints.

About the course:
The instructor will show how to use watercolors, including tips and tricks and some interesting effects that can be created utilizing household items. Participants should bring a photo or image (from a magazine, etc.) that they would like to try to paint. The intent is for participants to learn techniques on the first night and begin to create their projects by drawing or experimenting with paint. The
second class is where they will finish their projects.

Landscaping and Preparing Your Flower Beds for Fall

Instructor: Michael Crittenden

When: Thurs., Aug. 22

Where: GOCC

Time: 5 to 8 p.m.

Cost: $35

About the course:
The instructor will provide a step-by-step guide on what to do during late summer/early fall …from planting fall annuals like mums and kale, to planting bulbs and how to overwinter your yard. Participants should bring specific landscape related questions and plant photos to help with questions.



Island Hills Golf Club Wellness Walk~8:30 a.m. July13

GOCC Youth Basketball Camp July and August

Classes begin ~ August 26


We say goodby to retiring staff and faculty

  • Susan Deter,
    Mathematics Professor
    18 years
  • Robert Wathen,
    History/Political Science Professor
    17 years
  • Cheryl Hayden,
    Counselor/International Student Coordinator
    24 years
  • Joyce Schwartz,
    Fitness/Wellness Lab Clerk
    10 years
  • Dan Betcke,
    Maintenance Assistant
    6 years


Glen Oaks Community College Board of Trustees

  • David Allen, Chair
  • Nancy Percival, Vice Chair
  • James Moshier, Sec.
  • Bruce Gosling, Treas.
  • John Bippus
  • Mary Lou Falkenstein
  • Joni Smith

Glen Oaks Community College Foundation Board of Directors

  • James Riley, President
  • Ruth Perry, VP
  • Dr. Gary Wheeler
  • Julie Andrews
  • Andrew Boyd
  • David Casterline
  • Sally Cotton
  • Michael Doe
  • Jeffrey Gatton
  • Phillip Hoffine
  • Taylor Snow
  • Dr. Philip Ward
  • Janene Breneman, Executive Director


Friends and Alumni Update Editors:
Janene Breneman
Val Juergens