Glen Oaks Community College Friends and Alumni Update
March 2013


Friends and Alumni of Glen Oaks Community College

Dear Friends and Alumni,
We hope you enjoy the first edition of the Friends and Alumni Update Newsletter sent directly to you. The publication will highlight up-to-date information and events throughout Glen Oaks Community College. Feature stories will include checking in on our alumni, activities that support our community and events in which you may want to participate. If you have a story to share or know of someone who would like to receive this publication, email us at

Successful Alumni

Successful alum athlete reflects on education, athletics and personal life experiences

“I told him he can use his past as a crutch or to propel him into what he was meant to do… “In only a few words, GOCC Instructor Michelle McNamara aptly described the story of recent class of alumni Karvel Anderson ’09.

If that name sounds familiar, it is for good reason. Anderson, now shooting guard for Robert Morris University’s Division I basketball team, has been examined and celebrated in countless articles over the past several years. When asked about the media attention, he acknowledged that he has received recognition for his game since high school, but that … “it increased a bit at GOCC, and it just got crazy once I got here (Robert Morris University).”

The six-foot-two Elkhart, Ind., native had been through incredible setbacks his entire life (and three junior colleges in as many years), but is now finally where he belongs — leaving his mark as a very talented ball player at one of the top schools in the country.

What probably is most fascinating about Anderson is how hard he has fought for everything — to graduate from Glen Oaks, to make his own opportunities and to develop that quick release jump shot that keeps bystanders mesmerized. This jump shot is arguably what got him noticed by RMU in the first place through a video which came to the attention of the team’s assistant coach, who, in turn, shared it with RMU’s Head Coach Andy Toole, who soon offered Anderson a spot. However, this is not to say that his skills or any of the opportunities stemming from them were just dropped in his lap — every area of his life (personal, educational, and athletic) has been met with a challenge through which he has had to fight his way. Homelessness, absent parents, a broken wrist and academic struggles have been chief among them, and would have typically been met with defeat and bitterness by any other without his fortitude.

Still, Anderson has overcome all of them and humbly credits those who have helped him along the way, including some Glen Oaks mentors.


Foundation scholarship recipient now finds a secure career

Michael W. Smith 10′, recipient of the Glen Oaks Community College Foundation Jessie Alice Ray General Studies Scholarship for the 2009-2010 school year, certainly made good use of his time while at GOCC. He earned an Associates of Applied Science of Technology with an emphasis in Automotive, as well as, fullfilling the necessary requirements to transfer to Worsham College of Mortuary Science in Chicago.

By some he was considered nuts for pursuing 32 credits in one semester, making it possible to complete 80 credit hours in three semesters at Glen Oaks. But because of his drive and ambition to return to the workforce as quickly as possible Smith had what it took to reach his plan. He was what we call in the education business an “adult learner”; and in his case, way exceeding the average full-time student course load of 12 to 15 credit hours a semester. This meant obtaining special approval from the dean of the College and faculty to provide independent studies. “Everyone at Glen Oaks wanted to help me,” says Smith. “I took advantage of on-line courses and even had a course from Jim Cook during Christmas break.”

Smith qualified for the State of Michigan “No Worker Left Behind” program, funding most of what was necessary to attend college, but there were many expenses and courses the program did not approve. Smith and his wife were both recently unemployed and receiving state assistance. Because he was solely relying on financial aid, he applied for a General Studies Scholarship which permitted him to earn his degree and take courses required by Worsham College. Along with the requirements for his AAST degree he needed Public Speaking, English Composition and Bioscience credits.

At Worsham College, Smith attended school during the week and worked part-time on the weekends, while his family still lived in Constantine, Mich. He would return home as often as he could and of course there were many situations that needed his attention at home. He was able to complete the 12-month program and earned his Mortuary Science degree. Now Mike lives in Prairie du Chien, Wis., working at Garrity Funeral Home as the funeral director. He moved his family there in October, 2011and reports that “everything is great — he loves the new community and career.”


GOCC to offer Mobile Phone Applications Development certificate program

The fast-paced, changing technology world of today has set the stage for a new certificate program at Glen Oaks Community College that will teach students how to develop mobile phone applications.

Beginning with the Spring/Summer semester, students can enroll in the new Mobile Phone Applications Development certificate program.

“The program will provide students with an introduction to the mobile phone applications market,” said Patricia Morgenstern, associate dean of extended learning and workforce development at GOCC. “Students will learn how to build, test and market their Android and iPhone applications in this fast-growing career area.”

“Students interested in the program should have an interest in computer programming, have good logical sequencing skills and they must be focused on developing the project from the ground up,” said Morgenstern.


Spring/Summer and Fall registration begins April 15

Registration for Spring/Summer and Fall Classes begins on April 15. Please schedule an appointment with an advisor by calling (269) 467-9945 or (888) 994-7818. The new schedule is available on the GOCC homepage.


WMU and GOCC Sign Reverse Transfer Agreement

Glen Oaks Community College was one of four community colleges which signed reverse transfer agreements, allowing students, transferring to WMU, the opportunity to combine credits earned at both WMU and their community college to receive their associate degrees.



Thurs., April 11, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. @ Glen Oaks

Update your resume and speak with employers who are hiring!

Free and open to the public.



Western Conference Coach of the Year
Congratulations to Steve Proefrock, Viking men’s head basketball coach, for being named the Western Conference Coach of the Year!!! This is the third time in the 13 years Coach Proefrock has received this award.

“It’s quite an honor to be named Coach of the Year,” said Proefrock. “It’s more of a team award though because our players are the ones who make it happen.”


Alumni Notice

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

This edition of the Friends and Alumni Update is our kick off to 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.


GOCC provides training for SMP and Vaupell

Glen Oaks Community College is providing employee training for two companies receiving Incumbent Worker Training Grants — Sturgis Molded Products ($34,683) and Vaupell Midwest Molding & Tooling Inc. ($49,500).


GOCC Science Club students judge projects at White Pigeon Elementary Science Fair

Glen Oaks Community College Science Club members joined other community members in judging projects at the White Pigeon Elementary School Science Fair in March. “The projects filled over half the school’s gymnasium,” said Bruce Lego, Science Club president. “The students showcased some very innovative projects, which made the judging difficult. The group enjoyed meeting with the students and learning about their projects.”


Three new programs open opportunities for students in Visual Arts

Beginning with the Fall 2013 semester, students attending Glen Oaks Community College will have the option of studying a new Associate of Arts in Visual Arts degree program that will offer three different choices of emphasis in Fine Art, Graphic Design and Commercial Photography.


GOCC Activities

  • GOCC will hold a Manufacturing Forum Roundtable Discussion in April. “Finding Workforce Solutions — Together” will focus on identifying workforce solutions in the manufacturing sector. The event will be held on Tues., April 16 from 8 to 11 a.m. in the Dresser Business Development Center.
  • The College will serve as a partner in the Sturgis 2022 revitalization initiative. Sturgis 2022 is a vision for the next decade focused on generating positive improvements in the Sturgis community, a collaborative effort of citizens and community leaders committed to making Sturgis a better place to live and work.
  • Dr. Gary Wheeler, GOCC president, announced his intention to retire in 2015 at the March Board of Trustees meeting. Wheeler has served as president since 2007.
  • Glen Oaks Community College graduation is Fri., May 3 at 7 p.m.; Nursing Pinning Ceremony is Sat., May 4 at 10 a.m.; Allied Health Pinning Ceremony is Sat., May 4 at 2 p.m.


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