Art exhibition features works of Glen Oaks Professor Michael Northrop

“A Retrospective of 22 Years at the Oaks,” a collection of artworks of Professor Michael Northrop, is now on display in the Flora Kirsch-Beck Art Gallery on the campus of Glen Oaks Community College.

The exhibit features 32 pieces of art in addition to photos of other installations of art across the state of Michigan. It encompasses a range of Northrop’s work over the past 22 years while teaching as a professor at the college and includes oil paintings, pastels, egg tempera, stained glass, blown glass and hand-drawn lithographs. The collection will be on display through February 1.

Northrop, of Three Rivers, Michigan, attended Olivet College and Western Michigan University where he holds a Master of Fine Art in Painting. Through the years, he has had exhibits at the Kalamazoo Institute of Art, the Grand Rapids “Celebrations” exhibit, and the Carnegie Center for the Arts in Three Rivers.

“My tenure at Glen Oaks has opened amazing doors professionally,” said Northrop. “Many of my works have included Glen Oaks students as models.”

The exhibit is free and will be open Mondays through Thursdays between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. through Dec. 16, while the college is open. It will reopen again on Jan. 11 when winter classes begin. For further information about the exhibit, please contact Professor Northrop at 269-294-4277 or through email at:

First Gen Logo
Glen Oaks celebrates first-generation college students

Glen Oaks Community College will be joining campus communities across the nation in celebrating this year’s National First-Generation College Celebration.

There will be a Tri-Alpha induction ceremony on Wed., Nov. 9 at 6:30 p.m. in the Dresser Business Development Center. The chapter is an honorary society for first-generation college students who have a 3.2 grade-point average or higher who have completed at least 30 college credits. Highlights of the event include a welcome, history of the chapter, induction of students, faculty, staff, and alumni members, and a guest speaker.

“We are excited about creating a chapter and inducting our first members,” said Tonya Howden, VP of student services and co-advisor of the chapter. The faculty and staff inductees will be Dr. David H. Devier, Dr. Tammy Russell, and Sara Main. Dr. Madonna Jackson and Tonya Howden will be inducted as co-advisors.

Student inductees will be Nicole Bielak, Joshua Cook, Julia Cook, Nikki Hambright, Tiffany Howe, Kia Lane, Kevin Munn, Tyler O’Brien, Alexis Paananen, Todd Parker, Nikki Prichard, Lexie Rodriguez, Amie Smith, Amanda Stiles, Katlin Tissue, Julie Truckey, Christine Wheeler, and Ronald Wolford.

The National Day of Celebration is Nov. 8, marking the anniversary of the signing of the Higher Education Act of 1965, which was pivotal in creating equity among colleges and universities for minorities and those coming from low socioeconomic backgrounds.

In addition to the induction ceremony, the college will hold a special First-Generation Celebration on Tuesday, Nov. 15, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., on the concourse for all first-generation students and those in support of them. The event will feature free lunches and tee-shirts for students, resources and information on Tri Alpha, and a photo booth where students can get their photos taken with a first-generation background.

As part of the first-generation activities and to help build up the event, campus faculty, staff and students have been encouraged to share their experiences in profiles for posting on the college social media platforms.

“Faculty and staff are sharing about their experiences as a first-generation student and their successes to help encourage our current students,” said Hannah Fries, advisor, TRIO Student Support Services and coordinator of the festivities.

“We hope that students recognize the support and recognition that we are trying to provide to our first-generation students, who in some cases, may not necessarily have the support at home,” said Fries. “Being the first in a family to attend college is a big step – and something to celebrate.”

Computer keyboard and joystick
Glen Oaks launches the newest college sports rage – esports; history is made with first two winning matches

Glen Oaks Community College is entering the increasingly popular arena of esports – which is now sanctioned as a sport by the NJCAA (National Junior College Athletic Association).  Last evening two Viking esport athletes both won their matches.

“Esports is short for electronic sports,” said Kevin Conner, professor of information technology and coach for the new Viking Esports team. “We are officially listed as an NJCAA team.  So far 11 students have expressed an interest in participating. Depending on the game title, the matches may involve one person or up to a team of five persons.”

Currently, there are 211 NJCAA community college esports teams competing nationally with only a handful of Michigan community colleges that are on board – Alpena, Gogebic, and Mott Community Colleges and Jackson College.

“We had our first matches and first wins, last night,” said Conner. “Both esport Viking athletes Thomas Tissue, and Donavon Blum, both of Centreville, won their first Smash Brothers Ultimate matches against Onondaga Community College, New York.

For now, Glen Oaks is running the matches as though they were an intermural sport, but that will soon change as the teams get a better feel for how the matches work and as the competitions progress.

Some of the game titles are Smash Brothers, Call of Duty, Overwatch, FIFA, Rocket League, Mario Kart, and many more.  Students can participate in gaming competitions from campus or from the comfort of their homes. “Most of the matches are synchronous, timed, and are live-streamed using Twitch and YouTube so that anyone can view them,” said Conner.

The college has seen a growing interest in gaming in general in recent years as students have been gathering for Gaming Club activities. “It’s fun to see gaming bring kids together,” said Conner.  “Esports is a way for students to solve challenges while working together as a team.”


pig wearing graduation cap
2023 High school seniors urged to apply now for President’s and Dean’s Scholarships at Glen Oaks

High schools seniors planning to attend college Glen Oaks Community College are encouraged to apply now for the President’s and Dean’s Scholarships for the 2023-2024 academic year.

To be eligible for these scholarships students must be a 2023 graduate from a public or private high school in St. Joseph County or a public high school within the Glen Oaks service area (Cass County residents attending Three Rivers, Constantine or White Pigeon High Schools; students attending high schools in Branch County in Michigan; and students attending high schools in LaGrange, Elkhart, Steuben and St. Joseph Counties of Indiana).

For the President’s Scholarship students must have a minimum GPA of 3.5 to be eligible for up to $4,000 per year. For the Dean’s Scholarship, worth up to $2,000 per year, students must have a minimum GPA of 3.0.  Students must meet the minimum GPA requirement after the first semester of their senior year.  Both scholarships may be renewable for a second year.

“A Glen Oaks President’s Scholarship will be awarded to one student from each of the eight high schools in St. Joseph County, one scholarship for a student attending a private high school in St. Joseph County, and two additional scholarships will be awarded to students residing in the Glen Oaks Service Area,” said Jean Zimmerman, director of financial aid. “For the Dean’s Scholarship, we will award two students from each high school in the county, two students attending a private high school in St. Joseph County, plus two scholarships for students residing in the Glen Oaks service area.”

To access the scholarship descriptions and application please go to: and select Scholarships. The scholarship descriptions and the link to the application are listed under Currently Active Scholarships.

To be considered for these awards, all application materials must be received in the Glen Oaks Financial Aid Office by 4 p.m. on March 1, 2023.

Contact the GOCC Financial Aid office with questions by calling (269) 294-4260 or email  Office hours are 8:15 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday, Thursday and Friday and 8:15 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday.

Glen Oaks to hold 2022 St. Joseph County College Fair – Tues., Oct. 18

Over 500 prospective students, are expected to attend the 2022 St. Joseph County College Fair on Tuesday, Oct. 18 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Ken Schuler Court, the college’s gymnasium.

Schools in St. Joseph County will bus upper-level students to the event where they will be able to talk with admission representatives to learn about programs and student life at their affiliated institutions.

“This event provides students a great opportunity to explore the options at different colleges and universities,” said Sarah Kohler, director of admissions at Glen Oaks. “It’s nice because you have so many admission representatives in one location, plus it is close to home.”

Both two- and four-year institutions will be represented at the fair, along with representatives from the military branches and technical schools.

“Whether you are a current student interested in transfer information, an adult wanting to start classes to expand your knowledge, a high school student (and or parent) wanting to learn about program options at colleges and universities from Michigan and Indiana, this event is a great opportunity for you to meet with college representatives all in one place at one time,” said Kohler.

The event is free and open to anyone in the community. To learn more, call the Office of Admissions at Glen Oaks at (269) 294-4253.

Viking Transportation Building Dedication – Thursday, Oct. 20, 10 a.m.

On Thursday, Oct. 20 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., Glen Oaks will dedicate its new Viking Transportation building, located immediately south of main campus. Glen Oaks employees, students and contractors involved in the project will celebrate with cider and doughnuts and brief remarks from Dr. David Devier, Glen Oaks President.

The 100-foot by 40-foot metal building was put in place over the summer to house the campus vehicles. The college has five vans, two automobiles, a pickup truck, and a 5-ton truck along with a salt-spreader, Kubota, Bobcat and other lawn servicing equipment.

Prior to the new construction, many of the campus vehicles were housed outdoors which subjected them to unfavorable winter weather conditions. In the long run this tends to create and aggravate vehicle maintenance problems.

The new building not only provides shelter, but also results in better security for the vehicles and protects them from critter damage.

Work on the building was done by Frederick Construction, of Vicksburg, MI. The Viking logo and building lettering was painted by local artist, Heidi Wolfe, (Wolfe Makes Art) of Howe, IN.

In addition, by removing some of the vehicles that were housed in the main maintenance building, space has been freed up for badly needed storage. The final cost of the project is estimated to be $600,000.

Kristine Stevens
Glen Oaks selects Kristine Stevens as new director of business services and outreach

Glen Oaks Community College is pleased to announce Kristine Stevens as the new director of business outreach and services. Stevens replaces Paul Aivars who is retiring after 7 years of service with the college.

Stevens has been the director of business and industry training for the past eight years at Mid-Michigan Community College where she also taught business classes. She has a Master of Business Administration from Northwest Nazarene University and a Bachelor of Science in Education from Central Michigan University.

In addition, Stevens served as a past president of the Michigan Association of Continuing Education and Training organization (MACET), a statewide community college consortium leading transformation and integration of workforce development, economic development, continuing education and community services in Michigan.

Leading the workforce development initiatives at the college, Stevens will be working with employers to develop customized training and professional development programs for businesses and manufacturers in St. Joseph County and beyond.

Businesses wishing to schedule an appointment with Stevens can contact her at: or by calling (269) 294-4276.




London photo
Glen Oaks announces study abroad trip to Ireland, England and Scotland in 2023

Students at Glen Oaks Community College will be traveling to Ireland, England and Scotland as part of the 2023 Glen Oaks Study Abroad program and anyone in the community who may be interested in joining along are welcome.

The tour begins in Dublin, Ireland, where participants will enjoy both walking and bus tours of the city. The group will visit the five iconic Georgian squares, which span the north and south sides of town. Highlights include stops at St. Patrick’s Cathedral; Grafton Street, the center of commerce; and O’Connell Street, a bustling street filled with monuments.

The group will fly to London, England, on day five where and will visit The Strand, the city’s major thoroughfare, along with Trafalgar and Leicester Square, and the Palace of Westminster where they will see the famous bell clock — Big Ben. They will also visit Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle.

On day nine, the group will take the railway to Edinburgh, Scotland, where they will travel to the Highlands region, enjoy a boat cruise on Loch Ness and visit Urquhart Castle, which once served as a medieval fortress.

The trip will be hosted by Michael Northrop, professor of humanities and study abroad director at Glen Oaks.

“We are excited to once again offer a trip to both students and the general public,” said Northrop. “Last year, we traveled to Italy with one of the largest study abroad groups in a long time.”

Trip price ($5,149 for students under the age of 30, and $5,549 for adults) includes round-trip airfare, land transport, entry fees, tips, trip insurance for the group, overnight stays in hotels, and most breakfasts and dinners. Guests will be responsible for lunch costs.

“The Glen Oaks Study Abroad program began in the 1990s,” said Northrop. “Since then, locations have included Mexico, France, England, Ireland, Scotland, Spain, China, Honduras, Peru, and most recently, Italy. Group sizes have ranged from a low of six to an average of 10 to 15 people. Because the cost is challenging for many college students, community members are always invited to participate.”

For more information on the 2022 Italy trip, email Northrop at, call (269) 294-4277, or visit:


Blair and Cripe
Glen Oaks announces two new nursing faculty

The Division of Health Sciences at Glen Oaks Community College has announced two new nursing faculty members: Melissa Blair and Lisa Cripe.

Blair, of Coldwater, Michigan, obtained her Associate of Science in Nursing from Kellogg Community College, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from The Robert B. Miller College, and a Master’s of Science in Nursing Education from Fort Hays State University. Blair worked as an emergency room nurse for 15 years and is the owner of Premier Health Education LLC, which provides health education such as CPR classes to the community.  She is a certified emergency nurse and is teaching Mental Health Nursing this fall and will be teaching the Nursing Role Transitions course and Professional Issues in Nursing in the winter. Blair serves as the vice-president for the Branch Area Lions Club.

Cripe, of Sturgis, Michigan, is the lead faculty for Medical/Surgical Nursing II class this semester and Family Nursing in the winter. She graduated from Kellogg Community College with an Associate of Science in Nursing and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Eastern Michigan University. She has a Master of Science in Nursing with a specialization in Nursing Education from Aspen University. She recently received her certification from the National League of Nursing as a Certified Nurse Educator-Novice. She has been a labor and delivery nurse for 14 years, and has cross-trained to medical/surgical nursing and other areas during her nursing career.  Recently she worked as an infection control/employee health care coordinator and worked part-time both in obstetrics and acute care at Beacon Health System in Three Rivers.

Gold Star
Glen Oaks announces Summer 2022 President’s and Dean’s list

Glen Oaks Community College announces its outstanding scholars for the Summer 2022 Semester. Students on the President’s Honor Roll achieved a grade point average of 3.75-4.0. Students on the Dean’s Honor Roll achieved a grade point average of 3.5-3.74. The students are listed alphabetically according to their towns of residency.



Angola – Deborah Sills

Bronson – Joshua Cook, Julia Cook, Megan Summey

Burr Oak – Andrew Littlefield

Coldwater – Alexis Clemens

Colon – Justin Lopshire

Constantine – Mercades Cooper

Edwardsburg – Stacy Carver

Mendon – Danae Bingaman, Miranda Duff

Schoolcraft – Genevieve Bogema

Sturgis – Gabriel Alvez, Leah, Campos-Arellano, Amanda Carpenter, Lisa Deschaine,

Chantel Horn, Patty Lock, Todd Parker, Harleah Webster, Emilee Wood

Three River – Gina Babcock, Adam Bernhardt, Raquel Candelaria, Dianna Christiansen,

Amanda Tippett, Veronica Williams, Jeremy Williamson

White Pigeon – Evangelina Perez Rubio, Michael Van Lente





Bronson – Megan Colpetsir, Katlyn Craze

Burr Oak – Branson Hernandez, Kayla Root, Jonathan West

Constantine – Timothy Brandys

Decatur – Amanda Everett

Marcellus – Holly Melville, Jerred Melville

Mendon – Pamela Anderson, Caden Everson, Lauren Schabes

Sturgis – Rachel Cline, Cynthia De Jesus, Melissa Delarye, Imrich Kuric, Mercedies Limpert, Amanda Stiles, Angela Vercler, Joanna Villafuerte

Three Rivers – Emily Avery, Kara Beall, Kelsi Crotser, Rylie Glass, Peyton Tippett, Lauren Wills

White Pigeon – Sebastian Terrio