August 2019 Central Connection

July 24, 2019

Colleges sign dual admission agreement

By Scott Miller
Public Relations and Marketing Director

Central Community College and Bryan College of Health Sciences have formally signed a new dual admission agreement. The articulation agreement will allow students from Central Community College to seamlessly matriculate at Bryan to finish their four-year degree.

Students applying for and accepted under the dual admissions process will be admitted to both colleges upon acceptance into a science or health professions program at Central Community College.

Students at CCC desiring dual admissions must apply for dual admissions status by the completion of their first year of enrollment at CCC. The agreement takes effect immediately with the start of the 2019-20 academic year.

“With Grand Island Regional Hospital nearly complete in partnership with Bryan Health we wanted to support the educational needs of trained healthcare professionals in the Grand Island community,” said Bryan College of Health Sciences Provost Dr. Kelsi Anderson.

“With our RN-BSN completion program now being offered completely online, it made sense for us to connect with CCC to provide seamless opportunities for degree completion to their graduates who would certainly be seeking employment at the new hospital in addition to surrounding communities,” he added.

For more information, contact Bryan College of Health Sciences at 402-481-8863.

CCC’s nursing curriculum provides a comprehensive, rigorous and individualized education that prepares the student nurse for success in a variety of nursing roles. In addition to Bryan, CCC has collaborated with several four-year nursing programs throughout Nebraska that allows all credits to be transferred from the ADN program into a BSN program.

“What I am most excited about is that this agreement provides an opportunity for nurses, medical lab technicians, dental hygienists, pharmacy technicians, biomedical scientists, occupational therapy assistants and others to continue on for a bachelor’s degree without having to leave their current employment in over 90 communities that CCC serves,” said CCC President Dr. Matt Gotschall.

“Continued education is essential for the sustainability and growth of our rural Nebraska health care providers,” he added.

That’s amazing!

Cara Bunger, a seventh grader at Wilcox-Hildreth Public Schools, learns about the density of gases and combustion in a very direct way at the Central Honors Institute July 7-11 at Central Community College-Columbus. Students on the FLY CHI physics track take part in this science experiment called Methane Mamba. Methane gas is bubbled through a funnel of soapy water to produce a column of methane-filled bubbles.  Students dip their hands in a mixture of soap and water to give them a layer of protection from the heat and flames. Methane bubbles are then placed on their hands and lit on fire to dramatic effect. (Photo by CHI student intern Ashley Kraemer)

News briefs

Students win bronze at national contest

The Teamworks Team from Central Community College-Hastings placed third in the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference, which was held June 24-28 in Louisville, Ky.

Team members were: Pedro Nunez of Gibbon; Keenan Lienemann and Jerrod Punchochar, both of Grand Island; and Dakota Franks of Kearney.

Also competing at the national competition were the additive manufacturing team of Mackenzy Nelson of Albion and Dillon Burns of Oxford as well as individual competitors Laurel Bain of Grand Island in masonry and Samantha Ponce-Hernandez of Grand Island in CNC milling.

SkillsUSA is a national organization that provides secondary and post-secondary students in trade, industrial, technical, technology and health occupations with leadership, citizenship and character development programs and activities. 

Athletes earn academic honors

The National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) has recognized 22 Central Community College student-athletes and one team for academic achievement during 2018-19.

Student-athletes who earned a 4.0 GPA were named NJCAA All-Academic First team, while those who posted a GPA of 3.80-3.99 were named NJCAA All-Academic Second Team. The NJCAA All-Academic Third Team is comprised of student-athletes who finished with a GPA of 3.60-3.79.

The CCC volleyball team led the way with eight student-athletes earning NJCAA academic honors, followed by men’s soccer with five. Softball and women’s basketball each had four players receive honors, while golf and men’s basketball each had one.

As a team, volleyball sported a 3.55 grade point average, to place in the top 20. Overall, 106 volleyball teams nationwide earned NJCAA academic honors.

CCC athletes honored were:

Golf: Evan Halbmaier of Mead, 2nd team.

Men’s soccer: Peterson Costa, Guilherme Balestra Demhougi and Riolan Moradillo Mello of Salvador, Brazil, and Luis Tovar of Columbus, 2nd team, and Marcus Horwood of Chesham, United Kingdom, and Cooper Pratt of Melbourne, Australia, 3rd team.

Softball: Morgan Pinkelman of Ashland, 1st team; Taylor Griffith of Loup City and Jenessa Grooms of Ord, 2nd team; and Ashten Gibson of Wayne, 3rd team.

Volleyball: Maddie Davis of Yutan, Mallory Gotschall of Columbus and Sheridan Holcomb of Arcadia, 1st team; Jordee Korte of Columbus, Jacie Laetsch of Chambers, Abbe Mancuso of Papillion and Susie Vavra of Ord, 2nd team; and Katelynn Halstead of Marquette, 3rd team.

Women’s basketball: Maddie Davis of Yutan and Sarah Monahan of Hyannis, 1st team; Monica Brooks of Shawnee, Okla., 2nd team; and Gabrielle Baack of Kearney, 3rd team.

CCC to go ‘Beyond the Screen’

The Central Community College-Grand Island extended learning services department will once again offer “Beyond the Screen” movies as part of its community education programs.

The series is offered free of charge to people who enjoy watching and discussing movies. Each movie is followed by a discussion moderated by CCC English instructor Jim Kosmicki.

Here are the movies planned this fall: “Space Cowboys,” Sept. 4; “Bugsy Malone,” Oct. 9; “Barefoot in the Park,” Nov. 13; and “All Mine to Give,” Dec. 4.

Reservations are required. For more information or to reserve a seat, contact the CCC Extended Learning Services Office at 308-398-7445.

Heading into a new year

Central Community College’s fall semester begins Aug. 19, and admissions staff members (including CCC-Grand Island admissions director Erin Lesiak above) have been preparing new students to succeed. They did this through New Student Orientation sessions held in English and Spanish throughout the summer in Columbus, Grand Island, Hastings and Kearney. (Photo by Scott Miller)

Fisher finishes long service to adult ed

By Joni Ransom
Communications Assistant to the President

The first day of June in 1988 was also the first day of a long relationship between Donna Fisher and Central Community College’s adult education program in Aurora.

It began with a request for her to serve on an advisory board and as the additional teacher the GED program needed.

Since then, she has helped numerous people who didn’t graduate from high school but have decided they want to earn their high school diploma. CCC’s GED program helps them prepare for the four tests they must pass in language arts, social sciences, science and mathematics.

Donna Fisher has served the Central Community College
adult education program in Aurora since 1988.
(Photo by Joni Ransom)

The position was a natural for Fisher, a public school teacher who taught everything from kindergarten to fourth grade. Her career includes 34 years as a fourth-grade teacher for Aurora Public Schools.

Teaching was something she shared with her late husband, Henry “Hank” Fisher, who was a high school business teacher. They also shared responsibilities on the farm where they built their house.

When asked how two teachers ended up buying a farm, Fisher said, “I grew up on a farm. Our farm here is only two miles out of town with a pasture. We had cows, and I took care of them until last summer.”

The farm she grew up on was in Hershey where she attended and then graduated from Hershey High School. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in education from Kearney State College.

Her education prepared her well for teaching students of any age, but the Aurora fourth graders and the CCC GED students came with their own set of challenges. She didn’t have to discipline the adults or tell them to “sit down,” but she often had to encourage them to keep working toward their educational goals.

“I like working with and helping adults,” she said, “but the challenge was to keep them coming to class. Some of them would give up too easy.”

It was a challenge Fisher enjoyed but it’s one coming to an end as she retires and the GED program in Aurora closes.

Her retirement will include several activities she already enjoys: playing bridge several times a week, taking care of the farm and occasionally subbing at Aurora Public Schools. She also can spend time in Springfield with her son, Kyle; daughter-in-law, Phyllis; and grandson Travis, who is a high school senior with plans to attend the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

“Central Community College’s adult education program will miss Donna,” Ann Chambers, CCC adult education director, said. “She was dedicated to her students and helped over 60 adults pass their GED tests. The GED/high school diploma creates opportunities for employment and post-secondary education. We thank Donna for providing this support to our students.”

Central Community College can still help individuals in the Aurora area who want to earn their high school diploma. They must be at least 16 years old and have either officially withdrawn from a Nebraska school or completed home-schooling. For more information, go to or contact Chambers at 308-398-7446 or

Camp depends on instructors, interns

The Central Honors Institute at Central Community College-Columbus requires a lot of help from people on and off campus.

This year’s camp on July 7-11 attracted 82 students. These students will be seven or eighth graders this fall. They have a high ability in language arts, math and/or science; have demonstrated academic accomplishments, leadership skills and maturity; and have been recommended by a teacher or counselor.

Instructors were Katie Claus and AJ Rose of Columbus, CHI Creativity language arts track; Joshua Darveau and Jared Johnson of Columbus, Stream Team biology track; Terri Jelinek of Columbus and Lee Peterson-Brogie of Wayne, CSI at CHI math track; and Marc Bathke of Dixon and Ed Brogie of Wayne, FLY CHI physics track.

In addition to attending classes, campers had a chance to socialize in the evenings and experience life on a college campus. Terry and Abie Wulf of Columbus supervised the social activities.

Interns who helped with the camp were Julia Davidchik, a junior at Columbus High School; Ashley Kraemer, a junior at Allen Consolidated Schools; Brock Ray, a sophomore at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln; and Katelyn Wiegand, a senior at Columbus High School.

Employee news

Administrative Office

The following employees have earned master’s degrees: Fran Davis, institutional research coordinator, Bellevue University, business administration; Cindy Lothrop, hiring manager, Doane University, management and leadership; and Lauren Slaughter, equity and compliance manager, University of Nebraska-Omaha, public administration.

John Molina, human resources records technician, has earned a diploma in business administration from CCC-Grand Island.

Columbus Campus

New employees include Brandon Bender, English instructor; David Cassidy, math and physics instructor; Jason Davis, associate dean of skilled and technical sciences; and John Leopold, art instructor.

Grand Island Campus

Katie Hodges has joined the staff as an English instructor.

Hastings Campus

New employees include Taylor Carkoski, residence life coordinator; Jamie Logue, associate dean of business; David Quinn, construction technology instructor; Michael Pham, psychology instructor; and Taylor Schneider, energy technology instructor.

Employees who have been promoted from part-time to full-time positions include Michael Hoskins, auto body technology, and Beth Kavan, media arts instructor.

Sally Kopke has resigned as an administrative assistant for the business occupations department.

Kearney Center

Amy Hammond has been promoted from part-time to full-time English instructor.

Kara Siedhoff has joined the staff as a student services specialist.

Lexington Center

Joshua Brant, electrical and mechanical coordinator and trainer, has earned a diploma in mechatronics from CCC-Columbus.