November 2019 Central Connection

November 1, 2019

Generous donation leads to opportunities

By Scott Miller
Public Relations and Marketing Director

In October 2018, a $1 million anonymous donation was given to Central Community College to meet the growing workforce demand for certified nursing assistants (CNA) and nurses at the Kearney Center and the Holdrege and Lexington centers. One of the main reasons the benefactor made the donation was to assist Kearney and surrounding communities in caring for an increasing elderly population in long-term and assisted-living facilities.

The $1 million is being allocated over five years with one year already in the books. Half of the money goes to pay for a full-time instructor and $250,000 dollars is to be used for scholarships. The other $250,000 has been put into an endowment fund for future scholarships.

McKenzie Daily

Michaela Terry

Dr. Kelly Christensen, dean of training and Kearney Center administrator, said the Long-Term Care (LTC) Scholarship offering has also expanded and is available to students in the nurse assisting, medication aide, occupational therapy assistant and pharmacy technician programs.

“We want to remove as many barriers as possible to help our students get the education and training they need for long-term care careers,” said Christensen.

Not all of the barriers are financial according to Christensen, who said the accessibility to an increased number of classes is now available due to a full-time instructor and more adjunct instructors for nursing at the Holdrege and Lexington centers.

“In the past, we would run out of available classes during the summer,” said Christensen. “It used to be back when we were in the old Kearney Center, that we would have a line of students waiting to sign up because it was first-come, first-served. But this year, we have so many opportunities that we’ve eliminated the need for lines.”

Perhaps the best news is that in the scholarship’s two terms of existence, enrollment in nursing programs has increased by 20 students from the prior terms.

The LTC Scholarship was prominently discussed at an information session at the Kearney Center on Oct. 10. CCC administrators hosted several representatives from long-term care facilities to inform them about what the nursing students are being taught and the educational facilities they will learn in. The idea is to give potential employers a sketch of how CCC students are prepared when they enter the workforce.

“We really want to reach out to the employers and become more of a partner with them on this and learn more about their needs after they hear about and see the things we have available,” said Christensen.

The $1 million donation has also expanded opportunities for students who have received scholarships.

Michaela Terry is new to the nursing program at the Kearney Center as of this semester. However, she has seven years’ experience in long-term care, having worked in a nursing home and an assisted-living facility. Terry’s experience includes working as an aide and in the billing department. When Terry earns her nursing degree, she is considering working as a nurse in a long-term care facility or perhaps serving as an administrator. She may also go into pediatrics.

Terry said she almost didn’t apply for the LTC Scholarship because she thought she had missed the deadline. However, she is grateful that she applied because the scholarship has opened a few extra doors.

“I have three young boys, so a lot of my finances go towards my children,” said Terry. “With the scholarship, I was able to buy things that I may have put off, like a new stethoscope and some new scrubs for my clinical days because they have a certain dress code that you have to follow.”

McKenzie Daily earned her LPN through the nursing program at the Kearney Center and is on track to graduate with her associate degree in nursing in May 2020. She then plans to earn her bachelor’s degree and even a master’s degree so that she might be able to teach nursing at the college level. Daily is interested in working as an intensive care unit nurse. She has her CNA and currently works on the weekends at the Community Memorial Health Center, a skilled-nursing facility in Burwell.

In some ways, Daily believes the LTC scholarship is fueling her high aspirations in nursing.

“I think it does light a fire, knowing that there are more options and people that are willing to help,” said Daily. “The funds that I have received just really mean the world to me. I hope that I can give back just like they have.”

Collaborative venture

Dental hygiene students from Central Community College-Hastings recently collaborated with nursing students from the Creighton University School of nursing to provide dental health and nutritional health to elementary children through interprofessional education. Dr. Wanda Cloet, CCC dental hygiene program director, said the nursing students were impressed by the dental hygiene students’ ability to screen more than 200 children in less than two hours.

Those students are pictured in the back row (left to right) Jessica Thomsen of Geneva; Jennifer Cueva of Grand Island; and Jade Lech of Fort Collins, Colo. CCC students in the second row are Liza Lucas of Omaha, Brandi Taylor of O’Neil and Vanessa Crookshank of Kearney. Creighton nursing students are pictured in the first row. (Photo courtesy of Wanda Cloet)

Instrumentalists ...

Vocalists ...

Two fall concerts

The Central Community College-Columbus music department will present two concerts in November.

The first is the Fall Band Concert, “Nature’s Majesty,” at 3 p.m. on Nov. 3 in the campus’ Fine Arts Center. Instrumental music instructor Anthony Burnham will direct the CCC Concert Band and Hilltop Percussion in performing pieces ranging from classic band works to video game soundtracks. Special guests will be the Columbus Jazz Orchestra.

The Fall Choral Concert, “Rain Came Down,” is set for 7 p.m. on Nov. 7 at the First United Methodist Church, 2710 14th St. in Columbus. Featured groups will be the College Chorus and Spectrum ensemble under the direction of vocal music instructor Jeffrey Kitson.

Both concerts are open to the public free of charge, although freewill donations are welcome.

For more information about the band concert, call (402) 562-1294. For more information about the choral concert, call (402) 562-1270.

CCC students (left to right)
Kristine Johnson, Courtney
Brehm and Exixia Ortega.
(Photo courtesy of
Katie Holmes)

Summit teaches students to achieve big

Several Central Community College students attended the National Society of Leadership and Success’ South Leadership Summit Sept. 26-28 at the University of Houston in Texas.

The program theme was “Achieve Big” with the emphasis on envisioning short-term and long-term goals.

Participants attending the sessions learned about achieving big for themselves and helping others do the same.

The speeches and presentations were given by leaders from all walks of life. Their stories were uplifting and encouraging, and they prompted a lot of self-reflection and personal growth.

CCC students attending the summit said they had a great time learning, sharing, networking and leading. They expressed their gratitude to the college for allowing students to attend trips like this because it allows them to better themselves and to bring back what they learned to CCC and their communities.

Advisers Jason Baker, heavy equipment operator training instructor at the Hastings Campus, and Katie Holmes, administrative assistant at the Kearney Center, attended the summit along with the following students:

Grand Island/Kearney Chapter

  • Courtney Brehm of Kearney, vice president
  • Kristine Johnson of Kearney, secretary
  • Exixia Ortega of Kearney, president

Hastings Chapter

  • Brittany Carr of O’Neill, vice president
  • Cody Sweester of Grafton, president

In tribute

Delores Ann “Dee” Cochrane died Sept. 30.

Services were Oct. 10 at the First Congregational Church in Greeley, Colo.

She was born Aug. 31, 1934 in Agricola, Kan., to Warren and Louise DeJarnett. She grew up in Big Horn, Wyo., and was valedictorian of her high school class.

She attended Hastings College in Nebraska where she met her husband, Ladd Cochrane. She stayed at home with their two children, Carrie and Patrick.

When they went to school, she went to work as a business education instructor at Natrona County High School in Casper, Wyo. She later worked as a bookkeeper and librarian for the psychology department at Arizona State University in Tempe and as an executive secretary, administrative assistant and personnel administrator at ARIX Engineers Architects Planners in Greeley, Colo.

She joined the Central Community College-Hastings staff in 1984 and served as a business instructor, acting chair of the business occupations department and finally as associate dean of business and health occupations.

While at CCC, she served as a member of the Hastings Campus’ Teaching and Learning Center work team and the Small Business Institute Board of Directors. She also was a recipient of the CCC-Hastings Outstanding Service Award. She retired in 1997.

She was a graduate of Hastings College with a bachelor’s degree in business education and a master’s degree in teaching.

Her community involvement in Hastings included serving as co-chair of the YWCA Tribute to Women project, vice president of the Hastings Business and Professional Women’s Club and as a volunteer for The Bridge.

She also had been a member of the Business-Industry-Education Partnership Goals 5 and 6 committee, Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce annual meeting and public relations committees, Nebraska Home-Based Business Association and the First Presbyterian Church.

Her out-of-state community involvement included serving as president of the State of Wyoming Women’s Club Association, her P.E.O. chapter and the Assistance League of Greeley.

Moser Funeral and Cremation Service in Evans, Colo., was in charge of arrangements.

Employee news

Columbus Campus

Erica Leffler has been promoted from Early College coordinator to extended learning services regional director.

Elizabeth Wess has shifted positions as an administrative assistant in the admissions office to the student services office.

Hastings Campus

A research abstract, “Dental Hygiene Students’ Preferences of Ultrasonic Instruments” by Wanda Cloet, dental hygiene program director, was published in the October edition of the Journal of Dental Hygiene.

Kearney Center

June Collison, nursing instructor, and Olivia Whittaker, environmental sustainability manager, have resigned from their positions.

NCMPR awards

Seven employees were recognized at the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations’ (NCMPR) District 5 Conference, which was held Oct. 6-8 in Manhattan, Kan.

Mike Garretson, media producer, received second place in the e-Card category for the HELP Grant Jingle Bells e-Card.

Amanda Groff, marketing manager, received a third place in the successful recruitment or marketing program category for the registration reminder.

Deserah Janke, Columbus Campus print shop coordinator and designer, received first place in the notes, cards and invitations category for A Perfect Fit Notecard.

Emily Klimek, graphic designer, received second place in the notes, cards and invitations category for the map testing contact card, third place in the viewbook category and third place in the print advertisement category for the Whoopers and Hoopers ad.

Scott Miller, public relations and marketing director, received two awards in the radio advertisement category: a first place for the dad’s jokes series and a third place for the Miss Nebraska series.

Kelsey Seidler, Hastings Campus print shop manager and designer, received a second place in the poster category for the Pancakes After Dark poster. She also received two awards in the novelty advertising category: a second place for the new student orientation T-shirts and a third place for the CCC promo T-shirts.

Tiffany Seybold, web content specialist, received a third place in the e-card category for the CCC holiday e-Card.