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Symphony Chaco: A Journey of the Spirit

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Symphony Chaco: A Journey of the Spirit

Posted on 06 May 2016 by admin

History through Music: Meramec Professor brings cultural enrichment to campus Continue Reading

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Mental illness awareness leads to acceptance: A lifetime of experience

Posted on 22 April 2016 by admin

Focus on Ability club guest speaker, Sharon Lyon, works to end stigma of mental illness

 

By: Jason Waters
Production Manager

 

The Focus on Ability club provides a welcoming and supportive community for students with a mental illness, physical disability, or learning disability, vice president Kyle Kluzynski said.

On Wednesday, March 30, speakers from the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) were welcomed to Meramec.

“We want people to understand what it’s like to live with a mental illness so they can empathize with those who are undergoing it,” Kluzynski said. “And for those who are undergoing mental illness themselves, this presentation can provide a valuable outlet and insight into the lives of others who have dealt with similar problems. So we hope that they can learn perhaps coping strategies and more importantly that they are not alone.”

The Focus on Ability club is here to help students feel welcome with whatever disability they are struggling with, Kluzynski said.

Sharon Lyons, Director of volunteering for NAMI, spoke at the event.

“NAMI focuses on education support and
advocacy for people with mental illness and their family members. We do support groups. For education we do a variety of different classes and talks like we did today. We do public policy advocacy, advocating for better treatment for people with mental illness. Laws that would help improve the lives of people with mental illness,” Lyons said.

Lyons suffers from paranoid schizophrenia.

In her spare time, she likes to read, watch movies, take photos and collect antique purses, she said. But her dark days were many during the years of 1993 and 1994.

“I was working for the federal government. I had
a very successful job there as a manager with a lot of responsibilities. I felt good about myself
and what I was doing. I started to have delusions about one of the men that I work with. At the time I didn’t know they were delusions of course. That’s one of the symptoms of my illness,” Lyons said.

“I thought this man wanted to marry me. I thought that people were talking in code, I had
to decode what they were saying and I took a word here and a word here and put it together and came up with this idea that this man was in love with me and wanted to marry me,” she said.  “One day I made an announcement to my group that we were getting married and I had to leave because married people couldn’t be on the same team. This was all news to him. He had no idea.”

To be able to finally accept her mental illness has been a long process, Lyons said.

“Sometimes I still doubt it actually. But I read a lot about my diagnoses and can see myself in some of the symptoms,” Lyons said.

Back in 1994, Lyons felt like everybody else.

“People just didn’t understand that me and this man just had to get together and talk about this – this was all just some big mistake.
I kept saying that over and over again so it took me a
long time to realize that what I was saying
was all in my head,” Lyons said. “Nobody else could see it. Nobody else could really understand it. I feel lucky that I found a psychiatrist that helped me a lot. I felt tremendous guilt and shame about where it happened. He helped me in getting over that.”

It was difficult for her to find treatment, Lyons said. At the time, she had no job, no money and no insurance.

“I went through the phonebook and made phone call after phone call and finally did find somebody. I felt very lucky that he did take me at the time – during my condition I didn’t know
how I was going to pay him.
He was very empathetic. He was very patient
with me,” Lyons said.

“I had trouble trusting him. It was part of my illness also. I was paranoid. I was afraid to take the medicine but
slowly I did start to take the medicine. It worked pretty quickly. My thoughts
cleared up. I realized some of things that I had done, how wrong they were.
I also realized that there was hope to go forward, that I knew what was wrong with me.”

Growing up, Lyons always felt that she was a little different than other people.

“But I realized at this
point that I could go
forward with this illness
and I didn’t have to look
back. I didn’t have to wonder what was wrong with me anymore. It had a name and it had a treatment. The treatment did work for me, it worked really well,” Lyons said.

When Lyons started to feel better, she went attended a support ground for people with schizophrenia.

“One of the things that helped me cope, besides the medication, was being able
to sit down and talk to other people who had the same diagnoses that I had. Some of the people were taking the same medicines that I had, we talked about medications and side effects and how to cope
with side effects. It gave me something to do – people to talk to and make friends with,” Lyons said.

“For me my work is my main success. I was able to start a new program at NAMI
called Opening Doors to Spirituality which we do once a year to talk about how spirituality can help with mental illness recovery. I’ve been able to make good friends at NAMI,” Lyons said.

Lyons still hopes to get married someday.

“I never did get married. I have a good relationship with my son although I don’t see him as much as I would like to. He is doing well, doesn’t have any signs of mental illness. I would like to work more
on eliminating the stigma of mental illness and dream one day there is no more stigma that people with mental illness can be treated the same as people with any other type of disability,” Lyons said.

Lyons would tell individuals recently diagnosed with a disorder to reach out for help, she said.

“There is nothing to be ashamed of. Don’t feel
ashamed or guilty. That’s a big thing that I had to get
over. It’s a big thing for a lot of people to get over, the shame and guilt of it,” Lyons said. “There is hope.”

 

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MCMA16

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The Montage receives awards at Missouri Media College Association

Posted on 22 April 2016 by admin

Campus newspaper attends MCMA convention and walks away with achievements

 

By: DALILA KAHVEDZIC
Editor-In-Chief

 

The Montage was recently recognized with 25 awards at the Missouri College Media Association’s annual convention and awards ceremony, held April 9 at Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, Mo.

The Montage received 1st place for its Back to School Guide, 1st place win for its website, 3rd place in the Sweepstakes category, 3rd place for the Best Overall Newspaper in the 2-year college division and 22 additional staff and individual awards.

The Montage staff competed against several other two-year school newspapers from across the state. Entries in the competition were judged for general excellence by members of the Missouri Press Association.

 

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Chancellor Pittman visit Meramec for open forum

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Chancellor Pittman visit Meramec for open forum

Posted on 31 March 2016 by admin

Head of STLCC presents new initiatives and responds to comments

By: KATIE HAYES
News Editor

Chancellor Pittman hosted an open forum on March 22. This was his third forum at Meramec since taking office in summer 2015.

The forum focused on four initiatives the chancellor plans to implement — expanding marketing to drive enrollment, redesigning the STLCC website, updating campus facilities and increasing employee giving.

The focus of the STLCC marketing will be on increasing enrollment. Programs which currently have low enrollment will be advertised first. These programs include Health, STEM, Information Systems, Hospitality and General Transfer Studies.

“We’re going to advertise for programs we want to get students in now,” Pittman said.

The STLCC website is currently going through a redesign as well. It is set to be published by the end of 2016.

“It will be much cleaner, simpler, not as many buttons,” Pittman said. “Geared toward drawing students to the college.”

Administration will accept input for the website from faculty and staff in several weeks.

The chancellor also spoke about updating facilities. In addition to updating classrooms and offices, study nooks will be created in common areas.

The chancellor said that since Meramec has large locker rooms, they will shrink and be updated.

The renovations are set to cost a little over $25 million for Meramec’s campus and a little over $82 million for all STLCC campuses combined.

Several questions were asked about the necesity of renovations and if STLCC would need all buildings set to be renovated since enrollment was down.

“When I look at a service area of 2.8 million and our enrollment, it’s not making a whole lot of sense,” Pittman said. “The community wants a community college.”

The chancellor discussed three ways to fund the renovations — self fund over a period of 10-15 years, launch a major capital project campaign or to discuss an additional tax levy.

The chancellor said the next step is to present these ideas to the Board of Trustees.

 

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Search for Meramec Provost continues as July deadline approaches

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Search for Meramec Provost continues as July deadline approaches

Posted on 31 March 2016 by admin

Open forums held for the eight candidates in Student Center

By: KATIE HAYES
News Editor

As the July 1 deadline for the campus provosts to take office approaches, the search continues to narrow.

Open forums were held with the eight candidates for the new Meramec provost position on March 23, 24 and 25. The 50-minute forums were held in the Student Center. The candidates are both provost and associate provost candidates for the STLCC campuses.

Last fall, it was announced that each STLCC campus will move from the president model to the provost model. Meramec, Forest Park and Florissant Valley are each set to implement a provost position, while Wildwood will implement an associate provost position.

Vice president of academic affairs and interim campus president, Janet Walsh, currently holds the two positions which will be consolidated into the provost position. Walsh is one of the eight candidates applying for Meramec provost.

“I think being an internal candidate is very helpful because that learning curve has already happened,” Walsh said at her Meramec forum on Friday, March 25.

The first two forums took place Wednesday, March 23 — one for Dana Grove and one for Hasan Naima.

Grove, currently interim dean of instruction at Metropolitan Community College in Kansas City, MO, advocated for active learning strategies in the classroom, but said it should be faculty who make decisions about curriculum. Grove began as a professor before moving into administration.

“As an administrator, I have always still kept in the classroom teaching at least one class,” Grove said at his Meramec forum. “I will always remain, at least to some degree, in the classroom.”

The second candidate that day, Hasan Naima, most recently served as president of the business and technology campus at Metropolitan Community College in Kansas City, MO.

Thursday, March 24, three more canididates were introducted at Meramec to answer questions.

Larry Johnson, current associate dean of academic affairs at Broward College-South Campus, spoke at 9 a.m. that morning.

Johnson’s approach is to evaluate student learning outcomes and build programs which increase student retention, enrollment and completion rates according to the biography he sudmitted to STLCC.

Ben Latigo, who most recently served as vice president for acadmeic affairs and chief academic officer at Daniel Webster College in Nashua, NH, discussed how he thought the new provost model would affect Meramec.

“With the new chancellor, you’re moving away from the view of separate campuses to one institution,” Latigo said at his Meramec forum. “The campus provost model is less top heavy.”

Latigo also answered questions regarding curriculum decisions.

“There needs to be more accountability in terms of what we are doing for the students,” Latigo said.

Latigo also answered questions regarding running STLCC as more of a business.

“A college — such as this one — is nonprofit,” Latigo said. “However, the Chancellor, CFO, has to run this as a business. Here, our primary business is to offer education to students. The business here is to make our students successful.”

Carol Lupardus, current vice president for academic affairs at Florissant Valley, was the last to speak that Thursday. Lupardus served as acting vice president of acadmeic affairs at Wildwood before moving to Florissant Valley.

The last day of forums, Friday, March 25, the final three candidates were introduced.

Evon Walters, former president of Miller College in Michgan spoke at 9 a.m.

Janet Wlash followed at 2 p.m. the same day.

“I see [the provost] as being the face of the campus,” Walsh said. “I think it’s important for the four provosts to build relationships and get to know each other.”

Walsh said that her leadership style is collaborative.

“I think it’s important to talk to people who decisions affect,” Walsh said. “I don’t think we’re finished in our chaotic world of change. I think communication is really important.”

While there is a current description for the campus provosts, the specifics of the future provosts’ responsibilites are not yet set in stone.

“[The position] may look different in a year or two than it does today,” Walsh said.

The final candidate, Vincent Beach, former vice president of academic affairs at Lincoln College of New England in Connecticut spoke at 4 p.m. on March 25.

According to Beach’s biography he submitted to STLCC, Beach’s career is focused on educational management and leadership.

 

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Archers’ season ends in Region XVI Championship game loss to MCC-Penn Valley

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Archers’ season ends in Region XVI Championship game loss to MCC-Penn Valley

Posted on 14 March 2016 by admin

Shaky defensive performance’ results in 21 point elimination from NJCAA Tournament

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Academic advisers urge students to visit office as program requirements change

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Academic advisers urge students to visit office as program requirements change

Posted on 14 March 2016 by admin

Every five years, STLCC reviews programs to update information

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Missouri presidential preference primary comes in at full swing

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Missouri presidential preference primary comes in at full swing

Posted on 14 March 2016 by admin

The March 15 election could change the course of the election on a national scale

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Homeless: not hopeless

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Homeless: not hopeless

Posted on 14 March 2016 by admin

Many students pursue education despite housing crisis

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PTK travels to Washington D.C. for competition

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PTK travels to Washington D.C. for competition

Posted on 25 February 2016 by admin

Latest Honors In Action Project studies masculinity

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