Newsletter - Fall 2015 - Macomb Community College

Newsletter - Fall 2015 - Macomb Community College

Macomb  Connections N e w s l e t t e Information for Macomb Retirees and Friends Fall 2015 r Supported by the Macomb Community College Fou...

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Macomb  Connections N









Information for Macomb Retirees and Friends Fall 2015


Supported by the Macomb Community College Foundation • 586.445.7302 • [email protected] •

A look past and present by two retirees Art Ritas: Education that was anything but basic I began my 32-year career teaching English at Macomb in the Division of Basic Education, a progressive effort that emphasized team teaching and block scheduling. The year was 1967 and the team was composed of four disciplines: natural science, social science, humanities, and English. On Fridays, in the absence of classes, the teams and departments met to develop curriculum and discuss student progress and problems. Memorably, I worked with and learned from Dennis Thompson (English), Ed Arnfield (Natural Science), Phil Barrons Humanities), and Jim Jacobs (Social Science)—who later became the College’s president. I made lifelong friends and developed lifelong interests in science, politics and the visual arts. Of the many vivid memories, one that stands out is taking students and their parents to see Ken Russell’s film The Devils and then discussing it afterwards. It was a level of teaching and learning that I had never experienced before. Our teaching teams introduced students to some of the most significant books of the century, including Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl, The Double Helix by Watson and Crick, and The Autobiography of Malcolm X. These books were as much a part of my own continuing education as they were the students’. Our Division was once called Educational and Cultural Development (ECD). Our students scored low on

standardized tests and, for the most part, knew very little about the world outside of Macomb County. We took them to the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) and other museums and theatres in New York, Chicago, and Toronto.

There were also biological field studies/ camping trips to Macomb’s former North Campus—who knows where that was? My horizons were continually expanding along with the students. Continued on page 3

Thank You, Christine In June, Christine Bonkowski announced her retirement from the Macomb Board of Trustees after six terms and 30 years of dedicated service. Since 1984, Christine has provided quiet guidance and consistent leadership for the College and in the process become a friend to staff and students alike. Christine has always understood the vital role the College plays in the Macomb County Community and this insight was foremost in the guidance she provided. A strong supporter of the University Center Christine played a major role in bringing Michigan State University’s Osteopathic Medical School to the Center. A strong advocate for education and student success, the Ronald L. and Christine Bonkowski Family Endowed Scholarship Fund will continue to support Macomb students. Christine is also a dedicated supporter of the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts. At a reception held following the June 16 board meeting, Al Lorenzo, president emeritus, summarized Christine’s contribution by paraphrasing the words of the familiar Bette Midler song: Did you ever know that you were our hero? And everything we would like to be? It might have appeared to go unnoticed, But we want you to know we know the truth. We could fly higher than an eagle For you were the wind beneath our wings. Chris has agreed to join us as a special guest at our annual retiree breakfast on Friday, Sept. 18, where she will be recognized for her many years of dedicated service to the College and have a chance to chat with many colleagues and friends she has worked with over these past 30 years.

John Wieczerza (John W.) Retirement has been wonder-filled I started at the College as a maintenance electrician on 11/7/77, and thus began the lucky streak that I regard as my career at Macomb.

Engineering and Technology about 2008, and remained there until my retirement a couple of years ago.

John Becker was the maintenance supervisor at the time, and Robert Roelofs was president, and I was taking night classes at Wayne State University. I received my Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering in 1984 and was invited to join the Applied Technology faculty. I was involuntarily transferred to

My wife, who passed away in 2008, and I had already become world travelers. But before I retired I had yet to see all Seven Wonders of the World, which constituted the bucket list I drew up for myself a few years before. That changed in March of 2014 when I visited the Treasury at Petra, Jordan—which Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade suggested was the hiding

Purchase your tickets today for the 2015 Comedy & Cocktails Fundraising Gala!



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Official Media Sponsor

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Hilarious Sponsors Believe in better

Chuckle Sponsors Hocking Media McLaren Medical Group Omega Talent Don Ritzenhein & Kathy Grenda Warner Norcross and Judd

A Benefit for Arts & Cultural Programming at Macomb Community College at the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts

SEPTEMBER 17, 2015 Event tickets—$150 per person* or JOIN

The Giggle Group—$250/person and get c One ticket to the event* and


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c Name listed as a Giggle Group patron in the program book *Fair market value $60

Including cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, silent auction and dinner followed by a performance by:



Sam and Libby Argiri

Pam Lavers

Christina Ayar

Dawn Magretta

Julius Cicchini

Linda Chase

Sue Nine

Mark & Tracie Hackel

Nadine Cook

Mary Pettito Hopkins

Jim & Gabriella Jacobs

Lori Doughty

Gina Rieck

Gene & Remia Lovell

Sandy HazeltonPianko

Grace Shore

Jim & Linda Sawyer

Casandra Ulbrich

Richard & Carol Sheridan

Irene Viviano

Craig Sherman & Maria Silamianos Sherman

Thomas Hosinski Ruselda Johnson Eric Kerchner



Kathy Grenda, Chair

Kathleen Wentzel Diane Young

Casandra Ulbrich, Ph.D. Hunter & Julie Wendt Bob & Denise Williams

For more information or to purchase tickets click here or call the Macomb Community College Foundation at 586.445.7302

place for the Holy Grail. Well, I was there and there is no Holy Grail inside. In fact, there is nothing inside. It is one big empty space. I’ve also been to Machu Picchu in Peru, from where I flew to Porto Maldonado, a city on the edge of the Amazon rain forest. From Maldonado, I traveled to Lake Sandoval, where I spent three days living in a cabin in the rain forest. Really loved it—no electricity, Internet, TV or cell phone. I was totally cut off from the world. I enjoyed seeing animals in their natural habitat, and there were some strange insects that I came across. My guide told me to give them the right of way. No argument from me. While I was in Rio De Janeiro, I went hand gliding over portions of the city. What a rush. In Beijing, I went to the Beijing Zoo and visited the pandas. You have to see them in person to appreciate their size. I was also impressed by the Beijing subway, so ultra clean that it actually shines. In Egypt, I went to the Cairo Museum to see King Tut’s Tomb and, again, pictures do not do it justice. It is extremely intricate in every detail. I also climbed a pyramid at Giza, the one that is to the left of the large one. I didn’t know that you were not allowed to climb them, so when I was spotted by two security personnel, they came running, yelling at me to come down. I did as they said and then my guide told me to grease their palms if I wanted to continue climbing. I gave each a $5 (U.S. dollars) and they told me not to get hurt. These are just a few of the fascinating things that happened during my travels.


Continued The Division of Basic Education was dissolved in 1972, and the teachers within it were dispersed to the departments of their respective disciplines. With my colleagues Les Beecher and Lou Baltman, we began incorporating team teaching, collaborative teaching and learning, Socratic method, student writing and presenting as community service into our English classes. Together we developed the One World Conference, during which students presented to one another and the community on global literature. I watched marginal students become independent learners/presenters with their parents and neighbors looking on. Les, Lou and I then organized the Conflict, Violence and Resolution Conference. Student panels presented papers with leaders from community organizations serving


by Mark Weglarski

as respondents. These conferences often drew an audience of more than 1000. Along with students, we began to see that education could have a community impact. I like to think we were stretching the notion of community college. There were two other things that gave me great gratification during my career at Macomb: developing and participating in the 10-year Mayan Project, interdisciplinary field studies in Yucatan, Mexico; and founding, along with Dawn Roberts, Macomb’s Center for Teaching and Learning. Fifteen years ago, I joined my wife Susan Calkins, who taught anthropology and sociology at Macomb for 30 years, in retirement in Naples, Fla. I combined my interests in science, environmentalism, and teaching by becoming a Florida Master Naturalist and volunteering with the

Conservancy of Southwest Florida. Recently I initiated an environmental readers group, leading off with a book that was new when we used it in Basic Education classes: Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring. (More on Art’s retirement projects in the next issue of Macomb Connections)

What year-old program rewards curiosity and encourages wisdom? As intriguing and diverse as the questions and categories in a game of Trivial Pursuit, the classes offered through the Society of Active Retirees (SOAR)—Macomb will return this fall after a premier year of critical acclaim. SOAR Macomb is a community-based, lifelong

learning initiative affiliated with Macomb Community College and Wayne State University. SOAR Macomb is made possible in part by a two-year, $60,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Southeast Michigan. Membership is open to all persons committed to lifelong learning. A $50 membership fee per semester entitles a learner to take up to 10 courses each year, with programming offered Oct. 10 thru Nov. 20, and April and May. For a catalog or more information: 586.286.2106 or [email protected]


Third Annual Naples Alumni & Retiree Reunion In March, retirees and alumni gathered to at the Naples Bay Resort to reconnect and hear about what is happening at the college. More than 70 guests came to a panel discusstion on Education and the impact on the Economy featuring President Jacobs, Dr. Casandra Ulbrich, vice chair of the Michigan Board of Education and Macomb’s vice president of advancement; and the late Mike Feezy, president of Huntington Bank. The next day, a few retirees and alums got together to enjoy the popular Naples’ St. Patrick’s Day Parade courtesy of host Kim Oulette, partner at Berkshire Hathaway in Naples. Festivities were sponsored by Huntington Bank. Macomb was fortunate to have a friend in Regional President Mike Fezzy, who passed away suddenly a week after the event.

26th Annual Golf Tournament a Success! Rico Odorico, retired professor from Macomb reports that the 26th Annual Orris, Campitelle, Ikamas, Robertson Memorial Golf Outing was another great success! The Tournament hosted 104 Golfers and earned $5,520 bringing the scholarship fund to more than $140,000. Rico adds, “Although there was a rainstorm, all golfers completed their rounds beforethe torrent, in time to receive prizes and enjoy lunch!” Scholarships are given each fall and winter semester to Macomb Students in need. Already 43 scholarships have been granted thus far. Three were awarded in the 2015 Academic Year.


Thanks to all who supported this important tournament. Save the date for Friday, June 3, 2016 for the 27th Annual Memorial Tournament!

Cultural Events All programs except Cultural Excursions are free. Preregistration required for all programs and excursions: 586.445.7348 or

DIA Lectures— Featuring Curators from the Detroit Institute of Arts Being Heard—a survey of how contemporary artists express themselves through painting, video, sound and art installations. Oct. 14, 11 a.m. Revolution at Home and on Screen: American Films of the 1960s. Nov. 4, 11 a.m.

Real to Reel Film Series— Reality versus Hollywood The Gorgeous Hussy (dramatizing the Peggy Eaton affair of Andrew Jackson’s presidency) Sept. 24, Noon


Calendar September 17

Comedy & Cocktails Gala featuring The Second City live from Chicago, Macomb Center for the Performing Arts Fun begins at 5:30 p.m.

September 18

4th Annual Retiree Breakfast, 9:30 a.m.–11:00 a.m., Assembly Hall, Center Campus, University Center

Henry V Oct. 22, 1 p.m. The Rosa Parks Story Nov. 12, 1:30 p.m. Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight Nov. 19, Noon

Dia de los Muertos Celebration Experience Mexico’s Day of the Dead traditions through photographic exhibits, altars, presentations, films and workshops. Oct. 28–31

Boycott! Exhibit and Presentation Boycott! The Art of Economic Activism: Posters on Historical & Contemporary Boycott Movements— exhibit Nov. 11–21. Graphic Design as a Means for Community Engagement— Nov. 13, 10 a.m.

September 24

Reading & Writing Studios Grand Opening

October 8 & 22

Estate Planning Workshops, University Center

October 15

Retiree Committee Meeting (10:30 a.m.–noon) Retiree Center Stage Lunch For more information contact Joyce Monte at [email protected]

Cultural Excursions (ticket prices vary) Transportation provided to and from the Lorenzo Cultural Center Michigan Opera Theatre, dress rehearsal for La Bohème Oct. 16, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Ford Piquette Plant and Renaissance Center tours Nov. 4, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Holiday Walking Tour of Meadow Brook Estate Dec. 9, 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

June 3, 2016

Orris, Campitelle, Ikamas, Robertson Memorial Golf Outing For information, please call 586.445.7302 or email [email protected]


Please Join Us! What started as a group of secretarial/clerical college retirees has grown to include other Macomb retirees. This group continues to gather on the third Friday of each month at a local restaurant for lunch. There are great storytelling, sharing of travel adventures, as well as personal and family stories. As Macomb College employees, they developed special personal and professional relationships over the years while working with each other. What better way to continue to share and be involved with one another. Feel free to contact Norene Ketelhut at 586.757.8383 or Rose Kahn at [email protected] for additional information if you want to be part of this fun, active group! Back row left to right, Jeannie Adragna, Liz Lusky, Laura Cook, Ann Marie Toerper, Elaine Shinnaberry; Front row (seated) left to right, Rose Kahn, Liz Ferguson, Clara Beatty, Norene Ketelhut

Macomb  Connections

Addresses Needed! If you know of someone who is not on our mailing list, please send an e-mail to [email protected] or call the MCC Foundation office at 586.445.7302.










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Designed & Printed in Macomb County








MACOMB COMMUNITY COLLEGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES James F. Kelly, Chairperson; Vincent Viviano, Vice Chairperson; Jennifer Haase, Secretary; Roseanne DiMaria, Treasurer; Frank Cusumano, Trustee; Joseph DeSantis, Trustee; Elizabeth Lucido, Trustee James Jacobs, Ph.D., College President

Sudoku answer


esigned & Printed Macomb County

Macomb Community College Retiree Group Monthly Get Together

14500 E. 12 Mile Rd., Warren, MI 48088-3896

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