Month: December 2019

ECC Student Creates Sign Honoring POW/MIAs

December 18, 2019 | Campus News

The journey to finish a college degree had been decades in the making for Susan Heitman. She started her college career in 1975 thanks to her parents support but never completed her degree. Fast-forward to May 2019 and Susan is a successful graduate of East Central College by finishing her Associate of Fine Arts degree.

“Thanks to the understanding and a do not give up attitude of my family, teachers and other students made it possible for me to graduate in May,” says Susan Heitman. “The faculty at East Central College were very supportive of me and I learned so much from them.”

The 62-year-old from St. Clair always wanted to learn oil painting and sculpture in pursuit of her goal of being a freelance artist. Her friendship with American Legion Post 347 in St. Clair put her skills to good use.

“We installed an electronic sign this summer at the post and wanted a POW/MIA message placed on the sign’s base”, says Fred Arflack, Commander of American Legion Post 347. “I knew Susan was the one to do it because she puts her heart and soul into every project she involved with.”

It’s a passion project for Susan. She has a long line of family who served in the military including her current husband, her first husband who passed away, as well as her father, father-in-law and an uncle.

Susan designed and painted the POW/MIA logo in just over a month and it was ready for Veteran’s Day.

“The sign reminds us to enjoy the freedoms we have and to remember those who sacrificed for our country. Lest we forget.”

Vice President’s List: 2019 Fall Semester

December 17, 2019 | Campus News

Congratulations to the students who’ve made the Vice President’s list for the 2019 fall semester! The College is proud to recognize students who’ve demonstrated exemplary academic achievement upon completion of at least 12 fall semester credit hours with a semester grade point average between 3.50 and 3.84.

President’s List Announced: 2019 Fall Semester

December 17, 2019 | Campus News

East Central College is proud to recognize students who’ve demonstrated exemplary academic achievement.

Upon completion of at least 12 Fall Semester credit hours with a semester grade point average of 3.85 or greater, students are acknowledged on the President’s List. More than 100 students made the list for the 2019 fall semester!

President's List 2019 Fall

ECC Rotaract Club Benefits from Rotary Clubs Generosity

December 10, 2019 | Campus News

During the November 14 combined club meeting of the Sullivan, Union and Washington Rotary clubs, members responded overwhelmingly to the ECC Rotaract club’s request for donations to one of its holiday programs.

Members from the clubs donated $432 to the Rotaract Club for its Christmas stocking project. The project will help fill special boxes with both holiday themed treats and food that will supply some of the college’s students with much needed items. Over the holiday break the students won’t have access to the ECC food pantry until the spring semester begins January 21.

East Central College maintains a student food pantry to help students throughout the year who might need some occasional help with food needs during any given week.  Multiple campus student clubs, faculty and staff donate regularly to the pantry to help keep it stocked for these kinds of needs.

ECC Art Department wins award for Hexagon Project

December 9, 2019 | Art Campus News

East Central College received an Outstanding Community Partnership award from the Interdependence Hexagon Project for hosting the Midwest Regional event titled Transforming Conflict “River to Ocean Project.”

The Hexagon Project is managed by a dedicated group of artists, educators and friends – who join with others in various parts of the United States and the world. The Hexagon Project Arts Program [or “Hexagon Arts”] aims to use art, in the shape of a hexagon, as a vehicle to bring social change, promote social justice and transform individuals and societies.

ECC Art faculty partnered with schools from across the area on the project, including Bourbon high school, Cuba elementary, Lucy Wortham James Elementary in St. James, Owensville high school, Sullivan high school, and the Sullivan elementary art club.

“We were pleasantly surprised to receive the award,” says Adam Watkins, Assistant Art Professor.  “To be acknowledged for the collaborative work of our faculty, area elementary and high school students and their teachers is a testament to the partnership between the College and our area schools.”

The project was titled “The Dead Zone” and focused on the pollution of local waterways with herbicides/pesticides and raw sewage through runoff and flooding. The tainting of local waterways ultimately creates problems in the Gulf of Mexico.

“This project was a way to get students thinking about our actions here in Missouri, “says Jennifer Higerd, Assistant Art Professor. “We want to show how the actions in the Midwest affect us and ultimately result in a cumulative effect on the Gulf.”

The project lived by the intent of the Hexagon Project. 146 textbooks intended to be placed in a landfill were used to create the 292 hexagons in the display that was featured in the atrium of the John Edson Anglin Performing Arts Center earlier this year.

“My goal is to educate our youth about environmental issues through the creative process of creating artwork,” adds Valarie McEuen, an Art educator at Sullivan high school. “I find it concerning that so many students are familiar with broad terms but have very little connection with how individual and local activities play into this issue.”

For more information about the Interdependence Hexagon Project, visit

Biology Instructor Honored with Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award

December 4, 2019 | Campus News

Nearly 20 years ago, Tracy Mowery realized that teaching was what she wanted to do. Starting her career as a teaching assistant in graduate school, she fell in love with teaching and has been changing lives in the classroom ever since.

“My motivation is to take a subject and/or subjects that some students have difficulty with and break it down for them to make understanding the information easier,” she says. For nearly 12 years, Tracy Mowery has been helping students at East Central College – Rolla learn and achieve their goals through her Biology courses.

One of the most satisfying parts of her job comes when a student realizes they understand.  “It is the “a-ha” moment when a student makes a connection that they’ve been struggling to make or when a student works really hard, coming to open labs to work with me one-on-one and they see the results of their efforts, and how that reflects upon their grade in the course.”

On November 17 she received the Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award. Sponsored by Emerson, the award program recognizes more than 100 educators annually in the St. Louis area who are examples of excellence in their field.

“It was really an honor to be nominated, much less to be the recipient. I truly value the working relationship I have with all of my colleagues, and knowing that my colleagues believe in both my work and me is uplifting, and motivates me to continue working hard for students and ECC!  I believe I am just one of many faculty members who work hard to serve our students, so to be nominated and receive this award is amazing.”


ECC Brings Back Baseball, Adds Women’s Soccer

December 3, 2019 | Campus News

During the December 2 meeting of the East Central College board of trustees, members voted to approve a recommendation by the college’s administration to restart men’s baseball and add women’s soccer to ECC’s athletic offerings. The proposal had been researched and discussed at the College for nearly a year.

“I believe the addition of these sports will enable us to serve a wider population of students and help meet our strategic goals,” says Dr. Jon Bauer, president of East Central College. “The addition of the athletic teams aligns with our strategic plan, SOAR to 2024, by increasing yearly degree completion and the increase in revenue from the additional credit hours.”

The expansion timeline would see women’s soccer starting in fall 2020 and men’s baseball will start play in spring 2022 to be given time to hire coaches and properly prepare the baseball field. The baseball program was cut in 2001 due to budget cuts after starting in 1974. Notable baseball alumni from that era include former Toronto Blue Jay and St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Tom Henke and former major leaguer Omir Santos who played with the Baltimore Orioles, New York Mets, Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians.

Men’s baseball will have a roster of 35 players while women’s soccer will have a roster of 25 student-athletes.

According to Vice President for Student Development Heath Martin, student-athletes perform well in the classroom. “Our student-athletes have a higher grade point average, course completion rates, and graduation and transfer rates than non-athletes.”

Dr. Bauer says the recommendation to add the two sports was thoughtful and grounded in data analysis. “We have a three-year expansion plan laid out. The two new athletic programs will ultimately cover their expenses through a combination of tuition, general fees and course fees while also using student activity fees. We expect to see an excess in revenue that will be used to support the operations of the College.”

“There are three primary reasons for moving forward with these two sports: enrollment, student success and revenue generation. Adding athletic teams is a trend being seen at community colleges across Missouri.”

The college will soon be posting a job in search of a full-time men’s and women’s soccer coach. The ECC Foundation will be spearheading a fundraising campaign to raise funds to upgrade the current baseball field.

ECC To Offer Dual Credit Classes to Free and Reduced Lunch Students

December 3, 2019 | Campus News

One group of area high school students will now be able to receive college credit from East Central College at no cost.

During the December 2 meeting of the ECC Board of Trustees, the board voted unanimously to provide free dual credit classes to high school students who are on the federal Free and Reduced Lunch program. The first chance for eligible students to participate in this program will be the upcoming 2020 spring semester that begins January 21, 2020.

“We are removing the barrier for those students who don’t have access to traditional financial aid, and we are likely not serving a significant number of students because of the cost of tuition.” says Dr. Jon Bauer, president of East Central College.

Students taking dual credit classes are taught in their high school by a teacher from their school who is certified in that discipline by East Central College. The College grants the student college credit hours upon completion of the class.

Data show that students who participate in early college programs are more likely to enroll full-time after high school. Early college can shorten the time to degree and reduce the overall cost of higher education for students and their families.

Dr. Bauer believes the College has an opportunity to reach a greater number of students with this program. “Across our region, rates of participation in the Free and Reduced Lunch Program range from 18% to 55% of our area’s high school students. A large number or students are missing out on a wonderful opportunity because of a financial barrier. “

Every high school in the ECC service region is eligible. Union high school assistant principal Markie Lampkin attended the board meeting and praised the new program. “This is a great opportunity to enhance the lives and capabilities of our students. This is a tremendous chance and it may cause a student’s parents to be interested in attending East Central College.”

“There is a growing trend for institutions to offer free dual credit for high school students with financial need,” adds Dr. Bauer.

The new program aligns with ECC’s strategic plan, SOAR to 2024, which calls for an increase from 443 to 660 early college (dual credit) students by October 2024.

For more information about the Dual Credit program, contact Megen Strubberg at 636.584.6723 or