Month: November 2020

ECC Instructor Interviewed about Charities

November 30, 2020 | Campus News

East Central College business and accounting instructor Lisa Hanneken was recently featured in a article focusing on the “Most Charitable States in 2021.”

According to the article, Missouri lands No. 24 on the list of the most philanthropic states.

Hanneken was asked in the interview what the biggest challenges charities could face in the current economic environment, and how to choose a charity when donating.

“My advice has always been to give to a charity that supports a cause you are passionate about, regardless of what others may think,” she said,

“However, you should ensure that the charity you choose does what it says it does, and that there are no hidden agendas, fraud or scam involved,” Hanneken added. “As with anything involving money these days, you should be cautious and do your homework.”

Hanneken also was asked about measures local authorities can take to raise awareness about COVID-19 charity scams, and what percentage of income households should donate to charity.

To read Hanneken’s answers to these questions and more, visit here.

Spring Community Education Classes Start in January

November 30, 2020 | Campus News

Community members have the chance to learn archery, swing dancing, human resource management, and much more this spring through East Central College’s Community Education Enrichment courses.

“Our classes cover a wide range of personal enrichment topics from Digital Photography, to HAM radio, to ServSafe (food handling safety) and so many others,” said Pam Kaiser, program coordinator for ECC’s Community Education.

Spring courses begin in late January and are mostly located on campus in Union.

“We offer many non-credit classes for the community at very reasonable prices,” Kaiser added. “We have classes for teens to seniors throughout the semester and Summer Learning Academy for school-aged students in the summer months.”

Kaiser added that she is always looking for ideas on new classes. If community members want a certain course or to learn a specific skill, she will do her best to offer it.

To find course offering or to register for a class online visit

For more information contact Kaiser at 636-649-5803 or

ECC Foundation to Award Six Mini-Grants

November 23, 2020 | Campus News

The East Central College Foundation is awarding six mini-grants this year totaling $8,380 to departments and programs at the college.

The grants are funded annually through the Albert C. Buescher Memorial Fund.

Foundation Director Bridgette Kelch said the grants are given out to help support various scholastic departments and programs.

Since 2009, the ECC Foundation Board has awarded nearly $100,000 to college departments and programs through its mini-grants initiative.

This year, grants will fund The Learning Center’s Biggest Winner, new signage for the Nursing & Allied Health program, a new “Energy Barbecue Grill” for the Business and Industry Center, a new mascot costume for the Communications and Marketing Department, a timpani for the Music Department and additional signs for Arts and Sciences programs.

According to Lisa Haag, TLC English specialist, The Biggest Winner contest is meant to provide a financial incentive for students to prioritize academic success.

“For many students, academic performance suffers due to economic necessity,” she said. “Many students struggle to complete assignments, attend class, and seek help due to being over-extended with work.”

Each semester for the next three years, students taking more than six credit hours will be invited to take part in the contest. The students who increase their test scores by the greatest margin will earn cash prizes of $250, first place; $125, second place; and $75, third place.

A cross-curriculum project will be funded by a Foundation mini grant that will benefit students in the HVAC, Welding, Industrial Engineering Technology, Precision Machinery and Culinary Arts programs.

The New Energy BBQ Grill will be built by the students and powered by solar energy. The grill will have two refrigeration units and a storage compartment. The grill will feature two television screens that will show video of how the grill was made.

The grill will be used in public as an educational and promotional tool for the Business and Industry Center programs.

The ECC Music Department will receive funds for a new 26-inch Yamaha copper timpani (kettledrum) to be used for instruction and performances.

“The ability to practice and perform modern percussion literature is crucial if students are to perform at the junior level when they transfer to a four-year university,” said Aaron Bounds, director of bands.

The Foundation awarded the Arts and Sciences Division at ECC funds for new signage, including floor banners, tabletop banners and tablecloths to promote the five pathways in Arts and Sciences.

The Nursing and Allied Health program also will receive funds for signage, including banners and tablecloths, which will be used to promote and highlight the program and its offerings.

A Foundation mini grant will also fund a new Franklin the Falcon mascot costume to be used for internal and community events to promote the college and Foundation.

In addition to the $8,380 funded by the Foundation, the College funded $7,007 for other projects. These projects include:

  • Student Food Pantry’s new refrigerator and freezer;
  • Biology Department’s BioHuman Anatomy Software;
  • The Learning Center’s new headsets;
  • Assessment Showcase Event;
  • Center for Workforce Development’s new testing equipment; and
  • Communications and Marketing’s new directional signage.

To learn more about the ECC Foundation, visit

Dr. Bauer Message: Register Soon for Spring

November 20, 2020 | Campus News

ECC president Dr. Jon Bauer send the following message to students about the upcoming spring semester.

Dear Student,

I am writing to encourage you to register soon for the spring semester. With COVID-19, you may be wondering what’s available in terms of classes. Will there be in-person classes? Will everything be remote?

The answer is we have both options available for you.

The spring semester schedule includes sections offered in-person, as well as on-line or streaming. We plan to open the spring semester as we have done this fall, with this combination of offerings. And we will continue to have the COVID protections that we have now, including a mask requirement and reduced seating in classes in order to maintain social distancing.

The earlier you register, the more likely it is you can enroll in the type of class you prefer. On the other hand, the longer you wait, the more limited these options may be. So I encourage you to register now and get the schedule that best suits your needs.

Spring classes begin January 19. That’s really just around the corner, so don’t delay. We are ready to help get you ready to go for Spring 2021.

Virtual Tour of Campus Unveiled

November 19, 2020 | Campus News

East Central College launched its new virtual tour that provides an all-encompassing exploration of campus from the comfort and safety of home.

The tour provides a comprehensive self-guided walk through of the Union campus and Rolla sites, while adhering to social distancing guidelines.

To view the tour, visit

Joel Doepker, vice president of external relations, said the intended audience is prospective students, but anybody is welcome to view the tour.

“COVID-19 changed how we typically would introduce our campus to potential students,” Doepker said.  “We’re excited to have this feature to attract students to the College at a time when in-person visits and tours are limited.”

“Now, future students and their families, can explore campus anytime they want to, from their PC, laptop, tablet or smart phone,” he added.

The tour is powered by Google and works just like a Google map — the user presses arrows to move throughout campus.

All the primary buildings on the Union campus are featured, including Buescher Hall, Hansen Hall, the Health and Science Building, Donald Shook Student Center, the East Central Training Center and the Business and Industry Center.

The two Rolla locations, Rolla Main and Rolla North, are also highlighted.

Inside each building the tour takes visitors to classrooms, labs and amenities, such as the Culinary Arts Kitchen in the East Central Training Center, the Nursing lab in the Health and Science building, the Learning Center in Buescher Hall, the John Edson Anglin Performing Arts Center in Hansen Hall and the welding lab in the Business and Industry Center.


The virtual tour features an aerial video of the Union campus recorded by a drone camera. The video also provides information about the college and its 50 degree programs and certificates.

“This tour provides us with another opportunity to show students considering ECC and their families the number of pathways, transfer degrees and certificates we offer,” Doepker commented.

Video and photo galleries accompany the virtual tour in areas such as the art gallery, Culinary Arts kitchen, the Nursing Lab and the EMT/Paramedic lab.

ECC Works With Nonprofit to Provide HiSET Prep Classes

November 19, 2020 | Campus News

East Central College is working with a nonprofit organization in rural Crawford County to provide easy access to High School Equivalency Test (HiSET) preparation classes.

That’s according to Alice Whalen, Adult Education and Literacy (AEL) program director, who has been working with Mission Gate Prison Ministry at two of its facilities — Hannah’s Ranch and Fort Good Shepherd Ranch.

Mission Gate is a residential program for men and women recently released from prison or rehabilitation. The organization provides clean and safe housing, along with necessities to help the residents transition back into society.

Whalen said ECC assisted in providing the classes at both the facilities, which makes it logistically easier for the students and helps them focus on their education.

“This is giving us the opportunity to reach students who might not normally be able to attend classes,” she said.

Fort Good Shepherd Ranch

Joshua Hemmings, peer support specialist and case manager at Fort Good Shepherd Ranch, said Mission Gate reached out to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) seeking assistance in bringing the HiSET (formerly called GED) classes to their locations.

DESE contacted Whalen who also serves as the volunteer director of the East Central Area Literacy Council.

According to Whalen, the Literacy Council provides the training to teach the HiSET prep courses for the on-site facilitators. In this situation the facilitators are case managers at Hannah’s Ranch and Fort Good Shepherd Ranch.

Mary Eagan, AEL instructor coordinator at ECC, trained the case managers to be on-site facilitators for Mission Gate Ministries.

Hemmings added that there are other HiSET classes offered nearby in Cuba and other communities, but many of the residents at Fort Good Shepherd Ranch work odd hours and attend program classes at the ranch.

“It became so hard for the guys who were working overnight,” he said. “That kept a lot of them from going — having classes on site helps eliminate the barriers.”

Hannah’s Ranch

Laura Kreysman, program director at Hannah’s Ranch, added that residents can work remotely to access the HiSET classes, which limits distractions.

“They focus so much better while they are here,” Kreysman said. “While they are here, there is staff around to help them.”

Whalen explained that the case managers work with AEL instructors via video conferencing or phone to provide the assistance.

“The flexibility to work remotely has provided us more options,” she said.

“Because of what we learned through the COVID pandemic, we have been able to utilize the remote methods,” Whalen added.

Kreysman noted that by taking the prep courses, with the goal of passing the HiSET the residents can pursue a better career than without it.

She added that better educated residents can also help their children with homework and set a better example for them.

Right now, there are three residents at Fort Good Shepherd Ranch taking HiSET prep classes and two residents at Hannah’s ranch are enrolled in the orientation slated for December.

To learn more about ECC’s HiSET prep courses and the AEL program, visit

Baseball Tryouts for Local High School Seniors

November 18, 2020 | Campus News

East Central College is looking for local players to tryout for the first Baseball Falcons squad that will take the field next year.

Coach Brandon Rains will check out the local talent this Saturday, Nov. 21, and Sunday, Nov. 22, to fill out the first baseball team at ECC in 20 years.

Any local high school seniors who would like to tryout contact Coach Rains via e-mail at

The tryouts will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. both days at the Union High School Baseball Field, located at 1217 W. Main St., in Union.

Players should bring a current high school physical exam, their own water, turf baseball shoes, metal cleats and all other equipment.

ECC Conducts Welding Training Session at Ziglin

November 17, 2020 | Campus News

Five employees at Ziglin Signs, Washington, wrapped up a unique on-site training session last week that was led by the East Central College Center for Workforce Development (CWD).

The four-day training focused on aluminum welding techniques. It was taught by ECC Welding Program Coordinator and instructor Bobby Bland and Cliff Cartwright, welding adjunct.

Bland explained that Ziglin representatives met with CWD to discuss options that would increase quality and production within the company’s welding department.

He added that Bland, Cartwright and five Ziglin employees met in a conference-style setting and then moved to Ziglin’s welding room floor to work

“We mapped out opportunities to increase quality and production, as well as, reduce redundancy within the welding division in the company,” Bland said. “After discussing topics, we applied the information in the welding room by demonstrating different techniques and allowing the Ziglin employees to perform them.

“This was a very exciting training session and Ziglin is an awesome company with a great team,” he added.

ECC’s welding trainers have more than 40 years of combined experience in the field.

According to Melissa Richards, CWD apprenticeship and business training program coordinator, the session with Ziglin was part of ECC’s customized training program.

Richards said the CWD customized training funds can be tailored to fit the needs of any industry.

“We offer customized training programs in welding and other technical fields, such as industrial maintenance and machining,” she said. “Not only can we fit a variety of needs for local companies, we also work to provide funding to help offset training costs to help a company’s money go further for employee development.”

To find out more about CWD customized training, call 636-649-5800 to speak with a training coordinator or welding trainer, or send an email to

For more information about ECC’s CWD, visit

ECC Employees, Advocates and Partners Receive Awards

November 13, 2020 | Campus News

East Central College had a strong representation in the awards portion of the Missouri Community College Association (MCCA) annual convention.

This year’s convention was held virtually Nov. 11-13.

On Thursday, Nov. 12, ECC Board of Trustee’s President Ann Hartley was presented the Trustee Leadership Award; and Dot Schowe, former director of public relations, was presented the Outstanding Alumni Award.

In addition, Mercy Hospital Washington was recognized with the Distinguished Business/Industry Award. The hospital was nominated by ECC as an outstanding example of a corporation on a regional stage while providing outstanding local community leadership.

ECC employees Stacy Bellville, executive administrative assistant for the office of academic affairs; Joshua Stroup, English instructor; Jeff Parsons, adjunct history instructor; ECC Nursing faculty Nancy Mitchell, Laura McDonald and Judy Bieker; and Laura Deason, associate registrar, were all recognized the final day of the convention, Friday, Nov. 13.

State Sen. Dave Schatz, who represents the district where ECC is located, was also recognized by the MCCA as a Distinguished Legislator.

Trustee Award

Hartley has served on the ECC Board of Trustees since 2012. She is actively engaged with the work of the college and serves as board liaison on the Strategic Planning Committee and the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) Advisory Committee.

Hartley has worked with the college president to develop a formal orientation process for new board members, and she has developed an evaluation instrument and process that enables the board to collectively participate in the annual evaluation of the president.

“Ann embraces the community college mission, understands the important role of the board in the effective governance of the college, and works devotedly as an ambassador of East Central,” said Dr. Jon Bauer, ECC president.

Alumni Award

Schowe graduated from ECC in 1977 and transferred to Central Missouri State University where she received her bachelor’s degree in public relations in 1979.

She returned to ECC and worked in many areas of the college over the next 36 years. She retired in 2016 as the as the director of public relations.

Schowe is a quintessential college ambassador and a tireless advocate for East Central. She has spent a lifetime and career championing her alma mater, contributing to the community, and serving as the quintessential living example of the community college mission.

Distinguished Business

Mercy Hospital is committed to quality health care for its service area of more than 150,000 residents. More than 800 employees and 233 physicians serve the Washington hospital.

For over thirty years, Mercy Hospital Washington has supported health care programming at ECC, including sharing qualified staff to serve as adjunct faculty.

While President and CEO Eric Eoloff and his leadership team have led the hospital, ECC has expanded the scope of support and partnerships through the shared common vision of the college and hospital for healthcare in the community.

Classified Staff Award

Bellville has held the position of Classified Staff Association (CSA) President for the past eight years, and she has been an exceptional leader in that role.

She encourages CSA members to attend MCCA events and webinars. Bellville is an ECC Patrons of the Art member and actively contributes on college-wide committees, including the Higher Learning Commission Task Force.

Her dedication to the faculty, staff and students’ needs inspires others to commit to ECC’s mission of empowering students and enriching communities through education.

Excellence in Teaching

Stroup began his full-time teaching career at ECC in 2007.  Prior to that, he was an adjunct instructor for many years.

He has played major roles in the ECC International Festival and the college Humanities Festival. Stroup sponsors the ECC Lit Review Club and encourages hundreds of students to develop their creative abilities. He is larger than life in the classroom, pushing students to think deeply and creatively.

Stroup also built the technical writing program at ECC from scratch and ran the program for years.

Adjunct Award

Parsons has been an adjunct history instructor at ECC since 2007. He is excited about history and works diligently to instill that excitement in his students. His boisterous, enthusiastic voice can be heard halfway across campus as he teaches his classes.

Parsons’ lectures are packed with movie, music and video clips that give students every opportunity to make a connection to the material being taught. He provides vivid classroom discussions, and encourages and celebrates every individual student voice.

Mel Aytes Award

The ECC Nursing faculty received the Mel Aytes Faculty Innovation Award for encouraging educators to develop new and innovative ways to get more qualified nursing graduates into the workforce.

Director of Nursing Nancy Mitchell, and Nursing Program Coordinators Laura McDonald and Judy Bieker developed the “Earn While You Learn to be an RN” pilot program to facilitate learning for nursing students which acclimates them to the healthcare environment while earning a salary.

This pilot project was approved by the Missouri State Board of nursing and it has paved the way for replication at other community colleges.

Senior Service Award

ECC Associate Registrar Laura Deason started her employment ECC as a student worker in the library. She graduated from ECC in 1989.

She began her vocational career at East Central in 1994. Deason has been a GED instructor, a test proctor, a tutor, an adjunct developmental mathematics instructor and an academic advisor.

Throughout her career, she has selflessly worked to support others as they pursue their goals in higher education. She does not seek recognition for herself; she is always first to celebrate a student’s accomplishment.

Deason inspires excellence both in students and in everyone who works alongside her.

Students Take Welding Skills Home to Create Art

November 13, 2020 | Campus News

As a young girl, Pat Schneider would watch her father and brothers use a forge and welding tools in the garage of their home.

“My father was a very artistic man,” she said. “He would use it and I would watch.

“Then my brothers would use it and I would watch.”

Now, several decades later, Schneider’s interest in welding has led her to seek training in the craft, and create her own pieces.

According to Schneider, she would not have been able to learn to weld without East Central College’s Community Education program. She explained that the Creative Metal Works course she took Oct. 2-3 set the stage for her to learn skills she could take home to her garden.

“I have always been artistic,” she said, “and I have always enjoyed to do artistic type things in the garden.”

A few years ago Schneider, who lives outside Pacific with her husband Joe, looked into courses to incorporate welding into her garden.

“I thought I would take a class, but everything I found was very specific to a career and I didn’t need to know that much,” she said.

Schneider, who retired from a job in finance 35 years ago, told her friend Bridgette Kelch, ECC Foundation executive director, about her interest in a welding course but noted that she did not need a full semester worth of instruction.

Fast forward to late summer 2020 when Kelch emailed Schneider about the Creative Welding course offered at ECC.

“I thought, ‘this is it!’ ” Schneider remembered. “It is going to happen.”

Despite her eagerness, the class was delayed because Schneider was the only person to sign up.  However, she recruited two friends, her neighbors Rick and Mary Wimmer-Brown, who jumped at the chance to take the class.

“I could tell they would be a good fit,” Schneider said. “They are artistic, garden and they love the outdoors.”

She added that both Schneider and Wimmer-Brown households own welders, but they didn’t yet know how to use them.

Two-Day Class

Schneider and the Wimmer-Browns were the only three students in the Creative Welding class that was taught by Bobby Bland, welding program coordinator.

According to Schneider, the first day of class addressed safety and how to use the equipment. She noted that Bland also taught the students how to use the equipment they had at home, which was different than welding equipment used at ECC.

“That was important. Not only were we learning the equipment we were using in class, but we were also learning the equipment at home and how it works,” she said.

Schneider added that Bland stressed safety and patience.

“It was a great first day learning the basics of welding,” she said.

On the second day, Schneider explained that the students learned to use additional equipment and techniques, such as cutting and coloring metal.

“Bobby was very patient — allowing us to make mistakes and then fix them,” she said, “which is so important.”

Welded Falcon

In the afternoon of the second day, Schneider worked with Bland to make her own art piece — a falcon, based on the ECC mascot.

Schneider used a cut out, put it on metal and etched out the shape of the falcon. She made the cuts and colored it blue by making adjustments to the equipment and the welding techniques.

“I used metal to make a stand and a holder and then welded all of the pieces together,” she said. “I had a piece I thought was done extraordinarily well.


“It took a lot of patience,” she added. “Bobby was a great instructor and I highly recommend him for that class.”

Schneider said she enjoyed the class so much, that she left her welded falcon for others to see at ECC’s Business and Industry Center (BIC), where the class was taught.

“I want people to see it and maybe they will decide to take the class, and hopefully make something for themselves,” she said.

The Creative Metal Works course was taught through ECC’S Center for Workforce Development.

To learn more about the welding program and other programs offered, visit