Month: March 2021


Vaccinations Given to 1,390 ECC Employees, Residents

March 31, 2021 | Campus News

There were 1,390 COVID-19 vaccinations administered March 30 in a joint operation between Sinks Pharmacy and East Central College.

The vaccination clinic was spearheaded by Dr. Michelle Smith, executive director of institutional effectiveness at ECC, who worked closely with Sinks Pharmacy representatives to organize the event in less than a week.

“Yesterday was a ’shot in the arm’ in so many ways,” Smith said. “There were 1,390 people vaccinated, and so many people were appreciative — we served our community well.”

Sinks employees, as well as ECC Allied Health division employees, delivered the Moderna vaccinations over a six-hour period in the Donald Shook Student Center gymnasium. The second round of vaccinations are slated for April 27.

ECC President Dr. Jon Bauer said the vaccination fits into the college’s mission of serving the community. ECC Nursing

“I could not be more proud to be associated with East Central College,” Dr. Bauer said. “There are now 1,400 colleagues, students, friends, family and neighbors who have been vaccinated.”

In addition, he praised the work of Dr. Smith, ECC employees who volunteered, Sinks Pharmacy and others who made the event a success.

“Thanks to our facilities staff for getting the gym ready, to employees who have volunteered to ensure it goes smoothly, to those in our allied health programs for assisting in the clinic, and all others who have helped ensure its success,” Dr. Bauer said.

Planning for the clinic begin about one week before the event took place, according to Dr. Smith. During the time of initial planning and execution, the scope of the clinic grew.

At first, there were just a few hundred vaccinations available to ECC employees. As Sinks Pharmacy secured additional vaccinations, there was 1,000 vaccinations, and finally 1,400 vaccinations, available, allowing for community members to also be vaccinated.


Graduation Ceremonies to Recognize ECC Classes of 2020 and 2021

March 29, 2021 | Campus News

East Central College is celebrating its 2020 and 2021 graduates with four separate in-person commencement ceremonies in May.

ECC is hosting multiple ceremonies with the intent to keep graduates and families safe. All graduates from the fall 2019 through summer 2021 semesters are invited to attend. There will be a maximum of 50 graduates at each event.

The ceremonies will be held in the Donald Shook Student Center Saturday, May 15, and Sunday, May 16.

Reservations for the ceremonies for Sunday, May 16 at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. are available for graduates. Graduates can reserve a spot for themselves and reserve seats for family members by visiting

Graduates can request guest seating when they RSVP. There will be seating areas in the gymnasium for up to six guests per group.

Reservations for the ceremony on Saturday, May 15, at 1 p.m. are completed; and the ceremony slated for May 15 at 4 p.m. will primarily focus on the 2020 graduates.

Anyone who has questions or needs more information may contact the ECC graduation office at 636-584-6579 or

Class of 2020

According to ECC President Dr. Jon Bauer, social distancing requirements and closures borne from the COVID-19 pandemic prevented a commencement ceremony for the Class of 2020.

Dr. Bauer added that the college has fully intended to hold an in-person ceremony for the 2020 grads.

“It is so important that our graduates have a ceremony to celebrate their accomplishments,” he said. “What the Class of 2020 did last year was truly remarkable.”

“Commencement is a very important milestone for students, their family and friends, and our faculty and staff,” Dr. Bauer added. “I never want a student deprived of that opportunity.”

Regalia/Virtual Ceremony

Caps and Gowns are available at the ECC Bookstore at the cost of $29.99, plus tax. The bookstore can be reached at 636-584-6737. Rolla students can request to have their regalia sent to the Rolla site.

Graduates who would like to have their name read during a ceremony, but do not want to attend the events, can opt for the “virtual graduation.” They would need to notify the ECC graduation office and submit a picture to be displayed as their name is read.

Nursing Graduates

A pinning ceremony for nursing students will be held in the ECC gym at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, May 15. That event will be followed by a commencement ceremony for nursing students at 10 a.m.

To RSVP or for more information, contact Julie Beck, program assistant, nursing and allied health, at 636-584-6616 or email


Sinks Pharmacy to Hold COVID Vaccination Event at ECC

March 25, 2021 | Campus News

East Central College is working in partnership with Sinks Pharmacy to host a COVID-19 vaccination clinic Tuesday, March 30, on the Union campus.

Sinks Pharmacy will provide and administer 1,000 Moderna vaccines from 10 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. during the clinic in the Donald Shook Student Center (DSSC) Gym at ECC. The vaccine is available to anyone in Phase 1 or Phase 2 of the eligibility criterion.

There is no charge to those receiving the vaccine.

The Moderna vaccine requires two doses. The second shot will be given on April 27 at the same location. The appointment will be at the same time as that of the first shot.

Once registered, participants will select a time between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. to be vaccinated. The ECC gymnasium is located on the second floor of DSSC.

After scheduling the appointment and submitting pertinent information, people will receive a confirmation email. The email will include a consent form, which must be printed, signed, and submitted to Sinks Pharmacy staff during the vaccination clinic.

On the day of the appointment people also must bring their driver’s license and insurance (including pharmacy) card to the clinic.

There is an option to cancel or change an appointment time with the confirmation email.

Who is Eligible?

Listed below are examples of who is eligible under Phase 2 of the vaccination rollout.

  • Library Employees
    • Chemical Sector Employees
    • Construction Employees
    • Retail Employees
    • Grocery Store Employees
    • Restaurant Employees
    • Higher Education Employees, including student workers
    • Government Employees
    • Homeless Individuals
    • Disproportionately Affected Populations (anyone facing an increased risk of contracting COVID-19 with an emphasis on racial/ethnic minorities)
    • Anyone who was eligible during any tier of Phase 1 who was unable to receive their vaccine.

Listed above are just some examples of who is eligible to receive the vaccine. This is not a complete list; for a complete list, visit


ECC President Discusses Higher ED Post Pandemic

March 17, 2021 | Campus News

East Central College President Dr. Jon Bauer recently sat down with a host of an education podcast to discuss the landscape of community colleges post-COVID 19.

The EdUp Experience podcast interview was released last week, and Dr. Bauer was interviewed by Dr. Joe Sallustio on a range of topics, including changes to distance education, the college’s role in social justice, and the future of higher education.

The podcast is titled “The Digital Divide and Rural Electrification” and it can be found at

During the interview, Dr. Bauer noted that we have come upon the year mark of the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is time for community colleges to “reset.”

“We will go back to something — I don’t think we will go back to where we were a year ago,” he said. “A lot of these changes, in one way or another, will persist.”

Dr. Bauer also stated that leadership at ECC is no longer planning weeks and months ahead — which was necessary during the earlier stages of the pandemic — but instead shifting focus to longer-range goals.

“We begin thinking now, ‘how do we use these resources to have the most lasting impact?’ We’re thinking past the horizon,” he said.

The EdUp Experience podcast is a resource to stay updated with education and higher education with guests ranging from university presidents to venture capitalists, to entrepreneurs.

Higher Education is changing rapidly and the thoughts, ideas, and insights from today’s brightest and most influential educational minds from across the globe are presented during The EdUp Experience podcast.

The goal of the podcast is, “to inspire and educate people to pursue a life-long learning mindset no matter the path they choose.”

In addition to Dr. Sallustio, Elizabeth Leiba and Elvin Freytes also host the show.


Four Students Inducted in Rolla PTK Chapter

March 17, 2021 | Campus News ECC Rolla

There were four members inducted into the Beta Omicron Phi chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society Saturday, March 6.

PTK is an international honor society for two-year colleges. Members pursue activities that fall under the direction of the society’s hallmarks of Scholarship, Leadership, Service, and Fellowship.

To be eligible for induction, students must maintain a grade point average of at least 3.4 for one semester and maintain a 3.2 GPA after their induction. Students can be pursuing any major, degree or certificate.

The inductees are Lauren Callison, Vienna; Mason Parks, St. James; Courtney Kelley, Rolla; and Hannah Kitson, Waynesville.

PTK Rolla advisor, Dr. Beth Winters-Rozema said Callison and Mason joined the PTK late last semester and took part in the March 6 induction ceremony.

The keynote speaker for the induction was Nikohl Watson-Lowe, PTK regional vice president for Missouri and vice president of communications for the Alpha Psi Tau chapter at Ozarks Technical Community College (OTC).

Watson-Lowe is a full-time student at OTC, who has just completed an Associates in Bioclinical Science degree. Watson-Lowe is currently working on an Associates in Automotive Technology.


St. Clair, Washington Districts Join Early College Academy

March 12, 2021 | Campus News

East Central College’s Early College Academy is growing now that two additional high schools have joined the ranks.

St. Clair High School and Washington High School are slated to join Union High School in the academy this fall.

Under the Early College Academy (ECA), high school juniors and seniors attend classes at their respective schools, as well as on the ECC campus, with the goal of earning an associate of arts or associate of science degree and their high school diploma.

The students begin the academy as juniors and graduate after successfully completing their high school and college coursework after two years, according to Megen Strubberg, director of early college and admissions at ECC.

UHS students kicked of the Early College Academy in the fall 2020 semester. There are 12 students enrolled in the program set to graduate in 2022. The second annual Early College Academy parent night was held at UHS March 11.

With the addition of SCHS and WHS, there could be 60 new high school students on the ECC campus in the fall, and 72 total high schoolers including the 12 enrolled this year through UHS.

“The ideal student for ECA has the same qualities that make any college student successful, including being driven, resourceful, and resilient,” Strubberg said.

She added that students attend classes with other college students at ECC, all taught by instructors at the college. Academy students also have access to the ECC Learning Center, library, student clubs and activities.

There is no cost to the high school students to participate in the academy. School districts cover the cost of tuition, fees and books for college classes.

To take part in the ECA, high school sophomores complete a program application with their high school guidance office and an ECC application for admission.

Students must have a GPA of at least 2.5 to be eligible to participate. An ECA selection committee comprised of high school staff makes selections based on student’s academic performance, disciplinary and attendance records, and other factors.

Strubberg noted that she is excited for the potential of additional school districts to join the ECA in the future.

Anyone with questions can call 636-584-6723 or email

For more information and frequently asked questions, visit

Photo of new Vice President of Finance and Administration Deanna Cassat

ECC Hires Cassat as Vice President of Finance and Administration

March 11, 2021 | Campus News

A former accounting and business instructor will soon return to East Central College, but in a different role.

DeAnna Cassat, Washington, will begin in May as the vice president of finance and administration, the college’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

The ECC Board of Trustees approved Cassat’s hiring March 8. Duties for the vice president of finance and administration, and CFO include managing the college’s finances and facilities; and overseeing grounds and maintenance, information technology, business office, bookstore, imaging services and food services.

Cassat said she is thrilled to return to ECC, a place where she has fond memories and great relationships.

“I am excited to come back to a place where I loved working,” she said.

From 2013 to 2018, Cassat taught accounting and business course at ECC’s Union campus. Her instructional schedule included introductory level courses, such as Financial Accounting I, to higher level courses, such as Cost Accounting.

She left for the position of director of accounting at NOA Medical Industries, Inc., Washington.

“When I left ECC, I wanted to get back into the practice of accounting,” Cassat said. “It’s fantastic that I can come back in that capacity to a place I called home for five years.”

She obtained Bachelor’s and Master’s of Accountancy degrees from the University of Missouri, Columbia.

Cassat and her husband are Washington natives, and they have three children.

She is involved with the Franklin County Area United Way and serves as the organization’s Ambassadors Committee president, as well as serving on the Franklin County Area United Way Allocations Committee.

ECC President Dr. Jon Bauer extended thanks to those who served on the committee and spent countless hours on the search.


Dual Enrollment Student Gets Ahead and Finds a Passion

March 10, 2021 | Campus News

While many other 15-year-old freshmen were studying high school courses, Claire Grace Smith, Rolla, was embarking on her college career at East Central College.

Smith, 17, is being homeschooled in high school curriculum and taking part in ECC’s dual enrollment program.

Smith is a high school junior and she will have 41 college credits at the end of this spring semester.

She looked at dual enrollment programs at several public and private schools but ultimately felt most comfortable at ECC.

“I when I came to ECC I was able to walk around and see the environment. It was really positive and looked like a place I would enjoy coming to,” Smith explained.

She said enrolling in the dual enrollment process was easy thanks to ECC Rolla’s staff. Smith’s advisor and the Rolla front desk employees helped her pick out classes that had smaller head counts to ease her into taking college courses.

“My advisor and the people who work the front desk were incredibly helpful. They helped me pick out classes that would be a good fit for me, coming from my homeschool experience,” said Smith.

Understandably, Smith felt some apprehension beginning college courses as a homeschooled high school student. The help and instruction she received at ECC Rolla quickly dissipated any nerves she had.

“I thought transitioning from home-school to college courses would be really hard and that other students would judge me because I started when I was 15,” she said. “I only had movies to get my information from since I had never been to a school before. But it wasn’t scary at all.

“I love the positive environment for learning. Here at East Central they are very understanding and kind.”

Smith expressed excitement when talking about her career path. She entered the dual enrollment program interested in history but has since decided she wants to teach English. Her experience at ECC has made her want to teach at a college just like it.

“My dream job would be an English professor. I would love to teach at a college like this and have passionate students,” she added.

A passionate student herself, Smith is excelling at ECC. Dr. Greg Stratman is one of her English teachers who was pivotal in her sudden interest in literature and the career it could bring her in the future. Stratman has nothing but praise for Smith’s dedication in the classroom.

“Claire’s insights in literary analysis were always astute and well thought, and often quite intriguing in their approach to the works we read,” Stratman explained.

“Whether in writing or during classroom presentations, she was consistently well prepared, creative, and articulate,” he added.

“It is gratifying these days to have a student take such sincere interest in reading and challenging herself to expand her perspectives.”

For more information on dual enrollment, visit or contact


Humanities Fest 2021 Contest Winners

March 10, 2021 | Campus News

The contest winners of the East Central College 2021 Humanities Fest held virtually Friday, March 5, have been announced.

Listed under the contest category are the place the students received, name of the student and the high school they attend. Also listed are titles of submission, if applicable.


First place — Payton Smith, Bourbon High School.

News Writing

First place — “School works to find solutions for struggling students,” by Kyle Meyer, Washington High School.

Second place — “English teacher Jocelyn Coates retires at semester,” by Mackenzie Lawyer.

Feature Writing

First place — “NaNoWriMo teaches students novel writing,” and “Washington’s Writing Enthusiasts,” by Claire Nappier, Washington High School.

Second place — “New School Year, New Principal — Former social studies teacher Ben Strauser becomes assistant principal intern,” by Benjamin Tobben, Washington High School.

Honorable mention — “Need for Speed — Junior Sam Stewart participates in family racing outside of school,” by Amber Christeson, Washington High School.


First place (Tie) — “Spring Beginnings,” by Kimber Miller, St. Clair High School; and “Abba and Bur Oak on the Katy,” by Jacob Lierman, St. Francis Borgia Regional High School.

Second place — “Face the Sun” and “Sky Above, Sand Below,” Kacey Feth, Union High School.

Honorable mentions — “Paws of Life,” by Marisa Frazier, St. Clair High School; and “Quiet Peers Night,” by Jacob Lierman, St. Francis Borgia Regional High School.

Creative Non-Fiction

First place — “Acknowledgements,” by Rachel Bolte, Union High School.

Second place — “The Universe Within You,” by Maelee Willingham, Union High School.

Third place — “Everything Happens for a Reason,” by Alexander Poole, Union High School.


First place — “I’m Fine,” by Jacob Lierman, St. Francis Borgia Regional High School.

Second place — “Another Stone in the Sidewalk,” by Maelee Willingham, Union High School.

Third place — “Daddy, You Weren’t Here,” by Taelor DeWeese, Union High School.

Honorable Mention — “Breeze,” by Isaiah Wring, St. Clair High School.


Radiologic Tech Program Transitioning to ECC

March 10, 2021 | Campus News

East Central College is poised to take over sponsorship of the radiologic technology training program from the Rolla School District.

ECC Trustees unanimously approved a new tuition and fee schedule to fund the radiologic technology program that is housed in the Rolla Technical Center (RTC). The program will remain at RTC and ECC will retain the faculty members who have been teaching the courses.

Radiologic Technology students use state-of-the-art equipment and ionizing radiation to produce images to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of illness and disease. ECC is slated to take over the program by the fall 2021 semester.

According to ECC President Dr. Jon Bauer, the program will be less costly to students once ECC takes over, and it will be fully funded by tuition and fees paid by students.

“We wanted to develop a schedule so tuition and student fees will cover the cost of the program,” he added. “We are doing this at a cost that is a bit less that what students currently pay.”

It will cost $200 per credit hour for in-district students and $300 per credit hours for out-of-district students. The course fees will vary.

The Rolla School District is transitioning the program to ECC, in part, because the program is only available to adults, not high school students. Rolla Public Schools Is focusing programming specifically on elementary and secondary education.

“We are very grateful to the Rolla District for their assistance during this transition,” Dr. Bauer said. “They have been very supportive, and we are very excited about this opportunity to serve the students and the community.”

Nancy Mitchell, dean of health sciences at ECC; and Christina Ayres, ECC Rolla director, have been working diligently to shift the accrediting body from the Rolla School District to ECC. Vice President of Academic Affairs Robyn Walter also has been heavily involved in the project.

Mitchell noted that certification exam pass rates and job placement rates remain at 100 percent consistently from year to year.

“I am so excited for the college to be able to participate in this,” added Ann Hartley, board of trustees president. “I know students walk right of the program and into a job — a much needed job.”

Mitchell added that ECC and the Rolla School District have partnered to offer radiological technology for 20 years.

“We are thrilled to be given the opportunity to seamlessly transition this program solely to ECC,” she said. “We are committed to the integrity of the program from curriculum, to faculty and program operations as well as current and ongoing accreditation standards.

“We look forward to serving the region and creating a center for healthcare education excellence.”

Radiologic technology is a 20-month program that is accredited by the Joint Review Committee for Education in Radiologic Technology. Graduates of the Radiologic Technology program receive an associate of applied science degree and sit for the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists, a national certification examination.

For information about the program, visit, or contact Mitchell at or 636-584-6616. Applications to join the program are due May 1.