Month: July 2021


Parker Hannifin Offers Tuition Assistance for New Hires

July 30, 2021 | Campus News

The Sporlan Division of Parker Hannifin is offering to help pay the tuition of East Central College students who come to work at its Washington location.

According to the Parker Sporlan Human Resource team, the students must work a minimum of 24 hours per week to be eligible for the tuition incentive. The students can be enrolled in ECC classes either part time or full time.

“This area is home to many manufacturing industries, and we see the value in an education from East Central College,” a member of the HR Team said. “That is why we are offering to invest in the education of students, if they join our team.”

Parker Hannifin currently has openings for its Assembler/Test/Pack positions.

For more information, interested students may call the Sporlan Division of Parker Hannifin at 636-392-3431.

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ECC Library Director Serving on Multi-State Library Board

July 20, 2021 | Campus News

East Central College Library Director Lisa Farrell recently was elected to serve on the MOBIUS board of directors.

Farrell will complete the final year of a three-year unexpired term as the academic library representative. She previously served as an at-large member from 2015-18.

“Serving on the board gives us an insight into state library funding and the budget and assessment policies,” Farrell said.

“It also keeps us apprised of what is on the legislative floor and how that impacts libraries,” she added.

MOBIUS is a consortium of libraries in Missouri and nearby states. It is based in Columbia, Mo. There are 66 academic libraries, seven public libraries, three special libraries, and the Missouri State Library, serving a total of 213 physical branches, in the consortium.

“I think it is very important to have a community college representative as a voice on the board,” Farrell said.

MOBIUS lends books, DVDs, dissertations, music scores, CDs, and more items through a courier system throughout its member libraries within four days.

The MOBIUS catalog includes over 29 million items. Member libraries are in Missouri, Oklahoma, Iowa, Kansas, and Texas.

Farrell noted that there is great value and cost savings through the borrowing of materials versus buying.

In addition, Farrell is in her second year as a MOBIUS OER (Open Education Resources) Systems Leader — a two-year cohort started last Spring in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

OERs are teaching, learning and research materials that are either copyright-free or have a license that allows for reuse, potentially saving students hundreds of dollars in textbook costs during a semester.

“Our MOBIUS Team has presented at conferences, surveyed our MOBIUS library membership, attended OER-focused conferences and training, and we look forward to the growth in OER for MOBIUS libraries in the coming year,” she said.


MOBIUS was established in 1998 by 50 libraries representing Missouri colleges and universities.

The name was originally an acronym for Missouri Bibliographic Information User System, although the organization no longer uses that name.

In 2010 MOBIUS became a not-for-profit corporation and the Tulsa City-County Library system, In Oklahoma, became the first out-of-state member in 2014.


The Love of Teaching Takes No Summer Break

July 19, 2021 | Campus News

The summer months for many students and educators is an opportunity to vacation, decompress or regroup.

But, for some East Central College instructors, it can be an opportunity to continue to do what they love — teach.

That includes Keith Pulles, biology instructor, who teaches the eight-week summer session classes every year.

“I have taught summer courses for seven consecutive years and it’s such a great option,” he said. “I’m glad we offer these classes for our students.”

These classes are slightly different than fall or spring courses. Whether online or in-person, summer courses are accelerated versions of their school-year counterparts.

“We do the same lab in about the same order, the same lectures and same types of activities. I don’t teach the class any differently other than faster,” explained Dr. Beth Winters-Rozema, who also is a biology instructor.

ECC Teachers have noticed their students have no trouble keeping up with the accelerated pace.

“I have just as many if not more successful students in the summer than in other semesters. Even though it’s compacted into eight weeks, they still do well,” biology professor Tracy Mowery clarified.

Pulles noted that test scores in his summer classes are comparable to scores during the rest of the year.

Dr. Winters-Rozema also stated having students who are successful regardless of the shortened time period.

“There are somethings students do better because of the increased pace. They can tie concepts together easier because what they learned wasn’t as long ago,” explained Dr. Winters-Rozema.

Students understand that taking a summer class means midterms and finals come up faster and they don’t have quite as much time to study in between tests, but it doesn’t seem to faze them.

“I don’t find it more difficult to focus on classwork in the summer-time. I can still have fun on the weekends and concentrate on school during the week,” said ECC student Dustin Lindsay. “You can’t procrastinate in the summer, so you have to be better about managing your time. Overall, though, it’s not hard.”

Many instructors at ECC enjoy teaching so much that they don’t mind working during the summers they would otherwise have off. Their love for teaching leads them to continuing in the summer.

“I like having the option to take a summer off, but I never want to. I have only taken off one summer in the last 13 years so I must enjoy it!” said Mowery. “Teaching is always different. While the content might not change much in science, your students are always changing which makes class different every semester which I like.”

Pulles enjoys the connections he makes with students and wouldn’t want to go three months without.

“It’s nice interacting with students and I would miss those interactions if I didn’t teach in the summer,” he explained.


ECC Theatre to Present ‘GRITS: The Musical’

July 15, 2021 | Campus News Performing Arts Theatre

The East Central College Theatre Department will present “GRITS: The Musical” for its summer performance.

“Grits: The Musical” is based on the popular book “GRITS (Girls Raised in the South) Friends Are Forevah,” and it follows four Southern women from four different generations as they reminisce about their pasts and speak to their futures.

The performances will be July 22- 24 at 8 p.m. and July 25 at 2 p.m. in the John Anglin Performing Arts Center in Hansen Hall.

The show is being directed by John Anglin, and it stars four female leads: Charlotte, Rebecca Brinker; Georgia, Bethany Herron; Virginia, Patty Kellmann and Florence “Flo,” Shanee Haynes.

Herron also is choreographing the show.

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“This is a family-oriented show,” Anglin said. “It is fun to see these four women reminiscing through modern monologue about growing up in the South.”

The performance was slated for last year, but it was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Anglin noted that he had to recast part of the cast that originally had been slated to perform in 2020, but the cast and crew is ready for the performance.

He added that the ECC production has a few differences compared to the original musical.

“The set is quite different than the original production, which was just four stools,” Anglin said. “Our set includes a façade of a house and a porch — and we use a lot of slides from the 50s in the South.”

The music director for the performance is Paula Nolley and the stage manager is Madison Skiljan. The scenic designer is Sylvia Sellers, lighting designer is Baylee Speer, sound is by Jarred Smider and scenic painting is by Vince Neihaus.

Set Construction was done by Anglin and Scott Mirly, costumes were done by Kellmann, Vickie Danley and Carol Buescher; and Herron is the social media coordinator for the performance.

The band for “GRITS” is Paula Nolley, piano; Colton Lutz, guitar, Cole Parsons, bass; and Colton Johnson, percussion.


New Skipper to Lead the ECC Baseball Squad

July 13, 2021 | Athletics Campus News

The East Central College Baseball Falcons will have a new leader in the dugout for the first baseball squad at ECC in 20 years.

Coach Johnathan Mills was hired last week to replace Brandon Rains who took a coaching and faculty position at Amarillo College in Texas.

ECC Athletic Director Dr. Jay Mehrhoff said Mills is a life-long baseball player and coach.

“It has always been his goal to guide a program at the intercollegiate level after years of being in the game,” Mehrhoff said. “Now he will be at the helm of the ECC Falcons newly reinstated baseball program this fall.”

Mills is familiar with many of the recruits since he was named as a volunteer assistant in the fall of 2020.

Mills is a native of Ft. Walton Beach, Fla., but played his high school baseball at Tuscaloosa High School and began his collegiate playing career at Shelton State Community College in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

While finishing up his last two years of his undergraduate degree at the University of Alabama he served as a student assistant on Jim Wells baseball staff for the Crimson Tide. The team had success and participated in the New Orleans Regional and Tuscaloosa Super-Regional in 2005-07.

Following graduation, Mills spent the last 13 years in travel and legion baseball, high school and NCAA Division II baseball in the southeastern part of the United States.

Coach Mills earned a bachelor’s degree in consumer science and health studies from the University of Alabama. He completed a master’s degree in management from Troy University in Troy, Ala.

Baseball Reinstated

In 2019 the ECC Board of Trustees reinstated baseball at ECC beginning the 2021-22 academic year. The team will have a roster of 35 players.

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.

In June, trustees approved a bid for a turf infield on the baseball field at ECC’s main campus in Union. The project will be funded by the ECC Foundation’s baseball campaign funds and matched by the Foundation to cover any amount over budget.


Hundreds of ECC Students Receive Emergency Financial Aid

July 12, 2021 | Campus News

Spring semester East Central College students received a total of $825,515 in emergency federal financial aid funds to ease the impact COVID-19 had on them.

There were 652 students who each received between $830 to $1685, depending on their financial aid status., through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act.

The CRRSA Act provided the funding for students to help ease any financial burden because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Students can use the funding for many reasons, including emergency costs that arise due to the coronavirus, as well as food, housing, health care (including mental health care) or childcare.

“It’s important for us to distribute this money to our students, while many of them are taking classes, they are also working part-time or full-time,” said Dr. Jon Bauer, ECC president. “COVID-19 has affected each of them in different ways, and the funding will help alleviate some financial stress.”

The college also has $3,115,247 in emergency student financial aid funding provided through the federal American Rescue Plan (ARP). The ARP funding will be distributed to students during the upcoming academic year.

“We are waiting for some guidance to determine what time during the upcoming year that students would be eligible to receive the financial aid funds,” says Dr. Bauer.

Last October $825,587 in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act dollars were disbursed to a group of eligible 2020 fall semester students. Overall, East Central College received a total of $4,766,569 in emergency student financial aid awards.



Dr. Eric Park Appointed to State School Retirement Board

July 7, 2021 | Campus News

East Central College Board of Trustees Treasurer Dr. Eric Park was appointed by Gov. Mike Parson to serve on the Public School Retirement System of Missouri Board of Trustees.

Dr. Park, Washington, is co-founder of the LPL Financial office in Washington and he also co-founded The Steamboat Financial Group.

Park attended East Central College (ECJC at the time) after he received his honorable discharge from the U.S. Army. He earned an associate degree in May 1982. He then continued his education, earning an undergraduate degree in business, two master’s degrees, one in finance and one in personal financial planning, and his PhD in Economics from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2014.  Dr. Eric Park

In addition to being a student at ECC, Park once served as an instructor. He also is a founding board member of the ECC endowment program. Currently, Park serves on the ECC Board of Trustees and Foundation Board.

A successful investment advisor for more than 35 years, Park is co-founder of LPL Financial, Eric Park & George Meyer, investment firm in Washington. He has received several national industry awards for his dedication to quality investment management. He was named the Registered Rep’s Outstanding Broker of the Year in 2005 and was admitted to Research magazine’s Advisor Hall of Fame in 2007.

Dr. Park was a member of the Missouri Credit Union Commission from 2005-2011. He is licensed in Life Insurance, Variable Life and Variable Annuity, and has Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Series 6, 7 and 8. He is also a Certified Financial Planner, a Certified Fund Specialist and an Accredited Investment Fiduciary.

Outside of work, Park is past president of the Franklin County Humane Society and the Washington Rotary Club. He also is past district governor of Rotary International and helped with international poverty relief efforts in developing nations.

Additionally, he has served on the Missouri State Commission charged with regulatory oversight of credit unions and is a member of the St. Francis Borgia parish finance committee.


Nursing Alum Recognized as Practitioner of the Year

July 2, 2021 | Campus News

East Central College Nursing Program alumna and nurse practitioner Jennifer Raffaelli recently was recognized by the resident doctors at Barnes-Jewish Hospital for her knowledge and the assistance she provides them.

Raffaelli, a 2010 ECC Nursing Program graduate, is a trauma surgery nurse practitioner with Washington University at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. In June, she received the Advanced Care Practitioner of the Year for 2020-21.

She was nominated for the award by a resident physician. Then the residents, interns, chief residents and fellows voted for the nominee who is most helpful to them when they need assistance.

This is the second consecutive year that Raffaelli was nominated for the Advanced Care Practitioner Award, and the first time she won.

“It is such an honor to even be nominated,” she said. “I appreciate that the residents recognize what I do to make their life easier — I am very gracious that they picked me. It is a huge honor.”

The award is presented to the surgical care practitioner who shows “great accomplishment to the education and training of the surgery residents.”

Nursing Career

In 2008, Raffaelli, who had a business degree, was considering a career change. She enrolled in the ECC Nursing program and graduated in May 2010.

She said ECC had a very positive impact on her education and her career trajectory.

“I loved the ECC nursing program,” Raffaelli said. “The instructors were all amazing.

“It was such a supportive and positive environment not only with my classmates but with all the nursing faculty and administrators,” she added. “If I had to do nursing school all over again, I’d absolutely go right back to ECC. No hesitation.”

Raffaelli, who is originally from St. Louis, worked at St. Anthony’s Hospital, now Mercy Hospital South, after graduating from ECC.

She later obtained a degree to become a board-certified nurse practitioner from Maryville University.

Raffaelli began working at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in 2018. She is married with two children.


Students Save Through Free, Affordable Textbook Options

July 1, 2021 | Campus News

The East Central College library has saved students more than $500,000 over the past two years with free or affordable textbook options.

The college is closing out its second year utilizing open educational resources (OER), which are teaching, learning and research materials that are either copyright free or have a license that allows for reuse, according to Lisa Farrell, ECC Library Director.

Farrell has been spearheading the free and affordable ($50 and under) textbook initiative at ECC since 2018.

She explained that students could spend nearly $1,500 in books each year, and many students use financial aid money or pay out of pocket to cover the costs.

In 2019, the college launched a pilot program to lower textbook costs for student, with the intent to lower — and in some cases eliminate — what students spend on books for class.

In summer 2019 session there were 95 students in five courses who saved a total of $12,000 under the new program.

The number of faculty members and courses utilizing OER and affordable textbooks has continued to grow. In this past spring semester, 22 courses used OERs and affordable textbooks, 1,229 students and $95,530 in savings.

OERs are not only textbooks, they are any type of educational material, typically peer-written and reviewed, that is available through an open access license. And is downloadable.

Emerging Technologies Librarian

Not only has the savings grown, but so has the library staff overseeing the program — Morgan Spangler was hired as the library’s new Emerging Technologies Librarian in May.

“We are excited to have this new position in the Library and another MLS (Master of Library) librarian on staff,” Farrell said. “She will be taking over facilitating the program, and eventually all of the OER curation and cataloging.”

Spangler’s other responsibilities include managing the library’s electronic services and technical aspects of online resource subscriptions, student instruction in use of library resources and maintenance of integrated library system.



Library staff stays up to date on affordable and OER through listservs and a network of OER users.

Spangler explained that the library reaches out to faculty if a free or affordable textbook is located within the network.

“Textbook selection is up to the faculty,” Spangler said. “They are the experts in the field, and we help facilitate the process — it is a partnership.”

Farrell noted that the English Department was first to embrace the OER and affordable book program, and English Instructor John Hardecke received training on OER materials.

“This program started out mostly with English books, and then social sciences began to use them,” she said. “And then biology was quick to jump on.”

Farrell added that she keeps the ECC bookstore informed of the affordable books that will be used for classes


In addition to keeping costs down for students, through the OER program, faculty members can rearrange the digital resources, cut sections, tweak or add to sections of the materials, Spangler said.

“Faculty has an opportunity to customize the materials to the way they want to teach,” Spangler said.

The materials also can be customized to reflect demographics and current events.

“They can pick and create to make it the best they can for their class,” Farrell added, “and without incurring extra cost to students.”