Category: ECC Rolla


ECC Purchases Rolla USGS Building; State Funds to Fuel Renovations

June 6, 2024 | Campus News ECC Rolla

East Central College Thursday announced the acquisition of a building in Rolla, providing the opportunity for the college to consolidate its operations into a single facility.

State funds specifically appropriated for the project were used for the purchase.

College officials said a single, comprehensive facility will better serve students and enable ECC to grow its programs and services.

ECC purchased the building that now houses the United States Geological Survey operations in Rolla. The purchase price was $5.1 million. The 107,000 square-foot facility is located at 1400 Independence in Rolla.

The USGS has operated in the building since 1974. The agency will continue to operate in the facility at least until February 2025 through its current lease. That may be extended, as ECC begins work to design the renovation of the facility for use as a community college.

“This is a momentous and historic time for East Central College and the Phelps County region,” said Dr. Jon Bauer, ECC president. “Rolla is a key strategic priority for us to greatly enhance educational opportunities throughout the ECC service region. Our mission is to better the lives of our community members through education, and this is a big step forward to accomplishing that goal.”

ECC, a comprehensive community college based in Union, has operated in Rolla since 1995 and currently operates in two facilities. The college leases space from the Rolla Public Schools at the Rolla Technical Center and leases a building located at 2303 North Bishop Road. The College will move out of the two spaces once its newly acquired facility is fully renovated.

The engineering firm Cochran, based in Union, was utilized to assess the building for renovation and construction costs. A preliminary schedule calls for renovations to begin in mid-2025 and for the facility to open to students in 2027. Mike Woessner of Investment Realty was the agent on the transaction.

State and federal funding approved for the project includes $13 million from the State of Missouri and $3 million earmarked by Congress through the Department of Health and Human Services. The upcoming state budget includes an additional $3.5 million in state funds through the MO Excels program for a Center for Advanced Manufacturing. The FY25 state budget awaits the Governor’s signature.

The state and federal funding ECC has received for the Rolla facility can only be used for this project. Additional funding through grants, foundations and other sources will be pursued.

Bauer expressed gratitude for the support from former Sen. Roy Blunt, who sponsored the federal earmark for this project, and from Gov. Mike Parson and the legislature for the state funds.

The Rolla region is part of the college’s state-designated service region, but outside of its taxing district.

“No local property tax funds will be used for designing and renovating the facility,” added Bauer. “Securing state and federal funding for this project made it possible.”

Students living outside of the ECC taxing district pay a higher rate of tuition than those living inside the college taxing district, because those students do not pay local property taxes to support the college. Much of the state’s land mass is located outside one of Missouri’s 12 community college districts. Service regions enable the community colleges to serve those areas and recoup costs through higher tuition.

One facility provides East Central with the ability to better serve students and the Phelps County area.

“Our facilities have served us well to this point, but there are challenges. Students find themselves driving between the facilities to attend classes. That limits options for scheduling, and it means they may not be in a building where other services are available,” said Bauer. “One permanent facility provides an accommodating class schedule, enhanced student and academic services, and the ability to grow programs to serve area business and industry.”

Once renovations to the building are complete, the facility will house ECC Rolla’s current academic programs and student services, a new advanced manufacturing center, and space for Certified Nurse Assistant, Certified Medical Technician, and GED programs.

Bauer said the facility also provides ample space for strategic partners such as colleges offering complementary bachelor’s degree completion programs, service providers, and others.

“Our vision is for the building to serve the needs of the region in a comprehensive fashion, primarily through the programs and services offered by East Central, but also by those offered by partners who would like to operate in the building,” Bauer said.

More information about program and service offerings at ECC Rolla is available at


Students Named to the Spring 2024 Dean’s List

June 6, 2024 | Campus News ECC Rolla

East Central College recognizes students who have demonstrated exemplary academic achievement each semester.

Upon completion of between six and 11 spring semester credit hours with a semester grade point average of 3.5 or greater, students are acknowledged on the Dean’s List.

There were 184 students named to the Dean’s List from the Spring 2024 semester.



Students Named to the ECC Vice President’s List

June 5, 2024 | Campus News ECC Rolla

Each semester, East Central College recognizes students who have demonstrated superior academic achievement.

Upon completion of at least 12 semester credit hours with a Spring semester grade point average between 3.50 and 3.84, students are acknowledged by placement on the Vice President’s List.

For the Spring 2024 semester, there were 179 students on the list.




President’s List for Spring 2024 Semester

June 5, 2024 | Campus News ECC Rolla

East Central College recognizes students who have demonstrated exemplary academic achievement each semester.

Upon completion of at least 12 Spring semester credit hours with a semester grade point average of 3.85 or greater, students are acknowledged on the President’s List.

There were 127 students named to the list from the Spring 2024 semester.


New ECC Program Aims to Combat Respiratory Therapist Shortages

May 28, 2024 | Campus News ECC Rolla

Over the next year, East Central College and four partner community colleges will launch groundbreaking Respiratory Therapy programs to tackle the pressing shortage of respiratory therapists in Missouri.

Recently, ECC secured a $5.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to develop this Allied Health initiative, aimed at boosting healthcare education and workforce development across predominantly rural regions of the state.

According to Dr. Robyn Walter, Vice President of Academic Affairs at ECC, the U.S. Department of Labor grant signifies a substantial investment in healthcare education and workforce development.

Over the next four years, the grant will provide resources for ECC and its partners to establish a comprehensive respiratory care program that addresses the pressing need for skilled healthcare professionals in the region.

In collaboration with four community colleges—Moberly Area Community College, North Central Missouri College, State Fair Community College, and Three Rivers College—ECC is leading this program through an existing consortium dedicated to providing respiratory therapy training in underserved areas of Missouri.

These institutions will each offer an Associate of Science in Respiratory Care, providing students with a pathway to fulfilling careers in healthcare.

“Individually, we would have difficulty maintaining the student enrollment to sustain a program financially,” Walter said. “To ensure sustainability, each member of our consortium contributes student enrollments and promotes the program’s viability.”

Furthermore, the consortium’s partnership with Central Methodist University offers students the opportunity to pursue a Bachelor of Health Science, further enhancing their educational and career prospects.

Walter emphasized the program’s potential to address critical workforce shortages exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. As healthcare providers continue to grapple with staffing challenges, initiatives like this play a crucial role in bolstering healthcare capacity and resilience.

The new respiratory programs grown through this grant will reach 70 predominantly rural and low-income counties across Missouri. This collaborative effort underscores the dedication of the consortium member schools to address critical needs within underserved communities.

Walter further highlighted the importance of training students locally, emphasizing that they are more likely to stay and work in the communities where they receive their education. By nurturing local talent and fostering connections with healthcare facilities, ECC and its partners aim to strengthen healthcare infrastructure and support economic growth in rural communities.

“If students train locally, they’re more likely to stay in the area, and at area health care facility they have experienced their clinical education,” she said. “This expands the regional healthcare workforce and helps create more stable staffing for our healthcare partners.”

The grant’s funding will cover essential aspects of the program, including staff positions, equipment costs, and student expenses, ensuring that students have access to quality education and resources.

Funding began May 1, making ECC and its consortium partners now poised to make significant strides in addressing the critical need for respiratory therapists across Missouri.

To find out more information about ECC’s Allied Health programs, visit


ECC Nursing Program Celebrates 31 Graduates

May 20, 2024 | Campus News ECC Rolla

East Central College celebrated the achievements of 31 graduates from its Nursing Program during a pinning ceremony on May 11. This time-honored event brought together graduates from the Union and Rolla campuses along with their families, friends, faculty, staff, and administration.

Highlighting the ceremony, five exceptional students were honored for their outstanding commitment and excellence both in the classroom and in clinical settings. The ECC Outstanding Nursing Students recognized were Bryan Lambeth from Rolla and Summer Fisher from Union. Additionally, the Spirit of Clinical Excellence Awards were presented to Josie Obermark (Mercy), Gracie Sohn (Missouri Baptist Sullivan), and Mary Romine (Phelps Health).

The pinning ceremony, a cherished tradition in nursing, symbolizes the transition from student to professional nurse. Each graduate received a unique ECC Nursing Program pin, marking their entry into the community of nursing professionals.

Dean of Health Science and Director of Nursing Nancy Mitchell commenced the ceremony with welcoming remarks, followed by an inspiring greeting from ECC President Dr. Jon Bauer. Class of 2024 graduate Caitlyn Linders then delivered a warm student welcome.

The guest speaker, Dr. Connie Wissbaum, Director of Nursing Excellence at Mercy Hospital Washington and former ECC nursing instructor, shared invaluable insights and encouragement with the graduates. The ceremony concluded with poignant remarks from 2024 graduate Bryan Lambeth and closing comments from ECC Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Robyn Walter.

The Nursing program graduates are:

Lori Anderson, Josie Obermark, Taryn Curtis, Michelle Parker, Emma Davis, Sarah Parker, Summer Fisher, David Pauly, Joey Guyton, Sarah Price, Dalton Halloran, Laura Roesner, Taylor Hanger, Mary Romine, Sophia Howell, Madelyn Ruszala, Allison Huddleston, Gracie Sohn, Gabriel Killian, Macie Steffens, Maria Krull, Claire Strubberg, Bryan Lambeth, Kalyn Thompson, Rebekah Lewis, Grace Turilli, Caitlyn Linders, Allison Wilson, Rachel Lottes, Ariana Young, and Shaniah Marlatt.

Nursing Awards

The ECC Outstanding Nursing Student award is given to those whose lives were significantly impacted by the college, often helping them realize their dreams of becoming nurses. These awardees have excelled in both academic and clinical settings.

Additionally, Spirit of Clinical Excellence awards were given by ECC’s healthcare partners: Mercy Hospital Washington, Phelps Health in Rolla, and Missouri Baptist Hospital Sullivan. These awards honor graduates who demonstrate exceptional care, compassion, inquiry, critical thinking, and organizational skills.

ECC Nursing faculty from Union and Rolla campuses presented the awards, recognizing the graduates’ dedication and achievements.



ECC Students Named to All-Missouri Academic Teams

May 17, 2024 | Campus News ECC Rolla

Four standout students from East Central College have been recognized for their exceptional academic achievements by being named to the 2024 All-Missouri Academic Team.

The honorees are Hayden Loeb of Owensville, Donna Neulinger of Rolla, Chloe Nissen of Union, and Jagger Wood of Washington. These students were recognized by the Missouri Community College Association (MCCA) and the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) National Honor Society during a special ceremony sponsored by MCCA in April.

In recognition of their accomplishments, each student received a medallion, a certificate, and a cash scholarship sponsored by the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority (MOHELA). The PTK, in partnership with corporate sponsors, organizes the Academic All-USA competition for students from two-year colleges across the nation.

The selection process is rigorous. PTK evaluates applicants on a national scale and forwards the top Missouri candidates to the MCCA. From there, the 40 highest-ranking students in the state are designated as Academic All-State award winners. These include 10 students on the first team, 10 on the second team, and 20 on the third team.

East Central College nominates two to four students from each campus annually for the All-USA Team, making them automatic contenders for the All-Missouri Academic Team. The nomination process requires a comprehensive scholarship application, detailing the nominees’ campus and community activities and including a letter of recommendation that highlights a significant endeavor they accomplished during their time at ECC.

Pictured are three of the four East Central College students named to the All-Missouri Academic Team. From left, are Jagger Wood of Washington, Donna Neulinger of Rolla, and Chloe Nissen of Union. Not pictured is Hayden Loeb of Owensville. Wood and Nissen attend classes at the Union campus, while Neulinger and Loeb are based at ECC in Rolla.


Mary Romine Receives President’s Spirit of ECC Award

May 16, 2024 | Campus News ECC Rolla

Although East Central College Nursing program graduate Mary Romine received her diploma for Associate of Applied Science in Nursing on May 11, she has already been pursuing a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) for five months.

Romine, from Rolla, who attends classes at ECC in Rolla, is described as a leader among her peers and someone who consistently exceeds expectations in every aspect as a student. Additionally, she excels academically and demonstrates leadership within the Student Nurse Organization.

During ECC’s Commencement Ceremony, Romine was recognized for those qualities, and more, with the President’s Spirit of East Central College Award.

ECC President Dr. Jon Bauer presented the award to Romine, noting that she was graduating that day cum laude, and as a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.

Bauer added that Romine is active and holds leadership positions in multiple student organizations while maintaining an outstanding 3.58 GPA in nursing school.

“Her commitment to giving back to the community is evident through her volunteer work with school-aged children, where she shares her passion for the nursing profession,” he said.

In addition to the President’s Spirit award, Romine received the Phelps Health Spirit of Excellence in Nursing award during the Nursing program pinning ceremony earlier that day.

“I was utterly shocked to have received these awards…” she said. “When we took our seats at the commencement ceremony, I saw a section of the program that was all about me! I was so honored to have received both awards, and I was emotional because all my hard work paid off.”

“I live by being kind to each individual I meet and trying my hardest at everything I do,” Romine added. “Spreading this positivity and devotion aids in developing trust with others. To be appreciated and recognized meant the world to me, and I appreciate everyone involved in nominating and choosing me for these awards.”

Healthcare Field

Romine is already working in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Phelps Health in Rolla, and she will work as a full-time registered nurse now that she’s graduated. She plans to graduate with a BSN in May 2025. Meanwhile, she will study for the Critical Care Registered Nurse (CCRN) exam.

Her next step will be to apply for the Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP) three-year program at MSU.

“If everything goes according to plan, I expect to graduate with my doctorate in 2029,” Romine said. “My end goal is to be a DNAP at Phelps Health Hospital. I love the Rolla community and want to build my dream home and family here in my hometown.”

“I want to thank everyone in my support system, including my family, fiancé, mentors, instructors, friends, the Rolla community, and the One Life ministry,” she added. “None of this would be possible without God, my number one supporter, ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.'”


ECC Rolla Students Recognized During Achievement Night

April 30, 2024 | Campus News ECC Rolla

East Central College students were recently honored at the Rolla Student Achievement Night for their exceptional accomplishments, leadership, and academic prowess throughout the academic year.

Hosted annually by the Office of Campus Life and Leadership and the Rolla Engagement Council, this year’s Achievement Night took place on April 24.

Students are nominated for awards by faculty to acknowledge academic excellence, perseverance, and contributions to a culture of student success, both inside and outside the classroom.

Outstanding Student Leader:

Alicia Ramirez, Student Nurses Organization

Collaborative Excellence Award:

Emma Willison, Student Nurse Organization

Spirited Falcon Award:

  • Dana Lawson, Allied Health Department, Radiologic Technology Program
  • Dakoyta Hendrix, Introduction to Human Anatomy and Physiology

Inductees into the National Adult Education Honor Society:

  • Zoe Wells
  • Shaielynn Cox

Club Officer Recognition:

  • Bryan Lambeth, Student Nurse Organization
  • Alaina Sy, Student Government Association
  • Gabrielle McDonald, Student Government Association
  • Adrianne Parks, Student Government Association

Academic Distinction:

  • Jordon Taylor
  • Alejandra De Luna
  • Mary Romine
  • Logan Metzen
  • Dekowta Coons
  • Jonathan Metzen
  • Cristin Foster
  • Samantha Britton
  • Tim Ringeisen
  • Brooke Busenitz
  • Anabell Borrok
  • Amy Studdard
  • Moriah Renaud
  • Kayla Brown
  • Ty Locklear
  • Mo Greenlee


Eoloff to Address ECC Class of 2024

April 21, 2024 | Campus News ECC Rolla

Eric Eoloff, President of Mercy Washington and Lincoln communities, will deliver the commencement address at East Central College’s graduation ceremony on May 11. Since 2016, Eoloff has served in his role at Mercy Washington, the largest employer in Franklin County, overseeing the operations of Mercy’s clinics and hospital in the Four Rivers area.

ECC’s 54th Commencement ceremony will be inside the College gym in the Donald D. Shook Student Center on the Union campus, starting at noon. Attendees are urged to be in the gym by noon. There will be no entry once the processional begins.

In anticipation of the ceremony, Eoloff expressed his appreciation for ECC and its role in nurturing professionals across various career paths.

He emphasized the college’s focus on practical training and partnerships with local facilities, which not only prepare students for success but also contribute to the overall health consciousness of the community.

“I greatly appreciate East Central College in our community for its commitment to nurturing talent,” Eoloff said. “The college’s emphasis on practical training and partnerships ensures a pipeline of skilled professionals and fosters a sense of community health consciousness that aligns seamlessly with our hospital’s mission.”

Furthermore, Eoloff highlighted Mercy’s longstanding partnership with ECC, facilitating the delivery of healthcare services in Franklin County and neighboring areas. He expressed eagerness to recruit ECC graduates, citing their readiness and often, prior experience in clinical settings.

“Mercy enjoys our longstanding partnership with ECC. It allows more services to be delivered locally here in greater Franklin County and neighboring counties. We are eager to hire ECC graduates because they come to us well-prepared and, quite often, already experienced in our settings.”

Background on Eoloff

Before assuming his current position, Eoloff held various leadership positions within Mercy, including Chief Operating Officer of Mercy Hospital St. Louis and President of Mercy Laboratories. His extensive tenure at Mercy, a healthcare system spanning 45 acute care hospitals and over 1,000 physician practices across multiple states, reflects his commitment to advancing excellence.

He holds a master’s degree in healthcare administration from the University of Minnesota and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Oregon. Eoloff is dedicated to fostering talent in the field and serves as a distinguished leader.

Originally from St. Paul, Minnesota, Eric and his wife, Gina, have six children and three grandchildren.

For more information about the commencement ceremony and East Central College, visit