Thursday, November 15, 2007
From food stamps to ironworker, OTAP coordinator smoothes the wayCarol Higgins is a licensed journeyman carpenter who has taught classes ranging from welding to electric, but her favorite class to teach in the Orientation to Trades and Apprenticeship Program (OTAP) is Effective Communication, she says.
“We are taking these students from unemployment or minimum wage jobs, to careers where they may be making upwards of $100,000, and it is extremely important that they learn to work with people and communicate well,” says Higgins. “In our program, a communication class is unique and I love to see the students learn these new skills.”
Higgins was named October Staff Employee of the Month for her work expanding and coordinating the OTAP program, which also includes the OTAP for Youth program and a non-credit home handyman series offered to the general public.
Supervisor Nancy Case says, “Carol has been largely responsible for growing the OTAP programs from a single funding source to multiple sources and she helped secure nearly $1 million in grants over the last 18 months alone. She is an inspirational leader and motivated instructor who has helped several hundred at-risk students get their life on track. She has a tough-love approach which has earned her the respect of her colleagues and students alike.”
Higgins likes that her students come to think of her department as family. "Sometimes they don't really have anyone else to share their new success," she says.
Case and Higgins recently traveled to Savannah, Ga., to present at the National Council for Workforce Education. Higgins gave her speech, “From Food Stamps to Ironworker,” modeled on one of her favorite student success stories. That student had stopped in Higgins’ office the day he received his first paycheck at his ironworker job, and they marveled together over the stack of crisp $100s which formerly would have taken him months to earn.
Higgins likes that her students come to think of her department as family. “Sometimes they don’t really have anyone else to share their new success,” she says. “One young man I remember thinking wouldn’t make it in the program. He just kept coming back again and again trying to qualify as an operating engineer. He came from a tough situation where he’d been in prison, yet he was very motivated. When he finally became a journeyman operating engineer four years later, he stopped by to show me his new car and he was so proud. Since then he’s brought a lot of his relatives and friends to enroll.”
Says nominator Cathleen McComas “Carol is a gifted teacher and supervisor. She provides anyone whose life she touches with emotional and spiritual support.”
Who Uses the ERC? In a picture taken at noon on a recent Wednesday, the ERC is shown at its busiest. ERC Director Bruce Massis says, "That's why we're in this line of work. Nothing pleases a library director more than to see the library at its full capacity, serving the students with all of the services at their disposal. All of our laptops in our laptop lending program are out each day, all day long, all workstations and study rooms are booked to capacity, and people are coming in to visit our art galleries and special programs held in the TV Studio. If we can do our part to assist in our students' success, we are thrilled to do so.”
The Columbus State Community College Woodwind Ensemble, under the direction of Thomas Lloyd, will perform Tuesday, November 20, at 4:30 p.m. in the TL-123 music room.
The program will be a brief survey of instrumental styles. Much of the music is dance inspired, including a bourrée by Handel and waltz by Beethoven. Three pieces based on folk music will be performed: Grieg's Norwegian Dance No. 2, a Russian Folk Dance arranged by Kabalevsky and an excerpt from Black American composer William Grant Still's "Folk Suite No. 3." Also on the program is Mozart's "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik" (A Little Night Music.)
The concert is free and open to the public. Thomas Lloyd will narrate the concert and provide audience members with insights into music history.
Chorus Columbus State will perform Sunday, December 2 at 3 p.m. in Derby Court at the Columbus Museum of Art. The concert is free and open to the public. The Chorus will perform Francis Poulenc's “Gloria” as well as the Randall Thompson collection “Frostiana” featuring the poems of Robert Frost. The Chorus will be accompanied by Marina Myers on grand piano and directed by Gordon C. Franklin. Soprano soloist, Shannon West, will also perform.
For more information about these concerts, call ext. 5046.
Javadi presents research at international conferenceMort Javadi, Ph.D., associate professor in Biological and Physical Sciences, presented his research at the 2007 American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America (ASA-CSSA-SSSA) International Annual Conference in New Orleans, November 4-8.
The research, titled “Residual Water in the City of Chalous, Iran,” was authored by Hamidreza Honari, professor of Environmental Heath Engineering with Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Mort Javadi, and Zohreh Javadi, Professor of Environmental Health Engineering with Iran University of Medical Sciences. Zohreh is Mort’s cousin.
The ASA-CSSA-SSSA conference is the largest in the world in the field. More than 4,000 scientists from U.S. and 45 other countries participated and presented some 2,700 research findings.
Sandra Stevenson, chairperson of the Mental Health/Chemical Dependency/Mental Retardation Department Advisory Committee, was recently awarded the 2007 Corcoran Award for Mental Health by the Catholic Diocese of Columbus. Stevenson is director of the Ohio Department of Mental Health, and was previously executive director of Southeast, Inc., working on behalf of the mentally ill, addicted and homeless people in Franklin County.
Tailgate party at the cafeteria!AVI foodservice will offer “Beat Michigan Tailgate Party" foods in the cafeteria Friday, Nov. 16 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. with fare such as bratwurst, cheeseburgers, hot dogs, baked beans, corn on the cob, coleslaw, potato salad and macaroni salad. Go Bucks!
Game program cover from 1968