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Education Briefs for April 19

Minnesota West Community & Technical College receives grant

Minnesota West Community & Technical College Farm Business Management, Lamb & Wool and Small Business Management Programs recently received grant funding from Minnesota Telemedia.

The grant was for $31,375 and covered purchase of enhanced technology equipment for all of Minnesota West’s Farm Business Management, Lamb & Wool, and Small Business Management instructors.

The funding for the equipment will promote and enhance collaboration between instructors, student management groups and the agriculture community as another tool to teach, educate and collaborate with their member producers to be as successful as possible.

“This past year producers needed several meetings to discuss all the government policies and procedures that were taking place due to COVID restrictions and plant closures. Those that elected to stay home realized that a ten minute zoom session was just as beneficial from home virtually as a trip into town for an in-person meeting. This enhanced technology opportunity saved them travel time and still answered the questions they had on requirements. This technology will also be helpful with reviewing financial documents with producers or hosting group meetings in an efficient manner,” said Mike Dierks, Farm Business Management instructor at Minnesota West.

“We are very optimistic about the future of Farm Business Management in southwest and west central Minnesota as we strive to be the regional leaders in providing high quality management training to our farmer students. The addition of the technology that we were able to obtain from this grant will allow our FBM instructors to collaborate in a more efficient manner with our farmers and stakeholders to provide ‘just in time’ information. As a group we are excited to bring in world-class speakers to our local communities via a distance and work with local school districts to provide access to these resources for our future generations of those involved in production agriculture. We look forward to increased efficiency and heightened opportunities for our farmers and the college,” said Minnesota West Dean of Agriculture and Business Paul Lanoue.

SMSU employees celebrating anniversaries, retirements

Seven employees with a combined 135 years of service are among those being honored for their dedication at Southwest Minnesota State University.

The seven will retire at the end of the academic year. They include:

David Vikander, financial aid director, 15 years

Jim Kor, assistant director of Facilities and Physical Plant, 14 years

Jim Lilleberg, information technology specialist 2, 10 years

Mary Jones, director of Extended Learning & Academic Research, 6 years

Rhonda Bonnstetter, professor of Education, 15 years

Stewart Day, associate professor of Humanities, 31 years

Deb Labat, office and administrative specialist sr., 44 years

Other SMSU employees are celebrating anniversaries at the institution. They are being honored for 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 and 40 years of service. They include:

10 years

Jorun Ahmann, office and admin specialist principal

Jeffrey Bel, professor of Exercise Science

Amanda Bemer, professor of English

Bradley Besse, general maintenance worker

Richard Herder, professor of Communication Studies

Jim Lilleberg, information technology specialist 2

Patricia Linehan, assistant professor, Adult Education

Ben Nwachukwu, information tech specialist 2

Tim Schrunk, plumber, master in charge

Michael Van Drehle, director of Alumni

15 years

Brad Bigler, head men’s basketball coach

Rhonda Bonnstetter, professor of Education

Steve Davis, professor of Agribusiness Management/Economics

Stacy Frost, interim co-executive director for Advancement and Foundation

Amy Nemitz, director of TRIO Upward Bound

Scott Peterson, professor of Psychology

Kelly Schuerman, information tech specialist 4

Neil Smith, professor of English

Matthew Suby, director of Admission

Tom Williford, professor of History/department chair

20 years

Chris Anderson, executive assistant to the President and Provost

Tanya McCoss-Yerigan, professor of Education

Stacie Mulso, information officer 3

Julia Olson, groundskeeper

25 years

Mark Fokken, associate professor of Communication Studies

Susan Jones, professor of Finance

30 years

Deb Kerkaert, VP for Finance and Administration

35 years

Pat Carmody, registrar for the Registration and Advising Department

John Hansen, professor of Chemistry

40 years

Jim Mortland, senior account clerk for Business Services

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