Award-winning WCC

Sarah Saville, Lindsey Turek, and Hannah Oorebeek after their fourth, second, and third place showings in the student bee competition.

By Brittany Dekorte

and Suni Jo Roberts
Deputy Editor

and Rebecca Gordon
Staff Writer


WCC radiography students took home multiple awards from the annual meeting of the Michigan Society for Radiologic Technicians, which took place between Sept. 20-22, 2017.

The meeting consists of an essay contest, a scientific display competition, a student bee and a scholarship award.

A group of WCC radiography students traveled to Bay City, Michigan for the three day conference.

The students that attended the conference said there were networking opportunities as well as the chance to compete for prizes.

From left to right, Serena Palmer and Mallory Wiseman show their second-place winning scientific display.

The student bee which saw the most top prizes go to WCC students is a spelling bee type trivia game that asks randomly chosen radiography or imaging type questions to a line of students. The first prize spot has gone to WCC for the past five or six years, according to William Nelson, a radiography faculty member at WCC who traveled with the students to the conference.

Knowing this history, Hannah Oorebeek, a radiography student at WCC, who got third place in the student bee said she was “disappointed at first, because they usually get first place, but realized they still did good.”

Lindsey Turek, got second place in the student bee and said the question she lost on will forever be stuck in her mind. Turek competed against more than forty people and had a limited amount of time to answer the question.

Shannon Komor, a second year radiography student, won the Rodney Smith, Ellen VanOss, and Rebecca Haney memorial scholarship. Along with the scholarship, Komor found good networking opportunities at the conference.

Mallory Wiesman and Serena Palmer won second place for their scientific display on ocular melanoma. Palmer explained the scientific display competition involves presenting in front of a panel of judges, which brought on some extra pressure. For Wiesman, the topic she chose to research was personal, her husband is a survivor of the disease. Overall, Palmer said the conference “went quite well.”

Sarah Saville, who came in fourth place in the student bee said she thought everything went well and was surprised to see how far she went.

“The experience was worth going for, it was a lot of fun,” said Saville.

Nelson, the student’s radiography instructor at WCC added a final thought.

“I was really proud of them. We didn’t get first place but I was just really proud that the students got second, third and fourth out of all those other students. I was like, ‘Wow, you guys did awesome.’”

Culinary Arts

Washtenaw Community College instructor Terri Herrera and student Justin Smith were nominated and recognized as our institutions Chef Educator of the Year and Outstanding Student Chef of the Year.

The American Culinary Federation and its Michigan chapter, Michigan Chef de Cuisine, honored several schools and their nominees at the Annual Awards Gala, which took place on Oct. 9 at the Detroit Country Club.

The southeast Michigan chapter of Michigan Chef de Cuisine emcompasses nine ACF accredited institutions, including the Art Institute, Schoolcraft Community College, and the Culinary Institute of Michigan – Port Huron.

“We ask all of the schools to submit their recommendations for an educator chef,” said Brian Lorge, executive director for the ACF and Michigan Chef de Cuisine. “ We ask them to fill out a fairly extensive amount of information about the body of work that that particular person has done over the years and continues to do, as well as contributions to the chapter, contributions to the culinary community, and testimonials of their performance from students and past coworkers.”

Chef Herrera has been teaching at Washtenaw Community College for 16 years.

“The most thing I’m proud of that I’ve done here, since I’ve been at Washtenaw Community College, is that I introduced the students to competitions. They were not doing competitions when I came here,” said Herrera.

Those competitions included culinary arts, commercial baking and front of the house.

“We’ve actually won medals in each one of those categories. And as a matter of fact, the first year we won a gold medal and we went to nationals. And that was in Kansas City. The very first year I started here,” said Herrera.

Herrera nominated Justin Smith for his award, and he participated in an in-house competition to accompany her as Washtenaw’s Outstanding Student at the Annual Award Gala.

Herrera, who has been nominated several times over the years, expects to hear from the ACF before Thanksgiving whether she is a finalist for the Regional Chef Educator of the Year award. A Central-Western Regional Conference is planned to be held in Newport Beach, Calif. from March 18-20, 2018.

Merit Award

President Rose Bellanca awarded Director Elizabeth Connors the Merit award at the board of trustees meeting on Oct. 24. Connors, who took the reins of the Surgical Technology Program 18 months ago, has since brought the program to national accreditation standards.

Valerie Greaves, the dean of health sciences for the college, spoke very highly of Connors before the board.   

“We had some difficulties with the surgical tech program, getting it going and getting accreditation for it. Elizabeth came in, within an amazing amount of time, she turned things around, got accreditation for the program,” Greaves said.

Connors herself has worked in the field of surgical technology for over ten years. While she was working on her master’s degree at Central Michigan University, she was tapped for the job here at the college,

“This college has a remarkable support group,” Connors said. “It’s been a whirlwind… it was a battle of priorities but I’m thankful for being given the chance.”

In this last round of national boards, the students from Washtenaw Community College had a 100 percent pass rate for surgical tech students.

According to the program’s description, a surgical technologist’s primary task is “to anticipate the perioperative needs of the surgeon and surgical patient.”  Students in the program receive an education in anatomy, microbiology, and pathophysiology.



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