Kellogg Community College


International student Eucharia Ganda transferred to U of M with help from “amazing” Hites Transfer Scholarship

For many college transfer students, making the transition from community college to a university can be daunting, especially when the university is far away from home.

For Kellogg Community College alumna Eucharia Ganda, who transferred to the University of Michigan-Flint after graduating from KCC in 2016, the distance of the journey after KCC was nothing compared to the distance she traveled after high school.

Ganda, 25, lived in Italy for more than a decade before coming to Battle Creek to study business administration at KCC. Staying with a cousin studying nursing at the College, Ganda says she had a rough first year. But after getting more involved through service-learning projects like Bruins Give Back, student groups like the Phi Theta Kappa honor society and work on campus as a student working in the Testing & Assessment Center, Ganda found her place at KCC.

By the time she graduated from KCC, Ganda had been named Outstanding Business Management Graduate and was one of just two students in her graduating class named to the All-Michigan Academic Team at the College’s annual Awards Banquet in 2016. While at KCC she’d also been recruited for a yearlong internship with the State of Michigan working with a business analyst in Lansing, an experience that led her to pursue that career herself by transferring to U of M to study computer information systems.

Ganda has been assisted on her path after KCC as a recipient of the Robert F. Hites Transfer Scholarship, a transfer scholarship awarded to KCC graduates transferring to four-year schools. The scholarship grants recipients $3,000 each year for two years, for a total of $6,000.

When she found out she received the scholarship, “It was huge news,” Ganda says. “I immediately called my friends back home and said, you won’t believe this! Look at what I got! It was a huge relief.”

Without the help of the Hites scholarship, Ganda, who works as a resident advisor to help her cover room and board at U of M, says she would’ve had to find other ways to make up the cost of her education, costs which are even higher than they are for many students because she’s an international student with higher tuition rates.

“The Hites Scholarship helps a lot,” Ganda says. “It’s amazing.”

With the scholarship boost from the KCC Foundation, Ganda plans to graduate from U of M in 2019 and go wherever her career takes her, closer to home or abroad.

“Business is everywhere,” Ganda says.

Transfer Scholarships

KCC Foundation scholarship applications, including applications for the Hites Transfer Scholarship and other transfer scholarships, are available now for the 2018-19 academic year. Visit www.kellogg.edu/student-scholarships for applications and guidelines.

What’s Your KCC Story?

What’s your KCC story? Share it on social media using the hashtag #KCCstory or send it to us via the online form linked from www.kellogg.edu/kccstories.

Cassandra Peck builds a family, career in KCC’s Radiography Program

Cassandra Peck was pregnant with anticipation to when she started her studies in Kellogg Community College’s Radiography Program two years ago. She was also pregnant with a little girl.

Peck, now 27 and the mother of healthy 2- and 4-year-old daughters, says she was initially concerned she might have to push her studies back a year until she’d had her second daughter. But the program was flexible enough that she could work the schooling in around her pregnancy.

It helped that there was a KCC campus close to home in Hastings, where Peck was born and raised.

“I chose to go to KCC because it was cheaper and closer to home,” Peck says. “It’s nice having a campus 10 minutes away. Also, the smaller campus makes me feel better when trying to navigate, and I don’t feel lost.”

Peck originally considered studying to become a physical therapist, and began her studies at Grand Valley State University. She had a change of heart after job shadowing during a class and transferred back to KCC to consider her next steps. The idea of going into radiography was inspired by her grandfather, who’d been an X-Ray tech for many years.

Now Peck is planning on becoming and X-ray tech herself after she graduates in May, and she’s considering the possibility of going back to school for a master’s degree in the future.

“It’s nice because I can do the two-year program and then be able to work and make good money doing something that I really enjoy,” Peck says. “It’s a wonderful program.”

Study Radiography at KCC

Applications for KCC’s 2018-19 Radiography Program are available now! Visit our Radiography Admissions Web page for the application and more information.

What’s Your KCC Story?

What’s your KCC story? Share it on social media using the hashtag #KCCstory or send it to us via the online form linked from www.kellogg.edu/kccstories.

First-gen college student, Trustee Scholar Albert Van Lal Hruai studies computer networking at KCC

Deciding what college or university to attend is not an easy decision for many recent high school graduates, but the answer was clear for Kellogg Community College student Albert Van Lal Hruai.

Albert, of Battle Creek, graduated from St. Philip Catholic Central High School in 2016. Coming from a private school background, he chose to attend KCC because it was smaller, closer to home and less expensive than other schools. He started searching and applying for scholarships his junior year of high school with help from a counselor, and was awarded the KCC Board of Trustees Scholarship.The scholarship awards recipients up to $3,500 per year for two years.

Albert is pursuing an associate degree in computer networking at KCC, and currently works part-time in the Arts and Communication Department. He plans to transfer to Western Michigan University after graduation and eventually work in business, possibly starting his own as an entrepreneur.

“The Trustee Scholarship helped financially, giving me an opportunity to have a higher education and better future,” Albert says. “I am the first generation of my family to go to college, and am really excited for graduation.”

What’s Your KCC Story?

What’s your KCC story? Share it on social media using the hashtag #KCCstory or send it to us via the online form linked from www.kellogg.edu/kccstories.

Gold Key Scholar Autumn Thornton is studying science, wants to be a vet

By Bailey Scott

Kellogg Community College freshman Autumn Thornton wants to be a veterinarian and is getting her start by studying science at KCC.

“I am going into this field because I love animals and I love helping them,” Thornton says. “I have done a lot of job shadowing and really love the idea of being a vet.”

A 2017 graduate of Athens High School, Thornton, 18, got a jump on her career plans by dual enrolling at KCC while still in high school.

After graduating from KCC, Thornton plans on transferring to Michigan State University and working toward a doctorate. A recipient of the KCC Foundation’s Gold Key Scholarship – the College’s most prestigious scholarship – Thornton has no regrets about starting at KCC.

“Deciding to go to KCC first was one of the best decisions I have made,” Thornton says. “I have been able to live at home and get adjusted to college before moving away. I am doing great in my classes this semester and couldn’t be happier.”

Spring 2018 Classes

Registration is open now for Spring 2018 semester classes, the first of which begin Jan. 12. For more information, visit www.kellogg.edu/registration. To apply to KCC online for free, visit www.kellogg.edu/step1.

What’s Your KCC Story?

What’s your KCC story? Share it on social media using the hashtag #KCCstory or send it to us via the online form linked from www.kellogg.edu/kccstories.

Nursing student Victor Okorie left a banking career in Nigeria to help save lives through nursing

Photo by Bailey Scott

For Victor Okorie, joining the Kellogg Community College Nursing Program this fall was the culmination of a paradigm shift that led him from the banking industry of Nigeria to the health care field in Michigan.

Okorie, 37, came to the U.S. seven years ago from Nigeria, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s degree in international economics and spent four years working in the banking industry. Yet when he saw the needs and the pain of people who needed health care, he says, he decided to make a career change and help “put smiles on their faces and warmth in their hearts.”

Okorie says he wants to be a nurse to help patients using non-pharmacological tools – things like massage or the simple act of providing a warm blanket – to supplement the more traditional approaches to pain management. Most importantly, though, Okorie says he wants to help give patients hope, and to save lives.

“Life has no part two; you have to make the best of every moment you have while you’re on planet Earth,” Okorie says. “Every opportunity for me to save a life is a clarion call for me. So I see it as one of my callings, to save lives, to make sure that folks who are caught in that web of dying can be given hope, and to keep hope alive.”

A certified nursing assistant (CNA) at Henry Ford Allegiance Health in Jackson for the past five and a half years, Okorie says he chose KCC’s Nursing Program over others because the College is a trusted name in health care education, offering one of the best nursing schools in the state.

“KCC’s Nursing Program is like a mountain among all of the mountains, like a hill among all of the hills, it’s like a city that is set on the hilltop that can never be hidden,”Okorie says. “I love it here.”

After graduating from KCC, Okorie plans on pursuing a bachelor’s degree in nursing, possibly from the University of Michigan, and perhaps work in cardiovascular or critical care nursing, “where the sickest of the sickest” are, he says.

“I just want to make sure I put smiles on their faces and warmth in their hearts, and to make sure there is hope and there’s light at the end of every tunnel,” he says. “That they keep hope alive and know that it’s not over until it’s over.”

Study Nursing at KCC

Applications for KCC’s Fall 2018 Full-Time Nursing Program are available now! Visit www.kellogg.edu/nursing for more information.

What’s Your KCC Story?

What’s your KCC story? Share it on social media using the hashtag #KCCstory or send it to us via the online form linked from www.kellogg.edu/kccstories.

Mom Karen Kelley is working toward her journeyman card

Registration for the Spring 2018 semester is open now! For information about signing up for spring classes, visit www.kellogg.edu/registration. To apply to KCC online for free, visit www.kellogg.edu/step1.

When Karen Kelley started the Essential Skills Demanded by Great Employers (EDGE) Program at Kellogg Community College in the spring of 2016, she was having a hard time finding a job. She’d been a stay-at-home mom for 13 years and had been living out of town for the past year.

The EDGE Program, offered in conjunction with Goodwill Industries, gave Kelley and others like her access to job readiness training, including training through KCC’s Advanced Manufacturing Assembly (KAMA) Training Program. The training included OSHA certification and forklift training, among training in other manufacturing and professionalism concepts.

“I absolutely loved it,” Kelley says of the EDGE Program. “I definitely took a hold of every opportunity to move forward in my life and maintained a positive attitude, just knowing that all of these opportunities would be available to me when I got done. … I would definitely recommend it.”

Today, Kelley is a printer’s assistant at Coveris in Battle Creek, which develops packaging for products in a variety of industries around the world. She’s also back at KCC to study in the Industrial Machining Technology Program, through which she hopes to earn her journeyman card.

“It’s just another opportunity to better myself and to learn more,” Kelley says. “I’m grateful for every opportunity that’s been presented to me.”

Join the KAMA Program

For more information about KCC’s KAMA Program or other manufacturing training programs at KCC, visit www.kellogg.edu/work or contact Workforce Solutions Career Coordinator Casey Fairley at 269-565-2804 or fairleyc@kellogg.edu or Career Coach Roy Tooke at 269-565-7979 or tooker@kellogg.edu.

What’s Your KCC Story?

What’s your KCC story? Share it on social media using the hashtag #KCCstory or send it to us via the online form linked from www.kellogg.edu/kccstories.

Nursing student Crystabel Banda grew up in Zimbabwe, wants to be a psychiatrist

Crystabel Banda’s path to the Kellogg Community College Nursing Program has been a long one.

Banda, 26, grew up with extended family in Zimbabwe, Africa, before joining her parents in South Bend, Indiana, after high school. Family tragedies – relatives in Zimbabwe who died in ways that Banda feels may have been preventable, hospital staff in Indianapolis who comforted her family when other family members died in a car accident – motivated her to become a nurse to help people. Banda completed most of her prerequisites at Ivy Tech Community College in Indiana before coming to Battle Creek, where she started the Nursing Program this fall.

After graduating from the Nursing Program, Banda hopes to continue on to get a bachelor’s degree, with the ultimate goal of becoming a psychiatrist.

“I feel like back home right now the economy is not really stable, and a lot of people go through this phase where they have so much going on they don’t know what to do, they don’t know how to express their feelings,” Banda says. “Mental illness is a stigma, but I feel like with educating people and talking about it and encouraging people to talk about depression, anxiety and all those feelings can be a really good thing.”

Today Banda commutes weekends to work as a CNA in South Bend, continuing to help others while spending her weekdays studying so she can do the same someday as a nurse, and later as a psychiatrist.

“I know that it’s something that you work hard for and it’s going to be worth it at the end of the day,” Banda says. “It’s worth it because we’re dealing with people’s lives.”

Study Nursing at KCC

Applications for KCC’s Fall 2018 Full-Time Nursing Program are available now! Visit www.kellogg.edu/nursing for more information.

What’s Your KCC Story?

What’s your KCC story? Share it on social media using the hashtag #KCCstory or send it to us via the online form linked from www.kellogg.edu/kccstories.

Lakeview senior Devin Harook dual enrolls for KAMA training, wants to be an electrician

When 18-year-old Devin Harook graduates from Lakeview High School this spring, he’ll do so with valuable, hands-on manufacturing experience earned as a dual-enrolled graduate of Kellogg Community College’s Advanced Manufacturing Assembly (KAMA) Training Program.

Harook, who along with other members of his KAMA cohort finished up a portion of the program’s manufacturing training segment last week, says he wants to be an electrician and is looking at continuing his education at KCC to study the field after high school.

“It’s given me more of an idea of a production line, a better idea of what companies look for in their employees,” Harook says of the KAMA Program. “It’s definitely been beneficial.”

Join the KAMA Program

For more information about KCC’s KAMA Program or other manufacturing training programs at KCC, visit www.kellogg.edu/work or contact Workforce Solutions Career Coordinator Casey Fairley at 269-565-2804 or fairleyc@kellogg.edu or Career Coach Roy Tooke at 269-565-7979 or tooker@kellogg.edu.

What’s Your KCC Story?

What’s your KCC story? Share it on social media using the hashtag #KCCstory or send it to us via the online form linked from www.kellogg.edu/kccstories.

Harper Creek grad Jensen Bush works on associate degree before transfer to MSU

By Bailey Scott

Kellogg Community College student Jensen Bush is a 2017 Harper Creek High School graduate who dual enrolled at KCC while still in high school.

Already familiar with campus, she chose to continue at KCC after graduation to work toward an Associate in General Studies degree.

“Going to KCC was a much cheaper option to earn my associate versus attending a university directly after high school,” Jensen says.

Jensen hopes to graduate from KCC in either 2019 or 2020 and transfer to Michigan State University.

Spring 2018 Classes

Registration is open now for Spring 2018 semester classes, the first of which begin Jan. 12. For more information, visit www.kellogg.edu/registration. To apply to KCC online for free, visit www.kellogg.edu/step1.

What’s Your KCC Story?

What’s your KCC story? Share it on social media using the hashtag #KCCstory or send it to us via the online form linked from www.kellogg.edu/kccstories.

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