This feature was published in the latest edition of Affinity Magazine! Click here to check out the magazine in its entirety.
It won’t be long until Michaela Horstman graduates from Columbia College with her Bachelor of Science
degree in Business Administration. When she walks across the stage this spring, the Fulton, Missouri, native will be doing so after only three years in college, expediting her route through higher education by taking summer courses between the spring and fall terms.
Endowed scholarship recipients Ben Burgett and Michaela Horstman were honored at the President’s Society induction ceremony Sept. 22. (Photo by Kaci Smart)
She’ll also be doing so without any debt from student loans. The scholarships she has received from Columbia College helped see to that.
“The money that I have gotten has really allowed me to focus on my academics and has actually allowed me to get three 4.0s since I’ve been here at Columbia College,” said Horstman, who holds a cumulative grade-point average of 3.78. “I really never thought that going to a private school would be something that I could afford.”
That was exactly what Shelley E. Dale ’69 envisioned when she started the Lois J. Erdman Award for female business majors at Columbia College in honor of her mother. The same goes for Connie Nichols ’05, who started the Alla Mae Baker Memorial Scholarship in honor of her mother to reward exceptional business administration students at Columbia College.
Horstman has received funding from both awards. They give so that students such as Horstman can take full advantage of the opportunities at their disposal.
“I wanted to try and help someone to really go forth in life and make a difference,” said Nichols, vice president of real estate lending at Central Bank of Audrain County. “To me, it’s like ‘pay it forward.’ If I’m helping you to do this, I want my recipient to go ahead and, if they have the opportunity later in life, help someone else at whatever it is.”
Endowed aid helps students from all walks of life at Columbia College. Last year, the school awarded a total of $661,039 in endowed aid to 480 students.
Ben Burgett, a senior from Rocheport, Missouri, is in his second year after transferring credits and is on track to get his Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science this spring.
He values the close relationships with professors — assistant professor of Sociology Dr. Aurelien Mauxion and professor of Biology Dr. Nathan Means, especially — that the college provides, as well as the financial help he has received through scholarships provided by Helen B. Maupin ’45 and Central Bank of Boone County.
“Their philanthropy is greatly appreciated. It really allows us, as students, to focus on the academic side of college instead of having to worry about the debt when we get out,” Burgett says. “You’re going to graduate college and then be out in the job market looking for a career, and the last thing you want is a looming debt over your head.”
Horstman plans on pursuing a master’s degree after graduation, with an eye toward becoming a certified public accountant. She interned as an auditor at MFA Oil in Columbia over the summer, and she is currently working as an intern with the college’s Student Success Services. As part of her duties, she plans to go to high schools and communities around Columbia to talk about financial awareness.
Lois Spencer, Horstman’s grandmother, says Michaela has always held full- and part-time jobs in addition to her education and has been very good about saving and budgeting her money, lessons Spencer helped teach Horstman from an early age. She has seen Horstman blossom during her time at Columbia College.
“They’ve helped her and recognized that she’s a smart young lady,” Spencer said. “They have recognized her skills and aptitude and have looked to find extra scholarships to help her to be able to make the school more affordable for her to go there.
“I’m very proud of her and what she’s been able to accomplish, and how focused she is. She set a goal and she’s working toward it.”
Dale said her mother was incredibly gifted financially. But as with most women of her generation, Erdman went to college with the sole purpose of getting an “Mrs.” degree, in Dale’s words.
“I think, deep down, she was probably smarter than my dad, and that’s not taking away from my dad. But, once he passed away, she just blossomed,” Dale said. “I certainly had this whole new look at my mother. I knew she was smart, but I didn’t realize how business smart she was, and how her portfolio just zoomed. That’s what I wanted to do for these young women, give them an opportunity to be able to do the same thing and not have to worry about this tremendous college debt that everybody seems to get out of school with.
“If (Horstman) can get her master’s with that and she’s interested in that, go girl!”
Nichols found it difficult to get through college her first time around because she only received one student loan in the way of institutional support. She returned to school later in life and got her degree one year after her daughter, 2004 Columbia College graduate Brooke Baker.
Getting a college education has been a source of pride for her family. She wants to help others achieve that feeling.
“I was the first one of my generation in my family to get a college degree. In fact, I was the only one,” Nichols says. “I just puff all up with pride (for the scholarship recipients). I really do.”
If you are interested in information on how to start a scholarship, please contact the Columbia College Office of Development at (573) 875-7563.
Dr. Sarah Vordtriede-Patton, Columbia College’s dean for the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, recently announced that the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) has granted accreditation to the college’s online baccalaureate nursing degree program.
“This is a tremendous milestone and stamp of excellence for our nursing program as we continue to diversify our offerings in this crucial career field for our students,” Vordtriede-Patton said. “Nursing Department Chair Dr. Linda Claycomb, Nursing and Health Sciences Program Coordinator Dr. Tina Dalrymple and the entire nursing faculty and staff did a great job spearheading the accreditation process and their hard work and focus has paid off for our program.”
Accreditation through the CCNE for the online Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree opens the door for graduates of the program to obtain additional higher education including master’s or doctorate degrees. The program will also now be able to expand accreditation to all baccalaureate nursing degrees. The online program is one of three different nursing degrees offered by Columbia College, the others being a traditional, in-seat Bachelor of Science degree and an associate in science degree.
Officially recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a national accreditation agency, the CCNE is an autonomous accrediting agency, contributing to the improvement of the public’s health. CCNE ensures the quality and integrity of baccalaureate, graduate, and residency programs in nursing. For more information about the CCNE, click here.
The stereotypical image of a computer programmer — alone in his or her cubicle, writing line after line of code, bathed by the light of the screen — doesn’t really hold up.
From left, alumni Michael Hudelson ’10 and Zach Oppland ’14 talk with senior Garrett Waage at the Computer and Mathematical Sciences department networking lunch in Dorsey Gym. (Photo by Kaci Smart)
Many who graduate from college with computer science degrees end up in fields that necessitate teamwork on large group projects, or interaction with co-workers from other departments in information technology.
People skills are a big plus. So is networking ability.
Around a decade ago, Dr. Yihsiang Liow, associate professor of Computer Science at Columbia College, started holding yearly functions to help connect some of his new students with upperclassmen. Over the past five years or so, program alumni started coming back to meet current students.
“It’s to start thinking about the future,” said senior Garrett Waage, a computer science and mathematics double major who is currently interning at Veterans United Home Loans. “It’s a good idea to meet other people and see how they’ve gotten to where they are.”
Waage was one of nearly 30 students that lunched with about a half-dozen alumni in Dorsey Gym on Sept. 29.
The event serves an important function for both sides. Students get to see what it takes to make it in the professional world. Alumni get to scout the ranks for possible interns and future employees.
“Sometimes students that come in have only a vague idea of what they would do with a computer science degree,” says Dr. Suzanne Tourville, professor of Mathematics and chair of the Computer and Mathematical Sciences department. “They just think it sounds like a good field but often they haven’t had any real courses in computer programming or anything as students. So to talk to people that have that, and then the possibility of getting internships, is something that they’re glad to know about.”
Three of the alumni in attendance — Michael Hudelson ’10, Miroslav Lukic ’10 and Zach Oppland ’14 — felt an important part of their role was to provide realistic expectations for prospective professionals.
Lukic is the IT director at McNerney Management Group in Columbia, Missouri, and Oppland serves as his assistant director. Lukic and Oppland met through friends at Columbia College and, when Lukic was looking for a second-in-command, he knew Oppland was a person he trusted from the program that had educated him. Hudelson is a software engineer at Columbia-based The Turning Gear, web design and software development start-up he helped found.
It’s OK if you’re not pulling in six figures a year or two after graduating. If you don’t have a job at Google or Amazon lined up immediately, it doesn’t mean that making a career out of programming is not for you.
Success takes many forms. Not all of them end up on the front of Wired magazine.
“A lot of students maybe read about all the stuff out there, but I don’t think it’s that shiny and bright when you come to real life,” Lukic said. “They read about how, if you’re a developer, you can make $100,000 right away. Maybe in certain areas, certain cities, but not everywhere.”
From left, senior Ryan Frappier and alumnus Miroslav Lukic ’10 talk at the Computer and Mathematical Sciences department networking lunch in Dorsey Gym. (Photo by Kaci Smart)
Or if you do have a job at Google waiting for you, like senior computer science major Ryan Frappier, that’s good, too. Frappier interned at Google each of the past two summers and wants to use his experience working for the company to pursue his true passion project. A visually impaired individual, Frappier wants to help create tools for people who have similar conditions.
He says the networking opportunities presented by Columbia College helped open him up socially.
“The first semester I came here, I was kind of timid,” Frappier says. “But Dr. Liow really encourages all the students to be active, and I just got excited by that.”
Dr. Shanda Traiser yearned to get back into the world of higher education.
From left: Dr. David Roebuck, dean of Columbia College’s School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences; Dr. Sarah Vordtriede-Patton, dean of the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics; and Dr. Shanda Traiser, dean of the School of Business Administration.
She had been a founding dean of the Gary Tharaldson School of Business at the University of Mary in Bismarck, N.D., before becoming the director of strategic planning at Basin Electric Power Cooperative in Bismarck.
She felt at home in academia. Columbia College caught her eye.
“I really missed higher ed. I feel like that’s my true passion,” Traiser said. “I liked what I saw from a community standpoint and then, from the college, that they seem very innovative and open to new ideas and are not an institution that seems like they’re stuck in ‘That’s the way we’ve always done it.’ That’s appealing to me.”
Traiser is bringing her wealth of business and education experience as the new dean of Columbia College’s School of Business Administration. She joins Dr. David Roebuck and Dr. Sarah Vordtriede-Patton as the founding deans in Columbia College’s three-school academic structure, which takes effect for the 2016-17 school year. Roebuck heads the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences and Vordtriede-Patton leads the School of Natural Sciences & Mathematics.
Roebuck, a longtime Political Science professor at the college, is shifting roles. Traiser and Vordtriede-Patton are still figuring out the campus map after coming on board over the summer. All are committed to using their positions to help shape Columbia College’s future, unifying the home campus with the Nationwide locations and Online Education students under three schools.
“It really gives us the opportunity to move towards a vision of being one college,” Roebuck said. “We made the conscious decision to move in that direction, and this is the thing that gives us that opportunity.”
As the only in-house hire, Roebuck got to roll out the welcome wagon for Traiser and Vordtriede-Patton as they made their transitions to Columbia. That took on a number of different guises, from Roebuck serving as a campus tour guide to him and his wife opening up their home for Traiser and Vordtriede-Patton to stay in while they were looking for housing of their own.
Now, they all work in the same hallway on the third floor of St. Clair Hall.
“We’re going to be a great team. They’re both going to bring in fresh ideas and look at everything we do with new eyes,” Roebuck said. “I like the idea of making things more effective and more efficient. So anything they identify that we’re doing that they think we could do better, I’m certainly in favor of that.”
The goal is for the deans to provide additional perspective and oversight for quality of academic offerings, as well as redistributing job functions from department chairs and the provost and vice president for academic affairs Dr. David Starrett to more appropriate locations within the newly formed schools. Creating an academic leadership team will help chairs and faculty focus more on classes and students. It will also help Starrett focus the institution on initiatives to enhance quality and consistency of academic programs at Columbia College.
Roebuck’s school covers six departments: History, Philosophy and Political Science; Language and Communication Studies; Visual Arts and Music; Criminal Justice Administration and Human Services; Education; and Psychology and Sociology. Traiser’s houses the Business Administration department, and Vordtriede-Patton’s covers Computer and Mathematical Sciences; Nursing; and Physical and Biological Sciences.
Vordtriede-Patton served as the interim dean for two years at the College of Arts and Sciences at St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa, where she spent the past 15 years before coming to Columbia. The Highland, Ill., native is an entomologist by training.
A “bug lady.”
“The big thing is there’s over a million species of insects. So you can find an example of almost anything,” Vordtriede-Patton said. “They do almost everything. Ants cultivate fungi as crops and herd other insects, called aphids, as livestock. Truth is stranger than fiction in the bug world, I think. Never a dull moment.”
Vordtriede-Patton gained an affinity for Columbia during an eight-year stint in the Army Reserve, during which she drilled in the city. She and Traiser both bring an appreciation for the needs of Columbia College’s sizable military student population, as Traiser spent the six months before she moved to Columbia teaching MBA courses at military bases in Kaiserslautern, Germany.
“I really gained a lot of respect for the military and military spouses, just seeing firsthand all the challenges they have to deal with and how resilient they need to be,” Traiser said.
The Early Fall Session starts at the end of August. Until then, Traiser and Vordtriede-Patton are working to settle in and acclimate themselves to serving their new institution and the Columbia community.
“It’s a very forward-looking position, through academic programs that meet students’ professional and personal goals,” Vordtriede-Patton said. “We have a lot of great programs. Putting resources into those, advertising those, making sure people know we have them, and then also doing really creative things and anticipating future needs.”
Roebuck’s been here for 20 years. He’s ready for the new challenge.
“I felt like one of the academic officers should have some institutional memory, and I felt like I could contribute that to the college,” Roebuck said. “Talk to anybody who knows me: I love Columbia College. I want it to be as good as it can be.”
The answer is…pretty much everyone. The old cliché of the career student who switches majors five times and spends twelve years earning a single degree just doesn’t ring true anymore, and certainly not for most Columbia College students.
While our students enjoy their time here (nine out of ten say they are satisfied with their experience), they also have their eyes firmly on the prize: A life-changing degree that can open the door to new career opportunities and increased earning potential.
So how can we help?
Columbia College is expanding our academic calendar to offer six class sessions each year. So if you are a student taking classes online or at any of our nationwide locations, you will now be able to complete your degree faster.
The graphic below shows how quickly you could complete an associate, bachelor’s or master’s degree from start to finish.
Want to know more about completing your degree faster?
Senior Chase Barnes may have transferred colleges and moved to a new state surrounded by new people, but his passion for political science has never faltered.
Before he started college, at age 16, Barnes participated in a mock legislation at the Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership Seminar at the Pennsylvania State Capitol building. This experience sparked a desire in Barnes to dedicate his time to having a thorough understanding of politics.
Fast forward six years: Columbia College’s Model United Nations team recently participated in the Midwest Model U.N. simulation in St. Louis, and Barnes won two individual awards, making him a recipient of all possible MMUN individual awards.
Learn more about the Barnes in the latest CC Focus!
CCC: Take us through what a Model U.N. simulation looks like.
CB: Prior to the simulation in February, each school is assigned a country to study extensively and represent. This year, Columbia College represented the kingdom of Jordan.
The simulation functions as the United Nations does. A majority of delegates spend most of their time in committees discussing predetermined topics like poverty, crime or the environment. Next, delegates write and vote on United Nations resolutions during a plenary session. There is also a Security Council, which spends a majority of its time working on resolutions, but also must address a crisis that takes place on a random day during the early hours of the morning.
CCC: You won the Outstanding Delegate and Delegate’s Choice awards at the MMUN simulation in St. Louis recently. What does it mean to you to be a good delegate?
CB: To me, being an outstanding delegate means that I showed a good understanding of the United Nations and in-depth knowledge of my country. It also means that I maintained character as a delegate from Jordan. Being an outstanding delegate means that I participated and was professional while working with other delegates and finding ways to compromise. Most important, it means that the Committee Chair and other simulation staff noticed my efforts.
I feel even more honored, however, to be voted delegate’s choice. The Delegate’s Choice Award means that the delegates I was working with chose me over themselves or other delegates as the best delegate in our committee.
I attribute both awards to just being kind. It is important to represent your country and your position at the simulation, but it is also very important to be personable. Don’t interrupt people when they are speaking, learn other delegates’ actual names not just their country and make small talk during breaks that isn’t about Model U.N. Doing these things helped me to advocate for Jordan, but it also helped me to make new friends.
CCC: In what ways have you grown through your experience in Model U.N.?
CB: Model U.N. has helped me realize that I have a particular skill set that allows me to negotiate and communicate with adverse opponents and to get a group of people to compromise with one another. Model U.N. showed me that I have the ability to lobby others to my advantage without compromising my own stances or integrity too much.
CCC: What other organizations/activities are you involved in? Why?
CB: In addition to Model U.N. I am the captain of the Mock Trial team. Mock Trial is a competitive trial advocacy group. Essentially, it is debate but in a courtroom setting. We travel all over the Midwest and compete in tournaments against other colleges and universities. We actually had a great season in 2015-2016, competing at six tournaments and getting second at our home tournament. We also had a number of team members win multiple individual attorney and witness awards, myself included.
I am also involved in Student Government Association because I care about Columbia College and I want to represent my fellow students.
CCC: What is one thing you want to do before you graduate?
CB: Before I graduate, I want to get on the patio on the roof of Launer Auditorium. I heard they used to hold cocktail socials there back in the day and I want to see it for myself.
CCC: What are your post-graduation plans?
CB: I have accepted a job at the Jacobs & Crumplar Law Firm in Wilmington, Deleware, as a paralegal assistant. I only plan on working there for about five months in order to save money. After I finish my employment at J&C, I am moving to Australia to work and travel.
CCC: Do you have a word of advice for any students looking to get involved in school activities?
CB: My first piece of advice is that ALL students should get involved. My second piece of advice is not to get over-involved. It is important to have a social life, stay on top of grades and remain healthy. If you spread yourself too thin, you might compromise those other important aspects. Finally, pick clubs you ENJOY doing and not just clubs that will help build your resumé. While using extracurricular activities to build your resumé is great, don’t join clubs if you only want them for your resumé. Join clubs to meet people and have fun.
Columbia College is excited to announce the expansion of its nursing degree offerings. Beginning this August, the college will offer an in-seat bachelor’s of science degree (BSN) in nursing. The new degree offering was recently announced by Dr. David Starrett, the college’s provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.
“We are responding to the needs of the health care industry and to the needs of our current and future students,” Starrett said. “Our nursing program continues to flourish and the addition of the in-seat bachelor’s degree takes the program to a new level.”
The in-seat BSN, which is designed for students looking to become registered nurses, is being offered in addition to the online bachelor’s degree in nursing (designed for currently registered nurses) that was launched in 2014. Additionally, an associate degree in nursing has been available at the college for more than 25 years.
The BSN program at Columbia College will prepare students to assume roles in professional nursing from basic care to advanced roles in nursing management and education. Students will develop complex clinical reasoning, decision-making and collaborative skills that contribute to patient safety and quality processes while providing a framework for evidence-based practice. The program is approved by the Missouri State Board of Nursing, and the courses will teach medical surgical nursing as well as various specialties and community care.
For more information on Columbia College nursing, click here or contact Michael Garver, academic adviser at email@example.com or at (573) 875-7610.
That’s what one Columbia College Summer Camp participant had to say last year about her experience spending time on campus and learning about forensic science and criminal justice.
But Columbia College summer camps aren’t just for future crime scene techs.
Offering students the chance to live and learn on campus before starting college, summer camps host students from fifth grade through their senior year of high school. Spanning June and July, eight summer camps will take place on the main campus in Columbia, Missouri.
Many of the camps have the option for students to stay on campus in residence halls during the camps. And, while Columbia College students are away for summer break, many professors remain to share their knowledge with the next generation of college graduates.
Below is the list of camps that are available this year:
The Department of Student Success staff includes (from L-R) – Emily Severeid-Geiss, Stephanie Whitener, Dr. Nathan Miller and Rachel Smith
By Donnie Andrick
Columbia College prides itself in helping students set and achieve their educational goals. One way the college ensures its students achieve their full potential inside and outside the classroom is with Student Success advising.
The Department of Student Success has a top-notch team that works together to help students graduate on time, set academic goals, overcome barriers, establish a balance between school and extracurricular activities, and take ownership of success and setbacks. Guiding this team is Senior Director Dr. Nathan Miller and Advisors Rachel Smith, Stephanie Whitener and Emily Severeid-Geiss.
“Columbia College was founded on the idea of access to education,” Miller says. “The Department of Student Success is committed to this ideal, which we express through supporting students throughout their college experience.”
The team is also here to support students with their adjustment to college life. The college strives to keep all students, traditional or nontraditional, from getting lost in the shuffle while transitioning into their role as a student. It’s no secret that student obligations can be overwhelming to deal with, and Student Success is dedicated to making the process more manageable.
Student Success does more than student planning, though. It’s possible that financial situations will change throughout a student’s academic career and Student Success serves as a resource to students for support and guidance. Through its Money Stacks program, Student Success promotes financial awareness by assisting students in maintaining financial aid, finding and renewing scholarships, planning for a decrease in financial aid, and budgeting for school and personal experiences.
For many students, including senior Ashley Brouder, the solutions Student Success has for financial and academic situations is a much-needed reason to breathe a sigh of relief.
“Contacting Student Success, particularly after a rough semester, helped tremendously,” Brouder says. “They helped create the best schedule for me to recover […] I’m graduating on time, in May, with all of my scholarships intact, and that was possible with their help.”