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Iowa Valley Board learns about “the trip of a lifetime”

September 26, 2017
From: Robin Anctil, Director of Marketing - Iowa Valley Community College District - Special To The Chronicle , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

The Iowa Valley Community College District Board of Directors heard about the May 2017 study trip to Germany and France when it met this month. ECC Social Sciences Faculty Joerg Rochlitzer introduced four students who participated in the trip, and two of them shared details and photos with the Board.

Rochlitzer chaperoned and guided the spring trip with Ellsworth Community college Provost Dr. Martin Reimer. Participants included current and former students from Ellsworth Community College, Marshalltown Community College and Iowa Valley Grinnell, as well as one Iowa Falls community resident.

ECC sophomore Chris Lamos told Board members that this trip was his first on an airplane. A resident of Hampton, he started college at Iowa State University, but was unhappy in such large classes. "I transferred to Ellsworth and have been so happy with everything here," Lamos said. "I just never imagined that a kid like me could do something like this. I'm really indebted to the College for giving me this experience."

Lamos shared photos and outlined the trip itinerary, which included stops in Munich, Oberkirche, Strasburg, Berlin, Leipzig, Torgau, the former Buchenwald concentration camp, and Dresden. He recounted several stories about the history, politics and culture that were shared with tour participants, as well as the joys of sampling schnitzel and struedel. The group also toured and learned about Dresden's Technical Institute, which is collaborating with Ellsworth on a more expansive student exchange program.

Sophomore Cole Bridges participated in the tour and also just completed a summer internship with Dr. Peter Jahr at the European Union Bridges said he found it mind-blowing that so many countries collaborate as part of the EU, although he did characterize the experience as sometimes "loud and chaotic." He added that it was a great experience to meet people from across Europe and learn how the EU system works.

A May 2018 European Tour including Germany and Belgium is already in the planning stages. The 2018 trip will be limited to 12 participants, with details to be released in the next month or two.

Chris Duree, Iowa Valley Chancellor, thanked Rochlitzer, Dr. Reimer and the students for their presentation, and for participating on the European trip. He noted that the trips and many other exchange opportunities have benefited the District and its students thanks to the long-term and ongoing friendship of Rochlitzer with Dr. Peter Jahr.

Duree provided the Board with a 14-day Fall 2017 enrollment report which shows that the District is up .56% (16 students) in credit student headcount and down 1.5% (36 FTEs) in total credits. He said that the District budgeted to be down 3-5%, so financially the Colleges are presently in good shape for the fall academic term, assuming the District does not receive another mid-year de-appropriation from the state. Duree gave kudos to the ECC and MCC student services staff for their efforts in recruiting students. He said preliminary indications are that Iowa Valley's fall enrollment numbers will better than the numbers at most other Iowa community colleges.

Three 260F Iowa Jobs Training Agreements were approved by the Board with Interface Sealing Solutions of Marshalltown, SIG Manufacturing of Montezuma, and Shi R2 (dba Deimco Finishing Equipment) of Tama. The $20,000 agreement with Interface Sealing will train 39 employees in safety, Acu-gage System, NAFTA, AutoCAD and LX ERP (a database system). The $4,999 agreement with Sig Manufacturing will train three employees in hazardous material shipping safety, and the $4,999 agreement with Shi R2 will train 15 employees in first aid/CPR, forklift safety, Universal Laboratories (UL) standards, and ControlLogix w/ Studio 500 (programming). Deb Hawks was thanked for her work in reaching out to these and other companies to promote job training projects.

In other matters, the Board approved a three-year lease agreement with Buena Vista University for offices, conference room and classroom spaces at ECC and offices and classroom space at Marshalltown Community college; and a resolution naming depositories for the District.

The Board also accepted several gifts: a tire balancer and an air conditioning service and recycling machine given by Wes Finch Auto Plaza to the Iowa Valley Grinnell Automotive Technology program; a glass bookcase given by Russ and Gail Schuck to Iowa Valley Grinnell; two Ag Leader Integra Display Systems and two Ag Leader CANBUS Simulators given by the Iowa State University Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Department to the ECC Agriculture program; and $462.08 given by Rachel Porath to cover catering for the June 5-8 2017 Limelight Leadership Academy.

The next regular meeting of the Board will be an organizational meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 11, at 4 pm the District Administration building, 3702 S. Center St., Marshalltown.

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