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Lakeland College has hired two new instructors for its communication and aviation programs.
Casey Schmitt will be joining Lakeland's faculty as instructor of communication, and Steven Vaught has joined Lakeland's faculty as assistant chief flight instructor, joining chief flight instructor Brandon Molina in this fast-growing aviation program.
Schmitt has eight years of experience teaching composition and communication at the college level, including lead instruction/course design and experience designing blended learning courses which used digital technology in and out of the classroom.
He comes to Lakeland from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where, since the fall of 2009, he has been serving as a lecturer and graduate teaching assistant. He is completing his Ph.D. this summer in communication arts-rhetoric, politics & culture from UW-Madison, where he also received a master of arts in communication arts-rhetoric and a bachelor's degree in creative writing and classical humanities.
He also has a master of arts in folklore from the University of Oregon, where he worked as a graduate teaching fellow. His teaching experience includes a year as an instructor at Parkland College in Champaign, Ill., where he taught critical reading and writing.
In addition to his academic background, Schmitt has professional, non-academic writing/editorial experience on multiple print and Web publications, including work for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and internships at The Onion and Wisconsin Public Radio.
Schmitt's first day at Lakeland will be August 17.
Vaught comes to Lakeland from Western Michigan University, where he has worked as a certified flight instructor since the spring of 2008. He was also an adjunct faculty member for Western Michigan teaching their aviation weather course.
Vaught holds a master of business administration degree and a bachelor's with honors in aviation flight science, both from Western Michigan. He has earned more than a dozen FAA certifications and endorsements. He is in the process of completing the master instructor program through the National Association of Flight Instructors. As an undergraduate, he served an internship at the Kalamazoo Battle-Creek International Airport.
He has also created and maintains an aviation self-study YouTube channel, has served as an instructor for Advanced Aviation Summer Camp, has done software development and has volunteered as a hurricane and tornado relief worker in several southern states.
Lakeland College is offering a five-week collegiate course in aviation for high school students this summer, which will include two instructional hours flying in Lakeland's Cirrus SR-20 aircraft.
The class utilizes traditional ground school curriculum that will allow students to qualify for the written Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) exam to obtain a VFR Private Pilot Certificate. Students will learn the basics of flight (aerodynamics, etc.), flight systems, FAA regulations and the air traffic control system.
The course will meet three days a week from 9 a.m.-noon at the Lakeland College Aviation Center at the Sheboygan County Airport. It begins June 15 and ends July 16, and will be taught by Brandon Molina and Steven Vaught, Lakeland's instructors of aviation.
The cost is $500 per student. The actual cost of the class is $1,000, but a Lakeland donor is covering the cost of flight time for students who enroll. Students must be at least 16 years of age to take the course.
Lakeland is the only four-year college in Wisconsin with a professional flight training program, offering private pilot certification through multi-engine commercial pilot certification. Lakeland offers aviation as a minor program, and students can earn full flight certification while completing a four-year degree in another discipline.
Students will take most of the 31 credit hours in the air. Students begin learning visual flight skills in Cirrus SR-20s before advancing to more complex airplanes.
For more information, contact Jason Duff, at 920-565-1000, or come to an information session at Lakeland College's Aviation Center at the Sheboygan Airport on June 3 or 10 from 5-7 p.m.
More than 750 students earned degrees on Sunday as Lakeland College celebrated its 153rd commencement.
The college awarded diplomas to 781 graduates, including 514 undergraduates and 267 graduate students.
Lakeland has classes at its main campus in Sheboygan County and through its Evening, Weekend and Online program with seven centers around Wisconsin.
J. Garland Schilcutt, who is retiring as professor of business administration following this academic year, delivered the undergraduate commencement address.
Schilcutt arrived at Lakeland in 1958 and retires with the longest tenure of any faculty member in the college’s history. He is the architect of all of Lakeland’s business-related academic programs, and served as the college’s first director of its Master of Business Administration program, a position from which he stepped down this past August. He was also an early leader in the college’s Evening, Weekend and Online Program, serving as its dean for a time in the 1990s.
He has won numerous awards and honors over the years, including the 1992 Underkofler Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award and being named an honorary Lakeland alumnus in 1988. He is best known to Lakeland alumni for the hours he spent with students outside the classroom, serving as a counselor, mentor and friend.
Lakeland College and the Sheboygan Area School District (SASD) have partnered to form a Teacher Development Institute that provides additional professional development training for Sheboygan teachers.
The institute is unique in that the coursework will directly relate to the district's academic goals and ties in with the district's teacher evaluations as part of the Wisconsin Educator Effectiveness System.
"I am very pleased that the Sheboygan Area School District and Lakeland College have agreed to collaborate in establishing an institute to offer a specially designed, home-grown professional development series," said Mehraban Khodavandi, the director of Lakeland's Graduate Education Programs and a professor of education and psychology.
"The main purpose of this joint venture is to provide high quality instruction over a period of time to examine and support effective teaching practices that will lead to and enhance students' learning and achievement."
"It's a great opportunity to partner with Lakeland College in offering a highly customized professional development opportunity for our teachers," said Joseph Sheehan, superintendent of the Sheboygan Area School District. "We are fortunate to have the resources right here in Sheboygan County to support our teachers with higher learning directly related to our district goals. We believe that the combination of best practice and Educator Effectiveness concepts will have a significant impact on quality instruction."
"This program is special in the way that it will be offered over time rather than be presented in a couple of infrequent and sporadic workshops disconnected to teaching practices and student learning," Khodavandi said. "I envision that this program will give our teachers a greater opportunity to learn new ideas and skills for improving their instruction which will ultimately lead to student achievement."
The partnership evolved from SASD wanting to build its own staff development program that directly embraces the district's educational goals. The program consists of five courses and will explore new and effective ideas in the areas of instructional practices, assessment, school and classroom leadership techniques and other elements that are critical for supporting and promoting effective teachers.
The classes are offered by Lakeland and taught by professional educators including SASD employees at one of the district's schools. The courses will carry graduate credits and will be offered in a cohort format, with a maximum of 30 teachers per cohort. Each cohort of teachers that successfully completes the series of classes will be moved up one step on the district's salary schedule.
The course dates and formats will be flexible based on the cohort members. The three-credit classes are $300 each and paid for by the individual teacher. The first cohort will begin coursework this September and complete the classes in the summer of 2017.
The course credits can be applied towards a master's degree for those who want to pursue additional education. Tuition discounts are available for SASD teachers who decide to pursue their master's through Lakeland.
Lakeland President Dan Eck said he hopes the institute will become a model for future partnerships with other school districts.
"Budgets for schools are tight, and districts are looking for creative ways to provide services not only for students but for their employees," Eck said. "We would like to partner with other districts who are looking for ways to provide additional training for their teachers. We have the flexibility to help create programs that help them achieve their specific district goals."
The Movers & Shakers Gala at Lakeland College is back, but it's like nothing you have seen before.
The eighth annual Movers & Shakers Gala, set for Saturday, May 16, at Lakeland College, introduces an entirely new format, and will help create new scholarships to help nine local high school students pay for their postsecondary education.
In previous years, Sheboygan County "celebrities" showed off their best dance moves to raise money for local charities and nonprofit organizations. This year, nine acts—from live music to speed painting to literature reading—will show off some of the talent in Sheboygan County.
"We can't wait to unveil what we have planned for this year," said Deborah Wente, a member of the Lakeland Board of Trustees and the chair of the Movers & Shakers organizing committee. "Our planning committee has created a night that offers a new experience that's sure to surprise our returning supporters and impress any new guests.
"The community support and volunteer interest for Movers & Shakers continues to be strong. We have a large group of local companies and guests who give financially to make this evening successful."
New this year, each act sponsor has partnered with Lakeland College to create a $5,000 college scholarship for nine local high school seniors. Students can attend any accredited college or university with the award, but if they attend Lakeland, the scholarship will increase to $10,000. Scholarship winners will be announced the night of the event.
Guests this year will see Lakeland's Todd Wehr Center transformed into a performance venue with three stages, a dance floor, a massive lighting setup and huge video screens to spotlight the evening's entertainment.
In its previous seven years, Movers & Shakers has raised more than $1.6 million.
Major sponsors of this year's Gala are the Frank G. and Frieda K. Brotz Family Foundation (dinner sponsor), Sargento Foods Inc. (reception sponsor), Prevea Health and Studio Gear Technology (technology sponsors). Additional event sponsors include Zimmermann Printing and Canopies Events with Distinction.
The 2015 lineup includes:
Biographies of each act are available on the Movers & Shakers website, http://moversandshakersgala.org.
A limited number of tickets are available and can be purchased online at the Movers & Shakers website or by contacting Kym Leibham, Lakeland's alumni & community engagement officer, at
You don't have to attend the event to help support the scholarships. Anyone can purchase votes, at $20 each, for their favorite act prior to the event at the Movers & Shakers website. The high school supported by the evening's winning act will receive 50 percent of the proceeds raised from the votes they receive, so vote early and often.
Judges for the evening include Sebastian Schmidt, Wally Waldhart, Amee Salzwedel and Sandi Vasatka.
A pre-event reception begins at 5:30 p.m., followed at 6:45 by seating for dinner, which features a mouthwatering menu prepared by Lakeland's Dining Services staff.
Following the competition, the dance floor will be open to all guests and The Pink Flamingos will provide music for the remainder of the evening.
You can also be part of the pre-event buzz by joining our entertainers, committee members, guests and volunteers on Facebook at http://moversandshakersgala.org/facebook. "Like" the event page for regular updates.
If you want to get behind the scenes and help make this evening possible, a number of volunteer opportunities are open to the community. More information is available at http://moversandshakersgala.org/volunteer.
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