Music and memory will play out in harmony next weekend at the Seward County Community College Showcase Theater when the Lori Geis Choir Alumni present a benefit concert "Honoring Lori's Legacy." The event, set for 7 p.m. is free to the public with a free will donation to the SCCC/ATS Foundation for music scholarships in Geis' memory.

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Strong early numbers indicate enrollment for the 2014-15 academic year at Seward County Community College/Area Technical School is likely to increase, and the dorms are nearly full already, based on reservations received. The good news came in a report to the SCCC/ATS board of trustees during the August meeting on Monday.

A budget hearing at the meeting - open to the public - passed quietly, without comments. The board approved the budget as presented with a vote of 4-0. Chairman Ron Oliver, John Engel and Sharon Hobble were present. Dustin Ormiston, who was out of town, participated via speaker phone in order to establish a quorum. Board members Marvin Chance and Rick Brenneman were absent.

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Seward County Community College/Area Technical School's board of trustees voted
Monday to approve a 3.99 mill levy increase for the upcoming year. The funds will
enable the college to stay on course in the aftermath of stagnant state aid and
declining property values.

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NACE brought its industry-standard training to Seward County Community College/Area Technical School. The class is the latest installment in a 23-year partnership with the industry leader.

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Camper Emily Ibarra of Great Bend and visiting professor, Dr. Pamela Hatesohl of Kansas State University stir small batches of yogurt they will allow to ferment.

Though the Food Science and Safety program at Seward County Community College/ATS is relatively new, the career and industry possibilities are broad. This year’s FSS Summer Academy introduced students to the chemistry and biology used to study food properties, food spoilage, food processing and foodborne diseases.
What that meant in practical terms was yogurt-making, Amish friendship bread and even a cookout — after students learned the science of meat safety by injecting E.coli bacteria into raw hamburger, preparing slides, and observing what happened over time.

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Liberal High School student Jason Oyler collects soil samples during Sustainable Agriculture Academy, hosted on the SCCC/ATS campus in June.

Time was, Southwest Kansas kids spent the summer helping on the farm. Thanks to the newly-introduced Sustainable Agriculture Summer Academy, high school students in the area had the opportunity to take a look at farming in the future. With guest lecturer Dr. DeAnn Presley of Kansas State University’s Department of Agronomy, Sustainable Ag program specialist Erin Russell covered topics directly tied to the long-term enhancement of agriculture.
Topics included examination of water and soil quality, agriculture basics and how agriculture connects to basic human food and fiber needs, economic viability and quality of life not only for farmers, but for society as a whole.
Students sampled soil and water, visited a lagoon operated by Seaboard Farms and observed how lagoon water can be used for irrigation, toured the Seward County Landfill, an award-winning facility that composts materials sourced from National Beef Packing, and traveled to the Garden City research development site operated by K-State. Participants in the four-day camp stayed in SCCC/ATS dorms and ate in the cafeteria.

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SCCC/ATS students Alisha Clark and Jose Moreno-Torres, front, served as ambassadors for high school students from Liberal and the area, who attended Allied Health camp in late May.

Just after area high schools dismissed classes for the summer, the Allied Health Division hosted a two-day camp for students entering grades 9-12. Participants explored health careers in conjunction with the college’s programs for Medical Assistant, Respiratory Therapy, Surgical Technology, Medical Laboratory Technician, Sports Medicine and Nursing. Instructors addressed educational requirements, skills and typical job duties. Students participated in interactive, hands-on activities that highlighted skills, equipment, technologies and resources of the individual programs.

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A collaborative project spearheaded by Seward County Community College/Area Technical School's Dean of Career and Technical Education Janese Thatcher brought a donated jet from FedEx to the Mid-America Air Museum, where it will be transformed into a classroom for students of all ages.

Sunlight broke through a haze of overcast sky just as the roar of a rapidly-approaching cargo plane alerted a crowd of hundreds that Alina had arrived.
The retiring FedEx jet taxied to a stop on the grounds of the Mid America Air Museum in Liberal June 5, to be greeted by cheering schoolchildren and officials from the entities that will collaborate in the project to transform the aircraft into a classroom for education in science, technology, engineering and math — or STEM — subjects. The Liberal Learning Jet will involve Seward County Community College/Area Technical School, the City of Liberal, USD 480, and the air museum’s own foundation board, which now owns Alina.

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Homework assignments in college rarely result in delicious food, but that’s what happened during the 2013/14 spring semester at Seward County Community College/Area Technical School.  It all started with Director of Food Service Jerry Odle’s dream.

Homework assignments in college rarely result in delicious food, but that’s what happened during the 2013/14 spring semester at Seward County Community College/Area Technical School.
It all started with Director of Food Service Jerry Odle’s dream.
Odle wanted a smoker. A spacious one, with room for brisket, burgers and more.
“I gave a very rough drawing and an idea to Steve Merz,” the instructor of Drafting and Design Technology, Odle recalled. Hours of research and practice, combined with a heartfelt desire for tasty smoked meats expressed by SCCC/ATS director of food service Jerry Odle, resulted in a smoker beyond all his hopes.

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Seward County Community College/Area Technical School cosmetology students recently brought home the gold — and some glitter — from the Tri College Competition “Photo Shoot Ready,” held between three area community colleges. Students won first place and second place overall as well as first and second place awards in hair, makeup and nail categories.

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