College News

Published May 12, 2011 3:03 pm

WeldingStudents_Rail_WebSouthwestern Community College’s welding class, under the direction of welding instructor Darwin Wetzel, recently constructed a sidewalk hand railing for the United Methodist Church in Creston.  The group worked on and completed the project in late-2010.

According to Dennis Carter, chairperson of the trustees at the United Methodist Church, Wetzel and the welding students went above and beyond what the church leaders were expecting for the rail design.  Carter said the church has decided to donate a $500 one-time gift to the Southwestern Community College Education Foundation to be used toward a scholarship for a welding student.

Published May 12, 2011 2:37 pm


CRESTON — Southwestern Community College (SWCC) students Zach Wignall of Creston and Trevor Richie of Benton placed sixth overall in the 2011 Iowa Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills Competition on Tuesday, May 10, 2011, at Des Moines Area Community College in Ankeny.  This competition recognizes some of the best high school auto technicians in the state.

The two SWCC students qualified for the statewide competition following a written exam administered a couple of months ago.  Wignall and Richie placed first in the written portion of the competition.  The top scoring teams were then invited to Ankeny to participate in the hands-on competition.

Published May 11, 2011 3:51 pm

BPAnationals2011_ForWebSWCC students Nora Andrews, Vickie Holste, and Carla Willis recently returned from the Business Professionals of America National Leadership Conference in Washington D.C. held May 3-8, 2011.  The SWCC students placed in the top ten for the Administrative Support Team event during the competition and each received a medal for their efforts.  Each student competed in two or more individual events as well.

Andrews is an office systems specialist student.  Holste and Willis are completing dual majors in business administration and accounting.


Published May 10, 2011 11:07 am


Last week, Assistant SWCC Volleyball Coach Rita Schroeder was on the road recruiting for the Spartans 2011 volleyball roster.

Schroeder didn’t have to go far to find Katelyn Coyle, a 5’5” setter/defensive specialist from Lewis Central High School.  Coyle, of Council Bluffs, played on the Attack volleyball club team.  She will be an arts and science transfer student at SWCC and plans to major in pre-veterinary medicine.

SWCC’s most recent recruit, 5’10” Caleigh Fowler, comes to SWCC from Georgia.  Fowler’s high school coach is Jodi Dowden, who was an assistant volleyball coach for Schroeder at SWCC from 2001 to 2004.  Fowler, a middle hitter/right side will graduate from Troup High School in LaGrange, GA, this spring.  She played club volleyball for the Southwest Georgia Volleyball Club under the direction of Dowden, earned all-region honors, and was a scholar athlete.

Fowler will study for her associate of arts degree at SWCC.  She is the daughter of Kim Fowler and the granddaughter of Pam Bruce.

SWCC’s head coach for the 2011 volleyball season is Melissa Blessington.  Currently, Blessington is overseas completing a master’s degree program in Durham City, England.  She will arrive at SWCC this summer.

Published May 10, 2011 10:56 am


The Southwestern Spartans are certainly bringing in players who have experienced success in high school.  The latest signee is Delby Halcomb, a 5'10" guard from Dallas Center-Grimes High School.  Halcomb qualified for the Iowa State Basketball Tournament for the second year in a row this season.  Halcomb has a knack for floor leadership, and his intelligence for the game helped propel Dallas Center-Grimes to the final eight in class 3A.  Ironically, Halcomb met another Southwestern recruit, Marcus Littleton from Norwalk, in the first round.  Now the two will combine their abilities to attempt to help a large freshman class for the Spartans next season.

Photo (L to R): Sitting - Joel Rankin, Dallas Center-Grimes basketball coach, and Delby Halcomb; Standing - Lisa and Clayton Halcomb, Delby's parents

Published May 9, 2011 4:34 pm

SchneiderJustinJustin Schneider, SWCC professional music student from Indianola, is starring in “The Wedding Singer,” a musical based on the movie with Adam Sandler.  The musical will take place at the Des Moines Playhouse and run from June 3-26, 2011.  Performances will be Wednesdays-Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.

Schneider was cast for the role of Sammy, Robbie's supportive friend and trio guitarist.

Published May 4, 2011 4:28 pm

downing_dick_HomepageCRESTON, IA, MAY 4, 2011--While the Southwestern Community College community is still coming to grasp with the sudden and tragic loss of carpentry instructor Dick Downing, we would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to Dick’s wife, Debra, and their family.

Dick had been employed at the college since 2005, when he started as instructor for the high school carpentry program in Osceola.  In December 2006, Dick became instructor for the college carpentry program in Creston.  In discussion and reflection among co-workers, it was noted Dick had a huge heart, a close relationship with his students, a great sense of humor, and a contagious laugh that was recognized across campus.  Dick was extremely proud of his family and oftentimes shared stories about what was happening in the Downing household.

At Southwestern, counselors have been made available to assist students and staff members.

Published May 4, 2011 8:42 am


Patrick Wright, a 5'11" guard from Davenport West High School, signed a National Letter of Intent to play for the Southwestern Spartans next season.  Wright, who helped lead West to 18 regular season wins, is a lightning quick perimeter player who will give Southwestern a legitimate dribble attack player, as well as a defender who can guard penetration players.

"Patrick's high-school coach (Mark Bigler) is an old friend of mine who really knows what we are trying to do here," Southwestern Head Coach Mike Holmes said.  "Coach Bigler had high praise for Patrick and what he could do for us."

After seeing Wright play, Holmes agreed.  "I realized Patrick could bring an element to our program that we really needed to compliment this recruiting class," Holmes explained.

Published May 2, 2011 9:04 am

Marie MapelhorstVolleyball standout Marie Wapelhorst of Scribner, NE, was selected as SWCC’s Female Athlete/Scholar of the Year. Wapelhorst was selected as NJCAA Region XI Academic All-Region First Team for the 2010 season.  She will graduate with her associate of arts degree in May 2011.

Read more in SWCC Names Athletes of the Year.

Published May 2, 2011 8:58 am

Amber Brown

Amber Brown of Carlisle and Sam McKinney of St. Charles were respectively named as Southwestern Community College’s Female and Male Athletes of the Year during the 2011 Spring Awards Ceremony held on Thursday, April 21, 2011, in the Instructional Center on SWCC’s Creston campus.

Brown, who plays softball for SWCC Head Coach Lindsay Stumpff, graduated in May 2009 from Carlisle High School.  She came to SWCC from high school as a catcher, but due to her athletic abilities was moved to third base.

Read more in SWCC Names Athletes of the Year.