College News

Published March 28, 2011 3:39 pm

The Southwestern Community College volleyball program has added three athletes to its roster for the 2011 season:  Chrystal Olerich from Lake View and Sam Weed and Keley Folkerts, both of Bedford.

Olerich_WebOlerich, a 5’8” setter, will graduate from East Sac High School in May.  She was named second team all-conference and set a school record with 73 aces.  This total also set the school’s record for ace percentage.  During Olerich’s senior year, her team was ranked fourth in the state and held the best passing percentage.  Her club team was the Raiders.  Olerich plans to major in pre-medicine at SWCC.


Published March 28, 2011 2:26 pm

Gilcrist_BrettSouthwestern Community College’s athletic department didn’t have to look far to fill its head women’s basketball coaching position.  The college announced Brett Gilcrist, current assistant baseball coach and adjunct faculty member for the college, will step into the head coaching role, recently vacated by Secrett Stubblefield, who had been at the college since July 2010.

Gilcrist, originally from Omaha, NE, completed a bachelor’s degree in psychology at Creighton University and holds a master’s degree in counseling from Creighton University, as well as a master’s degree in organizational management/sports management from Wayne State College. He has been employed at SWCC this past year as an assistant baseball coach focusing on pitching and recruiting, and has served as an adjunct instructor teaching courses in psychology, physical education, and The College Experience (a course introducing students to college).


Published March 22, 2011 9:07 am


Photo L to R: Front row, Sam Weed and Kaley Folkerts. Back row, Shannon and Don Weed, Rita Schroeder, assistant SWCC volleyball coach, and Deb Bonde, Bedford High School volleyball coach.

Sam Weed
Bedford High School
2011 Graduate

Position: 5'10" middle hitter

Kaley Folkerts
Bedford High School
2011 Graduate

Position: 5'5" outside hitter

Published March 18, 2011 8:23 am


Friends and family members gathered on campus Wednesday afternoon to attend the SWCC Phi Theta Kappa chapter induction. After some brief announcements about upcoming events, the inductees joined in reciting the Phi Theta Kappa pledge, led by Chapter President, Brittney Bakos. They then signed their names to the membership roll. The ceremony concluded with a time of refreshments.

Pictured (left to right), front row, Candice Garey; Kasey Booth; Cabrielle Pettgrew; Hannah Finehout; Brandi Goodale; and Andrew Pool; back row, Steve Epperson; Erica Lensing; Megan Fooken; Jessica Fooken; Marie Wapelhorst; Brian Newcomb; and Donovan Richardson, not pictured, Zach Wignall.

Published March 10, 2011 2:37 pm

AllIowaAcademic_2011Two SWCC students, Amber N. Brown of Orient and Alex Pettit of Afton, have been named to the 2011 All-Iowa Academic Team.  The two college sophomores were honored at the downtown Marriott in Des Moines March 9, 2011, at 7 p.m., during the All-Iowa Academic Team Recognition Ceremony.

Brown is a 2009 graduate of Orient-Macksburg High School.  She will graduate with her associate of arts degree in May 2011, and transfer to AIB College of Business in Des Moines.  Pettit is a 2009 graduate of East Union High School.  He will finish at Southwestern in May 2011 and plans to transfer to Iowa State University with a major in chemical engineering. 

Congratulations, Alex and Amber!

Published March 10, 2011 2:28 pm


The Southwestern Community College Education Foundation will soon provide scholarship funding to students through the Jim Peak Endowment. Beginning fall 2011, one scholarship will be awarded annually to a nursing major who demonstrates financial need. The endowment was recently established by Dorothy Peak in loving memory of her son, Jim Peak.  Pictured (L to R):  Dr. Barb Crittenden, SWCC president; Dorothy Peak; and Dr. Matt Thompson, SWCC dean of students.

Published March 10, 2011 2:13 pm

Southwestern Community College's automotive programs will be hosting an Open House for students considering a career in the automotive field on Friday, April 1, 2011, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., on SWCC's Creston campus.

During the Open House event, visitors will be able to tour the automotive shops, meet program instructors, compete in welding and tire changing/rotating contests, views automobiles at the car show, and meet with tool vendors.  A light lunch will be served.

Potential students may visit at any time during the Open House hours, but if students are planning to compete in the welding contest they must register from 8:30-9 a.m.  A written test will take place at 9 a.m. and individuals with the top scores will then compete in the hands-on portion at 10 a.m. in SWCC’s technical center.

SWCC offers two esteemed programs in the automotive areas:  automotive repair technology and collision repair/refinish.  SWCC's automotive repair technology instructors are ASE (Automotive Service Excellence)-certified and use a hands-on approach in the classroom.  The automotive repair technology program received ASE certification and National Automotive Technician Education Foundation (NATEF) certification in the fall of 2010. SWCC's collision repair program is the only program in Iowa to have the I-CAR (Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair) Gold Class designation and is one of two programs in Iowa to have the ASE/NATEF certification.

Pre-registration is not necessary.

Automotive Repair Technology Information

Collision Repair/Refinish Information

Published March 3, 2011 4:52 pm


After splitting with Ellsworth during the regular season, the rubber match of the series proved to be a thriller.  Tied at half, Southwestern got command of the game in the second half behind torrid shooting and sound defensive play.  Nursing an eight-point lead with just under five minutes to play, Southwestern got passive against a tenacious Ellsworth press and saw the lead dwindle.  After an offensive rebound on a missed free throw, the Panthers took a late lead.  Down 65-64 with 29 seconds to play at 20 seconds on the shot clock, Southwestern made the decision to defend rather than foul.  Ellsworth connected on a field goal with 12 second remaining to lead 67-64.  Southwestern had two shots at the tie at the end after an Austin Emerson miss was rebounded by Keenan Joiner and kicked back to Emerson for a second try.  When the shot hit off the back iron, Southwestern’s season had ended.  Head Coach Mike Holmes said, “Our guys executed our plan and we had a tremendous opportunity to win.  It hurts more when you feel like you had the game in hand and let it slip away.  They are a tremendously talented team and made big plays when they needed them most.  I feel our players, once time passes, will reflect and feel like their 14 wins were an accomplishment that symbolizes their competitiveness and execution this season.”

Published March 3, 2011 8:22 am


Photo (L to R): Carla Willis, Nora Andrews, and Vickie Holste

Three Southwestern Community College students placed at the Spring Business Professionals of America (BPA) Leadership Conference in Cedar Rapids, February 21-23, qualifying them for BPA national competition, to be held during the 2011 National Leadership Conference, May 4-8, 2011, in Washington, D.C.

SWCC students qualifying for nationals included Carla Willis, sophomore, accounting major, from Creston; Nora Andrews, sophomore, office systems specialist, 2009 Diagonal High School graduate, from Benton; and Vickie Holste, sophomore, business administration major, from Gravity. 

Willis received first place in fundamental word processing, fourth place in financial math and analysis, fourth place in administrative support concept, and in the top 10 for financial math and analysis.  Andrews placed in the top ten for basic office systems and procedures, and Holste received second place in advanced accounting, second place in banking and finance, fourth place in financial math and analysis, and in the top ten for administrative support concepts.  All three students served as a team competing in administrative support and receiving second place.

SWCC's sponsors for BPA are Barb Brown and Holly Booth, both business and technology instructors.

Published March 1, 2011 8:34 am


Nine SWCC volleyball players were recently named to the Iowa Community College Athletic Conference (ICCAC) academic teams.

The first team consisted of student-athletes earning a 3.5 or above grade point average. SWCC athletes making first team included (in photo left to right) Marie Wapelhorst, sophomore, of Scribner, NE; Amber Thomas, freshman, of Council Bluffs; and Megan Simms, freshman, of Prole.

For second team honors, the student must have earned a grade point average between 3.0 and 3.4. Second team honors went to SWCC Spartans Gabbi Sowers of Henderson, Jamie Anthony of Truro, Marissa Barton of Ottumwa, Nicole Hunter of Indianola, Tracy Swanson of Greenfield, and Josey Ellis of Weldon.