Highlights from FVCC Board of Trustees March Meeting

The Flathead Valley Community College Board of Trustees met March 21 for its regularly scheduled monthly meeting

Clerk of the District Monica Settles administered the oath of office to newly appointed Trustee Shannon Lund of Kalispell. 

Student Government President Scott Johnson announced that the FVCC Chapter of Habitat for Humanity will sponsor a shed building day April 8.  The shed will be raffled off as a fundraiser for Flathead Valley Habitat for Humanity.  Phi Theta Kappa inducted 69 members into the Alpha Iota Pi Chapter during its spring induction ceremony March 15.  Flathead Valley Community College Theatre will present Evita April 15-30.  Performances will take place on Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m. in the FVCC Theatre.

Faculty Senate representative Janice Alexander reported that the college’s camera for the All Sky Camera Network is fully operational.  Under the direction of Physics Instructor Jim Boger, the camera is part of a nationwide system of cameras to track, monitor and analyze atmospheric meteor events to assist satellite operators in separating natural and man-made events.  FVCC is the first institution in Montana and outside of the state of New Mexico to participate in the program developed and operated by New Mexico State University.

The English and Theatre Arts Instructor Brian Bechtold will lead a group of students during FVCC’s first London spring break tour March 24-31.  Students can earn up to six college credits while touring the city’s landmarks and historic sites.  Bechtold serves on Shakespeare Oxford Society’s Board of Trustees based in Yorktown Heights, New York.

Deputy Commissioner for Two-Year and Community College Education John Cech joined the meeting via conference call.  He reported on his visit to FVCC March 16 and his meetings with FVCC President Jane Karas, staff and Trustees

Computer Science Instructor Nick Thiel presented FVCC student Steve Leavitt Jr. with the 2011 Terry O’Banion Student Developer Champion Award.  Leavitt is one of two students in the nation who received a student technology award through the League for Innovation.  During his presentation, Thiel call Leavitt “an exceptionally gifted student who has a lot of initiative and experience.”

In action items, the Board approved signing the Right of Way Agreement providing a temporary construction permit for the underpass tunnel located 200 feet north of the Grandview Drive intersection.  The tunnel will provide a pedestrian/bike path beneath U.S. Highway 93 and a safer pedestrian crossing and will allow for the future development of the proposed east/west trail systems. 

President Karas announced that the Board of Trustees election will take place in conjunction with the regular school elections on May 3.  The annual President’s Donor Dinner is scheduled for May 12, and commencement will take place May 13.  FVCC will welcome the Montana Board of Regents on campus May 18-20.

The Ambassadors and Alumni of FVCC held its spring luncheon March 17.  Daily Inter Lake Publisher Rick Weaver and Ben Woody, FVCC student, editor-in-chief of The Mercury News and Georgetown Journalism Scholarship recipient were featured speakers at the event.  Margaret LeKander, owner of Wheaton’s in Kalispell, was presented the 2011 Distinguished Alumni Award.

FVCC has received a $198,305 National Science Foundation grant to initiate a new biotech transfer degree.  Biology Instructors Ruth Wrightsman and Jerry Manning are leading the effort. 

The first group of students enrolled in the new welding program at the Libby campus is in the final weeks of welding training.  Stinger Welding has committed to hiring 18 of the 20 students who have met the minimum qualifications.

The next regularly scheduled board meeting will take place April 25 at 3:45 p.m.  For more information regarding specific items included in this report or regarding college activities, contact Tara Roth at 756-3912.  For more information on board meetings, contact Monica Settles at 756-3801.

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