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Lighting the Heart

The newly-renovated 77 Steps lit up in August as the Heart of the Hill campaign closed successfully. The new steps will be dedicated during Homecoming 2004.

The top four steps were named through class contests. Winners are:

Class with the largest dollar amount 1960 $99,582.05
Class with the largest % in 2004 1947 50%
Class with the largest dollar increase 1952 Increase of $67,461.11
Class with the largest % increase 1951 12% increase

Top-notch Class, Top-tier Ranking

Southwestern started the fall semester with a double dose of good news.

Fall enrollment exceeded predictions, and residence halls were full when main campus students began classes Aug. 25.

And the U.S.News and World Report annual college guide placed its stamp of approval on the school with a top-tier ranking, the first time SC has earned this acclaim.

Overall enrollment could top 1,500 in mid-September when official numbers are reported, a substantial gain from last year's 1,401.

Administrators were delighted with the second large freshman class in a row (with an unofficial 145 new freshmen after last year's 177), and even more delighted with the quality of the group.

The Class of 2008 includes 10 valedictorians, boasts a 3.35 high school grade point average, and hails from 11 states. The majority of new Moundbuilders are from Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.

The U.S. News college guide is used primarily by high school students in their college choice. It takes into account such features as academic reputation, retention rate, class size, selectivity, and alumni giving in ranking schools. SC's category, comprehensive Midwestern colleges, includes most of the KCAC schools.

Two Join Campus Faculty

Two new full-time members joined Southwestern's faculty for the fall semester.

Christopher Caldwell, assistant professor of philosophy, has a Ph.D. and an M.A. from the University of Kansas and a B.A. in philosophy from Oklahoma State University. He recently completed teaching a European studies course for a University of Kansas study abroad program in France and Italy.

Melinda Wilson, assistant professor of nursing, is a 1991 SC graduate. She holds a master of science in nursing from Wichita State University. Before becoming an instructor of practical nursing at Wichita Area Technical College, Wilson worked at William Newton Memorial Hospital in Winfield.

Bulla Accepts Top PS Academic Post

Mary Bulla has joined the staff of Southwestern College Professional Studies and SC Online as director of academic programs. Bulla was formerly the assistant director for undergraduate admissions at Wichita State University. Since 1990, she has held various academic and/or administrative positions with WSU, Cowley County Community College, and U.S.D. 260 Derby public schools.

In her new position, Bulla will develop new majors to complement the college's growing bachelor's degree completion programs offered in the classroom and online. SC Professional Studies currently has 12 majors offered at sites in Wichita, Winfield, and McConnell AFB; nine of these majors can be earned totally online.

Additionally, Bulla will work to enhance the college's partnerships with area business and industry. SC Professional Studies and SC Online partner with companies throughout Kansas and Oklahoma to provide on-site college courses, customized training and customized certificate programs. The college offers a full line of certification preparation courses for APICS, ASQ, ISM and SME, with coursework timed to coincide with international certification testing.

We're thrilled to have Mary join us," says Karen Pedersen, vice president for professional studies. "She comes to us with many years of experience working with adult learners, and has a passion to meet the needs of this evolving student population."

SC Adds Not-for-Profit to Online, PS Majors

A new major in not-for-profit management has been created by Southwestern College Professional Studies and SC Online. As detailed in the spring 2004 Southwesterner, the main campus business administration program also is offering a not-for-profit management major.

Focusing on areas such as accounting principles, resource development, public policy and strategic planning, the professional studies major is designed for those in the education, social service, religious or governmental sectors. Students can earn the degree totally online, or by taking a combination of classroom and online courses.

"Today's not-for-profit organizations require the same level of management talent as Fortune 500 companies," said Karen Pedersen, vice president for professional studies. "Salaries and skill levels are growing rapidly in the not-for-profit sector, and career opportunities abound.

"Our instructors have real-world experience which they've applied to the design of our curriculum," Pedersen said. "The courses within this major provide a solid foundation for those pursuing employment within not-for-profit organizations, as well as for those already working within the sector."

Persons interested in professional studies majors should e-mail prostudy@sckans.edu for more information.

For more information on main campus business programs, contact Michael Wood, chair of business administration, at mwood@sckans.edu.

"Celebrating Excellence in Volunteering" Award

The Wichita chapter of the American Society for Quality (ASQ) has recognized Southwestern College Professional Studies for "Celebrating Excellence in Volunteering." Awarded at the discretion of the ASQ-Wichita Section 1307 Leadership Committee, the citation commended the college for providing outstanding education programs that directly support the quality movement and the quality profession.

"By specifically gearing coursework to address the ASQ bodies of knowledge, Southwestern College Professional Studies has exemplified the ASQ ideals of enhancing individual, organizational and community excellence through quality improvement, learning and knowledge exchange," said Bryan Blunt, ASQ's Section 1307 chair. The Wichita Section's boundaries cover roughly two-thirds of Kansas, with more than 450 members statewide.