Profiles of SCC Alumni

Marty Jacobs

Marty Jacobs | Construction Management

I was the first person in my family to get a college degree. It meant a lot to me and my family. I just did what I enjoyed and took the classes that worked for me. That's how I earned a degree in Construction Management.

After SCC I transferred onto Western Illinois University. The transfer process was really easy. SCC made it so I could just go over there and start taking classes.

I had no idea in my mind that I'd be a contractor and have my own business like I do today.

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Jodi Cook

Jodi Cook | English instructor

Before I started taking classes at SCC, I spent years working in retail. I knew I didn't want to do that anymore and so I kept reaching for something to do. I decided to enroll at SCC, and when my English instructor asked me what I wanted to do after SCC and I told him that I wanted his job. Six years later, I got it.

You can take a variety of courses at SCC and that is where you can find your niche. I absolutely love helping students find theirs just like I did.

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Mariah Carey

Mariah Cary | Miss Iowa, 2013

When I came to SCC, I knew I wanted to pursue something in public relations, so I took a lot of speech and communications classes. They helped me on my journey to becoming Miss Iowa because interviewing plays a big part in the competition.

A lot of kids my age want to run away to college but I wanted to stay home. I knew this was a better learning environment for me. It really was a better choice for me to stay home and it really brought me closer to my family.

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Nora Meirotto

Nora Meirotto | Associate of Arts Transfer

After one semester at SCC, I loved it. It had the perfect ratio of students to teachers. They spend time getting to know you as a person.

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Jimmy Wilson

Jimmy Wilson | Industrial Maintenance Technology AAS

The former company I worked for relocated. I wasn't sure what I was going to do until found out about the IMT Industrial Maintenance Technology program in Keokuk. It was close, it was convenient, and I knew it would be better for me and my daughter. Going to SCC gave me the education I needed to land a job at Burrows in Fort Madison.

Now I've got a good career, and a good income, and am enjoying life.

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Eric Hanks

Dr. Eric Hanks | Hanks Chiropractic Clinic

SCC was a great starting point for me to get my pre-medicine and pre-chiropractic training out of the way. My wife and my sister are nurses, my brother is a chiropractor, and we all got our start at SCC.

I can name many of my instructors to this day. I still use some of the things to this day that they taught me. I think SCC is a great place to start.

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Denise Fraise

Denise Fraise | Lee County Auditor

By attending SCC I was able to prove to my son that you can go back to school when you are older. As a matter of fact, my son, my son-in-law and I all graduated the same night from SCC.

Don't be afraid to try. You can do it. Even if you're working a full time job and raising a family, you can do it.

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Janel Orton

Janel Orton | Accounting AAS

My instructors prepared me to work in a business setting. They were great with non-traditional students and I felt very much at home.

I became a member of Phi Theta Kappa, the honor society for community colleges, and ended up volunteering for a lot of things. I didn't expect I'd ever do that. SCC really prepared me to make a new career for myself.

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Ben Vorwerk

Ben Vorwerk | Associate of Arts transfer, Jump Start grad

I graduated from Mediapolis High School and SCC in the same week. I started taking online classes as a sophomore and once I saw that I was earning enough credits to earn my degree before graduating high school, I just set my mind to doing it.

Since I took most of my classes online, I could do it on my own time. I was busy with sports, band, musicals and other stuff, so that was important. Even with all that I earned just under a 4.0 GPA.

As long as you stay organized and focused, you can do it.

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Greg Smith

Greg Smith | Principal, Fort Madison High School

From the time I went to SCC in 1985 to my job as principal, I knew that SCC was a vital part of our community.

SCC made a huge impact in my life back then and now it makes a huge impact in the lives of my students today.

Through SCC's Jump Start Concurrent Enrollment programs, I can talk to any parent about opportunities for college credit courses for their students. Whether they're interested in college transfer or career and technical classes, there's something for everyone.

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Carl Snipes

Carl Snipes | Chemistry instructor

I started at a community college before earning a degree in Chemical Engineering, so I know what it takes to succeed.

Students who do well in my classes are very prepared the move on to four-year schools. It's important that SCC keeps our classes at the same level of rigor. I don't give them watered-down versions. It wouldn't be fair to students if classes were easier because when they move on to advanced courses, they wouldn't be ready.

Several of my students have gone on become Pharmacists, Engineers, Veterinarians and even a few doctors. They tend to come back and thank me for how much I challenged them in my classes.

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Erin Wagner

Erin Wagner | College Grad

Erin already had a lot on her plate, and so she entered college knowing it would be tough. However, she knew it was what she needed to do for her family.

"I was very fortunate to have parents who said, 'You've got some choices to make. You can have a hard two years or you can have a hard life. It's all about choices.'"

With the support of her family, she took three classes each term while continuing to work full-time. She and her husband worked different shifts.

With four children - two of them are under the age of five, Erin says that she never had a single assignment or test that was harder than her decision to walk in and say, "I want to do this."

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Dean Vantiger

Dean Vantiger | Nurse Practitioner

Sidelined by a knee injury, Dean knew his days in construction and carpentry were numbered. So he turned in his hammer for a stethoscope and enrolled in SCC's nursing program.

As a life-long farmer, care and nurturing is in his blood.

"I always was interested in helping people and had been a first responder, so nursing seemed like a good fit for me."

Dean says everyone at SCC is happy to support students, regardless of life circumstance.

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