Joe Pugel

DMACC Developments

Posted 5/10/2018

​Newsletter Update by DMACC Board of Trustees Chair Joe Pugel


 
One of the highlights for me each spring is watching more than 2,000 Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) students walk across the stage during graduation ceremonies to collect their diplomas or certificates. One hundred sixteen of these graduates are from the Newton Campus alone. They have earned degrees in everything from Business Administration and Liberal Arts to Welding.

 
I always enjoy shaking the hands of each graduate. In the 21 years I’ve served on the DMACC Board, I’m continually impressed by their hard work, achievements and the opportunities that lie ahead of them. Graduation is always a good day for DMACC and employers across Central Iowa.

 
On behalf of the DMACC Board of Trustees, I want to thank all of the representatives from business and industry who volunteer to serve on DMACC’s Workforce Advisory Boards. People like Don Stockton, from Baker Electric, who sits on our Newton Electrical Construction Trades advisory council. Or Brook Blackwell, President of the Iowa Court Reporters Association, who is on our Real Time Reporting advisory council. There are dozens of these men and women across the district who help guide our career and technical programs and assure that our graduates are work-ready for Central Iowa employers. During the May board meeting, we approved these advisory boards again for the next school year.

 
Here are some other developments from the DMACC Newton Campus:

 
  • Legacy Plaza, formerly the Maytag Campus, which is now part of the DMACC Newton Campus, is being positioned for success. Read Kent Darr’s story in the Des Moines Business Record
    In addition, OPN Architects is creating designs for a new Legacy Plaza Commons project. The complex is being marketed for events, office space, retail and housing. This iconic site will undoubtedly help transition Newton into an exciting go-to destination for business and leisure activities.   
  • Summer enrollment is up by double digits over last year.
  • A new, one-year Human Services Certificate was launched this semester that will be a stair-step to earning a Human Services–AA Degree.
  • In addition to ongoing HiSET classes, English as a Second Language (ESL) programming expanded to both a night and day session. The night ESL class has eight students from South Sudan, Colombia, Morocco, Mexico and Honduras. The day session has 20 students—from Thailand, Sudan, Turkey, El Salvador, Guatemala, Myanmar, Colombia and Mexico.
  • The DMACC Newton Campus student center has been remodeled and now includes new exercise equipment and other amenities.
  • DMACC is also providing leadership training for TPI Composites, a growing Newton employer.

DMACC in Knoxville

  • ​Partnering with Marion County Public Health, which is providing classroom space, transportation and child watch services, DMACC is offering an English as a Second Language (ESL) class that currently has 14 students from six countries: Ukraine, Russia, China, Somalia and Colombia. Eighteen students, enrolled in HiSET classes, are working toward a high school diploma.
  • Partnering with Marion County Public Health, which is providing classroom space, transportation and child watch services, DMACC is offering an English as a Second Language (ESL) class that currently has 14 students from six countries: Ukraine, Russia, China, Somalia and Colombia. Eighteen students, enrolled in HiSET classes, are working toward a high school diploma.
  • DMACC Advisor Andrea Gotta has an office in City Hall. Andrea provides career planning, Accuplacer testing, financial aid help, orientation and registration services for Knoxville students.

 

Across the ​College


 
  • DMACC’s Building Trades students will build a training facility on the Ankeny Campus for DMACC Criminal Justice students, where they will be able to investigate crime scenes replicating an actual residential home. The facility, to be equipped with a mock cell, large classroom and state-of-the-art monitor room on the lower level, will be funded entirely through private support facilitated by gifts to the DMACC Foundation.
  • And then there’s the bittersweet news of Executive Chef Robert Anderson’s coming retirement. We all wish Chef the best in his retirement, but will definitely miss the 43 years of his world-renowned leadership at DMACC’s Iowa Culinary Institute, the strong ties he has developed creating a French chef exchange, as well as receiving the prestigious L’Ordre des Palmes Academiques award from the French Republic, and for being one of only 99 American chefs and the only active chef from Iowa to be inducted into the Honorable Order of the Golden Toque.  

 
More announcements are coming. I’m excited to be a part of this College and would welcome your input into how to assure that DMACC remains an affordable, vibrant, quality educational institution for years to come. I can be reached at Joe.Pugel@dmacc.edu.

 
Joe Pugel represents DMACC District 5, an area lying within Bondurant-Farrar, Colfax-Mingo, Lynnville-Sully, Newton, PCM, Pella and Southeast Polk School Districts.​


 

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