OCC’s Marketing Department Wins Two Regional Awards


OCC took a Silver award for its 50th Anniversary catalog, the last printed one for the College and one featuring a commemorative eight-page insert on the College’s history.

OCC made its mark at the annual National Council for Marketing and Public Relations (NCMPR) District 3 Conference last week.

OCC picked up two awards in the printed publications category in the B Division, which is made up of all colleges with three or more full time marketing and communications staff.

OCC took a Silver award for its 50th Anniversary catalog, the last printed one for the College and one featuring a commemorative eight-page insert on the College’s history. The College also won a Gold award for the Student Music Showcase flyer.

Music Student Showcase

The College won a Gold award for the Student Music Showcase flyer.

OCC’s Manager of Multimedia and Web Services Michele Kersten-Hart is NCMPR’s Board Treasurer. Last year, she was Director of District 3, which encompasses Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Ohio. More than 70 people attended the conference.

“I am blessed to work with such a gifted team,” Kersten-Hart said.

Marking its 40th anniversary, the National Council for Marketing & Public Relations is the leading professional development organization exclusively serving two-year college communicators.

NCMPR provides regional and national conferences, webinars, a summer institute, relevant information on emerging marketing and PR trends, and connections to a network of more than 1,600 colleagues across the country. An affiliate of the American Association of Community Colleges, NCMPR has more than 1,550 members from more than 650 colleges across the United States, Canada and other countries.

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Faculty Member’s Commitment Extends Far Beyond Oakland County

Bob Bruhn has been an OCC English as a Second Language (ESL) faculty member for 15 years. He travels to Mexico to teach English to students and teachers in Oaxaca, with whom OCC has had a partnership for more than 20 years. He has been a part of several global committees, spreading OCC’s work to other countries. We spent some time talking with Bob recently to learn more about him.

Bob Bruhn, bottom left, colleague Sarah Lemelin, far right, pose with English teachers in Oaxaca in July 2014.

Bob Bruhn, bottom left, colleague Sarah Lemelin, far right, pose with English teachers in Oaxaca in July 2014.

What is your job at OCC?

When I first came to OCC 15 years ago, I was the coordinator for ESL at the Auburn Hills Campus, which is where I am now. Over the years, I have also been involved with the global education committee. It is a longstanding committee involved in exchanges we have had in Oaxaca, Mexico; Salzburg, Austria; and India. One of the committee’s missions has been to look at how we can help those countries with community college concepts and look for ways OCC students could benefit from exchanges.

Tell us about the work you did overseas this summer.

This past year, the Oaxaca community asked OCC for help training English teachers to use more communicative activities in the classroom. The training took place this summer and was effective and well received. For 2015 (July 5-12), we have come up with a program we are calling “Getting a GRIP on English” (GRIP: Guided Reverse Immersion Program). We would like to take native English speakers from here to live with Oaxacan English teachers there. Teachers will have the benefit of using English in a meaningful way with us, and those of us who go there will experience Oaxaca, the people, the food and culture. It’s a win-win situation. The school in Oaxaca paid for tickets and covered costs while we were down there this summer and the rest we covered from our own pockets. Future participants will fund their own trips with some help from the group in Oaxaca.

How did you get started teaching ESL?

Teaching ESL started when I was about to graduate from college. I went to Spring Arbor University and a counselor of mine taught in China for year. I thought it would be a great program for me to get involved in. I decided to spend a year teaching English in China. I studied philosophy and religion as an undergraduate. I also earned a graduate degree in T.E.S.O.L. (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). We have several ESL courses here, and they are very popular. This semester, I’m teaching six classes. Sometimes I teach more, sometimes less. It depends on the number of available adjuncts. In the past I worked at Eastern Michigan University and taught at Wayne State and Washtenaw Community College.

What do you like about teaching ESL?

I love the variety and quality of students we get, and I love seeing the students interact and improve their abilities. For many semesters, we have matched up some of the native speaker students with international students as conversation partners to talk back and forth, learn about each other, and then do presentations about it. This is great for all the students. International students are fabulous to work with. They are interesting, hardworking, and have a lot going on as far as the commitment that they have to be successful. Many of the students who come here to learn English already have degrees.

You are also involved in subjects that go beyond ESL. Tell us more about that.

I am very interested in things beyond my disciplines. I am interested in alternative energy technologies and apply things in my own home. During the winter I have a passive solar system that helps my home stay at 60-70 degrees without a heat source. It amplifies the heat of the sun. I also like to practice other ideas that help the environment – that’s why we bought a home close to campus when we moved from Ann Arbor and I walk or ride my bike for class almost every day. My wife and children (all three “scarred” adults now) might tell you that I go a little overboard with some of my ideas, but they still love me.

I understand you have an interest in historical buildings.

My wife and I purchased a registered historic home in Rochester hills. It’s the oldest and most historic home in the area according to the Van Hoosen Museum. It’s a brick Greek revival building with no wood studding, which is very unusual in Michigan. It was built in 1840. Our idea was to restore it and open it as a tearoom restaurant, but we haven’t been able to do that. However, we have been able to do special events, and every semester we have a party with my students to give them a chance to get together with friends and interact with native speakers there. It’s been fun restoring it.

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It’s Free Pizza with the President of OCC’s AH Campus! RSVP NOW!

Dr. Tim Taylor, OCC Auburn Hills Campus President, wants YOU to join him for lunch.Free lunch with the president

OCC Students are invited to join Dr. Tim Taylor for a free lunch and feedback session. Dr. Taylor wants to hear your student story. What do you like about OCC? What would you do differently if given the opportunity?

“The ‘Free Lunch with the President’ event is a Student Life initiative aimed at fostering greater communication, understanding and strengthening the relationship between the Campus’s administration and the student body,” Taylor said. “I am in the position of making day-to-day decisions that affect the quality of the learning environment for our students. This initiative will add clarity to my decisions, plus it gives students a formal mechanism for infusing their voice in the governance of this campus.”

Student LIFE will have a prize drawing for an OCC Swag Bag that includes a Raiders Store gift card at the event. Students who engage with the free luncheon event on social media can earn entries into the contest. Each “like,” retweet, share, etc. is an entry into the contest. You must be present to win.

“I just love being around students. Initiatives like these help keep my emotional batteries recharged,” Taylor added.

Bring your appetite and share your opinions from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, October 28, at the Auburn Hills Campus, Room G240, 2900 Featherstone Road, Auburn Hills, MI, 48326.

Please RSVP by October 26 to studentlife@oaklandcc.edu for your coupon for free admission. The luncheon is open to the first 100 students who respond. Walk-ins may be accepted, but Student LIFE reserves the right to turn away guests who have not RSVP’d if the event exceeds capacity.

By Miranda Mayuiers

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OCC Student Austen Brantley’s Sculptures Wow at Art Prize

Oakland Community College student Austen Brantley was among the 1,500 artists exhibiting work at the famed ArtPrize event September 24 to October 12 in Grand Rapids. His sculptures were displayed at Grand Rapids City Hall.

His pieces were selected as part of a “cocoon” series to be displayed at the 822 gallery in Royal Oak on Saturday, October 25.

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Brantley, who is in his teens and a graduate of Berkley High School, has studied at Orchard Ridge and Auburn Hills. His works have been exhibited in three art fairs. Currently, he has three pieces on display at private galleries.

Here is an excerpt of his ArtPrize artist statement.

“My hope (and dream) is to attend the a traditional private art school. I am grateful, excited for the unknown journey that has already begun and still awaits me; it shapes, hones, and sculpts, if you will, the artist I’ve become, aspire to become, and in many ways, have always been. I am not only an artist: I am a seeker—a seeker in pursuit of his vision. My philosophy is this: if my dreams don’t scare me, they’re not big enough. So why not shoot for the impossible?”

For more on Brantley and his works visit the following links:

ArtPrize artist page

Artist website

PBS interview

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OCC Students Experience Real Life Police Work in Detroit Police Internship

DPD intern Darrell Wagner

Darell Wagner, a criminal justice sophomore at OCC, participated in a Detroit Police Department internship this summer.

The Detroit Police Department invited OCC’s Internship & Cooperative Education Program to become a partner in a new internship program.

As a result, Oakland Community College criminal justice sophomores Justin Snow and Darell Wagner joined 33 other students for the internship from over 175 who applied from Oakland University, Wayne Community College, Macomb Community College, Michigan State and other in-state and out-of-state schools.

The selection process included a detailed application process, scoring based on work and academic performance, criminal background checks and interviews by officers and human resources. Students were given the opportunity to view crime scenes, autopsies, conduct interviews with victims and witnesses and complete police reports. OCC students said the internships gave them “real world” experience and affirmed their desire to enter a law enforcement career.

“The skills I learned and the welcoming environment at the DPD was the best,” said Wagner, 30, of Pontiac. “I was able to get hands-on experience and participate in the dynamic Commercial Auto Theft Squad. I would recommend this internship to anyone who is interested in law enforcement.”

Detroit police are seeking student interns for the winter semester. Internships will require a 10-hour-a-week time commitment and will include experiences such as working with officers, ride-a-longs, assisting on crime scenes and working in special units. DPD plans to offer a summer intern program for students in high school and college.

“Students seeking an internship assignment at OCC should be prepared, organized, proactive and work hard to set career goals,” said Willie Lloyd, Director of Placement Services and Cooperative Education at OCC. Lloyd also encouraged students to review the Internship and Co-op Schedule for upcoming events and opportunities.

For information about becoming an intern or posting an internship, click here, or contact Kathie House, Program Coordinator at OCC, at kshouse@oaklandcc.edu or (248) 232-4140.

By Miranda Mayuiers

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