Spotlight on the OCC Highland Lakes Psychology Club

StilianosDr. Krishna Stilianos has taught psychology at the Highland Lakes Campus for the past seven years. In 2008, Dr. Stilianos, with retired Psychology Professor Meta Lothman, launched the popular Psychology Club. To date, the Psychology Club has hosted more than 55 events with an average attendance of 40 students.

What brought you to OCC?

I had long admired the mission and vision statements of OCC that centered on student success. I appreciate the opportunity to work closely with students, to share ideas of best practices with other faculty and to be part of shared governance. I have met and worked with many wonderful people who have contributed to my success in the classroom.

Why did you start the Psychology Club?

We started the Psychology Club to provide an opportunity for students to learn about psychological principles and themes, to attend professional conferences, to participate in field trips and to attend films and discussions relating to the field of psychology. Our goal was to help students recognize the real world significance of psychology apart from text book reading. Pre- and post-assessments are often conducted for each event to measure student learning. We provide Certificates of Participation and encourage students to build a portfolio for future academic and professional purposes. We also encourage interested students to assume leadership positions in the Psychology Club by joining the Student Executive Board. The Board is responsible for setting the calendar of events and for advertising and staffing. 

What types of speakers and events has the Psychology Club hosted?

This past September, our guest speaker presented his research on the effects of social media on mental health and relationships. The Psychology Club has hosted film and discussions that analyzed credit card debt in terms of the psychological and emotional roots of spending. We have had several events that examined the commercialization of children and the strategies by which advertisers use research in psychology to promote materialism in very young children. For the past five years, the Psychology Club and the HL Counseling Department have conducted Mental Health Screenings (Depression, PTSD, Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Bipolar Disorder) for our students in recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month. To date, we have screened several hundred students. During our debriefing, useful information on how to best meet student needs has often been identified and implemented. 

You started an Endowment Fund at OCC. Why?

As a past President and Board Member of Michigan Women Psychologists, I started the Michigan Women Psychologists Endowed Scholarship with $10,000 from the organization. It was the desire of the Board that this financial gift be used for academic purposes. Every semester, for the past couple of years, a qualified HL OCC student has received an award of $500.00. It is expected that this monetary award will continue for many, many years.

By Margarita Wagerson

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Holiday Shopping Starts at OCC! Get 30% off through Dec. 19!

Raiders Stores are having a 30% off sale on clothing and gift items now through December 19. Start your holiday shopping at OCC!

See our slideshow for gifts and gear including our special 50th Anniversary line of goodies!

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Women Celebrate 30 Years of Reading, Exploring and Friendship

Oakland Community College’s Womencenter Book Group is celebrating 30 years of laughter, friendship and reading the literary works of women authors.

Fifteen of the group’s 20 members celebrated the anniversary with a lunch on November 12 at the school’s student-run Ridgewood Café in Farmington Hills. The culinary students surprised the group with a special dessert to thank them for their patronage at the café, where they meet before launching into their book discussion.

“This is one of the longest running groups at OCC,” said Womencenter Director Arlene Frank. “I started at OCC in 1992. I was told part of my job was to lead this eclectic group,” she added, laughing.

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Laughter is a common occurrence at the group meetings. Many of the women are retirees who joined the Womencenter Book Group to keep social and facilitate life-long learning. The group has met biweekly September through April. To date they have read 413 books by female authors.

The group has a few rules. Members are not allowed to discuss the books with other members prior to the meetings to keep interactions authentic. Also, Frank rings a bell to get the members back on task when they get too rowdy. To keep the group intimate, it has a limit of twenty members and new requests are added to wait list.

“The thing that has changed most over the years is diversity. We are reading about other cultures and countries all the time. The conversations have improved as we have added members from different faiths and backgrounds. We are all learning from each other,” stated Joanne Goldberg, a member of 12 years.

One thing that hasn’t changed is the friendships. Members all voiced admiration for one another and spoke of how they keep in touch and provide reading lists to former members. The group also has created a library with a dedication plaque for Ruth Kovan, a long-time member who passed away shortly before the 25th anniversary.

Keeping the focus on women, the group only reads work from female authors.

The Poisonwood Bible was a majority favorite,” said Jeanette Isenhour, the member who keeps records on all the books read. “The most read author is Alice Hoffman. We have read seven of hers.”

To honor the group’s leader and commemorate the 30th anniversary, the members presented Frank with a homemade quilt they made outside of the meetings. The quilt featured names of members on one side and a collection of hand-quilted books on the other. The gift moved Frank to tears.

Also in attendance was Anna Clark, a local writer whose work has appeared in “The New Republic,” “American Prospect” and “Salon” and the editor of “A Detroit Anthology.” Clark explored topics with the women about reading as a communal activity and reading to help cultivate identity. Clark was also a guest at the Womencenter Book Group’s 25th anniversary.

“Whenever I am invited as a guest of the group, I take the day off of work,” said Clark. “It is ridiculously fun, welcoming and filled with intelligent conversations about literature.”

For more information on the Womencenter Book Group, contact Arlene Frank (248) 522-3642 or click here.

By Miranda Mayuiers

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Enter OCC’s 50th Anniversary Mural Design Competition (Auburn Hills Campus)

Oakland Community College has been a mainstay in Oakland County for the last fifty years – educating leaders, professionals and champions across innumerable industries. This year, we have the distinct pleasure to be in our 50th year of service to our community. To honor this golden anniversary, the Auburn Hills Campus President’s office and Student LIFE is thrilled to announce the 50th Anniversary Mural Design Competition! mural

The competition is open to all OCC students and alumni. One winning design will be chosen. The winner will receive a paid contract commission (to include supplies) in the amount of $1,000 to paint their design on a designated indoor wall on the Auburn Hills Campus. Electronic versions of artwork may also be showcased in the college media communications, such as the website, print publications and social media pages. The winning artist will be invited to a mural unveiling ceremony in March, 2015.

The contest opens on October 25, 2014. The deadline for mural design submissions is Monday, December 1, 2014. The theme of the mural must incorporate all of the following:

• Oakland Community College history and its 50th Anniversary (1964-2014)

• Technology programs offered at OCC Auburn Hills Campus (what the campus is known for)

• Student Life programs offered at OCC Auburn Hills Campus (see website and social media pages for examples)

The winner will be notified in mid-December. There is no fee to enter and students may submit multiple entries; however, each entry requires its own contest form. Artist must provide their own supplies. Commission draw may be considered for supplies upon request. Final rendering must begin on or after January 5, 2015 and be completed no later than noon on March 2, 2015.

For questions, email

The 50th Anniversary Mural Design Competition Packet can be downloaded here.

By Jessica Lizardi

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JSO Turns the Beat Around on Bullying

On November 13, the Jewish Student Organization (JSO) at Oakland Community College hosted a Dance Day on the Orchard Ridge Campus. Students were encouraged to turn the beat around on bullying through dance. Resources for help with bullying were provided at the event.

The JSO is a branch of Hillel of Metro Detroit (HMD). They host various college-wide events such as Bagel Talk with guest rabbis, movie nights, volunteering and more.

“Our goal is to provide fellow Jews with chances to forget about the pressures of the classrooms while making new friends in a fun, relaxing, and judgment-free environment,” said president Dovid Roetter. “While we are based out of the Orchard Ridge Campus, we are open to all OCC students and hope to expand in the future.”

To find out more about the Jewish Student Organization, contact Dovid Roetter at You can also join their Facebook group at

To learn about Hillel of Metro Detroit, please feel free to contact Director of Jewish Student Life, Neil Cantor at (313) 577-3459 or via emailing

By Miranda Mayuiers

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