Faculty at Bay College spend their days with students. They teach classes, coordinate arts and events, support clubs and sports, mentor, and help students prepare for future university and professional careers. “We are committed to helping students,” says political science instructor Molly Campbell. “We try to be there for them academically, but also as friendly supporters and advisors.”
Each year, the Bay Faculty Association -- a Michigan Education Association-affiliated local -- does a Community Improvement or Outreach Project in conjunction with the MEA. Most recently, the Faculty Association has increased their role by donating to a number of initiatives and causes aimed at helping Bay College students.
First, the faculty joined forces with the college to sponsor monetary awards for the six Student of the Year winners. Each division in the college picks a “Student of the Year” each April. Past Association President Bill Milligan helped coordinate this effort. The college awards winners with a plaque, but this past year, the faculty added a check for each student. “Supporting these awards is a natural fit for us,” says Milligan, “and an extension of the passion faculty have for not only teaching but celebrating student success."
Next, the faculty voted to support remodeling efforts at the college. “We were so excited about the creation of the HUB,” says English teacher Nanci Love, who also served on the courtyard remodeling committee. “We wanted to support phase 2 of that construction in the courtyard.” The HUB is the new center for academic support and study space at Bay College. The Faculty Association donated money to help buy some of the outdoor furniture for the ongoing renovation, which will be completed in Spring 2018.
Afterwards, the Faculty Association endowed a merit based scholarship with an initial contribution of $10,000. Income generated from the scholarship is expected to be awarded for the first time during the 2018-19 school year. In addition to individual instructors volunteering to make personal contributions to the fund, the Association plans to make future supplemental contributions “The goal of Bay College faculty members is to help ease the financial burden of our students as they pursue their educations,” says Bay business instructor Ron Pearson. Biology teacher Marc LaBeau adds, “We ask our students to commit substantial amounts of time to their learning. Financial support enables them to have the time they need to succeed.”
Most recently, the Faculty Association funded the purchase of a new freezer for the Bay College Food Pantry. Run by two student groups, TRIO Peer Mentors and the Business and Professionals of America (BPA) student chapter, the Bay College Food Pantry helps students get the nutrition they need. Nursing instructor and current Faculty Association President Sandy Croasdell, says, “Students can’t learn when they’re hungry. Proper nutrition is an important component of a healthy lifestyle.” The freezer will enable the Pantry to offer meat and other perishables to students.
Bay College faculty plan to continue their charitable efforts. “We are proud of the college and our students,” says Chief Negotiator Tom Warstler, who teaches geography, “and we work every day to improve both.”