Fantastic Faculty :: Keeping It Electric!

Teaching in a pandemic has posed countless challenges, but the Delta College Faculty have met these with ingenuity and resourcefulness, even for the most hands-on courses. This is evident in the Electrician and Mechatronics programs, which Associate Professor of Engineering Diane Lobsiger says are primarily being taught in a synchronous format.

“The instructors teach their classes during their normally scheduled times using Virtual Classroom. The students then do their labs individually at home, with guidance from their instructor, using the components that Delta purchased for them [details below]. This has been a team effort to ensure student success throughout the pandemic. Electrical Technology Instructor Matt Bartolowits, Skilled Trades & Mathematics Instructor Jim Krukowski, and Learning Resource Manager Becki Bushong helped in picking out the components that were purchased. Electrical Lab Technician Thomas Eddy and Manager of Library Programs and Services Michele Pratt set up kits in the library to hand out the supplies to the students. They also allow the students to return the kits to the library at the end of the semester, and they repair any damaged equipment.

Mechanical Tech & Design Professor Matt Eyre was instrumental in selecting and acquiring the Automation Studio simulation software used in several of our courses. Purchasing ordered all of the components for us in a timely manner, so we could continue teaching our classes without any interruptions. Our adjunct instructors have been amazing as they have transformed their classes to online instruction, so our students can continue to progress towards completion of their programs.

“Becki Bushong offered a significant amount of her time in helping to get the adjunct instructors acclimated to online instruction. The support from the administration has been outstanding. Our programs never would have been able to continue through the pandemic without the support of the purchase of this equipment. Most of all, our students have been terrific. The students have adjusted to taking their classes online, and although we would prefer to meet face to face, there is still an abundance of learning taking place. I am very proud of our students!”

And DCFA is proud of this fantastic group effort to keep our students’ academic goals on track!

Delta purchased the following components that allowed the Electrician and Mechatronics programs to continue through the pandemic:

SKET/ET100 Electrical Calculations

  • TI-30X Calculators

SKET/ET110 DC Circuits

  • Power Supply
  • Resistor Kit
  • Wire Kit
  • Bread Boards
  • Meters

SKET/ET120 AC Circuits

  • Elenco Trainers (Power Supply and Bread Board)
  • Wire Kit
  • Resistor Kit
  • Capacitors
  • Inductors
  • Transformer
  • Meters
  • Oscilloscopes

SKET/ET130 Conventional Controls

  • Automation Studio simulation software

SKET/ET122 Programmable Logic Controllers

  • Logix Pro simulation software

Fantastic Faculty :: 30-Day Challenge Approach

In a recent zoom interview, English Professor Dr. Jennifer Niester-Mika speaks with Humanities Learning Center Director and History Professor Amy French about how she engages her composition students in experiential learning in an online environment. Dr. Niester-Mika explained how she focuses each level of composition course (ENG111 and ENG112) in experiential learning that helps students “improve their lives” in ways that are “meaningful, relevant, and pertinent.”

Dr. Niester-Mika has her students select a habit they want to change, then each creates a 30-Day Life Challenge to implement this personal change. “I wanted students to experience this win, this sense of self-efficacy, this ability to control one’s behaviors or their environments, or to address what would be a negative mindset that they came into college with, like, ‘I’m a bad test taker.’ That’s something they believe about themselves, and if they continue to believe that about themselves, that’s going to hinder their academic performance.”

As a result of this approach, Dr. Niester-Mika opened whole new communication pathways with her students and found higher success rates: “less students were dropping, they were finishing with higher grades.” Dr. Niester-Mika assessed these findings with data research to find that this theme-based approach had a powerful and positive impact on her student personal as well academic success.

Click here to view the full Humanities Learning Center YouTube Interview Video.

Fantastic Faculty :: MI Pandemic Story

Associate Professor of English Lauren Smith and her college composition students have created the Michigan Pandemic Story website.

“Students from Delta College in the Great Lakes Bay region of Michigan have gathered information from residents about their experiences with COVID-19. Their task has been to interview Michiganders from all walks of life to tell their pandemic stories online. They are endeavoring to create a living history of this region during this unprecedented time. All the stories told here are with the permission of the participants.”

In a recent interview with Humanities Center Director and Professor of History Amy French, Lauren shared that this “Pandemic Storybook” is similar to the Pandemic Influenza Storybook the CDC created to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the flu pandemic of 1918, helping students to understand both the unique nature of this experience as well as its connections to history.

In the interview, Lauren explains: “The project became for us to create a hyper-local version of the CDC pandemic storybook for Covid-19. My goal as instructor was to try to always, first of all, help my students become better writers and thinkers, but also then to offer a service to our community in a way that we could. That meant for us collecting oral history that related to Covid in this moment.”

Visitors to MyPandemicStory can click on county names to see the stories gathered from residents there or select their reading by the name of the person interviewed and their county.