Dena Roland Woods, Author at Southwestern Illinois College

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SWIC to offer Brewing Science & Operations program starting fall 2020

In partnership with 4204 Main Street Brewing Company in Belleville, Southwestern Illinois College is proud to offer an Associate in Applied Science degree or certificate in brewing operations and fermentation science starting in the fall 2020 semester.

Students can begin the program by taking the BRW 101 Intro to Brewing Process course, which will be every Monday, starting Aug. 17 through Dec. 7, from 5-7 p.m. at the 4204 Main Street Brewing Company, located at 6435 W. Main St., Belleville.

The program will provide foundational knowledge for brewery operations, production procedures, and teach basic quality assurance. Students will also have access to the latest equipment and technologies used in the industry today and receive hands-on training through courses, capstone, and internship programs.

“With the influx of local breweries popping-up over the last decade and how successful they have been, it is a given that there is an interest in the brewing industry,” said SWIC Technical Education and Workforce Development Dean Brad Sparks. “Our new program will give students the ability to learn the science behind brewing, as well as, offer them a chance to understand the business side of the industry and actually see how a brewery operates.”

The program offers a one-year Brewing Operations Certificate which focuses on the day-to-day operations and practical training for immediate employment in a brewery setting. The two-year Associate in Applied Science degree allows for greater emphasis on the science and business portions of the program. 

Graduates of the program are equipped to pursue a variety of careers in fields related to the brewing industry, such as food and hospitality, packaging and distribution, manufacturing, agriculture, food & natural resources, and business management & administration.     

Fall 2020 classes begin Saturday, Aug. 15. For more information on this program visit, contact SWIC Technical Education and Workforce Development Dean Brad Sparks at 618-931-0600, ext. 7420, email, or to search for courses offered at SWIC, visit

SWIC releases spring 2020 dean’s list

The following is a list of full- and part-time students on the Southwestern Illinois College Dean’s List for the Spring 2020 Semester.

This list includes full-time students who completed 12 or more semester credits during the semester and part-time students who completed six or more semester credits during the semester while maintaining a 3.5 or higher grade point average.

The students’ names are listed alphabetically according to hometown:
SWIC Spring 2020 Dean’s List

For more information, contact SWIC Enrollment Services at
618-235-2700, ext. 5455 or 866-942-SWIC (7942), ext. 5455.

SWIC releases spring 2020 graduate list

The following is a list of Southwestern Illinois College students who graduated at the conclusion of the Spring 2020 Semester. The students’ names are listed alphabetically according to hometown.

The list also denotes students who graduated with honors (a 3.5 grade point average or higher) and with a perfect 4.0 GPA.

SWIC Spring 2020 Graduate List

For more information, contact SWIC Enrollment Services at 618-235-2700, ext. 5455 or 866-942-SWIC (7942), ext. 5455.

Swansea Wealth Advisor Samuel Hanger named to the SWIC Foundation Board

SWIC Foundation Board Member Samuel Hanger

Wealth management advisor Samuel Hanger of O’Fallon has been named to the Southwestern Illinois College Foundation Board. As a board member, he will support the Foundation’s efforts to provide special educational and cultural activities that are not part of the college budget.

Hanger is a graduate of University of Missouri-Columbia and has been working in the financial industry since 2013. He started his career off as an intern with Archford Capital Strategies in Swansea. From there, he became a financial services representative for Scottrade in St. Louis. Hanger returned to Archford Capital Strategies in 2015 and currently works there as a wealth management advisor.

He holds a Certified Financial Planner certificate; is an Accredited Investment Fiduciary; and holds his Series 7, 66, 63 and life insurance licenses. Hanger is a member of the Gene Slay’s Girls and Boys Club of St. Louis and the Mizzou Alumni Association. He is also working towards his Chartered Financial Consultant designation.

For more information about the SWIC Foundation and supporting programs at the college, contact the SWIC Foundation Executive Director Rena Thoele at 618-235-2700, ext. 5647, or

SWIC Adult Education now offering online High School Equivalency classes

If you left high school without earning a diploma, let Southwestern Illinois College help you earn one from the comfort of your home or anywhere.  The SWIC Adult Education and Literacy department is now offering online High School Equivalency preparation classes.

Students must live in the college district and have a separation letter from their school district if 16-17 years old.

Learn more about upcoming classes and schedule an appointment for orientation by calling 618-235-2700, ext. 5525, or toll free in Illinois at 866-942-SWIC (7942), ext. 5525 or email

Complete the SWIC Steps to Enrollment during Class of 2020 Enrollment Days

If you’re graduating from high school and worried about the college enrollment process, let Southwestern Illinois College ease your mind. You can complete the SWIC steps to enrollment for the Summer or Fall 2020 Semesters during Class of 2020 Enrollment Days at the Belleville Campus, 2500 Carlyle Ave., the Red Bud Campus, 500 W. South Fourth St., or the Sam Wolf Granite City Campus, 4950 Maryville Road.

Stop by at any SWIC Campus during these days and times:
– Wednesday, May 20, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
– Thursday, May 21, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Stop by the SWIC Belleville Campus only on Tuesday, May 19 from noon to 7 p.m.

During Enrollment Days you can:

  • Complete an application and get a student ID number
  • Take the SWIC Accuplacer assessment for placement in English and Math
  • Meet with an academic advisor to discuss degree requirements or transfer courses
  • Set up eSTORM and SWIC student email accounts
  • Register for classes
  • Ask general financial aid and payment arrangement questions

Students taking the Accuplacer assessment for placement in English and Math on Tuesday, May 19, must check-in by 5 p.m.

Check-in with Admissions in the Information Sciences Lobby. Please bring a photo ID!

For more information, email the SWIC Admissions Office at or call 618-235-2700, ext. 5675.

SWIC Blue Storm men’s basketball to receive an award for over 1,000 victories

The Southwestern Illinois College Blue Storm men’s basketball team, previously known as the Belleville Area College Dutchmen, has won more than 1,000 games since its first season in 1954-55. On Monday, Feb. 24 the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association will honor SWIC Blue Storm with an award for this achievement.

IBCA Hall of Fame Chairman and a member of the IBCA board of directors Mark Kleemann will present the award at the game.

The IBCA recognizes SWIC Blue Storm as one of only a few Illinois community college men’s basketball programs that have surpassed the 1,000 victory plateau. Currently, the National Junior College Athletic Association D-I SWIC (SWIC Blue Storm, BAC Dutchmen) team, has won 1,128 games since 1954-55; captured 14 post season appearances in championship play since 1969-70; won seven state and regional titles and won four trips to national tournaments.

“The victory doesn’t belong to me – it belongs to the students, the college and the community,” said SWIC Blue Storm Coach and NJCAA 2002 Hall of Fame inductee Jay Harrington. “I am very fortunate to have worked for one college for so many years. This is a testament to the college and its commitment to the Athletic program.”

The IBCA represents all of Illinois basketball at the junior high, high school, and the collegiate levels. Each year, the IBCA honors individuals with annual Hall of Fame inductions and Coach of the Year selections. In order to recognize school and team achievements, the IBCA honors basketball programs that have earned only the highest levels of success.

To check out the Blue Storm 2019-20 schedule, visit

To support Blue Storm Athletic Scholarships, visit

SWIC faculty and STL Blues announcer Tom Calhoun inducted into STL Sports Hall of Fame

With a passion for communication, sports and a strong work ethic, it is no surprise that Southwestern Illinois College Adjunct Communications Professor and Blue Storm Radio General Manager Tom Calhoun was recently awarded three honors by the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame.

He was inducted into the hall of fame by being presented the President’s Choice Award and also received a commemorative 1500th-game plaque at the 4th Annual Illinois Enshrinement Dinner on February 10. Previous inductees into the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame include Bob Costas, Jack Buck and Dan Kelly; which Calhoun has had the pleasure of working with.

Growing up, Calhoun had a love for sports. He played baseball while attending Belleville West High School and was especially fond of Stan Musial. He also played street hockey. As a child, Calhoun was a part of a church youth group. One day after delivering a sermon, a lady told him that he had a great speaking voice and that compliment would go on to pave the path for his future career.

Calhoun went on to pursue a career in mass communications. While in college, he worked at the college radio station. After graduation, he took a position at WIBV, 1260 AM in Belleville and went on to work at several other radio stations throughout the years. In 1987, Calhoun started as the public address announcer for the St. Louis Blues hockey team. During his 33 years announcing for the St. Louis Blues, he has never missed a game.
As of Feb. 24, he has announced over 1,514 games.

“One of my fondest memories of my career will always be announcing for the 2019  Stanley Cup Finals series, where the St. Louis Blues took home their first Stanley Cup,” said Calhoun. “I was also blessed with my health and a strong family growing up; which helped teach me and guide me in the right direction.”

In 2013, he began teaching at Lindenwood University in Belleville and in 2019, started teaching at SWIC and managing Blue Storm Radio. Calhoun enjoys seeing students light-up when they finally understand something. “It is gratifying,” he says. “I love to have the opportunity to connect with my students and help them achieve their future career goals.”    

Calhoun suggests that anyone looking to enter any mass communications field should put in effort in their language arts classes, understand phonics, be able to diagram a sentence and understand the English language better than the average person. At SWIC, he has taught Introduction to Mass Communication and Radio Production.

Being inducted into St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame by receiving the President’s Choice Award and receiving a commemorative 1500th game plaque from the NHL off-ice officials meant a great deal to Calhoun..

“I am grateful that all my years of hard-work are being recognized and the effort I have put into my career is being highlighted,” said Calhoun. “That’s special stuff right there, it doesn’t get much better than that.”

In the future, Calhoun hopes to continue announcing for the St. Louis Blues and to raise awareness of SWIC’s Blue Storm Radio. He would like to make it a recognized entity within the community.     

He earned his Associate in Arts degree from Belleville Area College; a Bachelor of Science from South Illinois University Edwardsville and a Master of Arts from Lindenwood University. In his free time, Calhoun and his wife train their seven chihuahuas and enter them into dog shows. He also enjoys woodworking.

Calhoun and his wife of 42 years, Barb, live in Millstadt, Illinois. They have two children, Ian, 39 who lives in Vail, Colorado and Stewart, 35 who lives in San Diego. Stay connected with him via his social media channels: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

For more information about SWIC classes and programs visit

SWIC students to display their works at Varsity Art XXIV in St. Louis

Southwestern Illinois College art students will showcase their artistic talents at the annual Art Saint Louis multi-media exhibition “Varsity Art XXIV.”

The show will feature 40 original artworks by undergraduate and graduate-level art students, representing 20 St. Louis regional colleges and universities from Missouri and Illinois.

This year, outstanding art students Sasha Nicole Agnew of Fairview Heights and Rebekah Segelhorst of Venedy, Illinois have been chosen to represent SWIC at the event. Agnew will be showcasing paintings and Segelhorst will be presenting a wearable art piece.

The show kicks off Friday, Feb. 28, with a FREE opening reception on Friday, March 6 from 6-8 p.m. at Art Saint Louis, 1223 Pine St. in St. Louis.

Student artwork created from a variety of media including ceramics, drawing, mixed media, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture and video will be on display through Thursday, March 26.

The Varsity Art XXIV annual event is a collaboration between Art Saint Louis and the participating collegiate institutions, their art faculty and students. The Art Saint Louis artistic director works closely with art faculty at the area’s colleges and universities, inviting the professors to select two outstanding art students to represent their art department and institution in the annual show.    

To view the Facebook event click here and to view the Facebook opening reception event click here. For more information about the SWIC art department or art program visit

SWIC HSE and CNA grad earns perfect scores on program tests, finals and clinicals

Brandy Ballett was a stay-at-home mom for many years until she decided she wanted to better the lives of her family members, and help other people at the same time. Ballett then took the first step toward her future by enrolling in the High School Equivalency certification program at Southwestern Illinois College.

“I wanted to return to school and chose to attend SWIC because my aunt graduated from SWIC and had a great experience,” Ballett said.

While attending her Healthcare Bridge classes, Ballett was informed that she might qualify for a free Certified Nursing Assistant course through Adult Education. After she went through the review and qualification process, she was approved and began taking the CNA course.

“SWIC has opened the door to help me achieve what I want to do,” Ballett said. “My instructors, Stephanie Reid and Lori Phillips, were extremely helpful, understanding, made learning fun and gave me real-world experience.”

Ballett made sure to study hard, ask questions, be on-time to class and have good attendance. This dedication paid-off for her because at the end of her CNA course, she was notified that she earned a perfect score on all of her exams and clinicals.

“I studied a lot and my instructors were always helpful, passionate about teaching and truly want their students to succeed,” said Ballett.

Ballett received her HSE certification in October of 2019. She plans to work part-time as a CNA, return to SWIC in the fall to continue her studies to become a nurse and eventually work in a hospital.    

When not attending school, Ballett enjoys being with her family. She and her husband, Robert, live in Fairview Heights with their two sons: Jackson, 4, and Joseph, 2.

For more information about SWIC’s HSE certification, call 618-235-2700, ext. 5525, or toll free in Illinois at 866-942-SWIC (7942), ext. 5525. For more information about the CNA program visit