Featured Archives - Southwestern Illinois College

The Screening of The Final 19

Southwestern Illinois College’s Veteran Services will host a screening event for the documentary, The Final 19.

The film follows the harrowing true story of Sergeant Dan Hefel and his journey as one of the final 19 prisoners of war to return from Vietnam. The film depicts his 1143 days spent in captivity, while also touching on life after the Vietnam War. In addition, this year marks the 50th anniversary of the end of the war.

The event will be hosted March 30 at SWIC’s Belleville Campus, in the Main Complex Theatre. Listed below is the schedule for the screening and panel discussion of The Final 19 with Sergeant Dan Hefel.

  • Meet and Greet with Sergeant Dan Hefel and Director Tim Breitbach.
  • 11 a.m. – Screening “A” and Q&A
  • 1 p.m. – Veteran Discussion Panel
  • 2 p.m. – Screening “B” and Q&A

“Hosting an event such as the screening of The Final 19 helps bring the community together,” said Veteran Services Coordinator Dan Nagel. “SWIC is honored to be a place where veterans can feel both seen and heard.”

SWIC has over 1500 enrolled Veterans as part of the GI Bill.

For more details about the screening of The Final 19, please contact Veteran Services Coordinator Dan Nagel at daniel.nagel@swic.edu

Celebrate Spring at SWIC’s Annual Egg Hunt

Spend the day outdoors at Southwestern Illinois College’s annual Egg Hunt at the Sam Wolf Granite City Campus. With events for ages 1 to 12, you won’t want to miss out on the family fun!

SWIC’s Egg Hunt will provide an opportunity for the community to celebrate the season of spring to the fullest! The free event will be held on Saturday, April 1 from 10 a.m. to noon, rain, or shine.

Activities at the event will include:

  • Visiting time with the Easter Bunny
  • Games and springtime crafts
  • Inflatables
  • Petting Zoo
  • Free lunch and refreshments

“The Sam Wolf Granite City Campus Egg Hunt is a chance for the whole community to join in on the fun and festivities of spring,” said Director of Student Life Amy Brockman. “Thanks to SWIC’s friends at Ideal Aviation, the Easter Bunny will be arriving by helicopter, weather permitting.”

In addition to the Easter Bunny, Granite City local first responders will be at the Egg Hunt to participate in the community event.

For additional information regarding this event, contact Director of Student Life Amy Brockman at amy.brockman@swic.edu

SWIC wins 1st in Mastercam Wildest Parts competition

SWIC Precision Machining Instructor, David Berry recently placed 1st in the Mastercam Wildest Parts competition!

Wildest Parts is a global event sponsored by Mastercam that gives both students and professionals opportunities to learn skills and earn prizes through CAD/CAM.

Within the Professional division, David Berry placed first among all of the participants! For his submission, Berry designed and created a desk piece, featuring a 12 blade, large wheel, compressor design. The part took a total of 2 weeks to fully create. One week was spent programming the parts and the next was spent proofing the program on the machine.

When creating a part from a blank piece of material, the machine needs about 10 hours to finish the project. Yet, despite the many hours spent on the part, Berry noted that the process helped broaden his knowledge of CAD when creating something with a multi-axis.

For more information on the Precision Machining Technology program, click here.

High school students cook up success in culinary competition

Local high school students showcased their chopping, grating, sautéing, baking and other culinary arts skills in the Platinum Chef Competition held at the Southwestern Illinois College Sam Wolf Granite City Campus recently.

Teams from six area high schools competed in culinary arts challenges to create unique dishes from a variety of ingredients. The annual competition is co-sponsored by SWIC and Madison County Career and Technical Education System.

“This event really lets students exercise their skills and creativity,” said SWIC Culinary Arts and Food Management Program Coordinator Leisa Brockman. “We’re proud to offer local students the chance to show off what they have learned in high school culinary classes.”

SWIC Culinary Arts faculty judged the students’ work on the taste and appearance of the food, sanitation and students’ ability to explain their dishes.  

The winners were:

  • Best of Competition, First Place: East St. Louis High School
  • Best of Competition, Second Place: Granite High School
  • Best of Competition, Third Place: Highland High School
  • Best Test Score: East St. Louis High School
  • Best Utility/Support Team: East St. Louis High School
  • Best Table Presentation: Civic Memorial High School in Bethalto
  • Best Appetizer: East St. Louis High School
  • Best Salad: Granite City High School
  • Best Entrée: East St. Louis High School
  • Best Dessert: Highland High School
  • Best Oral Presentation of Dishes: East St. Louis High School
  • Overall Competition MVP: Antonio Polk, East St. Louis High School
  • Team MVP for Belleville CAVE: Thomas Piotrowski
  • Team MVP for Civic Memorial: Olivia Enke
  • Team MVP for East St. Louis: A’maya Chapman
  • Team MVP for Edwardsville: Addie Vaughan
  • Team MVP for Granite City: Sakinah Amatullah-Martin
  • Team MVP for Highland: Fay Wilson

      For more information on the Platinum Chef Competition or for information on the SWIC Culinary Arts and Food Management program, call Brockman at 618-797-7323 or visit swic.edu/culinary.

Photo: Students from the East St. Louis Senior High School Platinum Chef team won Best of Competition and numerous other awards.

SWIC Men’s Basketball Coach Harrington to join St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame

After 44 years of coaching, Jay Harrington’s hard work has paid off once again. The Southwestern Illinois College men’s basketball coach has been invited to join the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame.    

Harrington has an 869-507 record at the college. His overall collegiate coaching record stands at 952-549. On top of being inducted into the NJCAA Hall of Fame in 2002, Harrington has also coached three USA Basketball teams and won numerous Region 24 and GRAC Coach of the Year awards.

“This award would not have happened without the continuous support of my family and team,” said Harrington. “I feel extremely fortunate to have been able to live out my passion here at SWIC for so many years. Being inducted into the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame truly is an honor.”

Harrington joined SWIC as the men’s basketball coach in 1979. He also served as the college’s athletic director from 1980-2015.

Harrington and his wife, Patti Woods Harrington, live in Waterloo. He has three daughters: Christina, Megan, and Morgan and five grandchildren.

The induction ceremony will be held in February to officially commemorate Harrington’s achievement.

For additional information regarding the Blue Storm 2022-2023 schedule, visit swic.edu/athletics.

Tamburitzans to bring international cultures to the stage Nov. 19

One of the world’s finest, longest-running live musical variety stage shows of its kind returns to Metro East Saturday, November 19th.

The Tamburitzans will return for the popular Southwestern Illinois College Foundation annual student scholarship fundraiser. The internationally renowned troupe performs at the Edwardsville High School Performance Theater stage, 6161 Center Grove Road in Edwardsville, at 7 p.m. The doors open at 6:15 p.m.

The talented young artists, from Duquesne University, clad in elaborate costumes, will celebrate and share international cultural heritages through the universal languages of music and dance.

For more than 30 years, individuals from both Illinois and Missouri have enjoyed this group’s annual performance. Show proceeds benefit the John N. and Diana Bellcoff Memorial Tamburitzans scholarships for students attending the SWIC Sam Wolf Granite City Campus.

Founded in 1937, the Tamburitzans got their name from a stringed folk instrument called the tamburitza that is predominant in the music of Balkan cultures. The troupe is based in Pittsburgh, Penn., but dazzles both domestic and international audiences with its traveling performances.

Tickets are $20 for adults and must be purchased in advance.
For tickets, call Norma Bellcoff at 618-978-1522. For credit card purchases visit Thankyou.swic.edu or call 618-235-2700, ext. 5518.

SWIC’s Student Life to host a “Walk to End Hunger”

You can help wipe out hunger among SWIC students by participating in the Southwestern Illinois College Walk to End Hunger Nov. 1.

The college’s Student Veterans Association and Veterans Services are hosting the walk, in partnership with the local YMCA. Participants are encouraged to walk with 22 pounds of nonperishable food in bags or backpacks, in honor of the 22 veterans lost to suicide each day.

The walk will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 1 from 3-4:30 p.m. The walk is scheduled to begin at the YMCA parking lot, 2627 Carlyle Ave., circle the college campus and end at SWIC’s Quad, 2500 Carlyle Ave. Refreshments and entertainment will be provided afterwards.

The event is free and open to the public. All nonperishable food donations will go to the opening of the Student Life Food Pantry. The food pantry’s goal is to provide nutrition and support to the campus community.

For additional information regarding this event, contact the Student Life & Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator Yasin Jackson at yasin.jackson@swic.edu.

SWIC to host Fall 2022 Job Fair Nov. 9 at Belleville Campus

Explore endless career opportunities at Southwestern Illinois College’s Annual Fall 2022 Job Fair.

The fair is in partnership with the Illinois Department of Employment Security, Veterans Department and will be held Wednesday, Nov. 9, from noon to 3 p.m. Located in the Belleville Campus Varsity Gym, 2500 Carlyle Ave., all aspiring job applicants should arrive dressed to impress with plenty of copies of their résumés.

The job fair is open to students, veterans, and the public. More than 100 employers will be representing different career fields ranging from healthcare, aviation, technical trades, education and more!

For more information regarding the job fair and list of companies attending, visit swic.edu/career-services and click on the Events tab.

In case of disability accommodations, contact Career Services at careerservices@swic.edu. For more information, call Career Services at 618-235-2700, ext. 5562, or toll free in Illinois at 866-942-SWIC (7942), ext. 5562.

SWIC Senior Companion Program Seeking Volunteers

Looking for a chance to brighten someone’s day? Become a Senior Companion!

The Senior Companion Program pairs Volunteers, 55 and older, with seniors who otherwise would not be able to live independently. The program is sponsored by Southwestern Illinois College and based out of Programs and Services for Older Persons in Belleville. Senior Companions are reimbursed for mileage and meals and receive a small stipend to offset the cost of volunteering.

Senior Companions provide companionship and assistance to their peers who are homebound or may be socially isolated. They visit one or more days per week for at least four hours per day and can assist with daily tasks, provide transportation, and give support and a much-needed break to full-time caregivers.

The program covers Madison, St. Clair, Monroe and Randolph counties.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, contact Senior Companion Director Kate Bilyeu at 618-234-4410, ext. 7023.

SWIC & Local Manufacturers Showcased Future of Industry at Manufacturing Day Open House

More than 1,500 students from 38 high schools in the Metro East and Missouri turned out to learn more about education and careers in manufacturing at the Southwestern Illinois College Manufacturing Day Open House recently. 

It was the biggest MFG Day event in Illinois and one of the largest in the country.

Visitors had the chance to tour the SWIC Precision Machining Technology, Electrical/ Electronics, Heating Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration, and Welding Technology labs. Plus, see first-hand how cutting-edge computerized machining and robotic welding equipment is changing technical education and manufacturing. Also, high school students had an opportunity to try their hands at virtual welding, enjoy 3D printing demonstrations, meet more than 30 local manufacturers and tour a local manufacturing facility.

Andrew Crowe, founder of the New American Manufacturing Renaissance, a movement to revitalize American manufacturing, served as the keynote speaker. The Department of Defense Project MFG recognized the SWIC 2022 winners of the Project MFG competition; and SkillsUSA recognized the SWIC 2022 medal winners at the opening ceremony.

The ninth annual event was presented in partnership with the Gene Haas Foundation, Granite City Economic Development Department, IMEC – Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center, Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois, Madison County Employment and Training, St. Clair County Intergovernmental Grants Department and the Southwestern Madison County Chamber of Commerce.

For more MFG Day photos or more information about SWIC Technical Education programs, visit swic.edu/tech-ed.