KCKCC math professor looks toward retirement

Michele Bach (Photo from KCKCC)
Michele Bach (Photo from KCKCC)

by Kelly Rogge, KCKCC
Michele Bach has seen many changes since she started at Kansas City Kansas Community College in 1986.

“Wow, where to start,” she said of the changes she has seen over almost 30 years. “Dr. (Doris) Givens is the fourth president and Dr. Ed Kremer is the seventh dean I’ve worked with. The TEC is now a reality, increasing the numbers of students and employees, and buildings and programs have grown and been added. We are a happening place.”

Bach started as instructional staff in the Academic Resource Center teaching developmental mathematics. The position was brand-new and created to complement the reading and writing components that were already in place.

In 1988, the three instructional ARC staff members transitioned to faculty and five years later, each became part of their respective departments. Bach is currently a professor of math.

“KCKCC is an incredible place to work,” she said. “Each day brings new challenges and rewards.”

Bach has an associate of arts from Donnelly College and a bachelor of arts from the University of Maryland. She also earned a master of science from the University of Utah and a master of science from Kansas State University.

Prior to coming to KCKCC, she was the tutor coordinator for the college of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Kansas.

“It was time personally and for my family,” she said of retiring. “I’ll miss being able to make a small difference in the lives of the students I was privileged to have in my classes.”

Bach said she has many fond memories of her time at KCKCC. She said the community college was the first community college in Kansas to use the Academic Systems. This allowed faculty and staff to design and implement computer-assisted math classes. Another major highlight was her work on the Title III grant as the math consultant.

“That offered me the opportunity to apply my research in developmental education,” she said.

As for what she will do once she retires, Bach already has a number of plans in the works.

“I plan to relax by the pool for the summer and spend more time with my grandkids,” she said. “I’ll teach online in fall semester for both the nursing department and the EMS program. Travel is always a major part of my life so I’ll definitely be planning trips with family and friends.”

Kelly Rogge is the public information supervisor at Kansas City Kansas Community College.

New healthier living project seeks input from Wyandotte County residents

by Mike Sherry, Heartland Health Monitor

Health advocates are partnering with students and faculty at the University of Kansas School of Architecture, Design and Planning to help Wyandotte County residents make their communities more conducive to healthy living.

The Community Health Council of Wyandotte County is leading the effort with a four-year, $1.6 million grant from a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention program aimed at reducing obesity, diabetes, heart disease and stroke in communities across the country.

Participants unveiled the initiative Tuesday in a small office near downtown Kansas City, Kan., in the Strawberry Hill neighborhood.

The space will host a community design center operated by the KU School of Architecture, Design and Planning. It will double as a learning lab for students and a drop-in center for residents with ideas on how to make their physical surroundings promote better health.

“We are here to listen and to respond,” said Matt Kleinmann, an adjunct professor with the architecture school.

Residents will be able to view maps at the center that will enable them to visualize what needs to be done where.

“This is a physical space where you can see, ‘That’s my house, this is where I buy my groceries, this is the path between here and there, and here are some problem spots. This is why I don’t walk or this is why I don’t ride my bicycle or the bus isn’t working for me. You know, I’d really like a bus stop here,’” explained Shannon Criss, an associate professor of architecture at KU and a driving force behind the partnership.

“So if we can build that communication, I think we will be in good shape.”

Students have done some preliminary work, and Tuesday morning they were busy hauling in models of projects, including ideas for the Healthy Campus that Kansas City, Kan., Mayor Mark Holland has proposed near 11th and Minnesota Avenue.

The design center is part of a broader effort the Community Health Council of Wyandotte County is undertaking with the CDC money, said Jesyca Hope Rodenberg, the organization’s director of communications and outreach.
That effort, she said, includes programs that pull pharmacists out from behind the counter and puts them in spots where they can explain how healthy eating can help improve health conditions being treated with medication.

Rodenberg said she was enthusiastic about several initiatives planned for the design center, including development of a food-system map that would show residents where they can access healthy food.

“I still believe, and am excited to work with people who still believe, that change is possible, that we are not stuck with the status quo, that the future can be better than it was, that we can turn a community around by making it beautiful and healthy and investing in the individual voices of the people already living there,” she said.

The nonprofit KHI News Service is an editorially independent initiative of the Kansas Health Institute and a partner in the Heartland Health Monitor reporting collaboration. All stories and photos may be republished at no cost with proper attribution and a link back to KHI.org when a story is reposted online.

– See more at http://www.khi.org/news/article/new-healthier-living-project-seeks-input-from-wyandotte-county-residents#sthash.PfQTv7tj.dpuf

Democrats to hold breakfast May 16

The Wyandotte County Third Saturday Democratic Breakfast will meet Saturday, May 16, at Kansas City Kansas Community College, 7250 State Ave.

The meeting will be in Room 2325-2326 in the bottom floor of the Jewell Building, KCKCC. The breakfast buffet is available at 8:15 a.m. and the forum begins at 9:15.

Guest speakers will be Rep. Louis Ruiz, assistant House Democratic leader, and Rep. Stan Frownfelter, D-37th Dist., from Wyandotte County.

The cost of the breakfast buffet is $10, $7 for students and those on limited income. All Democrats and independents are invited to attend. Those attending do not need to purchase a breakfast.

Reservations are requested by Friday, May 15. Reservations help plan for attendance, but are not necessary to attend. To make reservations, email scottmackey08@yahoo.com.