The Pioneer

"Education to Follow"

e-Newsletter             December 2017
Johnson health center breaks ground 
Wharton County Junior College earlier this fall held a groundbreaking ceremony for the renovation and expansion of the Johnson Health Occupations Center. Elected officials, college employees, Johnson Foundation representatives and students attended the ceremony, which was held on the Wharton campus. WCJC President Betty McCrohan, State Rep. Phil Stephenson, City of Wharton Mayor Tim Barker and WCJC Board of Trustees Chairman Danny Gertson were the guest speakers. The project includes the renovation of the 34,000 square foot facility as well as the creation of an 18,000 square foot addition. Completion dates are May 2018 for the addition and August 2018 for the renovation. Estimated cost is $6.5 million, not including furnishings and equipment. Bass Construction of Rosenberg and Houston-based Abel Design Group are overseeing the project.
Wharton campus a winter wonderland
Wharton County Junior College faculty, staff and students awoke to a holiday surprise on Friday, Dec. 8, as a blanket of snow transformed the Wharton campus into a virtual winter wonderland. Snow flurries began falling the night before, mostly melting off as they touched the ground. In the early morning hours, however, the flakes enlarged and began clinging to grass, trees, buildings and cars. WCJC students took full advantage of the surprise arrival -- which is a rarity in this part of the state -- having snowball fights in front of the Administration building and constructing a massive three-tiered snowman in the open area between the Fine Arts Building and the Pioneer Student Center.

EMS Program to offer classes in Bay City
Wharton County Junior College's Emergency Medical Services Program will expand to Bay City in January of 2018.
Renovations recently completed at the college's Bay City campus will allow the program to offer entry-level Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) classes for the Spring 2018 semester. Classes begin on Wednesday, Jan. 17. "We have received several inquiries over the past three years from the Bay City area to conduct the class," said EMS Program Director Gary Bonewald.

Mendez awarded HLS&R scholarship
By the end of this year, El Campo native Ismael Mendez will have completed three semesters at Wharton County Junior College. Thanks to the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, he's coming back next spring for a fourth. Earlier this fall, the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo's Educational Programs division awarded Mendez with a $5,000 scholarship - funds that will keep the 19-year-old in class and one step closer to his dream of becoming an engineer. Since 2015, the HLS&R has providing scholarships for WCJC students entering technical fields like engineering design, process technology and welding.

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Volleyball team players earn honors
The Wharton County Junior College Pioneers volleyball team did not have the kind of season Coach Brianna Florus was hoping for, but the leadership the players demonstrated while overcoming a host of challenges is a good sign for the future. "I feel like we have a stronger foundation moving forward because of the hardships we have faced," Florus said. The team finished with an overall record of 8-17 and a conference record of 4-6. By comparison, last year's team finished at 26-9 overall and 8-2 in conference.  Florus lost several key players from the 2016 team to graduation and had to rely instead upon a talented - but inexperienced - corps of freshmen.

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Hudgins, Spellman present publications
Wharton County Junior College recently hosted a book signing featuring two of the college's own authors. Dr. Paul Spellman, an instructor of history, discussed two works - Old 300: Gone to Texas and Until I Come Home: Love Letters from the War, 1918-1919 - while Merle Hudgins, a Board of Trustees member, talked about her two-volume work, War Between the States Changed Texas Forever-a Study of Pre-Civil War, Civil War & Post Civil War. At the conclusion of the event - which was held in the Hutchins Memorial Conference Room on the Wharton campus - both authors autographed books and spoke one on one with their fans. WCJC President Betty McCrohan introduced the authors and praised them for their accomplishments.                 
REACH Spotlight

A Registered Nurse and Family Nurse Practitioner, Rhonda  Vinson Brown received her start in the medical field at WCJC, earning a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) certificate followed by an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Nursing.
Security Upgrades

New door locks are nearly complete. Next up are video cameras. A project to upgrade the security of Wharton County Junior College's Wharton, Richmond and Bay City campuses is now in full swing. "These improvements will make the campuses a lot more secure," said WCJC Security and Public Safety Director Danny Terronez.
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Thought for the Day
"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched; they must be felt with the heart." - Helen Keller
Contact Information
WCJC Office of Marketing and Communications
911 Boling Highway
Wharton, TX 77488