FMCC Scholarship Profiles

Winter 2015
Zachary Cooper
Casey Loring
Adrian Briseno
Nolan Saxe
Keith Kuharevicz
Josephine Kracht

ZackZachary Cooper

Second-year MCC student Zack Cooper, who graduated from Whitehall High School in 2013, has no regrets about choosing to attend MCC.

“I love the one-on-one teacher opportunities and abilities to develop relationships with my teachers rather than being at an (NCAA Division I) school with lots of students where you aren’t as apt to be recognized.”

Zack lists Nicholas Budimir and Marty McDermott as two of his favorite MCC instructors. He is currently studying Business Administration in hopes of one day being able to develop his own business alongside his father.

“Not only is he the greatest leader, teacher, and coach I could ask for, but he is also my best friend,” Zack says of his Dad. “Everything he does in life is leading by example and I want to be just like him.”

After MCC, Zack plans attend either Alma College or Wisconsin-Lacrosse to earn a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.

Zack’s lessons at MCC extend beyond the classroom to his practices and meets as a top nationally ranked wrestler for the Jayhawks.

“With my teammates and coaches, I hope to make the dream of being a national champion a reality,” he says.  “I am honored to be able to represent Muskegon Community College every time I step out onto the mat. My passion for wrestling exceeds most others and my drive for success is what keeps me going.”

By earning the Dan Burt Memorial Scholarship, Zack feels that all of his hard work and dedication at MCC is beginning to pay dividends.

Dan Burt was a former Jayhawk wrestler and coach. While he was an athlete at MCC, Dan helped capture two MCCAA State Championships throughout 1974-76. Later, he became a Jayhawk assistant coach and was part of the staff that guided MCC to a NJCAA national runner-up finish in 1980. The Dan Burt Memorial Scholarship was established by his friend, mentor, and coach Ron Gaffner. Throughout the years there has been an overwhelming amount of support from those close to Dan, who passed away after a courageous battle against cancer.

CaseyLoringCasey Loring

Casey Loring has his sights set on studying and working in Europe after graduating from MCC in May.

Recently accepted to Michigan Tech University, Casey will pursue mathematics and astrophysics there with an eye towards continuing his education overseas in Sweden.

“I truly believe there is so much to learn about our universe that will help us out here on this tiny speck of dust that we all reside on,” explained Casey, a 2005 Fruitport High School graduate. “The beauty of finding things out through physics and seeing our world in a scientific perspective drives me to keep going.

“My rather ambitious longshot of a goal is to score a job with the European Space Agency and land some sort of job working at the European-Extra Large Telescope in Chile.” The South American facility is scheduled to be fully operational around the time Casey anticipates finishing his studies.

He appreciates MCC’s affordability but readily admits that the Enberg Scholarship will have a positive impact on his MCC education.

“This scholarship means I can afford to spend more time focusing on my grades and less time wondering how I am going to afford textbooks and paying my heating bill this winter,” he said.

Casey became the first recipient of the Enberg Scholarship, sponsored by Chuck and Tami Enberg, which provides an MCC science student with a $500 financial award for tuition. The scholarship was created by Tami, who teaches science at Reeths-Puffer and as an adjunct instructor at MCC.

“Teaching geology is fun, and students can make very good money after they graduate,” she said. “Geology involves all science subjects including physics, chemistry, and biology. We all live on Earth and we all need to be kind to our planet. Geology involves beautiful art and I can teach students using beautiful images and videos from different part of the world.”

Growing up in Indonesia near two active volcanoes and experiencing several devastating earthquakes, Tami became inquisitive about the power of Mother Nature at a young age. Since she loved physics and geology, Tami studied geophysics in Indonesia, which piqued her curiosity for further geological studies.

“My hope for this scholarship is to give students an opportunity to study geology and to encourage students becoming geologists,” she concluded. “As a nation, we have a huge shortage of geologists to fulfill jobs in oil and mining industries and environmental companies.”

Adrian Adrian_Briseno-200x300Briseno 

In 2014 Adrian Briseno graduated from Muskegon High School receiving the MHS Class of ’46 Scholarship. Adrian is studying Business Management here at MCC then plans to attend a four-year college. So far, his favorite class is English 101 with Mrs. Dickinson. When asked, Adrian shared, “Attending MCC was the best decision I have made.” Not only is he a student here, but also an athlete. This fall he was one of the 23 Jayhawk soccer players.

The MHS Class of ’46 Scholarship is very much appreciated by Adrian. “It means a lot because it helped me with my tuition.”

Adrian’s role models are his parents. Even though neither of them made it past elementary school they both worked hard to give Adrian the best life he could have. “I couldn’t thank them enough for that.”

Nolan Saxe

First-year MCC student Nolan Saxe, who graduated from Muskegon High School in 2014, received the Sun Chemical| United Steel Workers 2-987 A.D. Barnes Scholarship. Although he has attended for only one semester, Nolan has been pleased with MCC. “I’d say I am very satisfied with my decision to attend MCC.” His favorite instructor is Mr. Wallace King for his Fitness/Wellness/Nutrition class.

Journalism has sparked an interest in Nolan, who plans to study at MCC then transfer to Michigan State University to continue his major. Since he has such a passion for writing, his favorite class is English. Nolan is very appreciative of the scholarship. “It means a great deal to me,” he said. “Any sort of money towards my college education can go a long way.”

Going into MCC Saxe had the plan to be a Jayhawk baseball player. He was all set to play until he suffered an unfortunate knee injury. There are plenty of role models in Nolan’s life who have affected him in different but equal ways. “I want to show myself through my own actions that I am a good person,” he added.

Keith KuKeith_Kuharevicz-200x300harevicz

This year is Keith Kuharevicz’s second year attending Muskegon Community College. Keith graduated from Muskegon Catholic Central in the spring of 2013. “I am pleased with the decision that I made to attend MCC rather than going off to a larger university and have no regrets about staying in town for my first two years of college.”

Keith is grateful to have received the Larry and Roberta Tetzlaff Scholarship from the Foundation. “This scholarship was very important to me and was greatly appreciated by me, and even more so by my parents,” he said. “I attended Muskegon Catholic Schools all my life and I have three younger brothers who still attend there.  While we have all enjoyed attending Muskegon Catholic, it has placed a sizable financial burden on my parents.  This gracious scholarship that I have been granted alleviates pressure that both my parents and I would otherwise be feeling.” Because of this scholarship Keith can now be fully committed to his studies rather than having to worry about working many hours in order to pay for the classes that he is taking.

After MCC, he plans to attend a larger university where he can obtain a bachelor’s degree as a mechanical engineer. So far, he has applied to the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and Grand Valley State University. A final decision is yet to be made as he is considering what school will be the best fit for him.

Throughout the two years of attending MCC, Keith has had numerous classes and instructors. One that really stood out to him was Math 162 with Mr. Gary Nonnemacher.  “The teaching methods that he implemented in the course, his ability to explain ideas in a comprehensible manner, and the passion that he had for teaching made the class an enjoyable learning experience for me.”

Keith also competed for the Jayhawk men’s soccer team. “I enjoyed being able to continue playing for two more years and meeting new people by being a part of the team,” he said. For Keith, his role model is his father. There are numerous reasons why he admires his father but his faith, hard work ethic and dedication to family are the ones that stand out the most to him. 

Josephine Kracht

A 2005 graduate of Holland High School, Josephine Kracht is in her second year at Muskegon Community College where she is absolutely pleased with her decision to attend.

Josephine received the Mary Josephine Vukits Nursing Scholarship this spring. “This scholarship means so much,” said a grateful Josephine. “As a hard worker with no other source for financial support, it was important for me to apply for many scholarships. Knowing there are many applicable students who also would deserve this award, I still applied so I knew I did all I could do in order to pay for college. I work and go to school so this scholarship has helped relieve some financial burden and has made me feel blessed to be able to be the first recipient. This scholarship has helped me on my journey to receiving my RN and I am truly so thankful.”

The scholarship was established by Tom Dake, to honor the memory of his aunt Mary Josephine Vukits, R.N., She started her nursing career as a Registered Nurse in the U.S. Army during WWII and later worked as an RN at Hackley Hospital for over 30 years before retiring.

Not only does the Mary Josephine Vukits Nursing Scholarship affect Josephine financially, but also on a personal level.

“This scholarship affects me personally because I never thought I would be chosen to receive one,” she admitted. “I thought that so many people applied, but why would they choose me. This scholarship has raised my confidence and has made me realize that I need to try in order to receive help. I love what I do and I am so thankful that this scholarship can help me achieve my goals.”

In the long run, the scholarship will also help the community and all of the patients that Josephine will care for in the future. Helping others is something she really enjoys and about which she is passionate – all of which led her to the nursing field. “Being a part of someone’s life at their most vulnerable time is very special. I want to add change to the profession in a positive way. I want to be someone who can help the community.” She plans to contribute to the nursing field through her practice of holistic care.

NUR141 is Josephine’s favorite class because she was able to challenge herself and learn through new experiences. Josephine thinks very highly of all the nursing professors and values their professionalism. They are all very supportive and approachable which makes it very difficult for her to pick a favorite.

“My favorite thus far is Heather Vanderzanden,” she said. “Heather is supportive of all students, teaches us by asking questions, motivates us, is always fair and professional, and has helped me build my confidence. Heather is very intelligent and that motivates me to study and the importance of being a prudent nurse.”

On top of being a student and working, Josephine is currently serving as the President of the Student Nursing Club. “We do a lot of volunteering in the community as well.”

Her plan for after attending MCC is to further her education and take advantage of the concurrent program offered through Michigan State University. “I will take online classes to receive my Bachelor’s Degree. I plan to work toward my Master’s Degree and possibly my Doctorate in Nursing.” Someday she would love to work in the community and has an interest in cardiac nursing or the ICU.

Josephine has many role models in her life – the nursing staff, her mom and dad. She admires the nursing staff because of everything they have done for her and others. “The nursing staff have been nurses for years and have offered their experiences to help teach us. They are all role models because they are professional and successful. I appreciate all their help and want to be a safe nurse just like them.” Josephine appreciates all of the support from her parents and how accepting they are. “They have always been by my side. They both are hard workers and raised me to work hard.” That is something she will always value.