Meet Our Faculty
Greta Skogseth, M.A., has been a Language Arts Instructor at Montcalm Community College (MCC) for more than 20 years and feels that MCC is the perfect fit for her.“Much like many of our MCC students, my mom turned to a community college to complete her education. The college provided her with a quality and affordable education; most of all though, her instructors treated her with respect and encouragement,” Greta said. “Her experience at a community college made a huge impact upon me. When I graduated from Central Michigan University (CMU) with a degree in English Language and Literature, I knew that I wanted to work with students earning an education at a community college.” Greta graduated from CMU with a Bachelor of Science in English and a master’s degree in English Language and Literature. She was a graduate assistant and adjunct faculty member at CMU, in addition to Delta Community College and Saginaw Valley State University. In 2001, Greta returned to Michigan after leaving a tenured position at Lincoln Trail College in Illinois.Greta has two daughters, Emma and Alison, who are her greatest accomplishments, she says. She also has two pugs, Tulip and Sherman, in addition to her grand dog, Margo. In Greta’s free time she loves crafting and trying recipes on Pinterest. She said, “you’ll also catch me watching guilty pleasures on TLC and crushing candy on Candy Crush. Most of all though, I keep current on children’s and young adult books. I am a book addict.” She teaches our Children’s Literature course, and she says that her favorite book is Bridge to Terabithia.One of Greta’s most memorable travel experiences was visiting the Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany. She has traveled to Germany seven times in her life. She said that even though she had to hobble up the steep mountain and limp up the stairs of the castle, it still causes her to have goose bumps decades later.Greta shares some facts about herself:
- She was born on Labor Day.
- Her mom left the hospital without naming her.
- She is usually awake at strange hours of the night.
- Toys from her childhood make her happy.
- She doesn’t wear coats (even in the winter), but she owns many.
Heather Wesp, M.S., began her career at MCC in 2003 as a full-time biology instructor and has stayed in the position ever since.
She teaches a variety of biology courses including Biological Science, Anatomy and Physiology, College Biology II and Nature Study. She’s excited to start teaching Environmental Science during the Fall 2022 semester.
Heather grew up in Michigan and enjoyed summer vacations at campgrounds all over the state. She attributes her love of science to those nature-filled family trips.
She earned a bachelor’s degree from Hope College in Holland, Mich., where she majored in biology and doubled minored in chemistry and German. She then completed a master’s degree at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Ariz., where she focused on animal behavior and morphology. Her college experiences helped her decide that teaching was the perfect way to combine interests in science and the desire to help others.
When Heather isn’t at work, she loves to spend time with her dogs, Callie and Lulu, and do just about any outdoor activity including hiking, biking, kayaking, camping, etc. She also very much enjoys traveling and exploring the world – from the amazing beauty of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to the grand national parks here in the U.S. to the thrilling novelty of places like Australia and New Zealand. Heather also volunteers with the Montcalm County Animal Shelter and has been a big sister (through Big Brothers Big Sisters) for more than 10 years.
Tore Skogseth, M.A. is a Student Success Counselor at Montcalm Community College.
Hailing from the foothills of the Norwegian mountains, this thunderous bearded Norwegian left the fjords of Norway for the cornfields of Michigan (following a brief interlude between soybean fields and refineries in Southern Illinois). When he packed his suitcase for his big move, it was filled with CDs, with just a few clothes used as padding. In a life filled with detours, he finally found his destination here at MCC, where he started as a Student Services Assistant in 2001 and returned as a counselor in 2010. In between these stints at MCC, he also spent time at Alma College and GRCC, but it is here that he now feels at home.
In an educational career marked by false starts, he still holds his Associate in Arts, which he earned at Lincoln Trail College in Robinson, Ill., in 2001 as his greatest educational accomplishment. He earned both his Bachelor of Arts in Family Life Education in 2004 and his Master of Arts in Counseling in 2007 from Spring Arbor University. He is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the State of Michigan.
His love for music is one of his major driving forces – his music collection keeps growing, but if you ask him, there was never (and will never be) a band greater than The Beatles. He does feel a similar reverence to Motorpsycho, his hometown heroes from Trondheim, Norway, who combine the power of hard rock with the improvisational nature of jazz creating new uncharted territories. His top five list of bands and artists are rounded out by David Bowie, Rush, and Opeth, with King Crimson and Steven Wilson/Porcupine Tree bubbling right underneath the surface (ask him tomorrow, and he may have a very different answer).
When the urges overcome him, he can be found noodling on one of his guitars or his keyboard – or exploring one of his music authoring apps on his iPad. His favorite meditative state is going full-on zen with a LEGO set, completely tuning everything else out to focus on the bricks in front of him. He also makes a point to solve the New York Times daily crossword puzzle every day.
Tore also loves reading and movies, and if he feels extra social, you might find him playing card and board games. He is also starting to own up to being an avid RPGer in the past. While he hasn’t picked that back up yet, you should never say never – if you feel adventurous, ask him if he still can hear the Call of Cthulhu.
Amy Zdanowski, M.A. is a full-time Career Advisor at Montcalm Community College. She lives by her career advising motto “Explore. Plan. Do!”
Amy joined MCC in 2018 as a full-time career advisor.
She says her passion for career advising grew out of 21 years of school counseling, and it is fueled by the resilience, motivation and persistence that the career planning process can provide to individuals of all ages.
“It’s a joy to help people learn about themselves and dream,” she says.
Most recently, Amy says she added the word “repeat” to her motto to indicate the need to keep moving forward and keep growing.
Amy’s education includes a Global Career Development Credential, a Master of Arts in Professional and School Counseling from Central Michigan University and a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Saginaw Valley State University. To stay informed, she serves on the board of the Michigan Career Development Association and the National Career Development Association’s Global Connections Committee.
On a personal note, Amy and her husband love to travel. Much of their travel includes attending multiple sporting events for their son, who is an only child and a privilege to parent. He is currently in college and has graciously humored Amy over the years by testing out and offering feedback on her career planning strategies for students.
Growing up in a large family is a point of pride for her, too. She and her twin are the youngest of 10 children! She says she truly admires her parents for the family they created and instilling a “can do” mindset. She says her upbringing fostered her love of the outdoors and animals. In fact, one of her early career dreams was to be a wildlife photographer. She says she had a lot of career dreams along the way. She encourages people to ask about them sometime and take a trip down memory lane themselves and revisit some of their own childhood career dreams.
Amy shares some facts about herself:
- There are two sets of twins in her family, born 16 months apart.
- One of her favorite books is “The Last Lecture,” by Jeffrey Zaslow and Randy Pausch.
- It’s not uncommon for people (Michigan residents) to ask her where her accent is from, though she has always lived in Michigan.
- Her first professional job offer out of college was from the United States Marshal Service. That was the most extensive interview process she has ever experienced.
- One day, she plans to experience a full-on butterfly migration in the wild.
Chad Walden, M.A. is a full-time Language Arts Instructor at Montcalm Community College. He believes all students can grow if they are willing to push through adversity when it inevitably comes.
One of his favorite parts of teaching is when he sees a student dive into a challenging task, push through the difficulty, and emerge with increased confidence and a hard-won sense of accomplishment.
Chad began his college experience as an MCC student in 1994 before transferring to Central Michigan University, where he completed his bachelor’s degree in secondary education and a master’s degree in English Language and Literature. After 15 years of teaching high school English at Central Montcalm and Fulton, Chad joined MCC’s full-time faculty in 2014. At MCC, he has taught a variety of communication and English courses. In addition to teaching composition and literature courses, Chad is the coordinator of the MCC Writing Center, which assists students with a variety of writing assignments.
Chad is passionate about helping students develop skills that will empower them. Reading and thinking critically, sifting through, and evaluating the vast amounts of information encountered daily, sharing ideas through effective writing and speaking, building and critiquing arguments with empathy — these skills and habits are crucial to long-term flourishing as individuals and as a society. Chad believes when these skills are mastered, people gain the power to pursue and achieve their goals, improve the quality of their lives, and leave the world better than they found it.
Chad is married and has one son and two daughters. They also have a dog, two outdoor cats, a painted turtle, and a panoply of tropical fish. If Chad wasn’t a teacher, he would enjoy being a sportswriter, marine biologist, or a record/book/guitar/aquarium store owner. Sometime in the future, Chad and his daughter hope to cage dive with sharks.
Chad shares some facts about himself:
- My childhood hero, Detroit Pistons legend Isiah Thomas, once sat down next to me in a locker room and asked if he could borrow soap.
- I am the founding member of the Rainbow Lake Polar Bear Club.
- My mom taught at MCC for 30-plus years, and I can remember running around the halls of the Smith Building when I was in preschool.
- While in Long Island for a work conference, I once took a taxi to perhaps the most famous haunted house in America. (I didn’t get any closer than the sidewalk.)
- Shark Week and March Madness are annual holidays in the Walden household.
Peter Murr, A.A.A.S., is a full-time Advanced Manufacturing and Welding Technology Instructor at Montcalm Community College. He has an associate degree from Grand Rapids Community College in Welding Technology, is certified as a Welding Inspector and Welding Educator through the American Welding Society and is trained in ArcTool programming and maintenance through FANUC.
One of Peter’s favorite parts of being an instructor is seeing students who have never welded before learning how to weld and helping those who have experience perfect their skills. Peter’s 20 years of welding experience have come with many mistakes that he then helps his students avoid.
Murr enjoys spending time with his wife Kristen and their four children: Tiffany, Rachel, Pearl, and Samuel. Peter has a Pitbull named Daisy, eight chickens, and four turkeys. In his free time, he enjoys camping with his family, especially in the beautiful Upper Peninsula of Michigan. His favorite food is anything smoked, but brisket would have to be his number one pick. His favorite movie is Tommy Boy, and his favorite song is “Say You, Say Me” by Lionel Richie. If he could choose any other career, he would be a helicopter pilot.
Peter shares some facts about himself:
- I was born in Scotland.
- I can speak Dutch.
- I have owned 150 laying hens at one time.
- I was a foster parent.
- I worked in hydro-electric dam repair.
Seth Thomas Sutton, M.A., is a Métis artist, scholar, author and activist.
He is an Arts & Humanities Instructor at Montcalm Community College, where he also serves as chair of the college’s Arts & Humanities Department. He was nominated for the college’s outstanding faculty award in 2017 and 2018.
Seth holds a Master of Arts in Visual and Critical Studies from Kendall College of Art & Design.
He is a council member on the Native American Advisory Council at Grand Valley State University as well as a member of several other Indigenous-centered educational groups throughout the United States and Canada. He is a co-founding member of wiinwaa niizhaasing (We the 7th), an Indigenous led environmental, cultural and socially minded collective that was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2017, with their documentary series, wiinwaa niizhaasing (We the 7th) and in 2021 for a four-part documentary series, Shaping Narratives. He has lectured on Cultural criticism, critical theory, post-colonial political landscapes, Tribal sovereignty, traditional Indigenous and Western arts and culture, and more.
Seth is currently completing his new multi-media project, the Commodity of Culture. Along with his collective, We the 7th is now exhibiting with Standing Rock Solid; a traveling retrospective of Indigenous protest art, currently on display at the Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture and Lifeways in Mt. Pleasant, Mich., and more recently in New Jerseyʼs Raices Cultural Center. Sutton is the author of "A Deconstruction of Chief Blackhawk: A Critical Analysis of Mascots & the Visual Rhetoric of the Indian (2021).
His commercial work can be seen at: Anchor Hocking, Amazon.com, Home Depot, HGTV, Log Home Living, Necco Candy Company, CBM Motorcycles along with several other national and global publications as well as global Internet commerce sites.
Seth is a descendant of the North Shore Band of Waganakising Odawa and a non-enrolled member of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians.
Sara Rittersdorf, M.A., is a full-time Chemistry Instructor at Montcalm Community College. She first came to the college as a dual-enrolled high school student and found her way back here several times for part-time jobs throughout her college years.
After graduating from high school, she received her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, a Minor in Math and a Secondary Education Teaching Certificate from Michigan Technological University. She went on to earn a Master of Arts in Science Education from Western Michigan University and is anticipating a Master of Science in Applied Statistics from Michigan Technological University in December 2021.
Before joining MCC full-time in August 2021, she spent 11 years working in the K-12 school systems primarily as a math teacher, but she also taught chemistry. During her first two years as an educator, she worked in Arizona. She especially loved this time in her life because she was a quick drive to Las Vegas or the Grand Canyon and could visit on a whim.
Sara has been married to her husband, Ryan, since 2011. They have three children together: Addison, Miles and Elliot. They also have a house full of pets including three dogs, a bunny, and a cat and this summer they raised pigs.
When asked who she admires most, Sara said her parents. She said they have always worked hard for what they have and live a simple life keeping their focus on family.
Sara shares some facts about herself:
- I played the violin for several years.
- I played in euchre tournaments in college.
- I am an only child.
- My right foot is a half-size larger than my left.
- I am right-handed, but left eye dominant.
Todd Adkins, Ph.D., J.D., has been a Social Sciences Instructor at Montcalm Community College since fall of 2020. Dr. Adkins says he finds helping students to understand our noisy public square, while synthesizing real-world politics with political science theory, to be extremely fulfilling. Dr. Adkins received his Bachelor of Science from Western Michigan University in Political Science, his Juris Doctor from the University of Iowa and his Master of Arts and PhD from Notre Dame, both in Political Science. In his free time, Dr. Adkins enjoys riding motorcycles and aerobatic flying. An item on his bucket list is to take a motorcycle to the Bonneville Salt Flats to find “true top speed.” If Dr. Adkins hadn’t become a political science instructor, he would have enjoyed being a test pilot. True to his background in political science, Dr. Adkins most admires James Madison, architect of the United States Constitution. A few of his other favorite things are The Matrix (the original movie, that is), Charlie Vergos' Rendezvous in Memphis Tennessee as a favorite restaurant, The Soul of America, a book by John Meacham, and the rock band Van Halen.
Bill Bishop, M.B.A., started with MCC as an adjunct instructor in 2004, became full-time in 2013. Bill truly loves being part of this institution. He especially enjoys keeping in touch with former students, hearing about their successes, and witnessing personal growth and development in rewarding careers cultivated during their studies here. His areas of instruction include Accounting, Taxation, Business, and Management. Bill serves as the Department Chair of MCC’s Accounting, Business, and Criminal Justice Studies, and is the co-advisor of the College’s Business Professionals of America Club. Having lived in West Michigan his entire life, he received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (majoring in Accounting and Business Administration) from Aquinas College and Master’s in Business Administration from Ferris State University. Prior to coming full-time to the college, Bill worked for more than 25 years with a variety of companies in Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio as a consultant, controller, and Chief Financial Officer. Bill and his wife have three sons, five grandsons, and two granddaughters. Activities he enjoys include hunting, gardening, reading, and playing bass guitar. However, those activities pale to his favorite joy of fishing, and it does not matter the location. He is equally at home on the many small local lakes, wading a trout stream, or making an off-shore run to Lake Michigan or Saginaw Bay for the best that Michigan has to offer.
Michelle Gibson, Ph.D., is a full-time Biology Instructor at Montcalm Community College since 1999. Michelle thoroughly enjoys her position. “I like to make science fun and understandable,” she says. A pet peeve of hers, however, is when a student asks if she’s going to talk about “anything important” during an upcoming lecture. Michelle asserts that nothing unimportant would be worth lecturing about.Michelle graduated from Northern Michigan University with a Bachelor of Science in microbiology with minors in chemistry and physics. She went on to receive a Master of Science then a Ph.D. from Michigan State University, both in Animal Science.Michelle grew up on a farm with her three brothers, her sister, and her parents. She remains close with her family and spends much of her free time with them. The people Michelle admires most in the world are her parents, remembering how hard they worked for the sake of her and her siblings.Next to her family, Michelle spends time with her livestock and pets, claiming to have owned just about everything except a horse. She also enjoys gardening, reading, completing puzzles and riding her bike. A few of Michelle’s favorites are the Christmas movie “Love Actually”, ice cream, and the song “When You Say Nothing At All” by Ronan Keating. A bucket list item for her is to shake the hand of a president. Her life motto is, “be kind.”Michelle shares some facts about herself:
- I have a Korean sister and a Vietnamese brother.
- I have played Candy Crush for years but never once paid any money into it.
- I can dress out chickens, dissect anything including cadavers and shovel any kind of manure out there, but can't kill an animal.
- I believe that Mother Nature will always, always win.
- I can't sing, but I really wish I could.