Skip to Main Content



«April 2016»
3/28/2016 - 4/1/2016
4/2/2016 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Discovery Day

Want to visit us in person? Attend Discovery Day to experience campus life at FVTC.

Read more
4/9/2016 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Waupaca Spring Extravaganza

Saturday, April 9, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Waupaca Regional Center | Take up to four fun classes for under $25!

Read more
4/13/2016 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Four-Year Credit Transfer Fair

Did you know many four-year colleges and universities accept a significant number of credits from FVTC associate degree programs?
Read more
4/16/2016 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Cooking Demo: Take a Tour of Germany Through Food

Take a Tour of Germany Through Food | Saturday, April 16, 10 a.m. - Noon

Read more
4/25/2016 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM

On Campus: UW Oshkosh

Thinking of transferring to UW Oshkosh?

Read more
4/30/2016 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Aviation Fly-In & Open House

Either fly in or drive in for breakfast and explore the aviation training hangar and labs, visit with faculty and try out our full-motion Redbird flight simulators. If you're considering a career in aviation, this event is for you!

Read more

Open Registration for Summer Term

Community registration for Summer 2016 classes starts Monday, May 2.

Read more
5/3/2016 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM

On Campus: Grand Canyon University

Thinking of transferring to Grand Canyon University?

Read more
5/5/2016 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM

On Campus: Lakeland College

Thinking of transferring to Lakeland College?
Read more

FVTC eConnect Newsletter Sign-up

Enter the code shown above:

Campus Life

Focus on Student Life

Focus on Student Life

Spring 2009

Mar 16, 2009

Survivors and Heroes Among Them

FVTC’s Speaker Series brings inspiring and entertaining speakers, and powerful life lessons, to students and the community.

Even the most successful programs can use a bit of tweaking. For Fox Valley Technical College’s Speaker Series, established in the late 1980s, that has meant giving students and faculty more influence in selecting speakers who enhance course content and student life.

After surveying students about topics that interest them, the college’s Student Life staff and Student Activities Committee identify 10 to 15 high-level speakers annually. The student body narrows the list via surveys, and faculty members consult about tying the speakers’ subjects to their coursework.

The Spring 2009 lineup is typical. Drummer, producer, and songwriter Phil Varone shared his story of drug addiction, in hopes of keeping today’s youth out of those traps. Teri Jendusa Nicolai, who related her harrowing ordeal of spousal abuse on ABC’s 20/20, discussed domestic abuse warning signs. The college also welcomed Henry Boone in 2008, the real-life figure played by Denzel Washington in the movie Remember the Titans.

When Paul Rusesabagina, the real-life hero portrayed in the film Hotel Rwanda, spoke in January, among the thousand people packed into FVTC’s Appleton campus commons was Henry Golde. A Holocaust survivor, Golde’s own annual Speaker Series appearance fills to capacity.

For all sessions, attendance is free and student fees fund the speakers.

Help at Hand

Once a volunteer project, FVTC’s student-run IT Helpdesk now provides an exceptional hands-on learning experience.

A few years ago, Beth Calder lost her job in the automotive industry and found herself “sick of going from $10 jobs to $10 jobs.” After considering her options, she decided to return to school, and chose Fox Valley Technical College.

“It was close to home, and I could get a hands-on education,” Calder says, adding that IT was at the top of her list. “I have always enjoyed working with computers, and was told that I was good with them, so I thought, ‘Why not?’ I took five skills tests that tell you what career path to take. IT networking was in the top two on all five.”

So she took the plunge and began working toward an associate degree in the IT Network Specialist program. It was a big challenge—Calder is married with children. Still, she was so motivated to pursue the challenge that she took on an ambitious volunteer project during the Fall 2007 semester: launching and operating FVTC’s Student IT Helpdesk.

The project addressed two needs: providing additional assistance for students experiencing computer problems, and creating a convenient, hands-on work experience for IT students. She was joined on the project by fellow student Jon Smith, a pairing that turned out to be ideal. “He tended to handle more of the technical side of the project,” says Calder. “I primarily handled the administrative side.”

The pair had to contend with a host of challenges, including finding a physical space on campus, determining what services to provide, recruiting volunteers to staff the Helpdesk, and more. But they persevered and opened the service during the Spring 2008 semester.

Today, it addresses a range of common problems, including slow-running computers, viruses, network connection issues, and basic maintenance. The services are free and the word has spread. In addition, working at the Student Helpdesk is now integrated into the Help Desk Concepts and Customer Service Skills for Help Desk Professionals courses.

“Some students have sent us thank you notes,” Calder says. “They were glad there was a place to go that would not charge a ton of money to fix something they might not otherwise be able to afford.”

For Calder, who is now pursuing a bachelor’s degree online, the experience will fuel her future. “It confirmed that I want to be in a network of computers and people,” she says. “I learned that I can take an idea, put it together with resources, implement it, and problem-solve. There are obstacles, and you have to determine how to get around them.”