April 26, 2013
BENTON TOWNSHIP, MI – Lake Michigan College will present its annual Bernard C. Radde Distinguished Service Award to Robert Schodorf of Stevensville during the College’s 66th annual Commencement exercise being held at the LMC Mendel Center on Sunday, May 5, at 2 p.m.
Schodorf has been a biology instructor at LMC for 40 years. Since joining LMC in 1973, Bob has taught more than 12,000 students, instilled greater environmental awareness in the College’s decision making processes, and has been an environmental advocate who leads by example.
With a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in science from Bowling Green University, and a Specialist in Arts in Environmental Science from Western Michigan University, Schodorf had several career paths from which to choose. But teaching at a community college was the right fit.
“I taught high school and enjoyed it, but wanted to teach at a higher level,” Bob stated. “I also wanted to spend the majority of my time working with students rather than doing research.”
Since beginning his teaching career in the heyday of the environmental movement of the 1960s and 1970s, Schodorf has noted a national de-emphasis on environmental education and stewardship. With his influence, though, environmental education has stayed in the forefront within LMC’s science curriculum.
“Students hold the key to the future of our environment,” stated Schodorf. “I love sharing my knowledge and working with people.”
In 1980, Schodorf established the College’s natural area with colleague Dr. William Camelet. The natural area is used as an outdoor classroom for several College courses. The compact 50-acre area includes several distinct habitats including a deciduous woods, pond and marsh, white pine forest, and prairie. It has a system of boardwalks and low bridges that weave through the tract of land, allowing access for students, instructors, and hikers. And while Schodorf is retiring from LMC this semester, he will work with the College later this year to repair the boardwalk system and expand it for future use and enjoyment.
Highly regarded by students and co-workers, Schodorf has been a source of grounded campus leadership, serving as the natural sciences department chair and co-chairing the College’s strategic planning committee. He has served on numerous committees, and provided departmental leadership during the recent Title III project that has reenergized science education at LMC.
In the community, Schodorf served as the final president of the Grand Mere Association, a group that fought to preserve the 1,000 acres that now make up Grand Mere State Park. He has been on the Sarett Nature Center board for more than 25 years, and coached Lakeshore High School varsity girls’ soccer for 14 years.
Schodorf and his wife Cathi live in Stevensville. They have two daughters, Molly Schodorf (Paul Brand), and Ginny (Nick) Grinzinger; and granddaughter, Shelby Grinzinger.
The Bernard C. Radde Distinguished Service Award is named in honor of the late Dr. Bernard C. Radde, who served as a member of the Lake Michigan College Board of Trustees for 25 years. It is presented annually by the LMC Board of Trustees to an individual or individuals who have advanced the cause of LMC and higher education.
Past winners include Marian and Greg O’Niel; Dr. William Emery; Mary Fowler; Carol and Steve Sizer; the Honorable Mabel Johnson Mayfield; Jeff and Marcia Fettig; Merlin and Carolyn Hanson; James M. Krzyzewski, president and CEO of Nyloncraft, Inc.; former LMC Board chairman Steve Silcox; Stephen F. Upton; Senator Harry Gast; Muhammad and Lonnie Ali; and David Whitwam.