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2013 Bernard C. Radde Distinguished Service Award: Robert Schodorf

When Bob Schodorf speaks of his guiding philosophy in life, he simply states, “A good share of my success is because of what I’ve borrowed from others, so I feel I need to give back.” 

Surveying Bob’s 40-year career as a biology faculty member at Lake Michigan College, it is clear he lives this principle daily. 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, Bob 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.”

In 1980, Bob established the College’s natural area with colleague Dr. William Camelet. Since then, the 50-acre tract on the Napier Avenue Campus has been an ecology learning lab used in several courses. And while Bob is retiring from LMC this semester, he will work with the College later this year to expand access to the natural area for future instructors and students to enjoy.

Highly regarded by students and co-workers, Bob 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, Bob 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.

Bob and his wife Cathi live in Stevensville. They have two daughters, Molly Schodorf (Paul Brand), and Ginny (Nick) Grinzinger; and granddaughter, Shelby Grinzinger. 

Robert Schodorf in front of a plant near one of the round windows in the Benton Harbor Campus Main Building.

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