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Dr. Mary Young-Marcks, BOT

Dr. Mary Young-Marcks with Trustees Beth Cripe, Skip Dyes, Becky Moore, President Odenwald, Elaine Foster, Todd Obren, Chairman Jerdon, Tracy Hertsel

Tracy Hertsel, Andrew Wright five-year pin

Trustee Tracy Hertsel; Andrew Wright, business office, five years

SMC Board Salutes Dr. Young-Marcks' Record 40 1/2 Years

Published on April 11, 2024 - 2 p.m.

Southwestern Michigan College Board of Trustees April 10 recognized Dr. Mary D. Young-Marcks for a record 40 ½ years on its faculty and her approaching retirement.

“She has been a cornerstone of the SMC faculty since 1984, which by my conservative estimate might mean she has taught and impacted the lives of 10,000 students,” Provost Dr. David Fleming said.

Dr. Young-Marcks, of Edwardsburg, has an associate degree in liberal arts from Delta College, a bachelor’s degree in social work from Central Michigan University, a master’s degree in public administration, also from CMU, and a doctorate in college and university administration from Michigan State University.

She was first hired to teach American government, which has continued to be her signature class for four decades. She has also taught sociology, criminal justice, social work, cultural anthropology and an occasional history course.

Beginning with development of SMC’s EDUC120 course, Educational Exploration, Dr. Young-Marcks has been a regular instructor for that class in navigating college. Young-Marcks developed many of the resources all EDUC120 faculty use.

She has played important roles outside the classroom including, at one time, developing the faculty orientation program for onboarding new fulltime faculty.

In 2017, she advocated for SMC to be a member of The Democracy Commitment and continues to lead that initiative, working closely with Assistant Director of Student Life Branden Pompey to educate students about the importance of voting and to ultimately encourage them to vote. In 2019 and 2021, because of their leadership, SMC was nominated to Washington Monthly’s “Best Colleges for Student Voting Honor Roll.”

When SMC sponsored study-abroad opportunities for students, Dr. Young-Marcks frequently participated. Her presence has always graced SMC performing arts events and, with the resurrection of intercollegiate athletics, many home games.

Because of her political expertise, Dr. Young-Marcks has regularly appeared on WNIT’s “Politically Speaking,” as well as for WSBT, to share her insights on local and national politics, including presidential candidates, marijuana legislation and COVID responses.

Dr. Young-Marcks has been married to Edwardsburg High School faculty member Mike Marcks since 2012. They met when Mary taught SMC classes in Edwardsburg.