Dr. Trevor A. Kubatzke is president of Lake Michigan College.
He came to LMC in 2017 with more than two decades of higher education experience.
Kubatzke holds a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and a masters of science in education administration from Missouri State University. He earned his doctorate in education administration in community college leadership from Walden University.
Before coming to Lake Michigan College, Kubatzke was vice president of student services at Milwaukee Area Technical College.
What do you think makes Michiana unique by comparison to other places?
TK: Where we are located, the diversity of environment is fantastic. You have larger cities and smaller cities. Our fruit and vegetable production and all that just makes us very unique. You can go 20 miles and do something totally different than you were 10 minutes ago. The luxury to that is the college really is a great partner in all that. We have an up and coming wine community so we started a wine program.
Do you think living in Michiana has changed you in any way?
TK: When I was looking to move professionally, it was important to me to find an area and institution that were so interconnected and so interested in each other’s success that I was very picky. I am happy to say that is how I have been changed. I have found that combination.
The college’s connectivity to our communities — south county, north county, South Haven and even northern Indiana — the connectivity of if the college succeeds, the community succeeds, and if the community succeeds, the college succeeds — has really re-invigorated my career, in that we are so focused on all success, it is just a special place to be.
What is your favorite place to visit in Michiana?
TK: I like the small towns. Each small town has its own uniqueness. We bumped into a small coffee shop in Buchanan and had a wonderful breakfast sandwich and a cup of coffee. Or we go over to Edwardsburg some for lunch over there.
Or you can go into South Bend and Mishawaka and you have the malls. But I really like the small-town feel, their festivals and the people.
It really is the heritage that I came from that small farming community where everyone looks out for each other. I really enjoy traveling to all of our communities.
What is your favorite time of year?
TK: I would have to say spring, because we are going to be graduating our students and they are going to be going on to work or their next college, so their life is beginning. But also, all these high school students are graduating and they are going to be on my campus next year with their new excitement and invigoration.
Personally though, I love fall. The weather starts getting a little cooler. All the fruits and vegetables are ripe and you have those wonderful warm days and cool nights. So those are my bookends.
If you were to meet someone planning a visit to the Michiana area for the first time, what places would you tell them or her not to miss?
TK: First and foremost, you cannot miss our shoreline. The Lake Michigan shoreline is second to none up and down the coast. That is a really impactful thing for people to visit.
You cannot miss our wineries and our breweries, our distilleries and our fruit stands. That is something you just do not see anywhere else. You have to, depending on what time of year it is, if the Mendel Center is in operation or our Economic Club, some of the names we bring into the Mendel Center, again, you do not see that anywhere else.
Someone like Steve Martin here last spring. I have lived all over the Midwest and I can honestly say I never run into Steve Martin before. But I was able to do that here because of where I live and what goes on here.
And from there, I always say, if you look at the festivals in Michigan, every little town has some great ones and they are all unique.
I think no matter what time you come to visit here, I would probably have a different place to visit, but it would always be focused on the uniqueness of our region.