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Faculty Profile: Paul Evans

Summer 2011 | Archives

Instructor Accompanies MCC through Four Decades of Growth

Paul Evans

Vital Stats

Who: Paul Evans

Academic Program: Biology

Time at MCC: 146 quarters, a total of 37 years

Retirement Plans: Spend time with his grandchildren; take an autumn vacation to enjoy fall foliage; explore photography

When Biology Instructor Paul Evans joined MCC in September 1974, MCC had just formed as Metropolitan Technical Community College at a former warehouse at 132nd and I streets. Evans joined the faculty who taught about 1,000 students in 46 programs.

In 37 years, a lot has changed. The formerly unknown college has grown to serve about 15,000 students each quarter at seven locations. "When I started it was like, 'Metro Tech? Who?'" Evans said. "We may have not gotten beyond the jingle, but we have gotten some respect now. A lot of people don't realize just how big and influential the college is. We've grown to be a community partner."

Evans joined the MCC faculty as a utility player. He taught horticulture classes back when the lab space was just a private residence with a greenhouse. He taught anatomy and physiology at the Fort Omaha Campus when it was acquired in 1975. His first lab consisted of a kitchen sink and a propane burner. As time passed, the College created more labs and space—eventually leading to today's state-of-the-art facilities and equipment among seven locations.

Working for nearly four decades with students kept him young at heart, Evans said. "It's only recently I've been looking in the mirror more," he joked. A believer in hands-on learning, he often conducted field trips or brought real-world issues into his biology labs to make the material relevant. His students also made the classroom dynamic—many would ask challenging questions, keeping Evans on his toes. Evans retired from MCC this May. "I'll miss imparting information, seeing students react to things and hearing about students later," he said. For now, he'll take a breather from teaching—but he doesn't rule out a return stint as an adjunct faculty member one day.

MCC Then and Now

1975: Fort Omaha, an abandoned military base, becomes MCC's first permanent campus.
1978: South Omaha Campus opens.
1980: Elkhorn Valley Campus opens.
1986: Fremont Center opens.
1983: Students register for classes via telephone.
1984: Gov. Bob Kerry signs law allowing MCC to offer academic transfer for a bachelor's degree.
1993: Sarpy Center opens.
1998: Students register for credit classes through the Internet.
2007: Applied Technology Center opens.
2010–11: The Institute for the Culinary Arts and the Washington County Technology Center open. New sustainability initiatives like Pass to Class, free Metro bus passes for credit students and courses in solar energy begin.

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