Summer 2011 |
Instructor Accompanies MCC through Four Decades of Growth
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
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