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Top Achievers Receive Recognition

Winter 2010 | Archives

Across the state and the country, MCC students, faculty and alumni have been recognized for their outstanding accomplishments.


Joseph Cocklin Student Shines at Economics
Business Transfer student Joseph Cocklin of Omaha received top recognition from the Phi Theta Kappa honor society for his academic record and leadership potential. Cocklin was one of 30 students from 20 states to receive a Leaders of Promise scholarship.

Cocklin was also one of 12 finalists in the 2010 National Economics Insider Symposium Contest. He and instructor Richard Carter won a three-day trip to Washington, D.C., to defend Cocklin's economic proposals in front of the world's top economists. Cocklin had the distinct opportunity of being the only finalist from a two-year college. "It was really cool to be the only community college student there, and the only student in his 30s," Cocklin said.


Amy Forss Instructor Brings History to Life
History Instructor Amy Forss was recognized for her ability to bring history to life as the Nebraska Community College Association's (NCCA) Faculty Award winner for excellence in teaching. During her years as an instructor at MCC, Forss earned a reputation as a creative, challenging instructor. She developed several online courses, among them Introduction to Black History and Black Women in America. In 2010, she developed an online course on China and a three-week study abroad option.

Forss expects to receive her Ph.D. in African American History at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln this December. She teaches primarily at MCC's Elkhorn Valley Campus and the Sarpy Center.


LaLinda Swanson Alumna Overcomes Obstacles
MCC alumna LaLinda Swanson received the NCCA's Distinguished Alumni Award. Raised in a difficult home environment, Swanson dropped out of high school just a few months prior to graduation and became a young single mother. At 21, with no marketable skills and no support, she began the process of receiving her high school diploma and enrolled at MCC.

With the support of instructors, advisors and other students, she earned an associate degree, three certificates and a job—and the self-confidence to continue her education. "Without the impact or influence of MCC, I would not be the person I am today," Swanson said. "The community college environment made it possible for me to meet them at their doors at my own individual level, and for me to be transformed and developed as a whole person, one class at a time."

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