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Inside Story - Past Issues

Inside Story for Friday, August 01, 2008

History Instructor Tapped for Knowledge of Omaha Star's Past

MCC history instructor Amy Forss didn't know that a simple question from a distance education corrections student would become inspiration for her dissertation as well several recent newspaper articles. A New York transplant, Forss was teaching Introduction to Black History when a student asked her if she had heard of the Omaha Star newspaper. With her curiosity piqued, she began reading the North Omaha African-American newspaper and did a little research on its history, including that of Mildred Brown, the founder and publisher.

"Once I discovered that she also still holds the record for the oldest continually running African-American newspaper founded by an African-American woman (and still run by an African-American woman since her niece, Marguerita Washington, took over the paper when Brown died in 1989) in the United States, I knew I had found my topic for my dissertation!" Forss said. She plans to complete her dissertation to earn her Ph.D. in African-American history at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in May 2009.

As part of her dissertation research, Forss has conducted oral history interviews and researched archives in Omaha for the past two years. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Omaha Star, and the publisher of The Reader contacted Forss about writing an article in honor of this. The article also ran in Today's Omaha Woman magazine and in the Omaha Star itself.

Read the article in its entirety!


The Fremont Area Center is hosting a Blood Drive on Thursday, Aug. 7 from 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. in Room 207. For an appointment, visit www.GIVEbloodGIVElife.org, call 721-2507 or stop by Student Services at the Fremont Area Center. Appointments are strongly encouraged.

For the best donation experience, eat a good meal 2-3 hours before you donate, drink plenty of water and get a good night's sleep.

Instructors please note under no circumstances can extra credit be given only to students who donate blood. Extra credit can be offered to students who donate blood or otherwise generally assist with the blood drive. There are many ways to assist with a blood drive; contact Sarah Murphy if you would like to offer extra credit. We want to ensure that we have true volunteers rather than those being enticed to donate. If you have any questions, contact Sarah at 317-3003.

Community Success Stories Now Online

The MCC Marketing and Public Relations Department has been gathering success stories of MCC employees, students, graduates and community members. To view the videos of a few people who have been impacted by MCC, visit the success stories web page.

This is an ongoing campaign. If you know of someone who is interested in sharing their story, contact Sheila O'Connor at ext. 2733 or soconnor7@mccneb.edu.

Win by Being Part of the Winners Circle

Goal Buddies, part of the Winners Circle program, are volunteers who mentor more than 4,000 students in 12 inner-city elementary schools. The program was founded in 1996 by Cookie and Jerry Hoberman, owners of Tires, Inc. The key elements of the program are based upon the incentive system of setting goals and recognizing goal achievement applied by Mr. Hoberman through his business. This is carried out through improving the academic achievement and citizenship of students by: encouraging and rewarding students' achievement in reading, math and citizenship through a program of setting goals, celebrating and rewarding goal achievement; promoting parents' and guardians' involvement in their students' education and fostering school cohesiveness, identity and pride.

Metropolitan Community College is entering its second year of participation and needs your help! Volunteers are needed to mentor students at our partner school, King Elementary. Goal Buddies are asked to visit students twice a quarter (eight times a year), be motivators and cheerleaders for the students and communicate with teachers. If you're wondering what impact one person can make in a program such as this, consider their Criterion Reference Test (CRT) Scores: King Elementary began the Winner Circle program in 2003, they scored 58 percent in reading and 78 percent in mathematics; at the end of the 2006-07 year, their scores improved to 74 percent and 83 percent. That's an 16 percent increase in reading and 5 percent in mathematics! 

Consider becoming a Goal Buddy! If you are interested in volunteering or looking for more information, contact Todd Card at ext. 2882.

Todd Hansen Named to Fremont Community Foundation Board

Executive director of MCC's Fremont Area Center Todd Hansen was recently named to the board of directors for the Fremont Area Community Foundation. The Fremont Area Community Foundation's mission is to improve the quality of life by connecting donor interests with community needs.

Faculty Switch to Office 2007

Beginning with the fall quarter, faculty should anticipate using Office 2007 on computers in all classrooms and faculty office spaces. You need to be prepared for this before you enter your classrooms and offices. If you are a faculty member who has not yet been trained for Office 2007, contact your dean to arrange for training. CET has scheduled training classes at various dates, times and locations to assure all faculty needing training are accommodated.

College Auctions Begin Today!

The College will have two auctions this year, both taking place in August. With the renovations at the South Omaha Campus, the first auction will be today, Friday Aug. 1 at 10:00 a.m in the South Omaha Campus former library. The second Collegewide auction will be Saturday, Aug. 23, at 9:00 a.m. at Fort Omaha Campus Bldg 25. 

Now is the time to identify any unwanted items that you would like go to auction. Fill out the Transfer of Equipment form and send the completed form to Central Stores to schedule a time to pick up the items. The items for auction will be set in the parking lot of building 25 on Thursday, Aug. 21. This will allow you time to view the items for auction. If you have any questions, contact Bob Barnes at 457-2777 or Central Stores at 457-2300.

MCC Hosts Visitors from Omaha's Sister City in Mexico

From left to right: José Alejandro Soto Andrade, Zaira Libia Hernández Vista, Livia Soto Hernández, Patricia García Hernández, Esmeralda Romero Palacios, Alejandro Méndez Díaz

Metropolitan Community College is hosting families from Omaha's Sister City in Xalapa, Mexico, from July 21 to August 4. Alejandro Mendez from the mayor's office in Xalapa heads the delegation of eight in their visit to Omaha. Adults in the group are observing English-as-a-Second Language classes at MCC while the children are participating in classes at the Omaha Children's Museum, the Joslyn Art Museum and the Henry Doorly Zoo. Besides getting to know Omahans and the many visitor attractions in the area, the delegation is also planning a collaboration with the Joslyn Art Museum that will bring a Diego Rivera exhibit from Xalapa to Omaha.

New Faces


Atalaya Cannon
Call Center Operator
Fort Omaha Campus

Atalaya Cannon has extensive customer service experience. She holds an Associate Degree in Administrative Assistant from MCC and will soon obtain her Bachelor's Degree in Communication Arts. Cannon is a native Nebraskan - Huskers are #1! She enjoys traveling, volunteering, shopping, watching movies and baking. Cannon also likes learning how to use new computer software. In her free time, she loves to visit museums and musical events.


Becky Connor
ABE Associate
Fort Omaha Campus

Becky Connor graduated from the University of Nebraska-Omaha where she received her Bachelor's of Science in Business Administration. She has 12 years teaching experience in the Information Technology Division as an adjunct faculty member. Prior to working at MCC, she served as a systems analyst at several Omaha corporations. Connor is originally from South Dakota but has lived in Omaha for many years. She and her husband have two sons who both attend Millard West High School. In her free time, Connor and her husband enjoy traveling to their boys' soccer games throughout the year in Nebraska and other states.

Staff Directory Updates

New Employees
Atalaya Cannon, Call Center Operator, FOC Bldg 2, 457-2400
Rebecca Connor, ABE Associate, FOC Bldg 9, 457-2862
Ray Gourley, Custodian, EVC, 289-6312
Adam Dienst-Scott, Photography Lab Technician, EVC, 289-1237 

Lisa Bradley, FOC Bldg 1
Phyllis Brown, FOC Bldg 5
Kathy Casper, FOC Bldg 5
Pat Crisler, FOC Bldg 1
Lisa Stepanek, FOC Bldg 1
Tammy Tyson, FOC Bldg 5

Separations, Last Day
Thomas Brady, 7/22/08
Donna Bell, 7/25/08

College News Releases

View the College's news releases sent by the Public Relations Office.


View past issues of The Inside Story in the archives.

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