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Inside Story for Friday, September 19, 2008

Public Safety to Repeat Presentation on Campus Safety/Crime Prevention

For anyone who missed it this spring, Public Safety will repeat their presentation on Campus Safety/Crime Prevention at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 30 in Room 114 of the Elkhorn Valley Campus. While this is open and relevant to all MCC employees, it is scheduled in the evening so adjunct faculty may attend. Topics covered will be general safety tips as well as a 22-minute video entitled Shots Fired - When Lightning Strikes. Total presentation time is 45 minutes, including time for Q & A session.

The Economy: Buckle Up and Remember to Breathe...

by Lori Lothringer, Ph.D., AFC, director of MCC Financial Planning Program

You hear it from friends and the presidential candidates, it's the topic of sermons and counseling sessions, and yes, it fills MCC halls via electronic monitors bringing us the hourly headlines. It's the latest doom and gloom news of market failures. Is it really that bad? Is now the time to gather our gold and guns and head for the hills? And what are these fundamentals the politicians and pontificators keep quoting? 

To gain perspective, recognize we live in times where more Americans participate in the stock market than ever before through retirement accounts including 401k and 403b plans - the latter is associated with nonprofit and educational institutions such as MCC. Further, today's breaking news stories - more readily available than ever before - frequently focus on bad news. Certainly, current economic events are without doubt unprecedented. Through the failures of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, AIG and subsequent intervention, our government has become a major player in the financial market. The long-term consequences to our free-enterprise system are yet to be determined. Many market analysts blame current conditions on high leverage and bad debt. Further, they tell us the instability is not over yet. So what can we do as consumers and investors to sleep better at night? 

Know the facts. The economic fundamentals are mixed. Economic growth, led by consumer spending and exports, increased in the second quarter to 3.3 percent. Where a healthy economy is defined as one with a growth rate ranging between 2 and 3 percent, this is good news. Although unemployment is low (6.1 percent), historically speaking it is the highest it has been in several months. Similarly while significantly less than the double digits many of us remember during the 1970s, inflation (5.4 percent) has been steadily increasing over the past year. Finally, as a consequence of the 500,000+ jobs that left the U.S. last year, job creation remains a significant concern; although, some forecasts suggest these losses will be more than offset by jobs created in the emerging technologies sectors.             

Stay calm. Rhonda Heinman, CFP® and MCC Financial Planning Program alumni, suggests first and foremost not to panic. She advises her clients to take a deep breath and remember wealth accumulation is a long-term prospect.

Stay focused. Karen Scott, CPA and MCC Financial Planning Faculty, indicates now might be a good time to think about diversifying holdings in view potential tax advantages associated with capital losses.

Know what you hold. Pat Motika, who teaches investments in the MCC Financial Planning Program, encourages consumers to understand what you own and the risks associated with ownership. "If you can't explain the holding or stomach potential losses, perhaps you shouldn't own it." 

Learn From Their Mistakes. Finally, we can learn from ‘their' mistakes. That is, recognizing current conditions will most likely lead to tighter credit markets, now is a good time to pay down bad debts (credit cards, etc.) and focus on maintaining or improving good credit scores.  

Market volatility and economic fluctuations have happened before and unfortunately, they will happen again. To navigate through these times, investors need to have a plan and recognize that bad investments are bad investments regardless of market instability and that good investments will weather economic uncertainty.

South Omaha Campus Connector Awarded 2008 Honor for Design

MCC's South Omaha Campus Connector was awarded a 2008 Honor Award for Design (New Construction) by AIA Nebraska at their Designing Economics: Excellence in Design Awards competition, an annual event for Nebraska architects. AIA Nebraska (a Society of the American Institute of Architects) presented ten honor awards and six merit awards selected from 78 statewide entries.  Projects were judged on a variety of features including unique design, originality, extended use attributes, sustainability, budget and use of environmental surroundings. 

The MCC Connector, designed and submitted by Bahr Vermeer Haecker Architects, is a two-story,75,000 square foot building that connects the two previously existing campus buildings, incorporates a public transportation hub and connects a new city library. Jury members commented, "This building leverages an unusual program to create a true sense of place. The design supports a special human experience at both a monumental and intimate scale." 

CET Health Learning Opportunities

First Aid/CPR training courses are now only available once a month. Facilitated by MCC CPR-certified instructors, participants will be issued a Heartsaver First Aid Card from the American Heart Association upon completion. Seats are still available for September and October classes. Register for either of the courses below by calling 457-5321.

Sept. 26, 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m., South Omaha Campus, ITC, Room 104
08/SE_BSAD_750N_WM03

Oct. 24, 12:30- 5 p.m. South Omaha Campus, ITC, Room 104
08/SE_BSAD_750N_WM08

Also, nurses can earn three contact hours for attending MCC CET's Nursing Seminar on Oct. 16.

MCC Employees Benefit from Bellevue University

Angela Olesen is a strategic account manager with Bellevue University and serves as the liaison between MCC and Bellevue University (BU). Her goal is to build and maintain a strong relationship with MCC and BU for the purpose of establishing a mutually beneficial partnership to lead students to higher education as well as to best assist faculty between the two institutions to achieve this. Here are a few reminders of this partnership's offerings:

For any MCC student or staff, BU will waive the $50 application fee. Also, Bellevue University will completely accept an MCC associate degree to cover all of the incoming student's general education core classes towards a bachelor's degree. Finally, Olesen budgets grant money every fiscal year, and if made aware of the MCC student she will award them grant money at the time of enrollment if there is money in the fund at that time.  Students and staff need to contact her initially to make her aware and to do an advisory then coordinate an enrollment counselor for them. 

All MCC employees wishing to earn a bachelor's degree or master's degree are eligible for a Fellowship Scholarship.The scholarship is $500 for part-time students, $750 for ¾ time students and $1,000 for full-time students. For more information on any of these partnership facets, contact Angela at 557-7253.

SHARE YOUR RECIPES WITH MCC COOKBOOK

Do you have an award-winning banana bread recipe? Is Grandma known for her red velvet cake? Are you always asked for recipes when you bring food to events? Well, here is your chance to see your name in print!

MCC is creating a new recipe book by employees and for employees just in time for the holidays. All MCC employees are asked to contribute as many wonderful recipes as desired to make this project a success. Recipes should be submitted online by the following steps:

  • Visit http://typensave.com/
  • Contributor login: (your name as you want it to appear in the cookbook)
  • Group login: metro
  • Password: metro

A price or date of availability for the cookbooks has yet to be determined. Contact Pamela Rodriguez at ext. 1416 with any questions or concerns.

2009 Critical Language Scholarship Program

The United States Department of State and the Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC) announced the availability of overseas scholarships for intensive summer language institutes in 11 critical-need foreign languages for summer 2009.

Languages offered are Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla/Bengali, Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Turkish and Urdu. Countries may include Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, China, Egypt, India, Jordan, Morocco, Oman, Russia, South Korea, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkey or others where the target languages are spoken.

Critical Language Scholarships (CLS) provide seven- to ten-week group-based intensive language instruction and extensive cultural enrichment experiences at the beginning, intermediate and advanced levels (beginning not offered for Azerbaijani, Russian, Chinese or Persian). Full program details and the application are available online.

The CLS Program is part of the National Security Language Initiative (NSLI), a U.S. government interagency effort to expand dramatically the number of Americans studying and mastering critical-need foreign languages. Students of diverse disciplines and majors are encouraged to apply. Participants are expected to continue their language study beyond the scholarship period and later apply their critical language skills in their future professional careers in any field.

Online applications are due on Nov. 14, 2008.

All CLS Program costs are covered for participants including travel to and from the student's U.S. home city and program location, mandatory Washington, D.C. pre-departure orientation, applicable visa fees, room, board, group-based intensive language instruction, program sponsored travel within country and all entrance fees for CLS Program cultural enhancement activities. U.S. passport fees will not be paid by the scholarship.

Annual Ron Sailors Memorial Event Tickets Available

Ron Sailors was the first student in MCC's Chef Apprenticeship Option. He was energetic, a great student and  a change of career student. He was very involved in the College and community. Sailors died at the young age of 40 very unexpectedly about eight years ago. A group of chefs in the Omaha area arranged a scholarship event at the Omaha Press Club, where Ron worked, every year since in his honor.

Last year the event donated more than $5,000 to the MCC Foundation. Many politicians, community leaders, MCC employees and students, as well as Sailors' former coworkers attend the event. Many invite their friends, coworkers and family to enjoy the evening as a social occasion. Large numbers of MCC employees have attended the event. 

This year's Ron Sailors Memorial Banquet is scheduled for Nov. 7 from 5 to 9 p.m. Tickets are available for $40 per person and include an extravagant buffet meal. Groups of ten receive tickets for a discounted total of $380. Tickets are available on a first come first serve basis from Jim Trebbien, dean of culinary arts.  

Adult Education Students Celebrate the End of Summer

Fort Omaha Campus's Adult Education students celebrate end of Summer on August 14 with a picnic on the patio west of Bldg 10. Two students volunteered as grill masters for the potluck event, serving brats and burgers. Each student also taught a lesson to their peers. The celebration was coordinated by Audrey Elmore and included instructors Shelli Winget and Bob Hladik .

CET Fall/Winter Offerings

The new CET Fall/Winter Training Catalog is now available online at www.mccneb.edu/cet/. Workshops begin as soon as Sept. 16. Don't miss out on a chance to sign up for a variety of workshops such as Word 2007 Level I, Computer Basics, Managing Performance and Community Spanish. More than 130 online courses in the areas of business management, information technology, interpersonal skills, leadership and Command Spanish are also available. New series of online courses will begin Sept. 17, Oct. 15, Nov. 12 and Dec. 10.

Note: Due to lack of enrollment a number of Microsoft Office 2007 training classes have been cancelled. View the revised schedule for September through November. Remember, the Office 2007 workshop is required due to system upgrades that will take effect by the end of the year.

Contact Registration as soon as possible to sign up for these training sessions. Tuition waiver/remission is available for full-time employees/faculty and part-time regulars using the MCC Employee Tuition Waiver Form located on the Forms Bank. Part-time temp employees and adjunct faculty who want to register should contact their dean to arrange for the cost center to be billed before registering. Deans should send the cost center billing information to Adam Smith so the adjunct and part-time temporaries will not be billed personally. Reference the Employee and Dependent Tuition Waiver Procedures Memorandum for more information.

MCC Is Making News

What's the latest and greatest? Check out the latest news releases issued by Public Affairs to find out.

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