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Inside Story for Friday, October 03, 2008

Candidates Sought for Ex Officio Election

The Faculty Ex Officio position was created by the Board of Governors to enhance communication at the College. Serving as a faculty representative on the MCC Board of Governors, this individual provides updates at the monthly board meetings regarding faculty interests and issues.

The Faculty Ex Officio is an elected position with a two-year term of office ending November 30 in the relevant even-numbered year. To be eligible, a faculty member must hold a full-time, regular faculty position and be willing to commit to a two-year term of office. If you are an eligible faculty member interested in becoming more directly involved in College issues, consider registering as a candidate in the upcoming election. Information regarding the election timeline, candidate registration, Ex Officio duties and privileges and voting procedures is available online.


  • Candidate registration deadline is Monday, Oct. 27, 2008. 
  • Election day is Monday, Nov.17, 2008. 
  • Election winners will attend the December board meeting.


MCC is hosting a free presentation on post traumatic stress disorder for families of veterans and servicepersons at 6 p.m. on October 10 at the South Omaha Campus Conference Center. The presentation, Combat-Related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: Helping Families Understand, will be lead by Norm McCormick, an adjunct faculty member at MCC, licensed mental health practitioner, certified professional counselor and veteran of the Marines. The session will describe PTSD, identify warning signs, discuss the effects it has on families and share how and where to obtain help. No pre-registration is necessary for this free, public event.


The Visiting Nurse Association will conduct a flu shot clinic at the South Omaha Campus, Connector Lower Commons on Oct. 9 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and at the Fort Omaha Campus, Bldg 10 Commons on Oct. 13 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. The clinic is open to faculty, staff, students and family members age 13 and older. The cost is $25 per shot, payable by cash or check. A receipt will be provided for insurance/spending account reimbursement if authorized by that carrier. The Visiting Nurse Association will only bill traditional Medicare and not managed Medicare programs.

Office 2007 Training Still Available!

The end of the year is rapidly approaching; if you are a faculty member who has not yet been trained for Office 2007, contact your dean to arrange for training. A number of classes are still available in October and November (note: classes are not offered in December). View the revised schedule for details. Remember, the Office 2007 workshop is required due to system upgrades that will take full 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 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 at the Fort Omaha Campus, Bldg 5 so the adjunct and part-time temporary employees will not be billed personally. Reference the Employee and Dependent Tuition Waiver Procedures Memorandum for more information.

Did you know…CET also offers more than 130 online courses in the areas of business management, information technology, interpersonal skills, leadership and Command Spanish®. A new series of online courses begin October 15!

New for October at MCC Libraries

View a list of the new materials now available at MCC libraries.

MCC Student and Instructor Study in Germany

germany studyabroad germany2

MCC business student Katie Alspach and instructor Carol Gottuso (center photo) share images of the small city of Goslar as they travel through Germany. Alspach reported that so far, the German schedule if far more relaxed than what she is used to in Omaha. Their next tour will be of Omaha's sister city Braunschweig. 

Instructor Named President-Elect of ACBSP

MCC business management instructor Dr. Idalene Williams was elected president-elect of Region 5 of the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). The election took place at the Region’s annual conference on September 25 in Branson, Mo. Williams is the immediate past president and board member of Kappa Beta Delta, the national honor society for business students in associate degree programs. She is also the faculty representative for the College’s business program. Business instructor Steve Nichols and dean of business Daryl Hansen also represented the college at the conference.


Internationally known professor and author Ira Shor will visit MCC to discuss the importance of critical education and how it differs from traditional instruction at 9:30 a.m. on October 11 at MCC’s Fort Omaha Campus, Bldg 7.

Shor will emphasize critical education’s impact on under-prepared or at-risk student populations using examples from Shor’s writing classes to demonstrate how critical education has helped his students. A longtime collaborator with Brazilian educational theorist Paulo Freire, Shor has published several books and articles about critical education and Freirean methods. His work focuses on critical education in the North American context. Currently a professor of rhetoric/composition at City University of New York, Shor teaches courses in writing, literature, mass media and pedagogy.

The free presentation is open to the public with registration; to register for this event, call 457-5231 and register in Critical Education (Communications 139N 01).

MCC Accounting Student Receives AGA Scholarship

Metropolitan Community College accounting student Enid Arroyo-Mena received a scholarship from the Association of Governmental Accountants this fall. Arroyo-Mena is pursuing an associate of applied science degree in accounting at MCC with intentions to earn a bachelor’s degree in financial management. A member of Phi Theta Kappa, Arroyo-Mena has completed 30 quarter hours and 91.5 credits with a GPA of 3.70 while maintaining a full-time job.

Notes from Service-Learning Conference

MCC service Learning group

Seventeen faculty, staff and administrators from MCC traveled to Brookings South Dakota to attend the fifth annual conference of the Midwest Consortium on Service-Learning in Higher Education (MCSLHE). MCC had the largest single-school delegation at the conference.

Three keynote speakers provided information on a variety of service-learning related topics including Dr. Andy Furco from the University of Minnesota with Building the Engaged Campus through High Quality Service-Learning. Furco designed the rubric that MCSLHE member schools use to establish where they are in service-learning and to guide future plans. The FURCO document is required to be completed by MCSLHE member schools before any grant monies can be issued to the colleges/universities to promote service-learning.

Keynote speaker and workshop leader Dr. Michele Dunlap from Connecticut College addressed diversity, the experiences of privilege and socioeconomic disparities in our country. Dr. Juan Franco from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln spoke about institutionalizing service-learning in higher education. He explored ways to promote service-learning on campuses and the importance of administrative support for the longevity of a service-learning program.

More than 50 presentations and workshops were available for the conference attendees. Amy Ellefson, AmeriCorps VISTA, and Penny Boykins, interim service-learning coordinator presented at the conference. Sheryl Haug, MCC new AmeriCorps VISTA, also attended the conference to learn more about alternative spring breaks, academic service-learning and about the new social media grant.

Save the date for the 2009 MCSLHE conference at the University of Nebraska-Omaha Sept. 24-25, 2009. Contact Penny, Sheryl or Amy with any questions or inquiries related to service-learning at 457-2608 or 457-2606.


The following information from Fidelity Investments is being provided to MCC employees courtesy of the Human Resources Office:

“We recognize that the current market may be challenging and we would like to address some of the potential concerns you may have and help provide you with peace of mind that Fidelity retains the strength and stability you have come to know us for. Fidelity is poised to meet the challenges – and opportunities – of the marketplace, through strategic discipline, decades of experience, and by putting our customers first.

One of the greatest assets all Fidelity businesses have is the strength and stability of our parent company, FMR LLC, a strong and growing company that achieved strong operating results in 2007. In 2007, revenues of FMR LLC were $14.9 billion, 16% higher than 2006, and income before taxes totaled $2.2 billion, which was also higher than 2006.

Fidelity’s business is different than some of the financial firms that have recently faced difficulties. It has been reported that trading fixed income securities and maintaining large inventories of such securities was a very significant part of some of these firms’ business. The decline of the mortgage market and other credit markets has led to losses in these types of investments. In contrast, Fidelity does not pursue its own trading strategies for the firm, such as taking a large position in particular fixed income securities, but rather, executes trades at the direction of retail and institutional brokerage clients. Similarly, Fidelity’s fund operations trade on behalf the company’s mutual funds.  

In addition, Fidelity’s money market funds and accounts continue to provide security and safety for our customers’ cash investments. Our funds invest in money market securities of high quality, and our customers have full access to their investments any time they wish. Most importantly, we have been proactive in keeping our money market funds safe and protecting the $1.00 net asset value (NAV), which has always been our #1 objective in managing these funds.

Protecting retirement plan assets
We take account protection very seriously. As a provider of recordkeeping services for retirement plans, Fidelity’s services are governed by federal law, including the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) of 1974, which generally requires that 401(k) plan and other retirement plan assets be held in trust, segregated from employer or record keeper assets. As a result, were a record keeper or employer to face financial issues, a participant’s account would be protected from creditors of the employer and the record keeper. This does not protect against market volatility, however.

Educating Investors about market volatility
We are continually updating information available through all of our communication channels to help inform investors about market volatility. We believe in reinforcing the importance of staying fully invested which can give investors an opportunity to fully participate in the market’s long-term upward trend. Waiting until the backdrop feels “safe” to make an investment in stocks has historically not been a good method of achieving future returns, nor has a reactive decision to divest. Many of the best periods to invest in stocks have been those environments that were among the most unnerving. In many cases, investors would have been better served by remaining fully invested during the entire period—enduring near-term pain but not missing out on the subsequent rebound.

It’s important to remember that many of the best periods to invest in stocks have been those environments that appeared to be the most challenging. Since 1926, the best 5-year US stock market return began in 1932, during the Great depression (stocks rallied 367 percent). The next best was in 1982, during a recession. Since 1926, the stock market has had a positive return in 58 of 81 calendar years (e.g., approx. 3 of every 4 years). Some of the worst short-term losses in the stock market were followed by rebounds. With that in mind, we encourage investors to take a long view of recent market activity. Past performance does not guarantee future results.

We take our responsibility to provide products and services that can contribute to the financial security of our customers very seriously. If you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to contact a Fidelity Investments Representative at 800-343-0860.” Additional information is available at www.mysavingsatwork.com.


The following information from TIAA-CREF is being provided to MCC employees courtesy of the Human Resources Office:

“Given the recent problems in the financial markets, employees may have questions about the safety of their money in TIAA-CREF funds and accounts. TIAA-CREF has prepared some Questions and Answers, available on their website which may answer some of your questions. The TIAA-CREF website is available 24/7, and can act as an important resource for news and information.

While TIAA-CREF is closely monitoring developments on Wall Street, their investment philosophy continues to seek competitive returns over the long run, which is well suited to a retirement plan that seeks to deliver lifetime income to individuals.*

The nation's leading independent insurance rating agencies have all affirmed the highest possible insurance financial strength ratings for TIAA. TIAA is the only company dedicated to serving the academic, research, medical and cultural fields to receive AAA ratings—the highest rating—from Standard & Poor's, and the highest rating from the three other major rating agencies.

A.M. Best: A++ (Superior), as of 9/2008 Fitch Ratings: AAA as of 8/2008 Moody's: Aaa as of 7/2008 S&P: AAA as of 8/2008

* Lifetime income is subject to the claims-paying ability of TIAA. These ratings do not apply to variable annuities, mutual funds, or any other product or service not fully backed by TIAA's/TIAA-CREF Life's claims-paying ability.

For more information, contact a TIAA-CREF counselor at 800-842-2776.”

New Faces


Leanne Centretto
Accounts Receivable Technician
Fort Omaha Campus

Leanne Centretto worked for Mutual of Omaha training new employees and working with various employers around the country who had group coverage through Mutual. She left Mutual after 20 years of service to stay home with her children. Centretto also worked evenings for nearly 10 years at the Civic Auditorium and Rosenblatt Stadium and in the cash room at the Qwest Center. Centretto really enjoyed the fun and excitement of the College World Series each year and is sad to see the end of it at Rosenblatt.


Patricia Conrad
Mathematics Instructor
South Omaha Campus

Patricia Conrad has a Bachelor’s of Science in Mathematics from Regis University in Denver and a Master’s of Arts in Mathematics from Christopher Newport University in Virginia. She taught high school in Bossier City, La., and has been an adjunct math instructor at MCC for the past five years. Prior to accepting her full-time faculty position, Conrad was also a part-time math center education specialist for MCC. She lived in Germany for two years and has traveled throughout Europe.


Zaher Kmail
Mathematics Instructor
Fort Omaha Campus

Zaher Kmail received his Bachelor’s Degree from An-Najah National University in Nablus, West Bank, PNA, and received his master’s degree from the University of Nebraska–Omaha. Currently Kmail is pursuing his Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He has been an adjunct faculty with MCC since 2004 and was a graduate teaching assistant at both UNO and UNL through May of this year. He is married and has a 3-year-old daughter and a 1 ½ -year-old son. Kmail enjoys spending time with his family. He comes from a farming background and has continued gardening as a pastime in the U.S. In his backyard you can find tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, okra, carrots, a grape tree, berry bushes, herbs and more!

No photo available. 

Doug Sallee
Math Center Educational Specialist
South Omaha Campus

Doug Sallee has a Bachelor's Degree in Economics from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and received his Associate Degree in Electronic Technology from MCC. Sallee has tutored for 11 years at MCC and spent 15 years at Borsheim’s Customer Service Department. He and his wife just moved into their first home, and he’s enjoying various renovation projects. Sallee is the only child of two lifelong public servants and the grandson of some good ‘ole southern storytellers. He claims to have been a test subject and case study for his mother while she pursued her master’s in child psychology — which would explain why he salivates whenever he hears a bell ring!

No photo available. 

James Wolf
Graphic Communication Arts & Design Instructor
Elkhorn Valley Campus

Jim Wolf earned his Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from Eastern Michigan University. He worked in Chicago as a graphic designer for 14 years. Wolf taught graphic communications at MCC full-time for two years, moved to California for one year, then returned to Omaha and is very happy to be back at MCC! He was born and raised in Saginaw, Mich. In his free time, Wolf and his domestic partner, Mike, enjoy traveling, photography and remixing music.


Take a musical journey to trace the cultural and historical development of flamenco and its parallel in northern New Mexico with AnnaMaria Cardinalli-Padilla, Ph.D. at 6 p.m. on October 8 at MCC’s South Omaha Campus Conference Center.

Elements of the program are represented musically include the fleeing of Inquisitional Spain to more safely maintain a unique ethnic/religious identity (i.e. the cases of Crypto-Judaism and Crypto-Islam, the plight of the gypsies or the suppression of Mozarab Catholic expression), new cultural developments encountered in an emerging Mexico and the trials and triumph of Spanish Colonial identity in the most dangerous and remote outpost of the Spanish New World. This especially explores the contributions of the Penitente cult, the great maintainer of Spanish religiosity and culture through centuries of isolation and a hidden remaining clue to the origins of Hispanic identity throughout the world today.

As a classical and flamenco guitarist, Cardinalli-Padilla’s style speaks of her proud heritage as an 18th generation Santa Fean, a link to the world's best-preserved enclave of Spanish colonial culture. At 13, she completed high school to begin a professional career with the guitar. She recorded her first album at 15 and began her own label. The success of that first album both launched her career and brought national recognition of her entrepreneurial creativity. While maintaining her performance schedule, consistently producing successful recordings and running her label, Cardinalli-Padilla completed her bachelor’s of arts summa cum laude at St. Mary's College of California at age 18. At 20, she completed her master’s at St. John's College in Santa Fe. Before the age of 25, she completed her doctoral dissertation at the University of Notre Dame in theology with an emphasis in Latino studies. The topic of her dissertation researched the early roots of today's Spanish flamenco as they are preserved in the liturgical tradition of the New Mexican Penitentes — a society whose worship presents a time-capsule of medieval Spanish spirituality.

Presented as part of Metropolitan Community College’s Hispanic/Latino Heritage Month, the event is free and open to the public. An additional lecture and musical demo, also free and open to the public, will be offered at 10 a.m. at MCC's Fort Omaha Campus on the same date. For more information or to make arrangements for groups of 10 or more, call 457-2253.

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