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Inside Story for Friday, March 26, 2010

Master Plan: MCC Transportation Planning and Options

As part of the Facilities Master Plan Update, JJR has visited MCC several times.  During these visits, they have had the opportunity to interact with many of you, and some common themes have developed.  One theme is transportation.  During the course of Master Planning, JJR is looking into improved transportation options for many locations, but in the meantime, there are some things already being done to improve transportation options for both employees and students.

Pass to Class: Students have increased access to bus ridership on MAT through the Pass to Class program. This program allows all MCC credit students a MAT bus pass valid for a quarter that allows for rides to and from MCC locations and for other education-related purposes following MAT's regular bus routes. The program has been successful, logging more than 50,000 rides since October 2009, and it has helped MCC continue to have conversations with MAT regarding improving bus service to currently un-served MCC locations. Visit www.mccneb.edu/mat for more information.

Improved Public Transportation: On April 25, MAT will be making several route changes.  Route 3 will now be a direct route from the North Omaha Transit Center through the Midtown hub to MCC's South Omaha Campus Transit Center. No transfers needed! This should reduce the amount of time it takes to get from the North Omaha hub to the South Omaha Campus.  This and other new bus schedules will be available at www.metroareatransit.com on April 17. 

Carpooling: An additional opportunity to help with transportation is through MetrO! Rideshare. MCC is a community partner of MetrO! Rideshare connecting individuals interested in carpooling.  Students and staff can look for other individuals to share rides. Find someone to carpool with and fill out a profile at www.metrorideshare.org.

Step-Up to the Eight-Week Team Walking Challenge


MCC is kicking off spring with an Eight-Week Team Walking Challenge!  Walking is safe, simple and cost-free, and it does not take a lot of practice!  You can walk alone or with coworkers, indoors or outside, any time of the year.  Walking one mile burns approximately 100 calories depending on intensity, pace and speed.  When done briskly on a regular basis, walking can:

  • Decrease your risk of a heart attack
  • Decrease your chance of developing diabetes
  • Help control your weight
  • Improve your muscle tone
  • Promote your overall sense of wellness

The Eight-Week Team Walking Challenge will start April 1 and end May 31. Teams consist of four to ten employees, including a team captain.

Each team member will receive a pedometer, a Personal Steps Tracking Form and an Activity Conversion Chart that can be used to convert other physical activities, such as sports and dance, into steps! 

Teams must pick a team name and designate a captain who is responsible for recording the team's average number of steps per day.  Team Captains will receive a Walking Challenge Team Tracking form to tally their team's final results for incentive purposes. 

At the end of the eight-week challenge, your team's average number of steps per day will determine each team members' final prize: 

Average > 10,000 steps/day                  - $10 Gift Card

Average 8,000 - 9,999 steps/day           - Sports Water Bottle

Average 6,000 - 7,999 steps/day           - Husker Football Calendar        

Registration is easy!  Recruit your team members, then ask the Team Captain to complete the Team Walking Challenge Registration Form and return to: Julie Nohrenberg, Human Resources Office, FOC 32, or fax to 457-2237, by Wednesday, March 31.

For questions, contact a Wellness Coordinator:

Julie Nohrenberg, 457-2232, jnohrenberg@mccneb.edu

Sue Clark, 457-2234, sclark@mccneb.edu

Karla Stoltenberg, 457-2235, kstoltenberg@mccneb.edu

Bridget Murphy, 457-2834, bmurphy6@mccneb.edu

Celebrate Earth Hour - Turn off the lights for 1 hour tomorrow at 8:30 p.m.

We all contribute to climate change on a daily basis simply by driving to work or turning on the lights at home. Such activities burn fossil fuels, which release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. These gases prevent heat from escaping, trapping it on earth and causing adverse effects to the climate. The combined effect of these factors, scientists believe, will lead to ever-increasing temperatures, the extinction of animal species, the lengthening of seasons, increased precipitation, and a decrease in soil moisture, among other effects.

Tomorrow, Saturday, March 27, at 8:30 p.m., is your opportunity to show your support and make a statement about climate change in the worldwide effort known as Earth Hour. Visit www.earthhour.org to log your action as part of this initiative.

For one hour, starting at 8:30 p.m. local time, individuals, businesses and entire communities are encouraged to turn out their lights as a call to "stand up, to show leadership and be responsible for our future." This year, participants will include global landmarks such as San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge, Paris' Eiffel Tower, The Great Pyramids of Giza and Chicago's Willis (formerly Sears) Tower, among others.

MCC's Office of Sustainable Practices encourages you to take part in the fourth annual celebration of this event by turning off your lights and joining the millions of people in thousands of cities worldwide in the hopes of making Earth Hour 2010 the biggest yet.

Sponsored by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Earth Hour 2009 was the world's largest climate change initiative thanks to the literally hundreds of millions of participants who flipped their light switches off last year.

MCCEA Funds Annual Read Across America Project

reading donation

The Open Door Mission/Lydia House received a second annual visit on March 9 from MCC Reading faculty. Diane Hocevar, Teri Quick and Kathy Rieken-Thurber presented 123 children's books to the mission to celebrate Read Across America and Dr. Seuss' birthday. The books will be used to help create a library in the new Lydia House.

Reading faculty selected each book and delivered them to encourage parents to begin reading to their children at a young age. The books were purchased with annual funds donated by the Metropolitan Community College Education Association (MCCEA). The Read Across America campaign was launched in 1998 by the National Education Association, and MCCEA has funded a book project for most of the past seven years. Prior to 2009, books were donated to local hospitals for new moms and babies.

MCC Reading faculty believe that when children are exposed to reading at an early age, they are much more apt to become good readers and to begin building an effective reading vocabulary. These children are also much more likely to enjoy reading. The faculty feel the community is deeply affected in numerous ways when children become good readers and experience success in the educational environment.

Top math exam participants take home prizes

Thirty MCC students competed in Round 2 of the American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges math exam, which challenges community college students across the country to solve as many difficult math problems as they can.

The exam is open to any MCC student-not just those who are taking math. The exam consists of 20 multiple choice questions; students can earn up to 40 points, while points are subtracted for incorrect answers. Top MCC scores received prizes valuing up to $50.

The next exam will be Friday, Oct. 15, 2-3 p.m.

Overall top scores
First place winner Zhimei Xing scored a combined 19.0 in Rounds 1 and 2. Second-place winner Franck Bile scored a combined 18.5. Follett Bookstores provided the top prizes of $50 and $25.  

Round 2 top scores
Cari Shepard, 12.0; Zhimei Xing, 11.0; and Han Luong, 10.5 earned the top three spots. Cengage Instruction (Thompson Brooks-Cole), McGraw-Hill, Wiley and Pearson textbook companies provided the top prizes of $15, $10 and $5.

Team scores
The top five scores in each round from students who have not received a degree from a two-year college or higher are submitted to represent MCC as team scores. Teams can earn up to 200 points.

Scoring a total 51.5 points were round 1 team members Cory Cool, Olivia Akah, Tanya Lowe, Michael Borycea and Paul Robbins. Scoring 45.5 points were Round 2 team members Cari Shepard, Luis Suarez del Rio, Jesse Edwards, Wensrilke Ikapi and Eunjeong Lee.  

MCC was among 189 community colleges that participated in round 1. MCC is the only participating community college from Nebraska.

Team scores nationally: Round 1
Century Community College, Minn.  106.5 (1st place)
St. Louis College, Mo.                     82.5 (tie for 60th)
Johnson County CC, Kan.               80.5  (tie for 64th)
North Iowa Area CC, Iowa              62.5  (tie for 117th)
Metropolitan CC, Neb.                    51.5  (tie for 141st)
Colorado Mountain CC, Colo.          24.5  (173rd place)
St. Charles CC, Mo.                       23.0 (tie for 175th)

Bistro Opens for Spring Quarter

The Sage Student Bistro will be open Spring quarter during the following hours:

Day Bistro, open April 5-May 20, Monday-Thursday

Breakfast: 7:30- 9:30 a.m.

Lunch: 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Bistro, opens March 29, Monday-Thursday, now accepting dinner reservations

Dinner: 6- 8:30 p.m.

For more information, visit www.mccneb.edu/bistro.

Alumni Receive a la Carte Discount

During April 2010, MCC Alumni Association members can enjoy a ten percent discount at the A la Carte Counter located in the newly opened Institute for the Culinary Arts building. To receive the discount, present your membership card when placing your order. For more information on breakfast and lunch menus, schedules, location and operating hours, visit www.mccneb.edu/bistro.

Heart of Metro Nominations Now Open

Do you work with a colleague who consistently demonstrates a positive attitude, leads change, fosters an inclusive workplace, works smart, respects diversity and is service-centered?  If so, nominate him or her for the Heart of Metro Award. Nominations will be accepted through Friday, April 16. Access the online nomination form at www.mccneb.edu/facultyandstaff/awards/heartofmetro.

Questions?  Contact Kay Friesen at kfriesen@mccneb.edu or 457-2878.

Employee Professional Development

New! Access (2007) for the Workplace
This course will introduce you to the Access 2007 database terminology and environment. You will learn basic components of a database. You will create and use tables, simple queries, forms and reports. The interrelationships between each of these components will become clearer. The instructor is Bonnie Nelson.
•·         Monday, April 26, 8 a.m.-noon, FOC 10, Room 114. Registration deadline April 21.

If there is enough interest, an Access session can also be scheduled at another MCC location. Contact Cheri Vossberg at clvossberg@mccneb.edu.

Only One Class Left to Renew First Aid Certificate
Heartsaver First Aid CPR/AED
MCC staff who trained and received their certificate for the American Heart Association Heartsaver First Aid CPR/AED in 2007-2008 need to renew their certificates, as they expire this year. Heartsaver classes will be with Gina Wood, Certified AHA Instructor.
•·         Friday, April 30, 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m., South Omaha Campus, Mahoney Bldg., Room 521. Registration deadline April 23.

The course may be cancelled a week prior to the scheduled date if enrollment minimums are not met.

To register for Employee Professional Development workshops, email Adam Smith at asmith102@mccneb.edu.

Energize Body, Calm the Mind with Yoga
Lunchtime Yoga
Register for this professional development course, section # 10/AP PDEV 001N WI04, with instructor Browyn Gaines by emailing Adam Smith at asmith102@mccneb.edu (with a CC to your supervisor). Include MCC ID number and employment status (FT, PT, ADJT, TEMP). If you are not a FT or PT regular employee, include the cost center that will pay for the course.
•·         April 8-May 13, noon-1 p.m., SOC Connector, Room 249. Registration deadline April 5.

More to Come...
Look for an Advanced Excel 2007 Workshop in May

Online Courses
CET's noncredit online courses are also open to MCC staff as part of professional development training. More than 150 online courses in the areas of business management, information technology, interpersonal skills, leadership and Command Spanish are available.  Register now!  A new series of online courses begins April 21 and is open for enrollment until April 28.

Weekly Green Tip

Using a separate appliance like a Crockpot can save energy when preparing foods requiring long cooking times.

HR Updates

HR Updates

Andrew Reinwald                       Dishwasher/Custodian               FOC  22           457-2510

Kelli Stokes                               Financial Aid Specialist              SOC-CON         738-3529

MCC Welcomes the Following New Employees

Andrew Reinwald


Kelli Stokes


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