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Inside Story for Friday, April 30, 2010

Print Verification on Classroom Printers

Print verification has been in use in the ARCs and Libraries since the end of summer quarter 2009. As of January 2010, print verification has been phasing in on all classroom printers.

The purpose of the print verification screen is to ask the user one more time if he or she really wants to print the document.  After the user clicks the print button, the screen below will pop up showing the number of pages in the print job.  If the user does not click OK, the job will not print and it will be deleted from the print queue.  The account balance will show a zero balance since the College does not charge for printing at this time.

For questions, contact the Help Desk at 457-2900.

Admissions and Records Changes Phone Number

The number previously assigned to Admissions and Records, 457-2422, has been forwarded to the Call Center. When trying to reach a person in Admissions and Records, call his or her direct extension.

Call Center Handles Thousands of Calls

The MCC Call Center is made up of three operators who handle the majority of calls coming into the college. All Student Service calls and calls to MCC's main number, 457-2400, go to the operators who redirect to the caller's desired destination; this keeps the phones from ringing off the hook in Student Services. In addition to redirecting calls, operators Atalaya Cannon, Donna Monaghan and Carly Olson also set appointments for the Academic Advisors.

In 2009, the Call Center handled more than 139,000 calls. That is about the same number of calls as Financial Aid, Central Registration and Advising combined.

A New Way to 'Like' MCC

MCC has revamped its Facebook page to give students a new tool to connect with the MCC community. The page features updates on recent news, events, photos, videos and more - while also offering people  who 'like' MCC a place to start discussions, share photos, post wall comments and interact.

The MCC twitter feed is another way to keep up-to-date with daily MCC news and happenings.

MCC Features New Testimonials

Testimonials now posted on the MCC website include Sustainable Practices Coordinator Daniel Lawse and MCC student Shelby Miller.

If you have a story you would like to share or know someone with a unique story, contact Katie Wortmann at 457-2278 or kewortmann@mccneb.edu.

MCC Celebrates Asian Pacific Islander Month

A book discussion, dance performances, lectures and more are part of MCC's celebration of Asian Pacific Islander Month.

Indian Classical Dance Workshop and Demonstration
Monday, May 3
11 a.m.-noon
Fort Omaha Campus, Bldg. 7, Room 107

Doing Business with China
Thursday, May 6
6:30-8 p.m.
South Omaha Campus Library, Conference Rooms A & B

The Naga Tribe of Northeast India
Wednesday, May 12
11 a.m.-noon
South Omaha Campus, Mahoney Building, Room 217

Exhibition Showcases Student Work

student art show logo

The top student work from MCC's Visual Arts Program will be featured in the 10th Annual Student Art Exhibition, April 29-May 19, at the Gallery of Art and Design on the Elkhorn Valley Campus.

One hundred students submitted more than 200 pieces of work for consideration; local artists selected 47 pieces from 40 student artists to be included in the exhibition. The annual show includes paintings, watercolors, photography, jewelry, sculpture, digital video and more.

Scholarships of up to $750 were awarded for the best student work.

The event is free and open to the public. The Gallery of Art and Design is open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. when classes are in session.

Youth Concert to Aid Haiti Relief Efforts

Haiti poster

Three talented young strings players will help raise money for Haiti relief efforts at the Help for Haiti concert April 30, 7-9 p.m., at North High Magnet School, 4410 N. 36th St.

Twelve-year-olds Mira and Adé Williams and 18-year-old Ayanna Williams of SugarStrings have thrilled audiences with exuberant performance at events including Macy's Flower Show, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. They will join the Omaha-based Darryl White Band at the fundraising event.

Tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for students. For tickets, contact Fred Conley at (402) 707-8915 or fconley@daviscompanies.com.

Championship Tests Students' Truck Driving Skills

Truck driving contest

Commercial Driver's License (CDL) students will perform challenging driving maneuvers while promoting safety and education at the fourth annual student truck driving championship on May 1, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Applied Technology Center, 104th and State streets. The event is free and open to the public.

Sarpy Center Hosts Community Arts Festival

The La Vista Public Library in the Sarpy Center will feature chalk art, martial arts, face-painting, chainsaw art, storytelling, dance and more as part of the Community Arts Festival on May 1, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

The fair also features works from local artists and local vendors. The event is free and open to the public.

For more information, visit the website.

Cinco de Mayo Celebration Features Music, Lecture

cinco de mayo poster

MCC celebrates Cinco de Mayo on Tuesday, May 4, noon-1:30 p.m. with a lecture by journalist and immigrant Valeria Verónica Fernández Perrone who has written extensively on U.S. immigration issues. The event features a performance by Mariachi Zapata and lunch from La Mesa Mexican Restaurant. Tickets are $15 for the general public and $8 for MCC students. For more information, call 457-2253.

Fair Offers Free Health Screening

Various agencies will offer free health information and screenings for high blood pressure, diabetes, sexually transmitted diseases including HIV, high cholesterol and prostate cancer on May 6, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. at the South Omaha Campus, Connector Building at the MCC Health Fair. Representatives from Creighton University, the Douglas County Health Department, the Diabetes Education Center, the Metro Omaha Tobacco Action Coalition, the American Red Cross and the Charles Drew Health Center will be on site to answer health questions.

Private rooms are available for health screenings. The fair is free and open to the public.

Latin American Dance Featured at El Museo Latino

Internationally renowned dance company Compañía De Danza Folklorica will perform May 6-May 7, 7 p.m., at El Museo Latino, 4701 S. 25th St. This company has toured around the world and represented Latin America in dance at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Tickets on sale now. Visit the website for more information.

MCC to Host Golf Outing

MCC is hosting a golf scramble on Friday, June 25, at Pacific Springs Golf Course, 16810 Harney St. Registration is $60 per person or $240 per four-person team. This fee includes 18 holes of golf, a golf cart and a burger buffet following the tournament.

You can register as a single and be placed on a team, or you may select your own team or part of a team. For information, contact Linda Hoagland, 457-2403 or lhoagland@mccneb.edu.

Proceeds will benefit MCC's SkillsUSA students through the MCC Foundation.

Send your check and registration form no later than Tuesday, June 15. Checks will not be cashed until after June 15.

AmeriCorps and VISTA Members Serving at MCC

Service learning vistas

From left to right are Esther 'Queen' Tucker, Bridget Murphy, Jeanetta Jones, Kyle Van Dusen, Jennie Tullos and Elizabeth McPhail.

The Service-Learning Office's team of six AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) are working hard to connect MCC students with service-learning or community-based opportunities. As full-time members of the Service-Learning staff, they work to build relationships between the College and the community while providing students with experiential learning opportunities. Moreover, they help put a face on the Service-Learning Office.

AmeriCorps and VISTA members work full-time at a minimal cost to MCC. The members come to Omaha from across the country, and AmeriCorps/VISTA provides a modest stipend during their service and funds for education or student loans following their service.

The AmeriCorps and VISTA members offer a variety of resources to faculty:

  • Introduction to service-learning and its benefits to students
  • Poverty simulation workshops to help students understand poverty and connect it to their program of study
  • Body language workshop
  • Course mapping and service-learning project development

MCC works with more than 100 community organizations to help faculty and students connect with valuable service-learning projects. Service-learning programs involve students in an organized community project that addresses local needs, while developing their academic skills, sense of civic responsibility and commitment to the community.

While AmeriCorps members work directly in the community, VISTA members create the infrastructure for sustainable projects. The group is working to improve MCC in a number of ways:

Bridget Murphy 
Bridget Murphy helped coordinate MCC's first Pre-School Health and Safety Fair last October. Planned again for fall 2010, the event provides an excellent opportunity for student involvement. She also has worked with Omaha Public Schools to coordinate an art and essay competition about Martin Luther King Jr.

Murphy coordinated and implemented course mapping, allowing the Service-Learning Department to identify ways in which service-learning can be tied to existing classroom curriculum. To date, more than 200 full-time faculty have been interviewed. Results will be shared at the Sept. 1 faculty in-service day. Starting this summer, a new program will connect faculty with nonprofits in the community through an immersion experience, allowing them to visit potential service-learning sites to better match their needs and those of the community.

An Omaha native and graduate of North High School, Murphy is preparing herself through VISTA for new career opportunities when her year of service is over in July.

Kyle Van Dusen              
Kyle Van Dusen recruits and corresponds with volunteers for large service projects, including the Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Graffiti Clean Up events. He established partnerships with 20 metro-area agencies for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. He also connected with area nursing homes to coordinate May Day basket delivery.

Van Dusen will help plan and execute the Pre-School Health and Safety Fair slated for October 2010 and this summer's Student Leadership Conference. He will work with the Sustainability Office to better connect students with green service-learning opportunities.

Van Dusen said VISTA's mission of alleviating poverty provided him an opportunity to give back to America. "I grew up in the lower-middle class in a city where most people were in the upper-middle class. My basic necessities were met; however, my family went without a car, hot water and a working telephone for periods of my childhood. These experiences helped shape who I am and impacted me deeply. I come from a military family where giving back is preached, and I always wanted to give back to my country." Before he came to MCC, he lived in California with family roots in Michigan.

Jennie Tullos
Jennie Tullos is responsible for using technology to expand the outreach of the Service-Learning Office via the website, videos and photos. Tullos will organize an intergenerational dialogue in the fall aimed at helping participants determine needs in the community and steps to take to effect change and sustain it. She comes to MCC from Mississippi.

Tullos said she became part of the VISTA program to 'inspire the desire in others to be challenged in greatness.' "This vision is about encouraging me and others to dream big, learn from challenges, and allow those challenges to change them in positive ways," she said. "Also, as an aspiring community college professor I am excited to get to volunteer in the environment I hope to one day work as a teacher."

Elizabeth McPhail
Elizabeth McPhail came to MCC from Issaquah, Wash., in hopes of increasing service-learning opportunities in South Omaha.  She will meet with South Omaha community leaders to connect the Service-Learning Office to a variety of agencies that represent Hispanic residents. She will organize an immigration symposium, help plan the Student Leadership Conference and Pre-School Health Fair and develop a language exchange program.

McPhail became a VISTA member because she sees the importance in serving one's country and thought her experience at MCC would help her to identify her professional goals. 

Esther 'Queen' Tucker   
Esther 'Queen' Tucker coordinates the Student Volunteers Corps. She organizes incoming donations for the Career Closet and works with students to obtain appropriate clothing for job interviews. She works to provide volunteer opportunities for the MCC community, from fourth-grade student visits to MCC to large-scale events such as the Omaha Jazz and Blues Festival. She is currently planning a food pantry for MCC students. She is in daily contact with area agencies that need volunteers.

Tucker's participation in AmeriCorps was a natural choice, given her desire to give back.

Jeanetta Jones
Jeanetta Jones supports the Service-Learning Office in the planning and execution of events. She ensures that all students with disabilities are able to attend MCC functions. She worked with the International Office to organize a winter coat drive to provide international students with warm coats for Omaha's harsh winters.

Jones has always loved to serve in her community, so when she learned about the AmeriCorps opportunity, she felt it would be a great opportunity to give back to the community and MCC.

In addition to those working in the Service-Learning Office, AmeriCorps members provide valuable work in other College areas. Laura Roush serves in the Office of Sustainability with Daniel Lawse; Paula Pope serves in Career Services with Ayanna Boykins and Jeanetta Jones helps with the students in the Disability Support Services program while serving in the Service-Learning Office.

MCC has a long history of AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps VISTA members staying with MCC as instructors or faculty. Dan Bartek, Arlene Jordon, Kelly Conley and Stacy Ocander are among MCC staff members who started work at MCC through AmeriCorps and VISTA.

Students Deliver 200 May Baskets

may day baskets

may day baskets

The Service-Learning Staff and MCC student volunteers worked together to celebrate May Day with Omaha area elderly care facilities. On April 30, 14 MCC volunteers traveled to eight care facilities to deliver 200 May Baskets.

may day baskets

Each basket included a marigold from Horticulture students, a cookie from Culinary Arts students and various items provided by multiple College departments. Volunteers met and visited with nursing home residents while celebrating this springtime tradition. The event was coordinated by the Service-Learning Office AmeriCorps*VISTA members Bridget Murphy and Kyle Van Dusen with staff members. The baskets were delivered by TRIO members, nursing students, members of the Volunteer Corps and Service-Learning staff.

Graffiti Clean Up Event a Success

Graffiti event

Graffiti event

Around 150 volunteers gave up their Saturday morning to remove graffiti painted on buildings, overpasses and street signs in South Omaha. Participants donned neon T-shirts designed by MCC student Vincent Powell.

Americorps*VISTA member Kyle Van Dusen and the MCC Service-Learning Office coordinated  the effort. "The volunteers were a joy to work with," Van Dusen said. "Their dedication and enthusiasm  are what make Nebraska second  in the country for volunteerism." Volunteering in America ranked Nebraska No. 2 based its rates of volunteerism from 2006-2008.Graffiti event

Students, faculty, community members and the Neighborhood Center came together to bring the event to South Omaha. The event was made possible through support from Metro Area Transit, Orsi's Italian Bakery, UNMC's Munroe-Meyer Institute and Hy-Vee.

"MCC's  goal was to engage students in a positive way outside of the classroom and to interface with the community," said Crystal Rhoades, MCC Board of Governors Chairwoman and a coordinator of the event. "We really wanted to show the community that MCC cares."

Lecture Promotes Civic Engagement

clayton workshop

Students and faculty gathered to hear nationally renowned service-learning consultant Patti Clayton present a workshop April 23 on critical thinking and reasoning.

Clayton's workshop focused on how faculty can involve students in the outcomes of their class. By making them active participants in the learning goals of courses, students are encouraged to want to learn more and to take responsibility for their learning. This can be done through service-learning, civic engagement or community-based learning.

Asking students to think critically and to reflect on their learning is a paradigm change, Clayton said. It may seem hard at first, but it actually takes the burden of all instruction from the instructor.

Faculty also learned how to DEAL:  a reflection model that stands for Describe, Examine and Articulate Learning. Another tool Clayton presented was learning rubric or critical thinking standards. Do I have: Integration, Clarity, Accuracy, Precision, Relevance, Depth, Breadth, Logic, Significance and Fairness in my work? This rubric can also be used for grading students work.

For a copy of Clayton's book on critical thinking, contact the Service-Learning Office, 457-2608

The event was funded by Perkins.

Competition Challenges Commuters to Use Alternative Transportation

The MetrO! Commuter Challenge 2010 invites Omahans to get around town without driving alone: by cycling, walking, carpooling or riding buses. Participants compete to see who can reduce the most single occupancy trips.

logoThe challenge begins on May 17 and runs through August 15. Carpool, ride your bike, take the bus, walk to work or combine these transportation options to compete. Explore new ways of getting around town while reducing our carbon footprint. Prizes may be awarded.

The competition is sponsored by Metro Area Planning Agency (MAPA) and Activate Omaha.

More information will be available as the contest approaches. Visit www.metrorideshare.org/en-US/ for more information.

MCC Earth Day Activities a Success

earth day booth

MCC's Office of Sustainable Practices would like to thank all faculty and staff who assisted in last week's Earth Day Activities at FOC, SOC, EVC, SRP and FRC. Hundreds of students stopped by designated Earth Day booths to collect free reusable shopping bags and water bottles, calculate their carbon footprint scores using an online carbon calculator and learn more about environmental sustainability and our impact on the earth.

The South Omaha and Fort Omaha campuses collected small electronics for recycling, and some locations distributed healthy snacks including freshly-popped popcorn and organic apples.earth  day booth

If you were unable to visit the Earth Day booths, calculate your own carbon footprint online to discover your personal impact on the environment and areas for potential improvement.

Remember, with a conscious effort, every day can be Earth Day!

Weekly Green Tip

sustainability logo

Use microwave ovens when possible because they use less energy and require shorter cooking times than conventional ovens. And in the summer, they have the additional advantage of producing less heat in the kitchen.

Do you have a green tip to share with your MCC colleagues? Submit ideas to djlawse@mccneb.edu.

MCC in the News

Volunteers Wipe Out Graffiti, April 25, Omaha World-Herald

Omaha mural illustrator & MCC instructor Mike Hagel featured in Columbus art gallery, April 29, Columbus Telegram

From MCC to flowers, jewelry & prom: Former MCC student operates floral design company, April 26, Fremont Tribune

HR Updates

New Employees

Ingrid Berlin                   Dean of Sarpy County Centers                       Sarpy             537-3838


Monica Tripp                 Administrative Assistant, Special Projects          FOC 30           457-2661

Separations                              Last Day

David Budin                                4/28/10

MCC Job Openings

For information about the College's open positions and how to apply, visit www.mccneb.edu/hr or call the jobline at (402) 738-4050. Applications are also online at www.mccnebjobs.com.

MCC Is Making News

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


View past issues of The Inside Story.

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