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Inside Story - Past Issues

Inside Story for Friday, January 14, 2011

Public Affairs: Your Swag Headquarters

Are you in need of giveaways for events? Public Affairs has inventory in stock for giveaway items. If your department or program is in need, send an email to marketing@mccneb.edu requesting the item(s) you would like, the quantity and the fund-location-cost center to be charged. Note: Some items are in small quantities.

Is there something not on the list that you are interested in acquiring? Do you have an on-campus event coming up where you need something spectacular? Contact Public Affairs to discuss your needs at (402) 457-2414.

Items in Stock

  • 16 oz. insulated plastic cup with straw - $3.50
  • 20 oz. to-go cup - $3.00
  • Balloons - free
  • Cardboard fans - free
  • Internet safety color books/crayons - free
  • Lanyard - $1.00
  • Leather padfolio - $14.95
  • Lunchbox - $4.50
  • Mugs - $2.86
  • Pencils - $0.14
  • Pen/highlighter - $0.69
  • Pen/highlighter made of recycled material - $0.65
  • Polo (old style - limited sizes of L-XXL men/women) - $20.00
  • T-shirt (old style - limited sizes of XL-XXL) - $4.00

Changes to Payroll Taxes

Accounting Services and Payroll wish to share the following information with all employees. There are two changes to payroll taxes that will affect your net pay in 2011. The change in your take-home pay cannot be predicted yet because of these two separate items.

  • The Making Work Pay Credit expired on Dec. 31, 2010, which has caused minor changes to the IRS tax tables and will likely slightly increase the amount of federal income tax withheld from you, thus decreasing your net pay.
  • There is a decrease in the employee deduction for the FICA part of payroll taxes. The rate of deduction for 2011 that you will pay has been reduced from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent. This will increase your net pay.

If you have any specific questions, contact Gary Kucera at (402) 457-2277.

We continue to monitor developments pertaining to the City of Omaha Commuter Wheel fee for non-Omaha residents who work in Omaha, and we will notify you when we are more confident of what action we need to take.

If you have any specific questions, contact Tom Wilson at (402) 457-2738.

One Search, Many Databases

If you have not used the library's research databases lately, you will find that now it's easier than ever to search for articles. Instead of searching one database at a time, users can now search multiple databases at once with Integrated Search. That means a single search can return articles from several databases at the same time.

Integrated Search also allows users to perform searches that target databases within a single discipline. For example, you can search multiple business databases at the same time. Alternatively, you can customize your search yourself by choosing which specific databases you want to search.

Integrated Search is available on the library's website. Just use the search box in the middle of the page or click on the link beneath it to access subject-specific search boxes.

For more information, contact an MCC library.

Scholarly Journals

The MCC Libraries now offer a special search function that allows users to search for scholarly journals in multiple databases at the same time.

To access this service, go to the library's website and click on Scholarly Journals on the left side of the screen. The search box at the top of the page searches all our EBSCOhost databases including Academic Search Premier, Business Source Elite and Health Source: Nursing/Academic Edition. Type in the topic you are researching, and you will get academic articles from a variety of databases right away.

The Scholarly Journals page also provides links to non-EBSCOhost databases as well as instructions on how to search them for scholarly journals.

For more information, contact an MCC library.

Only a Few Days Remain to Nominate an MCC Colleague

Nominations for the Diane Donelson Spirit Award are due by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 18. The award was created to recognize an MCC employee who exemplifies the enduring spirit of Diane Donelson, a long-time MCC Board of Governors member.

There are many deserving employees who exhibit the criteria outlined in the award every day. Take the time today to recognize and acknowledge their accomplishments and the spirit of their efforts.

The award will be presented at the Employee Appreciation Reception scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 2. Contact Kay Friesen at (402) 457-2878 for submission information or email kfriesen@mccneb.edu.

It's Time to Change Your Password

At MCC, password security policies exist to protect the privacy of our users and to adhere to required security guidelines. The College is in the process of revising these policies in an effort to increase security via a process called password aging - a process in which a password expires after a certain amount of time.

As of Jan. 10, 2011, all MCC users (staff, faculty and students) must have passwords that are less than 180 days old. If your password falls into this category, upon successful login, you will be prompted to change it.

Change your password when prompted. Contact the MCC Help Desk if you are unsuccessful or experience technical difficulties.

If you are on a College-owned computer, you may change your password at any time by pressing the Control-Alt-Delete keys at the same time and choosing the change your password option. You do not have to wait until your password has actually expired before you change it.

If you wait until your password has expired when you log in to your College-owned computer, you will receive a message stating that your password has expired and that you must change it. A dialogue box will pop up with entries for your old password, your new password and new password confirmation. Your old password should already be filled in for you and designated with the letter X. Enter your new password and then retype that same password for verification. The rules for your password include the following:

  • Your password must be a minimum of seven characters.
  • The password must contain a combination of letters, numbers and capitalization.
  • Your password must be unique. You cannot use the same password within a one-year period.
  • Do not use words included in a dictionary.

An example of an unacceptable password would be bugle (only five letters, no numbers, all lowercase and found in a dictionary). A better password might be Burgl3r. The letter E has been changed to the number 3, more characters have been added to meet the minimum of seven characters and it begins with a capital B.

Remember that your password is case-sensitive so be aware if your Caps Lock key is on.

After confirming your password, you will be logged onto your College-owned computer as normal. From then on, you need to use your new password. Password changes will be required every 180 days, and each time you will follow the same procedure as described above.

The Password Center is available online at all times; if you find that you cannot change your password using the Password Center, the Help Desk can assist you during regular Help Desk hours (Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m.- 8 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m.- 2 p.m.). If you have any other problems performing the password change, call the Help Desk at (402) 457-2900. 

Beware of Phishing Attempts Masquerading as Official Email

Do not give your College user ID and password via email to anyone. The MCC Help Desk will not request your user ID and password via email. The Help Desk does not need this information.

Some U.S. colleges have been the victims of phishing attacks. Phishing is the process of attempting to acquire sensitive information by using an email that masquerades as an official or trustworthy entity. In the case of the college phishing attacks, employees or students received official looking emails asking for the user's college user ID and password. If you receive an official-looking email asking for this type of information, it is a phishing attempt and should be deleted or dropped into the Abuse Mail folder found in Public Folders.

To access the abuse folder:

  1. In Microsoft Outlook, click on the Go tab and select Folder List
  2. Expand Public Folders and then All Public Folders
  3. Drag and drop the email into the Abuse Mail folder

Items in this folder go to MCC's email administrators who use these emails to help block spam. Additional information on this phishing scheme can be found at www.securityfocus.com/news/11504.

Now Accepting Excellence in Teaching Awards Nominations

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2011 MCC Excellence in Teaching Awards. The MCC Excellence in Teaching Awards recognize full-time and adjunct faculty based on four criteria:

  • Professionalism
  • Commitment to learning
  • Relationships with students
  • Relationships with colleagues

The awards will be presented at the Spring Academic Affairs Awards Banquet on Monday, March 7.  Recipients will receive a certificate and will be selected to attend and represent MCC at the 2012 NISOD (National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development) Conference in Austin, Texas.

The deadline for nominations is Friday, Feb. 4. Nominations may be submitted by any employee, student or community member. Find the nomination form and specific criteria for the Teaching Award at www.mccneb.edu/academicaffairs/awards.asp.

If you have questions, call Dave Ho at 457-2716.

Training and Development

This program is designed to contribute to the professional growth and development of MCC employees by providing educational services and opportunities through workshops, group activities and online resources.

Successful Workplace Relationships
In the hectic environments that characterize most organizations today, even the best employees can lose sight of the basics of maintaining positive working relationships. This program reviews the fundamentals of respectful, mutually beneficial relationships: building and maintaining trust, focusing on the positive in the other person and resolving conflicts in a respectful manner. Feel free to bring your lunch to this essential workplace seminar. Intended audience: all employees.
TRDV 034N 01 (synonym-165743)
Friday, Jan. 28
Noon-1 p.m.
FOC 21, Room 105

Brown Bag Lunch Workshop - Central Stores
Join us for our February Brown Bag Lunch workshop designed around fun, information and food! Meet and mingle with other employees; enjoy your home-packed lunch; learn more about MCC from a presenter who will provide an overview of his/her department.

Bob Barnes, Central Stores supervisor, will shed some light on what happens in Central Stores, the Copy Center and the Mailroom (shipping/receiving). Barnes' presentation will include guidelines for correct addressing of mail; accessing and completing forms; copy center duplicating orders; package delivery; and the ordering of office supplies, equipment and furnishings. Did you know a College-wide auction is held annually? Learn more by attending this workshop. Intended audience: all employees.
TRDV 033N 01 (synonym-165741)
Friday, Feb. 4
Noon-1 p.m.
FOC 21, Room 105 

Mail Merge Using Microsoft Word 2007
Learn how to create and import addresses and more into a Microsoft Word 2007 document to create form letters and labels.  Proficiency in Microsoft Word required.  Instructor Bonnie Nelson. Intended audience: all employees.
TRDV 032N 01 (synonym-165740)
Friday, Jan. 21
1-4 p.m.
SOC MHY, Room 205

Please note: Attending an activity during your scheduled work hours requires supervisor approval. It is your responsibility to obtain approval to attend a Training and Development event.

To enroll, go to WebAdvisor or call (402) 457-8518. All listed workshops are noncredit, term 11/JA.

For further information contact: Marilyn Cotten, Training & Development Coordinator, (402) 457-2507 or mcotten@mccneb.edu.

A Day On, Not a Day Off Service Event Kicks Off Monday

A Day On, Not a Day OffGet ready for MCC's third annual A Day On, Not a Day Off service event to recognize Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, Jan. 17.

While all MCC locations are closed that day, students, staff and community members can give back to the community at several agencies, including the North/South Omaha Boys and Girls Club, Habitat ReStore, Open Door Mission, Douglas County Community Health Center and The Kroc Center. The Pass to Class bus pass can be used for transportation to the various sites.

To donate a portion of your time on Jan. 17, contact Kyle at the Service-Learning Office, (402) 457-2606 or Ktvandusen@mccneb.edu.

Presentation Offers Students Tips on Email in the Workplace

Email Etiquette is a 30-40 minute PowerPoint presentation that teaches students how to professionally and effectively use email in the workplace. The presentation is designed to be discussion-based and highly interactive. To schedule a presentation in your class or learn more about the activity, contact

Elizabeth at (402) 457-2591 or eamcphail1@mccneb.edu.  

Conversation Table Offers Spanish, English Speakers Language Practice

MCC's Mesa de Intercambio provides an informal way for native Spanish and English speakers to learn from each other through conversation. Stop by every Tuesday during Winter quarter from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in the South Omaha Campus Commons Area to practice your English or Spanish conversation skills in a fun and informal setting.

This event is sponsored by Service-Learning. Questions? Contact Elizabeth McPhail at (402) 457-2591 or eamcphail1@mccneb.edu.

MCC Celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day

MLK Jr. Celebration

MCC celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. on Jan 18, noon-1:30 p.m., with a lecture from George J. McKenna III, superintendent of the Los Angeles School District 7. McKenna advocates building educational systems that emphasize justice, equal opportunity and nonviolence as the primary vehicles for positive change in a pluralistic society. The event at the Institute for the Culinary Arts includes lunch and music from the Westside High School Jazz Ensemble. Cost is $15 for general admission, $8 for MCC students. Call (402) 457-5231 to make a reservation.

Help Save the Day by Donating Blood

Down the street and across the country there are patients in need of lifesaving blood. You can be a lifesaver and make a difference in the lives of others by donating blood. Every day, blood is needed for people with blood disorders, cancer patients, transplant recipients, trauma victims and many others.

When you roll up your sleeve to donate blood, that single act can turn heartbreak into hope for patients and their families. Schedule an appointment to donate blood.

Upcoming blood drive:

  • Wednesday, Jan. 19, 8 a.m.-noon, Fort Omaha Campus, Bloodmobile near Bldg. 10, (Sponsor Code: 68)
  • Wednesday, Jan. 26, 8 a.m.-1 p.m., South Omaha Campus, Conference Center, (Sponsor Code: 69)
  • Monday, Jan. 31, 7:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Elkhorn Valley Campus, Student Commons, (Sponsor Code: 594)

To view available times and to schedule your donation appointment, click here, visit www.redcrossblood.org and enter the sponsor code listed above or call 1.800.GIVE.LIFE (1.800.448.3543) to schedule your blood donation appointment.

Not sure if you are eligible to donate? Visit www.redcrossblood.org/donating-blood/eligibility-requirements or call the above 800 number.

Vietnamese New Year Celebration

Celebrate the Lunar New Year with Vietnamese music, food and cultural entertainment at the South Omaha Campus on Jan. 29, 7-11 p.m. Free admission for MCC students, personnel and their families. Make a reservation by Jan. 29. Business attire is recommended to honor our Vietnamese hosts.

For more information, call (402) 457-2253.

Save the Date: MCC Golf Outing

Golf Outing

Mark your calendars for MCC's Golf Outing on Friday, June 3 at Pacific Springs Golf Course. Check future editions of the Inside Story for more information.

Save the Date: 5th Annual Student Truck Driving Championship

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 April 30 at the Applied Technology Center.

Eligible to compete are CDL students currently enrolled in a Nebraska training facility and Nebraska trained CDL students with one to six months' experience. Volunteers are also needed to run the event.

For more information, contact Rick Sandvig, rsandvig@mccneb.edu or (402) 763-5813.

Free Workshops Shed Green Light on Renovations, Permaculture

Through free Training and Development workshops, MCC's Office of Sustainable Practice is offering MCC staff the opportunity to learn about how sustainability fits into our lives. Staff and faculty can register for the following workshops at (402) 457-5231.sustainability logo

Building Science: The 3 Rs (Repairs, Renovations and Retrofits) (IFEX 001N)
Thursday, Jan. 27-Friday, Jan. 28
Thursday, 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
FOC, ICA, Room 201C

The Three Rs is a two-day seminar that teaches the basic knowledge needed to repair, renovate and retrofit existing buildings. Dr. Joseph Lstiburek and Dr. John Straube will discuss building science principles (such as the control of heat, air and moisture and indoor air quality) and show you how to apply them to the repair and retrofit of existing buildings. All building types will be covered: residential, commercial and institutional.

Introductions to Composting and Permaculture (IFEX 002N)
Wednesday, Feb. 9, 1-4 p.m.
FOC 29, Room 103

Urban Environment Specialist Bobbi Holm will discuss the how and why of home composting with a tiny bit of the chemistry and biology of the process thrown in. Participants will also take a quick look at the City of Omaha's composting process, as well as the results of landfills.

Following the introduction to composting, Agricultural Specialist Chris Combs will present an introduction to permaculture. Learn the principles and ethics of using natural ecological patterns to maximize the effect of your home landscaping while reducing the time and labor you commit. Examples of permaculture designs and Omaha-specific strategies will be presented.

Weekly Green Tip

Close the curtains when it's sunny in the summer and when it's cold in the winter, and you could reduce your energy needs by up to 25 percent. If every house in America kept the curtains closed for additional insulation, the total energy saved annually would be as much as the entire nation of Japan uses in a year. - The Green Book

Auto Zone

When the light comes on with the battery symbol, it does not mean that you have a bad battery. It means that the charging system stopped working or it is malfunctioning.

When the light comes on with an oil can symbol or another lubrication-related symbol, it does not mean you are low on engine oil; it means there is no oil pressure. No oil pressure means that the engine is out of oil. Of all the lights on the dash, this one WILL cause the most damage to the inside of the engine very quickly. Adding oil will not reverse the damage. Do not confuse this light with the low oil light.

The oil service light comes on as part of the system that monitors the amount of miles since the last oil change. You do need to keep track of the number of miles you travel between service intervals. Some manufacturers have the light set at 10,000 miles between oil changes. Talk to your repair shop to see if that is acceptable - or excessive - according to your driving habits.

When the light comes on with a thermometer symbol or another temperature-related symbol, it means temperature of the engine is too high and engine damage is about to occur. It does not take very long for excessive heat to cause serious damage to an engine.

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.

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