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Inside Story for Monday, January 31, 2011

Inside Story: Now on Mondays!

As part of an effort to communicate with staff and faculty in a timelier manner, the Inside Story will now be distributed to email inboxes on Mondays. Deadlines for submissions will remain the same: stories are due Thursdays at noon.

Winter Quarter Heart of Metro Nominations Now Open

Do you work with a colleague who you feel consistently demonstrates a positive attitude, leads change, fosters an inclusive workplace, works smart, respects diversity and is service-centered? If so, nominate them for the Heart of Metro Award. Nominations are being accepted through Friday, Feb. 11. Access the online nomination form at www.mccneb.edu/facultyandstaff/awards/heartofmetro.

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, contact Dave Ho at (402) 457-2716.

Access The Chronicle Of Higher Education with Your MCC Email Address

MCC faculty and staff can now access premium content on The Chronicle of Higher Education website with an MCC email address. Just go to chronicle.com, click on Create a Free Account (on the right), enter your MCC email address and create your own password. You can then log on to your account from any computer or smart phone.

You may also access The Chronicle with your MCC username and password via the library website. Click on Databases on the left and then use the Databases by Title menu to select The Chronicle of Higher Education.

A username and password are not required for on-campus access.

Contact a campus library for more information.

Students Heat up Student Bistro

sage student bistroIt may be cold outside, but inside the Sage Student Bistro, students are heating up the kitchen with gourmet breakfast, lunch and dinner Monday through Thursday.

On the breakfast menu: salmon benedict, oatmeal pancakes, The Tillman Platter and more. Satisfy your midday hunger with lunch menu options dishes like three cheese arugula salad, sausage and pepper or Italian beef sandwich.

The fine dining dinner options include a static menu as well as student prix fixe menus that change weekly and are based on top chefs. A wine menu is new to the bistro this year.

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.

February Theatre Opportunities for MCC

Quality original theatre will be offered to MCC faculty, students and staff this February.

Distant Music
Free tickets are available to MCC faculty, students and staff to the Thursday, Feb. 10, 7:30 p.m. performance of Brigit St. Brigit's production of Distant Music by James McClindon. Distant Music was featured as a Mainstage Reading in last summer's Great Plains Theatre Conference (GPTC) and was presented by the Brigit St. Brigit Theatre Company. GPTC is thrilled that MCC and the Conference play a part in nurturing these collaborations.

There are a limited number of free tickets to the performance. Contact Scott Working at saworking@mccneb.edu by Feb. 7 to reserve your seat. Distant Music runs through Feb. 19 at the Downtown Space in the Old Market, 614 S. 11th St., just south of Upstream Brewing Co.  

Playwrighting Workshop
On Saturday, Feb. 12, 1-3 pm, playwright James McClindon will offer a free workshop on playwriting in the Mule Barn (Bldg. 21) at FOC. The workshop, entitled Approaches to Playwriting and Dialogue, is open to anyone and will include an overview of the different approaches to writing a play, an analysis of building meaning through effective dialogue and a writing exercise in which participants write the first draft of a ten-minute play before the workshop ends.  McClindon is a Boston-based award-winning playwright with more than 13 plays and productions all over the country, including Distant Music playing at the Downtown Space in the Old Market through Feb. 19.  

On Friday, Feb. 11, MCC is sponsoring a production of Rattlesnake, written and performed by John Hardy. The performance will be at 7:30 p.m. in the Institute for the Culinary Arts Building.  Rattlesnake is an energetic full-length play with more than a dozen characters all played by a single actor - the author, John Hardy. Admission is free for all MCC faculty, students and staff; general admission is $10 at the door.

A true theatrical jack-of-all-trades, Hardy has directed more than 100 professional productions, written 15 plays and acted in many great roles, most recently as George in a national tour of Of Mice and Men. A talk-back with Hardy will follow the performance.  

MCC is co-sponsoring another public play reading with the Omaha Community Playhouse in its Howard Drew Theatre: Asylum, a new play by former MCC student Beth Kahl Parriott. The reading is Feb. 22, 7:30 p.m. Admission is free to all and followed by a talk-back with the playwright. 

Coming in March
On Friday, March 4, the Omaha Community Playhouse is holding College Night for their production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Tickets will be $18 (a discount of $6) for college students with a student ID. A pre-show party for this group will include appetizers and open bar for an additional $5. Tickets go on sale Feb. 1 (a week before the general public has access) for the 6:30 p.m. party and 7:30 p.m. show.

Contact Scott Working at saworking@mccneb.edu for details on any of these events.

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. To stay up-to-date on Training & Development opportunities, visit www.mccneb.edu/trdv/default.asp.

To enroll in these workshops, go to WebAdvisor or call (402) 457-2400. Workshops are non-credit, term 11/JA.

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 and 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 Collegewide 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

S.A.F.E Defense Training
This safety workshop focuses on changing your behavior to protect yourself and provides knowledge on risk and risk reduction. You will become familiar with general self-defense training methods. S.A.F.E. is an acronym for Self-Defense Awareness and Familiarization Exchange.  The instructors are experienced MCC police officers who are trained and certified to teach this copyrighted program. 

This class is targeted to all employees, particularly females. Wear comfortable clothing and closed-toe shoes.

TRDV 037N 01 (synonym 165919)
Friday, Feb. 18
1-4 p.m.
EVC, Room 114

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) 457-2400. All listed workshops are noncredit, term 11/JA.

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

ICA Culinary Team Wins Silver

The Institute for the Culinary Arts competitive team received a silver medal at the Madison Area Technical College cooking competition in Wisconsin Jan. 15. The team will go on to compete at the regional competition in New Orleans April 17-20.

MCC Receives Top Nods

MCC received a perfect score in the AIM Institute's recent report of the Top 100 Omaha Companies. The AIM Institute is a not-for-profit membership organization that provides information technology leadership to Nebraska and the surrounding region. The report that ranked companies on their level of involvement with AIM on seven factors. MCC and OPPD were the only two organizations to attain a perfect score.

EMT/Paramedic Degree Programs Receive Accreditation

MCC's EMT/Paramedic Associate Degree program received full Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) initial accreditation from CAAHEP. CAAHEP is the largest programmatic accreditor in the health sciences field. In collaboration with its Committees on Accreditation, CAAHEP reviews and accredits more than 2,000 educational programs in 22 health science occupations. The standards by which these programs are measured have generally been developed by the professionals involved in each discipline and are intended to reflect what a person needs to know and be able to do to function successfully within that profession.

Powwow Dancers Featured

Theresa St Cyr of the Many Moccasins Dance Troupe will be the Head Princess Judge at the 20th Annual Fort Omaha Intertribal Powwow on Sept 24, 2011. Indian Country Today featured the dance troupe in a story here.

275 Volunteers Make MLK Jr. Day a 'Day On'

Day On Not Off
Day On Not Off
MCC's third annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day On, Not a Day Off service event was a huge success. On Jan. 25, 275 MCC volunteers served at 25 different agencies throughout Omaha, Papillion, Elkhorn and Fremont. The event is the largest ever, with an increase of 75 volunteers from last year's numbers and an additional seven agencies participating.

Participating community agencies included the North and South Omaha Boys Club, Habitat Re-Store, Open Door Mission, Douglas Community Health Center, Omaha Food Bank and The Ambassador nursing home. Services included clerical work, painting, childcare, cleaning and socializing with the elderly. Thanks to everyone who donated part of their day to help out the community.

Black History Month Kicks Off at MCC

A lecture on great African American quilters kicks off a month of activities to celebrate black history. See the full schedule here.

Learn to Compost at Home at Free Workshop

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

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

Limit the amount of time you let your vehicle's engine run in the garage and keep the garage door open. An idling vehicle emits 20 times more pollution than one traveling 32 miles per hour. There are 65 million garage owners in the U.S. If 10 percent of those garage owners were to idle their cars for just five fewer minutes per day, the total savings would be 84.5 million gallons of gas a year, enough for a million people to drive an average-size car across the country. - The Green Book

Auto Zone: Pothole Protection

During the winter months, you will inevitably encounter deep pot holes that can cause damage to your car. By knowing your pothole basics, you can avoid or minimize the damage.

Here is what you need to know when you have one of these nasty hazards in your path.

First, analyze the pothole hole. Try to determine how nasty it is - that is, how deep and wide the hole is. The deeper and wider the pothole, the higher probability of damage to your vehicle.

Here are things to remember when you see a pothole in your path:

  • Don't hit the brakes, just drive through it. Hitting the brakes prevents the tire from rolling out of the pothole and transfers more energy to the suspension and steering parts, causing more damage.
  • Don't turn the steering wheel at the last second. This shifts more energy inward or outward, bending more parts.
  • Let off the gas pedal. Let the suspension handle the hazard without additional energy.
  • Hold on tight to the steering wheel. The direction that the tire hits the pothole can transfer the energy through the steering linkage and yank the steering wheel out of your hand. Let the steering wheel move without losing control. This allows the energy of the pothole to be absorbed which might minimize the damage.
  • Cross your fingers, grit your teeth and hope the damage is minimal.

Really bad hits can cause a tire to go flat or bend parts on the steering and suspension. If the steering wheel is not straight and/or the car pulls, the pothole caused damage.

HR Updates

New Employees

Nancy Beaman
Nancy Beaman
Accounts Receivable Technician          FOC  30        (402) 457-2785

Patti McQueen
Patti McQueen
Adult Education Associate (PT)            FOC  9          (402) 457-2862

Erik Peterson
Erik Peterson
Online Course Support Technician        FOC 17        (402) 457-2769

Laura Rosso
Laura Rosso
Police Officer                                     FOC 30        (402) 457-2313

Sharon Swanson
Sharon Swanson
Accounts Receivable Technician           FOC 30       (402) 457-2714

Separations                    Last Day
Cathy Heffernan                 1/25/11

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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