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News@MCC for Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Do You Know an Excellent Instructor?

MCC seeks nominations from students for top faculty members. The 2011 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.

Scholarship Program Offers Summer Study in U.K.

The US-UK Fulbright Commission is pleased to announce the opening of its competition for the 2011 UK Summer Institutes. Participants in these programs will get the opportunity to experience an exciting academic program at a highly regarded UK University, explore the culture, heritage and history of the UK and develop their academic ability by improving presentation, research and communication skills.

There are three Summer Programs available for U.S. students in 2011:

  • Fulbright Commission Newcastle University Summer Institute
  • Fulbright Commission Roehampton University London Summer Institute
  • Fulbright Commission Wales Summer Institute

The Summer Institute will cover the majority of the participant costs. This includes round-trip airfare from the U.S. to the U.K., tuition and fees at the university, accommodation and other living expenses.

Participants in these programs will get the opportunity to:

  • Experience an exciting academic program at a top-ranked U.K. University
  • Explore the culture, heritage and history of the UK, visiting museums, galleries, parks, castles and islands
  • Develop their learning skills, improving presentation, research and communication skills
  • Meet people from all over the world, make friends and experience life as a real student in the UK
  • Become an ambassador for studying in the United Kingdom, and for the US-UK Fulbright Commission
  • Develop their knowledge in the academic program of their choice, be taught by world leaders in their field and in many instances receive credit they can transfer to their U.S. University

Minimum eligibility for this program; applicants need to:

  • Be a U.S. citizen (resident anywhere except the UK) and possess a US passport;
  • Be at least 18 years old;
  • Be able to participate in the program in its entirety;
  • Have a high level of academic achievement with a minimum GPA of 3.5 (confirmed by academic marks, awards and references);
  • Have completed no more than two years of university/college study;
  • Be mature, responsible, independent, and open-minded;
  • Be willing and able to fully participate in an academically intensive program that includes attending all sessions, completing all assignments, contributing to classroom discussions and supporting student ambassador style work as required;
  • Have had little or no study or travel experience in the U.K. or elsewhere outside of the U.S. and;
  • Expect to return to the U.S. and continue their education.

Note: The program is open to students in all courses of study.

For more information and application forms, please visit the website. The application deadline is April 15, 2011.

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.

Great Plains Theatre Conference Internships

The Great Plains Theatre Conference at MCC is excited to announce full- and part-time professional internship opportunities in the following areas:

  • Arts Administration
  • Development
  • Web and Video Tech
  • Event Management

Interns are vital staff positions and provide an opportunity for hands-on learning while actively contributing to this nationally recognized theatre conference. GPTC interns will work directly with department managers and staff, receiving practical experience and leadership opportunities managing specific conference responsibilities. All GPTC internships are unpaid. College credit may be arranged with an academic institution for student interns, and housing may be available.

For further information or to fill out an application, visit www.mccneb.edu/theatreconference.  Questions about these internships may be directed to Kevin Lawler, Producing Artistic Director of the Great Plains Theatre Conference, kmlawler@mccneb.edu or 402-457-2485.

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.

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.

Re-considered: Recent work of James Bockelman

james bockelman

Through staining and glazing, layering and sanding, James Bockelman integrates drawn elements into a paper surface. The Gallery of Art and Design at Elkhorn Valley Campus will showcase his work from Feb. 3-28 with Re-considered: Recent work of James Bockelman. An opening reception with the artist will be Feb. 3, 4-6 p.m.

Bockleman creates paper that is fragmented and at times punctured, presenting a more physical reality of both the drawn image and the paper support. Writes the artist: "I enjoy this spatial paradox of perceiving the illusionary while sensing the physical ... Though associated with growth; these overworked drawings of pine cones, root structures, and microscopic cells are caught in a stage of dormancy, weighted with references of struggle and survival."

Artist Biography
James Bockelman is currently an Associate Professor of Art at Concordia University in Seward, Nebraska, where he earned his bachelor's degree. His graduate work in art was completed at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He has had numerous solo exhibitions in Nebraska including the Sheldon Museum of Art, the Museum of Nebraska Art "Nebraska Now" and Peru State College. Awards include Best of Show in the Fred Wells National Juried Exhibition at Nebraska Wesleyan University. In 2007 he had a solo show in entitled "New Works on Paper" at Kunstoffice in Berlin, Germany.

Learn to Compost at Home at Free Workshop

sustainability logoThrough free Training and Development workshops, MCC's Office of Sustainable Practice is offering MCC students, staff and the community the opportunity to learn about how sustainability fits into our lives. Register for the following workshops at (402) 457-5231.

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.

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.

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