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The MPCC Rodeo Team was presented with six bucking chutes Thursday night. Those participating in the presentation were Steve Christy, Phillipsburg Rodeo Committee member, Garrett Nokes, MPCC Rodeo Team timed event coach, Dustin Elliott, MPCC Rodeo Team rough stock coach, and Rod Innes, chairman of the Phillipsburg Rodeo Committee. (Photo courtesy of Ruth Nicolaus)
Rough stock riders on the Mid-Plains Community College Rodeo Team will be able to practice year-round thanks to the generosity of the Phillipsburg Rodeo Committee.
Representatives of the committee presented six bucking chutes to Dustin Elliott, MPCC Rodeo Team rough stock coach, and Garrett Nokes, MPCC Rodeo Team timed event coach, during the first performance of Kansas’ Biggest Rodeo on Thursday night in Phillipsburg, Kan.
The MPCC Cowboy Kickball team, back row, left to right: Carol Garrison, Lauri Rogers, Wendy Schramm, Carol Bodeen, Pam Burks, Josh York, Michael Driskell and Chris Turner. Front row, left to right: Nicole Kissinger, Ethan Elliott, Rachel York, Janelle Higgins, Emma Elliott and Dustin Elliott.
A new event at NEBRASKAland Days raised about $250 for the Mid-Plains Community College Rodeo Team on Wednesday night.
A total of 10 teams competed in Cowboy Kickball at the Wild West Arena in North Platte. The MPCC Wrangler Booster Club had one of them. It lost 15-10 to a team from Great Plains Health, but the college came out a winner anyway at the end of the day.
Seven MPCC instructors are the recipients of BEST awards. The instructors are, back row left to right: Ann Reichle, Janet Stalder, Kathleen McCune, Angie Chittick and Cathy Nutt. Front row left to right: Jean Condon and Lorrie Mowry.
Seven business instructors from Mid-Plains Community College have been honored with Belong, Excel, Study and Travel awards by the Nebraska Department of Education.
Through a partnership with McCook Community College and area business sponsors, the Hormel Entrepreneurship Competition, accepted a record number of 37 applicants. From those, 15 were selected to compete in the Spring Hormel Entrepreneurship Competition. Those semi-finalists received a scholarship (valued at $282) to attend, for free, the on-line Entrepreneurship Business Plan writing class offered through Mid-Plains Community College during the 2015 spring semester.
The 19th annual Buffalo Commons Storytelling and Music Festival will consist of a who’s who of nationally acclaimed narrators and musicians. The festival will begin Friday and continue through Saturday in McCook. The featured presenters include:
(Photo by Susan Wilson)
Bill Harley is a two-time Grammy award-winning artist and recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities. Harley tours nationwide as an author, performing artist and keynote speaker.
He began singing and storytelling in 1975 while still in college. Harley uses songs and stories to paint a vibrant and hilarious picture of growing up, schooling and family life.
Because of a recent flurry of signups officials at McCook Community College are adding a second bus for Friday, June 12's “History’s Mystery” tour of the Indianola Prisoner of War Camp. It’s all part of the Buffalo Commons Storytelling weekend
Summer Kid’s Academy classes at McCook Community College continue this week. Last week students enjoued a SCUBA adventure on campus. This week it's "Fun at the Dam" for (8-14 years of age) Tuesday, June 9.
Some of the best storytellers in the nation will be in McCook next week for the 19th annual Buffalo Commons Storytelling and Music Festival. All activities are open to the public. Many of them are free.
Bullfighter Rowdy Moon puts his skills to the test helping a hung up bull rider. Moon is being sponsored this year by Mid-Plains Community College. (Photo courtesy of JJJ Photo)
Snorting bulls, cheering crowds – it’s all part of a day’s work for Sargent cowboy Rowdy Moon. Moon, 18, is one of the most recent additions to the Mid-Plains Community College Rodeo Team.
He will start classes at MPCC in the fall and compete on the team as a bareback rider. However, his true passion pits him against a meaner sort of animal.
Kaile Jacobson, of Makawao, Hawaii, competes in breakaway roping in Dickinson, N.D. in May. Jacobson is a member of the MPCC Rodeo Team. The horse she is riding was named “Horse of the Year,” for the Great Plains Region by the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association. (Photo courtesy of Annika Plummer Photography)
He might be famous, but it hasn’t gone to his head.
In fact, “Mater,” as he’s known on the rodeo circuit, couldn’t care less about his new regional title, or the glory that accompanies it – just as long as he’s fed on time.
At the Wednesday night Mid-Plains Community College Board of Governors meeting, the Board approved the addition of a third year (July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018) to President Ryan Purdy’s existing three-year rolling contract.
According to the terms, the President shall devote his full time, skill, labor and attention to his duties and be compensated as follows:
All-terrain vehicle training will be offered through Mid-Plains Community College thanks to a more than $24,000 grant from the CHS Foundation, of Inver Grove Heights, Minn. The college received notification of the award Monday.
The money, a total of $24,143, will be administered through the North Platte Community College Foundation. It will be used to fund a Rural Youth Operator Safety Training program, which will provide hands-on, ATV training to people ages 6-16 involved in agriculture production.
A long-time McCook Community Colege science and math teacher -- Jim Hall -- was named the 2015 winner of the Gene A. Budig Outstanding Faculty Award.
This week will be one of celebration at Mid-Plains Community College. Every final puts students one step closer to summer break, and for some, a step closer to earning a college degree, diploma or certificate.
Their hard work, dedication and perseverance will be recognized Friday at both McCook Community College and North Platte Community College.
McCook Community College's Dakota Terry and Jason Lighthall won academic athlete of the year honors recently while the MCC softball team compiled a team grade-point average of 3.48 to win the award for MCC's Academic Athletic Team of the Year.
Tina Walker, Mid-Plains Community College Area Director of the Learning Resource Center, was named the 2014-2015 winner of the award for MCC Professional Achievement in Student Support.
McCook Community College Art Instructor Rick Johnson –has been named the winner of the 2014-2015 MCC Faculty Achievement in Student Success Award.
MCC students named top in their divisions
McCook Community College honored four students this years as the top students in the fields of Business and Technology; Science and Math; Humanities, Social Sciences and Human Services; and applied technology.
Outstanding students in their academic division included: Molly Hannon, Kassidy Gillen, Jamee Stewart and Jimmy Hickert.
These students were selected as their respective divisions’ outstanding student based upon their academic achievement, their participation in division activities and activities during their attendance while completing their education at MCC.
Molly Hannon -- Outstanding Student in the Business and Business Technology Division.
“This student is an amazing young lady, a truly dedicated student and an outstanding athlete,” said her nomination letter.
“She exemplifies leadership by actively participating in class activities and volunteering for leadership roles in group projects.”
“Molly submits high-quality work and has a positive attitude which radiates enthusiasm in the classroom,” said another nomination. “She is a team player and a creative problem-solver. She is quick to recognize the needs of her classmates, and often steps up and mentors those who are struggling.”
Hannon was cited for being “skilled at looking at topics from multiple points of view, and mediating group discussions.”
“She always wears a smile and is a delight to have in class.”
Kassidy Gillen -- Outstanding Student in the Mathematics and Science Division
“Kassidy has been a dependable and conscientious student,” said her nomination letter. “She has had no apparent academic weaknesses. She demonstrated an ability to get along with her peers and to be a leader among her peers in the laboratory portion of our classes.”
The letter went on to say that Gillen demonstrated “an intellectual curiosity as she pursued resources in and outside our class.”
Gillen was noted for her work in Microbiology, Nutrition and Human Anatomy as well as Physiology I and II.
“Kassidy is extremely self-motivated and committed to receiving a quality education while she is at MCC. I can only encourage Kassidy in her pursuit of her future in nursing education.”
“Kassidy is an excellent student who always has a smile on her face and a pleasant greeting when you meet her,” said another letter, “Kassidy will do well in whatever she pursues in her profession!”
Jamee Stewart-- Outstanding Student in the Humanities, Human Services and Social Sciences Division.
“Jamee’s work ethic is exceptional and is one of the many characteristics that define her as an outstanding student. Her work is meticulous and always completed on time. As a person she is friendly, courteous, and respectful of her instructors and fellow students. She is destined for great success,” said her nomination letter.
“Jamee is one of the most outstanding students I’ve had in the 20 years I’ve taught here” the letter said. “She has the second highest grade in my Introduction to Sociology class during that time. In addition to being highly intelligent, she is also sociable, with a great smile and many friends.
“I don’t nominate students for this award very often because few qualify but Jamee certainly does and I recommend her for this division award without reservation!”
Jimmy Hickert -- Outstanding Student in the Applied Technologies Division –
Jimmy Hickert was cited for his strong desire to become a great welder. During the first semester, Jimmy put in extra hours welding every week while remaining “very engaged” and with a positive attitude, according to his letter of nomination.
In addition Hickert has taken a job welding for Schaffert Manufacturing, and has “done a great job with positive feedback.”
“He is the kind of student whose efforts will help the welding program grow its relationship with local employers and well as provide a positive name to Mid-Plains Community College and the students that we develop,” the letter went on to say.
Two McCook Community College sophomores claimed Vice President’s Awards at Honors Convocation Thursday. Andrea Miller, Culbertson, won the Vice President’s Award. Brittany Broomfield, McCook, won the Vice President of Student Services Award.
‘Random knock on the door’ led Kathy Dernovich to EMS career
During the fall of 1981, Kathy Dernovich was a stay-at-home mother of three. A stranger knocked on the door of their Culbertson home and changed the trajectory of her life forever.
“Ed Oberg was knocking on doors looking for people to join a group of Culbertson residents who wanted to learn emergency medical training,” Dernovich recalls.
“With three kids, what really perked my interest was thinking ‘Wow, one night a week, for three hours, participating in training other than potty training,’” she said. “I remember I even had to ask Ed to explain what being an EMT entailed and if Culbertson even had an ambulance.”
A retirement open house is set for Wednesday at the Weeth Theater on campus from 3-4:30 p.m. for Kathy and for retiring history instructor Chet DeVaughn. The public is encouraged to attend.
MCC’s Chet DeVaughn retiring after 43 years as teach, coach
Chet DeVaughn’s teaching career follows a path of doing what made the most sense, but it’s also been a career he calls extremely rewarding. He’s retiring from McCook Community College this year.
A retirement open house is set for Wednesday at the Weeth Theater on campus from 3-4:30 p.m. for DeVaughn and Kathy Dernovich. The public is encouraged to attend.
Top honors announced at MCC for students, instructors, staff
Thirty-seven McCook Community College students were inducted into The Eta Omicron chapter of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society Thursday in the Peter and Dolores Graff Event Center.
MEMBERS OF THE McCook Community College play “Proof” which opens Friday on campus include Ethan Poore (left) and Allison Priddy. Performances are at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and a 2 p.m. matinee at the Weeth theater in Tipton Hall on campus.
MCC's 'Proof' opens Friday on campus
The McCook Community College production of David Auburn’s award-winning “Proof” comes to the MCC stage this weekend.
The play, directed by MCC Theater Instructor Clay Grizzle, opens with performances Friday and Saturday night at 7 p.m. at the Weeth Theater in Tipton Hall on campus. There is also a Sunday matinee at 2 p.m.
“I just think it’s a wonderful script that turns the focus on family dynamics and trust while delving into the fine line between genius and mental illness,” Grizzle said.
“Proof” is the story of a young woman named Catherine, played by McCook High School senior Allison Priddy. She is the daughter of Robert, (Don Harpst) a brilliant mathematician, who misplaces both his brilliance and his sanity in his later years. Catherine, a budding mathematician herself, must give up her schooling and her most creatively productive years in order to take care of her father.
The play opens with Robert -- who has just died -- and Catherine, conversing with his ghost. She wonders if she may have inherited his tendency toward madness. Robert had first shown signs of madness in his mid-twenties. Catherine just turned 25. Her suspicions seem confirmed when sister Claire (played by Kyla Monie) and Robert's protégé, Hal, (Ethan Poore) begin to treat her as if she is mentally unstable.
“Ultinately, Catherine has to confront who she is,” Grizzle said.
Priddy, who plans to attend MCC after graduation, said the role of Catherine has required her acting to dig to a deeper level than she’s ever had to before.
“It took me awhile to understand Catherine and her world,” Priddy said.
“This story deals with some serious family issues,” Harpst said. “It has more ‘real-world issues than most plays so it’s given us all much deeper challenges intellectually. I just love the dynamics of the father/daughter relationship in this play.”
Poore, who plays one of Robert’s former math students, said he likes how once you get into the story there are many ways to interpret the things Catherine and Robert say to each other.
Kyla Monie plays the estranged daughter “Claire” who comes to Chicago for her father’s funeral and tries to reconcile with her estranged sister.
“It’s so much different than what you might see on stage at a typical community play or even a school play,” she said. “You’ve got one daughter who makes many sacrifices to stays home in Chicago and look after her father and then you have my character Claire, who thinks she has all the answers even though she lives in New York.”
“There are some serious issues like mental illness and caring for family members but the dialogue is real, sometimes even funny.” Priddy said. “I think all-in-all it’s a very entertaining story.”
“Proof” won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Tony Award for Best Play and was made into a movie by the same name staring Gwyneth Paltrow, Anthony Hopkins, Jake Gyllenhaal.
Grizzle said the play does have mild adult language and while it is a serious play he believes there are enough amusing moments -- and an intriguing mystery -- to keep the story balanced and the audience entertained.
Seven finalists in the Hormel Entrepreneurship Competition are set to make their final pitches this Friday for a chance to win $25,000 in prize money to develop or expand their business.
McCook Community College sophomores Andrea Miller and Amber Madigan were recently honored for being named as MCC’s representatives of USA Today’s All-USA Community College Academic Team.
More than 250 area art students were on the McCook Community College campus Friday for the annual paint-in and art exhibition.
Students from Norton Community High School placed first in the paint-in competition, Hitchcock County was second, Chase County third and a team from McCook received honorable mention.
Thomas Hoxmeier of Southern Valley High School received the “Best of Show” award with his piece “Thursday Matinee.”
MEMBERS OF THE McCOOK Community College chapter of Phi Beta Lambda recently competed at the state leadership conference in Kearney.
McCook Community College hosted the Mid-Plains Community College Tech Exploration Day which included hands-on demonstrations and displays from the instructors in Building Construction, Auto Body, Automotive, Electrical, Diesel, Welding and HVAC.
The McCook Community College women’s basketball team will hold a garage sale Saturday from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. at 906 Norris Avenue in McCook with the event serving as a fundraiser for the Lady Indians program.
McCOOK COMMUNITY COLLEGE students in the Accelerated Paramedic class recently finished 12 weeks of training on campus. This 12-week program is designed to provide the required classroom training and education to develop competent Paramedics. The accelerated version of the paramedic training consolidates the didactic training in which the students attend class 40 contact hours per week for 12 weeks.
The Peter and Dolores Graff Events Center will host art students from nearly two dozen area high schools Friday when the McCook Community College Art Department stages its annual paint-in competition.
While most McCook Community College students spent spring break away from campus, a small group of students spent it with campus Vice President Andy Long in Texas.
It was all part of the MCC Leadership class and included stops in Dallas, San Antonio and Corpus Christi. Their stops included AT&T Stadium, the John F. Kennedy Memorial, Dealey Plaza and the Texas School Book Depository in Dallas; the Alamo and Historic River Walk in downtown San Antonio; Sea World and the beaches of Corpus Christi.
Marco Pascolo, of Italy, works on a project in a physics lab at North Platte Community College on Monday. Pascolo will transfer to the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in the fall to study electrical engineering and play basketball.
Statistics in a new report are no surprise to administrators at Mid-Plains Community College. In fact, the information reinforces what they’ve known all along - more students are earning college degrees than traditional data indicates, and MPCC has a hand in it.
Elizabeth Benjamin has resigned from the Mid-Plains Community College Board of Governors. Ryan Purdy, president of Mid-Plains Community College, received notice of the resignation, which goes into effect immediately.
In her message to the rest of the MPCC Board, Benjamin said, “Louie, Ted, Mike, Garry, Kent and Ernie - it was my honor to serve with you these last 10 years. And to Ben, Jo, Cindy and Karen, I hope that you enjoy your tenure on the Board as I did.”
Cutline: Angela Buesing, of Gothenburg, prepares to take a job skills assessment test Monday at MPCC in North Platte. The college has been selected to receive a Career Preparedness Award.
Mid-Plains Community College has been named as a Career Preparedness Award recipient by the Nebraska ACT State Organization.
The honor makes MPCC Nebraska’s community college representative in the national ACT College and Career Readiness Campaign.
11-year old Abbee Terry throws out the first pitch Thursday at Purple Day activities for McCook Community College softball and baseball games.
McCook Community College students Dakota Terry and Brittany Broomfield were interviewed by NTV-Kearney News reporter Jon Jankowski today in conjunction with MCC’s “Purple Out Day” and “Team Abbee.” The news feature will air tonight either on the 6.m., 10 p.m. newscasts, or both. The MCC baseball team will wear purple today to honor Abbee Terry, 11, who suffers from epilepsy. Abbee will throw out the first pitch for the 5 p.m. softball game against North Platte. Purple Day will feature a number of activities aimed at raising epilepsy awareness, including signed items from several MCC and NPCC teams.
Students from Hitchcock County, Dundy County-Stratton and Sutherland claimed top team academic honors Wednesday at the Inter-high Day scholastic competition at McCook Community College. Here are the results:
Mid-Plains Community College will have a hand in increasing the number of shop and industrial technology teachers in Nebraska.
That’s thanks to a new partnership with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (CASNR).
Mid-Plains Community College will offer and in-depth look at its programs and services during a series of Registration Days starting in April.
People will be able to sign up for classes at the events. They will also receive all the information needed to begin coursework at MPCC in the fall.
More than 400 of the area’s best high school students from 19 area schools will compete for top academic honors Wednesday on the McCook Community College campus Wednesday for the annual Inter-high day competition.
These students will be competing in 28 areas this year and competing for $14,000 in scholarships and 250 hours of free summer credit hours.
Abbee Terry, an 11-year old who loves cheering for her favorite baseball and softball players, will throw out the first pitch Thursday when the McCook Community College softball team hosts North Platte on “Purple Day.” She suffers from a rare and severe form of epilepsy her "Purple Day"pitch will help raise awareness about the disease.
The McCook Community College Phi Theta Kappa Chapter along with the MCC softball team is sponsoring a “Purple-Out” event March 19 to help raise awareness about epilepsy.
McCook Community College art students help judge the McCook High School Art show now showing at the Wrightstone Fine Arts Gallery on campus.
The McCook Community College choir, select choir, jazz band and various ensembls will perform in concert Sunday at 7 p.m. in the Weeth Theater in Tipton Hall on the MCC campus.
A project a year and a half in the making has finally come to fruition at Mid-Plains Community College. The 2013-14 assessment report, “A Work in Progress,” is now available at mpcc.edu.
It demonstrates that faculty and staff are committed to answering the question, “What can we do better?” and supporting MPCC’s mission of providing quality educational opportunities for lifelong student learning.
“A Shot of Reality” is coming to Mid-Plains Community College.
Binge drinking, alcoholism, drunk driving, health risks and social mistakes are some of the many topics that will be covered in the presentation designed to educate students about encountering alcohol in a college environment.
The free program is mandatory for students living on MPCC campuses. It is also open to the public.
Slots remain for MCC fire school courses March 28, 29
Mid-Plains Community College’s Fire Science Department is hosting a two-day, multi-course fire school in McCook March 28-29.
Courses are being offered in: special rescue (off-road/wilderness); farm-vehicle extraction; advanced auto extraction, grain bin rescue; bus and heavy truck training; basic and advanced rope rescue; wildland firefighting, basic pump; live fire training; patient disentanglement; apparatus operation; and crash investigation awareness for firefighters.
MCC Intramural coed volleyball Sundays in March
Intramural Coed Volleyball begins Sunday night and will continue through the month of March at 9 p.m. Sundays at the Peter and Dolores Graff Events Center on the McCook Community College Campus.
Mid-Plains Community College is offering a new option for people who want to obtain an associate degree, but have little time to do so.
Classes for Sunday College start in August. The idea is for students to be in a classroom on Sunday afternoons and evenings, then complete coursework online the rest of the week.
Mid-Plains Community College President Ryan Purdy, Area Vice-President of Academic Affairs and North Platte Community College Jody Tomanek and MPCC Rodeo Team Coach Dustin Elliott present Aukai Kaai, MPCC student and rodeo team member, with a $1,000 scholarship Wednesday night during a MPCC Board of Governors meeting.
It’s going to cost students an extra $2 per credit hour to take “for credit” classes through Mid-Plains Community College next year.
On Wednesday, the MPCC Board of Governors approved a 2.13 percent increase in resident tuition - raising the per credit hour rate from $79 to $81.
Fees will stay the same at $15 per credit hour. The total per credit hour tuition and fees will go from $94 to $96. Changes will affect the 2015-16 academic year beginning July 1.
McCook Community College is hosting an exhibit showcasing one of Nebraska’s most celebrated artists, “John Robert Weaver.” His works are on loan from the Museum of Nebraska Art. This exhibit runs through March 6
Jessica Epting, area lead graphic designer, uploads content to MPCC's website. The website was recently revamped as the result of an action project.
Mid-Plains Community College has made great strides the past three years. That’s according to data indicating significant improvements to policies and procedures.
“Every three years we come up with a strategic plan for shaping our future,” said Andy Long, area vice president of student affairs and McCook Community College. “It’s developed based on community input sessions, employee feedback, a student engagement survey and feedback we receive from our accrediting body, the Higher Learning Commission.”
Two Mid-Plains Community College students, Grant Moore and Stephanie States, recently attended the “Meet the Pros” conference at the Scott Conference Center in Omaha along with Graphic Design Instructor Becky Meyers.
The American Red Cross Bloodmobile coming to the McCook College campus Thursday.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MPCC announces second round of spring classes
Registrations are now being accepted for the second round of second semester classes at Mid-Plains Community College. Most begin in March and run through May.
The classes include:
- BIOS 1090/91, General Botany – The class begins March 16 and continues through June 4. It is a one-semester introductory course in botany, designed for biology majors, general education students and medical program students. The course is a basic study of plants and plant-like organisms, including topics related to plant anatomy, physiology, growth, reproduction, morphology, taxonomy, genetics and ecology. The pre-requisite is General Biology, BIOS 1010, or instructor permission.
Dani Sheneman, Dorothy Schneider, Rayanne Paulman, Zach Vivod, Nicholas McDougall and Jessica Mcquistan gather around a sign in Normal, Ill. The MPCC students attended the Midwest Bisexual Lesbian Gay Transgender Ally College Conference Feb. 13-15.
Six students from Mid-Plains Community College were among more than 2,500 people attending the Midwest Bisexual Lesbian Gay Transgender Ally College Conference Feb. 13-15.
The event, which is the largest college conference of its kind in the U.S., was at Illinois State University in Normal, Ill.
Participants listened to nationally acclaimed speakers and attended a variety of workshops, learning about everything from expressing self-identity to addressing social justice issues.
The students, along with their advisors, Sky Seery and Tina Walker, represented the North Platte Community College Gay Straight Alliance and the McCook Community College Gay Straight Alliance.
Mid-Plains Community College is now an approved FedEx Training Center – the only one of its kind in west central Nebraska.
“That means anybody who successfully completes the Professional Truck Driving Course offered by the MPCC Center for Enterprise will be eligible to apply for a job as a FedEx driver,” said Dennis Holtz, professional truck driving course instructor. “They will be guaranteed an interview. It also cuts down the amount of drive training they have to do with FedEx if they get a job with the company.”
A shipping complication has delayed the start of the John Robert Weaver exhibition on the McCook Community College campus by one week according to MCC Art Instructor Rick Johnson.
Starting Feb. 23, MCC is scheduled to receive the Robert Weaver pieces from the Museum of Nebraska Art in Kearney. Weaver is one of the state’s most celebrated artists and his work will be exhibited through March 6.
Community colleges are the future.
That’s the belief of Cindy Duncan, one of three new members on the Mid-Plains Community College Board of Governors.
The optimism is what prompted her to run for a seat on the board, and why she’s thrilled about her new role.
“I really think community colleges are poised for a great growth period,” said Duncan. “MPCC has continually shown it’s ready for whatever wave of newness is coming, and I’m excited to be part of that movement.”
McCook Community College students in the "Police and Society" class, taught by Mike Hendricks, had coffee with members of law enforcement Tuesday during the monthly "Coffee With A Cop" program at McDonald's in McCook.
McCOOK COMMUNITY COLLEGE students Kassidy Gillen (left) and Brooke Ruggles help promote the Red Cross Bloodmobile coming to campus Feb. 26 sponsored by the The McCook Community College chapters of Phi Beta Lambda and Phi Theta Kappa will be hosting a bloodmobile on campus from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
To schedule an appointment contact Shannon Schaben at 345-8133 or email email@example.com for your appointment or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
This week on campus
Monday, 8 p.m. - Bingo in Brooks Hall, first floor lounge.
Tuesday, 9 a.m.-noon – College Transfer Fair -- von Riesen Library. Representatives from four-year institutions in the region will visit with students about bachelor’s degree options, transferring credits, and the admissions process.
Tuesday 3 p.m. – MCC baseball team at Garden City Community College.
Friday - Secret Valentine, Brooks Hall, first Floor.
Friday, 5 p.m. – MCC Women’s basketball at Western Nebraska CC.
Friday, 7 p.m. – MCC Men’s basketball at Western Nebraska CC.
Saturday, 2 p.m. – MCC Women’s basketball at Eastern Wyoming CC.
Saturday, 4 p.m. – MCC Men’s basketball at Eastern Wyoming CC.
Sunday, 1 p.m. – MCC Baseball doubleheader at Labette Community College.
Sunday – 9 p.m. -- Intramurals at the Peter and Dolores Graff Event Center Auxiliary Gym.
Monday, February 16 -- Auditions for the Spring Production “Proof” – from 4-5:30 p.m. and 7-8:30 p.m. in the Weeth Theater. Roles are open for two females and one male. Contact Clay Grizzle at 308-345-8173 for more details.
McCOOK COMMUNITY COLLEGE sophomore Barry Lasseigne, Las Vegas, and MCC Physics Instructor Lynn Salyer check out the weather station on campus to show it reached 82 degrees Saturday.
Auditions for MCC’s ‘Proof’ set for Feb. 16
Auditions will be Feb. 16 for the McCook Community College Theater production of the award-winning play “Proof” by David Auburn.
Two audition sessions are set for Feb. 16 in the Weeth Theater in Tipton Hall on campus. The first session will be from 4-5:30 p.m. with the second from 7-8:30 p.m.
“Proof” won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Tony Award for Best Play.
“I like what the New York Daily News said about it,” said MCC Theater Instructor Clay Grizzle. “They said that it ‘contains elements of mystery and surprise with old-fashioned story-telling to provide a compelling evening of theater.’”
The story concerns Catherine, the daughter of Robert, a recently deceased mathematical genius in his fifties and professor at the University of Chicago, and her struggle with mathematical genius and mental illness. Complicating matters are one of her father's former students who wants to search through his papers, and her estranged sister who shows up to help settle his affairs.
There are parts for four individuals, two male and two female. The role of the father has been cast but there are openings for one male and two female young adults.
Actors will be asked to read lines from the play. Those interested in obtaining a copy of the script in advance can check-out a copy by contacting Grizzle at 345-8173 or emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org
The play will be staged April 24-26 and rehearsals will begin in March.
“Because this is such a small cast, we’ve got the flexibility to rehearse whenever it works out best for the actors,” Grizzle said.
There are two things Karen Knisley feels strongly about: the importance of a quality education and civic-mindedness. She will be able to put them together thanks to a role she took on last week.
“I joined the Mid-Plains Community College Board of Governors to be further involved with the community,” said Knisley. “I know how vital MPCC is to North Platte and the surrounding area, in terms of economic development and ‘putting us on the map.’ It’s important to me to assist with the college’s continued growth.”
Becky Barner, career specialist at Mid-Plains Community College, has been selected to serve on the EducationQuest Foundation’s Middle School Ad Hoc Advisory Group.
The group was established to increase awareness of “KnowHow2GO” programs and materials among Nebraska middle school students to further a mission of improving access to higher education.
“It is an honor to be asked to sit on the advisory group,” said Barner. “That means people across the state are noticing the efforts we make here at MPCC to work with middle school and high school students on career exploration and career planning. I’m looking forward to working with the group and learning from others in the state.”
Dr. Ben Lashley has a passion for serving his community.
It stems from a handful of factors: North Platte is where he was raised, where he operates a business and where he is now raising a family of his own.
American History II is just one of the classes that will be taught at NPCC this semester. It starts next week.
Time is running out to sign up for two classes at North Platte Community College: “Fundamentals of Photography” and “American History II – Since 1877.”
The 12-week, 3 credit hour photography class, otherwise known as ARTS 1400, is taught by art instructor Dik Haneline.
It will meet from 6-10:45 p.m. on Tuesdays in Room 137 of the McDonald-Belton Building on NPCC’s south campus. The first class is Feb. 10.
Gabrielle Perlinger, of Paxton, and Larissa Walter, of North Platte, clean equipment following a chemistry lab Thursday at North Platte Community College.
It’s not the easiest program on campus, but it’s not supposed to be.
If there was no challenge to chemistry, then it wouldn’t serve its purpose, which is to prepare students at Mid-Plains Community College to be successful – no matter what career they choose.
“Chemistry serves multiple roles here at the college,” said Aaron McLean, chemistry instructor at MPCC in North Platte. “It can be used as a science elective, but it’s also much, much more.”
The class is a necessity for people who want to be professional chemists, or go into another scientific field such as biology.
Chemistry is also a prerequisite for those headed down a healthcare path such as medical technology, radiation technology or nursing.
“Doctors, veterinarians, pharmacists and dentists all need four semesters of chemistry,” said McLean. “Engineers need at least one semester, sometimes two, depending on what kind of engineering they plan to do.”
Erik Davis and Kelsey Rhoden, both of North Platte, hit the books during a chemistry lab Thursday at North Platte Community College.
Those who don’t want or need to take a core science class can opt for one of two survey courses that provide a broad overview of chemistry.
However, students requiring the full four semesters of chemistry will find themselves enrolled in two semesters of general chemistry followed by two semesters of organic chemistry.
“The general part is a detailed overview of certain principles as applied to all chemistry,” said McLean. “It involves the mathematical relationship with chemistry phenomena and tries to explain why things occur the way they do.”
According to McLean, the organic classes focus on the chemistry of carbon and its chemical behavior.
“Life is carbon-based,” said McLean. “The majority of biological molecules are carbon-based, so the more we understand them, the more we understand life.”
Living tissue isn’t the only substance with its roots in carbon. Plastics, adhesives and fossil fuels are just a few examples of non-living materials that also contain the element.
Because aspects of chemistry are everywhere in the physical world, there are lots of open doors for those who have a background in that particular branch of science.
“One of my former students is now a food chemist for Cargill,” said McLean. “Another is in her second year of medical school, planning to go into psychiatry, and a third is in vet school.”
McLean believes the small class sizes and low tuition rates at MPCC offer a huge advantage to chemistry students.
The largest class he will teach is 24 students. Most are smaller. In organic chemistry, the average is five to seven students.
“That’s compared to a class of 80-100 at a university,” said McLean. “Not only is it intimidating to be in a class that large, but one-on-one time with an instructor is almost impossible. I know all my students, and I think the key to success for a lot of them has been one-on-one instruction.”
According to McLean, tuition at MPCC is about half that of a university and credits transfer seamlessly to other colleges and universities throughout the state.
“People can get their first two years of schooling here then move into programs such as pre-med or pre-vet,” said McLean. “Those are high-paying jobs. Any way you look at it, starting out at a community college just makes sense.”
Cynthia Duncan (District 3), Ben Lashley (District 4) and Karen Knisley (District 5) are sworn in during the Mid-Plains Community College Board of Governors meeting Wednesday night in North Platte. Lashley and Knisley are from North Platte. Duncan is from Broken Bow.
The following students qualified for the Dean’s List during the 2014 Fall Term. To be eligible, they had to complete 12 or more credit hours of college-level courses and maintain an overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.5 – 3.89 on a 4.0 scale.
Anselmo - Rebecca Rossenbach
Arapahoe - Christen Williamson
Arnold - Jami Andre, Hannah Magill
Axtell - Gabrielle Nickel
The following students qualified for the President’s List at Mid-Plains Community College during the 2014 Fall Term. To make the list, each student had to complete 12 or more credit hours in college-level courses and maintain a grade point average of 3.9 or greater on a 4.0 scale.
Arapahoe - Kyla Monie
Benkelman - Raquel Ohrman
Brady - Valerie Most, Dakota Terry
Broken Bow - Jeffrey Frede
The McCook Community College office of Student Life is asking students to “channel their inner-cheerleader” as the men’s and women’s basketball teams take on North Platte Wednesday at the Peter and Dolores Graff Event Center.
In addition Wednesday will be YMCA youth basketball night, AmFirst Bank/PBL night and Sports Shoppe Night. The women’s game starts at 5:30 p.m. with the men to follow at about 7:30 p.m.
The MCC student who displays the most MCC spirit will receive a $10 gift card.
McCOOK COMMUNITY COLLEGE students Bradley Hill (left) and Sofija Pejcic are paying for their international college experience in Nebraska this year in part thanks to the Dr. Jo Keeler International Student scholarship.
An eight-month $2.08 million renovation project at McCook Community College is not only bringing Brooks Hall an elevator for the first time, it also gives MCC the opportunity to upgrade the first floor cafeteria with $215,117 of new kitchen equipment and the remodeling of the lounge area.
Mike Janecek, automotive instructor, hooks up a clip car to a scanner Friday at North Platte Community College. The clip cars allow students in the automotive technology program to easily observe and practice skills they hear about in the classroom.
Don’t let their size fool you.
The cars parked in the automotive technology shop at North Platte Community College may be little, but the role they play in training students is huge.
Jared Daily, MPCC mathematics and physics instructor, and Matt Kellie, student, work on a Harley-Davidson hard saddlebag Wednesday. Redesigning the lock and hinge on the saddlebag so the lid doesn’t fall off is one of the projects students in the STEP program are working on.
It’s called “Strengthening Transitions into Engineering Programs,” otherwise known as STEP, and people around the country are reaping the benefits of it. Students are set up for success the minute they enroll.
“There are three major advantages of the STEP program,” said Jared Daily, a physics and engineering instructor at Mid-Plains Community College in North Platte. “First, STEP introduces students to engineering in a non-threatening and informative way. Second, students can complete many challenging courses with the support and guidance they need to succeed. Third, STEP students save a lot of money by starting out in community colleges.”
The program started in 2006 as the result of a partnership between Nebraska’s community colleges and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Engineering.
Through STEP, prospective engineers can complete two years of core courses at one of the community colleges then transfer to UNL for a bachelor’s degree.
Daily and Roger Volentine, MPCC mathematics instructor, were chosen to represent Nebraska's community colleges and report on STEP to the National Science Foundation in Washington, D.C. The reports have been positive. A lot of that has to do with the gradual transition into university classes that STEP offers.
“Going to an engineering class at a big university is like getting dropped into a tank of ice water,” said Daily. “You’re thrown into the toughest classes with the smartest people, and that can be intimidating. The dropout rate in engineering is about 50 percent freshman year.”
Daily believes part of the problem is that students don’t always know what they’re getting into.
“At MPCC, we introduce students to engineering disciplines and the design process without the academic pressure of a university,” said Daily. “We’ve also developed a dual credit course where high school students can get a taste of engineering early on. It’s part of an Engineering Career Academy.”
One of the biggest benefits of STEP courses is that students learn in a small classroom setting with lots of hands-on and one-on-one instruction.
“We’ve been holding steady at six or seven kids in our main engineering class,” said Daily. “That’s compared to hundreds at a big university.”
Another benefit MPCC STEP students have is internships. So far, Daily has worked with students to land internships with the Nebraska Public Power District, the Omaha Public Power District, the Nebraska Department of Roads and the UNL West Central Research and Extension Center.
"Internships give students real-life experience that is not only an invaluable education, but also a springboard into careers and other opportunities,” said Daily. “Few, if any, freshmen and sophomores are given internships at universities."
Attending MPCC is also less expensive than attending a university.
“Most engineers take five to six years to get a bachelor’s degree, which amounts to $50,000-$100,000 minimum,” Daily said. “If they can get a couple years for $90 per credit - that’s a huge help."
Engineering books, which are usually close to the $300 range, are at most $75 at MPCC. Daily has also been working for years to develop courses that use free textbooks and online resources.
Presently, he teaches two physics courses, two engineering courses and two math courses that all use free textbooks and/or free online learning materials.
"I believe education should be affordable,” said Daily. “Students should not be denied opportunity because somebody is trying to make more money."
Matt Kellie, of North Platte, is one of the students currently enrolled in STEP at MPCC. He’s been impressed by the program.
“I signed up because I’ve always had an interest in math and science and had been looking at NPPD jobs,” said Kellie. “STEP is great because it gives me a head start on engineering courses before moving on to a university. It’s just a little bit of an edge.”
In an effort to increase the number of registered nurses in Nebraska with bachelor’s degrees, the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing will provide early, guaranteed admission in the RN to BSN program for qualified students enrolled in associate degree nursing programs at the six community colleges in the state.
The intent of the Nebraska RN-BSN Collaborative is to encourage seamless transfer opportunities for students and enhance communication between the institutions. The agreement also is one strategy towards Nebraska’s goal of attaining 80 percent of registered nurses with BSN degrees, said Juliann Sebastian, dean of the UNMC College of Nursing.
“With an increased need for BSN qualified nurses, this partnership shows a commitment across the state of Nebraska to provide qualified nurses to our local hospitals and clinics,” said Jody Tomanek, area vice-president of academic affairs and North Platte Community College. “The community colleges are pleased to partner with UNMC on this venture that will be beneficial to students, colleges and employers.”
The six community colleges are: Central Community College, Kearney/Grand Island; Metro Community College, Omaha; Mid-Plains Community College, North Platte/McCook; Northeast Community College, Norfolk; Southeast Community College, Lincoln; and West Nebraska Community College, Scottsbluff.
“This will be a wonderful opportunity for students and will help boost the BSN pipeline in the state,” Sebastian said. “One of the most exciting things is each community college worked with our faculty to design the program in a way that will work optimally for students and strengthen opportunities for seamless progression from the associate to the baccalaureate degree.”
She said the program is streamlined and has been customized to meet the needs of registered nurses. Students at the community colleges still will have opportunities to apply for any UNMC nursing program of their choice, Sebastian said, but the agreement provides a unique early entry option for students who meet the qualifications.
Community college students approved for early admission will have completed at least one quarter of nursing coursework and have a minimum GPA of 3.25. Students will be admitted pending completion of the ADN program and attaining their registered nursing license.
The RN to BSN program requires 20 credit hours and is delivered online. An additional 11 credits are required and are met through documentation of professional and educational accomplishments.
The program is designed to bridge the gap between the credit hours students already have taken in their associate degree programs and what they need for a BSN. Flexibility of the program enables students to finish it full time in two semesters or part-time over three years.
Applications will be accepted in February 2015 for the semester that begins in August 2016. Guaranteed spaces will be made available at the beginning of each academic year for a select number of students.
Lynnette Leeseberg Stamler, professor and associate dean for academic programs at the UNMC College of Nursing, said the RN to BSN program provides skills and knowledge in leadership, teamwork, critical thinking, best practices, patient safety and quality improvement. It also provides education in population-based care.
According to a 2012 report by the Nebraska Center for Nursing, 48 percent of the 20,434 registered nurses working in Nebraska have earned a BSN. About 51 percent of nurses in the nation have a BSN degree, Stamler said.
Three instructors from Mid-Plains Community College have been selected as Excellence in Teaching recipients by the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD).
The full-time instructors are Nicole Kissinger and Anne Schmit, and the adjunct representative is Carla Long. It’s the first time MPCC has allowed adjunct faculty to be nominated.
“It is always wonderful when we can recognize the accomplishments of our faculty whether they are full-time or part-time,” said Jody Tomanek, area vice president for academic affairs and NPCC. “This particular award is based on nominations from the faculty, themselves, so to be selected is really a recognition by their peers as well.”
NISOD’s Excellence Awards recognize men and women each year who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment and contribution to their students and colleagues.
The three recipients from MPCC will be presented with awards at NISOD’s annual International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence, May 23-26, in Austin, Texas.
They will receive a specially cast, pewter medallion, and their names, titles and college they represent will be included in a commemorative booklet.
“Recognizing those individuals who have contributed to student success and their colleges’ mission is something we look forward to doing each year,” said Edward Leach, NISOD’s executive director. “The extraordinary work of these men and women includes not only what they do for their students and colleagues, but what they do for the communities in which they live and work. We’re honored to be able to play a part in celebrating their achievements.”
Created in 1978, NISOD is an organization committed to promoting and celebrating excellence in teaching, learning and leadership at community and technical colleges.
NISOD supports its member colleges by providing professional development resources and learning experiences, including practitioner publications, webinars, the international conference and the excellence awards.
The first NISOD Excellence Award ceremony was in 1989. Response was so positive that NISOD launched what has become the largest gathering to recognize contributions and achievements of community and technical college faculty, administrators and staff.
Rachel Bashor has been named Student Life’s newest team member. She will serve as the Area Student Activities Specialist/Administrative Assistant in McCook. She served in this capacity on an interim basis for part of the fall semester.
Ryan Purdy speaks during an all-campus meeting earlier this month. Sunday will mark the three-year anniversary of his presidency at MPCC.
It’s been almost three years since Ryan Purdy took over the helm as president of Mid-Plains Community College. Although relatively short in duration, his leadership has been accompanied by a tremendous amount of success.
“There were a lot of good systems in place when I stepped into the job,” Purdy said. “It was just a matter of expanding on the groundwork.”
Knitting, crocheting and beginning clothing construction are just a few of the fun, arts and crafts classes MPCC offers. Complete listings can be found through any MPCC campus.
Crochet For Geeks, Ballroom Dancing and Pesky Virus Removal, those are just a few of the classes that will be offered at Mid-Plains Community College this spring.
“We have classes geared toward anyone 15 or older,” said Angela Raby, area director of the Mid-Plains Center for Enterprise. “The focus is adult short courses, and there’s a blend of online and on the ground training opportunities.”
MCCOOK COMMUNITY COLLEGE is hosting the McCook Chamber of Commerce Coffee Connection, now through 9 a.m. today in McMillen 213. MCC officials are sharing what’s happening at the college and exchanging news about what’s going on around McCook. Coffee, and coffee cake are be served.
Administrators at Mid-Plains Community College issued a response Monday to President Barack Obama’s idea that tuition at community colleges should be free.
MPCC President Ryan Purdy said it’s too early to tell exactly what the proposal will mean for community colleges, but he does appreciate the national attention they are getting.
“It’s a great opportunity to identify community colleges as the way to bridge the gap in business, industrial and technical training,” said Purdy.
His concerns include the red tape and accountability that would accompany such an action and whether Nebraska’s community colleges are staffed to handle any mandated compliance requirements.
“Free sounds great if you’re a student,” said Purdy. “But, from the taxpayer standpoint, the cost may exceed the anticipated outcomes.”
He said tuition makes up 20-35 percent of the general fund budgets of community colleges statewide. According to Purdy, the tuition revenues that would have to be replaced by state and federal money would be in the tens of millions of dollars per year just for Nebraska alone.
Obama unveiled the proposal, known as America’s College Promise, on Friday, and the White House issued a press release about the matter.
“Today, more than ever, Americans need more knowledge and skills to meet the demands of a growing global economy without having to take on decades of debt before they even embark on their career,” the press release reads.
The proposal is likened to a movement about a century ago to make high school widely available. The White House credits that movement to a rapid growth in the education and skills training of Americans, which drove decades of economic growth and prosperity.
“America thrived in the 20th century, in large part because we had the most educated workforce in the world,” the press release reads. “But, other nations have matched or exceeded the secret to our success.”
Success of the new proposal would require a team effort, according to the White House. Community colleges would have to strengthen their programs and increase the number of students who graduate, states would have to invest more in higher education and training and students would have to take responsibility for their education, earn good grades and stay on track to graduate.
The White House maintains that if all states participate, an estimated 9 million students could benefit, and a full-time community college student could save an average of $3,800 in tuition per year.
MPCC officials don’t believe attendance costs should ever be a deterrent to people taking college classes.
“Our Mid-Plains Community College system prides itself on its accessibility, and probably more importantly, its affordability,” said Chuck Salestrom, area associate vice president of public information and marketing for MPCC. “We have a wide variety of funding mechanisms in place to underwrite costs such as Pell Grants, scholarships and tuition waivers. If used correctly, a student can graduate here with little or no debt.”
Those interested in taking aviation classes will now be able to do so through Mid-Plains Community College via distance learning. The course is currently taught in Valentine.
“We look forward to offering this course in other areas,” said Jennie Nollette, Valentine extended campus coordinator. “We had interest in North Platte and Ogallala, so it seemed like a great time to get this started.”
Les Olsen will teach both a Basic Ground Training and an Advanced Ground Training class – each worth three credit hours. The classes are offered at the same time, so students will have to choose one or the other.
Basic Ground Training is for people interested in earning either a pilot’s certificate or a ground instructor certificate. Successful completion prepares students for a federal written exam.
Advanced Ground Training is for those wanting more than a basic knowledge of flight. The focus is advanced systems, instrument flight and complex aircraft operation. Completion qualifies the student for instrument flight written examinations.
The classes are scheduled for 7-10 p.m. on Tuesdays from Jan. 27-May 12. The cost of each is $282. Registration can be done online at mpcc.edu, or by calling 402-376-8033.
It’s easier than ever to receive an education from North Platte Community College. That’s because NPCC is increasing the number of night classes it typically offers in an attempt to work around people’s busy lives.
“For the most part, Mid-Plains Community College is about the ‘As’ - accessibility and affordability,” said Chuck Salestrom, area associate vice president of public information and marketing for MPCC. “Classes, both academic transfer and technical, taught at night are a viable option to learning for the love of learning or the completion of a degree or certificate.”
A variety of night classes for academic credit are available. They include those in the accounting, arts, business, chemistry, computer science, education, medical laboratory and information technology fields among many others.
Emergency medical personnel have the chance to learn about patient assessment, airway management and ventilation, instructor training and emergency medical technician skills.
Fire prevention and investigation and Hazmat awareness and operations are some of the things discussed during fire science technology night classes.
Classes for the technical trades are also offered. They include training in refrigeration and air conditioning, automotive preventive maintenance and minor repair, welding and auto body painting and refinishing.
Introduction to coaching, power sculpting and prevention and care of athletic injuries are among the physical education classes featured.
Numerous hobby classes such as furniture upholstering, furniture repair and cabinet making are also available.
Many of the night classes start Jan. 12 and run through April or May. Sessions last approximately three hours.
Scholarships and tuition waivers may still be available for those who qualify, and people 62 or older can take advantage of a senior discount.
Registration can be done online at mpcc.edu, or by calling 800-658-4308 ext. 3774.
Mid-Plains Community College faculty participated in an On Course workshop Friday in North Platte. The course stressed student engagement, academic success and retention.
Instructors at Mid-Plains Community College received a crash course this week on empowering students to become active, responsible learners.
Faculty were required to participate in a one-day On Course professional development workshop with the goal of improving student engagement, academic success and retention.
The training happened at McCook Community College on Thursday and at North Platte Community College on Friday.
A professional truck driving course is being rolled out at Mid-Plains Community College this month. Classes begin Jan. 12.
“We are so excited to offer this course to meet area workforce development needs,” said Crystal Welch, area operations manager for the MPCC Center for the Enterprise. “This is a blended course with online classroom instruction. It provides flexibility to students who have full-time jobs, but want to explore a new career.”
The intensive eight-week program is designed for people without trucking experience who want to complete commercial driver’s license (CDL) training in as little time as possible.
It prepares students for a career in intrastate and interstate commerce. Training includes driving on city streets and rural roads as well as on two-lane highways and interstate systems.
Data Analysis has been named the continuing education Course of the Year for 2014 by the Learning Resources Network (LERN), the leading continuing education association in the country.
The continuing education unit at the Mid-Plains Center for Enterprise offers a certificate in data analysis. The course is composed of three one-month online courses. Data analysis experts serve as instructors, providing frequent feedback and online discussion.
“Data analysis is a new 21st century skill for the workplace,” said William Draves, LERN president. “The interest in it from people in all sorts of occupations and fields zoomed this year. The vast majority taking courses in data analysis see it as part of their job - as one of the new skills they need to incorporate into their skill set.”
According to Draves, the area of data analysis has emerged in just the last few years. Popularity-wise, it has replaced social media in business, the previously top trending course in continuing education.
LERN data shows that nationally more than 100 continuing education units in colleges and universities that didn’t provide data analysis last year now offer it.
“We have had all this data. Now we can do something with it,” says John Rutledge, who teaches a course in data analysis. “Data analysis is now an integral part of a business organization’s drive for efficiency. It can help increase income or decrease expenses. It also drives efficiency in the use of people’s time.”
LERN is the largest continuing education association in the nation, counting more than 1,100 educational institutions throughout the U.S. and Canada as members.
More information about Mid-Plains Center for Enterprise offerings, is available by emailing email@example.com.
Jane Hornung receives a plaque from Mid-Plains Community College President Ryan Purdy on Wednesday night during her final MPCC Board of Governors meeting. Hornung has served on the board for the past 29 years.
It was a good time to leave.
That’s how Jane Hornung felt about stepping away from the Mid-Plains Community College Board of Governors after 29 years of continuous service.
“I think the board is in a good place,” said Hornung, of Arnold. “I feel like I can leave them and they will behave themselves when I’m gone. The leadership at the college is stronger than it’s ever been.”
Mid-Plains Community College President Ryan Purdy presents Pat Wood with a plaque Wednesday night. Wood was honored during a MPCC Board of Governors meeting for his time spent serving on the board. Other outgoing board members recognized included Jane Hornung, Glenda Hasenauer and David Lynch, who resigned earlier this year.
Members of the North Platte Community College Knights softball team stuff envelopes in the McDonald-Belton Building as part of an alumni mailing project. The mailing was the first of its kind. Updates about the college were sent to 14,000 McCook Community College and NPCC alumni.
Marge Kouba, nurse educator for Mid-Plains Community College, moves an enteral feeding pump Wednesday in the Health and Science Center. Kouba is retiring after nearly 40 years in the nursing profession.
She’s spent her life caring for others, now Marge Kouba is getting the chance to enjoy some time to herself.
“I think I wrote down Dec. 23 as my retirement date,” said Kouba, nurse educator at Mid-Plains Community College. “But, because of Christmas break, my last day will actually be Friday.”
Trevor Blake practices his nursing skills on a mannequin simulator Tuesday at the North Platte Community College Health and Science Center. He’s one of five men in the Mid-Plains Community College nursing program this year.
Who says nursing is only for girls? Trevor Blake doesn’t believe it is, and he’s out to prove the stereotype wrong.
Berva Arensdorf, area employment services coordinator for Mid-Plains Community College, proofreads a résumé Tuesday. It’s one of many ways staff at the MPCC Career Services Center prepare college students for life after graduation.
Not all college students know what they want to be after they graduate.
Narrowing down options and finding the best match for a particular personality can be challenging, which is where the Career Services Center at Mid-Plains Community College comes into play.
“If our students have gone through the technical preparation for a job, then I think we owe it to them to make sure they’re prepared for the application process,” said Berva Arensdorf, MPCC area employment services coordinator.
The Career Services Center is a comprehensive assessment and career planning resource available for free to students within MPCC’s 18-county service area.
“We offer formal workshops, but can also work with people on an individual basis whenever they need us,” said Arensdorf.
A variety of screening assessments are used to help students discover their strengths, interests, values and aptitudes. Data showing projected job outlooks, salaries, education requirements and training opportunities is also provided.
The Career Services Center walks students through every step of the job application process, from creating a cover letter and résumé to preparing for an interview.
“I always tell students there are some things they have complete control over,” said Arensdorf. “Résumés and cover letters can be error-free, but when it comes to interviews, those are a little bit harder to plan for. If there’s one thing we see on a regular basis, it’s a lack of interview preparation and understanding of how important practice is.”
Staff in the Career Services Center conduct mock interviews upon request. If distance is an issue, Arensdorf sets up practice interviews between students and qualified individuals closer to them.
“We teach job applicants what to wear to an interview, how to interact with employers, how to appear confident - basically everything from the opening handshake to the thank-you note at the end,” Arensdorf said.
The Career Services Center serves as a liaison between local employers and students. It maintains an electronic job posting system where businesses can advertise their openings online. It also assists in arranging field trips to employer sites and visits by potential employers to MPCC classrooms.
“It’s good community service for our college to reach out to local employers and ask if there’s something we can do for them,” said Arensdorf. “We don’t ever want to place students, but we do want them to be ready should an opportunity present itself.”
Those interested in receiving help with the job application process can contact the Career Services Center at firstname.lastname@example.org, or reach Arensdorf directly at 535-3619.
People searching for last minute Christmas gifts don’t have to look any farther than Mid-Plains Community College. MPCC is offering tuition gift certificates – an increasingly popular option that helps defray the cost of classes and other college-related expenses.
Becky White, of Paxton, and Sara Boyer, of North Platte, wrap gifts at the North Platte Police Department on Thursday as part of the Santa Cop program.
Sally Thalken waves to the crowd gathered in the McDonald-Belton Gymnasium Tuesday night. Her retirement celebration was attended by her family, friends and former players.
It was an emotional night for Sally Thalken.
“I can’t believe this,” Thalken said looking around at the people crammed into the Knights VIP room. “I wasn’t prepared for all this, but isn’t it fun?”
When an English student at McCook Community College puts together information on a research paper these days, it’s more than “paper.”
McCOOK COMMUNITY COLLEGE hosted Santa’s Workshop recently on the MCC campus. More than 180 community members attended this annual event, sponsored by the MCC Office of Student Life. Admission to the event was one canned good item, which will be taken by MCC students to the McCook Food Pantry.
On Dec. 9 three McCook Community College students will present their “roly poly” research at MCC’s first Scientific Research Symposium, “The Biology of Terrestrial Isopods in Nebraska.”
A trio of sophomores jumped at that opportunity. They include: Amber Madigan, Peyton, Colo; Kyle Rowe, McCook; and Dorothy Schneider, Raleigh, N.C.
These MCC students will present the findings from their own scientific research on their experiments. The public is invited. It is set for 1 p.m. in the Weeth Theater on campus.
Sally Thalken is the winningest active coach in the National Junior College Athletic Association.
During her 34-year career as head volleyball coach at North Platte Community College, Thalken has had 921 wins and 610 losses, coached 12 All-Americans and led her team to nationals five times.
She has been named Region IX Coach of the Year, District Coach of the Year and has been inducted into the NJCAA Volleyball Hall of Fame. However, it’s not the athletic victories that stand out in her mind – it’s the personal ones.
Pam Burks hangs a wreath on the saddle that will be raffled to raise money for travel and other expenses incurred by the Mid-Plains Community College "Wranglers" rodeo team. The saddle is part of the Christmas decorations in the William F. Cody mansion at Scout's Rest Ranch.
Networking is a big part of what the Mid-Plains Center for Enterprise does. Course offerings in everything from leadership and management training to customer service give the CFE the ability to influence as well as educate the communities it serves.
What role do community colleges play in rural development? A big one, if you ask Angela Raby.
Raby is the area director of the Mid-Plains Center for Enterprise, the continuing education and community service division at Mid-Plains Community College.
Indianola native and MCC graduate Veronica Waddell has brought her award-winning graphic design, web-site savvy, and video production skills 'home.'
Jessica Epting, lead graphic designer, looks through a course catalog the Mid-Plains Community College Public Information Office won first place with in a communications contest. Epting also won a total of five individual awards.
The Mid-Plains Community College Public Information Office has been honored with multiple District 5 Medallion Awards from the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations.
Santa Claus is coming to McCook Community College for his annual workshop on campus.
This year’s festivities are set for Thursday, Dec. 4 from 6-8 p.m. at the MCC Student Union and the price of admission is one canned good, to be donated to the McCook Food pantry.
Mid-Plains Community College is teaming up with other organizations across the country to promote #GivingTuesday on Dec. 2.
“It’s a simple idea,” said Carol Bodeen, the college’s area director of development. “#GivingTuesday is a day dedicated to giving back.”
More students than ever will now have access to online courses and programs through Mid-Plains Community College.
MPCC officials received notice Nov. 18 from the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (SARA) that the college has been accepted as a participant in the SARA initiative.
That makes it one of 11 postsecondary institutions in Nebraska that can offer classes to people residing outside the state. As of Monday morning, four out of six community colleges in Nebraska were approved, but none of the universities were.
Area high school students won first place trophies and three free hours of classes at the Mid-Plains Community College’s “E-Day” competition held on the McCook Community College campus.MPCC.
Rodney Rawson, of Norwalk, Calif., studies in the fireplace area of the North Platte Community College McDonald-Belton Building. He is working his way toward an Associate of Applied Science degree thanks to a Bridge Grant Program.
It was just what he needed.
When Rodney Rawson signed up for a Bridge Grant Program through Mid-Plains Community College, he got more than he bargained for - namely a sense of direction.
“I was just kind of floating around before,” Rawson said. “I was going to college, but only taking random classes that interested me.”
The McCook Community College Women’s Basketball team looks to stay perfect at home this weekend.
The Lady Indians (5-3 overall, 5-0 at home) open Region IX play today, against Trinidad State JC at 5 p.m. and on Saturday against Otero JC at 2 p.m. Both these game will be played at the Peter & Dolores Events Center
MORE THAN 50 area high school students are on the McCook Community College campus today for the Mid-Plains Community College “E-Day” Entrepreneurship competition.
Mid-Plains Community College President Ryan Purdy accepts two checks from Larry Linstrom, Nebraska Public Power District board member, and Misty Robertson, Wells Fargo Bank market president.
The presentation was made during a MPCC Board of Governors meeting Wednesday night.
The total of the checks was $15,600, which will be split equally between McCook Community College and North Platte Community College.
The money was raised during the Wells Fargo Nebraska Open golf tournament in September. It was the 23rd year NPPD coordinated the tournament and put a portion of the proceeds toward MPCC student scholarships.
NPPD has contributed a total of $251,310 worth of scholarship money to MPCC over the years.
Jim Schneider is Mid-Plains Community College’s 2014 Alumni of the Year. He was recognized by the Nebraska Community College Association following nomination by Ryan Purdy, MPCC president and members of MPCC’s cabinet.
More than 100 high school students are on the McCook Community College campus for the fall Family, Career and Community Leaders of America Leadership Conference.
Sen. Tom Hansen takes time out from legislative duties to have his picture taken with Erin Mitchell, a member of the North Platte Community College PBL chapter. Mitchell was honored in Lincoln on Monday for placing second in a national PBL word processing competition.
Three Mid-Plains Community College students have been named Phi Beta Lambda national award winners. They were recognized Monday at the Nebraska State Capitol in Lincoln.
Sarah Thelen is a finish carpenter in Omaha. She got her training at North Platte Community College.
Sarah Thelen is used to having people tell her she can’t do things because she’s a woman. The criticism doesn’t break her spirit – it motivates her to push harder.
“I don’t hear the comments much from my generation – it’s older generations and usually homeowners,” said Thelen. “I don’t listen to it. It just makes me want to prove them wrong.”
Thelen, a Burwell native, is a finish carpenter for high-end homes in Omaha. She installs handrails and spiral staircases and builds custom furniture, mantles, benches and cabinets.
McCook Community College is hosting three pre-Thanksgiving events aimed at high school students, with two this week and one next week. On Wednesday, MCC Family and Consumer Sciences Department hosts the District 11 Fall Leadership Conference of Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA). The McCook Community College Business Department will host Mid-Plains Community College’s annual E-Day competition Friday at the Peter and Delores Graff Events Center on campus. On Tuesday, Nov. 25, MCC hosts the McCook High School Basketball Jamboree.
Rex Kemp, heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration instructor, works with student, Vinh Tran, Thursday at North Platte Community College. Kemp said the demand for skilled HVACR technicians is tremendous.
It’s a small investment for such a large return.
“Students that go through this program and want a job – have a job,” said Rex Kemp, heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration instructor at North Platte Community College.
Kemp teaches a rigorous 11-month course that prepare students for skilled positions installing and servicing heating and cooling systems as well as commercial refrigeration units.
Classes include elements from electrical, welding, mechanics and building and construction trades. Kemp focuses on hands-on learning and makes sure his students receive real world experience by working with organizations such as Habitat for Humanity.
“He’s the best teacher I’ve ever had,” said Vinh Tran, a student originally from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam who now lives in North Platte. “He takes care of his students.”
Tran said he decided to pursue an HVACR career because of the potential to earn a lot of money.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, salaries for HVACR technicians vary by location and the type of equipment worked on.
The Bureau reports that in 2010, those in the top 10 percent earned more than $66,930. The median salary was $42,530.
And, there’s a demand for the work.
“It’s insatiable,” said Kemp. “Nationwide there’s a shortage of HVACR technicians. A lot of it has to do with the fact that so many of the current technicians are reaching retirement age.”
Kemp said some of the more commonly recognized contractors in North Platte got their start at NPCC. They include Todd Bissell, owner of AJ Sheet Metal, Jim Schneider, owner of Knobel Refrigeration, Brian Lusk, owner of Lusk Heating and Air Conditioning and Duane Norman, owner of Norman Refrigeration.
Many of those businessmen are people Kemp turns to when trying to line up an internship, a requirement for students in the HVACR program.
“They’re always in need of skilled technicians,” Kemp said of the contractors.
Vinh Tran, a student at North Platte Community College, works on a project Thursday at the north campus. Tran is learning about heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration because of the potential that exists to earn a lot of money with a HVACR career.
Over past decade, Kemp has taught students from Scottsbluff, Sidney, Ashland, Fremont and every Nebraska town in between. One even traveled to NPCC from Texas.
“The ages vary,” Kemp said. “Some are right out of high school, and others are in their late 40s or early 50s. A lot of them have four-year degrees, but no job. Several years ago, when the economy tanked, there were quite a few business people looking for other careers. Many came to me.”
Mid-Plains Community College is one of five colleges in Nebraska that offers a HVACR program. It’s the only one west of Kearney.
“We’ve had recommendations from industry officials,” Kemp said. “A smaller class size is one of the big benefits to our program. I would definitely recommend a career in HVACR because of all the potential that’s out there. It’s year-round work, and it can definitely be a lifelong profession.”
Gail Knott is the new director of outreach for Mid-Plains Community College. Knott, who has been the Ogallala extended campus coordinator for the past 14 years, will begin work at North Platte Community College on Dec. 1.
Knott will oversee operations at the four MPCC extended campuses and will be based out of Room 100B in the W.W. Wood Building on the north campus of NPCC.
“I’m really excited and am looking forward to the challenge,” Knott said. “I’ve done this for a while, and it will be nice to bridge the extended campus and the main campus and take that responsibility to the next level. It’s especially exciting with Valentine going through the development and construction of getting its new campus facility. ”
According to Michael Steele, vice president of administrative services for MPCC, Knott brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the outreach director position.
College officials will begin the process of replacing the Ogallala extended campus coordinator position in the near future.
Registration is now open for winterim session classes at Mid-Plains Community College.
All are online. They are targeted at current students who want to complete a class quickly and students attending other schools who need a specific class for their degree.
Classes begin Dec. 15 and continue through Jan. 9.
BIOS 2990, “The Structures of Life,” is an overview of proteins as building blocks of life and the technology of protein discovery. It will be offered by Sara Morris, biology science instructor.
BSAD 1010, “Personal and Professional Development,” taught by Jean Condon, is a 3 credit hour class and is the equivalent of 45 classroom hours. It puts a special emphasis on relating image and social awareness to job success. It also covers on-the-job situations of problem-solving, time management, goal setting, business etiquette, listening skills, work groups and the relationship between productivity and job attitude. There will be a major focus on developing productive work ethics. This class is designed for the Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business.
BSAD 1090, “The Job Application Process,” is a 1 credit hour class that equates to 15 classroom hours. Instruction designed to provide all students with the tools and skills to design an effective job search campaign. Topics will include methods of finding a job, resume preparation, development of customized application letters, interview techniques and preparation of follow-up communications. The student will utilize word processing skills. The class is taught by Berva Arensdorf.
BSAD 2070, “Risk Management for Events and Sports,” is a 3 credit hour class. Students will learn to recognize potential risks in special and sporting events and to prioritize those risks for action and minimization. Practical strategies to manage risks of people, property and reputation are stressed. Students will also learn how to comply with legal regulations such as permitting, insurance, vendor contracts, federal laws, state laws and local laws as they pertain to events. Fire codes, handicap compliance and security considerations when dealing with minors are also examined. Marcus Garstecki is the instructor.
PHED 1810, “Drugs and Sports,” is a 2 credit hour class and the equivalent of 30 classroom hours. The course is as an introduction to the roles that drugs play in modern day sports. The class will cover performance enhancing drugs, as well as the effects of prescription drugs, narcotics, over-the-counter drugs, alcohol, tobacco and nutritional supplements used to enhance an athlete’s performance. The class will study the science of each classification of drug, all social and ethical issues that arise with the topic of drugs and sports and cover the testing agencies, methods and reporting of drug use in sports. The instructor is Jon Olsen.
POLS 1000, “American Government and Politics,” is a 3 credit hour class that examines the organization and operation of the U.S. government. It includes a brief survey of historical foundations along with a strong emphasis on current political events and public policy. The class will be taught by Doug Clouatre.
SOCI 1530, “Introduction to Sociology,” is worth 3 credit hours. It’s an analysis of society, including the development of the social system, group formations and types of social organizations and the basic elements affecting those classifications. Allen Settles is the instructor.
ARTS 1210 “Art Appreciation” is a 3 credit hour class. It’s an overview of the language, process and history of the visual arts and artists of both past and contemporary society. The class is designed for non-art majors.
For more information or to register, call (308) 535-3774 in North Platte or (308) 345-8102 in McCook.
With the deadline less than three weeks away for the “new and improved” business Hormel Entrepreneurship Competition, contest organizers are encouraging business owners of all ages to solidify their business dreams by taking the first step to fill out the simple application form.
Angela Raby, area director of the Mid-Plains Center for Enterprise, and Fran Hagler, administrative assistant, unpack copies of “STARTUP NP” Tuesday at North Platte Community College. The resource guide offers tips for starting a small business in or around North Platte.
The “STARTUP NP” small business guide is now available. The booklet offers information about creating a small business in or around North Platte. It also highlights local resources for both potential and current entrepreneurs.
Business placement, financing options, continuing education, accountant selection and legal consultation are some of the many topics covered. Local entrepreneurs also share their stories and insights into starting a business in North Platte.
The publication is the result of a partnership among the North Platte Area Chamber and Development Corporation, Mid-Plains Center for Enterprise, Nebraska Business Development Center, Nebraska Department of Labor and University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension.
Representatives from those organizations, along with other community stakeholders, participated in the Entrepreneurial Community Activation Process facilitated by the UNL Extension last year.
ECAP, as the program is otherwise known, helps communities understand their unique characteristics, assets and potential opportunities so they can support innovation and entrepreneurship.
“At the ECAP meeting, we discovered North Platte and the surrounding area needed to build visibility for the existing entrepreneurial culture and really provide a greater sense of place for entrepreneurship,” said Angela Raby, area director of the Center for Enterprise. “Basically, the idea is to remove the silo mentality from all resource providers and offer a unified approach in supporting area start-ups.”
The booklet was funded in part by a $2,000 grant from the Mid-Nebraska Community Foundation.
The first copies were handed out at a North Platte Chamber banquet Nov. 6. Additional copies will be available at the partnering organizations and will also be distributed to area businesses and high schools.
“We believe that no matter how young or old you are, or how long you have lived in the area, there’s information in this book that can assist small business development,” said Clarine Eickhoff, STARTUP NP committee member and manager of the Platte River Mall. “It is just as important for employees to connect with the information as it is for potential business owners. People may not know they will own a business next year or the year after. It is important to make sure the connections are available when the time is right, and continuing to connect the resources to the people is key in the longevity of a business.”
A digital format can be found online at www.startupnp.com/guide.
For more information, contact the Center for Enterprise at 535-3678.
The Mid-Plains Community College Center For Enterprise Kid’s Academy is offering “Van Gogh and Sunflowers” Friday from 1-4 p.m. in room 213 of McMillen Hall on the McCook Community College campus.
People listen to representatives from Microsoft and Certiport Tuesday in North Platte. Mid-Plains Community College is one of six community colleges and 40 Nebraska high schools participating in the Nebraska Microsoft IT Initiative.
The program provides the opportunity to earn certification in Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access. The skills learned are important tools to have in today's workplace.
Nebraska Distance Learning Association members joined Gov. Dave Heineman for a proclamation signing, during which Nov. 10-14 was declared Nebraska Distance Learning Week. They were Gordon Roethemeyer, Mary Lister, Laura Huntimer, Mike Irwin, Al Steckelberg, Heineman and Linda Dickeson.
Gov. Dave Heineman has proclaimed Nov. 10-14 as Nebraska Distance Learning Week. In doing so, he has drawn attention to a progressive form of education, gaining speed around the state because of its success rate, accessibility, flexibility and cost-effectiveness.
The benefits are nothing new to Mid-Plains Community College. Officials there have been touting the advantages of distance learning for years.
“Distance learning has been around in some form or another since the mid ’90s,” said Mary Lister, area Blackboard coordinator. “Basically, it’s an Internet connection between two or more locations.”
At one of the sites, there is an instructor leading the course. That teacher can be seen and heard by students in other classrooms, sometimes hundreds of miles away, thanks to video chat capabilities.
“It used to be we could only offer distance learning in up to three locations,” Lister said. “Now, we can provide services to eight or more thanks to the type of connection we use and the Internet speed we have.”
Abby Kurtzer, of Haxtun, Colo., takes part in a distance learning class Monday at North Platte Community College. This week is Nebraska Distance Learning Week.
MPCC offered 426 distance learning courses and served more than 3,100 students during the 2013-14 school year. Of those courses, 390 were dual credit, meaning high school students had the opportunity to take them and earn both high school and college credits simultaneously.
“Our youngest daughter graduated from high school with 19 credit hours,” Lister said. “Because she played volleyball, having some of the classes out of the way helped lighten her load during sports season.”
Lister estimated that about 95 percent of the dual credit courses taken via distance learning will transfer to other colleges and universities. They include: college algebra, art appreciation, critical thinking, expository writing and public speaking.
The types of students that take distance learning courses following high school graduation vary. Many are nursing hopefuls from rural areas.
“We have one student right now who is a stay-at-home dad with six kids –the oldest of which is in second grade,” said Lister. “He also has a set of twins and a set of triplets. When they lay down for naps, that’s when he jumps online and works on assignments.”
According to Lister, MPCC can offer distance learning almost anywhere in Nebraska.
“We’ve been to Shelton High School, Pleasanton High School and Southern Valley Schools at Oxford,” Lister said. “We take math classes to Ovid, Colo. If there’s a student out there that needs a class – we’ll make an effort to make it available to them.”
So what’s next for distance learning? It appears the sky is the limit.
“It’s hard to say because technology is ever-changing,” Lister said. “One thing I do know is that there’s no end to distance learning. It’s definitely here to stay.”
One of America’s oldest art groups has selected McCook as a location to showcase a select group of juried watercolor work from artists throughout the world.
Mid-Plains Community College officials have received word that Sally Thalken, NPCC Women’s Head Volleyball coach, submitted her intent to resign her position as NPCC’s Head Women’s Volleyball coach.
Her resignation will be effective Nov. 30, 2014 to allow the college ample time to conduct a search for her replacement and allow volleyball recruiting to continue effectively.
Sally further indicated that while she will step away from her coaching duties, she will remain as the college’s assistant athletic director, Mathematics & Science Division Chair and Physical Education instructor.
In her letter to NPCC Athletic Director Kevin O’Connor, Sally stated, “Thirty-four years ago I was given a tremendous opportunity to coach for the college and have coached nearly 1,800 volleyball and basketball games during my tenure. I feel grateful for the opportunities I have been given and the friendships made during my career.”
“Sally is truly a quality person and we’ll miss her courtside,” said Dr. Jody Tomanek, MPCC’s Area Vice-President of Academic Affairs. “Her coaching record, her Volleyball Hall of Fame recognition and the many successes of her former players speak for themselves. “We’re all grateful that she will remain in our classroom and on campus.”
According to Dr. Tomanek, plans are being formulated for the college to host a formal public celebration to honor Coach Thalken sometime in the very near future.
“We will be announcing our plans as soon as we have them in place,” she added.
Tasia Stumpf, of Ogallala, and her mother-in-law, Lisa Behrends, of Grant, practice nursing skills on a mannequin Friday at the North Platte Community College Health and Science Center. Both were named MPCC Student Nurses of the Month for October.
There’s no easy way to become a registered nurse. It takes hard work, patience and dedication – something Lisa Behrends, of Grant, and Tasia Stumpf, of Ogallala, have learned firsthand.
Unlike many students, however, Behrends and Stumpf had a support system in place long before they signed up for their first classes. That’s because for them nursing school is a family affair.
“Tasia is my daughter-in-law,” said Behrends. “She married my son, Jesse, so I call and ask her nursing questions all the time.”
Stumpf is a year ahead of Behrends with her studies. She started her prerequisites in the fall of 2008, and enrolled in the RN program at Mid-Plains Community College last year. Behrends began her prerequisites in 2010 and entered the RN program at MPCC this year.
They didn’t decide to take the course together, it’s just something that happened. Both have histories in the medical profession.
“I’ve been working as a certified nursing assistant and medical aid at a nursing home in Grant and at the Grant Medical Clinic,” Behrends said. “Right now, I fill in as needed, but am primarily focused on school.”
Stumpf has been employed at the Ogallala Community Hospital since she was 18. Her initial intentions weren’t to become a nurse.
“I wanted to be a cop, but had a son when I was 19,” said Stumpf. “My life took a different path. I started at the hospital doing dietary work, then moved on to medical records, then to the front desk, and now I fill in as a medical assistant as needed. I will be full-time after I finish school.”
Both women took advantage of the online prerequisite classes MPCC offers as well as MPCC’s extended campus in Ogallala.
Now that they are in the RN program, Stumpf drives to North Platte for classes three days a week, and Behrends is on the road four days a week.
“It’s really not that far,” Stumpf said. “If it weren’t for MPCC, my husband and I would’ve had to have moved so I could go to nursing school. That’s hard to do when you have three kids.”
As it is, Stumpf will graduate in May of 2015, and Behrends will graduate in May of 2016. Both want to end up in rural hospitals.
“I can’t wait to work with people again,” said Behrends. “That’s what I miss about going to school – the constant interaction with patients.”
Stumpf loves the personal aspect to nursing as well.
“I just like taking care of people and helping them feel better,” Stumpf said. “I’m looking forward to being done, but am really enjoying my time at MPCC, too. The teachers are excellent and so is the curriculum. It’s tough, but I know I’ll be prepared for anything after I graduate.”
Students and faculty from the Mid-Plains Community College nursing program gather around Cindy Lovette, administrative assistant, Wednesday at the North Platte Community College Health and Science Center.
MPCC students in the Nebraska State Student Nurses Association and the Licensed Practical Nurse Association of Nebraska, as well as those at distance learning sites, raised $380 during an annual bake sale Oct. 29.
Every year, they donate the proceeds to charity. This year, they opted to give the money to Lovette to help her with medical expenses incurred from multiple personal and health-related issues.
The students presented Lovette with the funds on Wednesday. They waited for her in a classroom then surprised her with balloons full of money.
The following individuals have been recognized as student nurses of the month at Mid-Plains Community College. They are: Sarah Cardenas, first-year Associate Degree Nursing, of North Platte, and Kaylin Hinton, Licensed Practical Nursing, of North Platte, both student nurses for September. Shantel Barta, LPN, of North Platte, and Lisa Behrends, first-year ADN, of Grant, were student nurses for October. They are joined by Kathy Harrison, director of nursing.
Elena Ramos, second-year ADN, of North Platte, Kathy Harrison, director of nursing, Tasia Stumpf, second-year ADN, of Ogallala, pose for a picture. Ramos was the Mid-Plains Community College Student Nurse of the Month for September, and Stumpf was the Student Nurse for October.
Sally Thalken has been named a 2014 Woman of Achievement in the field of education. Thalken is an instructor and volleyball coach for North Platte Community College.
She was one of seven people honored Oct. 30 at the annual Women of Achievement luncheon at the Quality Inn and Suites.
The North Platte Telegraph and NebraskaLand National Bank co-sponsor the event to recognize individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the community.
“That was as big of a surprise as any I have received over the years,” Thalken said of the recognition. “When you think about all the women in North Platte involved in education – it’s pretty awesome to be nominated and selected to represent that group. It truly is an honor.”
Thalken was nominated by NPCC administrators, faculty, staff and students based upon her knowledge, experience and accomplishments.
“As a health and physical education teacher, Sally brings real life experiences to her classes and uses practical illustrations to reach students,” her nomination letter reads. “Many of her student athletes have gone on to become successful teachers, coaches and administrators in Nebraska schools.”
Thalken has scored high across the board in student evaluations. She consistently receives high marks in the areas of communication, concern about academic progress and student motivation.
“There are a lot of women in education in North Platte who make huge differences in students’ lives,” Thalken said. “I believe that I have, and that I will continue to do so. At the same time, it’s pretty humbling to be recognized for it and to be in the midst of the other women of achievement.”
Thalken has looked up to many of the women previously honored in the education category. Those include Marilyn McGahan, former vice president of NPCC, and Dr. Midge Mougey, longtime principal for the North Platte Public Schools.
“They have definitely made an impression and a difference in my life, and I’m sure many other lives,” Thalken said. “We just do what we do because we enjoy it – not for the recognition.”
Thalken has taught secondary and post-secondary education for 40 years, and has been the area chair of the Mid-Plains Community College mathematics and science division for eight years.
Her services have been called upon to mentor new faculty and evaluate adjunct faculty. She has also been involved with strategic planning, accreditation, academic quality improvement, instructional leadership, instructional services and hiring at MPCC.
Thalken was instrumental in the development of a Pre-Athletic Training and Exercise Science program for MPCC. She is a member of the National Education Association, Nebraska State Education Association and MPCC Education Association.
As for athletics, Thalken is the winningest active coach in the National Junior College Athletic Association with a career record of 921 wins.
Thalken was on the NJCAA volleyball committee and chaired the NJCAA tennis committee. She also served as NJCAA Region IX women’s secretary, assistant women’s regional director and was women’s regional director for eight years.
She has been named Region IX Coach of the Year, District Coach of the Year and has been inducted into the NJCAA Volleyball Hall of Fame.
BALLROOM DANCERS took the “stage” recently at the Weeth Theater in Tipton Hall on the McCook Community College campus. The dancers were part of the fall Ballroom Dancing Class through the Center For Enterprise and was so popular another class is being planned for the spring semester.
Deadline Friday to register for E-Day competition
Registration deadline is Friday for Mid-Plains Community College’s annual E-day business plan competition.
The McCook Community College Business Department will host Mid-Plains Community College’s annual E-Day competition to be held Nov. 21 at the Peter and Delores Graff Events Center on campus.
Marla Sanders is a member of WOW, but is not a designated WOW Team member. However, ever since we started placing the Fruity Fun Day baskets outside of the mailboxes in True Hall, she has been more than willing to help us out. She monitors the basket to make sure it is filled, puts leftovers in the refrigerator in the Physical Resources area, and puts them out the next day. She recently offered to store the basket in her area so we don’t have to transport it back and forth each month. And at times, she even makes suggestions as to what goes well and what doesn’t.
Fruity Fun Day is one of WOW’s most popular offerings to MPCC employees. The WOW Team appreciates all she does and we consider her our “honorary WOW Team member.” We feel she provides the team, and anyone enjoying Fruity Fun Day, exemplary internal customer service… Please consider her for the YOU ROCK! Award.
I would like to add that she has been more than accommodating with helping me schedule rooms/spaces and helping me work through issues. I too appreciate her help with Fruity Fun day in McCook. Marla is truly a team player- she rocks!
I would STRONGLY agree with the nomination for Marla Sanders! However, not just for the fruit baskets but for SOOO many other things she does and continues to do for the college. My personal nomination for Marla would be 3 pages long and could never be condensed into one paragraph. She jumps into help at a moment’s notice for any department when needed without any complaint and still manages to maintain her busy schedule without fail. Her time and dedication to the college go WAY beyond a You Rock Award but at a very minimum, I believe she is more than deserving and I can guarantee it is a sentiment shared by the rest of the campus!
Thanks, Marla for all your hard work and outstanding internal customer service! YOU ROCK!
If you know of someone deserving of a YOU ROCK award, please fill out the attached nomination form and send to: InternalCustomerServiceTeam@mpcc.edu
The McCook Area Sertoma Club presented the McCook College Foundation the final installment, a check for $4,800 in what was a four-year, $22,700 commitment to provide state-of-the-art, assisted-listening technology in the main gymnasium of the Peter and Dolores Graff Events Center.
McCook Community College’s annual Halloween trick-or-treat on campus is set for Friday from 3-5:30 p.m. It is sponsored by MCC students and the MCC Vice-President’s office.
The McCook Community College Music Department has a (mostly) Halloween-themed concert Thursday at the Weeth Theater in Tipton Hall on campus at 7 p.m.
McCook Community College volleyball players celebrate Tuesday night's emotion win over North Platte Community College on Pink-Out Night and Sophomore night. MCC won in straight sets 25-21, 25-21, 25-21,
Past and present members of MCC's Phi Theta Kappa staff the raffle table, one of several fund-raising efforts aimed at the Pink-Out event to raise awareness for breast cancer prevention. Officers include (from left) Amber Hilker, Past President Brian Calvin, and Andrea Miller.
MCC Sophomore Sheri Singhateh (No. 8) elevates for a kill shot in Tuesday's game as teammates Destanie Micklich (No. 1), Miranda Holliday (No. 11) and Ashley Carrera (No. 9) look on.
The MCC Volleyball team wore pink warm-up shirts before Tuesday's final home game.
A list of upcoming events at McCook Community College
As a high school student living in Little Rock, Ark., nobody ever asked Chris Swasta to join any breast cancer-related efforts despite his life being affected by the disease. This year artwork he created is a center-piece in McCook Community College’s Pink-Out volleyball game, set for Tuesday at the Pete and Dolores Graff Events Center.
M cCook Community College unveiled new signage Wednesdaysignifying a name change for the Pete and Dolores Graff Events Center.
WITH NO CLASSES FRIDAY at McCook Community College because most of the staff was in North Platte for Fall Enrichment, the Lady Indian volleyball and basketball teams spent quality time together with a group Yoga workout followed by a friendly volleyball match
Auditions for McCook Community College’s presentation of the Charles Dickens classic are set for Sunday, from 2-5 p.m. at the Weeth Theater on the MCC campus.
McCOOK COMMUNITY COLLEGE students in Summer Dickinson’s (second from left) short story/poetry class browsed some of the artwork on display at the Wrightstone Art Gallery on campus.
McCOOK COMMUNITY COLLEGE faculty, staff, students and MCC family members (top photo) joined forces for a strong showing of blue in Saturday’s Heritage Day parade in downtown McCook.
A 32-student contingent of Lexington High School seniors visited Mid-Plains Community College campuses in North Platte and McCook Wednesday.