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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.'
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Play begins Oct. 1 in Kelley Park for McCook Community College’s Intramural 2-person best shot disk golf league. It continues on Wednesday nights for four weeks.
Learn from published author and McCook native, Nicole Koetter, the different methods and processes of publishing a book from the original idea to the finished product. Class meets Friday, Sept. 26, from 7-9 p.m., in McMillen Hall 213. Class fee is $25.
Phi Theta Kappa members from nine colleges will be on hand this weekend as McCook Community College hosts the 2014 Nebraska/Wyoming fall Regional Conference. Students will come from Casper, Gillette and Cheyenne in Wyoming and Grand Island, Columbus, Hastings, North Platte, Norfolk and MCC in Nebraska.
McCook Community College students from five countries have joined the International Club and are learning the geography of Nebraska up close: All five are athletes who will travel across the state and the region.
The McCook Community College Lady Indian Volleyball team has its longest homestand of the season 7 p.m. games Thursday and Friday and a 1 p.m. contest Saturday.
MCC Sophomore JASON LIGHTALL won the annual Brooks Hall Ping Pong Tournament
MORE THAN 200 pre-school and grade school students from the area had the chance to view and touch zoo animals Friday as part of the Mid-Plains Center For Enterprise Kid’s Academy
Resident Hall life at McCook Community College is off to a great start according to Assistant Kellen Fernetti, thanks in part to students serving as resident assistants and the start of Intramural activities Sunday.
The Mid-Plains Community College Enrollment Management team has announced Brandon Pritchett and Ben Greer as student advisors filling the vacancy created with the July retirement of long-time advisor Rick Michaelsen.
A 9/11-themed play "The Guys" is set for Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Fox Theater in McCook. All proceeds will be used to help the McCook Fire Department buy new equipment.
Between games at the McCook Community College Invitational Saturday, Eight-year old Caleb Ray Nilus of Omaha, was introduced to the crowd assembled. He is Weston’s eight-year-old nephew and the tournament was a benefit fundraiser for him and his family. MCC officials planned just a simple introduction, but Caleb turned it into something more poignant.
Enterprise Kids Academy starts Sept. 12 when Scottsbluff Zoo brings animals to MCC campus for presentation on animal body coverings.
Meet some of the new staff and faculty at MCC
After one week of classes at McCook Community College, preliminary numbers show increases in enrollment, credit hours, and housing.
McCook Community College Vice President Andy Long, said when the college was open for a full day of classes Aug. 26 MCC had 412 full-time students, an increase of 13 from the same day a year ago. There were also 290 part-time students, up from 274 a year ago. Students this semester are taking 332 more credit hours with full-time equivalency numbers up 5.84 percent over a year ago.
In Brooks Hall, officials are reporting 136 of the 142 assigned beds are taken, or about 96 percent. In addition, all 12 of the positions offered in the third session of MCC’s Accelerated Paramedic Training (EMT) are filled as are their housing slots.
McCook Community College Production of ‘The Guys’ a 911-themed tribute play about firefighters -- and a fundraiser for local firefighters -- will be staged at the Fox Theater on Sept. 11.
McCook Community College Vice President Andy Long (upper left) puts on his disco jacket and vintage afro to greet students to the retro-themed new student orientation Monday on campus. Freshman Jessica Rivera (upper right photo, standing left) of Las Vegas, Nevada meets new roommate, Mackenzie Bilger, a freshman from Boisie, Idaho during move-in day Saturday. During Monday’s orientation activities (lower right photo) students were divided into several smaller groups and completed various tasks aimed at familiarizing students with campus facilities and services like those in von Riesen library here, as well as faculty advising sessions. Interspersed through out the day were games (lower right photo) and prizes. Here Freshman Jasmine Pemble defeats Dillon Budd in the finals of the balloon race in which students blew up balloons and used expelled air to propel six plastic cups across the table. Fall term classes begin tonight,
For the first time in more than a decade, when classes start Monday at Mid-Plains Community, students will no longer be attending Nebraska’s Smallest Community College.
MCC looking for “friends’ to help students move in
When McCook Community College students move into Brooks Hall Saturday, college officials are hoping to debut a group of community volunteers to welcome new students and help move them in.
The first appearance of “Friends of the College” will gather when students check-in to Brooks Hall between 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and help students carry boxes, luggage, and dorm living items to their new rooms.
“If anyone is looking for something to do Saturday, we’re looking for individuals, families or even groups who can be on hand to help greet our new students,” MCC Vice President Andy Long.
The president said in his first year as campus president he has come into contact with numerous individual around the community who say they may not be in any position to support the college and its foundation financially, but if there were a way to donate manpower they’d be glad to help. Long said Saturday’s move-in seemed to be a great way to start what he’s calling the “Friends of the College” campaign.
“A lot of people know what a milestone event it is when someone heads off to college,” Long said. “I’ve had people ask me ‘is there anything I can do that doesn’t involve opening up my checkbook’ and on Saturday there will be an opportunity for community members to help our students – especially our incoming freshmen – feel welcome to their new home.”
This year college officials say Brooks Hall will be full with 140 students.
Saturday’s move-in will be coordinated by Julia Bauer in the MCC Office of Student Life. Anyone interested in helping volunteer for Saturday’s event should contact her at 345-8108. Brooks Hall staff members Kellen Fernetti and Scott Weston, along with Brooks Hall resident assistants will also assist in the move-in.
Long said down the road he would hope that “Friends of The College” would be available to help with other volunteer manpower needs, like the hosting of athletic tournaments.
Students are set to kick of the 2014-2015 year with Orientation Day Monday from 8:30 a.m.-3:15 p.m. The theme for this year is Retro/Disco Orientation.
“Our mission is to help these students feel welcome and familiarize them with as many people and services as we can in one day, as well as help them get to know one another,” said Kelly Rippen, Mid-Plains Community College Area Dean of Enrollment Management.
A student lunch and business/organization fair is set for 11:35-12:30 on campus with afternoon orientation sessions from 12:35-3:15 p.m.
Classes at Mid-Plains Community College campus locations are set to begin Aug. 25, but there is still time to register for the Fall 2014 term. Whether you are interested in updating your computer skills, improving your golf game, or taking the classes you need for your associate’s degree, MPCC is the place that can make it happen.
Fall Term classes will begin on Monday, Aug. 25, at all MPCC locations.
It should be noted that daytime classes at the main campuses in McCook and North Platte will not take place on Aug. 25 due to New Student Orientation, however evening classes that begin at 5 p.m. or later will take place as scheduled.
Twenty-four students in the Mid-Plains Community College Licensed Practical Nursing program will have their informal pinning ceremony at 11 a.m. on Thursday, July 31, in the McDonald-Belton Theater on North Platte Community College’s South Campus.
MCC Students: Veronica Waddell and Grant Moore, Ashley Noltensmeier captured top 5 awards at national business competition. (Courtesy photo)
MCC’s PBL students garner national honors
Competing against almost 2,000 students from across the nation, McCook Community College brought home four more top 10 awards in core business skills. This is the third year in a row MCC students have placed in the top four.
Rick Michaelsen, after 45 years in education, announced his retirement Friday after spending the past 23 years as a student advisor at McCook Community College.
David Pedersen, attorney for Mid-Plains Community College, administers the Oath of Office to Jo Etta Brown of Brule after she was selected as the MPCC Board of Governor’s District 2 representative Wednesday evening. Brown will complete the term of former board member David Lynch.
Instructor Jamie Mockry leads a group of future bakers in the McCook Community College Creative Kids Campus class, 1-2-3- cupcakes. Students in the third through fifth grade spent part of the morning Wednesday learning to bake and decorate cupcakes – and most importantly, they got to take their creations home when the class was done.
McCook Community College is holding auditions Sunday for a special 911-themed performance of the highly acclaimed play “The Guys” to be performed Sept. 11 at the Fox Theater in McCook.
Time is running out for Mid-Plains Community College’s Bridge Grant Program in the Medical Office Certificate program.
Faculty and staff at North Platte Community College prepare to give a Canteen-style greeting to participants of the NOW (Nebraska on Wheels) bus tour Wednesday at the college.
Six Mid-Plains Community College instructors were among those honored with BEST – Belong, Excel, Study and Travel – awards during the Nebraska Department of Education’s Nebraska Career Education Conference held recently in Kearney. Those who received awards were (left to right, standing) Jean Condon, Angie Chittick, Janet Stalder, Kathy McCune, (seated) Cathy Nutt and Lorrie Mowry.
STUDENTS spent part of their Wednesday morning creating a greenhouse garden as part of McCook Community College’s Creative Kids Campus Wednesday’s in June.
The following is a list of Mid-Plains Community College full-time students (from all campus locations) who completed 12 or more credit hours in college-level courses and maintained an overall 3.9 or greater (on a 4.0 scale) grade point average (GPA), which qualifies them for the President’s List for the Spring 2014 Term.
The following is a list of Mid-Plains Community College full-time students (all campus locations) who completed 12 or more credit hours in college-level courses and maintained an overall 3.5– 3.89 (on a 4.0 scale) grade point average (GPA), which qualifies them for the Dean’s List for the Spring 2014 Term.
Mid-Plains Community College Nurse Educator and Health Occupations Division Chair Marina Makovicka and McCook Community College Graphic Design Instructor Becky Meyers were honored with the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) excellence award at the 2014 International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence held May 25-28 in Austin, Texas.
The Mid-Plains Community College Rodeo Club officially became full-fledged college athletic team after a vote by the MPCC Board of Governors at their April meeting.
In memory of Dundy County residents Jim and Marjorie Reisher, the family has established a scholarship fund at Mid-Plains Community College designed to benefit current or prior residents of Dundy County or current/former students in the Dundy County-Stratton school system.
Mid-Plains Community College Area Technology Specialists Farra Morgan and Matthew Schranz have been working in recent weeks to upgrade distance learning classrooms at the college with digital technology, thanks in part to an $118,000 funding partnership with the USDA Distance Learning and Telemedicine Program.
Numerous four, six, and eight week classes are set to begin in June at Mid-Plains Community College campus locations and online.