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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.”
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Spencer Bierfreund, Rachel Towne, Andie Chapman, Liz Dowling and Jessa Lemon assist in placement of a composite filling on a mannequin Thursday at North Platte Community College. Dowling is a dental assistant student at NPCC. She gave demonstrations to the rest of the group, which consisted of Medicine Valley High School students.
It’s a fast track to the professional world.
Eight students from Medicine Valley High School in Curtis explored the Health and Science Center at North Platte Community College on Thursday.
All are part of a Career Academy, a free and unique opportunity that allows them to blend high school and Mid-Plains Community College classes geared toward a specific field.
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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.
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Rascal Martinez has been recognized as the North Platte Community College “Business Student of the Month” for October.
Martinez is the son of Matt and Pennie Martinez, of Sutherland. He graduated from Sutherland High School in 2012 and is currently pursuing a business marketing degree at NPCC with plans to graduate in 2016.
Ann Reichle, NPCC accounting instructor, said Martinez is a good example of the highly talented and hardworking people that attend the college.
“Rascal is very entrepreneurial and currently manages his own entertainment business that aligns musicians, including himself, with various community performance engagements,” said Reichle. “He has taken a keen interest in marketing and is working hard to develop a broad understanding of several business disciplines, which will allow for a strong framework on which he can build a career.”
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Back row left to right: Nadyne Crumly, NPCC speech and human relations instructor, poses with her students: Stanly Pendergrass, Justin Rimpley, Courtney Nunberg, Christian Farmer and Tyrene Peter. In the front row from left to right are: Trevor Pochop, Djimoni Jackson, Cara Sanchez, Amanda Hastings and Colton Dailey.
“Diapason,” “mnemonic” and “loquacious” - those were just a few of the winning words at the bi-annual Word Speeches Competition at North Platte Community College.
A handful of students from Nadyne Crumly’s public speaking class were recognized with awards Monday in the McDonald-Belton building.
All had been challenged to select a word then research and develop a speech around it. The speeches were presented to the class, Crumly and a judge, Linda Deeds.
The students were scored on how well they defined their chosen terms and their abilities to use the selections in ways not typically associated with the words.
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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.
Here is a reminder of the numerous adult short courses offered by North Platte Community College’s Center For Enterprise in the upcoming weeks. Please pre-register for each class that you plan to attend.
Forklift Training - Each year, thousands of injuries related to forklift accidents occur in the US. Unfortunately, most employee injuries and property damage can be attributed to lack of safe operating procedures, lack of safety-rule enforcement, and insufficient or inadequate training. As it is a violation of Federal law for anyone under 18 years of age to operate a forklift or for anyone over 18 years of age who is not properly trained to do so, this class will OSHA train and qualify you to legally operate a forklift. A certificate of completion will be offered upon conclusion of the class.
Class meets Friday, November 21, from 9 am – 1 pm at the North Campus, instructed by Doug Wenz. Class fee is $85.
Prezi – Add Wow to Your Presentation – Move away from traditional presentation slides and discover Prezi, an interesting non-linear presentation software that will keep your audience engaged. Get started with the basics!
Class meets Thursday, Nov. 13 from 6-9 pm at the North Campus, instructed by Angela Raby. Class fee is $29.
For more information, call Crystal Welch at (308) 535-3614 or register online at https://register.centerforenterprise.com/.
Lennox dealers from North Platte, Eustis, Gothenburg, McCook, Imperial and Ogallala attended a Lennox Industries Service School at North Platte Community College on Tuesday evening.
The training was led by Clint Stotts, territory manager, and Robert Newton, field technical consultant, both of whom are from Denver, as well as Mark Tweedy, a field technical consultant from Omaha.
Topics included the sizing, installation and troubleshooting of heat recovery ventilators and the installation, setup and programming operation of modulating gas furnaces.
Participants earned continuing education credits for their North American Technician Excellence (NATE) certification. The event was hosted by the NPCC heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration department.
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.
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.”
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.
Great strides have been made on the new Nebraskaland Days office at the Wild West Arena. The structure is a project of second-year building construction students from Mid-Plains Community College.
David Fudge, NLD executive director, said Friday that a cement pad has been poured, the plumbing is in and most of the interior and exterior walls are done. The goal is to completely enclose the building before winter.
The 3,000-foot structure will feature four offices, a board room, a reception area, storage facilities, a copy room and restrooms with showers. Fudge hopes to be able to move his staff into it by spring - that's when the lease is up in the space the NLD office is currently in at 509 E. Fourth Street.
The NLD board has dreamed of creating permanent headquarters at the arena for years, but it wasn't fiscally possible before the college stepped into the picture. The partnership has turned out to be a win-win for both organizations.
The students are gaining real-world experience, and NLD is saving money by using labor the students provide. A total of $180,000 has been budgeted for the project.
CG Architects, of North Platte, designed the building and local contractors will be used for some of the construction aspects such as mechanical and plumbing work.
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 MPCC STEM Club will be holding their first activity of the year tomorrow. Meet us in the gym on South Campus for a Sci-Fi movie night. The movie showing is the 2005 thriller The Island, co-starring Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson. Walid Jumaily will be introducing the movie with a short discussion on cloning and genetic engineering, and he will also be available for questions and discussion following the feature.
The STEM Club will be selling popcorn, candy and Pepsi products at the game. All proceeds will go towards funding the clubs efforts promoting science, technology, engineering and math in our college area. Please invite your students to attend this activity on Thursday night. Faculty and staff are also welcome to attend.
NPCC Theater Department presents the play: Dead Man’s Cell Phone Nov. 5-8
The North Platte Community College Theater Department will present “Dead Man’s Cell Phone” a comedy/drama by Sarah Ruhl in the McDonald-Belton Theater, on the NPCC South Campus, starting November 5 and running nightly through Nov. 8th. Curtain time is at 8:00 pm.
Picture the opening scene with an incessantly ringing of a cell phone in a quiet café, a stranger at the next table who has had enough, and a dead man with a lot of loose ends. So begins Dead Man's Cell Phone, a wildly imaginative comedy by MacArthur "Genius" Grant recipient and Pulitzer Prize finalist, Sarah Ruhl. Ritch Galvan, NPCC theatre instructor and play director said the play is about how we memorialize the dead—and how that remembering changes us—it is the odyssey of a woman forced to confront her own assumptions about morality, redemption, and the need to connect in a technologically obsessed world.
“This play takes a deep, satirical look at communication, technology, and relationships,” Ritch said. “The play can best be described as a zany, oddball comedy, with a dark twist.”
Dead Man's Cell Phone, will be presented at NPPC’s McDonald-Belton Theater on November 5 through November 8, 2014 at 8:00 pm. The play contains strong language and adult situations. Tickets can be purchased at the door. Tickets prices are $10 for adults and $5 for students & seniors.
Rehearsals are open to the media on Monday November 3 or Tuesday November 4. Arrangements can be made with the director or by special arrangement if another date is more convenient. Contact Ritch Galvan at email@example.com or call 535-3767 to schedule interview or photo ops.
A 32-student contingent of Lexington High School seniors visited Mid-Plains Community College campuses in North Platte and McCook Wednesday.
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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.
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North Platte Psychologist/Counselor Shari Shore was the presenter of the “Psyched Up!” workshop session during North Platte Community College’s annual “Expanding Your Horizons in Science and Mathematics” conference Tuesday.
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Want to keep your career in logistics moving at a quick pace? Mid-Plains Community College is now offering an accelerated path to earning a Logistics Certificate.
The logistics field includes industries providing transportation of passengers and cargo, warehousing and storage of goods, scenic and sightseeing transportation, and support activities related to such modes of transportation as air, rail, water, road and pipeline.
Individuals who begin classes in January will be on track to earn a Logistics Certificate by the end of July. Classes in MPCC's Logistics Certificate program include: Introduction to Logistics; Global Logistics; Purchasing Logistics; Transportation Logistics; and Supply Chain Logistics.
"I am so excited to be able to offer the logistics program at MPCC," said Jean Condon, Business/Office Technology Instructor. "With the many logistic resources such as the railroad, interstate highways, agriculture, and distribution centers we have available in our area this makes a great fit for us to provide education in logistics. This is an opportunity for people to learn more about the many components that make of logistics and how it is a part of our everyday life."
For more information about the Logistic Certificate or other MPCC course offerings, call (308) 535-3609 or (800) 658-4308 ext. 3609.
The North Platte Community College Music Department will present a concert at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 12, at the McDonald-Belton Theater on the South Campus of the college. The concert will feature the college choir and jazz band.
The choir will sing an array of songs ranging from "Agnus Dei" to a very modern piece called, "Rainstorm." The band will play songs ranging from Glenn Miller's, "American Patrol," to a jazz rock tune entitled, "After Shock." The choir will also feature several student soloists and small ensembles.
The choir is directed by Elizabeth Peters, with Gayle Lawson as the accompanist. The band is directed by Virgil French.
Members of the NPCC Choir are: Talia Cole of Gothenburg; Nicole Cox, Ann Kuroki, and Ivy Kuroki of Hershey; Bert Ogg of Madrid; Scott Gray of Mullen; Ellen Duggan-Bailey, Raven Berggren, Mikayla Brauer, Brittany Davis, Amanda Ferguson, Adriana Flores, Cassandra Horn, Traci Marsh, KateLynn Moore, Wayd Odle, Nikki Radke and Jeffery Small of North Platte; and Jessica Fisher and April Troxel of Ogallala.
Members of the NPCC Jazz Band are: Talia Cole of Gothenburg; Justin Lafferty of Hershey; Bert Ogg of Madrid; Raven Berggren, Mikayla Brauer, Brittany Davis, Adriana Flores, Josh Goodwin, Aubrey Halligan, Kate Hergenrader, Hannah Hokanson, Cassandra Horn, Natasha Jahnke, Ben Miller, Traci Marsh, Levi Most, Jill Peterson and Robert Rucker of North Platte; Jessica Lenhart and April Troxel of Ogallala; and Victoria Daly of Sutherland.
The event is free and open to the public.
Dr. Michael Chipps, President of Mid-Plains Community College, gets a laugh from students who are visiting from North Lindsey College in Scunthorpe, England, during a welcome reception Wednesday at North Platte Community College. The NLC group of three staff members and eight students will spend time at MPCC campuses in North Platte and McCook, as well as visiting other areas in Nebraska from April 7-13.
Eleven representatives from North Lindsey College (NLC) in Scunthorpe, England, were welcomed during a breakfast reception at North Platte Community College on Wednesday.
"This is the third group of guests we've had from North Lindsey College," said NPCC Vice President Marilyn McGahan. "We are looking forward to sharing with them and having them share with us."
The NLC group of three staff members and eight students will spend time at Mid-Plains Community College campuses in North Platte and McCook, as well as visiting other areas in Nebraska from April 7-13.
Staff members in the group include Glyn Brumby, Lecturer in Built Environment; Catherine Griffith, Head of School-Construction; and Martin Salter, Lecturer in Wood Occupations, Bench Joinery and Site Carpentry. Students in the group are in the building trades areas at NLC and include Brindley Axe, Grant Beacock, Sam Cross, Terry Davis, Philip Garbutt, Ashleigh-Ellan Kavanagh, Matthew Roberts, and Craig Tuffs.
"Their time at the college will mainly be spent working with students and faculty members in the building trade areas," McGahan said. "We also have many great activities lined up for them, such as tours of the Parker Hannifin Corporation and Wardcraft homes, visiting the North Platte Rotary Club, and having an American Cuisine pot luck dinner at the college."
The group is also scheduled to visit the Pioneer Ranch in Tryon, Dancing Leaf Lodge in Wellfleet, Gerald Gentleman Station in Sutherland, Lake McConaughy in Ogallala, and Scouts Rest Ranch, the Golden Spike, and Bailey Yard in North Platte. A tailgate party and NPCC Lady Knights softball games are also on the agenda.
At Wednesday's welcome reception, McGahan joked with the NLC group about having such a full schedule while they are here.
"You can sleep when you get back to Scunthorpe!" she laughed.
The visit from the NLC representatives is part of the Global Education Partnership Agreement, which was ratified by both colleges in November 2007. It was designed to "develop the academic cooperation, exchange and development of relationships among students, faculty, administration, and board members of the two colleges under the principle of reciprocity and mutual benefits."
All classes and activities will return to normal on Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2009 at both McCook Community College and North Platte Community College.
North Platte Community College will close at 12 noon, today, Tuesday, Dec. 8th. All afternoon and evening classes and activities are cancelled.