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Apr 18
Public invited to Shakespeare film festival

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The Rho Zeta chapter of Sigma Kappa Delta will host a Shakespeare film festival on Tuesday to commemorate the 455th birthday of poet, playwright and actor William Shakespeare. 

Film adaptations of Shakespeare's works will play continuously from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the McDonald-Belton Theater on the North Platte Community College South Campus. 

Cupcakes will be served in the fireplace area. 

The event is free and open to the public. Attendees may come and go as they wish. 

Apr 18
NPCC to host student recital/band and choir concert

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Jon Wardyn, of Brady, plays a piano at North Platte Community College. He will be one of many students performing in a recital and concert at NPCC in the coming weeks.

Only two opportunities remain to enjoy the musical talents of students at North Platte Community College this semester. 

NPCC will host a student recital at 7 p.m. April 25 as well as a band and choir concert at 7 p.m. May 2. Both with be in the McDonald-Belton Building on NPCC's south campus. 

The recital will showcase the following performers: 

  • Dylan Rogge, of Bakersfield, Calif. – trombone 
  • Josue Pop-Villa de Leon, of Lexington – clarinet 
  • Devin Wolcott, of North Platte – saxophone 
  • Jon Wardyn, of Brady – piano 
  • Maximus Wohler, of North Platte – vocalist 
  • Chris Terry, of Grant – vocalist 
  • Alexandra Burke, of Ogallala – vocalist 
  • Lisa Pickett, of North Platte - vocalist 

The performers will return for the band and choir concert, which will feature the premiere of a composition by Wardyn and Wohler. The concert will also highlight selections by the concert choir, jazz band and select choir. 

Apr 18
NPCC hosts faculty recital

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Kristin Simpson, of North Platte, smiles at the audience following a violin solo Tuesday evening. The performance was part of a faculty recital hosted by North Platte Community College.

Apr 16
Rules announced for Husker Volleyball Spring Game

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The Nebraska vs. Colorado State spring volleyball match will be Saturday at 1 p.m. at the McCook Community College Graff Events Center, 401 E. M St., in McCook. Tickets for the event are sold out. 

Both the southeast and southwest entry doors will open at 11:30 a.m. Seating is general admission only. Attendees must have a ticket to enter and no one, other than event staff, will be allowed in early. 

Ticket lines will begin on the north end of both the east and west side of the Graff Events Center.  Parking will be available on the east and north sides of the building, but parking on the west side will be prohibited. 

Tailgating will be allowed in the parking lot prior to the game, however, no alcohol or tobacco will be allowed on site. Restrooms will be available at the city park. 

In order to promote fairness and equal opportunity to all ticketholders, saving seats for large parties will not be allowed and will be monitored by event staff. 

The UNL 150th Anniversary Traveling Exhibit will be on display in the Auxiliary Gym for the duration of the event. 

There will also be an autograph session in the Auxiliary Gym immediately following the game.

Apr 16
MCC art and theater students enjoy "culture trip"

MCC ART AND THEATER students enjoyed a weekend full of cultural experiences and team building. The students traveled to Kansas City with MCC Art Instructor Rick Johnson and visited the Nelson Atkins Art Museum, the Kaufman Center, the Starlight Theater, World's of Fun and iFly Kansas City.

Apr 16
MCC hosting MHS Juniors for career focus

 

​McCook Community College  and Mid-Plains Community College Career Services are hosted the junior class from McCook High School Monday and Tuesday, arriving on the campus each day at 8 a.m. and setting up in the Peter and Dolores Graff Events Center. Each day will start with small group work as well as campus tours. After lunch, there will be some career service presentations as well as a panel of eight MCC students answering questions from the McCook Juniors.

Apr 16
MCC groups offering to 'Egg Your Yard' as Easter fund-raiser

MCC groups offering to 'Egg Your Yard' as Easter fund-raiser

A pair of McCook Community College student organizations are planning an "Egg Your Yard" fundraiser to help provide a yard full of colorful Easter surprises when little ones wake up Easter morning hoping for a visit from the Easter bunny.

McCook Community College Phi Theta Kappa along with the MCC volleyball team have teamed for this event and students from both organizations will be available Saturday night or early Sunday morning for "covert" yard decoration.

The deadline to reserve "egg decorators" is Thursday. Cost is $30 for 35 candy-and-trinket-filled eggs, $40 for 55 eggs and $50 for 75 eggs.

Contact Hayley Kobza at 308-345-8057 or Shannon Corder at 308-345-8133 to make arrangements.

Apr 16
MCC's Lindi Johnson awarded PTK-Nebraska Wesleyan scholarship

MCC's Lindi Johnson awarded PTK-Nebraska Wesleyan scholarship

McCook Community College sophomore Lindi Johnson, McCook, has been awarded the inaugural Phi Theta Kappa-Nebraska Wesleyan full-tuition scholarship, which provides the cost of tuition up to three years.

Johnson was honored recently at Nebraska Wesleyan during the PTK-NWU scholarship event. PTK is an honor society of two-year colleges, including community colleges whose students excel academically.

Johnson is a McCook High School graduate and is the outgoing PTK Vice President of Nebraska, serving as a regional officer for the Kansas/Nebraska PTK region.

Nebraska Wesleyan University awards one competitive full-tuition PTK-NWU scholarship, which provides the cost of tuition up to three years. NWU also offers the PTK-NWU recognition scholarship to all eligible students.

Johnson will attend NWU next fall and will pursue a degree in music education.

Apr 16
MCC PTK at Orlando for national convention

 

Members of McCook Community College's Phi Theta Kappa were in Orlando recently for the national convention. Highlights included speakers Chef Jeff from the Food Network, best-selling author and social media influencer Mel Robbins. Regional officer, Lindi Johnson represented Nebraska in the flag ceremony. MCC students attended several breakout sessions with various topics from the four PTK hallmarks of leadership, service, fellowship, and scholarship. Mary Kain was recognized for the $1,000 Coca-Cola scholarship she received. MCC's Eta Omicron chapter was recognized as a 5-star chapter. The Nebraska/Kansas region was recognized as a 4-star chapter. The MCC chapter was able to spend a few hours at Cocoa Beach and held the chapter dinner in the Gaylord Palms hotel. Pictured are (from left): Lindi Johnson, Ashley Carson, Makenna Bodette, Hana Brock, Mary Kain and Emmerie Roth.

Apr 15
Student’s life experiences lead to career in nursing

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Steph Nelson suctions a patient simulator in MPCC's nursing department.

Every situation she has been through, every emotion she has experienced - has led her to where she's supposed to be. 

That's how Steph Nelson feels about her journey to becoming a registered nurse. Nelson will graduate with an Associate Degree in Nursing from Mid-Plains Community College in May of 2020. It's an achievement she's been working toward her entire life.

"I've always asked myself, 'What was I created for? Why am I here?" said Nelson. "I've prayed about it and prayed about it, and the answer I keep coming back to is that I'm supposed to protect. I feel it deep down in my soul. I'm supposed to protect and help others, so that's what I'm going to do." 

It was that calling that led the Trumbull native to join the U.S. Marine Corps right out of high school in 1996. 

"I always wanted to be a nurse when I was little, but I didn't think I was smart enough," Nelson said. "My dad always said, 'Don't do anything half-assed,' so I decided I would go big – either become a state trooper or a Marine."

Ultimately, the Marines won out. Nelson recruited in Michigan then completed a tour of duty. 

"Afterward, I still wasn't sure what I wanted to do," Nelson said. "I moved back to Nebraska and had to find a source of income." 

She enrolled in Certified Nurse Aide and Medication Aide classes at Hastings College and ended up working at a nursing home, where she fell in love with the little, white-haired ladies. Nelson made a point to take them movies and popcorn just to watch their faces light up. 

After that, she accepted a position in quality control at Thermo King. While she loved the line work, the job overall left her unfulfilled. 

Nelson was sure there had to be more to life, but didn't have long to ponder what that might be. In 2006, her grandmother ended up in a hospital in Lincoln for heart surgery and kidney issues. Nelson was by her side the entire time, caring for and supporting her. 

Even though the nursing profession seemed to be dogging her, Nelson continued to look for something else. She went through cosmetology school then spent the next decade working at salons in Hastings, Grand Island and North Platte - where she followed the man who would become her husband. 

"Eventually, I ended up working for Deb Erickson at First Impressions in North Platte and was going to buy her salon," Nelson said. "But still, I kept thinking, 'Am I just going to do hair for the rest of my life?' I had to go deeper. I had to find that something more." 

Her mind drifted back to the women from the rest home – particularly the ones who didn't have families nearby to visit them. 

"I wanted to be there for those ladies," Nelson said. "I wanted to be the one who took them to their medical appointments. I wanted to hold their hands and comfort them." 

Her husband encouraged her to give nursing a try. She agreed, but not without some hesitation. The idea of going back to school as a 30-something non-traditional student was a daunting thought. 

Pushing her anxiety aside, Nelson applied for and was accepted into the Licensed Practical Nursing program at MPCC. 

In 2015, she began working as a LPN for Midlands Family Medicine. 

"I enjoyed being a LPN, but it became too much of the same thing," said Nelson. "I wanted to see what else was out there." 

She contemplated becoming a registered nurse until her mother was diagnosed with cancer. 

"I went home to be with her," Nelson said. "That was hard. I never wanted to be around cancer, but being with my mom changed that. Because of my cosmetology background, she asked me to be the one to shave her head. I cried more than she did. Just realizing what she was going through and that the drugs that were being put into her system could actually kill her – was an eye-opener." 

So was the way her mother was treated.

"Some of her nurses would come into her room, do their job and leave," Nelson said. "My brain kept saying, 'there has to be a better way, a better bedside manner, a better method of caring for people that would make them feel special and calm their fears.' I just took everything in." 

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Nelson wraps a gift as part of the Santa Cop program MPCC nursing students volunteer for every year.

After her mother's ordeal was over, Nelson started on a fast track to get her prerequisites done, and last fall, she entered MPCC's ADN program. 

Her goal after graduating is to spend at least five years working in critical care in an emergency room or intensive care unit then become a flight nurse. She likes the structure and camaraderie that being a flight nurse provides and the fact that it ties into her military background. 

"I feel like I have been put in all these different places in my life for a reason," Nelson said. "Now, when I have patients dealing with difficult situations, I can better understand what they are going through. My mother's cancer is an example. So is my sister's husband. He was declared brain dead, and I watched her have to make life-changing decisions. In February, my grandpa passed away, and I listened to his last two heartbeats. I never thought I could be that close to someone who was dying." 

She can even relate to sexual assault victims because she, too, was sexually assaulted while serving in the Marines. 

"You hold their hands and cry with them," Nelson said. "I get all emotional when I'm working with my patients because I care so deeply for them. I'm always trying to get to the bottom of how I can help my patients and their families more." 

Nursing isn't all about the sadness, though. For Nelson, it's also full of joy. 

"I saw a baby be born while I was doing clinicals, and I suddenly got that full picture of the circle of life," Nelson said. "Whether they are coming into this world, or leaving it, nursing is about looking patients in the eye and letting them know you're going to make that process as easy as possible. I don't know why it took me so long to figure out, but all my experiences have led me to that. I have to do nursing. I need to do nursing, so I'm going to do nursing until the Lord tells me to stop."

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Heather Johnson
Area Communications Specialist

Heather produces and distributes press releases for the college. She began work at MPCC in 2014. Prior to that, she spent five years as the news director/web manager for Eagle Radio in North Platte. From 2009-2014 she worked as a reporter/photographer for The North Platte Telegraph. Heather has a bachelor's degree in journalism from Chadron State College.

Brent L. Cobb
McCook Community College News Bureau Coordinator​