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Inside Story for Friday, May 02, 2008

Gooch Honored for Community Service

On April 25, associate vice president Cynthia Gooch was honored by Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. at the Middle Western Province Regional Meeting for her community service contributions in the city of Omaha. Attendees were from the states of Arkansas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Nebraska. The other distinguished honorees were immediate past Chief of Police and Urban League of Nebraska CEO, Thomas Warren and CEO of the Charles Drew Community Health Center, Dr. David Brown.    

"I am thankful and humbled by their acknowledgement and their underscoring that so often the accomplishments and achievements of African-Americans are disregarded," Gooch said. "I am blessed to have been raised by parents who believed in serving our community."

MCC Hosts First Nebraska Writing Center Consortium

MCC will host the first ever Nebraska Writing Center Consortium (NWCC) annual meeting on May 2 to create an even more useful and meaningful community for writing center professionals in the state. NWCC was created in 2004 to provide a forum for writing center colleagues across the state to discuss, celebrate and sometimes gripe about the situations encountered on a regular basis. Prior to the annual meeting, NWCC consisted of a monthly newsletter written by and shared with the members.

MCC writing center coordinator and English instructor Katie Stalhnecker is serving as the new director of NWCC. For the first gathering, the organization scheduled Muriel Harris, professor emerita of English from Purdue University, as the keynote speaker.

"Aside from rubbing elbows with our field's most prolific and esteemed scholar, we will also enjoy meeting our statewide colleagues, sharing our stories, learning about the histories of each others' writing centers, discussing topics relevant to writing center work and devising a future plan for the growth of the Nebraska Writing Center Consortium," Stahlnecker said.

Fremont Area Center Hosts Spring Quarter BBQ

Students at the BBQ.

On Wednesday, April 30 the Fremont Area Center invited their students, faculty and staff to a Spring Quarter BBQ. They had Fremont Hy-Vee cater in with hamburgers, hot dogs, chips and soda - free to all who wanted to participate! Beautiful weather allowed the event to be held outside in the parking lot directly behind the building. The turn-out from students and faculty made this event a huge success.

MCC Student Among Selected for Great Plains Theatre Conference Featured Play Lab

 Playwright Ellen Struve

Among 175 plays submitted for the third annual Great Plains Theatre Conference, only a select few would be chosen for the Featured Play Lab to have their work read and critiqued by theatre professionals. One MCC student and Omaha native made the grade. Ellen Struve, an arts organization fundraiser who takes playwriting classes at MCC, will have a staged reading of her play Mrs. Jenning's Sitter at the end of the month.

Struve had moved back to Omaha with her husband and children only months before the first Great Plains Theatre Conference. She was intrigued by the Conference because of a lifelong  interest in theatre. Struve had also done some playwriting of her own in college. When she heard that playwright John Guare would speak at MCC in 2007 as a prelude to the second Conference, she decided she wanted to a be part of it. This lead her to enroll in instructor Scott Working's playwriting workshops.

"My workshop experience was incredibly positive. It was just a great time," Struve said. "Scott pulls off a difficult trick as an educator.  He manages to provide a very nurturing and safe environment, all the while encouraging his students to jump off the building and take risks. I really can't say enough about how his leadership has helped me."

Mrs. Jenning's Sitter came along after the workshop class convinced Working to run a special topics course on the full-length play. 

 "I really just wanted to finish something," Struve said. She had read Little Children, Madame Bovary and A Doll's House. She found that all of those works were written by men and didn't focus specifically on female relationships. 

 "Ellen's writing is sharp and original. She combines a sophisticated wit with a warm heart," Working said.

Mrs. Jenning's Sitter will be read on May 25. The public and MCC employees are invited to register for all Conference events including the morning and afternoon readings of selected new works with panelists interacting with playwrights and readers.


MCC employees are encouraged to attend the third annual Great Plains Theatre Conference May 24-31. One complimentary book of tickets is available per employee. To request a ticket book, email your name, department and MCC ID number. Indicate your campus location, and the ticket booklet will be sent to you via intercampus mail. Employees are highly encouraged to attend daytime events, including play readings; if you are interested in doing so, you must check with your supervisor beforehand. 

Visit the Conference web site for updates, the Conference schedule and more information.

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