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Inside Story for Friday, September 05, 2008

MCC Hosts Cristo Rey Students for High School Work Study

MCC is part of a very exciting partnership with St. Peter Claver Cristo Rey High School in South Omaha. The College is hosting four students during the academic year (end of August through the end of May) as high school work study students. The Fort Omaha Campus employs two students (one on Tuesdays and one on Thursdays) and the South Omaha Campus employs two students (one on Wednesdays and one on Fridays) from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Each student will also work at least one Monday a month. Students can help with filing, mailing, data entry or other basic office needs. They are also available for other office or special projects in your area.

If you have some entry-level office work or special projects that you would like help with send an email to Colleen Hernandez (South Omaha Campus) or Charlene West (Fort Omaha Campus). When you email Colleen or Charlene, it is vitally important to indicate the day, time and description of work needed for planning and coordination. Your assistance is requested to make this a productive learning experience for these young people. The hope is that they will be able to gain experiences in many different areas at the College. Thank you in advance for your support of this great program! Call Maria Vazquez (ext. 4600) or Julie Langholdt (ext. 2201) if you have further questions.

St. Peter Claver Cristo Rey High School is a new kind of Catholic High School in Omaha , blazing a new trail of opportunities for its youth. Omaha's St. Peter Claver Cristo Rey High School opened to its first freshmen class in 2007. Students attend classes four days and work one day per week in many metro area partner corporations earning a salary that pays for 70-75 percent of their annual tuition cost. Its unique curriculum and negotiated tuition is primarily designed for students and families who may think that they cannot afford a high school college prep education due to the family’s financial situation or low economic resources.

Two Art Instructors Featured in Gallery Show


Next week, Jackson Artworks Gallery opens 4/4, an exhibit featuring Omaha artists Tricia Hollins, Luann Matthies, Jaime Hackbart and Peggy Reinecke. Hollins and Matthies are also MCC art instructors. The opening reception is Saturday, Sept. 13 from 6 to 9 p.m.; the show continues through Sunday, Sept. 28.

The four exhibiting artists use different media and different aesthetic approaches. With Hollins’ recent figurative paintings, she asks questions like, “What is really happening? Why is this thing the people are doing important?” Paintings by Matthies grow out of her fascination with spontaneous marks with type and graphic elements and reflect the joys, frustrations and atrocities that surround us. Hackbart’s abstract images are derived from direct observation of an experience in nature or the memory of an experience; often water is a beginning point for her images. Reinecke has given herself “permission to create what begs to exist” in a colorful new body of abstract collages.

The tie that binds these unique artists together is their common love of art and the desire to share knowledge about the subject with others. Jackson Artworks is located in the Old Market at 1108 Jackson St. Gallery hours are Thursday and Friday 1-9 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-9 p.m. and Sunday 1-5 p.m.

Midwest Consortium for Service Learning Conference This Month

The fifth annual Midwest Consortium for Service Learning in Higher Education Conference is Sept. 25-26, 2008 at South Dakota State University in Brookings, S.D. Interactive, individual/group, roundtable and poster sessions are planned for the conference in the following areas: Best Practices in Collaboration, Service-Learning and Educational Initiatives and Service-Learning and Engaged Scholarship.

If you are interested in attending, contact Penny Boykins to make a registration request no later than Monday, Sept. 8. Registration, lodging and transportation will be paid or reimbursed through a grant from the Midwest Consortium.

The Midwest Consortium for Service-Learning in Higher Education is comprised of 27 member institutions in Nebraska, South Dakota and Iowa including private, public and faith-based four- and two-year institutions. The organization promotes, mobilizes and supports the efforts of these colleges and universities in strengthening their academic and co-curricular service-learning programs.

Explore Diversity Through Literature and Discussion with New Diversity Matters Book Series

MCC's Diversity Matters Book Series will begin with a kick-off meeting for the series next week, Thursday, Sept. 11, at MCC's South Omaha Campus Library from 11 a.m. to noon. The four books in the series will be introduced at the kick-off along with other information about how to get involved in this opportunity to enjoy reading about diverse topics with others.

Recognizing the different learning styles and interests within the community, MCC launched the Diversity Matters Book Series this fall as yet another personal/professional development opportunity for MCC students, faculty, staff and community members. As a voluntary activity, the participant chooses to read the books at convenient times and come to the final discussion with ideas to share or solely to listen to the thoughts of the facilitator and other readers. Individuals or groups are welcome to participate; faculty are encouraged to consider a book to enhance classroom instruction and bring students to the final discussion. During the reading of the book, each reader's personal journey with the selected diversity topic is expected to arouse a variety of perspectives, thoughts and questions that could contribute to rich discussions. One book per quarter was selected in the first annual series to highlight a variety of diversity topics. Recommendations for future books and facilitators and evaluations of the process will be received throughout the year to plan future book series.

Participation is free and open to the public. Read the book prior to the discussion or just come to share in dialogue. Participants are expected to gain greater understanding on a variety of diversity topics. Contact 457-2253 or bvelazquez@mccneb.edu for more information.

Full-time Faculty Earn Doctorates This Summer

Congratulations to two full-time faculty and recent doctorate graduates: Lori Lothringer and Idalene Williams!

Director of MCC’s Financial Planning Program Lori Lothringer earned her Ph.D. in Consumer Science from Iowa State University with a dissertation topic looking at the relationship between academic and workplace integrity. Accounting instructor Idalene Williams earned her Ph.D. from Capella University School of Business and Technology in Organization and Management with a dissertation topic of Strategic Planning in Small Businesses: A Phenomenological Study Investigating the Role, Challenges and Best Practices of Strategic Planning.

Fort Omaha Intertribal Powwow Presents Gayle Ross, Cherokee Storyteller

In anticipation of the 17th annual Fort Omaha Intertribal Powwow, MCC presents storyteller Gayle Ross on Friday, Sept. 12 from 11 a.m. to noon at the Fort Omaha Campus, Bldg 7, Room 107.

Gayle Ross, a descendent of John Ross (the Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation during the legendary Trail of Tears), recounts stories from the rich heritage she learned at her grandmother’s knee. Whether provoking laughter with a ‘true’ Texas tale or moving listeners to tears with a haunting Native American legend, Ross is a masterful storyteller whose performances mesmerize audiences of all ages. Author of critically acclaimed children’s books and a frequent visitor to TV and radio programs, Ross skillfully weaves traditional Cherokee stories with history and contemporary Indian issues. Gayle is truly a master of performance storytelling. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call 457-2253 or email bvelazquez@mccneb.edu.

Carpooling Can Help Everyone Enjoy the Ride

With high gas prices and a watchful eye on the environment, many Americans are coming up with ways to reduce their impact and save a few bucks. Two MCC employees have taken that idea and found a way to help their wallets and the environment — and have some fun at the same time!

Financial aid director Wendy Olson and director of marketing and public relations Sheila O’Connor are both Lincoln residents who work at MCC’s Fort Omaha Campus. They decided to team up and carpool to work and have done so nearly every day since July. For the month of August alone, they saved 1,134 miles, 54 gallons of fuel and $613 and reduced 1,049 lbs of emissions from their cars.

“I was surprised how quickly the miles add up,” O’Connor said. “And the ride is much more fun!”

To find a carpooling partner and/or to track how much your carpool has saved, visit www.metrorideshare.org. MCC is a proud community partner of MetrO! Rideshare.

New Faces


Pamela Perry
Grant Development & Management Facilitator
Fort Omaha Campus

Pam Perry has a Master’s Degree in Counseling from the University of Nebraska–Kearney, a Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology and Sociology from Hastings College and more than 20 years of experience in grant writing. She also has experience teaching in higher education, legislative/policy advocacy and development/management of statewide projects and services. Perry currently lives in a Benson warehouse loft with her significant other, three dogs, six puppies, a cat, a cockatoo and two macaws and will soon be moving to a Ponca Hills acreage. They also have five children between them (most of them grown) and one grandson. Perry loves to work hard and play hard and doesn’t take life and its opportunities for granted. She is passionate about Opportunity @ Work, a statewide coalition working to support the financial stability of Nebraskans through proactive, solution-focused partnership among business, nonprofit and government sectors. 


Curtis Bryant
Online Course Support Technician
Fort Omaha Campus

Curtis Bryant received his Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Nebraska–Omaha and his Bachelor’s of Arts in Peace and Global Studies from Earlham College. He is experienced in corporate training, technical support, web development and computer programming. Previously Bryant worked for Trees for Life in Wichita, Kan., and the Goodrich Scholarship program and Mosaic in Omaha. He grew up in Indiana and West Virginia and worked seven and a half years in Wichita before moving to Omaha to marry his wife Anne. Bryant studied in Japan as a college student and is a board member of the National Association of Social Workers Nebraska Chapter.

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