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Inside Story - Past Issues

Inside Story for Friday, June 19, 2009

Mentors Needed for TRiO Program

TRiO is an educational opportunity for low-income and first-generation college students. There are MCC TRiO students who can benefit from your advice, guidance and knowledge. It takes just a few hours a month to be a mentor and to let a student know you care. Help a student realize that doors can be opened, see that opportunities are not just for others and demonstrate that there is a place for our students in our community. When you give to a student, you help them learn the joys of giving back. 

If you are interested in becoming a mentor, contact Kathy J. Trotter, mentor coordinator, by email at kjtrotter@mccneb.edu or by phone at 457-2651. A bachelor's degree is required to meet our grant objective.

Important Information for PayFlex Card Users

Your PayFlex card may be denied at some stores or pharmacies after July 1 due to a new IRS ruling affecting healthcare cards. The ruling requires stores to implement an IRS-required Inventory Information Approval System (IIAS).

How does an IIAS system work? 
When you swipe your PayFlex card at a store with an IIAS, the system identifies whether each product or service you purchase is an eligible or ineligible healthcare expense. If you have enough money in your PayFlex healthcare account, your eligible expenses are automatically deducted from your PayFlex account. If you are purchasing ineligible items, the store will ask you for another form of payment.

How will I know if my PayFlex card will be denied? 
Most drug stores and pharmacies have already implemented an IIAS system. Walgreens, Wal-Mart, Target, Shopko, Costco, CVS, Kmart and Sam's Club are just a few of the merchants that have implemented an IRS-approved system and can continue to accept healthcare cards. For a complete listing of merchants where cards will be accepted, click on the links below. 

What should I do if my PayFlex card is denied?  
If your card is denied because the merchant does not have an IIAS, you have two options:

  • Option 1: Use another form of payment to purchase your healthcare item. To request reimbursement, submit a claim online via PayFlex's Express Claims or complete a paper claim form and fax it to PayFlex.
  • Option 2: Purchase your healthcare items from another store.  

Where can I use my PayFlex card after July 1?  
Click on the links below to view a listing of merchants that can accept healthcare cards. The merchant must accept MasterCard® in order for your PayFlex card to work.
Listing of merchants with an IRS-approved IIAS
Listing of drug stores and pharmacies that meet the IRS' 90% rule

Walgreens is not on the list of merchants. Will they still accept the PayFlex card? 
Yes, you can continue to use your PayFlex Card at Walgreens. Walgreens is not on the merchant list because they have implemented their own IRS-approved system that identifies whether a product is an eligible or ineligible healthcare expense. 

Where can I get more information?  
Click here to view Frequently Asked Questions.

If you have additional questions, contact a PayFlex customer service representative at (800) 284-4885 from 7 a.m.-7 p.m., Monday-Friday, or visit www.mypayflex.com.

Public Art Master Planning Committee

MCC has established a Public Art Master Planning Committee. The committee's charge is to identify locations for the placement of artwork that would be consistent with the College's mission and with the Sasaki and Associates campus master plan. The primary focus will be on exterior locations at the Applied Technology Center, Fremont, Sarpy, South Omaha, Fort Omaha and Elkhorn Valley campuses. Public commons interior areas may also be included in the plan. The committee will work to identify funding sources for public art projects.

The committee's vision statement:
A public art master plan will guide efforts to provide a welcoming, engaging and inspiring environment at all Metropolitan Community College campuses. Works of art will be selected and placed in a way to enhance and complement their surroundings.  As the 2003 Sasaki and Associates Metropolitan Community College Master Plan for Campuses states, "campus art should be a fitting reflection of the enduring qualities of a college.  It's beauty should be classic and timeless."

Committee members include: Tom McDonnell, dean of Languages and Visual Arts (chair); Pat Crisler, associate vice president of Development; Katherine Holian, executive vice president's projects coordinator; Luann Matthies, faculty in Graphic Communication Art and Design; Stan Horrell, Facilities project manager; Suzanne Wise, executive director of the Nebraska Arts Council; Randy Brown, project manager at Randy Brown Architects; Carol Russell, MCC Foundation board member; Pat Salerno, Omaha By Design facilitator.

Open forums will be held at each campus to seek input on possible projects and appropriate locations for artwork. Look for details in future editions of The Inside Story. If you have any feedback regarding public art placement on MCC campuses, email Tom McDonnell at tjmcdonnell3@mccneb.edu.

MCC Annual Security Report

MCC Public Safety prepares the annual security report to comply with the Jeanne Clery Act. This report includes statistics for the previous three years concerning reported crimes that occurred on-campus, in certain off-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by MCC and on public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from MCC campus locations. The report also includes policies concerning campus security, such as policies concerning sexual assault and other matters. The full text of the report can be found on Public Safety's web site at www.mccneb.edu/asr.pdf. You will also find a link to the report and other informative safety related documents on the MCC Public Safety resource web page at www.mccneb.edu/publicsafety.

Fourth Annual Great Plains Theatre Conference

MCC hosted the Great Plains Theatre Conference (GPTC), May 23-30, 2009. The Conference featured workshops and play lab experiences for new and emerging playwrights. More than 400 playwrights, actors, directors and theatre professionals participated in daily conference activities held at the Fort Omaha Campus. Evening performances were held at the Omaha Community Playhouse and Creighton University with more than 800 people attending performances.

The Conference concluded with a gala celebrating the playwrights' work and honoring those who contributed to the Conference. This year, Dick Holland and Fred and Eve Simon were honored for their on-going support of the GPTC.

The Holland New Voices Award recognized the five MainStage playwrights. These individuals were chosen as having the five top-rated plays out of more than 400 plays submitted to the Conference. The Holland New Voices Award recipients were Mark Donahue (Chicago, Ill.), Ivan Fuller (Sioux Falls, S.D.), Halley Wegryn Gross (New York, N.Y.), Rick Mitchell (Los Angeles, Calif.) and Jessica Jill Turner (Los Angeles, Calif.). These emerging playwrights were awarded a sculptured piece created by local artist John Prouty in recognition of their work. Each playwright received a $200 honorarium in honor of their selection.

Award-winning playwright Theresa Rebeck was presented with the Simon Honored Playwright Award. Rebeck's work was featured in two evening performances at the Conference. Rebeck also served as a panelist for the MainStage Series. Constance Congdon was recognized for her distinguished service to the American theatre.

The fourth annual GPTC was a success and brought positive attention to the College on a national level. Thanks to the many MCC staff members who supported the Conference. The quality and professionalism was noted by numerous participants who sent follow-up messages about their experiences.

The following letter was written by William Missouri Downs, head of Playwriting at University of Wyoming:

In the last four years I've had readings at playwriting festivals all over the country (including the Last Frontier Theatre Conference, The Orlando Shakespeare Festival and the Playwright's Showcase of the Western Region) and I must say yours was a delight. The actors assigned to my reading were perfectly cast and of the highest quality and the director was a total pro. I had no idea the talent pool in Omaha was so deep.

I've had over one hundred productions now and dozens of readings. Most of the time, if I get one good idea from a post-show note session I consider it a success. After your reading the respondents gave me half a dozen good ideas. I found myself running back to the hotel to rewrite. Too often the competitive nature of theatre dominates conferences. Yours on the other hand was full of professionals that only wanted to advance the art. I arrived in Omaha a stranger and within a few hours had been invited to several events and made friends.

It was a breath of fresh air. Once again, thank you for a wonderful conference.

William Missouri Downs

MCC Friends and Family Golf Scramble

MCC is hosting a friends and family golf scramble at The Knolls Golf Course on Friday, June 26. Check-in for the tournament is at noon, and the shotgun start is at 12:30 p.m. To register, complete the registration form and send it to Linda Hoagland, FOC, Bldg. 30. If you have any questions, call Rick Sandvig at 763-5813.

Book Discussion: Lies My Teacher Told Me

A treat to read and a serious critique of American education, Lies My Teacher Told Me is for anyone who has ever fallen asleep in history class. Beginning with pre-Columbian American history and ranging over characters and events as diverse as Reconstruction, Helen Keller, the first Thanksgiving and the My Lai massacre, the book is a telling critique of existing books, but more importantly, a wonderful retelling of American history as it should - and could - be taught to American students.

Facilitated by Debra Paris, Benson High School librarian
Thursday, July 9, noon-1 p.m.
Fort Omaha Campus, Bldg. 8, Library

CET Corner

Professional Development
Professional development training is available to MCC staff through Corporate Education & Training (CET). CET is now offering workshops to address the areas ranked as the highest training priority by MCC employees. View the latest workshops online via CET's new MCC Professional Development link on the CET homepage at www.mccneb.edu/cet/.

Tai Chi for Well-Being - Enjoy gentle Tai Chi movements that improve balance, reduce stress and enhance flexibility. Discover how good you can feel in this class designed for all fitness levels. Angie Walker, certified Tai Chi instructor, invites you to experience the increased sense of well-being that Tai Chi provides.

09/JU WELL 283N WI07  Wednesday, July 8-Aug. 12, noon-12:45 p.m., SOC, Connector Building, Room 250

Lunchtime Yoga - Energize your body, calm your mind and free your spirit with the ancient practice of yoga. Suitable for all fitness levels, this class will be led by Angie Walker, certified yoga instructor with more than 12 years teaching experience. All are welcome to enjoy the many benefits of mind-body exercise.

09/JU WELL 034N WI07  Thursday, July 9-Aug. 13, noon-12:45 p.m., SOC, Connector Bldg., Room 250

Communicating and Listening (half-day workshop)
Associates learn to:
· Send and receive clear, accurate messages
· Actively listen to and understand what others say
· Manage internal and external distractions that interfere with communication
· Manage the nonverbal messages that they send and receive
· Match the appropriate method of communication to their messages  

09/JU BSAD 048N WI06  Tuesday, June 30, 1-5 p.m., FOC, Bldg. 10, Room 237

To register, email Adam Smith at asmith102@mccneb.edu. Registration deadline is June 24.

Creating a Customer-Focused Workforce
Service Plus (full-day or two half-day workshops)
Creates service providers who:
· Think and act consistently to please students by putting them at the heart of MCC
· Create unprecedented levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty
· Ensure repeat business from established students, increase word-of-mouth referrals for MCC and inspire loyalty in new students

The leadership, communication and customer-focused workshops will be led by Jim May who has conducted training and facilitation in areas such as employee selection and retention, leadership skills, managing change, project management and Total Quality Management. He is a graduate of the Program for Management Development from the Harvard Business School.

CET's noncredit online courses are open to MCC staff as part of Professional Development Training. More than 150 online courses in the areas of business management, information technology, interpersonal skills, leadership and Command Spanish® are available. Register now! A new series of online courses begins on June 17, 2009. To learn more visit us at www.mccneb.edu/cet/.

Tuition waiver/remission is available for full-time employees/faculty and part-time regulars using the Employee Tuition Waiver Form. Part-time temp employees and adjunct faculty who want to register should contact their dean's office to arrange for the cost center to be billed the fee before registering. Deans should send cost center billing information to Adam Smith in FOC, Bldg. 5 or by email to asmith102@mccneb.edu so the adjunct faculty and part-time temp employees will not be billed personally. Reference the Employee and Dependent Tuition Waiver Procedures Memorandum for more information.

HR News

Daniel Lawse     Coordinator of Sustainable Practices     SOC, ITC          738-4564

Jacob Link         Multimedia Design Specialist                 FOC, Bldg. 17   457-2488

MCC Job Openings

For information about the College’s open positions and how to apply, visit www.mccneb.edu/hr or call the jobline at (402) 738-4050. Applications are also online at www.mccnebjobs.com.

MCC Is Making News

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