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Inside Story - Past Issues

Inside Story for Friday, January 21, 2011

Inside Story Moves to Mondays

As part of an effort to communicate with staff and faculty more efficiently, Inside Story will now be distributed to email inboxes on Mondays. The next issue will be Monday, Jan. 31. Deadlines for submissions will remain the same: Stories are due by Thursday at noon.

Now Accepting Excellence in Teaching Awards Nominations

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2011 MCC Excellence in Teaching Awards. The MCC Excellence in Teaching Awards recognize full-time and adjunct faculty based on four criteria:

  • Professionalism
  • Commitment to learning
  • Relationships with students
  • Relationships with colleagues

The awards will be presented at the Spring Academic Affairs Awards Banquet on Monday, March 7. Recipients will receive a certificate and will be selected to attend and represent MCC at the 2012 NISOD (National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development) Conference in Austin, Texas.

The deadline for nominations is Friday, Feb. 4. Nominations may be submitted by any employee, student or community member. Find the nomination form and specific criteria for the Teaching Award at www.mccneb.edu/academicaffairs/awards.asp.

If you have questions, call Dave Ho at 457-2716.

Changes to Payroll Taxes

Accounting Services and Payroll wish to share the following information with all employees. There are two changes to payroll taxes that will affect your net pay in 2011. The change in your take-home pay cannot be predicted yet because of these two separate items.

  • The Making Work Pay Credit expired on Dec. 31, 2010, which has caused minor changes to the IRS tax tables and will likely slightly increase the amount of federal income tax withheld from you, thus decreasing your net pay.
  • There is a decrease in the employee deduction for the FICA part of payroll taxes. The rate of deduction for 2011 that you will pay has been reduced from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent. This will increase your net pay.

If you have any specific questions, contact Gary Kucera at (402) 457-2277.

We continue to monitor developments pertaining to the City of Omaha Commuter Wheel fee for non-Omaha residents who work in Omaha, and we will notify you when we are more confident of what action we need to take.

If you have any specific questions, contact Tom Wilson at (402) 457-2738.

AMATYC Math Exam to Test Students' Skills

It is time for Round 2 of the AMATYC math exam. The exam is Friday, Feb. 11, 2-3 p.m. at the EVC, FOC, SOC and Sarpy Testing Centers. 

Local prizes are available for MCC's top scorers. Regional and national prizes are for those students who have not yet received a 2- or 4-year degree. The math is challenging and includes algebra, statistics, trigonometry and logic. We suggest that students be enrolled in or have passed Intermediate Algebra. Students do not need to have taken Round 1. Students do not need to be enrolled in a math class.

Encourage your students to take the free exam. Old exams and answer keys are available at the Math Centers.

Winter Quarter Heart of Metro Nominations Open

Nominations are now being accepted for the Winter Quarter Heart of Metro Award.

Criteria for the Award

  • Employees may be full- or part-time
  • Employees must have completed one year of employment or three quarters of teaching
  • Employees are eligible for the award every three years
  • Employee must meet the following criteria addressed in the nomination:
    • Demonstrate a positive attitude
    • Lead change
    • Foster an inclusive workplace
    • Work smart
    • Respect diversity
    • Be service-centered

The deadline for nominations is Friday, Feb. 11. Nominations may be submitted by any employee, student or community member. Online nominations may be submitted here.

Recognize a deserving colleague today!

When Participating in Off-Campus Events, Communication is Key

A friendly reminder: If you or members of your team are attending or participating in off-campus events such as college fairs or open houses, communicate your participation directly with the Community Outreach team: Aimee Haugen, Ambe White, Heath Mello or Sheila O'Connor at 457-2377 or outreach@mccneb.edu.

By communicating your off-campus events, we can avoid duplicating the College's outreach efforts, including duplicate MCC representatives/booths at off-campus events.

New eBooks Available through MCC Libraries

More than 3,000 eBooks have been added to the library's NetLibrary database, bringing the collection's size to more than 42,000 titles.

A list of new titles can be viewed here. To view or search the entire NetLibrary collection, go to the library website and click on NetLibrary on the left menu.

A user guide (including instructions on how to checkout and download eBooks) is available here.

Contact a campus library for more information.

Training and Development Courses

This program is designed to contribute to the professional growth and development of MCC employees by providing educational services and opportunities through workshops, group activities and online resources.

Command Spanish for Requesting Personal Information and Data
Job specific phrases that are frequently used will be taught to participants so they can provide the best possible service to MCC Spanish speaking students. This learner-friendly class requires no prior knowledge of the Spanish language. Intended audience: all employees.

You will learn:

  • How to greet a student in Spanish
  • Etiquette and social phrases
  • Initial contact phrases
  • How to ask for basic information
  • Communication strategies
  • Numbers, days of week, months of year
  • Phrases for completing paperwork, documentation and data gathering
  • Customized phrases to fit your needs

TRDV 035N 01 (synonym-165792)
Mondays, Jan. 31-March 7 (6 wks)
10 a.m.-noon
SOC, Mahoney 510

Successful Workplace Relationships
In the hectic environments that characterize most organizations today, even the best employees can lose sight of the basics of maintaining positive working relationships. This program reviews the fundamentals of respectful, mutually beneficial relationships, building and maintaining trust, focusing on the positive in the other person and resolving conflicts in a respectful manner.

Feel free to bring your lunch to this essential workplace seminar. Intended audience: all employees.

TRDV 034N 01 (synonym-165743)
Friday, Jan. 28
noon-1:00 p.m.
FOC 21, Room 105

Brown Bag Lunch Workshop-Central Stores
Join us for our February Brown Bag Lunch workshop designed around fun, information and food! Meet and mingle with other employees, enjoy your home-packed lunch and learn more about MCC from a presenter who will provide an overview of his/her department.

Bob Barnes, Central Stores supervisor, will shed some light on what happens in Central Stores, the Copy Center and the Mailroom (shipping/receiving). Barnes' presentation will include guidelines for correct addressing of mail; accessing and completing forms; copy center duplicating orders; package delivery; and the ordering of office supplies, equipment and furnishings. Did you know a College-wide auction is held annually? Learn more by attending this workshop. Intended audience: all employees.

TRDV 033N 01 (synonym-165741)
Friday, Feb. 4
noon-1 p.m.
FOC 21, Room 105

Please note: Attending an activity during your scheduled work hours requires supervisor approval. It is your responsibility to obtain approval to attend a Training and Development event.

To enroll, go to WebAdvisor or call (402) 457-8518. All listed workshops are noncredit, term 11/JA.

For further information contact: Marilyn Cotten, Training & Development Coordinator, (402) 457-2507 or mcotten@mccneb.edu.

Philosophy Instructor Authors Book of Poetry

MCC Philosophy Instructor Paul Dickey is author of the newly-released They Say This Is How Death Came Into the World, a book of poems published by Mayapple Press of Bay City, Michigan. Dickey is an Omaha poet and playwright and is a faculty co-editor of The Metropolitan literary magazine.

Fremont Area Center Named Business of the Year

MCC's Fremont Area Center was honored as the Fremont Area Chamber of Commerce's Business of the Year in 2010.

The chamber of commerce credited MCC with giving new life to the former Fremont Junior High School building. The center has grown tremendously in recent years, up 73 percent in enrollment since 2008 with 1,000 students yearly.

Read more about the award in the Fremont Tribune article.

Wilson Receives Award in Honor of MLK Jr.

Tommie Wilson

Tommie Wilson, MCC community liaison, received the state's Hugh and Dr. Leola Bullock Equity/Advocacy Award at a ceremony at the Capitol on Jan. 14. The award was one of seven given out in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. and Nebraska civil rights activists.

Wilson was president of Omaha's NAACP chapter from 2004-2008. Since 2009, Wilson has worked for Metropolitan Community College in the n the Community Liaison office. She rehabilitates soon-to-be-released inmates and encourages them to get an education.

Read more about Wilson's accomplishments in the Omaha World-Herald article.

Conversation Table Offers Spanish, English Speakers Language Practice

MCC's Mesa de Intercambio provides an informal way for native Spanish and English speakers to learn from each other through conversation. Stop by every Tuesday during Winter quarter from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in the South Omaha Campus Commons Area to practice your English or Spanish conversation skills in a fun and informal setting.

This event is sponsored by Service-Learning. Questions? Contact Elizabeth McPhail at (402) 457-2591 or eamcphail1@mccneb.edu.

Vietnamese New Year Celebration

Celebrate the Lunar New Year with Vietnamese music, food and cultural entertainment at the South Omaha Campus on Jan. 29, 7-11 p.m. Free admission for MCC students, personnel and their families. Make a reservation by Jan. 29. Business attire is recommended to honor our Vietnamese hosts.

For more information, call (402) 457-2253.

Save the Date: MCC Golf Outing

Mark your calendars for MCC's Golf Outing on Friday, June 3 at Pacific Springs Golf Course. Check future editions of the Inside Story for more information.

Save the Date: 5th Annual Student Truck Driving Championship

Commercial Driver's License (CDL) students will perform challenging driving maneuvers while promoting safety and education at the fourth annual student truck driving championship on April 30 at the Applied Technology Center, 104th and State streets.

Eligible to compete are CDL students currently enrolled in a Nebraska training facility and Nebraska trained CDL students with one to six months' experience. Volunteers are also needed to run the event.

For more information, contact Rick Sandvig, rsandvig@mccneb.edu or (402) 763-5813.

Free Workshops Shed Green Light on Renovations, Permaculture

Through free Training and Development workshops, MCC's Office of Sustainable Practice is offering MCC staff the opportunity to learn about how sustainability fits into our lives. Staff and faculty can register for the following workshops at (402) 457-5231.

Building Science: The 3 Rs (Repairs, Renovations and Retrofits) (IFEX 001N)
Thursday, Jan. 27-Friday, Jan. 28
Thursday, 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
FOC, ICA, Room 201C

The Three Rs is a two-day seminar that teaches the basic knowledge needed to repair, renovate and retrofit existing buildings. Dr. Joseph Lstiburek and Dr. John Straube will discuss building science principles (such as the control of heat, air and moisture and indoor air quality) and show you how to apply them to the repair and retrofit of existing buildings. All building types will be covered: residential, commercial and institutional.

Introductions to Composting and Permaculture (IFEX 002N)
Wednesday, Feb. 9, 1-4 p.m.
FOC 29, Room 103

Urban Environment Specialist Bobbi Holm will discuss the how and why of home composting with a tiny bit of the chemistry and biology of the process thrown in. Participants will also take a quick look at the City of Omaha's composting process, as well as the results of landfills.

Following the introduction to composting, Agricultural Specialist Chris Combs will present an introduction to permaculture. Learn the principles and ethics of using natural ecological patterns to maximize the effect of your home landscaping while reducing the time and labor you commit. Examples of permaculture designs and Omaha-specific strategies will be presented.

Weekly Green Tip

water heater blanket 
Wrap your water heater in an insulating blanket to store heat. Then set the thermostat no higher than 120 degrees to conserve energy. You could save 25 percent of the energy used in your home by making these changes. If everyone did this, U.S. households would save more than $32 billion per year in energy costs. - The Green Book

MCC in the News

HR Updates

New Employees
Alexandra Conrin
Alexandra Conrin
Financial Aid Specialist                   EVC                        289-1309

Separations                                   Last Day
Christine Paulson                             1/21/11

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

What's the latest and greatest? Check out the latest news releases issued by Public Affairs to find out.


View past issues of The Inside Story.

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