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Inside Story for Monday, February 21, 2011

Making Career Connections

Experiential learning is an essential tool to guide career exploration. Career Services, in cooperation with other College departments, is assisting students with making connections between what they learn in their classrooms and career professionals in those fields. To accomplish this goal, Career Services staff will be speaking with faculty members to assess the needs of their students. Faculty will be contacted soon to assess interest level, find out what type of information they feel will be the most beneficial to their students and what time of year will correspond with their instructional load. Career Services looks forward to facilitating conversations with faculty regarding ways in which they can partner to help students.

Another way that students can make career connections is through a job shadowing experience. Information on best practices to set up this type of learning opportunity will be made available on the Career Services website in the near future. Job shadowing is a valuable tool and a worthwhile component to the career development process. It can also help students solidify their career choice while creating ties with people in their chosen field.

If you have questions, contact Paula Pope, AmeriCorps Volunteer with Career Services, at (402) 738-4555.

Mark Your Calendars: 2011 Commencement

MCC's annual graduation commencement ceremony will be held Saturday, May 14, at 2 p.m. at the Omaha Civic Auditorium, 1804 Capitol Ave.

All full-time faculty, administrators and professional staff are encouraged to participate. There is no need for additional volunteers to assist with the 2011 graduation ceremony.

Cap and Gown Procedures for Faculty/Staff

'Keeper' caps and gowns are designed to be used multiple times. It is our intention that faculty and staff 'keep' and use their caps and gowns at future MCC graduations. In 2010, faculty and staff placed an order with their respective campus bookstore and picked up their 'keeper' cap and gown prior to graduation. This was a tremendous success and very convenient for everyone. This year, we will continue with the same procedure.

In preparation for this year's graduation, you need to do complete one of the following options:

  • Send an email to rhanneman@mccneb.edu with the following information: I have my 'keeper' cap and gown or my own gown and will be participating in graduation.
  • Place an order for a 'keeper' cap and gown following the steps below.

How to Order a Cap and Gown

Place orders by March 1. Pick up cap and gown by May 6 at noon. To place an order:

  1. Go to MCC Forms Bank: www.mccneb.edu/formsbank/instructions.asp?idnum=24
  2. Type the information requested on form
  3. Print and send via intercampus mail or fax to:
    • Bookstore                     Intercampus Mail     Fax #
    • Elkhorn Valley Campus    EVC                           (402) 289-0896
    • Fort Omaha Campus        FOC Bldg. 10               (402) 451-8392
    • South Omaha Campus     SOC CON                    (402) 733-7676
    • Sarpy Center                  SRP                             (402) 537-3845

Or scan and send via email to:

Applied Technology Center: Direct orders to Fort Omaha Campus Bookstore. Fremont Area Center: Direct orders to Elkhorn Valley Campus Bookstore.

If you have any questions, call (402) 457-2739 or email rhanneman@mccneb.edu.

Community Mosaic Video Project Seeks Video Interviewees

Since September, as part of their Community Mosaic Video Project, Project Interfaith has been sending out volunteer interviewers to different places in the community to conduct and film video interviews with fellow community members of diverse faiths, beliefs and cultures. The purpose of this project is to increase interaction among community members of different faiths, beliefs and cultures, as well as to shatter stereotypes and show not only the diversity of Omaha but the diversity within different faith traditions as well.

Interviews are two to five minutes in length, with four questions regarding spiritual/religious identity, stereotypes associated with that identity and one's ability to follow his or her spiritual path while living in Omaha.

At the completion of this project, video interviews will be uploaded onto the Project Interfaith website, creating an interactive mosaic of religious and cultural diversity. The Community Mosaic Video Project web page is set to launch in September 2011. Interviewees must be ages 19 or older.

MCC staff and students are welcome to participate in this project. Community Mosaic volunteers will be at the following locations providing further information and interviewing staff and students:

Tuesday, Feb. 22    
3-7 p.m.     
Fort Omaha Campus    
Bldg. 10, Lobby     

Thursday, Feb. 24
3-7 p.m.     
South Omaha Campus
Connector Commons 

For more information about the project, visit www.projectinterfaithusa.org.

How Do I Request Software Purchases?

The Software Review Committee has been reviewing all proposed software purchases and renewals since August 2003. This process was developed in a continuing effort to be cost effective, support institutional effectiveness and provide software users with a solid support system.

Follow the procedure below:

  1. Staff/faculty member: After receiving approval from cost center manager, request the software purchase by completing and submitting one of these online forms in the Forms Bank:
    1. New Software Purchase and Install Request form for new purchases or
    2. Software Maintenance or Tech Support Purchase Request form for existing software
  2. The request will be sent to the Software Review Committee for analysis.
  3. If the software request is non-supported/non-approved, the requestor and cost center manager will be notified by email.
  4. If the software request is approved by the Software Review Committee, the requestor and cost center manager will be notified by email.
    1. Be sure to read the email; it will specify the next steps necessary to purchase the software.

Review and follow the above process when you need to purchase software. If you have any questions, email Vicki Spilker or call (402) 457-2921.

To Ensure a Continuing Supply of Telephone Numbers

The Nebraska Public Service Commission (NPSC) has approved the addition of a new 531 area code to the geographic region served by the 402 area code. This change, called an area code overlay, was made to accommodate a continuing supply of telephone numbers. This change impacts all telephone company's customers but does not change any existing telephone numbers.

How will this affect me?

Because of the addition of the 531 area code, all customers within the 402/531 region will need to dial the correct area code followed by the seven-digit telephone number when dialing any local call (ten digits).

When will MCC's telephone system change, and how will it affect me?

Right now you can dial all ten digits from any MCC telephone. Starting Feb. 26, dialing with ten digits becomes mandatory for all phone calls. If you do not use the new dialing procedure, your call will not be completed, and a recording will provide instructions on how to redial your call.

Today all MCC telephone numbers will continue to use the 402 area code. As MCC continues to grow we may need to add some 531 area code numbers.

Questions? Contact the Help Desk, (402) 457-2900.


Save the Date: Women in Higher Ed Leadership

The 2011 Nebraska Women in Higher Education Leadership Annual conference will be on Friday, April 8, at Grace University in Omaha. The theme for the conference is Critical Tasks for Higher Education Leaders. If you are interested in attending, email Julie Langholdt at jlangholdt@mccneb.edu.

Training and Development

Enhance your work skills by participating in Training and Development workshops. These workshops are offered at no cost to you or your respective cost center. To enroll, go to WebAdvisor or call (402) 457-5231. All listed workshops are non-credit, term 11/JA.

Get to the Point: Writing for Conciseness
Effective writing is concise with no unnecessary words. In this workshop, you will learn strategies for eliminating wordiness. Instructor: Katie Stahlnecker, Writing Center Coordinator/English Instructor Intended audience: all employees

TRDV 041N 01 (synonym 165967)
Thursday, Feb. 24
1-2 p.m.
SOC MHY, Room 512

Everyday Professionalism
Everyday professionalism can be as simple as remembering basic etiquette, like saying please and thank you. The niceties that establish who we are also enhance individual performance, team work, morale and, ultimately, business results. This program introduces ten common blunders leading to business inefficiencies and reintroduces the following key components: character, positive attitude, competency and conduct. Intended audience: all employees

Feel free to bring your lunch to this workshop-a microwave is just down the hall.

TRDV 044N 01 (synonym 174776)
Thursday, March 3
Noon-1 p.m.
FOC 21, Room 101


Merging Productivity and Conflict Resolution for Better Working Relationships
Do you ever run out of time or wish you had more time? Do you ever experience conflict because of not having enough time? If so, this workshop is for you. Join Concord Center trainer Sonia Keffer as she helps you explore your relationship to time. She will share practical tips on how to manage the time we have each day in order to accomplish what is on our to-do lists and even some of the things that are not. We will further explore why conflict happens and how you can successfully deal with conflict situations. We will also explore:

  • 11 time management tips
  • How to delegate effectively
  • The root causes of conflict
  • Approaches to dissolving conflict in personal and professional relationships/situations

Intended audience: all employees

TRDV 042N 01 (synonym 165997)
Friday, March 4
8:30-11:30 a.m.
FOC 5, Room 204

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.

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


Jan Littler to Retire

Jan Littler, Assistant Director of Records, will retire as a full-time employee effective March 15. Her immediate plans are to spend more time with family, travel and experience things that have been delayed for years. She also plans to work part-time for the College.

A reception will be held in her honor on Monday, Feb. 28, 2-4 p.m. at the Fort Omaha Campus Mule Barn (Bldg. 21). Come and wish Littler well on her retirement.

Instructor Publishes Book on Atkinson History

Fort AtkinsonKen Flint, adjunct writing instructor, will publish a book in March on the history of noted Nebraska historical site Fort Atkinson.

As a local writer with 16 published books and a member of the Fort Atkinson State Historical Park living history program, Flint was asked to produce this book as a part of the Images of America series for Arcadia publishers. It will be coming out at the beginning of the fort's living history season and at a time when two new features-a period-correct Fort flagpole and a memorial to the hundreds of dead buried in unmarked graves on the Fort site-will be dedicated.

From 1819 to 1827, Fort Atkinson stood as the sole bulwark for the American West, protecting the fur trade and America's vast, new territories. After the fort was abandoned, its remains soon sank beneath the prairie. This book tells the story of how that fortress was reconstructed to become a unique historical site, major tourist attraction and the home of a large and thriving living history program visited by tens of thousands of tourists every tear. In text and more than 200 photos, the book chronicles more than 60 years of struggle to save the site and develop the historical park where, today, dedicated interpreters from Nebraska, Iowa and across the country recreate a period of American history nearly 200 years in the past and preceding Nebraska's settlement by more than 300 years. For more information and photos of the site, visit www.fortatkinsononline.org.

Fort Atkinson State Historical Park and the Friends of Fort Atkinson living history program are deeply committed to making the book an opportunity to broaden public interest and support for what has been called the most unique and important historical site in Nebraska. Should you be interested in hosting members of the Friends of Fort Atkinson for book talks, discussions of writing, history presentations or living history events, contact Flint at flints2@cox.net or (402) 884-2393.

Battery Battles

Here are tips concerning car batteries:

  1. Typically, batteries last from five to six years. Most batteries have a tag or sticker on the top that tells you when the battery was purchased. Keep track of when your battery was installed and replace it after five years before winter sets in.
  2. If you attempt to start your car and nothing happens, the battery is dead and needs to be recharged. For most batteries, something must have caused it to go dead if it is not defective. The battery may be defective, but this is rarely the case. It most likely needs to be recharged and tested.
  3. Keep the posts and clamps free of corrosion. The clamp needs to be taken off and given a thorough cleaning if the corrosion has accumulated so that you cannot see the clamp. On some cars you do not want to disconnect the battery due to the security system on board. To clean, all you need is hot water and baking soda. Take a quart of hot water, add about one cup of baking soda and slowly pour the mixture over the battery clamps. Rinse with clean water.
  4. Listen for signs of a weak battery. If the engine cranks over slower than normal or is hard-starting, the battery is usually one of the first components suspected as the culprit.

Workshop Focuses on Stormwater Runoff

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.

Stormwater Management: IFEX 003N (synonym 165501)

Stormwater runoff often collects pollutants from fertilizers, pesticides and other harmful chemicals and debris on its way to rivers and streams, resulting in health concerns for plants, animals, fish and humans alike. Learn what runoff is, why it poses a hazard and what you can do to prevent it. This class is offered Wednesday, March 23, 1-4 p.m. in the Institute for Culinary Arts, Room 201E-F, on the Fort Omaha Campus. Do not miss this amazing opportunity! Register now at (402) 457-5231.

Weekly Green Tip

Rent DVDs instead of buying them. Depending upon how much you watch one, you could save money. The average movie rents for about $4, while the average new DVD sells for more than $16. You also won't have to worry about contributing to their trash pile: 100,000 DVDs and CDs are thrown away each month. If you do own DVDs and want to discard them, donate them to a local library or thrift store or look for a DVD recycling center. - The Green Book

HR Updates

Sharon Smith   Student Services Assistant   WCC  (402) 763-5961

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