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Inside Story for Monday, May 21, 2012

More than 2,100 students participate in MCC's commencement and GED ceremonies

More than 2,100 students participated in Metropolitan Community College's recent commencement and GED ceremonies, 1,750 students graduated with certificates or associate degrees and 395 students graduated with General Educational Development diplomas. The 2012 commencement ceremony was held on Friday, May 11. The 2012 GED commencement ceremony was held on Friday, May 4.

Check out the news release >>

2012 Great Plains Theatre Conference is almost here!

This year's Great Plains Theatre Conference is better than ever with play readings and panel discussions each day at the Swanson Conference Center and five great evening performances in locations across the city. The weeklong Conference kicks off Saturday, May 26. Check out the GPTC website for all the details.

MCC students, faculty and staff are invited to attend daytime PlayLab and MainStage readings as well as PlayFest evening performances at no cost.

The daytime PlayLabs and MainStage readings are free and open to the public, no reservations needed. These readings feature  35 top plays selected from 644 scripts submitted for readings at this year's Conference. They are readings directed and performed by both local and national artists. All daytime readings take place in the Swanson Conference Center in Buildling 22 at the Fort Omaha Campus. 

The daytime Conference also features daily lunch panels with national theatre artists. Lunch is available for $10, payable at the Conference information desk located in the first floor lobby of Building 22. These panels are also open to any MCC students, faculty and staff who would like to drop in.

The PlayFest evening performances are free and open to the public, however, seating is limited. Reservations are strongly encouraged (www.mccned.edu/gptc or 403-457-2822). If the show you would like to attend is full, try to come early the night of the event and place your name on a standby seating list.

View the list of the 2012 GPTC evening PlayFest events.

Come celebrate the stories of our time while watching great local and national theatre artists present dozens of new American plays.

Robert Baker is retiring

Join us to celebrate more than 30 years of Robert Baker's accomplishments and friendships on Wednesday, May 23, 3-5 p.m. at the South Omaha Campus, Mahoney Building, Room 512. Cake and punch will be served.

Robert Baker (Bob to all of his friends) started his MCC career at the old 132nd and I streets location Several years later he moved to the South Omaha Campus where he taught many business classes. Baker demands good student performance but is also gentle and affirming with his students. For many years he has used a unique instructional approach that requires students to work as teams making presentations in order to learn the team environment. Baker uses this team approach for the online business law course he developed. He is held in the highest esteem by his students and colleagues and has served on numerous College committees. He is a past chair of the Academic Council and a past recipient of the Teaching Excellence and Heart of Metro awards.

Great Plains Theatre Conference PlayFest, May 27-June 1

The 7th annual Great Plains Theatre Conference, hosted by MCC, announces GPTC PlayFest-an evening theatre festival to be held in culturally unique locations across Omaha. The festival features plays by five of the country's great theatre artists using a vibrant combination of local and national theatre talent, including sets designed by local visual artists and live music performed by local musicians.

The evenings are free and open to the public. For mature audiences only.

Seating is limited; for guaranteed seating, reservations are encouraged.

Visit www.mccneb.edu/gptc for more information about PlayFest and the Great Plains Theatre Conference.

Death by a Thousand Arrests: A Discourse on the Human Costs of Mass Incarceration

You are invited to attend Death by a Thousand Arrests: A Discourse on the Human Costs of Mass Incarceration on Wednesday, May 23, 5-8 p.m. at MCC's Fort Omaha Campus, Building 10, Room 136 B-C. The discourse will explore the human costs of mass incarceration on disadvantaged communities of color.

The keynote will be given by drug war veteran Rodney Prince. A discussion will be led by Kevin Lytle, a writer, poet and community activist.

This event is open to the public. Reservations are not required. For more information, contact Tommie Wilson at 402-457-2333 or info@footholdmarketing.com.

May Training & Development

There's still time to participate in May Training & Development offerings. There are seats available in the following workshops:

Heartsaver First Aid

The Heartsaver First Aid course teaches rescuers to effectively identify and treat adult emergencies in the critical first minutes of injury or illness, until emergency medical service personnel arrive.  The course provides basic training solutions for First Aid, adult CPR, and AED actions. You will receive an American Heart Association workbook in class and a certification card when you finish the class. There is a half-hour lunch built into the program (on your own).

Intended audience-all employees

Facilitator: Justin Cooley, MCC EMS instructor

TRDV 030N 02(synonym-194417) Thursday, May 24 l 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. l SOC MHY 514


Learn Mind Mapping!

Creating a mind map is a graphical way to represent ideas and concepts. It is a visual thinking tool that helps in structuring and organizing  information, helping us to better analyze, comprehend, synthesize, recall and generate new ideas. Just as in every great idea, its power lies in its simplicity.

A mind map is visual representation that resembles much more closely how your brain actually works. Since it is an activity that is both analytical and artistic, it engages your brain in a much richer way, helping in all its cognitive functions. And, best of all, it is fun!

In this 2-hour session, participants will learn to create and use mind maps for note-taking, planning, creating, and many other uses too numerous to list. Special software in not needed...just brains, hands, paper and pens/pencils/crayons!

Intended audience-all employees

Facilitator: H. Lynn Bradman, MCC Social Science Instructor/CLEAR Coordinator

TRDV 155N 01 (synonym-194430) Thursday, May 24 l 1-3 p.m. l FOC 10 124


SharePoint 2010-Working with Lists

Almost every SharePoint site includes at least one List.  We will explore various types of lists including Contacts, Links and Task Lists.  We will create, modify and delete various types of Lists and all the items associated with them. 

  • Creating Lists
    • Announcements
    • Links
    • Calendar
    • Contents
    • Tasks
    • Discussion Boards
  • Adding, Editing and Deleting List items
  • Organizing Items with Folders
  • Working with List Columns
  • Using List and Column Validation Rules
  • Sorting and Filtering Lists

Intended audience-all employees

Facilitator: Ruthanne Grimsley, MCC Adjunct

TRDV 124N 03 (synonym-192410) Wednesday, May 23 l 2-5 p.m. l FOC 008 210


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. Enroll through WebAdvisor, by calling ext. 8518 or by calling 402-457-5231. All workshops are noncredit. Contact Marilyn Cotten, coordinator of training and development, at 402-457-2507 with questions.

Recycling at MCC just got easier!

Recycling at MCC just got easier! Look for new blue stickers that read "RECYCLE" on MCC's recycling bins, making it easier to distinguish between the waste can and recycling bin. The waste and recycling bins are now placed side-by-side making it more convenient as well!

Recyle

For more information on MCC's recycling efforts, visit MCC Recycling.

Wondering what goes in each? 

Recycle:   

Paper Cardboard
Plastic bottle Plastic tray
Metal containers Gable-top cartons
  • Paper (newspaper, phone books, magazines, catalogs, paperback books, etc.)
  • Cardboard
  • Plastics (soda & water bottles,  plastic containers)
  • Metal containers (soda cans, soup cans, other metal containers)
  • Gable-top cartons (milk, juice, coffee creamer)

Waste (landfill):  

Bag Glass bottle
Styrofoam Tissue
Wrapper Wrapper
  • Food or liquid
  • Food wrappers
  • Tissue or paper towel
  • Glass
  • Styrofoam
  • Construction materials
  • Plastic bags 

Videos available online through the MCC libraries

Looking for something more than the usual books and articles for your research? Trying to find a video clip or commercial that you cannot find anywhere else? Or just want something to watch to pass the time? Check out the VAST: Academic Video Online trial database linked on the MCC Library website

In the database, you will find almost 20,000 videos related to theatre, world history, health, dance and law and criminal justice, as well as many more subjects. You can view interviews, speeches, performances, documentaries, commercials and lots more. Also, you will find anything from brief clips to full-length films and performances.

Once you have explored the database, let us know what you think-share your suggestions, problems and comments with library staff.

The database can only be accessed from on-campus, and the trial ends on June 7, so do not wait too long to try it out!

New books and DVDs

New books and DVDs are now available at the MCC libraries. Students, faculty and staff can now view the full catalog record, see if the item is checked in/out and submit an online request. This month there are numerous streaming videos that can be viewed from any computer with Internet access.  An MCC username and password are required for off-campus access. View the full list >>

Lauritzen Gardens memberships

While the time to tiptoe through the tulips has passed, time to take advantage of special membership rates for Lauritzen Gardens has not. These reduced rates are available to MCC students and employees through June 15, 2012. Simply fill out the membership form and send it, with your payment, to the Gardens. If you have questions, contact Pat Smith, psmith@mccneb.edu or 402-738-4681.

MCC Visual Arts instructor ponders humans' looming fate as a species in painting and sculpture

 Art exhibition will feature fanciful combinations of humans, animals, plants and machines that portend the future of life on earth after the genetic revolution.

artOmaha-based artist and MCC art instructor Troy Muller will exhibit new works at the New BLK Gallery, 1213 Jones St., in a public exhibition opening Friday, June 1, 7-10 p.m. This event is free and open to the public. The exhibition titled Pieceable Kingdom (Curiosities of Synthetic Evolution) will feature works that explore the topic of genetic experimentation.

In the past two decades, dangerous genetic experimentation and exotic technologies have come out of the shadows to reveal human-animal hybrids, chimeras and other transgenic clones, along with a seemingly irrevocable threat to life as we know it. (Chimeras are organisms made up of cells from two or more genetically distinct sources or creatures composed of parts from multiple animals.)

The artwork in this show underscores these inherent dangers with a sense of playfulness, mocking those that have tampered with the genetic code of the planet (and ignoring the rather obvious dangers posed by cross-species hybridization that could jeopardize the earth's delicately balanced biodiversity!). These works are simulacra of antique scientific models and illustrations. Muller hopes that the pieces in this show will spark discussion and debate among people of what could be one of the most important, yet woefully under-acknowledged, issues of our time.

The exhibition will remain viewable until Saturday, June 23. The artist will provide a PowerPoint presentation and artist's talk at Indian Oven restaurant on Wednesday, June 13, 8:30-10 p.m. Tickets will be $10 and include hors d'oeuvres and one drink.

300 days until the HLC visitors arrive!

Here's the latest installment of the HLC criteria. As promised, this week we are showcasing criterion 4. Happy reading!

What does the HLC want to know about criterion four: Teaching and learning: Evaluation and improvement?

 The institution demonstrates responsibility for the quality of its educational programs, learning environments and support services, and it evaluates their effectiveness for student learning through processes designed to promote continuous improvement.

A.    The institution demonstrates responsibility for the quality of its educational programs.

  1. The institution maintains a practice of regular program reviews.
  2. The institution evaluates all the credit that it transcripts, including what it awards for experiential learning or other forms of prior learning.
  3. The institution has policies that assure the quality of the credit it accepts in transfer.
  4. The institution maintains and exercises authority over the prerequisites for courses, rigor of courses, expectations for student learning, access to learning resources and faculty qualifications for all its programs, including dual credit programs. It assures that its dual credit courses or programs for high school students are equivalent in learning outcomes and levels of achievement to its higher education curriculum.
  5. The institution maintains specialized accreditation for its programs as appropriate to its educational purposes.
  6. The institution evaluates the success of its graduates. The institution assures that the degree or certificate programs it represents as preparation for advanced study or employment accomplish these purposes. For all programs, the institution looks to indicators it deems appropriate to its mission, such as employment rates, admission rates to advanced degree programs and participation rates in fellowships, internships and special programs (e.g., Peace Corps and AmeriCorps).

B.    The institution demonstrates a commitment to educational achievement and improvement through ongoing assessment of student learning.

  1. The institution has clearly stated goals for student learning and effective processes for assessment of student learning and achievement of learning goals.
  2. The institution assesses achievement of the learning outcomes that it claims for its curricular and co-curricular programs.
  3. The institution uses the information gained from assessment to improve student learning.
  4. The institution's processes and methodologies to assess student learning reflect good practice, including the substantial participation of faculty and other instructional staff members.

C.    The institution demonstrates a commitment to educational improvement through ongoing attention to retention, persistence and completion rates in its degree and certificate programs.

  1. The institution has defined goals for student retention, persistence and completion that are ambitious but attainable and appropriate to its mission, student populations and educational offerings.
  2. The institution collects and analyzes information on student retention, persistence and completion of its programs.
  3. The institution uses information on student retention, persistence and completion of programs to make improvements as warranted by the data.
  4. The institution's processes and methodologies for collecting and analyzing information on student retention, persistence and completion of programs reflect good practice. (Institutions are not required to use IPEDS definitions in their determination of persistence or completion rates. Institutions are encouraged to choose measures that are suitable to their student populations, but institutions are accountable for the validity of their measures.)

Next week, we will share with you the requirements of criterion 1: Mission. Stay tuned...

Weather and climate class visits KETV Channel 7

Weather and climate classMCC's weather and climate class, taught by Victoria Alapo, visited KETV Channel 7 on Thursday, May 10 to learn how meteorologist Tyson Pearsall predicts the weather. Weather and climate classThe hands-on field trip gave students the chance to see meteorology in action while gaining valuable knowledge of how various climatic computer models are used for making or predicting weather forecasts.

As an added bonus, students took a behind-the-scenes tour of the station and learned why the color green should not be worn in front of a green projecting screen. "One student virtually disappeared on TV while wearing neon green."

"Since the visit, students have commented that they now understand the weather report better when watching it on television-including the explanation of the processes that leads up to the forecast," said Alapo.

Green tip

Dispose of your gum in the trash, not on the ground (or under your desk). The average American chews up to 190 sticks of gum each year. In all, those 57 billion sticks could add up to a gum patch four miles wide and six miles long.-The Green Book

MCC reads! Food Rules

"Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself." p. 85

MCC is making news

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

Contact the Inside Story

To contact the Inside Story or suggest a story idea, email istory@mccneb.edu. Don't forget that the deadline to submit a story to the following Monday's Inside Story is Thursday at noon.

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