Wednesday, May 26, 2010

HSI Honored with International Innovation Award

The MCC-Penn Valley Health Science Institute has been named a 2010 Innovation of the Year by the League for Innovation in the Community College.

The international award is given to dozens of outstanding community college programs every year to recognize “capstone achievements and the continuing renewal of the spirit of innovation and experimentation upon which the League was founded.”

This is MCC’s first time to receive the honor. HSI is one of only two programs in Greater Kansas City to earn this year’s award.

The League for Innovation in the Community College, known simply as “the League,” is an international organization dedicated to catalyzing the community college movement. MCC is a proud member of the League, whose efforts to make a positive difference for students and communities include:

• hosting conferences and institutes;
• developing Web resources;
• conducting research;
• producing publications;
• providing services; and
• leading projects and initiatives with member colleges and corporate partners

The 2010 Innovation of the Year winning entries can be found at this Web site.

Springfest at the Woods

MCC-Maple Woods hosted their annual Springfest and Earth Day celebration last week, bringing students together for trampoline-assisted bungee-ing, rock wall climbing, hot dogs and some eco-education from the Maple Woods Environmental Club. Seed packets, organic snacks and musical entertainment ushered in spring at the woods.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Employee Wellness Program Off to a Good Start-Points to Blue earns dollars for you

In April of this year, MCC implemented a new wellness program for employees funded by MCC’s health insurance carrier, BlueCross/BlueShield (BCBS).

Jenny Edwards, health enhancement coordinator, has been meeting with employees on the MCC Wellness Committee to discuss developing and implementing wellness program activities and assist employees with their health and fitness objectives districtwide.

One tool Edwards is using is a BCBS program, called A Healthier You (AHY).One feature of AHY is the Points to Blue Incentive program.

Points to Blue rewards employees who participate in health and wellness activities. Employees earn points for participating in health risk assessments, screenings, classes and contacting a health coach. Points can be redeemed each year for a payout of up to $250.

One way points can be earned is participating in wellness webinars. Each month, Edwards emails information about all the webinars available for that month (watch your email inbox for A Healthier You announcements).

“I signed up for the Cultivating a Stress Resilient Life webinar,” said one employee. “With everything that was going on with me that week, I was glad I signed up. It really helped get me through the week. I also earned 25,000 points towards my $250.”

To sign up for Points to Blue, register at . For more information, email

MCC Panama expedition

MCC creates workforce development program in Panama. MCC representative, Nanette Svenson, helps broker opportunities between MCC and Panama. Watch the video for more details.

Monday, May 17, 2010

MCC leaders honored ar Air National Guard event

To honor the employers of guard and reserve members, the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Employer Appreciation Day was held on April 30 at Rosecrans Air National Guard base in St. Joseph, Mo. Andy Forester, evening/ weekend coordinator for MCC-Penn Valley, has served in the Missouri Air National Guard since 2007.

In attendance were: Mark James, MCC chancellor designee; Lisa Minis, Penn Valley dean of students and Muna Dempsey. On Saturday and Sunday, the air show was attended by more than 60,000 people, including visits from U.S. Representative Sam Graves, Governor Jay Nixon and Adjutant General Steve Danner.

The ESGR celebration included a Commander’s Welcome, BBQ lunch and air show headlined by the Blue Angels. During the commander’s welcome, Colonel Mike McEnulty emphasized how critical Reservists and National Guard members are, as they make up 50 percent of the military and are trained to assist in both international combat missions and natural disasters at home and abroad.

After lunch, employers who have signed a statement of support were honored. MCC’s statement of support, along with other companies who offer outstanding support to their employees can be viewed under “Programs” at .

The statement of support affirms that as an organization, “We fully recognize, honor and enforce the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-Employment Rights Act (USERRA); Our managers and supervisors will have the tools they need to effectively manage those employees who serve in the Guard and Reserve; and we will continually recognize and support our country’s service members and their families in peace, in crises and in war.

“I’m so proud and privileged to be able to wear the Air Force uniform,” said Forester. “When I graduated from seminary in 2007, I chose to join the Air National Guard as a chaplain because I wanted to address the emotional and spiritual needs of our troops and veterans at a critical juncture in history. I’m very thankful for an employer, co-workers and supervisors who are supportive of our troops and my endeavors.”

Monday, May 10, 2010

Stimac honored at the excellence in education banquet

MCC-Maple Woods student financial aid manager Robin Stimac was recently honored at the Northland Regional Chamber of Commerce’s annual Excellence in Education Banquet, which recognizes outstanding teachers, students, staff, volunteers and local business supporters of education.

Stimac was nominated by the MCC-Maple Woods Staff Association for her dedication and leadership of the Financial Aid department, which is working hard to serve an ever increasing volume of students.

The Northland Regional Chamber Excellence in Education Banquet is the largest celebration of education in the Kansas City area, including all institutions north of the river.