Thursday, September 30, 2010

Now recruiting for 2011 Electric Utility Line Technician program!

Hannah Lomas is one of three women in the current Electric Utility Line Technician class. She began in the HVAC program at MCC-Business & Technology, but changed her path because of scheduling conflicts. “HVAC requires a few weekend labs,” says Lomas. “I am in the Army Reserves so I can’t do that.”

Her math instructor suggested an alternative. Lomas found exactly what she was looking for in the Line Technician program. “I like that we are not stuck in the classroom, plus the job outlook is good with good money,” says Hannah.

With the help of Susan Blaser, line tech program coordinator, Lomas has set her sights on Portland, Ore., as her destination after graduation. “Susan tells me that Portland has the most diverse Line Techs – they have about 25 female Line Techs. Portland also has a military base where I can transfer my Army Reserve responsibilities.” Lomas expects to graduate in May 2011.

Recruitment for the next class of Electric Utility Line Technicians is underway. To download an application or for more information about the Electric Utility Line Tech program please see

Jenny Steen - an inspirational "loser" at MCC-Blue River!

Jenny Steen, one of MCC-Blue River’s academic advisors, is entering week five of the Kansas City’s Fit Magazine’s Weight Loss Challenge.

“It has been a learning experience going through this” says Steen. “Initially I thought I would just work out a bunch and watch what I eat, and that is a lot of it, but there really is a science as to how much to work out and how many calories to take in.”

Moving full steam ahead, Steen has lost over nine pounds so far and has assumed a sensible and realistic approach to the weight loss process. “When I started this challenge, I wasn’t really sure what I was getting in to. I’ve been taking it day by day."

To date, one of Steen’s biggest surprises has been the amount of time one must invest into weight loss. Frequent trips to the grocery store, a rigorous (daily) workout regime and calculated meal planning have significantly impacted her weekly routine.

But Steen is as motivated as ever!

Many on the road to fitness can relate to one of Steen’s biggest challenges: that of self doubt. “Because this is a competition, I want to do the best that I can,"said Steen. “I can only do what I can do, so any loss is a good loss.”

She also credits her personal trainer, Sheila, from the MCC-Maple Woods Fitness Center, for much of her success. “She has been fabulous. She not only helps me with the strength training, but has also given me a ton of information about eating the right amount and types of food for this challenge.”

Steen encourages anyone ready to lose weight to meet with the Maple Woods Fitness Center employees. “They are definitely there to help all of us get healthy!”

Her last bit of advice for those in the midst of or about to embark on a weight loss journey is simple. “Don’t get frustrated! Stick with it!”adds Steen.

Follow Jenny Steen’s progress at Her weight loss videos are posted each Friday. Final weigh-in will be Nov. 3.

Good luck, Jenny! We’re all behind you!

MCC-Longview Express Job Fair: connecting students with new opportunities

Job Fair Express 2010

Express Job Fair brought close to a dozen employers to campus giving students the opportunity to interview and apply to various jobs from around the KC area.

Along with employers, William Jewell University and the University of Central Missouri were also there offering information to students who were looking to transfer after completing their two years at MCC-Longview.

"We had such a great turnout," student employment services coordinator Linda Anderson said. "It's great to see so many students engaged with these companies here. It shows they are already starting to look ahead."

The Express Job Fair also offered mock interviews and resume reviews that helped students craft a professional image as they continue to look for work after college.

Job Fair Express 2010

For a full gallery of photos from the event, go to our Flickr page.

Have some pizza with the MCC-BTC President

President Debbie Goodall recently shared pizza with students at MCC-Business & Technology . The event was coordinated by Kristen Brumley.

MCC-Penn Valley to be featured on advisory panel at MU

Laura Schneider, MCC-Penn Valley’s Missouri College Advising Corp staff member, and Carroll O’Neal, Penn Valley’s associate dean of students, will participate in a panel discussion at the University of Missouri (MU) on Tuesday.

The panel is part of the state-wide Advisory Committee meeting.

"Some of the things we will be discussing are how we help students navigate the college transfer process, how the program benefits our students and our college, and what we feel is the greatest obstacle to our students who want to continue on at a four year college," says O'Neal.

This is the third year that Penn Valley has participated in the program.

MCC-Blue River advisor representing Kansas City

MCC-Blue River is proud to announce academic advisor Temeca White has been elected to serve on the executive board for the Missouri Academic Advising Association.

White is the Kansas City Representative responsible for reaching out and connecting with academic advisors in the Kansas City Area. “I am so excited to have an opportunity to serve alongside [Blue River’s] Jenny Steen and other great advisors within the state of Missouri who share my passion for working with college students” says White.

Always looking for an opportunity for service, she says she is excited to “represent her hometown and for this opportunity to learn, grow, and be challenged”.

The Blue River team applauds Temeca White!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Coordinating Board endorses strategic goals for higher education

Sedalia – The Coordinating Board for Higher Education endorsed Governor Jay Nixon’s strategic initiatives for higher education at its regular board meeting Sept. 10, held at State Fair Community College in Sedalia.

The board applauded Governor Nixon’s leadership and charged Interim Commissioner of Higher Education David Russell to begin work on achieving the strategic goals. Russell and the staff of the Missouri Department of Higher Education were specifically directed to:

·Conduct an inventory review of degree programs to identify those that do not meet established productivity criteria;
·Prepare, in consultation with the institutions, an inventory of existing cooperative and collaborative academic programs and submit that inventory to the board no later than December 2010;
· Convene a task force to review and possibly revise the existing higher education funding model to put more emphasis on the mission and performance of public institutions, with results to the submitted to the board by June 2011;
· Work with institutions to identify innovative ways to provide support services and deliver academic programs more efficiently, including but not limited to sharing resources and expanding collaboration, and to share best practices with other institutions.

“It is a new day for public institutions of higher education in Missouri,” said Tom Vansaghi, associate vice chancellor of college and community relations at MCC. “ In many ways MCC is ahead of the game in terms of collaborating with other institutions and emphasizing results and efficiencies. MCC will need to place growing emphasis on initiatives like the Institute for Workforce Innovation to build long-term funding streams to withstand cuts we know are coming from the state over the next few years.”

Russell says the department will immediately begin to review approximately 4,000 academic programs at public institutions. Programs that do not appear to meet the board’s productivity criteria of producing 10 graduates per year (calculated over a three-year average) at the baccalaureate level, five majors per year at the master’s degree level, and three majors per year at the doctoral degree level will be identified for further study.

Institutions will have an opportunity to comment on the results prior to a preliminary report to the Coordinating Board in December.

Hispanic Heritage Month Wackiness at the Woods

Check out the Hispanic Heritage Month events at MCC-Maple Woods! A salsa-tasting contest, free salsa lessons, a Day of the Dead presentation and display by the internation communication class were all part of the celebration.

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El Mambo World heats up MCC-Longview

El Mambo takes over at MCC-Longview

El Mambo world heated up the MCC-Longview Campus with three performances planned throughout the day on Wednesday, Sept. 29.

Playing an eclectic mix of Mambo, Salsa and jazz, El Mambo World had students dancing in their seats during the lunch rush in the Campus Center Cafe.

The group has two more performances planed for later in the evening where they will be playing two sold out shows in the MCC-Longview Cultural Arts Center. As part of the shows, MCC-Longview will also be offering lessons to anyone who cannot resist the sound of the music and feel the need to dance.

For more photos from El Mambo's visit to campus, click through to the full gallery.

El Mambo takes over at MCC-Longview

Board of Trustee meeting re-cap

Students, Employees Honored for Response to Attack
Several MCC students and employees were honored at last night’s MCC board of trustees meeting for their quick response to the Sept. 14 knife attack on MCC-Penn Valley Dean Al Dimmitt. Board President David Disney, who himself was among the immediate responders at the scene of the attack, read a commendation from the board that recognized the “incredible strength and resolve” of those who were in the immediate vicinity of the attack and who were able to restrain the assailant to prevent additional injuries.

Following the presentation Disney commented about how people never know when they will be tested, and his strong emotions toward those that do stand up when they are tested. Disney concluded by stating, “I’m proud to be a part of this organization.”

During an emotional statement delivered by Dimmitt, he thanked his family and those who came to his aid that day.

Levy Increase
Additionally, a notice of public hearing was held to discuss an increase to the general fund levy from $0.2266 up to $0.2329 per one hundred dollars of assessed value in Jackson, Clay, Cass and Platte counties. The increase was approved.

MCC to Receive Award
MCC and Gould Evans has been selected as an award recipient for the work done on three FEMA buildings located at MCC- Longview, Maple Woods and Penn Valley. Watch The MCC Insider for more on that in up-coming weeks.

Workplace accommodations webinar hosted at MCC-Penn Valley

More than 50 employers in the area attended a Job Accommodation Network (JAN) webinar at MCC-Penn Valley on Wednesday. The event was hosted by the US Department of Labor Office of Federal Contract Compliance and Penn Valley's Student Employment Services Department. Attendees included: MCC Access Counselors, Children's Mercy Hospital, Commerce Bank, Blount, Helping Hand of Goodwill, Gear, Ferrel Gas, KU Medical Center, City of Kansas City, Missouri, Brotherhood Bank & Trust, and HNTB.

The webinar discussed accommodations for people with disabilities in the workplace.

Photo Caption: (From left to right) Randy Booth with the US Department of Labor Office of Federal Contract Compliance shares a few tips with Kathy Smith of Children's Mercy Hospital and Melanie Bowman of Penn Valley Student Employment Services.

MCC-Penn Valley hosts Economic Development Forum

On Sept. 24, MCC-Penn Valley hosted one of six planned team forums for regional leaders from business, labor, higher education and economic development entities to solicit their feedback for the construction of a comprehensive economic development strategic plan. The event was planned by the Kansas City Regional Planning Team of the Missouri Strategic Initiative for Economic Growth coordinated by the Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED). Over 70 participants utilized an audience response system to provide interactive responses to questions and statements.

Forum topics included data on the state and regional economy and key issues affecting business growth. Officials from DED electronically collected recommendations and priorities on proposed strategies from the participants. A second round of regional forums, scheduled for mid-December, is planned to finalize the recommendations for specific tactical plans to implement the strategies.

Governor Jay Nixon closed the forum by pledging his support of MCC and stressed the importance of community colleges as a key part of the solution to creating a sustainable, 21st century growth economy.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Did you know? MCC recycling

Did you know that you can recycle your printer toner cartridges? Just send the used cartridge through inter-campus mail to either David Gray, mailroom specialist at MCC-Penn Valley or Carol Conrad, physical facilities assistant MCC-Maple Woods.

Every few months, MCC receives a check from Global Re-Source Funding that goes back into the general fund. MCC received almost $150 for toner cartridges recycled in July and August.

Keep those cartridges coming!

Stay tuned to The MCC Insider for monthly green initiative updates, or fan the MCC Green Initiative Task Force facebook page.

Congrats Fire Academy graduates

The Public Safety Institute (PSI) of MCC-Blue River recently held its Fire Academy graduation on Monday, Sept. 20. The guest speaker for the event was Chief Ken Potter of the Gladstone Fire Department.

The presentation of colors, which began the ceremony, was conducted by the Gladstone Fire Department. The guest singer was Steve Leone (retired) of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department and the invocation/benediction was given by Larry Block, Excelsior Springs Fire Chaplain.

Issuing the certificates were Basil Lister, associate dean of instruction, Mike Hendershot, PSI director, Butch Roll, PSI chief of training, Doug Hobbs and Rusty Sullivan, PSI assistant chiefs of training and Harold Kenyon, PSI instructor.

Those graduating included Amy J. Ervin, class president and cadets:
  • Jeffrey M. Baar
  • Kellene A. Lyman
  • James E. Beebe
  • Dustin M. Martinez
  • Matthew T. Clemmons
  • Salvatore A. Palazzolo
  • Jonathan E. Cox
  • Nicholas S. Perez
  • Joshua D. Evans
  • Jeremy R. Russell
  • Alyse N. Gordon
  • Brandon L. Smith
  • Carl J. Hesse
  • Shane S. Stevens
  • Joseph R. Jones
  • Erin E. Wakefield
  • Joshua R. Westcott
For more information about the fire academy and other PSI programs, call 816.604.6700 or visit www.

October four-year school visits at MCC-Blue River

College visits from four-year institutions for the month of October at Blue River:

Oct. 5- MidAmerica Nazarene University, 9:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m.
Oct. 6- UCM, 10 a.m. -2 p.m.
Oct. 6-Park University Day, 9 a.m. -1 p.m., Arts and Sciences Gym
Oct. 7- Washburn University, 12 p.m. -2 p.m.
Oct. 7- Marines, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Oct. 11- Avila University, 9 a.m. -1 p.m.
Oct. 12- UCM Day, 10 a.m. -1 p.m.
Oct. 13- UCM, 3 p.m. - 7 p.m. Arts and Sciences Gym
Oct. 20- UCM, 10 a.m. -2 p.m. UCM presentation in Arts and Sciences room 112J
Oct. 21- Park University, 10 a.m. -12 p.m.
Oct. 21- Marines, 9 a.m. -12:30 p.m.
Oct. 26- Rockhurst University, 9 a.m. -1 p.m.
Oct. 26- UCM, 10:30 a.m. -1 p.m.
Oct. 27- UCM, 3 p.m. -7 p.m. Arts and Sciences
Oct. 28- Washburn University, presentation in CC 129 12 p.m. -2 p.m.
Oct. 28- DeVry University, 10 a.m. -1 p.m.

Unless otherwise indicated, the visiting schools will be set up in the Campus Center lobby. For more information call the student development center at 816.604.6558 or visit

MCC-Maple Woods men's soccer team defeats CCC

The men improved their record to 2-2-1, winning a hard-fought game 4-1. Luke Evans led the charge with 2 goals and one assist, while Nick Petersson (assisted by Josh Ogren) and Cameron Hockett (assisted by Luke Sherman) each contributed a score.

MCC-Blue River's new associate dean - Karen Goos

Off and running in her new position, this Nebraska native is burning professional “rubber” in student development at MCC-Blue River. Karen Goos, the new associate dean of student development is no stranger to Blue River students, faculty and staff. In fact, Goos had been Blue River’s registrar for some time before stepping into her new duties as associate dean.

One of Karen’s favorite components of her new job is helping students circulate efficiently through MCC’s system. According to Goos, she and her team are working vehemently to “create seamless ways for students to easily navigate the enrollment, financial and advising processes.”

Goos's approach to student development is comprehensive as well as team-oriented. “Working together allows us to serve students holistically rather than just solving an individual problem” she says.

Her natural ability to listen to and empathize with students are among the many strengths she brings to her new role.

You may reach her at or in the Dean’s Suite at Blue River.

Join the Monarchs softball team for 100 innings of softball!

Yes, you read that correctly. The MCC-Maple Woods softball team is participating in a 100-INNING game on Oct. 9, 2010. The event, which is a fundraiser for the team, will be held at Happy Rock Park and different innings will feature different players, rules and styles of play.

Feel like dusting off the old softball glove and showing your skills? The team is welcoming challengers from MCC as well as the community to take on the team in one or more innings. Sponsors are also needed for individual players - if you would like more information on sponsorship, contact head coach Kerry Casper for details.

Funds raised from this event, which the team hopes to make an annual event, will be used for travel expenses, equipment, tournament entries, uniforms and other necessities.

MCC-Longview invites you to add to the story...

Calling all authors and artists!

Beginning on Friday, Oct. 8 and running until Thursday, Oct. 14, there will be a “Round Robin” story/art event in the MCC-Longview Campus Center Student Commons.

There will be a starter sentence provided, and YOU provide the rest of the story through poetry, fiction, art, comics or even personal experience.

All of work done on the story will then be on display at the 2010 MCC-Longview Literary Festival at the Mel Aytes Education Center on Oct.15 and 16 to see the completed masterpiece.

Be creative. Be inspired, and let your imagination go!

For more information, email

Monday, September 27, 2010

Get your game on! Gamerz Challenge Fall 2010

MCC-Blue River's new online and console gaming club, Gamerz, is holding its first gaming event on Saturday, Oct. 2 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the campus center.
Whatever your game....COD, Halo, WoW...come join us and show your stuff!

No charge or requirements to come and play!
Refreshments will be for sale to help benefit the club.

For more information call 816.604.6478 or visit

Women Trailblazer soccer eyes tournament play

Go Women's Trailblazer soccer!

For more information visit

MCC-Penn Valley nursing students host health fair

MCC-Penn Valley nursing students joined forces with the Kansas City Health Department to sponsor a health fair on Monday. Students shared information on diabetes, nutrition and sexually transmitted diseases. The health department performed STD screenings.

MCC-Maple Woods hosts MCC Leadership Academy

MCC-Maple Woods hosted the MCC Leadership Academy on campus Sept. 24. Dr. Tom Vansaghi, associate vice chancellor of community and college relations, gave a presentation on communicating during a crisis.

A "Bloody" Good Effort - MCC-Blue River's Blood Drive

Today, MCC-Blue River, in connection with the Community Blood Bank of Kansas City, hosted a blood drive in the Arts and Science’s Gymnasium. The drive started at 9:00 a.m. and registration concluded at 1:00 p.m.

Holly Casares, with the Community Blood Bank, marked today’s drive a success. She went on to say enthusiastically that “we’ve had 38 donors!” In fact, as the drive ended, potential donors were still steaming into the gym.

Today's effort was organized by David Owens, Blue River’s fitness, recreation, and athletic programs coordinator. The drives have historically been conducted each semester. Be sure to watch Blue River’s Facebook page for more upcoming dates and times to donate.

MCC-Maple Woods women's soccer in action

The MCC-Maple Woods women's soccer team scored a convincing victory over Coffeyville Community College, defeating their opponents 7-0. Mallory Craig (Monarchs leading scorer), Tara Chavez, Ashley Forbes, Kortni Kellogg and Christin Worley each had a goal a piece, while Shelby Frisby contributed 2 scores. Defensive leaders included Brooke Hickey, Shea Staples and Kara Chavez, and goalkeeper Maggie Seibert earned her fourth shutout of the season.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Tips for staying safe on campus

Metropolitan Community College is committed to ensuring the safety of students, staff and community members on all MCC campuses. Knowing what to do and where to go for help is the cornerstone of staying safe at all times.

MCC makes it simple.

Public safety officers are stationed on each MCC campus. They work in coordination with other departments and organizations to keep campuses secure. We can all make their jobs easier by remembering the following tips:

Safety Tip 1: In case of emergency, parking lots are equipped with designated call boxes. The red call buttons patch calls directly to “911”. Similarly, the black buttons are filtered to the campus public safety office.

In a recent article, the online publication Campus Safety Magazine praised call boxes, such as those on MCC campuses, because they enable individuals to “communicate with campus law enforcement who can pinpoint the caller’s location, thereby reducing response time and getting immediate help to the caller.”

Again, call stations and the alert buttons are for emergency situations only. If your circumstance is not an emergency, call or visit your campus Public Safety for assistance.

MCC’s Public Safety officers encourage everyone to play a part in campus safety. For instance, quickly report suspicious individuals (or questionable activity) to your campus’ Public Safety Department.

Safety Tip 2: Should you need to dial 911 from a campus telephone, make a mental note to dial “8” before dialing “911”.

Safety Tip 3: Know whom to call and how. Either bookmark this page to your favorites or write down your campus safety office number for quick and easy access. You may also sign up for campus text updates by clicking here.

Public Safety Staff by Campus

Blue River Public Safety

Business & Technology Center Public Safety

Penn Valley Public Safety
816. 604.4123

Maple Woods Public Safety
816. 604.3123

Longview Public Safety
816. 604.2123

Pioneer Public Safety
(816) 604-5023

To visit MCC's Public Safety website, click here.
*Special thanks to Blue River's Security Officer, Marla Wynes for pictures, tips and resources.

MCC and UCM Announce Cass County Partnership

UCM President Charles Ambrose and MCC Chancellor Mark James spoke at a press conference Thursday to announce a new partnership in Cass County. Sen. David Pearce and Commissioner Gary Mallory, who have lent considerable support to the project, also delivered remarks at the event, held at High Blue Wellness Center in Belton.

The standing-room-only crowd at yesterday's press conference to announce the new partnership between MCC, the University of Central Missouri and the Cass County Commission enthusiastically embraced news of the partnership, which will bring new workforce training and higher education opportunities to county residents.

The new Cass County Partnership for Advanced Training and Education will deliver higher education and training throughout Cass County, an area that has traditionally been underserved by higher education institutions. By providing both businesses and residents with easier access to all of the resources of UCM’s Warrensburg campus, its Summit Center in Lee’s Summit and MCC’s five metro-area campuses, the partnership will serve as a model for workforce development and higher education attainment, local and state officials said.

“This is a project that the entire state will be watching as an example of how education should be delivered to our residents,” said State Sen. David Pearce, R-Cass County. “We need to be efficient. We need to be lean and mean.”

The partnership, which had been in various stages of development for the last several years, was kick-started earlier this year when a needs assessment conducted by the county commission revealed specific and earnest interest from area residents and business owners. The assessment identified three primary audiences for the partnership’s services and programs:
  • high school students nearing graduation
  • adults who have started but not completed a college degree; and
  • employers who need performance consulting or skills-enhancement training

Both UCM and MCC have served county residents in the past, college officials said, but this integrated effort will actually bring some of the colleges’ programs to the county.

As an example, MCC Chancellor Mark James cited a mobile enrollment program that was piloted at two Cass County high schools in 2007. The success of that program, which has operated from MCC’s Longview campus, can now be built upon, he said.

“We have seen higher retention rates and academic success when we engage in relationships with students in their hometown or high schools,” James said. “And with this new partnership, now we can connect with these young students and other Cass Countians using the resources of all of the MCC campuses and all of UCM’s great programs and resources.”

In addition to traditional college classes and career and technical training programs, the partnership will provide workforce development services by collaborating with businesses in the county to create customized training to prepare employees for new technology or workforce innovations.

“Through this partnership, we want to help Cass County residents meet and exceed their life’s goals,” said UCM President Charles Ambrose.

A web page is being built to provide additional information and solicit input from residents about the kinds of programming they would like to see brought to the county. People may also call 816.348.2080 with questions. The partnership will operate from an office in the Heritage Building in Belton.

Finals schedule posted!

The fall 2010 final exams schedules are now posted on the MCC website.

Spring 2010 Final Exam Schedules (PDF)
MCC-Blue River
Fall 2010

MCC-Business & Tech
Spring 2010

Spring 2010

MCC-Maple Woods
Fall 2010

MCC-Penn Valley
Fall 2010

Career opportunities

CO# 10-144 BR Public Information Specialist
* posted Sept. 24
* will be removed from the website on Oct. 11
* For more information or to apply:

CO# 10-145 PV Performance Director- Business Development
* posted Sept. 24
* will be removed from the website on Oct. 23
* For more information or to apply:

Discount tickets to the Kansas City Ballet

MCC employees and students can purchase tickets to see Kansas City Ballet’s Fall Performance, featuring Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, at a 30 percent discount. This Broadway ballet is a comedy filled with Russian gangsters, sultry strippers and murder.

DISCOUNT DETAILS: The 30 percent applies to all performances Oct.14-17 and all sections. The prices listed below do not include service and handling.

Orchestra Center - $60
Front Balcony - $60
Orchestra Circle - $45.50
Balcony Circle - $35
Balcony - $24.50
Balcony Sides - $17.50

Go to and provide our exclusive Kansas City Ballet BAB code (BABFALL10) to receive the discount. Click here to login with promo code and purchase now.
By Phone: The KC Ballet box office is open Mon-Fri 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at 816.931.2232. Use the code (BABFALL10) to receive the discount. You must mention the code at the time of your purchase.
In Person: The box office is open Mon-Fri 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at 1616 Broadway, downtown Kansas City. Mention code (BABFALL10) to receive the discount. You must mention the code at the time of your purchase.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Francis Institute expert featured in child development news story

Pamela Simmons, professional resource specialist for the Francis Institute, was recently featured in a local newscast. The story was a follow-up to the tragic hit-and-run accident of the 4-year-old girl in Grandview.

Simmons discussed child development milestones and safety tips.

Pssst.... Wanna read something illegal?

Banned Books Week

Then come take a look at the Banned Book Week displays scattered throughout MCC-Longview's library and cafeteria between now and Oct. 2.

It's hard to imagine certain books, which have been a staple in many classrooms, have been challenged and even outright banned over the years from libraries because of their content. But spending only a short amount of time in front of one of the three displays around campus will show you that some of those banned books are actually classics that have defined entire generations of readers.

Starting this weekend, MCC-Longview will join libraries across the country in celebrating and creating awareness for those books that have landed on the banned list as part of the nationwide Banned Books Week (Sept. 25-Oct. 2).

Books such as A Brave New World, Huckleberry Finn, James and the Giant Peach and Death of a Salesman are just a taste of some of the books that have been removed from library shelves because groups have considered them illicit or just plain offensive.

But when you actually crack open the cover and read some of these books, you will find that these are some of the most wonderful stories from authors both current and past.

Stop by the library to check out some of these books and revel in a week-long celebration that encourages studetns to 'Think for yourself and let others do the same' (This year's theme).

Join in Banned Books Week by dowloading your own copy of the Library Bills of Rights

Banned Books Week

MCC-Penn Valley hosts job fair

American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) and the Employment Guide recently teamed up to host an employment fair at MCC-Penn Valley. Hundreds of attendees participated in the event which include public and private companies as well as government and independent distributor opportunities.

Governor Nixon to Visit MCC-Penn Valley - A message from Tom Vansaghi

MCC Students, Staff, Faculty and Administrators:

Governor Jay Nixon will be back at MCC-Penn Valley tomorrow (Sept. 24) for a regional economic development forum he is hosting.

Governor Nixon expressed his concerns for what occurred last week but strongly believes it is important for him to come back to MCC to not only demonstrate how safe and secure our campuses are but to illustrate how important we are to the success of Missouri's economy.

We expect to have a successful event tomorrow and look forward to hosting the governor and many other officials at MCC in the near future.

Tom Vansaghi, Ph.D.
Associate Vice Chancellor of College and Community Relations

Cheer on the Chiefs and aid students!

It’s that time of year again – the Chiefs are back in action, winning their first two games of the season for the first time in several years. It’s also back-to-school time for cash-strapped students, many of whom find it difficult to deal with the costs of attending college.

The MCC-Maple Woods Collegiate Activities Board (CAB) is offering the opportunity to support both the Chiefs and local college students. Tickets for the Oct. 24 Chiefs home game against the Jacksonville Jaguars are available for $25 – for every ticket purchased, $10 will be donated to the MCC-Maple Woods Emergency Book Fund. The tickets, which can be picked up in the Student Center at the campus life and leadership office, are available to everyone, and there is no limit.

The Emergency Book Fund, which is completely funded by donations from students, employees and community members, provides funds for students to purchase required textbooks. Funds are awarded based on financial need.
For more information about tickets, contact Misty Chandler, campus life and leadership coordinator, at 816.604.3013.

IRS Open House to be held at MCC-Penn Valley

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS)will host an open house in the lobby of the Campus Center building at MCC-Penn Valley. The event will be held Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is aimed at veterans, persons with disabilities and their families.

Attendees will get answers to questions about tax laws, IRS credits as well as assistance with filing tax returns.

A message from HR - Keeping your personal emergency contact information current

Keeping your personal emergency contact information up-to-date is crucial so that human resources may retrieve that information in the event that you are involved in an emergency situation. Please take a moment to be sure that your information is updated in the online Employee Center.

Here are step-by-step instructions to get there:
1. Go to
2. Click on myMCCKC (near the upper right-hand corner)
3. Log in with your user ID and password (If you need help obtaining either your user ID or password, click “need help” and you will be directed to the techline page for additional information.)
4. Once logged in, click on Employee Center in the left-hand navigation list
5. Click on View Personal Information
6. Scroll down to Emergency Contacts and make changes as appropriate (or confirm accuracy)
7. Be sure to save your additions or edits to this information

Thank you for helping us keep you safe and informed.

Mary Truex
Associate Director, Human Resources

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

An update from the MCC Green Initiative Task Force

Several green projects have been percolating across the district, and many have paid off. Comingle recycling, which includes all recyclables except, cardboard and glass, have been on the rise. There has been a significant increase in recycling on those campuses that have removed trash containers from the class rooms.

In January, total tons of recycled materials across the district equaled 5.59 tons; the last report, which reflects the end of FY 2010, was 8.89 tons. So far this year MCC has recycled 46.6 tons of comingle items.

Jon Hopkins reported that the recycling efforts at Penn Valley have been received so well, they have ordered additional bins. “The custodial staff loves it,” said Hopkins. “The classrooms are much cleaner.”

Employee recycling is just one of many efforts that MCC is making to conserve, recycle and reduce MCC’s impact on the environment. Green Initiative Task Force member Brad Frisch recently tested the power consumption of PC’s, printers and monitors. One PC that stays on 24/7 costs MCC about $30 per year; a printer only - $20 per year; and a monitor only -$29 per year. Multiply that by the number of PC’s districtwide, and that cost is over $206,000 (or 1,000 lbs of coal). The committee requests that employees who do not access their computers during off hours, to shut down their PC’s before leaving at the end of their day.

MCC’s lighting replacement project is still under way. Retro-fitting the vast majority of the internal and external campus lighting, most with motion sensors, will begin at MCC-Penn Valley next week. Most of the project is complete at Maple Woods and Business & Technology. Longview and Blue River will have updates coming later this fall.

The new Grows Native project at Longview is estimated to save three hours of mowing time and a savings on fuel consumption each week.

Stay tuned to The MCC Insider for monthly green initiative updates, or fan the MCC Green Initiative Task Force facebook page.

Administrative Center Employee of the Month: Donna Evans

Donna Evans, research analyst in the office of research and assessment, is the Administrative Center’s Employee of the Month for September.

Donna joined MCC in 1993, working in human resources for several years before she moved to the research department. She has held various leadership roles across the district, including serving as a member of the district salary committee, holding all four officer positions on the Administrative Center Staff Association, and serving as an EEO representative for hiring committees.

Donna’s nominator commends her diligence, accuracy and timeliness in responding to requests for data from all campuses and district departments, adding, “She must often balance these requests to try and please everyone.”

As she approaches her 18th year of service to the district, Donna reflects on her favorite aspects of working for MCC. “I like figuring out the puzzle,” she said “and the ‘aha!’ moments when I discover facts I didn’t know.”

Donna holds both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s in public administration from Park University. When she’s not gathering and interpreting data for MCC, Donna spends her time quilting and sewing. The project keeping her busy these days? Creating Halloween costumes for her 4 grandchildren, a labor of love she and her sister happily undertake every fall.

Thank you, Donna, for your commitment to MCC and for carrying out your work with grace and a smile!

You can't rain on my parade...

True Colors event

Student James Eldridge was not going to let a little rain stop him from filling out his survey and self-assessment at the MCC-Longview True Colors event hosted by the counselling department and campus life and leadership.

The goal of the event was to get students to understand the importance of career planning and to begin thinking about career paths that match their interests.

Students who participated took the True Colors career planning inventory survey. Once they completed the survey a counselor interpreted their results. Students were then encouraged to follow-up with a counselor at a later date by meeting one-on-one with a counselor, signing up for a career workshop, or enrolling in the 1 credit GUID 109 career planning class.

Of course, once the survey work was done, students were invited to make their own tie-dye t-shirt as they could now literally show off their true colors.

True Colors event

Insurance open enrollment coming in October

During this enrollment period, any MCC employee that wishes to make a change to any of the insurance plans, or make employee contributions to the flexible spending account (FSA) or the health saving account (HSA), must do so via the online benefits enrollment option located through the myMCCKC portal page.

If you are not making any changes to any of the insurance plans, it is NOT necessary that you re-enroll, your elections will remain the same for calendar year 2011.

2011 Insurance Open Enrollment Schedule
Tuesday, Oct. 19
Benefits Fair (in-service), Room TC200, 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 20
Penn Valley, CC 502, 8:30-11 a.m.
Admin Center, Board Room, 1-3:30 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 21
Longview, Private Dining Room, 8:30-11 a.m.
Blue River, EC 110, 1-3:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Oct. 26
Maple Woods, Private Dining Room, 8:30-11 a.m.
BTC, TC200, 1-3:30 p.m.

Check out these links below for more insurance information:
BCBS HMO Plan Summary
BCBS PPO1 Plan Summary
BCBS PPO2 Plan Summary
BCBS HDHP (High Deductible) Plan Summary
2011 Full Time Employee Rates (PDF)
2011 Insurance Open Enrollment Schedule
2011 Part Time & Contract Trainer Rates (PDF)
2011 Rate Comparison
Domestic Partner Affidavit
Domestic Partner Benefit Policy
Domestic Partner FAQs
Domestic Partner Notice of Termination
Domestic Partner Rate Sheet Reference Guide 2010
Domestic Partner Rate Sheet Reference Guide 2011

Monarchs soccer back in action at MCC-Maple Woods

Fall means back-to-school, changing leaves, and college athletics, and MCC-Maple Woods is no exception. The men’s and women’s soccer teams are back in action for their third season in the National Junior College Athletics Association (NJCAA), Region 16. The men are currently sitting at 0-2-1 and the women are currently at 4-1-0.

With a 29-man roster, the men’s soccer team is versatile and built to deal with a variety of offensive and defensive strategies. Todd Logan, head coach and currently director of coaching for the Futura Futbol Club, said he is focusing on fundamentals early and building team chemistry. The men’s soccer team is also one of the most diverse organizations at Maple Woods, with seven international players from as far away as Sweden, Brazil, England, Wales and Scotland.

The women’s soccer team is off to a fast start this season, winning four of their first five games. Head coach Timo Kibune, a former Kenya Premier League player and director of coaching for the KC Select Club, has assembled a roster of 15 girls from the local area. The team’s offense has excelled, scoring 21 goals over the course of five games while the defense allowed only two.

Both the men’s and women’s teams play all home games at Happy Rock Park in Gladstone, Mo. All games are free and open to the public.

How to Live United

United Way month is just around the corner! Watch The MCC Insider for information about events planned across the district to help us all "Live United."

MCC-Longview lawn 'Grows Native'

MCC-Longview plants native grasses

It is hard to miss the enormous swath of brown grass near the main entrance to campus. For several weeks the field of grass near the main entrance has been slowly dying, but Facilities Services Superintendent Steve Greife is not worried.

In fact, with the help and guidance of the Missouri Department of Conservation, Greife and his staff hope that by November, the grass will be completely dead. Then they can begin planting for a whole new project.

"We want to start growing native Missouri grasses in the field as part of a partnership with the [Missouri] Department of Conservation," Greife said.

Once the current grass is killed off and torn out, officials from the Missouri Department of Conservation will return and bring in grass seed that is native to this part of Missouri. The Grow Native program helps protect and restore our state's biodiversity by increasing conservation awareness of native plants and their effective use.

By building partnerships among private industry, non-profit organizations, government agencies and landowners, Grow Native aims to significantly increase the demand for and use of native plants on all landscapes.

The native grass will not only look interesting on campus, it will also help contribute to the thriving local ecosystem by providing food and shelter for much local wildlife.

MCC-Longview plants native grasses

MCC-Maple Woods recruiters visit first college fair

Admissions representative Denise Hemker and college admissions coordinator Karly Schmidt attended their first college fair as representatives of MCC-Maple Woods at Park Hill High School.

It's the beginning of a busy season for the admissions office: recruiters will go to about 10 college fairs and 25 or more high school visits this semester!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

MCC-Longview job fair express


Dust off your resume and polish your interview skills, as a dozen prominent businesses will be on campus next week looking for new hires.

MCC-Longview students are invited attend the Express Job Fair on Thursday, Sept. 30 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Campus Center Cafeteria.   Local recruiters are interested in interviewing for employees, interns and volunteer positions.  
Currently registered employers are:

City of Kansas City
Time Warner Cable
First Community Bank
Fed Ex Ground
Quest Diagnostics
Disney College Program
Wings of Love
The Buckle
State Street

More employer registrations are expected. Students should bring resumes and dress appropriately.

If your resume is not yet in tip-top shape, maybe you should swing by one of our resume workshops to get a few pointers and find out what you need to improve.

Resume review sessions are available at the MCC-Longview cafeteria from 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. on:
Monday, Sept. 20, and Tuesday, Sept. 28. 

For additional help go to click on Job Prep for online help with Cover Letters, Resumes and Interviewing.

MCC-Maple Woods is ready for Homecoming 2010: "What's yours?"

Community college students will have as much to be excited about as their four-year counterparts as MCC-Maple Woods celebrates its 3nd Annual Homecoming the week of Oct. 1-8, 2010. This year’s theme encourages students to make college personal, with “myLife, myFuture, my… What’s yours?”

Activities for the event include yard/door decorations by student groups and employees, Evening of the Arts and Coffee House III, 1980s karaoke, free food, a family-friendly movie-on-the-lawn, a Battle of the Bands and softball, soccer and golf events.

“We wanted to give our students the same kind of activities and events to be involved in and excited about as students attending a four-year college or university,” said Misty Chandler, Maple Woods campus life and leadership coordinator and an originator of the event. “We have a much to offer as a larger school academically, so we’re trying to step up student involvement on the activities side of things.”

Oct. 1
The MCC-Maple Woods men’s soccer team will play fellow MCC team and rival Blue River at 4 p.m. at Happy Rock Park in Gladstone, Mo. Free foam fingers, spirit sticks and mini megaphones!

The annual Maple Woods Baseball Golf Classic will take place at 10 a.m. at Cardinal Hill Golf Course in Liberty, Mo. Registrations are being accepted now and will be taken until tee time at 10 a.m. the day of the event. For more information or to register, contact Deb Cougill at (816) 604-3044.

Oct. 5
A 1980s Party and Ice Cream Bar will be held from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Student Center outdoor area. Free hot dogs, chips, ice cream and activities.

The Maple Woods bookstore will host its annual Art Gallery Opening, featuring the work of Maple Woods faculty, staff and students. Individual pieces or artwork will be on display all week will be available for sale.

An Evening of the Arts and Coffeehouse III will be held from 6-9 p.m. in the Maple Woods Student Center. There will be free coffee and performances by students and the community. This is an open mic event, so feel free to bring a performance piece of your own!

Oct. 6
Maple Woods will host a Community Blood Drive from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. in the Student Center.

The Collegiate Activities Council will host 1980s Karaoke in the Student Center from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Stop by, have some cookies, and let out your inner Journey or Madonna!

Oct. 7
The Northland Battle of the Bands will be held from 2-7 p.m. at the Campus Center Amphitheater. Local high school bands will be performing and attendees will vote for the winner.

Oct. 8
Bring the whole family for an outside, after-dark showing of “The Goonies” at 8 p.m. at the Campus Center Amphitheater. Free popcorn and water will be provided. Seating is on the lawn, so bring a blanket or lawn chairs – in case of rain, the event will be held in the Campus Center Arbor Room.

In addition to the many events being hosted on campus, Maple Woods student groups will be raising money for breast cancer awareness and the United Way. The Student Ambassadors group will be participating in a “myChange” spare change drive, with individuals competing to raise the most money for their causes, selected from a list of United Way agencies. Students, faculty, staff and the community are also encouraged to participate in Maple Leaves for Life, a fundraiser for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The veterinary technology students will be holding a fundraiser to support their program, and the Maple Woods Baseball Classic serves as the team’s major fundraiser, providing scholarship and basic funds for the program.

Cass County Higher Ed Partnership to be Announced this Week

Metropolitan Community College will be front and center at a press conference this week where a new higher education and workforce training partnership in Cass County will be announced. The partnership, between MCC and the University of Central Missouri, will give Cass County residents better and broader access to education and career training resources.
Details of the partnership will be revealed at the press conference, which will be held at 10:30 a.m. this Thursday, Sept. 23, at the Belton Community Center. Speakers will include:

  • Missouri State Senator David Pearce

  • Cass County Presiding Commissioner Gary Mallory

  • UCM President Charles Ambrose

  • MCC Chancellor Mark James
Watch The MCC Insider next week for further details about this new partnership.

Support MCCA - sign up today!

It’s not too late to sign up to have Missouri Community College Association (MCCA) dues deducted from your paycheck. The deduction is $6 per month during the months of October through February. Payroll deduction forms are due in payroll no later than Sept. 24.

These are extraordinary times in Jefferson City in terms of the discussions and pending decisions impacting higher education in Missouri. MCCA has provided a strong and reasoned voice in providing critical input regarding legislative decisions that directly impact higher education in Missouri.

For more information, contact your membership representative as follows:
AC/BP/FS – Darlene Burkhart
BTC – Sherry Skinner
BR – Kathleen Henrikson;
LV – Margaret Berter
MW – Kim Sides-Steiger
PV/PI/HSI – Brian Chasteen

If you were on payroll deduction last year you do NOT need to fill out a new membership form this year. Payroll deductions continue each year until a written request to cancel is sent to the payroll department.

MCC Board of Trustees meeting

The September MCC Board of Trustees meeting will be held the evening of Tuesday, Sept. 28 at 6:30 p.m. in the Administrative Center Board Room.

Get active with MCC-Blue River athletics

Today may be the last day of summer, but it's not the last day to get moving on the MCC-Blue River campus! Check out these fun opportunities to get active and enjoy a little spirited competition on campus.

Coed Open Volleyball Match

When: Sept. 23, 2010 at Noon
Where: Arts & Sciences Gymnasium Everyone is welcome. Attend 5 games and get a Blue River t-shirt!

Dodge Ball Tourney

When: Sept. 27, 2010
Where: Arts & Sciences Gymnasium
The registration deadline is September 24 and the cost is $5.00 per person. At least four people must be on a team, but six is the max. Individuals that sign up will be placed on a team.

All teams must have at least one MCC student. The dodging will begin at 2:00 p.m.

MCC Blue River’s Intramural Basketball Tournament

When: Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, 2010 at Noon
Where: Arts & Sciences Gymnasium
The cost is $5.00 per person. Teams must have at least one MCC Student on their team. Intermediate and beginner categories may be developed depending on number of registered players. Winners receive a special championship shirt!

To participate in any of these activities, sign up in the Campus Life office. Questions? Call Dave Owens at 816.604.6426 or email him at

Don’t go hungry at this year’s Inservice

MCC Inservice will be held at MCC-Business & technology on Oct. 19. A fundraising breakfast will be held to benefit student emergency funds on each campus. Tickets for the breakfast are $6.
Pre-sale tickets can be purchased at:
AC - Denise Prather in the Chancellor’s Office
BR –Library and the Information Desk in the Campus Center
BT – Chris VanDell in Student Services CC 114
LV –Library and at the Student Information Center
MW – Deb Cougill in the President’s Office
PV –Student Success Center LR 202
Tickets may also be purchased at Inservice.

Career opportunities

CO# 10-139 LV Custodian
* posted Sept. 20
* will be removed from the website on Oct. 3
* For more information or to apply:

CO# 10-141 PV Academic Advisor
* posted Sept. 20
* will be removed from the website on Oct. 3
* For more information or to apply:

Monday, September 20, 2010

OLAS celebrates Mexican Independence Day

The Organization of Latin American Students (OLAS) at MCC-Penn Valley hosted a Mexican Independence Day celebration last week.

The holiday marks the 200th anniversary of Mexico's freedom from Spanish rule.

In addition to selling Mexican food, the event also featured music, dancing and trivia.

A Message from MCC Chancellor, Mark James

Dear Students and Colleagues,
As we push past what was a very challenging week for us all, I am pleased to report to you that Dean Dimmitt returned home late last week and is recovering well. I would like to say he is resting, but showing his usual dedication, he insisted on participating in a meeting by phone with his colleagues very early Friday morning. We are grateful he is doing so well and anxious for his return to MCC-Penn Valley.
As we get back to our regular activities we will continue to be vigilant in reviewing our safety processes and plans. I am personally heading a top-down review of all of our security plans, technology, and notification processes. This week, I will also personally lead an after-action “hotwash” of the pre-event planning and actions taken in response to the Penn Valley incident.
My goal is to develop action items to enhance MCC’s security through a series of plans extending from improvements we can make within the next 30, 60, and 90 days. Some actions may take longer to implement. We are reaching out to external safety, security, and mental health experts to ensure we receive objective input and benchmarks for our activities. We will also be convening student leaders as well as the governance group leaders for their input. I am receiving comments and ideas and remind you that you can email them to Denise Prather in my office at
In the end, the best safety and security measures a public institution can have are those which are simple, communicated, known, understood, and most importantly - regularly rehearsed. We will not “knee-jerk” react or impose an armed encampment mentality hiding behind metal detectors but will focus on ensuring student and employee awareness of what to do, when to do it, and how to do it.
Finally, I want to thank all of you for pulling together as one MCC community. This is a great place to work, study, and train.

Friday, September 17, 2010

MCC-Maple Woods Employee Appreciation Day

MCC-Maple Woods President Merna Saliman and the deans served desserts (some very delicious homemade creations!) to faculty and staff in appreciation for their ongoing efforts to serve students.

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