Wednesday, September 7, 2011

We've Moved!

We've Moved!

The MCC Insider has moved and is now
MCC Insider.

Please re-subscribe to your RSS Feed at:

Friday, September 2, 2011

Chancellor’s Cabinet reviews Great Colleges to Work For survey

At the newly restructured Chancellor’s Cabinet on Monday, Mark James asked the cabinet to review the Chronicle of Higher Education’s results in the recent Great Colleges to Work For survey.

Survey respondents gave MCC strong marks in areas such as compensation, benefits and facilities. However, respondents of the survey were less than pleased in areas of collaboration; faculty, staff and administration relations; and communication.

James requested input from the cabinet in areas with less than desirable scores. He noted that it is up to us to make MCC a better college. Cabinet member are charged with sharing information and discussing the results with each of their governance groups.

“I really want to engage the new streamlined cabinet to be interactive, problem solving and more participatory in the decision-making process via their input,” said James. James views communication to MCC employees as being the key to addressing some of the mediocre survey results. The Cabinet members are responsible for getting that communication out to their constituents and bringing input back to the Cabinet.

The 2011 survey response rate increased 4% from the 2010 results. Some of the negative indicators are summarized as follows:
• Overall positive rating decreased by 1%
• Overall negative rating increased by 4%
• Percentage of negative results by job category increased over the 2010 results

To view both 2010 and 2011 results, click the links below:
Great Colleges to Work For 2010
Great Colleges to Work For 2011

Thursday, September 1, 2011

MCC students capture surreal landscape: dendroids on the lawn

Ask any lexophile, and you’ll find out that a dendroid is basically anything that is “tree-like”:

dendroid ~ adjective: Resembling, branching like, or shaped like a tree. (A.Word.A.Day by Anu Garg)

You won’t have to tell students in DeAnna Skedel’s drawing class that. They have seen and intimated the experience of dendroids first hand. MCC-Blue River drawing students spent an afternoon on the lawn of the Nelson Atkins Museum of Modern Art drawing works inspired by Roxy Paine’s massive, scintillescent dendroid “Ferment.”

Paine’s installation is permanently on display in the Nelson-Atkins’ sculpture garden. His recent works are often admired for their unique abilities to reflect the forces of nature at work.

New full time faculty - welcome!

Career opportunities

CO# 11-130 AC Instructional Designer

* posted 09/01/2011
* will be removed from the website at 11:59 pm Sunday, 09/18/2011 for the initial screening.
* For more information or to apply:

CO# 11-131 AC Account Collections Specialist (Internal only)
* posted 09/01/2011
* will be removed from the website at 11:59 pm Thursday, 09/08/2011 for the initial screening.
* For more information or to apply:

CO# 11-132 LV Custodian (Internal only)
* posted 09/01/2011
* will be removed from the website at 11:59 pm Thursday, 09/08/2011 for the initial screening.
* For more information or to apply:

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Movin’ on up – MCC Insider re-launch coming next week!

In August, The MCC Insider celebrated its one year anniversary of the launch date, which took an old weekly news PDF file to new heights. The MCC news team, made up of MCC campus and Administrative Center PIOs, created a dynamic, interactive site to share with you and the world - and we've done it again!

Coming in September, a re-launch of MCC Insider (we dropped the “the”) will appear when you click on the newsroom button on the MCC website. This site is more user oriented, in that the articles are categorized in different sections.

For instance, are you a student that doesn’t want to read about changes in employee benefits? Then click on the Student Life tab located on the top grey navigation bar. Are you looking for only employee related information? Visit the Employee Center in the same area. Other categories include Athletics, Calendar, and Community.

A sneak peek at MCC Insider - coming in September!

The improved news site showcases feature stories that scroll along the top. So now some of those important articles won’t get lost among the barrage of posts that happen throughout the day. Under the feature section is the tops news, and then the regular news feed. If you only searching for the latest career opportunities, check out the bottom right hand side.

Watch for it next week. If you type in the old address, you will be redirected the new site once it goes live. Click around and have fun with it…you can’t mess it up!

MCC-Maple Woods opens soccer season with a pair of wins over conference rivals

Both the men's and women's soccer teams won hard-fought games against conference rival St. Charles Community college in their home opener Tuesday.

The women's team came out strong against cross their opponents, breaking a 1-1 tie with two back-to-back goals in the second half to win the game 3-1.

Catch the ladies in action at the their next home game Sept. 6 @ 2 p.m. v. Barton County Community College. It's FREE!

The men contributed to and survived a fast and furious scoring onslaught to win the game 5-4 in the closing minutes. Fransisco Escutia, Gabriel Muniz, Russell Palmer, Nick Shelton and Mersad Halili all contributed a goal a piece to the efforts, with assists by Jack Connelly and Dan Polan.

Be sure to catch the next home game Sept. 8 @ 3 p.m. v. Cloud County Community College. It's FREE so come out and support the Monarchs!

Edmondson: Administrative Center Employee of the Month

For those of us who have had trouble navigating around MCC’s maze of systems and procedures, many have turned to Kristy Edmondson to help find the way. And because of that, Kristy has been selected as this month’s Administrative Center (AC) Employee of the month.

Kristy’s nine years at MCC was preceded by employment at Harte-Hanks, a marketing company she worked at for six years. She excelled at customer service and brought those skills with her to MCC.

One nominator wrote, “I have witnessed her cheerful and generous attitude in helping anyone with a question. If she does not know, she finds out. It doesn’t matter if it is an administrator, faculty or staff; she treats us all with the same respect and effort and always with a smile, going the extra mile on our behalf.” Many others concur. “I’ve always called Kristy when I get hung up on how to do something or who I should contact. She’s always helpful, even though she handles multiple jobs.”

Kristy is currently the administrative assistant to Paul Long, vice chancellor of academic affairs and technology. In addition to assisting Paul, she handles all of the travel arrangements for the district; handles arrangements for faculty hiring each year; and process tuition reimbursements for the district. She is also currently the AC Staff Association Vice President and serves on several committees.

It’s a perfect fit. When asked what she like about her job, Kristy responds, “I love being able to help people. I try to go out of my way to assist anyone that I can. We all know that processes at MCC can be cumbersome and a helpful, friendly voice is sometimes all someone needs to make a situation a little easier.”

Kristy also notes that she enjoys the great camaraderie with staff at the AC. “We have a good time at staff association sponsored events like our potlucks or first day of class pizza lunches.”

Most of Kristy’s free time is spent with her husband Tim, and two kids Riley and Tyler. She enjoys planning family vacations, reading, cooking and girls night out.

We're Back!

Final check for $100,000 energy efficiency rebate for MCC

The City of Independence and Independence Power and Light presented a $30,000 check to MCC Chancellor Mark James for energy efficiency improvements made at MCC-Blue River this morning. An additional $70,000 has been received from Kansas City Power & Light for improvements made at other campuses, for a total rebate of $100,000.

"The project cost was $1.8 million with a projected savings of $300,000 annually,” said Darrel Meyer, the director of facility services at Metropolitan Community College. The lighting energy conservation project included the replacement of light bulbs and ballasts for over 24,000 light fixtures in all district facilities, as well as bulbs and ballasts in many of the exterior walkway and parking lot fixtures.

"Lighting levels in MCC buildings and parking lots were not decreased," Meyer noted, "and in some cases actually increased." In fact, parking lots at MCC-Blue River are now safer at night than ever before due to the whiter, brighter lighting.
l to r: IP&L Director Leon Dagget, Independence City Manager Robert Heacock,
Mayor Don Reimal, Chancellor Mark James, Director of Facilities Darrel Meyer.
Independence Mayor Don Reimal, City Manager Robert Heacock, and IP&L Director Leon Daggett presnted the rebate to Chancellor Mark James and MCC Director of Facilities Darrel Meyer, along with compliments for MCC-Blue River's energy saving leadership in its communities.

MCC Foundation Board Member honored by KC Chiefs

The Kansas City Chiefs have selected CiCi Rojas, MCC Foundation Board Member, as the recipient of the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award, a recognition made possible through the support of Bud Light. The awards recognize the contributions of Hispanic leaders in each NFL market.

The Chiefs honored Rojas during a pregame ceremony on Aug. 26 at their Hispanic Heritage game.

Along with serving on the MCC Foundation Board, Rojas is Vice President of Community Engagement at

Chancellor focuses on communication, collaboration with new cabinet

Chancelor Cabinet

With an eye toward stronger communication and collaboration, Chancellor Mark James this week sat down with the newly restructured Chancellor’s Cabinet.

The new cabinet, which James says will be better geared toward tackling some of the tough issues facing MCC, includes the chancellor, vice chancellors, campus presidents, staff association president and president-elect, faculty senate president and president elect and the administration association president and president elect.

“It is my hope that each of you, and the groups you represent, will be brought into the fold much quicker to tackle the issues facing MCC,” James told the cabinet at its inaugural meeting on Monday.

Setting the tone immediately, James asked the cabinet to review the Chronicle of Higher Education’s survey results in the recent Great Colleges to Work for survey. Survey respondents gave MCC strong marks in areas such as compensation, benefits and facilities. However, respondents of the survey were less than pleased in areas of collaboration; faculty, staff and administration relations; and communication.

“These are the challenges we are facing,” James said to cabinet members highlighting areas of improvement. “I want your input on these issues. I want you to help makes us better as a college.”

Chancelors Cabinet James

The cabinet also heard a report from Vice Chancellor Paul Long who attended the governor’s summit on higher education. James also provided an update on the on-going efforts to expand programming into Cass County. Already, he said the college is working with Honeywell to provide specific training programs to employees there.

James also said MCC is moving forward with plans to open an education office in Belton that would offer for-credit classes during the spring semester 2012.

Although the cabinet is now smaller, members said the new format offers them a new opportunity to discuss issues and use the time as a work session.

“This restructuring will give us a better forum to explain those issues as they come at us,” Business and Technology President Debbie Goodall said.

James said he is still committed to meeting with individual campuses in his usual question-and-answer sessions. He also said he plans to continue meeting with the Staff Association executives and Faculty Senate executives to continue to foster strong communication.

UPDATE: An update from the Chronicle survey will be posted separately tomorrow with links to the full results.

Career opportunities

CO# 11-128 AC Purchasing Specialist (Internal only)
* posted 08/29/2011
* will be removed from the website at 11:59 pm Monday, 09/05/2011 for the initial screening.
* For more information or to apply:

CO# 11-129 AC Director of Auxiliary Services
* posted 08/26/2011
* will be removed from the website at 11:59 pm Sunday, 09/25/2011 for the initial screening.
* For more information or to apply:

CO# 11-125 AC Human Resources Technician
* posted 08/26/2011
* will be removed from the website at 11:59 pm Sunday, 09/11/2011 for the initial screening.
* For more information or to apply:

CO# 11-126 AC Entrant Campus Police Officer
* posted 08/26/2011
* will be removed from the website at 11:59 pm Sunday, 09/11/2011 for the initial screening.
* For more information or to apply:

CO# 11-127 MW Lead Groundskeeper
* posted 08/26/2011
* will be removed from the website at 11:59 pm Sunday, 09/11/2011 for the initial screening.
* For more information or to apply:

Monday, August 29, 2011

Slideshow: Summer has terminated!

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MCC trains VA mobile medical unit staff

Left to right: Margaret Rosthauser, HT; Jimmie Tyler, I.W.I. staff; Elizabeth Moutafis, RN; Christine Lightfoot, ANP; John Malicoat, CDL Coordinator, I.W.I.; Vick Quigley, I.W.I. instructor; Angela Maggard, RN, Nrs Mgr; Greg Mullins, I.W.I. instructor; Bill Lowe, I.W.I. instructor.

Last Thursday, MCC’s Institute for Workforce Innovation was invited to celebrate a partnership with the Kansas City Veterans Association Medical Center, a partnership that could have a far-reaching impact on veterans in the region.

Over 100 people gathered at the flagpole in front of the VA Medical Center on 48th and Linwood last Thursday for the ribbon cutting ceremony and grand opening of the Mobile Medical Unit, a mobile health facility designed to serve veterans who live in rural communities. The Mobile Medical Unit is one of only two such programs in the country to increase accessibility to veterans, some of whom drive as much as two hours to reach a primary care VA site.

The new mobile unit, a $600,000 vehicle that is currently being housed at MCC-Blue River while I.W.I. instructors train the VA’s registered nurses and administrative staff to get their Class B licenses, will bring a fully equipped primary care unit, including teleretinal screening, laboratory and limited pharmacy to veterans living in Trenton, Carrollton and Bolivar, Missouri. It can also provide emergency services during time of disasters.

The program was envisioned by nurse practitioner and current I.W.I. student Christine Lightfoot, who was inspired by disabled veterans, as well as by her stepson who is currently serving in Japan.

"The veterans need us out there,” said Lightfoot. “And we’ll be able to see thousands.”

Eventually, she hopes to see the Mobile Medical Unit provide mental health and specialty services as well. Mobile medical unit staff should complete skills training for Class B licensure to drive the vehicle within the next two weeks.

MCC-Maple Woods Vet Tech facility hosts CVC ultrasonography workshop

The MCC-Maple Woods vet tech facility is home to sophisticated equipment, both for use by students in the program and members of the Central Veterinary Conference, which hosts a workshop onsite every summer. Students from all over the Metro area visited Maple Woods to learn animal ultrasonography and then practice their skills on the animals that call the vet tech lab home.

Students return to campus amid wild times

The Student Activities Council makes sure that never a dull moment will mar our days! MCC students have a wild time returning to campus; welcome week at MCC-Blue River features daily events such as:

Monday – Rock Wall, Bungee Pods, and snow cones (between AS and Campus Center) 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Tuesday – Club Day, find out about college clubs, activities, and interest groups (Campus Center) 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Wednesday  - Chris Cakes the pancake man (outside Campus Center) 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Thursday – Free Polar Ice  (Campus Center) 9 a.m. to noon

74 students get help from Single Parent Book Loan

The Single Parent Book Loan Program is unique to Metropolitan Community College-Blue River. While other programs are tied to financial aid or specific degrees, Blue River’s program is open to all single parents who attend classes at our campus. Students complete a simple application for assistance with books when they enroll. Most students receive books for at least half of their classes. After classes begin, any Blue River student who has a financial need is eligible to borrow books.  At the end of the semester, the books are returned and re-issued the following semester. 

The program continues to grow as more students become aware and as financial need becomes more severe. When the program began in fall of 2001, we served 18 students with 51 books. Fall 2011 semester funded 74 applicants, totaling $4,568.00, or 184 books, and 493 credit hours. Not only does the book loan program provide financial assistance to students, it also provides personal support and encouragement and has helped to contribute to the MCC-Blue River sense of community.

MCC-Blue River students can obtain an application for Spring 2011 on November 1, 2011 in Arts & Sciences Room 113.

contributed by William Jeser and Victorie J. Hollwell, Ed.D.

Friday, August 26, 2011

MCC-Maple Woods STC coordinator finishes debut season as professional coach

A fixture of the MCC-Maple Woods baseball program for the past few years, former assistant coach and current Sports Training Center coordinator Kenny Hook will finish his debut season with the Kansas City T-Bones Tuesday night against the RedHawks. Hook started this season as bench coach for the T-Bones.

Before joining the T-Bones coaching staff, Kenny built up almost a decade of collegiate coaching experience, in addition to his playing days at Crowder College and Benedictine College and for the semi-professional Amarillo Dillas in the Texas-Louisiana league.

For more information about the MCC-Maple Woods Sports Training Center, visit them on the web.

TONIGHT: Minor Monuments art exhibit and reception

Minor Monuments
Opening reception and lecture
Aug. 26 5-8 p.m.
Artist lecture at 6 p.m.
MCC-Longview Cultural Arts Center

MCC-Longview presents: Minor Monuments, an exhibit by Katherine Anne Novotny.

This outstanding show by Katherine Anne Novotny takes modern icons we see everyday, such as a stop sign or crosswalk, and turns them into something new and unexpected.

Here is what the artist says about her show: "I can only consider my experience with our landscape to be glimpses or windows. The landscape is wild and ever-changing; the air can be dense and light, vastness can be freeing or trapping, the horizon moves up and down in a fast-moving train and from a plane remains about the same.

"When placed in my memory, these experiences become scenes... these scenes confront me with characters: a stop sign, a detour, a bridge overhead, a path underfoot, the green man means go and the flashing hand means no. With Minor Monuments I wish to reintroduce these sights by changing their materiality from a symbol to a manipulated form. My recent works are building blocks meant to be treasured and re-imagined within the space, whichever that may be."

Full show: Aug. 26-Sept. 24
Gallery hours: Wednesday-Saturday Noon-4 p.m.
MCC-Longview Cultural Arts Center
500 SW Longview Road, Lee's Summit MO

Sen. McCaskill visits MCC, wants to ratchet up appeal of manufacturing careers

"We need to convince students that tech is cool, and that manufacturing is tech," said U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill at a press conference Friday morning following a roundtable discussion with educators, community leaders and manufacturing employers.

The roundtable conversation, held at the MCC-Penn Valley Health Science Institute, was part of a statewide tour where Sen. McCaskill is visiting manufacturing facilities and talking to business and industry leaders about what they need to become more economically viable. McCaskill said she asked MCC to host Friday's event because she understands the important relationship between a prepared, skilled workforce and the high-quality technical education and training at MCC.

Roundtable participants included:
Claire McCaskill, U.S. Senator
Corey Dillon, U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill’s Office
Clyde McQueen, Full Employment Council
Yolanda Reddix, Glennon Place, and graduate of MCC short-term training and LINCWorks
Troy Teague, Cerner
Tom Goodpasture, Pride Manufacturing, and representative of the Regional Nat'l. Tooling & Machining Assoc.
Bruce Eagleburger, Vector Tool and Engineering
Jake Chambers, Vector Tool and Engineering
Terry Akins, IBEW 124
Ron Green, Hallmark Cards
Tony Reinhart, Regional Director of Government Relations, Ford Motor Company

Participants from MCC included: Chancellor Mark James, IWI Executive Director Margaret Boyd, MCC-Business & Techonology President Debbie Goodall, MCC-Business & Technology Tech. Division Chair Penny Tepesch, Associate Vice Chancellor Tom Vansaghi, Vice Chancellor Paul Long and MCC-Maple Woods President Merna Saliman.

MCC-Maple Woods movie on the lawn a great success!

Nearly 200 people showed up to watch The Green Lantern under the stars last night as part of Maple Woods' free movie on the lawn events. There will be one FREE movie shown per month on the MCC-Maple Woods Campus Center amphitheater, so watch the calendar for the next movie listing!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

PTK asks students to commit to finishing their education

The start of the new semester mean many new challenges for students across the MCC district. On Wednesday, students from the MCC-Longview PTK were out in force asking students take those challenges head on and commit to finishing their two-year or four-year degrees before it is too late.
“It is important for students to realize how crucial it is to finish your degree before life or anything else can get in your way,” adviser Jan Rog said.
The group asked students to sign the Community College Completion Corps (C4) banner as a show of commitment that they will finish their degrees before it is too late.
President Barack Obama created the C4 in 2009 specifically challenging Americans to once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world and to produce an additional 5 million community college graduates by 2020. C4 is a student-led initiative headed by PTK chapters across the country. It purpose is to raise awareness about the importance of college completion and to provide resources that will aid students in their quest for completion.
For more information about the commitment drive, contact Jan Rog or your PTK representative on campus.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Chancellor James Receives National ATF Award

Chancellor Mark James was presented with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Citizenship Award on Wednesday at ATF’s 15th Annual Awards Ceremony in Washington, D.C. The event honored ATF agents and employees, law enforcement officers and citizens for acts of heroism, service and commitment to public safety.

The ATF Citizenship Award recognizes extraordinary acts of bravery involving the risk of serious injury or death performed by private citizens while assisting Federal, State or local law enforcement. Chancellor James was honored for his heroic actions when he subdued a student who attacked Dean Al Dimmit at MCC-Penn Valley last September.

“Chancellor James has a stellar legacy of public service”, said Michael P. Gleysteen, Special Agent in Charge of the ATF Kansas City Field Division. “His heroic actions demonstrate how he continually puts others before himself.”

Prior to joining MCC in 2010, James’s law enforcement career began with the Missouri Highway Patrol before becoming an ATF Agent in 1987. He was the Special Agent in Charge of ATF’s Kansas City Field Division when he retired from ATF in 2004. Following his retirement, James continued his public service after being appointed by then-Missouri Governor Matt Blunt as director of the Missouri Department of Public Safety and Homeland Security.

New-faculty seminars begin Friday

Six new-faculty seminars, which are an extension of orientation, will be rolled out this academic year, during both the fall and spring semesters. The first seminar, Instructional Techniques, will be held this Friday.
See below for the seminar schedule for the fall semester. The spring schedule will be posted in January 2011.

Instructional Techniques
Panel with Tom Wheeler and Zola Gordy
Aug. 26 – BTC CC248 – 1-4 p.m.

Classroom Management
Panel with Shelli Allen and Lisa Minis
Sept. 30 – MW SC132 – 1-4 p.m.

Faculty Evaluation
Panel with Cheryl Winter, Janet Wyatt and Bill Young
Oct. 28 – BR EC110 – 1-4 p.m.

New faculty are automatically registered for these sessions. Other faculty are also invited to attend and are asked to register with Lori Palmer.


Students can register for Fall classes on-line through 8/24! Students can register on campus 8/25-26, however there will be some restrictions for classes that have already started (especially classes that have already met twice), classes that are full or internet classes.

Optimal Resume demonstration

Optimal Resume  a virtual Career Management software, is NOW available. You are invited to attend the first demonstration session onTuesday, Aug. 30 from 1- 2p.m. at the MCC-Longview- Community Education Center building Computer Lab.

Build Resumes and Letters
Create e-portfolios and videos
Publish professional websites
Practice interviews

Reserve your seat today by calling 816.604.2155 or email for an overview of this leading online career product. 
MCC students and the general public are also welcome. For hands on practice please bring your student ID.

Recognized by NACE-National Association of Colleges and Employers, Optimal Resume is the recipient of their prestigious Chevron Award and was voted the #1 career tool for job seekers, by the Department of Labor-Tool’s for America’s Job Seekers Challenge.  Created and developed at the request of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Optimal Resume improves job and internship application results and increases the number of students that can be served through its virtual review system.

This extraordinary opportunity to host this software is made possible in conjunction with the Free Public Computer Centers.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

MCC partners with Catholic Charities to meet at-risk residents where they are

When Catholic Charities of Kansas City – St. Joseph received two grants to fund training and education for underserved and marginalized residents in our area, the social service agency turned to the MCC Institute for Workforce Innovation.

Catholic Charities has contracted with MCC to provide training to two distinct groups as outlined by the two grants:

1. For the Project RISE program, MCC will deliver technical training, academic support and soft skills training to underserved young adults, 18-24 years of age. The program was made possible by a federal grant from the Social Innovation Fund (SIF), with additional local support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and United Way of Greater Kansas City. In exchange for developing and delivering the training and support services, MCC will receive $377,770 over the next 2.5 years. The Catholic Charities-MCC collaboration is one of six SIF collaborations of its kind across the nation.

2. With funding from an ex-offenders grant, Catholic Charities was able to contract with MCC to provide technical training, academic support and soft skills training for 250 ex-offenders. To support participants’ entry and advancement in meaningful careers, MCC will conduct Worldwide Interactive Network (WIN) assessments and deliver IWI programs that include bundled services. The IWI outreach team is currently working with Catholic Charities to iron out the details for course delivery, but programs will likely include CNA, photovoltaic, green maintenance technician and professional food preparation. Over the next 2 years, MCC will receive $700,000 to develop and deliver the programs and services.

The Woods goes green for Movie on the Lawn!

What could be better than a FREE movie under the stars? MCC-Maple Woods will be showing The Green Lantern at 9 p.m. Aug. 25 at the Campus Center Amphitheater (that big blank wall under the hill in the middle of campus). Free popcorn will be provided, so bring a blanket, a drink, and a date and enjoy the show!

MCC Celebrates a Night at The K

The inaugural MCC Night at the K will bring together students, alumni and employees to celebrate as one MCC at Kauffman Stadium on Tuesday, Sept. 20. The Royals will take on the Detroit Tigers at 7:10 p.m.

All those who have an MCC ticket are invited to a free tailgate-style dinner at Arrowhead Stadium's North Club Room before heading over to Kauffman Stadium for the game. Employee* and family tickets can be purchased at at the cost of $5 each. Parking fee is not included in ticket price; carpooling is encouraged.

“MCC is Kansas City region’s oldest and largest institution of higher education,” said Tom Vansaghi, associate vice chancellor of college and community relations. “We are proud that for the past 95 years we have created opportunities for more than a half million students who have come through our many doors. This event will celebrate our successes and contributions to our region, as we bring our students, alumni and employees together in one place to celebrate the fact that we are One MCC.”

Doors to the tailgate will open at 5 p.m. and a presentation will begin at 6 p.m. Free t-shirts will be available (watch The MCC Insider for more on that).

Once employee* tickets are purchased, MCC will send participants a confirmation email with more details about the event.

For more information, click here for the Q&A.

*Students will get their tickets at the campus life and leadership office at any campus; alumni can contact the MCC Foundation at 604.1197. Service fees will aplly to tickets purchased online. Watch for more information to come.

Welcome back to MCC! Now, let us know you're here...

Are you studying up in the Library? Or maybe you are grabbing a bite to eat in the cafeteria? Possibly you are discussing the latest math assignment with your teacher...

No matter where you are on campus, let us know.

Get checked in, get connected. MCC-Longview uses a number of social sites to get you connected to your campus and hundreds of new students around you.

Check us out on Foursquare by searching for Metropolitan Community College.

Or look us up on Facebook at MCC-Longview Lakers. 

Become a Fan or fight your way to the top and become the Mayor. Either way, get checked in and get connected to MCC-Longview.

Students: Tobacco products not allowed on MCC properties

Monday, August 22, 2011

"American Dreammaker Award" from Habitat for Humanity for Metropolitan Chorale of Kansas City

Metropolitan Chorale of Kansas City's director, Dr. Rebecca Johnson, holds
"The American Dreammaker Award"
For five years, the Metropolitan Chorale of Kansas City has partnered with Truman Heritage Habitat for Humanity (THHFH)to raise funds to place underprivileged people into affordable housing. At the 9th Annual American Dream Gala on August 20, 2011, The Metropolitan Chorale of Kansas City (MCC-Blue River’s choir) was presented with the “American Dreammaker Award” for helping THHFH  promote their mission in Eastern Jackson County and beyond.

The first HardHats for Habitat Concert was held in March of 2007 and for five years, including April 2011, the concert has been performed at Woods Chapel Church under the direction of Dr. Rebecca Johnson and Artistic Director Sarah Tyrrell. In that time, the chorale has raised over $22,000.00 for THHFH, and this year’s concert raised an unprecedented amount for the organization. After the event, Executive Director of THHFH, Pat Turner, told MCC-Blue River, “Thank you all so much for your wonderful

Minor Monuments exhibit opens at MCC-Longview Aug. 26

MCC-Longview presents: Minor Monuments, an exhibit by Katherine Anne Novotny.

This outstanding show by Katherine Anne Novotny takes modern icons we see everyday, such as a stop sign or crosswalk, and turns them into something new and unexpected.

Here is what the artist says about her show: "I can only consider my experience with our landscape to be glimpses or windows. The landscape is wild and ever-changing; the air can be dense and light, vastness can be freeing or trapping, the horizon moves up and down in a fast-moving train and from a plane remains about the same.

"When placed in my memory, these experiences become scenes... these scenes confront me with characters: a stop sign, a detour, a bridge overhead, a path underfoot, the green man means go and the flashing hand means no. With Minor Monuments I wish to reintroduce these sights by changing their materiality from a symbol to a manipulated form. My recent works are building blocks meant to be treasured and re-imagined within the space, whichever that may be."

Minor Monuments
Opening reception and lecture
Aug. 26 5-8 p.m.
Artist lecture at 6 p.m.
MCC-Longview Cultural Arts Center

Full show: Aug. 26-Sept. 24
Gallery hours: Wednesday-Saturday Noon-4 p.m.
MCC-Longview Cultural Arts Center
500 SW Longview Road, Lee's Summit MO

MCC-Maple Woods graduate and student employee moves on to Missouri State

Andrew Wilson, a MCC-Maple Woods graduate, former Ambassador and right-hand man for the Campus Life and Leadership office is movin' on up! Andrew is now attending Missouri State University and plans to major in art/animation. In his years at The Woods, Andrew served students, faculty and staff in many ways, including giving tours, helping plan activities, volunteering and amateur videographer. He will be greatly missed as our "Roving Reporter."

On behalf of everyone at Maple Woods, thank you for everything you've done, Andrew, and we wish you the best of luck at Missouri State. Go Bears!

Friday, August 19, 2011

MCC highlights long-time employee: Deb Vacek

Twenty five years ago, Deb Vacek had graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, was a starving artist and was working “some job on the Plaza”. She needed a full-time job, and found one as a secretary working for Rick Drumm in Human Resources at MCC. “That’s how I earned money through college, doing that kind of work.”

Early on in her MCC career, while working for Reinhard Weglarz, she had her first experience with a Macintosh computer. “It was the first time I ever had a mouse in my hand,” says Deb. “It was the most wonderful experience. I ended up taking more classes and the job itself set me off in another direction.”

She has used her degree in fine arts, mixed with her natural creative design talents over the last 25 years at MCC.

The MCC Experience
“The best thing about MCC is the people and the relationships that I’ve built,” she explains. “We’ve all grown up together; it’s like we don’t even see each other aging because we’ve all grown up together everyday. It’s my favorite part of MCC - the people more than anything.”

Deb is currently a systems analyst II in the MCC web applications department.

Personal Time and Other Particulars
Deb likes to travel and has an upcoming trip planned in December to Africa.
She loves to hang out with her great group of friends and family.
Favorite word: The Yoko Ono - "YES"
Favorite Adult Beverage: Sauvignon Blanc, or beer (never light)
What Deb always brings to work: Matching shoes - almost always

New staff at MCC - welcome!

First row:
Allen Cassity, MCC-Longview
Amber Wiggins, MCC-Blue River
Benton Dick, MCC Administrative Center
Brian Hurley, MCC Administrative Center
Christopher Parrett, MCC-Maple Woods
Second row:
Erwin Brown, MCC-Longview
Heather Boell, MCC Administrative Center
Jana Osborn, MCC Administrative Center
Julie Ingwerson, MCC-Maple Woods
LeAnn Bradberry, MCC-Business & Technology
Third row:
Liz Miller, MCC-Business & Technology
Melissa Giese, MCC Administrative Center
Paul Bradley, MCC Administrative Center
Ricky Rapp, MCC Administrative Center
Roger McDougle, MCC-Penn Valley (Don Bosco)
Fourth row:
Sharon Soares, MCC Administrative Center
Tami Knight, MCC Administrative Center
Tiffany Timmons, MCC Administrative Center

Video: MCC-Maple Woods presents Fitness Friday!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Missouri legislators convene with MCC leaders, good will meeting

Missouri legislators meet with MCC leaders to discuss Missouri academics
Metropolitan Community College is keeping its students' needs on the minds of Missouri legislators by bringing Representatives Shannon Cooper, Brent Lasater, and Noel Torpey onto campus to discuss Missouri higher education.

Chancellor Mark James, Blue River Interim President Joe Seabrooks, and Deans Cheryl Carpenter Davis and Jon Burke shared a discussion of the issues surrounding community colleges with our state legislators over lunch.

Afterward, the group took a walking tour of the MCC-Blue River campus, peeking in on the Mac design lab, the Public Safety Institute, and the new Student Development Center.

The state representatives were actively engaged in the discussions and in this opportunity to take a closer look at higher education in our community.

MCC welcomes new faculty and staff

Look at all these beautiful people!
The faculty and staff attended new employee orientation today at MCC-Penn Valley. The new employees and their campus is listed below in alphabetical order:

Carlos Bass, MCC-Maple Woods, Art
Heather Boell, MCC Administrative Center
LeAnn Bradberry, MCC-Business & Technology
Paul Bradley, MCC Administrative Center
Dawn Brady, MCC-Penn Valley, Counselor
Erwin Brown, MCC-Longview
Allen Cassity, MCC-Longview
David Collins, MCC-Blue River, English
Sarah Collins, MCC-Longview, Speech
Tracy Curry, MCC-Maple Woods, SCF Learning Center
Benton Dick, MCC Administrative Center
Ahmed El-Sherif, MCC-Penn Valley, Chemistry
Melissa Giese, MCC Administrative Center
Carol Gohdes, MCC-Penn Valley, Denistry
Carla Huffman, MCC-Maple Woods, Chemistry
Brian Hurley, MCC Administrative Center
Jody Hyman, MCC-Penn Valley, EMT/Paramedic
Julie Ingwerson, MCC-Maple Woods
Jennifer Johnson, MCC-Longview, Math
Tami Knight, MCC Administrative Center
Donald Lee, MCC-Penn Valley, Math
Kelly Mathews, MCC-Penn Valley, English
Roger McDougle, MCC-Penn Valley (Don Bosco)
Stacey McMillen, MCC-Penn Valley, Math
Liz Miller, MCC-Business & Technology
Mandy Moore, MCC-Blue River, Counselor
Anne Morgan, MCC-Longview, Philosophy
Alicia Norris, MCC-Penn Valley, Math
Mildred Nottingham, MCC-Penn Valley, Reading
Jana Osborn, MCC Administrative Center
Christopher Parrett, MCC-Maple Woods
Amy Prochaska, MCC-Business & Technology, English
Daniel Reneau, MCC-Longview, Art
Ricky Rapp, MCC Administrative Center
Sharon Soares, MCC Administrative Center
Jennifer Stephenson, MCC-Penn Valley, English
Zouhair Tamsamani, MCC-Blue River, Math
Tiffany Timmons, MCC Administrative Center
Lavon Tonga, MCC-Longview, Biology
Cynthia Tooley, MCC-Blue River, Sociology
Amber Wiggins, MCC-Blue River

Only 5 Days left to enroll - giddy up!

Students can still register for classes for the Fall semester! Register online through Wednesday, Aug. 24 or on any campus through Aug. 26.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Still time to enroll!

Students can still register for classes for the Fall semester! Register online through Wednesday, Aug. 24 or on any campus through Aug. 26.

Former head softball coach returns to Ottawa University

After rebuilding the MCC-Maple Woods softball team from scratch and establishing an excellent work ethic among her players, former head softball coach Kerry Casper is returning to Ottawa University where she had previously spent two years as an assistant softball coach. She will be serving as an enrollment advisor.

Casper came to MCC-Maple Woods in 2006 and steadily rebuilt a program that had languished without a head coach for three seasons. She came in with a strong background in the sport, having served the University of Minnesota-Crookston as a dynamic pitcher for four seasons. Recruiting mostly local talent, Casper developed an inexperienced squad into a team with great chemistry and softball knowledge, as well as academic excellence. The MCC-Maple Woods softball team consistently had the highest team GPA amongst the athletic teams at the college.

Tiffany Carter, assistant coach, has been named the interim head coach. She came to MCC-Maple Woods fresh from Northwest Missouri State University, where she served the Bearcats as a catcher and infielder. She is a native of the Kansas City Metro area and helped with the recruitment of talent from the surrounding areas. Carter will assume her duties as interim head coach immediately.

Bookstores still need help - give a few hours of your time

The MCC bookstores still have a several volunteer positions to be filled beginning tomorrow through Aug. 26. This is a great way to connect to students in a different way and learn more about MCC processes. You can even have fun while doing it!

To volunteer contact the bookstore managers listed. For more information on the areas of help needed, click here.

Bookstore Contacts:
BTC – Lawrence Ore 5487
BR – Nita Isenhour 6690
LV – Michelle Capps 2226
MW – Beth Austin 3182
PV – Selin Gaona 4190

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Rangel appointed to Port Authority

Juan Rangel, MCC’s director of community engagement, has been appointed to serve as a commissioner for the Port Authority of Kansas City, Missouri.

Rangel, who was appointed to the post by Kansas City Mayor Sly James in July, will join eight other members on the board. He will serve on the finance committee.

The Port Authority, established in 1977 to enhance the economic vitality of Kansas City, oversees environmental stewardship and sustainable development along the downtown riverfront. The organization, classified as a redevelopment entity, controls 120 acres of land along the Missouri River and is also involved in the partnership that is recreating the former Richards-Gebaur Air Force Base site in South Kansas City into an important regional economic hub.

Rangel will serve a six-year term as commissioner. In addition to this new post with the Port Authority, he is also on the boards of a number of other community organizations, including the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, the UMKC Women’s Center, Truman Medical Center, Guadalupe Center Inc., Heartland Men's Chorus and Research Development Institute.

Broadway entrance to Penn Valley parking garage to close

Beginning Sept. 5, the northeast entrance to the Penn Valley/Administrative Center parking garage (off Broadway) will be closed for maintenance. This entrance will be closed through November 14, 2011.

The closure is part of the MCC District Parking Garage Maintenance and Repair plan. MTS Construction Company is scheduled to repair the concrete drive on the northeast side of lot D. Barricades will restrict pedestrian access to the immediate area, but leave access open to the entrances of the Administrative Center and parking garage. The southeast entrance from Broadway will remain open.

MCC-Maple Woods textbook library continues to grow, assist students

While most people think the biggest part of paying for college is tuition, that's not always the case. Just ask any A+ student, whose tuition is covered by state funds, but whose textbooks have to come from somewhere.

Textbooks can be prohibitively expensive, and every MCC campus has one or more programs designed to ease the burden on already-overextended students. A book-loan program for single parents returning to campus and a rental system via the bookstore is available at each campus. MCC-Maple Woods also has its own programs that aim to ensure students can participate fully in their classes - among them the Emergency Book Fund, funded by faculty and staff via donations and fundraisers and a textbook rental library that operates on the honor system.

Deb Cougill, assistant to President Merna Saliman, began building and maintaining her own rental library, free of charge, several years ago. Books are available to students based on need and loaned out on the honor system at the beginning of each semester. Since the start of the program, the number of books has grown steadily each year, with students not only returning the loaned books but also contributing others to the collection, making the selection wider for each new class of students.

Former MCC-Maple Woods student athlete killed in action while serving in Afghanistan

Matt Mason, who grew up in the small town of Holt, Mo. and who excelled as a student, athlete, competitor and soldier, was recently killed in action when a Chinook helicopter carrying members of the US Navy's elite SEALs was shot down in Afghanistan.

Matt Mason, who attended Kearney High School, was known as an easy-going student, and a talented linebacker and first-baseman. Although he graduated from Northwest Missouri State University with a degree in geology and geography, he began his college career at MCC-Maple Woods in 1992, where he continued his drive to be a fiercely competitive athlete, playing baseball for the (former) Centaurs.

That drive continued when he joined the SEALs, something his family and friends said he had wanted to do for many years. Even after being badly injured in Iraq in 2004, Mason was competing in the Kansas City triathlon just months later. According to family, he never considered staying out of combat an option, rejoining the SEALs and serving in multiple war zone missions.

Matt Mason was a scholar, athlete, father and distinguished serviceman. MCC-Maple Woods, Kansas City and the United States is extremely grateful for his dedicated service to his country.

Employee's books can be purchased on Amazon

Author Lauren Scharhag is most known around MCC as Lauren Roberts - IWI’s administrative assistant and acting public information coordinator. But her love for writing doesn’t end there. She has recently co-authored The Order of the Four Sons, with Coyote Kishpaugh, a science-fiction/fantasy series. Details about her writing including excerpts can be found on her blog,

Lauren has been writing for 18 years and has 3 additional books available including The Ice Dragon, Imperial-13 and The Winter Prince.

“I write because I love everything about writing - stories, characters and words," said Lauren. "I never outgrew my love for fairy tales and nursery rhymes. But mostly, I write because it keeps me relatively sane.”

About Order of the Four Sons:
Since before recorded history, the Order of the Four Sons has existed. From their beginnings in ancient Egypt to the boardrooms of modern times, they have fought a covert war against the enemies of humankind. But now, after 5,000 years, their greatest battle is about to begin. Welcome to the Order. The world is not what it seems.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Campus attendance maps reveal wide areas of service

MCC's office of institutional research and assessment recently conducted an analysis of the area from which students are drawn to each of MCC's five campuses, and the results might surprise you.

Using attendance data from the Spring 2011 semester, the research office created a map for each campus that uses a small dot to indicate the location of every student's residence in relation to the location of the campus. The maps, which can be accessed using the links below, illustrate that each campus serves students far beyond its specific geographic service area.

MCC-Blue River attendance map
MCC-Business & Technology attendance map
MCC-Longview attendance map
MCC-Maple Woods attendance map
MCC-Penn Valley attendance map

What's your purpose? A spotlight on Ian Jennings

Creating opportunities for individuals recently released from prison is part of Ian Jennings’ purpose. In his role as a student employment placement coordinator at Metropolitan Community College-Business Technology, he works with ex-offenders to help them gain the self-belief and confidence to help them move into careers where they can become productive citizens.
Want to share your pupose? Email

MCC Exhibits at MO State Fair - Science Fair in the Street

Metropolitan Community College sent 100+ Missouri State Fair visitors home with hand-built Cog Cards and a slightly cooled fair experience.  Click the video above to see MCC's Pedal Powered Cooling Station and kids building Cog Cards at the Missouri State Fair on Saturday, Aug 13.

Jen Dec and David Hawkins of MCC-BT brought parts, fixtures, and enough patience to help 100+ five to ten year-olds build planetary gear cards, which require precision glue-sticking and assembly of eleven tiny parts.  "The kids were fun", said Jen. "The kids REALLY liked building cards - we had their undivided attention for about ten minutes, which is pretty impressive - I say!"

The Pedal Powered Cooling Station used a water pump attached to a bicycle exercise trainer to mist fair patrons.  The pump pulled water from an 8 gallon tank and pressurized a series of misting heads.  "In all we pumped 24 gallons of water on the crowd.  Although I tried to con kids into taking a shift on the bike, I believe I ended up pedaling about 20 of the 24 gallons", said Alex Grigsby of MCC-BT.

Both the Cog Cards and Pedal Powered Cooling Station where designed at MCC's FabLab.  Science Fair in the Street was coordinated by Missouri State Fair and SCOPE.

Paradise Park donates $650 to MCC's emergency book fund

Chris Simon, general manager of Paradise Park, stands with MCC-Longview President Fred Grogan last week as he was presented a check for $650 dollars for the MCC-Longview Emergency Book Fund.

The money was part of a fundraiser held by Paradise Park at the 2011 Flights of Fancy kite festival.

The donation will benefit students who need assistance purchasing books required for the upcoming semester.

"We are thankful to Paradise Park and the support they lend not only to the campus, but also the support they give our students in a time of need," Grogan said.

Paradise Park is one of Lee's Summit's most popular family entertainment centers and, along with its owner John Ellis, has been a big supporter of the kite festival and the college for many years.

For more information about Paradise Park and their community involvement, be sure to check out their website at

Student Ambassadors take pride in being the face of Maple Woods

MCC-Maple Woods admissions recruiters talk to prospective students, visit high schools and college fairs, and answer questions about the college, but one of the first impressions of Maple Woods to prospective students, first-time enrollees and their parents is provided by the Student Ambassadors.

Student Ambassadors give extensive tours of the campus to visitors, prospective students and their families. They answer questions, talk about student life and set anxious parents at ease.

This week, the Ambassadors will be completing an extensive training session designed to teach them how to best serve students and visitors to the campus and be a unique, knowledgeable face for the campus and MCC, focusing on leadership, teamwork and responsibility.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Career opportunity

CO# 11-120 LV College Bookstore Manager
* posted 08/12/2011
* will be removed from the website at 11:59 pm Sunday, 08/28/2011 for the initial screening.
* For more information or to apply:

CO# 11-121 PV Dean of Allied Health & Nursing
* posted 08/12/2011
* will be removed from the website at 11:59 pm Sunday, 09/11/2011 for the initial screening.
* For more information or to apply:

Employees:Demystifying the Request Process for Access to the MetroSoft System

Do you know how to request training or security for MetroSoft's system? Below are steps for employees to follow to gain access to MetroSoft’s systems.

The main indicator needed for employee system access is that employee’s supervisor needs to complete a form via the MetroSoft Training/Security Request form, available on the Info Exchange under Technology > MetroSoft Training.

Here are the steps:
1. Supervisor completes form.
2. An Organizational Development representative will contact employee regarding arrangements for training and/or any clarification needed.
3. Training materials/instructions will be determined per conversation with Organizational Development representative (or as indicated on the On the Job Training (OJT) Supervisor Sign-Off form).
4. Trainer will be identified.
5. Employee will complete training.
6. IF OJT is done, completed OJT Supervisor Sign-Off form will be turned in to Organizational Development.

After training is complete, access to the system can take up to two working days, so plan ahead to get training complete as needed. If system access takes longer, Contact Computer Services at 604.1133.

Video: MCC-Maple Woods presents Fitness Friday!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Bookstore Volunteer Opportunities for Employees

MCC bookstores want you! Help get the students set up for the first day of class! MCC employees are needed to volunteer at any of the campus bookstores during the week of Aug. 18 – 26 , time range between 7:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. Exceptions to these dates are noted in descriptions below.

To volunteer, contact the bookstore manager to set up a time (contact information at bottom of post).

Volunteer Descriptions (It’s not a job, it’s an adventure!)

Internet order Window: Locations: PV, MW (8/11-8/26)
• Organize boxed orders.
• Verify student ID and order # against Bookstore order list.
• Validate ordered items against order summary.
• Reseal box and release to student.
• May require some lifting.

Receipt checker: Locations: PV
• Check merchandise/book receipts to match the merchandise/book leaving the store.
• Direct incoming traffic to the store.

Book re-stocker: Locations: PV
• Restock the back shelves.
• Will require some lifting.

Merchandise Re-stocker: Locations: PV
• Restock the sales floor.
• Will require some lifting.

Financial Aid Checker: Locations: PV, BTC, MW (8/11-8/26)
• Verify all students receiving financial aid have their aid posted to their accounts. If the aid is not posted, they will not be able to charge their purchases to their financial aid. BTC IS VALIDATING INTERNET ORDERS
• Volunteer will be equipped with a computer to check their account information prior to the student waiting in line.

Sales Floor Assistance: Locations: PV, BR (8/11 & 8/12 ONLY)
• Walk the sales floor to provide assistance as necessary.

Internet Order Filer: Locations: BTC
• Once order is processed, put in numeric order, hole punch and place in folder

Phones: Locations: MW, LV, BR
• Answer phones at bookstore

Bookstore Contacts:
BTC – Lawrence Ore 5487
BR – Nita Isenhour 6690
LV – Michelle Capps 2226
MW – Beth Austin 3182
PV – Selin Gaona 4190