MCCâ€™S FABLAB A place for innovation , page 4
Across four decades
Pass to Class success
Close to home
MCC celebrates 40 years of service
MCC’s FabLab a place for innovation
Dental assisting students educate youngsters about oral health
Bus ridership program celebrates 1 million rides
International student discovers community, friends at MCC
Mural project to bring life to South Omaha Campus
Going the extra mile
Soaring at SkillsUSA
A global education
Students sound off
Around the College
Students sell artwork to new community center
MCC educators recognized for making a difference
At MCC, veteran student finds path to start business
Business students develop entrepreneurship program for at-risk teens
Students sweep 25 of 32 competitions
Intercultural education expands students’ global awareness
New luncheon series connects Fort Omaha Campus community
MCC receives Hubbard foundation gift to fund hot rod program
Location spotlight: Elkhorn Valley Campus Elkhorn location a work of art
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Volume 2, Issue 1
“Community” is a quarterly publication of Metropolitan Community College. Contact the editor at 402-457-2414 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Nondiscrimination and Equal Opportunity Statement—Metropolitan Community College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, marital status, age, disability or sexual orientation in admission or access to its programs and activities or in its treatment or hiring of employees.
ACROSS FOUR DECADES
MCC celebrates 40 years of service
or 40 years, MCC has served the communities of Dodge, Douglas, Sarpy and Washington counties with distinction. Now educating more than 40,000 students annually at multiple locations, MCC has come a long way from its humble beginnings at a former warehouse at 132nd and I streets. As the number of locations, students and programs has grown, so too has MCC’s dedication to providing quality, accredited education at an affordable cost. Visitors to MCC’s locations this year will notice hints of the 40th anniversary on posters, fliers and even cupcakes. But as the College reflects on the past, it also looks to the future. With new programs, curriculum and facilities in the works, the future of MCC looks brighter than ever.
THEN 1,059 students 1 location, a former warehouse 46 programs Metropolitan Technical Community College Commitment to a quality, affordable education
NOW 40,000+ students 8 locations with cutting-edge technology 100+ programs Metropolitan Community College Commitment to a quality, affordable education
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ENDLESS CAPABILITIES MCC’s FabLab a place for innovation
ntrepreneurs from across Omaha are fueling their creativity at MCC’s new FabLab, short for fabrication laboratory, on the Fort Omaha Campus. Opened in December 2013, the FabLab incorporates sophisticated equipment — 3-D printers, laser engravers and computer numerical control machines — to help students learn and create works of art. Catering to noncredit students, the FabLab offers classes in bird house design, glass bottle engraving, glass etching, vinyl graphic sign making and T-shirt design. “The FabLab at MCC brings in a wide range of students,” says Hugh Schuett, information technology instructor and FabLab head. “A lot of the students are small-business owners who are eager to learn about making signs and T-shirts for their business.” Founded by Neil Gerschenfeld at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, FabLabs are a global network of local labs, enabling invention by providing access to tools for digital fabrication. With some machines in MCC’s FabLab valued at $15,000 and above, Schuett is looking forward to expanding coursework, giving credit students opportunities to learn further about design and other skills. “This Fall quarter, we’ll have two credit classes called How to Build an Electric Guitar and How to Make Almost Anything,” says Schuett. Other offerings will include an introductory course where students learn how to use CorelDRAW Suite and an advanced course where students create more complex projects. “Whether a veteran inventor, an artist, an entrepreneur or someone who wants to learn a new skill, we are proud to give our community members a place where they can work on the finest equipment with the best support,” says Schuett.
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Upcoming FabLab classes - How to Make Almost Anything - How to Build an Electric Guitar - FabLab 1 - FabLab 2 For more information: mccneb.edu/fablab
A lot of the students are small-business owners who are eager to learn about making signs and T-shirts for their business.”
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BRUSHING UP Dental assisting students educate youngsters about oral health
“ s it true you get cavities if you kiss someone?” asked an eager third-grader. Dental assisting students Joleen Foster and Alexandra Aguilar anticipated such silly questions as they were practicing their presentation, a community service project for their Nutrition and Preventative Dentistry class. Each spring, students in instructor Cindy Cronick’s class visit area grade schools and speak to youngsters about oral health. The community service project not only educates the children, but it also allows dental assisting students to teach concepts they learn in the program. This year, students presented to about 180 second, third and fourth grade students.
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The kids were so excited,” said Foster, who is interested in pedadontics. “I would do this every week.”
Foster and Aguilar visited Spring Lake Magnet Center. They came equipped with props, activities and a cartoon to keep the children engaged. With the help of Mr. Moo, a cow puppet, and an abnormally large tooth brush, they demonstrated proper brushing techniques. Another activity focused on food, where students would guess which foods went with the “happy tooth” and the “sad tooth.” Other topics included flossing, mouth wash and — of course — candy. “The kids were so excited,” said Foster, who is interested in pedadontics. “I would do this every week.”
“It’s good to teach them young,” said Aguilar, who aspires to work with an oral surgeon one day. “I didn’t want to leave; I was having so much fun.” MCC offers a dental assisting certificate of achievement and an associate degree in professional health studies – dental assisting. For more information, visit mccneb.edu/dent.
Did you know? The job outlook for dental assistants is strong. Employment of dental assistants is expected to grow by 25 percent through 2022. That’s much faster than average, according the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
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PASS TO CLASS SUCCESS Bus ridership program celebrates 1 million rides
nce a fledgling pilot project, MCC’s Pass to Class program has celebrated a milestone of 1 million student bus rides since 2009.
In partnership with Metro transit, the Pass to Class program offers MCC students free quarterly bus passes for travel to and from MCC locations and for other education-related purposes along established Metro routes. MCC and Metro initiated the mutually beneficial program, the first of its kind in Omaha, to allow greater access to classes and locations, alleviate parking congestion and reduce air pollution. Student ridership quickly exceeded organizers’ expectations, with students typically taking more than 20,000 rides per month and accounting for about 7 percent of total Metro riders.
All those rides have translated into significant environmental savings. By using the Pass to Class program instead of driving personal vehicles, students have saved an estimated 600.9 metric tons of carbon dioxide from being emitted into Omaha’s atmosphere. In other terms, the students saved the equivalent (in carbon dioxide emissions) of the total yearly energy use for more than 30 average homes. Daniel Lawse, Metro transit board member, lauded the program for meeting student and community needs. This program is an example of a willingness to respond to a community need, even when it means doing something different,” Lawse said.
Did you know? Students have saved an estimated 600.9 metric tons of carbon dioxide from being emitted into Omaha’s atmosphere.
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CLOSE TO HOME International student discovers community, friends at MCC Habiru Abubakar General health studies student Founder, MCC Global Student Club
or Habiru Abubakar, coming to MCC brought him closer to home, even though he is an international student from West Africa. After attending college in Texas, Abubakar moved to Omaha to be closer to family members who reside here. At MCC, Abubakar has enjoyed close relationships. “I’ve attended other community colleges, but they were not as communal as MCC. I like how at MCC it’s easy to get to know your instructors one on one, and they can help you with your goals. It has also been easy for me to make friends,” Abubakar said. Abubakar and a classmate founded the Global Student Club to help MCC’s international students feel at home. “We do volunteer work and create events that help students get to know the community and make friends,” he said. In addition to volunteering for Habitat for Humanity and participating in Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, students have also picnicked together at Lake Manawa State Park and celebrated Thanksgiving. After graduating with a general health studies degree, Abubakar plans to continue his education and pursue a doctorate in pharmacy. He wants to give back to his community in Cameroon and perhaps open a pharmacy one day. Outside of his studies, Abubakar likes reading, dancing to African music and bowling — the latter is something he says is hard to find in West Africa. He’s fond of lasagna, but still misses his favorite dishes from home. “Finding good food from home is not easy in Omaha,” Abubakar says, “but when I’m really missing it, I can just go to my cousin’s house.” community • mccneb.edu • 8
COMMUNITY ART Mural project to bring life to South Omaha Campus
n a drab gray wall near the South Omaha Campus bus hub, instructors Susan Trinkle and Mike Girón envisioned a work of art that would bring a community together. In March, the two began the South Omaha Campus community mural project, aiming to transform an uninspiring section of campus into a vibrant reflection of the College and surrounding community. Girón, mural artist and art instructor, and Trinkle, art history instructor, are guiding students through this handson learning opportunity through two special classes. In the spring class, Art in the Community, students researched and designed the mural. Input from community members was integral to the project. Students hosted two public forums to gather information and receive feedback on their design. The summer class, Mural Painting, focuses on the execution of the artwork.
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When completed, the 3,300-square-foot mural will be one of MCC’s largest public art projects to date. The mural will bring life to the Metro transit center, Connector building and South Omaha Library. “MCC is proud to have a home in South Omaha,” Trinkle said. “This collaborative project will create a mural to honor that nearly 35-year relationship. Our goal is to bring students and the community together to create a high-quality mural reflective of the College’s mission and the South Omaha community.” The project is supported by MCC’s Institute for Cultural Connections, the MCC public art committee and the MCC Foundation.
MCC is proud to have a home in South Omaha.”
Mural inspiration The images here reflect students’ design ideas for the mural, which is slated for completion this summer.
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Students sell artwork to new community center
he creative designs of two MCC students are now permanent fixtures in the new Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center at the University of Nebraska Omaha. Laura Burke, a Fall 2013 graduate, sold 12 pieces from her “Notes” series — a collection of stills that combines art, literature and Burke’s personal reflections. “The photographs visually communicate book passages I have a deep connection to,” said Burke. The alumna and part-time photography instructor has a deep appreciation for art and its ability to tie together disparate ideas. “Since the Community Engagement Center is a forum for collaborations and involvement of diverse academic and community disciplines, I thought my photographs would be a perfect fit for the walls of the new building.” Opened in April, the 60,000-square-foot facility is a collaborative hub dedicated to civic engagement. Artwork is a crucial component, both aesthetically and intellectually, helping to kindle creativity and innovation.
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Current photography student Iris Kerwin also contributed to the Weitz Center’s art collection. Her picture, titled “Join the Conversation,” captures the spirit of connection, framing a group of young professionals engaged in discussion during a conference. The shot is from the shoulders down. “I wanted people to be drawn to the group collectively,” said Kerwin, who works part time as a mental health practitioner. The near lack of technology in the circle caught her attention. “It really struck me that they were talking,” she said. Describing the print as timeless and relatable, she wrote in her submission letter, “It illustrates that conversations keep us connected and allow us to have moments of attention and common bond.”
Collaboration MCC art instructor Jamie Burmeister constructed a large-scale sculpture for the Weitz Center. Wooden letters spell “collaboration” and support small bronze figures, fabricated via 3-D printer. The figures, posed to look like they are working, represent patrons who will utilize the center as well as the people who played a role in the center’s creation.
GOING THE EXTRA MILE MCC educators recognized for making a difference
CC adult education instructor Janet Kletke helps students study for the GED — something she’s done for 30 years. A longtime educator, Kletke also worked for 34 years as an eighth grade English teacher. With a master’s in adult education, Kletke has spent her life doing what she loves: working with students. “I enjoy seeing the light bulbs come on over their heads when they finally get it,” she said. In the process, she has changed lives.
Throughout her tenure, Kletke has worked with students from all walks of life, ranging from ages 16 to 76. Among her most memorable: a couple who surprised their children by getting their GEDs for their 50th wedding anniversary and a woman who called Kletke (in tears) first before her husband when she found out she had passed the tests. “I like seeing people succeed now when they feel like they’ve failed for so long,” Kletke said.
Last November, Kletke received the Gregg Young Going the Extra Mile for Education award, a partnership between the car dealership and WOWT 6 News. One of her students nominated her, noting that she has gone the “extra mile” to tutor him outside of class. He has one test left. “I look forward to getting my GED, knowing how I gave up the chance to graduate years ago,” he wrote. “I believe if anyone can help me achieve this goal, it would be Janet.”
Double accolades Kathy Rigdon (pictured left), math center educational specialist, received the same award in January. Rigdon, who has worked at MCC more than six years, helps students master math concepts and overcome obstacles that hinder academic success. Expressing her excitement about the award, Rigdon said, “It makes me feel like what I do is really worthwhile.”
Watch the WOWT 6 News spot.
Extra Mile award recipients receive $150 from Gregg Young and a shout out on WOWT 6 News.
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If I had never done the deli, I would still be just dreaming of opening a restaurant.”
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SWEET SUCCESS At MCC, veteran student finds path to start business
erthedia Berry, 52, never imagined she’d become a chef. After serving more than 28 years in the Army and Army Reserve, Berry thought she would slide into a carefree retirement, occasionally catering events for friends and family as a hobby. Her catering talent quickly attracted interest, however. Berry was first introduced to the MCC culinary program while catering a graduation party for Bobby Loud, director of Military and Veteran Support Services. He invited her to tour the Institute for the Culinary Arts and asked her to consider returning to college. Soon enough, Berry started classes at MCC and began honing her culinary skills, often alongside younger counterparts. She wasn’t bothered by the age difference, though. “I probably thought about it...for a minute,” she joked.
MCC also eased her transition into civilian life. It was a comfortable, family-like place to start a second career. “(MCC) is a place where you can make that second life,” she said. “And that’s what this is for me — my second life.” Armed with sharpened culinary skills, Berry jumped on an opportunity to open The Savory Deli inside Cuppycakes bakery at 142nd and Fort streets, where she offers delicious sandwiches. She’s currently looking for the right location to launch a cozy, bistro-style restaurant. Berry now sees culinary arts as the path she was meant to take. As she moves forward with her new career, she’s ready to go for her dreams. “If I had never done the deli, I would still be just dreaming of opening a restaurant,” she said. “I put my toe in the water, and then I put my foot in. Next thing you know, I’ll just dive in.”
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GIVING BACK Business students develop entrepreneurship program for at-risk teens
ast fall, students Linda Quistad and Ray Hogan spent their evenings in North Omaha teaching at-risk teens. The task: develop a market analysis, business plan and budget for a new business, Mini-Pros, which doubles as an after-school program and screen printing business. Part of a service-learning leadership project for Kappa Beta Delta honor society, the project was designed to engage students in a community initiative, challenging real-world applications of course concepts. Quistad and Hogan partnered with the Eastern Nebraska Community Action Partnership, a local nonprofit working to eliminate the causes of poverty. Collaborating with the organization’s youth program coordinator, the business students taught workshops on employability skills, entrepreneurship, customer service, marketing and public relations. Quistad and Hogan were able to flex their teamwork, communication and problem-solving skills and lay the groundwork to launch a business from the ground up. “We had the chance to touch the lives of ENCAP kids and put to practice our business knowledge,” Quistad said. Part of the project’s goal is to solve a tangible business problem with documented results. “MCC students now have a compelling story to tell during a job interview,” said David Wilhelm, Kappa Beta Delta faculty advisor and business management instructor. Students leave equipped with stories and experience similar to an internship. Students also earned course credit and a $1,000 stipend, made possible by an MCC Foundation Inspiring Innovation mini-grant. “This project really enriched our lives,” Hogan said. “We planted the seeds of success to help this budding business and the North Omaha community thrive.”
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We planted the seeds of success to help this budding business and the North Omaha community thrive.”
SOARING AT SKILLSUSA Students sweep 25 of 32 competitions
CC students medaled in 25 out of 32 postsecondary competitions at this year’s SkillsUSA Nebraska Championships, held in Omaha April 16–18. First-place winners advance to the national championships in Kansas City, Mo., June 23–27, for the 50th annual National Leadership and Skills Conference.
INDIVIDUAL AWARD WINNERS Action Skills, gold, Derrick Marshall Automotive Refinishing Technology, gold, Johnny Guzman Automotive Service Technology, gold, Jason Grim Automotive Service Technology, silver, Ricardo Salazar
Top students earned prizes and scholarships from area community colleges, businesses and industry. The event, held for the first time in Omaha, featured 1,200 high school and college students in occupational skills competitions at MCC’s South Omaha Campus, Elkhorn Valley Campus and Applied Technology Center. Additional competitions were held at the CenturyLink Center Omaha and downtown DoubleTree by Hilton.
Automotive Service Technology, bronze, Patrick Topf
The SkillsUSA Nebraska Championships featured 96 skills competitions that challenged students to work against the clock and each other, proving their expertise in occupations like electronics, computer-aided drafting, precision machining, medical assisting and culinary arts. All contests were run with the help of industry, trade associations and labor organizations. Test competencies are set by national industry standards. SkillsUSA serves middle school, high school and college students in programs preparing them for technical, skilled and service careers.
Electrical Construction Wiring, gold, Charles Fritz III
Cabinetmaking, silver, Caleb Gardner Cabinetmaking, bronze, Nicholas Thompson Collision Repair Technology, gold, Jacob Lewis Computer Maintenance Technology, gold, Jesse Ramsey Cosmetology, gold, Katherine Ferm Early Childhood Education, gold, Kimberly Keane
Electrical Construction Wiring, silver, Joshua Critel Electrical Construction Wiring, bronze, Joseph Stephany Fire Fighting, silver, Luke Glesinger Fire Fighting, bronze, Caleb Barney Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration, gold, Gerald Nerney Industrial Motor Control, gold, Ryan Mencl Masonry, gold, Don Shandera Prepared Speech, gold, Jammie Snyder Sheet Metal, gold, Todd Koehly Sheet Metal, silver, Bill Coleman Technical Drafting, gold, Michael Ryle Technical Drafting, silver, David Steward Welding Sculpture, gold, Tanner Silence Welding Postsecondary, gold, Gordon Davis
TEAM AWARD WINNERS Audio/Radio Production, gold Mechatronics Postsecondary, gold Team Works, gold Digital Cinema Production, silver Video Production, silver community • mccneb.edu • 16
A GLOBAL EDUCATION Intercultural education expands students’ global awareness
s the world becomes more interconnected, many employers expect students to be able to navigate diverse and cross-cultural contexts. Recognizing the need to prepare students for a global world, MCC facilitates opportunities to experience diverse cultures and forge global connections. By taking advantage of these opportunities, students can gain the knowledge needed for life in a diverse world. “We nurture a more harmonious college and community by helping our students acquire the education, skills and resources necessary to prosper in a global and multicultural world,” said Mary Umberger, speech instructor and a founding member of MCC’s Institute for Cultural Connections. Bringing such experiences into education can also inspire students to become lifelong learners, Umberger said. Students can draw upon a wealth of cultural experiences as they continue to explore the world. Cultural programs and events
MCC’s community-based cultural programs bring people together in ways that express their ideas, traditions and values. Annual events, such as the Cinco de Mayo Celebration, International Fair and Black History Month, bring diverse speakers and performers to the Omaha community. Each September, the Fort Omaha Intertribal Powwow brings students and the community together with Native American dance, crafts and music. Most of these events are free. For a full calendar of events, visit mccneb.edu/intercultural. Diversity Matters Series
Recognizing the different learning styles and interests within the community, MCC launched the Diversity Matters Film and Lecture Series and Book Series in 2005 and 2008 as personal and professional development opportunities for students, staff and community members. Each year, materials that highlight a variety of diversity topics are selected. Participation is free and open to the public. For more information, visit mccneb.edu/intercultural.
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STUDENTS SOUND OFF New luncheon series connects Fort Omaha Campus community
s the new dean of the Fort Omaha Campus, James Cloyd sought a way to get to know students in a relaxed environment. The Student Table Talk luncheon series, launched in February, was one way to foster dialogue among students, faculty and staff — and give students an outlet to share their experiences, praises, plans, concerns and ideas on how MCC can spur their success. Cloyd and Daphne Cook, director of Student Services, facilitate the discussions. The open format is aimed to help students feel more comfortable in approaching campus leadership. “When students can engage with us in that setting, they know this is their campus,” Cloyd said.
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Thus far, discussion topics have ranged from ways to encourage student success at MCC to food options around campus. Rather than be a one-way discussion between students and staff, the series has also provided a vehicle for students to share stories, experiences and solutions to common problems. When one student brings up an issue, another student can offer his or her insight on how to address it — like how to access student support services on campus. MCC staff have also utilized the talks to better understand how students find their way to key services and better disseminate important information to students. Cloyd and Cook hope the series will help students realize it’s their campus, and they have a voice. Meetings are planned for the second Tuesday of the month through the end of the year.
DRIVING EDUCATION MCC receives Hubbard foundation gift to fund hot rod program
CC students will soon have the chance to build a car from scratch, thanks to a generous gift from the Theodore F. and Claire M. Hubbard Family Foundation. Announced in March, the Hubbard Hot Rod Project Fund will expand MCC’s automotive programs with new curriculum that exposes students to custom car fabrication. The project kicks off this summer as automotive technology and automotive collision technology students put together a Redneck Street Rod 1933 Ford car kit personally donated by Ted Hubbard. In a special joint class, students from both programs will experience the challenges and rewards of building a custom car, while also exploring careers in custom car fabrication, custom painting and specialty car repair. Hubbard’s interest in hot rods inspired the donation. “I wanted students to put the car kit to good use, and I wanted to give the kit to someone who would get something out of it,” Hubbard said. “It will be fun to see the project progress from empty car and chassis to finished vehicle.” The custom classes will be the first of their kind at MCC, said instructor Al Cox. Once the car is completed, it will be auctioned off to fund future custom build projects. “We are very excited to bring this new project to students through the generosity of the Hubbard foundation,” said MCC President Randy Schmailzl. “Bringing hands-on training to the classroom is what community colleges do best. This is yet another opportunity to provide education that sets us apart from other institutions.”
It will be fun to see the project progress from empty car and chassis to finished vehicle.”
Now accepting applications for the Hubbard Hot Rod project: mccneb.edu/streetrod/application/
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AROUND THE COLLEGE Fire science receives accreditation
MCC’s Fire Science Technology program has received National Fire Academy recognition for excellence in education. The national recognition certificate is an acknowledgement that the program meets the standards of excellence established by professional development committees and the National Fire Academy. MCC’s program is one of only two in Nebraska to have achieved this recognition. Weatherization training courses granted IREC accreditation
MCC received accreditation from the Interstate Renewable Energy Council for its weatherization training, making MCC one of only a few community colleges nationwide to hold this credential. To achieve this national benchmark of quality training, MCC underwent an extensive application and assessment process, demonstrating that curriculum complies with IREC-established standards and is geared toward specific industry jobs. Board renews financial planning certificate program
The Certified Financial Planning Board recently renewed its approval of MCC’s financial planning certificate of achievement — an online program comprising seven courses and 31.5 credit hours. The 10-year-old program is one of only a few in the state that has received CFP Board approval.
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Student receives national scholarship
MCC student Xavier Shiu was recently named a 2014 Coca-Cola New Century Scholar. Shiu is one of only 51 community college students nationwide to receive this recognition — based on grades, leadership and activities — and a Xavier Shiu $2,000 scholarship. Art instructor receives award
MCC art instructor Jamie Burmeister took home the award for best 3-D artist at the Omaha Entertainment and Arts Awards in February. In the public art category, “Play Me, I’m Yours” took home the top award; MCC student Lisa Schlotfeld and various artists collaborated on the project. Students participate in Omaha Film Festival
Several MCC students showed their work at the Omaha Film Festival in March. “Mens Rea,” written by students Amber Greser and Molly Klee and produced by Lindsay Trapnell, was shown in the Short Film–Nebraska Dramas category. “Backstage Confidential,” directed by former student David Weiss, was shown in the Short Film–Nebraska Documentaries category. Graduate Matt Patterson served as the cinematographer for “Black Lines” in the Short Film– Nebraska Dramas category. In the Short Film–Nebraska Comedies category, “Pity Kiss” was produced by students Kreg Gilson, Paul Allen IV and Adam Larose. The feature film “Trunk’d” featured the work of four student interns, Lane Cerny, Paul Rogers, Matt Patterson and Matt Junke.
ELKHORN VALLEY CAMPUS Elkhorn location a work of art
pened in fall 1980, MCC’s Elkhorn Valley Campus has kept up with Omaha’s westward expansion, giving residents in western Douglas county and portions of Washington and Dodge counties a place to get a quality, affordable education. Unique to the campus is the Gallery of Art and Design. Opened in 2008, the 1,100-square-foot space showcases the works of students, faculty and visiting artists. Community members can peruse the artwork — ranging from paintings and photography to drawings and 3-D sculptures — during gallery hours: Monday–Thursday, 9 a.m.–8 p.m., and Friday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.; and Saturday, 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Admission is free. On a 51-acre plot of land, EVC incorporates classrooms, four computer and visual arts labs, counseling, instruction, library services and technical support for students and staff. With increasing enrollment, the West Dodge Road location will continue benefiting students well into the future.
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Metropolitan Community College P.O. Box 3777 Omaha, NE 68103-0777
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