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MCC unveils new logo, page 3

Contents 9




Fall 2013

Volume 1, Issue 2

“Community” is a quarterly publication of Metropolitan Community College. Contact the editor at 402-457-2414 or 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.

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2 3 5

Retro Metro: The origin of the ‘M’


Repurposed design


Advocate for education


Recipe for success

A bold new ‘M’ Drive to succeed

Auto Collision Technology students benefit from nationally recognized certifications

Interior design students get thrifty for a cause

For state senator, support of public education is top priority

Former student serves up cooking tips and techniques at Hy-Vee


Tiny greens, big flavor


Storyboard to success


Green thumbs in training


Serving country and community


A baker’s dream


Artistic expression


Online, at any age


MCC celebrates Fort Omaha Intertribal Powwow

21 22

New report touts MCC’s striking growth

Microgreens offer macro-sized flavor with a nutritional punch

At age 17. Matthew Huffstetler will become one of MCC’s youngest graduates

Summer gardens teach kids how to ‘grow what you eat’

For MCC student, helping fellow veterans navigate college is a natural fit

At MCC, student rediscovers her passion for creating sweet treats

A new gallery offers one-of-a-kind treasures, teaches lesson in entrepreneurship

Computer classes help seniors navigate the latest technology

Location spotlight: MCC Express – Vinton

MCC’s newest location is one-stop shop for adult education, literacy

The ubiquitous M makes an appearance during Mahoney Building construction at the South Omaha Campus, opened in 1978.

The College’s first location, a former warehouse at 132nd and I streets, bore the mountains logo.

Retro metro:

The origin of the ‘M’ The creation of the original MCC ‘M’ is shrouded in mystery. Despite our best efforts, no one we spoke with knows who created the logo nor could they explain how its mountain-like shape developed. One thing is certain: The logo has been with the College since its very early days. Archive photos put the MCC mountains on the College’s first location in southwest Omaha, back when it was known as Metropolitan Technical Community College. Put it all together, and the original MCC logo is about 40 years old. As 2014 grows closer, MCC is excited to revisit our history while also looking forward with excitement to the future. The new MCC visual identity found throughout this magazine is just one of many ways the College is forging ahead.

The College sign goes up at 132nd and I streets.

A “Metro Tech” mural graced the walls of the Industrial Training Center, opened in 1979.

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a bold new ‘M’ After 40 years, MCC unveils new brand identity


lip through your TV channels or open a newspaper, and you’ll notice there’s a new M in town. Unveiled in July on campus and in advertisements, MCC’s new brand identity connects tradition with the next chapter — just in time for the College’s 40th anniversary celebration. MCC enlisted the expertise of Oxide Design Co., an Omaha-based communications and information design firm, to create a new logo and brand standards. With the goal of developing a bold and forward-looking brand identity, the College worked with students, staff, faculty and administrators to compile input on the College’s brand attributes. Oxide worked with this input to develop the new logo that reflects a contemporary, multifaceted and growing MCC. The previous M had been used since the early days of the College in the 1970s. “Metropolitan Community College has undergone a tremendous transformation in the last 40 years, and this updated brand is another sign that MCC continues to move forward,” MCC President Randy Schmailzl said. “Our ultimate goal is to attract students and industry partners to the College with a contemporary brand that also reflects our long history in the community.”

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What the M represents

Tweets about the ‘M’ @trevanhetzel Great work! Definitely an identity that fits the college better than the old “mountains.”

The new M was developed to represent the current and future MCC. It incorporates many different triangular pieces in shades of blue. These triangles combine to form one M, reflecting the College’s various parts, programs and locations that come together to represent the institution.

@ChrisErtl Love the new logo. Very modern and fresh.

The blue color is a nod to previous iterations of the College logo and maintains a tie to the College’s past.

@atomicvibelogo Really smart branding guys! Love the versatility of the mark.

In addition to the logo, Oxide selected an updated typeface with a warm, friendly character and a new color palette of various shades of blue. These brand updates seek to reflect MCC’s identity while also distinguishing the College from other institutions.

@erin_pille This alumnus is stoked! Can’t wait!

As weeks and months go by, the logo will be replaced on building signs, vehicles, letterhead and more during a threeyear rollout process. To learn more about the look, visit

MCC M Quiz 1. How many triangles are in the new M? 2. How many colors do you see? 3. How many right angles are in the M?

1. 30 (20 small triangles, 8 medium triangles, 2 large triangles) 2. 4 3. 0 Answers: community • • 4

Drive to succeed

Auto Collision Technology students benefit from nationally recognized certifications

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Name: Evan Hrabik Program: Auto Collision Technology Current employer: Don and Ron’s CARSTAR Collision Center


botched paint job sparked what is now a full-fledged career for Evan Hrabik, a 2013 graduate of MCC’s Auto Collision Technology program in northwest Omaha.

It started with an old pickup — a gas-guzzling 15th birthday present. Hrabik wasn’t even legal behind the wheel, but the truck, once his uncle’s, became his baby. “I started redoing it,” Hrabik said. “I did everything but the bodywork and paint.” He left that part to the professionals. The guy he hired, however, did a subpar job. “I knew I could do better,” Hrabik said. Hrabik studied collision repair in high school before enrolling in the Auto Collision Technology program, housed in MCC’s Applied Technology Center near Blair High Road and State Street. Students from across Omaha are attracted to the program. Some are drawn because of an interest in custom paint and body work; others aim to move into collision estimates. Hrabik is now a certified collision industry professional and employee at Don and Ron’s CARSTAR Collision Center in Omaha — a job he gained through MCC’s industry

Evan Hrabik, right, displays his I-CAR certifications with Darrin McGaughey, Hrabik’s supervisor and general manager at CARSTAR.

partnerships. The demand for auto collision technicians is high, a result of a growing number of vehicles on the road each year and a dwindling number of qualified auto collision technicians as older workers retire. “It is astronomically beneficial for us to be able to bring the younger generation in with the training and the certification they need and we need to make them better employees,” said Darrin McGaughey, Hrabik’s supervisor and general manager at CARSTAR. MCC is the only college in Nebraska to offer Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR) certification, which ensures students are primed with the most up-to-date training, allowing them an edge in job placement. Hrabik’s coursework at MCC prepared him to take the I-CAR certification tests, which he passed on his first try. He also praised his instructors for their willingness to help. “They are all about teaching,” he said. “If they have to stay late to help you out with something, they will.” Program classes are small — no more than 15 students — allowing for one-on-one instruction. Students can receive an associate degree and the certifications in only one year through an accelerated program. For information, visit

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repurposed design Interior Design students get thrifty for a cause


atch out, HGTV. This summer, students in MCC’s Interior Design program joined forces with professional designers for the second annual Habitat for Humanity ReStore Designer Challenge, proving that lavish living spaces don’t have to cost a fortune. Five full-size room vignettes adorned Von Maur Court at Westroads Mall, functioning as both a fundraiser and a source of do-it-yourself design inspiration.

This mini-internship challenged students to apply class concepts and consider ways to transform obvious objects into high-end furnishings. The five rooms — a kitchen, dining room, children’s playroom, home office and bedroom — contained items from only the Habitat ReStore and Salvation Army. Repurposed items included a loading-crateturned-headboard in the bedroom and Styrofoam insulation wall decals, shaped like butterflies and puzzle pieces, in the playroom. View more repurposed designs on Facebook:

Mall patrons voted via text message for their favorite vignette, and Westroads donated $1 to Habitat for Humanity for every vote. This year’s winning design was the kitchen, created by local firm Designer’s Touch and students Hannah Stoner and Liz Crosson.

Design Challenge teams D3 Interiors Brenda Cruz Gulia Hasanzoda Gloria Sauter Designer’s Touch Liz Crosson Jessica Shramek Hannah Stoner The Interior Design Firm Sarah Copeland Teri Malloy Annette Theroux

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Interior Transformations Lisa Sauer Amanda Scholting Sofia Starcic Cayla Thomsen Tangerine Designs Chelsea Hansen Soly Sharavaa Jerri Stafford Swati Vartak

Advocate for education For state senator, support of public education is top priority


tate Sen. Tanya Cook’s connection to MCC goes back to her years at Central High School. In the early 1980s, her hectic schedule was packed with cheerleading, work and church activities. She needed to take a typing class — a critical college prep skill at the time — and unlike Central, Metro Tech had an option that fit her schedule. Cook passed her class and went on to Georgetown University to earn a business administration degree and the University of Nebraska–Lincoln to earn a master’s. Her belief in public education followed her as the governor’s director of urban affairs from 1999 to 2006. Education was also a priority when she was elected to the Nebraska Legislature in 2008. In fact, her first piece of legislature was a study of community college funding.

Whether you are an immigrant, a woman returning to the workforce or someone making a career change — you can come back, get training and start over again.”

“I like to choose issues and work with institutions where there is the opportunity for the longest term impact for the broadest number of people,” she said. Those institutions often relate to education. Cook affirms the importance of public schools, particularly community colleges. “Whether you are an immigrant, a woman returning to the workforce or someone making a career change — you can come back, get training and start over again,” she said. “That’s such an important tenet of what we say the U.S. is all about.” In January, Cook introduced LB 366 to provide $1.5 million over the biennium to support GED preparation and certification through MCC and 48 other certification sites in Nebraska. The measure was passed with broad support, which Cook attributes to recognition that a high school diploma is a necessary requirement in today’s economy. “In a postmodern society, the idea of being able to support oneself without a minimum high school diploma doesn’t exist,” Cook said. There are more than 40,000 people in the Omaha area without a high school diploma and limited career advancement, Cook said. The funding will help ensure institutions across the state — including MCC — can continue to provide these important services to such individuals, especially as the GED nationally undergoes a major shift from pencil-and-paper testing to online only.

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Recipe for success Former student serves up cooking tips and techniques at Hy-Vee


t only 24 years old, Mario Ochoa has experience with food. He competed in culinary competitions in high school and trained at MCC’s Institute for the Culinary Arts, graduating with a culinary arts and management degree. He cooked his way across the Midwest with MCC’s culinary competition team. His team competed at the national junior level and won Nebraska’s first gold medal in culinary competition. Ochoa said culinary competition gave him more experience: “It gave me one-on-one time with instructors, and they helped groom me. I had to have discipline and be in for practice at 5:30 every morning. It was tough at times.” His hard work paid off: Ochoa was recruited by Hy-Vee after being a featured chef at a Fort Omaha Campus catering event. Ochoa answered a few questions about his culinary path. Tell me about your position at Hy-Vee. I work closely with a dietitian to promote healthy eating for the general public. Hy-Vee has Chinese and Italian kitchens, a sandwich deli and seafood and meat departments; I help all those departments promote sales. Upon request, I teach customers how to cook seafood, prepare steaks and give them recipes. I also teach classes and give wine dinners.

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How was the Institute for the Culinary Arts? The facilities are definitely top-notch. They have everything you can possibly think of. Everything was taught in a format that was easy to understand, so it enables me to teach others basic culinary instructions — which helps me in my everyday work. And the instructors? I love that some of MCC’s part-time instructors are chefs at some of the better restaurants in Omaha. Not only are you learning from real chefs, but you’re also making contacts. What are your future goals? I’d like to go a little more into nutrition because there’s a need to teach other people how to eat healthy. I want to eat healthy and have the knowledge to help my family grow up with healthy eating habits. It’s also one of my dreams to own a restaurant; I’d like it to be a fusion between Mark’s Bistro and Lot 2 with a Latin flair.

I want to eat healthy and have the knowledge to help my family grow up with healthy eating habits.”

Chef Ochoa’s seared salmon fillet with a lemon caper beurre blanc All you need: » » 4 (5 oz. each) sockeye salmon fillets (salmon can vary depending on the season) » » 1 tablespoon olive oil

All you do: 1

Heat a medium-sized non-stick sauté pan to medium-high heat.


Season the salmon pieces by sprinkling salt and pepper on the fillets; then rub with olive oil. Place on the hot skillet skin-side down.


Cook the salmon for about 3 minutes on each side. Remove from pan and let stand for about 3 minutes. Using a pair of tongs, remove the skin by pulling from one end until it comes completely off.


In the same pan used to sear the salmon, add the shallots and sauté for about 1 minute. Add the white wine, capers and lemon juice and then cook until the wine has reduced to au sec (almost dry).


When the wine has reduced, turn off the heat. Add the butter a few cubes at a time and whisk vigorously. Keep adding butter until all of it has been incorporated and turned into a creamy sauce.


Serve immediately on top of the salmon. This recipe can be served on a bed of rice with sautéed vegetables of your choice or enjoyed on top of a salad. Or get creative and serve it with whatever you like.

» » Salt and black pepper, to taste » » 1 small shallot, diced »» ¼ cup white wine »» 1 tablespoon capers »» 1 lemon, divided in two, ½ juiced and other ½ saved for garnish » » ½ cup unsalted butter, cubed

For more recipes and cooking demonstration videos, check out MCC’s Local Flavor at

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Tiny greens, big flavor Microgreens offer macro-sized flavor with a nutritional punch


s summer slips away, an emerging trend of tiny, edible greens offers an indoor alternative for the amateur gardener. Microgreens are grown easily in containers on a windowsill, providing a flavorful, visually attractive and nutritious ingredient for dishes year-round. Ranging from one to three inches including stem and leaves, microgreens are smaller than baby spinach but bigger than sprouts. These young greens are simply various types of vegetables, herbs or other edible plants, so seeds are readily available and packaged in larger quantities. Instead of growing to maturity, however, they are generally harvested at the first true leaf stage — between seven and 28 days from planting. Bursting with various flavors, colors and textures, they are used as garnishes or to liven up sandwiches, soups and salads. Unlike sprouts, microgreens do not encourage the growth of dangerous pathogens when grown properly. They are grown in well-drained potting soil or peat moss and require high light levels (preferably direct sunlight) and good air circulation. “Resist the urge to over-water microgreens because they do not require much at such a small stage,” horticulture instructor Mike Kaminski said. “It’s also good to use rain water versus tap water if possible, because it has a lower pH and less harmful chemicals, such as chlorine and chloramine.”

Despite their small size, studies suggest microgreens are quite nutritious.” Despite their small size, studies suggest microgreens are quite nutritious. Red cabbage, cilantro and radish are said to have 40 times higher levels of vital nutrients than their mature counterparts. There are as many as 80–100 varieties of microgreens. Categorized into sweet, mild, colorful or spicy varieties, their delicate textures, distinct flavors and vibrant colors make them popular among fine dining restaurants. They can also be found at farmers markets and could potentially be a hobby that generates extra income.

Take the class Instructor Mike Kaminski teaches you how to select, raise and harvest microgreens in your own home year-round. Supplies are included. Microgreens: Little Greens, Big Flavor Saturday, Oct. 19, 9 a.m.–noon Fort Omaha Campus $50 Register at or 402-457-5231.

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Storyboard to success

At age 17, Matthew Huffstetler will become one of MCC’s youngest graduates

Name: Matthew Huffstetler Program: CollegeNOW! Achievements: Graduating with an associate degree at age 17


n between classes at MCC’s Elkhorn Valley Campus, 17-year-old (and soon-to-be college graduate) Matthew Huffstetler loves to draw and make comics. Homeschooled since age 5, Huffstetler has taken college courses through MCC’s CollegeNOW! and dual enrollment programs since 2011. Thanks to his efforts, Huffstetler will graduate in the fall with an associate degree at 17, making him one of MCC’s youngest graduates. It’s a feat that even a comic book hero could appreciate. Huffstetler’s mom has home-schooled her children for more than a decade. Matthew graduated high school when he was just 15. “I decided to take classes at MCC because my older brother did, and it seemed like a good college to start off at,” he said. CollegeNOW! and dual enrollment offers Nebraska high school students half-price tuition on college courses that transfer, giving them a head start on their college education. For example, all three of Huffstetler’s French classes qualified for dual credit, giving him college and high school credit simultaneously — saving time and money.

The programs also offer the opportunity to experience a college atmosphere before heading on to larger institutions, something parents and students can appreciate. “From start to present, I’ve enjoyed being at MCC,” Huffstetler said. “My first instructor … made the transition from homeschooling to a classroom environment very comfortable. Since my first class, I’ve had the most wonderful instructors who always provided feedback, advice and a little humor here and there.” After he graduates from MCC, it will take Huffstetler two years at a four-year college to earn his bachelor’s degree. “It’s great to be ahead of the game and know you’re getting two things done at once,” he said. Huffstetler is an eager student who plays piano and dabbles with 3-D modeling software in his spare time. He plans to enroll in a computer animation program after he gets his associate degree. “It might be a while from now,” he said, “but I hope to make or join a movie company and make animated movies. It has always been my dream.” With such determination and time on his side, it looks like this future “auteur” is moving in the right direction.

About CollegeNOW!

Why take college classes early?

Nebraska high school residents pay half-price tuition to take classes at any MCC location or online – even through the summer quarter after high school graduation.

»» Affordable tuition »» Jump start on a college education »» Quality instruction »» Current technology »» Credits that transfer community • • 12

Green thumbs in training Summer gardens teach kids how to ‘grow what you eat’


t Girls Inc. North Omaha, girls discovered the scents of growing herbs and learned how to dry them in paper bags for future use. At the Butler-Gast YMCA in August, kids munched on pickles they jarred themselves and flashed both smiles and puckered faces. The children and youth at these sites were among more than 100 kids who learned how to “grow what you eat” at MCC-facilitated gardens in north and south Omaha. The project brought MCC horticulture students and kids ages 4–15 together to prepare and maintain garden beds, plant vegetables and herbs, jar refrigerator pickles and more. Each week, the horticulture students visited seven garden sites and led children in hands-on educational activities. Through projects like these, MCC aims to increase knowledge of gardening and healthy foods among children who typically have limited access to such information and experiences. “The experience that was offered to these kids was great,” said Paco Fuentes, director at Boys & Girls Club South Omaha. “Some of them have never tasted fresh vegetables before. For them to be exposed to that was great.” Project leaders say the gardens offer an interactive way for students to learn about science and nutrition in a safe, outdoor space. Many of the gardens are also part of the Big Garden, a network of more than 70 community gardens in the Omaha area. 13 • community •

Garden sites: Boys & Girls Club Carter Lake Boys & Girls Club North Omaha Boys & Girls Club South Omaha Butler-Gast YMCA Girls Inc. North Omaha Girls Inc. South Omaha Kids Can Community Center

Gardens offer a way for students to learn about science and nutrition in a safe, outdoor space.”

MCC’s HOMEMADE REFRIGERATOR PICKLES Ingredients: » » 1 cup distilled white vinegar » » 1 tablespoon salt » » 2 cups white sugar » » 6 cups sliced cucumbers » » 1 cup sliced onions » » 1 cup sliced green bell peppers

Directions: 1


In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring vinegar, salt and sugar to a boil. Boil until the sugar has dissolved, about 10 minutes. Place the cucumbers, onions and green bell peppers in a large bowl. Pour the vinegar mixture over the vegetables. Transfer to sterile containers and store in the refrigerator.

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By helping other veterans, it’s a natural extension of why I served in the first place: to give my support, my experience and my know-how to the community.”

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Serving country and community

For MCC student, helping fellow veterans navigate college is a natural fit


or 15 years, Mark Robinson served his country in the Navy, Naval Reserves and the Army National Guard. Now an MCC paralegal studies student, Robinson continues to serve others by supporting fellow veterans who are navigating college.

anywhere else. They help get people not only enrolled in school but have access to sources like the VA hospital and other things that are part of a veteran’s life. I’ve noticed a lot of the faculty is ex-military. Instructors who I’ve had so far say, “It’s nice to have you in our class, and thanks for your service.”

Like other service members, Robison has a strong desire to serve others, leading him to a work-study position in Military and Veteran Support Services at the South Omaha Campus. Robinson shared insight about why he chose MCC and why he gives back.

Talk about your role at MVSS. My role here is to help when veterans first come to the office. A lot of times they don’t know what they should do — how to get money from the VA or how to apply to any of those [benefit] programs … We walk them through that process. If they are disabled, we connect them with people who can help them. We get folks assigned to take notes for them in class or help with whatever their needs may be. We make sure they are aware of all the services that are available to them for financial or health matters.

What brought you to MCC? I found out I was still eligible for GI Bill benefits and did research on online universities. I found that the MVSS center was unique. Plus, MCC was very affordable and had the only American Bar Association-approved paralegal degree in the area, except for College of Saint Mary, which I’m not the right gender for that. Why is MCC a good choice for a military or veteran student? The affordability factor; it’s not going to cost as much as other places. And coming to a school like MCC that’s part of the community, the support staff I’ve seen here, especially in MVSS — there isn’t anything like it that I’ve encountered

Why is it important for colleges to support veterans? We sacrifice a lot. I feel like I sacrificed a lot to make sure everything that’s available to you in College or your other freedoms you enjoy, I did whatever I could do to protect that. So feeling like the college cares enough to look after you, that’s pretty important. By helping other veterans, it’s a natural extension of why I served in the first place: to give my support, my experience and my know-how to the community.

Military and Veteran Support Services MVSS connects service members, veterans and their families with valuable resources: » » Military employment and resource fairs held throughout the year. » » Peer support groups offered for veterans and active duty service members. »» Workshops, events and exhibits support and honor the military and veteran community. » » Visit for more information. community • • 16

A baker’s dream At MCC, student rediscovers her passion for creating sweet treats


ver since she was a girl, MCC graduate Beka Edholm loved to bake. But it wasn’t until she moved across the country, discovered the Institute for the Culinary Arts and enrolled in one of the hardest culinary disciplines that she rediscovered her calling.

My dream of being a pastry chef began very early on. I was about 8 years old when I got my Easy Bake Oven. I loved it so much that I decided to be a baker when I grew up. I told my family, but they all laughed thinking it was just a silly, fleeting idea.

Even though I enjoyed baking with my mom and grandmother, I stopped considering it as a career because of my family’s reaction. It would be

Name: Beka Edholm

years before I considered baking professionally again.

Program: Culinary Arts – Baking and Pastry

After graduating high school, I struggled figuring out what I wanted to major in. I was completely lost. When I moved to Nebraska with my

Current location: Red Lodge, Suffolk, United Kingdom

husband, who is active-duty Air Force, I started hearing good things about the culinary school at MCC. That’s when it finally clicked: That I was born to be a baker.

I signed up for classes and began working toward my degree. I am so thankful that I didn’t waste any time on something else that wasn’t true to who I am. I knew I couldn’t squander any time working toward my degree because being part of the military, you never know when you’re going to get orders to another base. I didn’t take any summers off. I took as many classes every quarter as possible.

Even though I was exhausted from working full time and going to school full time, it all paid off in the fall of 2012 when I graduated with my associate degree. I’m so thankful that I stuck to it, even when I felt like quitting. Soon after I finished classes, my husband received orders, and we moved to England in May 2013. I am so excited to travel and experience authentic cuisine in places I’ve only ever dreamed of visiting. 17 • community •

Photo by MCC student Melissa Cole community • • 18

Artistic expression A new gallery offers one-of-a-kind treasures, teaches lesson in entrepreneurship


f you’re searching for a one-of-a-kind keepsake or gift, then stop by Elkhorn Valley Campus on your next shopping trip. You’ll discover creative treasures in the Commonwealth Gallery, a new exhibition space showcasing original designs by MCC students. The designs, which range from handmade jewelry and screenprinted T-shirts to paintings and photographs, are for sale and part of an initiative that equips students with the know-how to package, market and sell their work. Students chose the gallery name to reflect the community concept behind the project as well as its entrepreneurial spirit. With creativity and collaboration in mind, students designed their own packaging and business cards, and they worked together on pricing and marketing strategies. Students also selected a visual identity for the space in conjunction with a graphic design class, eventually adopting student Coral Siler’s concept as the official gallery logo. “I’ve seen so much excitement and confidence from students participating in this project,” said Anne Burton, MCC Art instructor and project coordinator. Managing the space, she said, is a “challenge that has helped the students hone their skill and think about how their work might appeal to customers.”

You can purchase something handmade at a great price for a great cause, encouraging emerging artists to continue to pursue what they love.”

19 • community •

Currently, artwork prices range from $10-100. “You can purchase something handmade at a great price for a great cause, encouraging emerging artists to continue to pursue what they love,” Burton said. Purchases can be made with exact cash or check through the gallery attendant. Students receive 90 percent of the profits; 10 percent goes back to fund the marketing budget. Burton received an Inspiring Innovation mini-grant through the MCC Foundation, bringing the initial idea for the gallery to life. The mini-grants make it possible for MCC faculty and staff to launch projects with missiondriven, student-centered outcomes.

Visit the Commonwealth Gallery Elkhorn Valley Campus Commons 204th & West Dodge Road Open during campus hours Purchase art with cash or check only. Purchase items from the adjacent Gallery of Art and Design gallery attendant.

online, at any age Computer classes help seniors navigate the latest technology Increasingly, people ages 60 and beyond are going online to explore popular sites such as Facebook, Google, YouTube and Pandora. With her Technology Update for Seniors classes, MCC’s Laurie Brodeur hopes to make navigating the Internet easier, more enjoyable and safer for older folks seeking more digital knowledge. What ways can seniors boost their technology skills? Take classes and learn about what’s out there. Classes are about having fun, and no question is a stupid question. MCC offers classes that cover the broad spectrum of Internet tools out there: from all the things Google can do for you, like maps, directions, image searches and news searches; to using YouTube to find a how-to video on apple pie; and using Hulu, Pandora and Netflix for streaming TV shows, listening to music and watching movies. The Part 2 class focuses on Facebook exclusively and helps people set up a Facebook account, create a profile and control privacy settings. Part 3 covers uploading photos, changing profile pictures and more advanced topics.

How difficult is it for people to keep up with technology today? As you get older, you’re just not quite as fast. For students in their mid-60s and 70s, I can appreciate that they need a little longer time to look at the screen and think things over. (I’m approaching 60.) The key is practice makes perfect. Give it time every day — it’s not impossible. How hard is it for older people to keep up with the younger set? It’s hard for people who haven’t been digital before, but they are highly motivated. Seniors are definitely into technology. They want to keep up with their grandkids — that’s their biggest motivator. They want to be connected on Facebook for things like reunions. Seniors are sponges. They’re in class because they want to learn. I commend them every time for taking the class and wanting to keep up.

Technology Update for Seniors Classes cover Google, YouTube, Hulu, Facebook, Twitter and more. Classes range from one session to multiple weeks and are held at various locations. Individuals 62 years or older are eligible for half-price tuition on most courses. More information: 402-457-5231

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MCC celebrates Fort Omaha Intertribal Powwow MCC will host its 22nd annual Fort Omaha Intertribal Powwow Saturday, Sept. 28, from 1 to 7:30 p.m. at the historic Fort Omaha Campus parade grounds. The powwow, which is free and open to the public, celebrates Nebraska’s vibrant Native American history through dance, music, traditional crafts, colorful regalia and foods. The powwow is hosted on the same grounds where Ponca Chief Standing Bear was imprisoned in 1879, awaiting his trial that would establish the recognition of native peoples as “person[s] within the meaning of the law.” A celebration of Native American cultures, the powwow honors the traditional dance, music, artistry, oral history and foods of the four Nebraska Indian tribes: the Northern Ponca, Omaha, Santee Sioux and Winnebago. Nearly 400 native artists of various tribes accross Nebraska and the surrounding region, including the Northern Ponca participate annually in this special, familyfriendly event. The day’s activities include a gourd dance, a tradition that originated with the Kiowa and features male dancers with gourd rattles; the dance will be prior to the event from

10 a.m. to noon. Grand entry, when dancers enter the arena to start the powwow, begins at 1 p.m. Following native traditions, an elder opens and closes the powwow with prayer in both native and English languages. Study circles led by native experts are held throughout the day to help newcomers learn more about Native Americans and the significance of the powwow. Observers are encouraged to bring lawn chairs. For more information, visit or call 402-457-2253. The powwow is made possible with the support of the Nebraska Arts Council and Nebraska Cultural Endowment. The event is funded in part by Douglas County Visitors Improvement Fund.

New report touts MCC’s striking degree growth The number of MCC degrees conferred annually has increased 141.8 percent over the last decade — the largest jump compared to any other Nebraska postsecondary institution, reinforcing the demand for MCC’s services.

1,879 777 2001–2002 21 • community •


Between 2001–02 and 2011–12, the number of degrees awarded surged from 777 to 1,879, according to a report from the Nebraska Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education. MCC drew praise from commission Executive Director Marshall Hill for its “consistent and impressive improvement” on the number of degrees awarded. MCC now confers more degrees and awards than any other Nebraska community college. The full report is available on the commission’s website at

Location spotlight:

MCC Express - Vinton MCC’s newest location is one-stop shop for adult education, literacy

As MCC’s smallest location, MCC Express – Vinton offers a more approachable alternative to a larger campus.


pened in 2012, MCC’s newest location is a one-stop shop for Adult Education services, addressing a critical need for GED, English-as-a-SecondLanguage and transition services in Omaha. MCC Express – Vinton is purposefully located in the heart of a Spanish-speaking neighborhood. The site brings all the right components together to proactively move students from adult education to career training through a coordinated, intensive approach with wrap-around services. The location is small and personal, with just four classrooms and a large computer lab (plus faculty and staff areas). It’s approachable. Specialized staff and faculty offer individualized career and educational planning, all under one roof. Earlier this year, MCC supported a bill in the Nebraska Legislature to provide funding for institutions that offer GED preparation and testing services, including MCC. Passed with overwhelming support, the funding will ensure MCC can continue to provide these important services in the Omaha area, especially as the GED nationally undergoes a major shift from pencil-and-paper testing to online only.

MCC Express provides support for students seeking to prepare for and complete their GED. MCC celebrates students’ achievements at an annual GED graduation ceremony. community • • 22

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Community - Fall 2013  

"Community" is the quarterly magazine of Metropolitan Community College in Omaha, Nebraska.

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