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MCC Foundation


Mike Abramson

Ellie Archer

Arun Agarwal

Anthony (Tony) Aguilera

Inglish Camero

Scott Irwin

Jessica Janssen

Lisa Cuevas Jorgensen

Larry Johnson

Stephen B. LeGrand

Dr. Marsha Mamdani

George E. Martin III

Linda McDermitt

Terry McMullen

Othello H. Meadows III

Diva Mejias

Ross Pesek

Mike Price

Carol Russell

Gerry Sullivan

Mahmood (Mo) Tajvar

Jim Walsh

Metropolitan Community College delivers relevant, student-centered education to a diverse community of learners. The MCC Foundation advances the Metropolitan Community College mission by creating community awareness, building and nurturing meaningful relationships, and connecting community partners with giving opportunities that fulfill their philanthropic objectives. The MCC Foundation staff stand ready to assist you with your philanthropic intentions. Learn more at




Board of Directors


Mission statement


Letter to friends and supporters


Revenues and expenses


Providing opportunity through excellence


Annual giving 2014-2015


Employee and retiree annual giving


In honor and memory of


Gifts in kind


Award winning trades and tastes


Award winning community partnerships


Decreasing returns by investing in education


Bridging the digital divide


Real-world undergraduate research


A living legacy


MCCF scholarship matching fund

FRIENDS and SUPPORTERS As with many moments in life, reflection provides clarity. Reflecting on the successes of the last year, we see that Metropolitan Community College’s reputation for excellence is reinforced as we continue to pursue innovative approaches with community partners who share our commitment to student success. We invite you to reflect with us on our work together, through the lenses of excellence, innovation and partnership. Excellence Excellence is achieved through hard work and dedication. At MCC it represents the commitment of faculty and staff to our diverse community of learners. We work together with community partners to provide responsive, quality educational opportunities to approximately 40,000 students annually throughout our four-county service area. Excellent programs and wraparound services that exude our philosophy of inclusion and accessibility have gained recognition at the national, state and community levels. For example, MCC’s SkillsUSA and Culinary Team Nebraska students took first place at the national level, the Nebraska Diplomats awarded the College its 2015 Power-In-the-Partnerships award, and MCC’s Re-Entry program was recognized by the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services for excellence in partnership. The articles within clearly show how MCC continues to exceed the expectations of the students and communities we serve.


Randy Schmailzl MCC president

George Martin III Foundation President



While innovation often extends from excellence, sometimes it is also serendipitous. As a friend and supporter of MCCF, you know our culture of exploration and improvement. Because we embrace challenges and explore the new and unknown, we happen upon technologies, teaching techniques and tools that are so effective we cement them into the fabric of the MCC way. We build on what works, growing in an organic way while incorporating best practices and industry expertise to continue learning from past achievements as we pursue new opportunities. MCCF’s Inspiring Innovation Mini‑Grants program is supporting visionary approaches, such as a new electrochemistry experiment project, that will enable students to practice real-world scientific analysis of lead contamination issues impacting our local community, while working with government and community organizations. Likewise, a new educational center featuring MCC at 72nd and Dodge streets, DO Space, is innovation realized (see page 27). We hope you will visit the digital library and explore the MCC learning opportunities and community events on the second floor.

At MCCF we foster excellence and innovation through collaboration. Listening and responding to students and community stakeholders is a priority at MCC. Involving community partners early in project discussions highlights points of connection and provides clarity for the evolving path ahead. Collaborations with alumni and community supporters have resulted in many exciting new opportunities for our students. For example, a new scholarship, “Treasures for Tanya,” established in honor of MCC alum Tanya Lanette Baker, provides support for single parents to pursue their nursing degrees. Similarly, MCC and a growing number of community partners are combining efforts to provide “no debt completion scholarships” through the College’s largest and most significant scholarship endeavor to date. The MCCF Matching Scholarship Fund will enable thousands of low-income students to attend MCC full time to complete career-focused degrees. Thank you for your partnership. These themes of excellence, innovation and partnership are reflected within the 2014-2015 Annual Report. More important, they are permanent fixtures that serve students of today and tomorrow. Thank you for your friendship and support – you are the foundation of student success. 1





101,799 $ 86,661 $ 755,185 $ 28,922,069 $ 29,865,714 $




27,225 $ 373,033 $ 516,352 $ 1,002,184 $ 1,918,794 $



I am incredibly grateful for this amazing gift that you have bestowed to me, and I will use every fiber of my being to ensure this grant is not wasted. I cannot say enough how much this means to me and my family, and I wish the best to you all for your thoughtful generosity. - Corey Mekelburg, MCCF New Student Scholarship recipient (not pictured)

The following students received a privately funded scholarship from the MCC Foundation during the 2014–2015 fiscal year. Arthur A. Durand Memorial Scholarship Timothy Keen

Audren Swanson Memorial Scholarship Bethany Hillmer

Auto Collision Advisory Board Scholarship Nathan Clausen Jennifer Toledo

Beth Nimmo Social Sciences Scholarship Jerome Barr Megan Dickey Shelly Knoell

Candy Lynn Kegley Memorial Scholarship

Douglas McLeod Weber Memorial Scholarship

Clarence Dreher of the NE Chapter NCRS Memorial Scholarship

Dr. Jerry Moskus Scholarship

Lauren Pawlak Thaddeus White

Jaime Cortes Michael Watke

Cornhusker International/ Rick Childers Scholarship Justin Kowalski

Cox Communication Pioneer Scholarship Amber DeWitt Claire McFeely

Betty Hightower Memorial Nursing Scholarship Amanda Stites

David M. Rice and Ephraim L. Marks Second Chance LGBT Scholarship Bryce Timm

Black Hills Energy Scholarship

Donovan and Anita Donner Scholarship

Brandon Thomas Rising Star Scholarship

Dorothy B. Davis Family Foundation Scholarship

Christopher Ward Justin Wendt

Kayla Blackmon Amanda Stites

Justin Tran

Business Administration Division Scholarship Amber DeWitt Nguyen Do Phyllis Wilson

Business Alliance for Students Education Scholarship Cody Adams

Gerard Briardy Christopher Buie Roy H. Canterbury Jeffrey Dean Kreg Gilson Jeremy W. Gross Sharon Jackson Christina S. Jamrock Tamara Paulson Matthew H. Peterson

Crystalyn Lessner Treyten Ozuna Roberta Brooks

Dual Enrollment or Academy Student Scholarship Ashley Barnes Coleton Barnes Ryan Byrne Aaron Fox Jacob Genoways Jonathan Krutz Nicholas Madison Michael Paskevic Aziz Strobbe

Edward and Lida Robinson Scholarship Zechariah Barrett Mark Rayno Letitia Smith Dakota Street Joel Swetala

Fran Elseman Memorial Scholarship Phyllis Wilson

Gary Downing Memorial Scholarship Alison Freemyer Bernard Mahoney

Gary Johnson Scholarship Christopher Cacy, Jr.

gloria Menard Osborn Scholarship Sarah Grubb


The demands of everyday living, my job and my family, made it so going to school full time was nearly impossible. Your gracious gift made it possible for me to continue providing for my family, as well as pursuing my academic dreams to become a respiratory therapist. This degree will allow for a bigger and brighter future for myself and my family ‌ we are forever grateful to you. -Jessica Lawson, Peter Kiewit Foundation Vocational Scholarship and MCCF General Scholarship recipient



Funding for my education has been a struggle … I am a culinary student finishing up my last year at the ICA. I have been on the board of officers of Tri Omega (ΩΩΩ). I have also had the opportunity to study abroad in Japan and Vietnam last summer. One last thing I am very proud of is being a part of Culinary Team Nebraska; we made it to nationals for the first time in school history. From this experience, I learned that hard work pays off, as long as you believe in yourself and don’t give up. I am truly humbled to be receiving this scholarship. I cannot express my gratitude enough. - Daisy Ruby Fuentes, Ron Sailors Culinary Arts Memorial Scholarship recipient

Hites Family Community College Scholarship Jamshid Heravi Kimberly Scott Justin Wendt

Information Technology Scholarship Nickolas Sell

Jack Kawa Culinary Arts and Hospitality Scholarship Simaira Anderson Kevin Bubko Christopher Cacy, Jr. Kimberly Currey Christiana Ficken Alexandria Moyer

James M. Cox Foundation Memorial Scholarship Judy Bodewitz Alina Lopez

Janell Shain Memorial Scholarship Letitia Smith

Jeff Gossin Memorial Scholarship Kareen Nellist

John Vautravers Memorial Scholarship Lestina Beltran Jack Dankof Tara DeBartolo Shirley Turner

Jonathan E. Zimmern MBA Memorial Scholarship Rosa Franco

Jordan Lee Whitney Memorial Scholarship Destiney Carodine

Joseph W. Hughes Memorial Engineering Scholarship Steven Rue

Karen Schnepf Memorial Scholarship

MCCF General Scholarship

Tristessa Carts Jonathan Schumacher

Lettie Johnson Memorial Dental Assisting Scholarship Kymberly Wendt

Lucille I. Mix Memorial Scholarship Nancy Casart Antonia Vinson

Matthew T. Chambers Horticulture Scholarship Bethany Hillmer

MCC Alumni Heritage Scholarship Michala Bernal Kenneth Brickel

MCC Culinary Arts Management Scholarship Joy Herian Stacey Johnson Angela Nichols Justin Tran

MCC Custodial Staff Scholarship

Tiffany Aguilera Shelby Bockman Marcus Bowling Korry Bradley Stephanie Dine Melissa Eddins Russell Gehring Lynn Gonzales Eryn Goodell Keishara Gordon Deborah Huetson Jessica Lawson Chelsea Maslowsky Quaynequea McBride Nicole McCrorey Shawn McLeod Koua Moua Lisa Nelson Katie Olson Andrew Parkhurst Richard Pearson Edith Pena Tiffany Percival Danielle Poe Jamie Sexton Tserendulam Sharavaa Melinda Sommerfeld Ciara Swift Karla Torres-Lopez Amber Woolf Taylor Zeorian

Jordon Flynn Lane Johnson

MCCF Memorial Scholarship

MCC Math Department Scholarship

MCCF Student Textbook Scholarship

Clara Mahenzi

Govin Magar Bryce Timm Cody Webb

MCC Military Student Textbook Scholarship Louis Flori Judson Golka Kelli Porter Christopher Ross Andrea Womacque

Sheryl Agner Douglas Anderson Kathleen Bostock Sean Brosnihan Ly Dinh Dorothy Droz McKenna Elsener Pamela Ernst Suzanne Fendrick Breanna Friend Cassie Hall Theresa Heinz Demetria McKinney Linda Orsi Rebecca Sitzmann


I have been attending MCC on and off for the past six years, part time. I had to start working full time right out of high school in order to help my mother, and in fact, had to graduate from high school six months early, putting school on the back burner. Now, I expect to achieve my degree by this time next year, if not sooner. Having this scholarship helps me tremendously, because when I didn’t have money for books and tuition, I had to wait until the next quarter when I could afford them and prolonged earning my degree. - Danielle Poe, MCCF General Scholarship recipient



Growing up in a low-income home where my mom has had to work very hard to make ends meet has made me realize the value of a college education. I will be the first male in my family to finish college and hope to set an example for other people with the same barriers. My first semester at MCC was a challenge, but my instructor helped me obtain a job and I have learned how much I really enjoy working on trucks and helped me find my passion and strengths. - Jaime CortĂŠs, Diesel Technology Scholarship recipient (not pictured)


I have dedicated the majority of my adult life to raising my family and to a career which never allowed me to explore my creative interests. Last year, I decided to enroll in the culinary program and discovered my love of cooking and the ability to bring a smile to someone’s face through food. This has become my passion and your generosity will allow me to continue my studies and find a new career doing something I love. Education is a blessing and I am honored you have chosen to give me the opportunity to continue mine. - Stacey Johnson, MCC Culinary Arts Management Scholarship recipient (not pictured)

MCCF New Student Scholarship Faimur Ali Aaron Anderson Summer Baker Janae Cannon Natalie Centamore Xiaomei Chen Courtney Cresto Jacqueline Contreras Tamra Dall Jaylen Fairchild Bianca Fernandez Adriana Flores Diaz Louis Flori KaShy Floyd Juan Garcia Russell Gehring Kendra Girouex Kristine Gould Sarah Guzman Alicia Hamilton Mary Houmard-Long Timothy Keen Sean Kinart Marissa Klein Tyler Kucera Itzel Marquez-Hernandez Jason Martinez Corey Mekelburg Luiza Mendez Stephen Meuret Brandon Nabity Wade Obermier Sean Osborne Juan Perez-Aguilera Maria Regalado Ericka Sheridan Taylor Smidt Lindsey Theisen Myaha Tovar Marie VonSeggern Mitch Vorel John Werthmann Marque-Anthony Williams Catherine Woelfel Bianca Zongrone

MCCF Visual Arts Scholarship Ryan Dye Shawn McLeod

Metropolitan Utilities District Culinary Arts Scholarship

Elsa Maria Ramirez-Cardon Lizbeth Rodriguez de Luna Jennifer Rody Abril Tapia Kris Thompson Luis Valente Devo Williams

Peter Kiewit Foundation Vocational Scholarship Sangita Acharya Cody Adams Tiffany Aguilera Jessica Barajas Jacqueline Bimpolo Maouene Susan Bittner Rebecca Blair Ashley Blankenship Shelby Bockman Marci Bogacz Kathleen Bostock Kenneth Brickel Dillion Broxterman Leslie Bruckner Long Bui Blythe Butcher Justin Butler Indigo Carroll Trey Carstens Samantha Carter Tristessa Carts Barbara Collins Jaime Cortes Shawn Cunningham Tamra Dall Laura Douglas Dorothy Droz Travis Dudley Ryan Erickson Luis Espinoza Jaylen Fairchild Kimberly Ferris Louis Flouri

Lisett Garcia Isabel Guzman Jedediah Heeren Aaron Jansen Lane Johnson Savannah Kittleson Irena Kovacevic Justin Kowalski Brian Kress Tera Kucera Tyler Kyes Jessica Lawson Miranda Liermann Amanda Mann Jason Martinez Demetria McKinney Shawn McLeod Lisa Nelson Trevor Pierson Walter Poderys Regina Points Kelli Porter Jay Sanley Shannon Sayers Alexandria Stepanek Erin Stratman John Christopher Thomas Bryce Timm Karla Torres-Lopez Sergey Tyulpin Corey Valentine Jacqueline Vasser Eric Vera Michael Watke Leslie Wells Justin Wendt Samantha Wieseler Nia Williams

R.E. Whitmyre Memorial Scholarship Anna Gleason

MCCF scholarships

Applications vs. Awards

Samantha Carter Nicole Walker

Miltenberger Scholarship Tristessa Carts

Nicole Marie Memorial Nursing Scholarship Charity Maina

Nursing Assistant Scholarship Mercedes Crawford

Omaha World-Herald Scholarship Amber Dunlap Erin Stratman

Partnership 4 Kids Scholarship Uniqu Atwater Jaquan Clements Saul Cortes Morgan Greer Melan Jimenez Breanna King Brenna Palma

Despite the College’s affordable tuition and fees, students are coming to MCC with increasing financial need. Since 2007, the number of MCC students completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) has more than doubled, with nearly half of all full-time students now requesting support. The total unmet need – the difference between the cost of attendance and the amount of financial aid available to MCC students – was approximately $20 million in 2013. This fiscal year, only 14 percent of students applying for MCCF scholarships received scholarship awards, demonstrating the continued gap between students’ financial need and available funding.



I have many years of accounting experience; however always hit roadblocks with advancement due to lack of a degree. I am a foster parent and mentor to some teen girls, and by receiving this award it not only assists me with my education, it allows me to be a role model. I am able to focus on my education and put forth the energy needed to excel in my classes. I hope and will make it my goal that one day I will be able to be in the position to assist other students achieve their goals just as you have helped me. - Nikki McCain, The Guinan Family Scholarship recipient

Ray and Betty Barr Memorial Scholarship Janie Ensor Mercedes Hammond Leslie Scott

Ron Sailors Culinary Arts Memorial Scholarship Jesse Cutler Aaron Fox Daisy Fuentes Joseph Kenny Nicholas Rupnow Taylor Tylkowski Kimberly Vilhauer Samantha Carter Daniel Quinn Justin Tran

Ruth Buck Kissel Memorial Scholarship Bryce Timm Patrick Zadina

Ruth/Clarice Oberndorfer Scholarship Alexandria Stepanek

Sharlene Hansen Memorial Scholarship Katie Olson Amanda Stites Nirmal Thapa

The Builder Foundation Scholarship Ryan Byrne Steven Cunningham George Evans Jacob Genoways Jonathan Krutz Michael Paskevic Aziz Strobbe

The Guinan Family Scholarship Sheryl Agner Aaron Anderson Robyn Andersen Chareca Barker Tammie Bender Michala Bernal Marci Bogacz Christian Boose Sierra Brazda Daitina Brookins Sean Brosnihan

Kevin Bubko Dustin Cabrera Janae Cannon Alicia Carrera Natalie Centamore Jeremiah Claeys Jesse Claeys Trevon Clark Nathan Clausen Veronica Cook Jaime Cortes Kelcee Cotton Molly Cubrich Jamie Culver Nkeiruka Domike Gregory Dooly Akeyla Dowden Travis Dudley Ana Esparza Monreal Luis Espinoza Blake Fleischman Danielle Franks Davon Gray Sean Harper Favian Herrera Aaron Jansen Lane Johnson Brandon Katz David Korpua Taylor Kucera Tyler Kucera Jordan Lammerts Amanda Mann Kasandra Martinez Quaynequea McBride Nikki McCain Velvet McKim Demetria McKinney Austin Miller Biyiekoi Nao Jennifer Novak Jonathon Orchard Andrew Osborn Nicholas Palmer Brian Peek Danielle Pierce Trevor Pierson Elle Quigley Kinesha Roach Chloe Russell Robert Rustan Jr. Samantha Sanjurjo Alejandrina Saravia Leslie Scott LaTisha Sorensen Sydney Stough Kelsey Swift Jessica Swinnerton Lakeesha Thomas

Karla Torres-Lopez Lori Watson Shawna Waymire Amahn Williams

The Hawks Foundation Scholarship Abdraman Addi Laura Boeche Victoria Collins Megan Dickey Danielle Hagemeier Shayla Jasper Stephanie Pridie Manizha Sameeva Cameron Schnaible Kaitlyn Strom

Todd McHenry Memorial Scholarship Bryce Timm Marie Von Seggern

Travelers Program Scholarship Kenneth Brickel Mia Mack Bryce Timm

True Potential Scholarship Yessica Aleman

Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 279 Scholarship Louis Flori Judson Golka Shawn McLeod

Walt Allen Memorial Scholarship Christian Boose Alison Freemyer Bernard Mahoney Patrick Zadina

Ward Memorial Nursing Scholarship Wanda Nachtwey

William H. Dodd Memorial Scholarship Shelby Bockman Adam Diehl Justin Wendt


I am a wife and a mother of three girls. I also work hard at a meat packing plant, sometimes six days a week. I am motivated to complete my education in order to have more time for my family, to better provide for them, and to set an example for my kids. This scholarship is very helpful and important because this allows me to be a step closer to fulfilling my career goals. I hope that one day I may be able to help other students achieve their goals, like you have helped me. - Rosa Franco, Jonathan E. Zimmern MBA Memorial Scholarship recipient


Every year, hundreds of community supporters who believe in the mission of MCC provide financial support to the MCC Foundation. We gratefully recognize the support of our anonymous donors and the following individuals, families, organizations and corporations.


Metropolitan Utilities District Parker Family Foundation

Sadoff Iron & Metal Company Michael Shain Marilynn Schnepf Sysco Lincoln, Inc. US Bank Foundation Whitmore Charitable Trust



William and Ruth Scott Family Foundation


Peter Kiewit Foundation Panel Tech, Inc.


All Our Kids Inc. Foundation Adah and Leon Millard Foundation The Builder Foundation First National Bank Holland Foundation Fred and Eve Simon Todd and Betiana Simon Foundation Paul and Annette Smith


Follett Book Company Omaha Restaurant Association


James and Joan Chambers Lincoln Financial Foundation George E. Martin III Roger and Kate Weitz


America First Foundation Bob Benzel and Gerry Sullivan Collin Leeder Metro Omaha Medical Society Omaha Restaurant Association Foundation Michael and Gail Yanney


Arun K. Agarwal Clark Creative Group Douglas County Tom and Mary Jetton Charitable Fund Larry Johnson Terry and Lori McMullen Mutual of Omaha Insurance Co. Nebraska Humanities Council J. Michael Price Rotella’s Italian Bakery William L. and Harriet A. Otis Fund The Owen Foundation Richard W. and Eileen Vautravers Villamonte’s Cuisine


Fitzgerald, Schorr, Barmettler, & Brennan, P.C. L.L.O. Patricia and Richard Bell Clarice Kuehn Family Trust Diva Mejias Leslie Salvage, Inc. Nebraska Trucking Association Foundation Pearson Education Edward & Lida Robinson Charitable Trust


Michael and Sheri Abramson AIT Worldwide Logistics Ellen M. Archer Mogens and Cynthia Bay Black Hills Energy Bluestem Prairie Foundation Daniel and Esther Brabec BrassCraft Inglish D. Camero Cari Sommer Charitable Fund Carriage House Foundation Cornhusker International Trucks, Inc. Sid Dillon Chevrolet - Blair, Inc. Cheryl Ford Kris E. Galas Hockenbergs Equipment & Supply Company Mutual of Omaha Bank Daniel and Shirley J. Neary Dean and Jessie Rasmussen Carol and Rick Russell

Jody and Gayle Carstens Meredith Fuller and Jim Luyten Karen Gluck Mickey A. Gottsch Fayrene Hamouz Jessica Janssen Dona Johnson Macmillan Marsha and Nizar Mamdani McGraw Hill Companies Methodist Health System Nelnet Omaha District Dental Society Harriet A. Otis Runza Restaurants Monte and Duane Thompson Jessica Washington Werner Enterprises Victor T. Wilson and Pamela Gossin Dwight R. Wininger


Linda M. Andersen Richard L. and Ann Anderson Randall D. Benzel Barbara Braden Sandra Bruns Robert Culver and Debra Reilly-Culver Hal and Mary Daub Mark and Brenda Ehrhart William A. Forsee Sherald L. Foster Harley & Beth Schrager Foundation Leslie Hoberman Jacobson Fish Company, Inc. Kiewit Building Group George E. Kleine Nebraska Association of SkillsUSA, Inc. James W. Partington Robin Hill Fund Susan Thomas Susan and Vance Wagner Willie P. Young


My S. Boes Janet A. Buckingham and Lauren M. Ronald Marilyn and Ron Cady Larry W. Carlson Catholic Health Initiatives Sylvia Cohn Tanya D. Cook Kenneth R. Cook Cummins Central Power, LLC Linda Demeulmeester John W. Dennison Jr. Joyce A. Dixon Daniel Doran Sandra C.Douglas Patrick and Karen Drickey Paul and Sandy Epstein Sara M. Foxley Bruce Frasier and Richard Nielsen Dan Gallagher and Jeff Grinnell Judith Gale and Gail Jensen Andrea M. Gordman and Daniel V. Fitzgerald Margaret A. Hobza and Connie J. Coltrane Jebro, Inc. Nicole M. Jesse Noreen L. Johnson Kenworth of Omaha Kissel/Erickson, Sederstrom & Associates L.L.C. Richard F. Klaas Susan A. Koenig Marshall and Barbara Kushner Ryan Larsen Theresa A. Lassek Mary and Rodrigo Lopez

Sally N. Lusk Robert and Janet Marks Alice J. Mauer Max’s Body Shop Sara E. McClure and David A. Steadman Linda McDermitt and Bill Tyer Dale and Frankie McHenry Craig Moody Donald Moray and Beth Ryan Mary Ellen Mulcahy Dale and Fern Olson Papillion Sanitation Performance Volkswagen Aaron G. Persen Molly M. Romero Rose Blumkin Foundation Inc. Pat and Jeanne Salerno Mark Shively Stewart and Susie Smoler David Spence The Associated General Contractors of America, Inc. La Neita Thomas Malcom E. Thompson Tri State Pumping and Excavating Union Pacific Railroad Judd F. and Patricia A. Wagner Winifred F. Wells Richard White and Mark Ledbetter Leslie Whitehair Jim Winner Jack Zaner Zeitner & Sons, Inc. Patty Zieg and Tim Higgins

Gifts under $100

Richard Barea Judith A. Boelts Scott Bowen Mike and Anne Boyle Bill Brush Eddith Buis Chauncey L. Burley Caroline G. Butler Joseph and Kara Covrig Steven Crain Terrence and Catherine Ferguson Maria Fernandez Barb Foote Sharon Griffin Kathleen C. Halpine Julee K. Harter Ursula Hill Mary M. Jetton Karen Kahland Ruth and Jim Keene Maggie Kotlarz David and Sharon Kotok Gene Kruger Renee L. Kuehn-Peters Jane Lassek Margaret Lehning Karen F. Levin Patricia A. Longcrier Lyman-Richey Corporation John F. McIntyre Michelle J. Morton Robert Nordyke and Lourdes Gouveia Janice Pemberton and Henry Krusiewicz Walter Pyper Mary Anne and Bruce Ramge Crystal Rhoades Cassandra H. Rhoads-Carroll Chip Smith Betty K. Start Duane R. Sullivan Betty J. Tanner Bryce Timm United Rent All Jessica and Paul Urban Peter and Pamela Vaughn Paula S. Wallace Anne Thorne Weaver John Wehrle and Diane K. Owens Rosaleigh Welte James and Judith Wigton Kim Wyllie


My MCC scholarship changed my life. Now I have so many career options, and I don’t have to worry about debt. - MCC scholarship recipient (not pictured)

Patricia Addison Sheryl Agner Kirk and Lori Ahrends Stephanie Albers Jackie and Greer Almquist Sana Amoura-Patterson Barry Anderson James Anderson Julie Ashley Elizabeth Augustyn Gregory Babst Gerry Baker John Banark Greeta Barrett Kathy Barrett Daniel Bartek Steve Bell Ingrid Berlin Edward Bohlman Robert Boyer Patrick Boyle Lynn Bradman Daniel Brickman Jamie Bridgham Earlene Brittingham Jeffrey Brown Phyllis Brown Anne Burton David Catalan Cynthia and Michael Catherwood Charles Chevalier Deb Clark Shanda Clark Susan Clark Melinda Classen Carol Cleaver James and Christi Cloyd Kyran Connor Nancy Conrad Marilyn Cotten Pat and Bob Crisler Cindy Croy Kathleen Curphy Charles Davis III Peggy Dean Kurt Denker Thomas Dickerson Carri Dyer Connie Eichhorn Marcel Erkens Rita Eyerly Charles Fairbanks Jennifer Fauchier Amy Forss Teresa Fox Jane Franklin David Friend Kay Friesen Mick and Ruth Gahan Connie Galvin Larry Gawel and Dana Fritz Penny Gildea Kurt Glover-Ettrich Cynthia Gooch Cheryl Goodman Dawn Goodsell

Laura and Alec Gorynski Carol Gottuso George Grigas Ruthanne Grimsley Robert Gronstal James Grotrian Tulani Grundy Meadows and Othello Meadows Jennifer Hank Richard Hanneman and Debra Eppenbaugh Daryl Hansen Todd and Shannon Hansen Cheryl Hartwell Sarah Hayden Michelle Heard Beth Heck Lyle Hendrickson Tanis Herbert Colleen Hernandez April Herrley Jim Hess Robin Hixson Wilma Hjellum Katherine Stover Holian Patricia Hollins Debra Holst Geoffrey Horejs Stan Horrell David Horst Denise Jacobsen William Jefferson Darin and Sara Jensen Kerry Johnson Arlene Jordan Susan Jowdy Erin Joy and Alvaro Carrasco Margaret Katona Sheila Keller Timothy Kelly Mary Kerl Diana Kerwin-Kubr Reba Kevern David Kirchofer Gwendolyn Knave David Koebel Frank and Connie Kompare Marian Kraft Sharon Kratky Leslie Kwasnieski Debra La Hoda Brooke LaFarr Amanda Landholm Julie Langholdt Douglas Lassiter Sharyn Leigh Larry Lindberg Jacob Link David Lueders Robert Maass Scott Mahoney John Mangini Jeffery Manzer Dona Marotta Wanda Marsh Dean and LaRue Marshall Kim Martin

Marty Martinez Luann Matthies Melvin Mays Janet McCarthy Thomas McDonnell Cornelius McGreevy Patrick and Misty McKibbin John and Eileen McKinstra Tracy McTavish-Mlady Robert Medrano Heath and Catherine Mello John Miller Roger Miller Linda Milton Maureen Moeglin Monica and Ian Moore Linda Moraine Norma Morehouse Joyce Mortensen Jane Mulder Fred Mytty Edward Napravnik Lindsay Neemann Heather Nelson Richard Newcomer Ryan Newton Sheila O’Connor Brian O’Malley Stacey Ocander Candace Otterpohl Bill and Paula Owen Darin Owens Douglas Pagel Darryl Partner Jerome Patten Mark Patten Sr. Clifton Pee Annette Perry Pamela Perry Derek Peterson Melinda Pitt Jeannie Plambeck Kristin and Mark Pluhacek Bobby Polk Kymberly Polser Teri Quick Muriel Rada Susan Raftery Derek Rayment Alan Reinarz David Reyes Arthur Rich Lisa Richards Cindy Richter Peggy Ritschel Marianne Roarty Karen Rodgers Ann M. Rosenblatt Hans Rudin Michael Rush Janice and Harry Rutledge Edith Sample Karley Sanders Rick and Ellie Sandvig Ruth Schindler Randy and Nancy Schmailzl

Albertha Schmid Diane and Jerry Schram Mark Schulman Trevor Secora Bernard Sedlacek Kendra Sibbernsen Gordon Sims Sr. Adam Smith Nancy Smith Patricia Smith Jodie Snider Shannon Snow Donna Stadtlander Del Stallwood Lisa Stepanek Connie Stewart Brandon Strain Jeffrey Strawn Marijane Sullivan Sally and Harvey Swanger Christine Tarr Connie Taylor Stephen Tellatin Jim and Mary Thibodeau Lian Ti Jennifer Todd Gary Toth Joan Trimpey Susan Trinkle Kathy J. Trotter Ted Tucker Kathryn Twit Mary Umberger David Van Antwerp Whitney Van Arsdall Tracey Van Driest Emily Van Hook George and Patricia Vana Connie and Bruce Vaneske Marty and Sandra Vaughan Barbara Velazquez Marcia Vergo Erin Vik Yuliya Vishnevskaya Mary Vogt Neil and Erika Volker Cheryl Vossberg Teresa Wacha Josephine Wandel Alan and Terri Wasmoen Charlene West Penney Weyrauch Lavette Wider Carol Widman Fred Wigington David Wilhelm Brock Williams Idalene Williams Thomas Wilson April Winans Joy Wineinger James Wolf Jeremy Wright Joellen Zuk


In honor of Sheila O’Connor In honor of Jim and Kirk and Lori Ahrends Patty Trebbien

In honor of Hale and Libby Almquist

Bob Benzel and Gerry Sullivan

In honor of Bob Benzel Gerry Sullivan

In honor of Phyllis Durand Amy H. Forss

In honor of our 40th anniversary Dona Johnson

In honor of Bob Benzel and Gerry Sullivan

In honor of Avery Loschen

In honor of Rick Carey and David Scott

Darin Owens

Karen Gluck Susan Thomas

Monte and Duane Thompson

In honor of Cooper, Sophie and Simon Clark Joseph and Kara Covrig

In honor of Pat Crisler Jackie and Greer Almquist Laura and Alec Gorynski Sarah Hayden Katherine Stover Holian Margaret Katona Lisa Stepanek

In honor of David K. Ho Susan and Vance Wagner Willie P. Young

In memory of Ray Barr Betty K. Start

In memory of Deb Bliss-Mickeliunas Bernard Sedlacek

In memory of Patti Burns Lisa L. Stepanek

In memory of Matthew T. Chambers James and Joan Chambers

In memory of John Cieslik Bob Benzel and Gerry Sullivan

In memory of Clidie B. Cook Bob Benzel and Gerry Sullivan

In memory of Teri Dugan Sheila O’Connor

In memory of Norene Duggan Marshall and Barbara Kushner

In memory of Anne K. Harter Julee K. Harter

In memory of Ruth Benzel Oberndorfer Mahaffey and Clarice Oberndorfer Kuehn Jackie and Greer Almquist Linda M. Andersen Richard L. and Ann Anderson Ellen M. Archer Bob Benzel and Gerry Sullivan Randall D. Benzel Judith A. Boelts Mike and Anne Boyle Eddith Buis Marilyn and Ron Cady Sylvia Cohn Tanya D. Cook

Bob Benzel and Gerry Sullivan

In honor of metal workers everywhere In honor of Mary A. and Irwin C. Rada Muriel M. Rada

In honor of Mary Renard Joyce A. Dixon

In honor of Rick Sandvig Jackie and Greer Almquist Kay D. Friesen Richard D. Hanneman and Debra Eppenbaugh Bill and Paula Owen Papillion Sanitation Rick and Ellie Sandvig Albertha Schmid Werner Enterprises

Linda S. DeMeulmeester Helen A. Desilets Joyce A. Dixon Sandra C. Douglas Patrick and Karen Drickey Maria Fernandez Barbara J. Foote Sherald L. Foster Sara M. Foxley Meredith Fuller and Jim Luyten Judith Gale and Gail Jensen Kathleen C. Halpine Katherine Stover Holian Debra J. Holst Mary M. Jetton Noreen L. Johnson Karen K. Kahland Ruth and Jim Keene Susan A. Koenig Clarice Kuehn Family Trust Renee L. Kuehn-Peters Marshall and Barbara Kushner Jane M. Lassek Theresa A. Lassek Margaret Lehning Karen F. Levin Alice J. Mauer Sara E. McClure and David A. Steadman John F. McIntyre Donald Moray and Beth Ryan Robert K. Nordyke and Lourdes Gouveia Kristin and Mark Pluhacek Molly M. Romero Fred and Eve Simon Stewart and Susie Smoler David Spence Union Pacific Railroad Peter and Pamela Vaughn Judd F. and Patricia A. Wagner Paula S. Wallace Winifred F. Wells Kim Wyllie

In memory of Mark Markel Sheila O’Connor

James L. Anderson Patrick Boyle Shanda M. Clark Melinda J. Classen Carol Cleaver Pat and Bob Crisler Charles W. Davis III Rita Eyerly James Grotrian Debra La Hoda Julie Langholdt David Lueders Scott Mahoney Jeffery Manzer Tracy McTavish-Mlady Norma A. Morehouse Stacey Ocander Bill and Paula Owen Muriel M. Rada Marianne Roarty Diane and Jerry Schram Lisa Stepanek Connie E. Taylor Kathy J. Trotter Emily R. Van Hook Erin Vik Joellen Zuk

Mogens and Cynthia Bay Scott Bowen Caroline G. Butler Jody and Gayle Carstens Kenneth R. Cook Hal and Mary Daub Paul and Sandy Epstein Kris E. Galas Andrea M. Gordman and Daniel V. Fitzgerald Hockenbergs Equipment & Supply Company Jacobson Fish Company, Inc. Nicole M. Jesse Arlene Jordan Maggie Kotlarz Daniel and Shirley J. Neary James W. Partington Dean and Jessie Rasmussen Rotella’s Italian Bakery Runza Restaurants Duane R. Sullivan Sysco Lincoln, Inc. John Wehrle and Diane K. Owens United Rent All Upstream Brewing Company Jessica and Paul Urban

In honor of Fremont welding students

In honor of Walter J. Scott, Jr.

Dale and Fern Olson

In honor of Gerry Sullivan

Margaret A. Hobza and Connie J. Coltrane

In memory of Fredrick Matulka Sheila O’Connor

In memory of Gary McDermitt Sheila O’Connor

In memory of Todd McHenry

Cheryl Ford Dale and Frankie McHenry

In memory of Monty McMahon Pat and Bob Crisler

In memory of Lucille I. Mix Michelle J. Morton

In memory of Doris Helena Pensabene Kirk and Lori Ahrends Edward Bohlman Jamie R. Bridgham Pat and Bob Crisler Mike Flesch Daryl E. Hansen Erin E. Joy and Alvaro J. Carrasco Thomas McDonnell Candace M. Otterpohl Ted Tucker Connie E. Taylor Carol Widman

In memory of David R. Rice and Ephraim L. Marks Ellen M. Archer Linda M. Andersen My S. Boes Barbara Braden Janet A. Buckingham and Lauren M. Ronald Larry W. Carlson Sylvia Cohn

Patricia and Richard Bell Sharon Griffin Michael and Gail Yanney

Robert Culver and Debra Reilly-Culver John W. Dennison Jr. Patrick and Karen Drickey Sara M. Foxley Bruce Frasier and Richard Nielsen Meredith Fuller and Jim Luyten Dan Gallagher and Jeff Grinnell Richard F. Klaas George E. Kleine Marshall and Barbara Kushner Mary and Rodrigo Lopez Sally N. Lusk Robert and Janet Marks Sara E. McClure and David A. Steadman Mary Ellen Mulcahy Aaron Persen Walter Pyper Mark Shively Stewart and Susie Smoler Malcom E. Thompson Monte and Duane Thompson Richard White and Mark Ledbetter James and Judith Wigton Jack Zaner Patty Zieg and Tim Higgins

In memory of Rose Ryan Ann M. Rosenblatt

In memory of Janell C. Shain Michael Shain

In memory of Brandon Thomas

Andrea M. Gordman and Daniel V. Fitzgerald David and Sharon Kotok

In memory of Douglas McLeod Weber Steven Crain

In memory of John Vautravers

Richard W. and Eileen Vautravers

Advance Machine Penny Beaumont Bob Benzel Collision Repair Education Foundation Crown Trophy and Awards Drake Williams Steel William A. Forsee Ursula Hill Katherine Stover Holian Duane and Jeanne Horseman HyVee Ken Glendenning Food Photography Lyman-Richey Corporation Mercer Culinary Millard Manufacturing Millard Metal Services Nebraska Beef Council Nebraska Pork Producers New Chef Omaha Steaks Martha Ann Orr Patriot Crane & Rigging Pearson P. Hall Books Pre-Wel Manufacturing Runza Restaurants Rick Sandvig Snap-On Tools Specialty Tool and Machine, Inc. Upstream Brewing Company Brian and Kristine Wersching


Culinary Team Nebraska, from MCC’s Institute for the Culinary Arts, won the 2015 ACF Student Team National Championship in Orlando, Florida

SkillsUSA National Gold Medalist, Dan Riha, took top honors in the 2015 Electrical Construction Wiring competition

MCC students win national championships at SkillsUSA and American Culinary Federation

MCC students received national recognition in 2015, showcasing the high quality of MCC’s programs across a variety of fields. Students participating in the College’s Electrical Technology program and Institute for the Culinary Arts became national champions. MCC electrical student, Dan Riha, received a gold medal in the Electrical Construction Wiring competition at the 51st annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Louisville, Kentucky. Riha, a Gretna, Nebraska native, plans to eventually take over the family business after becoming an electrical contractor. Thanks to encouragement from a family friend, an alum from MCC’s Electrical Technology program and a scholarship that helped cover tuition and fees, Riha pursued his Electrical Technology A.S. degree at MCC. “It was awesome. I was kind of shocked at first. Winning gold in front of my dad and teachers who helped me get there was a special feeling,” said Riha. With anticipated job growth of 20 percent by 2022 and median annual pay of $50,000, electricians can expect a good economic outlook and a fast-paced environment in a variety of contexts – including possibilities for both indoor and outdoor work, team-based and

individual projects, and opportunities for entrepreneurship and flexible schedules. “I like it because there’s always something new or different happening,” says Riha. “My dad was an electrician for many years and I used to help him out sometimes when I was younger. He now owns his own business and I plan on continuing to run the family business someday,” he said. A team of students from MCC’s Institute for the Culinary Arts – Culinary Team Nebraska – won the 2015 American Culinary Federation’s (ACF) Student Team National Championship at the July 30-Aug. 3 ACF National Convention in Orlando, Florida. Regional finalists defeated by Culinary Team Nebraska included Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Boston, Cambridge, Massachusetts; Orange Coast College, Costa Mesa, California; and Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, Asheville, North Carolina. The team received $1,000 to assist with travel expenses to the national competition from the American Academy of Chefs, ACF’s honor society.

Culinary team members, led by head coach and faculty advisor, Brian O’Malley, and co-coach Oystein Solberg, included:

1ST COURSE (fish) Sarah Farmer; commis Steven Teters

2ND COURSE (salad) Miseon Lee; commis Terrell Brown

3RD COURSE (principal-pork) Patrick Ratigan; commis Brandi Springer

4TH COURSE (dessert) Kyle Ray; commis Becca Lopez

Alternates Daisy Fuentes; commis Marcela Becerril Salas and George Millan Fernandez

Student Team Manager Cathy Curtis

1ST COURSE (fish)


Award-Winning Community

PARTNERSHIPS MCC honored by Nebraska diplomats

Nebraska Diplomats recently recognized Metropolitan Community College as an economic engine in the state. In just over four decades of growth, MCC has become strongly rooted in the communities we serve across Dodge, Douglas, Sarpy and Washington counties. Today, the College proudly stands as the second-largest and most diverse institution of higher education in Nebraska, serving more than 40,000 students each year through credit and non-credit classes. At MCC, students earn high demand technical skills and industry credentials. Entrepreneurs are born. Graduates advance to Nebraska four-year baccalaureate programs. Others turn to MCC to ramp up lifelong learning, through English language instruction, GED or college prep courses. Career training, continuing education and cultural events refresh skills, enrich lives and build our community. Regardless of where students find themselves or where their paths are leading, MCC is a trusted partner in student success and workforce

development. MCC looks toward the future by providing students with the skills and training for today’s and tomorrow’s jobs. The quality education and training offered at MCC promotes new business development. An MCC education helps existing businesses advance workforce skills, compete in the global economy and creates a ´brain gain´ for the metropolitan area. MCC’s associate degree graduates result in an estimated added value of $13.2 million in the economy each year.1 MCC serves as a receptive and responsive partner in preparing students — and communities — for success in an ever-changing highly competitive world. MCC’s impact is clear in the people it serves, the programs it provides and the projects it undertakes. That commitment from MCC is evident in the new $90 million expansion project at the Fort Omaha Campus, including three new educational buildings: the Center for Advanced and Emerging Technology, the Construction Education Center

and the Academic Skills Center. The project highlights a new era of investing in students and communities through state-of-the-art facilities, designed to accommodate innovative approaches to learning. The project is funded by generous philanthropic investments and a progressive funding commitment of the MCC Board of Governors that represents a 50:50 public-private partnership. Geared toward addressing current economic needs, the Center for Advanced and Emerging Technology will be home to the MCC FabLab and feature advanced manufacturing studies and automation systems as well as other technology and transportation-related fields. The Construction Education Center will provide students the ability to learn about fields such as architecture and design, civil engineering, construction technology, electrical technology, electrical apprenticeship, HVAC, industrial and commercial trades, plumbing apprenticeship, sustainability, weatherization and welding. The Academic Skills Center will be a hub for student-centered, first-year educational experiences: career navigation, small group communication, general education courses, and active learning. Bottom line – MCC provides economic

Goss and Associates, Pathway to Jobs and Greater Productivity: Impact of Metropolitan Community College and Planned Facility Enhancements, 2013.


opportunities for its students, partners and communities. Community colleges are at the forefront of the battle to keep America’s economy strong and competitive globally. MCC is leading that charge. The College is devoted to economic development through its new investments and educating the workforce to help support job creation. This is evident in many of the grants recently received and carried out by the College. MCC was named a recipient of a $2,491,960 grant to bolster information technology career training and pathways to high-demand IT and IT-enabled occupations. The funding is part of the final $450 million of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training competitive grant program, co-administered by the U.S. Department of Labor and Department of Education. The grant funds Project PROTO, short for Providing Realistic On-Ramps to Technology Occupations. Through strategic partnerships with area employers, the project establishes an IT career pathway that incorporates career training in both commercial and industrial IT industries, paving the way for the

offerings central to the College’s new Center for Advanced and Emerging Technology. The project also expands the College’s MITaffiliated FabLab, part of a global network of labs that enable IT skill building and invention and provide access to tools for digital design and multimedia fabrication. The lab serves as a hub for the creation of crossdisciplinary programs in emerging applications of IT, such as prototype design and production, robotics and smart objects. Other key PROTO partners include the Nebraska Department of Labor, Heartland Workforce Solutions, Alvine Engineering, Kiewit Corporation, Omaha Public Power District, White Lotus, Trane, TACKarchitects and the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce. Over three years, the grant will equip an estimated 500 professionals with new skills and credentials for jobs in IT occupations and IT-enabled industries, such as advanced manufacturing, logistics, healthcare, finance and government. MCC displays its commitment to corporate citizenship is through its scholarships and work of the College’s foundation office. A prime example of scholarships being offered to those in need include MCC’s CDL Class A Truck Driving

program’s ability to offer military veterans and their spouses free tuition, books and fees to earn their CDL license in a growing industry. MCC displays its volunteerism in the community through its participation in the annual SkillsUSA competition, a competition that serves middle school, high school and college students in programs preparing them for technical, skilled and service careers. In addition to technical skills training, SkillsUSA provides educational experiences for students in leadership, teamwork, citizenship and character development. MCC has hosted competitions the last few years and many of its instructors and staff go above and beyond in working the event. The College also dedicates hours to Books by the Busload, an initiative that combines the Metro Area Transit and the Omaha Public Library to distribute free books to area youth, helping them raise their reading levels and keep them actively involved in learning. In recognition of how the College is helping shape Nebraska and the region’s future through these avenues and strategic initiatives, MCC received the Nebraska Diplomats 2015 Power-In-the-Partnership award.

Construction Education Center


If it were not for the Re-Entry program I would not have been able to complete classes … I decided to work as a peer mentor because the Re-Entry program has made such a positive difference in my life. I wanted to help other people who have made some mistakes learn that there are options out there and we can change our lives for the better … If we can help them learn some life skills and help them get an education they can change their lives and the lives of their children … The Re-Entry program is and has given hope where there wasn’t any. - Marji VoorVart, MCC Re-Entry program participant and peer mentor

New career skills create opportunities for prison inmates and their families

Research supports the benefits of correctional education investments, and at Metropolitan Community College, we are proud to facilitate opportunities for current and former inmates to make positive contributions as they reintegrate into our communities. Through a college-community partnership with philanthropic investments, college resources and agency partners, MCC’s Re-Entry program continues to build on its track record of excellence by providing career-focused education, training and life skills support. By employing innovative best practices such as peer mentors and transition coaches as well as training and technology resources, the program helps students overcome challenges and take the next steps in reaching their academic and career goals. According to a 2013 report by international nonprofit research institution, RAND Corporation, education and training programs were found to reduce inmates’ recidivism rates by 43 percent, with every dollar invested resulting in $4-$5 savings gained from avoiding re-incarceration expenses. In February 2015, the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services recognized the excellence demonstrated by MCC’s Re-Entry program by investing more than $941,000, providing support for the College to expand its services by facilitating clear career pathways at three locations locally and at institutions across the

state. MCC is one of eight entities receiving a portion of more than $6 million in state grants intended to reduce re-offense rates by training current and former inmates (Omaha World-Herald, Feb. 27, 2015). In addition to government and agency investments, the College and the MCC Foundation also appreciate the generous contributions of philanthropists who have supported scholarships, program personnel and other essential resources that have enabled the formation of the change-making network that assists Re-Entry students in pursuing career-oriented, positive outcomes. MCC’s Re-Entry program offers transformative education and career counseling to nearly 400 individuals – including inmates at state facilities, those on parole and probation, and those who have been released from prison – providing the skills needed for successful reintegration as gainfully employed community members. With access to coursework designed specifically to teach careeroriented skills supporting transition preparation and re-entry into the workforce, participants in MCC’s Re-Entry program may pursue credit courses in information technology, business and entrepreneurship, and other trades that can lead to credentials in a variety of career pathways. Noncredit courses help participants gain skills in leading positive, healthy lifestyles after being released.

Det Dat, first incarcerated in 2013 at age 18 at the Nebraska Correctional Youth Facility and later transferred to Omaha Correctional Center (OCC), has completed two college classes (9 credit hours) with a 3.5 GPA and is registered in an additional business course for summer quarter. Scheduled to be released in December 2015, Dat shared his gratitude for MCC’s Re-Entry program: “I would like to express my deepest appreciation … Having learned from all these courses has been a tremendous reward. Education is a key to breaking the cycle of poverty and illiteracy … your help impacted my life in a positive way. I am glad I participated in your program and it is for that reason that I’ve gained knowledge and expanded my worldview. Thank you for all you have done!” In addition to supporting individuals who are currently incarcerated with career-oriented education opportunities, MCC’s Re-Entry program also offers post-release services such as transition preparation, skills and interests tests, career counseling, financial and scholarship assistance, skills training, transportation support, referrals to agencies, credit analysis and transfer guidance as well as college registration assistance and peermentoring opportunities.


Marji VoorVart works as a peer mentor at MCC Express, and is thankful the Re-Entry program enabled her to continue her education this year. Marji plans to graduate from MCC in May of 2016 with an Associates Degree in Chemical Dependency Counseling and is passionate about helping others improve their lives.

MCC’s Re-Entry program participants have recognized the benefits of pursuing their academic and career goals, not only for themselves, but also for their families and communities. A student opened a construction business after completing an associate degree in Construction Technology while maintaining dean’s list status. A father who had been incarcerated several times completed his GED at MCC, earned two certifications and will soon transfer to Grace University after earning his associates degree; his son is also overcoming his own criminal history by pursuing a GED at MCC after witnessing his father’s success at the College. Another student has become a positive role model for her family while pursuing a degree in Human Services and providing support for other transitioning felons as a peer mentor. A widowed mother of three children and a grandmother of four, Marji VoorVart began working as a peer mentor at MCC Express in March 2015. Marji was born in Ohio, lived primarily on the West Coast after her parents’ divorce, and moved to Omaha in 1980 with her mother and stepfather. She received her GED in 1988, shortly after marrying her childhood sweetheart in 1987, and went on to earn an associate degree in Secretarial Skills from Nebraska College of Business in 1999. Marji shared, “I did not use this degree at all. I got myself into some trouble in 2008 and 2009 and went to jail. When I told my probation officer that I wanted to go back to school and

messed up my FAFSA and had trouble enrolling in classes she suggested that I call Diane Good-Collins. I still don’t know what I would have done without her.” After starting classes at MCC in Fall 2013 while on probation, Marji transferred to the Re-Entry program once it became available. Marji is thankful the Re-Entry program enabled her to continue her education this year: “If it were not for the Re-Entry program I would not have been able to complete classes.” She plans to graduate from MCC in May 2016 with an Associate’s Degree in Chemical Dependency Counseling, and is passionate about helping others improve their lives. “I decided to work as a peer mentor because the Re-Entry program has made such a positive difference in my life. I wanted to help other people who have made some mistakes learn

that there are options out there and we can change our lives for the better…. this program is and will continue to make a difference in the lives of offenders out there. If we can help them learn some life skills and help them get an education they can change their lives and the lives of their children. When someone comes out of jail or prison without any hope of becoming gainfully employed they may just return to what they know. They may only know criminal behavior. The Re-Entry program is and has given hope where there wasn’t any.” By leveraging partnerships and innovative practices, the lifechanging investments in MCC’s Re-Entry Program are truly making a positive impact, revitalizing lives and expanding opportunities for individuals and their families, as well as our communities.

Det Dat, pictured above during summer 2015 at OCC, is scheduled to be released December 2015. Det earned 9 credit hours during the previous two quarters with a 3.5 GPA.

“Having learned from all these courses has been a tremendous reward. Education is a key to breaking the cycle of poverty and illiteracy.” - Det Dat, MCC Re-Entry Program participant


Inequitable Access The Digital Divide draws boundaries along poverty lines. A recent data analysis by the University of Nebraska-Omaha found a significant disparity in home computer access between children who live east of 72nd Street and those living west of 72nd Street. While 97 percent of children west of 72nd Street lived in homes with computers, only 77 percent of those living east of 72nd Street did*; placing the new facility at the very intersection where the Digital Divide meets Digital Affluence. *Omaha World-Herald, Census data on Internet, computer access show that digital divide persists in Iowa, Nebraska. Sept. 2014.

New MCC location offers innovative learning through digital library partnership

What do older adults, parents with young children, emerging entrepreneurs, college-bound students, incumbent workers, job seekers and teens have in common? All can expect to find active, innovative learning opportunities at Metropolitan Community College’s newest location – MCC at the DO Space. With classes beginning in early 2016 on the second floor above a new digital library at 72nd and Dodge streets in Omaha, MCC at the DO Space is strategically located to bridge a three‑part “Digital Divide” by bringing access to technology‑infused educational opportunities to diverse lifelong learners. Public availability of cutting-edge technology tools and resources will address the disparity in home computer access, Omaha’s Digital Divide, between children living east of 72nd Street and those living west. The space will also bridge the gap for older learners who struggle to keep up with the fast-pace of today’s technology as it continues to permeate even routine daily tasks. Our newest generations of digital

natives will learn to apply and extend their technology abilities into the physical world, to broaden their skills beyond computer and smartphone screens as they prepare to solve the increasingly complex problems of the 21st Century. The DO Space features more than $3 million in technology with a digital library that will be available daily for underprivileged youth, the elderly and everyone in-between. A “hub for active, innovative learning,” where curiosity and creativity bloom amid 10,000 square feet of space featuring 3-D printers, gigabit bandwidth internet, high-end computers and touch-screen devices, MCC at the DO Space “will be able to offer classes and workshops for learners of all ages and ability levels,” said Randy Schmailzl, president of MCC. “We strive to make education accessible to anyone who wants to participate. The new digital library allows us to reach people who might not otherwise be able to take advantage of our services.” DO Space visitors will have access

to a variety of technology-enhanced learning options offered by MCC, from building guitars, to analyzing global environmental data with animated visualization systems, to sharing photos of grandchildren. With enormous writable walls primed for brainstorming ideas, flexible furniture arrangements, study areas and meeting spaces in a variety of sizes and configurations, MCC at the DO Space will also house the College’s Workforce Certification Center, with short-term training, testing and certification options for businesses, job seekers and employees. “Whether you have never used a computer before or you want to learn a new programming language, there is an opportunity here for you at DO Space,” said DO Space executive director Rebecca Stavick. “I really don’t know of any place in the country that has the caliber of technology and equipment that we have available here for the public.”

For more information about MCC’s educational opportunities at the DO Space, visit


MCC Chemistry instructor Dr. Kaiguo Chang received a $3,000 MCC Foundation Inspiring Innovation Mini-Grant to support undergraduate research and lead-based pollution analysis.

New electrochemistry experiment sets the stage for expanded STEM resources

The National Science Foundation recognizes that undergraduate research engages students in learning through discovery, which can enhance the quality of community college education and encourage students to pursue future studies in high-demand STEM fields. In fall 2015, MCC chemistry instructor Dr. Kaiguo Chang received a MCC Foundation Inspiring Innovation Mini-Grant to support creation of a new electrochemistry experiment. The undergraduate research project will enhance the College’s CHEM 1220 General Chemistry courses, including highquality research equipment that may position MCC as a community resource for lead-based pollution analysis.

A research group including chemistry faculty, 8-10 chemistry students and supporting staff will create strategies for obtaining local water and soil samples, identify appropriate sampling sites and select the new scientifically accurate equipment – a research-grade potentiostat – that will be used for lead contamination analysis. The research group’s prototype sampling procedure will be refined for adoption in all CHEM 1220 courses, enabling students to practice real-world scientific analysis of lead contamination issues impacting our local community, while working with government and community organizations such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the Omaha Healthy Kids Alliance. The new lab equipment will enhance learning opportunities

for many years, with applications in chemistry as well as a variety of other disciplines, such as measuring lead content in art and jewelry. In addition to helping students to develop transferrable applied research skills, chemistry faculty members also envision this project as a starting point for creating a new analytical science/forensic program to address the shortage for analytical technicians in a variety of industries. MCC Foundation supports faculty and staff in pursuing mission-driven innovative projects with studentfocused outcomes by awarding Inspiring Innovation Mini-Grants of up to $3,000 each.


It dawned on me one day looking at MCC’s Foundation website that I could begin a scholarship in my mother’s name. I thought it would be a great way to give back to the community while honoring my mother who gave so much to others. - Andrea Foster, MCC alumna

Some families see many generations go to the same college. For Metropolitan Community College alumna Andrea Foster, that past extends to the future, establishing a scholarship fund in her late mother’s name. The story began when Foster’s mother, Tanya, earned a nursing degree from MCC, an achievement that helped solidify the importance of education in the Foster family. “My grandmother and my mother have always emphasized the importance of education in our family,” said Andrea. “They passed that along to me and I used that to help propel me through my educational journey.” Andrea began her journey at a four-year institution but a family emergency forced her to move back home and put things on hold. “Life got in the way so to speak,” said Andrea. “I took a break from my postsecondary education, had my first child and went to work fulltime.” It wasn’t until a few years later that Andrea decided to give up work to pursue her degree fulltime at MCC. “I had a lot of help from family who were willing to assist me through college and give me the assistance I needed with childcare. I was very

lucky,” stated Andrea. “MCC allowed me to believe in myself again and regain my confidence after returning to school.” Andrea earned her two-year degree in professional studies in 2003, allowing her to earn a job at Child and Family Development Corporation before attaining a position at Omaha Public Schools, which lead to her current job at Howard Kennedy Elementary School in North Omaha. She currently works as an ERSEA specialist — someone who helps recruit, select, enroll and maintain student participation as part of the Head Start program. “I always felt I was destined to help people for a career. My mother did and now I do,” said Andrea. Andrea’s mother Tanya spent years in the nursing field, selflessly giving her time and experience to help others heal. Even after being diagnosed with advanced lung cancer, Tanya still wanted to give her time to others at Howard Kennedy Elementary School, a job her daughter Andrea helped her obtain. “She gave herself to others right up until the time she passed,” said Andrea.

Tanya Baker passed away in April 2015, an event that inspired Andrea and her family to begin an organization known as Treasures for Tanya. “It dawned on me one day looking at MCC’s Foundation website that I could begin a scholarship in my mother’s name. I thought it would be a great way to give back to the community while honoring my mother who gave so much to others,” said Andrea. In addition to establishing the Treasures for Tanya scholarship efforts at MCCF, the organization would like to assist families with things like utility assistance, holiday gifts, clothing drives and more in the near future. The scholarship, which will go toward nursing students who are single parents attending MCC full-time, is designed to help those just like Andrea and Tanya. The scholarship is endowed and will be renewable as long as there is a financial need for it. Said Andrea, “I know what it’s like to be a single mother trying to go through school and facing issues like a sick child at home. Our family wants to help give to those who are trying to better themselves while earning a degree in a field like nursing, an industry my mother gave herself to.”


Whether a global company or a country, you only retain your competitive edge if you continuously invest in the education of your workforce. In our community, we rely on Metropolitan Community College to lead the way in creating a curriculum and hands-on training to prepare our workforce for tomorrow’s challenges. - Mogens C. Bay, chairman and CEO, Valmont Industries, Inc. (not pictured)

MCCF Scholarship

MATCHING FUND Community colleges stand at the intersection of addressing the demand for career opportunity from students and forging partnerships that make these opportunities a real possibility. Here at MCC, developing the workforce is one of the College’s key goals as evidenced by the $90 million capital investment on the Fort Omaha Campus. Three centers of specialization will prepare students for high-demand, well-paying career fields. At the core of MCC’s expansion project is a 50:50 public– private partnership with $45 million secured in philanthropic support to create state-of-the-art facilities focused on the careers of today and tomorrow and providing students with the tools for lifelong learning. As Randy Schmailzl, MCC president, says, “Jobs are good, careers are better.” Preparing students for the workforce at MCC also means providing them with the financial means to do so. This challenge is met through partnerships that bridge the funding gap and connect students to careers. MCC partnered with the AKSARBEN Foundation, which works to leverage collective business leadership to build a more prosperous Heartland; the Horatio Alger Association, an organization focused on helping low-income students pursue higher education; and the Avenue Scholars Foundation, founded by Omaha philanthropists to ensure careers for students of hope and need. Together, they added a new scholarship opportunity for low-income students enrolled in Avenue Scholars’ comprehensive high school-tocollege program.

MCC and the AKSARBEN Foundation, which has been awarding scholarships to Heartland youth for many years, are combining resources to provide scholarships to Avenue Scholars students committed to attending full time and completing careerfocused degrees within three years. In addition, high school talent advisors and college success navigators will mentor students through their course of study and the AKSARBEN Foundation will leverage business partnerships to connect college graduates to employment opportunities in their career fields. The Horatio Alger Association is a key partner, bringing a national perspective and potential scalability for scholarship models to other community colleges. “Community colleges are a wonderful alternative in helping young people obtain the training and skills necessary to launch careers that will enable them to be productive and contributing members of society,” says Terrence Giroux, executive director of the Horatio Alger Association. “This sponsorship helps build a foundation for our workforce development goals across Nebraska. It can be a difference maker for area students and businesses,” says Schmailzl. The plan is to award scholarships to 150 career-focused students in year one of the pilot program, 500 in three years and 1,000 in five years. Schmailzl was at the forefront of developing community support and leading the way toward careerconnected solutions. “What Randy did was he sat down and asked himself, ‘What is my vision for

Metropolitan Community College?’ and from there he addressed the problems of this community. Randy is the coach. He had to call the plays. Randy is putting a program together that will open doors to careers,” says Mike Yanney, AKSARBEN Foundation governor emeritus. The MCC Foundation is seeking support from community donors to match scholarships, assisting students with no-debt completion and increasing access to educational and career opportunities. A growing number of community partners want to help students build their career skills at Metropolitan Community College. Many organizations are joining MCC in providing matching scholarships, which cover the full cost of an MCC education. The program goal is to prepare motivated low-income students for careers in construction, health, information technology and other high-demand fields, and to help area businesses find crucial skilled workers. With comprehensive scholarship funds, more students will be able to focus on their studies, get done and get to work. It is critical that students who want to participate in these programs have the financial means to do so. These scholarship partnerships set students on solid career pathways with no-debt completion, leading to a better quality of life. They strengthen our local workforce by training workers. Please join us in helping students get there. Note. Excerpts from “Presidents forge creative partnerships,” by J. Almquist, 2015, Community College Journal, 86 (2), p. 7-8. © 2015 by American Association of Community Colleges. Reprinted with permission.


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2014-15 MCC Foundation Annual Report  

View the Metropolitan Community College Foundation 2014-2015 Annual Report.

2014-15 MCC Foundation Annual Report  

View the Metropolitan Community College Foundation 2014-2015 Annual Report.

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