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MnSCU Names MCTC Instructor “Educator of the Year”

Posted on: April 24th, 2014 by insidemctc No Comments

Cheryl Neudauer, MnSCU Educator of the YearCheryl Neudauer, Biology instructor at Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC), was presented with one of the highest educational honors in the state this week: Cheryl was named one of only four Educators of the Year, the highest honor granted by the state-wide Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system (MnSCU).

Cheryl Neudauer came to MCTC in 2003 as an adjunct Biology instructor, and 10 years later teaches both Physiology and Pathophysiology. Cheryl utilizes a “flipped-classroom model” in her classes: students work in groups to tackle the majority of their tasks, and Cheryl steps in to clarify difficult concepts. “These days, students can get almost any information online,” Cheryl said. “I’m trying to show students how they can think critically and utilize the resources they have.” After a few years of teaching, Cheryl turned her lectures and notes into a course outline with exercises and diagrams. “It’s very affordable, and saves my students almost $500 in textbook fees. They can take another three-credit class for that amount, and now they’re focusing on what’s important.”

Among her many accomplishments prior to coming to MCTC, Cheryl taught at a community college in Virginia, performed post-doctoral cancer research and attended graduate school at both the University of Minnesota and the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. “She has created a significant college ‘footprint,’” said MCTC President Phil Davis. “It is hard to imagine a faculty member who has had a greater impact.”
The MnSCU Board of Trustees bestows the Educator of the Year award to acknowledge and reward exceptional professional accomplishment and to encourage ongoing excellence in teaching. The winners were selected from 30 faculty members named Outstanding Educators by the presidents of their respective institutions based on nominations by students, faculty peers or staff. Three MCTC instructors were nominated Outstanding Educators in 2014.

Photo: Cheryl Neudauer (center) works with students in her classroom.

The Empowering Potential of Tutoring: Vince’s Story

Posted on: April 22nd, 2014 by insidemctc No Comments

Vince Collura, MCTC tutor“I came to Minneapolis on a whim. At that time, I was cynical about the value of school and careers.”

Not every college success story starts out like Vince Collura’s. Then again, not every student has the same educational transition Vince did.

Vince left high school before graduation, hopped a train in Milwaukee and wound up in Minneapolis in 2008. “I wanted to live in community with my friends, to see live music and to be a part of that music community,” said Vince. But life as a musician isn’t an easy—or consistent—one, as he learned. “I was working part-time at jobs I didn’t care about. Paying the bills to fund my bohemian lifestyle became monotonous. I started at MCTC in 2010 with the goal of being a high school English teacher.”

Shortly after coming to MCTC, Vince got involved with the Learning Center, and eventually became a tutor. “When I started, I was skeptical about the institution of education, and pessimistic that careers or school in general could give someone a satisfying life. However, many of my critiques about education and the way I was educated were resolved by working at the Learning Center,” said Vince. “I’ve found the pedagogy of tutoring to be very student-oriented. Trust is important, and seeking tutoring is always voluntary.”

Vince engages students in Socratic dialogue at the Learning Center, and works with them to gauge how they learn. “I work with students who may not speak English as their first language and are working with grammar and idioms, and I also work with math and science wizards who struggle to see the forest through the trees.” Regardless of the struggles a student may be having, the process of learning and collaborating proved to be an enlightening experience for Vince. “I’m driven by the knowledge that critical, creative thinking can be taught, and these are skills that can be learned and transferred.”

What does the future hold for a once-cynical tutor? “My peers at the Learning Center kept iterating that I was going to graduate school,” said Vince. “That was the first time I really considered it. Now I’ve decided I want to teach college.” Vince plans to transfer to the University of Minnesota next year and develop his own course of study that will lead him to his goals. “It’s a little overwhelming to look ahead to a bachelor’s degree and Ph.D while still working on an associate degree, but I’m trying to take it a little at a time.”

Vince is taking a hiatus from his previous life as a musician, but he doesn’t see this shift as an absence in his life. “Right now I’m focusing on putting my creative energy toward knowledge production,” he said. “I’m not writing music so much anymore; I’m writing words instead. When you learn to interrogate your society with the motive of improving it, you inherently create a better world.”

MCTC All-State Academic Team Members Recognized

Posted on: April 18th, 2014 by insidemctc No Comments

Two students from Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) were named to the All-State Community College Academic Team this month. The All-State Academic Team is an opportunity to recognize two-year college students for their leadership, academic achievements and community college service. Heidi Anderson-Ferdinand, History, and Anthony Andres, Addiction Counseling, joined a handful of students from other Minnesota community colleges at the recent recognition ceremony of academic success and community service.

Heidi Anderson-Ferdinand

Heidi, All-State Academic Team memberWhen she entered MCTC, Heidi thought she’d be pursuing Library Information Technology. In the midst of coursework she enrolled in an archival class and visited three local archives. “At the University of Minnesota’s Andersen Library archives, I walked through the climate-controlled caverns 80 feet below ground between rows of shelves reaching two stories high, and the weight of history surrounded me,” said Heidi. “I realized archives are the perfect blend of archaeology, history and the printed page, encapsulating the past for us to discover.” At that point Heidi changed her academic emphasis to History, and plans to continue with a master’s degree in Archival Science. “Starting college at 50 shouldn’t be seen as intimidating,” she said. “Entering college later in life gave me a chance to explore and grow and be involved in a wider world. It’s never too late for an adventure.” During her time at MCTC, Heidi also had the opportunity to represent the Minnesota State College Student Association at their Washington, D.C. summit.

Anthony Andres

Anthony, All-State Academic Team memberPreviously skilled as a welder and metal worker, Anthony Andres holds an Associate in Science degree in Welding Technology. Believing that his professional direction should reflect his life direction, Anthony decided to pursue a career path in Addiction Counseling. At the age of 32 with six years of sobriety, Anthony feels confident about his new goals. While at MCTC, Anthony served as both senior officer and president of the Alpha Epsilon Sigma chapter of Phi Theta Kappa. After graduating this spring, he plans to transfer to Metropolitan State University where he will work toward an alcohol and drug counselor license. “The work I’m doing in the recovery community is what currently defines me the most,” said Anthony, who helped develop a 12-step addiction recovery program based on empowerment and asset of character called 12after12. Anthony spoke about this program at Minnesober Recovery Convention last fall, and has been contacted by two local treatment centers that wish to use the program in their clinical setting. Anthony is gathering ideas for a book on his 12after12 program, and building support from people on social media sites and the wider recovery community. Read more about Anthony and the College’s annual Operation Recovery event in an article by MCTC’s student newspaper, City College News.

 

The All-State Academic Team was introduced 20 years ago to honor and recognize two-year college students for their leadership, academic achievements and community college service. These teams offer scholarships and scholastic recognition to Phi Theta Kappa members. Minnesota’s public community and technical college are proud to be a part of a tradition that showcases the high achievements of students who are committed to success in the classroom and service to their communities. By recognizing these students, Minnesota demonstrates a commitment to scholarship and community service as essential objectives in the state’s public community and technical colleges.

Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for two-year colleges, symbolizes excellence in higher education and a commitment to students. It has recognized and encouraged scholarship among two-year college students for more than 80 years, providing stimulation and enrichment while promoting the academic integrity of the associate degree program. For these reasons, the American Association of Community Colleges has designated Phi Theta Kappa the official honor society for two-year colleges.

MCTC Science Division Recognition Event April 30

Posted on: April 18th, 2014 by insidemctc No Comments
MCTC Science students.

MCTC Science students at the 2013 recognition event.

Please join the talented Science students, faculty, tutors and friends at Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) as they showcase their hard work and accomplishments at the 4th annual Science Department Student Recognition Event Wednesday, April 30 from 2:30–6 p.m on the Science Center 3rd floor!

  • 2:30–4:15 p.m.—Student project display and poster sessions; meet & mingle
  • 4:15–6 p.m.—Award ceremony and music

Special honorees include:

  • Students graduating with an A.S. degree in the sciences
  • Science students transferring from MCTC to another institution
  • Science tutors
  • Work-study students in science labs
  • Student officers, project leaders of the STEM Career and Internship Club, Engineering Club, Science Club, Urban Farm Collective and Three-Legged Frog Club
  • Students who have participated in research projects or obtained summer research fellowships or internships
  • S-STEM, North Star STEM, MM-STEM and PDL-BioPharma scholarship recipients
  • Students with other special achievements

All Science and Engineering students, faculty and friends are invited! Showcase your accomplishments and celebrate your success with family and friends! The Science division is proud of all its students.

Green Dot Day Advocates Community Violence Prevention on May 1

Posted on: April 17th, 2014 by insidemctc No Comments

Green Dot Day 2014 Take a stand against violence! Join members of the Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) and Loring Park communities to recognize and advocate against power-based personal violence on Green Dot Day!

A “green dot” is an individual commitment to counteracting “red dots,” or moments when words, choices or actions contribute to or tolerate power-based personal violence. Any intervention that reduces the likelihood of violence is a green dot.

On May 1, MCTC faculty, staff and students, Minneapolis MAD DADS, KMOJ and other local organizations will rally against violence with a day of discussions, displays, rousing celebration and a unity march through the park. Everyone is invited! For updates from the event planners, visit Green Dot Day on Facebook.