The MCTC News Blog

Construction Begins on Outdoor Art Installation

Posted on: July 28th, 2015 by insidemctc No Comments

Construction begins on the installation, July 28, 2015.

MCTC has begun construction of an artistic endeavor to further beautify the campus and visually connect the Loring Park community to Downtown Minneapolis.

The project, Zig Zag, is a collaboration between local architectural firm Aventur LLC and São Paulo-based Estudio Campana. Workforce development funding awarded to MCTC in 2012 included funds for art procurement, and following a search process during the spring of 2014 funds were awarded to the inter-continental collaboration.

The installment, an outdoor trellis structure standing 20’ wide and 44’ long, will create a grand, colorful entrance to the College’s campus and create a community space for social gathering. The canopy, stretching from the end of Harmon Pl. under the Helland skyway, will consist of a series of polyester webbed strands—similar to seat belts—criss-crossed over each other to create a zig-zag pattern over the walkway.

This project will be the first permanent, outdoor installation in the U.S. of the creative work of internationally known Brazilian artists Humberto and Fernando Campana. The Campana brothers’ work is exhibited around the world, including a display of their iconic chairs in the permanent design collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the noted redesign and renaming of Café Campana at the Musee d’Orsay in Paris, a retrospective exhibition of their work at the Vitra Museum of design in Germany and a temporary outdoor sculptural installation at the Victoria Albert Museum in London.


A model of the Zig Zag installation demonstrates the pattern, colors and scale.

Funds from the 2012 workforce improvement project also created new classroom space at the College for several career and technical programs, as well as a complete sustainable redesign of the outdoor plaza. The College is proud to be a part of a dynamic, urban Minneapolis community.

MCTC Instructor Tapped for Pluto Insight in Interview

Posted on: July 22nd, 2015 by insidemctc No Comments

Parke Kunkle, MCTC“One of the problems with the field of astronomy is that you can’t just…experiment on something that’s light years away.”

MCTC Astronomy instructor and advisor to the University of Minnesota Bell Museum of Natural History Parke Kunkle spoke with WTIP North Shore Community Radio in this 20-minute interview about Pluto’s recent return to public attention in images from the New Horizons spacecraft, and why it’s important to science.

Read about Parke’s past forays into the news spotlight.

MCTC Student Receives Full-Ride Transfer Scholarship

Posted on: July 20th, 2015 by insidemctc No Comments

Jack Kent Cooke scholarship logoMCTC Liberal Arts student Sara Osman was one of 90 students nationwide selected from 2,000 applicants to receive a full Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation.

The scholarship provides up to $40,000 a year for up to three years of undergraduate studies. It’s designated for community college sophomores who demonstrate financial need. The foundation has awarded $130 million in scholarships to 1,900 students since 2000.

Osman will transfer to the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities this fall to study global and African American studies.

“I feel blessed,” she said. “I’m ready for the next chapter to start.”

“She’s very special and is the kind of person who says ‘I’m never going to get it until I try,’” said Political Science Instructor Miki Huntington, who wrote Osman a letter of recommendation for her application.

Osman served as president of the MCTC Muslim Student Association and completed the Race in America: Then and Now class. She plans to use the skills she learned to eventually go to law school and teach English abroad.

“I want to help people wherever my talents are needed,” she said.

Our Voices: Vikas Narula, Fostering Business Skills

Posted on: July 20th, 2015 by insidemctc No Comments

Vikas Narula, MCTCVikas Narula couldn’t believe his dream of becoming a college instructor was finally coming true when MCTC offered him a position to teach a Small Business Management course last fall.

The entrepreneurial founder of the software and services business Keyhubs started his career with a love of math. His interest led him to the field of computer science, and eventually business school. Originally from Canada, Vikas didn’t see himself as a business owner until the moment he realized he could use business as a way to make people’s lives better.

“Business can be a powerful engine for improving society,” he said. “If you go into it with that intention, you can prosper and help others prosper.”

Vikas quickly learned the value of using contemporary technology to reach his audience, and began blogging about business, entrepreneurship, and eventually the intersection of his personal interests with his business model. His passion, amplified by the far reach of technology, was noticed by an MCTC instructor who encouraged him to pursue a teaching position at the College.

From day one in the classroom, Vikas’ business philosophies chartered his stories and lessons. He instantly connected with his class.

“I felt welcome immediately,” he said. “My course seemed to flow right from me, and the students met me with equal passion and interest. I felt like I was right at home in the incredibly diverse classroom on an incredibly diverse campus.”

Vikas told his students that whatever their background—whether they have business experience or are fresh from high school—they are capable of creating something original in the world of business. The rapport he builds with his students helps them envision all sorts of entrepreneurial ideas.

“Getting to know the students on a personal level and getting to see their eyes widen when they realize they could pursue their dream is truly special,” he said.

Vikas will teach the Small Business Management course again this fall, and is prepared for a semester of connecting, building and imagining with his students.

“Having the opportunity to teach at MCTC has been a blessing,” he said.

Dean of Career and Technical Education Forums Announced

Posted on: July 17th, 2015 by insidemctc No Comments

Two finalists have been named for the position of Dean of Career and Technical Education.

You can read about each finalist below:

Dr. Erik Burns
Dr. Zala Fashant

The finalists have been invited to speak with interested MCTC employees, students and community members at open forums on Tuesday, July 21 at the times listed below.

All open forums are scheduled in L.3100.

Dr. Erik Burns: Noon–1 p.m.
Dr. Zala Fashant: 2–3 p.m.