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MCTC Student Receives World Citizen Award and Scholarship

Posted on: October 29th, 2014 by insidemctc No Comments

MCTC student Modou Jaw, World Citizen Award and scholarship recipientMCTC Mathematics student Modou Jaw is one of only 20 Mark M. Welter World Citizen Award recipients within the Minnesota State College and Universities system.

Nominated by philosophy instructor Matthew Palombo, Student Life Director Tara Martinez and Vice President of Academic Affairs Gail O’Kane, the award recognizes students who have the qualities and characteristics of a world citizen.

“He embodies what it means to be a global citizen,” Palombo said. “He possesses the knowledge and skills needed to put complex things together.”

22-year-old Jaw grew up in Gambia and moved to Minnesota in 2009 to pursue an education. One of his goals is to bring people of different cultures and races together and unite them.

“As we see the world, there’s so much violence going on and there’s so much misunderstanding,” he said.

Jaw recently spoke at the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) Global Learning Conference in Minneapolis on global issues such as the Islamic State and Ebola. He plans to graduate from MCTC in the spring of 2015 and transfer to the University of St. Thomas or the University of Minnesota.

Felisha Burns: Seeking a Career, Not Just a Job

Posted on: October 16th, 2014 by insidemctc No Comments

Felisha Burns, MCTC alumFelisha Burns had to grow up fast.

A native of South Minneapolis, she lost her mother at age 13. “My dad raised me, but he worked a lot,” she said. “He worked second shift at the postal service. If I got home from school and he wasn’t there, I had to work things out for myself.”

She began working at age 14—first at Burger King, then at a gas station near Loring Park in Downtown Minneapolis. “I worked there for awhile and made enough to pay for my own place. It was great while I was young, but eventually I asked myself if I wanted to be doing that for the rest of my life.”

When Felisha’s cousin told her she was considering going back to school, Felisha realized it was a great next step. “We did it together,” she said. “That’s when my journey began.”

When Felisha began studying at the school then known as Minneapolis Community College (MCC), she focused her energy on acquiring one degree. “When I was done just two years later, the college was called MCTC, and I had five diplomas and certificates.”

Felisha knew she wanted to work in a business office, and throughout her studies in Business Office Technology picked up skills in keyboarding, data entry, business math and specialized office support. She needed a job to support herself during school, and started working at TCF Bank, where she would stay for five years. During her time at MCTC, Felisha was invited to participate in a business speaking competition in Duluth. “I was surprised my instructor asked me, but she believed I could succeed,” she said. “When I arrived at the competition and drew a random speech topic, it turned out to be the same topic I focused on all semester in class. I knew I could deliver that speech.”

As graduation grew closer, Felisha grew into her adult self. “When my classmates and I first started at the College, we didn’t have a clue who each other was,” she said. “But the closer I got to graduation, the more nervous I was, and my classmates felt the same way. We all had things going on in our lives. We all knew what our goals were and we all supported each other.” Felisha and her classmates attended graduation together in the Northrup Auditorium.

Furthering her career, Felisha moved from TCF to a position with Hennepin County, where she provided economic assistance to elderly or disabled individuals. “I worked there for another five years,” said Felisha. “It gave me an understanding of our society and people who are in need. Ever since then I’ve been committed to working with people in need. I love it.”

Now, 15 years after she graduated from MCTC, Felisha works with the City of Minneapolis, working as a personal assistant and attending outreach events. “I work with the Step Up program, adults, dislocated workers, families and high school age students,” she said. “Whenever I see young people come in, I ask if they’re planning to go to school.”

Felisha looks back at the last two decades and sees much to be proud of. “I went from low income to the middle class,” she said. “I tell other young people that I had to grow up fast, and if I can make this success happen, so can they. Along the way they’ll meet some amazing people, and they just need to start the process.”

MnSCU and MCTC Waive Application Fee for High Schoolers Oct. 27–31

Posted on: October 6th, 2014 by insidemctc No Comments

High school students.For a limited time, college and university application fees will be waived throughout the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system (MnSCU) in recognition of College Knowledge Month, a statewide effort to provide every interested person—especially underrepresented individuals—with the opportunity to apply to college. Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) will participate in this initiative, waiving application fees for the week of October 27–31.

“Our colleges and universities are committed to making sure every Minnesotan has access to an extraordinary education,” said Steven Rosenstone, MnSCU chancellor. “College Knowledge Month is a wonderful opportunity for us to encourage more people to apply for college. It gives our colleges and universities an opportunity to show students who might otherwise think college is beyond their reach that resources are available to help them pay for higher education and complete their degree.”

College Knowledge Month encourages high schools and post-secondary institutions to collaborate to engage, inform and support students as they enter into the college application process. The month-long event ends with a week of waived application fees for any interested individuals. Application fees for qualified low-income students are always waived at all MnSCU colleges and universities.

“We are delighted to offer the application fee waiver as a way to further encourage future students to visit our campus and begin planning their transition to college,” said Laura Fedock, dean of Enrollment Management.

For a complete list of participating colleges and universities, visit the MnSCU website here. To apply to MCTC, click here.

MCTC Part of Federal TAACCCT Grant Award

Posted on: October 2nd, 2014 by insidemctc No Comments

MCTC Machine Tool Technology studentMCTC and a dozen other institutions were awarded a $15 million grant from the Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant program. The grant was awarded to the Minnesota Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (MNAMP), a collection of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) colleges.

Vice President Joe Biden recently announced $450 million in grants to colleges and universities around the country for the development and expansion of innovative training programs in partnership with local employers. The grants are part of a four-year, nearly $2 billion national initiative to expand targeted training programs for unemployed workers, especially those impacted by foreign trade.

“Minnesota’s greatest economic strength has always been our highly-skilled workforce,” said Governor Mark Dayton. “This initiative will help train hundreds of Minnesotans for good jobs in high-demand industries. It is the new initiative we need to build on the momentum of our state’s growing economy.”

MCTC will use its portion of the grant—totaling over $1 million—to:

  • Create seamless career pathways that offer industry-recognized credentials in advanced manufacturing
  • Create and update educational programs in advanced manufacturing to match employer needs and industry-recognized credentials
  • Develop long-term, collaborative partnerships with employers in advanced manufacturing
  • Improve enrollment, retention and completion within these programs and job placement of participants in advanced manufacturing programs, including participants from underrepresented groups

“This grant provides a strategic resource for MCTC to enhance and grow long-term, collaborative partnerships with employers in advanced manufacturing,” said Reede Webster, dean of External Relations and Workforce Development.

MCTC Receives Greening Award

Posted on: October 2nd, 2014 by insidemctc No Comments
MCTC rain gardenThe Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District (DID) has awarded MCTC a Greening Award for Best Open Space Green Infrastructure for environmental updates made to its outdoor plaza during recent workforce development renovations.“With the high caliber of projects recognized as nominees in your category, and the level of public participation in the nomination and voting process, this recognition is a strong statement about the quality of the work you have done to make your property and Downtown Minneapolis overall a greener and more welcoming place,” DID wrote in its award letter.

The Greening and Public Realm Awards recognize property owners, businesses and community groups who have created and maintained public green spaces that help to enhance downtown Minneapolis. MCTC also received Greening awards in 2013 for its Fine Arts plaza as well as for its Urban Farm Collective student club’s urban agriculture presence.

“We are proud to receive this award for green infrastructure,” said Roger Broz, MCTC facilities director.This project improves campus and neighborhood communities by providing a green corridor connection between Harmon and Loring Park. The design significantly reduces surface water runoff as well, and supports our campus climate commitments.”

In 2009 MCTC signed on to the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment. Campus initiatives like the plaza renovation, urban garden and the Three-legged Frog environmental club support this initiative through on-campus events, activities and campaigns.

Photo: One of several new rain gardens on the MCTC campus.