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Ah-Nung: Putting the “Community” in Community College

Posted on: September 17th, 2014 by marketingworkstudy No Comments

Ah-NungMatrious

Ah-Nung Matrious was looking for a fresh start when she came to MCTC last fall after a less-than-stellar experience at a previous college. In her short time at the College, she’s already made an impact in the student community by means of collaboration and conversation.

When she started at the College, Ah-Nung was encouraged to join the United Nations of Indian Tribes Education (UNITE) student club.

“They were beat when I joined,” she said. “We all took on responsibilities to make improvements happen.”

Ah-Nung and the other members worked together to turn the club around. They mended broken ties with other student groups and increased accountability.

“We all revamped UNITE’s outlook as a student organization,” she said. “There may have been some struggles, but we overcame them and now we are stronger and more involved than ever.”

A key component to the club’s turnaround included collaboration. Ah-Nung and UNITE began working together to host events with another MCTC student club, Xicanos Latinos Unidos (XLU). The collaboration started with a potluck that brought members of the two clubs together to share their cultural foods and get to know each other. Members of the clubs also played a Jeopardy-style game and answered questions about Native American and Latino culture. Both clubs learned about each other’s cultures in ways they never thought they would.

“We went out of our way to forget about cliques and interact with each other,” Ah-Nung said.

The collaboration spanned other student groups as well. UNITE, in collaboration with the Student Veteran Association (SVA), reached out to other clubs to collect funds for an all-College barbeque. Ah-Nung saw it as an opportunity to create the atmosphere that she felt at the potluck, except on a larger scale. Hundreds turned out for the barbeque and she has even bigger plans for the next one.

“I think our collaboration started a trend,” Ah-Nung said. “It created a bigger sense of community.”

Ah-Nung’s Native American values are tied into her aspirations for the campus. Included in those values are community, unity and contribution. She knows that she won’t accomplish her goals alone, but will be successful with the help of her peers.

“We are always working together to look out for the future of our loved ones,” she said. “If those other student organizations and individual students didn’t help me or contribute, nothing great would have been accomplished.”

Before she came to MCTC, Ah-Nung was living on a secluded reservation in Hinckley, Minn. Coming to the Twin Cities was a shock for her.

“People who live in the boondocks often don’t have much, if any, experience interacting with people of other cultures,” she said.

Ah-Nung, currently the president of the MCTC Student Senate, is hopeful by the time she’s graduated next spring that she’s created a better sense of campus community for current and future students.

“One of the best things I like about MCTC is regardless of race or background, I have a lot of support,” she said. “I’m very thankful that they have given me the opportunities to let me do what I’ve done.”

Discover 12 Ways MCTC Can Work for YOU

Posted on: September 15th, 2014 by insidemctc No Comments

MCTC Works Oct 2014

Discover 12 ways MCTC can work for you

Register now for the October open house!

  1. Make more money
  2. Find jobs and network with employers who hire our graduates
  3. Save thousands of dollars
  4. Transfer easily to Metropolitan State, the University of Minnesota or other colleges of your choice
  5. Choose from more than 130 programs
  6. Connect with a diverse student body
  7. Learn from award-winning faculty
  8. Get involved and make a difference
  9. Stand out–seven MCTC students named to the Phi Theta Kappa All-USA Community College Academic Team
  10. Be successful–our alumni have made significant contributions throughout their careers and in their communities
  11. Give us a try–attend one of our hands-on career exploration summer camps (ages 13-18)
  12. Visit us on campus or in your community to learn how MCTC can work for you!

Visit Us at Our Open House

Date: Tuesday, October 21
Time: 5–7 p.m.
Location: Minneapolis Community and Technical College, T Building
1501 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis (free parking in the MCTC ramp)

Register now!

5th Annual “Operation Recovery” Addresses the Stigma of Drug and Alcohol Recovery

Posted on: September 9th, 2014 by insidemctc No Comments
Operation Recovery logo

What’s in YOUR medicine cabinet?

In recognition of National Recovery Month, the MCTC Addiction Counseling program and student club are hosting the fifth annual Operation Recovery Sept. 18, 10 a.m.–3 p.m. on the MCTC outdoor plaza.

Event organizers invite everyone from the community to attend the event in an effort to overcome stigma affiliated with drug and alcohol recovery. Last year, the event drew 1,200 students and community members and provided education, guidance and celebration from members of MCTC’s Addiction Counseling program, its students, local treatment centers, 12 Step programs and other local health programs. The event raised funds for Students Against Hunger and Homelessness, an MCTC student club which provides support for students experiencing homelessness.

This year’s event is marked by the recent passage of Steve’s Law during the 2014 legislative session. The law provides immunity to individuals who contact police to report a drug overdose, and allows first responders to carry Narcan, a drug designed to prevent death from opiate overdose. Key players in the law’s introduction and success will be at Operation Recovery, including Hennepin County Sheriff Richard Stanek, State Senator Chris Eaton who introduced the law and Lexi Reed Holtum from the Steve Rummler Hope Foundation, for whom Steve’s Law is named.

This year’s event will include:

  • 30+ community programs providing information on addiction, recovery and related resources
  • Speakers including Hennepin County Sheriff Richard Stanek, State Senator Chris Eaton and Lexi Reed Holtum from the Steve Rummler Hope Foundation
  • Free obstacle course
  • Raffle for great prizes
  • Cake walk and gift card giveaways
  • Free popcorn and cotton candy

To read about one of MCTC’s Addiction Counseling alumni and the success he experienced while in the program, click here. For a closer look at some of the events that took place at last year’s event, take a look at MCTC’s Facebook album!

MCTC Student Receives National Award for Research

Posted on: August 26th, 2014 by marketingworkstudy No Comments

20140730_1501323432Following an invitation to present her findings at the Minnesota capitol recently, MCTC student Shequaya Broadus was honored at the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Conference in Boston this summer for her research on bacteria in the Mississippi River. 

ASM awards undergraduate and graduate students every year for their biology research with the Capstone Award. MCTC Biology faculty and ASM member Dr. Renu Bhagat Kumar saw the award as an opportunity for student recognition and informed research students, including Broadus who was undertaking pertinent research, of the award.

“It’s a very prestigious award that few students receive,” said Dr. Kumar.

Broadus and two other students, had begun research the previous summer on the effect industrialization and modern agricultural practices have on bacteria in environmental soil and water. Samples taken from the Mississippi River showed the bacteria had tolerated higher concentrations of metal in the water.

“Our aim was to understand the possible mechanisms of metal resistance these different microbes use and harvest it for bioremediation and possible metal reclamation,” Broadus said.

The three students received assistance throughout their research from multiple MCTC Science instructors, other college lab assistants as well as access to laboratories in the Science Center. The students are also members of the MCTC Science Club, which helped fund their research.

Through a grant awarded to Dr. Kumar from the Education Minnesota Foundation and financial support from MCTC, Dr. Kumar accompanied Broadus to the ASM conference where the research was presented to scholars and peers from around the world.

“Naturally, I felt honored,” Broadus said, “and maybe a bit nervous because I hadn’t ever presented at a scientific convention at the local level, let alone nationally.”

Dean Chuck Paulson commends Broadus and the other students on their accomplishment.

“This is a big deal,” he said. “It’s a rare accomplishment for a community college.”

After finishing up the last of their research, the students hope to see their work published in an academic journal. Dr. Kumar’s students are the latest example of impressive research to come from MCTC students as well as the high-quality academic experience provided at community colleges.

According to Broadus, her experience performing research at MCTC has encouraged her to pursue a career in biomedical research.

Estefanía: A Confident Leader

Posted on: August 26th, 2014 by marketingworkstudy No Comments

Estefania HeadshotEstefanía Navarro was hit by culture shock when she came to the U.S. in 2005 and realized Americans didn’t like the Disney Channel show Lizzie McGuire as much as she thought they did. Born in Morelos, Mexico, the MCTC student had learned all she knew about the U.S. from television and movies.

Estefanía came to the U.S. with her single mother and younger brother. Her mother, who had lived and worked in the country previously, left Mexico for better job opportunities. Despite having taken English classes at a private school in Morelos and attending a mostly Latino middle school in South Minneapolis, the transition was still difficult. 

“I was lucky to have gone to a private school in Mexico,” she said. “I had very strict teachers who shaped me into who I am today.”

In 2007, Estefanía began attending Camp Sunrise, a free YouthCARE program that hosts urban youth at a camp in Rush City, Minn. every summer and teaches them the importance of the environment and working together. At the camp she learned the importance of working with others efficiently and how to be a proper leader. She was also struck by the diversity of her fellow campers.

“Seeing all these people with different backgrounds in the same place was amazing,” she said. 

Estefanía continued attending the camp through middle and high school, eventually becoming a junior counselor and then a full-fledged counselor. She enjoys establishing connections and getting to know the campers she oversees. She remembers herself as a shy and quiet teenager who lacked confidence when she first attended the camp. Over the years, her confidence has grown and she is now helping others who were like her.

Estefanía first walked the skyways of MCTC as a middle school student when the College was hosting a Latino-related conference and, later as a Jump Startstudent. The diversity of the campus community stood out and reminded her of Camp Sunrise. 

Estefanía was one of three Latino students to graduate with honors at her high school. Proud as she was, she felt like she had lost some of her culture since arriving in the U.S.

“I felt like I was losing a part of myself,” she said.

When she started attending MCTC, she heard about culture-related student clubs through Student Life. A representative from the Xicanos Latinos United (XLU) club encouraged her to attend one of their meetings. She felt like the club might help her regain some of her culture. After one meeting, she was sold.

“XLU is the family I didn’t have growing up,” she said.

Estefanía not only made friends in the club, but she’s also learned more about Mexican culture.

She experienced one of her proudest moments with the club when she organized a culture fashion show. She worked with more than 10 students from XLU and other Student Life culture-related clubs to model native clothing for their peers. The diversity and community she saw in the fashion show reminded her of why she came to MCTC. 

“We made friends with other students that we normally wouldn’t talk to,” she said.

In addition to her club involvement, Estefanía attended Student Senate meetings during her first year at MCTC. The more meetings she attended, the more intrigued she became by the passion she saw in the students participating. She wanted to be a part of that so she became a senator. As a senator, she wanted to make a change but she needed “a little more push.” In order to do that, she ran and became the director of diversity on the Student Senate’s Board of Directors.

“I really appreciate MCTC’s diversity, and I wanted to do something to help out and represent the minority community,” she said.

When a new election period came along, Estefanía had the option of running for director of diversity again or running for another position. She remembered her lessons from Camp Sunrise, and decided to take on more of a leadership position. 

“I knew the next president would need a strong vice president and I felt like I was the right person for it,” she said. “It felt like the natural thing to do.”

Student Senate inspired Estefanía to get involved with politics outside of MCTC. She stays up to date on political news and watches political documentaries. Her involvement with Camp Sunrise and Student Senate has also sparked a career interest in either education or politics.

“Closing in on the achievement gap is a passion of mine,” she said. “We need to keep students engaged and education is key for a brighter future no matter what your ethnicity or nationality.”