The MCTC News Blog

The Groove: MCTC’s Alumni Magazine (Spring 2014)

Posted on: June 9th, 2014 by insidemctc No Comments

Groove magazine, spring 2014groove [grüv]:

(v.) to appreciate and enjoy; (-y) (n.) up-to-date

The MCTC magazine for alumni and friends is hot off the press! Read this spring’s edition for great stories about:

The Groove is released twice a year to MCTC alumni, friends, donors and the greater Twin Cities community. Read the spring 2014 Groove edition here!

For more information contact

Abbot Downing Awards Inaugural Scholarship Recipient

Posted on: September 6th, 2013 by insidemctc No Comments

Thomas Stenslie, recent graduate of Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC), is the inaugural recipient of the Abbot Downing Scholarship. Stenslie was awarded an annual renewable scholarship for $2,500 to complete his bachelor’s degree at Metropolitan State University.

Abbot Downing, a Wells Fargo business, will provide up to two scholarships annually for students interested in pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business at Metropolitan State University after completing two years at either Saint Paul College or Minneapolis Community and Technical College.

Stenslie will begin coursework at Metropolitan State University in Saint Paul, Minn. this fall, majoring in business administration, with an anticipated graduation date of 2015. While attending MCTC, he was a member of the dean’s list. A native of Wahpeton, N.D., Stenslie lives in Minneapolis, where he works as an auditor at RIS Inventory Services.

“Part of Abbot Downing’s mission is to attract and develop talented teams of people who demonstrate integrity, wisdom, and passion for great work,” said Jim Steiner, president of Abbot Downing. “Through the Abbot Downing Scholarship program we are able to connect with students who display these characteristics and invest in their future. We’re excited about our partnership with Metropolitan State, which has a strong business program and offers students affordability and flexibility to pursue higher education.”

President of Metropolitan State University Sue Hammersmith said, “I congratulate our partners at Abbot Downing for the vision reflected in their creation of the Abbot Downing Scholarship. This kind of private-sector engagement and support for students while they are preparing for their careers is an important and growing trend in public higher education. Abbot Downing’s example of outreach to promising students is the kind of innovation that enables Metropolitan State to continue to be ‘Where Life and Learning Meet.’”

The program is administered by Scholarship Management Services, a division of Scholarship America.  Applications for fall 2014 may be submitted starting in early 2014 at

Abbot Downing, with $34 billion in client assets and a 40-year history serving ultra-high-net-worth clients, is part of Wells Fargo’s Wealth, Brokerage and Retirement group, a leading U.S. wealth manager, with $1.4 trillion in client assets.

Abbot Downing services clients in all 50 states through offices in San Francisco, Palo Alto, Los Angeles, Scottsdale, Denver, Houston, Minneapolis, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Charlotte, Winston-Salem, Raleigh, Naples, Jacksonville, and Palm Beach. Wells Fargo launched the Abbot Downing brand on April 2, 2012, combining two Wells Fargo businesses: the original Abbot Downing built the iconic stagecoaches that have come to represent Wells Fargo.

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.4 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 9,000 stores, 12,000 ATMs, and the Internet (, and has offices in more than 35 countries to support the bank’s customers who conduct business in the global economy. With more than 270,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 25 on Fortune’s 2013 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy all their customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially.

Q&A with Dan Huiting: From musician to cinematographer

Posted on: August 24th, 2012 by insidemctc No Comments

Dan HuitingCombining his passion for music and film, former MCTC cinematography student Dan Huiting is living his dream. Before pursuing film, Huiting strived to make it as a musician, but found himself dissatisfied. It wasn’t until he worked on a music video for a song he and his friends wrote that he discovered a passion for film that launched him into the career of his dreams.

During his time at MCTC, Huiting took every opportunity to strengthen and showcase his film skills, leading to opportunities with MPLS.TV, Bon Iver and Pitchfork. He is now the senior producer of the City of Music series at MPLS.TV and the director of photography/editor of Minnesota Original on Twin Cities Public Television.

Have you always had a passion for the music industry? What inspired that passion?

I have always loved music. My dad gave me my first guitar when I was nine, and I’ve been playing ever since.

What led you to pursue a profession as a musician?

I found myself playing and recording for hours. I moved to New York City when I was 20 to try to make it as a musician, but I quickly became disillusioned and moved back. I only played guitar and bass, so I had to join other bands instead of starting my own. I never really clicked with any particular band.

What were your thoughts when you discovered that being a professional musician was not your best fit?

I felt pretty bummed out and lost for a while—I wasn’t sure what I would do with my life.

When you were working on the music video for the song you and your friends wrote, what did you love about the shooting, lighting and editing process?

I fell in love with the collaborative aspect. Working with my friends toward a common goal—and having fun in the process—was something I hadn’t experienced when I recorded by myself.

What led you to MCTC?

I had always taken photos and felt I had a decent eye, so I decided to pursue MCTC’s cinematography program. I felt filmmaking might be in the cards for me.

What are the top three takeaways from your time at MCTC that helped you most in your film career?

First, my professor, Adam Olson, who spent countless hours answering my questions about cinematography, was a great resource. Second was my first-year production courses, where I learned the basics about lighting, camera and the language of film. Lastly were the people. I made valuable relationships with like-minded students who were as passionate about film as I was. I work with many of those people today.

What’s your favorite part about your current job/gigs?

I love getting paid to make art all day. I can’t believe I get paid to travel and work with the bands I love. I also enjoy meeting talented artists and musicians around the city—it’s really inspiring.

What are your hopes for the future regarding your career?

I want to continue making art and challenge myself with new projects. The more I do this, the more confident in my craft I become, and I’m able to take bigger risks with my work. It’s exciting to try something new that you aren’t sure will work, but it’s better than doing the same thing. That’s how I stay excited about my career.

Read more about Dan Huiting in the article

MCTC Alumni Night at Joe’s Garage

Posted on: August 22nd, 2011 by insidemctc No Comments

Sept. 15, 5 – 8 p.m.
Joe’s Garage

If you are an alumnus/alumna of Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC), you are invited to attend MCTC’s first Alumni Re-Connect Night.

Why should you attend?

  • Receive 25% off at Joe’s if you attend on Sept 15.
  • You will be entered to win a $50 Joe’s Garage gift certificate and MCTC prizes.
  • Re-connect with fellow alumni.
  • Learn about ways to re-connect with MCTC.

We hope to see you there. If you plan to attend, please RSVP to Marni Harper at or 612-659-6311.

Share our Facebook event page with your alumni friends!

MCTC Alumna Susan Niz Releases her First Book

Posted on: July 14th, 2011 by insidemctc No Comments

Kara, Lost Book CoverIn Susan Niz’s first book, Kara, Lost, 16-year-old Kara flees the suffocation of her suburban life, trading in her home and family for a gritty, anonymous existence on the streets of Minneapolis. First-time novelist and MCTC alumna Susan Niz offers a universal story of yearning for place, acceptance and identity.

Niz attended MCTC from 1994-96 as a liberal arts major. She soon transferred to the University of Minnesota where she majored in English and minored in Spanish, graduating in 1997. She returned to the U of M to complete a Master’s in Education. She is now a writer and ESL teacher.

Susan NizNiz has begun her writing career with several recognitions, including the 2010 finalist for the Loft Mentor Series Competition in creative non-fiction for memoir series, Her Name is Guadalupe and the 2009 Editor’s Nomination for the Million Writer’s Award for Seed Words

“In Kara, Lost, Susan Niz’s wonderful eye for detail and uncanny insight bring a troubled teenager’s world to life. Kara’s fierce determination to forge her own path in life and the challenges she faces on every front ring true. So true, in fact, that at times I wanted to put down the book and go find that girl and give her a home. A masterful debut,” says Alison McGhee, a Minnesota Book Award Winner.