The MCTC News Blog

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.

Transportation Security Administration and MCTC Honor Program Graduates

Posted on: June 8th, 2011 by insidemctc No Comments

On Monday, June 6, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) and Minneapolis Community and Technical College honored 49 local TSA employees who have earned a TSA Homeland Security certificate or associate degree at MCTC.

Mike McGee, dean of Academic Affairs at MCTC stated, “The MCTC/MSP program started as a pilot program among nine other colleges nationally. Based in part on the success of the MCTC program, which resulted in the largest completion rate of the nine colleges, a decision was made by Washington D.C. officials to continue to provide tuition assistance through associates degree programs for TSA officers attending MCTC.

In 2009, the TSA chose MCTC to provide a higher education curriculum for airport security officers and other TSA personnel. The first enrollees began classes on September 21, 2009.

The Groove: Spring 2011

Posted on: May 24th, 2011 by insidemctc 1 Comment

Groove Spring 2011Check out our spring 2011 edition of The Groove, MCTC’s newsletter for alumni and friends. In this issue you’ll find stories about our faculty, alumni, programs and what’s been happening on campus. Featuring:

  • Our biotechnology program: combining academia and industry
  • Astronomy faculty member Parke Kunkle
  • Alum Eric Howell and his film, Ana’s Playground
  • Much more…

Download the PDF…