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MCTC English Instructor Shannon Gibney Receives McKnight Artist Fellowship

Posted on: March 27th, 2015 by insidemctc No Comments

English Instructor Shannon GibneyMCTC English Instructor Shannon Gibney is one of four local writers to receive the Loft Literary Center’s $25,000 award for their excellence in creative prose writing.

The McKnight Artist Fellowships for Writers are supported by the McKnight Foundation in Minneapolis. In order to qualify for the award, writers must have published a creative prose work or had their work published in literary magazines.

“I am so thankful to the Loft, the McKnight Foundation, and our amazing community here, which makes so much possible for us creatively,” said Gibney.

Gibney’s works have been featured in a variety of publications and anthologies including Parenting as Adoptees and The Black Imagination: The Science Fiction, Futurism, and the Speculative. This fall she is slated to publish a young adult novel, and she is currently working on a novel about African American colonization of Liberia in the 19th century.

“I hope to glean as much time and productivity as possible from the grant, and then pass on its fruits and make space for whoever’s next,” she said.

“It is an absolute joy and continual learning experience to work with a professional whose creative work directly intersects with her work as a MCTC faculty, colleague, and her work providing greater service to the communities that we serve here,” said MCTC English Instructor and Faculty Coordinator Taiyon Coleman.

Gibney is on sabbatical this year and will return to teaching in fall 2015.

MCTC Students Participate in, Volunteer for AWS Welding Competition

Posted on: March 11th, 2015 by insidemctc No Comments
Welding at MCTC

MCTC Welding Instructor Todd Bridigum works with a student.

MCTC was host to the “Behind the Mask” welding competition sponsored by the American Welding Society on Feb. 26. During the event, around 100 welding students from across Minnesota and Wisconsin competed in categories including gas metal arc welding, shielded metal arc welding, gas tungsten arc welding and oxy-acetylene cutting.

In addition to participating in the competition, MCTC welding students managed traffic flow, set up booths with prints and materials, supervised the contestants and timed each competition.

MCTC Welding Instructor Todd Bridigum reports that the event was a big success. “This was the third time MCTC has hosted Behind the Mask,” he said. “A lot of work goes into an event like this.”

The American Welding Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of welding.  The Northwest section of the AWS uses part of the money earned during this event to pay for scholarships for students in various welding programs across the state, including MCTC.

Apparel Technologies Program Partners with Target

Posted on: March 6th, 2015 by insidemctc No Comments

Apparel Technologies studentTechnical designers from locally based retailer Target saw firsthand how product designs come to life during a workshop with Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) Apparel Technologies students.

The Apparel Technologies department invited Target technical designers into the College’s state-of-the-art sewing lab to observe students simulating a garment factory’s “progressive bundling system.” According to MCTC Apparel Technologies instructor Vicki Johnson, the two-day workshop allowed employees to all aspects of apparel manufacturing from the first sample patter to a completed production run.

“It was a great learning opportunity for everyone to see how involved the manufacturing process can be during production,” Johnson said.

Throughout the workshop, students and Target employees were assigned roles of sewing, pressing and finishing pairs of shorts. Target industry experts judged teams based on the quality and quantity of the finished product and the results of a quality assurance inspection.

Apparel Technologies student Kelsey Nelsen called the workshop an invaluable experience.

“It was incredibly informative for us,” she said. “It was a great opportunity to gain insight into the mass production of apparel and the roles in the field of technical design.”

Amanda Jenson graduated from the Apparel Technologies program in 2012 and was one of the Target employees in attendance at the workshop.

“It gave me a better understanding of all the steps it takes to produce a garment at the factory level,” she said.

The success of this workshop and the commitment of MCTC’s faculty indicate future partnership opportunities between Target and the MCTC program. “Our program has a great reputation in the apparel industry and has the largest industrial sewing lab in the 5 state area,” said Johnson. “This workshop marks the beginning of a collaboration that will benefit our students and our program in the future.”

MCTC Student Newspaper Named “Best of the Midwest” Among 2-Year Colleges

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

City College News, MCTC's student newspaperThe Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) student newspaper, City College News (CCN), finished first among two-year college newspapers at the Associated Collegiate Press Best of the Midwest convention this spring. Student newspapers from across the Midwest took part in the competition, and newspapers from Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and South Dakota were represented.

In addition to the award, CCN photographer Chris Juhn was awarded second place for best news photo.

“I thought these awards were very deserving,” said Gabe Hewitt, CCN features editor and former CCN editor-in-chief. “The people who put together this paper work really hard and are passionate about what they do, ensuring the college news coverage is current, relevant and articulate.”

The conference, held in downtown Minneapolis, featured workshops for attendees emphasizing the importance of storytelling, as well as a keynote address by award-winning KARE 11 photojournalist Boyd Huppert.

“MCTC’s City College News is a source of pride in our community,” said MCTC Interim President Avelino Mills-Novoa. “Thank you to all who make CCN such a dynamic force on our campus.”

Photo: From left to right, Alison Bergblom-Johnson, ACP Executive Director Diana Mitsu Klos, Kassidy Curry, Chris Juhn, Gabe Hewitt and Porsha Allen.

MCTC Instructors and Alum Included in Anthology on Black Minnesota Writers and Writing

Posted on: February 10th, 2015 by insidemctc No Comments

Tish Jones, MCTC alumAlexs Pate, author of “Amistad” and “Losing Absolom,” long ago noted the absence of any compendium of black Minnesota writers and writing. His anthology, “Blues Vision: African American Writing From Minnesota” features nearly a century of poetry, fiction, playwriting and memoirs by black Minnesota writers, including MCTC Instructors Taiyon Coleman, Carolyn Holbrook and Shannon Gibney, and MCTC alum Tish Jones.

This article was originally published by MinnPost. Click here to read the full article.

Alexs Pate’s ‘Blues Vision’ anthology fills a missing place

One book on his shelf, “The Butterfly Tree: An Anthology of Black Writing from the Upper Midwest,” came out in the 1980s and captured an earlier era. In 30 years, however, Minnesota has changed, as has the literary world, which has expanded through the rise of hip-hop and spoken word poetry. An updated book needed to reflect that, Pate thought, especially since black voices haven’t been afforded a greater place in other regional collections.

“I feel comfortable saying black writers are underrepresented in anthologies of Minnesota writers,” says Pate, who says his own writing has been profoundly influenced by his surroundings in the great white north.

With the assistance of the Minnesota Humanities Center, Pate’s idea now fills that gap. “Blues Vision: African American Writing From Minnesota” (Minnesota Historical Society Press) gathers nearly a century of poetry, fiction, playwriting and memoirs by black Minnesota writers. The collection includes quintessentially Minnesotan stories like Susan J. Smith-Grier’s tales about growing up on a lake in Northern Minnesota, and equally Minnesotan memoirs like Evelyn Fairbanks’ stories about St. Paul’s Rondo neighborhood, now lost to I-94.

There are poems and stories about iconic Minnesota businesses, classic downtown Minneapolis buildings and the way ice forms on the lakes in late October. The civil-rights movement, jazz and blues music, racism and inclusion, the rural Minnesota landscape, family life, loneliness, and beauty fill these pages, through the voices of some of Minnesota’s best writers, including Conrad Balfour, Philip Bryant, David Haynes, Kim Hines, Gordon Parks and many others who may have been left out of other anthologies but have been here and writing all along.

Click here to read the rest of this article from MinnPost.