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The MCTC News Blog

Student-led Urban Garden Flourishes

Posted on: July 14th, 2014 by insidemctc No Comments

Sprouts in the MCTC urban gardenThe MCTC Urban Farm Collective (UFC) student club finished the construction of an on-campus urban garden in late May and recently held its first food distribution event in the T Skyway.

The 8,700 square foot garden was built over the course of the 2014 spring semester in any empty grass plot at Spruce and Yale Place. Dozens of fruits and vegetables including peppers, kale, squash, onions and tomatillos are growing and being harvested weekly to serve to the MCTC community.

“The intention is to show people that urban agriculture is a reliable source of food,” said student Cody Mehlin, UFC president.

Urban gardens, or community gardens, are part of the growing urban agriculture movement. These gardens are plotted and maintained by a community in highly populated locations.
This isn’t the club’s first experience establishing a garden. The club started a garden in 2012 on a plot next to the Gethsemane Episcopal Church in Downtown Minneapolis. Club members distributed some of that food to the community for free and sold the rest at local farmers markets.

“The downtown garden was a huge success but we couldn’t bring the produce back to the students,” said UFC advisor and Biology instructor Katherine Kragtorp.

The College’s Student Senate approved a $65,000 budget for a groundbreaking in December 2013. In the two months since its completion, the garden has begun yielding enough produce to distribute to MCTC students, and club members plan to add a bordering fence, a shed and benches. UFC expects to gain more ground with the garden when more students return for the fall semester and there are more varieties of foods to disburse.

Kragtorp is excited about the garden. She hopes students and community members will learn gardening doesn’t require much work. She’s proud of the students who made it happen.

“I can’t take any credit for this,” she said. “It was entirely the students.”

In 2009 MCTC signed on to the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment. Student initiatives like the urban garden and the Three-legged Frog environmental club support this initiative through on-campus events, activities and campaigns.
The garden is open to volunteers Monday through Thursday from 2:30 to 5 p.m. Produce from the garden is distributed Wednesdays for free from noon to 1 p.m. in the T Skyway. Visit the club’s Facebook page or email them at MCTCUrbanFarmCollective@gmail.com.

See more photos of the garden on Flickr.

Graco Grant Provides MCTC with Scholarships, Equipment

Posted on: June 24th, 2014 by insidemctc No Comments

Graco and MCTC form industry partnerships.A generous donation from Graco, Inc. will provide Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) with three pieces of machining equipment as well as $10,000 in scholarship funds for first-generation college students.

Long-term industry partnerships with local businesses have been fostered by members of the MCTC faculty, and have enabled the College’s Machine Tool Technology program to maintain updated technology for its students. “Our connections with Graco have allowed MCTC’s program to stay relevant,” said Machine Tool Technology Instructor Kim Munson.

Funds from this grant will allow the program to acquire three pieces of equipment: the Mazak CNC machine and simulators will allow students to virtually design and test machining parts for functionality. “Students will have the opportunity to better their knowledge of machining with this equipment,” said Munson. “It’s where the industry is going.”

In addition to the equipment, Graco is providing scholarship funds for Power of YOU students enrolled at MCTC. The Power of YOU program covers the costs of tuition and fees for two years for students who have families with low incomes, are first-generation college students or identify as students of color. Read about recent scholarship winners here.

“Having access to state-of-the-art equipment will make a profound impact on Machine Tool Technology students’ abilities to enhance their education and better prepare them to join the workforce after graduation,” said Angie Wordell, operations director at Graco. Angie was responsible for establishing a summer internship program placing MCTC Machine Tool Technology students with Graco—a partnership which could lead to a path to employment for some hard-working students.
“Several of my students through the years have gone on to be hired at Graco,” said Munson. “This internship program creates a pathway that strengthens our students’ connection to industry jobs.”

Photo: Angie Wordell, Graco operations director; Kim Munson, MCTC Machine Tool Technology Instructor; Mike Christenson, MCTC associate vice president of Workforce Development.

Best of Show Peer-to-Peer Award Winners from the MCTC Design Portfolio Show

Posted on: May 20th, 2014 by insidemctc No Comments

MCTC Design portfolio show peer award winners.“&,” the 2014 Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) Design Portfolio theme, is a collaboration of designers and creative problem-solvers. It is the continuation of a journey to the perfect solution, as well as the pursuit to always improve and dig deeper.

But the students of this year’s MCTC graphic and web design portfolio class have singled out a few of their peers for their exceptional design work in their culminating “&” design show.

Maria Sanchez (GRPH), Jeffrey Smith (WEBI), Tianna Hatch (GRPH/WEBI) (pictured, right) were awarded this year’s Best of Show Peer-to-Peer Portfolio Contest by their classmates.

Six students from each award area were also given Honorable Mention awards: Jacquelyn Kilmer and Hellen Gaudence (GRPH); Alex Oskie and Will Thoraldson (WEBI); and Lucie Skjefte and Lise Chapman (GRPH/WEBI). They were all the winners.

Portfolio students choose award recipients via written vote/peer review. The first place winners each are given full Adobe Creative Suite software. This award is funded by Graphic and Web Design alum Manuel Castellanos Raboso and Graphic and Web Design instructor Jake Jacobson.

In the voting process, each portfolio student was given the opportunity to award three votes to their peers covering several evaluative areas:

  • Overall creative presentation of the portfolio
  • Overall creativity, focus and uniqueness portfolio
  • Overall continuity in presentation of portfolio
  • Overall leadership and team/class participation of “&”
  • Overall design principles presented in the portfolio
  • Overall body of creative work

Overall representation of the ideals of the creative design industry and their “&” 2014 stated mission

MPS Students Earn MCTC Graphic and Web Design Credits, Take in Portfolio Show

Posted on: May 8th, 2014 by insidemctc No Comments

MPS students visiting MCTCHundreds of Minneapolis Public School (MPS) students visited Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) this week as part of a collaborative teaching partnership between MCTC’s Graphic and Web Design program and MPS schools. Thanks to the hard work of MCTC Graphic and Web Design instructor Bill Hendricks, for the last several years MPS students have had the option to enroll in a number of one-credit courses designed by Bill and taught by MPS teachers. Students who complete these 16-hour modules are eligible for MCTC course credit, and may complete up to five modules during their high school career.

After the first year of the program, 75 MPS students earned 100 MCTC credits through this partnership. This year, over 200 students received 286 credits at the ceremony held at MCTC. The College was full of visiting high school students attending the renowned Graphic Design portfolio show, touring Graphic and Web Design classroom space, hearing from Admissions advisors and attending an award ceremony.

“It’s invigorating to see Minneapolis Public School students interacting with graduating MCTC Graphic and Web Design students,” said Jess Niebuhr, dean of Media and Technology. “The high school students already have so much experience, the experience at MCTC is very meaningful to them.”

“The talent I see among MPS students is impressive,” said Hendricks. “The one-credit modules are designed to give them valuable college-level experience and entice them to continue their studies. The partnership between MCTC and MPS demonstrates our commitment to the community.”

To learn more about MCTC’s Graphic and Web Design programs emphasizing Print, Web and Interactive Media programs, click here. For a photo album, click here.

MCTC DECA Students are U.S. Champions in Washington D.C.

Posted on: May 5th, 2014 by insidemctc No Comments

MCTC Deca studentsStudents of the Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) business club, DECA, participated last week in the International Career Development Conference (ICDC) in Washington, D.C. The team took second place of 41—second only to a Canadian team—in the Entrepreneurship Challenge competition, securing $1,000 in prize money along with significant bragging rights. The team also advanced to the second round of the Project Management Competition. Competing teams, mostly from four-year universities, came from across the country.

Competition in the conference is intense. The various challenges offer anywhere from 30 minutes to 48 hours to prepare and present a solution to a real-world problem. Participants in these challenges were required to both think on their feet and work through the night preparing proposals. The team’s advisor, Jason Cussler, believes in a hands-off approach. “DECA is supposed to be a student-driven organization. To be honest, I don’t want to mess things up. This group had a relentless work ethic, business savvy and a very real competitive spirit. They wanted to win.”