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MCTC Dedicates its Science Center

Posted on: December 2nd, 2015 by insidemctc No Comments

MCTC Ackerberg Science CenterNew names on the MCTC Science Center building belong to longtime friends of the college: Carolyn and Sanders (Sandy) Ackerberg. Nearly a hundred friends, family and community members gathered in the newly dedicated Ackerberg Science Center on November 23 to honor the life, legacy and gift made on behalf of Sandy.

“This is a thankful time all around the country,” said MCTC Vice President of Strategic Partnerships Mike Christenson, “and it’s a particularly thankful week at MCTC.” The dedication took place a few days before Thanksgiving.

The MCTC Foundation received a generous $1 million gift from Carolyn Ackerberg in memory of her late husband Sanders (Sandy) Ackerberg, who served and led the MCTC Foundation and helped lay the groundwork for what MCTC is today. Among the largest gifts in MCTC Foundation history, this donation will be used to fund scholarships and provide resources for students in need. In gratitude, the College named its Science Center for the Ackerbergs.

“Scholarships give college students the gift of time,” said Vice President of Academic Affairs Gail O’Kane. “There is no greater gift to students.”

AckerbergsSandy served on the MCTC Foundation Board of Directors for a decade and was Board President from 1986–1988. It was Sandy’s belief in the potential of all persons, and his commitment to education, that led him to serve MCTC, leading fundraising efforts and spearheading the Foundation’s first capital campaign.

A graduate of North High School, Sandy served the United States during WWII, and came home to enroll at the University of Minnesota. After earning his degree in architecture in 1949, he launched a long and highly respected career as an architect and real estate developer. For more than 35 years, Carolyn and Sandy worked together managing commercial and multi-housing real estate properties.

Sandy passed away in 2009. Since then, Carolyn has kept Sandy’s passion for MCTC students alive.

The dedication was attended by a rounded sample of community members, well-wishers and past and present employees. Attendees included former MCTC President Phil Davis, champion of the tuition relief program Power of YOU and leader of the 2009 capital funding campaign to redesign and upgrade the Science Center; Foundation Board President Harry Davis, Jr.; State Senator Scott Dibble who represents MCTC’s community and has been described as one of the foremost leaders of civil rights in the state; five MCTC students who received Ackerberg Science Scholarships; former Executive Director of the MCTC Foundation Reede Webster who led the Foundation at the time of the Ackerbergs’ donation; and many others.

“I guarantee if you invest in MCTC, you’ll get the best return on your investment,” said Foundation Board President Harry Davis, Jr.

The Science Center is, itself, an engineering wonder. Opened in 2009, the Center was built over and around buildings purchased from businesses adjacent to campus. A dedicated team of architects, designers, engineers and College faculty agreed on an open, airy design for the building’s interior spaces, and a striking glass façade on the exterior front. The building contains energy-efficient mechanical and electrical systems, and was constructed with careful attention to waste production, recycling potential and landfill avoidance.

“Your gift, Carolyn, extends far beyond money,” said Astronomy Instructor Parke Kunkle, noting that the dedication fell on the 100 year anniversary of Albert Einstein’s presentation of his theory of relativity. “We’re excited to see the ripples you’ve created in the fabric of our lives.”
“I’m honored to be here on behalf of my beloved husband Sandy,” said Carolyn Ackerberg. “Although we all prefer that he be here himself, his gift is intended to provide the means for future generations of students and graduates to be successful. If we can eliminate just this one barrier for students, it may mean the difference in their educations and their lives.”

Click here for an album of photos from the dedication.

Help MCTC Students in Need on Give to the Max Day Nov. 12

Posted on: November 5th, 2015 by insidemctc No Comments
Juan, MCTC

Juan, MCTC student and scholarship recipient.

On Nov. 12, Give to the Max Day, the MCTC Foundation will match dollar-for-dollar all donations up to $5,000.

“When you’re a father, a grandfather and a college student all at the same time—like me—you may feel like you have many reasons to drop out of school,” said Liberal Arts student and MCTC Foundation Scholarship recipient Juan Morales. “Thanks to the trust and generosity of people at MCTC, I’ll be able to succeed.”

MCTC welcomes students like Juan—students who have lived life, started families and come back to get a degree—as well as students right out of or still in high school. Many of our students benefit from the kindness and generosity of the greater college community—from people who have paid forward to help future generations of Minnesotans.

MCTC welcomes students like Juan—students who have lived life, started families and come back to get a degree—as well as students right out of or still in high school. Many of our students benefit from the kindness and generosity of the greater college community—from people who have paid forward to help future generations of the Minnesota economic and cultural workforce.

“If there’s a snowstorm and all you have in order to clear your driveway is a tiny shovel, it’s really difficult to get anywhere,” said Juan. “But if someone comes by with a truck and plows your driveway for you, it’s so much easier to keep moving forward with your life.”

Your gift clears the way for student success.

The MCTC Foundation, together with GiveMN.org, is working to create opportunities for Minnesotans in need. Dollars raised during MCTC’s 2015 Give to the Max campaign will help provide emergency needs for MCTC students. This could include books, supplies, transportation, childcare —any cost that may hinder a student from staying in school. Best of all, you’re not doing this alone: the MCTC Foundation will match dollar-for-dollar all donations up to $5,000.

Please don’t miss your chance to maximize your gift on Give to the Max Day. Donate on Nov 12 or schedule your donation now, and be the difference in the life of a student in need.

Marc Jensen: Connecting Creatively

Posted on: July 16th, 2015 by insidemctc No Comments

Marc Jensen, MCTC“I grew up on a farm close to nature. Instead of going to Disneyworld, we went camping and fossil hunting,” said Marc Jensen, the newest member of the MCTC Foundation Board of Directors. “But when my dad brought home an Apple IIe from the school he worked at, that was the spark that got me going down the technology path. That was my Pandora’s Box.”

Marc uses that spark in his current work at space150, where he connects clients to forward-thinking technology. Prior to joining space150, Marc used his ability to connect people to difficult concepts by using video games. “I taught videogame history, culture and creation at MCAD for 10 years,” he said. “Math is difficult for many people, but math can also be visual. The way I found to get visual or artistic types of folks interested in math is through video games.”

When Marc was approached by the MCTC Foundation to become a member of its board of directors, the Foundation was searching for someone who could connect new MCTC graduates with employers in the community.

“Things in the tech world move really fast, and it’s hard for a curriculum to hit a moving target,” he said. “As the world moves forward, the tools that used to work are no longer the best, or there are newer and better ways to do things. You’re at a disadvantage if you don’t know those things.”

In his role at space150, Marc has connected with companies like 3M, Buffalo Wild Wings, Electronic Arts and Nike. His career has included console and PC game development, as well as 3D animation and special effects, motion capture, animation and facial animation systems. For Marc, change is the norm. “My career has been about making creative uses of technology.”

MCTC was the perfect place to utilize Marc’s connection of creativity and outlet. “The diverse experience the college offers is amazing,” he said. “Having different points of view makes your business more successful. When everyone’s better, society is better. The more creatively we think, the less likely we are to be replaced by a machine.”

Minnesota Legislation Funds Nursing Support

Posted on: June 25th, 2015 by marketingworkstudy No Comments
Zander-200

Rep. Karen Clark and David Zander

Following the conclusion of the 2015 Minnesota state legislative session, Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) was honored to celebrate the passage of a higher education bill awarding $70,000 to MCTC, Century College and two yet-to-be-determined MnSCU colleges for the implementation of the Kathleen McCullough Zander Success in Nursing Program.

Kathleen (Kathy) McCullough Zander, late MCTC Nursing instructor, developed a 16-unit curriculum to mentor and tutor foreign-born Nursing students. The legislative funding follows the recent announcement of a strengthened Nursing articulation agreement with Augsburg College, as well as a recent remodel and launch of expanded, state-of-the-art Nursing classroom space.

“I am a nurse and a survivor of cancer myself,” said Minnesota Rep. Karen Clark, who helped author and advocate for the legislation. “This legislation was an act of love, and will leave an incredible legacy.”

Friends and family of Kathy and her husband David, as well as many MCTC Nursing faculty, gathered to celebrate the gift on June 24, Kathy’s birthday.

“This legislation is very timely,” said MCTC Interim President Avelino Mills-Novoa. “At our Nursing pinning ceremony this spring, we determined that 60 percent of the graduating class was foreign-born. The very program that you worked so hard for is one that has been deeply impactful for the MCTC community.”

Kathy is survived by her husband David Zander, who advocated most passionately for the passage of the legislation. “For me this is just a small first step in what needs to be done,” he said.

MCTC Foundation Receives $1 Million Gift

Posted on: May 14th, 2015 by marketingworkstudy No Comments
Carolyn and Sanders Ackerberg

Carolyn and Sanders Ackerberg

The MCTC Foundation has received a generous, $1 million gift from Carolyn Ackerberg in memory of her late husband Sanders (Sandy) Ackerberg, who served and led the MCTC Foundation and helped lay the groundwork for what MCTC is today.

Among the largest gifts the Foundation has received, this donation by the Ackerbergs will be used to fund scholarships and provide resources for students in need. In gratitude, the College will name its Science Center for the Ackerbergs.

“This gift will provide resources, inspiration and momentum for our College and our students,” said Avelino Mills-Novoa, interim president of MCTC. “We are grateful to Carolyn and Sandy for their belief in our students.”

Sandy’s legacy of service and achievement began during his time as a B-24 pilot in the 7th Army Air Corps during World War II serving in the southwest Pacific. After his return home, Sandy enrolled at the University of Minnesota, receiving a degree in architecture in 1949, and began his long and career as an architect, real estate developer and leader of the MCTC Foundation.

“His most enduring personal quality remains his genuine interest in, and concern for, all people he met,” said Carolyn. “He had a unique ability to connect with students, and enjoyed speaking and learning from the students he met at MCTC.”

Sandy passed away in 2009, and Carolyn has kept Sandy’s passion for MCTC students alive. A man of many talents, he served as president of the Foundation alongside historical community leaders Wheelock Whitney, Lou Nanne, Becky Malkerson and David Nasby.

“Sandy was a true gentleman, with a genuine interest and concern for the students of MCTC,” said Carolyn. “I know in my heart this is what he would like to do.”

“We express deep gratitude to the Ackerbergs,” said Reede Webster, executive director of the MCTC Foundation. “Their support will mean scholarships and supports for students who otherwise would not have the opportunity to pursue a college degree.