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Our Voices: Modou Jaw, World Citizen

Posted on: December 9th, 2014 by marketingworkstudy No Comments

ModouBlogBreaking Out of his Shell to Discuss Global Issues

MCTC Mathematics student Modou Jaw has made the most of his four years in the United States.

The Gambian-born student delivered a speech this fall at the Association of American Colleges and Universities Global Learning Conference in Minneapolis. In his speech, he explored the international student experience, and the struggles he and his peers face every day.

“Most people think international students come from wealthy families,” he said. “That’s not always true.”

Modou had been determined to attend college in the U.S. ever since he studied American politics during the 2008 presidential election.

He was drawn to Minnesota in particular, and relocated here in 2009. International students, however, are not eligible for federal financial aid. His first year in the U.S., Modou worked full-time and lived with a sponsor family while saving for his education. The cost of international student tuition was daunting, and kept Modou from pursuing a four-year school.

In 2012, a friend invited Modou to visit MCTC. He was instantly drawn to the College’s culture and atmosphere, and knew he wanted to make it his new home.

In his first semester at MCTC, Modou often sat at the back of his classes and kept to himself. American college culture felt radically different, and was afraid of others judging him.

“When you come to a new country, at first you don’t really feel like you’re a part of it,” he said.

With time, Modou mastered his classes—and his classmates noticed. He was approached for tutoring, and the personal interactions brought him out of his shell at last.

The growth went both ways. While interacting with his classmates in one-on-one settings, Modou was able to address misconceptions and stereotypes his classmates had about African culture.

“People think we live in huts,” he said. “The room I lived in back home was actually bigger than the one I live in now.”

As he grew more comfortable interacting in the classroom, his reputation as a knowledgeable classmate with global experience spread. One of his instructors invited him to share his outlook and experiences at the annual Association of American Colleges and Universities Conference on behalf of MCTC.

“He was the only speaker at the conference representing a community college,” said MCTC Global Studies Instructor Ranae Hanson. “He was brave, and talked about subjects that nobody else would.”

Modou’s bravery and willingness to discuss global issues also won him the Walter M. Welter World Citizen Scholarship Award, a scholarship recognizing students who exhibit qualities of a global citizen.

“This scholarship is more meaningful than others because it recognizes those who see problems in the world and want to see them solved,” Modou said.

Modou has covered much ground in his relatively short time at MCTC—in addition to mastering his classes, he’s grown more comfortable with himself. “I feel more comfortable talking about real global issues, and feel like I have the courage to have more discussions in class,” said Modou. After this school year, he hopes to transfer to the University of Minnesota or University of St. Thomas to study engineering.

“I’ve always challenged myself and put myself in difficult situations,” he said. “I believe that is the best way to learn.”

2014 Cinema Excellence Awards Winners

Posted on: November 4th, 2014 by marketingworkstudy No Comments

CinemaAwards2014-200The MCTC Cinema Division has announced the winners of its 2014 Excellence Awards. The Excellence Awards ceremony brings MCTC students, faculty, staff and the local film community together to recognize students for their work and award scholarships.

Click here to see the winning videos.

Sponsors

The Excellence Awards are generously sponsored by:

MCTC Scholarship Recipients and Donors Honored

Posted on: November 4th, 2014 by marketingworkstudy No Comments

ScholarshipBreakfast2014-200The MCTC Foundation held its 11th annual Scholarship Breakfast for students who received Foundation scholarships in the last year and the donors who made those scholarships possible. More than 200 students applied for these scholarships, and this year the Foundation will grant more than $300,000 in scholarships. The MCTC Foundation has distributed more than $2.5 million in the last five years in grants, Power of YOU scholarships and emergency funding.

“I am honored to have been involved with the College for as long as I have,” said MCTC Board President Harry Davis, Jr. “When I attended this school in the 60s—back then, it was known as Metropolitan State Junior College—this was a nontraditional school for nontraditional students.” Davis took classes taught by one of the College’s most foundational contributors: Earl Bowman. “Earl Bowman was the first African-American teacher I’d ever had,” he said.

Five scholarship recipients spoke at the event. “When you’re a father, a grandfather and a college student all at the same time, you may feel like you have many reasons to drop out of school,” said MCTC Liberal Arts student and Nadia and Louis Najarro Smith Scholarship recipient Juan Morales. “Thanks to the trust of Nadia and Louis, I’ll be able to succeed.”

MCTC students learn about scholarship opportunities from their instructors, advisors, the Foundation website and friends. The Scholarship Breakfast allows students to meet some scholarship funders—like Deb Pomroy, instructor of English as a Second or Other Language courses at MCTC since 1991. Deb and her family fund the Srok Scholarship, named for her grandfather who didn’t speak any English when he immigrated to the U.S. “It’s never a mistake to invest in people,” said Deb. Read her story on page 9 of The Groove magazine.

“I really appreciate that you believed in me,” said Nardos Legamo, MCTC Nursing student, former ESOL student and recipient of the Srok Scholarship.

“This is my favorite, and most inspiring, event of the year,” said Reede Webster, executive director of the MCTC Foundation. “These scholarships were part of MnSCU’s comprehensive Access to Excellence Scholarship Campaign, which has raised over $17 million so far for student scholarships and is 74 percent ahead of its first year goal of $10 million.”

“The theme I’m seeing in this year’s Scholarship Breakfast is generosity,” said MCTC Interim President Avelino Mills-Novoa. “As we approach Thanksgiving and take this opportunity to be grateful, we also want to thank the donors who generously made these scholarships available.”

Morales used Minnesota winters to describe how helpful a scholarship can be: “If there’s a big snowstorm and you have to clear your driveway before you can get somewhere, sometimes all you have is a tiny little shovel, and it’s really difficult to get anywhere,” he said. “But if someone comes by with a big truck and plows your driveway for you, it’s so much easier to keep moving forward with your life.”

The MCTC Foundation will accept scholarship applications for the spring 2015 semester until Nov. 26. Click here to explore scholarship options.

Photo, from left to right: MCTC Board President Harry Davis, Jr., Kopp Presidential Scholar Nathan Place, Kopp Presidential Scholar Frances Emberly, Srok Memorial Scholar Nardos Legamo, Najarro Smith Dream Act Scholar Juan Morales, Power of YOU Scholar Antonio Hunt and Interim MCTC President Avelino Mills-Novoa.

MCTC Student Receives World Citizen Award and Scholarship

Posted on: October 29th, 2014 by insidemctc No Comments

MCTC student Modou Jaw, World Citizen Award and scholarship recipientMCTC Mathematics student Modou Jaw is one of only 20 Mark M. Welter World Citizen Award recipients within the Minnesota State College and Universities system.

Nominated by philosophy instructor Matthew Palombo, Student Life Director Tara Martinez and Vice President of Academic Affairs Gail O’Kane, the award recognizes students who have the qualities and characteristics of a world citizen.

“He embodies what it means to be a global citizen,” Palombo said. “He possesses the knowledge and skills needed to put complex things together.”

22-year-old Jaw grew up in Gambia and moved to Minnesota in 2009 to pursue an education. One of his goals is to bring people of different cultures and races together and unite them.

“As we see the world, there’s so much violence going on and there’s so much misunderstanding,” he said.

Jaw recently spoke at the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) Global Learning Conference in Minneapolis on global issues such as the Islamic State and Ebola. He plans to graduate from MCTC in the spring of 2015 and transfer to the University of St. Thomas or the University of Minnesota.

Biotechnology Program Named Finalist for Tekne Awards

Posted on: September 22nd, 2014 by marketingworkstudy No Comments

TekneBiotechSTORYThe Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA) named Minneapolis Community and Technical College’s Biotechnology Program as one of 36 finalists for the 15th annual Tekne Awards, which will be held on Thursday, Nov. 13 at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

The program is a finalist in the workforce development award category, which honors innovative approaches to training workers in transition or youth with technology skills and successfully matching them to jobs that meet the needs of Minnesota companies. Other category finalists include Creating IT Futures Foundation (Downers, IL) and Genesis 10 (St. Paul).

“For 15 years, the MHTA has honored the technological innovators of Minnesota,” said Margaret Anderson Kelliher, president of MHTA. “We’re delighted to see such a fantastic display of technological advancements this year, and are proud to shine a light on our state’s outstanding science and technology industry.”

Finalists will gather to be recognized for their vast achievements in the state’s tech-based economy. The finalists span twelve categories recognizing the organizations, products and leaders driving technological innovation locally. The Tekne Awards honor those who have played a part in discovering new technologies impacting the lives and futures of people living in Minnesota and all over the world.

“MCTC’s biotechnology program is interdisciplinary, leading to multiple career paths and diverse higher education opportunities, serving biotech students and science majors. We are very grateful to MCTC and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities support for making this happen,” said Chemistry and Biotechnology faculty Rehka Ganaganur.

This nomination comes two years after the College announced a biotechnology partnership with the University of Minnesota and Ganganur recognizes how local academic and industry partners have come together to make Biotechnology a unique, award-worthy program.

“Minnesota’s scientific industry, and the universities of higher education including the University of Minnesota have made the program robust through extending a wide range of partnerships, transfer of courses, equipment, internships, jobs, scholarships and research opportunities,” said Ganaganur. “We also thank the LifeScience Alley, BioBusiness Alliance of Minnesota, Mayo Clinic, and national centers of bioscience such as the BioLink and Cold Spring Harbor Labs, for all the support and partnerships they have provided in many ways.”