The MCTC News Blog

Stephanie Glaros, Connecting with the Human Side of the Story

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

Stephanie Glaros

Stephanie Glaros’ interest in social justice began her very first year of college. That interest took her on a long and rich path to several colleges, states, jobs and, presently, to the faculty roster at Minneapolis Community and Technical College and the Humans of Minneapolis.

“I took a Women’s Studies class at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, and it helped me connect the dots between what I had been experiencing and what were systematic problems,” she said. “It was like a bell went off in my head.” Stephanie began seeing parallels between women’s social justice and other systemic issues. “At that point, the greater concept of social justice became not just an interest, but a passion.”

After transferring, working and finishing college in the Rocky Mountains, Stephanie traveled, took short-term jobs and eventually found herself working in downtown Minneapolis as a marketing assistant. “I was being directed by finance-minded people, and what they were asking me to do didn’t make sense intuitively. But I had no design background, and no vocabulary to describe why what they were telling me to do wasn’t right.”
Stephanie looked into design classes, and found MCTC in her backyard. “MCTC offered night classes at a time when I was working days. I could afford it, and it was located downtown,” she said. “While I was a student here, something just clicked for me. Graphic design was a way to combine my creative side with my desire to organize things. I felt like I finally found what I wanted to do when I grew up.”

After finishing her degree, Stephanie joined the small staff of the downtown Minneapolis-based Utne Reader magazine as its art director. There, she found a way to connect her career with her passion. “My educational background and trade fit with my interest in progressive politics and social justice issues,” she said. “I was a one-person art department. I had the opportunity to sift through some of the best photojournalism in the world. I learned the power of photojournalism and storytelling.”

It was the perfect match for Stephanie. “My background in graphic design and passion for social justice issues shape my work. My goal is to capture emotional stories, challenge prejudices, and increase empathy.” On her walks to work—camera in hand—she began capturing the emotional stories of  strangers in Minneapolis. “I took photos of anything I saw: the homeless shelter, the Greyhound Bus station; I found myself passing the same people every day, but I’d never interact with them. We were outside of each other’s circles. That started to feel very strange to me, and I decided to use my camera as an excuse to break that barrier.”

In 2010, the blog Humans of New York began publishing its collection of street photography. Stephanie followed it closely, drawn to the way the photographs shone a spotlight on otherwise overlooked individuals in the country’s largest city. Not long after, she realized she was already meeting and photographing the humans of Minneapolis. In 2013, she started her own blog by that name, bringing her pastime in line with a growing national movement to engage communities in storytelling.

“When I realized that’s where my interests had taken me, something clicked: telling stories is what I love to do. It brings together my background of photography, editorial journalism, graphic design and social justice.”

In the midst of her career and personal and professional growth, Stephanie was approached by one of her former Graphic Design instructors at MCTC who was about to take a sabbatical. He invited her to teach in his absence. That was the year 2011, and Stephanie has been teaching future generations of graphic designers ever since.

Today, in addition to teaching courses and telling the stories of the humans of Minneapolis, Stephanie writes a regular column in Southwest Journal, and is working on a community engagement project for the City of Minneapolis.

“I’ve realized how much of myself comes through in my work—not only in who I talk to, but in the parts of an interview I select. I’ve learned to trust my gut, and trust who I can connect with.”

MCTC Graphic Design Instructor Receives Recognition for Work in Downtown Minneapolis

Posted on: July 7th, 2015 by insidemctc No Comments
Photo by Stephanie Glaros, published on

Photo by Stephanie Glaros, published on

MCTC Graphic Design Instructor and alum Stephanie Glaros is collaborating with the Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District (DID) and the city’s Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED) department for her unique approach to community photography and engagement. Stephanie is one of many artists collaborating with the Minneapolis Long Range Planning division to help ensure the city’s compelling downtown experience, and will be conducting outreach to downtown community members using engagement processes beyond the technological realm.

“I am proud that Stephanie not only graduated with an A.S. in Graphic Design from MCTC, but also went on to be an important faculty member of the Graphic Design program,” said Bill Hendricks, MCTC Graphic Design instructor.

From the DID website: “The goal is for Glaros to use still photography, audio and video to paint pictures of what people think and feel when they are in the downtown area. The hope from Glaros’ perspective is she’ll be able to give the average person a voice and a way to be heard.” Read the story here.

MCTC Receives $350,000 in Equipment Donations

Posted on: July 6th, 2015 by marketingworkstudy No Comments

Leveraged-equipment-storyMinneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) received nearly $350,000 in instructional equipment donations in the 2014–15 school year, and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) will allocate an additional $350,000 through its Leveraged Equipment Donation Matching Program.

The program, launched in 2014, seeks to improve collegiate relations with local business partners. MnSCU has a history of forming industry partnerships to help benefit its students, staff and faculty.

“We are so grateful to MCTC’s partners. These donations reflect industry confidence in our faculty and students,” said Vice President of Academic Affairs Gail O’Kane. “We will continue to deliver with these partnerships.”

The following Twin Cities businesses made donations to MCTC programs during the 2014–2015 academic year:

• Air Mechanical (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration)
• Axure (Web & Interactive Media)
• Belimo(Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration)
• BIIOPAC (Biology)
• Bitzer US Inc. GA (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration)
• Dakota Supply Group (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration)
• Delta Airlines (Air Traffic Control)
• Ericksen Ellison and Associates, Inc (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration)
• Graco Inc. (CNC Machine Tool Technology)
• Harris (Business Management)
• Kurt Manufacturing (CNC Machine Tool Technology)
• Larry Yost (Apparel Technology)
• Mortenson Construction (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration)
• Nonin Medical Inc. (Polysomnographic Technology)
• NuAire Inc (Biotechnology)
• Owens Co. (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration)
• Pace Analytical (Chemistry)
• Quality Refrigeration (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration)
• South St Paul Steel Supply Co. (Welding)
• St. Cloud Hospital (Electroneurodiagnostic Technology)
• Tierney Bros (Graphic Design)
• Tom Connors (Photography & Digital Imaging)
• United Way (Physical Education)

An MCTC Design Portfolio Show 2015 – Best of Show Peer-to-Peer Award Winners

Posted on: May 12th, 2015 by insidemctc 1 Comment
Evolve students

From left to right, 2015 “Evolve” portfolio best of show winners Guedda Hassan Mohamed (GRPH), Jaisa Blegen (GRPH/WEB) and Marlene Reyes (WEB).

MCTC Design “Evolve” 2015

We are a dynamic team of emerging creatives; Evolve is the conscious progression of our ideas.”

Students of this year’s MCTC graphic and web design portfolio class have singled a few peers for their exceptional design work in their culminating “Evolve” design show.

Guedda Hassan Mohamed (GRPH), Marlene Reyes (WEB), Jaisa Blegen (GRPH/WEB) were awarded this years Best of Show Peer-to-Peer Portfolio Contest by their classmates.

Five students from each award area were also given Honorable Mention awards: Casey Jacobson (GRPH/WEB), Renee Schendel (GRPH), Ian Sorlie (GRPH/WEB), Christopher Kelly (GRPH), and Jake Luck (WEB). EVOLVE student were all the winners.

Portfolio students themselves choose award recipients via written vote/peer review vote. The first place winners each are given full CC 2014 Adobe Creative Suite software package. 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 “EVOLVE 2015”
  • Overall design principles presented in the portfolio
  • Overall body of creative work
  • Overall representation of the ideals of the creative design industry and their “EVOLVE” 2015 stated mission

Evolve Students are all winners.

MCTC Graphic Design Students Receive MCAD Scholarships

Posted on: December 22nd, 2014 by marketingworkstudy 1 Comment

MCADscholarshipSTORYMCTC Graphic Design students Raul Villanueva and Maria Sanchez have received scholarships worth over $100,000 combined from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD).

The MCAD Visual Merit Scholarship recognizes student achievement and success. The renewable scholarship is given yearly to 50 enrolled students pursuing their BFA, BS or MFA. Villanueva is honored to have received the award.

“I don’t think I could have accomplished it without all the support from my family and instructors in the Graphic Design department,” he said.

Both Villanueva and Sanchez were encouraged to apply for the scholarship by Graphic Design instructor Bill Hendricks upon being accepted to MCAD, one of the country’s most prestigious art institutions.

“We are so proud these individuals as we are of all of our graduates, whether working, freelancing, or continuing their education at a four-year institution,” he said.

The two students will be finishing up their respective associate’s degrees at MCTC this spring and will be starting at MCAD in fall 2015.

“I feel ready and confident thanks to everything that our instructors in the Graphic Design department have taught us,” Sanchez said. “We have learned to be leaders in our field and to always strive for the best.”