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A welding instructor with a liberal arts background

Posted on: April 10th, 2013 by insidemctc No Comments
Todd Bridigum, MCTC instructor

MCTC welding instructor Todd Bridigum inspects the work of a student

What sort of academic background would you expect of a welding instructor who also teaches machine tool technology and HVAC-R, and dabbles in the art of printmaking?

Todd Bridigum has a bachelor’s degree in English.

Todd fell in love with visual arts and sculpture while he was studying for his bachelor’s degree. After completing his degree he went back to school for welding and metal fabrication. He worked in a manufacturing company for several years before joining Minneapolis Community and Technical College as a welding instructor and faculty coordinator. He also has his own studio space where he continues his studies in printmaking, drawing and metal sculpture.

Todd’s liberal arts background has come in handy—he was given an offer to write a book on welding. Since its publication, his book How to Weld has received international demand.

Read more about Todd here.

MCTC Apparel Technology student wins “Best in Show” design competition

Posted on: March 7th, 2013 by insidemctc No Comments

Kelly Keene's award-winning dress design showcased at the American Heart Association's "Hearts for Fashion" show February, 2013

MCTC Apparel Technology student Kelly Keene and her model, MCTC alum Behtsee Millman, at the AHA fashion show.

The American Heart Association’s “Hearts for Fashion” show was held at the Mall of America in February as part of AHA’s national “Go Red” women’s heart health awareness campaign. The show featured the designs of nine MCTC Apparel Technologies students along with students designs from other schools. Students were asked to incorporate the theme of heart health—as well as the color red—in their designs.

This year a “Best in Show” award was given to MCTC Apparel Technology student Kelly Keene for her ball gown. Kelly’s design—and her model, MCTC Apparel Technology alum Behtsee Millman—were then featured at the “Go Red Collection” benefit fashion show Feb. 17 at the Graves Hotel. All proceeds raised from the show will go to AHA’s women’s heart health programs.

“I read a lot of romance novels, and they were my partial inspiration for this design,” said Kelly, designer of the winning dress. “People in romance novels are often in denial about their feelings, just like people can be in denial about their heart health.” Her dress was capped with an intricate metal piece in the shape of a heart formed from cogs and gears.

Click here to view a photo on Facebook—and be sure to “like” MCTC while you’re there!

PSEO Places Student on Path to Success

Posted on: February 27th, 2013 by insidemctc No Comments

Philip Mestenhauser used his PSEO experience at MCTC to jump start his careerBy all appearances, Philip Mestenhauser was your typical high school senior. The 17-year-old attended South High School in Minneapolis and enjoyed camping, canoeing and road biking in his spare time.

Mestenhauser, however, was no ordinary student. Since the start of his junior year, he had been enrolled in Post-Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO), a program that allows high school students to take college courses and earn high school and college/university credits in the process. Mestenhauser split his days between South High and MCTC. When he graduated from South in the spring of 2012, not only did he have a high school diploma, he had 54 college credits, all earned for free.

Outside “the high school box”

Students must meet strict academic requirements and be mature enough to handle college coursework to participate in PSEO. That sums up Mestenhauser. Not long after starting at South, he realized high school didn’t suit him. “I never fit into the high school box,” he said. “PSEO seemed to work better for me, offering additional academic challenges to my coursework.”

PSEO allowed Mestenhauser to pursue his true passion. “I’ve always liked working with my hands and MCTC has many classes to enhance my skills and interests,” he said. “I love the sense of self-sufficiency and accomplishment you get from creating something.” That’s one reason MCTC appealed to him. He initially took welding courses, earning three certifications in the process. Afterwards, he moved into the college’s Machine Tool Technology program where students learn everything from computer-integrated machining, computer-aided design and manufacturing and programming to complex mathematical calculations and advanced measurement techniques.

As the U.S. manufacturing sector continues to expand, Mestenhauser’s technical skills will be in increased demand. Case in point: before graduating, Mestenhauser already had internship with a starting salary close to $20 per hour. Not bad wages for a 17-year-old.

Next steps

The internship was only the beginning. Last fall, Mestenhauser enrolled full-time at MCTC to finish his Manufacturing Technology and Welding diplomas. From here, he plans to work for a year and apply to the University of Minnesota’s Mechanical Engineering program. His longer-term aim is to work as an engineer with a team of machinists.

Thanks in part to MCTC, he’s closer to his goal than most people his age. “MCTC has been great for me,” he said. “The classes have been challenging, and I can look back and say I’ve learned a significant amount here. I’m really looking forward to starting up again after this summer and moving forward with my education.”

MCTC offers continuing education for manufacturing and construction professionals

Posted on: February 12th, 2013 by insidemctc No Comments

Xavier Escobedo, MCTC Manufacturing and Skilled Trades instructorXavier “X” Escobedo has worked in the manufacturing and construction industries as a manager, safety representative and instructor, and has been teaching OSHA Safety and Environmental classes at Minneapolis Community and Technical College for the last eight years. As a bilingual speaker, he also provides interpreting and training to non-English speaking individuals. “I see MCTC as a leader in providing customized training solutions to the manufacturing and construction industries to prepare them for the future,” says Xavier. “I enjoy teaching at MCTC because it provides me with state of the art facilities and provides our students with space to teach with lectures and to use hands-on and guided-practice learning techniques.”

MCTC one of the “best places” for computer classes

Posted on: January 2nd, 2013 by insidemctc No Comments

Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) is one of the “best places” to seek continuing education computer classes, according to a recent story published by CBS.

The article specifically highlights MCTC’s SeniorNet program. SeniorNet, offered through MCTC’s department of Continuing Education and Customized Training, offers extremely low-cost classes to people age 50 and older in a supportive environment.

For more information on Continuing Education and Customized Training, or to download a course manual with hundreds of course offerings, click here: http://www.minneapolis.edu/Continuing-Education-and-Training