The MCTC News Blog

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.

MCTC Receives $600K Grant for STEM Scholarships

Posted on: March 6th, 2014 by insidemctc No Comments

Grant from National Science Foundation Will Support Students Through Scholarships

MCTC STEM student.The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a grant of nearly $600,000 to Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) for support of the College’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Scholars Program (S-STEM). Under the direction of MCTC faculty members Dr. Renu Kumar and Dr. Maire Sustacek, the S-STEM program is an opportunity for students pursuing Science, Math and Computer Science degrees to secure financial support and mentoring for their studies. Beginning this spring, 36 students will be supported each semester with a scholarship of $2,500, one-on-one faculty mentoring and learning opportunities geared toward their field of interest.

Dr. Kumar, director of the grant, was informed of the award by the NSF, and shortly thereafter received congratulations from Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison. Ellison wrote “I am thrilled to hear that MCTC is paving the pathway for student success in the areas of science and technology through the S-STEM program. Your commitment to creating a more diverse and better-prepared STEM community provides opportunities for underrepresented, underserved and financially needy students to pursue their academic goals.”

The NSF funds were secured by MCTC faculty members Dr. Kumar and Dr. Sustacek (grant co-director) with the help of Faculty Coordinator Dr. Richard Pollack. Their efforts were supported by Dean of Math, Science and Social Sciences Chuck Paulson, Dean of Media, Technology and Public Service Jess Niebuhr, Vice President of Academic Affairs Lois Bollman and MCTC President Phil Davis.

The MCTC S-STEM Scholars program is uniquely positioned to serve first-generation students, low-income students and students of color. Recruitment will target students who are eligible, enrolled in STEM courses and demonstrate academic excellence. This program will provide these groups with access to an excellent STEM education, strengthening the state, national and global economy and brightening our future. MCTC’s high-quality STEM courses and faculty mentorship will engage and challenge students, creating in them a well-prepared, intellectually vigorous science and technology workforce.

“This scholarship will enable students to focus on their studies without the need for second and third jobs and provide them with the opportunity to complete their degree/transfer or successfully enter the workforce,” said Grant Directors Dr. Kumar and Dr. Sustacek. “In addition, the one-on-one mentoring support will help students achieve their learning goals.”

“MCTC’s dedication to science, education and your students makes you both a distinguished and deserving candidate to receive an award from the National Science Foundation,” Congressman Ellison wrote. “I look forward to seeing the positive impacts of MCTC’s S-STEM program in the future.”

MCTC Foundation Receives $300,000 from Thomas Wells; Endowed Gift is Third Largest in College History

Posted on: December 11th, 2013 by insidemctc No Comments

The Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) Foundation received an endowed gift of $300,000 from the Trust of Thomas H. Wells. Tom, as he was known by friends, passed away unexpectedly in August of 2012.

Tom Wells served on the MCTC Foundation Board for over two decades, and was president of the MCTC Foundation when it embarked on its first capital campaign in the mid-1990s. “The recent endowed gift of $300,000 will ensure the continuation of Tom’s legacy for the students of MCTC,” stated Phil Davis, president of MCTC. “Nothing made Tom more proud than to meet a group of Wells Family Foundation student scholars, and learn about their incredible life stories.”

Throughout his life, Tom pursued philanthropic goals working individually and through the Wells Family Foundation. In 2006, Tom initiated and funded the Wells Family Scholarship Fund through the Wells Family Foundation and through personal contributions. More than 170 students have received Wells Family Scholarships at MCTC—many of whom are first-generation college students, low-income students or students of color. These students have demonstrated their academic success, with average GPAs of 3.5 and with retention rates that exceed college averages.

Many students have let the College and the Wells family know of their gratitude, including Nunay, who stated, “You have lightened my financial burden which allows me to focus more on learning, maintaining my GPA and completing my degree at MCTC. Your generosity has inspired me to help others and give back to the community.”

MCTC will begin offering scholarships through the Thomas B. Wells Endowed Family Scholarship Fund in fall semester of 2014.