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The MCTC News Blog

MCTC Receives Accolades from MN Women’s Press

Posted on: June 2nd, 2015 by insidemctc 1 Comment

In the May edition of the Minnesota Women’s Press, the publication’s annual What Women Want issue paid homage to several of MCTC’s initiatives which have gone beyond the status quo in providing women access to education:

  • Favorite summer camps for kids (MCTC Career Exploration Camps)
  • Honorable mention: Favorite place to continue your career education
  • Honorable mention: Favorite leadership development/opportunity to increase personal power

MCTC is honored to receive recognition from the Minnesota Women’s Press, and has been recognized in previous years for being a great place for women to get a trade education (2010).

3M Product Developer to Visit MCTC April 17

Posted on: April 14th, 2015 by insidemctc No Comments

Dr. Bridgette ShannonThe Bridge to Baccalaureate program—a partnership between the University of Minnesota and three MnSCU schools: MCTC, Century College and Saint Paul College—will bring 3M representative Bridgette Shannon, Ph.D., to campus on Friday, April 17 from noon–1 p.m. in T.3850. Bridgette works as product development specialist for the 3M abrasive systems division.

Bridge to Baccalaureate aims to reach out to two-year students who may be considering STEM, who are taking certificate courses or are enrolled in developmental courses. The program supports minority community college students aspiring to transfer to the U of M to complete bachelor’s degrees in STEM majors. Click here for a flier.

About Bridgette Shannon

Dr. Bridgette Shannon is a native of Little Rock, Ark. She received her B.S. from Henderson State University in 2002, and her Ph.D. from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville in 2007. She studied inorganic chemistry and has industry experiences in cosmetics, semiconductors, and environmental technology businesses. Currently, Dr. Shannon is a product developer in 3M’s Abrasive Systems Division supporting the development and growth of various products.

MCTC Open House, STEM Fair and Skills Rodeo April 8

Posted on: April 3rd, 2014 by insidemctc No Comments

Open House banner

You are invited to join us for three amazing events at MCTC on April 8! Activities start at 10 a.m. and wrap up at 7 p.m. There’s something for everyone at MCTC on this action-packed day!

  • Open House, 57 p.m., T Plaza and 2nd floor
  • STEM Fair, 10 a.m.7 p.m., T Plaza
  • Skills Rodeo, 57 p.m., T Skyway

Open House, 5–7 p.m., T Plaza and 2nd floor
Whether exploring what the College has to offer, choosing your major or finding clubs that spark your interest, the Open House is for you! Invite your friends and family, stay for the other exciting events and be sure to pre-register! More information and registration are available here.


STEM Fair, 10 a.m.–7 p.m., T Plaza
Celebrate Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs, clubs and activities! At the STEM Fair you can:

  • Light your way through a cave lined with prehistoric cave paintings from across the world
  • Explore the Exploradome and its two distinct programs: a tour across the universe and a trip through the heart
  • Meet MCTC Engineering students and learn about their projects with a high altitude balloon, helicopters, a flight simulator and a drone
  • See MCTC student research projects previously highlighted at the state Capitol
  • Explore Biotechnology and other science demonstrations, hands-on activities and a human evolution display
  • Attend a presentation by Princeton University Molecular Biology professor Dr. Bonnie Bassler about how bacteria talk to one another
  • Watch the work of flesh-eating beetles, learn about animal decomposition and familiarize yourself with the flora of Loring Park
  • Learn more about MCTC’s STEM programs and student clubs!

Skills Rodeo, 57 p.m., T Skyway
Students from five career and technical programs will compete against one another in a chance to demonstrate their skills and vie for $2,500 in scholarships!

  • Photography: PHDI (Photography and Digital Imaging) participants will be asked to photograph portraits in front of a bright window. Students will have to balance studio lights with background light in order to create a mixed-light portrait.
  • Sound Arts: Sound Arts students will compete in a 10-minute sound frequency identification accuracy test involving music, frequency bands and filtering.
  • Barbering: Two Barbering students will compete by demonstrating their skills on live models in barber chairs, creating specific and specialized haircuts based on Minnesota State Barber Licensing exams. They will also present the logos they created for their proposed barber or hair salon business plans.
  • Culinary Arts: Culinary Arts student chefs will compete by creating the same dish which will be judged by a panel. The student with the highest score wins the scholarship, and the audience will be able to judge for themselves and eat the work of the competitors!
  • WeldingWelding students will compete at stations in the T Building welding labs to create specific challenging and sculptural welding projects within a limited time frame. A live video feed of the competition will be streamed to the T Skyway.

DJ music will be provided by students in The Sound Society student club.

Please join us for any of these amazing events April 8!

Princeton University Molecular Biology Professor to Speak at MCTC

Posted on: March 21st, 2014 by insidemctc No Comments

Dr. Bonnie Bassler, Princeton UniversityThe MCTC Biotechnology program and STEM Career and Internship Club proudly present a great session with Dr. Bonnie Bassler, Professor and Chair of the Department of Molecular Biology at Princeton University. As part of the April 8 STEM Fair, Dr. Bassler’s talk will provide key insights into the mechanism by which bacteria communicate, called “quorum sensing.” Bacteria use quorum sensing to coordinate certain behaviors including antibiotic resistance.

Join Biotechnology and the STEM Career and Internship Club for “Tiny Conspiracies: Cell-to Cell Communication in Bacteria” Tuesday, April 8 from 1:30–2:30 p.m. in T.1250 (the first floor plaza by the dining room).

Dr. Bassler is a recipient of the American Philosophical Society Award, Royal Society Fellowship Award, L’Oreal-UNESCO Women in Science Award and The National Academy of Sciences Fellowship. An example of Bonnie Bassler’s work can be found as a TED talk here.

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.”