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MCTC Student Receives Full-Ride Transfer Scholarship

Posted on: July 20th, 2015 by insidemctc No Comments

Jack Kent Cooke scholarship logoMCTC Liberal Arts student Sara Osman was one of 90 students nationwide selected from 2,000 applicants to receive a full Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation.

The scholarship provides up to $40,000 a year for up to three years of undergraduate studies. It’s designated for community college sophomores who demonstrate financial need. The foundation has awarded $130 million in scholarships to 1,900 students since 2000.

Osman will transfer to the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities this fall to study global and African American studies.

“I feel blessed,” she said. “I’m ready for the next chapter to start.”

“She’s very special and is the kind of person who says ‘I’m never going to get it until I try,’” said Political Science Instructor Miki Huntington, who wrote Osman a letter of recommendation for her application.

Osman served as president of the MCTC Muslim Student Association and completed the Race in America: Then and Now class. She plans to use the skills she learned to eventually go to law school and teach English abroad.

“I want to help people wherever my talents are needed,” she said.

Our Voices: Vikas Narula, Fostering Business Skills

Posted on: July 20th, 2015 by insidemctc No Comments

Vikas Narula, MCTCVikas Narula couldn’t believe his dream of becoming a college instructor was finally coming true when MCTC offered him a position to teach a Small Business Management course last fall.

The entrepreneurial founder of the software and services business Keyhubs started his career with a love of math. His interest led him to the field of computer science, and eventually business school. Originally from Canada, Vikas didn’t see himself as a business owner until the moment he realized he could use business as a way to make people’s lives better.

“Business can be a powerful engine for improving society,” he said. “If you go into it with that intention, you can prosper and help others prosper.”

Vikas quickly learned the value of using contemporary technology to reach his audience, and began blogging about business, entrepreneurship, and eventually the intersection of his personal interests with his business model. His passion, amplified by the far reach of technology, was noticed by an MCTC instructor who encouraged him to pursue a teaching position at the College.

From day one in the classroom, Vikas’ business philosophies chartered his stories and lessons. He instantly connected with his class.

“I felt welcome immediately,” he said. “My course seemed to flow right from me, and the students met me with equal passion and interest. I felt like I was right at home in the incredibly diverse classroom on an incredibly diverse campus.”

Vikas told his students that whatever their background—whether they have business experience or are fresh from high school—they are capable of creating something original in the world of business. The rapport he builds with his students helps them envision all sorts of entrepreneurial ideas.

“Getting to know the students on a personal level and getting to see their eyes widen when they realize they could pursue their dream is truly special,” he said.

Vikas will teach the Small Business Management course again this fall, and is prepared for a semester of connecting, building and imagining with his students.

“Having the opportunity to teach at MCTC has been a blessing,” he said.

Marc Jensen: Connecting Creatively

Posted on: July 16th, 2015 by insidemctc No Comments

Marc Jensen, MCTC“I grew up on a farm close to nature. Instead of going to Disneyworld, we went camping and fossil hunting,” said Marc Jensen, the newest member of the MCTC Foundation Board of Directors. “But when my dad brought home an Apple IIe from the school he worked at, that was the spark that got me going down the technology path. That was my Pandora’s Box.”

Marc uses that spark in his current work at space150, where he connects clients to forward-thinking technology. Prior to joining space150, Marc used his ability to connect people to difficult concepts by using video games. “I taught videogame history, culture and creation at MCAD for 10 years,” he said. “Math is difficult for many people, but math can also be visual. The way I found to get visual or artistic types of folks interested in math is through video games.”

When Marc was approached by the MCTC Foundation to become a member of its board of directors, the Foundation was searching for someone who could connect new MCTC graduates with employers in the community.

“Things in the tech world move really fast, and it’s hard for a curriculum to hit a moving target,” he said. “As the world moves forward, the tools that used to work are no longer the best, or there are newer and better ways to do things. You’re at a disadvantage if you don’t know those things.”

In his role at space150, Marc has connected with companies like 3M, Buffalo Wild Wings, Electronic Arts and Nike. His career has included console and PC game development, as well as 3D animation and special effects, motion capture, animation and facial animation systems. For Marc, change is the norm. “My career has been about making creative uses of technology.”

MCTC was the perfect place to utilize Marc’s connection of creativity and outlet. “The diverse experience the college offers is amazing,” he said. “Having different points of view makes your business more successful. When everyone’s better, society is better. The more creatively we think, the less likely we are to be replaced by a machine.”

Rain Gardens Stand the Test of Weather

Posted on: July 9th, 2015 by insidemctc No Comments
This MCTC rain garden sits between campus and the Loring Park dog run. After rainfall, the garden fills with rain, allowing it to saturate the ground as opposed to running off into city sewers.

This MCTC rain garden sits between campus and the Loring Park dog run. After rainfall, the garden fills with rain, allowing it to saturate the ground as opposed to running off into city sewers.

When it rains, it pours.

After Monday morning’s record-setting downpour and several inches of ensuing rain, MCTC’s recently-remodeled outdoor plaza demonstrated the effectiveness of sustainability and stormwater runoff planning. This photo shows the southern rain garden—separating campus from Loring Park—filled with rain waiting to be absorbed into the saturated ground.

Rain gardens prevent stormwater runoff from eroding landscaping, flooding city streets and overwhelming sewers. The outdoor MCTC plaza has received accolades for its green design, and is a tremendous improvement over its earlier, concrete-heavy design.

Learn more about stormwater management at MCTC.

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 minneapolisdid.com.

Photo by Stephanie Glaros, published on minneapolisdid.com.

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.