Montgomery Celebrates Earth Day with Week of Activities

green_cities_logo3-300x75 copyby Alana J. Mauger

Montgomery County Community College will join communities across the world in celebrating Earth Day 2014, the theme of which is “Green Cities.” Launched in fall 2013, the Earth Day Network’s Green Cities campaign focuses on three key elements of sustainability: clean energy, green buildings and transportation.

While Earth Day itself is observed annually on April 22, the College will hold a variety of activities on April 21-24. All events are free of charge and are open to the community. More information is available on the College’s Think Green blog.

On Monday, April 21, the College will dedicate its new wind turbines during a 2 p.m. ceremony at its West Campus in Pottstown. Four 25-foot vertical axis wind turbines were recently installed outside of the College’s Schuylkill Riverfront Academic and Heritage Center at 140 College Drive. The turbines are part of the College’s Guaranteed Energy Services Agreement with Siemens Industry Inc.

Each turbine produces 1,000 watts of energy, for a combined 4,000 watts, which helps to power the LED lighting in the Center’s parking lot. The wind turbines also serve as a teaching and learning tool for the College’s lab science courses, among others.

On Tuesday, April 22, Earth Day, MCCC will hold an Eco Style Fashion Show from noon-2 p.m. in the Parkhouse Hall Atrium at the College’s Central Campus, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell. Coordinated by Public Relations student Katrina Lundy, the event will feature MCCC students modeling sustainable outfits from Plato’s Closet, Willow Grove, and from the College’s Barnes & Noble Campus Bookstore.

Then, from 1-2 p.m., MCCC will introduce its new “greener” transportation shuttle during a ceremony on the Central Campus quad, outside of the Advanced Technology Center. The new vehicle runs on compressed natural gas as opposed to traditional diesel fuel, which, according to the Alternative Fuels Data Center, will reduce emissions by 11 tons of carbon dioxide annually based in the vehicle’s 2013 mileage of 28,560.

The College partners with the Greater Valley Forge Transportation Management Association (GVF) to operate the 20-passenger shuttle to help students commute between its Blue Bell and Pottstown campuses. The shuttle makes four round-trips per day, Monday through Friday during the fall and spring semesters; it is free to students and is equipped with wi-fi. Last year, the shuttle program reduced vehicle mileage by more than 520,000 and eliminated emissions of more than 54,500 metric tons of greenhouse gases.

Next, the College will hold its annual Earth Day Block Parties from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 23 in the South Hall Lobby at the West Campus, 101 College Drive, and on Thursday, April 24 in the Advanced Technology Center atrium at the Central Campus, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell.

The block parties will showcase sustainability initiatives and activities from programs, classes, departments and individuals from throughout the College. Exhibits include the student Environmental Club; RecycleMania; Green Office Initiative; carbon footprint calculations; SEPTA, Zimride and other transportation options; green merchandise from Barnes & Noble Campus Bookstores; Siemens self-funding energy conservation project; CulinArt Farmers Market; sustainable Economics poster session; composting; health-related information; Culinary Arts Institute Landfill-Free Initiative; spring bike maintenance; and more.

Since signing the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment in 2007, sustainability has become a core value at Montgomery County Community College and is incorporated into the institution’s strategic plan, core curriculum, and in everyday best practices as they relate to facilities management, campus operations and transportation. Chaired by President Dr. Karen A. Stout, a team of faculty, staff, students, alumni and community members comprise the Climate Commitment Advisory Council, which guides sustainability efforts toward attaining carbon neutrality by 2050.

Editor’s Note: Paul Goraczko and Katrina Lundy contributed this this article.

Video courtesy of Earth Day Network

TD Bank Holds Workshops on Building, Keeping Great Credit

by Alana J. Mauger

April is National Financial Literacy Month, and Montgomery County Community College and TD Bank will offer free workshops to help students and community members learn how to build and keep great credit.

The workshops will be held on April 23 from 12:15-1:15 p.m. and April 24 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. in Parkhouse Hall room 121 at the College’s Central Campus, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell, and on April 29 from 12:15-1:15 p.m. in South Hall room 221 at the West Campus, 101 College Drive, Pottstown.

The workshops are free of charge and are open to the public. Questions can be directed to the College’s Financial Aid Office at 215-641-6566.

Criminal Justice, Public Safety Careers Focus of Biennial Event

Photo by Christine Reckner

Photo by Christine Reckner

by Alana J. Mauger

Montgomery County Community College will host its 15th Biennial Criminal Justice and Public Safety Career Day on Wednesday, April 23, from 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. at the Central Campus, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell.

The event is free of charge and is open to the public, including students from other institutions. For information, contactDirector of Criminal Justice Studies and Fire Science and Emergency Management & Planning Benn Prybutok at 215-641-6428 or

The event begins with an opening ceremony at 9 a.m., which will include remarks by Montgomery County and College officials and presentation of awards. Then, starting at 10 a.m. participants will have the opportunity to meet with top law enforcement, criminal justice and public safety agencies and recruiters in order to become better acquainted with opportunities in these fields.

More than 50 exhibitors will be in attendance, including municipal police departments, state and federal law enforcement and investigative agencies, private security companies, public safety agencies, four-year baccalaureate programs and area law schools.

Future Engineers Challenged to Friendly Quadrotor Competition

Photo by Sandi Yanisko

Photo by Sandi Yanisko

by Diane VanDyke

High school and college engineering-oriented students interested in designing, creating  and maneuvering unmanned aerial vehicles, also known as a Quadrotors, are invited to compete in Montgomery County Community College’s new 2014 Quadrotor Challenge.

The College’s Engineering Department will be hosting this first-time competition on Saturday,

April 26, 2014, starting at 8:30 a.m., at its Central Campus, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell. Team registrations are now being accepted by contacting Engineering Associate Professor William Brownlowe at

Using open-source technologies, each engineering team will be expected to design and build its own Quadrotor drone that will be able to execute maneuvers beyond the team’s line of sight. Teams will be charged with the task of observing and documenting suspicious activities occurring within a large open field on campus using the drone’s real-time video. The challenge includes 5, 10 and 15-minute flight time challenge categories, depending upon the battery power of the quadrotor drone. Specific requirements for the challenge and scoring can be found at the event website  and will be provided in the registration packet.

All competing team members will receive an event t-shirt, up to a maximum of five members.  Additional t-shirts can be purchased for $10 each.  Awards will be presented for the first, second, and third place teams.  The registration fee for the event is $100 per team, which will be applied to the cost of event t-shirts, event awards, and food.  Team registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 9 a.m. on April 26. Teams will have one hour to get set up between 9 and 10 a.m., at which time preflight inspections and test flight evaluations will begin.

The College’s Quadrotor Research Team is available for consultation on Quadrotor specifications, part and equipment acquisition, build guidance, and setup.  All of the information that leads to a successful Quadrotor build and setup are available open-source from MCCC’s team website

Montco Radio Hosts ‘WeeCanned’ Event in Support of Local Food Pantry

by Alana J. Mauger

The student-run Internet radio station at Montgomery County Community College will host a “Montco Radio WeeCanned” event this month to wrap up a non-perishable food drive that benefits Manna on Main Street, Lansdale.

On Saturday, April 26 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., the community is invited bring donations to the Montco Radio Studio, which is located on the first floor at the Advanced Technology Center at the College’s Central Campus, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell.

Guests will have a unique opportunity to meet the DJs and see them in action behind the scenes in Montco Radio’s state-of-the-art studio. Those who can’t make it to campus can listen to a special live broadcast throughout the event online at

Montco Radio’s  donation drive in support of Manna on Main Street is one of the College’s “50 Acts of Kindness” as part of the College’s 50th anniversary celebration. Throughout 2014, MCCC students, faculty, staff, alumni and supporters are committed to organizing 50 acts of community service—one for every year of the College’s existence. To learn more at the College’s 50th anniversary activities, visit

To learn more about Manna On Main Street, visit

Check out the video below!

Chamber Strings Ensemble Performs April 27

by Diane VanDyke

Montgomery County Community College invites the community to come and enjoy a free Chamber Strings Concert on Sunday, April 27, at 3 p.m. in the Science Center Theater, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell.

The Chamber Strings Ensemble will be featuring music selections of Grieg, Vivaldi, Hovhaness and Bartok under the direction of Chamber and Applied Strings Instructor Dr. Elizabeth M. Guerriero. Guest soloist Eric Coyne will also perform.

As a special feature, the Chamber Strings will perform an original composition, “Ode to the Ironwolves, Op.1,” written by student composer Otto Kuehrmann of Glenside. Kuehrmann, who is graduating in May 2014, is dedicating the composition to MCCC in honor of its 50th anniversary this year.

According to Kuehrmann, “Ode to the Ironwolves” is heavily influenced by the video gaming music of Hitoshi Sakimoto, Derek Duke, Russell Brower and C418, as well as the works of 20th century composer Alan Hovhaness. The piece is about the incarnation of and release of tension and utilizes techniques such as complex rhythmic writing and chorale style.

The College’s Chamber Strings is open to all players of violin, viola, cello, and string bass. The College also offers Jazz, Wind and Choir ensembles opportunities, as well as Music Theory and Digital Music classes held in state-of-the-art music labs.

Soloist Coyne has been an active teacher, performer, and chamber musician in the Philadelphia region since 2001. In addition to teaching cello, he has taught at Community Music School since 2002 and has been a Master Faculty member since 2009. He holds a B.M. in Cello Performance from the University of Iowa, and an M.M. and Performance-Pedagogy Professional Certificate from Temple University.

Dr. Guerriero, in addition to teaching at MCCC, teaches strings at Rider University, N.J. She has also taught applied violin and music education courses at the Westminster Choir College, University of Denver, and Penn State University. Dr. Guerriero serves as assistant director of the New Jersey Suzuki Workshop and director of the Keep It Going Summer Strings Camp. Dr. Guerriero graduated fromPenn State University and completed her B.M. in violin performance at the Hartt School of Music (Suzuki Books 1-4) and M.M. in violin performance and Suzuki pedagogy (Suzuki Books 1-9 and Practicum) from the Lamont School of Music at the University of Denver. For more information about the Chamber Strings Ensemble, contact Dr. Elizabeth M. Guerriero at

The College’s Music program offers students a broad variety of opportunities to explore music, and classes are open to all students, regardless of their majors. Since MCCC’s music coursework is transferrable, students are able to prepare for entry into a four-year music program. Students completing the AA program have gone on to complete their music degrees at West Chester, Temple, University of the Arts, Mansfield University, and many other fine music schools. For more information, visit

Chamber Strings Ensemble. Photo by Matt Carlin

Chamber Strings Ensemble. Photo by Matt Carlin

AACC Names Coach Geno Auriemma Outstanding Alumnus

by Diane VanDyke

Photo courtesy of University of Connecticut

Photo courtesy of University of Connecticut

Montgomery County Community College is pleased to announce that alumnus Geno Auriemma, head coach of the women’s basketball team for the University of Connecticut, received the 2014 Outstanding Alumni Award from the American Association for Community Colleges (AACC) on April 8, 2014, during the 2014 Annual AACC Convention inWashington D.C.

Auriemma was unable to personally attend the ceremony because the UConn’s women’s basketball team again made it to the Final Four of the National Championship and played against Notre Dame in Nashville, Tenn., during the evening of April 8. The team went on to win its ninth national title.

“From his humble beginnings in Norristown throughout his coaching career, Geno has persistently pushed to achieve the best for the players he coaches and for himself and has redefined the meaning of success in college women’s basketball,” said Dr. Karen A. Stout, MCCC president, who accepted the award on his behalf. “His success story and his continual achievements, both on and off the court, serve as an inspiration for all, and particularly for community college students who are starting at the same place he did.”

When he was seven years of age, Auriemma immigrated with his family to Norristown, Pa., where he grew up and attended Bishop Kenrick High School. Following graduation, he enrolled at Montgomery County Community College, Blue Bell. During his time at MCCC from 1972-1975, he played on the basketball and tennis teams. He also met his wife, Kathryn Osler, at MCCC, and they were married in 1978. He subsequently completed his bachelor’s degree in political science in 1981 at West Chester University, Pa. Following his passion for sports, he landed his first coaching job as an assistant girls’ basketball coach at Bishop McDevitt High School in Cheltenham Township, Pa.

Auriemma started his college coaching career in 1978 when he was hired as an assistant women’s coach at Saint Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, Pa. He returned to his high school alma mater to coach from 1979-81 and then coached at the University of Virginia from 1981-85. In 1985, he was hired by the University of Connecticut, and in 1995, the team won the first national championship and then proceeded to win the NCAA title seven more times.

In 2006, Coach Auriemma was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, Tenn., and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Mass. In 2007, he was inducted into the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame. He was named U.S. Basketball Writers Association National Coach of the Year in 1995, 2003, 2008 and 2009. In 2010, he shared the Big East Conference Coach of the Year award with Mike Carey of West Virginia, and in 2011, he won the award again. In 2013, he received the Winged Foot Award by the New York Athletic Club for winning the Division I National Championship.

In 2010, Auriemma coached the U.S. women to gold at the World Championships, and in 2012, he led the women’s U.S. National Team to gold at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England. This summer, Auriemma will be coaching the U.S. women’s team again at the 2014 World Championships in Turkey, where a title would qualify the team for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Beyond coaching, Auriemma has authored a book with the Boston Globe’s Jackie MacMullen, “Geno. In Pursuit of Perfection.” Additionally, he owns several restaurants in Connecticut, including Geno’s Fast Break and a new Geno’s Grille.

He has served on several boards, including Berkshire Hills Bancorp Inc., Kay Yow/Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Cancer Fund, American Heart Association, Why-Me of New England and the Connecticut Arthritis Foundation. As a motivational speaker, Auriemma often speaks to groups across the country, sharing words of encouragement “to be great at what you do.”