Celebrate Campus Sustainability Day With Art, Essays, Info

by Alana J. Mauger

Campus Sustain Day 14

2014 Campus Sustainability Day logo by contest winner Karim Abdelgawad

Montgomery County Community College will join hundreds of colleges and universities across the country to celebrate Campus Sustainability Day 2014 with activities on Oct. 21 and 22, as well as through a collaborate art project and short essay contest.

In its 12th year, Campus Sustainability Day is designed to create awareness and facilitate discussion between students, faculty, staff and the community at large. The 2014 CSD theme is “Empowering Change on Campus and in the Community.”

This year, MCCC will hold two days of CSD activities:  Tuesday, Oct. 21 from 12:15-1:30 p.m. in the South Hall Lobby at the College’s West Campus, 101 College Drive, Pottstown, and Wednesday, Oct. 22 from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. in the Advanced Technology Center of the Central Campus, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell. The Oct. 22 event coincides with a Sustainability Career Day for high school students, presented by Communities in Motion, a foundation of the Greater Valley Forge Transportation Management Association (GVF).

Both events will feature informational and interactive exhibits on a variety of “green” topics, including the Green Office Initiative, RecycleMania, Solar and Wind energy, Shuttle transportation program, Zimride, refillable dry erase markers and much more. The Central Campus event will also feature information on water bottle fill stations and a special exhibit of hybrid and electric vehicles in partnership with Conicelli Auto Group.

To commemorate the College’s 50th Anniversary and to create awareness about reusing and recycling common objects, participants are asked to donate unwanted items for a “found object” art project. These items will be mounted onto a four-foot board in the shape of MCCC’s 50th Anniversary logo. Found object items can include would-be-discarded plastic, metal, wood, cardboard, rubber, fabric and glass; writing instruments; CDs; bottle caps; shoe laces; computer parts; utensils; brushes; photos; jewelry and much more! While the possibilities are almost infinite, items that are perishable, soiled, or otherwise inappropriate will not be included. All individuals donating pieces to the project will be entered into a drawing for a free Think Green sweatshirt. Materials will be collected at both campuses.

Members of the College community are also invited to submit short essays describing a sustainable practice in which they engage and why it’s important to them. The deadline for submission is Oct. 31. All entries will be published on the College’s Think Green blog for a two week voting period. The author of the essay with the most votes will also receive a free Think Green sweatshirt, and the essay will be featured as part of the College’s 2015 Earth Day celebration. Essays should be emailed to communications@mc3.edu.

In addition to green specific activities, individuals are encouraged to donate gently used winter coats to benefit the Cluster Outreach Center in Pottstown and non-perishable breakfast items to benefit the College’s Stock Up for Success food pantry for students in need.

The College is also asking community members to get involved by tweeting ways they are going green with the hash tag #ThinkBigGreen.  Responses tweeted by Oct. 31 with the hashtag will be compiled and posted to the College’s Think Green blog!

Faculty to Host Panel Discussion on Hunger

by Diane VanDyke

50 Logo OkApproximately 14 percent of American households, 1 out of 7, have food insecurity or difficulty providing enough food for all family members, according to a report released by the United States Department of Agriculture in September 2014. Locally in Montgomery County, 11 percent (approximately 88,463) of all residents and 14 percent of the County’s children in 2013 experienced food insecurity, according to the Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger.

To increase campus and community awareness of this situation, Montgomery County Community College faculty will be discussing hunger during a special panel forum, “Hunger in the United States and Locally,” Oct. 27, at 12:30 p.m., in the Science Center Theater at the Central Campus, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell. The program will be simulcast to the College’s West Campus in North Hall room 209, 16 High St., Pottstown. The event is free and open to the public at both campuses; the community is invited to join in the discussion.

The panel discussion will be moderated by Anthropology Instructor Dr. Lynn Swartley O’Brien and will include the following participants and topics:

Associate Professor of Psychology Dr. Deborah Greenspan will discuss the psychology of eating (not enough and too much), as well as the long-term consequences of hunger on psychological development and why people are often driven to consume unhealthy food products.

Instructor of Hospitality Management James Lynch will discuss his work on the front lines of hunger, as a Senior Manager and Executive Chef for Philabundance, as well as promoting hunger relief through education and volunteerism.

Faculty Diversity Fellow in Human Services Natasha Patterson will discuss obesity and hunger. Obesity is an issue of malnutrition when at risk populations consume foods high in calories and low in nutrients. Obesity trends are directly linked to food insecurity and poverty in addition to the high rates of diabetes and other chronic illnesses.

Assistant Professor of Geography Professor Samuel Wallace will discuss the geography of hunger in the U.S., looking at a recent study of the percent of the U.S. population (particularly children) at risk of hunger, and identifying geographic patterns at the county and the congressional district scales. These patterns identify factors driving childhood risks and the possibilities for policy level action.

In addition to increasing awareness, the College has taken action during the past year to help support its students who face food insecurity. Last spring, the College piloted a Stock Up for Success Program that enables students to pick up donated, non-perishable breakfast, lunch and snack items in the Student Success Centers. The College’s Office of Student Leadership and Involvement spearheaded and manages the initiative.

During Nov. 16-22, the College will hold a “Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week,” during which the campus community in encouraged to donate food items, as well as gently used coats. On Saturday, Nov. 22, the Mustangs Men’s basketball team will hold its annual “Hoops for Hunger” game to collect food items.

The College also welcomes support from the community. Non-perishable food donations–including microwavable lunches, to-go cups of peanut butter and tuna, mini cereal boxes, granola, Pop Tarts, instant oatmeal cups, trail mix, fruit cups, mini raisin boxes, juice boxes and mini bottles of water–can be brought to the Student Leadership and Involvement Offices, located in College Hall 103 at the Central Campus, and in South Hall 106 at the West Campus.

Monetary donations can also be made to the Stock Up For Success Program through the College’s Foundation. Visit mc3.edu/giving, select “Give Now” and choose “Stock Up Success Food Pantry” from the drop down menu. Donations by check should be made out to “MCCC Foundation” with “Stock Up for Success” written in the memo line and mailed to MCCC Foundation, 340 DeKalb Pike, East House, Blue Bell, PA 19422.

The discussion panel is part of the College’s 50th anniversary events and relates to President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty legislation, which he introduced in January 1964, the same year the College was established. Poverty is the principal cause of hunger.

VIDEO: ‘The Buzz Update,’ Week of 10/13

Check out “The Buzz Update” for the week of Oct. 13, 2014. The program is student produced by the Communicating Arts Production Group (CAPG) at Montgomery County Community College.

Discover Pathway to Dynamic Medical Laboratory Technician Career at Info Sessions

by Alana J. Mauger

photo by Matt Carlin

photo by Matt Carlin

Montgomery County Community College will hold information sessions for its Medical Laboratory Technician program on Wednesday, Oct. 22, from 12:30-1:15 p.m. and from 5-6 p.m. in the Science Center room 204, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell. For information, contact Debra Eckman, MLT Program Director, at 215-641-6487 or deckman@mc3.edu.

Both sessions will include an overview of MLT job opportunities, the application process, admissions requirements, laboratory experiences, required courses and transfer opportunities. The sessions will also include a tour of the College’s MLT facilities and a question and answer period. All interested students, current or prospective, are encouraged to attend the workshops to learn about career opportunities available for graduates of the College’s two-year associate’s degree program.

Medical laboratory technicians play a crucial role in the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of disease by collecting samples and performing tests that analyze body fluids, tissue, and other substances. The College’s nationally-accredited MLT program prepares students for careers in hospitals, commercial laboratories, physician office laboratories and pharmaceutical companies. Students are eligible to sit for the MLT American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) examination upon graduation.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of Medical Laboratory Technicians (MLT) is expected to grow by 22 percent through 2022, much faster than average for all occupations, as the volume of laboratory tests continues to increase due to population growth and the development of new types of tests.

Culinary Arts Institute Opens ‘Forty Foot Café

by Diane VanDyke

Montgomery County Community College celebrated the launch of its newest entrepreneurial initiative today with a ribbon cutting ceremony for a retail bakery café at its Culinary Arts Institute (CAI) in Towamencin Township.

Opening its doors to the community next Wednesday, Oct. 15, Forty Foot Café will offer assorted baked goods, coffee, sandwiches and other items prepared and sold by CAI students. Revenue from the sales will support the Culinary Arts programs, and tips will help students pay for competition and event fees, aprons and other program-related items. The café will be open Wednesdays and Thursdays, 8:30-11:30 a.m., with easy access and convenient parking from Forty Foot Road.

“The bakery café provides a hands-on opportunity for students to learn the soft skills of operating a business, including how to handle customers and any issues that may arise, like running out coffee,” CAI Director Francine Marz told the roomful of attendees who gathered for the ceremony. “The students operating the café are part of our new course, Retails Operations I, in which students learn these invaluable customer service skills, along with how to produce culinary items and baked goods on a large scale.”

College President Karen A. Stout praised the partnerships that facilitated CAI’s construction and growth.

“Vision and collaboration are necessary for a new business endeavor to prosper, and that is what we see at work here today,” she said. “This state-of-the-art facility for our culinary program was made possible by a public-private partnership with Towamencin Township and Philadelphia Suburban Development Corporation.

“Our partners also include benefactors like Alma Jacobs, emeritus member of our Foundation Board of Directors and longtime supporter of the College, who invest in our students by providing scholarships,” Stout continued. “And our CAI team of instructors and administrators, who develop and implement programs that will provide our students with a well-developed spectrum of skills to succeed.”

The CAI’s future plans call for the opening of a restaurant bistro in the spring to coincide with the Retails Operations II and Quantitative Food courses that will be offered. Like the café, the bistro will feature rotating menu options prepared by the students in their courses.

For second-year culinary student Jennifer Rejniak, 38, of Glenside, the CAI and the J. Alexander and Alma Jacobs’ culinary scholarship enabled her to make a life-changing career decision. Rejniak worked as a park ranger for 10 years when she was seriously injured in a car accident and was advised not to return to that type of physically demanding work. So instead, she pursued her passion for cooking.

“It was a tough struggle to get here, but meeting my fellow classmates and hearing their hopes, fears and dreams solidified everything that I was feeling. . . Being a part of the inaugural class to step foot inside this beautiful facility has opened my eyes to the fact that I am part of something very special,” she said.

The name of the new retail bakery, Forty Foot Café, was the result of a contest and was submitted by Baking and Pastry Arts student Shannon Booker. As a result of her winning entry, she received a certificate and VIP luncheon for her and five guests.

Dean of Business & Entrepreneurial Initiatives/Strategic Advisor to the President Philip Needles, Culinary Arts Institute Director Chef Francine Marz, College President Karen A. Stout, College Board of Trustees Chairperson Michael D’Aniello and Culinary Arts Student Jennifer Rejniak cut the ceremonial ribbon for the opening of the Culinary Arts Institute’s new retail bakery café, Forty Foot Café. Photo by Sandi Yanisko

Dean of Business & Entrepreneurial Initiatives/Strategic Advisor to the President Philip Needles, Culinary Arts Institute Director Chef Francine Marz, College President Karen A. Stout, College Board of Trustees Chairperson Michael D’Aniello and Culinary Arts Student Jennifer Rejniak cut the ceremonial ribbon for the opening of the Culinary Arts Institute’s new retail bakery café, Forty Foot Café. Photo by Sandi Yanisko

Help Montgomery Win PA American Water’s U-TAP Challenge!

BLOG UTAP MEME3[1]Montgomery County Community College is participating in PA American Water’s U-TAP Challenge! Vote now-Oct. 31, and the school with the most votes will win a water bottle filling station for its campus! You can cast one vote per day. Help Montgomery County Community College reduce its use of disposable plastic water bottles! Vote daily by scanning the QR code below or by clicking here!