Dr. Karen Stout Establishes Phi Theta Kappa Challenge Fund in Support of Student Completion

Dr. Karen A. Stout (center) stands with officers from Montgomery County Community College’s Alpha Kappa Zeta chapter of Phi Theta Kappa following an induction ceremony on March 27. Photo by John Welsh

Dr. Karen A. Stout (center) stands with officers from Montgomery County Community College’s Alpha Kappa Zeta chapter of Phi Theta Kappa following an induction ceremony on March 27. Photo by John Welsh

To encourage and inspire students to become part of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), the international honor society for two-year colleges, Montgomery County Community College President Karen A. Stout has generously pledged $30,000 to establish a Phi Theta Kappa Annual Challenge Fund through the College’s Foundation.

Phi Theta Kappa membership offers students a significant advantage when it comes to college success and completion. In fact, a recent national study reveals that PTK members in Pennsylvania have an overall success rate of 92 percent—that’s four times higher than the success rate for all of the state’s community college students.

However, despite the documented impact, only 14 percent of PTK-eligible students nationally join the organization. With a current membership fee of $60, cost is a likely barrier for many eligible students.

The Karen A. Stout Phi Theta Kappa Challenge Fund will support qualified students by defraying half the cost of a PTK membership, while challenging students to match the remaining cost. Students must be eligible for Pell Grant funding and PTK membership to qualify. Members of PTK must maintain a 3.5 GPA and must have completed at least 12 credits.

As a member of MCCC’s Phi Theta Kappa chapters—Alpha Kappa Zeta at the Central Campus in Blue Bell or Beta Tau Lambda at the West Campus in Pottstown—students are afforded the opportunity to grow as scholars and servant leaders. By working with their peers and faculty advisors, PTK members examine real-life issues facing their communities, while gaining leadership skills through the organization’s Honors in Action programming.

For example, this year’s PTK chapters collected more than 500 pairs of shoes for the community organization In Ian’s Boots; cleaned up a portion of the Schuylkill River; and partnered with Theatre Horizon and the Coordinated Homeless Outreach Center in Norristown on a community education/public art project. In addition, both of the College’s chapters achieved the distinction of Five Star Status—the highest level of national recognition possible—for progressing through the organization’s Five Star Chapter Development Plan.

PTK members also have access to exclusive transfer scholarship information and opportunities, which will help them continue their education after graduating from Montgomery County Community College.

The Karen A. Stout Phi Theta Kappa Challenge Fund is part of the Foundation’s first-ever comprehensive fundraising campaign, “Futures Rising: The Campaign for Montgomery County Community College,” which looks to raise $9 million for student scholarships. To learn more or to get involved, visit mc3.edu/futures.

~ by Alana J. Mauger

Cadets Graduate from Municipal Police Academy, Raise $3,000 for Angel Trust Fund

Cadet Lt. Brian Manion (right) presents Class 1404 Valedictorian James Reilly with a certificate for his academic accomplishments. Photo by Matt Carlin

Cadet Lt. Brian Manion (right) presents Class 1404 Valedictorian James Reilly with a certificate for his academic accomplishments. Photo by Matt Carlin

Thirty-one cadets graduated from Montgomery County Community College’s Municipal Police Academy Class 1404 on March 25 during a ceremony held at the College’s Science Center Theater, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell.

The cadets took on a special project during their 22-week program at the academy: raising funds for the Chester County Angel Trust through DNB First Wealth Management to help six-year-old abuse victim Ryan McMillian rebuild his life. During a guest lecture at the academy, Chester County Deputy District Attorney Michelle Frei shared details surrounding the 2014 murder of Ryan’s three-year-old brother Scotty McMillian, prompting the cadets to take action.

During the ceremony, Cadet Sarah Couch, Royersford, presented Frei and attorney Skip Persick, who oversees the trust, with a check for $3,000. According to Persick, the money will ultimately be used for McMillian’s education expenses to “create a career for this young man.”

Cadet Cpl. Nicollette DeBiasio, Oaks, led the Pledge of Allegiance to begin the formal portion of the ceremony, followed by a moment of reflection from Director of Criminal Justice, Fire Science and Emergency Management and Planning programs Benn Prybutok. Cadet Daniel Mease, Bethlehem, served as color bearer.

Parkesburg Borough Police Department Chief Brian Sheller was selected by class 1404 to give the keynote address, during which challenged the cadets to “make a difference” in the communities they serve.

“Police are many things to many people in their times of need. Treat everyone with dignity and respect,” shared Sheller, who is also an instructor at the Academy.

Montgomery County Commissioner Bruce L. Castor Jr. and Montgomery County Department of Public Safety First Deputy Director Jesse Stemple were also in attendance, along with representatives from Abington, Bethlehem, Falls Township, and Upper Merion Township police departments. From MCCC, Dr. Aaron Shatzman, dean of social sciences, and Suzanne Holloman, dean of workforce development, assisted with certificate confirmation.

Earning the highest GPA in his class, Cadet James Reilly, Chalfont, offered remarks on behalf of the graduates. He described impact of the moment when, as a group, the cadets’ focus shifted from individual success to class success.

“It was about being better as a class, and successful as a class,” he shared, before thanking the academy’s leadership, faculty, family and friends for their support.

Interim Municipal Police Academy Director Jude McKenna presented a series of awards as part of the ceremony. Cadet Lt. Brian Manion, Conshohocken, received the Platoon Leader Award of Merit. Cadet Tori Adams, Langhorne, received the James R. Miller Marksmanship Award, presented in memory of Upper Dublin Police Sergeant Jim Miller, who died in an automobile accident while on duty in 2004. And the Award of Distinction, given to a cadet who demonstrates exemplary dedication and teamwork, went to Cadet Cpl. Amal Yasin, Philadelphia.

Cadets from class 1404 attended the academy full time, Monday through Friday for 22 weeks. Graduates include Cadet Cpl. Kevin Adams, Horsham; Tori Adams, Langhorne; Cadet Ssgt. John Beck, Hatboro; Alex Beres, Schwenksville; Mark Borkowski, Blue Bell; Cadet Sgt. Patrick Brehm, Bethlehem; Cadet Sgt. Daniel Chonko, Upper Black Eddy; Sarah Couch, Royersford; Jose Cruz, Warrington; Cadet Cpl. Nicollette DeBiasio, Oaks; Madeline Elgazzar, Blue Bell; Bradley Guldin, Royersford; John Krchnavy, Hellertown; Carl Kruse, Glenside; Samantha Lehman, Perkasie; Cadet Cpl. Ronald MacPherson, Langhorne; Cadet Lt. Brian Manion, Conshohocken; Daniel Mease, Bethlehem; Reinaldo Melendez, West Chester; Ryan Melley, Ridgefield Park, N.J.; Nicholas Phillips, Reading; Cadet Sgt. Daniel Prior, Harleysville; James Reilly, Chalfont; Patrick Rooney, Philadelphia; John Sands, Warminister; Cadet Ssgt. Erik Schwab, Bensalem; cadet Sgt. Joshua VanHorn, Brookhaven; Nicholas Windfelder, Quakertown; Cadet Cpl. Amal Yasin, Philadelphia; Cody Young, Sellersville; and Darrien Zivkovic, Hatboro.

Montgomery County Community College, in conjunction with the state training commission, operates the Municipal Police Academy at the Montgomery County Public Safety Training Campus, 1175 Conshohocken Road, Conshohocken.

The academy has been the training ground for more than 3,500 cadets with a consistent graduation rate of more than 90 percent. The 800-hour curriculum allows successful students to articulate up to 15 credit hours toward an associate’s degree in Criminal Justice Studies.

~ by Alana J. Mauger

Archaeological Adventure on Tap at The Speaker’s House This Summer

Student Cydney Rader shows an artifact that was found during 2014’s Archaeology Field School at The Speaker’s House in Trappe. Photo by Alana J. Mauger

Student Cydney Rader shows an artifact that was found during 2014’s Archaeology Field School at The Speaker’s House in Trappe. Photo by Alana J. Mauger

This summer, students don’t need to travel far to gain world-class archaeological field experience. In fact, students who participate in the Archaeology Field School at The Speaker’s House in Trappe, Pa. can earn up to six college credits through a unique partnership with Montgomery County Community College while they get hands-on experience at an active archaeology site.

In its seventh year, the Archaeology Field School is comprised of two intensive three-week sessions led by archaeologist Dr. Lydia Garver at The Speaker’s House, which was the home of Frederick Muhlenberg, first Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and first signer of the Bill of Rights.

The program runs Tuesdays-Saturdays from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. The first session is held May 26-June 13, and the second session runs from June 16-July 3. No previous experience is necessary, and the program is open to anyone age 15 or over. The Field School is ideal for students who are interested in studying anthropology, history or museum studies, as well for students who enjoy working and learning outdoors. To learn more, visit speakershouse.org/fieldschool or contact Lisa Minardi at info@speakershouse.org.

Participants will receive training in excavation techniques, record keeping, artifact identification, processing, cataloging, and classification. This summer, excavation in the first session will focus on a large pit feature filled with 19th-century kitchen artifacts and the remnants of an 18th-century smokehouse, along with another small outbuilding. During the second session, students will complete closing excavation tasks and learn to curate, analyze and research artifacts found during the first session. Field trips and guest lectures will also be offered.

Students can earn three college credits per three-week session for their participation in the Field School by enrolling through MCCC. To enroll as a guest student, visit mc3.edu/admissions, select course selection and registration, then follow the instructions for guest students. Current MCCC students and alumni should register through Web Advisor by logging into the MyMC3 Portal. The course titles are Archaeology Field School I (ANT 120) and Archaeology Field School II (ANT 121).

Enrollment is limited to 20 participants per session, and preference will be given to students taking the course for credit through MCCC. Students will pay standard MCCC tuition and fees. Tuition information is available at mc3.edu/admissions. All participants will receive a complimentary 2015 student membership in The Speaker’s House.

Students Chuck Cannon (left), and Brad James excavate the area around an outbuilding wall last summer. Photo by Alana J. Mauger

Students Chuck Cannon (left), and Brad James excavate the area around an outbuilding wall last summer. Photo by Alana J. Mauger

Built in 1763 by German immigrant John Schrack, The Speaker’s House was owned by the Muhlenberg family from 1781-1803. Other notable owners include Charles Albrecht, a piano maker; Dr. Lewis Royer, physician and legislator; and Ursinus College, which used the house as a dormitory from 1924-1944. The property is also the location of a general store, built in 1782 by Frederick Muhlenberg, and is one of the few archaeological sites in the region that yields information on commercial as well as domestic activities.

~ by Alana J. Mauger

VIDEO: ‘The Buzz Update,’ Week of 3/23/15

Check out “The Buzz Update” for the week of March 23, 2015.  The program is student produced by the Communicating Arts Production Group (CAPG) at Montgomery County Community College.

West Campus Hosts 10th Annual Art Students’ Exhibition and Competition

"Still Life With Grapes," oil painting by Eva Hozinez.

“Still Life With Grapes,” oil painting by Eva Hozinez.

Montgomery County Community College will be highlighting the talent of its art students at its Tenth Annual Art Students’ Exhibition and Competition, which opens Wednesday, April 1, and continues through Friday, April 24, at the Fine Arts Gallery, North Hall, 16 High Street, Pottstown.

Approximately 50 students will be displaying their artwork in a variety of media, including drawings, paintings, three-dimensional pieces and mixed media. The artists’ reception will be held Wednesday, April 1, from 5-7 p.m. with the awards ceremony at 6 p.m.The exhibition and reception are free of charge and open to the public.

The Fine Arts Gallery is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m.-9:30 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Closed weekends.

The College’s Fine Art Program serves art majors and non-majors by teaching the necessary skills, knowledge and insights needed to succeed as an artist. The curriculum provides the foundation studies and studio expertise that parallels the first two years of study at a four-year college and enables students to develop their skills and produce a portfolio in the visual arts to obtain employment after earning an associate’s degree. Students may concentrate their studies in subjects including Animation, Ceramics, Drawing, Graphic Design, Illustration, Painting, Photography, Printmaking or Sculpture. For more information about the Fine Arts Program, visit mc3.edu.

For more information about the exhibition, contact MCCC Gallery Director Holly Cairns at 215-619-7349 or hcairns@mc3.edu.

Follow the arts at MCCC on Facebook at facebook.com/DestinationArts for information about upcoming performances and art exhibitions.

~ by Diane VanDyke

Job Seekers Invited to Annual Career Expo

Attendees at a previous career expo at the College. Photo by Matt Carlin

Attendees at a previous career expo at the College. Photo by Matt Carlin

Montgomery County Community College will hold its annual spring Career and Internship Expo on Wednesday, April 8 from 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Physical Education Center, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell. Parking is available in the Cathcart Road lot. The Expo is free of charge and is open to the community.

A wide range of companies and institutions will be on hand to recruit applicants for diverse employment opportunities, including full-time, part-time, internships and seasonal. Over 100 recruiters are anticipated to attend. A list of confirmed employers is available at facebook.com/MC3CareerServices.

The list will also be available to MCCC students and alumni who register with the College’s job posting site at CollegeCentral.com/MC3, where they can view job opportunities year round.

Questions can be directed to the College’s Office of Career Services at 215-641-6619.

~ by Alana J. Mauger

Nominations Sought for 2015 Teaching Excellence Award

To recognize and honor exceptional teaching, Montgomery County Community College’s (MCCC) Office of Academic Affairs invites students, faculty, alumni and interested community members to submit nominations for its 2015 Teaching Excellence Award.

The Teaching Excellence Award annually recognizes an MCCC faculty member whose teaching is intellectually stimulating and accessible for all students and who demonstrates a commitment to the well-being of students both inside and outside of the classroom. Nominees must be current, full-time faculty members in good standing to be eligible.

Nominations may be submitted online via the student or faculty/staff portal or at surveymonkey.com/s/MCCCTeachingAward. Nominations are vetted by a faculty committee comprised primarily of past award recipients. The committee then forwards its recommendation to the vice president of academic affairs and provost, and then to the president. The winner will be announced during the College’s 2015 Commencement ceremony on May 21.

This year’s award is sponsored by the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation, which annually recognizes outstanding faculty from 52 Pennsylvania and New Jersey colleges and universities with its Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching.

At Montgomery County Community College, the Lindback Award is given on alternating years with the Pearlstine Award for Teaching Excellence, named in honor of founding MCCC Trustee Gladys Pearlstine. Seventeen total awards have been presented to outstanding faculty since 1998. To view a full list of past recipients, visit mc3.edu/academics/faculty/teach-award.

~ by Alana J. Mauger