Pottstown Networking Event Slated for Alumni

Montgomery County Community College Alumni Association is hosting an Alumni Networking Event on Tuesday, March 10, 6-8 p.m., at The Brick House, 152 E. High St., Pottstown.

All alumni are invited to come and enjoy complimentary appetizers, participate in a business card exchange and connect with friends and classmates to share memories. This is a great networking opportunity to meet new friends and make professional contacts.

To attend, RSVP by March 3 by contacting Director of Alumni Relations and Special Programs Stephanie Wittig at swittig@mc3.edu or 215-461-1139.

MCCC’s Alumni Association is a community of more than 55,000 alumni, who are making a difference throughout Montgomery County and beyond. The Alumni Association hosts events throughout the year to keep alumni connected, including bus day trips. The next alumni bus trip is Friday, May 8, 2015, to Pennsylvania’s Susquehanna Valley for a chocolate and wine tour.

For more information about the bus trip and other MCCC alumni events, visit mc3.edu/foundation/alumni, friend us on Facebook at facebook.com/mc3.alumni, and follow us at mc3Alumni on Instagram.

~ by Diane VanDyke

Alum_Networking_Flyer_3-10-15

South Korean Students Spend Day in College’s Dental Hygiene Clinic

Dental Consultant Dr. Joel Jaspan explains a procedure to students from Daejeon Health Sciences College, South Korea, in Montgomery County Community College’s Dental Hygiene Clinic in Blue Bell. Photo by Sandi Yanisko

Dental Consultant Dr. Joel Jaspan explains a procedure to students from Daejeon Health Sciences College, South Korea, in Montgomery County Community College’s Dental Hygiene Clinic in Blue Bell. Photo by Sandi Yanisko

Twelve students and one instructor from Daejeon Health Sciences College in Daejeon, South Korea toured and observed procedures in Montgomery County Community College’s  Dental Hygiene Clinic on Feb. 2 as part of a three-day visit to the Philadelphia region.

The group has been New York City since Jan. 16 as part of a study abroad experience coordinated by Manhattan dentist Dr. Paul Sui, through which the students are experiencing dentistry and dental hygiene education as they are practiced in the United States. The group has spent time at Columbia University, New York University, and at several private dental practices.

Daejeon Health Sciences College students observe Montgomery County Community College Dental Hygiene students treat a patient in the Dental Hygiene Clinic in Blue Bell. Photo by Sandi Yanisko

Daejeon Health Sciences College students observe Montgomery County Community College Dental Hygiene students treat a patient in the Dental Hygiene Clinic in Blue Bell. Photo by Sandi Yanisko

Montgomery County Community College alumna Lillian Caperila, who is a manager and international presenter of professional continuing education for Premier Dental Products Co. in Plymouth Meeting, arranged the three-day Philadelphia trip, which had the students visiting University of Pennsylvania, Montgomery and Premier’s manufacturing facility, along with some sight seeing.

“Daejeon Health Sciences College uses dental instruments that are manufactured right here in Philadelphia, so the students got to see how the instruments they use every day are made,” Caperila explained.

At the College, the Daejeon students observed Montgomery students and faculty treat patients in the Dental Hygiene Clinic, located at the Central Campus in Blue Bell. Through formal and informal discussions, including a pizza lunch, both groups of students were able to about each other’s education and culture. The Daejeon students also toured the campus and met with Provost Dr. Vicki Bastecki-Perez and Dental Hygiene Program Director Jenny Sheaffer.

~ by Alana J. Mauger

Students from Daejeon Health Sciences College and Montgomery County Community College gather for a photo before having a pizza lunch. Photo by Sandi Yanisko

Students from Daejeon Health Sciences College and Montgomery County Community College gather for a photo before having a pizza lunch. Photo by Sandi Yanisko

Anniversary Event Honors 50 Exceptional Alumni, Launches $9 Million Fundraising Campaign

by Diane VanDyke

In celebration of its 50-year milestone, Montgomery County Community College honored 50 exceptional alumni and launched a comprehensive fundraising campaign to raise $9 million for student scholarships during a special award ceremony on Nov. 14.

View the Event Program

“Our alumni are a reflection of the excellent work of our dedicated faculty and the high quality of our programs,” said President Dr. Karen A. Stout. “Many of our alumni have taken non-traditional paths to their careers, but each of them is an inspirational success story that exemplifies persistence and determination. The vast majority of them choose to live and work in Montgomery County, and they advance our regional economy as visionary leaders, innovators and creative decision makers in the workforce.”

Since 1964, Montgomery County Community College has opened the doors of education to students from all walks and stages of life andsupported them on a path to success and achievement. More than 55,000 of the College’s alumni have gone on to higher education and/or pursued careers in a variety of professions from attorney to artist, cardio perfusionist, business leader, architect, judge, Major League umpire and others.

One of the many notable alumni is Board of Trustees Chair Michael D’Aniello (1976), an attorney with law offices in Norristown. “The College gave me an opportunity I otherwise wouldn’t have had,” says D’Aniello, who has served on the Board since 2001 and as Board Chair since 2011. “The reason I’m here is to give back by supporting the College’s students.  MCCC is an incredible asset to our community.”

To ensure that future students continue to have these opportunities, Montgomery County Community College set the bar high with a goal of $9 million for its first-ever comprehensive fundraising campaign for student scholarships. The campaign has been in a “quiet” fundraising phase for the first 18 months, during which time the College’s Foundation Board and Futures Rising Campaign committees raised $6 million.

Montgomery County Community College's Foundation announced its comprehensive fundraising campaign to raise $9 million for student scholarships. MCCC President Dr. Karen A. Stout and (from left) student Jeremiah Garcia, alumnus Antonio Marrero, student Theresa Dech and student Trudy Jefferson share the moment on stage during the announcement that $6 million has been raised during the first phase of the campaign. Photo by Sandi Yanisko

Montgomery County Community College’s Foundation announced its comprehensive fundraising campaign to raise $9 million for student scholarships. MCCC President Dr. Karen A. Stout and (from left) student Jeremiah Garcia, alumnus Antonio Marrero, student Theresa Dech and student Trudy Jefferson share the moment on stage during the announcement that $6 million has been raised during the first phase of the campaign. Photo by Sandi Yanisko

“The scholarships created through this campaign address critical funding gaps that our students cannot fill by themselves,” said Stout to a full auditorium of more than 350 attendees. “Almost 90 percent of our students are already working, and 60 percent are supporting families. Scholarships created through this campaign can open doors for 500 additional students every year.”

Scholarships provided the entryway for many of the College’s alumni, including science teacher Peter Grove (1974), whose life was transformed when he earned his associate’s degree  on a full scholarship. He then transferred to the University of Pennsylvania for his bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and has taught science classes for 27 years, transforming the lives of his students at Friends’ Central Lower School in Wynnewood.

As part of the anniversary program, the College presented the President’s Award to the Pennsylvania legislative delegation and Montgomery County Commissioners, whose actions honor the spirit of the Community College Act and support the belief that the College serves as a vital stepping stone to economic well-being. Their support has enabled the development of state-of-the art facilities at two campuses, the Culinary Arts Institute, a Municipal Police Academy and the University Center, where students can pursue bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees with seven regional colleges and universities.

With these facilities and a future Health Sciences Center renovation, Montgomery County Community College provides high-quality education in relevant programs that paves the way for transfer to four-year institutions or employment as dental hygienists, nurses, police officers, radiologists and other high-demand professional careers. Today, many students choose Montgomery County Community College as a way to minimize student loan debt, as they earn their baccalaureate degrees.

For Pennsylvania State Rep. Mike Vereb (1986), the College allowed him to follow his passion for law enforcement. “MCCC helped me to get an affordable education and my first job as a police officer,” says one of the youngest members to be elected to the Pennsylvania House leadership. “MCCC is economical, convenient and second to none academically.”

While some students know their direction, others find it during their College experience, as was the case for Fulbright Scholar Michael Pflueger (2007), who recently completed a year teaching in Durban, South Africa, as part of the federal program. According to Pflueger, “MCCC was where I got the vision of what I wanted to do. It’s where I found my focus.”

For Nicola Manning-Davenport (2007), Montgomery County Community College was the place where she turned her life around. Starting as a single mom, she enrolled in a computer class, and then persisted until she earned her associate’s degree and a full scholarship to Bucknell University, as part of Bucknell’s Community College Scholars Program. After earning her bachelor’s degree in Economics, she was hired as a Pennsylvania Information Management System Client Support Specialist at the Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit. Now, after completing her master’s degree, she is thinking about pursuing her doctorate. “I was nurtured at MCCC, and it’s where I became a lifelong learner,” she says.

Every year, the College offers these opportunities and more to the 25,000 students enrolled in its degree and certificate programs. However, last year students’ unmet needs added up to almost $24 million and resulted in oppressive loans or as a complete barrier to enrollment.

“Montgomery County Community College serves as a vital gateway to opportunity and success,” Stout said. “Through private philanthropic investment, we can ensure the gateway remains accessible for all students today and for future generations. Investing in an MCCC education is life-transforming for students, their families, our community and the region.”

For more information about the College’s 50th  anniversary, visit mc3.edu/50.

Montgomery County Community College's Fabulous 50 alumni. Photo by Anita Jerva

Montgomery County Community College’s Fabulous 50 alumni. Photo by Anita Jerva

Cadets Graduate from Municipal Police Academy

by Neree Aron-Sando

Class 1402 Lt. Brett Burns is congratulated by Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost Dr. Vicki Bastecki-Perez, Commissioner Bruce Castor Jr., and Dean of Social Sciences Dr. Aaron Shatzman.

Class 1402 Lt. Brett Burns is congratulated by Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost Dr. Vicki Bastecki-Perez, Commissioner Bruce Castor Jr., and Dean of Social Sciences Dr. Aaron Shatzman.

“This is not a one-time process,” said Municipal Police Academy Director Frank Williar, welcoming cadets and their families to the graduation of Class 1402 on Nov. 12 in the Montgomery County Community College Science Center Theater. “We have an obligation to assist each other…to provide resources to each other. People who leave here come back.

Moments before, after 19 cadets filed on stage with military precision, Horsham Township Police Officer Kate Ryan came back to the academy from which she graduated with Class 1304 to introduce Williar, who in turn introduced the evening’s special guests: Montgomery County Commissioner Bruce Castor Jr.; Dr. Aaron Shatzman,  dean of Social Sciences; Dr. Victoria Bastecki-Perez, vice president of academic affairs and provost; Jesse Stemple, first deputy director Montgomery County Department of Public Safety; East Norriton Police Chief Karyl Kates; East Norriton Police Lt. Brandon Pasquale; Lower Merion Police Superintendent Michael McGrath; North Coventry Police Chief Robert Schurr, Officers Andrew Thiel and Igor Parfeniouk, and Sgt. Rob Malason; and Springfield Police Chief Michael Pitkow.

Cadet SSgt. Anastasios Apostolidis called for a moment of silence for those in uniform, both military and law enforcement, who gave their lives in the line of duty.

North Coventry Police Officer Andrew Thiel, commander of Class 1302, came back to introduce Keynote speaker Whitemarsh Township Police Lt. Francis “Fran” Wheatley, who congratulated the cadets on enduring a long and demanding course of studies.

“As a police officer, you will be constantly under intense scrutiny, both on and off duty,” Wheatley warned. “You have chosen a career and will take an oath to lead by example for the rest of your lives.” He urged the cadets never to forget the discipline they learned at the academy. “You should embrace every opportunity to be the counselor, the social worker, the help desk . . . the life-saver” roles beyond merely catching the bad guys that make the world a better place. “We are the peacekeepers who make sure that our communities are safe.”

Sean Maguire,was valedictorian of Class 1402. Photo by Matt Carlin

Sean Maguire,was valedictorian of Class 1402. Photo by Matt Carlin

Class Valedictorian Cadet Cpl. Sean Maguire of Jeffersonville told his classmates that “we step out of our secular lives into a life of service. We are the next generation of law enforcement, and we are strong.”

Upper Darby Township Police Officer Laina Stevens, commander of Class 1304 and the winner of the 2012-2014 Outstanding Academy Cadet award, introduced Castor, who returns to address the graduating classes every chance he gets. Police officers, he told the cadets “are not just people. They are symbols of a free society. If you attack one of them, you are attacking all of us. You cannot enjoy any of the things you love to do if you are afraid. And that is not the promise of America.”

Class 1402 Cadet Lt. Brett Burns was honored for his leadership. “Brett stamped his personality on the class,” Williar said. “You left some big shoes to fill.”

Burns presented the Director’s Spirit of Distinction Award to Cadet Cpl. Ryan Cifelli of Chalfont, and congratulated Cadet Joseph “Joey” Metzinger on his acceptance to the Pennsylvania State Police Academy.

Cadet David Arredondo of Stockton, Calif., won the James R. Miller Marksmanship Award in memory of the Upper Dublin police sergeant who died in a motor vehicle accident in the line of duty in 2004.

Robin Pritchett introduced the second annual Charles O. “Chip” Pritchett Exceptional Police Academy Instructor of the Year Award, named in honor of her husband, an East Norriton police officer and Municipal Police Academy deputy director who died in October 2013, and read the name of the second recipient: North Coventry Police Chief Robert A. Schurr.

“We miss him every day,” Schurr said, of Pritchett. “I’m humbled. And thank you.”

Dr. Bastecki-Perez conferred diplomas on Lt. Brett Burns, Abington; SSgt. Anastasio Apostolidis, Abington; Sgt. Joseph Metzinger, Rockledge; Sgt. Dylan Royce, Schwenksville; Cpl. Kelly Adams, Newtown; Cpl. Josué Gerena, Philadelphia; Cpl. Sean Maguire, Jeffersonville; Cpl. Branden Sisca, Trappe; Cadet David Arredondo, Stockton, Calif.; Cadet Ryan Cifelli, Chalfont; Cadet John Davis, Douglassville; Cadet Colleen Harner, Glenside; Cadet Marc Laing, Trappe; Cadet Christopher Miller, Gilbertsville; Cadet Aamir Raza, Warrington; Cadet Kevin Siebert, Oreland; Cadet John Smart, Bensalem; Cadet Steffy Shane, Perkiomenville; and Cadet Kyle Williamson, Montgomeryville.

No doubt, many of the graduates will return to speak at future graduations and to assist their successors.

Lt. Burns passed the torch to his own successor, Lt. Brian Manion, Class 1404, completing the continuity inherent in the ceremony. Manion’s classmates provided an honor guard throughout the graduation.

Cadets from class 1402 attended the academy full time, Monday through Friday, for 22 weeks, alternating studies with physical conditioning, as Maguire put it, “running and more running.”

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 approximately 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.

Whitemarsh Township Police Lt. Francis “Fran” Wheatley gave the keynote address to cadets from Class 1402. Photo by Matt Carlin

Whitemarsh Township Police Lt. Francis “Fran” Wheatley gave the keynote address to cadets from Class 1402. Photo by Matt Carlin

Fine Arts Center Hosts ‘The Symbiotic Relationship’ Exhibit

by Diane VanDyke

Image by Jasmine Alleger, “Ishmael & Queequeg,” mixed media.

Image by Jasmine Alleger, “Ishmael & Queequeg,” mixed media.

While artists may work in solitude in their studios, they value collaborations to both enhance and expand their creativity. To highlight the significance of these partnerships, Montgomery County Community College is hosting an art exhibition with Moore College of Art and Design graduate students to present “The Symbiotic Relationship: A Celebration of Empowering Creative Partnerships.”

This collaborative exhibit opens Oct. 13 and will be on display through Nov. 7 at the College’s Fine Arts Center Gallery, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell. A “Meet the Artists” reception will be held Wednesday, Oct. 22, from 5-7 p.m. Both the exhibit and the reception are free and open to the public—everyone is welcome.

The exhibit will feature a wide-spectrum of contemporary artwork in various mediums created by Moore graduate students Melinda Houvig, Aimee Gonthier, Chello Sherman, Alexander Conner and Denise Nelson, and Moore Graduate Studies MFA alumni Dawn Kramlich, Caitlin Peck, Ben Panter and Jasmine Alleger. Selected MCCC fine art students Collin Cousart, Joseph Schiaffino and Rachael Hoffman were paired with Moore graduate students, and their collaborative works also will be on display.

“The theme of the show was developed to give participating artists an ambiguous starting point from which they could develop and explore relationships for them, as well as the world, and the different aspects of collaborative relationships,” said exhibit curator Melinda Houvig, a second-year graduate student attending Moore for her master’s degree in Fine Art, Studio Practice.

The theme will be represented through the myriad dimensions of the words “relationship and collaboration.”

“Some artists have chosen to examine mutually beneficial relationships, while others examined parasitic relationships, which also are forms of symbiosis. It’s going to be a very eclectic show, and I’m truly excited,” Houvig said. Houvig has a bachelor’s degree in Fine Art from West Chester University and has worked as a professional fine art model for colleges and non-profit art centers throughout the Main Line area.

“I hope the exhibit will broaden students’ perspectives and the community’s perception of graduate work in the art world. It’s multidimensional, research-rich, passion driven and open to so many avenues of experimentation. The BFA is no longer the stopping point of an art degree,” Houvig said.

Montgomery County Community College has a program-to-program transfer agreement with Moore College of Art & Design that allows students to seamlessly transfer and earn their baccalaureate degrees. Moore’s graduate studies community consists of unique programs in Art & Social Engagement (launching 2015), Community Practice (launching 2015), Studio Art, Interior Design, and Art Education, with an emphasis in special populations that prepare students with the skills, knowledge and resources to become professional artists, designers and teachers.

For more information about Montgomery’s art programs, visit mc3.edu/academics/areas-of-study/ah/art. For more information about Moore College of Art & Design, visit moore.edu.
Gallery hours are Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Closed Sunday. For more information about the exhibition, contact Galleries Director Holly Cairns at hcairns@mc3.edu or 215-619-7349.

For the more information about upcoming exhibits and activities, like our Facebook page at facebook.com/DestinationArts, and visit our website at mc3.edu/arts/fine-arts.
Help support the arts and art education programs at Montgomery County Community College by becoming a Friend of the Galleries. Donations are tax deductible. For more information, contact the College Foundation at 215-641-6535.

Students Visit Harrisburg for Legislator Shadowing Program

by Diane VanDyke

As part of a new pilot program, four Montgomery County Community College  female students recently spent a day with women members of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in Harrisburg to explore careers in public service.

Last spring, the College hosted a legislative panel discussion, which was facilitated by Dr. Karen Stout, President, and featured Pennsylvania Representatives Madeline Dean, Kate Harper and Marcy Toepel, who shared their experiences as female members of the state Legislature. As a result of the discussion, the idea of a Legislator Shadowing Program was developed with a focus on introducing female students to career options in government.

Nationwide, only 1,784 women, or approximately 24.2 percent, serve in 50 state legislatures in 2014, according to data reported on the National Conference of State Legislatures’ website. In Pennsylvania, there are 45 women, or about 17.8 percent, who serve in the legislature.

For the Legislator Shadowing Pilot, students Danielle Leonhardt and Gabrielle Scotti, both of Lansdale, Lavinia Soliman of Harleysville and Elizabeth Waddell of West Conshohocken, met with host Representative Marcy Toepel and Representatives Kate Harper, and Mary Jo Daley to learn about their careers, achievements, and experience.

During a roundtable discussion, the students also met with lobbyist Ashley DeMauro, Public Relations Coordinator Abbey Fosnot, Deputy Director Tricia Harris of the Governor’s Office of Public Liaison and Director of Special Events Kelly Fedeli of the Speakers Office, among others. Montgomery County Community College alumnus, Rep. Mike Vereb, who provided the conference room space for the discussions as well as lunch, also spoke to the students.

“The discussion was very informational and empowering,” said Soliman, who graduated from North Penn High School in 2013 and traveled in Europe for a year before starting at the College in August 2014. “They offered great advice about taking risks, pursuing your passion and working hard, which applies to all careers. It’s good to see other community college graduates in successful careers, too. I am so grateful for this opportunity.”

In addition to the discussion, students attended Rep. Harper’s Local Government Committee meeting, observed House and Senate sessions and received a behind-the-scenes tour.

“This was a special opportunity to help the students explore legislative careers by sharing our unique experiences as female legislators, including the work we do in Harrisburg and how past jobs have prepared us for our current positions,” said Representative Marcy Toepel. “Ideally, the shadowing program will add another dimension to what the students have been learning in the classroom.”

The new Legislator Shadowing Pilot is an extension of the Legislator in Residence Program that was started in 2012 by Executive Director of Government Relations and Special Projects Peggy Lee-Clark and Assistant Professor of Political Science Jodi Empol-Schwartz.

For the Legislator in Residence program, members of the Montgomery County State Legislative Delegation and their staffs are invited into Empol-Schwartz’s American National Government and American State and Local Government classes during each semester to provide a firsthand perspective of the concepts students read in their textbooks, as well as their personal experiences.

Prior to the guest lectures, students are required to research the background and positions of each legislator and develop questions for discussion. The program has prompted a number of students to seek internships in legislative offices, one of whom was later hired as staff. The program was expanded this fall to include new topics, and state legislators have been added to an Introduction to Economics class taught by Assistant Professor of Economics Jill Beccaris-Pescatore.

The Legislator Shadowing Program will be an ongoing opportunity for students to personally witness and better understand our state’s legislative process and the leadership roles of public servants. Students are required to submit an application with a brief essay about why they want to attend and how the experience could benefit their future education and career goals.

From left, Representative Marcy Toepel with students Danielle Leonhardt, Lavinia Soliman, Elizabeth Waddell and Gabrielle Scotti and Representative Kate Harper on the floor of the House of Representatives before the session started. Photo by Diane VanDyke

From left, Representative Marcy Toepel with students Danielle Leonhardt, Lavinia Soliman, Elizabeth Waddell and Gabrielle Scotti and Representative Kate Harper on the floor of the House of Representatives before the session started. Photo by Diane VanDyke

Register Today for 20th Annual Technology & Learning Conference

by Kathryn Ishler

Keynote Speaker Kwan Morrow

Keynote Speaker Kwan Morrow

Registration is going on now for Montgomery County Community College’s 20th Annual Technology and Learning Conference, scheduled for Friday, Oct. 24 from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. at the College’s Central Campus, 340 DeKalb Pike, in Blue Bell, Pa.

The cost of attending the conference is $25 and includes all conference materials, parking, continental breakfast and lunch. For registration information, including step-by-step directions to guide you through the registration process, visit mc3.edu/campus-life/techconf. MCCC faculty and staff can attend free of charge by registering via the College’s portal.

To help celebrate Montgomery County Community College’s 50th anniversary, this year’s keynote address will be given by MCCC alumnus Kwan Morrow. Morrow has been involved with Internet marketing and communication since 2001. He currently owns KM Digital Relations, which provides consulting, training and other services to businesses and educators who wish to engage their digital communities and achieve specific objectives.

During the keynote, Morrow will address the impact that digital and social technologies have on students and education. He’ll discuss best practices for using digital technology to promote student success and preparing students to thrive in the quickly evolving digital world.

The College’s Technology and Learning Conference provides a forum for participants to share state-of-the-art information technologies, to contribute to a vision of the future of information technology in the academic enterprise, and to exchange ideas and best practices for incorporating technology, security and learning.

Designed for higher education and K-12 faculty and administrators, the conference is divided into several threads, which include Teaching and Learning; Metrics and Measurement; Technologies to Leverage Student Success; Security and Identity Management; Emerging Technologies; Sharing Resources; and e-Learning. Session types include forums, hands-on labs, poster sessions and panel discussions.

To learn more, visit mc3.edu/campus-life/techconf or email techday@mc3.edu.