Long-Time Faculty, Staff To Address Graduates At 2014 Commencement As Part Of MCCC’s 50th Anniversary Celebration

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Blue Bell, PA.—With a combined 90 years of service to Montgomery County Community College (MCCC), Professor of Economics Dr. Lee Bender and Vice President of Information Technology and College Services Dr. Celeste Schwartz, both of Ambler, will deliver the Commencement keynote address to graduates during the College’s 47th Commencement ceremony on May 15 at 7 p.m. in Blue Bell.

Founded in 1964, the College is in the midst of commemorating its 50th anniversary. Along with celebrating the successes of the class of 2014, the College will welcome its early graduating classes from 1968-1972 back to campus for Commencement as part of a year-long celebration.

“The success of this year’s graduates, and the nearly 50,000 graduates before them, would not be possible without thousands of faculty and staff, who—throughout our history—have molded the institutional character of the College into the dynamic community it is today,” shared Dr. Karen A. Stout, president. “I’m honored that Dr. Lee Bender and Dr. Celeste Schwartz will share their experiences and wisdom with the College community as our 2014 Commencement keynote speakers.”

Dr. Lee Bender was first hired part-time to teach Economics in spring 1968, and he became one 50 full-time faculty later that year. In 1989, he was appointed as the Dean of the College’s Division of Business and Computer Science, a position he held until 2007, when he went back to teaching as a full-time Professor of Economics. As Dean, Bender helped the College introduce more than 100 new courses, and he was also among the first faculty to teach a course fully online.

Bender holds bachelor’s degrees in Economics and Math from the College of Wooster, an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and a Ph.D. in Monetary Theory, International Trade and Finance from Temple University.

Dr. Celeste Schwartz graduated with an associate’s degree in data processing from MCCC in 1970. She has since dedicated her entire professional career to the students, faculty and staff of Montgomery County Community College, working her way from a support staff key-punch operator to her current position as Vice President of Information Technology and College Services. Schwartz has led MCCC’s IT department since 1977, and she is credited with writing the College’s very first course registration system.

In addition to her associate’s degree from Montgomery, Schwartz holds an MBA from St. Joseph’s University, a master’s degree in Computer Science from Villanova University, and a Ph.D. in Education from Walden University. In 2002, she was inducted into MCCC’s Alumni Hall of Fame.

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Two Haverford School Graduates Charged With Selling Drugs At Main Line High Schools And Colleges

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Two graduates of the Haverford School on the Main Line were arrested Monday after authorities said they led a drug trafficking ring the dealers called “the Main Line takeover project” that targeted local high schools and colleges.

As the name implied, the goal of the dealers was to “take over from existing drug dealers the marijuana business in the Main Line section of Montgomery County,” authorities said.

The Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office said that Neil K. Scott, 25, of Haverford, and Timothy C. Brooks, 18, of Villanova, employed high school students at Lower Merion, Harriton, Conestoga, and Radnor High Schools and college students at Haverford, Gettysburg and Lafayette Colleges to be “sub-dealers.”

The ring allegedly also sold cocaine, hash oil and ecstasy to students on the Main Line, police said.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20140422_Police__Drug_ring_specialized_in_high_schools__colleges.html#3mVqFJ2QWKZ5UwsK.99

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RecycleMania Results: MCCC Ranks 2nd In Waste Minimization Among PA Institutions

RM_logo_2013Blue Bell/Pottstown, Pa— Montgomery County Community College (MCCC), with campuses in Blue Bell and Pottstown, Pa., finished the national 2014 RecycleMania competition with some promising numbers.

For the second consecutive year, MCCC placed second among all higher education institutions in Pennsylvania in the competition’s Waste Minimization category, collecting 17.248 pounds of combined trash and recycling per capita. Nationally, MCCC ranked 11th in Waste Minimization among public two-year colleges and 22nd overall.

In the Per Capita Classic category, MCCC finished ninth among public two-year institutions nationally, with 4.658 pounds of recycling per capita. This positioned the College as 20th in Pennsylvania and 279th overall.

In the Grand Champion category, MCCC scored a 27.002 percent cumulative recycling rate, positioning it eighth in Pennsylvania, 14th among public two-year institutions, and 142nd overall.

MCCC collected a cumulative 37,390 pounds of recycling—an eight percent increase over 2013, ranking it 11th among public two-year institutions nationally, 14th in Pennsylvania, and 249th overall in the Gorilla Prize category

RecycleMania is an eight-week nationwide competition, held Feb. 2 through March 29, during which colleges and universities competed to see who could reduce, reuse and recycle the most campus waste. MCCC has participated for seven consecutive years.

According to the U.S. EPA’s Waste Reduction Model (WARM), MCCC’s recycling efforts during the competition resulted in a greenhouse gas reduction of 63 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2E), which is translates to the energy consumption of five households or the emissions of 12 cars.

MCCC was among the first institutions in the country to sign American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) in 2007. The College’s sustainability efforts are led by a team of faculty, students, administrators, support staff, alumni and community members that comprise the President’s Climate Commitment Advisory Council.

To learn more about MCCC’s Sustainability Initiative, visit its “Think Green” blog at http://www.mc3green.wordpress.com.

To learn more about RecycleMania or to view the full list of results, visit www.recyclemaniacs.org.

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MCCC Offers Workshops To Help Adults Transition Into College

Blue Bell/Pottstown, Pa.— Building on the success of a pilot Career Transitions Workshop in April, Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) will offer additional workshops in Blue Bell and Pottstown for adults who may be thinking about returning to college.
The next set of Career Transitions Workshops will be held on Tuesday, May 13 from 6-8 p.m. at MCCC’s West Campus, 101 College Drive, Pottstown, and on Thursday, June 5 from 10 a.m.-noon at MCCC’s Central Campus, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell.
The workshops are open to all adults and are free of charge, although pre-registration is requested. For more information or to RSVP, contact Denise Collins at 215-619-7313 or dcollins@mc3.edu.
During the workshops, prospective students will get an overview of the resources available to help them transition into college. Topics include using MCCC’s website and online registration tools, financial aid, assessment of credits for prior learning, stackable credentials, career pathways, and job search tools.
After the initial sessions, MCCC advisors will follow up with participants one-on-one to help them identify programs and pathways that are right for them.
“Our goal is help adult learners be comfortable and successful at the College. We want this to be a place where they can get back on track with their education and transition into new careers,” said Denise Collins, who manages the U.S. Department of Labor Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant at MCCC.
The grant is helping MCCC to develop a robust Prior Learning Assessment model and stackable credentials for adult students as part of the JobTrakPA framework—a joint initiative of Pennsylvania’s 14 community colleges to train and place underemployed and unemployed residents of the Commonwealth in high demand jobs.
The workshop also connects to MCCC’s participation in the American Association of Community Colleges’ (AACC) Plus 50 Encore Completion Program, which looks to train 10,000 baby boomers for high-demand jobs through 2015.
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MCCC Celebrates Earth Day With Week Of Green Activities

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Blue Bell/Pottstown, Pa—Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) 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: energy, green building and transportation.

While Earth Day itself is observed annually on April 22, MCCC will hold a variety of activities on April 21-24. All events are free of charge and are open to the community. For information, visit MCCC’s Think Green blog at http://www.mc3green.wordpress.com.

On Monday, April 21, MCCC 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 MCCC’s Schuylkill Riverfront Academic and Heritage Center at 140 College Drive. The turbines are part of MCCC’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 MCCC’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, of 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.

MCCC 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.

To learn more about the MCCC’s Sustainability Initiative, visit http://www.mc3green.wordpress.com.

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10 Men Arrested In Montgomery Township Prostitution Sting

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On April 11, 2014, the Montgomery Township Police Department and the Montgomery County Detective Bureau organized a sting operation targeting human trafficking and the commercial sex trade in the Montgomeryville section of Montgomery Township. On this date, officers placed an online advertisement offering prostitution services. In response to this advertisement, hundreds of communications (text messages and phone calls) took place. Each defendant agreed to pay money for sexual services prior to their arrest.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20140414/10-men-arrested-in-montgomery-township-prostitution-sting

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MCCC, TD Bank To Host Free Workshops On Building, Keeping Great Credit

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Blue Bell/Pottstown, PA — April is National Financial Literacy Month, and Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) 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 MCCC’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 MCCC’s West Campus, 101 College Drive, Pottstown.

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

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MCCC Fast Track PA Real Estate Salesperson Program Offered Fully Online

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Blue Bell/Pottstown, PA— Building on the success of its Fast Track Real Estate pilot program launched in January, Montgomery County Community College will incorporate even more flexibility when it offers Real Estate 101 and 102 again in May.

“We’re leveraging many of the College’s technology resources to maximize students’ time,” said Ayisha Sereni, administrative director of MCCC’s BEI division and a licensed Pennsylvania real estate broker.

According to Sereni, the College wants to help professionals get their start in real estate sales – a high priority occupation that, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, is projected to grow by 12 percent through 2020.

To encourage participation, the May-start classes will be taught fully online, which differs from the hybrid format used in the pilot. Now, virtual meetings will take the place of face-to-face instruction in a classroom setting.

The fast track program can be completed in less than one month. Students who successfully complete the 30-hour Real Estate Fundamentals (RES 101) and Real Estate Practice (RES 102) courses are eligible to sit for the Pennsylvania Real Estate Salesperson Exam. Individuals who acquire their Pennsylvania Real Estate Salesperson License may seek employment as commissioned or salaried residential or commercial real estate agents, property managers, leasing agents or real estate assistants. Both courses must be completed prior to taking the exam.

Real Estate Fundamentals runs from May 8-20, and Real Estate Practice runs from May 27-June 5.

To learn more about MCCC’s Pennsylvania Real Estate Salesperson Pre-licensing Fast Track Program, email Ayisha Sereni at asereni@mc3.edu or call 215-641-6374.

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Norristown Neighborhood Grocery Gets A Boost

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NORRISTOWN, PA — The little corner grocery store is making a comeback in Norristown.

The Spanish word “mina” means “mine” in English, and Mina Mart owner Ivonne Patino is hoping her new venture proves to be the proverbial gold mine that confirms her backers’ faith in her business.

Opened in February in the former La Mina bar at the corner of Arch and Airy streets, the bright, clean store/restaurant with all the grocery essentials, from toilet paper to fresh bananas, as well as a growing menu, got a financial boost of $19,650 from the U.S. Small Business Administration Thursday.

The loan that allowed Mina Mart to open its doors is the latest successful endeavor of the Norristown Small Business Assistance Center, a partnership of the Municipality of Norristown and The Enterprise Center Capital Corp. of Philadelphia.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/business/20140410/norristown-neighborhood-grocery-gets-a-boost

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Native Sons Hall & Oates To Be Inducted Into Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame

Area natives Daryl Hall and John Oates will formally be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame tonight at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

The most successful duo of the rock ‘n’ roll era — including six gold-selling No. 1 singles and 29 hits overall on Billboard’s Top 40 chart between 1976 and 1990 — Hall & Oates will be part of the hall’s Class of 2014 performer inductees, which include Nirvana, Peter Gabriel, Kiss, Cat Stevens, Linda Ronstadt, and The E Street Band.

Hall & Oates are expected to be among the inductees performing during the ceremony, which will be broadcast May 31 on HBO.

When asked if he could offer any hints as to what songs Hall & Oates would play, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum President and CEO Greg Harris said he expected the duo to cover their major hits while representing each era of their career.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/arts-and-entertainment/20140409/native-sons-hall-oates-to-be-inducted-into-rock-and-roll-hall-of-fame

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Montgomery County Community College’s Alumnus Coach Geno Auriemma Receives American Association For Community Colleges’ 2014 Outstanding Alumni Award

Auriemma_GenoBlue Bell/Pottstown, Pa.—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 are scheduled to play against Notre Dame in Nashville, Tenn., during the evening of April 8.

“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.”

About Montgomery County Community College

Since 1964, Montgomery County Community College has grown with the community to meet the evolving educational and workforce development needs of Montgomery County. The College’s comprehensive curriculum includes 100+ associate degree/certificate programs, as well as specialized workforce development training and certifications. Students enjoy the flexibility of learning at the College’s thriving campuses in Blue Bell and Pottstown, Pa., online through an extensive array of e-Learning options, or at the brand new Culinary Arts Institute in Lansdale, Pa. The College also offers first-responder training programs at the Public Safety Training Campus in Conshohocken. Supporting its mission to offer high-quality, affordable and accessible educational opportunities, the College is funded by the County, the State, student tuition and private contributions. Governed by a 15-person Board of Trustees appointed by the Montgomery County Commissioners, the College is fully accredited by the Commission of Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.

For more information, visit www.mc3.edu.

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Former Amity Cop Drops Attempt To Have Shoplifting Charges Dismissed

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NORRISTOWN, PA — A former Berks County police officer accused of shoplifting more than $300 in groceries from a West Pottsgrove store has withdrawn his request for a judicial review and dismissal of the charges.

“At this stage, it is being withdrawn without prejudice,” Montgomery County Judge Steven T. O’Neill said Tuesday, referring to the previous request for dismissal made by former Amity Township Police Officer Glenn James Oesterling, who faces charges of retail theft and receiving stolen property in connection with alleged shoplifting incidents at the Upland Square Giant store in June 2013.

In a habeas corpus petition filed late last year, defense lawyer Adam Sager, on behalf of Oesterling, asked a judge to dismiss the charges and to re-examine the previous decision by a district court judge, who found prosecutors presented sufficient evidence, or “a prima facie case,” at a preliminary hearing to move the case to trial. Judge O’Neill was slated to hold a hearing on that request on Tuesday but Oesterling, a 12-year veteran corporal of the police force who was fired by Amity Township supervisors last year, left the courthouse without a resolution to his case.

“After a discussion with my client, while we think that we have very good defenses, we do concede that the court would probably find that there was a prima facie case established by the commonwealth if we went through with the habeas corpus petition. Therefore, we voluntarily, and without prejudice, withdrew the habeas petition,” Sager explained.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140408/former-amity-cop-drops-attempt-to-have-shoplifting-charges-dismissed

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Montco Commissioners Sponsor Paper Shredding Event In Collegeville

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Norristown, PA – The Montgomery County Commissioners and the Waste System
Authority of Eastern Montgomery County in conjunction with Shred One Security Corp. are
sponsoring a community paper shredding event on Saturday, April 12 from 9 a.m. to noon at
Perkiomen Valley Middle School East, 100 Kagey Road (entrance on Campus Drive) in Collegeville.

Future shredding events are scheduled for Saturday, June 21 at Copper Beach Elementary School in
Glenside, and on Saturday, October 18 at Lower Merion High School in Ardmore.

Montgomery County residents who have paper and documents that should be shredded are
encouraged to take advantage of this free event. No businesses are permitted. Residents are urged to
make sure that the materials they present for shredding do not include plastic, cardboard, or metal.
However, there is no need to remove staples, paper clips, hanging folders, etc.

“Shredding of documents has become important in our lives today for several reasons, not the least of
which is the threat of identity theft,” said Josh Shapiro, chairman of the Montgomery County
Commissioners. “We believe this service is useful, necessary, and will be appreciated by our residents,
and we are very grateful to Shred One and the Waste Authority for their assistance.”

Shred One regularly participates in community shredding events. The company’s mobile trucks
perform all of the paper shredding as you watch. All shredded paper is recycled by Shred One and the
company is currently recycling paper at a rate that saves over 70,000 trees annually.

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34 Cadets Graduate From MCCC Municipal Police Academy

Police 1: Class 1304 graduates are congratulated by Montgomery County Commissioner Bruce L. Castor Jr., MCCC Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost Dr. Victoria Bastecki-Perez, and MCCC Dean of Social Sciences Dr. Aaron Shatzman.  Photos by John Welsh

Police 1: Class 1304 graduates are congratulated by Montgomery County Commissioner Bruce L. Castor Jr., MCCC Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost Dr. Victoria Bastecki-Perez, and MCCC Dean of Social Sciences Dr. Aaron Shatzman. Photos by John Welsh

Blue Bell, PA Thirty-four cadets graduated from Montgomery County Community College’s Municipal Police Academy Class 1304 on March 26 during a ceremony held at the College’s Science Center Theater, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell.

Academy alumnus Wayne T. Johnson, Deputy Sheriff with Chester County Sherriff’s Department, sang the National Anthem to begin the ceremony, followed by a moment of reflection from Director of Criminal Justice & Fire Science Programs Benn Prybutok. The Philadelphia Police Department Honor Guard and the Philadelphia Emerald Society Pipe Band led the procession.

Patrol Commander Darren Nyce from Upper Dublin Township Police Department was selected by class 1304 to give the keynote address, during which he stressed the importance of preparation.

“Prepare for opportunity, [so that you’re] ready for opportunity when it comes. Being prepared to do the right thing at the right moment takes tremendous heart, courage and perseverance, and, at times, great sacrifice,” shared Nyce, who is an alumnus of the Academy as well as an instructor.

Montgomery County Commissioner Bruce L. Castor Jr., County Deputy Chief Detective Samuel Gallen, and County Coordinator of School Safety Steven A. Beck were also in attendance, along with representatives from Tredyffrin, Upper Darby, Upper Merion, Upper Moreland and Whitpain police departments and the FBI.

Earning the highest GPA in his class, Cadet Cpl. Jason Kesack, Lansdale, offered remarks on behalf of the graduates.

“I think love is probably the most important thing, not only in police work but in life in general,” he shared. “It’s about community policing and how you interact with the people around you. Everyone is someone’s mother, someone’s brother. I think it’s important that we remember that golden rule—that we should treat people the way we would want our families treated.”

Academy Director Frank Williar presented Cadet Lt. Laina Stevens, Philadelphia, with the Platoon Commander Award, describing her as “a breath of fresh air.” Stevens, who is now an officer with the Upper Darby Police Department, then ceremonially handed Academy command over to Class 1401 Cadet Lt. Andrew Burrows, Doylestown.

Williar also presented the Director’s Spirit of Distinction Award to Cadet Cpl. James Apgar, Frenchtown, N.J., adding that the award goes to “the MVP of the group; to an individual whose personality is instrumental in making the class what it is.”

Stevens presented the James R. Miller Marksmanship Award to Eric Meoli, Lansdale. The award is presented in memory of Upper Dublin Police Sergeant Jim Miller, who died in an automobile accident while on duty in 2004.

Police 2: Karen McGowan and her sons Scott McGowan and John McGowan IV present the Chief John J. McGowan III Memorial Scholarship to Robert Calvin Wiley, Willow Grove.  Photos by John Welsh

Police 2: Karen McGowan and her sons Scott McGowan and John McGowan IV present the Chief John J. McGowan III Memorial Scholarship to Robert Calvin Wiley, Willow Grove. Photos by John Welsh

During the ceremony, members of the McGowan family—Karen and her sons Scott and John McGowan IV, presented the Chief John J. McGowan III Memorial Scholarship in the amount of $3,500 to Robert Calvin Wiley, Willow Grove. The scholarship honors the late East Norriton Police Chief John McGowan, who died in a motorcycle accident in 2010. Wiley thanked the McGowan family for the honor, adding that he will use the scholarship to continue his education in MCCC’s Criminal Justice program in the fall.

Cadets from class 1304 attended the academy full time, Monday through Friday for 22 weeks. Graduates include Cadet Cpl. James Apgar, Frenchtown, N.J.; Ryan Benner, Drexel Hill; Steve Berg, Levittown; Cadet Sgt. Andrew Brown, Exton; Cadet Sgt. Michael Cabry, Coatesville; Michael Carlson, Elkins Park; Liz Cartwright, Telford; Timothy Clark, Abington; Amber Culton, Quakertown; Zachary Danowski, Skippack; Kevin Deegan, Downington; James Falatovich, Birdsboro; Cadet SSgt. Evan Flora, Collegeville; Jarett Gordon, Collegeville; Patrick Halcovage, Hatfield; Jonathan Huber, Souderton; Cadet Cpl. Jason Kesack, Lansdale; Patrick Kitchenman, Levittown; Cadet Cpl. John Kreuer, Ephrata; Kevin Lowry, Willow Grove; Brett Mackow, Green Lane; Eric Meoli, Lansdale; Jay Nakahara, Allentown; Nicholas O’Connor, Conshohocken; David Pagan, Philadelphia; Stephen Romanic, Coopersburg; Cadet SSgt. David Rosenblit, Philadelphia; Cadet Sgt. Nicholas Ruud, Doylestown; Kathleen Ryan, Horsham; Alex Sansone, Huntingdon Valley; Cadet Lt. Laina Stevens, Philadelphia; Ryan Umberger, Bristol, Gabriel Wasserman, Ambler; Calvin Wiley, Willow Grove.

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.

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Montco Official Says Keim Street Bridge Project Moving Forward

Location of Lower Pottsgrove Township in Montg...

Location of Lower Pottsgrove Township in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

LOWER POTTSGROVE TOWNSHIP, PA — Not that she needed a reminder that all politics are local, but Montgomery County Commissioner Leslie Richards still remembers one of the first calls she got on the historic night she and Commissioners Chairman Josh Shapiro made history by being the first Democrats to take the majority in 100 years.

“I’ll never forget one of the first calls I got on election night,” she said March 24 as she, Shapiro and Commissioner Bruce Castor conducted the last of their roundtable meetings around the county, this one at the Lower Pottsgrove Township Building.

“I said ‘hello’ and the voice on the other end said ‘so when is the new Keim Street Bridge going to be finished?’”

The answer, she gave Monday, is that the project is “moving forward.”

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140331/montco-official-says-keim-street-bridge-project-moving-forward

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MCCC Students Named To All-PA Academic Team

PHOTO: Montgomery County Community College President Dr. Karen A. Stout (far left) and Board of Trustees Chairman Michael D’Aniello (far right) stand with MCCC’s All-PA Academic Team members (from left) Serena Dunlap, Elizabeth Holleger, Angelique Moon and Shari Nelson. Photo by Alana J. Mauger

PHOTO: Montgomery County Community College President Dr. Karen A. Stout (far left) and Board of Trustees Chairman Michael D’Aniello (far right) stand with MCCC’s All-PA Academic Team members (from left) Serena Dunlap, Elizabeth Holleger, Angelique Moon and Shari Nelson. Photo by Alana J. Mauger

Harrisburg, PA — Four Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) students were among 45 students from across the Commonwealth recognized this week for their academic and community achievements.

MCCC students include Serena Dunlap, Gilbertsville; Elizabeth Holleger, Norristown; Angelique Moon, Pottstown; and Shari Nelson, Pottstown.

Collectively, the students comprise the All-PA Academic Team, which is administered nationally by Phi Theta Kappa, the national two-year college honors society. Students were recognized in Harrisburg on March 31, both on the floor of the House of Representatives at the State Capitol, and during a banquet facilitated by the Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges.

Serena Dunlap already graduated from MCCC’s Honors Program in December, earning an associate’s degree in Liberal Studies before transferring to Bryn Mawr College on full scholarship. Her long-term plans include earning a Ph.D. and specializing in art therapy.

After graduating from Boyertown Area High School, Serena spent a semester at a private university, struggling to pay the tuition price out-of-pocket.  Then she learned about MCCC’s Honors Program, which offers full-tuition scholarships for high-achieving students.

“I chose to attend community college because it was affordable,” Dunlap said. “Not only is it affordable, but it is very easy to get involved on campus and in the community itself, which makes it a pleasure to attend. Affordability was my goal when I decided to attend community college, but what community college gives in education and community is priceless.”

On campus, Dunlap was very engaged in student life, serving as vice president of the Student Government Association, president of the Environmental Club, member of Phi Theta Kappa, and as the Northwest Regional Representative of the American Student Association of Community Colleges (ASACC). She also worked as a peer mentor in the College’s Upward Bound program and served as a student representative on the President’s Climate Council and Student Life Committee.

Elizabeth Holleger is an Education in the Early Years major who hopes to one day work as an elementary school teacher and reading specialist after earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Education. She dedicates her time to volunteering and performing service work in the community in memory of her mother, who lost her battle with invasive breast cancer in 2007.

“I decided to turn a difficult situation into a positive one, and I started volunteering and fundraising in my mother’s memory,” Holleger said. “I want to do all that I can to help others who are also affected by breast cancer. It has become a huge part of my life, and I often volunteer together with my sisters and brothers. My mother’s death has allowed me to grow as a person and to think positively about any situation.”

On campus, Holleger was instrumental in helping to charter the College’s first-ever Rotaract community service club, and she serves as its secretary. She is also a member of Phi Theta Kappa honors society, and she participated in Alternative Spring Break, during which she volunteered for five days at The Samaritan Woman in Baltimore, Md.

Holleger currently holds a 4.0 grade point average (GPA), which she plans to maintain through next December when she will graduate from MCCC with an associate’s degree.

Angelique Moon proudly became the first woman in her family to earn a college degree when she completed her associate’s degree coursework in December at MCCC. A mother of three boys, Moon was majoring in Business when she signed up for a drawing class to fill an elective.

 “I never really knew what I wanted or who I was until after I took this [drawing] class. It changed my life,” she expressed.

Because art helped Moon overcome her social anxiety, she wants to help others to help themselves through art, too. She is currently taking more Fine Arts classes at MCCC and hopes to continue her studies at Kutztown University.

“As far as my long-term goals, I would love to teach but I know that many public schools are removing the arts; therefore, I am keeping an open mind to possibly curating at a museum,” she said. “I also plan to show my work as often as possible and to volunteer my services as an instructor to spread the love of art and to teach others how to express themselves through art.”

Shari Nelson chose to attend MCCC so that she could pursue a degree while helping with her family’s business–Nelson Illusions, a theater company specializing in magic and illusion. A Liberal Studies major at MCCC’s West Campus, Nelson plans to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mathematics and hopes to one day teach math, while continuing to work in the arts and to travel as a professional magician and illusionist.

“Learning has always been important to me, and I love understanding new things and applying them to my life and work,” shared Nelson. “Montgomery County Community College has given me the opportunity to achieve my education and work with wonderful professors while still being able to continue my jobs. At college I aim to learn the most I can to better myself and, hopefully, my future family.”

Nelson will graduate this summer from MCCC with an associate’s degree in Liberal Studies. On campus, she co-founded the West End Student Theatre club and is a member of Phi Theta Kappa. She also volunteered during MLK Day of Service and as a new student orientation leader. As a magician, Nelson has earned four major awards, including the Magicians Alliance of the Eastern States Award of Excellence, and has competed nationally in magic competitions.

Members of the All-PA Academic Team qualify for two-year scholarships to any of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) institutions and compete at the national level for scholarships from the All-USA Academic Team and the Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team. To learn more, visit http://www.pacommunitycolleges.org.

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MCCC Needs Your Vote In National Sustainability Contest

Lansdale, PA — Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) is a finalist for Second Nature’s 2014 Climate Leadership Award and needs the community’s help!

While the award itself is based on a formal application and supporting data, Second Nature is  hosting a supplemental popular vote video contest, for which MCCC is one of 15 contestants nationally, and is the only one from Pennsylvania. Individuals can vote daily (one vote daily per IP address) through April 15. Winning videos will receive national media play throughout the year.

To view and vote for MCCC’s video, visit http://www.planetforward.org/idea/cooking-green-cuisine.

MCCC’s video, “Cooking Green Cuisine,” focuses on the Landfill-Free initiative at its new Culinary Arts Institute in Lansdale. The Culinary Arts Institute partners with Sustainable Waste Solutions (SWS), of Souderton, to convert all waste—trash, recycling and food trimmings—into energy or materials.

To learn more about this, and other green initiatives at the College, visit http://www.mc3green.wordpress.com.

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Archaeological Adventure On Tap For MCCC Students At The Speaker’s House

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PHOTO: Field School students dig at The Speaker’s House in 2013. Photo courtesy of The Speaker’s House

Trappe, PA — Students who participate in the Archaeology Field School at The Speaker’s House in Trappe, Pa. this summer can earn college credits for their work, thanks to a new partnership with Montgomery County Community College.

In its sixth year, the Archaeology Field School is an intensive three-week program 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. from June 10–28. No previous experience is necessary, and the program is open to anyone age 15 or over.  To learn more, visit www.speakershouse.org/archaeology  or contact Lisa Minardi at info@speakershouse.org.

Participants will receive training in excavation techniques, record keeping, artifact identification, processing, cataloging, and classification. The Field School will focus on the area surrounding the original kitchen wing, built in the 1760s, including the foundation of the bake oven.  As part of their work, students will conduct shovel tests in an area where an authentic Pennsylvania German kitchen garden is planned. Optional field trips and guest lectures will also be offered.

For the first time, students can earn three college credits 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 title is Archaeology Field School (ANT 120, section AW).

Enrollment is limited to 20 participants, and preference will be given to students taking the course for credit through MCCC. Students will pay standard MCCC tuition and fees plus an addition $75 supply fee. Tuition information is available at mc3.edu/admissions. All participants will receive a complimentary one-year student membership in The Speaker’s House.

An optional add-on week will run June 30-July 5. Activities will focus on artifact preservation, such as cleaning, washing, sorting, labeling, cataloging, and preparation for storage.  Participants will also have the opportunity to learn about historic preservation and assist with various hands-on restoration projects at The Speaker’s House.

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.

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Forecasters: Snow Returns To Philadelphia Area Tuesday

It’s now officially spring, but more snow is on its way to the Philadelphia region.

The National Weather Service says a few inches of snow are expected to fall between Tuesday morning and early Wednesday, with most of the Philadelphia area seeing between 1.5 and 3.5 inches.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/Forecasters_Snow_returns_to_Philadelphia_area_Tuesday.html#vhG0q4iuBmY8Vu8w.99

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Criminal Justice, Public Safety Careers Focus Of Biennial Event

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Blue Bell, PAMontgomery County Community College (MCCC) 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, contact MCCC Director of Criminal Justice Studies and Fire Science and Emergency Management & Planning Benn Prybutok at 215-641-6428 or bprybuto@mc3.edu .

The event begins with an opening ceremony at 9 a.m., which will include remarks by Montgomery County and MCCC 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.

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