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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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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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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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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7th Annual Montgomery County CareerLink Job Fair

Wednesday, April 30, 2014
9:30 am – 2 pm
DoubleTree by Hilton
Philadelphia – Valley Forge
301 West DeKalb Pike • King of Prussia, PA 19406

CONTACT
Melinda Onchitta
610.270.3429 x 234
MOnchitt@montcopa.org
http://www.Montcoworks.org

Participating Companies
CSL Behring • Albert Einstein Medical Center • Cobham
Clinical Financial Services • University of the Sciences
Globus Medical, Inc • Robert Half • HCR Manorcare
Acme Corrugated Box, Co., Inc
Manpower International Inc • JRF America, Inc
Tri County Transit Service, Inc
Securitas Security Services USA, Inc
The Carney Group • Univest Corporation of Pennsylvania
Kencrest Services • ECRI Institute

Click here for registration forms, directions, parking…http://montcopa.org/index.aspx?NID=1786

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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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Report: Absence Of School Funding Formula In PA Costs Pottstown $5 Million A Year

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

POTTSTOWN, PA — Borough property owners would be off the hook for generating more than $5 million in school funding this year if the state funding formula abandoned by Gov. Tom Corbett in 2010 were still in place, according to a report.

Further, as a result of that formula’s absence in calculating state education funding, Pottstown has lost more state aid in the past few years than almost any other district in Montgomery County, the report found.

At $2.5 million, only Norristown schools lost more in the last three years than the $1.5 million in state funding Pottstown has lost since 2010-11, the study found.

In an attempt to reverse the problems highlighted in that study, the Pottstown School Board on Monday unanimously adopted a resolution calling on Harrisburg to establish “a fair and equitable school funding formula.”

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140328/report-absence-of-school-funding-formula-in-pa-costs-pottstown-5-million-a-year

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Census: Philadelphia Population Grows Again, But Rate Slows

English: This is my own work, Public Domain Ph...

English: This is my own work, Public Domain Photograph, not copyrighted Ed Yakovich http://www.flickr.com/photos/10396190@N04 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Philadelphia’s population rose again last year, albeit at a slower rate than the city’s growth over the past few years, according to Census data released today.

The city’s population as of July 1, 2013, stood at an estimated 1,553,165 people, an increase of 4,518 residents, or 0.29 percent from the previous year. It marks the seventh consecutive year of growth for the city, according to the Census Bureau’s population estimates. So the turnaround continues, but not as dramatically.

Philadelphia saw steep declines in the latter part of the 20th century as it continued to struggle with the loss of its industrial base. That trend continued into the new millennium. Indeed, the city’s population declined every year between 2000 and 2006, losing nearly 26,000 residents during the span. But since 2006, the city has added more than 64,000 people.

The new census numbers, however, suggest that the population rise has slowed. Philadelphia added only about half as many residents in 2013 as it gained in 2011 and 2012. Between 2010 and 2012, the city’s population grew by more than 1.3 percent.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/breaking/032714_Census_Philadelphia_population_grows_again_but_rate_slows.html#x6SWWPYwWoS51Kck.99

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

2013 Field school st#CC0F77 (1)

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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Police Cracking Down On Aggressive Drivers Across Pennsylvania

Map of Pennsylvania, showing major cities and ...

Map of Pennsylvania, showing major cities and roads (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

MONTGOMERY TWP, PA — Along Route 309 in Montgomery Township on Monday afternoon, lights from police cruisers flashed next to an orange “Aggressive Driving Enforcement” sign as every few minutes, a vehicle was directed to pull over by a contingent of township cops who were doling out citations for speeding, tailgating or other traffic infractions spotted moments earlier by officers stationed a half-mile up the road. It was part of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s ramped-up efforts — which began on Monday and lasts until May 4 — to crack down on a spectrum of illegal and dangerous driving habits in a big way across the state.

Boyertown police announced their aggressive driving details will continue through Sept. 14.

“We’re here today to raise awareness about the dangers of aggressive driving, and to target those drivers who are causing far too many crashes on the roadways,” said PennDOT spokesman Lou Belmonte at a Monday morning press conference inside the Montgomery Township Building, where he was joined by law enforcement officers and members of the Montgomery County Health Department and Buckle Up PA to announce the first wave of the PennDOT-funded 2014 Pennsylvania Aggressive Driving Enforcement and Education Project).

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140325/police-cracking-down-on-aggressive-drivers-across-pa

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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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Trashy Art Returns To ArtFusion

ReSourced3

ReSourced3.jpg butterfly sculpture by Juanita Gaspari, made from recycled wire and handpainted paper

POTTSTOWN, PA – The latest show at ArtFusion helps prove true the old adage that “One person’s trash is another person’s treasure.” Titled ReSourced, the show will be an amazing display of creative reuse. Local artists have created work from recycled, upcycled and salvaged items. Visitors to ArtFusion will be delighted by the wide range of pieces on display, from functional clothing to gorgeous free-standing sculptures.

Each visitor will also have a chance to contribute to a fun public art project. Throughout the show, which runs from March 21 through May 3, visitors will have a chance to add to a large scale, recycled weaving project. The weaving will be created from plastic bags, paper, VCR tapes, and more. The piece can be seen as it grows in the front window of the ArtFusion gallery.

Participating artists are: Alita Abruzzzese, Lisbeth Bucci, Robyn Burckhardt, Tom Carroll, Arline Christ, Maggie Creshkoff, James M. Enders, Juanita A. Gaspari, Robert Hakun, Heidi Hammel, Joe Hoover, Millie Lea, Dora Siemel, Carla Schaeffer, Teresa Shields, Donna Steck-McMahon, and Julie Tonnessen.

There will be an opening reception for ReSourced on Friday, March 21 from 6-8pm. All receptions are free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. A $100 Best in Show prize, sponsored by the NARI-BIE Green Team, will be presented at 6:30pm.

In conjunction with this show, ArtFusion is offering free field trips to local schools. Over 550 children have currently signed up for a fun, interactive experience. Students will learn about and discuss recycling, why it is important to the future of our planet, and how artists create with objects other people throw away. Each student will also create their own unique piece of recycled art. This show will help teach local children the importance of caring for our planet and will inspire them to look at the world–and how people create art–in a whole new way.

ArtFusion 19464 is a 501(c)3 non-profit community art center located at 254 E. High St. in downtown Pottstown. The school offers day, evening and weekend classes to all ages. The goal of these classes is to help students develop their creative skills through self-expression and independence. ArtFusion’s gallery hosts rotating shows featuring local artists. The gallery also sells handcrafted, one-of-a-kind gift items.  The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday from 10am-5pm and Saturday 10am-3pm. The gallery is closed Sunday and Monday.

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ANNUAL POTTSTOWN FAMILY FEST TO BE HELD WEDNESDAY, MARCH 12

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

POTTSTOWN, PA — The Annual Pottstown Family Fest will be held on Wednesday, March 12, from 5-7 p.m. at Pottstown Senior High School, 750 North Washington Street, Pottstown.

This free family-focused event will feature information/resources from more than 30 area organizations, activities for the entire family, roving entertainment, mini sandwiches, drinks, Rita’s water ice, and a variety of door prizes.

Informational booths will be open from 5-7 p.m. Door prizes will be awarded at 7 p.m. (must be present to win). Children must be accompanied by an adult.

“Family Fest was developed to enhance, celebrate and explore family dynamics, development, growth, and unity,” said Jenn Brown, director, Pottstown Family Center. “This year’s theme, Stay Healthy, Play More, focuses on buying local and encourages families to find volunteer opportunities they care about so they can ultimately give back to their community.”

This annual event is sponsored by Family Services/Pottstown Family Center, Pottstown Parks & Recreation, and the Pottstown School District with funding support from the Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Foundation.

For more information on Family Fest, please contact Jenn Brown, director, Pottstown Family Center, at 610-326-1610 ext. 347 or jbrown@fsmontco.org.

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New Dates For Montco Commissioners’ Postponed Town Hall Meetings

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

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

Norristown, PA – The Montgomery County Commissioners have released the new dates for the “Conversations with your Commissioners” town hall meetings that had to be postponed because of the spate of bad weather over the past few weeks.

The wintry weather forced the postponement of three of the six town hall meetings.  Those postponed were in Lower Pottsgrove, Bryn Mawr, and Abington.  The new dates for those meetings are:

Wednesday, March 5 at 7 p.m.

Lower Pottsgrove Township Building

3199 Buchert Road

Pottstown, PA

Tuesday, March 11 at 7 p.m.

Lower Merion Township Building

75 East Lancaster Avenue

Ardmore, PA

Saturday, March 22 at 10 a.m.

Abington Township Building

1176 Old York Road

Abington, PA

“These conversations with the commissioners are another in a series of ways we are trying to keep residents informed about what we are doing,” said Josh Shapiro, chair of the commissioners.  “We also live stream our meetings online and use social media a great deal to inform everyone about what is going on in the county.”

“We urge residents to attend these conversations so they can hear what we have tried to do during our first two years in office, and we can hear what issues are most important to our residents,” Shapiro said.

For more information please call the Commissioners’ office at 610-278-3062.

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National Award Recognizes MCCC’s College-Wide Commitment To Student Success

Orlando, Fla.— Montgomery County Community College was honored for its ongoing commitment to student access and success on Feb. 24 during the annual Achieving the Dream Strategy Institute in Orlando, Fla. The College was one of two institutions presented with the sixth annual Leah Meyer Austin Award by Achieving the Dream.

The Leah Meyer Austin Award, sponsored by The Leona M. & Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, was established in 2008 to recognize outstanding achievement in supporting and promoting student success through the creation of a culture of evidence, continuous improvement, systemic institutional change, broad engagement of stakeholders, and equity, with particular attention to low-income students and students of color.

Austin, whose visionary leadership shaped the development of Achieving the Dream, is the former Senior Vice President for Program Development and Organizational Learning at the Lumina Foundation, and is a member of the Board of Directors of Achieving the Dream.

Montgomery County Community College (MCCC), Pennsylvania, and Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC), Massachusetts, were each awarded $25,000 to support their ongoing student success efforts. According to Achieving the Dream, both institutions were recognized for “building whole-college solutions to improve student success and equity, which have resulted in noteworthy increases in student success.”

“Montgomery County Community College takes a holistic approach to student success,” explained Dr. Karen A. Stout, president.  “By leveraging data to align our strategic planning efforts and budget decisions with student success goals, we are able to continually make improvements and remove barriers that impact retention and completion. At the same time, we’re able to engage faculty, administrators and staff from across disciplines and departments in our student success work.”

“The College’s selection as a Leah Meyer Austin Award recipient underscores our continued commitment to advance the areas of student access, success and completion that anchor our work as an Achieving the Dream Leader College,” she continued.

In addition to building college-wide solutions and engaging in data-informed decision making, Achieving the Dream commended MCCC for its work to improve developmental education outcomes, college readiness, and student persistence.

One highlight is the College’s efforts to reduce the number of students who place in developmental English by 31 percent, without impacting their subsequent success in college-level English courses. This was achieved through a combination of adjusting placement cut-off scores, moving from an ACCUPLACER placement test to a WritePlacer exam, and allowing students with SAT scores of 500 and up to enroll directly in college-level English. In fall 2011, more than 900 students benefited from these changes, successfully completing Composition I (ENG 101) at the same rate as those students who placed in college-level English under the old cut score.

MCCC also continues to build momentum in its efforts to improve success in developmental mathematics. The College was previously recognized by Achieving the Dream for the complete redesign of its basic arithmetic curriculum, which increased student success rates by 20 percent and math confidence rates by 20 to 35 percent. MCCC also developed two-week accelerated basic arithmetic and beginning algebra “boot camp” review courses for students whose ACCUPLACER test scores are close to the cutoff. To date, 300 students have completed the accelerated courses, outperforming students who follow the traditional path.

Achieving the Dream also noted MCCC’s efforts to improve the college readiness of students from feeder high schools through a variety of initiatives. Among these is MCCC’s participation in the national Gateway to College Network, designed for young adults ages 16 to 21 who have dropped out of high school or who are significantly behind in credits and are unlikely to graduate. The program enables qualifying students to complete their high school diploma requirements while simultaneously earning college credits toward an associate’s degree or certificate. In addition, MCCC developed a College Pathway Academy for Health Professions in partnership with the Phoenixville School District and Phoenixville Hospital. The Academy enables students to earn college credits in the health sciences while completing their high school graduation requirements.

Another highlight is the College’s success in improve persistence rates for minority students. In 2009, MCCC first launched its Minority Male Mentoring Program (MMMP) to close the nationally documented achievement gap for African-American male students. The program connects participating students with caring mentors for guidance and support while providing opportunities for civic engagement, academic advisement, personal development and leadership development. Between 2009 and 2013, participants showed a term-to-term persistence rate of close to 80 percent – significantly higher than the 63 percent for non-participants. This spring, the initiative was expanded to include African-American and Latina female students and was renamed the Minority Student Mentoring Initiative (MSMI).

To learn more about MCCC’s Student Success Initiative, visit its website at mc3.edu or its Think Success blog at mc3success.wordpress.com.

Achieving the Dream, Inc.

Achieving the Dream, Inc. is a national nonprofit leading the nation’s most comprehensive non-governmental reform network for student success in higher education history. The Achieving the Dream National Reform Network, including over 200 institutions, more than 100 coaches and advisors, and 15 state policy teams – working throughout 34 states and the District of Columbia – helps nearly 4 million community college students have a better chance of realizing greater economic opportunity and achieving their dreams.

The Helmsley Charitable Trust

The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust aspires to improve lives by supporting effective nonprofits in health, place-based initiatives, and education and human services.  Since 2008, when the Trust began its active grantmaking, it has committed more than $1 billion to a wide range of charitable organizations. Through its National Education Program, the Trust views education as a lever to advance both American economic competitiveness and individual social mobility.  In K-12, the Trust focuses on ensuring all students graduate high school prepared for college or careers by supporting teacher effectiveness and the adoption and implementation of high academic standards. In postsecondary education, the Trust is primarily interested in increasing the number of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) graduates who can participate in high growth sectors of the economy.  The Trust also focuses on policy levers that improve postsecondary completion, particularly for underrepresented populations.

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