Montgomery County Community College Foundation Awards Grants To Support Programs And Initiatives‏

Blue Bell/Pottstown, PA — Montgomery County Community College Foundation recently awarded $19,705 in grants for the 2015-16 year to support programs and initiatives that will improve student success and access, enhance students’ educational experience, promote sustainability and engage the community.

Grants were awarded for the following programs and initiatives:

  • Veterans Retreat – A $5,000 award will allow 20 veteran students to attend a two-night Mindfulness Retreat in Bangor, PA, during which attendees will participate in activities to help build physical, cognitive and emotional resiliency; decrease levels of stress; improve quality of sleep; and improve emotional well-being. The program will be led by Ann Marie Donohue and Deborah Greenspan, MCCC psychology professors, with Veterans Services Coordinator Michael Brown.
  • Reading Community of Practice: Reading in the Content Areas – A $3,779 grant will support this reading program designed to introduce and engage participants in active reading and critical thinking to help increase student success in the classroom. Through workshops, one-to-one faculty collaborations and ongoing support, students will learn to model reading strategies as demonstrated through best practices. The program will be led by Assistant Professor of Reading Barbara Maurer.
  • Creating Accessible Videos with Closed Captioning – A $3,776 grant will enable MCCC’s Information Technology department to create closed captioning for course content videos used by faculty to increase access and student success. The grant funding will cover software costs and allow IT to hire students to learn and work alongside the academic training team, led by MCCC Instructional Designer Joshua Eckenrode.
  • Software Development Academy Pilot Equipment Support – A $3,000 grant will enable MCCC’s Director of Enterprise Infrastructure Jim Stasik in IT to purchase additional computers and iOS devices to support MCCC’s proposed Software Development Academy pilot. This proposed pilot program will increase student access and success in the IT field by providing and innovative delivery of curriculum in a high-performance culture.
  • The Betzwood Silent Film Festival – A $3,000 grant will enable MCCC’s Lively Arts Series under the direction of Interim Director Brent Woods to continue the presentation of The Betzwood Silent Film Festival on May 7, 2016. This annual festival informs the community about the unique history and culture of the silent film industry that developed in Montgomery County and engages the audience through the lively narration and presentation of silent films. The Betzwood Silent Film Archive is housed in MCCC’s Brendlinger Library at its Central Campus in Blue Bell.
  • Bike Maintenance Station – A $1,150 grant will enable MCCC to provide a bicycle maintenance station at its Central Campus in addition to the station at West Campus in Pottstown. Nationally recognized as a Bike Friendly University by the American Bicyclists, MCCC encourages bicycling as an alternative form of transportation for nearby students. The initiative supports MCCC’s ongoing commitment to sustainability since signing the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment in 2007.

Established in 1983, the Montgomery County Community College Foundation provides student scholarships; grants for projects, equipment and technology; student emergency funds; support for cultural enrichment activities and financial resources for programs and activities. The Foundation makes a difference in the lives of students thanks to the generosity of alumni, parents, community friends, private foundations and corporations. For more information, contact the Foundation at 215-641-6530.

Montgomery County Community College Announces Fall 2015 Dean’s List‏

Blue Bell/Pottstown, Pa.—Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost Dr. Victoria Bastecki-Perez is pleased to announce the fall 2015 Dean’s List at Montgomery County Community College. The Dean’s List recognizes full-time students who have earned at least 12 cumulative credits with a grade point average (GPA) of 3.5 or higher during the fall 2015 semester.

Dean’s List honorees are listed by area of residence.

Abington: Cory Bane, Catherine Bray, Dustyn Collins, Kevin Cruz, Kelly Durphy, Joseph Ganiszewski, Taylor Gordon, Brian Kelly, Adam Lin, Hudson Marsh, Abriana Outen, Allegra Schnitzel, Paige Taylor

Alburtis: Rachel Delp

Ambler: Shana Birdsong, Bridget Bouton, Hagin Butson, Michael Chrzanowski, Caroline Coloracci, Anthony Demarinis, Nisa Fabiani, Allison Fitzpatrick, Matthew Halligan, Kurt Herbine, Evelin James, Jake Kahn, Akshay Kulkarni, Akhil Kulkarni, Richard Lavrence-Mrvar, Brian Maggio, Collin Maurtua, Miranda McFerran, Patrick Mergenthaler, Megan Moyer, Melody Rolon, Eric Rubenstein, David Vigano, Marissa Ward, Amanda Willis, Kimberly Wolbach, Brianna Zera, Amanda Zhou

Ardmore: Richard Gallagher

Aston: Agustina Sosa

Audubon: Brooke Baldassano, Robert Betton, Alicia Bigelow, Jenny Firn, Kirstie Nicolo, Darshanaben Patel

Bala Cynwyd: Roy Li, Harriet Poe, Tiffany Weeks

Barto: Matthew Coldsmith, Tyler Keefer

Bechtelsville: Joseph Hartline, Corey Pettine, Janelle Walters

Birchrunville: Keenan McCormick, Tyler McGee

Birdsboro: Kaitlin Eichenberg

Blandon: Daniel Minto

Blue Bell: Sarah Carminati, Julia Dani, Emily Didomenico, Katelynn Gold, Eun Kyoung Han, Andrew Herbert, Roman Montijo, Patrick Nucci

Boyertown: Sean Bickhart, Courteney Coccie, Kaylie Dixon, Paris Herbst, Jonathan Johnson, Kyle Lee, Annie Renninger, David Rohrbach, Lauren Specht, Katelyn Wentzel

Bridgeport: Carolynne Collins, Amaris Colon

Bryn Mawr: Robert Klein, Arielle Ytterberg

Chalfont: Dahyeon Jeong

Cheltenham: Karlie Dieudonne, Stephanie Hill, Maliyah Howell, Stacy Parker

Chester Springs: Qianyan Wu

Collegeville: William Bianco, Rebekah Bondi, Nicole Bradbury, Sean Brady, Max Bugay, Philip Cappelli, Emily Cosmi, Elizabeth Cusmina, Nicole Dalasio, Anna Di Giovanni, Erin Donovan, Nicholas Duffy, Mark Dylinski, Ericka Hastings, Jordan Higley, Chris Luzeski, Regina MacMurtrie, Kacy Maroney, Geoffrey Melle, Ashley Muhlenberg, Ashley Parker, Brianna Patterson, Anna Poet, Michael Reiner, Kelsey Rush, Yasna Saez Tapia, Julie Scott, Greg Seraphin, Lindsay Siron, Jacqueline Smith, Audrey Sorber, Gisselle Tirado, Michael Topham, Kyle Umstead, Nicole Viola, Daniel Waslo, Stephanie Yovish

Colmar: Vincent Dirienzo, Jennifer Walton

Conshohocken: Kelby Chen, Rachel Dibenedetto, Brianna Labrice, Anthony Moore, Sheila Salcedo, Harry Silverwood

Douglassville: Anna Chandler, Anthony Davis, Lorenzo Giotti, Patrick Hennessey, Charles Hennessey, April Motta, Emilee Parizo, Lauren Tomlinson

Doylestown: Andrew Durkin

Dresher: Lindsey Glassberg, Dana Tascarella, Adam Wasserman

Eagleville: Daniel Buttorff, Kayla Dimitry, Joseph Dipaul, Julie Primavera, John Saviello, MacKenzie Shaughnessy, Bethany Smith

East Greenville: Stephen Andress, Jacob Berry, Heather Haby, Nicholas Haidl, Benjamin Hammill, Colin Hurrey, Shelby Reger

East Norriton: Katherine Bampfield, Emily King, Alison Koziczynski, Edward Lohmeyer, Raj Rawal, Nichole Romano, Kyle Sapovits

Elkins Park: Danny Asmaro, Cecilia Dang, Caitlyn Deviney, Marin Harwood, Dylan Joyce, James Kang, Janice Lee, Amy Malloy, Eliot Pavlov-Rosenfeld, William Schwarz, Ryan Seifert, Katelyn Tausendffeunat, Angelo Torrecampo, Teri-Ann Wollyung

Elverson: Samantha Hyder

Erdenheim: Mark Vido

Flourtown: Jake Frye, Natalie Hargan, Vincent Madle

Fort Washington: Jonathan Basta, Michela Mennella, Victoria Sonetto

Gilbertsville: Brian Bibby, Kathryn Brown, Samuel Cocchimiglio, Zachary Dick, Addee Grabowski, Paul Jaworski, Magdolna Pinto, Bridget Rapp, Alex Siwik, Paige Stubblebine, Joshua Urbach, Charles Vitabile, Carly Watson, John Yoast

Glenside: Caroline Ciocca, Noah Cohen, Elisabeth Cripps, Sebastian Derosa, Joseph Fittipaldi, Chelsie Harmer, Harry Kim, Brendan Kirk, Anita Marie Kruse, Kiera Mahoney, Monica Mohammed, Regina Newlin, Dianna Pax, Peter Pritz, Sherri Razaq-Thiers, Maria Reitano, Kiersten Tasker, Tammi Watson

Green Lane: Sara Barndt, Caira Borchers, Zach Diehl, Emalene Sylvester, Jessica Yelito

Gwynedd Valley: Lauren Ratka

Harleysville: Katalin Abraham, Lane Alderfer, Christine Campbell, Dimitri Coachi, Jocelyn Cribbs, Alfred Derro, Marissa Gleason, Grace Guntz, Faith Guntz, Julie Hartman, John Jungers, Andrew Kramer, Jessica Margulies, Renee Marshall, Ansley Martin, Alexnder McConnell, Thomas Meehan, Alexander Minguez, Alexandra Murphy, George Park, Edbert Ruliff, Brandon Salvo, Samantha Schneider, Jessica Shields, Esther Thompson, Brianna Vandegrift, Dianarose Weiler, Lee Wilcox, Kevin Wood, Amanda Zacharias

Hatboro: Anna Angely, Hailey Beattie, Angelina Brown, Morgan Connell, Crystal Guzman, Nicholas Hildebrand, Kelsey Holm, Jennifer Jacker, Tori Lawlor, Donna-Jo Licciardi, Tara McMaster, Eric Moll, Valerie Natter, Kyle Owen, Rachel Schy

Hatfield: Eric Albaugh, Colleen Andris, Sandra Beitler, Varun Belani, Marc Buchhalter, Brian Burns, Vidhi Desai, Evan Famous, John Feher, Courtney Gill, Brandon Gilrain, Hon Ho, Michelle Hoffman, Scott Keffer, Alexandrea Kier, Ashley Leahy, Lauren Lee, Denise Lied, Andre Martin, Jenna Moyer, Lyn-Lynh Nguyen, Victoria Reeser, Angela Russak, Emily Seiler, Janeel Solanki, Connor Wallis, Ricardo White

Horsham: Stefanie Barszowski, Maria Boggi, Rachel Butler, Kristal Jusino, Da Eun Kim, Merve Kuyumcu, Danielle Lybrand, Kristen Mayo, Victoria McKale, Aaron Murphy, Heather Pringle, Victoria Rivers, Avery Romanoli, Woo Young Song, Ryan Wagner, Michaela Williams

Huntingdon: Christine Brown

Huntingdon Valley: Deena Derenzis, Dylan Kanter, Deborah Kauffman, Julie Schilling, Timothy Terrizzi

Jenkintown: Min Chang, Casey Kasitz, Jinman Li, Li Zhu

King of Prussia: Matthew Bickerdyke, Shaya Edelman, Spencer Edelman, Kyle Gutkowski, Kristen Lopez, Megan Lowery, Angelika Mari Morelos, Angelika Mae Morelos, Bao Nguyen, Laura Persofsky, Grant Smith, Gabrielle Sommese

Lafayette Hill: Doris Aston, Johnny Barattucci, Alexis Dougherty, Michael Fitzpatrick, Brian Seyler, Daria Sykuleva

Langhorne: James Macomber

Lansdale: Rabbil Ahmed, Philip Ahn, Christopher Bean, Sebastian Braccia, Justin Carr, Marisa Christensen, Jiyoung Chun, Abby Dennis, Kennedy Dickhoff, Kevin Franklin, Jessica Furlong, Alex Gabriel, Regina Guzman, Kylie Hartman, Kandice Hill, Tamara Huff, Jae Jang, Mikay Ji, Samantha Jordan, Daniel Kappler, Paul Kendikian, Chang Yong Kim, Mason Koch, Mengwei Kong, Alex Larosa, Anthony Lento, Jacqueline Lepre, Kwan-Ho Lui, Justin Lynch, Destiny Ma, Jena Marron, John May, Michael McLaughlin, Konstantina Merianou, Seyed Ali Mirfakhar, James Mullan, Fatemah Najafali, Sarah Najafali, Sufi Noor, John Ockershausen, Young Oh, Greg Olsen, Doreen Panico, Hee Park, Alejo Pasquale, Rushi Patel, Brianna Phelps, Breanna Potts, Valerie Pry, Dylan Rainone, Natasha Scott, Jeet Shah, Devanshi Shah, Huixin Shen, Kawser Siddique, Kisu Sohn, Fahmida Sultana, Jenna Tieu, Robyn Tone-Pah-Hote, Bryana Whyte, Chaksa Williams, Liting Zou

Lederach: Hae Min Go

Limerick: Kyle Allebach, Abigail Budzilowicz, Sean Budzilowicz, Megan Nacarelli, Bryce Rhodenbaugh

Lower Gwynedd: Nancy Henggeler, Samantha Schafer

Malvern: Haydn Briggs

Maple Glen: Courtney Durham

Merion Station: Catherine Schaper

Mont Clare: Noah Cittadino

Montgomeryville: Elizabeth Flagler, Jake Flagler

Narberth: Colette Clark, Jesse Putnam, Brooke Starkman

Norristown: Nicodemus Andanje, Aamir Austin, Shaun Bradley, Jessica Christman, Caitlin Collis, Jaquelin Cruz-Jordan, Brianna Devenny, Maria Flores Chavez, Chante Forde, Vanessa Fosco, Thomas Gambone, Emma Hagel, Ryan Hamilton, Alison Henning, Brittany Hewitt, John Holleger, Loren Lomax, Gilbert Martinelli, Jacori McEachnie, Elizabeth Palesano, Ginger Peterson, Marina Resendiz, Cynthia Reyes, Davin Sao, Bridget Snyder, Joanna Thompson, Atik Vahora, Gabrielle Valitski, Chelsea Venezia, Dmitry Vereykin, Jessica Whittle

North Wales: Christian Aristizabal, Marissa Boorse, Olivia Camiola, Justin Colon, Derrick Dell, Lyudmila Denisova, Alicia Eglin, Jessica Fulford, Brianna Gaul, Michael Godown, Kyle Greenwood, Paul Hasyn, Samantha Hencken, Alyssa Hoos, Eric Knoblauch, Kevin Krier, Harry Lee, Ian Mack, Garret Macrone, Halifa Mounia, Yong-Eui Park, Dhavalkumar Patel, Keyur Patel, Dipesh Patel, Brandon Peel, Nicole Rademan, Rebecca Robinson, Karolina Rzepka, Taylor Snisky, Dolan Stimson, Fiamma Tulli, Grant Udinski, Christine Yi

Oreland: Cassandra Davis, Nina Grimes, Grace Harmer, Ryan Meinke, Robert Murphy, Jocelyn Smith

Penn Valley: Alexander Shetzen

Pennsburg: Asia Fell, Isabel Gandek-Gaspar, Megan Grams, Miranda Leidy, Julia Leonard, Gabriella Maine, Chad Petipren, Olivia Spilman, Tyler Whittaker, Andrew Zambanini

Perkasie: William Reimers, Crystal Serrano

Perkiomenville: Alexis Elsner, Chelsea Faulkner, Julianne Nacarelli, Brandon Taylor, Elizabeth Tcheiguine

Philadelphia: Tamara Ali, Ashley Ball, Anthony Calfapietra, Patrick Carr, Carly Handley, James McAllister, Gabriel Prichard-Ramage, Jacob Robertson, Stephano Saldutti, Cyerra Smith, Phallon Summerville, Christopher Tejeda, Hyuck Yun

Phoenixville: Niquella Berry, Kevin Colbert, Kaitlyn Evans, Ahmad Hasaan, Caroline Heasley, Monica Hritz, Jessica Jacobs, Michael Jones, Felicia Milano, Brandon Mormello, Kimberly Nihart, Timothy OBrien, Jacob Sims, Matthew Steplewski, Sarah Wochele

Plymouth Meeting: Nazanin Abdollahi, Kyle Bone, Michael Cairns, Rebecca Carbo, Nicholas DiSanto, Amelia Ellinger, Julian Giorno, Kristen Janfrancisco, Autumn McClure, Timothy McClure, Cristian Neagoe, Juman Safi, Juliette Stilley, Sarah Viola, Rachel Viola

Pottstown: Elaine Allen, Amy Bauer, Annmarie Binsfeld, Emily Bohn, Colin Bullock, Olivia Buszta, Mikayla Chippari, Zachary Davis, Anastasia Davis, Martin Dobbs, Samantha Faust, Bridget Geri, Casey Hand, Elizabeth Harley, Christopher Hayden, Sarah Hill, Ruth Holsopple, Gaia Houseal, Leif Hums, William Kabrich, Angela Kenney, Hans Konarkowski, David Kurtz, Tyesha Lewis, Kaitlyn Lichtley, Brian Lightcap, Brianna Maggio, James McKeon, Jaclyn Murphy, Megan Nazaryk, Emily Nazaryk, Pamela Oister, Paul Parrish, Jonathan Pavlick, Sorana Phal, Shelby Poston, Joseph Ragusa, Emily Reitmeyer, Hattie Sandberg, Jonece Sergent, Holly Shively, Samantha Shovelton, Sara Shultz, Joseph Stasik, Kirsten Staurowsky, Angelica Stone, Charlotte Stone, Julia Tartaglia, Alexandria Volinskie, Kali Wade, James Walmsley, Daniel Walters, Shane Woodrow

Quakertown: Anna Short

Reading: Nicaya Perera, Derek Peterson, Corrine Peterson

Red Hill: Catherine Camuso, Joanne Feldbruegge, Mary Heebner

Rockledge: Benjamin Miller, Julia Timlin

Roslyn: Daniel Fisher, Joseph Flint, Ruth Myers, Dawn O’Hara

Royersford: Blanca Anoushian, Nicole Bumbarger, Gwaelin Collison, Matthew Crocker, Daniel Dougherty, Philip Gardocki, Alec Harrod, Dani Keefer, Stephanie Kelley, Madalyn Kostyrka, Steven Landis, Lynn Lang, Tyler Lelii, Shreeda Patel, Kyle Richter, Isabella Rotta, Alyssa Salvo, Kyle Surbrook, Michele Taluc-Chance, Kayla Velasquez

Salfordville: Brandon Rahmer

Sanatoga: Hailee Tyson

Schwenksville: Nichole Bonsell, Erin Bullock, Christopher Camuso, Daniela Casalinuovo, Jennifer Ciccotosto, James Clendening, Colin English, Austin Flint, Jacob Hennessey, Kara Hoover, Blaine Kleiner, Heidi Liebenberg, Angela Malony, Zachary Olecki, Jessica Pupillo, Rachel Robinson, Corey Stenger

Skippack: John Haasis, Michele Szabo

Souderton: Alysa Cianciarulo, Rebekah Doelp, Elizabeth Doelp, Sarah Doelp, Shane Grinkewitz, Brett Hale, Seth Hartley, Sandra Kilborn, Joseph Knesis, Tejaskumar Manvar, Hyeonjoo Min, Rebekah Negley, Christina Nguyen, Joseph Plank, Micah Plank, Daulton Rittenhouse, Melinda Simkins, Lavinia Soliman, Phuong Tran, Nathaniel Walmsley, Benjamin Walmsley, James Walsh

Spring City: Erik Aschendorf, Weston Finerfrock, David Rudart, Jocelyn Stanek

Springfield, Mass.: Derik Duklis

Stowe: Katelin Gladback, Austin Guyer

Telford: Hannah Bergauer, Carina Brown, Jimmy Bui, Katherine Derstine, Emily Freed, Kara Gaburon, Brooke Giannini, Danielle Halteman, Jillian Hartman, Stefan Hofmeister, David Hollinger, Claire Horrocks, Robert Jenne, Marisa Kampe, Lawrence Loughery, Marissa Medycki, Preston Moyer, Colin Moyer, Angela Ofalt, Lynn Saponaro, Christopher To

Trappe: Jose Catalan, Jessica Turner

Villanova: James Mearns

Warminster: Margaret West

Warrington: David Webster

Wayne: Audrey O’Keefe

West Chester: Jamie Hutchison

West Norriton: Madelynn Lund

West Point: Andrew McNaney

Willow Grove: Colleen Barbardo, Brian Behler, Natalie Berger, Gabrielle Biagi, Jonathan Dacosta, Nataliya Demkovych, Allison Lackovich, David Marcucci, Alicia Nicklas, Michelle Paripsky, Matthew Rickert, Mary Rosenbaum, Conner Shillington, James Soulges, Margaret Thompson, Amanda Warren, Zachary Wiley, Candice Yohe

Willowgrove: Melissa McCann

Worcester: Emily Hobbs

Wyncote: Joshua Kellem

Wyndmoor: Christine Fariss, Matthew Samson

Wynnewood: Rivka Gross

MCCC Writers’ Club Seeks Submissions For 29th Annual Fiction And Poetry Contest

Blue Bell/Pottstown, PA The Writers’ Club at Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) is accepting submissions for its 29th Annual Fiction and Poetry Contest now through 2 p.m. on Thursday, March 10. The contest has categories for poetry and fiction for MCCC students, as well as for alumni, faculty, staff and community residents. Prizes include $100 for first place, $75 for second, $50 for third and $25 for fourth in each category.

Mailed entries must be postmarked no later than March 3 and should be addressed to Professor Susan Buchler, English Department, Montgomery County Community College, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell, PA 19422-0758.

Hand-delivered entries should be submitted by 2 p.m. on March 10 at Professor Buchler’s office, 402 Parkhouse Hall, Central Campus, Blue Bell, where they may be left under the door. Emailed entries will not be accepted.

Guidelines for submitting poetry and fiction are as follows:

Contestants must enter the appropriate category. Categories A1 MCCC Student Poetry and A2 MCCC Student Fiction are open only to MCCC students enrolled during the fall 2015 and spring 2016 school year. Categories B1 Non-Student Poetry and B2 Non-Student Fiction are open to alumni, staff and faculty, as well as Montgomery County residents. Only one entry can be submitted for each category in either the student or non-student classification.

Submissions should be typed on 8.5 x 11-inch paper. Prose should be typed double-spaced in Times New Roman, 12-point font, with one-inch margins. The maximum length is 3,000 words.

Name, address, email address and phone number must be typed on a separate title page, along with the category letter and contest entered. MCCC students must include their student identification numbers.

On all subsequent pages, the title of the work should be typed in the upper right-hand corners with the last four digits of the phone number from the title page typed underneath.

The contestant’s name should not appear on any page except for the title page, and all pages should be numbered and clipped together. Contestants may only submit one entry per category and entries will not be returned.

Winners will be notified by email, and complete results will be announced in an upcoming edition of the Writers’ Club’s The Pen and Ink Times.

Inclusive Arts – Accessible Events For January & February 2016‏

Join us for EXPERIENCE ARTS & ACCESS

Tuesday, January 26, 2016
2:45 to 5:30pm
Banana Factory
25 West Third Street
Bethlehem, PA 18015


This mid-winter festive gathering celebrates the achievements of Arts & Access midway through a year of offering greater accessibility.

Arts & Access launched last July to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act through the lens of the arts. Currently, thirty arts organizations have teamed up with social service agencies to offer more than fifty events through June 2016, that intentionally reach people with disabilities and their family and friends. The diversity of programming include live theatre performances that are audio described and open captioned for people with visual and hearing loss; sensory friendly performances for children with autism, and a dance workshop for Parkinson patients and their caregivers.

“Cultural access is really about customer service,” says Randall Forte, Executive Director of the Lehigh Valley Arts Council. “It’s about making your customers feel welcome and comfortable.

Experience Arts & Access seeks to raise awareness of the needs as well as the abilities of persons with disabilities. Featured artist and National Storytelling Champion Anne Thomas will perform autobiographical stories crafted with a mix of dark humor, high energy and rare common sense. She speaks not only to survivors of disability, illness and tragedy, but to everyone who has a body, a dream, obstacles, hope and determination.

Experience will also allow visitors to explore an arts experience through the simulated reality of a person with a physical, sensory, or cognitive limitation. Guests will be encouraged to test the different technologies that are available, such as audio description and open captioning, voice activated wheel chairs, plus a tactile exploration of a 3-D image of a painting.

The event is FREE and open to the everyone, particularly someone with a disability. Please RSVP to attend at info@lvartscouncil.org or 610-437-5915. Light refreshments will be provided.

Our newest PROMOTIONAL VIDEO for Arts & Access

We’ve just released the second in our ongoing collection of Arts & Access promotional videos!

This edition gives a more intimate look at the Summer and Fall 2015 programming that supports our mission for inclusive arts in our region. The organizations involved have produced quite a variety of accessible arts experiences – theatre performances, visual arts classes and exhibitions, and dance workshops – all celebrating and representing a wide variety of disabilities.

Beautifully produced by Marco Calderon, our hearts are touched each time we see the laughing faces of the participants and encouraging words of those involved. Thank you to everyone who has been a part of the celebration thus far! We are looking forward to the events planned for this year – we are only halfway through and we have already made such an impact.

View our newest video on YouTube

If you didn’t catch our last edition featuring the Launch Party in July 2015, here it is!

ARTICLE: See the Music, Hear the Art!

In October, SATORI played a classical music concert for an audience who couldn’t hear it – and it was wonderful.

SATORI is participating in the Arts & Access initiative of the Lehigh Valley Arts Council, a yearlong celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, seen through the lens of the arts. As a performing arts organization with deep roots locally, we wanted to be a part of this special series of events – and thought we already had an ace in the hole. For almost two decades, SATORI has been presenting in-school music education programs that combine classical music with an array of vibrant images and drawings, projected overhead as the musicians play. Surely the addition of a visual component to a music performance might make it more appropriate for a deaf or hard-of-hearing audience?
READ MORE on our blog

Come see SATORI Chamber Music Ensemble perform at our Experience Arts & Access Event on January 26th!

JANUARY 2016
ACCESSIBLE ART – PHASE II TACTILE DESCRIPTION
Now through June 1, 2017
Lehigh Main Gallery
Open during gallery hours
Presented by Lehigh University Art Galleries & Museum

Teaching Collection of multiple artists’ work in Audio Description and Tactile Description (3-D image to touch) for the visually impaired. Gallery Hours: Wed-Sat, 11am – 5pm; Sun, 1-5pm; Closed Mon-Tues.
Handicap Access • Blind & Low-Vision • Audio Description


ARTIST IN RECOVERY – MONTHLY ART EXHIBITIONS
January 8, 2016 & February 5, 2016
Recovery Partnership
1:00pm – 3:00pm
Featuring artists who express their journey with mental health. Held every first Friday. Free.
Handicap Access • Mental Health


“LIFE ACCESSIBLE” – PHOTOGRAPHY BEYOND THE LIMITS OF SIGHT
January 8, 2016 through February 22, 2016
Banana Factory
Open during gallery hours
Presented by ArtsQuest
Photographer Stephen Cunic’s 3-D images, created using various layers and texture, allow visually impaired patrons to experience his scenes using their sense of touch. Free and open to all. Gallery Hours: Mon-Fri 8am-9:30pm, Sat & Sun, 8:30am-5pm.
Handicap Access • Blind & Low-Vision


ICE CREAM WARS 8.0
January 9, 2016
Da Vinci Science Center
10:30am – 2:00pm
Presented by Da Vinci Science Center
Presenting teams from regional and global companies in a playful competition to create fresh batches of creative ice cream flavors. Sign Language interpreter for each presentation.
Handicap Access • American Sign Language


FREE PARKINSON’S DISEASE WELLNESS FAIR
January 11, 2016
Good Shepherd Health & Technology Center
10:00am – 1:00pm
Presented by Good Shepherd Rehabilitation
For those with Parkinson’s and their families / caregivers. Demonstrations, education, health screenings. Registration recommended: 610-776-3393.
Handicap Access • Cognitive Health


DANCE FOR PD – TWO-DAY PROFESSIONAL WORKSHOP
January 23 & 24, 2016
Zoellner Arts Center
10:00am – 1:00pm
Presented by Lehigh Valley Dance Exchange / Mark Morris Dance Group
Intro to the internationally-acclaimed Dance for PD (Parkinson’s Disease) program. $100 tuition for two-day workshop, reservations required: pittsburghdancepress@gmail.com.
Handicap Access • Cognitive Health
*FREE MOVEMENT CLASS ON JANUARY 23 FROM 2:00-3:30 PM – Appropriate for anyone with PD.


PUPPET-MAKING CLASS
January 23, 2016
IceHouse Center
11:00am – 1:00pm
Presented by Mock Turtle Marionette / Easter Seals
This hands-on session will consist of puppet-making, learning a set of jokes and songs, and a twenty-minute performance. Free and open to public.
Handicap Access • Cognitive Health

FEBRUARY 2016
PUCCINI ARIAS
February 13, 2016 – 7:30pm / February 14, 2016 – 3:00pm
Miller Symphony Hall
Presented by Allentown Symphony Orchestra
Puccini’s Greatest Hits performed by Allentown Symphony Orchestra. Projected subtitles.
Handicap Access • Deaf & Hard of Hearing • Open Captioning


FAMILY CONCERT – HEART AND SOUL: VOICES OF THE FUTURE
February 28, 2016
Zoellner Arts Center
3:00pm

Presented by The Bach Choir of Bethlehem / Mercy Learning Center
Four fabulous youth choirs join The Bach Choir and Bach Festival Orchestra in a program of favorite choruses by Bach, Handel, and Randall Thompson. General Admission: $18, Students $7.
Handicap Access • Cognitive Health

MCCC Virtual Campus Earns National Recognition From ‘Elearning!’ Magazine‏

PHOTO: Montgomery County Community College’s Virtual Campus earned a “Learning 100” award from Elearning! magazine. Showcasing the award are (from left) Thomas Liwinski, Virtual Campus resource specialist; Dr. James J. Linksz, interim president; Kelly Trahan, Virtual Campus director; and Dr. Victoria Bastecki-Perez, vice president of academic affairs and provost. Photo by Sandi Yanisko

PHOTO: Montgomery County Community College’s Virtual Campus earned a “Learning 100” award from Elearning! magazine. Showcasing the award are (from left) Thomas Liwinski, Virtual Campus resource specialist; Dr. James J. Linksz, interim president; Kelly Trahan, Virtual Campus director; and Dr. Victoria Bastecki-Perez, vice president of academic affairs and provost. Photo by Sandi Yanisko

Blue Bell, Pa.—Montgomery County Community College’s (MCCC) Virtual Campus is receiving national attention after earning its first-ever “Learning! 100” award from Elearning! magazine in late 2015.

The award recognizes innovative learning programs in public and private sectors across the country. MCCC ranked 24th in the public sector category and was recognized, specifically, for the comprehensive process through which faculty design and refresh their online courses.

According to Kelly Trahan, director of MCCC’s Virtual Campus, that process is two-fold. New faculty learn how to teach online and build academic courses by participating in a collaborative course of their own—e-Learning 101 (EL 101), facilitated by an instructional designer. Meanwhile, existing online faculty engage in a “refresh” process any time curricular modifications are made.

“EL 101 exposes new faculty to best practices in e-Learning while they learn how to build an online course for the first time, explained Trahan. “The refresh process is one of checks and balances. Faculty evaluate their courses to ensure they are meeting their intended goals while providing the appropriate level of work for their students.”

To date, 95 percent of the 300-plus Virtual Campus courses currently offered have undergone the “refresh” process.

“Our faculty are dedicated to creating a high-quality learning experience for students, regardless of location,” shared Trahan. “We also have a very strong information technology (IT) team that supports faculty and students and is always looking for the best products and tech to improve students’ experiences.”

While the latest recognition focused on faculty processes, MCCC’s Virtual Campus offers a great deal of support to online students as well. Examples include online advising, access to live tutors, support discussion boards and online readiness resources.

“We have a short course that teaches students how to navigate BlackBoard, time management and course netiquette. It’s free once they register for an online course,” said Trahan.

In fall 2015, 3,654 students were enrolled in online and hybrid courses through MCCC’s Virtual Campus—an increase of close to six percent over the previous year. Currently, the Virtual Campus features more than 300 online and hybrid courses in over 30 degree and certificate programs. Courses are offered in flexible seven, 10 and 15-week sessions, as well as 21-day winter session.

To learn more about MCCC’s Virtual Campus, visit http://www.mc3.edu/virtual.

MCCC Dental Hygiene Clinic Seeks Patients For Spring Semester‏

PHOTO: A Montgomery County Community College Dental Hygiene student works with a patient in the College’s Dental Hygiene Clinic. Photo by Sandi Yanisko

PHOTO: A Montgomery County Community College Dental Hygiene student works with a patient in the College’s Dental Hygiene Clinic. Photo by Sandi Yanisko

Blue Bell, PA — The Dental Hygiene Clinic at Montgomery County Community College’s (MCCC) Central Campus in Blue Bell is actively recruiting patients with periodontal, or gum, disease for the fall semester. Patients will be screened for eligibility on Monday, Jan. 25 by appointment, and those who qualify will begin treatment.

Treatment includes a complete assessment of the patient’s oral and periodontal health; dental x-rays, if necessary; education in self-care; scaling; tooth polishing; and fluoride treatment. Multiple, three-hour appointments are necessary.

Interested persons should contact the Dental Hygiene Clinic at 215-641-6483 and leave a message with their name and telephone number. The Clinic is located in room 211 of the Science Center, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell, near the Morris Road entrance to the campus.

MCCC’s Dental Hygiene Clinic has been providing the public with comprehensive preventive dental hygiene services since 1973. Licensed dentists and dental hygiene faculty supervise all treatment procedures in the College’s state-of-the-art laboratory. The Clinic operates September through May, by appointment, and is part of Dental Hygiene students’ clinical requirements.

For a full list of services and fees, or to learn more about MCCC’s Dental Hygiene Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree program, visit http://www.mc3.edu, then click on Health Sciences, followed by Dental Hygiene.

MCCC Students Inducted Into Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society

Blue Bell/Pottstown Pa.—A total of 182 students were inducted into Montgomery County Community College’s (MCCC) Alpha Kappa Zeta (Central Campus) and Beta Tau Lambda (West Campus) chapters of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), the international honor society of two-year colleges, during the fall 2015 semester.  To be eligible for PTK membership, students must maintain a grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.5 and must have completed at least 12 credits.

The fall 2015 inductees are listed below by area of residence:

Abington: Marianne Heath, Antonio Perez, Allegra Schnitzel

Ambler: Daniel Asper, Doris Brooke, Caroline Coloracci, Dana McMonagle, Teresa Stanton, David Vigano

Ardmore: Jesse Putnam, Sharon West

Audubon: Erin Emery

Blue Bell: Moon Young Bang, Ashley Doyle, Chelsea Mitlas, Patrick Nucci, Hollie Roberts, Suzanne Sellers, Trevor Vascellaro

Bridgeport: Patricia Hart, Robert McCorkell

Chalfont: Stephen Scafidi

Coatesville: Judith McCole

Collegeville: William Bianco, Philip Cappelli, Nicholas Duffy, Pat Guarnieri, Robert Levine, Regina Macmurtrie, Geoffrey Melle, David Moran

Douglassville: Jeffrey Smith

Doylestown: Andrew Durkin

Eagleville: Bethany Smith

East Greenville: Jeffrey Regitko

East Norriton: Esther Chun, Jennifer Gill

Elkins Park: William Schwarz

Elverson: Sean Fox

Erdenheim: Mark Vido

Fort Washington: Rosanna Avraham

Gilbertsville: Samuel Cocchimiglio, Deborah Gehret, Kimberly Trotter

Glenside: Emma Morris, Dianna Pax, Mary Yancy

Green Lane: Jessica Yelito

Harleysville: Katalin Abraham, Elizabeth Bones, Lauren Dunlap, Celeste Heim, Rebecca Levengood, David Maga, Alexandra Murphy, Natalie Watterworth

Hatboro: Anna Angely, Alison Culbert, Rah Kim

Hatfield: Judith Allen, Sandra Beitler, Varun Belani, Brandon Gilrain, Sarah Kling, Matthew McBride, Jessica McLaughlin, Angela Russak

Haverford: Katelyn McCauley, Elias Pery

Horsham: Jeffrey Kenney, Victoria Rivers, Jane Son, Nina Valdera

Huntingdon Valley: Luis Sotelo

Jenkintown: Yasmina Bdeir

King Of Prussia: Shaya Edelman, Casey Griffith, William Orem, Alexander Russakoff, Alyssa Weber

Lafayette Hill: Brian Seyler

Langhorne: James Macomber

Lansdale: Caitlin Beck, Prashanta Dhakal, Mark Dunigan, Kandice Hill, Mengwei Kong, Leeanne Pennegar, David Rowan, Mary Zabriskie

Lower Gwynedd: Samantha Schafer

Narberth: Dori Malloy

Norristown: Royce Brenner, Jaquelin Cruz-Jordan, Nina Gajewski, Stacey Greaves, Elizabeth Palesano, Alexander Profrock, Matthew Torrence, Christopher Waters, Hyuck Yun

North Wales: Robert Carswell, Justin Colon, Eric Knoblauch, Harry Lee, Fiamma Tulli, Sean Wang

Oreland: Daniel McGlinchey

Pennsburg: Dana Jones, Chad Petipren, Abigail Pusey, Katarzyna Sitko

Philadelphia: Patrick Carr, Emmett Johnson, Marisa Seidman

Phoenixville: Brian D’Onofrio, Ahmad Hasaan, Caroline Heasley, Sabrina Pelletier, Janette Zillmann

Plymouth Meeting: Kyle Bone, Joi King, Thomas Rosa, Rosalie Stein

Pottstown: Nicholas Bartelmo, Phillip Benjamin, Emily Bohn, Fernando Garcia, Grant Gaugler, Carrie Grabowicz, Alan Jensen-Sellers, Anthony Johnson, Steven Kidd, Tracy King, Hans Konarkowski, Kathleen Latshaw, Dung Le, Jasmine Maldonado, Robert Moon, Carrie Partington, Michelle Rentschler, Alexandra Rodriguez, Ruben Tolentino, Kali Wade, Heather Zabicki

Reading: Sikira Valle, Selina Yensan

Red Hill: Jocelyn Belisle, William Cox, Mary Heebner

Royersford: Kathleen Brady, Heather Curran, Phoebe Ivady, Lynn Lang, Emily Maxwell, Kyle Surbrook

Saint Peters: Amanda Selwyn

Schwenksville: Jennifer Ciccotosto, Nicole Scott

Souderton: Sarah Doelp, Matthew Finley, Ruth Rowland, Lavinia Soliman

Southampton: Katherine Rose

Stowe: Javier Rodriguez, Stacey Thompson

Telford: Alisyn Davidson, Emily Freed, Kara Gaburon

Trappe: Jose Catalan, Michael Reiner

Upper Gwynedd: Nancy Henggeler

Villanova: James Mearns

Warminster: Stephanie Harper

Wayne: Audrey O’Keefe

West Point: Danielle Butler

Willow Grove: Michelle Paripsky, Alexandra Winterle

Wyncote: Keith Palmer

Wyndmoor: Maria Thomas

Wynnewood: Marta Garnczarska, Leah Gottfried

EXPERIENCE ARTS & ACCESS

The Lehigh Valley Arts Council and the Disability Friendly Community are pleased to announceExperience Arts & Access on Tuesday, January 26, 2016, from 2:45 to 5:30 p.m. at the Banana Factory in South Bethlehem. This mid-winter festive gathering celebrates the achievements of Arts & Access midway through a year of offering greater accessibility.

Arts & Access launched last July to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act through the lens of the arts. Currently, thirty arts organizations have teamed up with social service agencies to offer more than fifty events through June 2016, that intentionally reach people with disabilities and their family and friends. The diversity of programming include live theatre performances that are audio described and open captioned for people with visual and hearing loss; sensory friendly performances for children with autism, and a dance workshop for Parkinson patients and their caregivers.

“Cultural access is really about customer service,” says Randall Forte, Executive Director of the Lehigh Valley Arts Council. “It’s about making your customers feel welcome and comfortable.”

Experience Arts & Access seeks to raise awareness of the needs as well as the abilities of persons with disabilities. Featured artist and National Storytelling Champion Anne Thomas will perform autobiographical stories crafted with a mix of dark humor, high energy and rare common sense. She speaks not only to survivors of disability, illness and tragedy, but to everyone who has a body, a dream, obstacles, hope and determination.

Experience will also allow visitors to explore an arts experience through the simulated reality of a person with a physical, sensory, or cognitive limitation. Guests will be encouraged to test the different technologies that are available, such as audio description and open captioning, voice activated wheel chairs, plus a tactile exploration of a 3-D image of a painting.

The event is free and open to the everyone, particularly someone with a disability. Please RSVP your intention to attend at http://info@lvartscouncil.org or 610-437-5915. Light refreshments will be provided.

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About the Lehigh Valley Arts Council

The Lehigh Valley Arts Council is the region’s central voice for the arts, promoting arts awareness and advocating its value while strengthening access to the arts for all citizens in our community. The Arts Council’s mission is to promote the arts; to encourage and support artists and their development; to assist arts organizations; and to facilitate communication and cooperation among artists, arts organizations, and the community. Services include arts research and advocacy, professional development seminars, publications, and cooperative regional marketing initiatives.

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Lehigh Valley Arts Council

840 Hamilton Street, Suite 201
Allentown, PA 18101
610-437-5915 / operations@LVArtsCouncil.org
www.LVArtsCouncil.org / www.LVArtsBoxOffice.org

ARTS ALIVE SERIES CELEBRATES FINE ART

The Lehigh Valley Arts Council is pleased to announce the new line-up for the fourth annual Arts Alive Series 2016, “Fine Art: Curating, Collecting & Creating.” Three events will explore the passion for fine art from the perspectives of a curator, an artist and a collector within the intimacy of the artist’s studio and the collector’s home.

An Artist Rediscovered: On Sunday, February 21, 2016, from 10:30 a.m. to noon, art historian and curator Dr. Christine I. Oaklander will lead visitors on an excursion into the life and art of 19th century artist, Henry Grant Plumb. An international artist, Plumb was born in 1847 in the central New York town of Sherburne and maintained a studio in New York City until his death in 1930.

In the spring of 2014, Dr. Oaklander discovered a treasure trove of Plumb’s works on paper, forty oil paintings, letters, photo albums, awards, and personal belongings—packed under a dealer’s table at the Great Eastern Paper Show in Allentown. Her discovery has prompted a personal quest to revive Plumb’s reputation, which includes arranging scholarly exhibitions and writing a catalog.

Portraiture: The Artist Within invites guests into the Allentown studio of figurative painter Dan Van Horn on Sunday, April 10, 2016, from 10:30 to noon. Van Horn will speak about the fascinating challenge to capture the reality and personality of his subjects.

Dana received an M.F.A. from Yale University and is on the faculty of the Baum School and Moravian College. His work is featured in various museum and private collections.

The series finale, The Personality of a Collection, occurs on Saturday, June 25, 2016, and features arts enthusiasts Bruce and Pamela Loch, who lead a private tour of their fine art collection and share stores about a few favorites. The collection spans a twenty year history of accumulating more than eighty, two- and three- dimensional works from around the country. In 2013, the Lochs built a new one-story Bauhaus-style home in Lower Macungie township designed by well known architect Larry Berman; the house showcases their extensive collection of oil paintings, watercolors, prints and glass and bronze sculptures.

Attendance is limited for these behind-the-scenes cultural tours to only twenty-five visitors at each event, so reserve your tickets soon at LVArtsBoxOffice.org. All three events occur from 10:30 a.m. to noon; all three locations are in Allentown and your tickets will provide directions to the three venues. Light refreshments will be served at each event in the series. Fees for each event are $15 for Arts Council members; $25 for nonmembers. Enjoy a special $10 discount if you purchase the series ticket to all three events.

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About the Lehigh Valley Arts Council

The Lehigh Valley Arts Council is the region’s central voice for the arts, promoting arts awareness and advocating its value while strengthening access to the arts for all citizens in our community. The Arts Council’s mission is to promote the arts; to encourage and support artists and their development; to assist arts organizations; and to facilitate communication and cooperation among artists, arts organizations, and the community. Services include arts research and advocacy, professional development seminars, publications, and cooperative regional marketing initiatives.

***

Lehigh Valley Arts Council

840 Hamilton Street, Suite 201
Allentown, PA 18101
610-437-5915 / operations@LVArtsCouncil.org
www.LVArtsCouncil.org / www.LVArtsBoxOffice.org

MCCC Is Designated A ‘Military Friendly School’ For Sixth Time

2016_MFS_Logo_HRBlue Bell/Pottstown, Pa.— Making the transition from military to civilian life can be challenging for many veterans. Introducing college into the mix can make that transition even harder. While key services like veteran-specific orientation and advising can help veterans start their academic careers on the right foot, many challenges they face go beyond homework and test scores.

For the sixth time, Victory Media has designated Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) as a “Military Friendly School,” positioning the institution among the top 15 percent of colleges and universities in the country for its veteran support services.

MCCC takes its commitment to student veterans a step beyond orientation and advising—although those services are part of the mix. A Veterans Resource Center, located in a small, renovated farmhouse at MCCC’s Central Campus in Blue Bell, plays an important role in the lives of the institution’s veterans. Here, students can meet with Veterans Services staff, participate in study groups and tutoring, and build an important support network with their peers.

For student veteran Joe Long, having such a network made a world of difference. Long and other student veterans shared their experiences with the MCCC community during a Veterans Day panel discussion in November.

“It’s challenging to fill the time when no one is telling you what to do. I didn’t know how to be on my own, how to be a student. It’s why I wasn’t successful the first time I came back [to college],” shared Long, who served as a firefighter in the U.S. Air Force.

Today, with a supportive network he built at MCCC, Long is a successful engineering major and works part-time as an assistant in the VRC.

“For me, it started by stumbling on to another veteran in one of my classes, then going to the Veterans Resource Center, then being more active on campus by getting involved in the veterans club,” he shared.

The Student Veterans Organization meets weekly in the VRC and functions like a student club. The group engages in advocacy and education around veterans’ issues and participates in a variety of community service opportunities. This fall, the SVO partnered with MCCC’s Student Nurses Club to tag and donate Trees for Troops. Members have also been working with Shamrock Reins, a non-profit organization in Pipersville that provides equine assisted activities and therapies for veterans, active duty and reserve service members, first responders and the families of veterans, military personnel, first responders and fallen heroes.

MCCC also thinks outside the box when it comes to positioning veterans for success. For example, the College offers free yoga and meditation sessions each semester for student and community veterans. Also, this spring, Psychology faculty members Dr. Anne Marie Donohue and Dr. Deb Greenspan will team-teach a special Intro to Psychology (PSY 101) course section for student veterans. The Psychology department will also partner with the SVO to offer a Veterans Mindfulness Retreat for 20 students.

Veteran enrollment at MCCC has more than doubled over the past decade, with 505 veterans enrolled this fall. To learn more about Veterans Services, visit http://www/.mc3.edu/student-resources/vrc.

Pottsgrove Manor To Host Spinning Demonstrations Saturday, January 9, 2016 From 11:00 am To 3:00 pm

Pottstown, PA  – On Saturday, January 9, 2016 from 11:00am to 3:00pm, historic Pottsgrove Manor will host “Distaff Day,” showing the art of spinning fibers into thread.

From medieval times, the day after the Feast of the Epiphany was known to many Europeans as “Distaff Day.” The distaff, a tool used in spinning, was a symbol of female industry, and Distaff Day was traditionally when women resumed their work after the Twelve Days of Christmas. During this program, visitors will see demonstrations of traditional spinning techniques and learn about the natural fibers that were used to make yarn and thread for textiles. This event will also give guests a chance to enjoy a guided tour of the manor house for the holidays, in the final “Twelfth Night Tours” of the season.

There is a suggested donation of $2.00 per person for this program. The museum shop will also be open throughout the event and will be having a special one-day-only sale – 10% off everything in the store!

The seasonal “Twelfth Night Tours” are running now through Sunday, January 10, 2016 during regular museum hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00am to 4:00pm and Sunday from 1:00pm to 4:00pm. Tours are given on the hour. The last tour of the day begins at 3:00pm. The site is closed Mondays and major holidays. Groups of 10 or more should pre-register by calling 610-326-4014.

Pottsgrove Manor is located at 100 West King Street near the intersection of King Street and Route 100, just off Route 422, in Pottstown, Pennsylvania. Pottsgrove Manor is operated by Montgomery County under the direction of the Parks, Trails, and Historic Sites Division of the Assets and Infrastructure Department. For more information, please call 610-326-4014, or visit the website at http://www.montcopa.org/pottsgrovemanor. Like Pottsgrove Manor on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pottsgrovemanor.

MCCC Student Nurses Club Donates 25 ‘Trees For Troops’

PHOTO: Members of the Student Nurses Club (SNC) and Student Veterans Organization (SVO) from Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) tagged and donated 25 trees at Bustard’s Christmas Tree Farm in Lansdale on Dec. 5. Pictured (from left) Hector, Figueroa, SVO president, Social Sciences major; SNC members and Nursing majors Leigh Ronnan, Aimee, Augstine, Emily Odom and Liz Martinez; and Joe Long, SVO and Veterans Services assistant, Engineering major. Photo by Alana J. Mauger

PHOTO: Members of the Student Nurses Club (SNC) and Student Veterans Organization (SVO) from Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) tagged and donated 25 trees at Bustard’s Christmas Tree Farm in Lansdale on Dec. 5. Pictured (from left) Hector, Figueroa, SVO president, Social Sciences major; SNC members and Nursing majors Leigh Ronnan, Aimee, Augstine, Emily Odom and Liz Martinez; and Joe Long, SVO and Veterans Services assistant, Engineering major. Photo by Alana J. Mauger

Worcester, PA —Members of the Student Nurses Club (SNC) and Student Veterans Organization (SVO) from Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) selected and tagged 25 trees on Dec. 5 at Bustard’s Christmas Trees as part of the national Trees for Troops initiative.

The Student Nurses Club raised $600 for this year’s 25-tree donation, bringing the total number of trees it donated over the past four years to 100. The club raised money by selling raffle baskets on and off campus, with 100 percent of the proceeds benefiting Trees for Troops.

“The student nurses, like most of our population, have come to a greater realization of the sacrifices those in the armed forces make. Through our participation in Trees for Troops, via the association with Bustard’s Christmas Trees, the students feel they are assisting the families of individual service members,” explained Connie Fiorentino, assistant professor of nursing and SNC faculty advisor at MCCC.

After the first year of tagging and donating the trees themselves, the student nurses have since invited MCCC’s student veterans to join them, building an important connection between the two groups and the national movement.

“Trees for Troops is a well-attended event by both the student nurses and student veterans because there is a direct personal connection. They feel there is something very special about this event. When they personally tag a tree, they know they are doing so for a family who may suffer the loss of their service member during the holiday season. The students are proud of their part in assisting these service families,” shared Fiorentino.

The relationship forged with Bustard’s Christmas Trees over the past several years earned MCCC nursing and veterans students an invite to a special press event in September when White House officials selected the 2015 White House Christmas tree at Bustard’s farm in Lehighton, Pa.

For MCCC’s Nursing program, Trees for Troops aligns with its participation in other veterans causes, such as the Wounded Warrior Project and Joining Forces. Over the past several years, the Student Nurses Club raised over $3,000 for Lansdale’s Hometown Hero Walk and sponsored donation drives for personal care items that were delivered to military troops stationed abroad and to the Veteran’s Center of Montgomery County.

Trees for Troops was launched by the Christmas SPIRIT Foundation in 2005. Since then, more than 157,000 real trees have been delivered to military families at 60-plus bases throughout the United States and overseas. Trees are contributed by Bustard’s and about 30 other Christmas tree growers and retail lots in the U.S. To learn more, visit http://www.treesfortroops.org.

Berks County Resident Starts Nonprofit To “Pay It Forward” By Helping The Homeless And Underemployed With Job Training In The Food Industry

Nom ProphetsWhat do you do when you have worked your way out homelessness and turned your life around? You help others achieve the same goal, of course.  And if you are Julia Zion, you start Nom Prophets.

Nom Prophets was formed in November of this year and is a 501c3 nonprofit organization.  Nom Prophets has a 6-person Board of Directors who work with Julia towards this goal.

Julia wants to give back for all the help she received along the way.  Being homeless and lacking job skills is a vicious cycle.  Unless someone takes a chance on hiring you, many doors are closed.  Without a job, you cannot afford basic necessities like food and shelter.  Without a permanent residence, it is hard to get a job.

As Julia pointed out in our interview, there are jobs in the food industry and with some training and experience those jobs can be had.

This new venture is an extension of what Julia has been doing for the last several years serving meals to the poor/homeless and helping in shelters.  Julia’s ultimate goal is to expand on those kinds of services through the use of food in the general area of food and food services.  Pottstown residents may remember the meals at Washington Street Park, for example.

The short-range goal is to buy a food truck through fundraising.  It would either be new or a retrofitted truck, depending on the results of the fundraising.  Zion hopes they can get a food truck operational by the summer.

By going out and using the food truck she hopes to fund the nonprofit.  The food truck will also enable Nom Prophets serve the poor in parks, churches and or shelters.  Food trucks are certified and inspected kitchens which guarantee food safety and permit issues (in many cases).

Nom Prophets sauce 2Nom Prophets sauce 1There are several ways Nom Prophets is trying to raise money.  They are selling homemade salsa, which you can buy at iCreate Café, 130 King Street, Pottstown and Daniel’s Produce and Dairy at 219 High Street, Pottstown.  They also hope to have gift baskets available in the near future.

Nom Prophets is scouting other locations, in the Berks County area, to sell their salsa and gift baskets.  If your business or organization would like to stock these items, you can contact Nom Prophets.  They would be glad to work with you!

Having experienced homelessness herself, Julia feels people need compassion, stability and a self-esteem boost.  Being poor, disadvantaged and/or homeless is demoralizing.  The shelter system is temporary and there is no sense of stability.  This causes anxiety and low self-esteem.

Julia found a new sense of self-worth and happiness once she was gainfully employed and had her own place to live.  She wants to help others find their way out of homelessness and poverty so they can lead full, productive and happy lives.  After all, we are talking about human beings.  Human beings deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.

The common misconception is that people in these circumstances do not want to work and are lazy.  The problem is without job skills, and in many cases experience, you are unemployable.  You cannot be self-supporting on minimum wage.  Without skills you cannot get a better paying job.

Another employment barrier is the cost of obtaining a Safe Serve certification.  Having this certification helps you land a job and command more money in the food industry.  However, it can cost several hundred dollars.

For many, this may not seem like much money.  But if you have no money, it might as well be a million dollars.  Nom Prophets wants to help people get this certification along with teaching them knife skills and giving them experience in a professional kitchen so they can apply for a get a job in the food industry that pays a living wage.

The long-range goal would be to eventually have a brick and mortar location with a professional kitchen, restaurant and housing for those in the program while they train.

You can contact Nom Prophets on Facebook if you would like to buy their products, sell their products, donate or see if there is any way you can help out by clicking https://www.facebook.com/NomProphets/

More Unique Holiday Gift Ideas

If you are looking for something unique, check out Nom Prophets: Helping people through food.  Nom Prophets is a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to helping people in need through food. They provide meals, job training and self confidence.

This company is based in Kutztown, Berks County and sells food products you can use for gifts.  With Christmas just 13 days away, we thought you might enjoy something inexpensive and unique for those special people in your life.

Nom Prophets: Helping people through food will be selling their Red Hot Cayenne Pepper sauce at iCreate Cafe, in Pottstown (130 King Street) AND Daniel’s Produce in Pottstown (219 E. High Street). It’s $7 per 16 ounce jar and all the proceeds go towards the non profit. Owner Ashraf Khalil has generously donated shelf space.   They will be stocking a second flavor, Tangy Tomatillo, after next Friday.

I don’t know about you, but I have people in my life who LOVE, LOVE, LOVE hot sauce!  We are buying some!  Buy local and help others.  What could be better!!

Nom Prophets sauce 2

Nom Prophets sauce 1

The Holiday Spirit Comes To iCreate Cafe, Pottstown

iCreate Christmas

Exterior, iCreate Cafe

With the Holiday Season upon us, many folks are busy preparing for Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanza. If you live in the Tri-County area or are adventurous and don’t mind making a trip, iCreate Cafe, located at 130 King Street, in historic Pottstown, is open to serve your holiday needs.

Whether you need a break from shopping and want a healthy meal alternative; if you are looking for a great gift to give the people you care most about or if you are looking for a place to gather with friends to celebrate the season, iCreate Cafe can fill all your needs.

Gift certificates are available and you select the amount.  Nothing says, “I love you” like the gift of great food!  Take the worry out of your holiday shopping!

iCreate Cafe, Vegan Heaven

iCreate Cafe, Vegan Heaven

If you are looking for a unique space to gather with friends, look no further.  The spa-like atmosphere and amazing vegan cuisine are a winning combination.  The food is filling as well as healthy.  The prices are reasonable and the portions are generous.  The new iMenu 5 food menu has been expanded, the drink menu has been expanded and more dessert options are available to please the most discriminating palate.

The owner and vegan chef, Ashraf Khalil (you can call him Ash) has created one of the most unique dining experiences in the Philadelphia region. The food is made from scratch, made with love and beautifully presented.  A feast for the eye as well as the mouth!

The cafe, located at 130 King Street in Pottstown, is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 11:00 am until 7:00 pm.  Friday and Saturday the cafe is open from 11:00 am until 9:00 pm.  You can view the menu online at http://www.icreatecafe.com.  You can also check out reviews of the cafe on Yelp, Trip Advisor and Happy Cow.  If you want to inquire about gift certificates or make reservations you may call the cafe at (484) 312-0404 during business hours.

New Partnership With Ursinus College Streamlines Transfer Process For MCCC Graduates

PHOTO: Montgomery County Community College and Ursinus College signed a transfer articulation agreement on Dec. 3. Pictured, James Linksz (left), MCCC Interim President, and S. Brock Blomberg, Ursinus President, shake hands following the signing. Photo by Sandi Yanisko.

PHOTO: Montgomery County Community College and Ursinus College signed a transfer articulation agreement on Dec. 3. Pictured, James Linksz (left), MCCC Interim President, and S. Brock Blomberg, Ursinus President, shake hands following the signing. Photo by Sandi Yanisko.

Blue Bell, Pa.—Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) graduates can now count Ursinus College (Ursinus) among their seamless transfer options, thanks to a new transfer articulation agreement signed by college officials on Dec. 3. The agreement encourages and facilitates the transfer of qualifying MCCC graduates to Ursinus, located in Collegeville, Pa., to complete their baccalaureate degrees.

Under the agreement, MCCC students who graduate with Associate of Arts (A.A.), Associate of Science (A.S.), Associate in Fine Arts (A.F.A.), Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) or Associate in General Studies (A.G.S.) degrees and have a 3.0 grade point average (GPA) may transfer to Ursinus with junior status, given they meet Ursinus admissions requirements and complete a transfer admissions intent form prior to applying.

“This agreement could not have been accomplished without the great collaboration of faculty from Ursinus and Montgomery,” said Dr. James Linksz, MCCC Interim President. “Collaboration created this bridge between the two institutions, which are both in the business of helping students succeed.”

While MCCC’s graduates have successfully transferred to institutions across the country and world, building formal relationships with select colleges and universities streamlines the transfer process. These partnerships also introduce students to transfer destinations they may not have considered, such as select liberal arts institutions like Ursinus.

“This is an important day, marking the beginning of our journey and celebrating our partnership,” said S. Brock Blomberg, Ursinus President, also acknowledging the contribution of the late Ursinus President Dr. Bobby Fong with this agreement. “Since its inception, Ursinus has the philosophy of creating a wider bandwidth of opportunities, like this one. This is the first articulation agreement with any community college, and we’re glad it’s with Montgomery.”

This transfer agreement is not the first time the two institutions have collaborated. Over the summer, two MCCC STEM students—Sean Heron, of Royersford, and Rachel Simon, of Bensalem—participated in Ursinus’ Pilot Program for Community College Research, where they worked on original research projects alongside teams of Ursinus students and faculty mentors as part of the institution’s competitive Summer Fellows program.

“This was a great experience,” said Heron. “I was able to use the techniques I learned at MCCC and adapt them for what was needed in the lab. It helped me to grow as a student, and it also verified the career path I want to pursue.”

The latest agreement is the fifth between MCCC and a highly selective institution; other such partners include Bucknell University, Bryn Mawr College, Dickinson College and Lehigh University. In total, MCCC has transfer agreements with close to 60 colleges and universities. MCCC is Ursinus’ first formal community college partner.

To learn more about transfer opportunities at MCCC, visit mc3.edu/student-resources/transfer-services/transfer-agreements.

Ursinus College is a highly selective, residential college with 1,650 students that is widely recognized for its Common Intellectual Experience. Founded in 1869, Ursinus is an undergraduate liberal arts institution that provides a rigorous curriculum that empowers the intellect, awakens moral sensitivity and challenges students to improve society. The tree-lined, 170-acre campus abounds with sculptures and artwork, and is located in Collegeville, Pennsylvania. For more information, visit ursinus.edu.

Montgomery County Community College offers a comprehensive curriculum of more than 100 degree and certificate programs, a Virtual Campus, a Culinary Arts Institute, a Municipal Police Academy, and specialized workforce development programs, all of which leverage the College’s nationally ranked use of innovative technology. An Achieving the Dream (AtD) Leader College, the institution is positioned at the vanguard of national efforts to increase completion, improve learning outcomes, and remove barriers to access for more than 24,000 students annually. The College is also recognized regionally and nationally for its sustainability leadership, work with military veterans, and community service and service learning opportunities. Visit mc3.edu or join us on Twitter @mccc.

MCCC Earns Communities In Motion Star Award For Green Office Initiative

PHOTO: Communities in Motion CEO Rob Henry (far left) and COO Maureen Farrell (far right) present members of Montgomery County Community College’s Climate Commitment Advisory Council with a 2015 Star Award. Accepting the award on behalf of MCCC are (from left) Peggy Lee-Clark, executive director of government relations and special, projects; Alana Mauger, director of communications; and Joshua Eckenrode, instructional designer. Photo courtesy of Communities in Motion.

PHOTO: Communities in Motion CEO Rob Henry (far left) and COO Maureen Farrell (far right) present members of Montgomery County Community College’s Climate Commitment Advisory Council with a 2015 Star Award. Accepting the award on behalf of MCCC are (from left) Peggy Lee-Clark, executive director of government relations and special, projects; Alana Mauger, director of communications; and Joshua Eckenrode, instructional designer. Photo courtesy of Communities in Motion.

King of Prussia, Pa.— Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) earned a Star Award for its Green Office Initiative from Communities in Motion, a Greater Valley Forge Transportation Management Association (GVF) foundation, on Dec. 7 in King of Prussia. The foundation presented a total of 32 Star Awards during its second annual ceremony, given in recognition of projects, plans and people who demonstrate leadership in sustainability planning and implementation.

MCCC introduced its Green Office Initiative in 2012 to promote sustainable purchasing and practices in the workplace. Through careful implementation and employment of internal marketing and promotion efforts, the initiative grew from just four offices in its pilot semester to 11 participating areas in fall 2015. In addition to having a positive impact on the environment through the purchase and use of recycled and sustainable materials, the initiative also reduces costs, saving MCCC an estimated $50,000 to date

The Green Office Initiative incorporates mentoring as part of a continual review process to help offices meet each standard of the four-tier system. Mentors work with their designated areas to educate and improve on best green practices. Students also play an integral role. For example, MCCC’s student Environmental Club is working with interested faculty and Green Office participants on a program that pilots the use of refillable dry-erase markers.

This year’s Star Award is the latest honor for MCCC’s Green Office Initiative. The College previously received a “Green Spend Award” for “Highest Increase in Green Purchases” from the Philadelphia Collegiate Cooperative, and Office Depot’s national “Corporate Green Award.”

In planning for the next five years of sustainability work, MCCC hopes to build on the success of its Green Office Initiative to introduce a Green Classroom certification program.

MCCC is a charter signatory of both the 2007 American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment and the recent White House American Campuses Act On Climate Pledge. As a result of its efforts, MCCC is a two-time recipient of Second Nature’s national Climate Leadership Award.