TCN Announces Hiring Of Holly Parker As Executive Director

Holly ParkerThe Board of Directors at TriCounty Community Network (TCN) is proud to announce the hiring of Holly Parker as the agency’s new Executive Director. Ms. Parker will join TCN on Monday, August 31st.

Ms. Parker has served the Tri County Community for the last six years while working at Montgomery County Community College. Previous to her tenure at MCCC, Parker served in various leadership roles for several local nonprofit organizations, including Interim Executive Director and Director of Development. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from West Chester University and a Master of Science degree from Colorado State University. A lifelong Pottstown resident, Parker has a deep commitment to and understanding of the Tri County area and has received several commendations for her fundraising, grant writing, and community outreach.

“On behalf of TCN’s Board, I am excited about Holly leading our organization in the coming years. Her experience in relationship and funder development in nonprofit, plus her knowledge of the community, provide a great mix of leadership that I feel will help take our organization to new levels,” said Tom Thunstrom, President of the TCN Board of Directors. “Holly’s diplomacy, personality, and character will help our organization build relationships in the Tri County community and will strengthen an already strong collaborative, helping us to be THE resource for developing and empowering partnerships to effect positive change in the region.”

TCN’s 2015-2016 program year kicks off on Tuesday, September 15th, from 8 to 10 AM in the South Meeting Hall at Montgomery County Community College’s West Campus. Additionally, TCN is proud to partner with Senator John Rafferty for his office’s third annual Job Fair, also scheduled for September 15th at Sunnybrook Ballroom from 10 AM to 1 PM.

For more information on TCN, visit our website at http://www.tcnetwork.org or call 610.850.0181.

MCCC’s ‘Innovation Of The Year’ Tackles Issue Of Textbook Affordability

PHOTO: Montgomery County Community College President Dr. Karen A. Stout (left) and Financial Aid Specialist Ashley Smith (right) present Holly Parker, Stowe, financial aid and enrollment generalist, with MCCC’s 2015 Innovation of the Year award. Photo by Sandi Yanisko

PHOTO: Montgomery County Community College President Dr. Karen A. Stout (left) and Financial Aid Specialist Ashley Smith (right) present Holly Parker, Stowe, financial aid and enrollment generalist, with MCCC’s 2015 Innovation of the Year award. Photo by Sandi Yanisko

Pottstown, Pa.— Montgomery County Community College’s (MCCC) 10th annual Innovation of the Year award was presented to Holly Parker, of Stowe, financial aid and enrollment generalist, for her work to develop a Student Success Textbook Lending Library at the College’s West Campus in Pottstown.

Seven projects were nominated for the 2015 honor, and all were evaluated against criteria established by the League for Innovation in the Community College—an international organization committed to improving community colleges through innovation. Award criteria include quality, efficiency, cost effectiveness, replication, creativity and timeliness.

Ultimately, a college-wide committee selected the Student Success Textbook Lending Library as the winner because it touches all six of MCCC’s strategic goals, especially as they relate to student access and success.

Launched in 2012 in response to the rising cost of textbooks, the initiative addresses a very real, very challenging problem faced by community college students.

“We started seeing more and more students, especially those who are out-of-county or who have student loans, struggle to pay for their textbooks.  The idea was very grassroots—how can we help a handful of students?” explained Parker.

What began with a few textbooks donated by West Campus faculty has grown into a library of more than 75 titles.

“We partnered with Phi Theta Kappa [honor society] on a campaign to collect books from students. We also offered lunch vouchers in the cafeteria for students who donated their books once they were done with them,” said Parker.

Last year, thanks to an internal grant from MCCC’s Foundation, Parker was able to purchase high-demand textbooks for the library, thereby helping greater numbers of students.

“We’re still building the collection, especially since textbooks go out of date so quickly,” said Parker, who works with individual faculty to determine whether students can continue to use older editions of some textbooks and materials. “The initiative has really helped a lot of students who are financially pressed.”

To date, the Student Success Textbook Lending Library at MCCC’s West Campus has enabled more than 100 students complete their course requirements.

As recipient of MCCC’s award, the lending library initiative will be forwarded to the League for Innovation in the Community College for national recognition in a program that showcases innovation at America’s community colleges.

Other projects nominated the 2015 Innovation of the Year at MCCC included Academic Affairs Analytics; Winter Session Pilot; Sustainable Waste Solutions Partnership with the Culinary Arts Institute; Green Office Initiative; LED Light Bulb Replacement Initiative; and PHEAA Grant Database Automation.  Collectively 34 members of MCCC’s faculty and staff worked on the nominated projects.