Which Philly-Area Municipalities Are Growing The Fastest?

Municipalities in Chester and Montgomery counties saw the biggest growth last year, while just four places in Camden County – including Camden City – added any residents at all.

That’s according to new Census Bureau data, released Thursday, that shows population gains and losses in communities across the country for the one-year period ending in July 2014.

Population figures for counties – including Philadelphia, which saw its population grow 0.27 percent to 1,560,297 residents during that time – were released earlier this spring.

The new data set lets every town, from the smallest boroughs to the largest cities, see how many residents it gained or lost.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20150522_Which_Philly-area_municipalities_are_growing_the_fastest_.html#CHc0iHBrbYeXs16r.99

Officials Hold Ribbon Cutting Ceremony In Norristown For 24 Townhouses At Arbor Mews

NORRISTOWN, PA – The ribbon-cutting ceremony was a casual affair at the 24-unit Arbor Mews townhouse project Thursday on DeKalb Street.

Nine of the 24 townhouses have been sold and two more are under deposit, said Sarah Peck, the president of Progressive Housing Ventures.

“We will have purchase settlements twice a week from mid-May to mid-June with the homeowners moving in shortly after that. Seven of the buyers are first-time homebuyers and four qualified for at least one grant to help with the townhouse purchase.”

Construction for the overall project is expected to be complete in late fall or early next year.

Read more:

http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20150514/officials-hold-ribbon-cutting-ceremony-in-norristown-for-24-townhouses-at-arbor-mews

MCCC, Hay Group Present Emotional Intelligence Workshop

Blue Bell, Pa.— Montgomery County Community College’s (MCCC) Center for Workforce Development is partnering with the Hay Group to offer an Emotional and Social Competence Inventory (ESCI) Workshop on Thursday, June 25. The workshop runs from 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at MCCC’s Central Campus, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell. The cost is $495, which includes continental breakfast and light lunch networking opportunities. Space is limited to 25 participants. For information and to register, visit mc3.edu/ei.

According to Hay Group research, emotional intelligence is twice as important as cognitive abilities in predicting outstanding employee performance. Once an individual is made aware of his or her abilities and limitations, one can increase his or her emotional and social intelligence by following a step-by-step process and personal development plan, which participants in the ESCI workshop will receive.

Once registered, participants will receive a link to complete an online 360 assessment, which must be done by June 14. At the workshop, participants will receive personalized, confidential assessment reports.

The ESCI Workshop is designed to equip leaders and managers with the skills necessary for them to become effective, emotionally intelligent leaders. Participants will gain new understanding of themselves, as well as increased confidence in their ability to work with others. Content is based on the work of psychologist Daniel Goleman, a pioneer in the study of emotional intelligence, and combines 60 years of Hay Group research that links leadership behaviors with business results.

William Tredwell, in partnership with psychologist and author Daniel Goleman, has helped develop Hay Group’s Emotional Intelligence assessment tools, and will lead the June 25 workshop at MCCC. Tredwell has also trained more than 1,000 practitioners to use the tools in their organizations. He has worked with clients in a wide variety of industries in all parts of the world.

To learn more, visit http://www.mc3.edu/ei, call 215-461-1127 or 215-641-6374, or email ASereni@mc3.edu.

Conshohocken AMBUCS’ Ninth Annual Restaurant Rally Set For May 17

CONSHOHOCKEN, PA – According to one French proverb, “A good meal ought to begin with hunger.”

Conshohocken Restaurant Rally organizer Vince Flocco isn’t about to try one-upping the French when it comes to matters of cuisine. But Flocco would add this for food-lovers who plan to participate in Conshohocken AMBUCS’ ninth annual Restaurant Rally Sunday, May 17 from noon to 4:30 p.m.:

“You really have to pace yourself. You’re not getting a full meal at these restaurants, but when you have 20 or so offering a very generous taste, it’s a substantial amount of food by the time the day ends. People can always use the shuttle buses (provided as part of the Rally) to get from restaurant to restaurant. But, maybe, it’s best to just walk it off.”

Walk or ride, no one leaves hungry. Restaurant Rally tickets are $60, and you’d be hard-pressed to find more bang for your buck.

Read more:

http://www.timesherald.com/lifestyle/20150512/conshohocken-ambucs-ninth-annual-restaurant-rally-set-for-may-17

MCCC Phi Theta Kappa Chapters Earn National Accolades

Blue Bell/Pottstown, Pa.— Montgomery County Community College’s Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) chapters have achieved the distinction of Five Star Status this spring during the organization’s annual convention in San Antonio, Texas on April 16-18.

Alpha Kappa Zeta, based at the Central Campus in Blue Bell, and Beta Tau Lambda, based at the West Campus in Pottstown, both earned the highest level of recognition by progressing through PTK’s Five Star Chapter Development Plan.

As part of the plan, PTK chapter officers must develop and execute a business plan that optimizes the benefits and programs offered by their chapter while furthering the mission of Phi Theta Kappa nationally.  Incorporated into the program are basic chapter administration, regional activities, an international service program, an honors study topic, Hallmark Awards, international activities and a college project.

In addition to achieving Five Star Status, Beta Tau Lambda (Pottstown) was named a Middle States Region Gold Chapter for increasing student membership and engagement over the past year.

Phi Theta Kappa is an international honor society whose purpose is to recognize and encourage scholarship among students attending two-year colleges. To be eligible for membership, students must maintain a grade point average of 3.5 or above and must have completed at least 12 credits.

MCCC’s PTK chapters operate through the College’s Office of Student Leadership and Involvement.

Cool School Summer Camps Coming To Spring-Ford Area School District

Spring-Ford Area School District PRESENTS 2015 COOL SCHOOL 

The 2015 Cool School Summer Enrichment Program is sponsored by Spring-Ford Area School District.

• Classes are held at the 5/6 Building, 833 South Lewis Road, unless otherwise noted

• Classes will be held Monday through Thursday • Classes will be offered during three, one-week sessions:

• Week I: June 22 – June 25 • Week 2: July 6– July 9 • Week 3: July 13 – July 16

• Two different time slots: • Time A: 8:30 -10:30 a.m. • Time B:10:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m.

• When registering for a class, please note the session.  Example: June 22-25, from 8:30-10:30 a.m. will be Session 1A.

• Unless otherwise noted, all classes are held at the 5/6 Building 833 South Lewis Road, Royersford

• Supervision is provided between sessions. Students who are staying should bring a snack.

• Many courses have a $5 materials fee.

• Cool School Courses are available for students completing grades K-6, depending on description.

• Grade levels are based on the grade completed in June 2015.

• Registrations will be accepted online or with a paper registration. COST PER COURSE: $50 SFASD residents; $60 non-residents.

Click here for all the information and registration form: Cool School Summer Camps

TD Charitable Foundation Supports Montgomery County Community College’s G-STEM Program For Area Youth

The TD Charitable Foundation, the charitable giving arm of TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, recently donated $10,000 to Montgomery County Community College in support of its G-STEM (Green Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) summer program. From left, Dominique Goss, VP, Community Relations Manager, TD Foundation; Geoffrey Brandon, SVP, Regional Vice President, TD Bank; Dr. Karen A. Stout, President of Montgomery County Community College; Dr. David DiMattio, MCCC’s Dean of STEM; and David Rink, TD Bank Store Manager, Whitpain Store.

The TD Charitable Foundation, the charitable giving arm of TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, recently donated $10,000 to Montgomery County Community College in support of its G-STEM (Green Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) summer program. From left, Dominique Goss, VP, Community Relations Manager, TD Foundation; Geoffrey Brandon, SVP, Regional Vice President, TD Bank; Dr. Karen A. Stout, President of Montgomery County Community College; Dr. David DiMattio, MCCC’s Dean of STEM; and David Rink, TD Bank Store Manager, Whitpain Store.

Pottstown, Pa.—The TD Charitable Foundation, the charitable giving arm of TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, recently donated $10,000, as part of the foundation’s commitment to giving back to the community, to Montgomery County Community College in support of its G-STEM (Green Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) summer program.

MCCC launched the G-STEM program in 2011 as the result of an initial $10,000 grant received from the TD Charitable Foundation. Since its inception, approximately 70 middle school students have attended the science program taught at the MCCC’s West Campus in Pottstown. Because of the ongoing generous support of the TD Charitable Foundation, MCCC can offer this program again for the fifth consecutive year.

For 2015, the G-STEM program will be expanded to include 25 students in middle school through ninth grade from Norristown, as well as the Pottstown region at no cost to the participants. The program will be held at West Campus in Pottstown June 25, 26, 29, 30 and July 1, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday with a scientific presentation of work and award ceremony on the last day.

“Thanks to the TD Charitable Foundation’s ongoing, generous commitment, students will have the opportunity to learn the basic concepts of scientific methodology and data analysis through hands-on activities and will leave camp with a thorough understanding how the scientific process works, specifically as applied to environmental issues and stewardship,” said Dr. David DiMattio, MCCC’s Dean of STEM.

 Scenes from the Green Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics program in 2014 held at Montgomery County Community College’s West Campus in Pottstown.

Scenes from the Green Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics program in 2014 held at Montgomery County Community College’s West Campus in Pottstown.

The program’s goals are to improve students’ understanding of science and the environment and to help prepare students for the academic rigor of their high school science curriculum. The program will help a diverse population of underserved students in the Pottstown and Norristown areas.

MCCC offers nationally recognized, competitive STEM transfer programs, in addition to career-track and certification programs. Students receive an affordable, high-caliber education that enables them to reach their goals, including seamless transfer into one of the College’s many partner institutions or entry into the workforce. For more information about the College’s STEM programs, visit http://www.mc3.edu.

A staunch commitment to active involvement in the local community is a vital element of the TD Bank philosophy. TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank® and the TD Charitable Foundation provide support to affordable housing, financial literacy and education, and environmental initiatives, many of which focus on improving the welfare of children and families.

About the TD Charitable Foundation

The TD Charitable Foundation is the charitable giving arm of TD Bank N.A., which operates as TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, and is one of the 10 largest commercial banking organizations in the United States. The Foundation’s mission is to serve the individuals, families and businesses in all the communities where TD Bank operates, having made more than $135.8 million in charitable donations since its inception in 2002. The Foundation’s areas of focus are affordable housing, financial literacy and education, and the environment. More information on the TD Charitable Foundation, including an online grant application, is available at www.TDBank.com.

 Scenes from the Green Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics program in 2014 held at Montgomery County Community College’s West Campus in Pottstown.

Scenes from the Green Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics program in 2014 held at Montgomery County Community College’s West Campus in Pottstown.

About TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®

TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank, is one of the 10 largest banks in the U.S., providing more than 8 million customers with a full range of retail, small business and commercial banking products and services at approximately 1,300 convenient locations throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Metro D.C., the Carolinas and Florida. In addition, TD Bank and its subsidiaries offer customized private banking and wealth management services through TD Wealth®, and vehicle financing and dealer commercial services through TD Auto Finance. TD Bank is headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J. To learn more, visit www.tdbank.com. Find TD Bank on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TDBank and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TDBank_US.

TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank, is a member of TD Bank Group and a subsidiary of The Toronto-Dominion Bank of Toronto, Canada, a top 10 financial services company in North America. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges under the ticker symbol “TD”. To learn more, visit www.td.com.

Karen A. Stout Honored Nationally For Commitment to Phi Theta Kappa‏

Dr. Stout head shot 11.11.14San Antonio, Texas— Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) President Dr. Karen A. Stout was presented with Phi Theta Kappa’s 2015 Shirley B. Gordon Award on April 16 during the organization’s 97th annual convention in San Antonio, Texas.

The award is given annually to college presidents and campus CEOs for their outstanding efforts to promote the goals of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), an international honor society for students of two-year colleges. Dr. Stout is one of 23 college leaders to receive the 2015 award.

At MCCC, student participation in Phi Theta Kappa has grown significantly during Dr. Stout’s tenure as president. Under her leadership, a second PTK chapter—Beta Tau Lambda—was added in 2005 at the College’s West Campus in Pottstown, complimenting the longstanding Alpha Kappa Zeta chapter at the Central Campus in Blue Bell. Both chapters consistently achieve the distinction of Five Star Status—the highest level of national recognition possible—for progressing through PTK’s Five Star Chapter Development Plan.

Recently, in recognition of the impact PTK membership has on student success and completion, Dr. Stout generously pledged $30,000 to establish a Phi Theta Kappa Annual Challenge Fund through MCCC’s Foundation.

“Phi Theta Kappa members in Pennsylvania have an overall success rate of 92 percent; yet, only 14 percent of PTK-eligible students join the organization. The cost of membership is a clear barrier,” said Stout.

The Karen A. Stout Phi Theta Kappa Challenge Fund at MCCC supports qualified students by defraying half the cost of a PTK membership, which is currently $60, while challenging students to match the remaining cost.

Dr. Stout will begin her tenure as president and CEO of Achieving the Dream, Inc. on July 1, 2015. There, she will bring her passion for student access and success to more than 200 community colleges and nearly four million students in 35 states.

The Shirley B. Gordon Award is named for the late Dr. Shirley B. Gordon, Phi Theta Kappa’s longest-serving Board of Directors chair and president emeritus of Highline Community College in Des Moines, Wash. Gordon was named Phi Theta Kappa’s Most Distinguished College President in 1984. To learn more, visit http://www.ptk.org.

Investigation Into Two Deaths In Montgomery Township

Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman and Montgomery Township Police Chief Scott Bendig announce the joint investigation into a homicide, which occurred at 806 Karens Court in Montgomery Township.

On Thursday, April, 30, 2015 at 6:47 PM, the Montgomery Township Police Department responded to the 806 Karens Court for a reported disturbance with shots fired. Arriving officers located a gunshot victim, identified as Brienne Francisco, age 36, at the entrance of the residence. The victim was transported by MEDIVAC to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center where she was pronounced dead.

The Montgomery County SWAT Central Region Team was deployed due to the potential of a barricaded person inside the residence. Upon entry into the residence, officer’s located a deceased male, age 56, on the first floor. Preliminary investigation has revealed that the male appeared to have sustained a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. A revolver was located next to his body. The identity of the male is being withheld pending family notification.

Investigation has revealed that both Brienne Francisco and the deceased male resided at 806 Karens Court. Autopsies are pending at the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office and Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s Office.

Wells Fargo Provides $20,000 Grant To Assist Students In Montgomery County Community College’s Mentoring Program

Photo: Wells Fargo recently presented a $20,000 grant to Montgomery County Community College to provide scholarships for students participating in the College’s Minority Student Mentoring Initiative. Back row, from left:  Student Zachary Collier, Philadelphia; Tara A. Brady, Wells Fargo Assistant Vice President/Senior Relationship Manager; student Fernando Garcia, Pottstown; Edward Brown, MCCC Academic Advisor; and Dr. Steady Moono, Vice President of West Campus in Pottstown. Front row, from left: Dr. Karen A. Stout, College President; student Jacori McEachnie, Eagleville; student Diahann McIntyre, Norristown; Anthony Rosado, Wells Fargo Area President for Montgomery County; student Clifton Ford, Pottstown; and Wilson Gonzalez, Souderton. Photo by Sandi Yanisko.

Photo: Wells Fargo recently presented a $20,000 grant to Montgomery County Community College to provide scholarships for students participating in the College’s Minority Student Mentoring Initiative. Back row, from left: Student Zachary Collier, Philadelphia; Tara A. Brady, Wells Fargo Assistant Vice President/Senior Relationship Manager; student Fernando Garcia, Pottstown; Edward Brown, MCCC Academic Advisor; and Dr. Steady Moono, Vice President of West Campus in Pottstown. Front row, from left: Dr. Karen A. Stout, College President; student Jacori McEachnie, Eagleville; student Diahann McIntyre, Norristown; Anthony Rosado, Wells Fargo Area President for Montgomery County; student Clifton Ford, Pottstown; and Wilson Gonzalez, Souderton. Photo by Sandi Yanisko.

Blue Bell/Pottstown, Pa. –Wells Fargo recently presented a $20,000 grant to Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) to provide financial assistance for students participating in the College’s Minority Student Mentoring Initiative (MSMI) to enable them to complete their programs of study and graduate.

Wells Fargo’s generous grant will provide scholarships to 10 students who participate in the MSMI program, have a proven financial need and are committed to graduate. In 2014, MCCC received the national Leah Meyer Austin Award by Achieving the Dream for its outstanding work in supporting student success, including improving the persistence rates for minority students through MSMI.

“In keeping with our mission, this grant will help to ensure the completion and success for some of our most at-risk students, who face numerous challenges because of their circumstances and other factors,” said College President Dr. Karen A. Stout. “We greatly appreciate the longstanding community partnership with Wells Fargo.”

“Wells Fargo believes everyone should have access to quality educational opportunities,” said Anthony Rosado, Wells Fargo’s area president for Montgomery County.  “We are pleased to provide the support that helps these students achieve their educational goals.”

In 2009, MCCC first launched its Minority Male Mentoring Program 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.

In 2013, the initiative was expanded to include African-American and Latina female students and was renamed the Minority Student Mentoring Initiative (MSMI). Currently, MSMI provides one-one-one mentoring and access to wrap-around support services to more than 150 minority students enrolled at MCCC.

One participant, Jacori McEachnie, 18, Eagleville, says the program has opened new doors for him.

“The program is very helpful, especially meeting with my mentors and the tutoring,” said McEachnie, a Liberal Studies major. “Now, I am a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society, and I was just accepted into Bucknell’s Summer [2015 Residency] program.”

For the summer program, selected students enroll in two courses at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pa. Participating students then have the opportunity to apply to Bucknell in 2016, and if accepted, they will transfer to the university with junior status on full-tuition scholarships.

Additionally, MSMI assists students who are enrolled in MCCC’s Gateway to College program, which serves high school students who have dropped out of school or who are not track to graduate. Gateway students enroll in courses designed to help them achieve their high school diplomas while receiving college credits. Currently, 17 school districts and the Montgomery County Workforce Investment Board partner with MCCC and refer students for the program. MCCC is one of only 42 colleges in the country and only the second college in Pennsylvania selected to participate in the Gateway to College National Network.

Business Leader Lynn Utter To Deliver 2015 MCCC Commencement Address

Blue Bell, Pa.—Dynamic business leader Lynn Utter will deliver Montgomery County Community College’s 2015 Commencement address on May 21 at 7 p.m. in Blue Bell.

Utter most recently served as president and chief operating officer of Knoll, Inc.—headquartered locally in Montgomery County, but recognized worldwide as a leading designer and manufacturer of branded furniture and textiles. Much like the company’s iconic designs transformed the way people furnish their homes and offices, Utter, and visionary leaders like her, are transforming the role workforce development plays in building vibrant communities.

“Education and industry are critical pieces of a community’s comprehensive workforce development strategy. Such a strategy builds multiple pathways with multiple access points: high school to college; college to transfer or employment; employment to retraining, and all of the many steps in between,” said Dr. Karen A. Stout, MCCC President. “As illustrated by her outreach efforts at Knoll, Ms. Utter values an educated and engaged workforce that is part of the larger community.

Through Utter’s outreach, MCCC and Knoll partnered on several diverse initiatives. Both organizations were early partners with the PerkUp Workforce Consortium, a unique collaboration of business and industry leaders, government officials and educators working together to develop a 21st century workforce for the Upper Perkiomen Valley. In 2011, Utter gave the keynote address at MCCC’s Leading Women Symposium and Golf Experience, which supports women’s scholarships and programming through the College’s Foundation. And, in 2012, MCCC hosted an art exhibition featuring the architecture and design work of Florence Knoll Bassett.

“Thanks to Lynn Utter, Montgomery County Community College has an innovative partner in Knoll—a great connection and resource for our students right here in Montgomery County!”

Before coming to Knoll Inc. in 2008, Utter worked in a variety of operating and strategic positions at Coors and Frito-Lay, as well as with Strategic Planning Associates in Washington D.C. She is a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute and has held leadership roles with a number of organizations that support the advancement of women in the workplace.

Currently, Utter serves as a director for WESCO International and on the Internal Audit Committee for The University of Texas. She has also served on several non-profit boards, including Stanford Graduate School of Business, The University of Texas and the United Way.

Among her many accolades, Utter has received the 2015 Paradigm Award from the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. She has been inducted into the McCombs School of Business Hall of Fame and recognized as an Outstanding Young Texas Executive. In addition, she received the John Gardner Award for Service, as well as the Award of Merit from Stanford.

Utter earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from The University of Texas at Austin, and a Master of Business Administration from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Ms. Utter and her husband Ward reside in Devon, Pa., with their two children.

MCCC Business Students Earn Awards At Phi Beta Lambda State Competition

Harrisburg, Pa.— Montgomery County Community College’s chapter of Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) earned several awards during competitions at the PBL State Leadership Conference April 11-12 in Harrisburg.

Three MCCC students earned second place awards in the Business Decision Making competition. They are Abel Cruz, of Philadelphia, Wes (Carlo) Pipitone, Horsham, and Candice Yohe, Willow Grove.

During the PBL State Leadership Conference, MCCC’s students competed against chapters from across the state, including four-year institutions such as Drexel University, Penn State University and University of Pittsburgh. Along with the competitions, MCCC students participated in workshops and business events during the conference.

Phi Beta Lambda is a student-led, collegiate-level organization of the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA). For more information, visit http://www.fbla-pbl.org.

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.

Dr. James Linksz To Serve As Interim Montgomery County Community College President

April 27, 2015, Blue Bell/Pottstown/Lansdale, Pa.— Montgomery County Community College’s Board of Trustees is pleased to announce that Dr. James J. Linksz has agreed to serve as interim president for Montgomery County Community College (MCCC).

Dr. Linksz had a successful career at Bucks County Community College, where he served for more than 20 years as the institution’s president from 1992-2012. Following his retirement in 2012, Dr. Linksz briefly served as interim CEO of the Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges.

“It is a tremendous accomplishment that the College was able to secure a former community college president to serve during our nationwide search for a new college president,” said Board of Trustees Chairman Michael J. D’Aniello.

Current MCCC President Dr. Karen A. Stout was tapped to serve as the President and CEO of Achieving the Dream, Inc., which works to increase access and improve success at more than 200 member community colleges that serve more than four million community college students nationally.

Board Personnel Committee Chair Richard Montalbano was extremely pleased to secure a highly-respected and experienced community college president from Pennsylvania.

“This will allow the College to advance its goals and mission of increased access and improved student success,” said Montalbano. “We expect Dr. Linksz to be proactive in continuing the goals established by Dr. Stout. He will certainly not be a placeholder.”

Dr. Linksz will spend June in transition with Dr. Stout and will take the helm of MCCC on July 1, 2015.

“Dr. Linksz is an excellent choice. I have a high degree of respect for his work at Bucks. He was a terrific colleague. His understanding of Pennsylvania community colleges is also a significant asset for the College,” said Dr. Stout.

Dr. Linksz earned an A.B. in Art and Architecture from Dartmouth College and a master’s and doctorate in higher and adult education administration from Columbia University. He was also a W.K. Kellogg Doctoral Fellow in Community College Administration.

MCCC Announces New Employees In Development, Human Resources

Blue Bell/Pottstown, Pa.— Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) welcomes two new administrators to fill roles that are critical to the institution’s mission and strategic goals of increasing student access and success and creating a high performance culture.

New hires include Donna Fiedler, recently of Hatboro, associate director of development and Adriene Hobdy, of Philadelphia, director of leadership development and talent management.

Donna FiedlerDonna Fiedler comes to MCCC from The University of Texas San Antonio, where she served as assistant director of corporate and foundation engagement. During her career, she also held leadership positions with Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities and New York University. In her new role as associate director of development, Fiedler is responsible for managing the Foundation’s stewardship programs including scholarships, awards and various events.

Fiedler holds an Associate in Arts from Suffolk County Community College and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish with a minor in economics and a Master of Arts in Hispanic Civilization from New York University.

Adriene HobdyAdriene Hobdy served as the chief talent and learning officer with Lambert Worldwide in Philadelphia before coming to MCCC. She also held senior leadership positions in both corporate and higher education during her professional career. In her new role as director of leadership development and talent management at MCCC, Hobdy is responsible for leading the College’s performance management and professional development programs.

Hobdy holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a minor in English from Xavier University of Louisiana, a Master of Science in Budget and Finance and a Master of Science in Business/Human Resources Management from Lincoln University, and a Doctor of Education in Leadership and Innovation from Wilmington University.

MCCC Ranks Among Top Community Colleges In Nation For Technology

Blue Bell/Pottstown, Pa.— Montgomery County Community College is ranked second in the country for its use of technology according to a recent Digital Community Colleges Survey issued by e.Republic’s Center for Digital Education (CDE). The 250 data-point survey analyzes how community colleges use digital technologies to improve services to students, faculty, staff and the community at large.

MCCC, with campuses in Blue Bell and Pottstown, Pa., has ranked in the survey’s top 10 large community colleges since CDE introduced it a decade ago.

“Technology, itself, does not lead to innovation. But combined with vision, creativity and leadership, technology has the power to revolutionize teaching and learning,” said Dr. Celeste Schwartz, vice president for technology and college services.

Under the leadership of MCCC President Dr. Karen A. Stout, Schwartz and her team of IT professionals empower faculty and staff to use technology to inform decision making, to improve access and completion, and to provide students with state-of-the-art real-world learning experiences.

Over the past year, MCCC has implemented technology tools in several key student success areas—advising and student planning, financial literacy and mobile access—and has introduced academic certificate programs in key STEM disciplines like cloud computing, cyber security, and biotechnology.

To improve student entry and advising processes, MCCC launched a Student Success Network, which includes student academic planner, early alert, and a student facing success dashboard, through which students are able to see and connect with members of their student success team—advisors, faculty and staff from other support programs, like veterans’ resources and disability services. Faculty can refer students to tutoring and can address concerns and reinforce positive academic behaviors throughout the semester.

The redesigned process also includes an education planning tool that empowers students to map out their entire academic program progression and improves meaningful interaction between students and advisors. Analytical tools, including student and advisor dashboards, round out the Student Success Network.

Financial literacy is critical to student completion, and MCCC developed and launched a “Montco Money Matters” prototype through support from EDUCAUSE’s Next Generation Learning Challenge (NGLC) Breakthrough Models Incubator (BMI). The open-source, online tool introduces first-time students to concepts of financial aid, loans and grants; highlights the long-term implications of loans and future debt; and makes them aware of other resources, like scholarships, to help pay for college.

MCCC is currently building on the success of it financial literacy prototype to include digital and civic literacy, which, like Montco Money Matters, will be publically accessible through Blackboard CourseSites and will engage students through video, social media and other interactive tools.

“The ‘new literacy’ programs, at their heart, focus on building the skills that students will need to be successful at all levels of their education and career, especially as they transition from high school to college,” said Schwartz, who is a key member of the design team along with faculty and staff from across the institution.

Much of MCCC’s technology is being developed with a “mobile-first” approach—necessary given that 86 percent of MCCC’s students use smartphones. This year, the College launched a new mobile app in partnership with Ellucian Go! MCCC also continues to build access through its Virtual Campus, which affords e-learners the opportunity to have a more robust college experience.

Having access to the latest technology, state-of-the-art learning spaces and instructional design experts empowers MCCC’s faculty to develop and refine curricula that prepares students for a competitive and ever-changing marketplace. Over the past year, MCCC introduced new high-tech certificate programs in the emerging fields of cloud computing, cyber security and biotechnology/biomanufacturing, along with associate’s degrees in life sciences, sound recording and music technology, and environmental studies.

MCCC also bolstered existing programs in engineering technology, health services management, criminal justice, health and fitness professional, management, culinary arts and education—all of which integrate the latest technology to ensure graduates are prepared for the demands of 21st century workforce.

All accredited U.S. community colleges are eligible to participate in CDC’s survey within three classifications based on enrollment. MCCC, with more than 24,000 students annually, competes in the large college category. To learn more about the survey, visit centerdigitaled.com.

Unisys Plans 1,800 Job Cuts

Unisys shares were down as much as 8 percent in early trading after the Blue Bell-based computer service company’s chief executive, Peter Altabef, told investors sales were down 5 percent in the past three months, due largely to weaker foreign revenues as the U.S. dollar strengthened.

The company plans an 8 percent “worldwide” reduction in its workforce, which totalled 23,000 last year. Severance and restructuring will cost $300 million, resulting in $200 million in yearly savings, the company added.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/inq-phillydeals/Unisys-plans-2000-job-cuts.html#Tv2iHY82ZSyg8f73.99

Arline Stephan Named Vice President Of Development, External Relations At MCCC

Montgomery County Community College Foundation

Montgomery County Community College Foundation

Blue Bell/Pottstown, Pa.— Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) welcomes Arline Stephan, of Yardley, as its new vice president of development and external relations. In that capacity, she oversees the College’s Foundation, as well as the areas of alumni relations, marketing and communications, public grants, lively arts and fine arts galleries.

Stephan first came to MCCC in 2012 as the executive director of the College’s Foundation. In that role, she managed the Foundation’s first-ever comprehensive campaign, Futures Rising, which launched in November 2014. The campaign runs through June 2015 and has already exceeded its $9 million goal.

With more than 24 years of development experience, Stephan has served in leadership positions at major universities and health care systems, including Rutgers University, Thomas Jefferson University and Capital Health System. She became involved nationally with the women and philanthropy movement in the early 1990s, has started three successful women’s giving circles and has been a speaker at many conferences and to groups about the power of women and giving. She has also served on numerous fundraising and community boards throughout her career.

Prior to working in the field of development, Stephan held administrative and management positions in health care and higher education. She attended Austin Community College and earned her bachelor’s degree from Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas.

About the Montgomery County Community College Foundation

Established in 1983, the Montgomery County Community College Foundation operates exclusively to provide support and assistance to the College in developing the programs, facilities and services to carry out the mission and functions of the College. The Foundation carries out this purpose by encoura­ging, soliciting, receiving, holding, investing and administer­ing gifts of funds and property, and making expenditures to, or for the benefit of, the College. For more information, visit http://mc3.edu/futuresrising.