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.

MCCC Medical Assisting Program Earns Maximum Reaccreditation

PHOTO: Medical Assisting students perform free health screenings each semester for Montgomery County Community College students, faculty and staff. Photo by Matt Carlin

PHOTO: Medical Assisting students perform free health screenings each semester for Montgomery County Community College students, faculty and staff. Photo by Matt Carlin

BlueBell/Pottstown, Pa.—Montgomery County Community College’s (MCCC) Medical Assisting program recently received full reaccreditation through 2022 from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Programs (CAAHEP) upon recommendation from the Medical Assisting Education Review Board (MAERB). The eight-year accreditation is the maximum award possible, and MCCC met CAAHEP’s required standards and objectives without any recommendations or suggestions.

Introduced in 2003, the 34-credit Medical Assisting certificate is comprised of classroom instruction, on-campus laboratory simulations and practical experience at affiliated clinical sites. The program is offered at both MCCC’s Central Campus in Blue Bell and West Campus in Pottstown. A total of 222 students have graduated from the program over the past 12 years.

Medical assistants perform administrative and clinical tasks that keep the offices of health practitioners running smoothly.

“Nationally-credentialed Medical Assistants assist in meeting the community’s workforce demands for qualified health care professionals,” said Kathleen Schreiner, director of medical office professions at MCCC.

Graduates from the MCCC’s program qualify to complete the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) certification examination for Certified Medical Assistants (CMA) and/or the American Medical Technologists (AMT) certification examination for Registered Medical Assistants (RMA).

“Our graduates have achieved an eight-year cumulative pass rate of 97.66 percent on the national credentialing examination,” shared Schreiner. “Employers regularly seek our Montgomery County Community College graduates to meet their workforce needs because of our reputation for preparing well-qualified health care professionals.”

Medical Assisting graduates may choose to enter the workforce immediately upon certification or may apply their credits toward MCCC’s Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree in Health Services Management.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ “Occupational Outlook Handbook,” employment opportunities for medical assistants are expected to grow by 29 percent through 2022, which is significantly higher than the average growth rate of 11 percent for all occupations. In 2012, the median wage for medical assistants was $29,370, nationally.

To learn more about Montgomery County Community College’s Medical Assisting program, visit http://www.mc3.edu/academics and choose Areas of Study, followed by Health Sciences and Medical Assisting.

Montco Invites Public To Come Hear About The Exciting Future Of Transit In Montgomery County

Norristown, PA – Montgomery County, in partnership with SEPTA, Greater Valley Forge Transportation Management Association, The Partnership TMA, and TransNet, is presenting “Your Transit Dollars at Work” on Thursday, April 16, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the meeting room at the Whitemarsh Township building, 616 Germantown Pike, Lafayette Hill.

The event will focus on the exciting future of transit in Montgomery County. Representatives from the Montgomery County Planning Commission, SEPTA, and local transportation management associations will be on hand to present information, answer questions, and listen to comments.

Participants will have an opportunity to learn about SEPTA’s draft capital plan with station improvements and system upgrades, current commuting alternatives, and Montco’s plan for the future as highlighted in Montco 2040: A Shared Vision, Montgomery County’s nationally awarded new comprehensive plan.

The public is invited to participate and see the impressive vision plan for transit in Montgomery County and to discover what new transit funding is doing for county citizens. Additional information and online registration are available at http://www.montcopa.org/PlanningTransit. Montgomery County’s new comprehensive plan is available at http://www.montcopa.org/Montco2040. Please contact Crystal Gilchrist at 610-278-3734 or via email at cgilchri@montcopa.org with any questions.

Montco Commissioners Kick Off Second Phase Of Lafayette Street Extension Project

NORRISTOWN, PA – The first phase has been completed, and now the second phase of a road project that will eventually connect Norristown to the Pennsylvania Turnpike will begin.

Despite the cold on Wednesday, the Montgomery County commissioners broke ground on the $12.9 million second phase of the project, which will extend Lafayette Street to Diamond Avenue in Plymouth Township. The second phase will also reconstruct and widen Diamond Avenue from the Pennsylvania Turnpike bridge to the Norristown border at Ross Street.

“Many of us were here together months ago when we kicked off phase one of the Lafayette Street extension project. Today we’re here to talk about ramping up phase two of the Lafayette Street extension project,” commissioners’ Chairman Josh Shapiro told a crowd of county employees and local officials involved in the project.

Shapiro told the group that they will begin to see traffic slow down as the second phase makes its way through its expected completion date of spring 2017, but he added there will not be detours on Ridge Pike in Plymouth Township.

Read more:

http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20150408/commissioners-kick-off-second-phase-of-lafayette-street-extension-project

Norristown Area High School Students Stage Walkout In Protest Of Alleged Racist Post By School Employee

WEST NORRITON TOWNSHIP, PA – More than 100 Norristown Area High School students staged a walkout Tuesday morning in protest of what they said were racist comments posted to the Internet by a school employee.

The peaceful protest was organized via Twitter following the employee’s two-day suspension, which the students and some parents said was too light a punishment.

“Basically, we’re protesting, standing up for what we believe,” said student protestor Imani Meade.

An employee “posted a racist statement that went viral for Norristown High School,” Meade said.

Read more:

http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20150407/norristown-area-high-school-students-stage-walkout-in-protest-of-alleged-racist-post-by-school-employee

Two Shooting Victims — One Fatal — Found In Plymouth Were Shot In Norristown

NORRISTOWN, PA – A 28-year-old man who was shot in Norristown Monday night was discovered mortally wounded in Plymouth Township, according to a press release issued by the Norristown Police Department and the Montgomery County District Attorney’s office.

Police were called to the 1200 block of Locust Street at 8:52 p.m. and discovered shell casings and other evidence at the scene. Norristown police said two people were shot. The release stated that while police were investigating, the victim was found in Plymouth Township.

Read more:

http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20150407/two-shooting-victims-x2014-one-fatal-x2014-found-in-plymouth-were-shot-in-norristown

Montgomery County Community College West End Student Theatre And Theatre Arts Program to Present Peter Shaffer’s ‘Black Comedy’

Pottstown, PA — Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) West End Student Theatre and Theatre Arts program are proud to present “Black Comedy,” a farce by Sir Peter Shaffer.  Show dates are Thursday, Friday and Saturday, April 23, 24 and 25 at 7 p.m., with a special afternoon performance on Friday, April 24, at 12:30 p.m. All performances will be held in the College’s South Hall Community Room, West Campus, 101 College Drive, Pottstown.

Tickets are $10 general admission and $5 for students and seniors. To purchase tickets, call 215-641-6518 or visit www.mc3.edu/livelyarts. Free parking is available.

“Black Comedy” is a wild, comic farce by renowned British playwright Sir Peter Shaffer, author of “Amadeus.” In it, a desperate sculptor hopes to impress his fiancée’s father and a millionaire patron by “borrowing” a few antiques from his absent neighbor. But after a fuse blows in his apartment and plunges them all into darkness, a hilarious race against time ensues to set things right before the lights come back on and the neighbor returns.

“This production of ‘Black Comedy’ is akin to Mel Brooks and Dick Van Dyke having a baby – it’s a racy, raunchy, and raucous good time,” says Director Samantha Clarke. This production contains adult themes and language.

Directed by Clarke and stage managed by Anna Taylor, the cast includes Joe Donely, Carly Watson, Allison Wentzel, Zach Clark, Jeff Chernesky, Myasia Bynum, Nicholas Bartelmo, and Joseph Borders. The production is designed, produced and presented by the students of the West End Student Theatre, which includes Morgan Carrasquillo, Desiree Humes, Zachary Clark, Joe Donley, Andrew Miller, Alex Hollowell, Christian Flint, Tess Devlin, Tom Keller, Merissa Crabtree, Anthony Confino, Rianna Isbell and Mariah Blank, under the guidance of Theatre Instructor Tim Gallagher.

Photographs:  Cast members rehearse for the upcoming performances of Peter Shaffer’s “Black Comedy” on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, April 23, 24 and 25, at 7 p.m. and on Friday, April 24, at 12:30 p.m. in Montgomery County Community College’s South Hall Community Room, West Campus, 101 College Drive, Pottstown. Photos by Diane VanDyke.

Identity Theft/Scam Program To Be Offered April 10th In Sanatoga

You’re invited to an educational and entertaining program where you can learn about today’s leading scams and schemes, such as insurance and investment fraud, identity theft, and other cons targeting the 50+. Come to get your questions answered by consumer protection experts and visit related exhibits.

Fight Back – Learn How to Protect Yourself from Frauds and Scams
Friday, April 10, 2015
1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Berean Bible Church*
2675 East High Street
Sanatoga, PA 19464
*The Berean Bible Church is located in Sanatoga, near Cutillo’s Restaurant (across the street). 

Free parking! Doors open at 12:30 and light refreshments will be served! 

To RSVP or for more information, please call the AARP event registration line at 1-877-926-8300 and tell the operator you would like to register or click HERE

AARP is fighting for you, and the Fraud Watch Network is just one of the many ways we give you tools to help you protect your family’s financial security.  Think you know AARP? What we do in Pennsylvania may surprise you.

Sincerely,

Bill Johnston, Director
AARP Pennsylvania

Althouse Arboretum April News‏

Friends of the Arboretum, Hark!

Monday, April 13th 6:30 pm
Under the pavilion at the Arboretum
in case of bad weather, 2019 Mimosa Lane
Will post on the website and Facebook if we move it from the Arboretum.

If you want to know more about what’s going on at the Arboretum (lots!),  if you’d like to participate in the Friends mission to share ideas, develop resources, and plan ways to enrich the Arboretum experience for all, if you want to see how you can become part of the action – come! All invited!

If you can’t attend the meeting, you can still email us your ideas! Your input is valuable!

 

Forest Easter Egg Hunt – A Success!

Over 150 people came out to search for eggs and visit with our very own Easter Bunny. The event was planned, organized and run by Pottsgrove High School’s Spark the Wave Club with healthy snacks donated by Kimberton Whole Foods Douglassville.

Heard someone leaving say, “See, this is what we used to do for Easter at Grandma’s.” – ah, family memories and good times in the making!

Here’s a wonderful article with delightful pictures by the Sanatoga Post where you can read all about it.

 

Pottstown Challenge

Another success! Over $5,000 was raised to meet the Pottstown Challenge. The Greater Pottstown Foundation will now match our $5,000 giving us the funds to provide special summer programs for at-risk and low income children at the Arboretum. The money will pay for transportation, program costs, and provide scholarships for local high school student interns who will run the programs.

Individuals and businesses who contributed will be featured on our soon to be available trail map. You’ll be able to pick one up at the Arboretum or download one from the website. We strongly encourage you to support our sponsors and thank the individuals who support the Arboretum and its programs. There’s still time for individual’s to get on on the map. Just click the Matching Grant Donation button at the website. Put the name you want on the rock in the box and add your $50 donation so we can let everyone know ‘you rock!’ Hurry! Only a little time left!

 

Just for Fun

April is “Garden and Poetry Month!” (No foolin’!)
Message us on Facebook or email us  with your best original short garden or Arboretum Poem. Winners will be announced in May and the winning poem will win a gift card and be posted at the Arboretum!

Norristown Police Collaborate With Social Services For ‘Whole Government’ Initiative

Editor’s note:  Alas, Pottstown leadership doesn’t seem to get this concept.  Two thumbs up to Norristown leadership for being proactive and thinking outside of the box.  We like what we are seeing.

NORRISTOWN, PA – Police are called with increasing frequency for complaints about a homeless man with mental health issues. A boy who lives in a household familiar to authorities for domestic issues has started skipping school and breaking curfew. An unemployed mother of three with no previous criminal record is arrested for drug possession.

These are examples of bad situations that many law enforcement officials agree often get worse.

But what if that was not necessarily the case? What if police and other public health and safety professionals collaborated on these cases using a comprehensive strategy that enabled them to mitigate risk factors and intervene to address small infractions before they snowball into larger ones, effectively reducing and preventing crime?

That is the goal of the Whole of Government concept, presented at the 2015 International Conference on Proven Collaborative Strategies for Improved Community Wellness and Safety recently held at the King of Prussia Radisson and conducted by the Penn State Justice and Safety Institute (PSJSI). The concept, which has a proven track record of success in Canada, is being implemented by a small number of forward-thinking law enforcement agencies in the U.S., including Norristown.

Read more:

http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20150404/norristown-police-collaborate-with-social-services-for-whole-government-initiative

MCCC Radiography Program Earns Maximum Reaccreditation

PHOTO: Students work in the state-of-the-art radiography simulation laboratory at Montgomery County Community College’s West Campus in Pottstown.

PHOTO: Students work in the state-of-the-art radiography simulation laboratory at Montgomery County Community College’s West Campus in Pottstown.

Pottstown, Pa.— Montgomery County Community College’s (MCCC) Radiography program recently received full reaccreditation from the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) through 2022. The eight-year accreditation is the maximum award possible, and MCCC met JRCERT’s required standards and objectives without any recommendations or suggestions.

“This rigorous programmatic accreditation process speaks to the quality of our program, which is validated by the successes of our graduates. Graduating from a JRCERT accredited program assures students that they will receive educational excellence that promotes the quality and safety of patient care,” shared Debra Poelhuis, director of MCCC’s Radiography program. “Not only are our graduates highly successful in passing their national certifying examination, but they are well respected for their clinical expertise. This is a model program whose graduates serve the needs of this community in many ways.”

MCCC introduced its Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S) degree program in Radiography in 2003 in response to a documented shortage of radiologic technologists in the tri-county region. The program, based at the College’s West Campus in Pottstown, integrates theory, on-campus laboratory simulations and clinical competency experiences at area hospitals.

Since its introduction 12 years ago, more than 120 students have graduated from the program, and for six consecutive years, 100 percent of the program’s students passed the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (AART) National Certifying Exam. Graduates may choose to enter the workforce immediately upon certification or may choose to transfer to a four-year college or university to pursue bachelor’s or master’s degrees in radiography or a related health sciences field.

Certified radiologic technologists perform diagnostic imaging procedures, including x-ray, CT scan, MRI and mammography to assist in the diagnosis of illness. More than half are employed in hospitals, but jobs are also available in physician offices, medical and diagnostic laboratories and outpatient care centers.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ “Occupational Outlook Handbook,” employment opportunities for radiologic technologists are expected to grow by 21 percent through 2022, significantly higher than the average growth rate of 11 percent for all occupations. In 2012, the median wage for radiologic technologists was $54,620.

To learn more about Montgomery County Community College’s Radiography program, visit http://www.mc3.edu/academics and choose Areas of Study, followed by Health Sciences and Radiography.

Dr. Karen Stout Establishes Phi Theta Kappa Challenge Fund In Support Of Student Completion At MCCC

PHOTO: Dr. Karen A. Stout (center) stands with officers from Montgomery County Community College’s Alpha Kappa Zeta chapter of Phi Theta Kappa. Student officers include (from left) Reginald Harris, secretary; Michelle Sikora, vice president of service; Jennifer Cutler, vice president of scholarship; Mamata Tharima, president; Raymond Straughter, vice president of fellowship; Thomas DeLucia, secretary; and Wilfredo Montijo, vice president of leadership.   Photo by John Welsh

PHOTO: Dr. Karen A. Stout (center) stands with officers from Montgomery County Community College’s Alpha Kappa Zeta chapter of Phi Theta Kappa. Student officers include (from left) Reginald Harris, secretary; Michelle Sikora, vice president of service; Jennifer Cutler, vice president of scholarship; Mamata Tharima, president; Raymond Straughter, vice president of fellowship; Thomas DeLucia, secretary; and Wilfredo Montijo, vice president of leadership. Photo by John Welsh

Blue Bell Pa.—To encourage and inspire students to become part of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), the international honor society for two-year colleges, Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) President Karen A. Stout has generously pledged $30,000 to establish a Phi Theta Kappa Annual Challenge Fund through the College’s Foundation.

Phi Theta Kappa membership offers students a significant advantage when it comes to college success and completion. In fact, a recent national study reveals that PTK members in Pennsylvania have an overall success rate of 92 percent—that’s four times higher than the success rate for all of the state’s community college students.

However, despite the documented impact, only 14 percent of PTK-eligible students nationally join the organization. With a current membership fee of $60, cost is a likely barrier for many eligible students.

The Karen A. Stout Phi Theta Kappa Challenge Fund will support qualified students by defraying half the cost of a PTK membership, while challenging students to match the remaining cost. Students must be eligible for Pell Grant funding and PTK membership to qualify. Members of PTK must maintain a 3.5 GPA and must have completed at least 12 credits.

As a member of MCCC’s Phi Theta Kappa chapters—Alpha Kappa Zeta at the Central Campus in Blue Bell or Beta Tau Lambda at the West Campus in Pottstown—students are afforded the opportunity to grow as scholars and servant leaders. By working with their peers and faculty advisors, PTK members examine real-life issues facing their communities, while gaining leadership skills through the organization’s Honors in Action programming.

For example, this year’s PTK chapters collected more than 500 pairs of shoes for the community organization In Ian’s Boots; cleaned up a portion of the Schuylkill River; and partnered with Theatre Horizon and the Coordinated Homeless Outreach Center in Norristown on a community education/public art project. In addition, both of MCCC’s chapters achieved the distinction of Five Star Status—the highest level of national recognition possible—for progressing through the organization’s Five Star Chapter Development Plan.

PTK members also have access to exclusive transfer scholarship information and opportunities, which will help them continue their education after graduating from MCCC.

The Karen A. Stout Phi Theta Kappa Challenge Fund is part of the Foundation’s first-ever comprehensive fundraising campaign, “Futures Rising: The Campaign for Montgomery County Community College,” which looks to raise $9 million for student scholarships. To learn more or to get involved, visit http://www.mc3.edu/futures.

Anisha Robinson Keeys Appointed To MCCC Board Of Trustees

ANISHA ROBINSON KEEYSBlue Bell/Pottstown, Pa.—Montgomery County Community College is pleased to announce the appointment of Anisha Robinson Keeys, of Norristown, to its Board of Trustees by the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners. The 15-person Board of Trustees is the policy and governing body of Montgomery County Community College.

With 18 years of fundraising and marketing experience, Robinson Keeys serves as Chief Executive Officer of Lance + Lee Planning. She advises corporations and philanthropists on how to make the largest impact with their money. She also helps organizations and thought leaders with corporate fundraising and organizational development.

In addition to operating a consulting practice, Robinson Keeys has held leadership roles with a variety of organizations, including the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross, and Teach For America.

Robinson Keeys is a frequent speaker at conferences and leadership retreats across the country.

She is also the author of the book and curriculum “Get Corporate Sponsorship: A Step By Step Guide To Securing Funding From Corporations” and “51 Retailers That Want To Help You Raise Money.”

Robinson Keeys holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Chestnut Hill College. She is also a member of the institution’s Woman Donors Network, where she serves as an advisor for the Reflective Democracy Initiative. She also serves on the board of directors for the Columbia North YMCA, Rosebug 1919 Foundation, Livingbattlefield and the Solomon Principal Group.

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

Photos by Alana J. Mauger Field School 1: Montgomery County Community College student Cydney Rader, Skippack, shows an artifact that was found during 2014’s Archaeology Field School at The Speaker’s House in Trappe.

Photos by Alana J. Mauger
Field School 1: Montgomery County Community College student Cydney Rader, Skippack, shows an artifact that was found during 2014’s Archaeology Field School at The Speaker’s House in Trappe.

Trappe, Pa.—This summer, students don’t need to travel far to gain world-class archaeological field experience. In fact, students who participate in the Archaeology Field School at The Speaker’s House in Trappe, Pa. can earn up to six college credits through a unique partnership with Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) while they get hands-on experience at an active archaeology site.

In its seventh year, the Archaeology Field School is comprised of two intensive three-week sessions led by archaeologist Dr. Lydia Garver at The Speaker’s House, which was the home of Frederick Muhlenberg, first Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and first signer of the Bill of Rights.

The program runs Tuesdays-Saturdays from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. The first session is held May 26-June 13, and the second session runs from June 16-July 3. No previous experience is necessary, and the program is open to anyone age 15 or over.  The Field School is ideal for students who are interested in studying anthropology, history or museum studies, as well for students who enjoy working and learning outdoors. To learn more, visit http://www/speakershouse.org/fieldschool or contact Lisa Minardi at info@speakershouse.org.

Participants will receive training in excavation techniques, record keeping, artifact identification, processing, cataloging, and classification. This summer, excavation in the first session will focus on a large pit feature filled with 19th-century kitchen artifacts and the remnants of an 18th-century smokehouse, along with another small outbuilding. During the second session, students will complete closing excavation tasks and learn to curate, analyze and research artifacts found during the first session. Field trips and guest lectures will also be offered.

Photos by Alana J. Mauger Field School 2: Archaeology Field School students Chuck Cannon (left), Harleysville, and Brad James, Towamencin, excavate the area around an outbuilding wall last summer.

Photos by Alana J. Mauger
Field School 2: Archaeology Field School students Chuck Cannon (left), Harleysville, and Brad James, Towamencin, excavate the area around an outbuilding wall last summer.

Students can earn three college credits per three-week session for their participation in the Field School by enrolling through MCCC. To enroll as a guest student, visit mc3.edu/admissions, select course selection and registration, then follow the instructions for guest students. Current MCCC students and alumni should register through Web Advisor by logging into the MyMC3 Portal. The course titles are Archaeology Field School I (ANT 120) and Archaeology Field School II (ANT 121).

Enrollment is limited to 20 participants per session, and preference will be given to students taking the course for credit through MCCC. Students will pay standard MCCC tuition and fees. Tuition information is available at http://www.mc3.edu/admissions. All participants will receive a complimentary 2015 student membership in The Speaker’s House.

Built in 1763 by German immigrant John Schrack, The Speaker’s House was owned by the Muhlenberg family from 1781-1803. Other notable owners include Charles Albrecht, a piano maker; Dr. Lewis Royer, physician and legislator; and Ursinus College, which used the house as a dormitory from 1924-1944. The property is also the location of a general store, built in 1782 by Frederick Muhlenberg, and is one of the few archaeological sites in the region that yields information on commercial as well as domestic activities.

Honors Anthropology Students Gain Cultural Insight Through Service Learning

CCATE 1: Montgomery County Community College Honors Program student Sussan Saikali works on homework with Kevin, a participants in the Center for Culture, Art, Training, and Education’s (CCATE) after school program.

CCATE 1: Montgomery County Community College Honors Program student Sussan Saikali works on homework with Kevin, a participants in the Center for Culture, Art, Training, and Education’s (CCATE) after school program.

Blue Bell, Pa.—Eleven students enrolled in Dr. Lynn Swartley O’Brien’s Honors Cultural Anthropology course at Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) recently participated in a service learning project in partnership with the Center for Culture, Art, Training, and Education(CCATE) in Norristown.

“I wanted to give [the students] an immersive experience in another culture,” O’Brien said. “I wanted them to experience culture shock and look at others, and ultimately themselves, in a new perspective.”

Throughout the fall semester, the students—all scholars in MCCC’s comprehensive Honors Program—volunteered at least two hours, one night per week as peer mentors at CCATE’s after school program. The program works to equip Norristown Latino middle and high school students with the skills needed to succeed socially and academically in American culture, while respecting their Latin roots.

O’Brien believes that service projects, particularly peer-mentor programs, are innovative because they create a mutually beneficial relationship between mentors and mentees.

CCATE 2: Montgomery County Community College Honors Program student Samantha Smyth read with students in CCATE’s after school program in Norristown.

CCATE 2: Montgomery County Community College Honors Program student Samantha Smyth read with students in CCATE’s after school program in Norristown.

“Students in CCATE had positive role models who helped them with their homework [while]…the Honors students reported that the experience was a positive one,” O’Brien said.

Cassandra Davis, one of the Honors students who volunteered at CCATE, felt culture shock in the form of a language barrier.

“My first Spanish reading session at CCATE made me feel completely isolated. All the students and even most of the volunteers could speak Spanish,” Davis said.

Davis could not speak the native tongue of many of the young children with whom she worked.

The culture shock did not last long, however. The reciprocal relationship of the mentor-mentee model was illustrated when two of the young mentees helped to ease Davis’s anxieties by teaching her some Spanish.

“I would help them with homework, then they would help me with Spanish during reading time,” Davis said.

O’Brien said that some students have reported that the experience was “life changing.”

This seems to be especially true for Davis, who still volunteers at CCATE even though the requirements of the project ended months ago.

Davis and her classmates are not the only students who have seen the value of service learning projects under O’Brien’s tutelage.

In fact, last semester, O’Brien had her online cultural anthropology students research charities that work on significant social issues outside the United States and Europe. One group of online students chose to raise money for Heifer International, a non-profit organization that works to eradicate poverty and hunger through sustainable community development.

“[The students] raised over $300—enough to buy a water buffalo for a family in need,” O’Brien said. “They learned about the sustainable gift of an animal—a gift that will keep giving and producing more for an agricultural family in need.”

O’Brien has also overseen fundraising projects that have procured money for Aid for Africa and other organizations. She has even organized a project that had students volunteer at a local excavation site as part of her archaeological anthropology course.

“Overall, I think my civic projects have been successful,” she said. “Some students have initially been resistant or indifferent, but many more students have had positive outcomes.”

Multiple Honors students reported that they have benefited from the cultural values they learned from the predominately Latino community at CCATE. For example, student Jessica Miller recognized the emphasis Latinos place on family.

“I believe there are hidden diamonds in every culture, and we need to be active in discovering them and, if appropriate, incorporating them into our own lifestyles. For example, Latinos highly value family relationships. I want to do the same,” Miller said.

O’Brien believes that anthropological studies are an important component of a liberal arts education, emphasizing multiculturalism for this very reason.

“Students in cultural anthropology learn about the endless cultural diversity that abounds in our world. It is amazing when students learn that things in their world that they take as ‘natural’ such as family, gender, and economics, can be construed and understood in profoundly different ways by different cultures in other parts in the world. I think it is inspiring,” O’Brien said.

“When we have the self-realization that our circumstances are a product of culture, we begin to understand the power we have to change them,” she continued. “As the anthropologist Margaret Mead said, ‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.’”

These lessons seem to be firmly engrained in Samantha Smyth, another one of O’Brien’s Honors students.

“CCATE has made me understand that it is important to be involved in your community and that things are not just going to magically get better in society. We have to work towards betterment and it takes efforts like this to begin the process,” Smyth said. “I now know that all it takes is two hours a week to change a young person’s outlook on things.”

Miller also recognized how easy it was to make an impact on a child.

“Because of [those] 10 weeks, I believe that I can make a difference in the life of a child, even if I never verbally express how important they are. By taking the time to listen to their stories; by chasing them up and down the gym; by dancing with them to help them memorize their multiplication tables, kids realize that they are worth a person’s time, energy, and resources,” Miller said.

“Overall,” Miller added, “service learning has a circular effect and creates role models for the next generation.”

O’Brien is encouraged by the work her students did in the fall semester and believes that she will see the rewards of this “circular effect” in the near future.

The mere presence of college students who care implicitly communicates a very important message to the young middle and high school students—that college is an attainable goal.

“I can’t wait to see some of these students at CCATE in my classes at MCCC in just a few years. I know that what we are doing there as mentors and volunteers will help to pave the way for these young people going to college,” O’Brien said.

Cadets Graduate From MCCC Municipal Police Academy, Raise $3,000 For Angel Trust Fund

Photos by Matt Carlin Police 1: Cadet Lt. Brian Manion (right), Conshohocken, presents Class 1404 Valedictorian James Reilly, Chalfont, with a certificate for his academic accomplishments.

Photos by Matt Carlin
Police 1: Cadet Lt. Brian Manion (right), Conshohocken, presents Class 1404 Valedictorian James Reilly, Chalfont, with a certificate for his academic accomplishments.

Blue Bell, Pa.— Thirty-one cadets graduated from Montgomery County Community College’s Municipal Police Academy Class 1404 on March 25 during a ceremony held at the College’s Science Center Theater, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell.

The cadets took on a special project during their 22-week program at the academy: raising funds for the Chester County Angel Trust through DNB First Wealth Management to help six-year-old abuse victim Ryan McMillian rebuild his life. During a guest lecture at the academy, Chester County Deputy District Attorney Michelle Frei shared details surrounding the 2014 murder of Ryan’s three-year-old brother Scotty McMillian, prompting the cadets to take action.

During the ceremony, Cadet Sarah Couch, Royersford, presented Frei and attorney Skip Persick, who oversees the trust, with a check for $3,000. According to Persick, the money will ultimately be used for McMillian’s education expenses to “create a career for this young man.”

Photos by Matt Carlin Police 2: Cadet Tori Adams (left), Langhorne, receives the James R. Miller Marksmanship Award from Cadet Lt. Brian Manion.

Photos by Matt Carlin
Police 2: Cadet Tori Adams (left), Langhorne, receives the James R. Miller Marksmanship Award from Cadet Lt. Brian Manion.

Cadet Cpl. Nicollette DeBiasio, Oaks, led the Pledge of Allegiance to begin the formal portion of the ceremony, followed by a moment of reflection from Director of Criminal Justice, Fire Science and Emergency Management and Planning programs Benn Prybutok. Cadet Daniel Mease, Bethlehem, served as color bearer.

Parkesburg Borough Police Department Chief Brian Sheller was selected by class 1404 to give the keynote address, during which challenged the cadets to “make a difference” in the communities they serve.

“Police are many things to many people in their times of need. Treat everyone with dignity and respect,” shared Sheller, who is also an instructor at the Academy.

Montgomery County Commissioner Bruce L. Castor Jr. and Montgomery County Department of Public Safety First Deputy Director Jesse Stemple were also in attendance, along with representatives from Abington, Bethlehem, Falls Township, and Upper Merion Township police departments. From MCCC, Dr. Aaron Shatzman, dean of social sciences, and Suzanne Holloman, dean of workforce development, assisted with certificate confirmation.

Photos by Matt Carlin Police 3: Cadet Lt. Brian Manion (right) presents Cadet Cpl. Amal Yasin, Philadelphia, with the Award of Distinction, given to a cadet who demonstrates exemplary dedication and teamwork.

Photos by Matt Carlin
Police 3: Cadet Lt. Brian Manion (right) presents Cadet Cpl. Amal Yasin, Philadelphia, with the Award of Distinction, given to a cadet who demonstrates exemplary dedication and teamwork.

Earning the highest GPA in his class, Cadet James Reilly, Chalfont, offered remarks on behalf of the graduates. He described impact of the moment when, as a group, the cadets’ focus shifted from individual success to class success.

“It was about being better as a class, and successful as a class,” he shared, before thanking the academy’s leadership, faculty, family and friends for their support.

Interim Municipal Police Academy Director Jude McKenna presented a series of awards as part of the ceremony. Cadet Lt. Brian Manion, Conshohocken, received the Platoon Leader Award of Merit. Cadet Tori Adams, Langhorne, received the James R. Miller Marksmanship Award, presented in memory of Upper Dublin Police Sergeant Jim Miller, who died in an automobile accident while on duty in 2004. And the Award of Distinction, given to a cadet who demonstrates exemplary dedication and teamwork, went to Cadet Cpl. Amal Yasin, Philadelphia.

Cadets from class 1404 attended the academy full time, Monday through Friday for 22 weeks. Graduates include Cadet Cpl. Kevin Adams, Horsham; Tori Adams, Langhorne; Cadet Ssgt. John Beck, Hatboro; Alex Beres, Schwenksville; Mark Borkowski, Blue Bell; Cadet Sgt. Patrick Brehm, Bethlehem; Cadet Sgt. Daniel Chonko, Upper Black Eddy; Sarah Couch, Royersford; Jose Cruz, Warrington; Cadet Cpl. Nicollette DeBiasio, Oaks; Madeline Elgazzar, Blue Bell; Bradley Guldin, Royersford; John Krchnavy, Hellertown; Carl Kruse, Glenside; Samantha Lehman, Perkasie; Cadet Cpl. Ronald MacPherson, Langhorne; Cadet Lt. Brian Manion, Conshohocken; Daniel Mease, Bethlehem; Reinaldo Melendez, West Chester; Ryan Melley, Ridgefield Park, N.J.; Nicholas Phillips, Reading; Cadet Sgt. Daniel Prior, Harleysville; James Reilly, Chalfont; Patrick Rooney, Philadelphia; John Sands, Warminister; Cadet Ssgt. Erik Schwab, Bensalem; cadet Sgt. Joshua VanHorn, Brookhaven; Nicholas Windfelder, Quakertown; Cadet Cpl. Amal Yasin, Philadelphia; Cody Young, Sellersville; and Darrien Zivkovic, Hatboro.

Montgomery County Community College, in conjunction with the state training commission, operates the Municipal Police Academy at the Montgomery County Public Safety Training Campus, 1175 Conshohocken Road, Conshohocken.

The academy has been the training ground for more than 3,500 cadets with a consistent graduation rate of more than 90 percent. The 800-hour curriculum allows successful students to articulate up to 15 credit hours toward an associate’s degree in Criminal Justice Studies.