Alana J. Mauger, Director of Communications

amauger@mc3.edu / 215-641-6359

Diane VanDyke, PR Coordinator

dvandyke@mc3.edu / 215-630-6251

MCCC Medical Billing and Coding Class Opens Door to Rewarding Career

Next cohort slated to begin Dec. 2

Oct. 31, 2014, Blue Bell, Pa.— Holly Gately, Audubon, found a new career—one that she’s “excited” about—in the growing field of medical billing and coding thanks to Montgomery County Community College.

“I was a 30-something year old mother whose children were all in school for the first time. I had no career or post-secondary education,” shared Gately, who, like many adult students, was nervous about going back to school.

“I talked about it with my family and decided to try this new career. I registered for class and got my books. My life was changed. This was a path I could get excited about,” she said.

MCCC’s Medical Billing and Coding course—funded in part by the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant from the U.S. Department of Labor and offered through the Commonwealth’s JobTrakPA program—is designed for those who want to begin medical billing and coding careers or prepare for certification examinations. The course teaches students the principles of medical coding using the health industry coding manuals of CPT, ICD-9 and ICD-10 and HCPCS.

“It wasn’t always easy to get all the homework and studying done with family [obligations], but I thrived. I excelled in the course and was given the opportunity to extern for a billing company,” said Gately, who completed the course among the top in her class.

Gately went on to pass the rigorous Certified Professional Coder (CPC) Exam on her first try, and she is currently employed in a billing and coding position with an ophthalmology practice.

“I am so glad that I decided to take a chance on a new path. I have a new career, self confidence, amazing people that I now call friends, and, most of all, I have pride in knowing that I accomplished something big and wonderful,” she said.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook cites that careers in medical records and health information technology are expected to grow by 22 percent through 2022—11 percent higher than the average occupation growth rate.

Registration is going on now for the next Medical Building and Coding cohort at MCCC. The class will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6-10 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (with a one hour break for lunch) starting Dec. 2 and running through Feb. 17 at the College’s Central Campus, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell. Tuition is $1,350.

For more information about JobTrakPA programs at Montgomery County Community College, visit mc3.edu/workforcedevelopment/jobtrak, call the JobTrakPA hotline at 215-461-1468 or email jobtrakpa@mc3.edu.

Alana J. Mauger, Director of Communications
amauger@mc3.edu / 215-641-6359

Diane VanDyke, PR Coordinator
dvandyke@mc3.edu / 215-630-6251

MCCC to Host ‘Color Blast’ Exhibit in Pottstown
Dynamic exhibit features the artwork of Valley of Peace Burke, Lois Schlachter and Patricia Wilson-Schmid

October 31, 2014, Pottstown, PA— Montgomery County Community College continues its 2014-2015 fine arts season with the exhibit “Color Blast,” which opens on Monday, Nov. 3, at the Fine Arts Gallery, North Hall, 16 High Street, Pottstown. A “Meet the Artists” reception is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 12, from 5-7 p.m. Both the exhibit, which continues through Dec. 12, and the reception are free and open to the community.

“Color Blast” features the vibrant artwork of three artists, who are brought together through this exhibit and their shared enthusiasm for color: Valley of Peace Burke of Long Island, New York; Lois Schlachter of Spring Mount, Pennsylvania; and Patricia Wilson-Schmid of Lederach, Pennsylvania.

While color unites the exhibit, each artist has her own distinct style and personality, as reflected in the art.

Working as both an artist and a registered cardiac surgery intensive care nurse, Valley of Peace Burke reinterprets the visual elements of the medical world into an artistic expression that explores the interwoven relationship between body and spirit. She believes and portrays the body and mind as “sacred and whole.”

“Color is healing. It carries life and beauty into the world. I have spent most of my life near the sea and am influenced by the elements of nature. These elements are also internal, as the human body is a microcosm of the earth,” she says.

This multi-faceted artist has studied oil painting under Judy Dupic in France and has traveled and painted throughout England, Ireland, Italy, Mongolia and Spain. In addition to her nursing degree, she also is a master of oriental medicine and acupuncture physician. Her great-grandfather, Joseph A. Burke, was composer well-known to the Philadelphia area during the 1920s-40s, and his songs were recorded by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Bing Crosby, among others. Valley is pleased to be exhibiting in the Philadelphia area where much of her family resides.

As an abstract artist, Lois Schlachter is in love “with the line, handsome vibrant color and a comfortable composition” and describes her work as simply “fun.” Working directly from her hand to the canvas, she lets her imagination direct her as playful and colorful images emerge.

“I feel that acrylic paint gives me the brilliant and intense color that I love,” she says. “I use color to navigate the viewer’s eye across the canvas providing an avenue to discover one fun spot after another.”

Schlachter is a graduate of The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and The University of the Arts, formerly Philadelphia College of Art. She will be exhibiting approximately 40 acrylic works on canvas in a variety of sizes, all of which were created in the past 15 years.

For artist Patricia Wilson-Schmid, her style spans the range from representational to abstract, based upon her feelings when she views and interprets her subjects. Like her co-exhibitors, color profoundly impacts her work.

“As I paint from my emotions, the act of painting is who I am,” she says in her artist’s statement. “It is a line, a color, a shape, or an effect of light that inspires me. My spirit than directs me through the painting. Time embellishes my approach. In the end the paintings and I have traveled through much effort and feeling. Color is the vehicle by which I express my feelings. It is a part of who I am.”

Wilson-Schmid enjoys working in oil, watercolor, acrylic and pastels and has been painting since 1962. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Penn State University and has taken post-graduate courses at Temple University, Lehigh University, Penn State University, Samuel S. Fleisher Art Institute and Montgomery County Community College. She has exhibited her work at various galleries and shows throughout the tri-state area, as well as in juried international online exhibitions hosted by Upstream People Gallery.

The show is free and open to the public. Gallery hours are Mon.-Thurs., 8 a.m.-9:30 p.m. and Fri. 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. For more information about the exhibit or the gallery, contact MCCC Galleries Director Holly Cairns at 215-619-7349 or hcairns@mc3.edu.

For the more information about upcoming exhibits and activities, like our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/DestinationArts, and visit our website at mc3.edu/arts/fine-arts.

Help support the arts and art education programs at Montgomery County Community College by becoming a Friend of the Galleries. Donations are tax deductible. For more information, contact the College Foundation at 215-641-6535.





By Marvin Marcellus

Montgazette Staff Writer

“Sunday Best” is a gospel singing competition series which airs on Black Entertainment Television, best known as BET. Each year for the past seven years, the show and its judges have set out to find the best undiscovered gospel talent in America.

The show’s finalists compete each week with votes coming in from all over America until a winner is crowned. Current judges of the competition are gospel greats Yolanda Adams, Kierra Sheard and Donnie McClurkin. Gospel singer Kim Burrell serves as the contestants’ mentor, and the program is hosted by another gospel legend Kirk Franklin.

In the spring, at Reid Temple A.M.E. Church, hundreds of young hopefuls prepared to try and impress the first round judges. In the audition room, the judges made their decision within 15 seconds of hearing a contestant sing. Among those hopefuls waiting to be called into the audition room was Montco’s own Candace Benson, who had just recently celebrated her 22nd birthday. She entered the audition room surrounded by about a dozen other contestants and sang “Take Me To The King” by Tamela Mann. The once shy girl from Pottstown let her spirit shine through and won over the judges.

Over the summer, Candace had a successful run on the show moving on each week until the finale where she finished as runner-up in a hard fought, but friendly contest between herself and finalist Geoffrey Golden.

Candace is continuing her studies here at Montco majoring in music. I got a chance to catch up with Candace for a brief interview about her experience on a nationally televised show.

MM: What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve had to face this year with the show or in your life? I know your schedule has probably gotten a lot busier since the show.

CB: Yes it has! One challenge I had was just having the confidence to believe in myself and stay focused on my goals. My parents always say “Okay Candace, do you want that or do you want this music career that you’ve pretty much worked all your whole life towards?” So I just had to believe in myself in the midst of all of that. Second, I had to believe that I actually had what it takes. Like is my music good?

MM: Nice.

CB: People are inspired through my music and you know you have to believe in that, too. Also I can’t really depend on people’s accolades, I just have to go forth and do what I need to do. Third my shyness; I don’t have too much of a shyness now.

MM: It’s kind of been broken out of you now, right?

CB: Yea, when it comes to music, I’m like “okay, this is it, bam!” I’m learning how to control the shyness. The show “Sunday Best” definitely helped me to grow stronger. I’m definitely stronger. 2014 has definitely been a pivotal year for me. Everything that’s happened has helped me to focus on my musical path.

MM: Anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

CB: Montco definitely prepared me for the show because not only am I taking classes in music, but I’m taking classes in audio production. So when I got on the show, I wasn’t shocked by the lights and the production. My professors really prepared me, and I felt right at home on the set. I encourage students and really anyone to get educated in whatever field you’re in because it really opens up another world to you that you might not get if you don’t do it.


By Thomas Kraft

Montgazette Staff Writer

Candace Benson is a regular 22-year-old music student here at Montgomery County Community College, but one thing makes her stand out: her voice.

Candace has become a local and national celebrity in recent months due to her performances on the BET program, “Sunday Best.” “Sunday Best” is a performance-based competition in which young, talented singers battle it out each week singing Gospel songs.

I got a chance to sit down with Candace, and she discussed her music and what she thinks the future holds for her.

Recently, Candace was interviewed for “MCCC on the Air” by Michelle Cuomo, Dean of the Arts and Humanities Division of Montgomery County Community College, and Candace spoke about her lifelong love of music. Candace said, “I have been singing all of my life. My musical career actually started at the age of four, and my mom would probably say before that because she said she knew, for some reason, that I was going to be a singer.”

Candace went on to explain that she started playing the piano at age four or five. So, Candace isn’t new to the music industry and the support of her parents gave her confidence.

Candace recalled a conversation that she had with her mom about singing, “…and I’m like mom, I don’t really want to sing, I don’t want to be a singer and then she was like no, I think you want to be a singer, so this is what you need to do and this is how you’re going to do it.”

Candace appreciates her parents’ guidance and says without her parents’ motivation toward her singing career she may have not embraced the God-given talent for singing.

Candace explained that God is the first source of inspiration that she looks to before she goes on stage, “I just really couldn’t do it without Him.” Candace prays every time before she sings to get strength to perform to her best ability. Gospel music is her favorite type of music.

So, when Candace went to “Sunday Best,” it was nerve-wracking for her to sing in front of a group of highly esteemed judges in the gospel music industry, including Kierra Sheard, Donnie McClurkin, and Kim Burrell. She was, however, able to succeed in the competition and moved through the stages to the season finale of the show. Candace made it all the way to the Top 2 on “Sunday Best.”

Many from the Montgomery County Community College community rooted for Candace. She says, “I couldn’t go in with the mentality that I was going to win, but as the numbers got smaller your hunger really grew, your passion really grew, and it really dawned on you why you were there.” The contestants grew closer to one another.

After “Sunday Best,” Candace sees herself in the years to come, “making hit albums, touring, singing to sold-out shows and sharing the message that I carry, which is the love of Jesus Christ. You know, Jesus is really cool.”

“Through my music and the way that I approach things, people will see that Jesus really loves people.”

After meeting Candace and listening to her sing, it is safe to say the sky is the limit for this talented, young, beautiful woman. So, next time you see her around campus, stop and say hello. She will certainly talk back and share her love of music.

If you are interested in booking Candace, you can e-mail her at candacebensonbookings@ gmail.com or you can go to her official website at www. candacebensonmusic.com. For Instagram or Twitter users, you can follow Candace at @candacesb7.

By Dave Aston

Montgazette Editor

To the Editor:

Oh, wait. That’s me.

Hi. I’m Dave Aston. Editor of Montgomery County Community College’s The Montgazette and Mass Media Industries Blog. I just started my third year here at Montco, and I am elated and honored to hold these prestigious and important positions.

I’ve been a writer for years. Mostly short stories and novels. Right after starting my journey at this amazing institution, I had one of my COM100 articles printed in The Montgazette. The first thought that went through my head was, “What? Me?” Yes. Me. Like some of you, I felt journalism was either not worth my time or was outright political propaganda. At Montco, that’s not the case.

I took a critical look at past The Montgazette articles and the original articles posted on our young Mass Media Industries Blog and found many common threads. The articles were concise, well organized, sourced properly, ethical and, above all, personal. Finding this out spurred me on to be an editor.

The main thrust of The Montgazette is that it focuses on our connections to Montco, its students and its community. The Mass Media Industries Blog takes this idea one step further by zeroing in on the media industries. Movies, TV, Radio, etc.

The most important part of what I have to say is that The Montgazette and the Mass Media Industries Blog are for YOU. They are both here to broadcast YOUR voice. So let it be heard.

By Matt Hawkins

Montgazette Staff Writer

The saying goes “bigger is better” or at least that’s the case for the new iPhone 6. This new phone unlike the other iPhone models come in a much bigger size. Its dimensions are 4.7 inches diagonally, about .7 inches larger than the previous iPhone5, and if that’s not enough, Apple has come out with an even bigger iPhone called the iPhone 6 plus. This iPhone model measures 5.5 inches diagonally; both are very thin and have round edges which makes them kind of slippery.

Some new integrations that the iPhone 6 has is the dual domain pixels which provides wider viewing angles when looking at the screen. With the latest iPhone 6 models, they worked on one of the most popular features the camera. They added a new exposure control that lets you adjust pictures before you take them.

Another new camera feature they added is the optical image stabilization, which is suppose to help you when you move your hand. With so many people relying on the iPhone to take video they added a new cinematic video stabilization, which auto focuses nonstop while the video is recording.

One of the new features that both the iPhone 6 models have is the new Apple Pay. This is a faster, easier, more secure system to paying for things using just your iPhone. You will be able to pay for all sorts of things, perhaps, even tuition if you are a college student, without even waking up your iPhone or having to type in your shipping information. The Internet speed and multi-tasking capability is a lot faster.

Due to the massive size of the new models, Apple has introduced a new feature called “reachability,” which is basically a one-handed remote. This feature makes the display slide down to the bottom to make it easier to reach; however when in that mode, you cannot access the keyboard which makes it kind of useless.

Not so appealing might be when using in landscape both models of the iPhone 6 are nearly impossible to text on because the screen is so big. Compared to the other leading brands of smart phones, the iPhone 6 could have had more to do with the size of the screen, like give it a better zoom feature or stylist pen, but instead, they just made it a bigger screen.

Along with the release of the iPhone 6 and the six plus, comes an even newer device that will support the phone—it’s called the Apple watch. You can use this just like the iPhone 6.

The iPhone 6 plus can still fit into an average-sized pocket, even though it’s almost twice its size from the iPhone 5. Due to the style and thinness of the newly designed IPhone 6 models, it makes them more fragile and, quite frankly, a bit slippery.

Bottom line, there are some neat new features, which are great ideas and neat innovations, but it also creates a few glitches as well. You can have the latest and greatest device out there, but is it really that great? You decide.

By Kevin LaTorre

Montgazette Staff Writer

It was a great day for a soccer game as the Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) Mustangs tied the Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC) Eagles 1-1 on Sept. 9 at Central Campus in Blue Bell, Pa. The weather was comfortable, cloudy, and windy at times, which turned out to be perfect weather for a soccer game.

MCCC looked to have their third conference win as they finished their fifth game in seven days. Coaching for MCCC in his second year, was Obed Arango. Key starters for MCCC were Sophomore Jeremiah Garcia, Sophomore Austin Messner, Sophomore Sebastian DeRosa, Freshmen and leading goal scorer for MCCC, David Massanga. In net for MCCC was Freshman Andrew Toro.

MCCC took the first tap of the game as they had a great start by getting the first shot on net in the first minute. The pressure continued for the as they earned two corner kicks fifteen minutes later. HACC made the first substitution in the 20th minute. MCCC continued to dominate possession, however; the HACC took advantage to have fresh legs most of the first half and substituted whenever needed, which proved to be a positive as HACC capitalized on a penalty kick in the 36th minute. Sebastian DeRosa committed the foul in the box and gave the Eagles a 1-0 lead going into the half. Freshman Goalkeeper Andrew Toro made stellar saves to keep the game at 1-0.

“I wasn’t happy with the team’s effort with sloppy passing and communication,” Arango said, “We need to do a better job of passing the ball on the ground to open more space on the wings.”

A more dominate second half for MCCC offense as they continued to pressure the ball against HACC defense. A corner kick was earned by MCCC in the 83rd minute, as Freshman Felipe Silva took the corner kick placing a perfect ball and Freshman David Massangna scored on the header to equal the score 1-1. The defense for MCCC let up only three shots during the second half. MCCC almost found a game winner but Massanga missed on a wide open net and Freshman Wilson Gonzalas missed on back to back shots with minutes remaining. The game was forced into overtime.

Overtime consisted of two ten-minute half’s.

In the second overtime, it was HACC who had the best chance to win the game as a shot from inside the eighteen ringed off the crossbar with minutes remaining. The game ended in a 1-1 tie in double overtime.


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