Archive for November, 2009

By Jeremy Hubsher, Montco Radio


“3 Balloons” on What Are Records? is the new studio album in quite some time from singer/comedian Stephen Lynch, who the record label bills as “everybody’s favorite musician trapped in the body of a comedian.”

Gone are the smoky comedy clubs; Lynch traded them in for recording booth and Pro Tools. That means it’s going to take some time to get used the album’s polished sound.

Normally, a Stephen Lynch album consists of him and his guitar recorded before a live audience. That’s because humor is a shared experience, and those other works had me laughing right along with the crowd. This time, the tracks are a little larger in scale with a full band supporting Lynch’s comedy.

Nevertheless, “3 Balloons” is hilarious from start to finish. And it’s more mature. Lynch relies a lot less on “cringy humor.” Yes, “the cringe factor” is there, but in smaller doses. They arrive via four, short (less than a minute), tracks. By the time I groaned, and said “that’s not right,” the track was over.

Lynch’s voice sounds excellent, as usual. His songs could be considered sweet folk ballads — if only it wasn’t for the fact that he’s singing about drug-smuggling, a woman’s pubic hair and waiting for the results of an HIV test.

This could be Lynch’s funniest album yet, and I cannot recommend “3 Balloons” enough. But be warned: he does curse a little and the album is for a mature audience that’s not easily offended.


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By Renee Bergandino, Editor-in-Chief


Here we are again! Fall has officially arrived and we begin our journey to the holiday seasons in November and December.  It always amazes me at how fast time flies.

In this issue of The Montgazette, there is a special trend in the stories–one of reaching out to help students achieve their goals. For example, the issue features the Faculty/Staff Annual Giving Campaign, which helps to provide scholarships to students.

And as always, our students make us proud. The ever-wonderful College Choir had a stellar performance at the Phillies game with hundreds of MCCC students, faculty and family at the game to show their support.

As we move along into November, I believe the we become more aware of the kinds of turmoil the world faces.  During the week before Thanksgiving, a number of schools, communities and cities take part in a nationwide effort to bring greater awareness to the problems of hunger and homelessness, which is why November has been deemed Hunger and Homelessness month.  Montgomery County Community College is no stranger when it comes to helping and being active.

I believe that our family at MCCC is very supportive to these concerns, and during the month of November, you will see many clubs and organizations get involved.  Not only will the school be holding a canned food drive, but other student groups will get involved as well, such as the Medical Assisting Club’s annual coat drive.

I believe that every little bit counts, and I am positive that I am not the only one who believes that.

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By Evan Kravitz, Staff Writer

It’s a creative way to help fight HIV and AIDS, and also a way to promote safe sex.

Students from Montgomery County Community College are invited to design a condom wrapper based on the theme of “HIV awareness, care and support.”

The deadline to enter the “Custom Condom Design Art Contest” is Nov. 15; students can submit more than one design.

Voting takes place during the county’s observance of “World AIDS Day” on Dec. 1 at the county Health Department’s Health and Human Services Center in Norristown.

The winning design will be announced Feb. 14, which apart from being Valentine’s Day is also “National Condom Day.”

The prize: 25 condoms packaged in the winning artist’s wrapper. Another 1,000 condoms will be distributed to students.

Besides the contest, the Health Department and Project Hope will also host and display the “Names Project AIDS Quilt” from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the “Worlds AIDS Day” commemoration. Additionally, the department will also conduct free and rapid HIV testing and HIV and AIDS awareness programs.

Shaista Ajaz, the Health Department’s HIV/STD supervisor, said the contest is unique in that it informs young people about the risks of practicing unsafe sex.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an individual infected with a sexually transmitted disease is at least two to five times more likely to acquire an HIV infection through sexual contact than an individual not infected with an STD.

For more information on the contest or HIV or AIDS prevention, contact the Montgomery County Health Department at 610-278-5117.

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By Emmanuella Jean-Ulysse, Staff Writer


We’ve all heard the bad news: consumer spending is down, the housing market has yet to hit bottom and the labor market has deteriorated.

But if one looks hard enough, one could find something positive amid the harsh economic news, according to Dr. James Diffley, an economist at Global Insight who lectured at Montgomery County Community College on Oct. 21.

In his talk, Dr. Diffley explained that education and health services were areas that have yet to be affected by the economy.

His lecture primarily focused on the changing economy of Pennsylvania and Montgomery County.

At Global Insight, Dr. Diffley assumes overall responsibility for U.S. regional services, including the Global Insight Real Estate and Construction Service, which provides detailed residential real estate forecasts for all states and 300 metropolitan regions.

The lecture, titled “The Economic Outlook After the Great Recession,” covered topics such as the job market, healthcare benefits and the housing market.

The college’s Business and Computer Science division sponsored the lecture series.

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Submitted by MCCC New Choices Program


Montgomery County Community College is working to increase the public’s awareness of domestic violence.

Through a grant from the Verizon Foundation, the college has partnered with Laurel House, a local women’s shelter, and the Women’s Center of Montgomery County, which offers counseling to domestic violence victims, to offer domestic violence awareness workshops. The college’s New Choices staff is working with Minna Davis of Laurel House and Janine Kelly and Kristine Wickward of the Women’s Center to bring the programs to the college.

The workshops are held on a Wednesday each month throughout the academic year from 12:15 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in ATC 101 on the Central Campus and the same time in South Hall 220 on the West Campus. The workshops that remain for the academic year:


·      Impact of Domestic Violence on Children:  Nov. 18, Central; Dec. 2, West

·      Domestic Violence in the Healthcare Setting:  Jan. 27, Central; Feb. 7, West

·      Domestic Violence & Law Enforcement:  Feb. 17, Central; Mar. 3, West

·      Dating Violence Awareness & Internet Dating Safety:  March 24, Central; April 7, West


The workshops held in September and October drew students and staff from both campuses.  Faculty from the Criminal Justice and Human Services programs encouraged student attendance to add a real-life component to their understanding of the presence of domestic violence in their college and community.

New Choices Director Nancy Mellon said she hoped that faculty from all disciplines would take advantage of these presentations, and find a way to weave the material into their programs.

Additionally, the three organizations are using the grant to provide weekly drop-in support groups for students who have experienced domestic violence. The support groups provide a safe place to explore the dynamics of abuse, to learn how to build trusting relationships and to connect with other students experiencing abuse. Facilitated by staff from Laurel House and the Women’s Center, the support groups are held every Wednesday from 12:15 p.m. to 1:20 p.m. on the Central Campus in ATC 107; on the West Campus, South Hall 115. Please contact Nancy Mellon at nmellon@mc3.edu or 215-619-7390 prior to dropping in to ensure that the groups are running on a given Wednesday.

Future plans include a “Professional Day” for clinicians, counselors and educators from area organizations and agencies.  The program is designed to enhance the participants’ ability to screen for domestic violence, recognize obstacles to providing service and to identify local and national resources for support and intervention.

Brochures and fliers are posted around campus with a complete listing of upcoming workshop topics and dates.  For more details, email Nancy Mellon at nmellon@mc3.edu or call 215-619-7390.

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By Kevin Devine, Staff Writer

I’ve come to notice two things while walking on campus: it’s getting cold and there are cigarette butts everywhere!

There are signs and a policy promoting a “Clean Air Zone” on campus, but there are too many people who – judging by the butts – ignore it.

“Students, employees, independent contractors and visitors” aren’t allowed to smoke on campus, the policy states.

But as early as 8 a.m., the time when I drag my feet to my political science class with a coffee in hand, my heavy morning eyes spot several students near a set of bushes gathering to smoke.

And on my way to the library I pass far too many students with cigarettes in hand. They are walking quickly, looking out for the security guards.

Noticing so many people smoking on campus prompts me to ask one question: why don’t we create a designated area for campus smokers?

The only reason why students are smoking all over campus is because they have nowhere else to go.

Personally, I think smoking is gross, but I also think that saying “no” to smokers would do nothing to stop their habit. Look at Prohibition. Did everyone stop drinking alcohol?

Prohibiting smoking only means finding butts scattered all over a campus that’s supposed to be “going green.”

In an interview, engineering technology major Michael Stadnycki said a smoking area would also benefit non-smokers because they would know which area to avoid.

“They should have a designated area because a lot of the students don’t want to be around it on campus. I can’t say much because I smoke once in awhile, but I do it in the parking lot.”        Sophomore Pete Schmidley added: “While I don’t smoke, I do believe they should have an area for smokers because students are already smoking on campus anyway.”

So what have we learned? No matter how many times you say “put down that cigarette!” no one is going to listen. The best thing to do is to set up a spot on campus where students can smoke. If you don’t like to breathe the smoke, then don’t visit the area. I promise you that you won’t see me there.

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By Shauna Gallagher

With the recession on everyone’s mind, the “Faculty Staff Annual Giving Campaign Kick-Off” on Sept. 30 was needed more than ever.

The event helped raise money for the Montgomery County Community College Foundation, which provides scholarships and emergency loans.

Student Donna Kelp recalled how an emergency loan helped her buy a chef’s uniform and shoes for her culinary arts program.

The mother of seven had been attending classes at the college’s West Campus but her financial aid package hadn’t yet arrived. She credited the loan with getting her one step closer to becoming a pastry chef.

Stories like Kelp’s are far too common, according to college administrators.

Even the Student Government Association president has her own story of dealing with challenges. At the fundraiser, Patricia O’ Malley expressed her one-time dream of becoming a professional dancer.

“My aspirations were cut short when my mother was diagnosed with a brain tumor,” O’Malley shared, adding that she decided to attend the college and major in biology. She said she found her decision to be very rewarding, adding she appreciated the foundation’s work helping students.

Dr. Kathrine Swanson, the vice president of enrollment management and strategic initiatives, spoke on behalf of college President Dr. Karen Stout.

“I have experienced every day, students at risk of not being able to continue their education,” Swanson said.

Debra Khateeb, the executive director of foundation relations, organized the kick-off along with Terri Goertel, prospect researcher and database developer, and Shirley Suder, the college foundation’s administrative assistant.

Last year, about 43 percent of full-time faculty had contributed to the fund. Of that number, there were 243 people whose donations totaled more than $38,000.

Annual Giving pic by Dennis

Annual Giving Campaign Kick- Off

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