Archive for April, 2015

by Dave Aston

Montgazette Staff Writer

On Feb. 17, 2015, Montgomer y County Community College President Dr. Karen A. Stout announced she will be leaving after nearly 15 years of leadership.

Dr. Stout took on the task of leading Montco in January 2001, inheriting a college with massive growth potential. In her tenure, many monumental changes have been realized. The Culinary Arts Institute opened in 2013. The Advanced Technology Center is a communication and technology hub not just for students but professional organizations. Among them, Comcast, which records its Comcast Newsmakers in the ATC’s television studio. West Campus, indeed Montco as a whole, is seeing a yearly rise in enrollment.

Dr. Stout’s initiatives have positioned Montco as one of the leading colleges on the national stage, inspiring its students and instructors to achieve their dreams. In recent years, Montco has produced gospel singer Candace Benson, who placed second in BET’s Sunday Best competition and Instructor and Chef Steve Latona, who won CNBC’s “Restaurant Startup.” Most recently, staff writers of The Montgazette received honors from the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association Collegiate Keystone Awards.

Many students, whether here at Montco for years or just a few semesters, shared their thoughts about Dr. Stout and her impact on this college and its students.

Tyler Emel, a member of The Audio Producers club, is “pretty sad.” He loves how she goes out of her way to acknowledge every student “as a student.” Emel says Dr. Stout’s willingness to interact makes him love Montco that much more. “No one is beneath her.”

Karl Kirshner, a communications student who has been here for nearly five years, loves how she helps with funding the college by voicing her opinions to keep Montco moving forward.

“I wish she’d stay,” Kirshner laments. He wonders what will happen after Dr. Stout leaves because she’s taken the college “pretty far.”

Dylan Joyce echoed Kirshner’s cautiousness. He has heard great things about how the President got Montco to where it is. He is most curious to see what does when she “steps up” to head Achieving the Dream.

Summer Smith, who first met Dr. Stout through the Bucknell Community College Scholars Program, feels the nostalgia already. “She is very friendly [and] she is very relatable,” she says of Montco’s President. Smith has noticed that “so much has changed” under Stout’s leadership.

“Just seeing what she’s done here…means she is going to be able to help many more people on a much wider scale. It’s great,” Smith says.

Dr. Karen Stout has changed not just Montgomery County Community College, she has changed and touched its students and its community. Now, she gets to touch a country by focusing its attention on supporting, funding and growing community colleges from coast to coast. With what Dr. Stout has helped build, current and future students will be able to achieve their dreams.


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by Dave Aston

The Montgazette Editor

Life turns on a dime.

It’s an old idiom but an apt one for the changes facing Montgomer y County Community College and The Montgazette. In February, MCCC President Dr. Karen Stout announced she will be leaving. This month, The Montgazette introduces its first articles from the Culinar y Ar ts Institute and the first full semester of USA Today’s The Buzz: MCCC app, the digital home of The Montgazette.

When I attended classes for the first time back in 2000, Montco was very different. The Advanced Technology Center was an empty field. The Science Center wasn’t the hub of live performances. College Hall and Parkhouse Hall weren’t social watering holes. And the energy among the students was not at the fever itch is now.

I have mixed emotions about Dr. Stout’s depar ture. She has guided Montco through a period of unprecedented growth. Student- run clubs once non-existent now flourish across Central and West campuses. She was instrumental in turning the Culinary Arts Institute from pie-in-the-sky dream to a reality that has recently seen CAI instructor Steve Latona win a national competition.

CAI students also have a burning passion to tell their own stories. This month three articles, the first ever, from CAI students will appear as part of The Montgazette. One will appear in the following pages, the other two will appear on The Buzz: MCCC app by the time you read this.

The Buzz: MCCC app has taken this dynamic paper and put it in the hands of ever yone. This app is solving one of the most critical hurdles student newspapers face. Engagement. Today’s digital and smar tphone technologies give us unprecedented access to information. The Buzz: MCCC app is seeing feedback and increased engagement in the printed editions of The Montgazette.

Not to be totally out-done by Latona’s success, The Montgazette staff writers have also won their own awards. On March 2, the winners of the Student Keystone Press Awards were announced and The Montgazette placed three honorable mentions and a first place finish. Congratulations are extended to John Brink, Chris Calvano and Kevin LaTorre for their honorable mentions for their articles “A Hidden Danger to Athletes,” “Social Club Brings New Horizons to Adults with Asperger’s Syndrome” and “TAP That.”

I don’t like tooting my own horn but I won first place for my “Censorship’s New Battleground” column.

We must face the changes coming to Montco with palpable anticipation and excitement. Dr. Karen Stout helped this college get to the nationally-recognized level it is now. That’s why she’s taking her irreplaceable talents to help all community colleges in the nation by becoming President and CEO of Achieving the Dream.

Let’s show our gratitude for Dr. Stout’s nearly 15 years of hard work and follow her example by making our dreams come alive and our seeing our futures ris

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by Ju-hyun Park

Montgazette Staff Writer

New7Wonders.com is a website campaign to create a democratic list of the newest seven wonders of the world. The newest Seven Wonders of Nature are the Amazon in South America, Ha Long Bay in Vietnam, Iguazu Falls in Argentina/Brazil, Komodo in Indonesia, PP Underground River in Philippines, Table Mountain in South Africa and Jeju Island in South Korea.

The New7Wonders of Nature were decided by over 500 million votes. According to their voting procedure FAQ, “The Official New7Wonders of Nature campaign started in 2007. [It comprised] over 440 participants representing over 220 countries… [who went] through a national qualification and race to become one…of the list of 28 Official Finalist Candidates.”

Jeju Island was named one of the New7Wonders of Nature in 2011 and is the largest island in South Korea. Among many reasons, New7Wonders.com chose it because, “Jejudo is a volcanic island…[that] has a surface area of 1,846 [square kilometers].”

Jeju Island is the most popular place to visit because of the beautiful nature in South Korea. It has beautifully shaped rocks decorating its shores, hundreds of Oreums and rare species of flora and fauna. Government statistics showed that in 2013, over 10 million tourists visited Jeju, approximately 70 percent were domestic visitors. Nowadays, foreign tourism is increasing. As of October 13, 2013, it increased 46.4 percent over the previous year.

Jeju Island’s two great natural symbols Halla Mountain and Dol Hareubang. Hallasan, as it’s called, is a central feature and the tallest mountain in South Korea. Dol Hareubang, or Godfather Stones, is, “Carved out of porous basalt rock [with] bulging eyes, [a] long, flat nose, clenched lips and big hands resting on the belly.”

Ji Sun Cha, a life science major at Montgomery County Community College had some memories about Jeju Island. “I visited Jeju Island when I was young, but I still remember how beautiful it was. You can find the grapeseeds along the roads and feel the sea breeze anywhere in Jeju. I definitely would like to visit again,” she said.

Jeju Island is a great tourist attraction and one of the New7Wonders so anyone can experience its beautiful nature and symbols at the same time.

(photo)Jeju Island:Ju-hyun Park

(Jeju Island in South Korea is one of the new seven wonders of the world according to a vote held on new7wonders.com in 2011. Photo Courtesy of new7wonders.com.)

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by Kevin Ford

Montgazette Staff Writer

POWER, or Partnership on Work Enrichment and Readiness, is an educational program for individuals in mental health recovery. Those who qualify and complete the program, receive two college credits for free.

The POWER program is aimed at giving people diagnosed with a mental illness and in stages of recovery a chance to enter college without judgment. Students are helped with time management, balancing school, work life, successful college study skills, presentation skills and other skills needed to continue with their education or enter the work field.

The more specific aspects of the program include teaching professional and life skills such as resume writing, mock interviews, decision-making, goal-setting and health and wellness training. Graduates of the POWER program who decide to continue their education at Montgomery County Community College can enroll in POWER Plus, a class that meets weekly to continue helping students to achieve academic success.

According to Diane Haar, POWER Program Director, the program started in 2006. Haar said the program began because Montgomery County’s Behavioral Health system and Montgomery County Community College wanted to create a program that reinforced the recovery model of mental health. POWER Program Coordinator Lisa Barbiero said the program is funded by the Montgomery County Office of Mental Health and also relies on some private funding. This allowed the POWER program to evolve from a non-credited class to a two-credit course, called Strategies for College Success 101.

The program has just added to their staff Tarsha Scovens as the employment specialist. Scovens teaches on Tuesdays to help POWER students gain employment by learning how to write a resume, learning how to interview for jobs and internships and developing presentation skills. The program also works with students who may have a criminal background or who have begun recovery from or who have just been diagnosed with a mental illness.

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by Meghan Doheny

Mongazette Staff Writer

Living in the 21st century some may feel that there is zero privacy. We are surrounded by limitless technology at our fingertips and the eyes of social media records our every move. However, one of the biggest social media sites may be making things a little easier for us.

According to Alyssa Newcomb of “Good Morning America,” Facebook has come up with a new privacy policy. She said that Facebook’s previous privacy policy was a lengthy 9,000 words. Now, Facebook’s privacy policy is less than one-third of the original size.

Facebook’s privacy policy says Facebook knows where you are. According to Newcomb’s report, “Advertisements were previously served based on the location listed in a user’s profile. However, Facebook recently began letting advertisers target users based on their actual location.”

The updated privacy policy also allows the ability to purchase items right on a Facebook page. A button is installed right on the social media site to allow users to purchase their favorite items without leaving the site.

A crucial piece of the privacy policy update with Facebook is the privacy portal. The privacy portal is a user-friendly way of asking questions and getting help in a quick and timely manner. It is also used for people who want to keep track of who sees their profile and how often people interact with them. The privacy portal can be adjusted whenever a Facebook user feels the need to make changes.

In an interview with Katelyn Kucher a radiology program student at Montgomery County Community College, I asked her thoughts about the three major changes of the Facebook privacy policy. “I do have a Facebook [account] and if Facebook is trying to update their policy to make it more private, I don’t see anything wrong with it.”

Kucher’s response to the ability to purchase items on Facebook wasn’t as positive. “I like the idea, however, I don’t think it’ll be a huge success. There are people who are literally married to their online shopping sites and I just can’t picture this button being a success.”

When it came to the privacy portal, she said, “The privacy portal seems like a necessity whether or not [you’re] a new or an old Facebook user. I’d use it and I’ve had Facebook for 5 years.”

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by Sean Callaghan

Montgazette Staff Writer

Disneyland, a place “Where Dreams Come True,” is about to celebrate its 60th Anniversary. Hardly the place from which one would expect a controversy to enter the national spotlight. However, from Walt Disney’s original theme park in Anaheim, California, emerged a national story: The first significant reemergence of measles in the United States. A disease that was thought to have been all but eradicated over 15 years ago.

How did this long-in-exile disease return?

About 125 cases have emerged in the United States since the first Anaheim cases were diagnosed in December 2014. Locally, less than a handful of cases have been seen in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware combined.

Globally, however, the disease has been far more deadly than many may have thought. According to the World Health Organization, 145,700 people died of measles in 2013. That is approximately 400 deaths per day and most of these deaths were children under the age of five.

The first thing to know about measles is how it came to be reclassified as of ficially eliminated in the U.S. just as the twentieth century ended. The answer lies in the measles vaccine that finished development in 1963 and was subsequently used for the ongoing prevention of the disease.

The controversy that has arisen is the belief that chemicals in vaccines cause autism in young children. This view comes from a 1998 article in the United Kingdom Medical Journal, “The Lancet,” by Dr. Andrew Wakefield. The claim in Wakefield’s article turned out to be fraudulent. Never theless, the idea spread many concerned parents have refused to vaccinate their children based partly on Wakefiled’s article and a distrust of major pharmaceutical companies.

When the outbreak came to Disneyland, there was no “herd immunity” to stop it. Herd immunity is a situation where a sufficient percentage of the population has been vaccinated to prevent the spread of a disease. In the Disneyland case, the majority of those infected had not been vaccinated.

Although it is too early to tell, the situation has been less urgent outside of California. Caroline Johnson, disease-control director of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, says the city is unlikely to see a major outbreak of measles because its children are 95.9 percent vaccinated. While lower rates are in the rest of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, both are considered largely safe.

According to the Montgomery County Community College website, colleges throughout the country are encouraged to monitor for any disease outbreaks on their campuses.

For more information, visit: mymccc.mc3.edu/ allcampusresources/fa/ Pages/pandemic.aspx

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by Michelle Kim

Montgazette Staff Writer

Social networking sites are drawing countless numbers of people on the Internet. Social networking, better known as social media, is a series of internet-based systems that allow members to communicate electronically with others.

It is a great way to make new connections or keep old ones while continuously staying updated with anything anyone is doing. Since it is generally cost-free and open at any time, social media welcomes just about everyone. So, especially in the 21st century, where media is omnipresent, social media attracts especially large numbers of college students to use them.

Facebook, for instance, is considered an everyday activity for undergraduates of college. More than 80 percent of undergraduates reported that Facebook was part of their everyday activity.

Facebook has a very easy sign-up process with very little information required. It is popular today because it grants nearly unlimited access and provides social benefits. But most importantly, it allows mobile access through cell phone applications.

Ji Young Oh, a sophomore at Temple University, says, “I can contact my friends and family overseas for free because of social media.”

Joon Kim, a sophomore at Montgomer y Community College, says, “…Social media became part of my life just a little because many of my friends and family use it to share information through it.”

According to Addiction Research and Theory by Informa, college students’ flexible time scheduling and free access has led to an increasing investment of resources on Internet-related activities, a feeling of anxiety when off-line, an increasing tolerance to the effects of being online and denial of the problematic behaviors.

The addiction of social media can affect both body and mind health negatively. So, being aware of the addiction to social media and limiting the habit only for productive use is important.

Keeping up with important news, checking on family members and sharing information is great but perhaps best, like everything else, if used in moderation.

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