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International Night (2)

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by Sara Wilkerson
The Montgazette Editor-In-Chief

Everyone has that one defining moment or period in their lives that always sticks in the back of their minds as the greatest (or worst) time they’ve ever had in their life. For me, my defining period was a life changing summer program I was in last summer. Last summer, I was one of six Montgomery County Community College students who participated in the Bucknell Community College Scholars Program, or BCCSP, where during an eventful summer I got to know twenty-six individuals who have changed my life for the better.
BCCSP was formed in 2007 as an initiative to integrate highachieving community college students into a four-year institution through a six-week program of intense academic rigor and numerous social engagements. After the end of the program, if students decide to transfer to Bucknell University upon completing their Associate degree, they receive a full tuition scholarship to finish their undergraduate degree.
The six weeks I was in the program changed my outlook on my academics, my social life and myself. I don’t normally have much trouble academically. However, I admittedly felt overwhelmed by the intensity and volume of work by taking two classes in a six-week period. I wasn’t the only one.
Mickey Arce, a student from Lehigh Carbon Community College (LCCC), spoke about the program’s academics. “This is academic boot camp… I needed to quickly rethink my current studying techniques… Adaptability and time management was key to my success in this program.”
Likewise, Aldaine Alphonse, also from LCCC, spoke about her academic challenges saying, “… English is my third language, it took me twice the time of a native speaker to organize my thoughts and put it on [an academic] paper.”
Socially speaking, the program is reliant on the students becoming close to one another. As Barb Thiel from Community College of Philadelphia (CCP) put it, “The social aspects are as intensive as the academics… You will learn things about others that will make you want to be a better person, and others in turn will want to be better for knowing you.”
For most of my life, I have been searching for a group of friends to call my own “fam.” Through the highs of the weekend excursions and the vulnerable lows of sitting in circles and getting to know each other deeply, I am proud to say that I became part of a family with my fellow cohort members. It is through BCCSP that I’ve become a stronger scholar, more outgoing, and more reflective on experiences that I live through.
Alexa Eddy, another CCP student, explained the impact of being in BBCSP: “I found myself and became much more confident with expressing myself and being myself because of it! Bucknell was the best experience of my life!”
I couldn’t say it better myself. BCCSP is a life-changing program where students are given the chance to discover not only new challenges, but also to discover themselves, in one unforgettable summer at a prestigious university.
To find out more information about BCCSP and how to apply, contact the College’s liaison, Kristin Fulmer, via kfulmer@mc3.edu.

 

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Bucknell University’s 2017 Commumity College Scholars ~Photo by Rylan Good

 

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The Writers’ Club is having its spring coffeehouse featuring local Montco poet Grant Clauser. The event will start at 12:45 PM in Science Center 214 on MC3’s Central Campus. Free refreshments provided. All members of the MCCC community welcome!

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Photos by Justin Patrick Oakes

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From the Editor

Sara Wilkerson
The Montgazette Editor-In-Chief

You’re walking to your next class. There’s whispers about,
And you take your earbuds out,
Out the corner of the hallway, you hear
its name:
That Dreaded Finals Week.

You feel as if Finals Week is following on you,
Watching your every move, every Blackboard update.
You get down on all fours and break into
A sprint
But it’s gaining on you!
That Dreaded Finals Week.

You’re looking for an escape,
You look for anything to distract you
From it
Netflix, Hulu, the latest season of Stranger Things
Nothing works, because you cannot escape That Dreaded Finals Week.

Your English professor tells you the deadlines
Proposals, Bibliographies, Revisions
They all scare you, intimidate you.
Your English professor tells you to relax
But you know you can’t, and it’s all because of
That Dreaded Finals Week.
Running for your life
(That Dreaded Finals Week)
It’s taking over your social life
(That Dreaded Finals Week)
Lurking in the shadows
That incoming disaster
(Oh no, you guessed it!)
It’s That Dreaded Finals Week.

Now it’s Christmas time, the end of the semester
And you seem to have lost your wits
You acknowledge that the end was nigh
Finally you can relax
And enjoy Stranger Things in peace…

But alas! You check your email
The deadline for Spring registration
Is fast approaching!
Payments are due!
Oh, what to do?

Running to your laptop
(It’s off, off all the time)
It boots back to life!
(It’s usually off, off all the time … Except for Netflix)
Getting that registration
In at the last minute

Alas! You beat the clock!
Let the next semester begin!
Celebrating like crazy
Pumped fists in the air
No worry, no shame
Oh, what a great feeling
You were hammered for time
Yet got it done
Like a boss.

But alas! Another problem!
Winter is coming
(Sorry, not Game of Thrones sadly)
And going
The Spring Semester comes
Before you know!

Mad rush to the bookstore
And Amazon of course!
Getting those textbooks
(So not looking forward to that!)
Hundreds of dollars, poof! Disappear!
A magician’s best work
Comes at the hands of business folk

You marvel “Wow I’m broke”
But don’t worry, that’s ok.
You know the true goal is in sight.

That shiny new Associate’s
Will bow down before you
Greeting your future
And guiding you to success.


I know that the end of the semester can be tough, and that temptations to not do your work seem tempting. And I know that important deadlines like registering for next semester can be easy to miss when focusing on the end of the semester. Yet, I just want to tell you, the students of MCCC, that now is not the time to slack off.

Believe me, wishing that we can skip past finals week and can sleep in for nearly a month seems great to do. Yet, that’s just counterproductive. Wishing for something to happen is all that it’ll ever be: a wish. To make the dream of relaxing during the holidays a reality, you must put in the work. Work to finish those remaining assignments, work to finish all of your final exams, register for the classes you want (before they fill up), and before you know it, the semesters will fly by, and you’ll be prepared to walk off campus as a college graduate.

Finish the end of this semester strong. Don’t slack off; you can do this!

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by Sara Wilkerson
The Montgazette Editor-In-Chief

“Science can not grow, science can not proceed, science can not pursue, science can’t answer the questions… [it] seeks to answer without the diversity of thought. That’s what makes it [science] work. We need diversity of thought from everywhere to contribute so we can solve the questions we have about the Universe.” – Derrick Pitts, Astronomer

This November Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) hosted its Ninth Annual Presidential Symposium featuring keynote speaker Derrick Pitts. Pitts currently serves as the Chief Astronomer and Director of the Fels Planetarium at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia.

Pitts’ career began at the Franklin Institute after he graduated from St. Lawrence University. Over the span of his prolific career, Pitts has held many positions, including the United States spokesperson for the International Year of Astronomy in 2009, and in 2011 was named a Solar System Ambassador for NASA. Pitts has won numerous awards including a Distinguished Alumni award from St. Lawrence University and an honorary Doctorate of Science from La Salle University.

At the start of the Presidential Symposium, a performance from the MCCC Choir featured a rendition of David Bowe’s “Space Odyssey.” Following the performance, Pitts started his speech with introductory remarks on how he became interested in science.

Pitts explained that his interest in science stemmed from seeing acclaimed astronomers like John Glenn and Carl Sagan on TV as a child. Their TV appearances, combined with his innate scientific curiosity growing up, are what led him to pursue astronomy as an area of study in college.

Thanks to Pitts’ current position at the Franklin Institute, Pitts said that he makes it his mission to inspire other future scientists by speaking at academic institutions and making media appearances on TV. By inspiring others, he explained that the scientific community can benefit from having more scientists explore the ways of the Universe.

Additionally Pitts emphasized that the diversity of scientists is what truly matters for future discoveries in the Universe. He said that while the scientific field has made progress in making the field more diverse, there still needs to be even more representation of scientists in the field who are women, and who are representative of various races and ethnicities.

After Pitts finished his ending remarks on life in the Universe, he took questions from audience members. When asked about what advice he’d give to college students looking to find their passion, Pitts advises students to, “Free [themselves] of [a] schedule… number one. Don’t impose that on yourself and make that a restriction that keeps you… [and] that forces you to do something you don’t want to do, and take some time to explore what it is that you like to do…. It’s not about just having the education just to have the education, it’s about doing something you love to do.”

To find out more about Derrick Pitts, his career and his latest achievements, visit the Franklin Institute’s website via http://www.fi.edu.

 

Ilisco_MCCC Choir

MCCC’s Choir performs David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” led by Music Associate Professor, Andrew Kosciesza, at the start of this Fall’s Presidential Symposium. ~Photo by Erin Ilisco

 

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Derrick Pitts discusses the diversity and complexities of the universe as keynote speaker. ~Photo by Erin Ilisco

 

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MCCC President, Dr. Kevin Pollock, chats with the audience at the 2017 Presidential Symposium. ~Photo by Erin Ilisco

 

Ilisco_Opening Remarks of Symposium

Rose Makofske, MCCC Director of Equity/Diversity Initiatives, presents opening remarks at the MCCC 2017 Presidential Symposium. ~Photo by Erin Ilisco

 

 

 

 

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