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Archive for the ‘Higher Education’ Category

Sara Wilkerson
The Montgazette Editor-in-Chief

New Academic Year, New Beginnings…

Whether it’s your first or second (or even beyond that) year here at Montgomery County Community College (MCCC), the start of a new year can be daunting. The adjustment of getting a new routine set around classes, clubs, work in part time or full time jobs, family, friends… it can be a challenging experience to overcome. With these obligations, it can be easy to just say to yourself, “I want to give up.”

And I’m here to tell you this: You’re better than that.

I know that for me, I’m no exception to the challenge of college life and responsibilities. In addition to managing The Montgazette, I am involved in five other clubs: I’m a member of the Honors Club and Chess Club, I am a member of the Arts and Literature Magazine staff, I am the President of the Writer’s Club and I recently became the Phi Theta Kappa Public Relations Officer. Aside from clubs, I also have a part time job and have a full semester course load of five classes, with one of them being an honors course.

It is safe to say that I, along with many other student leaders on campus, can find the balancing act to be overwhelming. Yet, even as I say this, I’ve seen the excellence in the student body within the first few weeks this Fall semester. From the College’s Club Fair to the kickoff of the OneMontco Unity Series, the students of MCCC have expressed interest in involvement on campus. As a second-year student here at MCCC, I can tell you from experience that being involved in clubs is what can help you make the most of your college life – even amidst all your worrisome obligations.

I remember at the start of my first semester here at MCCC, I didn’t feel as if I belonged on campus because I didn’t have many friends. However, once I started to get involved in clubs, I realized that by joining clubs, I could hang out more with the people I saw in my classes every day. Even the simplest task of attending club meetings helped me in other aspects of my life: I’ve become more organized in scheduling my life every day – from clubs, to classes and all the other obligations that are thrown at me in life…

My point here is that I know that college life can be overwhelming, that perhaps you, a student here at MCCC, are feeling what I felt in my first semester of college. But I’m here to tell you that by simply being more proactive on campus, that perhaps all the other pieces in your life will fall into place.

If you’re interested in getting more involved on campus, I strongly recommend using the multiple resources that the College offers. First and foremost, there’s OrgSync, which is a website where you can find information on club and campus related events and activities being posted regularly. There’s also the Student Leadership Involvement (SLI) office where you can talk to the new Director of Student Life Tyler Steffy about clubs you’re interested in. And of course, you can sign up at club fairs when they happen once every semester and get information from there as well.

With that being said, I want to wish all of the students at MCCC good luck on completing the rest of the Fall semester. Don’t worry, you got this!

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David Aston & Sean Laughlin
The Montgazette Staff

In 1964, Montgomery County Community College started small. What would later become a gold mine of learning and an award-winning college with more than 190 fulltime faculty members teaching thousands of students began with only 17 driven, student-focused teachers. Retired physics professor Alec Goldberg is one of them.

Goldberg, now 93, remembers those early years vividly. “Those were tough days,” he says. He remembers the offices being held in a Conshohocken funeral parlor. Alec remembers more distressingly how many college teachers by 1968 seemed more interested in the how much they made instead of being interested in teaching. A fact a New York Times syndicated analysis published that same year picked up on.

David Selden, the president of the American Federation of teachers at the time, called for, a nationwide strike “to bring about the vast improvement in schools that we need.” The analysis also noted that the Philadelphia area was one of the major “hot spots” of the teacher strikes because classrooms were overcrowded and the “remoteness from policy making in the school system and a sense of repression from telling the public about their working conditions.”

Instead of joining the strikes, Alec Goldberg focused on helping his students succeed and feel at ease. He began every semester by telling his students, “Look, I know what it is, physics can be hard.” This simple statement made many students taking his class less anxious.

This attitude is what landed Goldberg the job in the first place. Dr. Leroy Brendlinger, the College’s first president, called up Goldberg after hearing of his student-focused attitude and his credentials that took him from the Franklin Institute to Rider College (now a university) to the Frankford Arsenal. With his Master’s Degree in physics from USC, Goldberg began a legacy that is still fresh 17 years after his retirement.

Now residing in Elkins Park, Alec Goldberg looks on his past fondly and knows what it takes for students to succeed. “Find the good teacher, that’s [the] important part.”

To the teachers here at the College he says, “You have to have knowledge of the subject. You have to be able to show enthusiasm. Otherwise, you’re not going to transmit your knowledge to the students. You also have to let go, have fun with the students.”

More than a half-century later, we keep finding nuggets of Alec Goldberg’s attitude and focus in the faculty that are here today. His dedicated focus on his students is part of what helps make Montgomery County Community College the great school it is today. To which we, the students who cherish that legacy, say: Thank you Mr. Goldberg.

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Sara Wilkerson
The Montgazette Editor-in-Chief

Commencement is upon us. It is that time of year where soon-to-be grads are cramming for finals, solidifying their plans on transferring to four year institutions, and saying farewell to their fellow classmates as they move forward in their academic endeavors. This issue, The Montgazette would like to shine a spotlight on one of the many graduates graduating on May 18th, 2017, and this graduate is our outgoing Editor-in-Chief, David Aston.

Aston’s journey at Montgomery County Community College started all the way back in 1996 when he was taking college credit courses while still in high school. Taking these college credits proved challenging, considering Aston had failed his junior year english class yet was taking English Composition 101 on Tuesday nights for three hours here at the College as a senior. With the help of the College’s professors, Aston managed to not only graduate high school but also further his education by taking a creative writing course in 2000.

Despite his initial success at the start of his college career, Aston’s personal life began to interfere with his studies. In the middle of his first semester, Aston lost the full time job he had and ended up moving to Lafayette Hill with his family. The sudden shift in his personal life caused Aston to not return to the College for over a decade as his concerns were focused primarily on supporting himself and his family.

Aston did not want to settle for the life that he had, which is why he came back to Montgomery County Community College as a digital audio major. Aston is grateful for his time at the College, stating, “This is the place where you achieve your dreams… it is where you have the freedom to be who you are without the pressures of having it forced upon you what somebody else wants you to be. You have the freedom, you have that openness. Grasp that, and God can’t stop you. And you become better because of it.”

With the support of many individuals on campus, including but not limiting to professors Gail Ramsey, Jerry Collom, Allan Schear, Jeff Asch, Stan Feingold, Matt Porter, David Ivory as well as former College President Karen Stout, Aston was able to complete his studies and find his passion. Aston claims that the professors at the College, “…find the importance and value in you and make you realize that you matter to yourself, if to no one else.”

Through the many obstacles that Aston has faced over his time in college, from dealing with age differences, adjusting to his editorial position of The Montgazette, and being a part time student while balancing his full time job, family and school life, Aston has remained optimistic and passionate about his future as he transfers to West Chester University in the fall as a communications major.

Based on his experiences over the past two decades, David Aston has proven that second chances do exist, as long as one believes in themselves. This is why Aston’s advice to readers that when it comes to self doubt, one should not let doubt cloud their ambitions. “Put the worries away, just do it. The worries will be there, they’re not going to go away… but if you focus on the worry, you won’t get anything done. Take it from someone who let the worry drag him down for 15 years. Don’t do it.”

D.Aston

David Aston; 2017 Graduate Photo by Erin Ilisco

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Photos courtesy of MCCC Communications Dept.

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Sara Wilkerson
The Montgazette Co-Editor

Phi Theta Kappa is an international honors society dedicated to bettering society through Scholarship, Fellowship, Leadership and Service. Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) has two chapters at MCCC: Alpha Kappa Zeta (AKZ) for Central campus and Beta Tau Lamba (BTL) for West campus. Both PTK chapters held their bi-annual Induction Ceremonies in March to welcome the new members of PTK this spring.

PTK hosts over 700 chapters nationwide for two year college institutions and has a vast network of alumni groups at four year institutions. The society began as an effort to give opportunities for scholars that reach beyond academics and allow students to give back to their communities while helping them transfer into four year institutions.

In order to attain membership with Phi Theta Kappa, students must have a 3.5 GPA and maintain a 3.0 once inducted. In addition, students must have at least 12 credit hours towards an associate’s degree as well as receive an invitation from a PTK chapter. If students meet this criteria, there is a $65 one-time membership fee that must be paid and submitted with a PTK application. Upon acceptance, students have the option of attending a formal induction ceremony hosted by their PTK chapter, where they are inducted through verbal and written pledges in front of their peers and families.

Following inductions, newly inducted members join their fellow chapter members in monthly meetings that can determine their involvement. When describing the level of involvement in PTK, Alpha Kappa Zeta President Alison Giles stated, “… you get what you give. If you want opportunities for scholarships, volunteering, leadership roles, project development, and community engagement, you’ll find that in PTK. In my experience, these opportunities have led to even more opportunities, and my time at MCCC has come to be defined in large part by my involvement…”

Past projects between the two MCCC PTK chapters include AKZ’s 2015 Alternative Spring Break Project “Imagine No Homelessness” and BTL’s annual cleanups of the Schuylkill Riverfront Park.

Currently, AKZ’s efforts in participating in “honors in action” projects, along with their substantial membership roster, have made the chapter a notable five star chapter in the PTK organization. AKZ is working with Central campus’ tutoring center this semester to reform their services. According to Alison Giles, Alpha Kappa Zeta’s goal is to, “… get the word out that the tutors are here and are waiting, they’re available no matter what kind of schedule you have, and there’s no shame in seeking the help you need, especially if that’s all that is standing in the way of you reaching your goals.”

Despite being an international  honors society, Phi Theta Kappa makes differences locally through its chapters, with MCCC’s very own chapters making no exception.

For more information about MCCC’s PTK chapters, contact an advisor: The  Central Campus advisors are Catherine Parzynski (CParzyns@mc3.edu) and Cathy Hoult Shewring (CHoultSh@mc3. edu). The West Campus advisors are Georgette Howell (GHowell@mc3.edu) and Kevin Strunk (KStrunk@mc3.edu).

5_Yanisko_PTK Leadership Team_PTK

Alpha Kappa Zeta’s Leadership Team — Photo courtesy of Sandi Yanisko and Dan Hanson

4_Yanisko_PTK New Inductees_PTK

Congratulations to the new members of Alpha Kappa Zeta! — Photo courtesy of Sandi Yanisko and Dan Hanson

3_Yanisko_Keynote Speaker Sam Wallace_PTK

Samuel Wallace; Keynote Speaker — Photo courtesy of Sandi Yanisko and Dan Hanson

1_Yanisko_MCCC Pres. Kevin Pollock_PTK

Dr. Kevin Pollock; MCCC President — Photo courtesy of Sandi Yanisko and Dan Hanson

2_Yanisko_PTK Pres. Alison Giles_PTK

Alison Giles; Alpha Kappa Zeta President — Photo courtesy of Sandi Yanisko and Dan Hanson

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Central Campus
Always Wednesday, 12:20 – 1:15p.m.

April 5
Test Anxiety
Come join us for a workshop to assist you with study strategies and dealing with test anxiety.  — College Hall, Room 147

April 12
Grit and Motivation
Join Dr. Smith as he helps you to unravel your intrinsic motivation through self-discovery of your internal GRIT. This workshop will help you to identify the essential components to develop your confidence and motivation. — College Hall, Room 147

April 19
Getting Ready for Finals
Come join us for a workshop to assist you with study strategies and dealing with test anxiety. — College Hall, Room 147

April 26
Zumba and Nutrition
Come learn some Zumba moves and understanding good nutrition. — College Hall, Room 147

 

West Campus
Always Monday, 12:20 – 1:15p.m.

April 3
Career Planning
Learn what career best suits your talents, skills, and training you need for your chosen career. — South Hall 202

April 10
Interviewing Tips and Techniques
Learn the right tips and techniques that can help you present yourself effectively at interviews, and get the job you want. – South Hall, Room 222

April 17
Grit and Motivation
Join Dr. Smith as he helps you to unravel your intrinsic motivation through self-discovery of your internal GRIT. This workshop will help you develop your confidence and motivation.  – South Hall 202

April 24
Composing a Resume: Best Practices
This workshop will outline the essential information you need to develop a great resume in a competitive job environment.

May 1
What Next?
Using Your My Career Plan Results for Career and Life Planning – South Hall 216

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David Aston
Montgazette Editor-In-Chief

The hot summer is falling away and a contentious presidential election is still to come. In between is Montgomery County Community College pressing on with a new academic year.

This year heralds a bunch of firsts for Montco and The Montgazette.

Dr. Kevin Pollock begins his first full academic year as the college’s president. Starting with this issue, The Montgazette is bringing back the sports schedules. Also, you’ll see we’ve added a new section called “College Spotlight.” Each month, The Montgazette will showcase a MCCC partner college or university. These spotlights will present important information you need to know so you can make an informed choice on where to transfer so you can continue to achieve your dreams after your time at Montco.

For all of the new students for this academic year, Welcome! The Students Office of Leadership and Involvement hosted the club fair at the start of the semester and numerous students clubs were represented. I am here to encourage you to get involved! We have included in this issue a few highlights from the club fair. Enjoy!

If you would like to join the team here at The Montgazette, we welcome your story perspectives. During my time at Montco, I have put my all into making this paper thrive in a climate that says the paper is dead. You, the readers of The Montgazette, have proven the naysayers wrong. You see the value in bringing your voice to the world and I am humbled to be the leader that has made that a success.

So this, in the words of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a famous novelist, “Stories matter.”

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