The MCC Villas has challenged MCC administrators and athletic coaches to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge! Join us in the Quad on Thursday, August 28, at noon, to check out the action.
How to Get Involved:
For $20, students and staff have the opportunity to pour ice cold water on the individual of their choice! Each individual listed below will accept the challenge up to three times. You can sign up and pay in the MCC Library. All proceeds will be donated to the ALS Association.
ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, affects 30,000 Americans. It is a disease that attacks nerve cells and ultimately leads to paralysis. Prior to the ice bucket challenge, many Americans were not aware of this crippling disease, or of its effects on patients. The typical life expectancy is three to five years. That’s why the Ice Bucket Challenge is so important. For more information, visit www.alsa.org.
One of our newest team members at MCC is Benjamin Huntington. He has a background in journalism and mass communication from The University of Iowa. His enthusiasm is contagious and I have enjoyed working on projects with him. When we sat down to talk he had such positive things to say about our college and our students. He has already become a focus of our students and receives over 30 emails a day from students.
When I asked him about what he hoped to accomplish he wrote, “My main goal is to help students understand that they can create a better life for themselves and for their families through the programs we offer within our Colleges. Too many students delay their goals simply because they lack information. Post-secondary education and training through MCC allows ALL students to have options—options for classes, programs, career paths, earning potential, etc. It’s my hope that we are able to foster an environment in which students can build skills and confidence, while also developing into leaders—not only while they are here at MCC, but also after they move onto their four year colleges or into the workforce.”
Ben and his wife, Tiffany have a son Charlie who is a “blast” and they are expecting another child in January. He is a big football and basketball fan and loves the Knicks. In my other hat as librarian I like to know what our staff is reading. Ben’s favorite is Malcom Gladwell, we have Blink and The Tipping Point here. Welcome to Muscatine Ben.
In July, MCC hired a new Advisor in Student Services, Molly Elizade. I asked her some questions last week.
Photograph by Renae Britt, taken in the Library.
Why are you doing this?
I love working with students, and I am sure I can make a positive impact on those I advise and with whom I interact.
How did you get interested in your field?
I decided to work in and study Higher Education specifically because of my experience with the students as an adjunct at MCC. The students here are smart, resourceful and kind, and they are awesome to work with. I also appreciate the kindness and supportive nature of the administration, faculty and staff at MCC, which is why I continue to adjunct and is why I have chosen to pursue academic advising. I have a special interest in the Community College because I love the diversity of the students we serve and the ability to know the students on a more authentic level, something that is hard to do in a large university setting.
What’s the best thing that happened to you while working with students?
My favorite part of working with students is to see them develop as writers. Writing and communication are important in all facets of academic learning, and it makes me really happy to watch students find their voice and to be able to express it strongly, efficiently, and with clarity. I also love when I have a classroom full of students from various backgrounds who are able to debate, discuss, and share their thoughts regarding challenging topics in a respectful and educated manner. Of course when students thank me for helping them along the way and preparing them for future classes, it makes my day!
What’s the funniest thing (that’s printable) that has happened to you while working with students?
A common teaching technique I use to help students understand approaches to argument are YouTube videos which accentuate part of the lesson I am teaching. One day, I thought I had the right video queued up to teach how media tries to scare us into action (a common propaganda appeal). It was supposed to be an ADT Home Security Video, but unknowingly, I queued up the parody instead…it was NOT the real commercial, but it did use fear appeal propaganda techniques! I didn’t realize it was a spoof until it was too late, and the students looked at me a little nervously for until I realized it and turned it off! I was pretty red-in-the-face! It became an ongoing joke that summer in class, and poor me, I had a lot of baseball players that summer who didn’t let me forget it!
How do you think a community college is different from a 4 year college?
The community college has an environment of authenticity. The community college offers students an opportunity to pursue various levels of education, and while doing so, they can receive customer service that universities simply cannot offer. Because of this environment on community college campuses, students and faculty can create lasting relationships in pursuit of student goals and life choices. The administration, faculty, and staff seem to work synergistically with student success as the focus. I also find that building community partnerships is more accessible at the community college, and I strongly believe the more we can connect students with local businesses, organizations, and professionals, the more likely students will become a productive members of our local community and beyond. What is fantastic about these partnerships is that the student has access to positive mentors that can last a lifetime. Finally, since I was born and raised in Muscatine, I have a personal affinity for MCC because I know it provides wonderful opportunities for all of our citizens through academics, the arts, and continuing education…a larger university simply can’t match the “community” that a community college offers.
What advice do you have for brand new MCC staff?
My advice is the same my dad always gives me: pay attention! Watch people at work, get to know and appreciate what they do, and get involved. I am ecstatic to be a part of this team, because I have been treated so well by everyone at every level; therefore, I am not afraid to ask a lot of questions or to start conversations with people I haven’t met yet. This is not “common” for such a large and diverse working community, so newbies at MCC should also be thankful. I know that every morning I wake up, I am excited and happy to come to “work” at such an awesome place.