Monday, December 19, 2011

Students who don't want debt should occupy desk at MC

Mary Braselton
Director, Associate of Arts in Teaching Program
Midland College

The Occupy Wall Street movement has been troubling me for a while now. In the beginning of the demonstrations, I heard that a few demonstrators were angry because they had such exorbitant school loans to repay at the end of their university educations and didn't have jobs. Then the media gave some exorbitant dollar amounts of college costs of unnamed institutions located mostly in the eastern states. Since it seems no one can do anything about unemployment, this article is about college debt.

At the onset of the occupy movement, it occurred to me that if those students don't like enormous debt why don't they attend Midland College? Not only does MC provide a quality education at minimal cost, students who do depend on loans can graduate with minimal loan repayment obligations.

The proof of those statements is in concrete data found on the Texas Association of Community Colleges (TACC) website (accessed Dec. 1). Midland College costs are compared to state averages, and they are on par. At Midland College, tuition and fees are $864 for 72 credit hours; statewide it's $868. (Source: )

Harvard University in comparison, lists the cost for attending their school for one year at $56,000 to $60,200, plus the cost of required health insurance -- which is $1,834 unless the student's family policy is in effect.

That comparative example demonstrates the need for families to inform themselves about the enormous differences in college costs by comparing apples to apples. The breakdown of scholastic credit hour at Harvard comes to approximately $1,000 more per credit hour than MC. While credit hours are the same whether at a community college or a university, parents must decide whether the quality of an Ivy League education translates into that much more graduation collateral. Those occupying Wall Street seem to think so, except they do not have jobs.

Back to incurring college debt. When a family discusses the cost of a college education, apples must be compared to apples. Go to the source to get understanding of what any college's fees represent; do not believe everything you read on the Internet, and do not be afraid to ask questions. Many websites provide charts with inaccurate costs; for example, one chart I researched shows higher dorm fees at MC, while Howard College fees for room and board are quite low. Not apples. MC's dorms are new and still have bonds out while the 50-year-old dorms at Howard have long since been paid for.

Today's dorms reflect the relative affluence today's students have grown up with. A few years ago, universities created recruitment plans to upgrade dorms to residences to satisfy students who do not want to share bathrooms or rooms with other students. Residences connote a homey living environment, which translates into high cost. Now, colleges build apartments (Odessa College; Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi) to accommodate the desires of the current student -- meeting the market demand. Upgrades cost money, which students' parents will pay or which students will undertake loans to pay for. Let me hasten to add that I would not wish a few of my dorm rooms on anyone -- namely the 1932 Doak Hall at Texas Tech University.

The actual amount of money a student contributes toward his/her own education provides a surprising statistic. In 1994, during a Finance of Higher Education course, I learned that the actual money a student contributed toward his college education was 16 percent. Today, some 17 years later, most Texas students contribute 29 percent toward the total cost of their higher education. Hold on though -- because of the generosity of so many folks in this town and outside sources, MC students pay approximately 20 percent of the cost of their education. Hard to believe, but true. MC is not running with the pack.

Now I understand that there is some mythological (OK, not entirely) view out there that a degree from an Ivy League school is superior to a local education (the term is value-added to account for the boost one may get from having a prestigious degree) but think about it. One can go to a community college for a fraction of the cost of a big university, then transfer to a big school and graduate with most folks being none the wiser. Students alsocan CLEP out of all those subjects aced in high school and get college credit for a fraction of the cost of tuition.

Oddly, the television remote may indicate that a community college education is equal to an eastern education. Recently, a Ph.D. engineer from MIT who was interviewed on CNBC said he wasn't smart enough to read the engineering language necessary to program his remote for his television. So there you have it -- the great educational equalizer: the television remote.

Finally, the truth is that college is a culture all its own. It always has been, and it takes time for most youngsters to adjust to the new freedom and its corollary: responsibility. Additionally, it takes time to adjust to college advising, to figure out the college catalog, to master time and money management and to write something more than a five-paragraph essay. Some students do not succeed at first. As a former associate director for Admissions at West Texas A&M University and as a professor for 20 years, I see (and have seen) many transcripts of students who have wasted several semesters of time and money just learning the college culture of responsibility. Those students invariably were and are embarrassed by their non-achievement, but my response to those failures is encouragement to get it right in the do-over. Meanwhile, college debt is piling up.

The serious part of this article is really about getting a reality check about debt and education. It is true that college costs have gone up, so maybe it is time to rethink educational goals that are in line with the economic reality of education in 2011. Homework is involved. So the message is simply this: plan for college by comparing costs (apples to apples) of housing, of tuition and fees. Seriously consider CLEPping hours and start thinking positively about the benefits of transferring from a student-friendly college to a bigger institution.

Over the Thanksgiving holiday I heard this funny bit of wisdom. "A man was calmly holding his cat in his lap and stroking it from the tail forward toward his head. A visitor noted that the cat would be happier if the man stroked the cat from its head to its tail -- the way the fur naturally grows. The man continued stroking the cat back to front and said, 'If the cat doesn't like it, he can turn around,'"

If you don't want the debt, be smart; join the 13 million students already in community colleges nationwide. Occupy a desk at Midland College, your college.

This column first appeared in the December 12, 2011 edition of the Midland Reporter-Telegram, and appears here, in its entirety, with the MRT's permission.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A little bit of West Texas in Austin

“Sunsets and Cactus" painted by
MC art student Bonnie Johnson
By Rebecca Bell
MC Dean of Community Relations & Special Events

For the second year in a row Representative Tom Craddick asked, Midland College art student, Bonnie Johnson, to paint the House District 82 ornament for the Lone Star Celebration Christmas Tree in the Texas House of Representatives Chamber at the State Capitol in Austin. Craddick asked Johnson to create the ornament in a way that showcases the unique character of the district that includes Crane, Dawson, Martin, Midland and Upton counties. The ornament, entitled “Sunsets and Cactus,” illustrates the natural beauty of House District 82 and West Texas, including the colorful sunsets and cacti for which the region is known.

“I was delighted to do it,” stated Johnson. I am honored that Representative Craddick considered calling me again to paint something representing the wonderful West Texas region.”

"Bonnie did a fantastic job capturing the colors that illuminate our West Texas skyline, and I am proud that a Midland College art student's ornament will be on display for all visitors to the Texas Capitol to see," Craddick said. "With 150 House Districts throughout the state, an artistic rendition of the unique characteristics that make up each district is an excellent way to demonstrate our state and area's pride. I commend Bonnie for the time and effort she put into highlighting the best aspects of our West Texas area."

Since 2009, members of the Texas House have had the opportunity to create a tangible symbol of the state's invincible spirit through the district ornament project. Speaker Joe Straus (San Antonio) and his wife Julie invite each House member to provide a decorated ornament for the Lone Star Celebration Christmas Tree in the Chamber of the Texas House of Representatives.
The Texas-sized tree was displayed from December 2, 2011, through January 6, 2012, and the story of each ornament is displayed in an album for House Chamber visitors to view. The album may also be viewed online at

Monday, December 12, 2011

Announcing extended evening hours for Student Services at Your College

By Rebecca Bell
MC Dean of Community Relations & Special Events

In an effort to continue to provide accommodating services to the Midland community and our students, Midland College will be open on Tuesday evenings until 8:00 p.m. beginning January 3, 2012.

Services that will be accessible on Tuesday evenings include the Midland College Testing Center, Admissions, Registrar, Student Advising and Financial Aid. These services are located in the Scharbauer Student Center on the main campus, 3600 N. Garfield.

Extended evening hours are in addition to our regular office hours of 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Chap Basketball Shows Support for Blindness Prevention

By Forrest Allen
MC Athletic Director

MIDLAND, TEXAS - In the first of three possible events, the MC basketball team showed their support for blindness prevention and the defeat of diseases that contribute to the loss of sight for Texans. The Chaparrals and Prevent Blindness Texas joined forces to help increase awareness of eye diseases, eye safety and chronic diseases that can rob people of their vision.

Prevent Blindness Texas is the local chapter of Prevent Blindness America. Founded in 1908, Prevent Blindness America is the nation's leading volunteer eye health and safety organization dedicated to fighting blindness and saving sight. Focused on promoting a continuum of vision care, Prevent Blindness America touches the lives of millions of people each year.

Linda Hook of the Midland Chapter of Prevent Blindness along with their volunteers and members of the medical community turned out for the evening. Prevent Blindness Texas promotes overall eye health and safety, vision screening and other programs.

Midland College Athletics and Prevent Blindness Texas will join up next semester for events at a future Chap baseball game and perhaps an MC golf tournament.

The Chaps are proud of their association with Prevent Blindness Texas where our motto is "Together We Share a Vision."

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Lady Chaps win 2011 WJCAC Pre-Conference Tournament

By Forrest Allen
MC Athletic Director

HOBBS, NEW MEXICO - The Lady Chaps basketball team sent a message to the rest of the WJCAC when they won their second consecutive WJCAC Pre-Conference Tournament. The Ladies won this year's edition in Hobbs, NM and among the three teams that succumbed to Midland College were the host NMJC Lady T-Birds.

On Thursday Midland College (11-3) opened play against #16 New Mexico JC (12-2) at the Caster Activity Center on the NMJC campus and defeated the Lady Thunderbirds 65-60. Friday's semifinal game pitted the Lady Chaps against an always-tough Howard College Lady Hawks team. MC defeated HC by a score of 56-51 to advance into Saturday night's championship game with Western Texas College. WTC advanced to the finals with wins over South Plains College (58-56) and Odessa College (66-55).

In the championship game MC employed a tenacious variety of defense to smother WTC. Midland College led the contest 37-16 at the halftime break and ultimately cruised to a 74-42 victory over the Lady Westerners. In addition to its offensive output and defensive presence the Lady Chaps dominated on the boards leading in that category 67-44. Midland College freshman Achiri Ade led all players with 11 rebounds in the game. Midland College was led offensively by Nety Sousa's 13 points followed by Danesha Long with 12 and Alexis Kelley's 11 points.

The Lady Chaps will travel to Weatherford College on Wednesday, December 7th @ 6:00 p.m. for a match up of two of Region 5's best teams. The Lady Coyotes are currently 10-0 this season and are ranked 10th nationally. Weatherford previously played Western Texas College twice this season winning both games; 94-55 on November 1st and 68-57 on November 23rd.

Wedensday's game at Weatherford is the final game of the semester for Midland College.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

#18 Chaps Ganan Juego Internacional de Balconcesto Contra Los Dorados

By Forrest Allen
MC Athletic Director

The Midland College Chap basketball team successfully defended their home court in an international match up with the Universidad Autonoma de Chihuahua (UAC) Saturday afternoon at the Chap Center. MC 7-2 on the season are currently ranked 18th nationally. The game was the third leg of a three game circuit for the Dorados who played South Plains College and Odessa College prior to their arrival in Midland.

The outcome of the 86-40 Chap win was never in doubt as MC's athleticism and defensive ability quickly seized control of the game. Despite the final margin of victory the Dorados showed tremendous offensive discipline and stuck to their game plan no matter the scoring margin.

Midland College was led by Majok Majok's 21 point, eight rebound, one blocked shot performance. Majok was followed by redshirt guard Colan Weasby's 15 points, four rebounds, two blocks and two steals. In all four Chaps scored in double-figures and the team outrebounded the Dorados 42-21.

The Chaparrals will travel to Weatherford College on Thursday, December 8th and will conclude play in the fall semester with a two-game trip to Arizona on December 16-17.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Lessons learned through community service

By Rebecca Bell
MC Dean of Community Relations & Special Events

MIDLAND, TEXAS - “Midland College acknowledges that not all learning takes place in the classroom. There are also important life lessons that can be gained through experiences outside of traditional learning environments,” noted Midland College President Dr. Steve Thomas at the Fall Midland Legacy Essay Scholarship Luncheon on Tuesday, November 29.

Each semester students attend Midland College on Legacy Scholarships sponsored by the Abell-Hanger Foundation, the Helen Greathouse Charitable Trust and the Chaparral Foundation. In return for the scholarship that pays their tuition and fees, students contribute 40 hours of community service.

The community service component is the basis for the Legacy Essay Contest, sponsored by the Abell-Hanger Foundation. The purpose of the contest is to honor students’ community service and to let the students tell their stories of how community service has enriched their lives. This year, five of those students—Michael Anderson, Kelsie Rasure, Elisa Saenz, Louis Smith and Natalie Tolbert—received additional $500 scholarships for essays written about that community service.

During the November 29 luncheon honoring the students, Abell-Hanger Foundation Executive Director David Smith said, “One of the best things about the Legacy Scholarship is the community service requirement. This was the brainchild of former Abell-Hanger Foundation Board member John Younger. I think John suspected that students would gain as much from this experience as those whom they help, and this has definitely proven to be true.”

All five of the students noted the value of the life lessons they learned while fulfilling their community service requirements. Michael Anderson delivered meals for Meals on Wheels, a program administered by Community and Senior Services. In his essay Michael wrote, “In communities around the globe people underestimate the power and effect community service has on a person who receives the service or deed done. Community service can affect the volunteer in many ways that seem unimaginable until one actually experiences the feeling received from performing community service.”

Perhaps the thoughts of the students were best summarized by Elisa Saenz, who volunteered with Habitat for Humanity: “I learned to give of myself in a way that couldn’t be more satisfying. From picking up trash to painting, not a single hour was wasted, and the time spent with other volunteers made my experience even better. I believe that I was given more from the people involved than what I gave through the entire service. I’m truly grateful to be living in a community that continues to give back at every chance.”

CLICK HERE to read the Fall 2011 Legacy Scholarship Essays

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Basketball, burgers and brisket at Chap Center this weekend

By Forrest Allen
MC Athletic Director

On Saturday, December 3, the #18 Midland College Chap basketball team will host the University of Chihuahua in a game with an international appeal. Also on Saturday the Wink Volunteer Fire Department will be holding a fundraising cookout in the Chap Center parking lot beginning at 12:00 p.m. The cookout proceeds will go to the MC Lady Chap volleyball team. The volleyball team will also make a donation of part of the proceeds to the American Cancer Society.

The day's festivities will begin at 12:00 p.m. with the cookout/fundraiser. The WVFD will be selling hamburgers, cheeseburgers, double-meat hamburgers and brisket sandwiches. Each meal comes with a bag of chips and a tea or lemonade. The cost of the meals are as follows: $5.00 Hamburger, $6.00 Cheeseburger, $7.00 Double-Meat Burger and $6.00 for a brisket sandwich.

Then at 3:00 p.m. the Chaps will tip-off against the University of Chihuahua. As always Midland College employees and students are admitted, free of charge with their ID. For Saturday's game, anyone purchasing a meal from the Wink Volunteer FD will receive a ticket that will get you into the game for free.

Come out, bring your family, get some great food and see our basketball team in action!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

"Christmas for Our Troops" donation drive wraps-up this week

By Stephanie VanCuren
MC Student Activities Coordinator

REMINDER: Christmas for Our Troops donation drive is still going! You can drop off your travel-size donations at any box across campus! The drive will end this Friday, so please hurry! If you would like to donate money, please ... make checks payable to Christmas for Our Troops!

From November 3, 2011 ...

Hey, everyone!!

It's that time of year! Time for giving thanks to all our troops, and what better way to do that, than to donate to Christmas for Our Troops !!

Student Government is sponsoring a donation drive now through December 2. Boxes went out November 2 in six locations across campus for your donations! For a list of preferred items, please see attached. The important thing to remember is to donate "travel" size items.

 • CLICK HERE for a complete list of recommended donation items

If you would prefer to donate money for items such as pocket knives, RemOil, and bore snakes, you may drop off your cash or check made out to Christmas for Our Troops to my office. I am located in the Student Center, Rm. 125.

Christmas for Our Troops' goal is to send 2,500 packages this year. They currently only have a few hundred addresses, so if you know of anyone stationed in Afghanistan, please send us their APOs and AFOs.

On December 7, Student Government will help pack these boxes. If you have anyone who would like to help, please send them my way!

Thank you in advance for your donations!


Stephanie VanCuren
Student Activities Coordinator
Midland College
3600 N. Garfield
Midland, Texas 79705
(432) 685-4543

Henry family endows chair of history at MC

By Ernesto Macias
Page Editor, El Paisano

“Any fool can make history, but it takes a genius to write it.”
 - Oscar Wilde

Will Morris, Ph.D., dean of social and behavioral sciences at Midland College will follow the footsteps of many before him and write history with the endowment of the Henry Chair of History. With a $500,000 gift from the Jim and Paula Henry family, MC established the endowed chair and Morris is the first Henry Chair of History.

CLICK HERE to read the rest of Macias' story

Monday, November 28, 2011

Filling Children’s Hearts with the Spirit of Christmas!

By Julia Vickery
MC Student Development Coordinator
SIP Advisor

The members of Midland College Students in Philanthropy will fill your child’s heart with the spirit of Christmas with a very special and personalized letter from Santa! Your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and others will enjoy receiving a letter from Santa as he tells them how very special they are!

Please fill out the attached form ( CLICK HERE ) for each individual child and send your completed “Santa” form, and $5 per letter donation to ...

Julia Vickery
239 SSC, Midland College
3600 N. Garfield
Midland, Texas 79705

... by December 2, 2011.

Please contact me at 685-4704 or e-mail at if you need additional information!

The Students in Philanthropy program is sponsored by funding partners, Abell-Hanger Foundation and Helen Greathouse Charitable Trust. A key goal of SIP is to raise funds and then re-distribute them to deserving non-profit organizations in Midland. The students learn about “sharing and caring” for others by personally creating each “Santa Letter” for your loved ones.
Thank you!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

International Education Week: Take the Quiz

From our friends at the American Association of Community Colleges comes this reminder ... "International Education Week (IEW) 2011 is November 14-18. This year's theme - 'Inspiring Students Locally to Succeed Globally' - is particularly relevant to what U.S. community colleges do every day. AACC believes that international education is a quintessential element in the success of community college students and is an integral part of a quality higher education experience. U.S. community colleges play an important role in the global higher education community."
CLICK HERE for more on this topic from AACC

In the mood for a challenge?

CLICK HERE to take the IEW Global IQ Quiz.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Four Lady Chaps earn All-WJCAC Volleyball honors

By Forrest Allen
MC Athletic Director

Congratulations to four members of the Midland College volleyball team who were named to the 2011 WJCAC All-Conference team. Highest honors went to freshman Dragana Cvoric who was selected as the Most Valuable Player in the conference this season. Cvoric, a 6'0" outside hitter from Guca, Serbia, led the Lady Chaps in total kills (356) and kills per game (3.6). Cvoric ranked 10th in the WJCAC in hitting percentage (.248), 3rd in kills per game, 4th in total kills, 4th in digs per game (3.6) and 11th in total digs (356). She also ranked #16 in kills per game among all NJCAA Division I volleyball players.

Also named to the WJCAC All-Conference first team was freshman defensive specialist Keli Key-Wilson. Key-Wilson, a graduate of Midland Christian School, led the team with 491 total digs and digs per game (4.5). Her 4.5 digs per game placed her 32nd nationally. She led the WJCAC in that category.

Sophomores Sarah Sawyer and Brittany Serrano both earned Honorable Mention honors this season. Sawyer, a 6'0" middle blocker from Odessa, TX (OHS), ranked #18 in the WJCAC in kills per set (1.6), #4 in the conference in blocks per set at 1.2 and 6th in total blocks with 103. Serrano, a 5'8" outside hitter from Marfa, TX (MHS), was ranked in several statistical categories in the conference including, 30th in hitting percentage (.124), 17th in kills per set (1.8), 18th in total kills 193, 7th in digs per set (3.3) and 10th in total digs in the WJCAC with 360.

Congratulations to these outstanding student-athletes on their selection to the 2011 All-WJCAC team.

Community college is workhorse of nation's educational system

Mary Braselton
Director, Associate of Arts in Teaching Program
Midland College

As part of an introduction to education, I often ask students "Why do we (the people) put such an enormous emphasis on public education? Why do we spend so much money and debate time on buildings, books, and salaries?" I wait for what seems like an eternity before students try to figure out why society pays such a high price for educating its own. The answer, in part, can be found in these words, which are from a 1918 National Education Association treatise entitled "The Central Purpose of American Education" ...

"In any democracy education is closely bound to the wishes of the people, but the strength of this bond in America has been unique. The American people have traditionally regarded education as a means for improving themselves and their society. Whenever an objective has been judged desirable for the individual or the society, it has tended to be accepted as a valid concern of the school. The American commitment to the free society -- to individual dignity, to personal liberty, to equality of opportunity -- has set the frame in which the American school grew. The basic American value, respect for the individual, has led to one of the major charges which the American people have placed on their schools: to foster that development of individual capacities which will enable each human being to become the best person he is capable of becoming."

Many years ago one of the standard courses an aspiring teacher would take was the History of Education in America. I don't recall being overly thrilled with that class that had at least 500 students in it and a "blue suit" standing at the lectern, but later when I was working on another degree, I took a class called History of Higher Education. I became fascinated with the earliest schools -- and how their very survival was nothing short of miraculous. I could see those young teachers in white shirtwaists carrying buckets of coal into the one-room schoolhouse and wondered how they would clean those ruffled shirts and long skirts. I wondered how they could teach every level of student and every basic subject to each student in one room at the same time. I even read one story about a 16-year old girl/teacher nothing more than a child herself teaching all morning then adjourning class to go outside to play with her students at recess on the rim of the Ransom Canyon east of Lubbock.

Then, I was amazed to learn that there hadn't always been 12 grades in high school. Graduation could occur almost any time and at any grade depending on the local resources for recruiting a teacher and having the money to pay her. I read about teachers who sometimes would work for months without pay when times were hard. Imagine.

The elegant French term `ecole normale intrigued me, and I was eager to learn why some of the early colleges in our not-so-elegant west began as `ecoles normale (Sul Ross University, West Texas A&M University). Those schools with the fanciful name translated "normal school" devoted themselves to educating teachers primarily for the elementary classroom. Some would argue whether these were colleges at all. Many of those early colleges before and shortly after the turn of the century were called soonovers because they were "soon up and running, and soon over" either because there wasn't any money or the young men were drafted into World War I. But the institutions proved valuable to this huge expanse and westward movement beyond the 100th parallel. Ultimately, these institutions morphed into what would become the community college movement in western Texas.

R.B. Cousins, state superintendent of public instruction, knew soon after the turn of the century that the population of this great land must be educated at least to the extent of reading and writing so they could farm and raise crops and cattle and buy and sell without being cheated. He pushed for and got two small normal colleges started and served as the first president of one of them.

The story of the first Midland College is similar. As John Leffler reports in the Handbook of Texas, "Farmers moved into Midland County in increasing numbers between 1900 and 1930, though ranching continued to dominate the local economy until the oil boom of the 1920s. By 1910 there were 178 ranches and farms in Midland County. ... By 1920 the number of farms and ranches in the county had declined to 133. Midland College, established in the city of Midland by the Christian Church in 1910 as a junior college, failed in 1921. That same year the Midland and Northwestern Railway ceased service."

Fast-forwarding a few years, a plethora of these institutions strengthened and new ones emerged to replace those that had died. Though names often are used interchangeably, two-year colleges may vary by mission. The true junior college operates primarily as transfer institutions for liberal arts students, while the true community college divides its curriculum into liberal arts, career and vocational instruction and adult and continuing education promoting lifelong learning. Two other types of two-year institutions are technical colleges and technical institutes, which are devoted to technical, vocational or career fields.

Your own Midland College is a true community college stressing equally a liberal arts transfer function as well as career and vocational instruction and adult and continuing education. MC serves its community through attention to its mission, extraordinary management and devotion to its host community.

What an incredible mission and service these institutions maintain for our vibrant state. The community college is not pretentious, nor does it presume to be more than it is -- the workhorse of an enormous educational system providing an invaluable service to the people of our cities, state and nation by maintaining America's commitment to a free society.

This column first appeared in the November 7, 2011 edition of the Midland Reporter-Telegram, and appears here, in its entirety, with the MRT's permission.

Friday, November 11, 2011

MC Volleyball finishes season in Region V West championship match

Dragana Cvoric (2011 WJCAC Most Valuable Player)
By Forrest Allen
MC Athletic Director

The Midland College volleyball team's rollercoaster season came to an end in a 3-0 loss in the NJCAA Region V West Tournament Championships. The match, which was played on Saturday, November 4th at 4:30 p.m., saw the Lady Chaparrals versus the Western Texas College Lady Westerners. Midland College had previously defeated Western Texas on both occasions during conference play.

Heading in to the regional tournament, Midland College was a hot team having gone 15-3 since mid-September, which includes an 8-1 record in the WJCAC. Midland College won the 2011 conference championship and had won a share of the title in 2010. Midland College opened the regional tournament against the #4 seed Frank Phillips College. While #3 Western Texas drew #2 New Mexico Military Institute in the tournament opener. MC defeated FPC 25-16, 26-24, 25-18 to advance to the finals against Western Texas. WTC defeated NMMI in a five set match following the Midland-Frank Phillips match.

Against Western Texas the Lady Chaps seemed out of sync and struggled to find a way into the match. Midland's best offensive weapons couldn't seem to find an open area of the court. Lady Chap kills leader Dragana Cvoric was held to 6 in the match while Sarah Sawyer could only record two kills in the 25-17, 25-19, 25-21 loss to the Lady Westeners. Midland's Brittany Serrano picked up 8 kills to lead the Lady Chaps. Freshman Keli Key-Wilson also recorded 18 digs in the contest.

The loss prevented the Lady Chaps from a repeat Region V West title and a return to the NJCAA Division I National Tournament. Midland College ended the season with a 18-13 overall record. The loss also ended the MC careers of four outstanding student-athletes Addision Zaya, Trinity Walker, Sarah Sawyer and Brittany Serrano recorded a two-year overall record of 53-20 (.726), a two-year WJCAC record of 15-2 (.882), two WJCAC titles, two NJCAA Region V West Finals appearances, the 2010 NJCAA Region V West Championship and a 2-2 record in the 2010 NJCAA Division I Volleyball Championships.

Lady Chap Individual Stats vs Frank Phillips College:
Kills: Cvoric 13, Sawyer 8, Serrano 6, T. Walker 5, Victoria Smith 5, Breanna Ruble 1
Assists: Ruble 33
Digs: Key-Wilson 17, Cvoric 13, Ruble 8, Zaya 7, Sawyer 6, Serrano 6, T. Walker 1, Smith 1
Blocks: Sawyer 5, Smith 2, Cvoric 1, Serrano 1, T. Walker .5, Ruble .5
Aces: Ruble 2, Cvoric 1, Serrano 1

Lady Chap Individual Stats vs Western Texas College:
Kills: Serrano 8, Cvoric 6, T. Walker 5, Smith 3, Ruble 2, Sawyer 2
Assists: Ruble 24
Digs: Key-Wilson 18, Cvoric 12, Serrano 11, Ruble 6, Sawyer 5, Zaya 4, T. Walker 3
Blocks: Sawyer 1.5, Smith 1, T. Walker .5, Ruble .5, Serrano .5
Aces: Zaya 2, Ruble 1, Sawyer 1

Post Season Awards:
The annual WJCAC coaches meeting was held the day prior to the tournament and Midland's Dragana Cvoric was named the conference's Most Valuable Player. Teammate Keli Key-Wilson was named to the All-WJCAC team while Sarah Sawyer and Brittany Serrano were both named to the All-WJCAC Honorable Mention team.

A letter from U.S. Senator John Cornyn

By John Cornyn
United States Senator

Dear friends,

On Veterans Day, we are united as Texans, as Americans, and as those indebted to the fine men and women who have served this nation for generations with bravery, selflessness and honor. These include every American who has worn the uniform - from the battles of Lexington and Concord, to the beaches of Normandy, to the rocky and treacherous terrain of Afghanistan and throughout every turning point in our nation's history.

I am honored to represent 1.7 million Texas veterans, and I am humbled every time I have the opportunity to meet these heroes and their family members. Just recently, I had the honor of greeting a number of Texas troops returning to Fort Bliss in El Paso from a tour in Afghanistan. Last year on Veterans Day, I attended the National Museum of the Pacific War's annual ceremony and had the unique privilege of meeting U.S. Navy veteran Sam Sorenson - born in 1916. I recently greeted West Texas veterans of World War II and the Korean War who traveled to Washington, D.C. with the Texas Panhandle Honor Flight to visit their memorials. As the son of a World War II B-17 pilot, the chance to meet fellow members of my father's Greatest Generation is especially moving for me.

From our youngest generation of veterans, I've been humbled to visit with many wounded warriors who have sacrificed so much at such a young age on our behalf. I'm thankful we have some of the nation's premier medical facilities in Texas, including Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, which provide these warriors and their families with second-to-none care as they recover from their injuries and return to duty or else transition back to civilian life. In Washington, I've visited with several wounded warriors from Texas who are recovering from Bethesda Naval Medical Center.

Perhaps nothing is more sobering than visiting with the children of our fallen service members. I've been proud to present many of these young Texans with the Gold medal of Remembrance, created by Congress to to recognize and honor children who have lost a parent in Operations Enduring Freedom or Iraqi Freedom. These children of veterans represent the many sacrifices that are made not only on the front lines of war, but also on the home front.

While we can never repay our veterans or their families in full, this Veterans Day I hope we are each reminded to value the freedoms and way of life these brave Americans fought to secure. And I hope we can show our gratitude and support to our veterans and the greater military community not just on Veterans Day but on every day of the year.

May God bless you all and may God bless America.

United States Senator

This letter was provided by Senator Cornyn's office, who asked that it might be read at various Veterans Day activities taking place on the Midland College campus.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

MC Basketball game to include tribute to US Armed Forces

By Forrest Allen
MC Athletic Director

On Friday members of the Midland High School JR ROTC program will present The Colors prior to our 8:00 p.m. basketball game. Friday, November 11th is Veterans Day.

We will also have a group (approximately 15) of recently enlisted servicemen at the game on Friday, November 11th @ 8:00 p.m. or on Saturday, November 12th @ 6:00 p.m. These people have enlisted with the Army and Navy and have yet to be assigned to a training post but will soon. This is being set up by former Midland College PE instructor Leon Dulin and the servicemen/women are guests of Midland College at the game.

Also, a group of Midland College students have formed a "Dance Team" and they will perform at halftime of the MC game on Friday.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

MC Women's Basketball records three wins to open season

By Forrest Allen
MC Athletic Director

As jittery and unsure as the Lady Chaps looked on Thursday, by Friday and Saturday they displayed quickness, decisiveness and confidence in route to posting a 3-0 record in the Midland College Tip-Off Basketball Classic. MC coaches Ron Jones and Ginger Gatliff had many positives to look to after the weekend's three games.

CLICK HERE for Allen's complete report, plus a photo album

Achiri Ade

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Drama students perform at Bowie Fine Arts Academy

By Sarah Cotton
Staff Reporte, El Paisano

Laughs of delight echoed through the black box theatre of Bowie Elementary as the Midland College Thinking Cap Theatre troupe performed adaptations of two of Aesop’s classic fables, The Girl Who Cried Wolf and The Ants and the Grasshopper.

Thinking Cap Theatre is the name of the troupe which started in 2001 as a show for elementary school students in grade kindergarten through sixth-grade. Over the years, the scope narrowed to just kindergarten through third grade. In 2007, performing for younger audiences became part of the fall rehearsal and performance class at MC.

CLICK HERE to read the rest of Cotton's story

Monday, November 7, 2011

Where in the world is ... Mike Makowsky?

Mike Makowsky, MC geography professor,
interacts with students in his class.
By Ernesto Macias
Page Editor, El Paisano

Most Midland College students remember playing the educational game, “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?” It is listed as an edutainment computer game and its purpose is to teach young people geography.

Mike Makowsky has been trying to get MC students interested in geography since 2004.

CLICK HERE to read the rest of Macias' story

Friday, November 4, 2011

Getting to those early morning classes about to get easier

By Karen Lanier
MC Student Publications Instructor

Just a friendly reminder to turn your clocks BACK one hour before retiring on Saturday night. The time officially changes at 2 a.m., Sunday, November 6.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Your College a Part of Christmas for Our Troops

By Stephanie VanCuren
MC Student Activities Coordinator

Hey, everyone!!

It's that time of year! Time for giving thanks to all our troops, and what better way to do that, than to donate to Christmas for Our Troops !!

Student Government is sponsoring a donation drive now through December 2. Boxes went out November 2 in six locations across campus for your donations! For a list of preferred items, please see attached. The important thing to remember is to donate "travel" size items.

 • CLICK HERE for a complete list of recommended donation items

If you would prefer to donate money for items such as pocket knives, RemOil, and bore snakes, you may drop off your cash or check made out to Christmas for Our Troops to my office. I am located in the Student Center, Rm. 125.

Christmas for Our Troops' goal is to send 2,500 packages this year. They currently only have a few hundred addresses, so if you know of anyone stationed in Afghanistan, please send us their APOs and AFOs.

On December 7, Student Government will help pack these boxes. If you have anyone who would like to help, please send them my way!

Thank you in advance for your donations!


Stephanie VanCuren
Student Activities Coordinator
Midland College
3600 N. Garfield
Midland, Texas 79705
(432) 685-4543

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Former MC student-athlete enjoys World Series experience with Rangers

By Forrest Allen
MC Athletic Director

For former Midland College Lady Chap softball player Monique Corralez the 2011 MLB World Series bore special significance. Corralez played outfield for Midland College Coach Tommy Ramos from 2004-2006. She is currently employed with the Texas Rangers as an Community Outreach Assistant. Ms. Corralez works in the Foundation and Community Outreach Department of the club. Among her duties are working with the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation in various capacities including procuring signed team memorabilia items for the Foundation's Silent Auction, which raises money for scholarships for deserving students. Additionally, Ms. Corralez will make sure the scholarship monies are sent to the proper universities on the student's behalf. She also mans the auction booth during games in Arlington.

Corralez, a 2004 graduate of Midland Lee High School, graduated from the University of Texas - Dallas where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies in 2008. During her time at UTD, she worked for the Frisco Roughriders of the Texas League (Rangers AA Farm Club). She interned for the Rangers beginning in January of 2010 and became an employee in March 2010.

Corralez credits her parents, Gracie and Moses, for providing her with a determination and her work ethic. Monique's personality is warm and engaging and she can always be seen smiling. Those traits are on fullest display when she and her fellow Community Outreach staffers go out to see school children. The Rangers are involved in several school based initiatives such as scheduled school visits and their storybook series. Its those aspects of the job that most excites Corralez who says, "the best and worst parts of my job are the irregular working hours. Its a double-edged sword. But I'm not one to work an 'eight to five' (job) sitting at a desk all day."

When asked about her experience with this year's MLB World Series, Corralez shared the highlight was "my all-expense paid trip to St. Louis for games one and two" of the series. She also enjoyed the opportunity to watch a complete game for a change. During the season's home games there are precious few opportunities to watch the games. Ms. Corralez also mentioned the atmosphere both inside and outside of the stadium, particularly outside which had people assembled all over the parking lot and the area immediately outside the Busch Stadium. Corralez say, "they had really good music" being played. She stated, "there was a true feeling of excitement" largely due to the St. Louis franchise having such a long, established history within the sport.
Monique Corralez at Busch Stadium in St. Louis
Ms. Corralez listed Rangers pitcher Derek Holland as one of her favorites players. She initially met Holland when she worked for the Roughriders during Holland's minor league years. Holland was teammates with former Midland College outfielder Tim Smith and it was Smith who introduced Holland to Corralez. Corralez and Smith attended Midland College together.

"He (Holland) is great with the kids and fans. He's exactly the same now as he was back then; just a good guy", she stated. Corralez also named two-time MLB All-Star second baseman, Ian Kinsler of the Rangers as one her favorites and cited that "I love to watch him play."

As for the future Corralez is very happy in her role with the Rangers and hopes for a long career with the club. Although she admits to being "spoiled" as a result of their two highly successful seasons in 2010 and 2011, including the club's two World Series appearances. "I feel connected to the success of the team", Ms. Corralez says. "I love seeing the excitement on the faces of the kids throughout the community during school visits. It's their team." she says.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Friday, October 28, 2011

Midland College Volleyball wins 2011 WJCAC title

By Forrest Allen
MC Athletic Director

The Midland College volleyball team won the outright conference title by soundly defeating Clarendon College 25-20, 25-17, 25-22 (3-0). The MC win coupled, with New Mexico Military Institute's win over Western Texas College, solidified the Lady Chaps' second consecutive WJCAC title. Midland College finished 2010 as the WJCAC Co-Champions with Frank Phillips College.

The Lady Chaps won handily over the Lady Bulldogs despite the absence of two key freshmen contributors. Setter Haley Nichols did not travel with the team due to illness, and top attacker Dragana Cvoric continues to recuperate from nagging groin and quad strains. The other members of the team picked up the slack with sophomore standout Brittany Serrano leading the way with 15 kills and 15 digs. Freshmen Keli Key-Wilson and Breanna Ruble contributed with 17 digs and 36 assists respectively.

MC improved their overall record to 16-12 and 8-1 in the WJCAC. Congratulations to coaches Tammie Jimenez and Jennifer Charles and the members of the 2011 Lady Chap volleyball team on their conference championship. We wish them much success in next week's Region V West Tournament.

"Sophomore Day"

Saturday, October 29th @ 2:00 p.m. will be the final regular season match of the season. It is also the final home match for four members of the volleyball team. Addison Zaya, Trinity Walker, Sarah Sawyer and Brittany Serrano will each be playing in their final home match as members of the MC volleyball team.

Final Regular Season Match: Western Texas College @ Midland College Saturday, October 29th @ 2:00 p.m. Midland College Volleyball "Sophomore Day."

2011 NJCAA Region V West Volleyball Tournament

The Region V West Volleyball Tournament will be played on the campus of Clarendon College (Clarendon, TX) on November 5th 2011. The Lady Chaps are the #1 seed in the tournament and will #4 seed on Saturday @ 10:30 a.m. Midland College's likely opponent will be Frank Phillips College.

New Mexico Military Institute and Western Texas College will square off in the 12:30 match up of the #2 and #3 seeds. The tournament is a single elimination format and the winner of the 4:30 p.m. contest will advance to the 2011 NJCAA Women's Division I Volleyball Championship in West Plains, MO (November 17-19, 2011).

See below for Region V West Tournament times:
Saturday Nov 5th, 2011
@10:30 - 1 vs 4
@12:30 - 2 vs 3
@4:30 - Championship

MC's Charles Selected for AVCA Scholarship

MC's Cvoric Named NJCAA Player of the Week, Oct 10-16

Ecology and Indigenous Cultures in Panama, through Your College

Spend a week discovering the exciting country of Panama this spring, April 14-20, 2012. MC Dean of Math and Science Dr. Margaret Wade will lead a group of adventurous explorers to one of Central America’s most exciting countries.

The course will start with tours of Panama City and the Canal, then move out into the rainforest to visit the Embera people who live along the Chagres River. Mid-week, participants will cruise around the Pearl Islands on a dolphin watching trip and have lunch on Tabago Island. The last two days of the week will be spent among the Kuna people in the San Blas Islands, staying on the beach, snorkeling and learning about the Kuna art panels called "molas."

The price is $1,700/person (based on double occupancy). A $400 deposit is due upon register. The price includes the following:

· Lodging
· Breakfasts and lunches
· Dinners in the San Blas Islands
· All ground and water transportation
· All tour fees
· All entry fees
· Flights to the San Blas Islands
· MEC Instructor
· Lectures


Panama City: Toscana Inn Hotel
Hotel services include cable TV, phones, internet, on-site restaurant, a pool, and room service.

San Blas Islands: Yandup Island Lodge
Hotel services include cabanas overhanging the ocean, on site restuarant, and internet service.


Contact Dr. Margaret Wade, (432) 685-4615,

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A junior college athletics tradition ... "Sophomore Day"

By Forrest Allen
MC Athletic Director

On Saturday, October 29th @ 2:00 p.m. the Midland College volleyball program will say their final Chap Center farewell to four outstanding members of the MC family. Addison Zaya (Midland, TX), Trinity Walker (Wink, TX), Sarah Sawyer (Odessa, TX) and Brittany Serrano (Marfa, TX) will be playing in their final home match as members of the Midland College volleyball team.

This talented quartet were integral components in the teams success as freshmen and have shown outstanding leadership in their second season of competition. In addition to the farewell, the team will be facing a very tough Western Texas College team. As of October 26th MC is a match ahead of WTC in the conference standings, so Saturday's match will have implications not only for the WJCAC Championship and the upcoming NJCAA Region V West Volleyball Tournament (Saturday, November 5th in Clarendon, TX).

The winner of the Region V West Tournament will advance to the 2011 NJCAA Division I Volleyball Championships in West Plains, MO (Thursday, November 17th through Saturday, November 19th). Midland College won the 2011 WJCAC Co-Championship and they are the defending Region V West Champions.

Admission is free with your current Midland College ID card.

Come out and give our four sophomores and the team a loud and supportive Midland College home crowd!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Ending the month on a sweet note

By Serena Jourdan
MC Admissions

As you all know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month so let’s end October on a sweet note. We are having a “donation only” Breast Cancer Awareness Bake Sale on Thursday, October 27th from 11:00 to 2:00 PM in the Student Center. All proceeds will be donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Please come on by and show your support. Don’t forget to wear pink! Let’s not just talk about finding the cure, let’s help make it happen!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


By Ernesto Macias
Midland College student

This fall, MC’s drawing and printmaking instructor, Dagan Sherman, can be seen in his lab at the Allison Fine Arts Building with a HUGE smile on his face. The new Hanley Printmaking Lab has been renovated, and Sherman says, “We now have a full program, complete with etchings, new presses and the best equipment out there!”

The lab was officially introduced to the Midland community on Friday evening, October 14, during the Midland Arts Association/Midland College 34th Annual Fall Juried Art Exhibit. The state-of-the art facility was donated by Virginia Hanley and her late husband Alvin “Doc.” Virginia took her first MC drawing class from Associate Vice President of Instruction Dr. Stan Jacobs when the classes were still held at The Stables at the Museum of the Southwest in the early 1970s.

Jacobs, who served as master-of-ceremonies for the evening’s events, fondly recalls those early days at the museum: “There wasn’t much room, and so each class could only accommodate about 10 students at the most. Virginia was always there with a smile on her face, and produced beautiful work right from the start.”

In addition to drawing, Hanley also took her first printmaking class during those early days in the stables. She was then “hooked” and became an ongoing student in MC’s printmaking classes and workshops. “When the college started offering regular printmaking classes, I started taking them each semester!” says Hanley.

During the evening’s events, participants were able to purchase copies of the book Hanley co-wrote with her sister Cherry Jamison. The book entitled Two Ways of Seeing: Two Sisters contains artwork by Hanley and poems by Jamison, and both sisters enjoyed autographing copies of the book for friends and other art aficionados in the new Hanley Printmaking Lab.
In addition to the opening of the Hanley Printmaking Lab, the evening also included the presentation of more than $4,000 in award money, which was given to 18 artists during the opening reception of the exhibit in McCormick Gallery, Allison Fine Arts building.

The Best of Show award went to Barbara Noll for her oil painting Catch Me If You Can; besides the recognition by her peers, she also received a $750 award. The piece was sold by the end of the night! “It was a big surprise, I was just amazed,” Noll said. “It was truly a blessing.”

The exhibit displays 140 pieces and was juried by Karen Fedri, owner of Fedri Fine Art, LLC, in Dallas. “With over 100 artists submitting more than 250 artworks spanning diverse media, genres, techniques and voice, it was both a thrilling and daunting process to select the 140 pieces exhibited in the show,” Fedri said. “I felt each artist included in the exhibition had created something an art collector would want to acquire for their own collection,”

More than half of the award winners have taken art classes at the college, many from Jacobs. “Having former and current students participate in this event is always a pleasure,” Jacobs said.

The exhibit hangs through Nov. 11. McCormick Gallery hours are 8 a.m. - 10 p.m., Monday - Thursday, and 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., Friday.

Monday, October 24, 2011

MC pitcher makes memorable catch

Photo by Travis L. Brown/
"Mike Napoli’s three-run home run in the sixth inning of Game 4 [of the World Series] might be on its way to Canada," Travis L. Brown suggests in a post on his Texas Rangers Report blog for ESPN. "No, it’s not currently orbiting the earth with plans for a fiery re-entry into the land of the maple leaf."

CLICK HERE to read the rest of Brown's post, and to learn the role of MC's Jeremy Filipek in all of this.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

MC Lady Chaps, Chaparral Cagers Open 2011 with #3 NJCAA Rankings

By Forrest Allen
MC Athletic Director

Both Midland College basketball teams open the 2011-12 campaign with #3 national rankings according the NJCAA Division I Basketball polls. The preseason rankings, released on Thursday, can be found on 

Lady Chaparrals

The MC Lady Chaps, who lost to Grayson County CC in the 2011 NJCAA Region V Championship game, finished last season ranked #11 nationally and with a 27-6 overall record. Coach Ron Jones (18th year) returns a talented core of sophomores including 2011 NJCAA Honorable Mention All-American Danesha Long.

CLICK HERE to view the NJCAA Women's Basketball rankings

In addition to Long, a 5'9" guard from Long Beach CA, Midland College return 6'1" Forward Lindsay Ansley (Marble Falls, TX), 6'2" Post Morgan Schwartz (Garden City, TX), 6'2" Post Ornela Bacchini (Buenos Aires, Argentina) and 6'1" Post Nety Sousa (Sao Paulo, Brazil) will bring experience and leadership to the floor.

Tyler Junior College at #10 is the only other team from Texas in the preseason poll.


The Chaparrals now under the leadership of head coach Chris Craig return only two players from 2010-2011. Chap sophomore Majok Majok (Perth Western Australia) a 6'9" post and 6'2" redshirt guard Colan Weasby (Houston, TX) are the only holdovers from last year's NJCAA National Runner-up team. However several sophomore transfers will add maturity to the squad as they enter the regular season as well as through the WJCAC gauntlet.

CLICK HERE to view the NJCAA Men's Basketball rankings

Trinity Valley CC (Athens, TX) comes in at #6 while Howard College and South Plains College of the WJCAC debuts at #8 and #18 nationally.