Monday, January 30, 2012

Enrolling NOW at Your College ...

In Memory ...

The MC flags are being flown at half-staff in memory of Larry Hagler, MC Police Officer at the Advanced Technology Center. Larry passed away on Sunday, January 29. Memorial services will be held on Friday, February 3, at 1:00 p.m., at Golf Course Road Church of Christ. Visitation will be held at Nalley-Pickle & Welch Funeral Home on Thursday, February 2, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. Please keep Larry's mother, Bobbie, and his sister, Linda, in your thoughts and prayers. Memorial contributions may be made to the Midland College Chaparral Circle Endowment Fund c/o the Midland College Foundation, online at

Please keep MC Upward Bound staff and students in your thoughts and prayers as they mourn the loss of student Josh Hernandez. Josh passed away last night. Our thoughts and prayers are also with Josh's family and friends, and his high school classmates.

We also extend our sympathy to Janet and Ron Hall on the death of Ron's mother, Nelta Hall. Mrs. Hall passed away on Sunday, January 29, at the age of 82. Services will be on Wednesday, February 1, at 1:00 p.m. at Nalley-Pickle & Welch Funeral Home. Ron is the former Director of the Computer Center at Midland College. Janet is the current Registrar's Assistant. Memorial contributions may be made to the Midland College Chaparral Circle Endowment Fund c/o the Midland College Foundation, online at

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Literacy and Waywardness

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

The term wayward kids isn’t used much anymore. Yet, few among us have not either had wayward kids in our own families or known others who have. The hope is that kids will outgrow their waywardness and become upstanding, productive citizens in society. Occasionally, they do.

This is the story of two very different individuals who found their way to a certain extent. These stories are told with permission though the places and names are changed.

Now a truck-driving 35-year old, Rob entered into an adult literacy class because he could not read.

Speaking in front of a large group of senior-level university students nearing the certification phase of their training, he told this story. “My parents moved a lot because they needed to find work to put food on the table. For me, that meant trying to fit in at one different school after another. The cool kids wouldn’t accept me.” Soon, he found it easier to assimilate into the wayward kid group who had much more important things to do rather than sit in classrooms and read. As a result he never learned to read. You should see his reading to-do list!

Immediately, hands sprang up around the classroom, and the disbelieving university students wanted to know how he graduated from high school or passed the CDL if he couldn’t read. And they wanted to know how his parents were involved in his education.

In response, he merely shrugged and said in a subdued voice, “This is not easy to admit to a bunch of future teachers, but I cheated on everything. My girlfriend wrote my papers and read the required books and summarized them for me right before a test and I cheated on the tests!” He also said that by the time he straightened out enough to take the CDL training, he had someone read the book to him and he memorized the pictures and probable answers. He found he could read in short spurts if he didn’t have to read long passages and respond critically.

It took him a few years to understand the importance of reading, and he did it for those he loved—his children. At the age of 35, he entered into an adult literacy program because he didn’t want his children to know he couldn’t read. Rob has not only turned from wayward kid to productive citizen of society but he has also become an enriched human being in the process, he realized what he had missed in life—understanding the written word and why most of those words are important to being a productive citizen.

The second story is that of an individual who is a little different from the first. I met Geraldo in a group of a dozen people who had failed the Examination for the Certification of Educators in Texas (ExCET) one or more times. My dean had asked me to coach these folks through the professional educator’s examination because all of these individuals though currently employed in school districts were about to lose their jobs if they didn’t take and pass the certification examination required by the State of Texas.

Geraldo had taken the exam ten times and had failed it each time. (The rules have changed significantly since this event took place). He was certainly on the verge of losing his job if he did not take it one last time and pass it. During this initial roundtable session in the dean’s conference room, six people read a practice question for me and analyzed each multiple choice question giving rationales for/against each answer, and then it was Geraldo’s turn. In a strong, affable voice and with twinkling eyes, he began to read the question looking around the table and smiling at several points. We all liked him and smiled back. As he read, he mispronounced several critical words and, in fact, substituted entirely different words in the context. These errors changed the question completely. I allowed him to go on to see how he fared with the analysis. He carried those misperceptions through the analysis consistently repeating the mispronunciations and the substitutions. He could not select the correct answer because Geraldo could not read!

What this story tells us like the first is that it is quite possible to be functionally literate and succeed to a certain degree, but eventually a performance ceiling will be reached. To wit, this young man had completed college and was hired as a non-certified teacher/coach (legal at this time). He was a very successful coach and dearly beloved by his community and by his students, yet he could not read at the level he needed to fulfill his teaching/coaching dreams. How had he completed college if he couldn’t read? In fact, how did he get out of high school with this limitation?

There are multiple answers, but in Geraldo’s case, he attributed his success to two things: he was a great athlete and he was a teacher-pleaser. He said he received special privileges in terms of no pass, no play during its formative years, and his personal charm appealed to a good many of his teachers. He worked the system. It happens.

To public school teachers, wayward kids are a daily reality. These kids sit or try to sit on the back rows, they stare out the window or down at their laps at their hidden cell phones, or they put their heads on their desks and sleep or, in Geraldo’s case, smile and nod appropriately at the appropriate times. However, most of these students rarely respond to questions verbally. Shoulder shrugging (even with a charming smile) is common. Conscientious teachers — and most are — try daily to connect with these students hoping to awaken the thing inside them that will turn them on to learning. If we were to peek into the homes these kids come from, we might see parents who are desperately hoping for a miracle.

It is true that all students need mentors, but it is also true that success comes as a result of personal responsibility of seeing beyond self and understanding the important role each has to play as part of a community. That means reading and analyzing what you read, listening and reflecting on what you hear. If I had a magic scepter, I would so decree it for every citizen.

NOTE: Nationally, an estimated 30 percent of adults over the age of 25 need literacy intervention. Midland County mirrors the national average ( Contact the Midland Need to Read office at (432) 682-9693 to receive tutoring or to volunteer.

This column first appeared in the January 17, 2012 edition of the Midland Reporter-Telegram, and appears here, in its entirety, with the MRT's permission.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Calling all caricatures!

There's a neat story in the Midland Reporter-Telegram about an exhibit coming later this spring to MC's McCormick Gallery. It will also be a tribute to Dr. Stan Jacobs, MC's Vice President of instruction, who will retire in August after 41 years at Midland College. It's something YOU could be a part of of ... find out how in the MRT article, linked below.

MC opens call for caricatures
By Meredith Moriak
Midland Reporter-Telegram

\When Stan Jacobs was asked to draw a caricature his freshman year of college, he wasn't quite sure what his professor was asking of him.

"He needed someone for a junior high carnival and I guess thought highly of me, so he told me I needed to go," said Jacobs, who serves as Midland College's vice president of Instruction. "I didn't even know what a caricature was, but he said I just needed to look at someone's features and exaggerate them."

And exaggerating people's features is something Jacobs has done ever since, estimating he's drawn more than 10,000 caricatures during the last 45 years in more than 35 countries.
CLICK HERE to read the rest of this story

Friday, January 20, 2012

See You at Chap Center, Monday?

By Forrest Allen
MC Athletics Director

Both MC basketball teams will return to action on Monday at the Chaparral Center following last night's games in Hobbs, NM versus New Mexico Junior College. The Lady Chaps lost a hard-fought battle to the Lady Thunderbirds 65-58 in overtime dropping the Lady Chaps to 15-5 on the season and 1-1 in the WJCAC. The Chaps also lost last evening in Hobbs. The Chaparral's record dropped to 12-4 this season and 0-2 in conference play.

The Lady Chaps will square off against Howard College Lady Hawks 14-4 (0-1) on Monday @ 5:45 p.m. while the Chaparrals will take on the Howard College Hawks 13-3 (2-0) in a 7:45 p.m. contest. As always there is no admission charge for Midland College students and employees with their current MC ID card.

We need a large and vocal crowd at the games to help the teams get back on track!

From Around the World to Your College

By Lesley Isaacs
MC Media Specialist

For the average person, Midland, Texas doesn’t seem like an exciting locale, but over 60 international students now call Midland, Texas and Midland College (MC) their temporary home. Most people wouldn’t think that there would be many international students attending MC. However, there are currently 24 nations being represented by the international students who are enrolled at MC with student visas. Throughout the years, there have been 90 nations represented by international students at MC.

Africa has consistently led all regions in sending international students to MC. One such student is Amadomo Saye. Amadomo is from Mali in West Africa and is currently the International Student Club president.

Saye said, “When I graduated from high school, I went to the university in my country (Mali, West Africa) to learn languages. That’s where I learned English and French, I took some classes in German too. In 2001, which was my first year of university, I met a missionary named Bill Johnson at my church. He was from First Baptist Church, Midland and was looking for somebody to interpret for him in the mission field in my country. I served as an interpreter for him and others for 9 years. It is through being an interpreter that I met this missionary and learned about Midland College.”

Amadomo Saye is studying Business Administration at MC and plans to stay for two more years to get a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Management and Applied Technology.
“After getting my bachelor’s degree, I plan to go home and open an electrical company to help develop my country and help other young people who went to school like me but did not get the chance to be employed. In other words, open job opportunities and help decrease the unemployment rate,” said Saye.

The International Student Club was founded in 2002 by Michael Makowsky and Lynda Webb. Many of the international students are required to take a college level ESL class, which is where Makowsky and Webb got the idea to form a club for these students. They started with a food fair and used the proceeds to pay for a field trip for the students. Now the food fair and field trips are annual events.

“We want to show them a part of West Texas they haven’t seen,” said Makowsky.
The Mission Statement for MC’s International Students Club is: Located in the heart of West Texas, the International Student Club (ISC) at Midland College is dedicated to promoting the international spirit among our fellow students, the campus community and the local community at large, and to building a truly international community of students at Midland College.

Saye said that the ISC “makes me feel at home, in a family and makes me strong to see that I have other people from Africa and other countries I can hang out with. We can share our problems and help each other as international students. The most important part is that we learn from each other. I learned different cultures, traditions, backgrounds, perceptions, visions, lifestyles and beliefs that I was not aware of before I came here. Being in the club allowed me to get connected and meet many people.”

Many international students face different obstacles but all say that they are far from home and must rely on the community to help them with unique issues that may arise.

When asked what he wanted the community to know about international students, Saye said, “First, many international students are struggling in their school life. Some of them have a language barrier, transportation and financial difficulties, etc. A few people are struggling with lifestyle, food and social problems because they have a problem integrating with others. The biggest difficulty is where to live/stay or where to go when the dorms are closed for Christmas or summer holiday. It is hard and expensive to live the entire summer in a hotel or go home for Christmas holiday every year. International students need to be told all these things. Another thing is the number of hours we can work as students in order to cover our tuition and other expenses. It is really difficult to work 19 hours a week and pay for room and board and tuition. These are some of the difficulties we face in everyday life as international students.”

Michael Makowsky, the ISC faculty sponsor, said, “They are everyday kids like all the other students here. They want to finish school, get a degree, a job and have a family but they face unique situations like visas, insurance that includes repatriation and higher tuitions.”

Membership in the ISC is open to any Midland College student, staff, family member or friend who has an interest in the student life issues of international students.

The international students at MC are going through a journey unimaginable to most of us. The support for these students from MC and the community is invaluable to their success while they are here.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Future “I. V.” Leaguers

By Rebecca Bell
Dean of Community Relations and Special Events

“Nurses - one of the few blessings of being ill.”
~Sara Moss-Wolfe

During the past four decades, Midland College has enjoyed a rich tradition of educating and training future healthcare professionals. The week of December 12, 2012, students who had worked tirelessly to accomplish their goal of becoming professional nurses were honored at two special ceremonies.

Each semester, both the MC Associate Degree Nursing program and the Licensed Vocational Nursing program hold pinning ceremonies for those students who are graduating from the programs. On Wednesday, December 14, thirty-seven students were pinned as future nurses during the MC Associate Degree Nursing ceremony, and on Thursday, December 15, twenty students received their Licensed Vocational Nursing pins.

The ceremonies also celebrated the accomplishments of outstanding students in both programs. Associate Degree Nursing graduates Maxine Estrada and Hyangsook Ko received a plaque acknowledging both of these young women as having the highest grade point average. Estrada also was honored as the Irwin Scholar and received the prestigious Florence Nightingale Award. Associate Degree Nursing Program Director Valerie Steiner says, “The Florence Nightingale Award recognizes a student who exhibited superior behavioral characteristics while in the program and who shall probably be the kind of nurse we all want taking care of us. Maxine certainly possesses all those qualities!”

During the Licensed Vocational Nursing ceremony, Anarosa Perches was recognized as the Irwin Scholar, and Graciela Villa and Francisco Teveni received highest grade point average honors
Photos by Katherine Curry-Inskeep
Multimedia Developer
Associate Degree Nursing graduates light candles during pinning ceremony as family and friends show their support and encouragement

Associate Degree Nursing graduates Hyangsook Ko (left) and Maxine Estrada (center) receive honors from Valerie Steiner, program director
December 2011 MC Licensed Vocational Nursing graduates
Licensed Vocational Nursing Irwin Scholar Anarosa Perches is pinned by program coordinator and Associate Professor Carla Hooker.  MC Executive Vice President Dr. Richard Jolly (back, left) looks on during the ceremony
Licensed Vocational Nursing graduates Francisco Tevani (left) and Graciela Villa (center) are honored by Carla Hooker (right), program coordinator

Thursday, January 5, 2012

John Hyde, Midland College and Me

By Jeff McDonald
Web Editor, Midland College

The MC flag was set to half-staff this week in memory of Judge John G. Hyde, District Judge of the 238th District Court for 22 years. Hyde passed away on Monday, January 2, after a courageous battle with cancer. Judge Hyde was a good friend to MC. For several years, he served as an adjunct instructor at MC and was serving as a member of the Davidson Distinguished Lecture Series Committee at the time of his death. And it was through Midland College that I first met Judge Hyde. Below is a piece I wrote Monday afternoon for my Archaeotexture blog, shortly after hearing news of his passing.

In Memoriam: John Hyde

The new year is less than 48 hours old, and already our community is lessened - substantially. It was with great sadness that I visited just now, to read that "Judge John Hyde passed away this afternoon after a more than two-year battle with cancer."

Sadness, yes ... but not shock. Hyde's battle with cancer has been common knowledge - and an inspiration! - to the community. He was the focus of frequent and fervent prayers for 'wholeness and healing.' And even as we celebrated his time among us, we knew deep down that time might not continue as long as we would like. Our prayers, now, are with Hyde's family ... his wife Sharon, his children and his grandchildren, and with all those who are touched by his passing.

My first visit with Judge Hyde was more than twenty years ago, and it was a typical encounter. It was the late 80s, the 'bust' was well underway, and I had been laid-off from KMID-TV/Big 2. While I was pursuing a variety of freelance media jobs, I was also enrolled at Midland College for job-retraining, taking courses towards a paralegal certificate. They were some good courses, but the best was a course that had me downtown at the courthouse, student-clerking for the state district courts. I was assigned to John Hyde's 238th Distrct Court.

Under his tutelage, I found myself gaining first-hand knowledge and experience of every aspect of our court system. With him, there was no such thing as a menial task ... everything I did, even fetching stacks of law books or answering phones, served a purpose. I eventually re-entered the journalism business full-time, and did not make the move to professional paralegal. Yet the knowledge, the experience and the appreciation I gained for law enforcement and the court system during that process made me a better journalist ... like I said, a typical encounter with Judge Hyde.

My last visit with Judge Hyde was less than two months ago, and it was a typical encounter. He had just made a presentation during the early service at First Prez-Midland, highlighting dates in the church's history, and it's contributions to the community, the country and the world. As many of you know, he not only had a keen interest in history, but also a knack for research, and a wonderful ability for presentation, sharing the results of his research with others in a manner that informed and stimulated.

During the fellowship time that followed the early service, I was part of a three-way chat with Hyde and MPD Deputy Chief Jeff Darr, that covered not only history, but also current events in the Tall City, cause-and-effect, where we are and where we're going. It was all-too-short a visit, but I left it encouraged and better-informed ... like I said, a typical encounter with Judge Hyde.

According to Gustave Flaubert, "a friend who dies, it's something of you who dies." With the passing of John Hyde, that is something we could all say today.

- 30 -

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

MC nominates future “doctors” for national recognition

Rebecca Bell
Dean of Community Relations & Special Events
Midland College

Kristyn Wells and Shannon Edgar share much in common — they both graduated from Midland High School (MHS) in May 2010 and are now sophomores at Midland College (MC); they both are interested in pursuing careers in the science field, eventually obtaining doctorates; and they both are MC’s nominees for the USA Today, All-USA Community College Academic Team!

Each year, USA Today recognizes exceptional students at community colleges. Judges consider grades, academic rigor, growth and how well the students use their education to benefit their schools and communities. The program is administered by Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society.

Kristyn Wells
Kristyn Wells says, “I was so surprised when I received an e-mail from Mr. Willis [MC assistant professor of speech and Phi Theta Kappa advisor] informing me that I was one of MC’s nominees. I really wasn’t expecting it.”

Having received the MC nominations, Wells and Edgar are now competing against students in community colleges throughout the United States. The top twenty students selected will receive a $2,500 cash award and extensive national recognition. Both Wells and Edgar say that the additional funds will definitely help them in their future pursuits.

Wells plans to transfer to Texas Tech University (TTU) in the fall, where she will major in Human Sciences. After receiving her baccalaureate degree, she hopes to be accepted into the TTU physical therapy doctoral program. In addition to keeping up with her studies at MC, Wells volunteers at the Midland Children’s Rehabilitation Center several times a week. She also works at Pink Tumbleweed boutique in Midland. In her spare time, Wells enjoys playing tennis and horseback riding.

Shannon Edgar
Shannon Edgar is seeking an Associate degree in biology from Midland College. Her plans are to transfer to Texas A&M University or Texas State University where she will pursue a baccalaureate degree in microbiology. Eventually Edgar says that she plans to work toward a Ph.D. in virology and hopes to work in a research lab.

“Marlana Mertens [MC associate professor of biology] really has inspired me,” says Edgar. She worked for USAMRIID [U. S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases], and my dream is to do the same. I love science, and I also enjoy my math classes. I plan to minor in math.”

Edgar, who maintains an almost-perfect 4.0 GPA, is currently employed as a tutor in the MC Math Lab. Having played the violin in the MHS orchestra during her high school years, she also enjoys music and is now taking piano classes at MC. In addition, Edgar is a member of the COM’s Master Swimmers program and swims competitively.

With promising careers ahead of them, Kristyn Wells and Shannon Edgar say that they are glad they decided to stay in Midland for two years after high school graduation, citing the fact that MC has given them a solid foundation in their studies. They are both attending MC on the Midland Legacy Scholarship, which helps fund their tuition and fees in exchange for community service.

In April, the young women will find out whether or not they have been selected for the USA Today, All-USA Community College Academic Team. Until then, Wells and Edgar will continue to enjoy life as MC students and work toward their goals of one day having the title of “Dr.” in front of their names!