Friday, August 31, 2012

And that's a wrap

Wrapping things up here, on the campus of Your College ... and we have a long weekend ahead! MC will be closed Monday, September 3, in observance of Labor Day. We'll re-open, and classes will resume first-thing Tuesday morning, September 4. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Your Thoughts on Your College

Dear Midland Employer:
The opinions of those employers who hire Midland College graduates are especially important to the College’s commitment to continuous improvement. If you employ MC graduates, please take a few minutes to evaluate their on-the-job performance. Your responses will help assess the effectiveness of instructional programs and provide direction for improvement.
The short survey can be completed online at the following link:   The survey will be available through September 21.  For assistance or to obtain additional information, please contact Rebecca Bell, (432) 685-4556,  
Rebecca C. Bell
Dean, Community Relations & Special Events
Midland College
(432) 685-4556

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Welcome to Midland College

From Curt Pervier, Dean of Technical Studies at Midland College ... "Heather Sanders is our new Business Systems Lab Instructor and Michael Cain is our new Energy Technology Instructor. Heather works in the Business Systems lab in the TC Building and Michael is working at the TC Building and the Advanced Technology Center. Please take time to meet them and welcome them to our MC family."

Lady Chap Volleyball Starts Season 4-0

By Forrest Allen
Midland College Athletic Director

The 2012 edition of the Midland College Lady Chaparral volleyball team defeated all four of their opponents in the Kick-Off Classic (August 24-25), played at the Al G. Langford Chaparral Center on the Midland College campus. Midland College, 4-0 this season, recorded wins over Temple College, Wharton County Junior College, Navarro College and Cisco College.

On Friday, Midland College was successful in matches with Temple College in straight sets by scores 30-28, 25-15, 25-17 (3-0) and a five set thriller with Wharton County JC 25-27, 25-23, 25-27, 25-21, 15-12 (3-2). On Saturday the Lady Chaps defeated a well-coached Navarro College Bulldog team 25-17, 19-25, 25-18, 25-23 (3-1) and Cisco College 25-17, 27-29, 26-24, 25-18 (3-1) to end the weekend unblemished.

Midland College will travel to Baytown, TX for the 24th Lee College Invitational Tournament (August 31-September 1)on the Lee College campus. Midland will face a formidable slate of opponents in the Tournament when they open play Friday @ 9:00 a.m. versus fellow WJCAC team New Mexico Military Institute and @ 7:00 p.m. against the host team, Lee College. Midland College is also expected to face Paris Junior College and #4 ranked San Jacinto College.

CLICK HERE to enjoy a photo album from the tournament

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

MC CE classes help you get in step, get in line, get RAD

When we say Midland College has something for everyone, we mean it! Take a look at some of the courses now being offered by Midland College Community Programs Continuing Education, for example.

Introduction to Ballroom
September 14 - October 5 / Fridays / 6:00 - 7:30 p.m.
Singles Mixer
September 14 - October 5 / Fridays / 7:45 - 9:00 p.m.
September 4 - October 30 / Tuesdays / 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. or 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Beginning Line Dance
September 12 - October 17 / Wednesdays / 6:30 - 8:00 p.m.
Intermediate Line Dance
September 10 - November 26 / Mondays / 6:30 - 8:00 p.m.
RAD (Rape Aggression Defense)
September 10 - 20 / Mondays - Thursdays / 12:00 noon - 1:00 p.m.
September 10 - December 5 / Mondays and Thursdays / 7:00 - 7:34 p.m.

For more information, visit or contact Brenda Cordero at (432) 685-4518.

Monday, August 27, 2012

XTO Energy and ExxonMobil employees make a difference at MC

XTO Energy presents Midland College with funds for energy technology, math and science programs. Pictured from left to right are MC Foundation Executive Director Erin Tresner, XTO Senior Office Manager Kim Gray, XTO Energy Regional Manager for Public and Government Affairs Laura Paredes and MC President Dr. Steve Thomas.
By Rebecca Bell
Dean of Community Relations & Special Events

Since 1962, ExxonMobil Foundation has been matching employee contributions to qualified colleges and universities 3:1. The Foundation is the primary philanthropic arm of the ExxonMobil Corporation and its subsidiaries in the United States.

“The ExxonMobil Foundation has a long history of supporting a range of efforts to improve the quality of education in the United States, “said Suzanne McCarron, president of the ExxonMobil Foundation. “We are proud to build upon the generous support of ExxonMobil employees who are committed to investing in the future of young Americans.”

On July 18, Laura Paredes and Kim Gray from XTO Energy, one of ExxonMobil’s subsidiaries, presented the Midland College Foundation with a check for $22,500. These funds will be used to support the MC energy technology program and for MC math and science programs that support student engagement.

Friday, August 24, 2012

MC “Shootout”

The day's activities included a Chipping Contest
By Rebecca Bell
Dean of Community Relations & Special Events

It wasn’t the OK Corral, but it was a “shootout,” and it took place at Hogan Park Golf Course on June 29, 2011. The Midland College Applied Technology Division held its annual golf scramble to raise money for technical scholarships.

The winning team was led by MC Associate Professor of Organizational Management Amme Cole. Joining Amme were Kristi Brunette, James Martin and Chuck Blumenauer.

Sponsors of the event included Rogers Ford, COG Operating LLC; BCCK Engineering, Inc.; Snap On Tools; Warren Cat; Vandergriff Group Architects; The Bosworth Company; Frac Tank Supply Company; Midland Independent School District; Branon Interiors; Antiques’ by Joseph; Rogers Ford; Atmos Energy; Amme Cole; Valic; Trey Resources, Inc.; Century Graphics & Signs, Inc.; and Sanchez Mortician Services. Thanks to the generosity of these sponsors, a total of $4,620 was raised!

MC Dean of Applied Technology Curt Pervier said, “We are so grateful to these local businesses and community members. Our technical programs furnish Midland with a trained workforce, thereby helping to promote economic development. Many of our students are working parents who are attending classes to make a better life for themselves and their families. The funds raised from the golf scramble will help to defray some of the expenses associated with tuition, fees, textbooks and supplies.”

The winning team was led by MC Associate Professor of Organizational Management Amme Cole.  Joining Amme were Kristi Brunette, James Martin and Chuck Blumenauer

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Callin' all kids! MC needs 'ball-shaggers' for volleyball tournament

By Forrest Allen
MC Athletic Director

Midland College is hosting the annual Kick-Off Volleyball Classic this weekend, and we are in need of ball shaggers on Saturday.

Basically they help with catching volleyballs during warm-ups (helps the teams to utilize their time to warm-up and not have to chase balls around) and during matches (helps keep the match moving along in a timely manner). Typically we use four ball shaggers during each match and as many as we can get during warm-ups.

The shaggers would need to be junior high age and up with volleyball players being especially nice to have.

The time slots for Saturday are as follows:

7:30 a.m. until the first match concludes
9:30 a.m. until the second match concludes
3:30 p.m. until the fifth match concludes
5:30 p.m. until the sixth match concludes

If you have a child or children that can help us out, please e-mail me at

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Continuing your education into the workplace

Where might your career take you? Whatever your destination, there are courses offered by Midland College Workforce Continuing Education that will help you get there.

Here are some examples ...

Fall Electrical License Renewal Courses begin September 15
TDLR Provider #1014/Course #8220
This Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation approved course satisfies the mandatory four (4) hours of continuing education required by the State of Texas for electrical license renewal. The course provides 2.5 hours of instruction in electrical installations in hazardous locations, one hour of instruction in safety, and .30 minutes of instruction in the rules and laws regulating the electrical industry in Texas. PREREGISTRATION AND PREPAYMENT IS REQUIRED. Participants must bring a photo ID and their TDLR issued electrical license to class.  The class meets 8:30 am – 12:30 pm on September 15, 2012 at the Advanced Technology Center, 3200 W. Cuthbert. The course fee is $65.
Online registration is available at 
Fall Real Estate Salesperson Program begins September 17!
Are you looking for a career path that offers flexibility, networking, and sales? Are you motivated, driven, and passionate about making your career a success? Real estate may be the perfect fit for you! The Midland College real estate salesperson program meets the Texas Real Estate Commission’s educational requirements which must be completed prior to sitting for the state licensing exam. Real estate courses are taught by local, licensed real estate professionals willing to share their knowledge and expertise with you!  Evening classes begin September 17.

MAC OS X LION Course Meets September 10!
This course demonstrates how you can work proficiently in the Mac OS X Lion environment by managing files, customizing your work environment, and creating files using applications including iLife. Mac Book Pros are provided for use in class to the first 10 registered and paid students. The course meets 6:00 – 9:00 pm, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, September 10 -13, at the Midland College Advanced Technology Center, 3200 W. Cuthbert. The course cost is $154 ($159 out-of-state) which includes materials.

For more information, visit or contact Debra Vetter at 432.681.6335.

Two scholarships — courtesy of Northside Lions Club

By Rebecca Bell
Dean of Community Relations & Special Events

August is the only month without a holiday; however, every year since 1996, the Northside Lions Club has made it seem like there’s an August holiday at Midland College! This year no was no exception.

On August 15, four club members presented two checks to MC President Dr. Steve Thomas. One check was for $1,000 to immediately be given to deserving MC students. The second check in the amount of $2,000 will be used toward the club’s endowed scholarship. Each year since 2005, the Northside Lion’s Club has been donating funds toward this endowed scholarship.

Northside Lion’s Club members present scholarship checks to Midland College.  Pictured from left to right are John Wojtkun, MC Foundation Executive Director Erin Tresner, Don Eckerty, MC President Dr. Steve Thomas, Northside Lion’s Club President Sherry Warren and Mark Singh

Monday, August 20, 2012

Midland College Diesel Technology Department and Warren CAT partner to offer technical internship program

By Rebecca Bell
Dean of Community Relations & Special Events

This fall, Midland College (MC) and Warren CAT will partner to offer MC’s diesel technology courses to individuals who have been accepted into Warren CAT’s technician internship program. The program is designed to allow students the opportunity to develop skills needed for Warren CAT’s entry-level service technicians. Training is tailored to consist of maintenance and repair of equipment manufactured by Caterpillar, Inc., as well as customer service skills.

Midland College will deliver a curriculum based on its Diesel Technology Associate Degree integrated with Caterpillar’s service technician curriculum. Hands-on instruction incorporating Warren CAT’s equipment will be provided in a group environment at MC’s diesel technology center located across from MC’s Cogdell Learning Center on Florida Street in Midland. MC diesel technology faculty have worked closely with Warren CAT personnel to design the training so that it simulates on-the-job situations.

Pete Avalos, associate professor of MC’s Diesel Technology program, stated, “This is a wonderful opportunity for our students. The connections that students who enter this program will be making with the industry are invaluable. These students will not only receive standard industry training in diesel technology, but will also gain hands-on experience using equipment manufactured by one of the world’s leading diesel power and machinery companies.”

Jim Nelson, Dealer Principal of Warren CAT, acknowledged the tremendous benefit to students to have the opportunity to work on real equipment. “While all engines are the same in their basic design, nothing can equal having an actual engine to take apart, troubleshoot and repair. We are extremely pleased to have this opportunity to partner with Midland College. We believe this program will help provide a portion of our workforce for the future – and for others in our industry as well,” added Nelson.

Curt Pervier, MC dean of Applied Technology, added, “Midland College is committed to working with local business and industry to provide in-demand training for the Permian Basin. Partnerships like this are what furnishes Midland with a trained workforce, thereby helping to promote economic development. We appreciate Warren CAT’s enthusiasm for this program and their trust in Midland College to supply them with a qualified pool of technicians.”

The training is an approved college program of study; therefore, students are eligible for regular Midland College advising, tutoring and financial aid assistance. Students entering the program must meet minimum entry requirements acceptable to Warren CAT and Midland College.

For more information, contact Pete Avalos, (432) 620-0246,

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Registration: Finding Your Place at Your College

I may have mentioned , once or twice, that walk-in registration for the Fall Semester at MC is now underway. CLICK HERE to enjoy a photo album with shots of some of those who walked-in this week, and are taking that next big step in their education, and their life. Welcome!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Design, Create, Imagine!

Prospective students ... whatever your preferred medium, the Midland College Division of Fine Arts and Communications has opportunities this fall semester for you to design, create and imagine! These include ...

Beginning and Advanced Creative Writing:  Fiction and Drama
ENGL 2307 and ENGL 2308
August 29-December 12
Courses offered in traditional classroom setting on Wednesday evenings from 5:30-8:20 p.m. or online
For more information, contact MC English Instructor Brendan Egan, (432) 685-4638,

Studio Art:  Photography
August 28-December 13
Use traditional black darkroom skills to process black and white film and make prints.
Beginning class is held at 1:00 p.m., and he advanced class is held at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays
For more information, contact MC Communications Professor, Kent Moss, (432) 685-4654,

Studio Art:  Digital Arts
August 27-December12
Use cameras, computers and Adobe Photoshop to produce images for print or electric media applications.
Meets on Mondays and Wednesdays at 1:00 p.m. or 6:00 p.m.
For more information, contact MC Communications Professor, Kent Moss, (432) 685-4654,

Drawing III, Figure Drawing
ARTS 2323
August 28-December 13
Effectively and accurately represent the human form in both drawing and painting.  The class, which meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:00 to 8:50 p.m., will stress representation of anatomy as well as the expressive use of art media.
For more information, contact MC Art Instructor Michael Hubbard, (432) 685-4651,

... and many more!
Both ONLINE and WALK-IN registration for the Fall Semester at Your College is underway NOW. We've created a handy index of what you need to get started at MC, at 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Just another day at the office ...

... this past week for MC alum and professional photographer Andrew Hancock was covering the PGA Championship at The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, near Charleston South Carolina.

"One of my favorite frames of Rory McIlroy from yesterday afternoon. Made some more frames of him this morning," Hancock wrote on Sunday. You can read more posts at Hancock's Facebook page.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Farewell to a friend

In 2010, Marvin Hamlish made his second appearance at MC, innaugurating the college's new Steinway concert grand piano with his performance and his autograph.

Smoky Mountain research

By Rebecca Bell
Dean of Community Relations & Special Events

Each year, thousands of tourists from all over the world visit the Great Smoky Mountains that straddle the border between North Carolina and Tennessee; however, few have an opportunity to spend 10 weeks there taking part in a new scientific breakthrough! This summer, Midland College (MC) Assistant Professor of Chemistry Dr. Pat Nandakumar had just such an opportunity when she participated in the Visiting Faculty Program at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) near Knoxville, Tennessee.

ORNL was established in 1943 as part of the World War II Manhattan Project, and today it is the largest science and energy national laboratory in the Department of Energy system.

Nandakumar said that she learned quite a bit about the beginnings of ORNL during her stay in the area and explained, “During World War II, the material for making the atom bomb was produced at ORNL. Because of its unique location hidden in the Smoky Mountains, the lab was not easy to locate. In fact, at the time, Oak Ridge was referred to as a ‘secret city.’ Once Plutonium was produced at ORNL, they were shipped to Los Alamos National Laboratory in northern New Mexico, where the bombs were assembled.”

This past summer, Dr. Nandakumar and one of her MC research students Jasmine Flores spent 10 weeks researching ways to extend the lives of high capacity batteries, such as those found in I-phones, IPADs, laptops and hybrid cars. The two women had the honor of working with Dr. Parans Paranthaman, who is the group leader of the Materials Chemistry Group in the Chemical Sciences Division at ORNL.
Pictured from left to right are MC Assistant Professor of Chemistry Dr. pat Nandakumar, MC research student Jasmine Flores, and ORNL Materials Chemistry Group Leader Dr. Parans Paranthaman
During a recent telephone interview conducted while Dr. Nandakumar was still at the laboratory, she exclaimed, “I am learning so much that I can take back to share with my students and colleagues at Midland College! In addition, I am working with Dr. Parans and other staff members at ORNL to coordinate a possible visit to the laboratory by MC faculty, and we are discussing ways for ORNL and MC to collaborate on a variety of projects in the future.”

The process to be accepted to the Visiting Faculty Program was not a simple one—Nandakumar and Flores each had to submit extensive applications detailing each woman’s qualifications and previous research projects.

During the same telephone interview, Nandakumar’s research student Jasmine Flores, a 25-year-old Odessa native, said, “When Dr. Nandakumar approached me about the summer internship, I was excited to be offered such an opportunity. I have never considered research as a career. The experience at ORNL opened my mind to further educational and career opportunities. I am currently investigating several leading research universities in order to further my education.

“I am synthesizing materials and characterizing them by using high-tech instruments,” continued Flores. “Part of my responsibilities this summer has been to assemble CR2032 coin cells that are being used to experiment with the life extension of lithium ion batteries. I am in a very team-oriented environment and currently collaborating with five scientists. I have not only met world-renowned chemists, but also have met people who are experts in computational science, forensic anthropology and genetics. There are about 500 other interns here representing schools from community colleges like Midland College to research institutions like MIT and Harvard.”

Flores graduated from Odessa High school in 2005 and received two bachelor degrees at Texas Tech University in 2010 in dance and biology. She attended Midland College during the 2011-2012 school year in order to fulfill prerequisite requirements for a graduate program. While at MC, she worked with Nandakumar on solar cell research.

Midland College is one of the few community colleges in the nation that have a research component to their science program.

MC Dean of Math and Natural Science Dr. Margaret Wade explained, “When we initiated our first research projects a few years ago, we knew that this would be a great opportunity for MC students. Today, our students and faculty are benefitting from the research projects we have implemented in biology, chemistry and geology. The research that Dr. Nandakumar has accomplished at Midland College in the field of lithium ion batteries and solar cells is one of the reasons she and Jasmine were chosen for the prestigious summer program at ORNL.”

Nandakumar said, “Even though Jasmine and I have worked hard this summer and we are a long way from our families, the program has been so amazing. We are beginning to see promising characteristics with our research. Dr. Parans and I are discussing the possibility of collaborating in the future and to publish papers on our work. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience!”

Pictured from left to right are Dr. Parans Paranthaman, Jasmine Flores and Dr. Pat Nandakumar performing research on life extension of high-capacity batteries

Monday, August 6, 2012

Photo Album: MC Music Clinics at Tall City Blues Fest

Tall City Blues fest has wrapped-up the 2012 edition of its annual, weekend-long music festival in downtown Midland. Here are some photos taken by TCBF staff at the music clinics sponsored by MC Continuing Education during the festival. The clinics were taught by Blues fest guest artists, and attended by local blues enthusiasts young and old..
CLICK HERE to view the entire album

MC's College Classics needs computer instructor

Friday, August 3, 2012

Area high school students learn healthcare through real-world applications

By Rebecca Bell
Dean of Community Relations & Special Events

When the F. Marie Hall SimLife Center at Midland College was built in spring 2012, it was seen as a collaborative learning environment for Midland College students, Texas Tech University Health Sciences students and Midland Memorial Hospital employees; however, a younger group of students is also participating in classes at the Center.

Through a partnership between the Area Health Education Consortium and Midland Memorial Hospital, Permian Basin high school students have the opportunity to gets hands-on training in various health careers.  The program, entitled Youth Health Services Corps, allows high school students an opportunity to attend extracurricular classes, seminars and workshops, as well as shadow healthcare professionals.

On Thursday, July 26, the high school students were special guests at the F. Marie Hall SimLife Center at Midland College and participated in various medical training scenarios, including a simulated exercise involving a patient having a seizure.

Center Director Lea Keesee programmed one of the Center’s sophisticated manikins to exhibit neurological symptoms, and the high school students made bedside observations and reported the symptoms to Keesee and Kim Kincaid, executive secretary of PCS Administration for Midland Memorial Hospital.  After going through the exercise, students were given the opportunity to “debrief” with Keesee in one of the Center’s conference areas.

“This was really awesome!” said 15-year-old Amanda Bell, a sophomore at Greenwood High School.  “The manikin patients were so life-like—their eyes blinked, they breathed, and they spoke to us about how they were feeling.  One of our manikin patients even started to shake his left hand and arm when he was seizing.  Going through the simulated exercise helped me realize the importance of making sound assessments.  I think this experience will help me properly react when I am put in similar situations in real life.  My goal is to be a medical doctor, so this was a great learning experience for me.”
Standing from left to right are Youth Health Services Corps students and mentors:  Yara Carrasco, Midland High School 12th-grader; Alexandra Rodriguez, Odessa High School 10th-grader; Amanda Bell, Greenwood High School 10th-grader; Kim Kincaid, Midland Memorial Hospital executive secretary of PCS Administration; and Lea Keesee, director of the F. Marie Hall SimLife Center at Midland College

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Photo Album: 2012 Kids' College at MC

The MC Continuing Education program has wrapped-up the 2012 edition of its annual Kids' College at MC. Coordinated by CE Director Brenda Cordero and her office - plus a large number of temp staff and volunteers, young and old, from throughout the community - Kids' College lived up to its reputation as one of West Texas' favorite summer time enrichment and recreation activities for youngsters.
CLICK HERE to view the entire album

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Mechanical aptitude + hands-on training = career opportunity

By Rebecca Bell
Dean of Community Relations & Special Events

Trey Thompson always loved working with his hands and repairing things. After spending four years in California, stationed at Camp Pendleton in the U.S. Marines Corps' 1st Division, he moved to Midland because his father had been transferred to the Tall City from Wyoming.

“I grew up in Wyoming and am an avid fisherman,” said Thompson. “Midland doesn’t have the outdoor activities like Wyoming; however, there is a much better job market here.”

In 2003 Thompson began working as an automobile mechanic in Midland and realized that he had a knack for mechanical work. Using financial assistance from the U. S. Veteran’s Assistance program, Thompson enrolled in Midland College’s (MC) aviation maintenance program in 2008.

“People don’t take very good care of cars,” explained Thompson. “Planes, on the other hand, are usually well-maintained, and I enjoy keeping them in proper working condition. When something is the matter with an aircraft, it usually poses more of a challenge, and I enjoy diagnosing and finding the problem.”

Thompson completed both MC’s powerplant and airframe aviation maintenance certificates. He wanted to get both credentials in order to be more marketable as an aircraft mechanic. Even with spending the extra time to earn two certificates, he still was able to finish all the required work in just 18 months!

Thompson said, “I found that aviation maintenance came pretty easy to me. The instructors in MC’s program have all worked in the industry for a long time, and they really know the material. They are able to provide students with real world, hands-on training because they have worked as airframe and powerplant mechanics themselves”

After completing the MC program, Thompson began working as a mechanic for Deer Horn Aviation Ltd. Co. in Midland. In December 2011, he joined Empire Airlines as a line mechanic at the Midland International Airport. The Midland office is one of the many Empire locations that handle all of the flight crews, maintenance and parts for Federal Express. In the fall, Thompson will transfer to Empire’s office in Anchorage, Alaska.

“My wife Yvonne and I have loved living in Midland,“ said the 33-year-old aircraft mechanic. “We met each other here through mutual friends and have been married for 5 ½ years. We also love outdoor activities, and Anchorage is a beautiful place. I think we will enjoy the change.”

“I owe a lot to Midland,” reminisced Thompson. “I met my wife here and I received training at Midland College for a career that I love. Now, I’m looking forward to the opportunities ahead.”

Trey Thompson stands by one of the Federal Express planes that he services through Empire Airlines