April 4, 2014
From wjfw.com: “New technology promotes teamwork at Nicolet College” – Nicolet College believes today’s workplace requires a lot of teamwork. That’s why the college introduced new technology that promotes working together.
Nicolet College has 4 of the Collaboration stations. They’re high tech projectors that show an image on a tabletop. Group members can interact with the image using a special pen. Students enjoy using the new technology.
“When we have discussions in class mainly it gives us something to work around and kind of moves our discussion towards,” says Jordan Slominski, Nicolet College IT Student. “If there’s a certain subject that we’re trying to comprehend that not every member of the group is seeing what we’re talking about these displays, these projections can kind of give us an image to kind of base our discussions off of really.”
Nicolet introduced the collaboration stations last fall. They help promote teamwork among students.
“It promotes teamwork and whole group dynamics of things because especially in information technology and in most professions today it’s not that individual working out there anymore,” says Scott Biscobing, Nicolet College IT Instructor. “You have to be able to work in a team and work with other people to solve problems and do other things and this is just one tool we can use to promote those topics.”
Each of the collaboration stations costs around $2,000.
January 28, 2014
From weau.com: “Cold weather brings diesel dangers” – Semi-trucks, plows and school buses are all in danger when the temperatures drop below zero.
Mechanics say the proper fuel and care by truck drivers could save valuable time and money, especially on days when we don’t see temperatures above zero.
“The biggest thing is the filters get plugged. Once the filter’s plugged, then we run out of fuel,” Chippewa Valley Technical College diesel mechanic instructor Rusty Naylor said.
“The diesel fuel will start gelling when it gets down around 0 degrees. Anything below that, additives have to be put in to keep the fuel from getting thick,” Mid State International Trucks service manager Tom Behling said.
“Drivers in this area, what we have most problem with, is people coming from the south. They’re coming up from Florida, Texas, they fuel up in Missouri, and then when they hit here, our climates 20 below (zero), plus. They don’t think about the fuel gelling. They don’t have a problem down south,” Naylor said.
Behling said his Eau Claire shop has seen more than 100 trucks come because of cold weather problems, twice what it saw last year.
“If they can drive the truck here, they can easily get out of here for a couple hundred dollars. You get towed in; you’re probably looking at $1,000 or more because towing gets expensive.”
He along with Naylor said there are things drivers can do to avoid diesel from gelling up.
“You need a blended fuel, that will drop the temperature at which this wax will develop … Also to that you have to put additives in,” Naylor said.
“This is a trial and error time. I’m looking at tomorrow morning myself, got good fuel, blended fuel; we’ll see what happens at 25 below zero.”
Naylor said if a truck starts, but power drops while driving, that could be a sign that diesel is gelling.
January 27, 2014
From bizjournals.com: “MATC instructor sees more demand for VMware training” – By Denise Lockwood – Let’s talk about IT trends and how Milwaukee Area Technical College has designed its curriculum around those trends, specifically virtual servers and data storage and the huge need companies have in filling positions with IT types who have software certification called VMware.
MATC is aligning its IT curriculum with a number of highly sought after skills, but VMware is “the 800-pound gorilla in the middle of the room,” said Brian Kirsch, an IT networking instructor at MATC.
“VMware has revolutionized everything and it’s not going to go away any time soon,” Kirsch said. “I only see it continuing to grow.”
So what constitutes virtual servers and data storage?
Companies use virtual servers to run their data centers and reduce their server footprint. So if you’ve got a more powerful server, you can run smaller servers off one large server. And chances are good that if you work at or want to work at a company that uses virtual services and data storage, that company is probably using VMware — 60 percent of the servers in the world run on VMware.
The problem (and opportunity) is that 120,000 people are certified in VMware training and with that type of utilization, the number of people with certifications should probably be in the millions. So if you are looking for a career in the IT industry or a change in your IT emphasis, this is a good direction to take, Kirsch said.
Locally, Northwestern Mutual, Aurora Health Care and FIS are just a few companies that run VMware. New graduates who graduate with an IT network specialist associate degree and get certified in how to use the software can expect to earn $40,000. Demand is high: People with a few years of experience in VMware and certification are earning $80,000 to $100,000 a year.
The demand is so high that Kirsch, who has been teaching VMware, has seen companies pluck students from his classroom and offer them jobs before they earn the actual certificate, which is done through VMware, Kirsch said.
“I personally get to turn down one job offer a week,” Kirsch said. “And one of my students who was in my class actually had to negotiate time off with his employer to finish the class.”
A number of IT professionals, who already have degrees, are returning to take the VMware class. The class isn’t easy and the VMware certification test is difficult, which is why MATC is hoping to offer a followup in the 2014-15 school year, Kirsch said.
“We often say that our education programs are one of the best kept secrets in Milwaukee,” Kirsch said. “We’d like that to change.”
January 27, 2014
From biztimes.com: “Mid-State to open downtown Stevens Point campus in June” – STEVENS POINT — Jerry Stumpf said working on the new Mid-State Technical College campus in downtown Stevens Point wasn’t what he planned for when he signed up to take an IT-network specialist at the college.
Yet there was Stumpf, 65, of Custer, taking measurements earlier this week with about 20 students from a class taught by Kathryn Doar, an IT instructor on the MSTC Stevens Point campus, in the network lab and PC clinic. Students in Doar’s class are being asked to put together a plan for building the computer network and will begin work on the project next week.
“I originally took the class because I wanted to learn more about computers, but (Doar) talked me into getting out and doing some of this work,” said Stumpf, who has participated in other projects through the class at the Stevens Point Area YMCA and Ben Franklin Junior High School.
Construction is on schedule the new campus, located in the J.C. Penney wing of the former CenterPoint MarketPlace, 1001 Centerpoint Drive. Stevens Point Campus Dean Steve Smith said a grand opening, along with a centennial celebration for the college, will be held from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. June 4.
The new campus has been part of the city’s redevelopment plan for CenterPoint Marketplace, which included demolishing the mall portion of the building and rebuilding Third Street to connect to Centerpoint Drive, since it was announced by Mayor Andrew Halverson back in December 2010.
Ellis Stone Construction Co. of Stevens Point is the contractor for the project, which has a cost of about $6 million. Smith said the campus originally was expected to be completed this month, but design changes pushed that date back to June.
The new MSTC building will be 52,000 square feet. The current campus along Michigan Avenue is 36,000 square feet and will be vacated after the new campus opens. The downtown site will serve 2,800 students a year. Smith said the additional space on the new campus will allow for the expansion of programs such as information technology, and for the early childhood education program to be moved from the Wisconsin Rapids campus to Stevens Point.
Smith said construction crews will be working to complete the majority of the work on the new campus over the next month or so, along with the installation of carpeting. Smith said the majority of new furniture is expected to be delivered around Feb. 20. Furniture and other equipment coming over from the old campus will then take place the weekend of May 17 and 18.
“It’s exciting to be coming to a point where we’re starting to see things come together. It’s going to be a hectic time over the next few months, but I think people are going to enjoy it when they get in the building and see what’s there,” Smith said.
January 21, 2014
From htrnews.com: “Deadline approaching for LTC Top Tech nominations” – CLEVELAND — The deadline for Lakeshore Technical College’s Top Tech Award nominations is Jan. 31. The second annual awards recognize the top educators in career and technical education in Manitowoc and Sheboygan counties.
Four awards will be given to kindergarten through 12th-grade teachers, counselors or administrators who inspire innovation and work to promote career and technical education. The awards will be presented Feb. 20 at a reception at Lakeshore Culinary Institute in Sheboygan.
“This is a great opportunity for students, parents, colleagues and administrators to recognize a teacher who has made a difference in career and technical education at the high school level,” Sara Greenwood, LTC high school liaison coordinator, said in a news release. “The process is easy, and the recognition the winners receive is equally as satisfying as it is to the nominators.”
Nominees should demonstrate innovation in promotion of career and technical education, mentor and inspire students to uncover and pursue their career passions, and participate in outreach activities, according to the release.
Last year’s winners were Ron Schneider and Dave Teske from Kiel High School, representing Manitowoc County, and Ed Hughes of Sheboygan Falls High School, representing Sheboygan County.
For more information, contact Julie Mirecki at (920) 693-1193 or email@example.com.
January 6, 2014
From onmilwaukee.com: “Pastry Chef Jacquy Pfeiffer: Through the eyes of an apprentice” – World renowned pastry chef Jacquey Pfeiffer, co-founder of Chicago’s French Pastry School and author of the new book “The Art of French Pastry,” has won countless accolades for his tireless pursuit of perfection in pastry.
He has also been recognized for his exceptional mentorship, which he has extended to dozens of pastry students from Wisconsin. Some, like Chef Kurt Fogle of SURG Restaurant Group, who Pfeiffer mentions by name as a star pupil, have gone on to make their own marks on the world of pastry.
On January 12, Fogle and a team of some of the city’s finest culinary talent – including Chefs Justin Carlisle of Ardent, Matt Haase of Rocket Baby Bakery, Andrew Miller of Hom Woodfired Grill and Jarvis Williams of Carnevor — will host a dinner honoring Pfeiffer. The five course dinner will serve as a celebration of his life, his work, and his new book.
The menu is being kept under wraps, but Fogle says each chef will be pulling out the stops in an effort to pay homage to Pfeiffer.
“We all work together, and we’re all a little competitive,” Fogle remarks, “So, you know everyone is bringing their A-game. There’s something–without trying to sound like too much of a weirdo — about watching five guys really going for it. To be a person in the room experiencing those dishes.”
Fogle has a particular investment in the dinner, since Pfeiffer was a key influencer in setting the direction of his career.
During his tenure with Pfeiffer, Fogle was one of very few Americans who had the privilege of taking part in the prestigious Meilleurs Ouvriers de France competition (Best Craftsmen in France), a competition captured in the documentary, “Kings of Pastry.”
NPR’s Ella Taylor remarked, “Kings of Pastry is about the craft, the teaching and learning, the collaborative work, the tedium, the heartbreak and emotional backbone it takes to make something lovely, even if that something is destined to disappear down a gullet in seconds — and even if the maker ends up a noble failure.”
“The whole damn experience was indelible,” Fogle says. “Working with Pfeiffer was two years of just having my mind blown day after day. And it was exhausting. Nothing will ever be harder than that. Nothing. I’m going to continue to challenge and push myself, but that’s the highest level.”
Working together created a professional and personal bond between the two chefs. Fogle says Pfieffer continued to be his mentor even after he left Chicago. In fact, it was Pfieffer who encouraged Fogle to move back to his home state of Wisconsin after completion of the competition.
“Since I was 15 working at O&H Danish Bakery in Racine, I had a passion for this part of the culinary world, and Pfeiffer encouraged me to come back and see where I could enhance pastry here,” he says.
He credits Pfeiffer with launching his career, as well as setting the direction for his art.
“To sum it up,” Fogle tells me, “He’s one of the best pastry chefs on the planet, and in turn I’m one of the luckiest apprentices to walk the planet.”
He went on to talk about some of the things he took away from his experience.
“I don’t want to say I didn’t learn to cook from him,” Fogle explains. “But what I really learned is how to think, how to be organized. He didn’t teach me how to bake, he taught me how to think.”
And for Fogle, part of that experience was learning that he could do anything to which he set his mind.
“One of the first things you learn from him is that anything is possible, because if it’s impossible we’re just going to create a technique or a tool or a trick to make it happen,” he tells me. “It wasn’t how to hold a spatula and fold mousse. It was the commitment and philosophical aspect I gained – learning to be tenacious and resourceful so that when I get out into the real world… when I don’t have a proofer or a sheeter– and I have an oven with hotspots hotter than Mercury — that I could still put out a great croissant.”
Fogle, who has known Pfeiffer since 2006, says he’s more than just a great teacher and pastry chef.
“He’s really really good at foozeball and ping-pong,” Fogle goes on. “Like he makes me feel bad about even playing against him.”
But, Fogle says his gentle disposition is what really makes Pfeiffer exceptional.
“In all the time I’ve known him, he’s never raised his voice,” he explains. “He’s the sort of guy who just makes you want to do things better – whether it’s pastry or what it is… he just never loses any steam. He’s ok going back and back and back and making things better and better. That’s really what rubbed off the most.”
Fogle, who teaches part-time at MATC in their culinary department, says he learned a great deal about teaching from Pfeiffer.
“I think the most important thing that I learned from him is that you have to be patient, and you have to let people struggle through it… a good example is that he was trying to teach me how to pipe something. I was struggling with holding the bag and not moving it. A couple of years later I realized I was doing it properly. But, I don’t know when it happened. He instilled in the idea that you just need to do it and do it again.”
So, when he teaches, Fogle says he always keeps that in mind.
“The fact is, I can’t talk you into being a good pastry chef, and I can’t make you into a great chef. But, I can be there for you and work with you and help you get there.”
Sounds like the sort of teacher we’d all love to have had.
January 2, 2014
From thecountrytoday.com: “Broadening opportunities: New CVTC instructors bring industry insider knowledge” – EAU CLAIRE — With a few fresh faces on its agricultural staff, Chippewa Valley Technical College is looking forward to a bright future in 2014. In the past year, the college hired three new agriculture instructors. CVTC horticulture instructor Susan Frame said the new additions bring industry knowledge that will help students excel in their fields.
“One of the advantages Chippewa Valley Technical College students have is that the instructors have been in the industry,” Frame said.
Among the new arrivals are animal science instructor Adam Zwiefelhofer, agronomy instructor Jon Wantoch and farm business instructor Maria Bendixen. All three are UW-River Falls alumnus.
Zwiefelhofer, who majored in agricultural education, hails from the Eleva-Strum area.
The former Genex breeding specialist said teaching was a natural transition, noting, “I always knew I wanted to teach.”
Wantoch, a Mondovi native, majored in agricultural studies with minors in dairy science and biology and was previously employed by Lakeland Cooperative.
The switch to teaching was an easy one, he said, adding, “Helping others fits who I am.”
Bendixen taught high school agriculture in Colby and spent a year serving as UW-Extension agriculture agent for Taylor and Marathon counties before signing on as Clark County’s agent, a position she held for seven years.
Though she worked directly with producers as an ag agent, Bendixen said she was interested in being able to work with them on a more continual basis.
“I’m excited to be able to work with farmers for an extended period of time and to be able to follow up,” she said.
Bendixen joins veteran farm business instructor Mark Denk in aiding farmers in continuing education throughout western Wisconsin.
Zwiefelhofer said many people don’t realize the extent of continuing education CVTC offers.
The ag programs have 80 students on campus. Another 160, mainly farmers, are enrolled in the Farm Business and Production Management program, which offers resources to improve management skills. The program features part-time instruction with topics rotating over six years, versus the typical time-intensive 32-week school year.
Students range from high schoolers (enrolled in the youth option) to farmers in their 70s, Denk said, noting the broad variety of ages and backgrounds creates a unique peer setting not found at larger educational institutions.
“There’s a lot of knowledge transfer that comes into play there,” Bendixen said. “It leads to some lively discussions — which is fortunate, because in agriculture, there’s no one right way to do things.”
Zwiefelhofer said the school has adjusted its curriculum for the ever-diversifying niches of Wisconsin agriculture.
“I think we’ve flexed with the times,” he said. “If there aren’t jobs for our students, we’re not going to be around in the future.”
Though their three main program areas are agriscience technician; landscape, plant and turf management; and farm business and production management, Denk said the instructors have helped students branch out into other topics.
“We’ve had students interested in hops, for example,” he said. “In that case we end up working with them on a more individualized basis or connect them with an industry partner, but the backbone of what they need to learn remains the same.”
That backbone is rooted in ag-focused marketing, sales, equipment and facility courses. From there, students can branch out into the varying tracks.
Industry partners, such as Case IH and John Deere, have been instrumental in CVTC’s ag programs, Denk said.
“I personally feel like we touch on community more than the larger universities,” Zwiefelhofer said. “The labs we do are mostly on farms or businesses in our local community.”
The college has an active biofuels program in which students grow the crops used to generate biofuels. Students can also become certified in skills such as commercial pesticide application, skid-steer operation and performing animal ultrasounds.
Two greenhouses on campus allow students to grow produce, which this year was sold in an on-campus farmers market.
“We also do hydroponics and work closely with cooperating farms and the local farming population,” Frame said.
Students also benefit from a strong internship program, Zwiefelhofer said.
“The internships they take between their first and second year are really what separate us from the larger schools,” he said. “A lot of times it leads into employment.”
Those interested in learning more about the ag programs are welcome to shadow classes.
CVTC also has a transfer agreement that allows students to carry credits into the UW system.
Denk is eager to see how the ag programs develop with the influence of the new instructors.
“We’ve got a great staff here,” he said. “We’re committed to working together for the students’ success.”
December 26, 2013
From host.madison.com: “First tiny home to be occupied thanks to a village effort” – Last spring, Betty Ybarra occupied a tent in a county park and with her tentmates dug moats to discourage oncoming floodwaters.
Starting Christmas Eve, she and a tentmate will upgrade to a brand new “tiny home” they helped build with aid from a variety of helpers including local colleges. It has a roof, insulated walls, a toilet and a sink. Christmas lights hang outside it.
It’s a twist of fate more fortunate than they could imagine possible.
“I was like, ‘Yeah, right,’ ” Ybarra, who’s been homeless since April, said of her reaction when originally presented the idea. “I’m too skeptical.”
Their house is the first of what organizers hope will be a village of similar houses that provide basic shelter against the elements and a home to be proud of for the homeless, who earn the residences through sweat equity at an East Side workshop set up to build and decorate the units.
Its construction came about thanks to a massive volunteer effort that included more than 50 people and started early in the summer with fundraising and technical support from Occupy Madison Inc., a nonprofit.
Steve Burns, an MATC math instructor, trained volunteers and oversaw much of the construction and design of the first two houses, which follow a basic blueprint but can include whatever touches and innovations their creators want.
One of those innovations — a pole-mounted solar panel — comes with heavy fingerprints from MATC and UW-Madison and origins in rural Costa Rica, where villagers use the solar-powered lights to guard against snake bites while heading to outdoor latrines. It can charge the battery that provides light to the house.
UW-Madison donated the panel for this house. The idea came from Ken Walz, an instructor of chemistry, engineering and renewable energy at MATC and an adjunct professor at UW-Madison. For seven years, Walz has led students on study abroad trips to a national park in Mastatal, Costa Rica.
The village, rebuilding its economy after its cocoa industry cratered, had unmet energy needs because of its rural location. Walz had won a federal Department of Education grant to lead study abroad trips framed around renewable energy for international development.
Walz and his students helped with the village’s most pressing problem — a lack of reliable light — with solar panels of 40 to 60 watts. They’re designed for simplicity and ease of use. They matter especially because villagers have outdoor toilets and used to fall prey to vipers, nocturnal snakes that used darkness to their advantage. The nearest hospital is 30 miles away.
Calvin Cherry, a UW-Madison graduate student who’s been on Walz’s trip to Mastatal, saw an opportunity for the solar panels on Madison’s new tiny homes, which are based on models in Portland, Ore., and Olympia, Wash.
The 80-watt solar panel he developed will charge a sealed lead acid battery. It can power the 98-square-foot home’s four LED lights and cellphone charger base. Burns, the MATC math instructor, engineered a metal pole to mount the panels outside the house.
The first homes are heated with a vented propane heater mounted on the wall. They also can use a space heater if parked near a plug-in electricity source.
However, the plan needs a bit more refining. A recent attempt to mount the metal pole exposed a problem: it’s too tall to fit under bridges, said Bruce Wallbaum, project organizer for Occupy Madison.
The houses currently must be trailered around the neighborhood a couple of times a week. City ordinance allows them to be parked on the street as long as they’re moved every 48 hours.
The transient life will eventually end for the houses as it does for their occupants, Wallbaum said. He and other organizers of Occupy Madison are working with area churches to allow the houses to park up to three in each lot. Eventually the organization hopes to buy land and create a village of up to 30 of the houses.
December 26, 2013
From jsonline.com: “Recipe for Milwaukees feast mixes volunteers, fellowship” – After 24 years, they really do have the Christmas Family Feast down to a science.
On Wednesday, thousands of people streamed through the Wisconsin Center to savor a free festive meal, bringing joy and cheer to the quiet downtown on Christmas Day.
There was turkey and ham, green beans and sweet potatoes, pie and ice cream.
Choirs belted out Christmas standards.
And a musician named Kevin Kennedy donned a red and white suit, put on a white beard and took his place on a seat that looked a little like a throne.
Santa Claus was in the building.
“It’s an awesome feeling,” Kennedy said. “You’ve got kids and adults and you can make them all happy.”
The Salvation Army of Milwaukee County was once again the host, with lots of local sponsors pitching in with support. There were other smaller, events around town, like at the Guest House of Milwaukee, where 86 men who stay at the shelter had a holiday party.
Volunteers are the key ingredient for the Family Feast, with more than 1,200 doing everything from seating visitors to clearing tables to handing out gifts. The volunteers included Gov. Scott Walker; his wife, Tonette; and sons Matt and Alex. The Walker family has volunteered at the event for 11 straight years.
“The last few years it has gotten bigger, which probably reflects on the economy,” Walker said, taking a brief timeout from putting pats of butter on rolls. “Talking to people here, you see not only folks in need in terms of food, you see a lot of folks in need in terms of family and fellowship. So this becomes an extended family.”
That extended family could be seen at dinner tables, complete strangers sharing meals and conversations.
Lisbeth Maturin; her husband, Miguel Moure; and their four young children were seated with Norma Anwar and her two middle-age sons.
“We wanted to do something special for the kids,” Maturin said.
Anwar said she enjoyed the food but especially enjoyed the spirit of the event.
“It brings Christmas back,” Anwar said.
Anwar’s older son, Marlon, said the event provided “a beautiful experience. This is the chance to say hello to a lot of people.”
A 3-year-old named Donovan Webb celebrated his Christmas Day birthday with his mom, Latonya, and other family and friends.
“This was a good year,” Latonya Webb said.
East siders Marilyn Kruger and Kim Morgan bumped into one another at the event. Kruger enjoyed Christmas morning, visiting her grandchildren and attending a religious service. The feast, she said, capped “a wonderful holiday season.”
Morgan said many people may be struggling through the year, but the feast serves as a way “to make the community come together.”
Back in the kitchen, the staff was busy making up parcels of food that were to be taken to shelters around the city.
Between the people who attended the feast and the food parcels, about 10,000 meals were made under the supervision of chefs Gus Kelly, a veteran of the feast, and Bob Ilk, who was volunteering at the event for the first time.
The pair taught together for years at Milwaukee Area Technical College and worked easily under great pressure in the kitchen on Christmas Day.
“Bob can take over next year and I’ll be his helper,” Kelly said.
Don Rosette, the former longtime general manager of WMCS-AM (1290), was back for another year. It was Rosette and the station who helped get the first feast off the ground in only 55 days and helped it grow through the years.
“The Salvation Army has taken the reins and it’s going well,” Rosette said. “It’s a tradition now.”
December 20, 2013
From wkow.com: “Experts offer advice following massive Target security breach” – As many as 40 million people who shopped at Target in the three weeks after Thanksgiving may have had their credit or debit card data hacked. Experts are calling it a massive security breach and are reminding people to take some precautions so they don’t become victims of fraud.
Some Target shoppers in Madison Thursday were shocked to hear the news. “That’s horrible. I feel a little bit betrayed that they would let that sort of information get out, actually,” Corey Stoelb tells 27 News.
The hackers reportedly stole data from magnetic strips on the back of debit and credit cards.That includes your name, credit card number, security code and expiration date. Target says anyone who shopped at the store between November 27 and December 15 could have compromised data.
“They have a small window between when they get this going and when it gets found out, that’s why they target mass sales times of the year, because they can fit it in that window,” Madison College Information Security Instructor Mike Masino says about the hackers. Masino says users can take some steps to prevent money from being stolen like monitoring activity on a credit card or debit card daily or weekly online. “Just makes it a lot easier to get out in front of it if someone’s breaking into the accounts,” he says. “Another good thing to do is to use credit cards when you’re doing this kind of stuff and not use the bank cards that are directly connected to those accounts.”
The Better Business Bureau says debit cards also give you less time to dispute a fraudulent charge so if you see one, call the credit card company or bank immediately. Target is also advising customers to change pin numbers. The BBB also warns this situation may cause more scams, from people posing to be your bank or the store, and looking for personal information.
Thursday, Target says it has identified and resolved the security issue. The secret service is investigating the crime.
December 10, 2013
From thecountrytoday.com: “New direction: Madison College focusing on farm business management” – REEDSBURG — Madison College officials are revamping a nearly dormant agriculture program to focus on farm-business-management skills for beginning and established farmers.
John Alt, north region administrator for Madison College, formerly known as Madison Area Technical College, said college officials are making the transition from a combination farm-business and production-management program to focus strictly on farm-business management.
Randy Zogbaum, most recently the agriculture education director for the Wisconsin Technical College System, has been hired as the program’s instructor and coordinator.
Madison College had offered a diploma program with courses in soils, crop and livestock management, livestock nutrition, and farm records and business analysis. Alt said they heard loud and clear from farmers and advisers that what farmers really need is a program designed to help them with their business-management skills.
Zogbaum had been helping the college shape the new direction while working in his WTCS role, so when he expressed an interest in the Madison College position, Alt said Zogbaum was a perfect fit.
“(Zogbaum) has tremendous knowledge of what goes on statewide and nationally,” Alt said. “In all fairness, we recruited him. We’d be crazy not to look at a person who was this close to the whole process of developing the program. I’m looking at Randy to grow this program.”
The program has been slow to gain traction out of the gate — only three students signed up for a limited number of classes that started in November — but officials hope to build interest in sign-ups for another round of classes in January and have full classes in the fall of 2014.
The 2014 classes will start in mid-January and run for about six weeks each. A second group will start in late February and run until early April. All classes will meet for two hours, once per week.
A similar schedule will take shape again in the fall of 2014.
Classes will be held at the Green Technology Training and Enterprise Center in Plain. Alt said he is hopeful that as interest in the program grows, similar classes will be held at other locations within the 12-county Madison College district.
Madison College officials solicited the advice of farmers and financial institution representatives in shaping their new curriculum.
“We all know that farms don’t fail because farmers aren’t working hard, they fail because they’re not good at managing a business,” Zogbaum said. “From the education side it’s not a favorite topic all the time. But our goal is to help them be the best business people they can be.”
The courses offered by Madison College will lead students down the path of developing a business plan for their farm business. Students will then learn methods for using the plan to evaluate their farm’s financial viability and assist in decision making.
Alt said students can take each course sequentially or individual courses depending on their experience and knowledge of operating a farm business.
“Farming is a complicated business,” Zogbaum said. “If you don’t know your cost of production all the way through you really can’t tell if you’re making money. That’s the goal of the courses we set up — to work through it in a way that makes sense for the farmer.”
Alt said farmers have told them they don’t need a diploma or a certificate but instead need just-in-time training to help them manage their farms. Farmers or people interested in starting a farming operation can take the courses they need to help their individual situations.
“The nice thing is it’s easily customizable,” Alt said. “The courses we’re developing are applicable to all sorts of things. This is a new direction for the college.”
Zogbaum will also be developing a fee-for-service program that will allow farmers to receive one-on-one instruction.
Zogbaum said within the structure of the old farm-business and production-management program, if a student needed just one course and left the program, that hurt the statistics that kept the program viable.
“In the new program, if you choose to come in and get a business plan in the business planning course and we never see you again, that would be unfortunate, because we’d like to have you back, but you still get a good value out of that class,” Zogbaum said. “Either way, it doesn’t hurt the program and it helps the student.”
Zogbaum was born and raised in Madison but grew up working on a dairy farm in Richland County and a beef and pork farm in Rock County. His father’s family is from the Lone Rock area, so he said his “heart and soul are right here in this area.”
“I was real excited to have the opportunity to get back in the classroom,” he said. “I had some great colleagues in the system office and I’ll miss each and every one of them. But this opportunity is just too good to pass up.”
Zogbaum worked at the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection as a soil and water quality specialist and as a Columbia County Extension agriculture agent before taking the WTCS agriculture director position in 2008.
Each six-week course will cost about $240, and in many cases, scholarship or grant funds are available to cover some of the costs, Alt said.
Zogbaum said he could envision a farmer taking a course every year to help build a strong financial base.
“It would be a great opportunity to sit down with 15 or 20 other farmers and an instructor and look at your balance sheet year after year,” he said. “Why not use the class as a time to close out your books for the year?”
The last full-time employee in Madison College’s old agriculture program retired this year, so Alt said it was important to maintain the position and head the program in a viable direction.
“It’s going to appeal to a lot of people,” he said of the revamped program. “We have lease space at the Green Technology Center in Plain, so that’s where we’re starting, but I can see it spreading very quickly to other parts of the district. I think it has huge potential.”
November 22, 2013
From ashlandwi.com: “WITC gets high marks from report” — Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College’s results from the 2013 Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE) indicates that an overwhelming majority of WITC students feel that personal connections they experience at the college are critical to their academic success.
“We participate in CCSSE to continually improve the quality of education we offer our students.” says Bob Meyer, president of WITC. “Quality is about the student experience — about what we do to engage our students, help them achieve their educational goals and ultimately improve the quality of their lives through education.”
CCSSE uses five benchmarks that allow colleges to monitor their performance in areas that are focused on teaching, learning and student success. These benchmarks encompass 38 engagement items on the survey that reflect a variety of aspects of students’ learning experiences.
Among the findings, 96 percent of survey respondents would recommend WITC to a friend or family member and 94 percent of students rated their educational experience at WITC as good or excellent.
“From my perspective of what the results say, WITC isn’t just a place to get a quality education, WITC is the place to be for connecting with fellow students, faculty and staff and provides services that help students accomplish their goals,” said Jennifer Kunselman, research and data coordinator at WITC. “Nearly three-fourths of CCSSE respondents have accomplished their goals at WITC or will return to WITC within the next 12 months.”
The study also found at WITC students report strong relationships; find instructors to be available, helpful and sympathetic; and that staff are helpful, considerate and flexible.
The CCSSE survey — administered directly to community college students at participating colleges —helps participating institutions assess quality in community college education, focus on good educational practice, and identify areas in which they can improve programs and services for students. Washington Monthly, an independent national magazine, utilizes CCSSE and IPEDS data to rank colleges and in 2013 they ranked WITC fourth in their listing of “America’s 50 Best Community Colleges.”
WITC will use the results in many ways, from improving and adding services to assist students, with marketing, to its quality review process, as well as strategic planning for the direction of the college.
Research shows that the more actively engaged students are — with college faculty and staff, with other students, and with the subject matter — the more likely they are to learn and to achieve their academic goals.
“Students that attend WITC build strong relationships with each other and college staff that not only help them succeed while learning, but also face the many challenges along the way,” Kunselman said. “The study shows that a large portion of our students face multiple responsibilities while they are attending WITC. Many have long commutes to the WITC campus they are attending, they have jobs in addition to taking classes and many have families that are dependent on their care. The relationships that students build at WITC help them face these challenges and play a big part in their succeess at WITC.”
October 23, 2013
From wrn.com: “Safer vehicles offset higher speed limit” – It’s not legal to drive 70 miles an hour, as the bill awaits Senate approval. The state Assembly has already given the green light to a 70 mph speed limit, but its fate is uncertain in the Senate as opponents lobby against the measure.
Brian Landers is a traffic law and traffic crash investigation instructor at Madison College. He doesn’t see a problem with the higher posted limit, saying surrounding states have equal or higher speed limits. ”I don’t think that the increase of 5 mph is going to see any large increase in fatal crashes in Wisconsin. I think that that’s easily offset not only through the advancements in technology in vehicles, but also through the education and enforcement of law enforcement.”
Landers points to higher vehicle safety standards, including better seat-belts, blind spot monitoring, air bags, breaking systems, and other improvements, as contributing factors in a reduction of fatal crashes nationally and statewide.
Green Bay-based Schneider National — the nation’s largest trucking company — has safety and fuel efficiency concerns. Landers says 70 is a maximum speed; it’s not mandatory. ”Depending upon your driving habits, and depending upon the road conditions and the weather conditions … you know, no one is forcing you to go 70 mph. So, if Schneider National or if any motorist out there feels like 65 is their safe limit, then they can still do 65 miles an hour.”
The bill’s author — state Representative Paul Tittl (R-Manitowoc) — says many motorists are already driving faster than the current 65 mph limit and it makes sense that the legal speed is adjusted accordingly.
Landers says whether a motorist is driving 10 miles an hour or 70, he needs to be sober, buckle up, and practice safe driving skills, which means regardless of the legal speed limit, a driver must slow down if conditions warrant.
October 15, 2013
From wisconsinrapidstribune.com: “State leaders encourage students to consider manufacturing jobs” – GRAND RAPIDS — State and local leaders are encouraging students across Wisconsin to consider manufacturing jobs when planning their academic future.
As a major part of the state’s workforce, manufacturing jobs play a key role in growing the economy, Gov. Scott Walker told students today as part of the Heart of Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce’s Heavy Metal Bus Tour, which gave dozens of south Wood County middle and high school students the chance to tour local manufacturing plants and hear about the industry.
“I’d love to have it in every community, connected with every technical college and employers in every part of the state of Wisconsin, just because it’s a great opportunity to open the eyes of not only students, but really of parents, of guidance counselors and others to see there are great careers — not just jobs — but great careers in manufacturing,” Walker said during a lunchtime stop at Mid-State Technical College’s Wisconsin Rapids campus. “Getting these kids interested early on is key to this.”
The local event coincided with October Manufacturing Month in Wisconsin, which is designed to spur job creation through the promotion of manufacturing as a career. Nearly 75 seventh- through 10th-graders from across south Wood County participated in the bus tour, which took them to Domtar Corp., Corenso North America, Tweet Garot Mechanical and Mariani Packing Co., said Melissa Reichert, president of the Wisconsin Rapids-based chamber.
“They’re learning all kinds of things about the great careers that are here in central Wisconsin,” Reichert said. “These are good-paying jobs that average over $52,000 a year, and these companies are hiring.”
Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, Department of Workforce Development Secretary Reggie Newson, state Sen. Julie Lassa, D-Stevens Point, and state Rep. Scott Krug, R-Rome, also participated in today’s event.
The state should financially support programs that make technical education more affordable and expose students to the importance of manufacturing — through hands-on learning and other activities — at an earlier age, Krug said.
“We’re looking to close that financial gap (and) make sure it’s accessible to everybody,” he said. “Whether you’re Republican or Democrat, those programs are important … (in) helping local employers fill those jobs they have open right now. It’s a no-lose situation, and it’s a small investment for the state to make.”
On a more local level, Mid-State Technical College continues to work with local employers and other agencies to help address the so-called “skills gap” — the difference between the qualifications company leaders are looking for and the skills potential workers possess, MSTC President Sue Budjac said.
“When we talk to employers in manufacturing, what they’re telling us is that in the very near future, they’re going to have retirements on a massive scale, and they are going to need skilled and qualified workers to fill in behind those retirees that are going to be leaving their industry,” Budjac said. “We are adjusting our curriculum — the content and our courses — in ways so that we make sure that we’re responsive and delivering the skill set that they need.”
Such local efforts — one of two programs in the state and three rural sites nationwide — can serve as a model for other parts of the state as a successful partnership between private-sector employers and post-secondary education and training institutions in order to help spur workforce development that meets employers’ needs, Walker said.
“The more frequent (the) communication, the more partnership there is, the more shared accountability there is; employers will step up and put money and time and resources and equipment, in many cases, behind technical colleges that are responding to the needs that they have with the jobs they have right now as well as those in the future.”
October 9, 2013
From ibmadison.com: “Who cares about online privacy?” – The holidays are coming, and that means millions of consumers will hunt for gifts online. Courtesy of the National Security Agency spying controversy, the 2013 holiday season will feature an added twist of uncertainty about Web privacy, and don’t think retailers aren’t worried about it.
Consumers are another story, according to Steve Noll, a marketing-social media professor in the School of Business and Applied Arts at Madison College. His background is in advertising and marketing sales, and he’s not convinced that consumers are bent out of shape about online privacy. He notes that we’re living in an age where consumers are okay with Facebook selling their information to advertisers but freak out about the notion of subscription-based online business models, which would offer more privacy.
With the National Retail Federation forecasting solid holiday sales, IB discussed online privacy with Noll.
IB: It’s been several months since the NSA controversy erupted. What’s your sense of how alarmed the public is about online privacy?
Noll: I’ve always felt that online privacy is something that most people are aware of, but the reality is most people actually don’t do much about it. Most people who use things like Facebook, if you go onto their site, they have not taken steps to secure their site against people who are not friends being able to have access to it. So it seems to me that every few months, some story comes out about online privacy, and it gets everybody hyped up, but then not a lot of people really do much about it. They think about it for a few months and they kind of forget about it until the next incident, and then they get all stirred up about it. It’s kind of like this recurring cycle of nothing.
Obviously, this NSA story was much bigger than the typical identity theft report that usually triggers these types of conversations, but by the time the Christmas shopping season gets here, people are not going to be considering that anymore. The whole NSA issue, among general consumers, is going to fade into the background. I don’t see this changing people’s online shopping behavior.
IB: Do you sense a high level of urgency among online merchants, especially since a lack of trust in data security could substantially curtail online shopping?
Noll: I’m sure they are worried about it because anybody would worry about anything that potentially could hurt them. If you look at how online retailing works, there is so much security in there already. This is the question that I ask in one of my classes: Who here does not shop online? At least one person raises their hand. And then I ask why don’t you shop online? And he says, ‘Well, I don’t trust it. I don’t trust my information getting out there.’ I follow that question up with, ‘Do you shop at the mall?’ He says, ‘Of course I do, that’s where I have to get all my stuff.’
And the reality is, when you go to a mall and you give somebody your credit card, and even if they scan the card into a cash register and give it back to you, they have still have the opportunity to kind of glance at that card and potentially memorize that information and quickly write it down as soon as you’re done with that transaction. That is infinitely more risky than going on Amazon, where it’s secured computers talking on an encrypted network. The people who are kind of afraid of it — I don’t think they understand how it actually works and how there are so many other things out there that are infinitely riskier that they have an actual comfort level with.
Some of the big companies like Amazon, it would not surprise me to see in some of their marketing campaigns that they emphasize that they are in a secure environment, but I think the general public does not understand what ‘secure’ means. You know when you have these little padlock symbols on your computer? A lot of people don’t know about those. I’d say about 50% of the people don’t even know to look for that to know they are on a secured website, or even looking at the http line. If it’s got the https, that means it’s a secured server. There are so many things that people are just kind of clueless about in terms of security. I don’t think they even realize that if companies spend money upping their security level even higher than it is, I don’t think that would affect people anyway. I think maybe saying shop at our secured site, just saying that in a copy line, would be the most impactful thing to do.
IB: Can more savvy online consumers take proactive steps to protect themselves before the holiday shopping season gets in full swing, or do the merchants basically do that for them, as you suggest?
Noll: One of the things, obviously, is looking for things, looking for the padlock, checking to make sure that you are on a secured server. So those are probably the two easiest things, especially the padlock. Just double-checking when you go on, especially if it’s an e-commerce website you’re not familiar with. If it’s not an Amazon or an eBay, making sure that they are acknowledging they are making this transaction securely. That would be the number one thing that people need to be aware of, is just the general, simple clues when you’re online that say you’re on a secure shopping site.
IB: Is there any promising technology or “app” that consumers can use to remain in control of the personal data that merchants have on them — if they have any qualms about how it’s used or shared?
Noll: Here’s the thing with apps. We’re starting to see some third-party apps that people are promoting as something that can be used for more security, but there have also been some stories that some of these companies are scams, that they are using people’s paranoia about the recent news stories to almost scam people to download their app and run it and we will make sure your data is secure. What they are actually doing is they are collecting information from people and using it maliciously. I would caution people against downloading or using some new technology from a company you never head of just because it promises you security.
Something like this security scare, which has gotten people so emotional, is exactly what con artists will prey on. That emotional freak-out is the recipe con artists look for to take advantage of people. Certainly, if you are using an app from Amazon and Amazon says we have this new version of an app and you can update this app for added security, well then you would definitely want to do that. If you’re going out to find something, I would do some research on the company before you pay them or use them. It’s just ripe for scams.
September 4, 2013
From leadertelegram.com: “Pepper, Purvis named Fuerstenberg Award winners” – Julie Pepper touched the life of a student who came to Chippewa Valley Technical College through a job retraining program after a career crisis.
That student appreciated Pepper enough to nominate her for CVTC’s top award for teachers. Mary Purvis, meanwhile, was nominated by an entire class of students who were impressed by her dedication and passion to teaching.
When the 2013-14 school term started at CVTC with instructor in-service sessions last week, Pepper and Purvis were named the winners of the 2013 Roy and Jan Fuerstenberg Teaching Excellence Awards.
The awards, given annually, recognize instructors for their professionalism, excellence in teaching and learning, and their positive student-teacher relationships. Faculty members are nominated for the prestigious award by their students, and those honored receive a cash honorarium of $1,500.
Pepper, a Medical Assistant program instructor, has been with CVTC since 2002, and was with Mayo Health Systems previously.
“Being treated with respect triggered a desire to not let my teacher down,” Maria Creer, who nominated Pepper, wrote. “Anyone can recite some material and test you on it. Only real teachers go out of their way to get back to you with a timely response, make themselves available to students at almost any time, answer your questions, and explain why you got things wrong.”
Pepper said she strives to help students discover how to find success, both academically and personally.
“We know that students come to our institution from all walks of life, and not every student comes with the confidence necessary to meet the rigors of all of our courses,” Pepper said. “By giving the students the tools necessary for solid problem-solving, they can achieve early success that will have an immediate effect on their confidence.”
One of Pepper’s former students, Julie Miller, recalled how Pepper helped her through a difficult time when she had a major medical procedure on the first day of school.
“My classmates and I really felt like we had someone in our corner when it came to having Julie as an instructor,” Miller wrote in nominating Pepper. “She made herself very approachable and accessible to all of us with office hours, as well as extra time from her own personal schedule.”
Student Deb Bresser also praised Pepper.
“At some educational institutions, a student is just a number, but at CVTC you are treated as a real person, and in Julie’s classes, we become a family,” Bresser wrote.
Physical and Life Science Instructor Mary Purvis has been at CVTC since 2004 and was honored in 2010 as the Wisconsin Association of Community and Technical Education Teacher of the Year. As a Menomonie High School teacher from 1983-94, she was named a 1990 state finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching.
In nominating Purvis, her students mentioned her expertise and energy.
“Mary always has a positive attitude (along with her quirky energy) and makes each student feel welcomed and important. Her passion and excitement for her subject expertise, along with her slew of hands-on activities, helps make the material easier to grasp and solidifies the information. She also unfailingly relates the information to the real world,” a statement by students in her Physics 2 class reads.
Purvis said she works to prompt her students to ask questions.
“We human beings are naturally curious. As children we were always asking ‘why?’ We are filled with wonder about everything around us,” Purvis said. “My goal as a teacher is to open my students’ minds to again allow them to ask these questions, and to share the joy and wonder of the natural world in a fun and engaging way.”
Cherrie Bergandi, dean of General Education and Business at CVTC, noted how Purvis’ students tend to cluster around her desk before class begins, peppering her with questions and excited about the lesson.
“Mary is the science teacher I wish I had in high school and college,” Bergandi said.
Fuerstenberg Teaching Excellence Awards are made through CVTC Foundation, Inc., which enhances the mission and vision of CVTC by securing resources for student scholarships, staff initiatives, technology investments and other purposes. The award is named after Jan Fuerstenberg, a lifelong educator, and Roy Fuerstenberg, incoming president of CVTC Foundation Board of Directors.
August 22, 2013
From pricecountydaily.com: “Internet marketing expert to speak at Phillips Chamber of Commerce annual dinner” – John Carlson, marketing expert and instructor for Business & Industry Division of Northcentral Technical College’s Wausau campus, will be the featured speaker at the Phillips Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner on Sunday, Aug. 25 at Club 13. Carlson will focus on small business marketing strategies with an emphasis on Internet marketing through the use of social media. Carlson’s appearance is being sponsored by the Phillips campus of Northcentral Technical College. Area Dean Bobbi Damrow will also speak to attendees about the college’s expansion and the opportunities and facilities that will be available to area businesses.
The Chamber will also honor 2013 Persons of the Year, the late Judi Boers and her husband, Tom, and Chris and Ron Kedziera of The Crazy Loon as 2013 Business of the Year.
All Chamber members are welcome to attend. Reservations are required by August 21. Call the Chamber at 715-339-4100 or email PACC@pctcnet.net.
In other Chamber news, planning for the 2013 Annual Fall Harvest Festival on Saturday, Sept. 28 is underway. Prospective crafters and area organizations have been sent their applications to participate in the craft fair and Fall Taste of Phillips. Music will be provided by the Elk River String Bank and the Jim Pekol Polka Band, and other activities will be held. If you’d like to participate in the craft fair and didn’t receive an invitation, please contact the Chamber.
July 9, 2013
From todaystmj4.com: “Today’s TMJ4 goes inside elite arson investigator training” – WAUKESHA – It happens time and time again right here in southeast Wisconsin. Intentionally set fires destroying homes and businesses, putting firefighters in danger and neighborhoods at risk.
TODAY’S TMJ4’s cameras were invited for an exclusive look at an elite training program for arson investigators. Instructors carefully, deliberately set multiple fires in an old Hartford farmhouse before students arrived, turning it into a hands-on classroom.
“It’s a two-week, National Fire Academy course, a very prestigious course,” said Brian Dorow, Dean of Criminal Justice at Waukesha County Technical College. “What we’re setting is seven different crime scenes. The students come through during the course. They have to determine the motive, the origin.”
This is all done under the careful supervision of the Hartford Fire and Rescue Department. Chief Paul Stephens had a message for those who see arson as a way out.
“It puts firefighters’ lives at risk,” Stephens said. “It puts citizens at risk and fire kills people.”
We first met the students as they watched a demonstration at the technical college campus. A living room scene had been set up inside a garage. The students watched the instructor spray a trail of lighter fluid along the floor, up to a couch cushion.
The instructor started the fire with a single match. It took less than two minutes for the fire to rage.
“We can talk about it through PowerPoint and lecture,” the instructor said. “We can show video of it. But, we want the students to be able come out and actually see how it evolves.”
Back at the old farmhouse, the students put that classroom arson training to the test. Instructors posed as witnesses, like the fire chief and the homeowner. One of the instructors is Wisconsin State Fire Marshal Michael Rindt.
“Every fire is a challenging scene,” Rindt said. “We try not to make these scenes as challenging as you’d see in the real world because we want these to be a learning experience for them.”
There are seven different fire mysteries within this house. Some are set up as accidental fires and others as arson fires. Students take their notes back to the classroom and try to determine the cause.
Students will take these skills back to their communities, better equipped to catch the criminals who start fires. The students are firefighters, sheriff’s deputies and police officers.
“I don’t know if we have a shortage of adequately trained fire investigators, but it certainly is a profession where you need to have continued training,” Rindt said.
WCTC said every one of the students passed the course and that the students correctly solved each of the seven mock cases.
The college did not allow TODAY’S TMJ4 to interview the students because of their active roles in law enforcement.
July 5, 2013
From htrnews.com: ” LTC instructor honored at state ag banquet” – CLEVELAND — Sheryl Nehls, Lakeshore Technical College Dairy Herd Management program instructor, is the state winner of the Outstanding Postsecondary/Adult Agricultural Education Program Award.
The Wisconsin Association of Agricultural Educators presented the award on June 26 at the 95th Annual Professional Development Conference in Green Bay, according to a press release. During the three-day conference, Nehls also was recognized as one of 11 outstanding agricultural education teachers in the state for her outstanding educational qualities in instructional and experiential learning, student organizations, partnerships and marketing and professional growth.
“I am humbled and honored to have been selected for this award,” said Nehls. “It’s really a tribute to all the wonderful students, farm owners and colleagues I have been fortunate enough to have worked with over the years. They are the ones who help make our program so successful.”
Nehls’ dedication to students and the farming community is why she has been selected as the 2013 Outstanding Post-secondary/Adult Ag Ed Program Award, according to the release. Nehls has been working with post-secondary students for the past 32 years. Nehls was recognized for adapting new curriculum by working with more than 60 dairy farm businesses each year.
The Lakeshore Post-secondary Agriculture Student organization has won numerous awards in Nehls’ tenure with the most recent being the first-place state Dairy Specialist Team. Her dedication to student organizations has landed her the role of being the 2013 host coordinator for the Midwest Dairy Challenge, the release stated. Nehls also works with Youth Options students and serves as a judge for many FFA and high school speaking contests.
June 3, 2013
From leadertelegram.com: “Instructor’s passion for manufacturing evident” – Tom Vanderloop’s enthusiasm is contagious. His students in manufacturing programs at Chippewa Valley Technical College feel it, and so do the members of the student chapter of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, for which he is chapter advisor.
“Tom has an extreme passion for everything he teaches, and for SME,” said Bob Grzegorek, chairman of the student chapter. “He got me more passionate about it to become chairman. We went from four student members to 22. We worked hard to do better.”
“The passion is very real in him,” said Jim Barbey, a May CVTC graduate who served as an SME student chapter officer. “It’s not just something he says or does; it’s real. That’s really why I joined SME.”
Vanderloop’s passion and service to SME dates to his first involvement in the organization in the 1970s. Now SME is recognizing his contributions, through the Faculty Advisor Professional Development Award, a national honor he is to receive at the SME annual meeting in Baltimore, Md., June 2-4. The award comes with a $500 stipend, which Vanderloop donated to the CVTC Foundation scholarship fund for the betterment of students in manufacturing programs.
Vanderloop has taught technical education for the past 38 years, including 28 at CVTC. He looks to his roots for inspiration.
“So much of what I do today came from my Christian father, mother and family. (My) attributes stem from a life within a healthy family environment,” he said.
The word “manufacture,” Vanderloop said, is derived from a French root meaning “made by hand.”
“It was the story I have always found from within my father’s work ethic. Manufacturing is a good and noble profession as a career for life,” he said. “My goal is simple: Love what you do and that passion will show up every day. Most students know I love my role as a teacher. It is manufacturing that guides my professional contributions.”
Vanderloop’s contributions to SME have occurred throughout his career. He first joined the organization in 1968 when he was a student at Fox Valley Technical Institute in Appleton. He remained involved as an undergraduate student at UW-Stout in the early ’70s, then as an assistant professor there in the early ’80s.
Vanderloop became the SME North Central Region chairman and served in various offices in the region. With the SME Indianhead Chapter in Eau Claire, he served at various times as chairman, bulletin editor, recruitment and retention committee official, student chapter liaison, faculty advisor, technical programming official and certification official.
In 2010 Vanderloop was named the SME’s President’s Circle with a gold-level status for having recruited more than 125 people to SME.
A measure of an educator’s success is in the level of their students’ achievement. The list of successful CVTC students Vanderloop has taught and led is a long one.
The founding SME student chapter chairman from 1985, Kevin Gottwalt, is now with Cardiac Pacemakers in St. Paul. In 1987, Chairman Mark Senti pushed the chapter to encourage students to seek SME certification as manufacturing technologists through a difficult test. SME recognized the chapter for its efforts when Chris Hurt was chairman in 2000-01; Hurt is metal fabrication CAD designer with Wisconsin Metal Fab in Chippewa Falls.
In all, more than 200 CVTC students have passed the test since 1985, a remarkable level of success, Vanderloop said.
Jill King, the 1997-98 SME chapter chairwoman, helped organize the first-ever Challengers and Choices program, designed to introduce middle school-age girls to career choices in manufacturing. The effort earned a national award of excellence.
“It’s a good marker not just for myself, but for the college,” Vanderloop said. “If I’ve got good students, they make me look good.”
May 28, 2013
From Gazettextra.com: “Blackhawk Tech faculty establish scholarship fund” — The union representing Blackhawk Technical College faculty announced a new scholarship program aimed at students struggling to stay in school because of a lack of money. The Blackhawk Technical Faculty Federation recently unveiled a $20,000 scholarship pool that will begin helping students in 2014. The fund is for full- and part-time students carrying a minimum 2.5 grade-point average.
The scholarships are expected to run between $500 and $750 each, depending on financial need. At least two scholarships per semester are expected to be available. The fund received an additional contribution of $500 from Douglas Tabbutt, a computer information systems instructor, during last Friday night’s graduation rehearsal program. BTC faculty and staff will be able to contribute to the fund through payroll deductions.
Faculty members have noticed too many students withdrawing from school because of a lack of money, according to a college news release. The BTC Foundation will administer the scholarship. The foundation committee reviews all applications and scores them on financial need, family circumstances, grades, neatness and completeness of the application and potential. Applications for the first scholarship award are due Oct. 1. Scholarship recipients will be notified in November and the funds will be applied to the semester beginning in January 2014.
From leadertelegram.com: “CVTC students learn house construction on the job” – CHIPPEWA FALLS — A group of Chippewa Valley Technical College students is getting hands-on experience building job skills for their futures while helping prospective home buyers at the same time.
For the past three years CVTC has partnered with the Chippewa County Housing Authority to provide homes for low- to moderate-income residents. CVTC students help build the homes, which are sold to people who may not otherwise be able to afford them.
The homes will be listed for sale at $165,000 apiece, said Ruth Rosenow, Chippewa County Housing Authority director. Purchasers of the homes built by CVTC students must earn at least $22,600 annually but cannot make more than $36,600, she said.
“This program helps CVTC students and, at the same time, the people buying these homes,” Rosenow said.
On Tuesday Matt Burke, a 20-year-old CVTC student from Chippewa Falls, worked on a deck of one of two homes he and 13 college students have built in Chippewa Falls along Stump Lake Road on the city’s east side.
Burke had never worked in construction before signing up for the class. He’s pleased with the finished product and the skills he has learned.
“It’s nice to see what you can accomplish,” Burke said. “I just like working outside. You’re in different places, and you are always doing something different.”
Joe Dahmer, 19, a CVTC student from Menomonie who has helped construct the homes, said he has worked construction jobs with his father since he was 13. He has even traveled to Mexico to build homes as part of church mission trips.
“I really enjoy construction,” Dahmer said. “I decided to go into the program because it’s hands-on, and you can’t do that anywhere else.”
Brian Barth has taught the CVTC residential construction program for the past nine years. He said his students are quick learners who enjoy their work.
“They get the sense of accomplishment at the end of the day,” he said of students building homes.
Students are putting their hands-on construction experience to good use. Of his 14 current students, 11 have construction jobs lined up for after they graduate, Barth said.
“The construction industry, there is going to be an extreme shortage of workers in the next few years,” he said, noting the sector is recovering after several slow years.
Rosenow said her organization purchased eight lots in a neighborhood on the east side of Chippewa Falls to be used as sites for homes built by CVTC students. The two 1,300-square-foot homes built this year have identical floor plans.
The housing authority financed the $235,000 project, with home sale proceeds to go toward the housing authority’s revolving loan fund. Neither of the two homes has been purchased yet, but they would be ready for someone to purchase by Friday, Rosenow said.
April 4, 2013
From chippewa.com: “Girl Scouts honor CVTC instructor Judi Anibas” – EAU CLAIRE – When Judi Anibas overheard an inappropriate comment during one of the classes she teaches at Chippewa Valley Technical College’s (CVTC) Law Enforcement Academy, she thought it was time for a quick real-world exercise.
The 25-year veteran of the Eau Claire Police Department had all of the students privately write down the names of four women who they loved and respected and were important in their lives. Then she asked the (mostly male) class if they would ever make such a comment to or about one of those women.
“There was dead silence,” Anibas says. She went on to insist that no such comments would be heard again in that class, and she didn’t need to know who made it. The students, like the law enforcement officers they aspire to become, are to be held to the highest standards of integrity, and sensitivity to the members of the public they serve.
Upholding standards in such a way is one of the reasons the Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes honored Anibas at its annual Women of Courage, Confidence and Character banquet Monday evening, April 1. The award honors area women who demonstrate a commitment to serving their communities and embody the Girl Scout mission of building girls of courage, confidence and character.
Anyone who knows Judi Anibas will agree that she has those qualities, and a look at her career shows her commitment to serving the community.
Originally from Milwaukee, the UW-Platteville criminal justice program graduate took the first law enforcement job offered to her, with the city of Eau Claire. She was put on a walking beat in the Water Street area, an area with taverns frequented by the local college crowd.
“You see more because you’re on foot,” she recalls. There were enough problems to deal with, including motorcycle gangs and drugs, but she also got to know the local residents and business owners and learned to listen to their concerns.
“Doing that really assisted me later when I had an inside job in crime prevention,” Anibas says.
In the following years, Anibas took on just about every duty that comes the way of a law enforcement officer. She was a patrol officer for nine years, spent four years as a detective and then went back to patrol. She learned to deal with child abuse, sexual assault, domestic violence cases and so much more, both as an officer responding to calls and as a detective investigating them.
That role of being the one catching the bad guys held much satisfaction for her, but so did the other duties she took on over the years. She became a hostage negotiator, firearms instructor, evidence technician, community policing specialist and eventually law enforcement instructor.
Anibas says she particularly liked working with community organizations and neighborhood watch groups. She came to appreciate the value of listening, and learned that what people often wanted from their police force was different from what police themselves thought of their duties.
“Wherever I worked I enjoyed myself,” she says. “But it was great to meet people who really enjoyed their community and had respect for the police.
“The cool thing is I can use all of that today when I teach community policing,” she added.
Anibas joined CVTC in 1992 as an instructor and became full time in 2006. She became Dean of the Law Enforcement and other areas, is still working as an instructor in the program, and as a safety instructor for the Business and Industry team.
She has as much enthusiasm for teaching as she does for law enforcement. “It’s inspirational, knowing that with the experience I’ve had I can give back to students.”
Anibas has been generous with her time outside of work as well. Anibas served as president of the board of directors for the Wisconsin Association of Women Police, Eau Claire Police Benevolent Association, Eau Claire Police Local 9, and Eau Claire Police Supervisors Local 39. She has been involved with Indianhead Special Olympics, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and is the current president of the Epilepsy Foundation of Western Wisconsin board of directors.
From gmtoday.com: “Growing a community of entrepreneurs” – PEWAUKEE – As a former small business owner, Russ Roberts knows what it’s like to navigate the rough waters of starting and building a business. So he’s excited to nurture entrepreneurs through Waukesha County Technical College’s Small Business Center.
Roberts, manager of the Small Business Center, said it is a unique program that is a lot like a community service for WCTC. A variety of courses are offered at low prices, such as Business Plan Development, QuickBooks Pro, Understanding Business Taxes and Law for Business Owners.
When WCTC started the center in 2001 and brought in Roberts, who had owned his own financial planning business, to develop and run it, the college had been supporting entrepreneurs for more than 40 years. The Small Business Center has gone from a few non-credited courses and some counseling in 2001 to at least 16 classes. The center also hosts networking events and offers free one-on-one counseling, the Success Mentor Program and Take a Professional to Lunch Program.
Waukesha County Chairman Paul Decker participates in the Take a Professional to Lunch program and teaches Marketing for Small Business, which will be offered April 10 to May 1.
Sharing practical information
The benefit of taking a business class at WCTC, Decker said, is that the instructors have true business experience and share lots of practical information. “It’s kind of a way to tap the brains of people who have been there,” he said.
As county chairman and the co-founder of Maverick Innovation Lab in Delafield, Decker is invested in Waukesha County’s economy, so he is pleased with how the Small Business Center contributes.
“The essence is that the more businesses that we can create that are viable and strong, and if they get going, hopefully they are going to hire people and you are going to make the economy strong,” he said.
Roberts has a similar view. He said if you get 1,000 entrepreneurs’ businesses off the ground, it’s the same as a company hiring 1,000 employees.
“Most states don’t have resources to put behind micro-entrepreneurs. Google was a couple of guys who started out of a dorm room. By the time they figured it out and were Google, (everyone) wanted to help them at that point. We never know where the next Google is going to come from,” Roberts said.
Rebecca Scarberry, owner of Becky’s Blissful Bakery, is also a believer in WCTC’s Small Business Center and started to teach How to Start a Food Business in 2012. The entrepreneur took Roberts’ FaSTart Workshop class, which is a four-hour informal workshop that provides step-by-step guidance, and received other advice and assistance from Roberts, which she said was a lifeline for her business.
The idea of teaching a class came about after her own business took off and people began to approach Scarberry seeking advice on how to start their own food businesses. Roberts suggested she teach a class, which now averages about 20 to 25 students each session.
“It’s real information,” she said of the Small Business Center. “It’s real assistance for our community for right now.”
Roberts said the center wants to “put support around” starting businesses. “Many times it’s lonely to start a business,” he said.