November 29, 2013
From nbc15.com: “Co-worker gives the gift of a lifetime” – It’s a gift that will last a lifetime, a selfless donation made to a co-worker. The gift is giving one Madison man a big reason to be thankful this holiday season.
This time last year Terry Webb found out his kidneys were failing, he and his doctors started the process to get on the donor list. A wait that could take 8 or 9 years. During that time, he started searching for a family member who might be able to help him out sooner.
“Judging by what everyone says to me now, I was pretty bad.” Starting dialysis, Terry says he wasn’t himself. “Progressively the disease got worse.”
Things started looking bad when family member after family member came back with a negative match.
“There’s only one that came back as a potential match and it was far from ideal.”
As provost at Madison College, Terry struggled both at home and at work.
“Well we could all tell that Terry was not doing as well as he could be,” says his co-worker, Keith Cornille.
So a few offices away Keith Cornille decided to step up.
“There’s a whole other side to this, what happened if I didn’t do something? What happened if I knew I was a match and could have helped someone and didn’t.”
Be it an act of fate, a miracle or just sheer dumb luck, he was a match.
“This was a really exceptional match. The likelihood of that happening when you’re sitting next to someone working with them everyday is something more stunning than anything else.”
The surgery was in June, and it went off without a hitch. Terry says he was lucky enough that his body didn’t reject the kidney at first, a common occurrence.
“I actually went to visit Keith in the hospital room that’s across the hall from me because it’s hard to believe that it made such a big difference.”
Counting his blessings everyday that he can return to life as normal.
“I can do things that I couldn’t do before, unfortunately that includes household chores, raking, stuff like that.”
“If I didn’t give him my kidney I was afraid he was going to ask me to come over and do all of his chores and I didn’t want any part in that I have my own leaves to rake!”
Keith says all kidding aside, it’s an amazing feeling to give someone his life back.
“To consider a donation of life to really think about what the impact of that donation could be on someone.”
Opening Terry’s eyes to the generosity of his co-worker, and the inspiring gift he’ll cherish forever.
“To be part of this entirely selfless act that really makes you look at doing the same sorts of things yourself more often.”
November 4, 2013
From wkow.com: “Care Care Clinic preps vehicles for winter” – As winter weather fast approaches, experts are encouraging people to start thinking about getting cars ready for chilly temperatures.
Madison College held their 11th annual Free Car Care Clinic on Saturday. Students and instructors offered their expertise to check belts, hoses and other winter problem areas for those who stopped by.
“The things that come in– oil leaks, coolant leaks, ya know bad coolant, just applying what I’ve learned in the classroom to real life experiences, it’s really an eye opener,” says student Isaac Nowak.
Those who attended the event were asked to donate non-perishable food items. Last year, more than 200 pounds of food were sent to local pantries after the clinic.
September 12, 2013
From wkow.com: “Inside the new MATC health ed building” – A new health education building is open this semester at Madison College.
The new addition allows students to have hands-on experience in the medical field, with rooms simulating hospitals, hospice facilities, and triage situations.
“In this building here we have theory they teach, they practice in the same space. And then the next day they go out to the clinical site and actually implement what they’ve learned here,” said Mark Lausch of the School of Health Education.
The more than $40 million dollar project was approved by voters in a 2010 referendum.
1,100 students were surveyed to get their ideas on what they wanted to see, as well as the faculty and stakeholders.
September 11, 2013
From madisonaudubon.blogspot.com: “New homes for Madison’s downtown birds” – On a hot and humid weekend in July, Madison College student, Amanda Vang, ventured out from the air-conditioning, and led a group of volunteers in constructing 20 songbird houses.
Amanda is taking a summer course at Madison College which includes a service learning project with a local organization. She noticed the increasing construction of suburbs and cities, and wanted to help attract and create safe habitat for birds in the Madison downtown area. In her proposal she says,
“Madison Audubon is all about bringing people together to benefit nature, and this is what my project does… A simple bird house is going to encourage people to pay closer attention to the environment, and learn about the changes going on around it”.
|One of Amanda’s volunteers found some shade!|
So, the Madison Audubon office teamed up with Amanda to sponsor her project. She hoped to build 20 songbird houses, and donate them to downtown residents in Madison. Amanda worked hard raising funds for the materials, consulting with our bird expert, Karen Etter Hale, on appropriate birdhouse designs, picking out the wood, and finally assembling the 20 birdhouses!
This songbird house design (which can be found on the Cornell website) provides safe habitat for many species, including the House Wren, Black-Capped Chickadee, White-Breasted Nuthatch, Prothonotary Warbler, Deer Mouse, Whitefooted Mouse, and more.
|Though building birdhouses isn’t hard, it does require the
right materials, and a bit of patience. Way to go, Amanda!
September 9, 2013
From wiscnews.com: “Learning the ropes of Reedsburg” — By Julie Belschner - From Los Angeles to Reedsburg, it’s a bit of culture shock for Dr. Jack E. Daniels III. But the Chicago native, who is now the president of Madison Area Technical College, knows this area well. As a child, he came to Wisconsin Dells on camping trips.
This week he was in Reedsburg to meet with staff, faculty, students and the public at MATC’s Reedsburg campus.
“This is my second time here,” he said. “I was here for a tour during the interview process. Today I got really good input. What you’re coming into is a facility that serves this community well. The students seem to be engaged. We have great instructors. Those are all good things.
“There are no bad things. The staff here all has one focus – on the students. And that’s true throughout the district.”
He comes to the job after serving since 2006 as president of Los Angeles Southwest College, an 8,000-student school that’s part of the sprawling Los Angeles Community College district. It was formed in 1967 in the wake of the Watts race riots to improve educational opportunities for the area’s then-majority black population.
He has been credited with helping the college be more accessible to the area’s now-majority Latino population, boosting their enrollment from 20 percent of the student body when he started to 36 percent today.
“His unwavering commitment to student success and a positive collaborative work environment for all involved in the college, plus his commitment to partnering with the community to meet the needs of industry and business, put him in an excellent position to lead us,” said Janice Bultema at the time of his selection. The District Board member was on the three-person search committee for a new president.
She said that beyond his record as an administrator, it was feedback received from various campus groups that helped cinch the decision to hire Daniels.
“What we heard loud and clear from all the sessions is people really like his interpersonal style and his engaging interaction with others,” she said.
Serving others is Daniels’ aim, he said Wednesday.
“We talked about classes, about what types of programs they’d like to see, about books, the cost of books,” he said of the day’s meetings with students. “They’d like the ability to have programs here that may be offered in a different area. Many don’t like to travel. They like the class size here; there is more engagement with the instructors.”
One example, he said, is the culinary program that is offered in Madison. If Reedsburg students want to be in it, they currently need to travel to Madison. That, he said, might be difficult, especially in winter.
“It’s too soon to tell what I might change,” he said. “I’m taking the first few weeks to observe and listen. I’ll have some findings, and then analyze them, and present them back to the district. I anticipate the first of November I’ll be able to do that.”
He has eight campuses to observe and listen at, so getting around to all eight is a task, he added.
Surprisingly, not that many things are different than in LA.
“There are some obvious things,” he said. “The size is smaller, and in California each college campus is separately accredited, not like here. But there are similar programs. We have a college focus on trade and technology.”
When asked how ACT-10 will affect his plans at MATC, Daniels said he needs to set up a plan for open dialogue between staff and faculty.
“We actually have three collective bargaining units here,” he said. “The staff, part-time faculty and full-time faculty. The current contract ends March 2014, so I’ve got no time. I want to have something put together by the first of the year. There are so many unknowns. While a few colleges have handbooks, there is no framework, nothing to follow.
“But I strongly believe in shared decision making.”
Daniels took over at the school Aug. 19. He earned his doctorate at Wright Institute Graduate School of Psychology in Berkeley, Calif., and his Bachelor’s degree at Huntington University in Indiana.
August 21, 2013
From wkow.com: “Daniels takes over as president at Madison College” – The new president at Madison Area Technical College is settling in.
President Jack Daniels started his new job Monday.
During an interview with 27 News, Daniels talked about presiding over a growing college, that will open four new buildings on its main campus this school year.
“You can build these great buildings but what happens inside those walls? And so, my focus is really on how have we engaged our students? How we help them meet their goals?”
Daniels comes to Madison College from Los Angeles Southwest College. But he’s not a stranger to the Midwest, also spending time as president of Lincoln Land Community College in Springfield, Illinois.
August 19, 2013
From wisconsinoutdoorfun.com: “DNR’s ‘Hunting for Sustainability’ course for novice hunters open for enrollment” – MADISON — People who like to eat good food while supporting the environment and learning something about their state can register for a Hunting for Sustainability course being offered this fall.
“Natural resources conservation, sustainability and hunting naturally fit hand in hand,” says Keith Warnke, Department of Natural Resources hunting and shooting sports coordinator, who created the course. Since its launch in 2012, the course has grown in popularity and more sections are expected to be added.
“Hunting is an integral part of the fabric of Wisconsin life and a great source for locally produced food,” Warnke says.
The Department of Natural Resources in partnership with Madison College is offering at least two continuing education courses that aim to show how hunting plays into conservation and healthy living. Students will learn hunting skills, ethics, tools and techniques from experienced hunters. And, students may have the opportunity to participate in a mentored-deer or -pheasant hunting experience.
Be a healthy eater; learn from experienced hunters Warnke says the course’s objective is to reach adults who have never had a chance to hunt to experience one of the state’s traditions. “There are barriers in knowledge and equipment needed to get started if you weren’t raised a hunter. This course is an opportunity for adults to get started with guidance from experienced hunters.”
The program is the result of a few pilot events aimed at recruiting adult hunters – also known as Learn to Hunt events. Learn to Hunt events have proven popular with kids and in particular with the children of hunters. “But when we offer them to adults, interest went through the roof,”Warnke says. “In particular, young adults have jumped at the opportunity. So we realize there is a demand to learn to hunt and last year offered this course to 20 people. This we are expanding and hope to have even more courses coming soon.”
Telephone registration is available through Madison College at 608-246-6210.
July 25, 2013
From hngnews.com: “Tribune Profile — Taryn Meinholz: She photographs special moments” – Taryn Meinholz has two passions: her 5-year-old daughter, Tenlee, and her photography. Graduating from Middleton High School, Meinholz didn’t have any idea of what she wanted to do from then on. She attended Madison Area Technical College for general computer classes before she decided to move to Lake of the Ozarks, Mo. She became an office manager at a construction and roofing company.
“It was awesome waking up on a lake. It was like being on vacation,” Meinholz said.
But reality set in and she returned home. In 2008, Meinholz welcomed her daughter, Tenlee, to the world. After her daughter’s birth, Meinholz began snapping photos.
“I wanted to capture every moment,” Meinholz said.
When she developed the pictures, Meinholz noticed she had a knack for taking pictures that she wasn’t aware of before. She went ahead and purchased her first Digital Single Lens Reflex (or DSL) camera, a move up from her point and shoot device. She also accepted a job at Wisconsin Mutual Insurance Company in policy services. She enjoyed the job but found it not to be as satisfying as when she first started. If she was going to make any changes and give up time with her daughter, she knew it would have to be for something she really loved doing.
Meinholz was enjoying her new camera so much she decided to enroll in MATC’s photography program. After being on the waiting list for one and half years, Meinholz received her acceptance letter and then hesitated, questioning her willingness to commit to this major endeavor.
With a “if I don’t do it now, I never will” attitude, Meinholz went full speed ahead becoming a full-time student with a part-time job.
“My family and work were very supportive,” Meinholz said. “I committed myself to get through in two years.”
Classes included lighting, Photoshop and editing, as well as video classes among others. Students were required to shadow a professional photographer to execute all the processes that were learned in the classroom, observe the work flow and body language of a professional studio.
Meinholz started taking extended family photos and used friends for school projects. She graduated in 2012 staying true to her two-year timeframe.
“We were the first class to graduate all-digital,” Meinholz said.
Meinholz has learned her camera inside and out, but it is can still be a challenge to be quick in full manual mode.
Blending together all she learned, Meinholz dove head first into the real world of photography and started accepting wedding assignments. An acquaintance trusted her enough to give her the opportunity. With only a mock wedding experience during school, Meinholz’s first actual wedding was very nerve racking. Meinholz brought a fellow student for moral support and picture backup.
“Weddings can be a one-shot opportunity. I can’t tell the bride I missed the first kiss or that my hard drive crashed,” Meinholz said.
All turned out well and with that trust came the confidence to keep going. This year, Meinholz has 13 weddings booked for summer and fall. And she enjoys every minute of it.
“I tell the brides. ‘Don’t be offended, but I’m the boss,’ ” Meinholz said. “Bride’s don’t realize how fast the day goes.”
There is a timeline for the day and expectations of the bride and groom of certain pictures. Family pictures are done right away before everyone goes in different directions. Meinholz recognizes the important parts of the wedding and then she likes to fill in with small unexpected details, and everyone is pleasantly surprised. As time goes on, Meinholz feels more laidback and prepared.
“I don’t stress out. I want it to be fun for the bride and me,” Meinholz said.
Weddings can end up being a 14-hour day taking three hours to upload pictures with six to 10 hours of editing.
“I love to present the end result,” Meinholz said.
Meinholz works out of her home where she rents a farmhouse with her sister. Most of her work is done in natural lighting. Portraits are her favorite whether they are senior pictures or family events.
“I love being able to capture personalities,” Meinholz said.
But she has to remind herself that clients aren’t models.
“Clients don’t know what makes a good picture,” Meinholz said.
As the professional, Meinholz needs to convey what does. Meinholz gets her own picture taken once in a while just to remember what it’s like to be the client.
Meinholz loves taking pictures of children.
“I love having a 2-year-old in a field, and the parents and I are doing all kinds of things for that one smile. It’s very entertaining,” Meinholz said.
Friends are beginning their families and taking photos of newborns also thrills Meinholz. Meinholz continues working part time for Wisconsin Insurance. Acquiring different professional equipment, such as extra lenses, can be a major investment.
“It’s very rewarding. It is so unexpected for me to have this passion and be recognized for it. I would not be here without the support of my family. They take up a lot of my slack, but they love every minute of it. It keeps us close,” Meinholz said.
Most of Meinholz’s free time is spent with her first and favorite photographic subject, her daughter.
July 19, 2013
From channel3000.com: “Madison College celebrates opening of new building” – MADISON - Madison College celebrated the opening of its new Gateway Building on the Truax Campus Thursday.
MATC dedicated the building’s welcome center to outgoing president Dr. Bettsey Barhorst.
The building houses several lounges, a student achievement center, a gallery and a library, and as the first building on the campus, it will be used to welcome people to Madison College.
“We are so grateful to the taxpayers and voters who voted for the referendum in 2010 when things were not really good. And then the people who had it built in two years,” said Barhorst.
Barhorst will be leaving the college next month and moving to Illinois to be closer to family but she said she’s loved living and working in Madison.
Proceeds from the ticketed event that was hosted by the Madison College Foundation will support student scholarships and educational programs.
June 26, 2013
From wrn.com: “Next batch of cartoonists a quick study” – A professional artist teaches kids in his hometown of Madison as a way to give back to the community. Jeff Butler remembers the beginning of his career in the early 1980s when Madison was a “hotbed” of comic book art, a phenomenon that has since waned. The artist, whose work spans from comics to video games, decided recently to start teaching as way to “pay back some of the stuff I had learned.”
Butler teaches, at Madison College, a daily four-hour Boot Camp for Cartoonists for middle school and high school students. “I’m absolutely flabbergasted at how good these students are,” says Butler, an alum of Madison College and UW-Madison.
Butler says a reason these kids pick it up so quickly is due in large part to the internet and the information accessible from it. He also teaches adults in a separate continuing education course but admits it’s the kids who learn really quickly.
June 21, 2013
From wiscnews.com: “Madison College finalists to visit Portage” — By Jen McCoy - The next president of Madison College will be one of three finalists who will visit the campuses next week.
After 33 applicants from around the nation, the finalists are: Stephen M. Curtis, president of Community College of Philadelphia; Jack E. Daniels, president of Los Angeles Southwest College; and Ann Valentine, chancellor of the Wabash Valley Region of Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana.
“They’re all highly accomplished in a number of areas, and I think it was reflective of Madison College with its national presence reflected in our pool of candidates. We’re very pleased,” said Jon Bales, District Board trustee.
Public forums have been scheduled for each of the MATC regional campuses and at its Truax campus in Madison. For Portage, the open meet-and-greet will be from 1:45 to 2:30 p.m. from Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
Valentine will be at the Portage campus on Monday.
“We’re hoping for and open to feedback directly from the public. There will be a chance for questions and answers, people can see what motivates them, how they interact,” Bales said.
Before joining Wabash Valley in 2011, Valentine served for six years as president of Minnesota State Community and Technical College. She has also served as vice president and provost at Gateway Technical College in Wisconsin for five years; as chief academic officer at Independence Community College in Kansas; and dean for general education at Moraine Park Technical College in Wisconsin. She coordinated the Interdisciplinary Health Professions Education Program in the Office of the Vice President for Health Sciences at the University of Iowa while also developing and delivering curriculum for the program, according to a news release.
Jack E. Daniels
On Tuesday, Daniels will meet the public in Portage.
Prior to Daniels position as president of Los Angeles Southwest College in July 2006, he served for three years as president at Lincoln Land Community College.
Daniels served for five years as president of Central College, one of five community colleges within the Houston Community College System. He also served as a tenured psychology faculty member at Laney College and has held several administrative roles at other community colleges and a baccalaureate/graduate granting institution, according to the release.
Stephen M. Curtis
Curtis will be at the Portage campus on Wednesday.
In 1999, Curtis was named the fifth president of Community College of Philadelphia. He previously served as president of Hudson Valley Community College/SUNY and, in The City University of New York, as acting president of Queens College, acting president of Borough of Manhattan Community College, and as dean of academic affairs at the same institution, according to the release.
Bales said he hopes to have a new president for MATC chosen by the end of next week and installed this summer.
There will be high expectations for the new president Bales said.
“One is to maintain a culture of innovation and really help us with that the commitment the public has given us with the new facilities by turning them into meaningful programs for public, steer that well; Secondly, sustain an environment open to change, the rate of the change of applied fields is pretty dramatic, keep that momentum, and critical to keep community involvement. We want somebody who’s very engaging; and finally somebody who can really capitalize on our biggest asset, which is the faculty and staff,” he said.
Residents are encouraged to provide feedback by contacting Bales at 235-8622.
June 20, 2013
From madison.com: “As construction booms in Madison, skilled workers are in short supply” – Wisconsin may be lagging the rest of the country in job creation and Madison is falling behind peer cities in economic growth, but the economy here is great for union electricians.
Dave Boetcher, business agent for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 159, says the 900 members of his Madison-based local are at “150 percent employment.” No joke.
“All of our local members are working and we’ve had to bring in members from other locals and other states to man the work,” he says.
There is so much work, he says, that the local has been calling up members from other union locals elsewhere – as far away as Chicago – to offer them jobs on projects around Madison.
By far the biggest construction project is the expansion at Epic Systems in Verona. On that campus alone, 450 electricians are earning a paycheck, says Boetcher.
The effects of Epic’s rapid expansion are evident far outside of its sprawling suburban campus. The company’s constant hiring is driving a mini real estate boom throughout Madison, as developers scramble to build apartments to house the young, middle-class workers moving here in droves.
“There’s like 1,600 apartment units coming downtown in July and August,” says Harry Sulzer, an inspection supervisor for the city of Madison. “Some of that is driven by our friends in Verona. A lot of those professionals are moving to downtown Madison.”
The housing boom reflects a welcome reality after the long recession: There are nearly no vacant apartments in downtown Madison. And of the existing units, many are old and run-down; they’re barely suitable for penniless UW students, let alone young professionals with disposable income.
More houses are going up too. Andrew Disch, a spokesman for the Madison Area Builders Association, says 403 permits for new single-family homes have been issued in the first five months of 2013, compared to 307 during the same period last year.
For many people who are thinking of setting up permanently in Madison, there’s never been a better time to stop renting and start buying. While landlords continue to raise rents in response to the saturated market, home prices remain fairly low and interest rates are quite favorable.
“I think we’ve finally reached a point in the consumer’s mind – (while) they may not have a real high level of confidence in the economy, they’ve come back to their strong belief and confidence in housing,” says Kevin King, president of the Realtors Association of South Central Wisconsin.
This is all great news for workers in the construction trades – the sector that was devastated by the housing bust in 2008. Or, it’s great news for those who remain.
“We’ve had a number of calls from our contractors looking for employees,” says Stephen Stone, director of business development for the Associated Builders & Contractors of Wisconsin, a group of non-union contractors. “They’ve called back their employees they’d laid off and now they’re looking to expand.”
The problem is, many workers became so discouraged during the recession – or so desperate for money – that they stopped looking for construction work.
“They’re doing something else now,” Stone says. “And I don’t think those people are going to come back to our industry – they’re not going to leave that other employment until we as an industry can prove that the market is back.”
That’s why John Stephany, who teaches construction and remodeling at Madison College, says the trades are a great opportunity for young people looking to make a good living. Almost all of the 24 students who recently graduated from his program found jobs immediately after finishing school. And unlike many college graduates, they can expect pay raises in the next year.
“I think the average wage for graduates has increased $2 in the past year,” says Stephany. “The average starting wage has gone from $10 to $12 an hour to $14 to $17 an hour.”
Keep in mind, that’s just the starting wage. Experienced trades workers make far more than that. A union electrician in Madison who has completed a five-year apprenticeship earns a base wage of $33.45 an hour (roughly $70,000 a year if working full time) plus benefits.
And yet, as the economy slowly recovers, large swaths of young workers who are struggling to find good jobs aren’t considering the trades. The message across the country, from guidance counselors to the White House, has emphasized the importance of college in the 21st century.
Indeed, as manufacturing jobs that once offered middle-class wages have been shipped overseas or made obsolete by mechanization, many parents likely see college as the only responsible path for their kids to take.
But unlike manufacturing, the trades aren’t going away anytime soon.
“These are jobs that can’t be outsourced,” says Stephany.
And unlike traditional college, where the typical student accrues thousands of dollars of debt, a trades apprentice makes money while attending school to learn the trade. To become a union electrician, for instance, one undergoes five years of on-site and classroom training — all the while getting paid.
Women, who increasingly dominate college campuses and are surpassing men in many white-collar professions, remain greatly underrepresented in the trades. At Madison College, in fact, there is a program, Tools for Tomorrow: Women in Trades and Technology, designed specifically to offer women a glimpse into a potentially profitable field.
The head of the program, Nancy Nikkoul, says the percentage of women in the trades has hardly budged in the past two decades. Currently, she says, only 2.3 percent of construction apprentices in Wisconsin are women.
Two decades ago, Sandy Thistle, who now is an instructor in the program, was one of the few women who went into construction. After dropping out of UW, where she had been studying to enter the female-dominated field of nursing, she decided to give carpentry a shot.
“I was good at math, I was kind of athletic, I wanted to work outside and do something physical,” she recalls.
There were also practical considerations: “I wanted to be able to have a decent living and union carpentry paid very well.”
Specifically, being in a union — where pay for all workers is negotiated in a contract — ensured that she would be paid as well as her male peers. “We all know that if (employers) could pay me less because I’m a woman they would,” she adds.
So how much longer is this building boom going to last?
Much of it is being driven by several major projects – notably Epic – and some of it likely represents homeowners and businesses making up for the break they took from building during the recession.
“Four more years,” predicts Awad Hanna, a UW professor of civil engineering who studies the construction labor market. “I can see at least four more years of this tight (construction) labor market and then construction will be tied to the economy.”
From a construction worker’s perspective, another four years of steady employment is welcome, but those who endured the Great Recession – when the national unemployment rate in construction was at one point as high as 27 percent – may wonder if it’s only a matter of time before the next downturn occurs.
Mayor Paul Soglin, however, believes that the building frenzy represents a long-term shift toward economic development in Madison.
“The volume of construction here in Madison that’s under way or will be under way shortly is a significant increase which outperforms what you would expect to see in this recovery,” he says.
He attributes the building bonanza in part to a message he believes his administration has sent to developers that their projects are welcome.
Zach Brandon, president of the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce, says Soglin deserves credit for his development efforts, but argues that the move toward a development-friendly city hall began with Soglin’s predecessor, former Mayor Dave Cieslewicz.
“I think it’s certainly true that over the last few years there’s been an epiphany that development isn’t going to happen on its own,” he says.
While the jobs provided by Epic and building projects on the UW campus are great, Brandon says the most encouraging signs are the cranes on smaller, private-sector sites.
“It’s not just Epic, it’s not a single point in time,” he says. “It’s becoming a trend line.” ￼
June 17, 2013
From madisonmagazine.com: “Learning by Doing” – Each year, students in Madison Area Technical College’s Construction and Remodeling program complete a building that’s sold to the public. This spring, they took on a new style, creating a structure bigger and better than ever before. I caught up with John Stephany, program instructor, to find out more about the project.
How many projects has the program done since its founding? The program has been around for over 30 years, working on a variety of different projects. We have been building the small modular homes here for seven years.
What is the role of students in the construction?
We had about 22 students this year, and they all worked on the house. They did almost everything: framed it up, installed the roofing, siding, flooring, drywall, cabinetry, windows and doors, trim, etc.
What is different about this year’s building?
We’ve changed the design to be more contemporary. This helped in many ways. Primarily, it simplified the design and construction, making the details the students needed to accomplish simpler, and at a more basic level. Our previous design was more traditional looking with a steep roof and a loft, but because of all the angles involved, it made for many trickier details that were not really beginning level.
How much say do the owners have in the construction?
Quite a bit. We prefer the clients be involved at the planning stages, and get quite a bit of input in the layout and design. We have some restrictions that primarily revolve around being able to transport it when we’re done—so size and shape—and we also try to keep the details simple, so no complicated crown details or things like that. Otherwise, we’re only limited by design imagination. We have worked with a couple of architects who are on board with what we are doing, and are able to produce drawings for us to work from.
How does the program work to incorporate “green” options? What about this house is efficient?
Last year’s house had a solar Photovoltaic system that the electrical apprentices here installed, and we are close to getting a Net Zero Home, which means, with the right balance of insulation, energy efficiency and solar PV, your house can produce as much energy as it uses.
We are really trying to look down the road at what our students will need to know and then we tailor our building details to reflect the coming trends. There are many college construction programs that are out building cookie cutter vinyl clad boxes without any innovation, and we see that as a huge opportunity lost on many levels.
We are trying to push the envelope on affordable, sustainable building. For instance, we use advanced framing details which create simplified load paths and create more insulation space. We build walls that have an insulation level of R30+ and we use Structural Insulating Panels (SIPs) for the roof, which are a core of solid foam insulation with plywood skins, which themselves have an insulation level of R40+. We use reclaimed wood flooring and the trim on this latest one all came from the ReStore.
I know the outside of the home has some special siding. Could you explain it more?
We install something called Smart Siding, which is a composite wood siding over a rain screen. Smart Side looks like wood siding at half of the cost and maintenance. For the rain screen, we use spacers behind the siding that create an airspace. This doubles the life of your siding and makes the paint job last twice as long as well, since the siding can dry out from all sides. It’s a direction the industry is moving toward. In old houses, the wall cavities were fairly leaky air wise, and siding could dry to the inside as well as out. With homes being built much tighter now—which is a very good thing—it was found that siding finishes weren’t lasting as long because it could no longer dry from the backside.
Tell me more about how the home is suited for “aging in place.” What does that mean for the owner?
Wider hallways, single level and wider doors into rooms allow for wheelchair and walker use. Keeping most everything on one level is also huge. If we were installing this home to be consistent with that idea, the exterior walkways would gently slope right to the door threshold—no stairs.
What design choices were made to help maximize space in the smaller layout?
The clients are going to use Ikea cabinets for storage in the bigger bedroom to separate it into two spaces for their kids, which saves space. The bathroom is just big enough to be accessible by a wheelchair, and we used a shower instead of a tub. We also combined the kitchen and dining areas.
What part of the home was the most challenging for students? What is their favorite part of it?
The students liked framing it and setting the beams and SIP panels. Drywall install is always challenging for some students, and proper window and door setting can be complicated as well. Some loved installing the flooring; some hated it. Some loved installing the siding; some hated it. The students who are more particular seemed to enjoy this finish details more, and the students who are less particular seemed to enjoy the framing and siding more.
How can someone purchase a project constructed by the program?
Contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is there anything else the public should know?
We are one of the best kept secrets of Madison College. Our program not only teaches all the basics of becoming a good beginning craftsperson, we are also out on the cutting edge of construction, and hope to start appealing to a wider audience due to the innovative things we are doing.
The innovation began about eight years ago, when Allie Berenyi was hired to be the new program director and teacher, and she started the program moving more in this direction. It really is incumbent on us to be in front, and training for the future, and also to be partnered with our industry and using us as their sounding board for new ideas. The public can come by and see how SIP panels work and decide to start using them, for instance.
June 14, 2013
From nbc15.com: “Program helps women get into male-dominated field” – When you think of a typical construction worker, a woman may not come to mind. But, the ladies are out to prove that anything guys can do, they can do better.
“We’re trying to draw more women into the skilled trades because economic parody. You make decent money as a skilled trades person” says Sandy Thistle, who teaches construction at Madison College.
Thistle also helps with the ‘Tools for Tomorrow’ program. The program, put on by Madison College, lets ladies get their feet wet in the areas of trade and technology.
Thursday ‘s free workshop focused on homebuilding.
“I run the power tools at home and so I think women are totally capable of doing this type of job” says Maria Kovach, one of the dozen women who turned out to the workshop.
And if you are a woman who’s struggling to support a family, construction may be the way to go.
“Now that the economy’s picking up, there’s demand for this work and there’s nobody trained” says Thistle.
Right now, there are now more people working in construction since August 2009.
Last month, construction employment jumped by 7000.
You can find out more information on the ‘Tools for Tomorrow’ program by heading to:
From nbc15.com: “Madison College instructors use 3-D printers as part of curriculum” – It’s cutting-edge technology at our fingertips. 3-D printers are being used to create everything from cell phone covers to cars to prosthetic limbs. Now, instructors at Madison Area Technical College are implementing the machines into their curriculum.
The printers have been around for decades, but like most technology, over the years the price has dropped and they’re now much more accessible. Come fall, there will be one in dozens of classrooms at Madison College. Now, envisioning an idea, like the architectural plans for a building, will no longer be confined to a computer screen.
“The way is to create the 3-D model in the software,” Jim Grenzow said. “It needs to be translated and sent to this machine. And when we build the model, basically what we do is take sections and 3-4 thousandths of an inch thick and printing them out on this machine.”
Grenzow helps architecture students at Madison College bring their designs to life using a 3-D printer.
“The machine that we have works basically on the principal that if I draw an object, and cut out this object with a razor blade knife,” Grenzow said. “And then transferred that onto each of these sheets of paper, and then cut them out and stacked them all on top of each other, I would have a 3-D object. “
The process is a layering effect and takes hours to complete. The printer Grenzow works with uses a white flour-like material, but others can use anything from plastic to metal to even sugar or syrup to make food.
“So there are multiple ways to actually create a 3-D product using different materials,” said Ken Starkman, Dean of Applied Science, Engineering and Technology at Madison College. “And I think that’s where we’re going to see these tremendous leaps and bounds in technology here in the coming years and months.”
Starkman says the industry is currently going two ways: One toward the high-end multi-material 3-D printer that major companies and schools may use, and the other toward the less expensive, less complex ones that people can buy for their homes.
“3-D technology will find its way into our kitchens, it will find its way into our home offices,” Starkman said. “It may find its way into shopping malls. When you start thinking in 3-D, the possibilities really become endless.”
But many fear there is also a downside to the printers. The government has been concerned recently about people’s capacity to build their own guns that are made of non-metal based materials, and can easily get through a metal detector.
There is also the concern that manufacturing jobs may soon go away if people are able to use 3-D printers to replace things like car parts all on their own. Starkman says while the face of manufacturing will certainly change, technology will create new demands and therefore new jobs.
From digitaljournal.com: “Apache Tank Donation Prepares Madison College Students for Bio-Engineering Careers” – Madison Area Technical College engineering students presented their class project, a biodiesel blending system, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison May 8th, 2013. Apache Stainless Equipment Corporation donated the stainless storage tank used in the project and the biodiesel system will also be shown at collegiate fairs and educational outreach events.
The Madison College engineering students were tasked with developing a system that was capable of blending biodiesel with petro-diesel and fuel additives for improved performance in extreme seasonal temperatures. The students also had to design around safety, transportability, power and budget constraints. Apache was one of several equipment manufacturers to donate components to the project.
“Apache is committed to build strong community ties where we live, work and go to school,” says Ed Paradowski, Apache President, “being part of this project not only helps Madison College engineering students, it also helps with the overall promotion of education in the field of fabrication and manufacturing.”
As a group, students engineered the blending system from start to finish. Apache supplied a 60 gallon, pickle passivated stainless tank with a vent fitting according their their design and specifications. The welding, fabrication, plumbing and electrical was all accomplished by the engineering students at Madison College.
Apache serves the biofuel industry with many types of specialized tanks, including: distillation columns, evaporators, ASME vessels, API-650 Vessels, clad vessels, custom mix tanks and storage tanks. The Apache facility in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin is fully equipped with machines and processes for shearing, forming, welding, rolling and in-house head making. The company also provides finishing capabilities, including automated mechanical polishing, electro-polishing and passivation. Another facility in Plover, Wisconsin produces carbon steel tanks and equipment.
May 14, 2013
From dailyunion.com: “Madison College-Fort welds relationship with industries” — Job seekers in Jefferson County are finding more opportunities to be trained in programs that allow them to enter the workforce quickly, thanks to the expanded Madison Area Technical College campus in Fort Atkinson.
In September, a ribbon-cutting saluted completion of a $1.9 million campus renovation and expansion that was part of the larger $134 million vision of growth within the college’s 12-county district.
Madison College’s $134 million Smart Community Plan for new facilities, renovations and upgrades at the affiliated campuses was approved by voters in the November 2010 election. The referendum received nearly 60 percent of the ballots from electors in the technical college district.
The plan called for meeting the increasing demand of local residents who need affordable education and job training during a time of struggle in the economy while Madison College’s student enrollment and waiting lists are at all-time highs, and interest rates and construction costs are low.
The Fort Atkinson project consisted of remodeling 3,000 square feet of existing space and adding 6,000 square feet of new space. The centerpiece of the expansion was the 3,000-square-foot metal fabrication/manufacturing lab.
Lynn Forseth, executive director for economic and workforce development in Madison College’s Eastern Region, said that starting with the spring semester, the Fort Atkinson campus has been able to provide degree-credit classes for the welding and industrial maintenance mechanic programs, customized contract training for area businesses and a middle college program for high school-aged students.
“It has really taken off,” Forseth said. “I do believe that what we constructed through the referendum was a good opportunity for this campus. It is serving our local industries.”
For many years, Madison College’s Fort Atkinson campus had been fortunate enough to be able to use nearby Fort Atkinson High School’s technical education lab for welding and manufacturing classes. Since 2001, evening classes were offered at the high school.
Prior to that, when the Fort Atkinson campus first was built, there was a welding lab. Over the years, the equipment and ventilation system grew old, prompting administrators to clean out that space and work with the School District of Fort Atkinson when the high school was built nearby.
However, at the high school, the Madison College courses had no room to expand and were limited to flexibility in scheduling. Another concern related to equipment maintenance.
With the addition of the 3,000-square-foot metal fabrication/manufacturing lab at Madison College’s campus, training opportunities have increased dramatically.
“All of the effort that went into providing the training needed by our industrial members is paying off,” said Fort Atkinson Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Dianne Hrobsky. “The facility and the quality of the training that we are getting out of the Fort Atkinson campus is removing some of the obstacles that have impeded growth for so many businesses.”
She noted that the industrial sector is strong in this area and is vital to the community’s overall economic base.
Classes are offered at the Fort Atkinson campus in computerized numerical control, welding, oxy-fuel/plasma cutting, manual machining, programmable logic controllers and metal fabrication.
Planning sessions recently were held with various industries along the State Highway 26 corridor to determine their needs. Forseth said the top skills sought are welders, machinists, CNC operators and industrial maintenance mechanics.
“We’re serving all of those needs with this lab and we would like to continue to provide that level of instruction,” Forseth said.
Through only one semester of instruction, students who have taken classes in the new lab already have been hired by area companies. One Janesville-area company hired three of the Fort Atkinson campus’ students.
Forseth said Madison College already is looking ahead to the potential next step, which is development of a new program offering in overall metal fabrication.
Currently, the welding program is a one-year diploma program, and some students, many of whom also have a job, struggle to have the time to take all the required classes while maintaining employment.
She said schedules are designed to accommodate those working adult students as much as possible.
Generally, the jobs that are available are in more customized manufacturing.
“You need people to be able to read blueprints and make those modifications and make adjustments to meet the customers needs,” Forseth said. “We know most of the manufacturing and production is going to be customized work that requires a higher level of skill.”
April 26, 2013
From dailyunion.com: “MATC, UW-Whitewater sign articulation agreement” – The Warhawks and Wolfpack might be ominous mascots in sports competitions, but from this point forward, Willie and Wolfie make excellent study buddies when it comes to obtaining a college degree.
Administrators from both the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and Madison Area Technical College were on hand at Madison College’s Fort Atkinson campus Wednesday for a special signing ceremony formalizing a direct program-to-program transfer of credits between the two schools.
Two separate institutional contracts, formally called articulation agreements, where made official with signatures Wednesday. First, the Liberal Arts Journalism Pathway program begins at Madison College and is designed for students who obtain an associate degree in liberal arts, but wish to complete the coursework required to earn a baccalaureate degree in journalism from UW-Whitewater’s College of Arts and Communication.
Second, the Liberal Arts Business Pathway is tailored toward Madison College students who complete a customized mix of liberal arts and business courses leading to an associate degree. Once the associate degree is achieved, students can then pursue a bachelor’s degree in any major offered by UW-Whitewater’s College of Business and Economics.
While there were multiple administrators, professors, instructors, admission personnel and staff from both institutions on hand Wednesday, the actual signatories for the ceremony were Madison College Dean of Arts and Sciences Todd Stebbins, Dean of Business and Applied Arts Bryon Woodhouse, Associate Vice President for Learner Success Turina Bakken and UW-Whitewater Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Beverly Kopper.
Serving as master of ceremonies was Lynn Forseth, executive director of Economic and Workforce Development for Madison College’s Eastern Region.
“Due to our geographic proximity to Whitewater, the Fort Atkinson campus regularly serves students who are planning to transfer to UW-Whitewater, and often, in fact, dual-enroll at both institutions,” Forseth said during introductory remarks. “Both colleges also work closely with area K-12 districts to help high school-age students to formulate their educational and career plans. The agreements we will sign today give high school graduates yet another opportunity to begin their education anywhere in the Madison College district and transfer those credits to UW-Whitewater.”
Forseth added that she has heard positive feedback from regional K-12 school districts about the agreements, and she thanked them for their support.
Bakken was the first speaker.
“Just before we started today, we were talking about the state of higher education, and the new environment that we do our work in,” she said. “Whether you’re a two-year school, a four-year university or a private institution, we can’t exist in isolation anymore; these kinds of partnerships we sign today are so very important – not only for our communities and students, but for us, too, as they make us the most efficient we can be with the scarce resources that we have.
“Just a few weeks ago, we signed an agreement with UW-Madison that essentially says that for those students who start at Madison College and transfer to UW-Madison without their associate degree, once they earn enough credits, we will honor those credits toward the associate degree; and if they continue on for a bachelor’s degree or beyond, fantastic, but no matter what happens, they will at least have that credential, Bakken continued.
“There are very few agreements like that in the country, and we were very proud to sign that one.”
She noted that last week, Madison College signed an agreement with UW-Platteville for students in biology and bio-technology.
“Their last year in biology at UW-Platteville, they will be enrolled in our bio-tech post-baccalaureate certificate. So, they will graduate in four years from Platteville with a degree in biology or bio-tech and a post-baccalaureate certificate from Madison College,” Bakken noted. “We are thinking more innovatively at our college and with our partners beyond simple agreement where we hand students off; we are really looking at more integrated partnerships.”
The agreements signed Wednesday were another example of an integrated partnership, Bakken said.
Stebbins, meanwhile, spoke on the Journalism Pathway.
“It guarantee’s Madison College students a direct program-to-program if they wish to pursue a bachelor’s degree in journalism at UW-Whitewater,” he said. “Some of you may be aware that Madison College currently offers a journalism certificate for students who are interested in moving into entry-level careers in journalism or people who are already in the industry, but want to get an education to position themselves in that industry. The sweeping majority of students come to us because they are interested in at least a four-year degree, sometimes beyond that.”
Stebbins noted that more than 83 percent of Madison College students enrolled in the current certificate program go on to a four-year program.
“This new Liberal Arts Journalism Pathway is tailored to students who have met the requirements for a liberal arts degree from us, and wish to complete their coursework required for a baccalaureate degree in journalism from UW-Whitewater’s distinguished College of Arts and Communications,” he continued. “By taking advantage of the strengths at both institutions, access, academic rigor, and shared commitment to excellence, graduates of the Liberal Arts Journalism Pathway should be very prepared for success as they enter the workforce beyond their bachelor’s degree.”
Woodhouse spoke about the Business Pathway.
“The second contract we are signing today is the Liberal Arts Business Pathway agreement with UW-Whitewater’s College of Business and Economics,” he said.
“Madison College currently offers 26 areas of programming that are covered by the broad umbrella of business management and administration,” Woodhouse remarked,.
” That includes many specialties, like accounting, human resources, paralegal and many others. As Todd noted, the majority of students who enter these programs intend to transfer to a four-year college. For most of them, their first choice is to transfer somewhere into the UW System. That is why we partnered with UW-Whitewater.”
He said this agreement is designed for Madison College students who completed a customized mix of liberal arts and business courses required for an associate degree.
“In turn, these students can pursue a bachelor’s degree in any major offered by UW-Whitewater’s College of Business and Economics,” Woodhouse noted. “I want to emphasize the word ‘in.’ That is, all credits earned at Madison College will transfer to UW-Whitewater, including those earned in our business courses. This program-to-program transfer allows business students to take their careers into whatever direction they choose. Of course, it opens a whole world of possibilities for each student as they choose their career path.
“This agreement, like the others between Madison College and the UW System, really maximizes our finite resources,” he concluded. “It encourages academic and administrative coordination with an eye toward continuous improvements.”
Kopper said that she was excited about the articulation agreements.
“The UW-Whitewater is certainly an enthusiastic partner in paving pathways for students of all walks of life to achieve success,” she said. “These agreements show our joint commitment to making that happen.
“Students from Madison College will now be able to seamlessly transfer credit to UW-Whitewater, and enroll in upper-level courses in both business and journalism,” the provost said. “The College of Business and Economics, the College of Arts and Communication, and the College of Letters and Sciences are all ready to welcome these students into our challenging and innovative programs. As we strive to increase the number of baccalaureate degree holders in Wisconsin, working closely with our technical college partners is extremely important as we develop these credit agreements. These are vital, certainly, to our mission at UW-Whitewater.”
She continued: “UW-Whitewater graduates will enter the workforce with a strong liberal arts education that prepares them for the ever-changing world that we are in, with the skills that we hear from employers that they value, and demand, and with the knowledge to power the state’s economy. Many of our business alumni are leading accountants, entrepreneurs, they have their own businesses, and are CEOs in their respective fields. Our journalism alumni travel the globe, working for broadcast networks, trade publications, marketing companies and social media enterprises, just to name a few.
“I would like to thank everyone at both Madison College and UW-Whitewater for crafting theses agreements,” she concluded. “They deserve our thanks, we look forward to more partnerships.”
After Kopper’s remarks, each of the speakers signed the official paperwork needed to formalize the agreements, receiving a round of applause from those gathered for the event.
Then, in a somewhat humorous moment, Forseth presented Bakken and Kopper with a stuffed mascot from the opposite school – Willie Warhawk for Bakken and Wolfie for Kopper – to symbolize the partnership of the two institutions.
After the ceremony, Kopper said that UW-Whitewater has similar agreements with other two-year colleges in southern Wisconsin, but in other areas.
“We have an articulation agreement with every technical college in the state related to our Early Childhood program,” she said. “That is with Madison College and all other technical colleges. I believe next month, we are sending a team over to UW-Waukesha to look at further articulation agreements and partnerships.”
Qualified students are eligible to participate in the Liberal Arts Journalism Pathway and Liberal Arts Business Pathway programs this fall. For more information, contact Carlotta Calmese, associate dean of student development at Madison College, CCalmese@madisoncollege.edu, or Troy Moldenhaur, associate director of admissions at UW-Whitewater, email@example.com.
From floridasportsman.com: “South Florida National Parks Trust Delivers $80,000 in Support to Biscayne National Park” – The South Florida National Parks Trust has delivered grant checks worth $80,000 to Biscayne National Park in recent weeks to support critical park programs and projects, thanks in part to the generous support of Pescanova USA.
The grant payments will fund environmental education programs for South Florida school children, volunteer projects for college students on spring break, boater education classes for South Florida boaters and additional resource protection for the park itself.
“We are deeply grateful to Pescanova USA for its continued support, which has allowed us to provide this support to Biscayne National Park at a critical time,” said Don Finefrock, executive director of the South Florida National Parks Trust.
“Pescanova USA is proud to be able to make a meaningful contribution to this vital organization. The South Florida National Parks Trust and its directors have done an outstanding job supporting our prized National Parks in South Florida. We look forward to continuing to support them,” said Rafael Bru, president of Pescanova USA in Coral Gables, Florida.
Across-the-board spending cuts that took effect this month at the National Park Service and other federal agencies will result in a 5% budget cut at Biscayne National Park – a reduction of $200,000 in the park’s annual budget. Other national parks face similar cuts.
The SFNPT’s grant payments to Biscayne National Park were approved by the SFNPT board in September, before the spending cuts, but the timing of the grant payments highlights the important role that private philanthropy plays in our national parks.
“Private support for national parks is needed now more than ever to support park programs and projects like environmental education that make a critical difference for all of us in South Florida, especially children,” Mr. Finefrock said.
The grant payments from SFNPT to Biscayne National Park include:
• $25,000 for environmental education programs at Biscayne National Park that bring 3,000 school children to the park each year, many for the first time, for day programs and overnight camping, and reach another 6,500 students in classrooms.
• $10,000 to fund a volunteer program at Biscayne National Park that recruits college students to spend spring break in the park, working as volunteers to remove marine debris from park beaches in advance of turtle nesting season. More than 240 students from 22 colleges participated in the program last year.
• $35,000 to install 50 floating markers at the Featherbed Banks in Biscayne National Park to guide boaters and protect shallow habitat in Biscayne Bay.
• $10,000 to fund a boater education program at Biscayne National Park to reduce boat groundings in the park that damage sea grass beds and coral reefs.
In addition to these projects, the SFNPT approved an additional grant of $2,600 to help pay for two citizenship ceremonies this fiscal year at Biscayne National Park for new citizens of the United States – one for adults and one for children and their families. The citizenship ceremonies were held in December.
April 8, 2013
From nbc15.com: “Entrepreneurs seek to create next big thing” — “I can’t remember how many gallons we went through last year, but it came out to be like $300 of coffee,” said Lorin Toepper, the executive director of economic and workforce development at Madison College. Liquid energy to sustain the group of about a hundred, as they strive to develop the next big thing. “The participants do a pitch on a great idea, or what they think is a great idea, and then people vote on it and figure out the top ideas that come out of today,” he said.
They then split into groups and spend the rest of “Startup Weekend” developing those ideas, ultimately presenting them to a panel of judges on Sunday. “It’s almost like immediate validation of their business idea,” said Toepper. “You may think you have a really cool idea, I mean I’ve got a million of them, just ask me, but until you actually get out there and test it in the marketplace you don’t know how well it’s going to be received. Well, you come here, you do a pitch and you have immediate validation.”
The best ones will earn a spot in the Gener8tor program.”That’s an accelerator where they’re holding your hands and taking you to the next level and eventually maybe you’ll get before some funding, potential funding sources,” he said.
Gener8tor held a launch day for some of its graduates just last night, and the co-founder said they’ve seen some pretty good success with the program. “Gener8tor has invested in 13 companies. Within one year those companies have gone on to raise over $3 million in private capital and have created over 40 jobs right here in Wisconsin,” said Co-Founder Troy Vosseller. “That’s something we’re really proud about.”
“Startup Weekend” is the first of its kind in the state and it’s a joint effort by Madison College, UW Madison, Edgewood College, Capital Entrepreneurs and Sector67.
April 3, 2013
From wisbusiness.com: “Aspiring entrepreneurs to share ideas at Madison College this weekend” – If you’ve ever dreamed of starting your own company, then Madison College is the place to be this weekend.
Startup Weekend Madison, a 54-hour workshop that brings together entrepreneurial minds from southern Wisconsin to encourage collaboration on innovative projects and form new startup companies, runs April 5-7 at the college’s West campus (302 S. Gammon Rd.) The event is a joint effort of Madison College, UW-Madison, Edgewood College, Capital Entrepreneurs and Sector67.
“This is an intensive, fun and high-energy opportunity to create something new with a team of innovative thinkers,” says Lorin Toepper, executive director of economic and workforce development-southwest region at Madison College and chair of the Startup Weekend Madison committee. “Startup Weekends are risk-free environments where everyone is expected to roll up their sleeves and dive into the exhilarating world of startups.”
Developers, designers, marketers, product managers and startup enthusiasts will be gathering to share ideas, form teams, build products, launch startups and compete for prizes. At last year’s inaugural event, more than 100 attendees pitched 60 new startup ideas. So far, nearly 500 Startup Weekends have taken place around the world and 200 more are being planned.
It’s not too late to register for this weekend’s Startup Weekend Madison. Just go to http://madison.startupweekend.org. If you have questions or need more information, call Lorin Toepper at (608) 333-2929.
Startup Weekend Madison is sponsored by Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, Google, American Family Insurance, Neider and Boucher, and Gener8tor.
From roboticstomorrow.com: “Madison College is Wisconsin’s first certified robot training and education site for FANUC Robotics Vision Programming” – “Around the country, only 11 schools have achieved this highest level of the FANUC Robotics Certified Education Robot Training (CERT) program,” said Paul Aiello, regional manager, FANUC Robotics America. “Madison College has been certified as a robot programming site since 2010.”
According to Peter S. Dettmer, Madison College Instructor – Automated Manufacturing, the school’s first class in Vision for Robotics Programming will be offered for free at the Watertown campus starting March 13, 2013 through a US Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant.
“This eight-week course and certification is part of a new two-year Associates Degree in Automated Manufacturing Systems Technology (AMST), which starts this fall,” said Dettmer. “Students who successfully complete the course will receive FANUC Robotics’ industry certification in vision and robot programming.”
FANUC Robotics CERT Program
Launched in 2008, FANUC Robotics’ CERT program certifies instructors at educational institutions to train their students to program FANUC robots through on-line and hands-on training courses.
“As more companies incorporate robotics into their operations, the demand for high paying careers related to designing, implementing and using industrial robots is increasing,” said Aiello. “Graduates of certified programs like the one offered at Madison College will start their careers with industry-recognized certifications. Those who are better-trained robot operators will set themselves apart in the workforce.”
March 4, 2013
From nbc15.com: “New Compressed Natural Gas pump comes to Madison” – Maria Redmond made a rare trip to a gas station today. She bought her Honda Civic in October of last year. It’s fueled by CNG or Compressed Natural Gas and until now she filled her tank up at MG&E not a traditional gas station.
Today MG&E announced that with some help from the federal government and the State of Wisconsin they installed south central Wisconsin’s first public CNG pumps at the Speedway on Royal Avenue near South Towne.
Debbie Branson with MG&E says, ” We wanted to give some of the fleets in the area who are purchasing CNG vehicles an easy access, 24/7 option for fueling.”
Not only do drivers have a new place to fuel up but CNG costs about 40% to 50% less, emissions are about 30% lower and according to officials with MG&E it could help to significantly cut our dependence on foreign oil.
There are some setbacks to owning a CNG vehicle. You’re going to lose a little bit of trunk space. That’s because the tank sits just behind the back seat.
Craig Lathrop is an automotive instructor at Madison College. He says CNG vehicles can be between $4,000 and $10,000 more expensive. But he sees today’s announcement as a positive.
” There’s not a great structure yet, ” says Lathrop. ” I am stressing the word yet because there’s been great strides lately especially with the energy department and the state promoting it. “
For drivers like Maria today’s news is great. It means she can spend more time behind the wheel not worrying where she’s going to get the fuel to power them.
February 28, 2013
From channel3000.com: “Dentists warn of high acidity in some energy drinks” – MADISON, Wis. - Popular energy drinks claim to give people hours of energy, but dentists said people may be bathing their teeth in acid when they consume energy drinks.
They come in flashy containers, promising a boost to get you through those long days.
“A lot of people really do sit and just drink this stuff,” said Madison College dental hygiene student Alicia Selzler.
But when the jolt runs dry, new research shows, people are left with are serious hazards to their teeth.
“I used to drink these in high school myself,” said Selzler. “And I always wanted to do hygiene, but I never really thought of what this is actually doing to my teeth until I saw this.”
Selzler is no stranger to sugar’s destructive path, but the experiment she’s conducting with her classmates at Madison College examines the acid content of energy drinks.
“The citric acid is the one ingredient that we noticed that if it was listed near the top of the ingredient list, that was one of those solutions we knew we were going to get a low pH,” said Marcy LeFave, Madison College dental hygiene faculty member.
On a pH scale, a reading of 7 is neutral, like water. The lower the number, the more acidic the chemical. Students measured the pH of a variety of drinks. Coffee and milk showed pH scores of around 5 and 6, respectively. Root beer was around 4.
But a sugar-free bottle of Vitamin Water Zero showed a high level of acidity in a test, Selzler said.
“It’s actually Vitamin Water Zero,” said Selzler. “It’s showing a pH of 3.15. So the pH of that product is really, really low.”
The energy drink in the experiment logged a pH close to 3 as well. Battery acid reads -1 on the pH scale.
And with the popularity of these types of drinks, researchers said it’s only a matter of time before a rising number of dentists expend more of their energy on tooth decay.
“I always tell my patients, and I’ve learned from my hygienist and my teachers, if you sip all day, you get decay,” said Selzler, “So this is kind of what we like to show people, the acid and what it’s all doing.”
With sugar, the decay process begins after the sugar reacts with the bacteria in a person’s mouth to produce the acid that eventually gets to his or her teeth. When drinking energy drinks high in citric acid, it skips the sugar-bacteria chemical reaction completely. Researchers said the citric acid could damage a person’s teeth faster.
February 4, 2013
From wiscnews.com: “PHS gets it in gear: Automotive training program one of 14 in state honored” – The automotive training program at Portage High School has a reason to honk its horn. It is one of 14 high school programs in the state to earn recognition from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence and the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation.
“I was a little nervous because it’s a certification I put a lot of time into, getting organized, knowing what they were looking for,” said Troy Kumm, automotive technology instructor at PHS.
In November, the program underwent rigorous evaluation from a NATEF representative who oversaw every aspect of the class from curriculum to equipment. Three ASE master-certified technicians from Hill Automotive, Trecek Automotive and Blystone Towing assisted in the evaluation.
“They were here for a whole day watching me teach, interact with students, checked over my curriculum, equipment and facilities as well,” Kumm said.
There are about 100 students in the program, he said, and the national accreditation needs to be renewed every five years.
Upon completion of the evaluation, NATEF recommended that Portage High School be accredited by ASE. It is a national nonprofit organization that tests and certifies repair technicians, in addition to accrediting automotive training programs, according to the organization.
In December, Kumm received word and a plaque that placed PHS in line with the high industry standards. The program also received a Portage School Board commendation for its accreditation in brakes, electrical/electronic systems, engine performance, suspension and steering.
Some of the students are working toward a career in the field and several of them apprentice and work in area automotive businesses, Kumm said.
Through an articulation agreement with Madison Area Technical College, students can be exempt from taking certain courses if they’ve met certain graduating criteria from the program. Further, PHS instructors are seeking dual credit opportunities through Madison College, which would get students ahead of the curriculum and save some money on classes.
Overall, the national accreditation gives students better standing when they enter the work force or Madison College, Kumm said. Five to 10 graduates of the PHS program go to the college for an automotive speciality, he said.
Because of the certification met by the program, Kumm said, he’s able to get donated up-to-date cars for students to work on.
For more information about the program or to donate equipment, contact Kumm at 742-8545.