July 11, 2014
From htrnews.com: “LTC’s Rogers wins awards at horticulture event” — CLEVELAND – Lakeshore Technical College’s Horticulture Instructor Ray Rogers recently received several awards at the Show of Summer Horticulture event in Chicago. Rogers won three top horticulture awards, along with 12 blue ribbons for his plants, according to a press release.
Six Chicago-area garden clubs affiliated with the Garden Club of America presented the competitive flower show, Show of Summer, with the theme “Our Kind of Town” on June 21 and 22 at the Chicago Botanic Garden. One of the main purposes of the show was to educate visitors about horticulture, flower arranging and conservation. This year, participants were asked to interpret the theme “Our Kind of Town” throughout the displays. More than 100 members from dozens of GCA clubs around the country participated in the event.
All of Rogers’ plants were grown in the greenhouse on the Environmental Campus at LTC and were often incorporated into classroom instruction. Some also have been propagated as offerings at the LTC Horticulture Club’s plant sales held in late April and early May.
Rogers’ 10-year-old Deuterocohnia brevifolia, a relative of Spanish moss and pineapple, won both Best in Show and the Certificate of Excellence in Horticulture.
Rogers also produced and sowed the seeds for a hybrid Aloe. It won the Louise Agee Wrinkle Award for Propagation at the event.
May 29, 2014
From waow.com: “Wausau’s Northcentral Technical College hiring more teachers” — A central Wisconsin college is adding jobs to help students prepare for the working world.
Northcentral Technical College is looking to fill about 30 positions.
Darren Ackley, the dean of the Technical and Trades Division, said there are more jobs out there than NTC graduates can fill.
He says adding more instructors means they’ll be able to teach more students skills that are in demand.
“Our business community has been telling us that we need more welders, we need diesel technicians, we need [certified nursing assistants], we need nurses,” said Jeannie Worden, the vice president of college advancement. “We know in our IT area that we do not have enough graduates for the IT jobs that are there. Welding, we know, is the same issue.”
The leaders of NTC want to fill that need.
“We go out to our employers to find out what their hiring needs are,” Worden said.
“We definitely try to take notes from them on what we need to do and try to accommodate however we can,” said Ackley.
Part of their solution is to add about 30 new positions, including around 10 teachers.
“We’re really focusing on increasing the number of students we can accommodate here and with that, we need more instructors, so we’re definitely having an exciting time here where we’re hiring lots of people,” Ackley said.
Ackley says they’re looking for “somebody that has some occupational experience that has been out in the industry, working, that knows what they’re doing out there.”
It’s a quality students say is helpful in the classroom.
“They have worked for huge companies or they have been managers in other states here,” said Adelio Ortiz, a student from El Salvador. “They not only bring the theory of the class, they bring real experience.”
It prepares students for life after college because Ackley says they can tailor the curriculum to what the industry needs are.
To help pay for these new positions, the school received a $6 million grant from the federal government.
May 19, 2014
From thenorthwestern.com: “Jared Huss: Oshkosh should leverage its many strengths to help it succeed” — When we critique ourselves, what do we focus on? Our weaknesses, right? When we have to complete a task that we don’t necessarily enjoy, we put it off and stress out about it, right? And when we receive a performance appraisal, we tend to fixate on and attempt to improve upon our weak areas, don’t we?
Think about a time when everything was clicking for you; whether that be playing basketball and making every shot, learning a language, mastering your golf swing, helping out with your favorite charity, networking with new people, and the list goes on. Capture that moment; reflect back on what was going on around you. What kind of environment were you in that allowed that powerful feeling of success to surround you? What over-arching strength were you using to sink every shot, master that new language, or effortlessly dialogue with complete strangers? Do you spend the bulk of your time in that strength environment?
I have enjoyed the distinct privilege and pleasure of working for an organization that creates an environment just like that. Fox Valley Technical College (FVTC) is innovative when it comes to leveraging the strengths of people, and creating a culture that focuses on the growth of those strengths. At FVTC we have a very unique opportunity to live and work in our strength zone. By focusing on our strengths, we achieve more, enjoy more, and succeed more.
FVTC takes the talents of people and uses those traits to build innovative curriculum and dynamic partnerships, internally and externally. The results of this approach to employee development is directly tied to enhanced student learning and workplace training. It’s simply a trickle down; the more we all enjoy our jobs, the more success our students enjoy.
When I look at Oshkosh, I see incredible potential aligned with this type of fundamental mindset. Our community is exemplary when it comes to events, cultural attractions and history, unique waterways, strong educational institutions, and of course, aviation-related initiatives, to name a few. Those involved in leading these areas could ignite a strengths movement to make an even greater impact.
I have learned firsthand that leveraging strengths not only contributes to better results and a greater impact on people, but the concept alone builds leadership. I have been on both the receiving end and the giving end of an environment that promotes the strengths we each have. Naturally, as people learn how to turn their strengths into successes, they realize new found confidence, independence, and value in who they are as unique individuals.
As a leader, I see the best come out of our team in times of adversity. Should one of us stumble, we quickly pick them up and focus on solutions rather than blame. We break through the “ya-but” and into the “how-to.” Then, we turn the “how-to” into actions, dispatching each team member into their strength zone of the collective goal. With the right team, nothing is impossible.
As an ancient philosopher once said, “When the best leader’s work is done the people say, we did it ourselves.” This captures perfectly the culture and leadership I have experienced at FVTC. Again, on both the receiving and giving end of this, I can say firsthand how effective an environment this creates to develop leadership at all levels of the organization. This empowering atmosphere allows each individual’s strengths to be harnessed and contributed to the collective goals of the organization and community.
For Oshkosh, our community leaders and hard-working citizens are well positioned to take the next step in personal and professional development if we simply allow for more opportunities to apply their strengths. Think back to that captured moment of success, and imagine how each of us could augment one success into another success just by having the chance to showcase what we do best. Whether it be working with our hands, growing community relationships, or thinking of new and exciting opportunities, what matters is that we do what we’re best at.
Here is my leadership philosophy: Every success I’ve been fortunate to experience over the years is because of the people I work with every day. The team, organization, and community that I’m a part of is very special, and I’m fortunate each day to take on challenges and go after opportunities, side by side with them. And of course, as with any individual who enjoys success in his or her professional life, I would be remiss without recognizing how important a loving and supportive family is as well.
From gmtoday.com: “Learning to swim with the sharks” — WAUKESHA – It’s a common question asked of start-up owners: Will you go on “Shark Tank” someday?
The ABC show that puts an entrepreneur before four venture capitalists and gives them an opportunity to pitch their products to gain financing for growing or saving their businesses has gained a steadfast following among entrepreneurs and consumers alike.
While many tune in to the show for entertainment, there are lessons to be learned too, said Dan Steininger, co-founder of BizStarts Milwaukee, which works with entrepreneurs, service providers, capital connections and other resources to help launch and grow new companies.
BizStarts Milwaukee hosts investor forums, which Steininger called a friendly version of “Shark Tank.” Entrepreneurs can go before potential investors for about 15 minutes.
Steininger said “Shark Tank” educates viewers on how to get investors to fund their companies by providing insight into the typical questions an investor will ask, such as amount of sales, profit margins and money already invested in the company.
Before entrepreneurs participate in the investor forum, BizStarts Milwaukee provides training, so sometimes they are often more prepared than the contestants on “Shark Tank,” Steininger said.
Peter Rathmann incorporates episodes of “Shark Tank” and “Undercover Boss” in the Intro to Entrepreneurship class he teaches at Waukesha County Technical College. He also teaches marketing classes at WCTC and Carroll University, in addition to owning SalesTechnik, which helps Individuals, organizations and companies increase their opportunities and sales.
Rathmann said many students start the class with an idea of what they would like to do. Both the class and TV shows can help them think about creating a business structure and learning the vernacular.
The students also learn to promote their product in terms of knowing their sales, costs, how they make money, the hurdles the business has encountered, why their product is worth investing in and more.
For Intro to Entrepreneurship, the final presentation is conducted in a Shark Tank format, Rathmann said.
“It kind of gives it a simple form at the end of the day,” he said of “Shark Tank.”
Jon Anne Willow, entrepreneurship director for BizStarts Milwaukee, said entrepreneurs can learn from the strengths and weaknesses of “Shark Tank” contestants.
“When the best entrepreneurs pitch on those programs, they are prepared, they are not defensive, they are open to ideas and suggestions,” she said. “They have a strong vision for how they want their business to grow.”
When entrepreneurs pitch in front of BizStart Milwaukee’s investor forum, which consists of venture capitalists, banks and angel investors, they need to be prepared, but local investors are more apt to work with the owners.
“It’s important to remember they want you to succeed; they want your idea to be fantastic, but it’s their money and it’s their risk,” Willow said.
Tough lessons can also be learned from TV shows, Seininger said.
“You learn you just can’t have a dream,” he said.
Unless you have real customers paying for your product, Steininger said, you don’t have a business.
One of the upsides to shows like “Shark Tank” is making business seem exciting.
“It’s about creativity and innovation,” Steininger said. “It is rewarding people for not just doing the same thing.”
Gary Bredow, host and creator of “Start Up,” a show highlighting successful businesses that often began in someone’s kitchen or garage, asks questions of the owners that provide insight about how they found success.
Bredow said the main thing he has learned from doing the show is there is no formula for success – each person has his or her own path to it. While some say a business plan was not useful, for example, others swear by it.
One constant, Bredow said, is that successful entrepreneurs need to have “drive and determination or don’t bother.”
The notion is that being self-employed means you have a lot of free time, but that’s not the case at all, he said.
“You have to be a very independent spirit,” Bredow said.
These are some lessons he learned while filming at Newaukee, Iron Horse Motel and Gouda Girls in Milwaukee in season one. He is in the process of shooting for season two, which will bring him to Madison.
While the show has been airing on PBS, Bredow said “Start Up” has been picked up by The Create Channel, which will begin to re-air episodes from season one.
Bredow said he has heard from fans of the show who have been inspired, including one person who decided to start Prohibition tours of Chicago.
Learning how to valuate a company is also an important skill and one viewers of “Shark Tank” can see work against an entrepreneur who is not well prepared.
Russ Roberts, manager of the Small Business Center at WCTC, said the show has illustrated how valuing a business can be more “art than science.”
“The most important is preparation and being ready to answer questions confidently,” Roberts said of lessons learned from entrepreneurial TV shows.
Others positive effects from watching “Shark Tank” include anticipating the questions you’ll get and being prepared to answer them. The contestants on TV must also be able to think on their feet, to get to the point and answer the questions, Roberts said.
The investors on “Shark Tank” illustrate how many people are looking to invest in the entrepreneur and not just the product, by the comments they make and the way they determine whom they will invest with, Roberts said.
The impact of shows like “Shark Tank” is widespread.
“It’s rare that I find anyone who doesn’t know “Shark Tank,” Roberts said. “It has had impact.”
“My hope is that programs like “Shark Tank” and “Start Up” do spur interest in entrepreneurialism and do inspire people to get out there and start businesses of their own and follow their dreams,” said Willow.
April 28, 2014
From wispolitics.com: “Instructor earns American society of Microbiology Faculty Enhancement Award” — Dan Harrigan, a lab tech assistant instructor at Blackhawk Technical College’s Monroe Campus, is one of three college instructors from across the nation to be named a Faculty Enhancement Travel Award winner by the American Society of Microbiology.
In bestowing the honor, the organization described Harrigan as a “stellar example of commitment to teaching undergraduate microbiology and biology.’’
Harrigan will receive a one-year society membership and funding to the ASM national convention for undergraduate educators from May 15th to May 18th in Danvers, Mass.
The Faculty Enhancement Program Travel Award recognizes leaders in biology education and provides them with opportunities to learn research and pedagogy developments, practice new technologies and techniques, and connect with other educators and researchers by attending ASM national convention. Awardees are educators who teach microbiology at two- or four-year institutions with large percentages of historically excluded and underrepresented students selected based on their leadership capacity, commitment to improving teaching, and dedication to participating in education and outreach programs, among other criteria.
The other two awardees are Nastassia Jones of Philander Smith College, Little Rock, Ark., and Carol Stiles, Georgia Military College, Valdosta, Ga.
Sponsored by the ASM Committee on Undergraduate Education, a committee of the ASM Education Board, ASM convention is an interactive, four-day conference where educators learn and share the latest information about microbiology and biology as well as their most effective teaching strategies. The conference program includes poster presentations and plenary, concurrent, and exhibit sessions. Participants engage in formal and informal small group discussions among colleagues who are all focused on the same goal— improving teaching and learning in the biological sciences.
From nbc15.com: “Protecting your data when selling a device” — As phones become more sophisticated, we store more and more data on them, use them for more and more tasks, and put personal information more and more at risk.
With smartphones, you’ve got probably photos, videos, your entire phone list, even credit card information stored on there. And if you don’t take the proper precautions, you become vulnerable to identity theft, fraud and blackmail.
These days folks are always trying to keep up on the latest technology; trading up for the newest and best on the market. And it’s so easy to ditch your old devices and make some green in the process. You can sell online, at places like gazelle.com, Amazon, EBay, and Craigslist. You can also sell devices in person, back to your phone carrier or at a pawn shop
But, before you fork over your phone, listen up! If you have an SD card, take it out. The same thing goes for any memory cards.
Most newer phones, like the iPhone, have a factory reset button under Settings. But, if you have an older model, you’ll want to double check your work.
“On some of the older phones, you can go in, go through and pull data it off” says Mike Massino, an Information Security instructor at Madison College.
If that leaves you a bit hesitant, you have to ask yourself: “is the value of my personal data worth more than the phone I’m trying to sell?”
Nick Koshollek, owner of Tech Heroes in Madison, says companies have taken great strides, in recent years, to help consumers protect personal information.
“We’re actually required by law to wipe all the devices and to remove all user data before we resell the devices again” says Koshollek.
Seeing personal information left on devices isn’t shocking for Koshollek. He says folks come in all the time with data still on their phone…a scammer’s dream come true
Does this mean you shouldn’t sell your old devices? No. But when in doubt, take your phone to an expert like Koshollek, before shipping it off to a new owner.
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.