Wednesday, August 20, 2014

We're Back...

Don't pay the ransom...I was not kidnapped. 
I had however, taken a hiatus from the Blemo for security reasons.  We were getting hundreds of hits daily from third-World locations apparently "phishing" and I felt it was safer to not tempt the Fates.  Activity related to this Blemo (Blog-Memo for new readers) has calmed to almost nothing and we will begin publishing our weekly (most of the time) Blemo again each Friday starting this week.

How does one catch up on eight months of missed blogs at such a dynamic institution?  Well, I'll just stick with some highlights for now.
So grab the reins, heels down, and hold onto your hats cause here we go again.

The big news of the year to date, has been all of the activities surrounding an impromptu speech that I gave at the January Regional Chamber Leadership retreat in Overland Park.  Microphone in hand to answer a group exercise question regarding training needed within the Ju-Ma-Go (Junction City, Manhattan, and Wamego) area, I was struck by how many comments were made regarding either non-availability of training (which was often incorrect) or the many programs that "should" be offered in the area by educational institutions.

The gist of the following 10 minutes or so (felt like an eon) was that I instead told this group of community leaders and business owners that unless MATC will be able to find an additional funding source the College, as they know it, may not exist within the next 5 to 10 years.  It became a very quiet room as I went on to talk about huge enrollments growth while suffering shrinking funding from the State, how our ever-increasing need to raise tuition would shortly reach a breaking point for students, and how the lack of financial support from alumni, business, industry, and donors was frankly disheartening. 

Over the next seven months, I have been invited to numerous meetings with groups who want to know more and to help.  We contracted an internationally renowned company to do a very comprehensive economic impact study, focused on what benefit we are to the community and what kind of return on investment we represent (available on our web site).  We have also approached the Manhattan, Riley County, and Pottawatomie County Commissions about putting a miniscule sales tax referendum to a vote by the people and have a plan in place for April 2015.

I can't believe I was able to wrap the hundreds of hours of activity into three paragraphs, but there you go.  Trust me, there will also be more to come.
We are steadily preparing for our 50th Anniversary year and its activities.  We hope to have a kick-off celebration in January focused on our local supporters: business partners, program advisors, friends of the colleges, etc.  We then anticipate having a large celebration in the fall either the day before, or the day after, the USD 383's homecoming.  After all, 80% of our alumni came her while we were a part of the USD.  This would be the time that we would encourage out 13,000+ former students to come back for a celebration.  After all, if they miss this one, they will have to wait another 50 years for the next big one.

Here are draft drawings of our 50th Anniversary year logo and one of our lapel pin. 

Top of the Heap!  Our May graduating class students from Practical Nursing, Registered Nursing (ADN), Dental Hygiene, and Automotive all tested for nationally recognized third-party credentials (licensure or certifications) and ALL passed every test on their first try.  In fact, the percentages by which the Automotive students passed, surpassed the National average in ALL areas. Wow!  Way to go students and great teaching and mentoring faculty.
More winners...
SkillsUSA: Manhattan Area Technical College competed in a statewide hands-on skills competition with the Air Conditioning competition held on April 18th at MATC and Welding and Auto Collision competitions held on April 23rd in Wichita KS.  MATC programs competing were Air-Conditioning & Refrigeration, Auto Collision Repair, and Welding.  There are over 150 different technical trade competitions that take place during the month of April. They include post-secondary and high school.  All gold medalist across the state of Kansas will compete at the national level in Kansas City June 23rd-27th.  Our students placed 1st and 2nd in Air Condition and Refrigeration and 3rd in Auto Collision Repair for the entire State.  Congratulations to MATC’s three medal winners!

We are proud to announce the grand opening of our spirit store! Click the link below to access the store.

 For the first time in MATC history we will be teaching a concurrent enrollment college class in College Algebra at USD 383.  Students are able to sign up for this College Freshman-level course and the course is guaranteed to transfer to any of Kansas' 32 Regents universities, community and technical colleges.  This will be a real blessing for those who could not afford the higher cost of university courses while still in high school.

Additionally, Senate Bill 155, which allows high school students to take college-level technical education courses tuition free, is actively being used throughout the area to allow HS graduates to graduate with a high school transcript and college transcript including an "Industry Recognized Credential".

Graduation (Bodi) Bison Statue
We are about to begin our second MATC Leadership Academy which allows our employees to take a variety of classes for free in order to prepare two-year colleges next generation leaders.  The class includes faculty and staff from various departments and includes classified staff, teachers, professional staff, and even a couple of new Vice Presidents.  We look forward to an exciting year of learning and team building.
Our Facilities Maintenance Certificate and Associates degree have become popular.  as we continue to grow the program more and more demand presents itself to maintain apartments, homes, and industrial businesses.  For more information:

We have also been authorized to offer a new Biotechnology Laboratory Technician program.  This program will allow more entry-level students to work up to the Advanced Biotech Certificate if they choose and be even more prepared for working in the many Bio-related businesses in the region and the many more coming our way, including the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility.

That's all for now.  So until the next Blemo, stay safe and may God bless.

Dr. Rob

Friday, December 20, 2013

Don Landoll (L) with Randall Anderes (MATC Board Vice Chair)
We celebrated our Fall RN Nursing pinning Thursday morning followed a few hours later by commencement exercises.  We were honored to have Mr. Don Landoll, owner of Landoll Corporation in Marysville as our speaker.  Here is his short bio:  “Don Landoll is a 1961 graduate of Hanover High School.  He welded for Hanover Implement Manufacturing from 1961-63.  Don purchased Quick Service Welding Company in Marysville in 1963, which eventually became Landoll Corporation. The company has grown from 1 to 1000+ employees.  Landoll Corporation’s products are shipped throughout the U.S. and in 2012 exported to 42 different countries.  The company recently completed its 50th year in business. Don has received numerous awards over the years including the 1986 National Small Business Contractor of the Year Award, the Ernst and Young Regional Award for the Entrepreneur of the Year and the Kansas Governor’s Award of Excellence.   Don has also been inducted into the National Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame and the American Equipment Manufacturer’s Association Hall of Fame. Don has served on many state and national boards throughout the years.”

Later that evening, after our Board of Director's meeting, the MATC Administration, Board of Directors, and Foundation Board of Trustees had the opportunity to socially meet with our City, Riley County, and regional State representatives in order to get to know each other better.  As each of our leaders introduced themselves they took the opportunity to express their respect and admiration (unsolicited) for MATC, our mission, and the impact that we have on the region.  Needless to say, even though it was a long day, it was truly one of the great ones!

Here's a picture of the front office gang in their "ugly sweaters" this morning.  Nicole won the contest and got her first "Slow Clap" applause.  You should have seen her face as it grew into a whooping crescendo.  These guys are fun.

The college will be closed from next Tuesday, December 23rd until the 2nd of January, 2014.
What a fast year this has been.

Enjoy your holidays.


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

After 17 years as an Electric Power & Distribution Instructor, Brent Boring will be retiring in a few days.  Brent has made a huge impact on the program and subsequently on the industry.  He is well known and highly respected by linemen throughout the region.  We will miss his daily humor and mischievous shenanigans but wish him well as he begins this next phase in his life.  

Also departing for for new ventures is our Foundation Director Mike Mores.  Mike has spent the past few years helping us grow our scholarship program and finding our wayward alumni, among other initiatives.  We also wish him well as he expands his resume.
As many folks may know, we have decided to suspend our Surgical Technology program with the graduating class this coming summer.  We have been offering this program in the area thanks to Seward County CC.  The students who have taken it here complete the lecture portions on-line and work with our local instructor for their hands-on training and clinical experiences.  Kansas does not require Surgical Technologists to be licensed and therefore the demand is not great enough to drive sufficient enrollment to recover all costs associated with its operation.

Commencement ceremonies for our December graduates is Thursday the 19th.  The ADN Nurse pinning ceremony will be at 10 a.m. and graduation will begin at 1 p.m..  Don Landoll, owner of Landoll Corporation in Marysville will be our guest speaker.  Don is a remarkable, self-made entrepreneur and a friend to MATC.

We have begun working with the K-State Department of Education to create a number of education training, and mentoring initiatives along the same lines as some of their existing programs.  We hope to partner with several two-year colleges in the region to form a pilot program.

Inclement weather is inevitable and it looks to be a serious winter. When I make the decision to close the College for safety reason I will notify everyone via our RAVE text system as well as through our radio, television, and computer systems.  If I do not close the college but the conditions within you area are too hazardous to travel use your best ADULT judgement.  If you aren't coming in notify someone here that may be looking for you.
Lots of sick folks in and out again with colds and flu-like symptoms.  Please remember, if you just don't feel well and choose to come to work then OK.  However, i you are SICK stay home.  You will do more damage than good by coming in and spreading your illness to others.

Just prior to making a strafing run with rolled up Bison T-Shirts on Dr. Joel while he was sitting at his desk, some of our front office ladies formed their own weird sort of Ya-Ya Sisterhood cult with graduation collars used as headgear.  I think it was early symptoms of cabin fever and holiday chocolate.  Wow, that's scary looking.

From my assistant Tracy:  "I have contacted the Manhattan Emergency Shelter and they have pulled 3 ornaments off of their tree for us to adopt for Christmas. Below are the kid’s names and their wish list (written exactly what they asked for). If you do not have time to shop but want to put money in for the gifts, we will shop for you and complete the lists as needed.

We will have a box set up in the office for the gifs or you can drop them off at my desk. The shelter asks that we do not wrap the times and we keep them separate by child. If you would like to put the name of the child on a sticky note, that would be helpful. The shelter also stated they could use donations of wrapping paper and gift bags.

This is a great opportunity to have your kids and/or grand-kids, brothers and sisters help shop for these children that may not be as fortunate as they are. What a great feeling it is to know these kids will have something to open on Christmas day because of the friends and family at MATC. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at 320-4563.

Items we are still needing are highlighted. We need to deliver all items by Wednesday, December 18th. Anything you can do is appreciated."

Age: 4
Shoe size: 12
Clothing size: 6
Wish List:
Twin bedding set – Brave or any other Disney Character
Warm pajamas
Pillow pets dream lite
Dress up outfits (all things sparkly)

Age: 5
Shoe size: 11
Clothing size: 5
Wish List:
Anything Sponge Bob
Remote control cars
Play dough set
Winter Coat
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle figurines
Cartoon DVD’s

Age: 7
Shoe size: 4
Clothing size: 7-8
Wish List:
Socks and underwear – received 1 pkg. of socks and 1 pkg. of underwear
Pink or brown shoes
Cute matching outfits (like from Justice)
Additional items bought for Hannah:
Mini art collection set
Color change fashion bag
(Pictures are not of Anna. Michael, or Hannah, but the feelings would fit)

Time once again for the annual Christmas poem:

T’was Two Weeks Before Christmas
By: Rob Edleston

T‘was three weeks before Christmas and all through the school, not a student was calm, no one kept their cool.

With finals all looming and no shopping done, the students had trouble considering this fun.

The teachers were all nestled, trying to get ahead, with their tests and their grading…oh what a dread.

When out of the e-mail what should appear, but a memo reminding of days off coming near.

Little smiles emerged on angelic faces, thinking of all the fun to be had and of going lots of places.

The offices were decorated with ribbons and bows, the heaters were on warming our toes.

All through the air was holiday cheer, with the realization that we had finished half a school year.

Well Santa may come and bring his own cheer, but for MATC employees, two weeks off is so near.

So for those others who work through the holidays bright, we wish you quiet days and quieter nights.

Our warm thoughts go with you until that happy day, when we are re-united to laugh and to play.

Drive with care and eat lots of stuff. I love you all, Merry Christmas…I guess that’s enough

Dr. Rob

Have a great holiday break,

Dr. Rob and Brenda

Friday, November 15, 2013

Our Veterans celebration pictured here paid tribute to these 17 veterans and about a dozen who could not make it to the event.  Our SGO President, Conner Divine introduced his father, retired Army Major Max Divine as our guest speaker.  Max started as an enlisted member in the Army and after being allowed to attend MATC  in the early 1990's (will still on active duty) he went on to become a Registered Nurse and filled some prestigious positions both while on active duty and after retirement as a result of his start here.  The picture at the bottom of this collage is what I lovingly refer to as "The Old Guard"  Most of us were either Vietnam or Vietnam Era veterans.

Our fall 2013 scholarship recipients from last evening's banquet
We held our fall 2013 Scholarship Banquet last evening with over 50 people in attendance including several Board of Director members, faculty and some staff.  The Awards and their recipients follow:

  • Kansas Line Superintendents -- Austin Wieden
  • Nicholas Buxton Memorial -- Dylan Holle & Erik Kjellin
  • Richard M. Shelley -- Casey Smith
  • Zach Antoszyk Memorial -- Anthony Forrer
  • Westar Energy -- Tanner Kepley
  • Bruce Peil Memorial -- Tanner Canizzo
  • Ernest & Lewis BrAun Merit -- Lane Kraft & Rachelle Sowards
  • Ernest & Lewis BrAun Ambassadors -- April Boeckman, Dylan Holle, Joanna Young, Theresa Hohman, Rochelle Sowards, David Clark, and Lauren Heinen.

Our Flag Football tournament just ended with our finalists Electric Power Linemen beating out the our Computer Network (INT) players after a very tough and competitive game.  We have been discussing adding more club sports as we move forward with athletics and are open to suggestions and support.

Our Tasty Tuesdays in the Library which fills the place with great smells from food and coffees is going through some exciting changes.  Donna tells me that each week we will be able to select treats from a variety of suppliers from Clay Center to Alma and points in between.  Some of these candidates include: Friendship House in Wamego, Alma Bakery, Tasty Pastry from Clay Center, Rays Apple Market, Paradise Donuts, Panera Bread, Paramour Coffee, and the Brew Krew.  I'm getting hungry just thinking about it.  I hear that she is working on some Breakfast Bierocks early in this new transition.

From our Counselor, Dan: “The Chili Feed was a huge success, we served around 80 bowls of chili and it was a great day to honor of our Veterans.  The “Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner” of the Chili Cook Off goes to the Welding Program…they will be taking the Chili Cook Off traveling trophy from
HVAC and putting it down in their department.  Nice work!  Thanks to everyone that helped out, and thanks to our Judges, I know it was a rough one trying out all of those delicious chilis!”

File Photo (Not Margery and Tess)
Here's a great story from Whitney at the front desk in Student Services:
“I just received a phone call from Margery Davidson, a lovely lady who recently had her teeth cleaned at the Dental Hygiene Clinic.  She wanted me to pass along what an amazing experience she had at our facility.  Margery hadn't had dental care in 30-40 years, and that visit 30-40 years ago left her in a lot of pain.  Her recent visits here were tremendous and she is no longer afraid to get her teeth cleaned every 6 months.  She loves the facility (and the giant tooth that makes the clinic easy to spot) and had great experiences with the both our staff and students.  Margery is highly recommending us to all of her friends and acquaintances  She said "when someone does something right, it needs to be bragged about."  Margery's hygienist was Tess, who did an amazing job and really helped her feel comfortable. Just want to pass this along." 

Have a Great Weekend All!


Monday, November 4, 2013

Haunted Trail Blemo

Skills USA hosted the first annual Haunted Trail with the assistance of members of Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society.  The trail drew a large number of the morbidly curious and the group collected a huge pile of canned goods (the entry fee) for those less fortunate.

The trail went all the way through Blecha Park on the Eastern portion of the campus with thrills and surprises hiding the whole way through.

Andy Duggan and Alex Anderson, our Automotive Technology instructors, received a re-certification visit on October 21st as a requirement to keep their NATEF accreditation in place.  John Hattok, from KCKCC, was the team leader and they had two local automotive professionals from Manhattan help conduct the evaluation. The visit went very well and now have to wait for the official good news of their re-certification by the end of the year.  Well done guys!

The folks in the front office choose a costume theme each year for Halloween.  Obviously this year's choice was pajamas, with or without "un-dead" make-up.

Dawn Krause (pictured) and Barb Wenger attended the AACC Advanced Technological Education (ATE) conference last month in Washington DC and were able to attract good number of inquiries by using two new advertising banners made especially to attract public attention regarding our Advance Biotechnology Certificate (ABC) and other lab-related programs.

Newton, KS- The MATC Women’s Cross Country team competed at the Bethel Invitational this past Saturday in their last scheduled event of the season. MATC runners Kayla Jones and Jerrymi Boles both improved their times from the previous run and finishing in the middle of the pack of the 5k race. Kayla Jones finished 29th overall with a time of 25:02 and Jerrymi Boles finished 33rd at 26:17. The Bison Women competed against other runners from Bethel College, Barton County Community College, Hesston College, Manhattan Christian College and Oklahoma Wesleyan to name a few.
Coach Kim Davidson and her squad plan to continue training through the off season by meeting regularly for group runs and entering private middle distant race events. If you have interest in joining the team at any level, don’t hesitate to reach out.   

Also, our Golf team had two good days in Kansas City.  Here's a shot showing the new Bison mascot head cover donated to the team.  Scott Voos, Athletic Director

Here are our 2013 Student Ambassadors

Follow this link to see Dental Hygiene's great Fall newsletter:

Check out the United Way Munchies table. Through donations by many, and of course the purchase of almost everything, the college was able to raise an additional $430.00 toward our $3,000.00 goal.  That means are only $332.00 short at this time.

The Biggest loser weigh-ins are still going on every Friday.  Pretty sure I'm not in line for the grand prize.  Maybe should have taken the shoes off.

Have a great week.


Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Cool Cat in the Hat Blemo

(Pictured L/R: Jerrymi Boles, Coach Kim Davidson, Kayla Jones)
The MATC Women Cross Country team competed in their first event of the season this past weekend at the Haskell Invitational in Lawrence, KS. The Haskell Invite played host to several State Colleges and Universities, which featured over 200 competitors in all.
Kayla Jones a Business Administration student finished the 5K race in a time of 26:46. Jerrymi Boles a Pre-Nursing candidate finished at 27:10. Both runners and another MATC Cross Country member Sheridan Miles a Pre-Dental Hygiene candidate, will travel down to Newton, KS for the Bethel College Invite.

Willie finesses a shot from the sand at the Bethany Invitational.
For Golfer Willie Jackson, the simple act of turning in a completed scorecard was all that mattered. Willie endured the elements this past Monday at the Bethany Invitational in Salina, KS and completed a grueling 36 hole tournament format. Other teams in competition included the host school Bethany Swedes, Oklahoma Panhandle State, Northwest Technical College, Friends University and Haskell University. All competitors were tested by 30 mph winds, constant drizzle and 50 degree temps.

Willie first picked up a club a mere 5 months ago and has come a long way. He joined the MATC Golf team earlier this Fall Semester and has been dedicated to practice 2-3 times per week. The MATC Men’s Golf team will compete again in the Spring Semester with a tentative schedule of 4 events. If you are interested in joining please contact me to learn more.

Up Next:

The Women’s Cross Country team travels to Newton, KS this Saturday to compete in the Bethel College Invitational. Runners Jerrymi Boles and Kayla Jones hope to improve on their last performance as they compete in their second race of the season. The Bethel Invite features teams from the NAIA, NJCAA and NCAA Division II level. In all, over 15 area Colleges are expected to run.

The Men’s Golf team travels to Kansas City on Monday to compete in the Kansas City Kansas Community College Invite. Willie Jackson will make his second appearance at the College level and joining him is Mike Jones, making his collegiate debut. The golfers will play Dubsbread Golf Course in Leavenworth, KS. This is a 2 day event and features teams from 12 different Colleges.

Congratulations from Military Advanced Education (MAE)!  Manhattan Area Technical College has been selected as a top military-friendly school in our 2014 Guide to Military-Friendly Colleges & Universities, a list featured annually in our December issue.

So many poles, so little time.
The rain stopped just in time to allow this fall’s open house to be another successful event.  With over three hundred first-timers on campus, our student’s faculty and staff had a great time showing off our programs.  Here’s a picture of one of our linemen deciding which pole he was going to conquer today. 

LEARN and EARN: Many students drift through college unsure of what they want to do, what jobs are available, or how to get them. Now efforts are under way to better sync up graduates’ skills with workforce needs. This series of stories relates to the problems and solutions in the area of higher education and workforce preparedness.  Here’s a link to some interesting perspectives of career preparation:

Getting close to Halloween and our "self-proclaimed" Red Cross friends returned to collect 35 units of blood, beating our goal by three pints.  Of course since each pint can save up to three lives, that's 105 potential recipients that will walk around with some great Technical Education blood flowing through their veins.

Not exactly the cool cat in a hat that you expected...right?
Bosses Day.  My Boss's day gift from Tracy has a tag on it that says "Through Wind, and Rough, Sand and H*ll, We Play That Golf, but not Very Well.  So with this Hat I hope to SURVIVE, and on Par Three's Get Less Than Five."  On behalf of the "Bosses" thanks everyone for the cards, gifts, and eats.  You can't be considered a good boss without great employees.

Yes, Jane is already standing up.
Here's an outstanding employee...literally.  Jane, our VP of Business Services, is working to set a health-conscious example.  This is her new work station allowing her to stand while working and making her day less sedentary.  Yes, she can collapse it quite easily to give herself some breaks.

Have a great weekend.