Friday, October 3, 2014

MATC has launched our 1,400 signature petition campaign to get on the April 2015 ballot for local support.  Here are some excerpts from one of our information brochures.
Our Need
  • As state and federal funding for higher education continues to dwindle, colleges and universities must rely upon local support more than ever before. 
  • MATC continues to grow at an exciting rate and has reached capacity.  This situation has resulted in hampering access to our programs and services and often delays potential students from entering their fields within a reasonable time frame or at a location they desire.
  • Since MATC is recognized as important to regional economic development, we need to provide the voters with the opportunity to decide the College’s future.
Where the Support Will Go
The proceeds of the additional retailers' sales tax of two-tenths of a cent ($0.002) will be used by the College for the purposes of sustaining quality technical and general education opportunities within the region and maintaining appropriate infrastructure and programs to accommodate expected regional population growth.
Without limiting the general nature of the use of funds, here is a minimum general list: 
  • Expansion and renovation of existing facilities
  • Community business, industry, and trades training
  • Workforce economic development initiatives for business and industry
  • Campus safety and security enhancements
  • Expand affordable and alternative educational opportunities
We have started internally, asking our staff and students who live and vote in Manhattan to lend their signatures to one of many copies of the petition being circulated.  We have students and staff volunteers from across the campus acting as "Circulators".  We will be expanding into Business and Industry a little later in the month but will come to them now if called for signatures, any time and any place.
All that this campaign will do is get us on the April 2015 ballot for Manhattan.  Then it is up to the community to decide if adding 2/10ths of a penny to our taxes in order to help MATC is worth it.
 Personally, I say that we are worth it.

Good Guys and Goggles: 
Auto Collision Repair received a large donation of safety glasses and goggles from MCR Safety, which they have shared with our Auto Technology and Machining students.  The gang also took a quick trip earlier this week to check out the Good Guys Car Tour when it was passing through Manhattan. 

Two historic events on the same day...MATC gets a sign on Seth Child Road AND Dr. Rob takes his first "selfie".  While I'm pretty sure neither news item will be trending by the end of the day, we are very pleased to have our sign up after many months of waiting.  While the electricity for the lighting has yet to be accomplished, she's down there in front of the College and looks great.  Let's withhold editorials on how the selfie looks, OK?

CNC Machining Lathe
We began our first Machine Technology Job Skills Training Program thanks to a Workforce Aid grant from the Kansas Department of Commerce this week.  Working together with Washburn Tech and the local Workforce Centers, MATC recruited 15 students to take this short-term intensive training that can lead to a job in machining and earn the National Institute of Metalworking (NIMS) Level 1 credential.  While MATC does not have a machine shop, we take our students to Forbes Field in Topeka where Washburn Institute of Technology does have this equipment and an excellent hands-on instructor. 

Muscular Dystrophy Jail: I still need $115.00 bail money to stay out of the Charity Jail.  Of course the money goes to Muscular Dystrophy research to help find a cure for this deadly disease.  If you like to help with a few dollars, let me know and together we'll try to make a difference.


On a personal note, my wife Brenda is getting her first horse tomorrow.  This is Dollar.  He is a 12 year old grey gelding Quarter horse.  Can anyone say "lifestyle change"?  We are looking forward to getting to know this beautiful animal.

Have a great weekend all.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Classes have begun, with our programs packed to the hilt, and parking at a premium.  The Student Affairs professionals made the first week informative and quite enjoyable.  Following the Tech Ed Is Not Dead...Get More Brains at MATC theme, there was food, fun and games enough for all.  When you have such a small department, it means everyone goes above and beyond to make such events successful.

Our Student Affairs team is also working on a new empowering initiative aimed at helping students learn to be more self-sufficient and pro-active in finding answers and taking care of themselves.  The slogan "Keep Calm and Consult Student Affairs" takes the "hel" out of helicoptering and puts the responsibility where it belongs...on those young adults who are now on their own.

During Freshman week our Dental Hygiene (DH) Department also threw a party for new and returning students in DH.  With a state fair air about it, the team had everything from a bouncy house (Tug-o-war) to fried Twinkies and Oreos.  While they were not handing out tooth floss they did promise to keep a seat open in the Hygiene Clinic for my annual cleaning.  Should'a had one more Twinkie.

SkillsUSA has begun this year's recruiting efforts and invites anyone interested in joining the group to see Frank Avila (HVAC) or Linn Schroll (Auto Collision) to get signed up.  Last year these highly trained technician students placed in the top of their fields in Auto Collision, Welding, and HVAC.  See last weeks Blemo for more details.

This is what we are shooting for.
We recently changed the format of our Board of Director meetings.  Because we have Directors traveling in from some long distances for our evening meetings once a month we decided to become more efficient and considerate.  We have changed our meeting forum so that every other month will begin earlier in the evening and the opposite months we will meet via multi-media over lunch hour.  We had our first regular board meeting last week at lunch with was mostly Consent Agenda items and one voting item (President's Monitoring Report) all in less than 20 minutes without any long drives on dark roads.

Of course it helps to use the Policy Governance Model where the Board puts the responsibility of running the college (the Means) on the President and does not nip pick over incidentals.  It's great not having to answer silly questions like "why did you buy that brand of ink pens", or "why did you by a Chevrolet instead of a Ford college car".  They trust our professionals to do their job and our Board members work to ensure the Ends are taken care of in the communities and State-wide.  MATC has been fortunate to have great board members for our six counties and actually enjoy our meetings each month because we're all on the same page, so to speak.

Have a great week.

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.