Full Circle - April 7, 2014


Upcoming Events

Davidson Distinguished Lecture Series Presents Dr. Michio Kaku
Tuesday, April 8
7:30 p.m.
Al G. Langford Chaparral Center
Esteemed physicist and professor, and best-selling author Dr. Michio Kaku is one of the most widely recognized figures in science in the world today.  He is also a recognized authority on Einstein's unified field theory (which Dr. Kaku is attempting to complete), and predicting trends through scientific research. 

Books by Dr. Michio Kaku are now on sale at the MC Bookstore.  Several titles are available.
In addition, the Fasken Learning Resource has several books (including an audio book) authored by Kaku.   Also, Kaku's latest book, The Future of the Mind, will soon be on the shelves of the LRC.

Open Forum with MC President Dr. Steve Thomas
Wednesday, April 9
11:00 a.m.
MHAB Room 101
Dr. Thomas invites MC employees to meet with him for an informal discussion about MC and student success.

MC Baseball vs. Odessa College
Friday, April 11
1:00 p.m.
Christensen Stadium

MC Softball vs. Frank Phillips College
Friday, April 11
1:00 p.m.
MC Softball Field

Phyllis & Bob Cowan Performing Arts Series Presents Gladys Knight
Friday, April 11
8:00 p.m.
Al G. Langford Chaparral Center
More about this event on MC's "Your College" blog

See MC
Saturday, April 12
11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
More about this event . . .
Volunteer Information Sessions
All sessions will occur in MHAB 101
  • Tuesday, April 8, 3:20 p.m.
  • Thursday, April 10, 5:30 p.m.
  • Friday, April 11, 11:00 a.m.

MC Softball vs. Clarendon College
Saturday, April 12
12:00 noon
MC Softball Field

Midland Community Theatre Pickwick Players Presents "Pippi Longstocking"
through April 12
Complimentary tickets available to MC employees
More . . . (
Adobe .pdf file)

MC Music Department Presents "Fantasies & Illusions"

Sunday, April 13
3:00 p.m.
Allison Fine Arts Building, Wagner & Brown Auditorium
Enjoy an interdisciplinary show integrating visual art, dance and music starring pianist Eugenio Zapata and dancer Yelena Konetchy.  It is FREE and open to the public; tickets are not required.
More about this event on MC's "Your College" blog

MC Baseball vs. Odessa College
Tuesday, April 15
6:30 p.m.
Christensen Stadium

MC Job Fair
Wednesday, April 16
12:00 noon-4:00 p.m.
Al G. Langford Chaparral Center
This event offers an opportunity for MC students and job seekers from around the community to "connect" with area employers and find about career opportunities.
More about this event

MC Employee Easter Egg Hunt & Kona Ice Party
Wednesday, April 16
12:30-2:30 p.m.
Beal Plaza
More . . . (Adobe .pdf file)

MC Baseball vs. Howard College
Tuesday, April 22
6:30 p.m.
Christensen Stadium

Student Art Show and Reception
Thursday, April 24
6:00-8:00 p.m.
Allison Fine Arts Building McCormick Gallery

MC Baseball vs. Luna College
Friday, April 25, 3:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 26, 12:00 noon
Christensen Stadium


Kudos & Accomplishments

Happy Birthday!
List of MC Employees and Retirees Birthdays, April 7-28
(Adobe .pdf file)

Teaching Excellence Award Winners
Congratulations to David Edens, Psychology/Sociology faculty member, and Stan Middleton, clinical director of Respiratory Care.  More on this honor via MC's "Your College" blog.

Casino Night - A SUCCESS!

From Stephanie VanCuren, Student Activities Coordinator
Thank you to those who helped spread the word about Casino Night last night! We had 70 students in attendance. This is a good jump from the 40 we had at our last House of Chaps event.

A special THANK YOU to our dealers and helpers - Rita Nell Diffie, Tana Baker, John Oyerbides, Peggy Ellis, Debbie Lewis, Tuan Nguyen, David and Cyndy Edens along with their mother and daughter, and the Kuzmans from Invictus. The student seemed to have fun time!

Up next:
"House of Chaps presents: An evening with Comedian Landry" on Wednesday, April 16 at 7 p.m. in the Student Center. Our Student Government President and Parliamentarian had the opportunity to see Landry at the APCA Conference in Houston in October and thought our students would enjoy his performance. More details coming soon!

MC Police Officer becomes Special Deputy U.S. Marshal
From Richard McKee, Police Chief
Officer Michele Van Stavern was sworn in on Wednesday, March 19, as a Special Deputy U.S. Marshal.  She is a member of the United States Marshal Service Violent Offender Task Force. While she remains a full time Midland College Police Officer, she now has the authority and opportunity to assist the Marshal Service with the apprehension of violent and high priority offenders.  This is another example of how the Midland College Police Department works with other agencies to provide a secure environment to the campus, as well as the community we all live in.

Upward Bound Director Receives Special Recognition
On Friday, March 28, Pervis Evans was recognized by the South Plains TRIO Alliance as this year's LEARN Talent Search TRIO Achiever.  Kelly Powell, Assistant Director of LEARN Inc. Talent Search wrote, "We would really like to recognize Pervis' accomplishments and the fact that he is now giving back to the same programs (TRIO) that helped him."

Student Success Instructor Receives Honors from Texas Tech
MC Student Success Instructor Evelyn Gordon has been elected to membership in the Texas Tech University chapter of The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the nation's oldest, most selective and most prestigious all-discipline honor society.

TCCTA Prize Winners
Congratulations to Katherine Allen, Dr. Mary Braselton, Karen Vest and Carmen Edwards.  They each received a gift card to Logan's Steakhouse as this year's winners of the TCCTA membership drive.

MC Dean Elected as Presiding Officer of Adult Education and Literacy
MC Dean of Adult & Developmental Education Lynda Webb has been elected as the Presiding Officer of the Texas Workforce Commission's Adult Education and Literacy Advisory Committee.

MC English Professor's Novel Meets Challenge
Dr. Pamela Howell has had it confirmed from the NaNoWriMo (National November Write Month) organization and website that her novel draft The Pair of Dimes Shift met the 50,000+ word challenge for the month of November 2013.  The novel had to be written only in the month of November and submitted by the site's deadline to qualify as "official."

Professional Development

Midland College is a member of the Starlink network.  Starlink offers online professional development opportunities via video streaming, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Since MC is a member, all videos are FREE to MC employees.  Upcoming topics are listed in Starlink's April newsletter.  For assisting accessing Starlink, please contact Lesley Isaacs, lisaacs@midland.edu, 685-4553.


Major Developments from MC Information Technology
In a recent email, MC Vice President of Information Technology & Facilities Dennis Sever announced that the college is working with Chevron Energy Services to reduce IT costs, while maintaining efficiency and security through Virtual Desktop Integration (VDI).
More . . . (Adobe .pdf file)

Now Available in Canvas - Draft State
From Jennifer Goolsby, IT Training Specialist

You can now add assignments, modules, and pages with no student viability until you publish it. Draft state is enabled by the instructor, course-by-course, and is not automatic. However, once you opt-in, you cannot opt-out as it changes the course. To find out how to enable this new feature, take a moment to watch the video and read the documentation before deciding to enable Draft State. All instructors should have at least one development shell and that would be a great place to start!

*Instructor Dispatch - a new Canvas group/course for all instructors. This course has been created to keep you in the loop about releases and system updates, to post Announcements specific to instructors, and to provide a forum for discussions to take place online among instructors. If you have suggestions about other items you would like added to the course or if you have any questions, please contact me.

If you are an instructor and don't have access to the Instructor Dispatch, let me know and I'll enroll you.
More . . . (Adobe .pdf file)

Relax, Rejuvenate, Enjoy!
Free 1 1/2-hour Massages
offered by MC Massage Therapy students
(Students who are about to complete the program must perform internships as a criteria for program certification.)
April 11, 12, 13, 25, 26, 27
May 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11
F. Marie Hall SimLife Center at Midland College

Discount Cards on Sale - Upward Bound Fundraiser
The MC Upward Bound students and parents are selling discount cards.  For only $10, you can receive varied discounts from local merchants.  More info on MC's Your College blog

For Your Benefit
News from MC Human Resources

Survey on your GBP coverage – coming soon!

ERS is working with The University of Texas to send a short survey to all GBP members later this month. The survey will be reported to the Texas Legislature and could shape recommendations on health insurance options for the state workforce.

ERS has a long history of asking employees for feedback when developing any important policy that could affect their benefits. This is ERS’ fourth professional statewide member survey since 2006.

This survey could affect future benefit choices, so please watch for an email from The University of Texas at Austin inviting you to participate in the last week of April.

Almost Age 65:  Understanding Medicare
Medicare Preparation seminars’ spring schedule

Are you approaching the magical age of 65?

ERS is conducting sessions for members approaching Medicare eligibility, to educate them on the Medicare enrollment process and how the program works with Texas Employees Group Benefits Program (GBP) health insurance. The spring sessions are taking place now in different cities across the State. ERS sent invitations to members in Texas ages 63 and 64, including active employees.

If you have questions, you can find a seminar near you and register. Can’t attend? We’ve got you covered. You can watch a video of the presentation on the ERS website!

Please visit the ERS website for more news about your benefits.

Dependent eligibility audit starts this month 

Have you added a dependent to your health coverage since April 2011?

ERS has been working with Aon Hewitt to conduct another eligibility audit of dependents who our members have added to Texas Employees Group Benefits Program (GBP) health insurance coverage since the previous audit in 2011. ERS estimates about 29,000 employees and retirees have added dependents since then. Once Aon Hewitt completes this “catch-up” audit, ERS and Aon Hewitt will set up an ongoing process to verify new dependents as they’re added to coverage.

What does this ongoing audit mean for you?

If you have a qualifying life event (QLE), or add a dependent during Annual Enrollment, Aon Hewitt will send you a series of notifications requesting eligibility documentation. For example, if you want to add your newborn to coverage, you may need to submit a birth certificate. If you want to add your new spouse to coverage, you may need to provide a marriage license. Aon Hewitt will allow certain alternative documentation. The letters will spell out the exact requirements.

Were you planning to add a dependent during Annual Enrollment?

The above will still apply. Soon after you enroll your dependent(s), Aon Hewitt will start sending you notifications to provide eligibility documentation.  

ERS is still working with Aon Hewitt to establish processes and procedures for the audit. However, we expect the catch-up audit to begin in mid-April. Stay tuned for more details. 

A list of alternative documentation has not been given out at this time, but as soon as this is available, we will let you know.