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Apr 28
Nursing students launch water drive for firefighters

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First-year nursing students at North Platte Community College are doing their part to hydrate local heroes. 

The North Platte Fire Department turned to Facebook in March to announce that its hydration resources had been stretched thin after multiple fires in the area. 

The college's chapter of the Nebraska State Student Nurses Association decided to step up and replenish the supply ahead of peak fire season. Members are collecting bottled water, Gatorade and Powerade and are asking the public to do the same. 

"As future nurses, it's important to us to take care of everyone, but especially the people we will be working very closely with," said Angela Rodda, NSSNA chapter president. "If that's something as simple as collecting water – we're all for it. Our goal is to restock all the stations." 

Every NSSNA member has been challenged to collect 10 cases of water. Additionally, donations of bottled water and sports drinks will be accepted at the nursing office in the Health and Science Center on NPCC's South Campus until May 4. Contributions of money to buy water are also being accepted. 

"We've had some monetary donations already," said Rodda. "One gentleman gave $100 – that buys a lot of cases of water." 

NSSNA members are willing to pick up donations. Arrangements can be made by calling Rodda at (307) 371-9745.

Apr 27
NPCC students, employees recognized at Honors Convocation

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Antonia Villani, of Frederick, Colo., is North Platte Community College's 2017 Presidential Award recipient. She was recognized Thursday afternoon during an Honors Convocation in the McDonald-Belton Theater. Pictured left to right are: Mid-Plains Community College President Ryan Purdy, Villani and Area Vice President of Academic Affairs and NPCC Dr. Jody Tomanek.

Thursday was a day of celebration at North Platte Community College. The achievements of students, faculty and staff were highlighted during the 2017 NPCC Honors Convocation in the McDonald-Belton Theater. 

About 400 scholarships were awarded, including two scholarships presented on behalf of the NPCC non-technical faculty members of the Mid-Plains Education Association. 

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Trey Engel, of Silver Creek, received the Vice President of Student Services Award during an Honors Convocation Thursday afternoon at North Platte Community College. Pictured left to right are: Area Vice President of Student Affairs Andy Long and Engel. 

The MPEA awards scholarships every year to deserving students, using money collected from donations and 50/50 raffles at home athletic events. The scholarship recipients this year were Eric Chavira, of Imperial, and Scott Taylor, of Sutherland. Each received $1,000. 

Members of the following organizations were also recognized at the Honors Convocation: Phi Theta Kappa, Phi Beta Lambda, Nebraska State Student Nurses' Association, Licensed Practical Nurse Association of Nebraska, Student Ambassadors, Resident Advisors, VP Leadership Class and the Fishing Club. 

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Kandace Ward, of North Platte, received the Vice President of Instruction Award during an Honors Convocation Thursday afternoon at North Platte Community College. Pictured left to right are: Area Vice President of Academic Affairs and NPCC Dr. Jody Tomanek and Ward.

The individual awards presented included: 

Cabinet Awards: 

Presidential Award – Antonia Villani, Frederick, Colo. 

Vice President of Instruction Award – Kandace Ward, North Platte 

Vice President of Student Services Award – Trey Engel, Silver Creek

Faculty Achievement in Student Success Award – Cathy Nutt 

Professional Achievement in Student Support Award – Sky Seery 

Spirit Awards – NPCC employees: Dr. Glynn Wolar, Nancy Eisele and Angie Chittick. NPCC students: Edgar Chavira, Imperial; Shelby Rae Belloni, Wheat Ridge, Colo.; Shelley Heredia, Moreno Valley, Calif.; Christina Blanton, North Platte. 

Division Awards: 

Applied Technologies: 

Diesel – Carlos Zuniga, Paxton 

HVAC – Jason Kosmicki, North Platte

Building Construction – Trey Engel, Silver Creek 

Business and Technology: 

Business – Rowdy Moon, Sargent 

Business Office Technology – Jessica Fernandez, North Platte 

Graphic Design – Mikenna Curlee, Sidney 

Health Occupations: 

Nursing – Samantha Robins, North Platte 

Humanities, Human Services and Social Sciences: 

Communication (English and Speech) - Jesse Uppal, North Platte 

Visual and Performing Arts (Art, Music, Theatre) - Justin Morgan, North Platte 

Mathematics and Science: 

Mathematics – Scott Taylor, Sutherland 

Science – Jocey Nelson, Sutherland 

Agriculture – Kayla Douglas, North Platte 

Health/Exercise Science – Nate Sitorius, Brady 

Student Organization/Extra Awards: 

Phi Beta Lambda State Leadership Conference Recognition Award: Kandace Ward, Susan Marquez, Rebecca Chessmore, all of North Platte 

North Platte Community College Business Division Student of the Month:           

September - Carrie Boltz, North Platte

October - Rowdy Moon, Sargent

November - Jessica Fernandez, North Platte

December - Michael Bergmeier, North Platte

January - Kevin Chavira, Imperial

February - Kayla Douglas, North Platte

March - Alexander Lopez, North Platte

April - Jordan White, Merna

May - Jessica Alberts, McCook

Apr 26
NPCC to present end of year concert/art show

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Students from Carmen Allen's Chamber Ensemble will be among those performing during an end of the year concert May 5 at North Platte Community College. The concert is free and open to the public. 

The North Platte Community College Music Department will host its end of the year concert on May 5. 

The event is free and open to the public. It will begin at 7 p.m. in the McDonald-Belton Theater on NPCC's South Campus. The theme is Cinco de Mayo. 

"We are treating the concert as a celebration – a celebration of music and of the students and all their accomplishments," said Elizabeth Peters, music instructor. "It will be a fantastic night of music featuring favorite pieces from both the students and the conductors and will be a great way to wrap up the end of the year." 

The songs will include "Black Magic Woman," performed by the Jazz Ensemble, as well as "Amazing Grace" and "The Ragtime Dance," performed by the Chamber Ensemble. 

Violinist Kristin Simpson will have a solo during the Concert Choir's rendition of, "i carry your heart with me." It's based off the poem of the same name by E. E. Cummings. 

"I picked this selection as a reminder to our students that we can carry the memories we have shared in our hearts wherever we go and cherish those times together," said Peters. "The select choir will perform a set from 'Hamilton: An American Musical,' including an encore performance of 'My Shot'." 

She will direct the Concert and Select Choirs. Ron Daly will direct the Jazz Ensemble, and Carmen Allen will direct the Chamber Ensemble and serve as collaborative accompanist. 

The performers will include: 

Concert Choir (a * denotes select choir)

  • Chantel Burch*
  • Amy Taft
  • Chelsea Fraser*
  • Erin Hajj
  • Tim Hall
  • Max Hansen
  • Lisa Hodgen
  • Jasmine Johnsey
  • Jacob McNeel*
  • Melissa Mitchell*
  • Justin Morgan*
  • Malachi Murtaugh*
  • Marissa Pascoe*
  • Trevor Pochop
  • Skylar Stethem*
  • Jesse Uppal
  • Jon Wardyn*
  • Maximus Wohler*

Chamber Ensemble

  • Holly Williams – flute
  • Chelsea Fraser – clarinet
  • Marissa Pascoe – trumpet
  • Camerin Burtle – alto saxophone
  • Bob Allen – bassoon, trumpet
  • Carmen Allen – oboe

Jazz Ensemble

  • Camerin Burtle –alto sax
  • Tori Grasz – alto sax
  • Justin Morgan – tenor sax
  • Chelsea Fraser – bari sax
  • Malachi Murtaugh – trumpet
  • Marissa Pascoe – trumpet
  • Jon Wardyn – guitar
  • Don Kurre – bass guitar
  • Logan  Winters – piano
  • Tristan Winters – percussion

A Children's Choir featuring Savannah Mitchell, Sienna Mitchell, Bella Mitchell, Isaiah Mitchell, Maylie Mitchell, Rowena Morgan, Brian Odle, Chloe Odle, Brandon Odle, Emily Odle, Penelope Simpson and Amelia Peters will also perform, as will members of the Sandhills Symphony Orchestra. 

"We will also present our end of the year awards at the concert," said Peters. "We will recognize those who have shown outstanding abilities in the areas of vocal and instrumental and will name our Musician of the Year and Spirit Award winners." 

A reception will follow in the fireplace area of the McDonald-Belton Building.

There will also be an end of the year art show set up in the fireplace area. About 50 pieces from Dik Haneline's Drawing 1 and 2, 2-D Design, 3-D Design, Life Drawing and Painting classes will be on display starting Tuesday.  

Apr 25
NPCC Foundation to benefit from North Platte Giving Day

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The public will have the opportunity to influence local education starting Wednesday. All it will take is a donation to the North Platte Community College Foundation. 

The NPCC Foundation is one of many nonprofits participating in North Platte Giving Day on May 3. The 24-hour event gives people a chance to contribute financially to their favorite charitable causes in Lincoln County. 

"We are thrilled to be a part of this year's North Platte Giving Day," said Bonnie Kruse, the college's area director of Institutional Advancement. "This truly is a 'give where you live' campaign that can have a major impact on education at North Platte Community College." 

The focus of the NPCC Foundation is on promoting and supporting college projects and activities in the following areas: student scholarships/grants, facilities, faculty and staff needs and program development efforts - including equipment and related items. 

"When people give to the NPCC Foundation, they directly support programs and services that benefit students," said Kruse. "A donation signals support for student success." 

Donating to the foundation is easy with a smartphone or computer. Online contributions will be accepted beginning Wednesday, April 26, at

Those who would like to make a donation, simply have to select the NPCC Foundation from the Education category on the website, then type in how much they would like to give.

Checks will also be accepted at the following locations in North Platte: Mid-Nebraska Community Foundation, Senior Center, Prairie Arts Center, North Platte Catholic Schools Endowment Trust and U-Save Pharmacy. 

The minimum donation amount is $20, but there's no maximum gift limit. People can give to as many nonprofits as they would like. Donations are tax deductible as charitable contributions. 

The nonprofits will receive 100 percent of the money allotted to them. As an added bonus, they will have a chance to win cash prizes and qualify for matching funds from sponsors. 

A real-time leaderboard on the North Platte Giving Day website will provide updates on the number of donations made. Final results will also be published, however, information about individual donors will not be public. 

More information about the fundraiser is available at

Apr 25
Engel wins bull riding at Yellow Jacket Stampede

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Silver Creek cowboy Trey Engel is making a comeback. 

The Mid-Plains Community College sophomore won the bull riding at the Will Lantis Yellow Jacket Stampede hosted by Black Hills State University in Spearfish, S.D. on Friday and Saturday. 

He placed second at the same rodeo last year, gaining points that set him on the path to nationals as the top bull rider in the region. 

This season hasn't gone as well. Out of the past seven rodeos leading up to the Yellow Jacket Stampede, Engel only placed at one – the MPCC Stampede in September. 

"We've got two rodeos left, and he will have to do well at those to make it to nationals this year," said Elliott. "It was good to see him get some things turned around – things you would expect from a defending regional champion." 

The team also had two second place finishes at Spearfish - Reece Weber, of Valentine, in the tie down roping and Lane Kennedy, of Orleans, Neb., in the saddle bronc riding.

"There's another one that really stepped up to what we've been expecting from him," said Elliott. "Lane can stay on the horses, but has been missing them out." 

In the team roping, Wyatt Killion, of Ainsworth, placed third. Charmane Macomber, of Whitman, was fourth and Chandler Comfort, of Gem, Kan., finished fifth. 

Rowdy Moon, of Sargent, ended up fourth in the bareback riding. Coming in at sixth place was Riley Weehler, of Maloy, Iowa, in the tie down roping and Tyler Murray, of Wheaton, Kan., in the steer wrestling. 

For the second rodeo in a row, MPCC finished third in the men's team standings.  

"It was the first time all six of our point members got points at the same rodeo," said Elliott. "There were some missed opportunities, but we still have two rodeos left. We lost some ground at Spearfish, but still have the lead in the regional men's team standings." 

The team will compete again on Friday and Saturday at the Hastings College Rodeo in Hastings.

Apr 24
Harrison honored with You Rock Award



Kathy Harrison, director of nursing at North Platte Community College, holds up the You Rock Award she received Monday morning in the McDonald-Belton Theater. 

The You Rock Awards are the college's way of celebrating employees who demonstrate exemplary customer service. Cindy Lovette, nursing administrative assistant, nominated Harrison for the recognition. 

"Kathy gives 200 percent in everything she does for the nursing department and the college," said Lovette. "Kathy has accomplished so much in her time as the director of nursing. Several major reports, a total curriculum overhaul, which was implemented last fall, and an accreditation visit are just a few of the things Kathy has managed so well." 

According to Lovette, Harrison put in many hours preparing for the accreditation site visit while also working on and obtaining her doctorate. 

"Everything Kathy does is top notch," said Lovette. "She always makes time for students, faculty and staff. Dedication and motivation are two of her strong points - along with a jillion others.  I admire and respect her very much."

Apr 24
North Platte mayor proclaims April 23-29 as Med Lab Professionals Week

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North Platte Mayor Dwight Livingston proclaimed April 23-29 as Medical Laboratory Professionals Week in the community on Monday. Pictured left to right are: Danni Franzen, MPCC adjunct instructor and senior director of Ancillary Services at Great Plains Health; MPCC President Ryan Purdy; Livingston; Martin Steinbeck, MPCC's Medical Laboratory Technician program director; and Cassie Penn, Great Plains Health laboratory director.

April 23-29 is Medical Laboratory Professionals Week in North Platte, thanks to a proclamation Monday morning by Mayor Dwight Livingston. 

Livingston stopped by a Mid-Plains Community College med lab tech class at the college's Health and Science Center to make the announcement. 

Livingston was joined by MPCC President Ryan Purdy, Martin Steinbeck, the college's MLT program director, Danni Franzen, an adjunct instructor and senior director of Ancillary Services at Great Plains Health, as well as Cassie Penn, the hospital's laboratory director. 

Livingston said the week of recognition is an excellent opportunity to promote the behind the scenes work of med lab professionals, to recruit students to the field, to thank technologists and technicians and to gain visibility for the laboratory throughout the community. 

"The partnership between medical laboratory professionals and physicians is imperative to a patient's prognosis," said Livingston. "Without the completion of precise test results, a physician's ability to treat a patient is virtually impossible. Medical laboratory professionals' dedication to accurate testing saves countless lives every day and is vital to sustaining our state's high standards of health care."

Apr 24
Martin is Applied Tech Student of the Month


Charles Martin works on a Jeep in the North Platte Community College Automotive Technology shop on Monday. Martin is NPCC's Applied Technology Student of the Month for April.

Charles Martin has been named as the Applied Technology Student of the Month for April at North Platte Community College. 

Martin grew up Lemont Furnace, Pa., but moved to Sidney, Nebraska when he was 17-years-old. He graduated from Sidney High School in May of 2011 and joined the U.S. Marines the following September. 

Martin was stationed at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, N.C. until his active duty contract ended in 2015. At that point, Martin and his wife, whom he had gone to school with in Sidney, decided to move back to Nebraska to be closer to her family. 

"I searched for schools with an automotive program in Nebraska, and NPCC offered exactly what I wanted - only an hour away from my wife's parents," Martin said. 

The couple moved to North Platte in August of 2015, and he started classes two weeks later. 

"My favorite part about NPCC is the people," said Martin. "The students, for the most part, are all working toward common goals. They strive to learn and do great things, and the instructors do their best to ensure that [the students] graduate as well-prepared individuals." 

Mike Janecek, automotive instructor, nominated Martin for the Student of the Month recognition based on what he has seen Martin accomplish. 

"Charles knows that it is his responsibility to learn the material once it is presented," said Janecek. "He works hard to transform what is learned in the classroom to hands on-skills." 

Martin will graduate in May with an associate degree in Automotive Technology, but he will not be finished at NPCC. 

He is enrolled in the college's two-year Classic Car Restoration Program, which consists of two semesters of Automotive Technology and two semesters of Auto Body. Martin will start learning the auto body portion this summer. 

He is also taking business classes and is working toward an associate degree in Business with an emphasis in Entrepreneurship.

Apr 24
Chittick wins national teaching award

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Angie Chittick has been named the 2017 Postsecondary Teacher of the Year by the National Business Education Association. 

Chittick is a business instructor at North Platte Community College. She was recognized April 14 during the NBEA's annual convention in Chicago. 

"It is a very humbling honor and accomplishment," said Chittick. "I just love what I do, and if I can make a difference in a student's life - that is reward enough." 

To be considered for the honor, Chittick first had to win a qualifying award in her region, which she did in June of last year. The Mountain-Plains Business Education Association named her as its 2016 Postsecondary Teacher of the Year during its annual conference in Kansas City. 

Both the national and regional awards are designed to recognize outstanding contributions to business education by a postsecondary business educator. 

Chittick has taught business classes at NPCC for 20 years. She is known for using a variety of innovative teaching practices in her classroom to address different learning styles and for implementing project-based learning methods. 

Business Communications, Business English, Principles of Marketing, Legal Procedures I and II, Legal Terminology, Administrative Management and Procedures, Desktop Publishing, Integrated Information Processing, Farm and Ranch Management and Design Technologies are just some of the courses she has taught over the years. 

Chittick is past president of the Nebraska State Business Education Association, for which she has also served as vice president, secretary and postsecondary representative. In addition to NBEA and M-PBEA, Chittick has been actively involved with Delta Pi Epsilon, the National Education Association, the Nebraska Department of Education Standards Writing Teams and Phi Beta Lambda. 

"The college is so proud that Angie has won this award," said Dr. Jody Tomanek, area vice president of academic affairs and NPCC. "Angie has a strong presence in the classroom and truly believes in educating students to be successful in their chosen career field. She is extremely deserving of this honor." 

In a letter of appreciation to Chittick, Melanie Marshall, a student at NPCC, said Chittick's gift as a teacher is unmeasurable and goes far beyond just teaching. 

"I am not sure I can even put into words the impact you have had on my life," the letter reads. "You never give up. You never back down. You never let me think that I cannot do something. You love the challenge of what you don't know. You love the challenge of what I don't know, and that emotion is contagious."

Apr 21
Free Youth ATV Training to be offered in Broken Bow


The Business and Community Education department at Mid-Plains Community College will take its Free Youth ATV Training to the Custer County Fairgrounds in Broken Bow on April 29. 

There will be additional trainings in Ogallala, Thedford, Benkelman, McCook and Imperial. 

"The need for quality rider safety training is becoming more of a necessity every year as we continue to see serious injuries attributed to ATVs," said Crystal Welch, Business and Community Education coordinator. "We are happy to offer this very important training to our area youth." 

There will be two sessions to choose from at each training: 9 a.m. to noon and 1-4 p.m. Classes will be divided by age group, 6-9 and 10-16. Six students from each age group will be allowed in each session. 

The curriculum, developed by Central States Safety Driver Training, will consist of a combination of safety instruction and guided, hands-on ATV operation. Participants will practice turns, stops and terrain navigation. 

Instruction topics will include ATV injury and fatality statistics, how ATV size can contribute to rollover injuries and fatalities, the dangers of carrying passengers and material on ATVs, risks of traveling on public roads and safety procedures and practices. 

Those who complete the program successfully will receive a certificate that aligns with insurance company requirements. 

ATVs in different sizes will be used during the trainings. Parents of children younger than 10 must stay for their child's class. 

Other requirements include:

  • Closed-toe footwear (preferably over the ankle)
  • Long, non-flare pants
  • A long-sleeved shirt or jacket
  • Approved eye protection (will be provided if a participant does not have any)
  • A helmet (will be provided if a participant doesn't have one) 

Those unable to attend the training in Broken Bow will have the option of taking it at the following times and locations: 

  • May 20 - Nebraska Department of Roads, Ogallala
  • May 23 – Thomas County Fairgrounds, Thedford
  • June 14 – Dundy County Fairgrounds, Benkelman
  • June 15 - Red Willow County Fairgrounds, McCook
  • June 21 -  Chase County Fairgrounds, Imperial

Space is limited in all classes. Pre-registration is required by calling (308) 535-3678. 

The trainings are possible thanks to a grant from the CHS Foundation, of Inver Grove Heights, Minn. The money is administered through the North Platte Community College Foundation.

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Heather Johnson
Area Communications Specialist

Heather produces and distributes press releases for the college. She began work at MPCC in 2014. Prior to that, she spent five years as the news director/web manager for Eagle Radio in North Platte. From 2009-2014 she worked as a reporter/photographer for The North Platte Telegraph. Heather has a bachelor's degree in journalism from Chadron State College.

Brent L. Cobb
McCook Community College News Bureau Coordinator​