Wednesday – May 04, 2016


MATC in Action

Kristin Gies

Kristin Gies Ignites Passion for the Earth in Mequon Nature Preserve Visitors

Kristin Thiel Gies credits Milwaukee Area Technical College's landscape horticulture associate degree program with "lighting the green fire" in her nearly 15 years go. Now the executive director of the Mequon Nature Preserve, one of her most fervent goals is to light that same fire in the approximately 12,000 youngsters from southeast Wisconsin who visit the preserve each year. For many, especially children from the central city, it is their first chance to experience nature.

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Maggie Fernandes

Career-Ready Training Leads to Near-Instantaneous Job Offer for Web Developer Maggie Fernandes

Maggie Fernandes' participation in Milwaukee Area Technical College's Portfolio Night last year was more than an academic exercise - it was an express ticket to an exciting job as a front end web developer at Milwaukee's Communicor, Inc. Fernandes received an email inviting her to meet with Communicor staff about a job opportunity the day after Portfolio Night. She received and accepted a job offer from the company within the next week.

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Armen Hadjinian wrote a textbook, The Entrepreneur's Launch Guide, which is used in MATC's entrepreneurship technical diploma program.

MATC Program Helps Students Follow Entrepreneurial Dreams

The term "entrepreneurship" conjures up images of the hit ABC reality show "Shark Tank." Milwaukee Area Technical College's entrepreneurship technical diploma program and Center for Entrepreneurship are a bit like "Shark Tank," but without the star investors' "abrasive personalities and their money," Armen Hadjinian said with a wry smile.

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Gordie Gohr

MATC Alumnus Gordie Gohr Builds Successful Career then Pursues Bachelor's Degree

It may be natural for some students to want to take a little time off between earning one degree and pursuing another. For MATC alumnus Gordie Gohr, that "little time" spanned three decades.

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Steven and Heather

First Graduates of MATC's Right Path Program Earn Their Adult High School Diplomas

Steven Young, Jr., and Heather Fuller radiated pride and excitement as they received their diplomas from MATC's Adult High School at the college's Winter Commencement in December. A year ago, neither knew when or even if they would ever earn their diplomas. They owe their success in part to participating in MATC's new Right Path Program.

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Charles Linyard

Human Service Associate Degree Helps Charles Linyard Inspire and Serve Others

Charles Linyard's life story is one of overcoming obstacles. One of his greatest accomplishments was regaining his sobriety four years ago. That success started him on a path that will lead him to graduate from MATC Dec. 11 with an associate degree from MATC's human service associate program.

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Zaldua Follows Her Heart to Study Cardiovascular Technology at MATC

Two brushes with heart health issues as a teen piqued Tatiana Zaldua's interest enough to lead her to investigate careers in working with heart patients. Several years later, she discovered that MATC's cardiovascular technology associate degree program was the perfect path to the career she wanted.

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Machine Shop President Taps MATC Classes, Instructors to Grow and Improve His Business

Taylor Deutsch, 34, blends in with the other students, working on complex computer numerical control (CNC) vertical machines on MATC's Downtown Milwaukee Campus. A casual observer would not suspect he is the president of a company who is taking classes to sharpen his skills, learn more about cutting-edge machining equipment and network with instructors and students.

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Diggs and Kiel

Federal Work Study Internships Benefit Students and United Way

Flipping burgers, waitressing or working as a cashier are traditional ways to work to earn money for college expenses. But MATC students Latrina Diggs and Aimee Kiel have been very fortunate to land paying internships that offer them a chance to advance their careers by working in their fields of study, while also serving a cause they feel is worthwhile. Arranged through MATC's JOBShop, they are serving as Federal Work Study interns at the United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County.

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Ronald Fancher portrait

Ron Fancher Helps Students Clear Hurdles and Follow Their Passions

Determined to help him become a better student, Ron Fancher's sixth-grade teacher Margaret Sadowski kept him inside every day during recess and lunch periods, giving up her free time to tutor him in reading. By the end of the year, his reading scores had improved from fourth- to seventh-grade to levels. Sadowski was just one of many adults who set the stage to help him succeed. His parents, many teachers, Boys & Girls Club staff members and neighbors all worked to ensure that he would have the tools to be successful.

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MATC Experience Supports Graduate's Musical Career

Gabriel Sanchez came to Milwaukee Area Technical College because he loves to learn and was seeking a deeper knowledge about subjects he was familiar with. He graduated with a skill set that helps him support his professional music career and a plan to bring one of his musical dreams to fruition.

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Ally Mahl Portrait

MATC Law Enforcement Recruit Academy Leads Ally Mahl to Fulfilling Career

Ally Mahl was working as a pharmacy technician at a Walmart when she became fascinated with investigating prescription fraud and theft. Watching for the clues and patterns in these crimes eventually led to her interest in becoming a police officer. She enrolled in MATC's Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement Associate Degree Program and eventually graduated from MATC's Law Enforcement Recruit Academy.

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MATC/Goodwill Partnership Benefits Interns and the College

Heather beamed as youngsters from MATC's Oak Creek Campus Child Care Center sat at her feet in rapt attention watching her read and share pictures from a book on shapes. Heather is one of 24 interns who have worked at MATC during the spring semester as part of Goodwill's Community Access Program, which is designed to provide community-based work experience for individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities.

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Melissa Chier-0005-sm

Chier Plans Quick Career Start by Enrolling in MATC's Human Resources Associate Degree Program

The chance to earn an associate degree and get started on a career quickly is one of the main reasons Melissa Chier chose to attend MATC. After graduating from Muskego High School last June, Chier enrolled as a full-time student in MATC's human resources associate degree program and began classes in the fall.

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Melanie Gray

Mentoring Young People is a Mission for Nursing Instructor Melanie Gray

In 1968, 11-year-old Melanie Gray and her father rushed to Cooley Auditorium to get a "good seat" for her mother's graduation from MATC's practical nursing program. It left quite an impression on her. "We were so proud of her and so excited," said Gray, now an MATC nursing instructor.

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Jermaine Howard

MATC Educational Foundations Track Student Dedicated to "Saving" At-Risk Youth

As a youngster, Jermaine Howard was considered a "bad kid," piling up daily suspensions from class on the days he showed up for school. Growing up in a struggling family, living in a poverty-stricken, crime-ridden Milwaukee neighborhood, Howard said he was almost certainly on track to end up in jail. He said he was "saved" by the support and interaction he received at a COA after-school program.

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Lyly Cao

MATC's English as a Second Language Program Prepared Lyly Cao to Continue on to Associate Degree Studies

Lyly Cao arrived in Milwaukee eight years ago from Vietnam at the age of 22, not knowing a word of English. Thanks to a great deal of determination, years of study in MATC's English as a Second Language (ESL) program and encouragement from customers at her aunt's nail shop, she is now halfway through coursework in MATC's Fashion/Retail Marketing associate degree program.

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Matzel Manufacturing, Inc., Helps Lead the Way to Resolving the Skilled Worker Shortage

Brian Nuetzel and Wayne Matthiesen found themselves unexpectedly thrust into the role of entrepreneurs in 2009. Their employer, Universal Brixus, Inc., was going out of business. After some soul searching and seeking financing, they decided to buy the company's assets, including a long-term lease on the building, customer lists, equipment and tools.

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MATC Animation Students Create High-Tech Virtual Lab Space for Marquette University Nursing Students

When Marquette University professors needed creative and technical assistance to build a realistic, 3-D, virtual environment lab space for nursing students, they did not have far to look. They found the help they needed just down the street - at MATC's Downtown Milwaukee Campus.
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Water Technology

MATC's Commitment to Environmental Health and Water Quality Education Spans More than 40 Years

The Milwaukee area has received international attention as a "freshwater hub" in recent years, in part due to the establishment of the Water Council which coordinates local water research, education and economic development for the region's $10.5 billion share of the global water market...
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Medical Interpreter Technical Diploma Offers Young Mother Fulfilling and Flexible Career Option

"It's scary enough going to the doctor or a hospital when you're sick," said Sandra Ruiz, who graduated from MATC's medical interpreter technical diploma program in May 2014. For people facing medical challenges and not able to communicate in their native language, that fear and confusion is magnified...
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Women in Technology Center Encourages Women to Thrive in Non-Traditional Occupations

Brandi Burnett wants to make a major career shift into computer electronics technology or computer programming - both fields greatly dominated by male employees...
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Instructor David Espinoza Promotes Intercultural Communication Through Bilingual Early Childhood Education

Diversity and intercultural communication are more than abstract concepts to David Espinoza, instructor in the bilingual mode of MATC's early childhood education program...
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Maija Cruz Credits MATC's Adult High School with Setting Her on Path to Success

Maija Cruz may be the only MATC alumna in history to take Adult High School courses by day while spending her evenings and weekends taking associate degree classes. But not much stops Cruz when she has a goal in mind...
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Doctoral Candidate Switches Course; Enrolls in MATC Graphic Design Program

Jennifer "Jen" Anderson is a self-professed rebel. She relishes doing the unexpected. A year ago, she proved that by dropping out of Marquette University's doctoral program in English literature after four years of study and enrolling in MATC's Graphic Design Associate Degree program instead...
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Earnestine Daugherty

Daugherty Helps Guide MATC Health Unit Coordinator Program Through Service on Advisory Committee

Earnestine "Ernie" Daugherty greets people with a broad, welcoming smile and a friendly demeanor. Her outgoing and reassuring personality seems a perfect fit for her job as a health unit coordinator (H.U.C.) who greets patients and families as they arrive at a Surgical-Oncology unit...
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MATC Instructor Tom LaPierre Reaches Upper Tier in Baking and Pastry Arts Field

MATC instructor Tom LaPierre joined an elite group of baking and pastry arts experts in June, becoming one of only four people in Wisconsin who currently hold the American Culinary Federation's designation as a certified executive pastry chef. Fewer than 350 people in the United States have this distinction...
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MATC Provides Customized Training for Kinetic Company's Incumbent Workers

Like many manufacturers across the U.S., Greendale's Kinetic Company faces a shortage of skilled labor. Long-term, highly skilled employees are retiring, leaving the knife-making company with a younger, less experienced workforce. With that challenge in mind and armed with a Workforce Advancement Training (WAT) grant....
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MATC IT Networking Student Relishes Experience on Cisco Live Dream Team

Drive, humor, intelligence and enthusiasm shine through Ike Ozurumba's blog and YouTube videos. The MATC information technology (IT) network specialist associate degree student believes that the passion and humor captured in his social media accounts helped earn him a spot as one of only 10 students selected from the United States and Canada to serve on the Cisco Live Dream Team...
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Chief Tom Rosandich Reflects on Ever-Expanding Role of Firefighters

Oak Creek Fire Chief Tom Rosandich, a 1980 graduate of Milwaukee Area Technical College's fire science associate degree program, has dealt with a significant number of challenging incidents during his 34-year career as a firefighter...
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MATC Graduate Helps Lead Effort to Comfort Boston Marathon Bombing Victims

Breeanne Glavan-Johnson, who graduated in May 2013 from MATC's baking and pastry arts associate degree program, and her mother Trish were horrified and riveted while watching coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings. They were particularly moved when they heard about the Richard family, whose 8-year-old son Martin was killed in the bombings...
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Lisa Hugdahl: A Journey from MATC Adult High School Student to Instructor

At the age of 16, MATC mathematics instructor Lisa Hugdahl dropped out of high school, left home, moved into an apartment with a friend and began a waitressing job. Less than two years later, she decided she wanted more from life...

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Padmore Discovers It's Never Too Late to Return to College

Charles Padmore was depressed when he reached his 30th birthday. "I thought I was too old to go back to school and do anything meaningful," he said...

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IT Networking Program Focuses Teaching on Growing Field of Virtualization

Managing virtual servers and data storage is one of the most rapidly growing challenges in the information technology networking field. Demand for workers with virtualization expertise is high, with employees earning an average of between $92,000 to $116,600 a year nationally depending upon their level of certification...
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Retraining Program 'Breathes Life' Into Veterans' Careers

Last summer, U.S. Army veteran Robert Davenport, 53, was jobless and homeless. Thanks to the federal Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP) and other support from the Veterans Administration, he is now a full-time student enrolled in MATC's air conditioning and refrigeration technology associate degree program and is living in his own apartment.
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Bilingual Training Helps Dislocated Worker Transition to High-Demand Machining Career

When Cesar Gonzalez' job as a butcher was eliminated, he began looking for new career opportunities to help him support his wife and three children. He knew that he would have more options if he could learn a new trade and improve his English language skills.
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Former Flight Attendant's Career 'Takes Off' with MATC Nursing Training

At 18-1/2 years old, Morgan Walesh landed her "dream job." She was the youngest person ever hired as a flight attendant by Midwest Airlines. But her dream didn't last long. After only 18 months, she was laid off following the buyout of Midwest by Republic Airlines. As many people do, Walesh turned to Milwaukee Area Technical College in search of training for a new career.
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From Textbooks to Tablets: iPads Bring Innovation to Machining Classrooms

Machine shops are no longer the dimly lit, dirty factories portrayed in movies. Today, most are bright, clean and operated by highly skilled workers who program computers and sophisticated machinery to make precisely manufactured parts.
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Water is Key to Nate Tillis' Way of Life and Career

MATC graduate Nate Tillis is a scientist, administrator, husband, father, supervisor and - somewhat surprisingly - a philosopher.
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Toshiba Adams

Toshiba Adams Promotes Innovative and Effective Teaching Methods

Employing effective teaching methods and studying the way the brain develops have long been important to Toshiba Adams, instructor and instructional chair for MATC's Early Childhood Education Associate Degree program. Adams also is the curriculum coordinator for MATC's Educational Research and Dissemination (ER&D) department.
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Jenny Staab

Staab Becomes Student Following 20 Years as Teacher in Eastern Europe

For many MATC students, the fall of Communism is a distant concept, perhaps something they learned about in a history class. But for MATC student Jenny Staab, it's an integral part of her life experience. A native of Monroe, Wis., Staab spent two decades living in Eastern Europe, teaching eager residents the English language and Western customs.
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Dave Polka

ABB Equipment Donation Broadens Training Opportunities for MATC Electronic Engineering/Electronic Technology Students

As current chairperson and a 12-year veteran on the advisory committee for Milwaukee Area Technical College's Electronic Engineering Technology associate degree program, Dave Polka has a pretty clear idea about the kind of equipment needed to train students in electronics and electronic engineering.
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Rick Cole

Varied Experiences Enrich Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement Instructor Rick Cole's Teaching

MATC prides itself on hiring instructors with real world experience in their fields. Like the vast majority of his colleagues who teach in the Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement associate degree program, Rick Cole has worked as a police officer. What makes him distinct is that he also holds a law degree and has served as an assistant district attorney and a criminal defense attorney.
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Perry Nigh

MATC Instructor Perry Nigh Helps Bring Gift of Sight to Needy Mexican Residents

When MATC Spanish instructor Perry Nigh tells people he's going to Mexico for a week each winter, he's often teased about escaping the Wisconsin winter to have fun in the sun. Nothing could be further from the truth. His days aren't spent soaking up sun by a pool - they're spent helping needy people regain their vision.
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Jim Gill

Gill a 'Perfect Fit' for Emerging Health Information Technology Field

When Milwaukee Area Technical College was named part of a consortium that received a one-year grant of $7,531,403 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to offer Health Information Technology (HIT) certificate programs last spring, it caught the attention of area health care professionals and information technology workers alike.
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Linn Bonovich

Nurse Pinning Ceremony Reaches Across Continents

Peter and Hanne Bonovich did not want to miss the annual Milwaukee Area Technical College ceremony at which their daughter Linn would receive her nurse's pin. The ceremony was held at MATC's Downtown Milwaukee Campus in mid-December, but the Bonovichs live in Dramen, Norway, 4,000 miles from Milwaukee.
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MATC Students Work with Animation and TV Equipment To Help Create Unique Television Pilot

When Burlington, Wis., screenwriter/producer/director Ron Kolman was searching for a way to bring his dreams of a first-of-its-kind television show to fruition, he was fortunate to find the help he needed close to home - at Milwaukee Area Technical College. The owner of RK Media, LLC, Kolman worked with MATC students and staff to produce the TV pilot "Woody's World" - sharing the adventures of an animated wooden spoon named "Woody".
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virtual milwaukee

MATC Uses Emerging Interactive Technology to Capture Future in 3-D 'Virtual Milwaukee' Project

Wind turbines gracing the lakeshore... a cafe decorated with local artwork on the green rooftop of one of the city's tallest buildings... a modern streetcar system traveling city streets... revolutionary architectural designs for new buildings blending in with beloved city landmarks.
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MPS Students Take "Smart Path" to Acceptance into MATC Programs

More than 50 students from Milwaukee Public Schools took part in the "Smart Path" program at MATC over the summer. Funded by MPS and run by MATC, "Smart Path" was designed to help improve the students' mathematics, English and workplace skills. The goal was to help the students become "fully admitted" at MATC without needing to take remedial courses.
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'GYM Project' Teaches Youth from Greater New Birth Church to Live Healthier Lives

MATC physical education instructor Judy Springer and students in her "Active Approach to Wellness and Fitness" class worked with other volunteers to start a fitness and nutrition program for the youth group at Milwaukee's Greater New Birth Church. Called "A Faith Community GYM: Guiding Youth Movement for Sustained, Healthy Futures," the program won an award from the National Wellness Institute in July 2010.
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MATC's Free Tax Preparation Assistance Helps with More than Taxes

Students, instructors and community volunteers have been preparing tax returns for lower income individuals and couples at MATC campuses through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program for 27 years. Since 2003, volunteers have e-filed nearly 11,000 returns from sites at the Oak Creek and Milwaukee campuses. They also help connect clients with many other kinds of assistance, including programs which focus on asset building and financial stability.
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Julie Liotta's Enthusiasm for Language Helps Break Down Learning Barriers for GED Students

MATC Instructor Julie Liotta's gift for languages, ability to relate to students and dedication contribute to her great success as a teacher. She teaches GED classes in English and Spanish to clients of Milwaukee Achiever Literacy Services, one of MATC's community-based organization partners.
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Kronquist Artistry Lives on at Downtown Milwaukee Campus

Emil F. Kronquist, who taught mechanical drawing and art metal classes at the college from 1913-1951, left a legacy of his silver and bronze work -- and pieces by famous artisan Georg Jensen -- to MATC. They are on display at the Downtown Milwaukee Campus.
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MATC Student Joins Medical Missionaries in Bringing Aid to Haitian Earthquake Victims

While the world watched terrifying television reports of the aftermath of the Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti, MATC Pharmacy Technician student Ray Moon and his wife Donna, a graduate of MATC's Registered Nursing Program, sprang into action.
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MATC Instructor Mary Docter Reflects on Olympic Career

MATC Medical Assistant program instructor Mary Docter was a four-time Olympian, representing the United States in multiple speed skating events. Docter reflects on her athletic career and her path to MATC.
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Kapoor Masters Cutting-Edge CNC Equipment at ECAM Center

Rishi Kapoor, who holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from his native India, and CNC machining and production degrees from MATC and Gateway Technical College, has returned to MATC for advanced studies with the cutting-edge five axis machining center in the Energy Conservation and Advanced Manufacturing Center at the Oak Creek Campus.
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MATC Experience Helps Heredia Find True Pride in His Culture

MATC student Diego Heredia's participation in the Mexico Study Abroad trip took him to Xochicalo, an archeological site near Cuernavaca. What he saw there inspired him to understand his heritage and to paint murals in the Foreign Language Lab.
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Selfless Surveying

MATC student Gerard Guerra helped build a water distribution pipeline that now brings clean water to residents of Quejchip, Guatemala. A civil engineering technology student, Guerra ventured to Central America with Engineers Without Borders.
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MATC Uses Innovative Approach for Digital Life Drawing Class

MATC's Digital Life Drawing course is believed to be the first of its kind in the nation. Students work on Wacom Cintaq monitors rather than traditional sketchbooks and the technology has resulted in rapid improvement throughout the semester. The course was the creation of instructors Tim Decker and Brian Mennenoh.
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Dorothy Walker Takes Nontraditional Path to Success

IMATC Interim Dean of Technical and Applied Sciences Dorothy Walker has lived a life of "firsts." MATC helped open the door to a successful welding career, then teaching nontraditional occupations to women, and eventually an administrative position. Today, Walker is committed to ensuring MATC students receive the best education possible.
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FORWARD Management Propels Grads Ahead in the Workplace

For 20 years, working adults have prepared for careers in management through MATC's FORWARD Management program. Former students share how MATC helped them advance in their careers.
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Culinary Apprentice Graduate Enjoys Her Turn in 'Hell's Kitchen'

Suzanne Schlicht's experience in MATC's Culinary Arts program not only prepared her for a career in the rigorous world of fine dining kitchens, it also primed her for the experience of a network reality show.
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Opening Doors with China:History Made at MATC

March 22, 2009 was a historic day at MATC, as more than 20 students visited via videoconference with students from Shanghai Dian Ji University. The videoconference was the result of an MATC Innovation Grant that opened new doors for MATC.
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George Stone Enlists Students in Fight to Save the Planet

Natural Sciences instructor George Stone sparks passion in his students for preserving the earth's natural resources. Stone is recognized nationally and internationally for his expertise in the science of climate change.
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Workforce Report Cites Wisconsin's Technical Colleges as 'Educational Bright Spot'

The State of Working Wisconsin 2008 report documents economic growth in Wisconsin as "soft," resulting from job losses, higher unemployment and declining median incomes, but credits Wisconsin's Technical Colleges for its positive influence on the state's workforce.
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MATC Culinary Arts Student Stella Bernard Earns Opportunity of a Lifetime

Louisiana-born and Milwaukee-bred MATC graduate Stella Bernard was recently accepted as an apprentice at L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon in Paris. Robuchon is widely recognized as one of the world's premier chefs and restaurateurs.
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Jim Benedum Teaches Students to Help Others

MATC Accounting program instructor Jim Benedumteaches his students about much more than balancing books and working with numbers. He inspires students to live life fully and help other people. He has practiced what he teaches for 25 years as a volunteer income tax preparer.
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Student Nurses Practice on Simulated Human

Lying in a hospital bed, hooked up to a monitor and an IV, Earl Jensen moaned, coughed and complained loudly. His breathing labored, he exhibited the signs and symptoms of pneumonia. MATC registered nursing students checked his vital signs, adjusted his intravenous line and fitted him with an oxygen tube.
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Police Ride-Along Kindled Chief's Career

Riding along in a Waukesha County Sheriff's squad car one night changed Ann Wellens' life. She had her mind set on becoming an accountant or a veterinarian, but an assignment to investigate any career that did not interest her turned those notions inside out.
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Reggie Finlayson Spins Hypnotic Stories

Hundreds of Milwaukee-area children have sat at Reggie Finlayson's feet over the years, watching the man in the colorful flowing robes use words, gestures, facial expressions and African musical instruments to convey African history. Finlayson is a modern-day "griot" -- practitioner of an oral storytelling tradition dating back to 13th-century West Africa.
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Christine Brunner Finds Fulfillment in Funeral Service

When a close friend's brother committed suicide, Christine Brunner felt helpless. She desperately wanted to do something to help the family cope. "Being there for them just wasn't enough for me," Brunner says. A couple of years later, she was flipping through employment ads and saw openings for funeral directors. "Suddenly, it hit me that I wanted to do that.".
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Susan Heitman an Inspiration for Students

Health Occupations Instructor Susan Heitman teaches a full schedule while serving on several faculty committees and continuing to work one Saturday a month as an occupational therapist. What keeps her going is a passion for helping others learn.
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