Beware of secret shopper scams

DATE:  February 19, 2019

TO: All Students

FROM: Shawn Belling, Chief Information Officer (interim)

RE: Secret Shopper Email Phishing Scam

Throughout the past week, Madison College’s Technology Services department and the UW Credit Union have heard reports of students who have been targeted in a 'secret shopper' scam. We don't want any students to be victimized by this type of activity. Here are the common 'red flags' for this financial scam:

  • You, the student, receive a solicitation via your Madison College email
  • The so-called 'job' involves you being a secret shopper, completing surveys and/or buying iTunes gift cards
  • You, the student, are then told you will receive an out of state cashier’s check in the amount of $2,985. These checks are fraudulent and worthless.
  • The end game of this scam, is to have you, the victim of the scam, send money to the originator of the scam. This leaves you, the student, with the loss of any money you sent the scam originator from your bank or credit union.

In most cases, if something sounds too good to be true, it is too good to be true. Scammers of this nature leverage our emotional reactions that can cloud rational thinking. Contact the Madison College Help Desk at 608.246.6666 if you are uncertain whether an email is a scam.  


Published February 20, 2019. Updated February 22, 2019.

Get involved in Gender and Expression

An interdisciplinary team is planning activities for this spring term that increase awareness and visibility of “Gender and Expression”. The goal is to unite efforts addressing the campus culture through a recognition of issues affecting students and the college community. To gain help promoting a “Gender and Expression” themed event and linking it to others, email genderandexpression@madisoncollege.edu.

The team includes representatives from the Center for International Education, Dean of Students Office, Office for Equity, Inclusion and Community Engagement, Student Life, Intercultural Exchange and a student representative.


Published February 20, 2019.

CIO Shawn Belling issues phishing warning

DATE:  February 18, 2019

TO: All Faculty and Staff

FROM: Shawn Belling, Chief Information Officer (interim)

RE: Technology Services Phishing Warning

Madison College Information Security has identified Phishing emails targeting Madison College faculty and staff who receive high volumes of invoices, purchase orders and payment-related messaging. These targeted spear phishing e-mails contain standard Microsoft Office files (.doc, .xls, etc) with embedded macros, which will download computer viruses when opened.

These cyber criminals are targeting Madison College administrators, payroll personnel and office assistants. These spear phishing e-mails appear to be individualized, but most of the email samples appear to be templates or forms.  They may even use spoofed Madison College users as the sender. This phishing campaign is deliberate, persistent, and presents significant risk to the college due to the advanced malware and techniques used.

The most prevalent virus is EMOTET. EMOTET is a banking Trojan, steals financial account information and sensitive personal data.  Trend Micro, an antivirus and security firm, tracked EMOTET and identified 8,528 unique URLs, 5,849 documents, and 571 executables between June 1, 2018 and September 15, 2018.  Since September, these numbers have likely increased substantially.  Trend Micro also tracked the source of this Trojan to a time zone in Eastern Russia.  The current versions of EMOTET could provide full remote access, collect Outlook contact lists, keystrokes, passwords and camera/microphone usage.

Madison College Information Security or the Helpdesk will reach out to you if our systems detect a virus. However, if you see a virus alert, please contact the Technology Services Helpdesk immediately at 608.246.6666 and someone will walk you through the next steps. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me directly or contact the Technology Services Helpdesk for assistance. 


Published February 18, 2019.

College raising awareness of gender expression

An interdisciplinary team is planning activities to address the campus culture and climate through awareness of issues affecting students and the Madison College community. The team hopes to increase visibility of important topics through a thematic approach, each semester. Team members Include representatives from the Center for International Education, Dean of Students Office, Office for Equity, Inclusion and Community Engagement, Student Life, Intercultural Exchange and a student representative.

The theme for spring 2019 is “Gender and Expression." This theme encompasses how people choose to express gender and how society expects people to express gender. Individuals are encouraged to consider how Gender & Expression can be joined into planned activities for spring. To learn more about Gender & Expression activities, visit the Diversity and Multicultural programming page or reach out via email for help in promoting a Gender & Expression event.


Published February 11, 2019. Updated February 13, 2019.

Dr. Daniels receives national award of distinction

Madison College President Jack Daniels has been selected to receive the Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction by the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.

Dr. Daniels will be among a select group of 18 college presidents from across the country to receive the award during PTK Catalyst 2019, the Society’s annual convention, April 4-6 in Orlando, Florida. 

These awards are given to college presidents who have shown strong support of student success on their campus by recognizing academic achievement, leadership, and service among high-achieving students at their colleges. Recipients are nominated by students on their campus and are only eligible to receive the award once over the course of their career.

The Shirley B. Gordon Award is Phi Theta Kappa’s most prestigious award for community college presidents and is named in honor of the late Dr. Shirley B. Gordon, Phi Theta Kappa’s longest-serving Board of Directors Chair and a founder and long-time president of Highline Community College in Washington. 


Published February 8, 2019. Updated February 14, 2019.

Madison College shines as host to prestigious theater festival

Madison College became the first two-year college in history to host the prestigious Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Jan. 8-13. Over 1,400 university students and theatre professionals hosted workshops, events and competitions across the Truax Campus. Over 75 workshops were held in theater including directing, playwriting, theater for young audiences, performance, design and advocacy. The creator of "Shakespeare Behind Bars" was here and screened the documentary about the project. 

So many from our Madison College community made this event possible and successful. Special thanks to faculty Miranda Hawk, Corey Helser and the entire events team, Rhoda and the Welcome Center team, Jason and the cafeteria team, the Student Senate, Public Safety team, Arts & Sciences leadership Todd Stebbins and Brian Short, and all the many student, faculty and staff volunteers. This was an outstanding way to showcase our college, and our college spirit. We are set to host the event again in 2020.

One direct testimonial shared with Miranda, “I've attended this festival for years and I've never been so impressed with the host school. Such beautiful facilities. And everyone here is so helpful."

Thanks to all for making Madison College shine so brightly.

— Dr. Turina Bakken, Provost

Published January 25, 2019.

January 2019 Convocation sessions available via video

The following sessions have been video recorded and a link is included for each recording:

  • 2019 January Convocation Opening session. (1:39:52)
  • The Convocation Breakout session: Classroom Practices - Better Blackboard, Better Gradebooks and Better Syllabi for Better Outcomes.
  • The 2019 January Convocation session: Learner success, Wednesday, Jan. 16.
  • The Convocation session: Classroom Practices - Designing a Course Feedback Survey with Survey Monkey, Wednesday, Jan. 16.
  • The Convocation session: FY 19-20 Budget – Wednesday, Jan. 16.
  • The Convocation Active Listening session – Wednesday, Jan. 16.



Published January 16, 2019.

College celebrates completion of rooftop solar installation

Faculty, staff, administrators and officials including Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes celebrated the completion of Wisconsin's largest rooftop solar installation Wednesday, Jan. 16. 

The solar installation was a collaborative effort with Madison Gas and Electric Company and will provide a hands-on laboratory for students in renewable energy and related programs. The solar array will also save taxpayers $300,000 per year in energy costs.

Barnes read a gubernatorial proclomation that stated Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019 is now Madison College Solar Energy Day. The news conference concluded with a ribbon cutting and poster presentations by students who are earning Renewable Energy Certificates. 

Published January 16, 2019.

New Unit Planning Cycle begins Feb. 4

The Organizational Excellence team is excited to announce that the 2020/21 Unit Planning cycle will begin on Feb. 4, 2019. In addition to planning for 2020-21, this year we will be assessing progress made on goals identified in 2019/20 unit plans.

The Organizational Excellence team will be conducting training and drop-in sessions over the next few weeks. These training sessions are open to all unit planners and anyone else involved in the planning process. If you are new to unit planning, it is important that you attend one of the sessions listed below.

Training session (demo of the tool):

1. Tuesday, Jan. 22, 9–10 a.m. Room B3230
2. Thursday, Jan. 24, 1–2 p.m. Room B3230
3. Friday, Feb. 1, 9–10 a.m. Room B3230

Drop-in sessions (1:1 assistance):

1. Wednesday, Feb. 20, 10–11 a.m. Room B3230
2. Thursday, Feb. 28, 2–3 p.m. Room B3230
3. Monday, March 4, 2–3 p.m. Room B3230
4. Thursday, April 11, 1–2 p.m. Room B3230

For more information you can visit the Unit Plan SharePoint site, or contact Jennie May or Ali Zarrinnam with any questions.


Published January 14, 2019. Updated February 6, 2019.

Convocation feedback requested

Convocation is an event the college strives to develop and employee feedback is vital for that process. Employees are asked to complete the survey by 5 p.m., on Friday, Jan. 25. The survey closes at 5 p.m. Everyone’s feedback is appreciated.

Published January 14, 2019. Updated February 6, 2019.