Madison College has a new "challenge course," which includes a climbing wall, a zip-line and many other physical challenges. The Matters team met with Eric Howden, coordinator of the challenge course, to learn more about how Madison College staff and the public can utilize this resource to their benefit.
Published June 17, 2016.
The Matters team met with Javier Salazar Neira, Madison College's recruitment interim manager, to talk about the new Scholars of Promise program at Madison College.
The “Scholars of Promise” program will benefit low-income students who have the motivation to complete their college education, but lack financial resources. This program will also provide services for qualifying high school students to help pay and prepare for college. High school students throughout the 12-county Madison College district may apply. Eligible students must achieve a 2.25 grade point average and maintain 80 percent attendance throughout their senior year.
Published June 1, 2016. Updated June 6, 2016.
This week, the Matters team met with Chief Information Security Officer Linda Pruss to ask about cyber security.
"High profile breeches are almost occurring monthly if not more frequently than that," says Pruss. "For that reason, we have to take care of people, process and technology. This is the people portion, to try and raise security awareness so that folks know what they need to do to responsibly use Madison College assets."
Common mistakes include clicking on a link or opening an attachment in an email from an unknown source, giving away important credentials and other information.
"Basically, [employees should understand] that you have information of value," says Pruss. "If it's not the information you have of value, it's the ability to be inside our network."
"People [often] respond to to phishing emails because they're in a hurry," says Pruss. "Slow down. Think before you click. Stop, think and then click."
Madison College is starting a required information security awareness training to protect Madison College, our work and our data from cyber-attacks. Starting March 1, staff are asked to watch a series of cyber-security training videos. The 12 videos can be watched at one time or chunked into three sections of four videos. All staff who complete Section One videos before June 1 are eligible to receive either a Rice Krispy Treat, a large cookie or a piece of fruit.
Published April 29, 2016. Updated May 27, 2016.
Meet Lucía Nuñez, the new vice president of Equity, Inclusion and Community Engagement. Nuñez joined the Madison College community in January 2016, after 30 years of experience in working with diverse and under-served populations.
This week, the Matters team discusses Nuñez's new role on Madison College campus and why fostering diversity in higher education is important.
"Look at states like California and Florida. With increase of racial and ethnic groups as well as immigrant groups or international groups," says Nuñez. "We can't be ignorant in terms of diverse populations. Even in Wisconsin, the growth is incredible."
"There's a lot of new brain research on how to reduce bias. We've done a lot of work on identifying implicit and explicit bias," says Nuñez. "But how, then, do we reduce those biases? That's the exciting part of what's happening now in the field."
Nuñez suggests that fostering communication and cultural intelligence can do a lot to foster a more welcoming environment for all students, in addition to preparing them to work at international and global companies.
"I've been in Madison for a number of years and I've watched Madison College grow," says Nuñez. "I'm excited to be part of this college, to be working with faculty, staff and administrators who have been offering incredible opportunities to this community."
Published April 4, 2016.
Published February 22, 2016. Updated March 2, 2016.
This week, Dean of Applied Science, Engineering and Technology Denise Reimer explains the college's role in getting Wisconsin kids involved in STEM education early ... using LEGOs!
"It's a high energy, dynamic competition where students from third to fifth grade form teams and have to solve a problem using a robot," says Reimer. "The FIRST LEGO League competition is really a critical component for Madison College to network with our community and especially kids who are interested in careers in science, technology, engineering or math."
In previous years, Reimer has noticed how many young girls are involved in the competition and hopes that trend will continue.
Madison College hosts the LEGO League Championship Tournament Sunday, Feb. 21.
Published February 10, 2016. Updated February 11, 2016.
Meet Imad Mouchayleh, Madison College's new internal auditor. This week, the Matters team asks Mouchayleh and Mark Thomas, senior vice president of Administrative Services, about internal auditing.
“Imad's got 13 years of experience at a similar community college in Texas, where he established an internal control role,” says Thomas. “The college is really fortunate to have him.”
“The internal audit is not a policing function,” says Mouchayleh. “Internal auditors are trained to do two things: providing assurance and consulting services to management to improve or add value to operations.”
As senior internal auditor, Mouchayleh will review cash-handling procedures, data security issues and ensure that Madison College is in compliance with other laws, regulations and policies.
"Thank you for letting me be part of this family," says Mouchayleh. "I'm looking forward to a very productive relationship with everybody."
Published February 3, 2016.
The Matters team spoke to Dean Mark Lausch, Devon Hase and Lisa Cappelli about the health benefits of practicing mindfulness.
"The mindfulness program at Madison College is an opportunity for students, faculty and staff to carve out thirty minutes of their day to center themselves and prepare for the rest of the week," says Dean Lausch.
Mindfulness can help improve your mood and health, especially during shorter periods of sunlight in the winter. Cappelli explains: "It's a great way to quiet your mind, so that you can really touch in with that mind-body connection."
Practicing mindfulness can be as valuable as sleeping, eating well and getting regular exercise.
"Mindfulness has many benefits," says Hase. "It's been shown that the mind can perform cognitive tasks more efficiently ... but I think it's much bigger than just that. For me, it's really about becoming happier as a person."
"The sessions are attended by all types of folks," says Dean Lausch. "Tall and short; big and little; students, faculty and staff. It's an opportunity to come in, relax and enjoy your day."
For more information on mindfulness practice groups at Madison College, visit their website.
Published January 13, 2016.