Moraine Park students help keep families together

by ratkinson26. April 2013 08:40

Service Learning project combines volunteerism with education 

Imagine this scenario: Mom and dad find they can no longer keep a roof over their family’s head and must tell their children they will be homeless. Now imagine the crisis made worse when the children learn there is no shelter where they can all stay together. Dad is placed in a men’s only shelter while mom and children are offered housing in a separate shelter. That scenario changes forever with this month’s opening of the community’s only family shelter, run by the Solutions Center ( The official ribbon cutting is set for April 25 at 9 a.m. at the family shelter location, 38 North Sophia Street. Making this development even more inspiring is the role a cadre of students from Moraine Park Technical College (Moraine Park, had in the process; those students will also be on hand for the ribbon cutting.

First, about the Solutions Center. This organization and its predecessors have been providing shelter for people in Fond du Lac for more than 40 years, with some 350 individuals sheltered annually, 150 of them children. Most come to escape domestic violence or after being evicted. The success rate of those individuals moving into permanent housing in the community is almost 90 percent. Shelter and other services including crisis counseling and legal advocacy are all provided free of charge.

Yet the Solutions Center had no shelter to offer to an intact disadvantaged family needing temporary housing while they got back on their feet. That need led them to purchase the home on Sophia Street back in December 2012. They immediately set to work refreshing and updating it.

“Fond du Lac has been without a family shelter since 2007,” said Lindee Kimball, executive director at the Solutions Center. “We’re keeping families together when it counts the most.” The home will house one family at a time, with the average stay expected to be 30 days.

Kimball offered thanks to the staff and students from Moraine Park for making the family shelter their service learning project for the semester. “I believe this sort of project will set a tone of volunteerism for these students for the rest of their lives and they will be part of the ongoing volunteer force in our community. Plus we learned so much from them as they brought a whole spectrum of education to us.”

Moraine Park, already on the leading edge of the service learning philosophy, recently formalized the effort under the direction of Brenda Schaefer, a social sciences instructor at the college who now has the added title of Services Learning Coordinator. Schaefer is passionate about this experiential approach to learning, which she’s been spearheading at Moraine Park for two years now, and that passion comes through the minute you ask her about the Solutions Center partnership.

“One of our goals at Moraine Park is community partnership, and the shelter project is a perfect example of not just reading or hearing about a concept but doing,” explained Schaefer. “The students chose this project after hearing a presentation by a staff member from the Solutions Center and it has opened their eyes to see that people in need are no different from all of us.”

Schaefer went on to explain that students across a wide variety of classes had a hand in the shelter. “One group of culinary arts students are preparing recipes to teach families about cooking healthy meals on a budget, another group of students from our HVAC program did an energy analysis and made repairs to the shelter. We also had students in sociology, early childhood, marketing and accounting participate. The connection between the classroom and real life is amazing.”

Echoing Schaefer’s sentiments was Dr. Caron Daugherty, Dean of General & International Education at Moraine Park. “The competencies gained in classroom learning are validated right in front of them as they are helping families,” said Daugherty. “It’s the melding of the two that makes this an especially meaningful situation for everyone involved.” Along with its own service learning initiative, Moraine Park is also a member of the Wisconsin Campus Compact, a coalition of college and university presidents committed to strengthening service learning partnerships between the state’s post-secondary institutions and the communities they serve in key areas such as literacy, health care, hunger, homelessness, the environment and senior services. The idea behind the Wisconsin Campus Compact is to educate students not only for careers but also for their roles as active, engaged community members.

Daugherty also noted that students involved in service learning projects will be presenting case studies of their work at a special breakfast at Moraine Park on May 2. Fittingly, culinary students at the college will be preparing the breakfast as a way to celebrate the students’ efforts in the community.

Other local organizations that have benefited from the services learning commitment by Moraine Park students include Boys & Girls Club, Salvation Army, St. Vincent de Paul, and Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Moraine Park Portfolio event to have modern gallery night vibe

by ratkinson26. April 2013 08:31

Students to showcase their work on May 1

FOND DU LAC, Wis. (April 23, 2013) – When most people hear the word “art” their mind likely jumps to images of traditional media like painting, sculpture and photography. But on Wednesday, May 1, it will be a mix of modern art media including web design, graphic communications and interactive media design that will take center stage at the Portfolio Day event hosted by the Fond du Lac campus of the Moraine Park Technical College District, 235 North National Avenue. Students from Moraine Park campuses in Fond du Lac, Beaver Dam and West Bend will be participating, showcasing their original work to the public and potential employers from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m.

This will be the first Portfolio Day for students in Interactive Media Design, as 2013 brings the first graduating class in this new degree program at Moraine Park. The Graphic Communications program, by comparison, is well established, granting degrees for more than 20 years now.

The Portfolio Day student work will include illustration prints on museum quality paper featuring original logo designs, advertising posters and billboard layouts, along with step and floor graphics created by the students to support the event; computers showing 2D and 3D digital animation and motion graphics; and edited video shorts. Some 40 graduating students will be participating, with upwards of 40 potential employers from the region invited to attend. According to Dana Wangerin, graphics communications instructor at the college, “this is a proud moment for students and their families, with employers eager to see the work as well.”

Tom Ward, an instructor in interactive media design, echoed those sentiments, noting that potential employers representing area printers, web development firms, advertising agencies, digital marketing firms and video production companies are all likely to be in attendance. “We expect many of these students to make meaningful career connections during this four hour exhibit,” said Ward. 

The event is free and open to the public. It will be held in the Fond du Lac campus cafeteria, 235 North National Avenue.  For more on Moraine Park Technical College, log on to

Moraine Park’s nursing students surpass national rate

by jbrezinsky25. March 2013 10:03

     To work as a Licensed Practical Nurse or Licensed Registered Nurse, a person must first pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nursing (NCLEX-PN) or the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nursing (NCLEX-RN) exam after completing a nursing education program.
     Moraine Park Technical College recently received annual results for nursing students who took the NCLEX-PN and the NCLEX-RN exams and is proud to announce scores for both surpassed the national pass rate. One hundred percent of first-time Moraine Park test takers successfully passed the NCLEX-PN while 96 percent passed the NCLEX-RN. 
     “Faculty and staff at Moraine Park have worked hard to implement many program changes over the last few years, and their hard work has paid off.  We strive to maintain this level of performance,” said Kathy VanEerden, dean of Health Sciences at Moraine Park.
     For more information on Moraine Park programs, visit


Moraine Park wins prestigious advertising award

by abjork20. March 2013 09:51

Moraine Park Technical College was honored with a Gold ADDY award from the American Advertising Federation (AAF) at the recent 2012 ADDY Awards presented by the AAF-Fox River Ad Club. Moraine Park received the gold award for their 2012 Viewbook and the entry will now compete at the AAF’s 8th District level. 

The American Advertising Federation’s ADDY Awards is a nationwide competition that showcases the most creative design and advertising work from across the country.  If Moraine Park’s entry wins Gold again at the 8th District level, it will be forwarded to the June national competition, held in Arizona. For more information on Moraine Park, visit Visit for additional information on the AAF.


Dr. Josh Bullock Selected as Seventh President of Lake Land College

by abjork6. March 2013 15:37

On behalf of the entire Moraine Park college community, we congratulate Dr. Josh Bullock on being selected as the seventh president of Lake Land College, located in Mattoon, Ill. Dr. Bullock will begin his presidential duties on July 1, 2013.

Bullock, currently Vice President of Strategic Advancement at Moraine Park Technical College, has served the college for the past 11 years.  “I extend my sincere congratulations to Dr. Bullock in his new role. Josh will bring to Lake Land College a strong foundation in two-year college leadership to ensure the continued focus on student success and meeting the needs of the communities served,” said Dr. Sheila Ruhland, President of Moraine Park.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed the past 11 years at Moraine Park and feel truly blessed to have had the opportunity to work with so many great people over that time,” said Bullock.  “For the loss of great coworkers and friends I am deeply saddened.  With that said, I am both honored and excited to begin this new chapter in my personal and professional life.”  

Over the course of the next several months President Ruhland will work on succession and transition planning related to the Strategic Advancement Unit.  

For more information on Lake Land College and Dr. Bullock’s presidency selection, please visit:


Moraine Park releases 2011-2012 Annual Report

by jbrezinsky25. February 2013 13:28

     Moraine Park Technical College’s 2011-2012 Annual Report is now available in electronic format. Readers can learn how Moraine Park’s Centennial year was recognized, read short stories on staff and student successes, and take a look at new facilities the college added in 2011-12. New this year to the Annual Report is a section from the Moraine Park Foundation devoted to sharing information and updates.
     “I invite everyone to take a look at the 2011-12 Annual Report that highlights a year of College successes,” said Dr. Sheila Ruhland, Moraine Park president. “This has been an exciting year of student and staff accomplishments as well as many new milestones for Moraine Park.” To view the Annual Report, visit
    Moraine Park Technical College was established in 1912 and is one of 16 technical college districts that make up the Wisconsin Technical College System. With campuses in Beaver Dam, Fond du Lac and West Bend, Moraine Park offers more than 100 associate of applied science degrees, technical diplomas, apprenticeships and certificates delivered in a variety of formats — classroom, online and blended. Training and technical assistance for businesses is also offered. To find out more about Moraine Park, visit


Moraine Park recognizes staff members, business partner

by jbrezinsky22. February 2013 14:35

     Even though February is the shortest month of the year, Moraine Park Technical College found many ways to honor Career and Technical Education (CTE) month, celebrated throughout the nation in February. One of the ways Moraine Park recognized CTE was through the annual Moraine Park Association of CTE (MPACTE) awards banquet, held Thursday, Feb. 21 at the Beaver Dam Country Club.
     The banquet recognized individuals and organizations for their dedication to and excellence in career and technical education. The following individuals were honored with awards: Stephanie Lueck of Campbellsport for Outstanding Support Professional; Kathy Vandemark of Kewaskum for Outstanding CTE Leader; Terri Wilkens of Mayville for Outstanding Instructor; Amy Patterson of Beaver Dam for New Instructor and Bonnie Baerwald of Fond du Lac for Community Involvement. The Business Awards of Merit went to Kondex Corporation for supporting Moraine Park.
     Throughout the year, MPACTE supports student achievement by awarding eight $300 scholarships to full-time Moraine Park students and five $200 scholarships to part-time Moraine Park students. Scholarships are cosponsored by both the Moraine Park Federation of Teachers and the MPACTE organization. 
     For more information about Moraine Park, visit For more information on statewide CTE month activities, visit



Moraine Park students participate in State Capitol event

by jbrezinsky21. February 2013 08:04

Legislators and other guests were invited to attend a showcase of service learning and entrepreneurship projects involving more than 100 Wisconsin technical college students, including students from Moraine Park Technical College, on Tuesday, Feb. 19 in the State Capitol Rotunda.

The Celebration of Student Engagement included project displays from Wisconsin's 16 technical colleges. Moraine Park's display featured the College's Interactive Media Design program and information on building relationships within communities through student involvement. "Students were able to illustrate what they do outside of the classroom with student clubs and organizations and how student involvement truly builds bridges within our communities" said Scott Lieburn, dean of students at Moraine Park.

Moraine Park Interactive Media Design students Amanda Finstad of Waupun, Bonnie Weiss of Kewaskum and Resa Wronski of Campbellsport joined Leadership Development student William Milbrot of Mayville to represent Moraine Park at the event.

Finstad, who attended the event last year, was honored to attend the showcase again this year. "I enjoy sharing my experiences at Moraine Park. Participating in the showcase is a great opportunity to show what I have learned and how I will apply that knowledge to my future career" said Finstad.

"The showcase also allowed me to meet other people and learn about what other technical colleges are doing throughout the state. This event is an ideal occasion for our students to exhibit the talents they have acquired in the classroom" said Lieburn. "In addition to networking with students and staff from all 16 technical colleges, the students get a chance to interact and share their projects and chronicles with legislators".

For more information on the Wisconsin Technical College system, visit; for more information on Moraine Park, visit


Moraine Park offers long-term care planning course

by jbrezinsky14. February 2013 15:28

     Learn about the current Medical Assistance rules in place, how to preserve a home and the importance of updating your estate plan through Moraine Park Technical College’s Long-Term Care Planning Class, held Wednesday, March 6, from 6-8 p.m. on Moraine Park’s West Bend campus.
     Protect your estate by learning about this important subject from an expert in the field with over 35 years of experience, Attorney John Grundahl. His law practice encompasses wills, probate and estate planning, small business and real estate primarily in Washington County.
     Attorney Douglas Fitzgerald will join Grundahl in providing professional advice to class attendees.  Fitzgerald is a member of the Wisconsin Bar Association, American Bar Association and Washington County Bar Association.  He represents clients throughout the State on estate planning, estate administration, elder law, long-term care planning, Medicaid/Title 19, guardianships, and probate and trust estate administration.  
     Fitzgerald serves on the Washington County Interdisciplinary Team on Elder Abuse.  This team, coordinated by the Washington County Department of Social Services, reviews policy and administration for issues affecting vulnerable seniors in the community and conducts education for law enforcement, government agencies, financial institutions and the public.
     To register, call 800- 472-4554 and refer to CRN 30601. Cost to attend the class is $13.75 and $11.21 for those 62 and older.  For more information on Moraine Park, visit


MPTC offers Business Forum on Productivity and Performance

by jbrezinsky13. February 2013 09:38

     Moraine Park Technical College is offering a free business forum to discuss and share ideas about methods for driving productivity and performance within your organization.
     Jon Fields, a certified business coach, will lead the forum with a presentation on How to Transition “Average” Employees into Focused and Productive Performers. Jon has started and developed three successful small businesses and is now a certified business coach.  He owns The Growth Coach franchise serving much of the state of Wisconsin.
     The Productivity and Performance Business Forum will be held Thursday, Feb. 28, from 7:30-9:30 a.m. at Moraine Park’s Fond du Lac campus, Room A-112. To register, email: or call Eileen at 920-924-3449.