Baking at the Bottom of the World

by admin4. January 2009 19:00

A Moraine Park Technical College education can help take you places — literally.

 

Josie MacLeod stands outdoors in an Antarctic summer, which looks a lot like a Wisconsin winter.

Using the skills she developed while pursuing her associate degree in Culinary Arts, along with encouragement from her Moraine Park instructors to go where her heart desired, Joscelyn “Josie” MacLeod has cooked at Glacier National Park and aboard a Norwegian Cruise Lines ship. Her latest adventure has taken her way down under at McMurdo Station in Antarctica, where she bakes for about 1,000 scientists, researchers and support staff.

 

MacLeod, 29, grew up in Milwaukee and graduated from Wauwatosa East High School. She received her Culinary Arts degree with high honors from Moraine Park in December 2006.

 

At first, MacLeod wasn’t sure just what she wanted to do when she enrolled at the College. “I really just wanted to find something that I would enjoy doing and would be happy doing for the rest of my life,” she said. “I thought to myself that I love to cook and bake so I decided to make it my career. I thought I would at least try it out and, if I didn't like it, I knew I could always change my mind again.”

 

Culinary Arts turned out to be the career for her. As graduation loomed, MacLeod again mulled over what she wanted to do.

 

“I really had no plan after graduation,” said MacLeod. “I just went where the winds took me.”

 

MacLeod credits her Moraine Park Culinary Arts instructors — James Simmers, Ron Speich, Tom Endejan and Dave Weber — with helping her get to where she is today. Her yen for travel started when the instructors suggested she join the student exchange program to Germany. “That is when I realized that I can get on a plane and go anywhere,” said MacLeod. “After that I wanted to see the world. I wanted to see how everyone else lives and acts and meet new people from all walks of life. … [My instructors] were there to support and encourage me to go where my heart desired.”

 

The start of new adventures

She attended a job fair for Norwegian Cruise Lines and was hired on the spot. Not expecting things to happen quite that soon, MacLeod had about two months to put her life in storage and leave for Maryland for Coast Guard training. Then she was off to Hawaii, baking aboard a ship for 1,500 to 2,000 vacationers cruising the islands.

 

“What a whirlwind experience, because I rarely ever left town before that,” she recalled. “Now I was just packing up and leaving. That was just the beginning. I thought I would only be gone for about six months, and now it is going on two and a half years.” Between jobs, MacLeod stays with family or friends in Wisconsin.

 

Her newly adventurous life took her from one unique opportunity to another as she met new people who told her about the places they had been, whereupon an intrigued MacLeod would inquire about getting a job in those same places. While on the cruise ship, MacLeod met a girl who had spent time in Antarctica, saying it was one of her favorite seasonal jobs.

 

So MacLeod applied online, went through phone interviews and had major medical and dental exams to be cleared to “come down to the ice.” She got the job and was told she would leave sometime in October 2008. In the meantime, she checked out a seasonal-jobs Web site to find something to fill the downtime between the May 2008 end of her cruise ship job and the October start of her new job, baking for about 1,000 people, four meals a day, at McMurdo Station in Antarctica.

 

MacLeod came across a summer job at Glacier National Park in Montana as a production cook for the Park Café, where she made soups, sauces, homemade vegetable burgers and many other organic dishes. Instead of getting a few weeks between jobs, she received an e-mail that she would be leaving for Antarctica only four days after returning to Wisconsin. So there was very little time between unpacking her summer clothes from Montana and packing her cold-weather gear for Antarctica.

 

The Antarctic “summer”

As one might imagine, Antarctica is cold, like a Wisconsin winter at its most below-zero frigid. When the sun is out 24/7 during the Antarctic summer, which spans August through March, it starts to warm up. In November, MacLeod said, the temperature ranges from -10 to -25 degrees Fahrenheit. “It does get pretty windy at times and it feels like -50 degrees F,” she said, “so you dress warm and it’s not that bad.” In December the daytime temperature can be about 10 degrees F, when it’s possible for Antarctica to be the same as or even warmer than Wisconsin, a fact that MacLeod finds funny.

 

With Antarctica’s perpetual wintry weather and the need to rely on shipped supplies, there isn’t an abundance of fresh food. “We only have salad and fresh fruits and veggies about once every two weeks, sometimes sooner if the greenhouse produces enough,” said MacLeod. “Otherwise, everything is frozen or freeze-dried. Most of the food is anywhere from one to two years old because it is required that we have enough in supply in case we get stuck here.” MacLeod said that while the lack of fresh food doesn’t affect the bakery that much, they do run out of items for the season that aren’t replaced until the following season.

 

Baking for 1,000: Timing is everything

At McMurdo, MacLeod works alongside a kitchen staff of one chef, 12 production cooks, six prep cooks, one lead baker and four production bakers. She bakes about 200 pounds of bread a day, plus pies, bars, cakes, brownies, cinnamon rolls, breakfast danishes and 4,000 cookies every Wednesday. “Trust me, you don’t want to run out of dessert — there would be a riot,” she joked.

 

The skills she learned at Moraine Park have come in handy, particularly a specialty breads course. “Timing out my projects is key because we only have a few ovens, so the timing of the breads from the time of mixing to the time of baking is key,” said MacLeod.

 

“You also have a deadline to have everything ready for mealtimes,” she added. “It is something that I started to learn at Moraine Park. Everything that I was taught really comes in handy every day — everything from timing, to ordering enough food, to producing enough food, to having a quality product. While I was learning these skills, I never thought that I would be able to do them at such a large scale, but I found that it is a lot easier to do when you have a large controlled environment like this one.”

 

While MacLeod loves seeing the world while she works, these jobs can be hard work. “On the ship I worked 10- to 12-hour shifts seven days a week for five to seven months straight,” explained MacLeod. “Here at McMurdo I work 10-hour shifts six days a week so I feel like I am on vacation. The best part of seasonal jobs is the breaks in between. I usually have off anywhere from five weeks to two months straight. So I guess you have to weigh your options.”

 

When it’s time to head back up from the bottom of the world, MacLeod isn’t sure where she will end up next. “I am hoping that I will be in Alaska in May 2009,” she said. “We will see. Maybe something better will come along before that,” continuing her practice of going where the winds take her.

 

One thing that is for sure, MacLeod will continue her education at some point. “I would like to add to the culinary degree and go back for food science. I also love science so hopefully I will be set from there.”

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Moraine Park campuses offer January events

by admin4. January 2009 19:00

Join the students and staff at Moraine Park Technical College’s campuses as they kick off the start of the spring semester the week of Jan. 19 with free lunchtime concerts and comedy, plus a free movie showing in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

 

Beaver Dam campus: Comedian Sheng Wang will perform in the commons on Tuesday, Jan. 20, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. In addition to touring with the Comedians of Comedy and American Eagle’s Campus Comedy Challenge, Wang has appeared on Comedy Central’s Live at Gotham and on the AZN Network. The general public may purchase lunch for $5 per meal. For more information, contact Lisa Manuell, Moraine Park Student Life, at 920-887-4462 or lmanuell@morainepark.edu.

 

Fond du Lac campus: On Monday, Jan. 19, The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till will be shown from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. An African-American teenager, Till was brutally murdered in Mississippi in 1955 for whistling at a white woman. His killers were acquitted by an all-white male jury. This documentary by Keith Beauchamp is being shown as part of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

 

The acoustic guitar duo Ryanhood (Ryan Green and Cameron Hood) will perform on Tuesday, Jan. 20, from 11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. They have toured theaters with Jason Mraz and played at Boston’s Street Performers Festival. Campus Activities Magazine named them “one of the hottest new bands in the college market today.”

 

On Wednesday, Jan. 21, 32 Below takes the Cyber Center stage with their country/rock sound from 11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. One of the house bands for the Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville, Tenn., 32 Below has played clubs, festivals and small arenas around the Midwest and Southeast and has shared the stage with the likes of Sawyer Brown, Trick Pony, Montgomery Gentry, Heart, Craig Morgan and The Spin Doctors.

 

All three events take place in the Cyber Center cafeteria, and the general public may purchase food for $5 per meal. For more information, contact Adam Ninmann, Moraine Park Student Life, at 920-924-3101 or aninmann@morainepark.edu.  

 

West Bend campus: Treat yourself to Ari Herstand’s unique mix of acoustic rock/pop, folk, hip hop and jazz on Tuesday, Jan. 20, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the cafeteria. With his impressive acoustic guitar style and distinct looping technique, Herstand has opened for national artists such as Ben Folds, Cake, Sister Hazel, Soul Asylum, The Bodeans, Joshua Radin and Matt Nathanson. The general public may purchase food at cost. For more information, contact Bradley Mitchell, Moraine Park Student Life, at 262-335-5743 or bmitchell@morainepark.edu.

 

Fresh from his appearance at the Beaver Dam campus, Sheng Wang will perform during Comedy Night on Friday, Jan. 23, at 7 p.m. in the AMTC auditorium. Tickets are $2. Snacks will be sold.

 

To learn more about Moraine Park and its programs, visit www.morainepark.edu.

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New Baking Essentials certificate offered at Moraine Park; still time to register

by admin4. January 2009 19:00

There’s still time to register for a new Baking Essentials certificate program offered by Moraine Park Technical College at the Fond du Lac campus. This new one-semester program is open to those who seek to improve their employment opportunities. Individuals who are interested in improving their English skills or obtaining a General Equivalency Diploma (GED) are also encouraged to apply.

 

Baking Essentials runs Mondays and Fridays through Jan. 16 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from Jan. 19 to May 15, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.       

                                       

The cost of the program is $524.60 plus a $30 application fee for three college courses, books and supplies. A payment plan is available.

 

Enroll now by contacting Julie Schultz at 920-924-6339 or jschultz@morainepark.edu.

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Moraine Park to hold Adult Information Session Jan. 14

by admin1. January 2009 19:00

Learn more about earning a degree or updating your skills during Moraine Park Technical College’s Adult Information Sessions, to be held at all three campuses on Wednesday, Jan. 14.

 

Adults and recent high school graduates can learn more about Moraine Park’s programs and services at the Beaver Dam, Fond du Lac and West Bend campuses between 2:30 and 6 p.m. Assistance will be available to start the admissions or financial aid processes, answer program questions and select courses.

 

Advance registration isn’t required. More information about the Adult Information Session can be found at www.morainepark.edu under MPTC Presents on the home page, or call 1-800-472-4554, ext. 3201, or e-mail ewierenga@morainepark.edu.

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Moraine Park students assist community members in need for holidays

by admin21. December 2008 19:00

Moraine Park Technical College students helped those less fortunate this holiday season, with several clubs and the Student Senates collecting food, clothing, toys and money for families in need.

 

Fond du Lac campus

The Fond du Lac campus Student Senate and Moraine Park teamed up with the Salvation Army for another holiday drive. This year hats, mittens and gloves were collected to help our fellow community members who lack these items to stay warm through the winter.

 

The Moraine Park Accounting Club collected 135 pounds of canned and boxed goods in November and December for the Salvation Army’s food pantry. The club also assisted the Salvation Army by collecting 18 coats for Coats for Kids and participating in Adopt-A-Family. In addition, club members collected and sent more than 90 Christmas cards to American soldiers at Landsthul Hospital in Germany.

 

The Society of Manufacturing Engineers Club and Alcohol and Other Drug Awareness (AODA) Club adopted a family, and the AODA Club also adopted a U.S. soldier.

 

Beaver Dam campus

Moraine Park students and staff stuffed 80 Build-A-Bear and Friends animals, courtesy of the Beaver Dam Student Senate and Activities Committee, for the Beaver Dam Police Department, the Beaver Dam Community Hospital, and PAVE so that children can be comforted in their time of need. For a minimal cost, 73 animals were also stuffed as gifts for relatives or friends, with the proceeds of $800 donated to the Dodge County Food Pantry.

 

As in previous years, Electrical Power Distribution Club members manned bell-ringing stations for the Salvation Army.

 

West Bend campus

For the Salvation Army’s Kids 2 Kids program, Moraine Park students, staff and their children purchased more than 20 new toys for local families who need assistance.

 

Delta Epsilon Chi (DEX), the student marketing club at Moraine Park, is selling paper stars for $1 each through February for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, to help make the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions come true. DEX also adopted a family for Christmas through the Salvation Army, donating gifts and providing Christmas dinner.

 

Members of the Chiropractic Technician Club also adopted a family for the holidays.

 

In addition to the individual campus drives, the tri-campus Student Nurses Association collected food donations to help make the Thanksgiving dinners of some area families more bountiful.

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Moraine Park announces 2007-08 e-Annual Report

by admin21. December 2008 19:00

Moraine Park Technical College’s 2007-08 Annual Report is now available on the College’s Web site at www.morainepark.edu/annualreport08. In 2005 Moraine Park was the first college in the nation to produce its annual report completely online.

 

Visitors to the e-Annual Report will find a message from Moraine Park President Gayle Hytrek; the 2006-07 Graduate Follow-Up Report; 2007-08 student enrollment information; 2007-08 financial data; District Board members; program videos; and other news highlights.

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Moraine Park offers business training in January and February

by admin17. December 2008 19:00

Moraine Park Technical College offers ongoing credit and noncredit training opportunities for business and industry to help improve their competitive edge as well as develop and retain a skilled workforce.

 

Listed here are a few of the courses that are available in January and early February:

 

Leadership Development – Foundational Series: Tuesdays, Jan. 6, Jan. 20, Feb. 3, Feb. 24, March 10 and March 24, 8 a.m.–12 p.m., Room O-104, Fond du Lac campus. Designed for leaders at all levels, this series delivers high-performance strategies for personal leadership that keep your employees moving in the right direction by linking performance to your organization’s strategic goals. Cost is $889 per person, which includes materials and refreshments.

 

Green Belt Certification: Jan. 21-23, Feb. 4-5, March 4-5, April 1-2 and April 29-30, 8 a.m. –5 p.m., location TBD. Includes 88 hours of classroom training and five hours of individualized coaching on your project. This is a prerequisite for the Six Sigma Black Belt completion program. Cost is $3,500 per person, which includes MiniTab software, book, materials, lunch and refreshments.

 

Basic Grammar for Business Writing: Mondays, Feb. 2, 9 and 16, 12–4 p.m., Room O-106.1, Fond du Lac campus. Learn techniques to make your writing easier to understand and more interesting to read by applying proper punctuation, basic grammar rules and guidelines to help standardize your individual style. Additionally, you will learn how to polish letters, memos, proposals and other written documents to make them more powerful and professional. Cost is $315 per person, which includes materials and refreshments. 

 

Creating PDF Files with Adobe Acrobat: Mondays, Feb. 2 and 9, 4–7 p.m., PC Lab 166, Hartford Center. Use Adobe® Acrobat® 8.0 Professional to create, manage and collaborate PDF documents. Learn how to access, create, modify, review and access information in PDF documents; add PDF navigation aids; and work with multiple PDF documents. Cost is $189 per person, which includes materials and refreshments.

 

Registrations should be made at least one week prior to the start of a seminar.

 

For more information about these seminars, to register or to request a current copy of Moraine Park’s Workforce Solutions course catalog, call 920-924-3449 or e-mail training@morainepark.edu. More courses are featured in the catalog and can be found at www.morainepark.edu; click on Business & Industry then Upcoming Events.

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Moraine Park to hold orientation for new program students

by admin15. December 2008 19:00

Starting a program at Moraine Park Technical College this spring? Sign up today for New Student Orientation and get the most out of your college experience.

 

An orientation session for new program students will take place at each of Moraine Park’s campuses in January: Beaver Dam – Tuesday, Jan. 6, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; West Bend – Wednesday, Jan. 7, 12 to 3:30 p.m.; and Fond du Lac – Thursday, Jan. 8, 3:30 to 7 p.m.

 

New Student Orientation is an opportunity for new students to meet each other, connect with Moraine Park staff, get student IDs, purchase books, locate classrooms and visit a “service fair” to learn more about campus services such as financial aid, employment, tutoring and more. Short presentations include being smart about what you share on Facebook and MySpace and how employers may react to postings; getting the most out of your academic advising experience; and learning more about Student Life and campus involvement.

 

Program students who haven’t registered for orientation should immediately go to www.morainepark.edu/nso. Students may also call 1-800-472-4554, ext. 5854. Sign up and find out what you can do to get your education off to a great start.

 

Those who would like accommodations for a disability may call 920-924-3192 at least two weeks prior to the session they will attend.

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Scrapbookers and crafters: Join Crop at the College Jan. 24

by admin9. December 2008 19:00

Scrapbookers and crafters are invited to get together for a day of creativity and camaraderie on Saturday, Jan. 24, when the Moraine Park Foundation hosts its second “Crop at the College” at the Fond du Lac campus. Although the event focuses on scrapbooking, crafters of all types are welcome.

 

Capture your memories while helping Moraine Park Technical College students reach their education goals. All proceeds will fund scholarships for Moraine Park students.

 

This 12-hour scrapbooking crop from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. will feature demonstrations by representatives from Stampin’ Up, Memory Works, Creative Memories, and Close to My Heart, as well as an information station and a swap table.

 

The $30 registration fee includes large work spaces, snacks, music and a chance to win one of several door prizes. Food and beverages will be available for purchase or bring your own. Register today by calling Debbie at 920-924-3263 or e-mail dmartin@morainepark.edu. Bring along your scrapbooking friends – and make new ones.

 

For directions to Moraine Park’s campus at 235 N. National Ave., Fond du Lac, visit www.morainepark.edu and click on About Us then Campus Information.

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The Entrepreneurial Spirit

by admin7. December 2008 19:00

“I always knew that someday I was going to start my own business — it was just a matter of time,” said Moraine Park alumnus Timothy Kent.

 

 Tim Kent in his office.

He is one of many Moraine Park graduates who have used their technical college education as a path to owning a business. A member of the Moraine Park Class of 1990, Kent holds an associate degree from the Civil Engineering Technician – Structural program and has been a Wisconsin Registered Architect since 1997. In 2007, he founded Architects in Common LLC in Glenbeulah by collaborating with other consulting architects. The name arose from having a love of architecture “in common.”

 

 

Through the Civil Engineering Technician – Structural program, Kent learned various aspects of architecture including site design, land surveying, and structural, mechanical, plumbing and electrical design. “This has given me a better understanding of how a building relates to its site, design and efficiency,” he said.

 

 

After graduating from Moraine Park, Kent started working for an architect to gain experience in different building types and refine his design talents, which gave him additional benefits for his future business. “Working for other architects has given me so much experience and knowledge in design,” said Kent. “Plus I have developed a great network of contacts. I’m truly grateful to my years of experience.”

 

 

Architects in Common (AIC) provides design services to commercial and high-end residential clients, including offices, schools, churches, banks/credit unions, restaurants and retail. Kent works with a network of other architects, engineers and MEP consultants who provide mechanical, electrical and plumbing design. To effectively control resources and costs, AIC outsources architectural construction documents to consulting architects, as needed.

 

 

Kent’s business has a new Web site, www.architectsincommon.com.

 

 
Webs by Wagner
 

Another Moraine Park alumnus-turned-entrepreneur also happens to have her own business in Glenbeulah. In December 2002, Laura Wagner completed a technical diploma in Information Technology – Web Developer and an associate degree in Individualized Technical Studies. In addition, she had earned a Microsoft Office Software Suite certificate in 2001.

 

 Laura Wagner in her home office.

In 2002 Wagner started Webs by Wagner LLC, a home-based business that offers affordable Web design and development for small businesses. Her clients include Fay’s Fun 'n Learning in Fond du Lac, Country Crafts Barn and the Sweet Basil restaurant in Plymouth, EcoManity in Elkhart Lake, and Bike n Ski in Sheboygan. Check out Wagner’s own Web site at www.websbywagner.com, whose design features a play on “webs.”

 

 

“My goal was to always have my own business, but I got sidetracked along the way and went back and forth between business and jobs,” said Wagner. “I took a couple classes at Moraine Park in the summer of 2000 because I wanted to make a Web site for a friend for her business. I quickly learned there was much more involved in Web design than I’d get out of a couple classes. Besides that, I was hooked and wanted to learn more and more.”

 

 

Along the way, Wagner learned about the then-newly created Individualized Technical Studies program and decided to create her own curriculum so she could use her Web Developer technical diploma courses toward an associate degree.

 

 

She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Lakeland College in 2005 to complement the Web development skills she learned at Moraine Park.

 

 

Wagner said that beyond the obvious skills she gained from taking Web courses, going to college taught her never to close doors or ignore opportunities. “There were several times I considered going in another direction but for some reason I always came back to Web design,” she said. “It is amazing to me how often one choice can lead to another opportunity. Making it all the way through school and graduating with honors has also increased my self-confidence immensely.”

 

 
Lotus Studio
 

As with Wagner and Kent, it was Moraine Park alumna Lori Carroll’s plan all along to be an entrepreneur. A 2004 graduate of the Barber/Cosmetologist Apprenticeship program, Carroll owns Lotus Studio LLC in downtown West Bend. The salon opened in May 2007 and later moved to a new location that Carroll renovated.

 

 Lori Carroll styles a client's hair in her salon.

In addition to haircuts, color, foiling, upstyles, facials, manicures and other popular services, Lotus Studio offers Japanese thermal straightening as well as Davines, an exclusive line of environmentally aware products from Italy, and the newly arrived glominerals cosmetics and skin care.

 

 

Carroll has two employees and is training a Barber/Cosmetologist apprentice, just as she herself once trained at a salon while attending classes at Moraine Park.

 

 

“My degree from Moraine Park has helped me with my business through the skills I learned at school as well as on the job,” said Carroll. “Starting as an apprentice was great for me. I learned on the job, won competitions and built my clientele, which has gotten me where I am today. I would recommend the apprentice program to anyone.”

 

 
Lifelong learning
 

Learning doesn’t necessarily end once graduates are out of the classroom and in the workforce.

 

 

“In the past year I’ve taken a few classes in Financial Management and Revit Architecture from Moraine Park to help with the new business,” said Kent. “I believe continuing education is the key to our success.”

 

 

Carroll and her employees take classes to hone their skills and keep up with the latest trends, and they travel to trade shows.

 

 

In the Web design field, Wagner also keeps her skills current. “I have had to continue to learn and improve my skills in this field that never slows down,” said Wagner. “I often joke that I’ll never catch up, but I sure do try constantly.”

 

 

In addition to running her business, Wagner has returned to Moraine Park as a call-staff instructor, teaching Microsoft Office courses at the West Bend campus.

 

 
“I thoroughly enjoy working with the students and watching them gain experience and confidence, as I did while in school,” she said. “I often think of my instructors and advisors when talking to students. I try to give them encouragement and tell them to take advantage of their opportunities because they just never know where it might lead.”

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