News Editor- Jana McBride

 
Volume 26, Issue #13
North Iowa Area Community College
March 29, 2000
[ Auto Career Night ]  [ Required Tests to Graduate ]  [ Global Warming ]
[ National Math Competition ]   [ Pathway to Success ]
 
AUTO CAREER NIGHT ...  Article by Charlie Weaver & Chad Dannon
   
       

Over 130 high school students, in-structors and business leaders attended the 8th Annual NIACC Automotive Career Night on February 21 in the  Muse-Norris Conference Center.
Started as a casual event, Automotive Career Night has become a large annual event.
“The first career night was made up of about 30 people,” Greg Arrowood, NIACC Automotive Technologies instructor, said.  “Over the years has grown to over 180 participants at times.”
NIACC’s Automotive Career Night, an event where students, both college level and high school alike can come together to share their knowledge with each other and receive knowledge from experienced veterans in the automotive industry.
Speakers included Mark Poppe, Rob Heimbech and Lon Barkema who started the evening’s events.
Technology and communication skills dominated the speakers’ presentations.
“It’s not so much grease under the fingernails anymore, now a days it’s more lap top computers than grease guns.” Heimbech, first year NIACC Automotive instructor, said.
“You will also need to have a high degree of communication skills, you will need to be computer literate, you will need to know how to communicate verbally, and you will need to be able to listen as well as you can speak,” Barkema, owner of Mason City Tire and member of the NIACC Automotive Advisory Council, said.
Speakers touched on additional opportunities that students could look forward to upon completing the automotive course.
“There is a 100 percent guaranteed hired rate upon graduation,” Arrowood said.
Instructors prefaced their claim to the students informing them about the skills they will need to be successful in an ever-changing automotive world. 
“It is an endless field of training out there,” Heimbech said. “We are only here to teach you the basics, if we tried to teach you everything you need to know you would be at NIACC forever.”
Following the speakers, the group adjourned to the automotive lab to participate in a variety of hands-on demonstrations and other informal opportunities to interact with people in the automotive field.


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REQUIRED TESTS TO GRADUATE... Article by Jennifer Schlorholtz, reporter
    
What is the Academic Profile that NIACC graduates must now take? It is a test of general academic knowledge and skills.
 It includes material usually covered in courses taken during the first two years of college which includes the “core curriculum” or the “general education requirements. 
This test is intended for use by colleges and universities in assessing the outcomes of their general education programs to improve the quality of instruction and learning. 
And all sophomores planning on graduating this May must take this test in order to graduate.
The test is a multiple-choice test, with 36 questions, and only  takes about one hour to complete. 
Students will need to stop in or call Kay Haugen at the ISL to make an appointment for this test on the scheduled test dates. Haugen is the Testing Proctor for this test.
Scores are based on the number of questions answered correctly. There is no penalty for guessing, so students  should try to answer every question.
Test questions from three academic areas include humanities, social sciences and natural sciences.  The test questions measure college- level reading, college-level writing, critical thinking and mathematics.
The questions do not  ask for recall of specific information learned in individual courses.  But the questions do assume  that a student who has taken general education courses in humanities, social sciences and natural sciences will be better able to read the materials in the test and answer the questions than a student who has not taken such courses.
Students should check for available times because a number of sessions have already filled.
Tucki Folkers, director of Developmental Education, said if a student’s schedule does not allow time for the group sessions,  the student should stop in the ISL or call and make arrangements to take it  on a Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. or an evening after 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday, during March, April or May 2000. 
Students can call 422-4266, or 1-888-466-4222, ext. 4266 for an appointment.  Students must take the test to receive a degree.
 
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GLOBAL WARMING ... Article by Carah Barnes, reporter
     
NIACC environmental science teacher Craig Zoellner and Robert Hogg, the Global Warming Project coordinator for the Ecumenical Ministries of Iowa, spoke at the OK House on the NIACC campus to around 25 people at a workshop on the issue of global warming on Saturday, February 5.
Zoellner, who also works with the prairie conservation and environmental affairs council, spoke first, giving the audience a bit of background about global warming.
“Ozone depletion has nothing to do with global warming,” Zoellner said.
Ozone protects the earth from the sun’s ultra violet rays, Zoellner said, attempting to clear up a common misconception.
According to Zoellner, global warming has to do with changes in climate.
Zoellner defined climate as, “the sum of all weather conditions in a certain place over a period of years.”
“All of our energy comes from the sun,” Zoellner said.
 An article titled, Climate Change and Iowa, in a handout from the workshop by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), stated that, “Atmospheric greenhouse gases (water vapor, carbon dioxide and other gases) trap some energy from the sun, creating a natural ‘greenhouse effect’.”
“Without this effect, temperatures would be much lower than they are now, and life as known today would not be possible,” the EPA source said in the article.
According to the EPA, humans have been adding to the natural greenhouse gases through the burning of fossil fuels, like coal and oil, which release large amounts of carbon dioxide and other gases into the atmosphere. This addition of greenhouse gases means more heat from the sun is trapped on earth.
The second speaker, Robert Hogg, spoke about some of the consequences of global warming.
“A warmer climate means that more water evaporates from the oceans and rivers, and it means the air will hold more water,” Hogg said.
This extra water, according to Hogg, could lead to the creation of weather systems more powerful than we have yet seen.
“We’re plowing down the road at 70 mph and our car is burning up,” Hogg said.
“If we want to stop this build-up overnight, it would require a reduction of 60-80 percent  in our fossil fuel consumption,” Hogg said.
According to Hogg, the United States depends too much on fossil fuel energy to stop using it overnight.
“All we can do is a bunch of things to reduce global warming, and try to keep Iowa, Iowa,” Hogg said.
Hogg also addressed the religious aspect of the issue.
“The earth is the Lord’s and as God’s stewards we are responsible for it’s well being,” Hogg said.
Both speakers talked about how to help limit energy consumption and help try to reduce global warming.
“We need to become more energy efficient,” Zoellner said.  “Conserving energy doesn’t mean freezing in the dark.”
Hogg offered suggestions geared toward environmentally sound purchasing. 
“We can make a difference by buying high-efficiency products like the Maytag Neptune washer,” Hogg said.
According to Hogg, individuals can also reduce pollution by buying automobiles that get at least 30 miles to the gallon.
And both speakers agree that people should contact their government representatives to let them know they  support legislation that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“I think this is a concern that should take precedence,” Linda Hansmeier said.
Hansmeier, a NIACC student who attended the workshop, felt that the workshop was very informative.
“It’s something I have always wanted to get more involved in,” Hansmeier said.
For more information about global warming and what you can do to help, check out the United Nations Environment Program web site at: http://www.unep.ch/iuc/submenu/infokit/factcont.htm.
 
 
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NATIONAL MATH COMPETITION ...  Article by Jewona Dyson, reporter
     
Some NIACC students with an appreciation for angles, subsets and the many forms of mathematics and who understand the formulas of pre-calculus and calculus are currently  competing  in Math League competition.
 The NIACC Math Club sponsors NIACC entrants into the Math League competition and picks up the entry fee for all club members. 
Contestants compete with members who come from  over 120 Community Colleges in 20 states.
 All participants in the competition receive a certificate, with the grand prize winner receiving a $3,000-dollar scholarship towards  his or her education at a university of choice.
The competition includes three rounds and students must take a 20 question multiple-choice test aimed at calculus and pre-calculus.
 The tests are given throughout the year, with the first round taking place in the fall and the final two rounds taking place in spring.
 Two points are awarded for every correct answer in the competition, while a half point is deducted for every incorrect answer and no points are awarded for questions not answered. 
A composite score is then calculated and the over 3,000 participants are placed according to their scores.
“The questions are difficult, but we have routinely placed in the upper half of the central region,” Kathy Rogotzke, head of the Math League and Club, said.
The Math Club also sponsors Math Awareness Week in late April where students can participate in a variety of activities. 
The activities include a scavenger hunt on the Internet where students search for math-related sites and questions and presentations by various people who use math in their careers.
“We feel the Math League and Club are good opportunities for all students who have an interest in math. Right now we have between 35-40 students who participate in the Math Club,” Rogotzke said.
While the questions on the test for the Math League aren’t easy, students see the League as an opportunity to enhance their math skills.
“The Math League is a good-way for me to broaden my math skills, I’m also an Engineering major, so any form of math is beneficial toward my degree,” Mike Groen, NIACC math student and club member, said.
According to Rogotzke, Groen earned one of the highest composite scores for the first round by NIACC students.
 
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PATHWAYS PROGRAM TO RECOGNIZE...  Article by Jennifer Litterer, ast. ed.
     
Bill Swift, controller and vice president of Ford Automotive, will receive the Outstanding Alumni Award and give the keynote speech for the 10th annual Pathway to Success on Tuesday, April 18.
According to Shawn Faust, Resource Development coordinator for NIACC, Shift was originally from Mason City, and graduated from NIACC in 1963.  According to Intouch, NIACC friends and alumni news magazine, Swift joined Ford in 1965 in the staff accounting department and over time earned an MBA from Stanford University.
“We really honor three alumni from Pathways and 30 students that fit the criteria,” Faust said.
According to Faust, the criteria for a student is to have at least 3.0 GPA, strong character, positive attitude, inspiration to others, teamwork and be nominated by at least two faculty members. 
Last year, Faust said a record number of 34 students were honored.
The other two honored alumni receive the Distinguished Alumni Awards for outstanding services to the community and NIACC.
According to Faust, the first Distinguished Alumni Award goes to Dick Carter.  For 49 years Carter ran the clock for NIACC’s home football games and for 48 years he ran the clock for home basketball games.
Faust said the second alumni honored will be John Hitzhusen, who graduated from Mason City junior college in 1934.  For 23 years he served on the board of directors, and along with his wife established endowed scholarship fund.
Tickets are available from the business office and cost $5.00 per person.  Seating in the Muse-Norris Conference Center starts at 11:30 am and the program with luncheon at noon. 
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