June 25, 2007

COMMENTARY: What's in a Name?

College names office after software company in exchange for free upgrade

Walking on the Ledge:
$50,000 can buy a really nice car,
a really bad house,
or it can buy immortality

by Miguel M. Morales

Trustees at Johnson County Community College in Overland P
ark, Kan. voted to adopt two new names for rooms on campus June 21.

Trustees named one of those rooms, a new campus scheduling offices in the new Regnier Center for Technology and Business, the Ad Astra Scheduling Suite.

The college currently uses Ad Astra’s software to schedule classrooms, meeting rooms and public spaces. In exchange for the naming of the office, the company agreed to “gift” an upgrade to its system, Platinum Analytics, a $50,000 value.

“The Ad Astra Scheduling Suite is a wonderful addition to our new, high-technology Regnier Center,” said Lin Knudson, dean, Continuing Education and Community Services. “We appreciate the long-standing relationship we have with Ad Astra and are looking forward to showcasing Astra Schedule in our new buildings.”

In the past, trustees named buildings after noted citizens like the Wilbur T. Billington, the college’s first Board of Trustees chair who’s name adorns the library.

Then they began naming buildings and rooms after donors. Yardley Hall, the college’s largest auditorium was named for Arthur and Alma Yardley, who gave a $1 million to the college.

Now they have taken the first steps on the slippery slope trading our college’s name and integrity for services they’d rather not purchase.

Instead of fighting it, perhaps I should advise trustee to become more focused in how they sell off our college.

Our new student health center could carry the moniker, the Tampax Tampon Student Health Center.

I envisioning our new 21st century library complete with a Red Bull Foyer named in exchange for product for those marathon study sessions.

A refurbished greenhouse could be called, The Funyuns® Onion and Wasabi Onion-Flavored Rings Greenhouse sponsored by Frito Lay, a division of PepsiCo.

According to the college, Ad Astra’s suite will house the campus scheduling office and the new director of conference services.

The suite is near the new, and as of yet unnamed, 5,000-square-foot conference space in the Regnier Center and the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art.

I’m thinking that I need to leave my mark on campus as well.

Is there an individual or company who’d like to sponsor the Miguel M. Morales urinal?

It would definitely be the most popular one on campus. Just think of all the administrators, former college presidents, donors, and trustees who would line up to use it -- even the women.

Here's the list of other named facilities at JCCC:
  1. Billington Library - In January 2001, trustees renamed the Educational Media Center the Billington Library to recognize one of the college’s founders, Wilbur Billington, chair of the college’s first board of trustees.
  2. Harvey S. and Beverly R. Bodker Executive Classroom – The Harvey S. and Beverly R. Bodker Executive Classroom in the Regnier Center (currently under construction) is for exclusive use by The Center for Business and Technology. The Bodkers served on the college’s Foundation board and fund the Beverly R. and Harvey S. Bodker Scholarship for Students of the Performing Arts at JCCC.
  3. Carlsen Center – In December 1998, trustees renamed the Cultural Education Center the Carlsen Center to honor of President Charles Carlsen. Carlsen was instrumental in the creation of the center. Carlsen resigned in 2006 after being accused of sexually harassing several female employees. The building currently still bears his name.
  4. Barton P. Cohen and Mary D. Cohen Gallery - The Barton P. Cohen and Mary D. Cohen Gallery in the Nerman Museum (currently under construction) was a gift from the Cohens.
  5. Craig Community Auditorium - In May 2004, trustees renamed the 240-seat auditorium in the General Education Building the Craig Community Auditorium in honor of Ben and Evadean Craig. Ben Craig was one of the college’s founders.
  6. Barbara Gill Lifetime Fitness Center - Trustees named the Lifetime Fitness Center in the Gymnasium after Barbara Gill, an instructor, coach and fitness advocate at JCCC, who was instrumental in the creation of the center.
  7. Hiersteiner Child Development Center - In December 2003, trustees renamed the Children’s Center the Hiersteiner Child Development Center in honor of benefactors Walter and Jean Hiersteiner.
  8. M.R. and Evelyn Hudson Auditorium - In March 2004, trustees named the auditorium in the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art (currently under construction) after M.R. and Evelyn Hudson, in recognition of a gift from the M.R. and Evelyn Hudson Foundation.
  9. Virginia Krebs Community Room - In 2002, trustees renamed the Visitors Center the Virginia Krebs Community Room in honor of Virginia Krebs, the college’s first employee, a past director of Community Services and a current trustee.
  10. Lichtor Conference Room - In December 2004, trustees named the conference room in the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art (currently under construction) after Margery Lichtor, a long-time supporter of the college, the JCCC Foundation and the college’s Gallery of Art.
  11. Robert F. Lydel Conference Room - In June 2007, trustees renamed the Kansas Room after Lytle who was instrumental in establishing the college in 1967-69 and served as the college’s legal counsel for almost 40 years. He was also a member of the JCCC Foundation board of directors. Lytle died in spring 2007.
  12. McCaffree Gallery - In December 2004, trustees named the focus gallery in the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art (currently under construction) after the McCaffree family. They support a scholarship program.
  13. Jerome and Margaret Nerman Sculpture Garden - In January 2006, Lewis Nerman asked trustees to name the lawn in front of the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art (currently under construction) the Jerome and Margaret Nerman Sculpture Garden after his parents.
  14. Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art - In August 2003, the college received a gift from the Nerman family to support the construction of a museum of contemporary art.
  15. Oppenheimer New Media Gallery - In 2004, trustees named the new media gallery in the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art (currently under construction) after Tony and Marti Oppenheimer. The Oppenheimer Collection, composed of works by nationally and internationally recognized contemporary artists, will be part of the new museum.
  16. Polsky Theatre - In October 2004, trustees renamed 400-seat theatre in the Carlsen Center was named Polsky Theatre because of the Polsky's contribution to the college’s capital campaign and their funding of the Polsky Practical Personal Enrichment Series.
  17. Regnier Center - In June 2003, the college received a $5 million challenge gift from the Victor and Helen Regnier Charitable Foundation to support construction of a new technology complex on campus, to be known as the Regnier Center.
  18. Shull Foyer - In December 2004, trustees named the foyer of the Regnier Center (currently under construction) after Dick and Barbara Shull, long-time supporters of the college and the JCCC Foundation.
  19. Hugh W. Speer Board Room - The room used for board of trustees meetings, GEB 137, was named after Hugh W. Speer, who served on the board of trustees from its inception in 1969 to his death in 1996.
  20. Tearney Art Education Center - In August 2005, trustees named the Tearney Art Education Center in the Nerman Museum (currently under construction) after Jim and Mary Tearney.
  21. Jerry Vincent Hospitality Suite - In 2002, trustees named the kitchens used by the chef apprentice program in the Office and Classroom Building after Jerry Vincent to recognize his development of the chef apprentice and hospitality management programs.
  22. Yardley Hall - In 1991, trustees named the 1,250-seat auditorium in the Carlsen Center after Arthur and Alma Yardley, who gave a $1 million gift to JCCC to support the performing arts.

June 21, 2007

NEWS: Perilla Shuns Trustees

Perilla passes on final meeting
Remaining trustees meet, welcome new president

Ending the financial year, Johnson County Community College trustees welcomed new president, Terry Calaway, at their monthly meeting, June 21.

Calaway took the helm June 18 when Larry Tyree departed June 15 after serving 11 months as interim president.

The meeting was also the last official meeting for trustee and former board chair, Elaine Perilla.

"The trustees also recognized Elaine Perilla, who is leaving the board, for her 12 years of service. Mrs. Perilla, who was absent from the meeting, will receive a plaque and a vase," read a posting on the college's e-mail list server that recapped the meeting.

Perilla's pained past
Perilla's no-show ended her term under a campus-wide No Confidence vote that stemmed from allegations that she new of and dismissed allegations of harassment against former President Charles Carlsen.

Carlsen resigned April 20, 2006 a week after The Campus Ledger, JCCC's student newspaper, published its 13-month investigation into the charges.

Trustees acknowledged and validated the claims of harassment against Carlsen in a press statement Oct.19, 2006. Perilla's sole vote against faile to prevent the board from realeasing it.

"Concerning [the victim's] public allegation that she gave her written narrative in 2004 to Elaine Perilla and told Ms. Perilla then about her allegations against Dr. Carlsen, [the victim] and Ms. Perilla disagree about whether these events occurred," the statement reads.

Perilla's history with the college began in 1985 as a biology and anatomy instructor.

After leaving her position, Perilla leveled charges of sexual harassment against the Carlsen Administration. She brought a cartoon that was circulating around campus as evidence.

“I have experienced firsthand the verbal harassment and sexual discrimination of our very elaborate ‘good old boy’ system at the college,” Perilla said during a board meeting June 22, 1992.

After the meeting, Perilla said she would focus on addressing issues of sexual harassment, financial waste and mismanagement in her campaign for a seat on the board. Perilla failed to garner enough votes.

In 1995, Perilla succeeded in securing her seat with the endorsement of the college's Faculty Association.

Twelve years later, the same Faculty Association spearheaded the call for a the vote of No Confidence in Perilla.

"I've done 12 years, and it's time for someone else," she told The Kansas Star.

Current trustees, Lynn Mitchelson and Jon Stewart secured seats on the board in the last general election as did newcomer, Don Weiss, dean of evening, weekend and graduate studies at DeVry University in Kansas City.

Weiss will take Perilla's seat on the board at the next trustee meeting, 5 p.m. July 12 in the Hugh Speer board room, 137 GEB.

Board of trustee meetings are open to the public.

June 19, 2007

¡Sí, Se Puede!

En el Campo
(In the fields)

I just heard that the pitch I sent to the National Association of Hispanic Journalists' GLBT Caucus was accepted by the CBS rep for production on the LOGO network. It will be part of a half-hour special focusing on immigration issues.

My pitch focuses on gay migrant farm workers. Although I may not have anything to do with the production, I'll trying to line up some sources so that it doesn't get cut from package.

I guess if they get really desperate, I could step in. I submitted the pitch because I used to be a migrant farm worker.

June 18, 2007

Breaking News: Hail to the Chief

From the Johnson County Community College e-mail list server, InfoList:

From: InfoList [mailto:infolist@list.jccc.net]
Sent: Mon 06/18/07 7:58 AM
To: InfoList
Subject: A message from Dr. Calaway

Although I’ve attended many college activities the last few months, today is my first official day as president of Johnson County Community College. And the first thing I wanted to do is tell you all how happy I am to be here. This is a great college. But we all know a college isn’t great because of the president – it’s great because of all the people here. Please know my door is open, my phone is connected and my e-mail is working. Communication with students, faculty and staff is important to me, and I’m looking forward to meeting and talking with all of you this summer.

Terry Calaway

June 12, 2007

NEWS: FDA lab set to close

Future of FDA’s Lenexa lab uncertain
Legislators work to prevent lab from closing

By Miguel M. Morales

Legislators want the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to save its lab in Lenexa, Kan. from closing.

The National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) says that more than 50 highly trained scientists and researchers would lose their jobs when the Lenexa facility shuts its doors.

“That is hundreds of years of professional scientific expertise effectively flushed down the drain,” said Colleen Kelley, NTEU president.

Kelley also said those experts would most likely find jobs in the private sector rather than transfer to another FDA lab in another state. Such a lost could affect national security.

“The Lenexa lab primarily serves the populations of Kansas, Iowa, Missouri and Nebraska, and is within a day’s drive of four more states,” Kelley explained. “Millions of people could see their health jeopardized if the FDA implements this shortsighted plan.”

Kelley led Rep. Dennis Moore (D-Kan.), Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), Rep. Nancy Boyda (D-Kan.), Lenexa Mayor Mike Boehm, and local FDA employees in a tour of the facility located near 79th and Quivira, March 30.

“With the serious food-related illness issues that have arisen in the past – pet food, peanut butter, spinach, to name a few – the FDA needs to bolster its resources, not deplete them,” Kelley said. “The FDA has never made the case that closing any of its labs will better protect the public’s health. In fact, closing labs like Lenexa will only weaken the agency’s ability to respond to future food-borne emergencies.”

According to the FDA, the Lenexa lab houses the FDA’s Total Diet and Pesticide Research Center. The center conducts research and product analysis on “a wide variety of food and chemicals, including pharmaceutical products, pet food and more than 300 pesticide residues.”

The World Health Organization recognized the lab’s Total Diet Program and in 2002, the FDA outfitted the lab with $5 million in new counter-terrorism equipment.

FDA announced plans to reorganize its Office of Regulatory Affairs, Feb 27. As a result, seven of its 13 labs will close by 2009.

In addition to the lab in Lenexa others labs on the list include Denver, Colo.; Detroit, Mich.; Philadelphia, Pa.; San Francisco, Calif.; San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Winchester, Mass.

NEWS: Contoversy surrounds USAID position

Bush nominee says Hispanics are ‘lazy’

A 1987 speech comes back to haunt Bush official -- again

By Miguel M. Morales

President Bush’s nominee for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) once said Hispanics are ‘lazy’ and that Blacks aren’t interested in factory jobs because they’d rather sell drugs.

The Capital Standard, a weekly electronic newsletter focusing on Hispanic issues on Capital Hill, reports that Henrietta Fore, acting USAID administrator, made the comments in a 1987 speech at her alma mater, Wellsley College. After controversy arose from her remarks, Fore resigned her seat as trustee of the college.

Fore would replace Randall Tobias, who resigned April 27 after his named surfaced on an escort service’s list of clients. The position ranks the equivalent to the deputy secretary of state.

In the speech, Fore also said her experience as a businessperson in the manufacturing industry demonstrated the difficulty in finding good personnel of color.

Fore said Asians are “good workers” but employers could not count on them to stay on a line job because they desired to move into management. She also said whites were “resentful” of having to work with new technology.

In June 2005, during Fore’s confirmation hearings for the State Department undersecretary for management, Senator Barak Obama questioned Fore, then director at the U.S. Mint, about these statements. Obama went as far as to request Fore’s FBI file.

During the hearings, Fore apologized and vowed to work with congressional minority caucuses. The Congressional Black Caucus issued a statement saying Fore had not met with members in the past two years. The Hispanic Caucus confirmed a meeting with Fore but would not disclose the contents of the discussion.

The senate confirmed Fore as State Department undersecretary for management in August 2005. Condoleezza Rice, secretary of state, appointed Fore as acting director of Foreign Assistance, May 7. If confirmed by the senate as USAID Administrator, Fore will concurrently hold both positions.

June 10, 2007

NEWS: Giving 'Queerbomb' a whole new meaning

Watchdog group discovers DOD plans for 'Gay Bomb'
Using Freedom of Information Act requests, Berkley's Sunshine Project drops bomb of its own.

KPIX Eyewitness News

June 8, 2007


From community college to the major leagues

Justin Miller's favorite team used to be the Boston Red Sox but after today its probably the Los Angeles Dodgers.

By Miguel M. Morales

Today the Los Angeles Dodgers drafted Justin Miller, a freshman pitcher/outfielder from Johnson County Community College (JCCC) in Overland Park, Kan.

Miller became the Dodger's first selection on the second day of the MLB Draft. The Dodgers selected Miller in the sixth round. Miller was the 206th overall selection.

According to JCCC, Miller is the 38th Cavalier to sign as a free agent or be drafted into the MLB. Before Miller, the last was Cordell William who signed onto the Cincinnati Reds in 1983.

A press release from the college says Miller "excelled on the mound as a closer, and at the plate."

Miller was an all-conference selection, making 15 appearances on the hill, working 20 innings. He allowed 10 hits and one earned run, struck out 19 and set a school record with an earned run average of 0.35. Miller recorded six saves, ranking second on JCCC’s season chart, and third for a career.

The release continues, "At the plate, Miller batted a team best.367 (65-for-177) with six doubles, three triples, five home runs and 42 RBI. His 42 RBI led the Cavaliers, and his five homers were third. In the field, Miller committed just one error in 84 chances, good for a fielding percentage of .988."

Miller's major at the college was undecided. He's originally from Scott City, Kan.

June 7, 2007

TIME OUT: Pimp'd

Don't expect Roy Peter Clark, vice president and senior scholar of Poynter Institute, to bust in your dorm room looking like Flava Flav.

But his latest entry in his Writing Tools, column makes me wish he would.

Clark begins by examining archetypes using reality TV. He examines "American Idol"and "Extreme Makeover." Clark also mentions "The Antiques Road Show," which isn't very pimpy of him but I guess that's his demographic.

Most writing coaches name their bag of tricks "toolbox," "notebook," or something fitting but not terribly clever.

Full disclosure: I call mine "Time Out," to play off the concept of being a coach. Yeah, I know -- lame.

I like the title "Pimp my Writing" because it speaks to an entirely new generation of journalists.

Illustration: Jeremy Gilbert/The Poynter Institute

June 5, 2007

TIME OUT: So You Want To Be A Journalist!

I came across these gems while rooting through YouTube for clips featured in my last post. Enjoy!

"Your Life Work Series: Journalism"

"Your Life Work Series: Radio and Television"

"Spot News!"

"Tommorow: Television"

June 1, 2007

TIME OUT: 50 Reasons to Love Journalism

Want to build your journalism video library?

Newroom trainers from Poynter's NEWSCOACH Listerv came up with their 50 favorite journalism films (* are my suggestions).

1. "-30-" aka "Deadline Midnight"
2. "Absence of Malice"
3. "Ace in the Hole"

"Ace in the Hole"
4. "All the President's Men"
5. *"Almost Famous"
6. *"Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy"
7. "Blessed Event"
8. "Blood Diamond"
9. "Broadcast News"

"Broadcast News"
10. "Capote"
11. "Capturing the Friedmans"
12. "The China Syndrome"
13. "Citizen Kane"
14. "Continental Divide"
15. "Deadline USA"
16. *"The Devil Wears Prada"
17 *"Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas"
18. "Fletch"

19. "Fletch Lives"
20. "Foreign Correspondent"
21. "The Front Page"
22. "Good Night and Good Luck"
23. "His Girl Friday"
24. *"The Hudsucker Proxy"
25. "I Love Trouble"
26. "The Insider"
27. "The Killing Fields"

"The Killing Fields"
28. "Live from Baghdad"
29. "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance"
30. *"Missing"
31. *"Never Been Kissed"
32. "Network"

33. "Northside 777"
34. Nothing Sacred
35. "The Paper"
36. "The Pelican Brief"
37. "The Quiet American"
38. *"Salvador"
39. "Shattered Glass"

"Shattered Glass"
40. *"Street Smart"
41. "The Shipping News"
42. "Teacher's Pet"
43. "True Crime"
44. "Under Fire"
45. *"Velvet Goldmine"

"Velvet Goldmine"
46. *"Veronica Guerin"
47. *"When the Sky Falls"
48. "Woman of the Year"
49. "The Year of Living Dangerously"
50. *"Zodiac"