April 30, 2008

NEWS: Graffiti Threats

Posted on the college's electronic mail server, Infolist:
From: InfoList
Sent: Wed 04/30/08 1:58 PM
To: InfoList
Subject: Message from Dr. Calaway on public safety

Two instances of graffiti threatening violence have been found recently written on restroom walls on campus. The Overland Park Police Department has investigated, and Public Safety and Campus Services are alert and vigilant. Public Safety currently is reviewing videotapes from cameras.

The most likely motivation for these actions is to cause turmoil rather than to perpetrate an actual act of violence. However, a positive effect of such a situation is that it raises awareness. This is a stressful time of year for all of us. While there’s no cause for alarm or even worry, it would serve the college well if we stay alert to our surroundings, serving as extra eyes and ears for our Public Safety officers. If you see situations, such as lights out in the parking garages, or something else out of the ordinary, please call Public Safety at ext. 4111. You can also use the phones in the hallways or one of the blue emergency phones in the parking lots.

There is no reason for alarm, but there is also no reason to be oblivious to what’s around us. Together, we’ll keep each other safe.

Terry Calaway

Last month a graffiti threat caused commotion in the Billington Library. Less than two weeks ago at the April 17 Board of Trustees meeting, trustees voted to create a campus police force.

April 29, 2008

INFOLIST: Who You Gonna Call?

From the college's electronic mail server, Infolist:

Beginning May 15, the college switchboard will be closed from midnight to 6 a.m. seven days a week. The voice recording will advise people of these hours. If there is an emergency between midnight and 6 a.m., people should dial extension 4111 or use one of the code blue phones on campus to contact the dispatcher. With questions please call Margaret Baskett at ext. 4112.

CALENDAR: Town hall

From the college's electronic mail server, Infolist:

Dr. Calaway's next Town Hall meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, May. 7, 9-10:30 a.m. in the Capitol Federal Conference Room, 101 RC. Subjects to be discussed include reorganization and public safety.

Terry Calaway, JCCC president, regularly conveigns town hall meetings to address issues of concern to the campus community. Meetings are open to the public. This meeting will take place in the Regnier Center on the JCCC campus.

April 28, 2008

NEWS: Library Woes

Billington Burdens
For students and employees in the Billington Library a new building won't come soon enough

A student exits the library via a flooded hallway, April 2

This weekend students and staff learned that water damage along the south side of the building has given way to a termite infestation (see image below, right). An unfortunate student made the discovery as she watched a video. The the pesky pests went from crawling on the walls to crawling on her. This is not the first time termites have turned up in the library.

Enthusiastic voters also scrawled Obama graffiti in the first floor men's restroom inside the library. Pieces of recently purchased furniture sit broken next to the library's suggestion box. And earlier this month, a women's restroom outside the library flooded the the first floor hallway.

In February, Clark Enerson consultants made a presentation to the Board of Trustees on a 21st century library. Options include renovating the current structure, building a new library and renovating the current structure for class and offices or renovating the current structure and expanding it by building an addition. The 21st century library with a proposed $35 million budget could take 1 - 3 years depending on the options trustees select.

Watch the video presentation here.


Full Disclosure: Miguel Morales works in the Billington Library but did not serve as the sole source for this report

April 26, 2008

TIME OUT: Dinosaurs vs. Divas

Blogger  Xavier Onasis at the Kansas City  Press Club event 'Ethics of Blogging'
Kansas City Journalists, Bloggers Meet IRL

As part of the Society of Professional Journalists' Ethics Week, the Kansas City Press Club invited me to sit on a panel about the ethics of blogging.

I walked in late to the KSHB building with Tony from Tony's Kansas City. He didn't seem like the baby-eating, garbage producing media whore I've been told he is. Although we really didn't talk because Hispanics have this thing that we either bond instantly or give each other the stink eye. I'm not quite sure which happened ... a stinky bond perhaps?

This sounds weird but I never really considered myself a blogger. I consider myself a print journalist who happens to publish on a blog.

In the traditional media, we’re taught to fear the blogger because they cheapen our profession. Bloggers ride our journalistic coattails. Bloggers are untrained, unskilled, unethical monkeys who throw poo and make life difficult for “real” journalists. That vibe was present at the KC Press Club event. Yet, few of the bloggers present considered themselves journalists even though some have journalism training and/or do investigative reporting.

A bald white guy, who I later learned was Xavier Onasis from Hip Suburban White Guy, got into a bit of a tussle with Bill Grady from KMBZ-AM. An upset Grady said he’s only seen two bloggers at news events but that somehow bloggers post what reads like first-hand coverage of the events. XO asked Grady how he knew there were only two bloggers. Grady replied that they wear press passes identifying them as such or ask questions that identify their blog affiliation. XO said that wasn’t an accurate indicator of blogger presence.

Also in attendance were Mark Forsythe (who is totally adorable) from The Kansas City Post and John Lansberg of Bottom Line Communications. Forsythe, who doesn’t consider himself a blogger but an op/ed columnist, discussed the practice of media swagger jacking (stealing story angles and/or sources). Lansberg discussed how a story breaks online and days later it finds its way into the mainstream media. I added that bloggers usually don’t have the verisimilitude and immediate access a media corporation provides so when our stories get jacked, we'd appreciate some ink. Forsythe said he'd settle for an e-mail from the reporter saying, "Great post, I'm gonna take your idea and run with it."

Here are a few of the other items we discussed:

  • Anonymity and pseudonymity
  • Code of ethics
  • Hyperlocal coverage
  • Real-time blogging
  • Breaking news
  • Accuracy and vetting
I know other KC premium bloggers attended -- I just didn't know any of them nor they me. It turned out to be a lively discussion. I hope more bloggers become part of the KC Press Club or join professional journalism organizations.

I’m not sure after today’s event I consider myself a blogger but I’m warming up to the idea.

April 22, 2008

NEWS: Hodge Theory

Trustee objects to cultural exchange
Benjamin Hodge sees no 'overall gain' in understanding Islam

Eyes are once again on the Johnson County Community College Board of Trustees.

Approximately an hour and a half into the board’s April 17 meeting, Benjamin Hodge, trustee, pulled an item out of the consent agenda.

The item, a Fulbright Hayes grant awarded to the college, supports a study trip to Morocco to examine Islam and Islamic culture (page 59 of the board packet).

Hodge said he had several concerns about the grant and it’s administrator, Bob Perry, professor of Sociology.
“I have a concern that the grant administrator is not -- I’ve not made up my mind -- but I have concerns that he is not fully committed to what I would consider to be true academic freedom,” Hodge said.

Hodge then voiced another concern.
“I just want to point out what everybody knows but no one likes to say -- and a few people like to pretend you can’t say -- and that is the number one threat to western freedom is militant Islam,” he said.

Hodge went on to say the African seminar was an act of political correctness and served no purpose.
"I don’t see an overall net gain out of doing this,” he said.

Terry Calaway, JCCC president, explained the nature of Fulbright Hayes grants to Hodge and addressed what he saw as the role of the trip.

“The nature of this study trip is because of the nature of the professor’s -- the faculty member’s -- discipline area,” Calaway said. “And in fact, this study tour is one that will allow him to bring back information related to the country of Morocco but also all the various cultural aspects of what that’s about.”

After more than once voicing his disagreement with Hodge, Calaway “strongly urged” trustees to approve the grant, which they did 5-0 with Hodge abstaining.

Watch the April board meeting video here.
Watch Bob Perry address Islam in JCCC's video series "Innovations in Teaching and Learning" here.

April 10, 2008

NEWS: Hodge Resigns

Benjamin Hodge resigns his position as Kansas' 49th District Rep.

During the Sept. 21, 2006 Board of Trustee meeting, Benjamin Hodge, trustee, questions a representative of the Faculty Association. The FA contended that presidential search committee, which Hodge co-chaired, violated Kansas law.
The Kansas City Star's Prime Buzz reports that Johnson County Trustee, Ben Hodge will resign his seat as representative of Kansas' 49th District.

According to The Star, Hodge will resign at the end of the month when he moves out of the district. The Star speculates Hodge may seek a seat in the more powerful Kansas state senate.

Hodge started serving the college in 2005. His term ends in 2009. There is no word if he plans to resign this position as well.

April 9, 2008

NEWS: Restored Award

Home, Sweet Home

The wandering award given to the Reading Department returned to the Academic Achievement Center today.

Twelve years ago, the Student Senate gave the award to the department for it's free book exchange program that allowed students to take a book and leave a book (read about it here).

The award could resurrect the book exchange program and include used textbooks.

Roz Bethke, professor of reading for the Academic Achievement Center, offered a cash reward for the award which will be donated to Project Finish, the college's ABE/GED/ESL program.

AWARDS: All-State, Again

From the college's electronic mail server, Infolist:

The Campus Ledger was named the best student newspaper in its division at a state journalism conference April 6-7 in Wichita. The student newspaper of Johnson County Community College was given the All-Kansas award by the Kansas Associated Collegiate Press for the second year in a row. To receive the award, the paper must score outstanding marks in all categories judged, including writing, visuals and design, based on three issues from the 2007-08 academic year. The editor of The Campus Ledger, Alexia Stout-Lang, was named first runner-up in the Journalist of the Year contest and received $100 from the Kansas Press Association.

Members of The Campus Ledger also received 24 individual awards, including six first-place certificates. Nathan Lang, former online editor, won first place in headline writing and news photography, and sports editor Stephen Montemayor won first place in sports-column writing and second place in sports features. Artist Juniper Tanpuz took first in illustration and both second and honorable mention in cartoons. The adviser is Anne Christiansen-Bullers. Individual awards included:

First place – Nathan Lang, headline writing and news photography; Justin Millard, sports feature; Stephen Montemayor, sports-column writing; Miguel Morales [emphasis added], column writing; Juniper Tangpuz, illustration.

Second Place – Katherine Kramer, interior-page design; Stephen Montemayor, sports feature; Miguel Morales, column writing and news writing; Juniper Tanpuz, cartoons.

Third Place – Matt Galloway, feature writing.

Honorable Mention – Campus Ledger Staff, news writing; the team of Jennifer Hallock, Alexia Stout-Lang, Linda Friedel, Miguel Morales and Stephen Montemayor, special section; Matt Galloway, sports feature and news writing; Katherine Kramer, interior-page design; Justin Millard, sports news; Stephen Montemayor, sports feature; the team of Miguel Morales and Kevin Mimms, news writing; Miguel Morales, headline writing; Alexia Stout-Lang, column writing and review writing; Juniper Tangpuz, cartoons.

April 7, 2008

CALENDAR: Initiatives

From the JCCC electronic mail server, Infolist:


The JCCC Strategic Planning Council will host an open forum soliciting ideas for new strategic initiatives, and all employees and students are invited. On Friday, April 11, from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., in COM 319, the Council will review progress made on the six current strategic initiatives and then will engage in a discussion with attendees addressing potential future college goals that may be added to the institutional strategic plan. A lively conversation is anticipated, but participants can come and go as schedules permit. If you have questions or comments, please contact Dana Grove at dgrove@jccc.edu or at ext. 3196.

April 3, 2008


My contacts at NAHJ have passed along an e-mail from Edgar Ochoa, original programming director for America Online:

Here is the link to the program that will be needing a host beginning in May http://music.aol.com/top11.

Although this link is in English, I am primarily looking for someone to take over as the Spanish host. The girl in the currently link does it in Spanish also. If the person is perfectly bilingual that would be great and perhaps they can do the AOL and the AOL Latino version. But Spanish is the priority.

This is a great opportunity for someone who is looking to build a reel and who knows this could lead to bigger things here internally.

FYI: this host also writes the script. It would be great to find someone who could host and write their own script. There may be some budget but it will not weekend cash at most.

Thanks for your help.
You can contact him here.

Time Out is a coaching feature of The Latino Reporter that highlights tools for student journalists.

April 2, 2008

SPORTS: Miller Brewing

Justin Miller, former pitcher/outfielder for JCCC, is a loon -- a Great Lakes Loon.

The Los Angeles Dodgers drafted Miller on the second day of the MLB draft in spring 2007. An affiliate of the Dodger, the Loons will start its season April 3 against the Dayton Dragons.

In an interview with the Saginaw News, Miller described his approach to the game.

I consider myself an athlete, not just a pitcher. I enjoyed playing outfield and hitting. In high school, I didn't concentrate on baseball. I played all the sports. When the high school season was over, I went to another sport ... Mechanically, I'm probably behind some of the other guys who have pitched a lot. I'm always learning. I'm always throwing, talking to people about pitching, trying to get as much information as I can get.

Related: Miller Time, Saginaw News article

April 1, 2008

TIME OUT: Just the Stats

Diverse Issues in Education magazine has a regular feature called "Just the Stats." It examines statistics related to higher education. Here's a sample of some stats noted in the March 8 issue:

Time Out is a coaching feature of The Latino Reporter that highlights tools for student journalists