New Employee Interview – Jennifer McGuire

We’d like to take the time to recognize one of our newest employees (new to the eLearning and Professional Development office that is) to Mountain View College. Please take a moment to learn more about them, in their own words.

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Jennifer McGuire, Distance Education Instructional Applications Integration Specialist

Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.

I am proud to be the new Distance Education Instructional Applications Integration Specialist, within the Teaching and Learning Center at Mountain View College. In this role, I will be collaborating with faculty in curriculum design and content development, for a variety of course delivery formats.

I have 7 years of graphic design and publishing experience and over 20 years of technology, office, and management experience, including time in educational institutions. I also teach Microsoft Office courses within the Career and Technical Education (CATE) division and am proud to hold both faculty and support roles.

I began my professional career with a heavy focus in office productivity, administrative support and emerging technologies. In leadership roles, I managed a housekeeping service in Dallas for 11 years and also created an Australian Publishing House, serving as the Chief Operations Officer for 6 years. Although this position is new to me, I have worked at Mountain View College for the past 3 years and look forward to utilizing all of my technology, troubleshooting, design, and support experience in serving the needs of the institution.

What drew you to apply to Mountain View College?

I have always felt more comfortable working in an education setting. Once the publishing house became self-sufficient, I decided to return to an industry I loved. After researching the different institutions in the area, DCCCD appealed the most to me. I applied for every position that I met the qualifications. I interviewed at three campuses and felt the most at home at Mountain View. I was so excited when I received the call from HR offering me the job here.

What does working in higher education mean to you?

Working in higher education gives me the opportunity to change people’s lives. Every job on campus affects the students. If I can have one conversation with a student that helps them realize their passion and ignite their desire to pursue it, then I have accomplished something great.

 

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?

I listen to audiobooks during my commute. I’ve just started re-listening to the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J.R. Ward to prepare for the release of the next two books.

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What was the very first job you ever had and what skills did it teach you?

My first job was as a checker at Minyard Food Stores. The most important skill I learned was customer service. I loved the interaction with the customers. I was 15 years-old and could only work Saturday and Sunday from 8-5, so I got to know the regular customers. They loved that I went the extra mile to get to know them and hold a genuine conversation when they came through my line. Expressing concern for their family and daily life or congratulating them for successes would always reward me with a genuine smile. I learned to always speak with a smile. The most difficult customer can be eased if you just listen to them and reply smiling.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

I am a huge geek. I love everything dealing with technology. I am the first person my friends and family call when they can’t figure out a new program on their computer, or how to work their new smart phone. I love that I will get to learn all of the cool programs and gadgets to make online learning more interactive and engaging.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year?

During my first year in this position, I would love to put together a series of short how-to videos for Blackboard. I feel this would be a great tool for both faculty and students to refer to for the basic functions they utilize on a daily basis.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?

  1. I live in my dream home mortgage free.
  2. Maintaining a 4.0 GPA while working full-time and having a family to care for.
  3. Building substantial, lasting relationships with my co-workers.

What is your favorite sports team and why are you a lifelong fan?

I am a die-hard Dallas Stars fan. I’ve never been a huge sports fan. When the Minnesota Stars moved to Dallas my husband got me hooked on the sport. I love the fast-pace of the game. Due to the Dallas Stars being the team my husband introduced me to the sport with and them being the home town team, I will never stray.

For MVC’s Annual Employee Talent Show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase to everyone?

This one is extremely hard for me. I’m not a performer by nature. I tend to hang back in the shadows and work the tech for the performers. The only people who truly see the performer in me are those that I know and am comfortable being myself around. Having said this, I would say karaoke. When no one is around, I’m the best singer out there 😉

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Jennifer McGuire, Distance Education Instructional Applications Integration Specialist

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DCCCD New Employee Orientation

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A Part of the DCCCD Family

What does it mean to me to be part of the DCCCD family? It means everything, of course! The District New Employee Orientation is an opportunity for new or recently hired employees to gain understanding of the District’s view of our educational presence, community value, and commitments to students, the community, and its employees.

It was my pleasure to attend the District New Employee Orientation just recently. It was an exciting opportunity to leave MVC for the day (and that pile of work on my desk), network with new employees across DCCCD, connect with faculty, staff, and administrators and “let my hair down” for the day (dressing casually was a requirement in fact).

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A Full Schedule

George Marquez and staff members had an exciting day planned for us. It started with an introduction from Chancellor Joe May. Throughout the day we participated in group team building projects, watched videos about DCCCD, learned the history of each college, received a word from the “great” Susan Hall, became informed about compression planning, and even participated in fun interactive games.

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DCCCD Strategic Priorities

Most importantly we learned about the four DCCCD Strategic Priorities (they drilled us a few times just to make sure we learned it by heart):

  1. Employee Success
  2. Student Success
  3. Community Engagement
  4. Institutional Effectiveness

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Just the Beginning

This is just the beginning of my journey as a Director of Professional Development. As I continue to learn more across the district and participate in similar events, it will be my pleasure to bring new and exciting practices to our campus, while being respectful of the unique elements that make up MVC.

New Employee Interview – Rebecca McDowell

We’d like to take the time to recognize one of our newest employees (new to the eLearning and Professional Development office that is) to Mountain View College. Please take a moment to learn more about them, in their own words.

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Rebecca McDowell, Director of Organizational and Staff Development

Please tell everyone your new title and a little bit about your professional background.

Director of Organizational and Staff Development
I graduated from Illinois State University in 2009 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Parks and Recreation Administration. I have over 10 year’s management experience in retail sales, 3 years’ experience as a Program Supervisor for the Village of Orland Park Recreation and Parks Department developing training and recreational programs. I moved to TX in 2012 where I was a Director of a Member’s Benefit Department for Five Star Institute, a mortgage banking industry. Currently employed with Mountain View College since August 2014.

What drew you to apply to Mountain View College?

I am a current employee of MVC. I have been employed with MVC for almost two years. I enjoy empowering people and transforming communities.

I really liked the job description and the working duties for the Director of Organizational and Staff Development. I believe to be a good fit for the job and an asset to the team. On the top of that, I am MVC Proud!

On the car ride to work, what do you listen to?

97.9 The Beat-Rickey Smiley Morning Show
They are hilarious! They put me in a good mood for work!

What was the very first job you ever had and what skills did it teach you?

I babysat at the age of 13. It taught me responsibility at a young age. I enjoy the creativity children have at such a young age.

What about your new position is most exciting for you?

Implementing strategic organizational processes and learning initiatives. Also, planning and implementation of staff development activities and programs for college faculty and staff.

What is one thing you’d love to accomplish in your first year?

I would like to accomplish a successful return week for Fall 2016 and Spring 2017. I take pride in working hard for others and seeing the joy and excitement on their faces. I also would like to update our department’s website to provide resourceful information to our staff.

What three accomplishments are you most proud of in your life?

1. Getting married
2. My child
3. Accepting the Director of Organizational and Staff Development Position at MVC

What is your favorite sports team and why are you a lifelong fan?

Chicago Bears
My father was a huge Bears fan and I remember as a child watching the game he so loved on Sunday afternoons. My husband is from the Chicagoland area (Southside) and has been a fan since a young boy. We enjoy watching and attending the games.

For MVC’s Annual Employee Talent Show (this doesn’t actually exist), what hidden talent would you showcase to everyone?

My dance skills. I enjoy attending Zumba and Aerobics classes at the gym. I am not a pro by any means but can keep up with the beat!

MVC is often described as a family. What does family mean to you?

It means family connection. Exploring together new programs and opportunities that can bring great value to our students, staff, and community.

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Rebecca McDowell, Director of Organizational and Staff Development