Lenette Staudinger, Retired Biology Professor

Moraine Valley Community College celebrates its 50th Anniversary this year. To learn more about and to re-live some of what those five decades have been like, the college has been collecting oral histories. Throughout the semester we will be highlighting these videos.

“I loved the job. I thought that was really important–especially to be a role model to young women because when I joined the Biology department I was the only woman.”

Lenette Staudinger was a professor of Biology here for 32 years. She tells about some of the creativity involved in putting classes together in the college’s early days, like stocking the Botany classes with discarded plants from the cemetery. The college has grown and progressed so much and she is proud that Moraine Valley has done so well.

To enjoy more of these oral histories, along with historic photos and documents, visit the MVCC College Archives.

Lenette Staudinger, Retired Biology Professor

Dr. John Donahue, former Board of Trustees Chairman

Moraine Valley Community College celebrates its 50th Anniversary this year. To learn more about and to re-live some of what those five decades have been like, the college has been collecting oral histories. Throughout the semester we will be highlighting these videos.

“What we focused on was making sure the community knew they could get a quality education here.”

Former Board of Trustees Chairman Dr. John Donahue speaks about the college’s 25 year plan and how the college has become a tremendous asset for the suburban community. A good board, teachers who care about their students, and quality education are reflected in a great student body.

To enjoy more of these oral histories, along with historic photos and documents, visit the MVCC College Archives.

Dr. John Donahue, former Board of Trustees Chairman

The Turkey: An American Story

With Thanksgiving just a few days away, you might be thinking a lot about turkeys. If not, maybe you need a little inspiration. Turkeys are interesting birds and have a truly American story. The Turkey: An American Story is a book in the MVCC Library’s collection that covers both myth and fact about the species and the history of how the turkey came to be such an iconic bird in the United States.

Myth: Turkeys are not very intelligent because they have been known to drown in a rainstorm. While it is true that turkeys can drown in a storm, it is due to their anatomy rather than intelligence and they have in fact been shown to be very intelligent.

Fact: Turkeys can be a great help to farmers. Turkeys eat almost anything but they especially love bugs and worms. They are incredibly efficient at ridding crops of pests. Fifty turkeys can clear pests from 100,000 plants.

Here are some other interesting facts to know about turkeys:

  • Wild turkeys can run up to 25 mph and can fly at 55 mph.
  • Turkeys can produce 20 distinct sounds. One of these is the gobble that males produce to attract females.
  • The red, dangly part under the turkey’s chin is called a waddle and the fleshy part over the beak is called a snood.
  • The color on a turkey’s head and throat can change between red and blue depending on its level of excitement or stress.
  • Droppings can tell us the gender of the bird. Males leave spiral-shaped droppings, while females produce a J shape.

Bill Finn, Athletics Director

Moraine Valley Community College celebrates its 50th Anniversary this year. To learn more about and to re-live some of what those five decades have been like, the college has been collecting oral histories. Throughout the semester we will be highlighting these videos.

“Everything we do here and everything I do here is based on the fact that I want people to love Moraine like I love Moraine.”

Bill Finn came to Moraine Valley Community College when he was 22 years old as the head basketball coach. More sports were added the next year and he was asked to be the Athletics Director. His goal was to build a program where every kid in the area would want to go.

To enjoy more of these oral histories, along with historic photos and documents, visit the MVCC College Archives.

Bill Finn, Athletics Director

As Thick As Pea Soup

We are experiencing some wonderfully foggy conditions today. Fog is this librarian’s very favorite weather. I love the way it changes the look and feel of everything around you and the mystery that it holds. It’s somewhat like reading a good mystery novel, when you can’t quite make out what’s ahead.

Fog is a weather condition that results in very low-lying clouds, made up of suspended water droplets. It forms when the difference between air temperature and dew point is less than 4 °F. An area the size of an Olympic sized swimming pool contains about 2 pints of water. Besides just looking really cool, all of this moisture in the air can be environmentally useful. The Redwood forests of California get around a third of their moisture from fog. In desert areas, fog can serve as a source of moisture when nets are used to collect the droplets from the fog.

Here a few other interesting facts about fog:

  • The foggiest place on Earth is Grand Banks off of the coast of Newfoundland, where the cold Labrador Current mixes with the warmer Gulf Stream. The area sees over 200 foggy days per year.

 

  • Shadows that are cast through fog are three dimensional.

 

  • Foghorns use a low-pitched tone because low-pitched notes lose less energy to water droplets than high-pitched ones and thus travel further.

 

  • Fog can be both good and bad for your skin. The moisture in fog acts as a natural emollient for your skin. But, even though fog blocks visible light, you may not realize that it does let through the ultraviolet light that causes wrinkles and sunburn.

 

  • Fog affects our perception of speed. Because of reduced visibility we should drive more slowly and in fog we have to be extra careful to do so. Since the fog obscures our surroundings, our brains don’t perceive the contrasts in the objects around us as well and thus we think we are going slower than we actually are.

 

  • Be sure to use your low beam headlights when driving in foggy conditions. High beams will be reflected back at you in the fog, making it even harder to see.

 

  • Fog helped us win the Revolutionary War. At the Battle of Long Island, on August 27, 1776, George Washington and troops were beginning to be surrounded by British forces and needed to retreat. A heavy fog rolled in and provided cover for just long enough for the retreat of 9,000 Americans. When the fog lifted, the British moved into the area to find it empty.

Fall Back This Weekend

Looking for a little more daylight in the morning? You’re about to get your wish. This weekend we set our clocks back one hour as Daylight Saving Time comes to an end at 2am, Sunday Nov. 5th.

Why do we do all this falling back and springing ahead to observe Daylight Saving Time? Benjamin Franklin is the known to have written about the idea to cut down on the use of candles and to help people get out of bed earlier. But, the first official use of DST took place in what is now Thunder Bay, Canada in 1908. The practice began to catch on globally in 1916 when Germany adopted the practice. Today about 40% of the countries in the world follow Daylight Saving Time, though dates of the changes do vary by country.

When the practice was introduced a century ago, it was established to save energy by making more use of natural light on summer evenings. In today’s modern society that uses computers, TVs, and air conditioning, energy savings from DST have for the most part disappeared. It does still have some advantages however. More daylight in the evenings means more people are out shopping, eating, and attending events that boost the economy. There is also a safety feature to having more daylight at night as fewer road accidents and robberies take place when we make the switch to DST.

So, here’s your friendly reminder. Before you turn your light out Saturday night, set your clock back one hour.

Dr. Linda Brandt, Counselor

Moraine Valley Community College celebrates its 50th Anniversary this year. To learn more about and to re-live some of what those five decades have been like, the college has been collecting oral histories. Throughout the semester we will be highlighting these videos.

“For so many students Moraine becomes their village, their family–to really provide that foundation and encouragement to succeed.”

Dr. Linda Brandt has been with Moraine Valley Community College for 42 years. She feels it is an honor and privilege to watch students grow. Administration, faculty, and staff at the college are all working toward the same mission and goal of having an important impact on people’s lives.

To enjoy more of these oral histories, along with historic photos and documents, visit the MVCC College Archives.

Dr. Linda Brandt, Counselor

Ron Kurfirst, Retired Director of Buildings and Grounds

Moraine Valley Community College celebrates its 50th Anniversary this year. To learn more about and to re-live some of what those five decades have been like, the college has been collecting oral histories. Throughout the semester we will be highlighting these videos.

“I found another home.”…”This campus is beautiful.”

Ron Kurfist worked at Moraine Valley for 16 years, from 1986 to 2002. He wasn’t sure he wanted the job when he first arrived on campus and saw all the temporary buildings. He remembers his time here very fondly though. He talks about the environment that was created for the students and of how appreciative everyone always was of the work his department provided.

To enjoy more of these oral histories, along with historic photos and documents, visit the MVCC College Archives.

Ron Kurfirst, Retired Director of Buildings and Grounds

Dr. Wally Fronczek, Dean of Liberal Arts

Moraine Valley Community College celebrates its 50th Anniversary this year. To learn more about and to re-live some of what those five decades have been like, the college has been collecting oral histories. Throughout the semester we will be highlighting these videos.

“I think we’re very innovative here at the college.”

Dr. Wally Fronczek has been at Moraine Valley Community College for 32 years. He began his work here in Student Activities and has had the opportunity to do many different things and be involved in a variety of projects. He recalls lots of exciting events on campus, including respected guest speakers and big name performances.

To enjoy more of these oral histories, along with historic photos and documents, visit the MVCC College Archives.

Dr. Wally Fronczek, Dean of Liberal Arts

Michael Espinoza, Instructor of Criminal Justice, and Eric DeVillez, Associate Professor of Communications/Literature

Moraine Valley Community College celebrates its 50th Anniversary this year. To learn more about and to re-live some of what those five decades have been like, the college has been collecting oral histories. Throughout the semester we will be highlighting these videos.

“I found a home.”

Michael Espinoza and Eric DeVillez have both taught here at Moraine Valley for many years and have had many family members attend classes here. Both feel that a highlight of their job is hearing from former students about what they’ve gone on to do. They’ve heard many success stories. They also have some funny stories to tell about things that have happened to them on campus.

To enjoy more of these oral histories, along with historic photos and documents, visit the MVCC College Archives.

Michael Espinoza, Instructor of Criminal Justice, and Eric DeVillez, Associate Professor of Communications/Literature