Representing Moraine Park Technical College at the Student Showcase in Madison were (left to right) Mike Miller, district board chairperson; Anne Lemke, grant manager; Mike Staral, district board vice chairperson; Shawn McAfee, graphic communications instructor; students Alex McCleary, Kelly Sampson and Rebecca Timmers; and Lowell Prill, district board secretary.

Moraine Park Technical College took part in the Wisconsin Technical College System’s (WTCS) Student Showcase recently in the State Capitol.

The annual event is an opportunity for Wisconsin’s 16 technical colleges to showcase how its students combine their learning with valuable work experience, community service, outreach and entrepreneurship. This year, Moraine Park highlighted a “Making Memories” project done by graphic communications students, as well as its Fair Trade College initiatives.

At the event, WTCS President Dr. Morna Foy spoke of the important role technical college’s play in the state’s economy.

“Employers in every sector and region tell us that our colleges are important to the success of their business. Talking with these students, you’ll quickly understand why,” Foy said.

Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch echoed this sentiment during her own remarks at the event.

“Wisconsin has earned a global reputation for excellence in technical education, and that starts with the students at our 16 technical colleges,” Kleefisch said.

Moraine Park’s “Making Memories” exhibit outlined a community outreach project where graphic communications students worked to digitize, edit and save family photo archives. This project helped local families preserve and share their visual history, while also engaging entry-level graphic design students by allowing them to apply basic technical skills on a project basis.

Instructor Shawn McAfee and students Kelly Sampson and Rebecca Timmers were in attendance to showcase some of the roughly 1,200 images scanned, numbered, edited and archived as part of this project.

Also highlighted this year was Moraine Park’s Fair Trade College. In May 2015, Fair Trade Colleges and Universities USA designated Moraine Park as the first Fair Trade Technical College in the United States. Fair trade supports farmers and artisans in developing countries who are socially and economically marginalized. This designation was originally awarded through a service-learning project of Social Science Instructor Brenda Schaefer’s ethics course. Moraine Park continues to support the principles of fair trade by hosting educational events and by offering selected Fair Trade Certified products in the cafeterias and bookstores at all three campuses. The students and staff involved in this project are able to utilize their skills and talents in various program areas.

Anne Lemke, grant manager at Moraine Park, and student Alex McCleary attended the Student Showcase to discuss the College’s Fair Trade work.

For more information on the WTCS Student Showcase, visit www.wtcsystem.edu.