It’s cool to see how the projects we do can help other businesses and organizations celebrate the things that they deeply care about. We not only get the chance to watch our customers’ excitement as we bring their ideas to life, but we also get to help share powerful messages that can impact our own community. Our job for Mid Michigan Community College from earlier this year is a perfect example of one of these projects.
This spring, Mid Michigan Community College gave us the opportunity to help them create a visual representation of their culturally diverse staff and student body. We did this by making a magnetic world map for a hallway on their Mt. Pleasant campus. Using small magnetic dots, Mid Michigan’s international students and staff were able to indicate to their friends, coworkers, and classmates their own countries of origin by “pinning” the spot on the map. It was a simple project, but it meant a lot to the students and staff at Mid Michigan.
Soon after completing the project, our video team got the chance to interview Mid Michigan staff members about the project. ZENTX sales rep Sheena Lovitos Wildenhaus asked them for their take on what impression the map left on the school and what impression ZENTX left on their committee. We featured snippets of their interviews in a recent video that you can find on our YouTube channel. You can watch it below, too. But, in this blog post, we’ve also made the entire interviews available for your enjoyment. Keep scrolling past the video to hear from Mid Michigan’s Maggie Magoon, Amy Goethe, and Ameer Alsabaa.
Maggie, tell us about yourself and Mid Michigan Community College.
Good morning, I am Maggie Magoon, and I am the TRIO Students Support Services coordinator at Mid Michigan College. That is a federally funded grant program. I work with low-income first generation [students] and students with disabilities. So that is what I do here. I’ve been here a little over ten years.
Mid Michigan College just recently in the last couple of years celebrated its 50th anniversary. We are a community college that serves both a Harrison and a Mt. Pleasant campus. We serve about five thousand students on both campuses, and we have over fifty programs.
How did the idea for the world map come to be?
In this past year, one of our shared governance committees, the “Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Action” or “IDEA” committee, wanted to celebrate the countries of origin of all of our students and staff. And so we formed an idea to have a countries of origin world map and we also then applied for a foundation grant and worked with Tom Oliver and got funding through that to celebrate all of our diversity here at the college.
Describe your ZENTX experience.
I had a great experience with ZENTX. You stayed in contact with me throughout all of this even when I’ve been running back and forth from campus and not at my phone all of the time. [You] just really stayed with me to make it a good experience and get what we wanted. It’s been beautiful for students and staff to work and interact with the map. It was just a really good experience.
Amy, tell us about yourself and what you do at Mid Michigan College.
My name is Amy Goethe. I am the student wellness coordinator here at Mid Michigan College. Part of my responsibility is to connect students with non-academic resources in the community. So when they experience things like housing insecurity, food insecurity, those types of things, that is what I connect them with. I also do our awareness campaigns here on campus, and I am a part of the IDEA committee, which stands for “Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Action.”
Tell us about the world map. How well was it received, and what is its significance on the campus?
The countries of origin map was very well received on our campus. When we conducted the opening ceremony, we had quite a few people in attendance. It was a mix of both domestic and international students as well as domestic and international staff. The forty magnets that we had with the map were placed within the first day, so we very quickly learned that we needed more magnets to represent the diversity that we have on our campus.
The countries of origin map helps our college show that, although we are a community college, we are not limited by county lines here in the state of Michigan. Our campus population is very diverse. We have a diverse population on campus that comes from states across the U.S. as well as countries across the world. So it’s great to have a visual representation of that on our campus. It also gives our students a great chance to interact with each other to find out where others might have come from, to have a conversation with people who might come from the same country that they might not have realized as well.
Ameer, tell us about yourself and what you do here at Mid Michigan College.
My name is Ameer Alsabaa. I work as an international program consultant here at Mid Michigan college. I’ve been with the college for four years. I very much serve international students from A to Z.
Tell us about the world map and how it was received by your students.
When I emailed my students asking them to come and participate in the opening ceremony, they were so excited that they could physically identify their countries to their classmates. Lots of [the] American [students] have not been outside of Michigan, so being able to show them a map physically and then Google map where their countries [are] was something really good. I am planning to use this as a starting and talking point for all of my new international students. So in our orientation next week, the first step will be stopping at the map to identify their countries on the map.