MCC Students Help Rebuild New Orleans

Manchester, CT – (May 30, 2007) . . . A year and a half after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, the rebuilding efforts still continue in the Big Easy. This summer, 40 Manchester Community College students and 8 Great Path Academy high school students will get a first-hand look at the destruction and participate in the relief efforts, as part of a three-week course offered by the College.

The sociology course entitled, “Community Involvement-Relief Work in New Orleans,” was created by Lucy Anne Hurston, Assistant Professor of Sociology, and gives students the opportunity to witness the reality of New Orleans after Katrina as well as team-up with the New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity to participate in the clean-up and rebuilding efforts.

According to Professor Hurston, “Community involvement is important in preparing students to be hands-on activists in the world around them. It empowers them to step up and make changes when the structured formal and, sometimes, even governmental agencies fail to do so.”

The students, along with 15 faculty chaperones, will arrive in New Orleans on June 6 and reside at Habitat’s Camp Hope for the week. They are scheduled to meet with college students from Dillard University and hold a tele-conference with Tom Piazza, author of Why New Orleans Matters, which is the required reading for the course.

Throughout the week, the students will be assigned to various tasks by Habitat for Humanity as well as tour the convention center, the levees and other areas heavily damaged by Katrina, with the Army Corp of Engineers. The students will also visit the French Quarter and participate in a community reception with students and faculty from Delgado Community College in New Orleans.

The course is designed to give each student an opportunity to share in civic involvement, diversity and community leadership, and learn about the city’s rich tradition, but also explore the corruption, racism, and injustice that affected the city and how its people endure and transcend those conditions. As part of the course, the students will also journal their entire experience and maintain a daily blog on the MCC and Hartford Courant websites.

The trip to New Orleans was made possible through the generous donations of monetary and in-kind gifts from members of MCC’s faculty and staff and the community including the MCC Foundation, Fuss & O’Neill, Advanced Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, and the Rockville Bank Community Foundation.

Students of any age who possess the desire to pursue higher education are welcome at Manchester Community College. MCC is proud of its academic excellence, new facilities, flexible schedules, small classes, low tuition and faculty with both academic and “real world” credentials. The College offers over 60 programs, transfer options, financial aid and scholarships, as well as access to baccalaureate degrees through guaranteed admissions programs with several universities. MCC is situated on a park-like campus and is easily accessible from I-84.
News Item Posted On: May 30, 2007
For Additional Information Contact: Endia DeCordova-Murphy at (860) 512-2914