Getting to know MCC: Vicki Raine

The Metropolitan Community College family is quite large, sprawled across five campuses covering more than 50 square miles. Getting to know MCC is a part of everyday work in collaborating across departments and campuses to reach the overall goal of preparing students, serving communities and creating opportunities. This new feature will introduce you to MCC employees you might not have met yet.

Vicki RaineVicki Raine
Reading Faculty/Humanities Chair, MCC-Penn Valley

What would you do if you won the lottery?
I would contribute to several of my favorite charities, including but not limited to, the MCC Foundation, my church, and the Boy & Girl Scouts. Then I would travel.

If you could bring one fictional character to life, who would it be and why?
Francie Nolan from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, who dreamed of more than her little apartment in Brooklyn and never gave up despite difficult times.

What is the kindest thing anyone has ever done for you?
Been there for me when I needed it.

Tell me about a skill you are really bad at.
Hula hooping.

What about your career makes getting up each morning easier?
Knowing that each day will bring students who dream of an education that will take them to great places and  give them great opportunities, and I can, in a small way, help them reach that dream.

Jon Burke, MCC Dean of Student DevelopmentJon Burke, Ed.D.
Dean of Student Development, MCC-Blue River

What makes you feel most alive?
When I see folks I’ve worked with succeed. Whether it is a student-leader who transitions successfully to a 4-year college, an employee who advances in her career or a youth soccer player who masters a skill, it is heartwarming to be a small part of this growth and development.

What is your favorite all-time movie and what do you love about it?
Either Hoosiers or Remember the Titans. I love sports (and sports movies) and these movies have a message of teamwork, overcoming obstacles and the success of the underdog.

What was your first job and what did you learn from the experience?
My first job was sacking groceries at the local Piggly Wiggly. I learned the value of hard work, the need to be flexible and to have a positive attitude. I also learned that folks actually do buy every item off the shelves of a grocery store in advance of an impending hurricane.

What is your favorite childhood memory?
My favorite childhood memories are of spending summers in Vermont, swimming, fishing, sailing, hiking and playing baseball at my grandparents lake cottage.

What about your career makes getting up each morning easier?
The fact that we have such outstanding faculty and staff, who have a passion for preparing students makes me realize that I am probably the least important employee at Blue River. It is easy to get up each day when you know your colleagues are exceptional and will do their best for our students.

Aaron Gibbs, MCC Welding Lab TechAaron Gibbs
Welding Lab Tech, MCC-Business and Technology

What is most memorable about your high school years?
We didn’t have access to computers. Life was much simpler back then, seems I wasn’t so busy all the time.

Do you play a musical instrument, if so which one(s)? If not, what do you wish you could play?
I used to play the accordion when I was little, and yes I have heard all the Steve Urkel jokes. I don’t play any instruments now, but if I could it would be a guitar or a violin.

What is the best gift you have been given?
I would have to say I don’t really have a best gift but recently was given a steel heart that I’m pretty fond of.

What motivates you to work hard?
For me it is the satisfaction that I get in seeing a job well done. I am a perfectionist and I believe that is a flaw because it usually takes me a bit more time to accomplish. But on the flipside, I know that it is the best that I can do when it is done.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
To see when students come into class, knowing nothing really about welding, and leave with the skills they need to succeed in today’s demanding job market. I am very passionate about my job here and look to retire from here helping others pursue their career.


Leslie Hicks headshotLeslie Hicks
Student services technician in Campus Life & Leadership, MCC-Longview

Tell me about a skill you are really bad at.
Parking nose-first in a parking space; I inevitably will be over one of the lines and endure great ribbing from my family when they’re along for the ride.  I have learned to accommodate by backing into a space (those pesky lines are much easier to see in the mirrors that way ~ it’s also so much easier and safer to see on-coming cars/people when pulling out nose-first).  If that’s not possible, I will park as far away as I can so as not to be a space-hog (you’re welcome).

What can you tell me about your first crush?
It’s a toss-up between Burt Ward as Robin and Russell Johnson as the Professor.  I would hug and kiss the tv when they were on.  (I know y’all are laughing………many of you did the same thing, right?). Thank goodness that was not an interview question.

If you could bring one fictional character to life, who would it be and why? 
Ferdinand the Bull. Ferdy was my absolute favorite book as a child.  I adored the way he sat down and smelled the flowers instead of doing what others thought he was “supposed” to do based on what he was.  I also loved that he chose peace instead of conflict.  I will spare you the exegetical dialogue and say “this book preaches on so many levels.”

What can I find you doing on a typical weekend?
Walking the dog, working in the yard, crocheting, reading, grocery shopping, cycling(if the weather’s perfect), practicing music for church, and well…

What influenced you to choose your profession?
I’ve mostly been influenced by what’s been available in the locations we’ve moved to throughout my husband’s career.  Though, I do have a passion for educational institutions as I believe being educated can help lift one out of many types of poverty.  Plus, I consider myself a life-long learner and want to instill that passion in others.  I also love seeing the “Aha” moments. Gets me every time.

Domenick-BrouilletteDomenick Brouillette
Director of support services, MCC Police Department, Administrative Center  

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A stunt man.

What teacher inspired you the most? How did they inspire you?
Matt Haug, speech teacher and football coach. He showed me that you can get along with all types of people even if you do not agree with them. We all bring something to the table. 

What is your favorite all-time movie and what do you love about it?
Aliens.” Love the action.

What was your first job and what did you learn from the experience?
Sonic carhop. Never trust a person who has never used power windows before.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The ability to help anyone who needs it or help them find the person who can.  Every day is different and I learn new things each day.

Maggie GarciaMaggie Garcia
Career services coordinator, MCC-Penn Valley

What’s the longest car trip you have ever taken?
21 hours from Kansas to Las Vegas.

What are your go-to karaoke songs?
Summer Nights,” “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll,” “Landslide.” (Clearly it’s been a while!)

What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done?
My husband and I packed what we could fit into a car and drove to Las Vegas, with no jobs and no connections. The only plan was for him to go to culinary school. (We survived!)

What was your first job and what did you learn from the experience?
My first job was working for my dad.  He’s an electrician and owns his own business.  I was 15 at the time and really learned work ethic from him. He’s the type of person who’s not satisfied with anything less than “A+” work.  He had me crawling through dark tunnels running wire, and as soon as my sisters were old enough to take over I found another job!

What motivates you to work hard?
I tend to really define myself by my work and my job.  I have to be giving 100 percent to feel fulfilled.  That’s what keeps me motivated.