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Afrikaanse word of the week: Bra/bru – If you want to call someone your friend for example. “Hey my bru; Bra what are we doing tonight?”

Some might only see Montgomery College as a starting point to get into a university or an easy way to get a degree, but it is so much more. The Macklin Business Institute or MBI (, for example, is a business program that gives students the opportunity to get hands-on experience as to how the business world works. Starbucks in the Campus Center is part of the MBI program. There are numerous volunteer opportunities you can get involved with, in and around your community. The Theater Department offers internships over the summer to students who are pursuing a degree in Technical Theater and then you have the Science Department . . .

MC has had the opportunity to participate in a competition called the Swarmathon. NASA created this competition to “engage students in developing cooperative robotic algorithms to revolutionize space exploration. The students are developing and testing algorithms that could one day be used in NASA’s mission to Mars.” (

This is the third year NASA has held this competition and MC’s second year participating. Our Swarmathon team won the Virtual Competition in April 2017, “defeating 15 other 2-year and 4-year colleges and universities.” ( This year they are competing in the Physical Competition among 24 colleges and universities around the country.

Fun fact about the Swarmies (as they are called) is that their design was based on ants. Scientist studied their behavior, how they moved their food around, their ability to remember where they left their food and created the Swarmie robot.

Opportunities like these give students the chance to think outside the box, learn to work in groups, prepare them for the working environment and develop their skills in the field they are pursuing. If you are serious about your education and your degree, GET INVOLVED! Go online, see a counselor, ask the head of your department what opportunities there are to help you thrive in your career.

Here is a picture of the Swarmie robot the MC students designed.

Work Cited:
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Swarmie photo:

Madlene Nel

One part student and one part friend, two parts explorer and four parts drama queen. When you put it all together you’d have a nice apple pie and I just made myself very hungry.

My name is Madlené and I am from South Africa. I have been privileged enough to be able to experience the American culture and get to know a variety of amazing people living here. I enjoy travelling and discovering new places but above all I love meeting new people and learning about their culture while sharing mine as well.

In my free time I enjoy reading a good book or two and of course I am addicted to Netflix (Not my fault . . . it’s those 10 seconds they give you to choose whether you want to go on with the show or stop and I seem to miss clicking the stop button every time). I love writing songs and performing in front of others. Over the weekend I like hanging out with my friends, going to see theatre performances and discovering new places to hike, eat or just to have fun.

 I am majoring in Performance Theatre and want to pursue a career in Musical Theatre.

I am excited to share my college experience with you and I hope you enjoy this journey with me.

This Post Has 3 Comments
  1. Thanks for sharing this Maddie. What are some of the colleges MC won against? Impressive that there were 4 year universities in the list. Where will the competition be held this year? This shows that MC is turning around its reputation as a ‘backup’ school and is becoming better known as a stepping stone to a future and some great careers.

    1. Some of the universities/colleges included University of Hawaii at Hilo, Inter American University of Puerto Rico and University of Houston.The competition will be held at the NASA Kennedy Space Center. Yes, it is definitely more than just a college.

  2. This is super. Dr. Kuijt greatly appreciated the recognition of this event in your blog. He sent me this link about the upcoming event. The next actual competition is April 16-19 at Kennedy Space Center. As many as 14-20 MC students will go down for the competition. A follow up blog would be great! Looking forward to how MC wins (thinking positive!!)

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