February 2023 Newsletter


Hey, Highlanders! Spring break is just over a week away—can you believe it?? We hope your semester is going well and that you’re able to rest and recharge over break. Read on for some info about resources available to you at MCC and in the community. This month’s theme? LIBRARIES. (Be sure to thank a librarian next time you see one)

Reminder: Re-enroll in Medicaid if you haven’t done so already. See the January newsletter for details. Reach out to crew@mclennan.edu for assistance. And if you’re dropped, there’s a special re-enrollment period 3/31–7/31.

Spotlight: On-Campus Resource

Do you ever visit the MCC library ? If not, you should! We highlighted the whole LTC in our August newsletter , and this month we want to focus specifically on what the library offers to MCC students, faculty, and staff.

One of the newest developments is the Creative’s Collection. Similar to how you’d check out a book, you can now check out supplies for hobbies, projects, or other ventures! Here’s an excerpt from the Learning Commons spring newsletter:

The Learning Commons is now featuring something it never has before: maker kits! These kits make up what we are calling the ‘Creative’s Collection’ and can be checked out by anyone who holds an MCC ID card. If you’ve never heard of maker kits, just think of tools and equipment that enable people to create things. We have chosen five different areas to start this collection with: baking, sewing, bike repair tools, papercrafts, and Arduinos to program and manipulate electronics.


Currently there are over 2,000 places in the world that offer maker kits and most of these are known as makerspaces. The ‘Maker Movement’ is taking place in public schools, public libraries, academic institutions, nonprofit establishments, community centers, and museums. We hope this collection provides an outlet for learning new skills that are not always emphasized in the life of a student, and that the creativity found might bolster us all to do things that may be different and unfamiliar, yet very well worth doing.

If you want to check out the Creative’s Collection, head to the library the next time you’re on campus. Happy studying, happy creating!

Spotlight: Off-Campus Resource

We also want to encourage you to use your local library—especially online students! They have many of the same resources available to patrons as MCC does, plus more books for your family members to check out.

The Waco libraries offer loads of free resources to residents of McLennan County, including free tickets to the Cameron Park Zoo or the Mayborn Museum. Additionally, the library hosts tons of classes, workshops, and other family-friendly events (like mobile story time). You can see upcoming events on the library calendar .

If you don’t have a library card, get one! It’s a quick and easy process and will offer tons of benefits to you and your family. Learn more on the Waco Libraries website .


Thank you to everyone in the library who is actively thinking about ways to foster creativity and support students at MCC. Colin, Rachel, and all the library staff—we appreciate you! Students: thank a librarian next time you see one!

Self-Care Tip

DID YOU KNOW: hobbies are good for your health!!

Take this as your excuse to do that thing you’ve been wanting to do, and I’m 100% okay if you blame it on me ;) 

There are two things I want you to take away from this self-care tip.

First, hobbies are beneficial because they disrupt your routine as a student. Research shows that in general, people who regularly invest in a hobby have less stress, happier moods, and less depression or anxiety. Hobbies also improve your professional performance because you’re both fueling yourself by doing things you enjoy AND you’re practicing things like self-empathy, creativity, and problem-solving.

Different hobbies have different benefits. For example, exercise increases endorphins—your feel-good hormones—and offers a burst of energy. Artistic hobbies target other parts of brain. There are also different benefits to doing hobbies in community with others or alone by yourself. There’s really no wrong answer to how your hobby looks–as long as you’re doing something that YOU enjoy.

Second, being an amateur allows us to develop into professionals. As students, we always strive to put our best foot forward. That’s what academia teaches us, right? But hobbies are a chance for you to do something simply because you enjoy it. You don’t have to be good at it. You don’t have to show a finished product to another human. 

Hobbies fill you up—providing energy and joy that you might not get from other responsibilities in your life. An argument could be made that because of this benefit, you are able to invest better in the other responsibilities because you’re working from a full cup rather than feeling depleted.

Plus, learning to be an amateur is great because you’ll constantly be put in situations where you need to learn new skills—like your first job after graduating from MCC. Being an amateur can help you develop a growth mindset, which essentially means that you don’t fear failure or the learning process.

So pick up a hobby! It’s good for your mental and physical health. And…you have a whole week off school to get started!

Easy Recipe

With the chilly weather earlier this month, I’m craving all the comfort foods, like this cheeseburger pasta dish! Here’s a low-cost, nutritious option for you—just like hamburger helper but healthier! Bonus: this meal requires just one pot, so clean-up is a breeze! Need any ingredients? Swing by Paulanne’s for some non-perishable goods, frozen meat, fresh fruit, cheese, and/or milk! There’s a good chance we’ll have most of the ingredients for this meal when you stop by to shop the pantry!

One Pot Cheeseburger Pasta

Prep Time:  10 mins
Cook Time:  20 mins
Total Time:  30 mins
Servings:  4 (1.25 cups per serving)


  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 lb. ground beef
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 8oz. can tomato sauce
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1/2 lb. pasta shells, uncooked
  • 4 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 Tbsp hot dog relish (optional)
  • 2 green onions, sliced (optional)


  1. Finely dice the onion. Add the onion, olive oil, and ground beef to a large deep skillet and sauté over medium heat until the beef is fully browned and the onion is soft and translucent. Drain off any excess fat, if needed.
  2. Add the flour to the skillet and continue to stir and cook for one minute more. The flour will begin to coat the bottom of the skillet. Be careful not to let the flour burn.
  3. Add the tomato sauce and beef broth to the skillet and stir to dissolve the flour off the bottom of the skillet.
  4. Add the uncooked pasta to the skillet and stir to combine. The liquid in the skillet may not fully cover the pasta, but that is okay.
  5. Place a lid on the skillet, turn the heat up to medium-high, and let the liquid come up to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, give it a quick stir to loosen any pasta from the bottom of the skillet, replace the lid, and turn the heat down to low. Let the pasta simmer, stirring occasionally (always replacing the lid), for about 10 minutes, or until the pasta is tender and the sauce has thickened. Turn the heat off.
  6. Add the shredded cheddar to the skillet and stir until it has melted into the sauce. Stir the hot dog relish into the sauce and then top with sliced green onions. Serve hot.

NUTRITION (per 1 serving)

Calories: 555 kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 26g | Sodium: 1045mg | Fiber: 4g


  • Paulanne’s Pantry: 84 highlanders shopped at Paulanne’s in January
  • Shepherd’s Heart: One distribution that served 142 families in McLennan County (28 new households this month)
  • Waco Transit: 1,085 rides using the free transit cards provided by MCC

CREW This Month

Tuesday, 2/28, 10-1 @ The Quad || Resource Fair

Connect with on- and off-campus resources to learn how they can help you!

Thursday, 3/2, 10-11:30 @ Counseling Center || Parenting Group for MCC students with children

The Student Counseling Center is offering a counseling group this semester specifically for students with children (Student Parents). Learn more about the group and complete the interest form through this link by tomorrow, 2/24: https://hipaa.jotform.com/230464365441049

Thursday, 3/9, 3–4 pm @ Lot R || Shepherd’s Heart Food Distribution 

Swing by Lot R for FREE food from Shepherd’s Heart! Free and open to anyone in the community!

Wednesday, 3/15, 3–4 pm @ MTA 111 || Peer Support Group (ONLY Music, Theater, & Art Students)

Reach out to DEI for more information on this support group that’s available specifically for music, theater, and art students!

Thursday, 3/16, 11:30–1 pm @ SLC || Third Thursday Thoroughfare

Come for free lunch and learn about resources in McLennan County just for college students!

Friday, 3/17, 12–1 pm on Zoom || Peer Support Group for Stress

Reach out to DEI for more information on this support group that’s open to all students!


More events are available on the  CREW calendar ! Be sure to save the calendar so you never miss an event!

View past newsletters here:  https://www.mclennan.edu/campus-resource-guide/newsletter.html

*Composed by Emma Cartisano*