Monthly Archives: January 2016

Black History Month 2016 – Upcoming Events

Lady Sings the Blues
Sunday, January 31
4 p.m. | Dart Auditorium

One Book #OneLCC Book Discussions
Tuesday, February 2 & Wednesday, February 3
12:15 p.m. – 1 p.m. | The Centre for Engaged Inclusion (GB 252.04)
Lunch is provided with pre-registration and seating is limited.

11th Annual Community Health Fair
Wednesday, February 3
10 a.m. – 3 p.m. | Gannon 3rd Floor Lobby

Click here for Black History Month Events and details.

 

Grammy-Nominee Betty Joplin Performs at LCC on Jan. 31

Don’t miss a special free concert this Sunday to celebrate Black History Month featuring Grammy-nominee Betty Joplin and the LCC Faculty Jazz Quartet. The concert begins at 4 p.m. in Dart Auditorium.

Betty Joplin’s career as singer and pianist has taken her around the world: she toured with the Duke Ellington Orchestra under Mercer Ellington, performed with Arthur Prysock, and has been compared to Aretha Franklin, who herself requested Betty to perform more than once. Betty started singing in church when she was seven; some years later her soulful jazz stylings earned her a Grammy nomination for “This Guy’s In Love With You.” Last year, she was honored with a tribute from the Jazz Alliance of Mid-Michigan and was a Lansing JazzFest favorite. A mid-Michigan resident, she performed in downtown Lansing at The Garage jazz and blues club for many years, and has released two CDs: “Blinded by Love” and “Visions of The Moment.”

The Faculty Jazz Quartet includes LCC professors Dennis Therrian (piano), Jon Gewirtz (saxophone), Mike Daniels (drums), and sitting in on bass, special guest Terry Newman, himself a teacher (Flint School of Performing Arts) who tours and is a regular on the Latin music scene. The Quartet, formed in 2007, performs at LCC and throughout the community. Their first CD, “No Vacancy,” was released in 2011.

Safety in the Palm of your Hands

LCC is taking a proactive approach to safeguarding individuals on campus with Rave Guardian – a mobile app for LCC students and employees. The app provides an opportunity to support users who are in need of immediate assistance by enhancing safety on LCC’s Downtown and West campuses through real-time interactive features that create a virtual safety network of friends, family, and LCC Police and Public Safety.

Rave Guardian App Features

  • Panic Button –Direct immediate connection to Campus Safety with GPS location and personal profile information.
  • Tip Texting –Enables anonymous, two-way, crime tip reporting through text and images.
  • Personal Guardians & Safety Timer –Students can identify Campus Safety, friends, roommates, and family as “Guardians” when setting their Rave Guardian Safety Timer. During a timer session, Guardians and Campus Safety can check status of the student. If the Safety Timer is not deactivated before it expires, Campus Safety is automatically provided with the user’s Rave Guardian profile to proactively identify and check in on the individual.
  • Safety Profile –Student-created Safety Profiles contain information such as residence details and medical conditions. When a student requires assistance – on or off campus – student Safety Profiles are displayed to Campus Safety and Smart911 enabled 9-1-1 centers nationwide.

For information or assistance with setting up the Rave Guardian App, please contact the LCC Help Desk at 517.483.5221.

 lcc.edu/raveguardian

Nominate a Veteran for LCC’s Annual Memorial

LCC is seeking nominations for local men and women who have served in the armed forces with distinguished service. The selected veterans will be honored this November at LCC’s annual Veterans Memorial.

Nominees may have served in any branch of the service during any military action, conflict, or war. Special emphasis is placed on WWII, Korean War, and Vietnam era veterans. Our goal is to honor local service men and women who, while serving in any capacity in the military, distinguished himself/herself by extraordinary heroism, or other action worthy of this commemoration. The act or acts of heroism must have been so notable and have involved risk of life so extraordinary as to set the individual apart from his or her comrades.

Nominations will be accepted until July 1, 2016. For more information, visit: lcc.edu/veteransmemorial/nominate/

Free Breakfast/Lunch!

Join the new Career & Employment Services for FREE breakfast or lunch today! Get info on all the great new services, advising and workshops. Stop into GB 244 anytime between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

(GB 244 is located across from CASE Credit Union)

 

Congratulate Student Writers at January 26th Reception

One Book #OneLCC Writing Contest Awards Ceremony
Tuesday, January 26 | 5 – 6 p.m.

Congratulate the One Book #OneLCC Writing Contest Award winners and listen to readings of contest writings. Light refreshments will be served.

This event is sponsored in part by a grant from the CTL Writing Team in honor of Allan Maar, a champion of LCC writing instruction. Learn more about and donate to the Allan Maar Scholarship at this event.

Winning Entries

Essay
1st “Where Are You From?” by Emilee Wilcox
2nd “Everybody’s Always Got a Choice” by Elizabeth Asman
3rd “Rais Bhuiyan – Man of Bangladesh” by Guadalupe Gonzalez

Poetry: “Why” by Briannea Mansfield

Flash Fiction: “Untitled” by Sophia Cooper

About One Book #OneLCC
One Book #OneLCC is a shared community reading experience that encourages students, faculty, and staff to engage in special events, discussions, and college-wide conversations surrounding a thought provoking common read.

We want your feedback! Join us tomorrow!

Be a part of the very first Feedback Forum tomorrow:

Where: Gannon StarZone – Room A
When: January 21, 4 – 5 p.m.
Topic: The NEW Advising at LCC!

  • Tell us how we’re doing
  • Have you used chat yet?
  • What do you think of Walk-In Wednesdays and our advisors?

Cookies, punch, and snacks will be provided.

Share your thoughts with the Associate Dean of Academic & Career Pathways on how our new services for students are functioning. The new Feedback Forums on the third Thursday of each month give you the opportunity to voice your opinion and create change!

For more information on the Feedback Forums, click here.

If you have any questions, please contact the Center for Academic & Career Pathways at eadvising@lcc.edu or by calling 517-483-1904.

Visiting Speaker Rais Bhuiyan and Civic Engagement Fair – January 14th One Book #OneLCC Events

Rais Bhuiyan – A World Without Hate   January 14 | 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Explore the regenerative power of forgiveness with visiting speaker Rais Bhuiyan. View this talk in the Centre for Engaged Inclusion, the Library Atrium, or online from classrooms and offices at any LCC learning site.

Civic Engagement Fair   January 14 | 1 – 3 p.m. | Gannon Building
Learn about and be part of community service projects coordinated by LCC registered student organizations and local community groups.

About One Book #OneLCC
One Book #OneLCC is a shared community reading experience that encourages students, faculty, and staff to engage in special events, discussions, and college-wide conversations surrounding a thought provoking common read.

Finish Your Degree Faster!

Reach your academic goals faster! Add an 8-, 12- or 14-week class to your schedule.

New classes start weekly throughout the Spring 2016 semester including, online, night and weekends. Earn the same credit, in less time while receiving the same high-quality course experience.

Find your class here.

Late-start spring 2016 FACEBOOK post photo

Will you be a Victim of Tax Return Fraud?

Yeah, it’s tax season!  For tax scammers, tax season equals ill-gotten profits. Tax refund fraud victims usually first learn of the crime after having their returns rejected because scammers beat them to it. Even those who are not required to file a return can be victims of refund fraud, as are those not who are not due a refund. The IRS actually paid out some $5.8 billion in fraudulent refunds in 2013 that it later determined were bogus. Experts say that this is only the fraud the agency knows about. The true number is likely much higher.  Here is what you can do to avoid becoming a victim.

Before you file:

  • Keep an eye on your information!
    • Don’t carry your Social Security card or other information containing your Social Security number (SSN) with you.
    • Don’t give businesses your SSN just because they ask for it. Give it only when required.
    • Take a look at your Social Security earnings statement each year. If that number is off, you need to investigate.
    • Two of the most common ways to steal sensitive data are dumpster diving and mail theft. Investing in a crosscut shredder and a lockable mailbox will help eliminate those risks.
    • To help protect the personal information on your computer, use firewalls and anti-virus software, update your computer with security patches, and change your passwords regularly.
  • Monitor, then freeze.Take advantage of any free credit monitoring available to you, and then freeze your credit file with the major bureaus. A credit freeze lets you restrict access to your credit report, which in turn makes it more difficult for identity thieves to open new accounts in your name.  Fees vary based on where you live, but commonly range from $5 to $10.
  • File Form 14039 and request an IP PIN from the government.This form requires consumers to state they believe they’re likely to be victims of identity fraud. The IRS Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN) is a unique six digit number that is assigned annually to victims of identity theft for use when filing their federal tax return that shows that a particular taxpayer is the rightful filer of the return. Even if thieves haven’t tried to file your taxes for you yet, virtually all Americans have been touched by incidents that could lead to ID theft.
  • The IRS will never call or email you! Be on the lookout for phishing phone calls or email from the “IRS.” The email may even have a realistic-looking sender address, but it’s not from the IRS and probably contains embedded links to malware. If you have any doubt whether a contact from the IRS is authentic, you can call the IRS customer service toll-free number at (800) 829-1040 to confirm it. For more information on IRS scams see:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/27/your-money/call-from-the-irs-hang-up-its-a-fraud.html?_r=0 and https://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/Scam-Phone-Calls-Continue%3B-IRS-Identifies-Five-Easy-Ways-to-Spot-Suspicious-Calls

When you are ready to file:

  • File before the fraudsters do it for you. Your primary defense against becoming the next victim is to file your taxes at the state and federal level as quickly as possible after the 2016 Tax Filing Season begins on January 11, 2016. Be aware that even though the IRS starts accepting tax returns on January 11,  employers and banks/brokerages have until January 31 to provide wage and investment information, so the bad guys have a jump start to submit an early fraudulent return!
  • Use a credible tax preparer. You should beware of tax preparation firms that claim they can obtain larger refunds than other preparers, who base their fee on a percentage of the amount of the refund, who ask consumers to sign a blank tax form, who refuse to provide a preparer tax identification number or provide copies of your tax returns, or charge outrageous fees. The 70 percent of consumers with adjusted gross incomes of $57,000 or less can take advantage of the IRS’s FreeFile Service, which provides access to free tax preparation and filing services, available at:  https://www.irs.gov/uac/Free-File:-Do-Your-Federal-Taxes-for-Free.
  • Watch out for tax-related companies. Some legitimate-looking companies claim to be able to “free” consumers from tax liens, wage garnishments, levies and “unbearable monthly payments for up-front fees of $3,200 to $25,000.”  Other companies claim to be able to settle debts to the IRS for pennies on the dollar, and yet others will claim to give you an advance on your refund but will never hand over the balance of the money. Instead of paying big up-front fees to shady tax-relief firms, consumers who are having trouble paying taxes should contact the IRS or their state comptroller. The IRS’s Taxpayer Advocate Service is an independent office within the IRS that provides free help to consumers having trouble paying their federal taxes. Consumers experiencing difficulties paying state taxes should contact the National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers (NASAA) to get guidance on how to get help from state tax authorities.
  • Don’t use insecure Wi-Fi. Skip using the Wi-Fi at a coffee spot, hotel or fast food location to file tax returns online. These locations are prime places for hackers to intercept and steal your personal information.
  • Use direct deposit for refunds. It is recommend that you use the option of getting your refund via direct deposit (vs. a check) so criminals can’t have it redirected to their address or steal it from your mailbox.
  • Keep your eye on your information (again)! Do not leave your tax returns or any of the key paperwork in the car, on the kitchen counter, or on top of the desk at home.

How to tell if you are a victim of tax return fraud

  • Keep your eyes wide open! Be alert when you see information that doesn’t make sense, such as a rejection notification from the IRS stating that you have already filed a return.
  • Regularly request a free copy of your credit report.Be aware of your bank, investment, and credit accounts. Identity thieves will open new accounts under your name, have the bills sent to them, and spend the money without your consent. By law, consumers are entitled to a free copy of their report from each of the major bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) once a year. Put it on your calendar to request a copy of your file every three to four months, each time from a different credit bureau. Dispute any unauthorized or suspicious activity.

Already a victim of tax return fraud?

  • Contact the IRS. If you receive a notice from the IRS that leads you to believe someone may have used your Social Security number fraudulently, please notify the IRS immediately.
  • Form 4506. If you become of the victim of tax fraud and want to know who defrauded you, you can file Form 4506 (plus a $50 fee) to get a copy of the return.  The information can then be shared with your local police, who may be able to use it to help track down the people who stole your tax refund.
  • Form 14039. You may file Form 14039 (Identity Theft Affidavit) to formally report fraud. The IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit is available at 1-800-908-4490 and may be able to assist you, as well. For more information, please review IRS Pub 4535, Identity Theft Prevention and Victim Assistance.

If you have any questions or need further information, please contact the LCC ITS division, director of Information Security, Paul H. Schwartz, schwarp1@lcc.edu.