Author Archives: Katie

Richland College’s Emeritus Plus 50 Program to Offer New Bus Trips for Fall 2017

The Richland College Emeritus plus 50 program is expanding its bus trips program this fall semester, allowing participants ages 50 and older to keep their minds and bodies active while experiencing some of the best events and locations the DFW metroplex and state of Texas have to offer.

“The trips in the Richland College Emeritus plus 50 program allow the participants to experience activities, educational opportunities, and historical locations that they might not otherwise be able to do, because of limited budgets and driving capabilities,” said Cindy Berry, Emeritus program director. “These activities provide an opportunity for the participants to interact socially with people from different walks of life in a safe, secure environment.”

There are currently several trips planned for this fall. On Sept. 9, Emeritus will be taking students to see the Texas Rangers square off against the New York Yankees at Globe Life Park in Arlington. On Oct. 7, students will be going on an educational bus trip to historical sites in Dallas facilitated by the legendary Rose-Mary Rumbley, who has written several books on the history of Dallas.

Some tentative trips that are planned include a visit to LBJ Library in Austin, Texas, and the LBJ Ranch and National Historic Park in Johnson City, Texas, on October 24 and 25. On November 4, there is a trip planned to see the Top O’Hill Terrace in Arlington—a Texas Historic Landmark that was a famous hangout for celebrities, entertainers and gangsters to gather and gamble—and a chance to see the Fort Worth Museum District. More details will be posted online once the trips are confirmed.

The Richland College Emeritus plus 50 program provides affordable classes to people ages 50 and older to help them stay intellectually challenged, physically fit and socially connected. Dallas County residents 65 years old and older who have lived in Texas for at least one year may receive free tuition for up to six college credit hours per semester. The fall 2017 semester will begin on August 21.

For more information and the full list of events and class schedules, visit richlandcollege.edu/emeritus.


Richland College and Amazon Announce Partnership to Train Veterans in Cloud Computing
A large group of people posing together.

Representatives from Amazon, Richland College, Dallas County Community College District, and Texas State Sen. Don Huffines (second row, third from left) pose with members of the inaugural Richland College Amazon Web Services training class. Photo by Paul Knudsen.

Richland College and Amazon Web Services announced a partnership Monday to bring a new apprenticeship program to Dallas to train and hire veterans.

Through the program, veterans complete a 16-week certification program at Richland College, where they learn about cloud-based solutions and get practice using Amazon Web Services features. Upon completion of the courses at Richland College, students will then transition to one-year paid internships with Amazon, after which participants are guaranteed interviews for full-time positions with Amazon.

“Embarking on this new strategic partnership with Amazon Web Services will indeed enhance economic growth in the north Texas region, equip a skilled Texas workforce in information technology fields with emphasis on training and hiring veterans and expand Amazon’s growing presence and tremendous potential as a major employer in the Metroplex and beyond,” said Kathryn K. Eggleston, Ph.D., president of Richland College.

At Richland College, highly trained and experienced computer information technology and cybersecurity faculty will provide certification preparation training in A+, Net+, Linux and more. Amazon has already selected 15 local veterans to participate in the first class.


Richland College Awarded $707,000 Grant to Train 549 New and Current Associa Employees

Seven people posing with a giant check.

Richland College, Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), the City of Richardson and Associa representatives participated in a check-signing ceremony Thursday afternoon at the Associa Shared Services Center in Richardson to award Richland College with a $707,696 Skills Development Fund Grant by the TWC.

The grant will be used by Richland College to train 549 new and current Associa employees that will advance their skills and improve the North Texas workforce.

From left to right: Chelle O’Keefe, executive vice president and CHRO, Associa, Inc.; Paul Voelker, mayor of Richardson; Texas State Rep. Linda Koop; Kathryn K. Eggleston, Ph.D., Richland College president; John Carona, chairman of the board and CEO, Associa, Inc.; Ruth R. Hughs, commissioner representing employers, Texas Workforce Commission; Shellie Heard, dean of resource development, Richland College; and Ron Clark, vice president for business services, Richland College. Photo by Paul Knudsen.


Richland College and Girls Inc. Prepare Middle and High School Girls for College and S.T.E.A.M. Careers at 4th Annual Summer Camp
Young girls pose with a professor.

Girls Inc. campers pose with Richland College professor Dr. Sherry Dean on the Richland College campus. Photograph by Paul Knudsen.

For the fourth year in a row, Richland College partnered with Girls Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas, a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring all girls to be strong, smart and bold, to host the first segment of a four-week summer camp for girls in grades 8-12.

While the camp originally started for middle schoolers, it has expanded to allow girls the opportunity to return for up to five years to continue their educational journey and to encourage college and career awareness among young women.

The Girls Inc. “Eureka!” camp empowers campers to see themselves as important parts of the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) workforce of the future. Richland College hosted the first week June 5-9, during which the focus was on robotics each morning and art, dance and personal development each afternoon.

Upon completing their first week of camp at Richland College, the girls are being hosted by Imagine Science, followed by the University of North Texas at Dallas. The camp concludes at Cedar Valley College.

The camp is sponsored in part by High Tech High Heels, SAP Labs, ExxonMobil, Lockheed Martin, Program for Excellence and a grant from State Farm that is specifically funding the first week of camp at Richland College.


Associa Partners with Richland College to Receive Company’s Largest Texas Workforce Commission Grant

Associa, the industry’s largest community management company, in partnership with Richland College, is proud to accept its largest educational grant from the Texas Workforce Commission.

The $707,000 training grant will provide the unique job training opportunity for more than 500 employees from the company’s north Texas region, including its Client Shared Services Center, home office and local management affiliate. The resources will be used to expand Associa’s employee education programs and specific job training that will advance employees’ skills and improve the North Texas workforce.

The courses are scheduled to begin this month and will continue throughout 2018. The curriculum will cover many facets of Associa’s core business, including accounting and financials, customer service and business communications.

“We are excited to accept this generous grant from the Texas Workforce Commission as it will provide our employees the opportunity to improve their skillset, advance their knowledge base and complete their jobs to the very best of their abilities,” stated Chelle O’Keefe, executive vice president and chief human resources officer at Associa. “We are focused on providing a positive employee experience at Associa so that our employees choose to build their careers with us. By using this grant to expand our current educational programs, it will not only help strengthen Associa but also contribute to the continued success of the Richardson business community and local economy.”

“Richland College is pleased to partner again with Associa in advancing the skills of its workforce and the economic base of Richardson and North Texas,” stated Dr. Kathryn K. Eggleston, Richland College president. “Richland College appreciates the ongoing confidence that the Texas Workforce Commission and Associa place in us as an experienced, high-quality, results-focused training provider.”

Associa and Richland College will be holding a check ceremony in honor of receiving the grant. The ceremony will be held at Associa’s Client Shared Service Center in Richardson, Texas, on June 15 at 3 p.m.

(Courtesy of Associa)


Richland College and RealPage Partner for over $1.3 Million Job-Training Grant

People posing with a large checkRealPage Inc. has partnered with Richland College to provide job training using a $1,323,223 Skills Development Fund grant from the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). The grant will benefit workers in the Greater Dallas area.

“This partnership focuses on specialized technical skills training needed to support this high-demand industry in the Richland area,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Ruth R. Hughs. “We are pleased to make this grant to RealPage and Richland College, which will provide technology training and help maintain a highly skilled workforce.”

This grant will be used to provide customized training for 700 new and incumbent workers for emerging information technology (IT) technologies with focused instruction on virtualization and cloud software, software supporting web-based application, project management and process control instruction. Trainees will include IT project managers, computer analysts, network support engineers, software engineers and technical writers. Upon completion of training, the workers will receive an average wage of $31.16.

Since its inception in 1996, the Skills Development Fund grants have created or upgraded more than 342,428 jobs throughout Texas. The grants have assisted 4,238 employers with their customized training needs. The Legislature allocated $48.5 million to the Skills Development Fund for the 2016-17 biennium. Employers seeking more information about the Skills Development Fund may visit the TWC website at
texasworkforce.org/skills.


Richland College President Receives Shirley B. Gordon Award from Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society
Dr. Eggleston on stage waving at the crowd after accepting her award

Richland College president Kathryn K. Eggleston, Ph.D., recently accepted the Phi Theta Kappa Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction at the annual Phi Theta Kappa convention in Nashville, Tenn. Photo courtesy of Phi Theta Kappa.

Richland College president Kathryn K. Eggleston, Ph.D., was one of nineteen presidents/campus CEOs awarded the Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction at Phi Theta Kappa’s annual convention in Nashville, Tenn., Apr. 6-8.

College presidents and campus CEOs are selected for this award based on outstanding efforts in promoting the goals of Phi Theta Kappa at their institutions. Nominees must have served as president at least five years at the current institution and demonstrated a strong level of support for Phi Theta Kappa during their tenure.

The award is named for the late Dr. Shirley B. Gordon, Phi Theta Kappa’s longest-serving Board of Directors chair. Gordon was named Phi Theta Kappa’s Most Distinguished College President in 1984.

Following acceptance of the award, Eggleston said, “I am honored to be recognized as a national recipient of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society’s 2017 Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction for advancing the goals of academic scholarship, leadership and service among Richland College’s outstanding honor students. I am proud to note that Richland’s Alpha Alpha Xi Chapter continues to sustain annually its Five Star Chapter rating, the highest level of accomplishment by college chapters.”

In addition to the Shirley B. Gordon Award, Eggleston was also recently inducted into the Texas Hall of Honor for Chief Executive Officers for the Texas region of Phi Theta Kappa for her and Richland College’s outstanding support of Phi Theta Kappa.

Phi Theta Kappa is the international honor society for community colleges. Founded in 1918 to give prestigious recognition to students with excellent scholarship and character, Phi Theta Kappa has always maintained fidelity to its founders’ commitment to provide enrichment in four hallmarks: scholarship, leadership, service and fellowship. Phi Theta Kappa features some of the nation’s finest educational programs for community college students.

Richland College’s Phi Theta Kappa Alpha Alpha Xi Chapter was recognized as a 2015 Top 100 Distinguished Chapter at the International Level, was the 2015 8th Most Distinguished Chapter in Texas Region and was the 2015 Most Distinguished Chapter for Honors in Action Theme 3: Quest for Human Expressions. In 2017, chapter secretary Elizabeth Mareesa won a “Distinguised Member” medallion at the Phi Theta Kappa Texas Regional Conference.

For additional information about Phi Theta Kappa at Richland College, visit alt.richlandcollege.edu/phi-theta-kappa.


Richland College Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Student Success Selected for 2017-2018 Aspen Presidential Fellowship

Zarina BlankenbakerRichland College executive vice president for academic affairs and student success Zarina Blankenbaker, Ph.D., was recently selected for the prestigious Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence, a highly selective leadership program aimed at developing a new cadre of outstanding leaders capable of transforming student success at community colleges across the U.S. The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC.

Blankenbaker was one of only 40 fellows selected nationwide for this honor and will embark on a year-long fellowship beginning July 2017. Delivered in collaboration with the Stanford Educational Leadership Initiative and top community college leaders, the program focuses on a new vision of leadership and aims to guide new and aspiring community college presidents to change dramatically student outcomes in several areas: learning, completion while in community college, completion of bachelor’s degrees after transfer, employment and earnings after graduation and equitable access and success for underrepresented minority and low-income students.

“As a community college leader with a personal commitment to providing equity, I am delighted with the opportunity the Aspen Presidential Fellowship will provide to prepare me with the exceptional leadership knowledge, skills and abilities to design the desired, holistic learning experiences necessary for students to complete their educational goals with the creative talent requisite to solve problems of the 21st century,” said Blankenbaker.

The selection criteria for the fellowship included Blankenbaker’s abilities in taking strategic risks, leading strong teams, cultivating partnerships and focusing on results-oriented improvements in student success and access.

According to the American Association of Community Colleges, 365 presidents left their posts during the past year. This rate of turnover is happening while increasing numbers of students—including growing numbers of minority, low-income and first-generation-to-college students—are attending community colleges.

The 2017-2018 Aspen Presidential Fellows hail from 24 states and 38 community colleges. For information, visit http://as.pn/1ky.

The Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence is funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, College Futures Foundation, ECMC Foundation, Greater Texas Foundation, Joyce Foundation and Kresge Foundation.


Richland College Presents 14th Annual ‘Carnival of Steel’ Festival April 22

A student plays steel drumsRichland College will once again be the site of incredible beats and rhythms when it hosts the 14th annual Carnival of Steel festival from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Apr. 22.

A premier world music event in Dallas-Ft. Worth, this year’s Carnival of Steel festival will feature steel bands, percussion groups and jazz bands from around the U.S. performing a variety of music styles from Caribbean to Latin to classical and even rock. Special guests include world-renowned steel drum artist Jeff Narell and steel drum artist, festival tuner and massed band leader Shelly Irvine.

Carnival of Steel will begin with daytime performances from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. that are free and open to the public. At 5:30 p.m. Narell will host a guest artist performance demo clinic, and at 8 p.m. will be the guest artist evening concert. Tickets to the performance demo clinic are $5, and tickets to the evening concert are $10. All performances will take place in the outdoor breezeway on the east side of the Richland College campus.

Also available at the Carnival of Steel will be a steel drum tuning service provided by Irvine, in addition to various Caribbean food and clothing vendors.

Tickets to Carnival of Steel may be purchased in advance by contacting Derrick Logozzo at 972-238-6254, or they may be purchased in person at the event.

Richland College is located at 12800 Abrams Road. Additional information is available at richlandcollege.edu/carnivalofsteel.


Richland College Receives $804,845 Grant from Texas Workforce Commission in Check-Signing Ceremony

A group of people standing with a large check.Richland College, Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), Garland Chamber of Commerce and local business representatives were present at a check-signing ceremony April 13 at Richland College Garland Campus to award Richland College with a $804,845 Skills Development Fund Grant from the TWC.

The grant will be used by Richland College to create or update 430 jobs at nine Dallas County Manufacturers’ Association companies, including Aloe Vera of America; Altronic Controls; Ecolab; General Dynamics; Hatco; Marlow Industries; Sherwin Williams; Unity Manufacturing; and VEKA South, Inc.

Training under the grant includes AutoCAD, electrical basics and troubleshooting, hydraulics, ARC Flash, motor controls, Lean Manufacturing, CPR, Microsoft Office, project management, Six Sigma Green Belt and leadership.

“Richland College Garland Campus appreciates the ongoing confidence that the Texas Workforce Commission and area manufacturers place in us an experienced, high-quality, results-focused training provider,” said Kathryn K. Eggleston, Ph.D., president of Richland College. “We remain ready to anticipate and exceed expectations in training delivery for these business partners and other business partners in our Garland community and beyond.”

“Garland is extremely proud to be a manufacturing community,” said Paul Mayer, CEO of the Garland Chamber of Commerce and DCMA.

Event speakers included Eggleston, Mayer, Richland College Garland Campus Associate Dean of Workforce Development Kimberly Wilkins, TWC Chairman and Commissioner Andres Alcantar and Unity Manufacturing CEO Richard Buferd.