Author Archives: Katie

America Ferrera headshot America Ferrera, Alicia Keys and Zoe Kravitz to Visit Richland College to Encourage Student Voting

Richland College is working hard to impress upon students to get out the vote for the midterm elections, and America Ferrera (actress, “Ugly Betty”), Alicia Keys (musician, “Fallin’”, “Girl on Fire”) and Zoe Kravitz (actress, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”, “Big Little Lies”) are joining the effort!

The Richland College Student Government Association, along with the Student Voter Initiative and Voto Latino, is hosting “RLC Votes with America,” a youth voter rally featuring Ferrera, Keys and Kravitz, 11:45 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23.

Leading up to this event, the SGA, with assistance from local nonpartisan groups, has been leading voter registration and education campaigns to encourage civic responsibility and get first-time voters excited about the midterm elections. Prior to the voter registration deadline, nearly 1,000 new voters were registered on campus.

“RLC Votes with America” festivities will begin at 11:45 a.m., including a brass ensemble and dance performance. The event will culminate with featured speakers Ferrera at 12:50 p.m., Keys at 1 p.m. and Kravitz at 1:10 p.m., to be immediately followed by Ferrera, Keys and Kravitz leading students on a “parade to the polls” to Richland College’s early voting location in Guadalupe Hall.

The Student Voter Initiative, part of Texas Student Civic Engagement and an initiative of Texas State Board of Education District 1, aims to engage students in civic participation and remind youths that their voices matter, their votes matter and that voting and jury duty are social obligations. Providing students the opportunity to voice their opinions in their society is a milestone that must be recognized. For more information, visit

Voto Latino is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with a primary aim of encouraging young Hispanic and Latino voters to register to vote and become more politically involved. Through innovative digital campaigns, pop culture and grassroots voices, the organization provides culturally relevant programs that engage, educate and empower Latinos to be agents of change and build a stronger and more inclusive democracy. For more information, visit


(update from a previous version to add additional headliners)

A pile of patriotic voting buttons that say "vote 2018" Richland Student Media to Live Stream Candidate Forums, Oct. 19 and 25

The Richland Student Media team is partnering with the League of Women Voters, the North Dallas Chamber of Commerce and the Greater East Dallas Chamber to live stream and record their upcoming candidate forums in October.

 Coverage includes: 

  • Oct. 19, 7:30-8:30 a.m. – Dallas County Commissioner – Wini Cannon and J.J. Koch, moderated by Lee Kleinman, Dallas City Council Member, District 11
  • Oct. 19, 8:15-9:15 a.m. – Dallas County District Attorney – John Creuzot and Faith Johnson, moderated by Lee Kleinman
  • Oct. 25, 7:30-8:30 a.m. – U.S. Congress District 32 – Colin Allred and Pete Sessions, moderated by Scott Orr, Chairman Elect, North Texas Commission

The live streams can be viewed at

For more information, contact Meg Fullwood at

Paige Lehmann plays the guitar Former Richland College Student Launches ‘Restore the Joy!’ Kickstarter Campaign to Give Local High School Students a Boost

Former Richland College student Paige Lehmann has always loved making heartfelt music and helping her local community. Recently, she had an idea to combine these two passions, and the resulting project will be her first music album, “Restore the Joy!”, a project that will include the help and work of Mesquite-area high school students to give them real-world experience and a scholarship for future academic endeavors.

“I hope to give the students opportunities they can’t even imagine,” said Lehmann. “I hope they walk away from ‘Restore the Joy!’ with new friends, opportunities and a sense of joyful accomplishment in their lives. I hope the music itself opens them up to new possibilities.”

To make her idea a reality, Lehmann launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise necessary funds. Kickstarter is an online platform that helps artists, musicians and other creators find resources and support necessary to make their ideas a reality by allowing donors to provide financial backing to projects such as Lehmann’s album.

This timed Kickstarter campaign has a goal of raising $7,040 by 5:57 a.m. Oct. 13. The money raised will go to producing, recording, mixing, mastering, packaging and printing the album, as well as copywriting each song, renting the Mesquite Arts Center for a show, marketing and photography. There will also be incentives given out for different pledge amounts, including digital downloads of the completed album, tickets to a planned performance of “Restore the Joy!” at the Mesquite Arts Center next March, one-hour virtual songwriting sessions and more. If the campaign does not reach its financial goal, the funds will be returned to the original donors.

“Restore the Joy!” will be a collection of instrumental and lyrical songs written in honor of Lehmann’s childhood. The concept for the album came from Lehmann’s memories of spending time with her grandfather, Thomas “Papaw” Lehmann. After he passed away, Lehmann discovered that he wrote hymns during his life. One of these was called “Restore the Joy,” which inspired Lehmann to create an entire album about joy as a tribute to him.

“I always describe the sound as Winnie the Pooh-meets-Mozart,” said Lehmann. “I use real memories from my childhood, like when I saved a Skittle in my hand all day in Kindergarten because I knew Papaw was coming to pick me up. I ended up with a sweaty green Skittle in my left hand and a new one in my right. I was surprised to find out Papaw wanted the non-sweaty red Skittle even though his favorite flavor was lime. Some of my sweetest memories are shared with him, and it is my greatest pleasure to turn those memories into stories and sound.”

Lehmann is working with Mitch Mitchell, local producer and owner of Piano Note 1 Productions in Mesquite, to create this album. The duo chose three students to help with the album: Haniston Halloway and Lilia Mease from Dr. John Horn High School in Mesquite, and Jonvieve Pelino from North Mesquite High School, who will be playing violin and cello for the album. In addition to giving these students experience producing an album, each one will also receive a $1,000 scholarship for future academic endeavors. The scholarship money was donated by Mesquite Chiropractic and Injury, the Mesquite Arts Council, Lehmann, Mitchell and individuals in the community in support of the project.

“During our first rehearsal, I knew this album would be unforgettable,” said Lehmann. “It’s a beautiful tribute to childhood, and these young ladies are already doing an incredible job bringing the sound to life. Everyone is excited about seeing the show and music come together. And, of course, these ladies are very excited for their well-deserved scholarships. Showing these young ladies that anything, literally anything, is possible is the best lesson I can give. Being featured on a full album before leaving high school is a pretty phenomenal item on your portfolio. One student has mentioned that this project will change her life for the better. I know it will for Mitch and me too; it already has!”

Lehmann is a composer who makes music inspired from the spirit of childhood joy. Her musical themes were developed while working as an au pair in Paris, France, and she wants to bring the joy she felt abroad to everyone around her. She attended Richland College in 2011 and transferred to Texas Tech University a year later. “Dr. Sherry Dean-Rovelo from Richland College was a huge influence in my life,” said Lehmann. “She exposed me to French culture and the possibility of working abroad. I always had an admiration for her humanitarian drive and ability to see a project through to fruition. She helped me see big picture ideas. I don’t know if I would have discovered my personal idea palette as quickly as I did without her signature ‘Keep Thinking and Probing’ line when signing off an email. I believed her and did it!”

Lehmann currently works as a marketing coordinator for her parents’ chiropractic business, Mesquite Chiropractic and Injury, and runs her own radio show, “Millennials in the Know,” on local radio station 88.5 KEOM. Lehmann paid 50 percent of the recording bill to help fund the project. For more information about Lehmann, visit

In addition to owning Piano Note 1 Productions, Mitchell is involved with the Mesquite community through serving as the head sound technician at the Mesquite Arts Center and being an active member of the Mesquite Chamber of Commerce. He has 10 years of production experience and has recorded musical styles from hip-hop to Cumbia. Mitchell purchased new recording equipment and software to help bring this project to a professional level. “I don’t know if there is another producer on this planet who has taken on a project like this one,” said Lehmann. “His dedication to integrity, transparency and connection is unlike anyone I’ve met.”

“I hope to give honor to my Papaw and give people a taste of what I experienced as a child with him,” said Lehmann. “He loved me very much and showed me the extraordinary within the ordinary daily items and tasks. This project feels exactly, 100 percent, authentically Paige. Being able to share music about someone I love and opening opportunities for others is my life dream.”

For more information and to donate to the Kickstarter campaign, visit

Graphic with the words "Minority Serving Institution Convening, Registration for 2018 is Now Open!" Registration Still Open for 2018 Minority Serving Institution Convening at Richland College

Richland College, in collaboration with the Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution program, will host the Minority Serving Institution Convening, “Minority Student Success: Using Data to Effect Change,” Oct. 19-20. At this two-day conference, higher education administrators will discuss effective research, initiatives and programs that impact the academic success of students at minority-serving institutions.

Attendance to the MSI Convening is free, and the deadline for registration is Oct. 8.

The MSI Convening provides an opportunity for educators and other higher education professionals devoted to student success to gather and participate in presentations and discussions about using data to modify and improve programs and initiatives that address the success of minority and underserved students.

This year’s event will kick off Friday morning with a keynote address from Tia Brown McNair, president for diversity, equity and student success at the Association of American Colleges and Universities in Washington, D.C. Elva LeBlanc, executive vice chancellor and provost for Tarrant County College District in Texas, will be giving the plenary address Saturday morning. The conference will also include panel discussions and breakout sessions.

Registration is available online at The website also has additional information, including but not limited to featured speaker biographies, the schedule of events, lodging information and details about past MSI Convenings.

The MSI Convening is made possible in part through a grant from the AANAPISI program of the Department of Education and by State Farm®.

Holding two designations by the U.S. Department of Education as an AANAPISI and a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI), Richland College is one of only nine higher education institutions in the U.S. awarded the AANAPISI grant in fiscal year 2015. With approximately 15 percent of Richland College’s student population comprised of Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander students and at least half demonstrating financial need, AANAPISI funding impacts many of the college’s underserved students. The program helps Richland College to increase the three-year graduation rate for AAPI students who have one or more risks to success and completion, such as financial need or academic challenges.

A group of people pose on a set of stairs together, holding a banner with Korean writing on it. Richland College Welcomes Students and Faculty from the University of Gyeongnam Geochang in South Korea

The Richland College English for Speakers of Other Languages program and Richland College Continuing Education recently welcomed 28 students and one faculty member from the University of Gyeongnam Geochang in South Korea to Richland College.

During the visit, which took place July 2-25, the students participated in English language and American culture learning experiences, comprised of integrated reading and writing courses, cultural awareness sessions, listening and speaking master skill set learning, language exposure activities and excursions.

“Part of Richland College’s vision is to build world community,” said Gabe Edgar, a co-team leader for the UGG Korean Delegation. “There are more than 1,100 international students currently learning at Richland; however, not everyone can commit to spending years away from home. This sort of program opens a middle space for our international partners, whose students want more than a few superficial days. It’s for those that want to dive into the deep end of American culture and language.”

With the Korean Peninsula being at the forefront of many news stories in recent months, the timing of this visit allowed the Richland College community the opportunity to grow in their cultural awareness as they interacted with the South Korean delegation, who in turn were able firsthand to experience American education and culture.

Each day, the South Korean students had approximately six hours of instruction in a non-traditional classroom setting. These lessons included learning line dancing, comic book creation, playing board games and holding guided conversations with American students from the Richland College Honors Program who volunteered to help. In addition, the students joined other international students at Richland College for English classes through the ESOL program, which gave them a chance to practice English with learners from other countries.

The UGG students also went on four cultural excursions during their time with Richland College. These included Fair Park for fireworks on July 4, Whole Foods for a lesson on sustainability and food, Southern Methodist University for a look at a four-year university and the Dallas Museum of Art and Nasher Sculpture Center. In addition to the four main excursions, the students were also invited to dinner in groups of four and five at American homes, not just for a home-cooked meal, but also to give the students an intimate view of American life.

“The program was an absolutely unqualified success,” said Edgar. “We received tremendously positive feedback from the students, both in person and on anonymous surveys they completed. We even had one student begin paperwork to become an international student and study nursing in the U.S. If we counted all the people who had a hand in making the program so successful, they would outnumber the 28 South Korean students by three-to-one!” said Edgar. “That sort of effort is only possible when we’re all in it together.”

This cultural and language exposure summer program was made possible by Richland College’s administrators, the School of World Languages, Cultures and Communications, the Continuing Education division, the Multicultural Center, the ESOL staff and faculty, the Health Center, the Richland College police, the Honors program, the Office of Student Life and others.

Richland College offers courses, programs and services to empower students to achieve their educational goals and become lifelong learners and global citizens, building sustainable local and world community. For more information, visit

A group of people surrounds Ruth R. Hughs as she holds a giant check for $705,439. Richland College Receives $705,439 Grant from Texas Workforce Commission in Check-Signing Ceremony

Richland College, Texas Workforce Commission and Dallas County Manufacturers’ Association representatives participated in a check-signing ceremony Aug. 2 at Richland College Garland Campus.

Richland College was awarded a $705,439 Skills Development Fund grant by the Texas Workforce Commission to train 321 incumbent employees upgraded to new jobs and 32 new hires in essential industry-specific knowledge and skills. The grant will provide 13,649 training hours for seven Dallas County manufacturing companies to include Epiroc Drilling Solutions, LLC; Barnsco; Erect-A-Line; Brill, a CSM Bakery Solutions Company; Garrett Metal Detectors; Micropac Industries, Inc.; and Milano Hat Company.

Four of the partnering businesses are new SDF grant partners, and the other three businesses recently became re-eligible for funding after completing successful training programs through prior SDF grants.

The training provided under this grant will be completed during a 15-month period beginning Aug. 31, with the goal of improving processes and bridging technology and leadership skills gaps for the participating employers.

“We have gathered this afternoon to acknowledge our appreciation of the important industry training impact this $705,439 Texas Workforce Commission Skills Development Fund grant is making possible through Richland College Garland Campus, where a dynamic tri-partnership continues to flourish among the Garland Chamber of Commerce, the Dallas County Manufacturers’ Association and Richland College Garland Campus,” said Richland College president Kathryn K. Eggleston, addressing the audience at the event. “This grant enables our triad to advance and expand both technical and non-technical training to employees at seven Garland and regional area manufacturing companies, continuing to leverage our capabilities to grow the economic base of Garland’s manufacturing sector businesses and contributing to a skilled Texas workforce and beyond.”

Ruth R. Hughs, TWC chair and commissioner representing employers of Texas, spoke about the partnership with DCMA and Richland College’s role in providing training to Garland and other north Texas-area businesses through previous SDF grants.

“[The Skills Development Fund program] really is our premiere job training program because it allows employers to get that customized curriculum to meet their needs, and it allows workers an opportunity to really expand their skillset and be able to be more competitive in the marketplace and be better employees,” said Hughs. “We find time and again that when the employers invest in their employees in these ways, the employees invest back, and you really do get a better-quality employee and you create a culture that everybody wants to be a part of.”

Micropac Industries, Inc., has previously received training from Richland College through an SDF grant. Chairman and CEO Mark King spoke about real-life results from this training, including last year when Lockheed required Micropac operators to have an IPC-A-610 certification to build optical sensors for missiles. To execute the contract successfully for the sensors and build them to Lockheed’s standards, 14 people went through IPC-A-610 previous SDF grant-funded training with Richland College, and all employees successfully passed the certification exam. As a direct result of this training, Micropac soon will be signing another contract with Lockheed.

Garland Chamber of Commerce and DCMA CEO Paul Mayer discussed how the chamber’s partnership with Richland College, along with the creation of the DCMA to meet the specific needs of manufacturers, has benefited not just area employers, but the City of Garland and its residents, including the creation of the Gilbreath-Reed Career and Technical Center, where advanced-level career and technical education courses are provided to Garland Independent School District students.

“The city recognizes it in terms of how we build infrastructure, how we build housing, how we build all the things that industry needs,” said Mayer.

The SDF program at Richland College Garland Campus provides customized job-training programs for businesses who want to train new workers or upgrade the skills of their existing workforce. The program is a partnership among Richland College Garland Campus, TWC and community business partners. For additional information about the Skills Development Fund program, visit

illustration of hamlet classical theater actor playing character Richland College Theatre Students Receive Prestigious Internships with Shakespeare Dallas

Richland College students Lacedes Hunt and Will Frederick recently received prestigious summer internships with Shakespeare Dallas. Hunt will work with directing and Frederick will work with lighting.

“An internship with Shakespeare Dallas means that our students have the opportunity to work at one of the largest, oldest and most respected regional theatres in Dallas,” said Gregory Lush, theatre faculty member at Richland College, who will be portraying Iago in Shakespeare Dallas’ production of “Othello” this fall. “They work all summer alongside the top professionals in our field. At the end of a successfully completed internship, our students will receive personal recommendation letters.”

Internships at Shakespeare Dallas provide students the opportunity to work with top artists, designers and technicians in a professional working environment and to connect with many different theatre companies in North Texas. These unpaid internships last eight to 12 weeks and require 20-25 hours of work per week.

The Richland College Theatre program provides a well-balanced curriculum of classroom instruction and concurrent professional employment that challenges students and fosters their success in the world of drama and theatrical production. Students learn on a cutting-edge sound system and robotic lighting, giving them real-world training in all phases of production. The award-winning faculty and staff also offer in-depth classroom study and hands-on practical experience in acting, musical theatre, design and technical arts and improvisation. For more information, visit

Since 1971, Shakespeare Dallas has provided North Texas residents the opportunity to experience Shakespeare in a casual park setting, as well as providing cultural and educational programs to audiences of all ages. For more information, visit

Headshot of Kay Eggleston Richland College President to Serve on American Association of Community Colleges Board of Directors

Richland College president Kathryn K. Eggleston was recently elected to serve on the American Association of Community Colleges board of directors, with her three-year term beginning July 1.

Eggleston will be one of 32 community college representatives serving on the AACC board of directors. The board acts on behalf of AACC institutional members to create and maintain a vision for the association and to determine and ensure it is adhering to appropriate standards of performance.

As a newly elected AACC board member, Eggleston says she “looks forward to advancing key national strategic initiatives to help the more than 1,100 member community colleges to serve better their students and achieve greater success outcomes.”

Eggleston has previously served AACC in multiple capacities, including with the Commission on College Readiness, Commission on Leadership and Professional Development, Commission on Communications and Marketing and the AACC 21st Century Initiative Implementation Team 9: Faculty Engagement and Leadership Development.

Each year following its annual August board meeting, AACC solicits nominations for board seats from CEOs and presidents of institutional members. In November, the Committee on Directors and Membership Services reviews the nominations and develops the slate, which is approved by the board. Election ballots are then sent to AACC member CEOs in February to vote on the board nominees. Upon development of the slate, AACC received 19 letters of recommendation from community college representatives nationwide in support of Eggleston’s nomination to the board of directors.

“[Eggleston’s] previous and continuing service on AACC commissions, the Baldrige Foundation board, multiple chambers of commerce and the North Texas Community College Consortium are well-documented and noteworthy,” wrote Brookhaven College president Thom Chesney in his letter of recommendation to AACC. “I would add to that the deep and caring commitment she has given to employee development at Richland College by creating career pathways and support for her team members to excel at every level.”

As the primary advocacy organization for community colleges in the U.S., AACC represents nearly 1,200 two-year, associate degree-granting institutions and more than 12 million students. The association promotes community colleges through five strategic action areas: recognition and advocacy for community colleges; student access, learning and success; community college leadership development; economic and workforce development; and global and intercultural education.

For additional information about AACC, visit

Amazon Web Services Logo Richland College Offering Two Amazon Web Services Academy Curriculum Classes for Fall 2018

Richland College has two upcoming Amazon Web Services Academy curriculum classes for the fall 2018 semester, beginning Aug. 27 and Oct. 22. These AWS Solutions Architect courses are designed to prepare students for the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate certification exam.

The classes are taught by Richland College information technology and cloud computing faculty member Juli Hart. In these classes, students will develop technical expertise in cloud computing and will have access to course manuals, online knowledge assessments, hands-on labs, a free practice certification exam and a discount voucher for the actual certification exam.

The classes are flex term classes, meaning they last for eight weeks each. They meet Monday and Wednesday evenings at 5:30.

With AWS being the industry leader in cloud computing, AWS certification holders are extremely relevant and valued in today’s IT job market. According to the Global Knowledge 2017 IT Skills and Salary Survey, the average salary of AWS-certified professionals is 27.5 percent higher than those without an AWS certification.

For information on registering for these classes at Richland College, visit

Four separate panels show a brick layer, warehouse manager, office administration class and forklift driver Training Programs in Garland and South Dallas

Get Skills to Pay Your Bills!

Richland College offers quick, entry-level job training programs in Garland and South Dallas. These programs are designed to get students in the workplace fast.

Grant funding is available to pay for scholarships up to 100% of the training cost to eligible young adults ages 18-24. Transportation assistance is available with these scholarships.

Upon completion of training, earned Richland College certificates and business/industry certifications will be provided to help get you hired!

Garland Campus

Office Administration (11 weeks)
Machine Operator & Forklift (6 weeks)

South Dallas Training Center

Office Administration (11 weeks)
Carpentry Construction (7 weeks)*
Masonry (Brick Laying) Construction (7 weeks)*
Logistics/Warehouse and Forklift (5 weeks)

*No High School Diploma or GED is required for carpentry construction or masonry construction.

For information on any of these programs, please call 214-360-1246 or email