Category Archives: Events

Texas A&M Engineering Partnership with El Centro College Expanding to Include Richland College

The Texas A&M-Chevron Engineering Academy at El Centro College is expanding to become the Texas A&M-Chevron Engineering Academy at El Centro College and Richland College.

Texas A&M-Chevron Engineering Academies are innovative co-enrollment partnerships developed to address the state’s growing need for engineers. Qualified students will be admitted to the Texas A&M University College of Engineering, complete the first two years of coursework at El Centro or Richland and finish their engineering degrees in College Station. All A&M engineering classes for students enrolled in this academy will take place on the campus of El Centro College in downtown Dallas.

“We are excited about offering our unique pathway to an Aggie engineering degree to even more Dallas-area students by expanding the Engineering Academy at El Centro to include Richland,” said Dr. Cindy Lawley, Texas A&M Engineering assistant vice chancellor for academic and outreach programs. “The Texas A&M-Chevron Engineering Academy program is the only engineering transition program of its kind in the United States, and students admitted to this academy are part of the Texas A&M College of Engineering from day one.“

Richland College president Dr. Kathryn K. Eggleston said the partnership strengthens an already strong engineering transfer program.

“This partnership expands Richland College’s strong transfer engineering focus by offering greater accessibility and a structured pathway to a bachelor’s degree with guaranteed admission to tier-one Texas A&M University,” she said. “We are grateful for the support of Chevron toward this important student success initiative.”

The expanded academy is one of five Texas A&M-Chevron Academies across Texas. Texas A&M-Chevron Academies at Austin Community College, Houston Community College and Texas Southmost College in Brownsville are currently accepting student applications, and Alamo Colleges in San Antonio will begin in fall 2018. Texas A&M also has successful engineering academies at the Blinn College campuses in Brenham and Bryan.

“Chevron is excited to be able to continue our longstanding relationship with Texas A&M through support of the engineering academy initiative, which will help provide opportunities in the field of engineering for many underrepresented and first-generation college students,” said Shariq Yosufzai, Chevron vice president of diversity, ombuds and university partnerships. “Partnering with Texas A&M, a top source of engineering hires for Chevron, to help provide opportunities in the field of engineering will support our efforts to help build the diverse workforce of tomorrow that will be required to meet the energy needs of the future.”

A 2012 report by the President’s Advisory Council on Science and Technology projected that 1 million more STEM degrees would be needed in the next decade. In Texas alone, the projected need for engineers in the workforce is 62,000 by 2022. To meet this need, universities and two-year colleges will need to work together to bridge the gap, and attract and retain students who are interested in STEM fields.

“Successfully transitioning from a two-year to four-year institution can be a daunting experience for students,” said Dr. Greg Morris, vice president of academic affairs at El Centro College. “This academy eliminates that barrier for our students—increasing their likelihood of completing a four-year engineering degree.

“The need for innovative STEM pathways that lead to high-paying engineering careers is vital to the Texas economy. The Texas A&M-Chevron Engineering Academy at El Centro College and Richland College blends accessibility with academic rigor and helps chart a path toward student success in the fields of engineering, Morris said.”

By enrolling in the academies, students can save up to $15,600 in tuition and fees over two years while still being taught by Texas A&M faculty on the El Centro campus.

“El Centro and Richland students admitted to the Texas A&M-Chevron Engineering Academy can take their freshman and sophomore engineering classes right here in downtown Dallas, and the classes are taught 100 percent by Texas A&M faculty. It’s a win-win for our students,” said Morris.

The partnership with El Centro College began admitting students in 2016, and several of the students in the program are looking forward to attending the Texas A&M campus in College Station. Luis Gonzales, one of the academy students who was also recently selected as one of NASA’s Community College Aerospace Scholars, is the first member of his family to go to college.

“I chose to apply for the engineering academy because it was an affordable option for me and my family,” he said. “I was accepted into the engineering program at Texas A&M in College Station and at other big universities, but I chose to go with the more affordable option.”

(Release courtesy of Texas A&M University Engineering)

Richland College Dance Program Celebrates the Unexpected with ‘Serendipity’ Spring Dance Concert
Four Richland College dance students perform in True Colors

Richland College students perform in last year’s ‘True Colors’ dance program.

Expect the unexpected when the Richland College dance program stages its spring dance concert, “Serendipity,” with performances at 12:30 and 1:30 p.m. March 31.

Directed by Richland College dance director Gina Sawyer, “Serendipity” will feature students, faculty members and guest performers in choreography and performance roles, with dance genres including contemporary modern, jazz, tap and hip-hop.

“’Serendipity’ is sure to tickle your fancy with unexpected twists and turns,” said Sawyer. “The dance performances embrace creative thinking and art-making.”

Dance faculty choreography and film work will include original pieces by guest performer Darrell Cleveland and faculty members Nadia Dosal, Christie Nelson, Lauren Schieffer and Sawyer. Additional guest performers and choreographers include Keira Leverton and the Terrance M. Johnson Dance Project.

Darrell Cleveland is a professional dancer, choreographer and instructor with 20 years of experience in ballet, jazz and modern dance forms. His experience includes teaching at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, dancing with Toni Braxton and En Vogue, eight seasons with the Dallas Black Dance Theater and choreographing and starring in statewide Texas Lottery commercials.

Keira Leverton comes from a dance background—her grandfather was Buster Cooper, an influential tap dancer who founded the dance program at the Hockaday School. Much of her exposure to the tap community was through tap festivals such as the Chicago Human Rhythm Project and the Third Coast Rhythm Project, and she trained with a variety of professionals, including Gregory Hines and Yuji Uragami. Leverton has performed worldwide at venues such as Radio City Music Hall and Wembley Stadium in London.

The Terrance M. Johnson Dance Project (TMJDP) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that uses the art of dance to promote community outreach, cultural awareness, social consciousness, art in education and the preservation of live performance art. Its mission is to support the welfare of underserved communities through the creation and implementation of art and culture programs that are rooted in the principles of humanity. The TMJDP professional company is a collective of performing artists that engages audiences with choreographic works that are socially conscious, critically engaging and aesthetically pleasing.

The Richland College dance program provides a challenging teaching and learning environment for students that values diversity and develops artistic excellence, fosters creative and collaborative practices and encourages personal agency and social responsibility in appreciating dance.

“Serendipity” is free and open to the public in the Fannin Performance Hall on the east side of the Richland College campus. Richland College is located at 12800 Abrams Road. Additional information is available at

Richland College to Host ‘Concealed Carry’ Forum for Local Community Jan. 31

External photo of Sabine HallRichland College invites the public to attend a community forum regarding Senate Bill 11, also known as “Concealed Carry” and “Campus Carry,” at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 31 in Sabine Hall, room SH118. The intent of this public forum is to seek feedback regarding potential gun-free zones at Richland College and answer questions community members may have about Concealed Carry on the Richland College campus.

Information collected at the forum will be communicated to the Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD) Concealed Carry committee and assimilated into recommendations to the DCCCD chancellor, who will work with the DCCCD Board of Trustees to set the policies and procedures for DCCCD colleges and locations.

The Concealed Carry legislation permits a Licensed to Carry (LTC) holder to carry a concealed handgun on or about his or her person on the campus of an institution of higher education in Texas. Signed by the governor in June 2015, the law went into effect for four-year colleges and universities on Aug. 1, 2016, and will go into effect for DCCCD and other Texas community colleges on Aug. 1, 2017.

The law allows institutions to consult with students, faculty, staff and the community to establish reasonable rules or regulations that prohibit LTC holders from carrying concealed handguns on certain areas of campus, in a building or a portion of a building as long as the rules and regulations do not have the effect of generally prohibiting a license holder from carrying a concealed handgun on campus. Effective notice must be provided anywhere handguns may not be carried.

“While Concealed Carry remains a contentious topic, the initial phase of the debate has yielded to complying with the passed legislation,” said Scott Branks del Llano, Ph.D., coordinator for the Richland College Institute for Peace and Human Rights. “We are now confronted with implementation and the task of recommending gun-free zones on each of our campuses.”

The law does not allow Open Carry on college campuses and does not allow the carry of rifles or shotguns on college campuses. A handgun is a pistol, revolver or other firearm for which the length of the barrel, which, not including the revolving, detachable or magazine breech, does not exceed 12 inches.

Additional information about Concealed Carry is available at Questions and concerns can be emailed to

Richland College is located at 12800 Abrams Rd. in Dallas.

U.S. Air Force Band of The West To Perform at Richland College
U.S. Air Force Band of the West performs music.

Photo courtesy of U.S. Air Force Band of the West.

The United States Air Force (USAF) Band of the West is coming to Richland College to perform as part of its Holiday in Blue tour. This performance will take place at 7 p.m. on December 3 in the Fannin Performance Hall. This concert is free and open to the public.

“At this time, the U.S. federal government is considering a severe reduction in U.S. military band travel, and we will be able to experience the tremendous benefit of the program before such a decision is made,” said Derick Logozzo, Richland College director of instrumental music. “Also, the interaction that Richland students will be able to have with these career musicians on the day of the event in separate sessions is very valuable. Our students will get to hear and see the level of ability of experienced competitive symphonic music professionals and learn more about how to reach such a goal.”

The USAF Band of the West has been presenting Holiday in Blue concerts for more than 40 years as a way of bringing the community together to celebrate the holiday season and our veterans through music. This 90-minute concert will include a variety of works, styles and genres featuring the excellent display of musicianship from the symphonic concert band and soloists.

For more information about the USAF Band of the West, visit For more information about the Richland College music department, visit

Richland College Dance Program Raises Environmental Awareness with ‘Fire and Ice’ Fall Concert
Two students dancing in sync

Richland College students audition for “Fire & Ice.” Photo by Paul Knudsen.

The Richland College dance program’s movements will go green as it raises awareness of the environment during its fall dance concert, “Fire & Ice,” at 12:30 and 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4.

Directed by Richland College dance director Gina Sawyer, “Fire & Ice” will involve both students and faculty in choreography and performance roles, with dance genres including contemporary modern, lyrical, jazz, tap and hip-hop.

“’Fire & Ice’ is about creating a greater awareness for our environment through dance performance,” said Sawyer. “The Richland College dance program is collaborating with Richardson Recycles to promote sustainability within our community.”

Each audience member who attends the afternoon show will receive a blue recycle bag from the city of Richardson. The bags can be used as a reusable grocery bags and later can be repurposed into cleaning cloths.

Dance faculty choreography and film work will include original pieces by Claire Augustine, Christie Nelson, Lauren Schieffer and Sawyer. The program will also feature guest performers and choreographers Matt Rivera, the Big Rig Dance Collective and Rhythmic Souls, which is under the direction of Katelyn Harris.

Rivera’s professional experience includes theatrical performances such as “Mamma Mia!” in Las Vegas and the first national runs of “Swing!” and “Movin’ Out.” He also has performed with a variety of dance companies, including Twyla Tharp’s THARP, Hubbard Street Dance in Chicago, Cirque du Soleil and more.

The Big Rig Dance Collective is based in north Texas and produces contemporary dance works that investigate questions big and small through physical experience. Since 2010, the Big Rig Dance Collective has been creating a myriad of dance experiences in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area and has presented at many regional and national festivals throughout the United States.

Rhythmic Souls, under the direction of Harris, is a small company of rhythm tap dancers known for their unique blend of style, charisma, innovative choreography and rapid-fire footwork. Rhythmic Souls strives to bring the spirit of tap dance back to the stage and continues the legacy of this American art form. Their cross-genre repertoire infuses rhythm dance with body percussion, sand dancing, contemporary movement, flamenco, swing dance and anything else that might lend itself to rhythmic persuasion.

The Richland College dance program provides a challenging teaching and learning environment for students that values diversity and develops artistic excellence, fosters creative and collaborative practices and encourages personal agency and social responsibility in appreciating dance.

Richardson Recycles encourages people to recycle common items such as paper, cardboard, plastic and glass  not only to save landfill space, but  also to help the environment. The City of Richardson offers blue bag collection twice per week for single family homes and annually collects an average of 5,500 tons of recyclable material.

“Fire & Ice” is free and open to the public in the Fannin Performance Hall on the east side of the Richland College campus. Richland College is located at 12800 Abrams Road.

Richland College Early Voting Locations

American flagRichland College and Richland College Garland Campus have been authorized as official Dallas County Early Voting Locations from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. according to the following schedules:

  • Garland Campus – Monday, October 24, through Friday, November 4
  • Richland College – Wednesday, November 2, and Thursday, November 3, (Guadalupe Hall – Main Floor)

These locations provide our students, faculty, staff, and the surrounding communities we serve the convenient opportunity to exercise one of the basic fundamentals of our national democracy, our right to vote.

Minority Serving Institution Convening at Richland College
Mark Mitsui addressing a crowd from the stage.

Keynote speaker Mark Mitsui, former deputy assistant secretary for community colleges at the U.S. Department of Education and current Portland Community College president, addresses the audience at the MSI Convening at Richland College Oct. 14, 2016. Photo by Paul Knudsen.

Richland College recently hosted the Minority Serving Institution (MSI) Convening, “Minority Student Success: Using Data to Effect Change,” during which higher education administrators gathered to discuss collecting and analyzing quantitative data; evidence-based program development; and research methods, best practices and innovations to impact the academic success of minority student populations.

“Richland College’s inaugural MSI Convening engaged key leaders and practitioners from 61 U.S. Department of Education Minority Serving-designated colleges and universities from throughout the nation to advance a shared narrative aimed at achieving greater minority student success through effective use of data,” said Kathryn K. Eggleston, Ph.D., Richland College president. “Richland College’s pivotal, multi-year convening lead college role will help shape future advances toward greater minority student equity and success.”

This year’s conference focused on using existing research evidence to develop more robust methods for determining the success of minority-serving programs. With these improved methods, college and university representatives can return to their respective institutions to introduce new initiatives, obtain funding and effect positive change.

Presenters at this year’s MSI Convening included keynote speaker Mark Mitsui, former deputy assistant secretary for community colleges at the U.S. Department of Education and current Portland Community College president, and plenary speaker Robert Teranishi, Ph.D., a UCLA professor of social science and comparative education, recently appointed by President Obama to the board of directors of the National Board for Education Services.

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

Holding two designations by the U.S. Department of Education as an AANAPISI and a Hispanic Serving Institution (HIS), Richland College is one of only nine higher education institutions in the U.S. awarded the AANAPISI grant in fiscal year 2015. With 15 percent of Richland College’s student population comprised of Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander (AAPI) 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.

For more information on the MSI Convening, visit

Richland College Art Faculty Raise Awareness of Child Sex Trafficking with ‘In You We Trust’ Exhibit on Campus
rows of ceramic coins

2,000 ceramic coins line the wall of the Brazos Gallery at Richland College at the “In You We Trust” exhibition, with each coin depicting a child potentially sold into sex trafficking in Dallas each year. Photo by Keenan Cobb.

Richland College art professors Jen Rose and Marian Lefeld are raising awareness about the epidemic of sex trafficking in the U.S. with “In You We Trust,” an art exhibit that gives a tangible representation of children sold on the streets each year. The exhibit is on display now through Oct. 16 in the Brazos Gallery on the Richland College campus.

The Dallas Independent School District reports that approximately six thousand of its students are homeless, and studies from the National District Attorneys Association estimate that one out of every three children will be approached by a pimp within 48 hours of being on the street. Staggeringly, this means that 2,000 children are potentially sold each year in Dallas alone.

With that devastating number in mind, Rose and Lefeld created plaster molds of coins and recruited volunteers to help cast 2,000 ceramic coins, one for each child in Dallas potentially sold into sex trafficking. Each coin has a face on the front that was designed by Lefeld, and Rose designed the crown depicted on the back of each coin. The coins represent the practice of using children as currency, and the exhibit name, “In You We Trust,” is a call to action for the audience to not turn a blind eye to sex trafficking.

“We aimed to create an installation that would bring attention to this social issue and open pathways for discussion and awareness to a wider public,” said Rose. “As artists, we want to start conversations. This conversation about sex trafficking of children is one that can literally save someone’s life. ‘In You We Trust’ is about action. In you we trust to say something. In you we trust to do the right thing. In you we trust to save a life.”

“In You We Trust” began in January when Rose and Lefeld attended a training session and lecture hosted by Traffick911, a group who works with law enforcement to identify victims of sex trafficking. Rose and Lefeld were interested in applying for a grant from the Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, and after attending the session with Traffick911, they knew what their subject matter would be.

“The coins give a tangible representation to the statistic of 2,000 children sold on the streets each year,” said Rose. “We chose coins because pimps view these children as currency and have also been known to brand their victims with coin tattoos. The use of coin imagery was told to us anecdotally by a Traffick911 volunteer.”

After spending several months developing prototypes and perfecting a creative process that would allow for volunteers to assist, Rose and Lefeld began the process of creating the 2,000 coins. The project is culminating in the exhibition at Richland College. During the exhibition, lecturers from Traffick911 and other organizations will educate the community about sex trafficking.

“Our main goal with this project is to make people aware that this is happening in Dallas,” said Rose. “The more people know this exists, the more likely they are able to identify situations where children may be in danger, and the more likely they are to speak up.”

“’In You We Trust’ is a wonderful example of how art meets activism,” said John Spriggins, the Richland College gallery coordinator. “Jen Rose and Marian Lefeld have demonstrated their willingness to tackle a very controversial topic in a creative and thoughtful way. Both Rose and Lefeld are reaching beyond the college campus into the community, conducting work sessions with organized community groups that participate in their creative process. The benefit of having resourceful, socially conscious and community-minded faculty like Jen and Marian at Richland College will have a lasting impact on students, faculty and staff. Having secured funding from the Office of Cultural Affairs, this exhibition is proof that supporting the arts can have substantive results.”

Upon the ending of the exhibit at Richland College, Rose and Lefeld hope to raise enough money to have 1,000 of the coins travel to other parts of Texas and the U.S. to be put on display and raise additional awareness of sex trafficking.

To help cover some costs that were not funded by the grant and to realize the goal of traveling the exhibit, a GoFundMe fundraiser has been set up, with donors receiving one coin for each $50 donation to the project. Any money raised that surpasses their goal will be split with Traffick911.

Those wishing to donate to “In You We Trust” can visit Additional information on sex trafficking is available at

Minority Serving Institution Convening at Richland College Still Accepting Registrants

MSI logo
Registration is currently open for the Minority Serving Institution (MSI) Convening, to be held Oct. 14-15 at Richland College.

The conference, a collaboration between Richland College and the Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution (AANAPISI), will focus on “Minority Student Success: Using Data to Effect Change.” Through presentations and workshops focusing on collecting and analyzing quantitative data; evidence-based program development and research methods, best practices and results, attendees can expect to learn what colleges, universities and institutions are doing to support minority groups.

Presenters at this year’s MSI Convening include Mark Mitsui, deputy assistant secretary for community colleges at the U.S. Department of Education, and Robert Teranishi, Ph.D., a professor of social science and comparative education at UCLA who was recently appointed by President Obama as a member on the board of directors for the National Board for Education Services.

The MSI Convening is free to attend and is open to all educators whose institutions serve minority populations. Registration is open through Sept. 30.

Richland College is located at 12800 Abrams Rd. in Dallas, Texas. Additional information, including a link to register for the conference, is available at

Richland College Offers Saturday Registration Aug. 20

Richland College will offer additional registration hours from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20, to allow for last-minute registration for fall 2016 credit classes. Aug. 20 will be the last day to register for full semester-length classes for the fall 2016 semester.

Flex term credit classes will still be available after Aug. 20.

During these hours, the following departments and centers will be open:
Testing Center
Career Center
Veteran Services
Multicultural Center

Saturday Registration