Category Archives: Events

four women from russia are at the front of a classroom, addressing students who are not pictured. Richland College Hosts Presentations from Russian Women to Further Mission of Teaching, Learning and Community Building

Richland College students, faculty and staff had the opportunity to engage in discussions and hear the stories of four women from various regions of Russia during two presentations hosted by the Richland College Institute for Peace, Richland College Honors Program and the Global Education Development Advisory Council on March 29.

The women were Lena Novomeyskaya of Yekaterinburg and born in west Ukraine, Elena Ivanova of St. Petersburg, Tatyana Bukharina of Yalta in Crimea and Natalie Ivanova of Krasnodar. They came to the U.S. as part of the first Russians Meet Mainstream America (RMMA) program developed by the Center for Citizen Initiatives (CCI), an organization dedicated to reducing tensions between the U.S. and Russia and debunking misunderstandings through citizen-to-citizen exchanges, public relations and social media efforts in both countries.

During the sessions at Richland College, the women addressed the audience and told stories about their histories and what it has been like to live in Russia, including how their lives changed when the Soviet Union was dissolved. Discussion also included their perceptions and opinions of Americans, the Russian economy, Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Russian annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and other timely issues. The purpose of the discussions was not to argue or debate, but to share different points of view to educate the citizens in both countries.

“I was brought up on the idea that America is a friend of Russia,” Natalie Ivanova told the audience during the second presentation. “My father participated in the Stalingrad battle in 1942 during the second World War. He was wounded in this battle, and when I was a child he told me a lot of stories about the war, and he told me that he was very grateful to the United States.”

Bukharina’s story received particular interest from many audience members when she discussed her home in Crimea, a peninsula on the northern coast of the Black Sea in Eastern Europe that, while previously a Russian province, became a Ukrainian territory in 1954. In 2014, Russian troops captured strategic sites across Crimea and annexed the territory, a move that was generally condemned by many world leaders because it was considered to be a violation of both international law and Russian agreements that safeguarded the territorial integrity of Ukraine.

Bukharina told the audience about how, despite international opinion to the contrary, many Crimean citizens supported this annexation by Russia for many reasons, including Ukraine’s violation of Crimean human rights, such as cutting the water supply to many citizens, including farmers.

“This morning I checked my [e]mail, and my friends know that we are here with the program Center for Citizen Initiatives, and that we’re working as volunteers, and friends from Sevastopol wrote, ‘give a big thank you to the American people for returning Crimea back to Russia,’” Bukharina said. After a pause, she added, “Are you surprised?”

Honors English student Ryan Morrow participated in the question-and-answer session, and later he commented on what he learned about the effects the dissolution of the Soviet Union had on the Russian people, a common thread discussed by all four women.

“I didn’t realize how much of an economic effect the end of the Soviet Union had on the Russian economy and how much work, or how much damage, it actually did that is still persistent in their society,” said Morrow.

Similarly, Morrow’s classmate Victoria Patterson felt the presentation opened her eyes more because the women discussed many issues that are generally not mentioned by the American media.

“I think it’s really interesting how they’re saying Americans really aren’t portrayed negatively over there, yet our media typically demonizes them so much,” said Patterson. “I didn’t know most of the stuff about what happened in Crimea that Tatyana [Bukharina] was talking about, so I think it’s interesting how much we have kind of been allowed to hide.”

“What is most valuable about this meeting between Richland College students and our Russian visitors through CCI is face-to-face dialogue that brings authenticity and honesty to the forefront and dissolves the barriers created by second- or third-hand news and simple ignorance,” said English faculty member and Richland College Institute for Peace and Human Rights coordinator Scott Branks del Llano, Ph.D. “Conversations are wonderful equalizers, and this event offered humane and compassionate conversations where empathy and peaceful understanding rose above the suspicion and divisiveness that permeates much of the media regarding Russian and U.S. relations. We need to engage in many more such forums of hospitable dialogue.”

In addition to Dallas, this first RMMA delegation’s itinerary includes Atlanta, Fort Worth, San Francisco and Washington D.C.

CCI was founded in 1983 with the hope that ordinary Americans could help bring about a constructive relationship with the Soviet Union. A CCI travel program soon became a reality, with American citizens visiting Russia and Soviet republics, with the travelers developing Soviet contacts. In 1988, Soviets Meet Middle America (SMMA) was the first program that brought non-party member Soviet citizens to the U.S.

Other past CCI successes include helping bring Alcoholics Anonymous to Russia; creating an economic development program in 1989 to train young English-speaking Russian entrepreneurs in how to start a business by organizing internships for them in American companies; shipping both cold-tolerant seeds and emergency food boxes when the Soviet Union dissolved; founding programs to train Russian small business owners and to train young Russian women in the apparel industry to encourage self-employment; and teaching orphanage children computer technology skills. In 2010, CCI closed its doors after funding had evaporated during the prior several years.

CCI was revived in 2015 by its founder and president Sharon Tennison, and a travel program was restarted for Americans to visit Russia. RMMA was then initiated in 2018 in response to the growing tensions between the U.S. and Russia, with the intent of bringing Russian citizens to the U.S. to discuss major issues between the countries and reduce stereotypes and misinformation.

The Richland College Institute for Peace is committed to educating for peace, justice and the abolition of conditions that give rise to violence and war. It fosters an interdependent community that actively pursues peaceable living, resolution of conflict and respect for human dignity, contributing to the goal of global peace, justice and friendship among peoples. Programs for students, employees and the community are offered through the traditional academic curriculum, continuing education, professional development and teleconferences.

The Richland College Honors Program provides highly qualified students with an enriched and challenging academic community where they develop the capabilities necessary to excel in their educational and career goals.

For additional information, visit ccisf.org, richlandcollege.edu/peace and richlandcollege.edu/honors.


Two students dance in the fall 2017 Richland College production of "Thriller" Richland College Dance Program Presents ‘Utopia’ Spring Dance Concert

The Richland College dance program will transport audiences into a fantastical world of myth and wonder when it presents its spring dance concert, “Utopia,” with performances at 12:30 and 7:30 p.m. April 13.

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

“We hope to make imaginations bubble with excitement in the unexpected land of ‘Utopia,’ where our audience will experience hope, joy and fantasy right along with the performers,” said Sawyer. “This dance performance seeks to take viewers to a place of innovative art-making where dreams come true.”

Part of the performance will be the short film “In Memoriam,” dedicated to celebrating the creative life of the late Darrell Cleveland, a professional dancer, choreographer and instructor who left a lasting influence on the Dallas-Fort Worth dance community, particularly at Richland College, where he was a regular guest performer in dance productions. With performance and choreography clips interposed with commentary about Cleveland from current and former Richland College students, the film remembers an outstanding member of the local community and hopes to inspire others to make a positive impact within their own spheres of influence.

Dance choreography and film work will include original pieces by Sawyer, Christie Bondade, Cheryl Callon, Cooper Delgado, Lauren Schieffer Holley and Terrance M. Johnson. Featured guest performers include 8&1 Dance Company, directed by Jill S. Rucci, and Choreo Records Tap Company, directed by Keira Leverton.

Jill S. Rucci, founder and artistic director of 8&1 Dance Company, moved to Texas from New York City after being a principal dancer and guest choreographer for Vissi Dance Theater for more than 10 years. Her professional experience has taken her to places including Boston, Los Angeles and Olbia, Italy. For six seasons now, Rucci has grown 8&1 DALLAS into a successful dance company, creating innovative and refreshing works, and in January 2018 she announced the expansion of the 8&1 Dance Company to include 8&1 EAST, to be based in Providence, RI.

Kiera 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 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.

“Utopia” 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 richlandcollege.edu/dance.


Richland College Looks Back at Accomplishments from $3.25 Million U.S. Department of Labor Grant

When Richland College was awarded the $3.25 million Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant from the U.S. Department of Labor in Sept. 2014, the potential impact on local industry was evident. The funds from this grant, along with multiple partnerships with employers in Dallas, Richardson and Garland, would equip Richland College with the tools and technology needed to train local veterans and others seeking to enter or re-enter the high-demand technology job market. In turn, local companies would receive qualified employees ready for immediate employment and trained on industry-recognized equipment.

Richland College’s Technology, Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing (TEAM) Center is a very tangible result of the TAACCCT grant funds. The space is fully equipped with leading edge, industry-quality technology that allows engineering and manufacturing students to have relevant, hands-on experience and career-focused training. It features an advanced manufacturing center, electronics engineering equipment, a robotics training lab and multiple classrooms for additional technology training.

It is in this innovative, technologically advanced place that the other tangible results of the grant have been taking shape as students prepare to enter the workforce.

Cisco Iturbe is an electrical engineering technology student at Richland College and a U.S. Marine Corps veteran. He has been attending Richland College for several semesters and is looking forward to graduating soon with one course remaining. His immediate goal is to get a job in the electrical engineering field, and he hopes eventually to own his own business.

After completing four years of active duty and two years in the reserves, Iturbe came to Richland College because of the equipment he saw set up in the labs, which he felt allowed students the opportunity to learn in an industry-standard environment and gain vital hands-on experience. As a student, the variety of equipment available has also provided Iturbe the opportunity to enhance his electronics technology education with experience in other areas that may help him in the future, such hydraulics, manufacturing and robotics.

“For me, doing things hands-on is very important,” said Iturbe. “Once you get your hands on something, it makes a world of difference because if you’ve never touched it, you don’t know what it feels like or what it does. If you don’t know that, then how are you going to do anything with it? So Richland College gives me the opportunity to learn and embed it as a muscle memory, not just an educational memory.”

“I would recommend Richland because of the different areas they teach you,” said Iturbe. “I’m here for electronics, but I’ve learned a few other things that have helped. Richland is here to help in a lot of ways—so many people want to help you. The staff is really uplifting, and the professors really know their stuff.”

According to Garth Clayton, Ph. D., Richland College’s dean of resource development, Iturbe is one of approximately 50 veterans who are now involved in the advanced manufacturing or electronics technology programs in the TEAM Center.

“One of the things we offer here is the replication of the real experience,” said Clayton. “We have invested a great deal of our resources in offering different brands of the same equipment that people use in real life. And what happens is that [the students] learn to do everything here to walk into the job, able to work with whatever the employer provides. So they are hitting the ground running whenever they obtain one of our degrees or certificates.”

Advanced manufacturing student Monica Lee has watched the TEAM Center develop around her and become a thriving learning space as she has studied at Richland College during the past three years.

“I was looking to do something with 3D modeling and design, things like AutoCAD and industrial design. I live here in Dallas, and I was doing research and saw that Richland had those classes offered here,” said Lee. “I came down and checked out the campus and was really impressed with what was available. Even though the lab wasn’t finished when I started, I got to see it come to fruition, and it’s just an amazing facility.”

To prepare Lee and other advanced manufacturing students, the program at Richland College teaches them each step of the process, starting with designing a part on a computer that will later be manufactured. From there, students design how the machine will cut the part, and once that is complete, they simply walk down the hall to the lab and actually create what they designed, cutting the metal and setting up the machines themselves. Lee describes this start-to-finish education as hands-on support to what students learn in the classroom, which to her is key to understanding what goes into the technical requirements of manufacturing.

Lee will graduate this May with not only her class experience, but also on-the-job training through an internship obtained via Richland’s corporate partnership with Raytheon Precision Manufacturing, where she hopes to continue working and growing in her career after graduating with an associate degree.

“All the technology at this internship was the same, and all the skills that I learned here [at Richland College] were immediately used from day one,” said Lee. “It helped me be able to shine in the job because I knew firsthand what was going on. So it was actually really seamless to go from Richland to my internship.”

While Iturbe and Lee are studying in different programs and have different goals, both of them, along with many other students, have benefited from the TAAACCCT grant and Richland College’s TEAM Center.

“Cisco [Iturbe] is a great example of someone who likes our program and can see a future for himself in it, and Monica [Lee] is also an example of the way that our students are able to transition into the workforce very quickly and very easily,” said Clayton. “As part of this community, which includes a very vibrant advanced manufacturing and electronics technology group of corporations and shops, we are pleased to be able to support them in this way.”

As a direct result of the grant, Richland College’s accomplishments to date include: 14,500 square feet of renovated space; $1.3 million worth of capital equipment and $400,000 worth of minor equipment, all installed and now operating since 2016; three additional faculty members and three additional staff members hired; two credit certificate and one continuing education certificate offerings added; 37 Associate of Applied Science degrees and 39 certificates in electronics and manufacturing awarded; 32 Associate of Applied Science degrees and 136 certificates in computer information technology awarded since that program’s inclusion in the grant; 292 students enrolled in electronics and manufacturing programs and 464 students in computer information technology programs in the 2018 spring semester; and 277 passed NIMS credentials in eight different credential exams. In addition, Richland College has also completed a cognitive task analysis and received new courseware for wire EDM, another common manufacturing process.

Even though the grant has ended, Richland College will continue to offer the curricula that were promised in the grant; offer credit for prior learning; add and replace additional equipment such as hydraulics, motor controls, modular assembly systems and programmable logic controllers; and will be adding new automation courses for aerospace, defense and communication needs.

Prior to installing the new equipment in the TEAM Center, Richland College donated all its previous, usable equipment to the Richardson Independent School District and the Garland Independent School District. Richland College also has technology-based early college high school programs with Dallas Independent School District’s Hillcrest High School and Emmett J. Conrad High School, giving high school students the opportunity to earn both their high school diploma and an Associate of Applied Science degree in just four years.

A recent event at Richland College celebrated these accomplishments and the student success that came as a direct result of the TAACCCT grant funds. At the event, Richardson mayor Paul Voelker spoke about the impact the grant had upon Richland College, and as a direct result, the impact of those workforce-ready students entering the local job force, specifically in Richardson’s Telecom Corridor.

“I’m keenly aware of what you’re doing here and the value added,” Voelker told the crowd. “It’s so important today that our employers know that their talent is here, and if it’s not here, we can create it here, or we can reinvent it here because we are always constantly learning.”

“Coming full-circle and seeing the advanced manufacturing capabilities that we can do right here, not only in the USA, but in north Texas, is pretty cool. We can compete with anybody in the world, at any level, because we have the talent and what it takes to make those businesses successful.”

For more information about Richland College’s School of Engineering and Technology or the TEAM Center, visit richlandcollege.edu/et.


Richland College to Host Building Master Plan 2025 Update for Community Feb. 19

In keeping with its mission of teaching, learning and community building, Richland College will host an information session for local community members and stakeholders to learn about, discuss and provide feedback on the college’s 2025 Master Plan, 4:30-5:30 p.m. Feb. 19 in Sabine Hall, room SH118.

Richland College’s 2025 Master Plan provides a long-range vision for the architectural environment of the campus, while respecting the needs of the surrounding  community it serves. It is being developed with the purpose of understanding current space-utilization conditions to create a roadmap for the future and provide a cohesive framework for future expansion decisions.

The Master Plan priorities include: creating additional classroom and laboratory space to enhance and expand the student learning experience on campus, including additional laboratory space for high growth career technical programs to meet industry labor demands and standards; identifying and creating a location for Early College High School programs; building a STEAM-focused arts and performing arts building to foster an innovative, synergistic and collaborative learning environment among the arts and technical programs; improving parking availability on campus through additional surface lots and structured parking within reasonable walking distance to campus for accessibility; and adding a fourth access point to the campus and a bridge to connect the campus internal vehicular circulation path.

The needs and concerns of surrounding neighborhoods will be considered in the design of this Master Plan. Through its long-standing connections with its surrounding community, Richland College has established relationships and responsibilities that will continue to be recognized and respected. These include the soccer fields, the butterfly preserve, the lake, the tree farm, and neighborhood adjacencies.

Richland College is located at 12800 Abrams Rd.


Four people sitting on a stage in a discussion Creating Academic Success for Minority Students a Key Point of 2017 ‘Minority Serving Institution’ Convening Hosted at Richland College
Four people sitting on a stage in a discussion

Mike Flores, Ph.D., president of Palo Alto College (far right), hosts a panel on minority student success at the 2017 Minority Serving Institution (MSI) Convening at Richland College Oct. 21. Also on the panel were (left to right) Naomi Story, Ph.D., executive director of the National Asian Pacific Islander Council; Colette Pierce Burnette, Ed.D., president of Huston-Tillotson University; and Vincent Solis, Ph.D., senior vice president for academic and student affairs at Laredo Community College. Photo by Keenan Cobb.

Approximately 200 higher education administrators from 19 states, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands attended the 2017 Minority Serving Institution (MSI) Convening, “Minority Student Success: Using Data to Effect Change,” held Oct. 20-21 at Richland College.

Hosted by Richland College in collaboration with the Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution (AANAPISI) program, this conference provided attendees a chance to discuss effective research, initiatives and programs that impact the academic success of students at minority-serving institutions.

While a previous conference focused on best practices and innovation, this year’s MSI Convening focused on covering existing evidence and developing more robust methods for determining success of minority programs and initiatives so that colleges and universities can improve, obtain funding and effect change.

“The 2017 MSI Convening was a very successful event,” said LaQueta Wright, Ph.D., convening chair of the Richland College Planning Team for MSI Convening. “In addition to inspiring talks from higher education leaders during the opening and plenary sessions, small group breakout sessions provided detailed examples of how to design programs from a data-informed perspective, how to evaluate programs in a quantitative way, and success stories of students impacted by programs at colleges across the nation and even as far away as the Pacific islands. The convening also provided opportunities to network and build collaborative relationships with participants from more than 60 different colleges, universities and higher education organizations.”

The event began on Friday with a keynote address from Mike Flores, Ph.D., president of Palo Alto College in San Antonio. A Del Rio native, Flores holds a doctorate degree in educational administration from the University of Texas at Austin. He currently serves as an Achieving the Dream data coach and a board member for the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, Communities in Schools San Antonio, the San Antonio Education Partnership and other organizations. He has also served as a fellow with the American Council on Education and conducted postgraduate study at the Harvard University Institute for Educational Management. Since becoming president of Palo Alto College in 2012, he has led many new initiatives for student success.

During the event, Flores guided the conversation to inspire participants to share effective strategies and evidence-based research for evaluating programs and initiatives that support minority student success. “Students come to community colleges like immigrants to America, hoping their journey leads to a better life,” Flores said.

Flores also moderated a panel that included Colette Pierce Burnette, Ed.D., president of Huston-Tillotson University; Vincent Solis, Ph.D., senior vice president for academic and student affairs at Laredo Community College; and Naomi Story, Ph.D., executive director for the National Asian Pacific Islander Council.

Burnette reminded the audience that the concerning data about student success struggles is not new, so rather than focusing on what the data says we should focus on what can be done to change it. Solis discussed how his college attempts to impact student success through faculty support and personal development, saying, “If you’re going to move the needle [on minority student success], it’s going to happen in the classroom.” Story added, “Curriculum and retention are deeply connected, so faculty leadership and buy-in are deeply needed.”

Terrell Strayhorn, Ph.D., founder and CEO of Do Good Work Educational Consulting, LLC, gave the plenary address Saturday morning. Strayhorn holds a doctorate degree in higher education from Virginia Tech and is an internationally recognized student success scholar, highly acclaimed public speaker and award-winning writer. He is the author of 10 books and more than 200 book chapters, journal articles and other scholarly publications. His research focuses on major policy issues in education such as student access and achievement; issues of race, equity and diversity; impact of college on students; and student learning and development. Strayhorn is also known for using the hashtag #DoGoodWork on social media, was named one of the country’s top diversity scholars by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education magazine in 2011, one of Business First’s Top 40 Under 40 and became the youngest full-time professor in Ohio State University’s history in 2014.

Strayhorn talked about how “access without success is useless,” and to achieve student success, we need retention plus persistence. He also stated, “We need a more nuanced framework for understanding our international students and their experiences because these students, like all minority and underserved students, do not have a one-size fits all background.”

The conference also included breakout sessions and a graduate student poster session.

The MSI Convening was 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 (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 richlandcollege.edu/msi-convening.


Richland College to Host Human Library Event Nov. 8

The Richland College Library will host Richland College’s first human library event on Nov. 8

from noon to 4 p.m. on the Lago Vista level of the library. This event is part of a global movement started by the Human Library Organization that is working to build spaces in the community for personal dialogue about issues that are often difficult, challenging and stigmatizing.

“We wanted to host this event to bring people together from different walks of life to share experiences with one another,” said Laura McKinnon, Richland College dean of educational resources. “The Human Library fosters constructive conversations about difficult issues.”

Richland College students, faculty and staff, as well as community members, are invited to come to the library to check out a “human book”–no library card required! A human book is a person who has volunteered to have a respectful conversation with others about a topic related to the person’s own experience of prejudice and/or discrimination. This can be due to issues such as race, sex, age, disability, sexual preference, gender identity, class, religion or belief, lifestyle choices or any other aspect of life.

Some of the human books currently signed up to be at the event include: “First Time Mom,” “Campus Police Officer,” “Returning to School as an Older Student,” “Working with Someone with a Mental Disability,” and “Woman in the Military.”

Anyone who wants to challenge a stereotype of prejudice and have an open, honest conversation with others can sign up to be a human book. This includes people in the community, and faculty, staff and students from any college in the Dallas County Community College District.

The Human Library Organization was started in 2000 by Ronni Abergel, Dany Abergel, Christoffer Erichsen and Asma Mouna, founders of the youth organization called Stop the Violence. It was designed to build a positive framework for conversations that can challenge stereotypes and prejudice through dialogue, and to provide a place where difficult questions are expected, appreciated and answered. Human Library events have now taken place in more than 70 countries. For more information about the Human Library Organization, visit humanlibrary.org.

For more information about the Richland College library, visit alt.richlandcollege.edu/library.


Richland College Dance Program Presents ‘Thriller’ Fall Concert

The Richland College dance program will be preying on our fear of the unknown with an upcoming fall dance concert, “Thriller,” at 12:30 and 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 3.

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

“Thriller” is about exploring the mystery of the unknown through dance performance. Each choreographer has created a unique take on the subject, ranging from celebrating recognizable images in pop culture to conceptual pieces addressing surreal fantasy.

Sawyer also created an original piece, “The Scream,” which will be performed by Richland students.

“I am hoping to get a reaction of discomfort by abstracting and juxtaposing everyday and invented movements in a bizarre fashion, allowing the visual imagery of the dance to build in intensity until it reaches out and grabs the audience,” Sawyer said of her piece.

In addition to Sawyer, choreography will include original pieces by Cooper Delgado, Christie Nelson and Lauren Schieffer. Repertoire will include a tap piece from Dallas legend Buster Cooper, recreated by his granddaughter, guest artist Keira Leverton. The Dallas Neo-Classical Ballet Company under the direction of Emilie Skinner will also guest perform.

Kiera 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.

Dallas Neo-Classical Ballet was established in 2011 as a nonprofit organization to bring concerts emphasizing neo-classical ballet to the Dallas-Fort Worth community, while also creating a venue for experienced classical dancers to utilize their training. The company’s dancers are primarily from the north Texas region.

Neoclassical ballet is the style of classical ballet exemplified by sophisticated and modern choreography, retaining the pointe shoe aesthetic, but often without the excessive drama and mime of the full length story ballets of previous eras.

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.

“Thriller” 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 Hosts Free Employment Readiness Workshop in Tech Fields for Veterans, Others

Military veterans and other potential job seekers are invited to attend a free workshop that offers a wide range of services for individuals who want to work in lucrative technology fields. The one-day job readiness workshop at Richland College will be held Wed., Sept. 20, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in room SH118 of Sabine Hall. Richland College is located at 12800 Abrams Rd. in Dallas.

The goal of the event, billed the “Veterans Employment Workshop,” is designed to help participants uncover job opportunities, obtain interviews and interact with potential employers. Although the event is tagged for military veterans, the workshop is open to everyone, including Dallas County Community College District students and non-students alike, said Kimberly Archer, veteran affairs coordinator for Richland College.

“There’s a need to help veterans transfer what they did in the service into what’s available in the current workforce,” Archer said.

Representatives from Texas Instruments, Cyxtera, Compass Data Centers, Bright Horizons, Evolve, Uptime Institute and other employers will be on hand to provide resume and job hunting tips.

Job search expert and radio personality Todd Bermont also will provide insider secrets to finding employment. Bermont is the former host of “Your Career” on Lone Star Radio FM104.5. He has been featured on Fox News, CNN and ABC News Now.

The event is free, but space is limited. Dress is business casual. Attendees are encouraged to bring copies of their resumes and arrive early for the 10:30 a.m. check-in. Participants will be treated to a free lunch and a one-year subscription to “The Careers College” online job search training program by TCC Learning LLC – a $297 value.

To register, click on this link: dcccd.edu/VEW

“G.I. Jobs 2017” listed Richland College as one of the country’s top military-friendly schools. Richland was awarded a $3.25 million Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant to help veterans acquire new job skills for immediate employment.

For more information, call 972-238-3778 or send an email to rlcveteranservices@dcccd.edu.

 (courtesy of DCCCD)


RCHS to Host Cleaning Supplies Drive Sept. 8 for Rural Texas Town Hit by Hurricane Harvey

Richland Collegiate High School (RCHS) Service Learning students will be hosting a cleaning supplies drive Friday, Sept. 8, to benefit Mont Belvieu, a small, rural community northeast of Houston with 5,000 residents who were impacted by Hurricane Harvey and received 61 inches of rain.

Anyone interested in assisting RCHS with this drive is welcome to bring cleaning supplies between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. to either the east or west circles on the Richland College campus, located at 12800 Abrams Rd. in Dallas. Supplies needed include buckets, hand sanitizer, insect repellant, scrub brushes, cleaning cloths and towels, heavy duty trash bags, protective masks, disposable gloves, work gloves, clotheslines and clothespins.

The cleaning supplies will be delivered to Mont Belvieu on Saturday, Sept. 9. In addition to this drive, the Service Learning students have pledged to reach out and help this small community in a long-term commitment to see the residents through the extended recovery process. RCHS will hold future drives in Nov. and Dec. to collect food items and warm clothing.

For more information about Richland Collegiate High School, visit alt.richlandcollege.edu/rchs.


Richland College to Host 2017 Minority Serving Institution Convening

Richland College, in collaboration with the Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution (AANAPISI) program, will host the Minority Serving Institution (MSI) Convening, “Minority Student Success: Using Data to Effect Change,” during which higher education administrators from across the nation will gather to discuss effective research, initiatives and programs that impact the academic success of students at minority-serving institutions. The conference will take place Oct. 20-21.

While previous conferences have focused on best practices and innovation, this year’s MSI Convening will cover existing evidence and develop more robust methods for determining success of minority programs and initiatives so that colleges and universities can improve, obtain funding and effect change.

This year’s event will kick off Friday morning with a keynote address from Dr. Mike Flores, president of Palo Alto College, a part of the Alamo College District in San Antonio. Dr. Terrell Strayhorn, founder and CEO of Do Good Work Educational Consulting, LLC, will be giving the plenary address Saturday morning. The conference will also include panel discussions and breakout sessions.

Attendance is free, and attendees are encouraged to register online by Oct. 6 at richlandcollege.edu/msi-convening.

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 (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 richlandcollege.edu/msi-convening.