Category Archives: Events

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.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Courtesy of Associa)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Richland College Designated as a Tree Campus USA

Richland College has recently been designated as a Tree Campus USA College by the Arbor Day Foundation. This designation recognizes college and university campuses that effectively maintain campus trees, connect with the community to foster healthy urban forests and strive to engage their students in service learning forestry projects.

There are many benefits to being a Tree Campus USA College. A commitment to trees can greatly reduce the amount of energy the campus needs to generate; planting and maintaining trees on campus reduces carbon dioxide in the atmosphere; and green spaces give students and faculty a place to relax with others. The Tree College USA program helps colleges and universities establish and sustain healthy community forests.

“We in facilities services are extremely excited that Richland College has been presented the designation of Tree Campus USA by the Arbor Day Foundation,” said Ken Dunson, facilities director at Richland College. “With Richland College’s history of participation in Arbor Day events, the practice of honoring 20-year employees by designating existing trees on campus with their name plaques beneath them, the annual practice of planting new trees and the time and care our landscaping services professionals spend with all trees on campus, it was only natural we apply for this great honor. We are pleased to be chosen and will devote the resources and energy necessary to maintain this distinguished designation.”

Richland College had to meet five qualifications to be recognized as a national Arbor Day Foundation Tree Campus USA College. These standards are: establishing a campus tree advisory committee, giving evidence of a campus tree care plan, verifying dedicated annual expenditures on the campus tree plan, hosting an Arbor Day event and implementing a service learning project that is designed to engage students.

Texas has the most Tree Campus USA schools in the nation. Other Dallas Community College District colleges have made this distinguished list in previous years, including Brookhaven College, Eastfield College, North Lake College and Mountain View College.

Tree Campus USA is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation and administered locally by the Texas A&M Forest Service (TFS). The Arbor Day Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit conservation and education organization. It has one million members, donors and partners who support its programs to make the world greener and healthier.

Since 1915, TFS has been protecting and sustaining forests, trees and other natural resources. The organization also offers programs and services to help others make the most of their land for future generations.

For more information about the Arbor Day Foundation, visit arborday.org. For more information about the Texas A&M Forest Service, visit tfsweb.tamu.edu.


Richland College to Host Free Event ‘Dia de la Familia’ May 6

Richland College will host a day of family fun when Dia de la Familia comes to the campus from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 6. This free annual event is presented by the Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD) and will feature free food, entertainment, children’s activities, tours of Richland College facilities and more.

Entertainment for the event will include performances from Folklorico, a dance group from Lake Highlands High School that performs traditional Mexican folk dances, top winners from Richland College’s So You Think You Can Dance contest, a dance party with Richland College’s mascot R. Mobius Thunderduck and more.

Activities will include a children’s coloring station, and visitors will be able to decorate their own traditional sugar skulls at a booth sponsored by the Richland College Achieving Latino Academic Success student organization. Richland College representatives will also be providing tours of the gaming and interactive simulation facilities, including the motion capture lab, and the Richland College Technology, Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing (TEAM) Center.

Exhibitors, including DCCCD colleges, local organizations, businesses and Richland College departments, will be on hand to provide information and services to families who attend.

Dia de la Familia was initiated in 1986 at Eastfield College in response to high dropout rates among Latino students during their transition to college. In 1990, the event was adopted as a DCCCD event hosted at Mountain View College. Since 1997, the event has been held on a rotating basis at each DCCCD campus.

More information is available by calling 972-238-6194. Richland College is located at 12800 Abrams Rd. in Dallas.