Category Archives: News

An illustration of a hand putting a ballot into a voting box Dallas Mayoral Forum Recording Available from Richland Student Media

Richland Student Media, in partnership with the League of Women Voters and the North Dallas Chamber of Commerce, recorded an Apr. 3 Dallas mayoral forum for the joint goal of giving students a learning experience while also providing a community service by educating voters.

The Apr. 3 mayoral forum was moderated by Ron Chapman, former district, state and appellate court judge. The forum took place in the Scottish Rite Hospital auditorium.

View the forum in its entirely by clicking here. The Dallas mayoral election will be Saturday, May 4.


A woman poses with eyeglasses Richland College Launches Ophthalmology Assistant Program

To meet the needs of the growing eye-care industry, Richland College recently launched a new ophthalmology assistant program, accredited by the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology.

Students who complete the 256-hour program and pass the national certification exam can become certified ophthalmology assistants. COAs aid ophthalmologists, retinal specialists and other eye-care professionals in an office or clinical setting, and they also document patient medical history, perform pupil assessments and visual acuity measurements, administer some medications and provide patient education. Upon passing the COA national certification exam, students can continue their training to become ophthalmology technicians or ophthalmology technologists, with national certification exams also available for these higher-level eye-care professions.

Day and evening courses are available, and the program can typically be completed in two to three semesters. Courses offered in the program include Visual System (OPTS 1011), Ophthalmic Techniques (OPTS 2041), Basic Contact Lenses (OPTS 1015) and Vision Care Office Procedures (OPTS 1060).

Interested prospective students can learn more about the program, including eligibility requirements and approximate tuition costs, by visiting https://www.richlandcollege.edu/cd/ce/cepgms/health/pages/ophthalmology-assistants.aspx.


An aerial, black and white image of the northeast corner of Little Egypt in 1962. Dallas’ Lost Neighborhood, “Little Egypt,” is Focus of Free Presentation at African American Museum

When Richland College faculty members Clive Siegle and Tim Sullivan started collaborating on the joint project “Finding Little Egypt,” little did they know how far they and their students would delve into the history and anthropology of a Dallas neighborhood which disappeared decades ago.

The history of that missing community and where its residents went will be the subject of a free presentation by Siegle and Sullivan on Sat., Feb. 9, at the African American Museum of Dallas. “Lost and Found: Little Egypt, Fifty Years Later,” which starts at 1 p.m. in the museum’s AT&T auditorium, is free and open to the public. 

Siegle, the historian, lives on the cusp of the long-lost neighborhood, but the significance of that location wasn’t apparent until he noticed a subtle difference between the curb and streets of a nearby shopping center and the rest of his neighborhood.

Siegle started checking with his own neighbors and learned that the shopping center sat on the site of a black community whose residents and homes disappeared almost overnight in the 1960s. Founded by a former slave, Little Egypt was located on 30 acres of land along Northwest Highway – an area currently known as the Lake Highlands neighborhood of Dallas.

The rest, as they say, is history – and a past that the Richland College professor and his colleague began to track down and document three years ago. 

“We are excited to share our findings and the history of Little Egypt with the Dallas community,” said Siegle. “Preserving history is critical, and we want people to learn more about African American communities like Little Egypt. It’s particularly fitting that we are sharing our work at the African American Museum during Black History Month. With our students’ help and the support of family members who lived in Little Egypt, the project will continue to expand as we document the history of that community.”

Little Egypt, during its heyday, thrived for 80 years – even without city services and paved streets which surrounding neighborhoods enjoyed – and then almost mysteriously disappeared overnight in 1962 when a developer became interested in the tract of land. More than 200 residents sold their homes and moved out at the same time, using 37 moving vans; the neighborhood was torn down almost immediately.

Who were those residents? Where did they go? Where could Siegle and Sullivan start to trace the neighborhood’s history and relocation? Those are the questions that Richland College students have been working on with their professors, starting with the community’s Egypt Chapel Baptist Church and nearby McCree Cemetery, using old photographs, search grids, measurements, surface artifacts and documents to do some old-fashioned detective work.

That’s the story they will tell during their presentation at the African American Museum. Siegle and Sullivan also will share their most current work: locating, charting and excavating the home of the McCoy family whose house sat on the only piece of land that was never redeveloped after the neighborhood disappeared. They also are creating a computer-generated, 3-D model of the home.

Members of the McCoy family have been instrumental in assisting with the Little Egypt project, said Siegle, as well as providing crucial information about life in the settlement during the years prior to its demise.

Siegle, who came to Richland in 2003, earned his master’s degree in international affairs (with a specialty in African military studies) from George Washington University and his doctorate in history from Southern Methodist University. He spent more than 30 years in the business sector as a buyer, safari outfitter, magazine editor and creative director. 

Sullivan earned his master’s degree in conservation anthropology from SMU and spent many years teaching before he received his doctorate in transatlantic history from the University of Texas at Arlington. He has taught at UTA, Texas Christian University and, most recently, at Richland College, where he serves as lead faculty member and coordinator for the anthropology department. Sullivan’s research interests focus on intercultural and interracial interactions, plus their long-term consequences.

 For more information about the event, please contact W. Marvin Dulaney at 817-406-8443 or Jane Jones at 214-565-9026, ext. 328.

(Article courtesy of Ann Hatch, Dallas County Community College District)


Military Friendly School Silver Logo Richland College Designated a Military Friendly School for Tenth Consecutive Year

Richland College has been recognized as a top college for veterans and active duty military members for the tenth consecutive year by receiving a 2019-2020 Military Friendly® Schools Silver Award. The Military Friendly® Schools program honors U.S. colleges, universities and trade schools that are doing the most to embrace America’s military service members, veterans and spouses and to dedicate resources to ensure their success in the classroom and after graduation. A silver designation means that Richland College has programs that scored within 30 percent of the tenth ranked institution within a given category.

The Veterans Services office at Richland College works with veteran students and their families to help them complete their educational goals by maximizing their military education benefits. Many resources are available through Veteran Services, including assistance with benefits, financial aid and a variety of other support services for the college’s veteran and military students, dependents and spouses.

Richland College offers eligible students and spouses NAVPA scholarships, Hazelwood and Montgomery G.I. Bill® services and opportunities, and the college also hosts events such as Military Appreciation Day, to support veterans. In addition, Richland College has many career and technical education programs designed for quick employment in the areas of business professions, computer technology, Allied Health and advanced manufacturing and engineering technology. These programs offer industry-standard training and certifications.

Military Friendly® Schools was created by Victory Media, Inc., a leading media outlet for military personnel transitioning into civilian life. To see how Richland College scored in various areas, visit www.militaryfriendly.com/schools/richland-college.

For more information about Richland College’s veteran services, visit www.richlandcollege.edu/services/veterans.


Headshot of Dr. Raghunath Kanakala Dr. Raghunath Kanakala Appointed Richland College Executive Dean for Engineering and Technology

Richland College has named Raghunath Kanakala to the position of executive dean of its School of Engineering and Technology. Kanakala’s appointment was approved by the Dallas County Community College District Board of Trustees Dec. 4, and he will assume this role in early 2019.

Kanakala currently serves as dean of technical education at Aiken Technical College in South Carolina. While there, Kanakala has overseen 12 technical education program areas, including industrial maintenance, welding, HVAC, CNC, graphics, electrical technology, radiation protection, tower, nuclear fundamentals, pre-engineering, physics and chemistry.

Prior to his current role at Aiken Technical College, Kanakala was an assistant professor in the University of Idaho – Idaho Falls College of Engineering, a research scientist and lecturer for the Inamori School of Engineering at Alfred University in New York and a graduate research and teaching assistant in the Colleges of Engineering at the University of Nevada Reno and the University of Nevada Las Vegas.

His academic leadership has included management of a $2.5 million Individuals Safety Training to Achieve Climber Credentials grant to train and place low-skilled workers, Trade Adjustment Assistance-certified workers and others in high-demand jobs in the tower industry and to reduce fatalities in the industry. He also holds a U.S. Patent in “combustion synthesis method and boron-containing materials produced therefrom,” and has developed curriculum, published 16 articles in industry journals and delivered numerous conference presentations.

At Richland College, Kanakala will provide academic leadership for the School of Engineering and Technology, which offers programs in computer information technology, computer science, cyber security, engineering, engineering technology (advanced manufacturing and electronics technology), interactive simulation and game technology, multimedia, networking/authorized training (Amazon Web Services, Cisco, Microsoft, Oracle, UNIX), photography/imaging, PC support and semiconductor manufacturing technology.

The Richland College School of Engineering and Technology also supports the Technology, Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing Center, a learning space for relevant, hands-on experience and career-focused training with leading edge, industry-quality technology for engineering and manufacturing students.

Upon entering his new role, Kanakala hopes to advance Richland College’s student success initiatives, faculty development and community partnerships, particularly regarding apprenticeships, internships, curriculum development and articulation agreements.

“I would like to increase the awareness about engineering transfer degrees,” Kanakala said. “Also, I would like to work on improving the apprenticeship models for different programs.”

“Dr. Kanakala brings proven leadership experience in engineering and technology education, and I am very excited to welcome him to Richland College as our new executive dean,” said Shannon Cunningham, Richland College executive vice president for academic affairs and student success. “I know he will continue to advance the mission, vision and strategic direction for our School of Engineering and Technology as we continue to deliver programs that meet industry demand and promote student success.”

Kanakala holds a Ph.D. and a Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Nevada Reno. He also earned a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Nevada Las Vegas and a Bachelor of Electrical and Electronics Engineering from the Gandhi Institute of Technology and Management.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For additional information about AACC, visit aacc.nche.edu.


A group of students hold awards and pose with Richland president Kay Eggleston and the TRIO director Anita Jones. Richland College TRIO Student Support Services Celebrates 25 Years

Richland College TRIO Student Support Services recently celebrated its 25-year anniversary during an on-campus reception. The TRIO-SSS program at Richland College is a component of the federal TRIO programs funded by U.S. Department of Education, and it serves approximately 270 students annually.

“TRIO programs are part of a legacy of educational equity stemming from the Civil Rights movement and established from the Educational Opportunity Act of 1964,” said Anita Jones, director of community programs for TRIO-SSS at Richland College. “Each year, Richland’s TRIO-SSS program contributes data on persistence, good academic standing and certificate and transfer rates to the U.S. Department of Education. The 2016-17 academic year, we exceeded 22 percent above the baseline in our certificate completion reporting.”

TRIO is a set of federally funded college-based educational opportunity outreach programs that equip and support students from low-income backgrounds — including military veterans and students with disabilities. Currently serving more than 828,000 students from middle school through post-graduate study, TRIO provides academic tutoring, personal counseling, mentoring, financial guidance and other support necessary to promote college access, retention and graduation.

TRIO programs assist students in overcoming the obstacles they face as the first generation in their families to attend and graduate from a four-year university. Today, an estimated 5 million students have graduated from college with the support and assistance of TRIO programs across the country. For more information about TRIO programs, visit ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/trio/index.html.

Since 1993, The TRIO-SSS program at Richland College has assisted eligible students in achieving their academic pursuits by offering a number of customized academic components designed to increase college retention and graduation rates. These free services include academic advisement, tutoring, assistance in financial aid application, university field trips, college success workshops and cultural enrichment opportunities. For more information, visit richlandcollege.edu/sss.


Shannon Cunningham, M.T. Hickman and Dwight Riley pose together, with M.T. holding her award from MPI. Richland College HEEM Lead Faculty M.T. Hickman Honored with Leadership Award from MPI DFW Chapter

M.T. Hickman, lead faculty of Richland College’s Hospitality, Exhibitions and Event Management program, was honored with the Colleen Rickenbacher Leadership Award at the 16th annual Certified Meeting Professional and Certificate in Meeting Management Recognition Event, hosted by the Dallas/Ft. Worth chapter of Meeting Professionals International April 26.

Hickman was one of three finalists for the award, and her selection was based on her impact on enhancing the relationships with meeting professionals and students in Richland College’s HEEM program. Her efforts have not only raised the visibility of the program, but she has a history of actively engaging students at industry events and encouraging them to join professional organizations and pursue industry certifications.

“M.T. is passionate about the industry and works hard to provide hands-on learning opportunities for Richland College HEEM students,” said Dwight Riley, dean of the Richland College School of Business. “She is a leader who inspires her students and colleagues to pursue their dreams.”

The Colleen Rickenbacher Leadership Award recognizes a member of the MPI Dallas/Ft. Worth chapter who makes a difference in the meetings industry through leadership contributions, commitment to education and advocacy in the cause of professional certifications.

Hickman, a CMP and Certified Protocol Etiquette and Civility Professional, is also a co-founder and current co-chair of the IMEX America and IMEX Frankfurt Faculty Engagement Programs that are part of the annual IMEX America and Frankfurt exhibitions for incentive travel, meetings and events. The Faculty Engagement Programs bring together faculty from around the world to discuss issues in meetings and events related to preparing students for careers in the industry.

In addition, for 16 years Hickman has brought together industry leaders and students to plan and produce the HEEM Scholarship Luncheon and Silent Auction, an annual event that has now raised more than $50,000 in scholarship funds for HEEM students at Richland College.

The Richland College HEEM program offers courses in the hospitality industry that prepare students for jobs as a marketing coordinator, show director, sales administrator, meeting manager, special events coordinator and event planners. Students can complete the Meetings and Events Management certificate, Hospitality and Tourism Management certificate or the Hospitality, Exhibitions and Event Management Associate of Applied Sciences degree.

MPI is the largest meeting and event industry association worldwide. Founded in 1972, MPI provides innovative and relevant education, networking opportunities and business exchanges and acts as a prominent voice for the promotion and growth of the industry. MPI has a global community of 60,000 meeting and event professionals and more than 90 chapters and clubs in 19 countries.