Category Archives: News
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Eight Richland College students recently received the Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution 2018 scholarships. These students include Tran (Jenni) Tran, Joe Cung Tha Lian, Khiem Huynh, Ngan (Natalie) Tran, Roshan Karki, Suhail Sabharwal, Tha Blay Paw and Tho Trieu. They were honored at a scholarship reception on campus May 2.
“I am happy to see students using resources offered to them,” said Michelle Nguyen, AANAPISI program services coordinator at Richland College. “I am so proud of all of the students who received the APIASF AANAPISI scholarship, and I know this means a lot to them. I have seen that they are more confident and motivated since receiving this recognition.”
Jenni Tran, originally from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, is majoring in business. Lian, originally from Chin, Myanmar, is majoring in education. Huynh, originally from Vietnam, is majoring in computer science with a minor in software engineering. Natalie Tran, originally from Vietnam, is majoring in hospitality management. Karki, originally from Nepal, is majoring in computer science. Sabharwal, from Dallas, is majoring in healthcare administration. Paw, originally from the refugee camp Umphiem in Thailand, is majoring in accounting. Trieu, originally from Chau Phu District, An Giang Province, Vietnam, is majoring in accounting.
The APIASF AANAPISI scholarship is given to students attending APIASF AANAPISI partner colleges and universities, who live at or below the poverty level, are the first in their families to attend college, are representative of the Asian and Pacific Islander American (APIA) community’s diversity and have placed strong emphasis on community service, leadership and academic achievement. For more information, visit apiasf.org/aanapisischolarship.
Richland College is the only higher education institution in Texas that has been awarded an AANAPISI grant due to its large percentage of APIA student population. It was awarded a second five-year, $1.5 million grant in 2015. The AANAPISI program is funded by the U.S. Department of Education under the Office of Postsecondary Education for five consecutive years. The AANAPISI program at Richland College aims to recognize and support the needs of our growing APIA student population by providing resources and opportunities for degree attainment and advancement. For more information, visit richlandcollege.edu/sliferlc/aanapisi.
Richland College gallery coordinator Charles Coldewey was recently selected to serve on the jury for the 2018 U.S. Congressional Art Competition for the 30th Congressional District of Texas, represented by U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson.
Richland College resides within the 30th district of Texas. Coldewey is one of five individuals from schools within Johnson’s district selected to be on the jury for the competition.
“This is both a privilege and honor to be asked to be involved, and it’s a great opportunity to represent Richland in the community,” said Coldewey. “I have a deep love for the arts, and I want to support young artists whenever possible.”
Coldewey visited Johnson’s office to judge 98 student-submitted works of art, and he was also a guest speaker at the Congressional Art Competition reception April 20 at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas.
Victoria Taylor of the Cambridge School of Dallas was selected as the grand prize winner of the competition. Cree Agent of Bishop Dunne Catholic School won second prize and Natalie Carvajal of Booker T. Washington High School finished third. As part of her prize, Taylor’s winning artwork will be displayed for one year in the Cannon Tunnel, a tunnel in Washington, D.C., connecting the Cannon House Office Building with the U.S. Capitol.
In addition to serving as gallery coordinator and teaching three-dimensional design, advanced design and sculpture classes at Richland College, Coldewey is an active member of the north Texas art community. He holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in fine arts from the University of North Texas, is on the Ft. Worth Arts Panel and is on the artist registry for Dallas and Ft. Worth.
The Congressional Art Competition began in 1982 and is an annual competition open to high school students and sponsored by the Congressional Institute. A winner is submitted from each congressional district by the district’s member of Congress.
Richland College computer information technology faculty members Rod Lamb and Rich Park were recently honored by Cisco Networking Academy with the Expert Level Instructor Excellence Award, a distinction that recognizes Lamb and Park as being in the top 10 percent of the academy’s instructors globally.
Lamb, also the computer information technology program administrator, has more than 18 years of experience as a Cisco Networking Academy instructor and has been previously awarded the Expert Level Excellence Award in 2014, 2015 and 2017. In addition, he has also twice received the Advanced Level Excellence Award, recognizing the top 25 percent of instructors globally.
Park also has more than 18 years of experience as a Cisco Networking Academy instructor and was previously awarded the Expert Level Excellence Award in 2013, 2016 and 2017. He also has twice previously received the Advanced Level Excellence Award.
“It’s nice to get the recognition,” said Lamb. “I think it shows the quality of the instructional faculty we have here, and I think that’s what spoke to me the most when I got it: the level of knowledge and expertise we have at Richland College.” Lamb went on to explain that very few other colleges had more than one instructor on the list of Expert Level Excellence Award winners.
Cisco Networking Academy program awards are determined using an instructor recognition score based on several factors, including participation in regional instructor online groups; participation in Cisco professional development opportunities; attention to student needs, measured by satisfaction with lab facilitation and student interest in the courses; student performance on the first attempt of the final exam; and instructor use of Cisco resources such as assessments.
Richland College offers courses that prepare students for the Cisco Certified Networking Associate and Cisco Certified Networking Professional exams. In this training, students learn how to design, build and secure intelligent networks while developing other skills such as leadership and collaboration. The CCNA certification is a foundation-level networking certification, while the CCNP is more advanced and shows that the certificate holder has the networking expertise to meet the needs of varying IT and networking job roles.
Cisco Systems, Inc. develops, manufactures and sells networking hardware, telecommunications equipment and other high technology services and products and is the largest networking company in the world.
Cisco Networking Academy program began in 1997 when Cisco donated networking equipment to a local school, but it sat unused because no one was trained on it. Realizing this gap, Cisco stepped in and trained the staff to build their network, and Cisco Networking Academy Program grew from a single school to an ever-expanding community of students, educators, employers, non-governmental organizations, Cisco employees and customers. Cisco Networking Academy has impacted more than 7.8 million students in 180 countries, partnering with 22,000 educators and instructors at 10,400 academies.