Category Archives: News

Waiting for Godot Richland College Theatre Department Wins Awards at Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival

The Richland College theatre department received several awards at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF), Region Six Texas State Festival, held at Angelo State University (ASU) Oct. 25-28.

Richland College performed a production of “Waiting for Godot” at the festival. Students Carter Brown, Jabin Lewis and Shae Hardwick received Excellence in Acting awards, and Marissa Gutierrez received a Stage Management award.

In addition, Richland College’s performance was awarded Respondents’ Choice Best of Festival, chosen by respondents Tom Miller, from New York City’s Actors’ Equity Association, and Tom Burch, assistant professor of scenic design at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte. The show also received Directors’ Choice Best in Festival, voted on by the directors of each show in the festival.

“Richland College was represented with pride and honor at the Texas State Festival of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival,” said Andy Long, lead faculty of theatre at Richland College. “Our freshmen and sophomore students not only held their own at a play festival, where productions consisted of juniors and seniors and even graduate students, but also the Richland College production of “Waiting for Godot” walked away with the top two awards. The commitment and determination of our young students was remarkable to see as they focused their attentions and abilities on success and then accomplished it. I am immensely proud of our students.”

Richland College is currently being considered for participation in the 2018 KCACTF Regional Festival, hosted by ASU Feb. 28-March 3.

Kennedy Center American College Theatre is a national organization focused on celebrating the educational and creative process of university and college theatre. Through its state, regional and national festivals, it honors excellence in overall production and individual recognition to students in playwriting, acting, criticism, directing and design. It includes more than 600 academic institutions nationwide participating in eight regional festivals. Richland College is part of Region Six, which also includes college theatre programs at universities and colleges in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico and Oklahoma. For more information about KCACTF, visit kcactf.org.

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


Headshot of Dr. Shannon Cunningham Dr. Shannon Cunningham Appointed Richland College Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Student Success

Headshot of Dr. Shannon CunninghamRichland College has named Shannon Cunningham, Ph.D., to the position of executive vice president for academic affairs and student success. Cunningham’s appointment was approved by the Dallas County Community College District Board of Trustees Nov. 7, and she will assume her role Jan. 2, 2018.

Cunningham was chosen in a national search that included a review committee consisting of Richland College staff and faculty members, along with candidate forums, meet-and-greet sessions, and a college-wide survey that allowed college community members to provide candid input.

“Dr. Shannon Cunningham brings proven leadership and experience in academic and student affairs, coupled with an impressive passion for student success. I am confident that she will inspire and advance Richland College’s vision, mission, and strategic direction in her role as executive vice president,” said Kathryn K. Eggleston, Ph.D., Richland College president.

Cunningham currently serves as vice president at Northern Oklahoma College Stillwater Campus, a community college in Stillwater, Okla. In addition to advancing multiple service areas of the college, she helped ensure the success of the Northern Oklahoma College/Oklahoma State University Gateway Program, a partnership designed to recruit and prepare students for enrollment at Oklahoma State University. She also provided oversight and direction in new capital construction of a $22 million facility and in securing a multimillion dollar Department of Education Title III grant for Native American Serving Non-Tribal Institutions (NASNTI).

Prior to her current role at Northern Oklahoma College Stillwater Campus, Cunningham served at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College (NEO) as the assistant vice president for academic affairs and director at NEO Grove and agriculture department chair. She also served as a faculty member in the agriculture department and the horse judging team coach.

“I am a passionate supporter of higher education and know the importance our work has on the lives of our students; we change lives and provide a means to opportunities that improve futures,” Cunningham said. “I am very much looking forward to being a part of the Richland team and helping ensure excellence in education, innovation and student success.”

Cunningham has a Ph.D. in agriculture education and leadership from Oklahoma State University, a Master of Education in workforce development education from the University of Arkansas, a Bachelor of Science in animal science from Oklahoma State University and an Associate of Science in agriculture from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College.


Headshot of Gary Hensler Richland College Dean Named T.A.C.E. Regional Representative

Headshot of Gary HenslerGary Hensler, Richland College dean of continuing education and workforce training, was recently named a regional representative for the Texas Administrators of Continuing Education (TACE) for community/junior colleges.

“I am very excited to have this opportunity to serve in this role for TACE,” said Hensler. “I was elected by my peer representatives in the colleges in the north region.”

As the north region representative, Hensler will serve as the catalyst for information for Collin College, the Dallas County Community College District, Grayson County College, Navarro College, North Central Texas College, Tarrant County College, TSTC – Breckenridge, Vernon College and Weatherford College.

Hensler has worked at Richland College since July 2016. Some of his previous positions include the director of market operations for Strayer University, director of enrollment services at Academic Partnerships, the director of admissions and registrar at Grayson County College and the director of recruitment of ITT Technical Institute.

TACE is Texas’ premier professional association for individuals working in continuing education at Texas community and technical colleges. Its purpose is to promote the development of quality continuing education and workforce programs and the professional development of continuing education professionals. The association works to provide members with information about issues affecting the community/junior colleges and continuing education; to function as a representative agency on legislative and other issues regarding continuing education on behalf of community colleges; to maintain a communication network for the exchange of information and ideas; to support professionalism, integrity and quality continuing education instruction in Texas; and to support appropriate funding of Texas public community college continuing education programs.

For more information on TACE, visit taceonline.org.


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.


a shot of the Richland College library 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 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.


Richland College and Area High Schools Team Up to Offer Dual Credit Study Abroad Opportunity for High School Students

Students pose in front of a Chinese buildingTwenty-six students from Thomas Jefferson High School, International Leadership of Texas (ILTexas) Garland High School, ILTexas Keller-Saginaw High School and ILTexas Arlington – Grand Prairie High School recently completed a study abroad trip to China as part of the annual Chinese Summer Immersion Program, where they received college credit through Richland College.

While this study abroad trip has been available annually to college students, this is the first time the dual credit study abroad experience has been offered to high school students. During the month-long trip, students took culture and language classes at schools in various cities in China, stayed with host families and visited many of China’s historical and famous locations.

“The China Summer Immersion Program is, I think, one of the best experiences a high school student can have,” said Margaret Hong, director of international programs for ILTexas. “I know all the students from the International Leadership of Texas and Thomas Jefferson High School had a great time interacting and learning from their Chinese peers. Richland College enhanced this experience even more by offering an International Business dual credit class to our students in China. Their contribution made this program an even more enriching experience by helping our students attain real-world knowledge about international business that they can apply in their future careers.”

This study abroad trip was part of an elective class called Introduction to International Business and Trade that counted for Richland College credit and ILTexas credit. Part of the course involved weekly sessions that included case study analysis and discussion, monitoring the news as it relates to U.S. and China relations and a visit to the U.S. embassy in China to get a business briefing from the U.S. Commercial Service in Beijing.

“Studying abroad gives students the opportunity to see how other people live and how it compares to home,” said Lorraine McCord, adjunct instructor in the School of Business at Richland College. “It challenges as well as confirms beliefs about how the world works. And it helps put the news into context, as well as make friends from other cultures and improve language skills.”

While traveling, the students visited Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Zhongshan and Zhengzhou and saw many cultural and historical locations in each city. Some of the things they saw include the Great Wall of China, Tiananmen Square, Shaolin Temple, the Beijing Ancient Observatory, the Forbidden City and the Yellow River.

“From this trip, I gained perspective of the world beyond North America,” said student Regina Nguyen. “Many aspects of Chinese pop culture are like that of the U.S., and the two countries don’t feel as different from each other as one might think.  I also learned to be more open-minded to the differences in the culture, which let me look past what was unfamiliar and learn about the culture and history. Lastly, I would like to think my language skills improved while we were there. Overall, I gained a lot from this trip, and I’m very thankful for it.”

The International Leadership of Texas incorporates leadership and education in the classroom for all students. Education is taught from a global perspective so that students will graduate with knowledge of the language and the tools needed for future leadership and success. The mission of ILTexas is to prepare students for exceptional leadership roles in the international community by emphasizing servant leadership, mastering the English, Spanish and Chinese languages, and strengthening the body, mind and character. Students have the opportunity to become trilingual, graduate with an associate’s degree and study abroad. ILTexas currently serves more than 17,000 students with 15 locations in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and Houston.

The Richland College Dual Credit program provides an opportunity for bright, capable and motivated high school students to receive college credit while still in high school. It is open to any 9-12 grade student at a participating charter school, home school, private or public school.

For more information about ILTexas, visit iltexasdistrict.org. For more information about the Richland College Dual Credit program, visit alt.richlandcollege.edu/dual-credit.


Richland College Authorized Concealed Carry Exclusion Zones

There are permanent and temporary concealed carry exclusion zones permitted by the state law enacting that licensed concealed carry holders can carry concealed handguns onto the campuses of all public Texas community colleges, including all Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD) colleges.

The DCCCD concealed carry policy applies to all faculty, staff, students, guests, visitors, and individuals and organizations who do business with or on behalf of the DCCCD or its property.

The law takes effect on Tuesday, August 1, 2017.

PERMANENT EXCLUSION ZONES AT RICHLAND COLLEGE

  • Athletic Fields
    • Baseball Field
    • Fenced-In Soccer Fields #9, #10, #11, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18
  • Crockett Hall
    • Richland Collegiate High School Office Suite
    • High School Dual Credit Office Suite
  • El Paso Hall
    • Lakeside Resource Center
  • Fannin Hall
    • Theater Scene Shop
    • Art Studios F175, F177, F179, F187
  • Guadalupe Hall
    • Entire Building
  • Pecos Hall
    • Police Office Suite
    • Facilities Services Yard
    • Chiller and Boiler Plants
  • Sabine Hall
    • Science Labs and Prep Areas
  • Thunderduck Hall
    • Health Center
  • Wichita Hall
    • Advanced Manufacturing Lab
    • Hydraulic Lab
    • Allied Health Sciences Labs
  • All DCCCD-Owned Vehicles

TEMPORARY EXCLUSION ZONES AT RICHLAND COLLEGE
Temporary exclusion zones can only be authorized on a situational, as-needed basis.

  • Alamito Hall
    • Administrative Suite – Disciplinary Hearing Rooms
  • Fannin Hall
    • Specific Events Involving Minors
  • Garland Campus
    • Atrium – Election Polling Places
  • Hondo Hall
    • Human Resources – Disciplinary Hearing Rooms
  • Kiowa Hall
    • Richland Collegiate High School-Specific Events

Any internal or external activities or events scheduled on campus requiring establishment of a temporary concealed carry exclusion zone must be submitted in writing two full business days in advance of the event. Written requests must be submitted, using the attached Concealed Carry Temporary Exclusion Form, to Bethany Wright, Richland College room coordinator, A200, and approved by the division supervisor, Facilities Services director, college president designee, and DCCCD Police commander.


Richland College and Amazon Announce Partnership to Train Veterans in Cloud Computing
A large group of people posing together.

Representatives from Amazon, Richland College, Dallas County Community College District, and Texas State Sen. Don Huffines (second row, third from left) pose with members of the inaugural Richland College Amazon Web Services training class. Photo by Paul Knudsen.

Richland College and Amazon Web Services announced a partnership Monday to bring a new apprenticeship program to Dallas to train and hire veterans.

Through the program, veterans complete a 16-week certification program at Richland College, where they learn about cloud-based solutions and get practice using Amazon Web Services features. Upon completion of the courses at Richland College, students will then transition to one-year paid internships with Amazon, after which participants are guaranteed interviews for full-time positions with Amazon.

“Embarking on this new strategic partnership with Amazon Web Services will indeed enhance economic growth in the north Texas region, equip a skilled Texas workforce in information technology fields with emphasis on training and hiring veterans and expand Amazon’s growing presence and tremendous potential as a major employer in the Metroplex and beyond,” said Kathryn K. Eggleston, Ph.D., president of Richland College.

At Richland College, highly trained and experienced computer information technology and cybersecurity faculty will provide certification preparation training in A+, Net+, Linux and more. Amazon has already selected 15 local veterans to participate in the first class.


Richland College and RealPage Partner for over $1.3 Million Job-Training Grant

People posing with a large checkRealPage Inc. has partnered with Richland College to provide job training using a $1,323,223 Skills Development Fund grant from the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). The grant will benefit workers in the Greater Dallas area.

“This partnership focuses on specialized technical skills training needed to support this high-demand industry in the Richland area,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Ruth R. Hughs. “We are pleased to make this grant to RealPage and Richland College, which will provide technology training and help maintain a highly skilled workforce.”

This grant will be used to provide customized training for 700 new and incumbent workers for emerging information technology (IT) technologies with focused instruction on virtualization and cloud software, software supporting web-based application, project management and process control instruction. Trainees will include IT project managers, computer analysts, network support engineers, software engineers and technical writers. Upon completion of training, the workers will receive an average wage of $31.16.

Since its inception in 1996, the Skills Development Fund grants have created or upgraded more than 342,428 jobs throughout Texas. The grants have assisted 4,238 employers with their customized training needs. The Legislature allocated $48.5 million to the Skills Development Fund for the 2016-17 biennium. Employers seeking more information about the Skills Development Fund may visit the TWC website at
texasworkforce.org/skills.