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Two female students and one male student laugh together as they exit the main entrance of Thunderduck Hall. Richland College Honors Program Planning Study Abroad Trip and Other Activities for 2018-19 Academic Year

The Richland College Honors Program has several new developments in progress this year, including an honors study abroad trip to the British Isles May 20-30, 2019.

The honors study abroad trip is an opportunity for students to experience literature coming to life as they explore the British Isles. During the 11-day course, students will receive credit for an honors level British Literature course and participate in selected readings, all while experiencing the stunning landscapes and imposing medieval architecture in Ireland, Wales and England.

“Bringing history, literature and culture to life by experiencing what we’ve only seen in pictures, heard in a classroom or imagined in our minds is what I enjoy most about studying abroad,” said Erin Kelley, English faculty member at Richland College who will lead the trip. “The exposure to different cultures on this trip will broaden your perspectives in ways you have never imagined. Studying abroad is an invaluable experience.”

Kelley is excited to teach her first study abroad trip, as she is passionate about both traveling and English. “My most memorable moment I’ve had while traveling has been seeing Juliet’s balcony in Verona, Italy,” she said. “Since I was a teenager, ‘Romeo and Juliet’ has been my favorite Shakespeare play. This play ignited my love for British literature and is basically why I’m a professor today. Seeing Juliet’s balcony in person was a dream come true!”

“Studying abroad is a high-impact practice,” said Kathleen Stephens, Richland College Honors Program coordinator. “Students receive the most educational benefits from such practices. By studying abroad, students become more culturally aware and sensitive, learn about their roles as global citizens and add these unique travel experiences to their resumes.”

Unlike the study abroad trip, the other Richland College Honors Program developments happening this year will be on American soil. On May 10, construction began on the new Honors Student Center, located in the current honors office space in El Paso Hall. With an expected completion date this summer, the Honors Student Center will be the first center of its kind in the Dallas County Community College District. It will offer a student computer lab, quiet study area, collaborative space, kitchen for students and staff offices.

“The Honors Student Center is an important step toward meeting all the basic characteristics set forth by the National Collegiate Honors Council, of which we are a member,” said Stephens.

In November 2018, Honors Program student Kirubel Solomon Moges will be presenting a poster at the National Collegiate Honors Council Conference in Boston titled, “Capital Punishment is the Ultimate Deterrent to Peacebuilding.” This is the first Richland College Honors Program student to have a presentation accepted at a national level. “Moges and all of the Richland College honors students are rising to the challenge of the program, which makes me very proud,” said Stephens.

To participate in the Honors study abroad trip, current DCCCD students must be accepted into the Richland College Honors Program, which requires a 3.25 GPA or higher and nine or more completed college-level credits. Previous Richland students who have transferred to a four-year college or university may also return to take the course. Scholarship opportunities are available at www.efcst.com/scholarship and full trip details are available at https://www.efcollegestudytours.com/professors-trip/2063544SV

The Richland College Honors Program provides highly qualified students with an enriched and challenging academic community where they develop the capabilities necessary to excel in their educational and career goals. In May 2018, 42 students with the Richland Honors Scholar designation and 18 additional students with the Richland Honors Certificate designation graduated from Richland College. Learn more about the Richland College Honors Program at https://www.richlandcollege.edu/cd/instruct-divisions/rlc/mshp/honors-program/pages/default.aspx.


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.


Natalie Tran stands at a podium, smiling and addressing a crowd behind the photographer. Eight Richland College Students Recieve APIASF AANAPISI Scholarships

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 Honors Academy Class to Host Food Drive, Oct. 21-Nov. 14

Grocery bag of canned goodsStudents in Visiting Scholar Mary Wood’s Honors English class at Richland College will make real-world connections between their coursework and the local community when they host a food drive Oct. 21-Nov. 14.

The food drive will kick off with a screening of “A Place at the Table,” a documentary film that investigates hunger in America and proposed solutions to the problem. The screening will be at 4 p.m. Oct. 21 in room SH118 in Sabine Hall and is free and open to the public.

“In class, I want to focus on how we can use writing to address and remedy social issues in America,” said Wood. “I am using the film to highlight the national issue of food insecurity while also opening a discussion of how this insecurity affects the Dallas area. Students will also look into other local issues to gain a better understanding of our local community and how they can use their writing to enter a dialogue about these issues.”

Richland College’s Honors Academy and the Office of Student Life will be assisting the students in the food drive that will benefit the North Texas Food Bank.

“It’s important to keep in mind that many people in our community are struggling to feed themselves and their children,” said Honors Academy Coordinator Kathleen Stephens. “The food drive is one way to help reduce food insecurity in our area and be mindful of those who need help. The Honors Academy and the Office of Student Life are delighted to partner with Mary Wood on this important project. Richland College students and the surrounding community can really help make a difference.”

Food drive organizers are hoping to meet a goal of collecting at least 250 non-perishable, nutritional food items during the drive. Acceptable donation items include granola bars, low-sodium vegetables and soups, canned tuna or chicken, peanut or almond butter, fruit rolls, whole grain crackers, brown rice and more. Glass containers will not be accepted.

Anyone interested in donating items may drop them off at one of the following locations on the Richland College campus: Honors Academy offices (El Paso Hall, room E056); Access Office (Alamito Hall, room A110); World Languages, Cultures and Communications office (Lavaca Hall, room L208); Multicultural Center (Thunderduck Hall, room T150); Richland Collegiate High School office (Crockett Hall, room C179); LEAD office (Crockett Hall, room C243) or the Office of Student Life (El Paso Hall, room E040).