Tag Archives: Dallas County Community College District

Richland College President Receives Shirley B. Gordon Award from Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society
Dr. Eggleston on stage waving at the crowd after accepting her award

Richland College president Kathryn K. Eggleston, Ph.D., recently accepted the Phi Theta Kappa Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction at the annual Phi Theta Kappa convention in Nashville, Tenn. Photo courtesy of Phi Theta Kappa.

Richland College president Kathryn K. Eggleston, Ph.D., was one of nineteen presidents/campus CEOs awarded the Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction at Phi Theta Kappa’s annual convention in Nashville, Tenn., Apr. 6-8.

College presidents and campus CEOs are selected for this award based on outstanding efforts in promoting the goals of Phi Theta Kappa at their institutions. Nominees must have served as president at least five years at the current institution and demonstrated a strong level of support for Phi Theta Kappa during their tenure.

The award is named for the late Dr. Shirley B. Gordon, Phi Theta Kappa’s longest-serving Board of Directors chair. Gordon was named Phi Theta Kappa’s Most Distinguished College President in 1984.

Following acceptance of the award, Eggleston said, “I am honored to be recognized as a national recipient of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society’s 2017 Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction for advancing the goals of academic scholarship, leadership and service among Richland College’s outstanding honor students. I am proud to note that Richland’s Alpha Alpha Xi Chapter continues to sustain annually its Five Star Chapter rating, the highest level of accomplishment by college chapters.”

In addition to the Shirley B. Gordon Award, Eggleston was also recently inducted into the Texas Hall of Honor for Chief Executive Officers for the Texas region of Phi Theta Kappa for her and Richland College’s outstanding support of Phi Theta Kappa.

Phi Theta Kappa is the international honor society for community colleges. Founded in 1918 to give prestigious recognition to students with excellent scholarship and character, Phi Theta Kappa has always maintained fidelity to its founders’ commitment to provide enrichment in four hallmarks: scholarship, leadership, service and fellowship. Phi Theta Kappa features some of the nation’s finest educational programs for community college students.

Richland College’s Phi Theta Kappa Alpha Alpha Xi Chapter was recognized as a 2015 Top 100 Distinguished Chapter at the International Level, was the 2015 8th Most Distinguished Chapter in Texas Region and was the 2015 Most Distinguished Chapter for Honors in Action Theme 3: Quest for Human Expressions. In 2017, chapter secretary Elizabeth Mareesa won a “Distinguised Member” medallion at the Phi Theta Kappa Texas Regional Conference.

For additional information about Phi Theta Kappa at Richland College, visit alt.richlandcollege.edu/phi-theta-kappa.


Richland College Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Student Success Selected for 2017-2018 Aspen Presidential Fellowship

Zarina BlankenbakerRichland College executive vice president for academic affairs and student success Zarina Blankenbaker, Ph.D., was recently selected for the prestigious Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence, a highly selective leadership program aimed at developing a new cadre of outstanding leaders capable of transforming student success at community colleges across the U.S. The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC.

Blankenbaker was one of only 40 fellows selected nationwide for this honor and will embark on a year-long fellowship beginning July 2017. Delivered in collaboration with the Stanford Educational Leadership Initiative and top community college leaders, the program focuses on a new vision of leadership and aims to guide new and aspiring community college presidents to change dramatically student outcomes in several areas: learning, completion while in community college, completion of bachelor’s degrees after transfer, employment and earnings after graduation and equitable access and success for underrepresented minority and low-income students.

“As a community college leader with a personal commitment to providing equity, I am delighted with the opportunity the Aspen Presidential Fellowship will provide to prepare me with the exceptional leadership knowledge, skills and abilities to design the desired, holistic learning experiences necessary for students to complete their educational goals with the creative talent requisite to solve problems of the 21st century,” said Blankenbaker.

The selection criteria for the fellowship included Blankenbaker’s abilities in taking strategic risks, leading strong teams, cultivating partnerships and focusing on results-oriented improvements in student success and access.

According to the American Association of Community Colleges, 365 presidents left their posts during the past year. This rate of turnover is happening while increasing numbers of students—including growing numbers of minority, low-income and first-generation-to-college students—are attending community colleges.

The 2017-2018 Aspen Presidential Fellows hail from 24 states and 38 community colleges. For information, visit http://as.pn/1ky.

The Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence is funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, College Futures Foundation, ECMC Foundation, Greater Texas Foundation, Joyce Foundation and Kresge Foundation.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Richland College Designated as a Tree Campus USA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Richland College Receives $804,845 Grant from Texas Workforce Commission in Check-Signing Ceremony

A group of people standing with a large check.Richland College, Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), Garland Chamber of Commerce and local business representatives were present at a check-signing ceremony April 13 at Richland College Garland Campus to award Richland College with a $804,845 Skills Development Fund Grant from the TWC.

The grant will be used by Richland College to create or update 430 jobs at nine Dallas County Manufacturers’ Association companies, including Aloe Vera of America; Altronic Controls; Ecolab; General Dynamics; Hatco; Marlow Industries; Sherwin Williams; Unity Manufacturing; and VEKA South, Inc.

Training under the grant includes AutoCAD, electrical basics and troubleshooting, hydraulics, ARC Flash, motor controls, Lean Manufacturing, CPR, Microsoft Office, project management, Six Sigma Green Belt and leadership.

“Richland College Garland Campus appreciates the ongoing confidence that the Texas Workforce Commission and area manufacturers place in us an experienced, high-quality, results-focused training provider,” said Kathryn K. Eggleston, Ph.D., president of Richland College. “We remain ready to anticipate and exceed expectations in training delivery for these business partners and other business partners in our Garland community and beyond.”

“Garland is extremely proud to be a manufacturing community,” said Paul Mayer, CEO of the Garland Chamber of Commerce and DCMA.

Event speakers included Eggleston, Mayer, Richland College Garland Campus Associate Dean of Workforce Development Kimberly Wilkins, TWC Chairman and Commissioner Andres Alcantar and Unity Manufacturing CEO Richard Buferd.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Texas A&M Engineering Partnership with El Centro College Expanding to Include Richland College

The Texas A&M-Chevron Engineering Academy at El Centro College is expanding to become the Texas A&M-Chevron Engineering Academy at El Centro College and Richland College.

Texas A&M-Chevron Engineering Academies are innovative co-enrollment partnerships developed to address the state’s growing need for engineers. Qualified students will be admitted to the Texas A&M University College of Engineering, complete the first two years of coursework at El Centro or Richland and finish their engineering degrees in College Station. All A&M engineering classes for students enrolled in this academy will take place on the campus of El Centro College in downtown Dallas.

“We are excited about offering our unique pathway to an Aggie engineering degree to even more Dallas-area students by expanding the Engineering Academy at El Centro to include Richland,” said Dr. Cindy Lawley, Texas A&M Engineering assistant vice chancellor for academic and outreach programs. “The Texas A&M-Chevron Engineering Academy program is the only engineering transition program of its kind in the United States, and students admitted to this academy are part of the Texas A&M College of Engineering from day one.“

Richland College president Dr. Kathryn K. Eggleston said the partnership strengthens an already strong engineering transfer program.

“This partnership expands Richland College’s strong transfer engineering focus by offering greater accessibility and a structured pathway to a bachelor’s degree with guaranteed admission to tier-one Texas A&M University,” she said. “We are grateful for the support of Chevron toward this important student success initiative.”

The expanded academy is one of five Texas A&M-Chevron Academies across Texas. Texas A&M-Chevron Academies at Austin Community College, Houston Community College and Texas Southmost College in Brownsville are currently accepting student applications, and Alamo Colleges in San Antonio will begin in fall 2018. Texas A&M also has successful engineering academies at the Blinn College campuses in Brenham and Bryan.

“Chevron is excited to be able to continue our longstanding relationship with Texas A&M through support of the engineering academy initiative, which will help provide opportunities in the field of engineering for many underrepresented and first-generation college students,” said Shariq Yosufzai, Chevron vice president of diversity, ombuds and university partnerships. “Partnering with Texas A&M, a top source of engineering hires for Chevron, to help provide opportunities in the field of engineering will support our efforts to help build the diverse workforce of tomorrow that will be required to meet the energy needs of the future.”

A 2012 report by the President’s Advisory Council on Science and Technology projected that 1 million more STEM degrees would be needed in the next decade. In Texas alone, the projected need for engineers in the workforce is 62,000 by 2022. To meet this need, universities and two-year colleges will need to work together to bridge the gap, and attract and retain students who are interested in STEM fields.

“Successfully transitioning from a two-year to four-year institution can be a daunting experience for students,” said Dr. Greg Morris, vice president of academic affairs at El Centro College. “This academy eliminates that barrier for our students—increasing their likelihood of completing a four-year engineering degree.

“The need for innovative STEM pathways that lead to high-paying engineering careers is vital to the Texas economy. The Texas A&M-Chevron Engineering Academy at El Centro College and Richland College blends accessibility with academic rigor and helps chart a path toward student success in the fields of engineering, Morris said.”

By enrolling in the academies, students can save up to $15,600 in tuition and fees over two years while still being taught by Texas A&M faculty on the El Centro campus.

“El Centro and Richland students admitted to the Texas A&M-Chevron Engineering Academy can take their freshman and sophomore engineering classes right here in downtown Dallas, and the classes are taught 100 percent by Texas A&M faculty. It’s a win-win for our students,” said Morris.

The partnership with El Centro College began admitting students in 2016, and several of the students in the program are looking forward to attending the Texas A&M campus in College Station. Luis Gonzales, one of the academy students who was also recently selected as one of NASA’s Community College Aerospace Scholars, is the first member of his family to go to college.

“I chose to apply for the engineering academy because it was an affordable option for me and my family,” he said. “I was accepted into the engineering program at Texas A&M in College Station and at other big universities, but I chose to go with the more affordable option.”

(Release courtesy of Texas A&M University Engineering)


Richland College Dance Program Celebrates the Unexpected with ‘Serendipity’ Spring Dance Concert
Four Richland College dance students perform in True Colors

Richland College students perform in last year’s ‘True Colors’ dance program.

Expect the unexpected when the Richland College dance program stages its spring dance concert, “Serendipity,” with performances at 12:30 and 1:30 p.m. March 31.

Directed by Richland College dance director Gina Sawyer, “Serendipity” will feature students, faculty members and guest performers in choreography and performance roles, with dance genres including contemporary modern, jazz, tap and hip-hop.

“’Serendipity’ is sure to tickle your fancy with unexpected twists and turns,” said Sawyer. “The dance performances embrace creative thinking and art-making.”

Dance faculty choreography and film work will include original pieces by guest performer Darrell Cleveland and faculty members Nadia Dosal, Christie Nelson, Lauren Schieffer and Sawyer. Additional guest performers and choreographers include Keira Leverton and the Terrance M. Johnson Dance Project.

Darrell Cleveland is a professional dancer, choreographer and instructor with 20 years of experience in ballet, jazz and modern dance forms. His experience includes teaching at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, dancing with Toni Braxton and En Vogue, eight seasons with the Dallas Black Dance Theater and choreographing and starring in statewide Texas Lottery commercials.

Keira Leverton comes from a dance background—her grandfather was Buster Cooper, an influential tap dancer who founded the dance program at the Hockaday School. Much of her exposure to the tap community was through tap festivals such as the Chicago Human Rhythm Project and the Third Coast Rhythm Project, and she trained with a variety of professionals, including Gregory Hines and Yuji Uragami. Leverton has performed worldwide at venues such as Radio City Music Hall and Wembley Stadium in London.

The Terrance M. Johnson Dance Project (TMJDP) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that uses the art of dance to promote community outreach, cultural awareness, social consciousness, art in education and the preservation of live performance art. Its mission is to support the welfare of underserved communities through the creation and implementation of art and culture programs that are rooted in the principles of humanity. The TMJDP professional company is a collective of performing artists that engages audiences with choreographic works that are socially conscious, critically engaging and aesthetically pleasing.

The Richland College dance program provides a challenging teaching and learning environment for students that values diversity and develops artistic excellence, fosters creative and collaborative practices and encourages personal agency and social responsibility in appreciating dance.

“Serendipity” is free and open to the public in the Fannin Performance Hall on the east side of the Richland College campus. Richland College is located at 12800 Abrams Road. Additional information is available at richlandcollege.edu/dance.


Richland College Students Participate in Community College Day at Texas State Capitol

Students posing in front of the Texas State Capitol buildingRichland College students traveled to Austin to attend Community College Day at the Texas State Capitol on Feb. 7. Through meetings with legislators and panel sessions with key policy makers, students had the opportunity to voice their opinions about how a community college education has impacted their lives. Front row (left to right): Bel Khuu, Zahara Wadud, Domenica Barboza, Michelle Callahan, Seth Sotelo. Second row: Greg Weasah, Daniel Vargas, Edward Sesay, Riyan Edris, Juan Molina, Yoselyn Diaz, Alejandra Rivera. Third row: Essence Provost, Clifton McVea. Photo by Keenan Cobb.


Richland College Offering AEL-ESL and GED Courses at New Texans Can Academies Campus in Garland
Multiple people standing in front of a ribbon at Arapaho Road Baptist Church

Representatives from Richland College, Texans Can Academies, Lionheart Children’s Academy, Arapaho Road Baptist Church, Garland Chamber of Commerce and the local community participate in the official Garland Can Academy ribbon cutting ceremony Jan. 25, 2017. Photo by Paul Knudsen.

In keeping with its mission of teaching, learning and community building, Richland College recently became a partner with the new Garland Can Academy at Arapaho Road Baptist Church by offering Adult Education and Literacy/English as a Second Language (AEL-ESL) and GED courses in the school’s classrooms at the church.

These AEL-ESL and GED courses are free and open to the community, and they are taught by Richland College continuing education faculty members.

“Through these AEL-ESL and GED courses offered by Richland College, individuals seeking to acquire English language skills, enhance literacy, expand employment opportunity and open doors to future college access and degree and certificate completion now have guided pathways to achieve dreams of better, more prosperous lives for themselves, their children and our community,” said Zarina Blankenbaker, Ph.D., Richland College’s executive vice president for academic affairs and student success.

“Our partnership with Garland Can Academy is an extension of the programs we offer on our main campus,” said Gary Hensler, Richland College’s dean of continuing education and workforce training. “We are excited to extend our offerings to groups in our community beyond the physical confines of the campus so we may better serve our constituents.”

The Garland Can Academy, a Texans Can Academies campus, provides students the opportunity to pursue their dreams while removing barriers that may keep them from attaining an education. It is the sixth Dallas-area Texans Can Academies campus with a current enrollment of 165 students and room to grow to 300 students.

Texans Can Academies has a network of 13 charter schools across Texas that are tuition-free, open enrollment, public high schools of choice, welcoming students of all walks of life. The organization’s mission is to provide the highest quality education for all students, especially those who have struggled in a traditional high school setting, in order to ensure their economic independence.

People interested in taking AEL-ESL or GED classes taught by Richland College at Garland Can Academy can contact Richland College Continuing Education at 972-238-6972 or rlcce@dcccd.edu.

Garland Can Academy is located at 2256 Arapaho Road in Garland. Information on the academy is available at texanscan.org/schools-and-programs/garland.