Tag Archives: DCCCD

Ashlynn Norris poses, wearing a Richland College lanyard and a NASA t-shirt. Richland College Student Accepted Into NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars Program

Reaching for the stars is a normal part of life for Richland College honors student Ashlynn Norris, who was recently chosen as a NASA Community College Aerospace Scholar. This hardworking young woman joined other community college STEM students from across the country in getting an authentic NASA experience.

“I felt breathlessly excited when I found out I was chosen as an NCAS,” said Norris. “I have always dreamed of being involved in a NASA program, but I generally believed that it wasn’t attainable. Seeing that email was a confirmation that I could maybe have a chance to pursue things I always believed were out of reach.”

As an NCAS student, Norris had the opportunity to engage in research and learning opportunities with NASA during a five-week online course that ended July 3. During the course, students learned about NASA’s past, present and future missions, as well as the science, technology and engineering that happen behind the scenes.

“In the last five years, we’ve only had one other NASA Community College Aerospace Scholar,” said Kathleen Stephens, Richland College Honors Program coordinator. “It is a very competitive program that requires an application and letters of recommendation. As we seek to increase the number of women in STEM fields, I’m particularly excited for Ashlynn to have this opportunity.”

Norris and the other students heard from NASA subject matter experts, including Stu McClung, project planning manager for the Orion program; Trent Smith, project manager for VEGGIE, the in-orbit garden on the ISS; and Lisa Spence, a manager in NASA’s Human Research Project.

“These talks have been wonderful because neither Stu nor Trent were linear, normal students,” said Norris. “They both had a very interesting road to NASA and offered a lot of hope and wisdom to those who aren’t standard students, showing that anyone can participate in NASA if they work for it.”

Upon course completion, qualifying students are invited to tour a NASA facility and work with NASA scientists and engineers on-site. The students will visit NASA space center nearest them and participate in a four-day on-site study of the current Moon to Mars campaign. During this trip, students will attend lectures with current engineers, research tasks and complete challenges.

“I am most excited about the opportunities that this experience can give me,” added Norris. “I am blown away with how welcoming, enthusiastic and driven every single NASA employee I’ve interacted with is, and they’ve made a point to tell everyone that there is a place for anyone here, making sure that we understand we’re welcome. Being an NCAS student comes with opportunities down the line as well.”

Norris told her Richland College Honors Program advisors about a project some former NCAS student researchers spearheaded, in which a payload of micro-algae was sent to the International Space Station for a week to see how the plant would respond under stress. The plant produces a powerful antioxidant that NASA believes may be able to help fight the heavy strain on astronauts’ bodies while in micro-gravity. NASA has agreed to ship samples of this algae to Richland College’s biology department to be studied by students to see how micro-algae grown in space differs structurally.

“Ashlynn is new to the Honors Program, but she has already excitedly shared a way to enrich the program by giving us information about space algae that could potentially be used in an honors science classroom and for the science boot camp led by Dr. Dwight Randle,” said Stephens.

Upon graduating Richland College, Norris plans to transfer to UT Dallas to pursue a bachelor’s degree in software engineering. She has always been intrigued by artificial intelligence and the advancement of the exploration of space, and she hopes to have the opportunity to work with NASA one day.

“No one should give up on themselves just because they may be a non-linear, busy or working student,” said Norris. “It is never too late to pursue things that you love, and Richland College and NCAS have done a wonderful job of reminding me of that.”

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 2019, 24 students with the Richland Honors Scholar designation and 24 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.

NCAS gives community college STEM students an authentic NASA experience and encourages them to finish their degrees and eventually pursue a NASA-related career. Eligible students must be U.S. citizens, high school graduates or equivalent, at least 18-years-old, registered at a U.S. community college, have concurrent enrollment or completion of 9 or more hours of STEM coursework and able to commit to a five-week online session. More information is available at nas.okstate.edu/ncas/.


Headshot of Rose Galloway Richland College Administrator Selected for Prestigious Leadership Fellows Program

Rose Galloway, associate vice president for workforce and continuing education at Richland College, has been selected as a 2019 Fellow to the National Community College Hispanic Council Leadership Development Program.

Galloway has been in her role at Richland College since 2015, and she has worked to enhance the success of the college’s career and technical education programs and Continuing Education through her strategic leadership.

“This opportunity has been the single most impactful thing I have ever done in my professional career,” said Galloway. “I feel so validated and surrounded by community.”

“I am very proud that Ms. Galloway was selected for this competitive leadership program, and I know she will greatly value from this experience,” said Shannon Cunningham, executive vice president for academic affairs and student success at Richland College. “Associate Vice President Galloway continues to be a leader among her peers and in the community, and I know this opportunity will continue to allow her to grow in not just her role at Richland College, but also in her leadership strength.”

Galloway is one of 24 members of the 2019 fellows class selected from community college candidates around the country. Hosted by the University of San Diego School of Leadership and Education Sciences, this prestigious program is designed to develop a pool of highly qualified Latinos and Latinas whose career interests focus on assuming increasingly responsible administrative positions with the goal of becoming community college presidents. The NCCHC Leadership Fellows Program was selected as a finalist in the 2019 “Examples of Excelencia” national showcase.

“Preparing strong leaders for the future is the primary purpose of the National Community College Hispanic Council’s Leadership Fellows Program,” said NCCHC president Robert Vela. “A demographic shift is occurring in the United States, and we are preparing new leaders who can model the way for the growing Hispanic population our community colleges serve. Through this program, fellows gain the necessary knowledge and skills they need to lead higher education into the future and positively impact the economic and civic success of their respective communities.”

“I feel an even stronger call to action to serve the students in our local community and to focus on the true and emerging needs of those in unique or underserved populations,” Galloway said.

Galloway earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1993 from Indiana University and received her master’s in education from the University of Houston in 1995. In addition to her role at Richland College, she is also the current chairwoman of the board for the Garland Chamber of Commerce.

NCCHC Fellows are required to attend two residential training seminars. The first begins in June, while the Fellows are in residence at USD. Galloway and the other Fellows will each prepare an individualized professional development plan and engage in a mentoring relationship with a Hispanic community college leader. In addition, they will attend the NCCHC Leadership Symposium in the fall and carry out online activities in between sessions.

NCCHC is an affiliated council of the American Association of Community Colleges, a national organization that has provided leadership to the community college movement for the past half-century. For more than 30 years, NCCHC has worked to promote the educational interests and success of the Hispanic community and to emphasize access, equity and excellence for students and staff in community colleges. Since the program’s inception, more than 250 community college administrators have participated as Fellows. In the past two years, more than 60 former Fellows have moved to positions of increased responsibility as executive level administrators, including chancellors, vice-chancellors and presidents. Learn more about the Fellows program at www.ncchc.com/leadership-fellows-program.

For more information about Richland College’s career and technical education programs, including computer technology, business professions, allied health, engineering technology and advanced manufacturing, visit www.richlandcollege.edu/smartcareers. Information about Richland College Continuing Education is available at www.richlandcollege.edu/ce.


a shot of the Richland College library Register Now for Fall 2019 Classes

Registration for the fall term is open for all current and incoming Richland College students! Beat the rush and register now! Fall registration ends Aug. 21.

Click here for information on applying to Richland College.
Click here for information on registering for classes.
Click here for the browsable class schedule.
Click here for information about registration for Continuing Education classes.

Don’t forget Richland College also offers online classes and eight-week flex term classes with start dates throughout the fall semester! Flex term class registration for fall will begin Aug. 22.

The fall term begins Aug. 26 and will end Dec. 12.

Questions? Contact the Richland College Admissions Office at 972-238-6948.


Richland College Works with Girls Inc. to Prepare Young Women for College and STEM Careers

For the sixth year in a row, Richland College partnered with Girls Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas, a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring all girls to be strong, smart and bold, to host part of a four-week summer camp for young women focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers. The girls were at Richland June 10-14.

“The girls are living proof that the whole is bigger than the sum of its parts,” said Simona Farcasiu, with the School of Engineering and Technology. “It takes a community to encourage girls to overcome challenges and pursue degrees and careers in STEM fields, and it was a great joy to watch the returning group of girls act as mentors to the rookies.”

This year, Richland College hosted two groups of girls – rookie eight graders and returning ninth graders. The returning group participated in biology/chemistry camp led by Libiya Shah and Becki Williams, where they learned about the water cycle and tested various water samples. The eighth graders participated in engineering/math camp, led by Simona Farcasiu and Praveena Dhayanithy, where they learned how math concepts are applied in engineering. Some applications included resistor color codes as applications of exponents and measuring sine waves as applications of trig.

In addition, both groups participated in a digital literacy camp led by Melinda Andrews, where they investigated their digital footprint and online safety. Also, the girls utilized their special reasoning skills when building lamps in art camp, led by Vicki Mayhan. Finally, both groups performed a beautiful dance routine symbolic of the Gestalt theory, “the whole is bigger than the sum of its parts,” led by Gina Sawyer.

Guests speakers during the camp included Martha Hogan, former executive dean for the School of Engineering and Technology, who spoke about the importance of education and addressed various pathways for achieving a degree and moving into a career in STEM. Sparsula Simmons, PMP, CSM manager at State Farm, led the girls into explorations of what it takes to be successful in a career and reminded the girls that they have the keys to success. Two Richland College police officers, Corporal Brooks and Officer Lopez, led a discussion with the girls about various issues. 

“Throughout the camp, the girls impressed us with their depth of thought, openness to new ideas and support for each other,” added Simona.

Girls Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas serves a diverse population of 1,000 girls, ages 6 to 18, in the Greater Dallas area. The organization focuses on the development of the whole girl through a combination of long-lasting mentoring relationships, a pro-girl environment and research-based programming that equips girls to lead fulfilling and productive lives, break the cycle of poverty and become role models in their communities. For more information, visit https://girlsincdallas.org

Thanks to everyone who helped make this event another success!  


Students and faculty members from the Chu Kochen Honors College at Zhejiang University in China pose with faculty and staff from Richland College. Richland College Honors Program Visited by Students and Faculty Members from Zhejiang University in China

A delegation of four students and three professors from the Chu Kochen Honors College at Zhejiang University in China visited the Richland College Honors Program June 6 to learn more about honors program curricula in the U.S. in relation to design and assessment.

“We are honored to have the Zhejiang University Honors College delegation with us at the Richland College Honors Program,” said JaiJun Bracewell, faculty member for Richland College’s School of World Languages and Cultures. “Thank you, Dr. Kathleen Stephens, for hosting this event, the faculty who attended and Dean Susan Barkley.”

One Chu Kochen Honors College student, chemistry major Yaoting Xue, is currently learning about metal-organic chemistry, polymer chemistry, basic theory of soft materials and researching soft robotics. He enjoys being a part of Chu Kochen Honors College because it is considered “a big warm family.” Prior to attending the event, Xue explained what he was most excited about: “I want to know how the undergraduate students at Richland College participate in academic work, and if it is possible for me to take a class at Richland,” he said.

Jiayu Chen is in her senior year and is devoting herself to writing her thesis under the instruction of a tutor. She has done some research on Ouyang Xiu, one of the most outstanding scholar-officials in the history of ancient China. Her plans include studying at Renmin University of China, where she can complete her post-graduate studies in higher education. “I am quite interested in various education models of honors colleges around the world to see what the different parts are and how they work,” said Chen.

When asked about the best part about being in the Chu Kochen Honors College, Chen said, “Students here receive more attention and benefit from a high-quality education. We’ve got top notch professors from various schools and departments. Every student is allowed to follow a self-designed curriculum plan to meet his or her interests and future goals. Academic training is emphasized, which prepares me for further study.”

During the visit, Xue, Chen and the rest of the Chu Kochen Honors College toured the new honors student center with Richland College Honors Program coordinator Kathleen Stephens. Later, the delegation attended a presentation by Stephens on how the Honors Program works at Richland College and had a meet and greet with honors faculty and students. They learned about the honors student learning outcomes, honors faculty workshops and other processes.

“At Richland, we have new-to-honors faculty workshops led by experienced honors faculty members from different disciplines and myself,” said Stephens. “In addition, just before mid-semester, we have faculty members give evaluation forms to their students, and then the faculty members prepare summary reports to share at the honors faculty mid-semester workshops, with an eye toward continuous improvement. We also have six honors student learning outcomes. Professors must submit a proposal to teach an honors course and include how they will meet at least two of the six learning outcomes. Many meet more than two.”

Prior to visiting Richland College, the Chu Kochen Honors College delegation attended the Fourth Annual Honors International Faculty Institute in Fort Worth June 3-5 at Texas Christian University. This intensive workshop was designed to equip university and college professors, instructors, lecturers and researchers who teach academically talented college students with knowledge, skills and resources necessary to design and teach effective honors courses.

“Through our participation in the 2017 and 2019 Honors International Faculty Institutes at TCU in Fort Worth, the Richland Honors Program is on the cutting edge of a world-wide honors movement,” said Stephens. “We are delighted that our colleagues in the TCU Honors College recommended us as a model program for the delegation from China to visit. We have also built connections with honors programs in the Netherlands through HIFI, and I anticipate Richland Honors expanding its success through this visit and through study abroad opportunities for our students, who went abroad in 2016 to London, Paris and Amsterdam, in May 2019 to Ireland, Wales and England, and are planning a May 2020 program to Germany, Italy, Switzerland and France.”

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 2019, 24 students with the Richland Honors Scholar designation and 24 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.

Zhejiang University is a key national university under the direct administration of China’s Ministry of Education and the joint support from China’s MOE and the Zhejiang province. Established in 1984, Chu Kochen Honors College is one of the oldest honors colleges and the most comprehensive honors college in China. For more information, visit http://ckc.zju.edu.cn/english/.


exterior of Richland College Garland Campus Richland College Garland Campus Honors Local Businesses With Annual Partnership Awards

Richland College Garland Campus is committed to serving the local community through corporate and workforce training, recognizing the importance of building sustainable community partnerships to provide customized training that is beneficial to both employers and their employees. One of the many ways Richland College Garland Campus shows its appreciation to its partners is by recognizing local companies with Corporate Services’ Partnership Awards, which are presented each year at the Garland Chamber of Commerce’s annual banquet.

“The top three words we hear from employers is ‘workforce, workforce, workforce’,” said Konley Kelley, Richland College Garland Campus director of corporate and community relations. “The greatest assets our clients have are their employees. We are privileged to provide these employees training options and solutions that meet their needs. The Partnership Awards are both a recognition and a ‘Thank you’ from the college for this relationship that we value.”

The Partnership Awards were established to meet a “client recognition” goal. Companies are nominated by Richland College grant coordinators and staff. The review committee for these awards is comprised of college leadership and members of the Garland Chamber of Commerce.

The DCMA Partnership Award recognizes clients who are part of the DCMA and have met and exceeded performance goals as a partner in a Skills Development Grant from the Texas Workforce Commission. The performance goals are set in the grant application and fulfilled through a working relationship with the college to deliver an agreed number of classes for grant-eligible participants. The grant duration can be a year to 18-months long.

The Community Partnership Award recognizes clients who have actively worked with the college in areas such as contract/company-sponsored training, apprenticeship programs and the hiring of students from the Workforce Training programs at the Garland Campus. These companies typically send staff to present to students in the Workforce Training programs and participate in job fairs and career guidance.

More than 200 chamber members were hosted at this year’s banquet, sponsored by its 2018 board of directors. Rose Galloway, associate vice president of workforce and continuing education at Richland College, was honored as the incoming chairwoman of the board for the chamber. Also at the event, Ron Clark, vice president for business services at Richland College, presented Epiroc Drilling Solutions with the DCMA Partnership Award, and he presented General Dynamics Ordinance and Tactical Systems with the Community Partnership Award. These awards recognized the significant training investment each company provided to their employees and their support of programs at Richland College Garland Campus.

“We are very proud to have received this award,” said Tanya Tyler, human resources manager for Epiroc Drilling Solutions, who accepted the award alongside Karine Dubois, vice president Human Resources for Epiroc. “Epiroc Drilling Solutions strives to be a company that values the knowledge and development of our employees. Partnering with the Garland Campus for training has been invaluable to us as an organization and in our efforts to have the best trained workforce around!”

Epiroc Drilling Solutions received this award for its participation in a Richland College Garland Campus Skills Development Fund grant. The company providing training to 108 Epiroc employees, including 79 new employees, which far exceeded grant projections. Epiroc received classes in electrical basics and troubleshooting, forklift certification, MSSC certification, 5S, root cause analysis, lean six sigma, project management, CPR and leadership training.

“Garland Campus has been a great partner for us when it comes to training our employees,” added Tyler. “Not only through the state grant, but also in scheduling classes onsite at our facility or at Richland’s main campus whenever we need them, which has been incredibly helpful in training our employees. The Richland employees we work with, like Ric Guerrero, are very flexible and responsive to our needs as an organization.”

General Dynamics Ordinance and Tactical Systems participated in grant training in 2017-18 and used Richland College Garland Campus for contract training in arc flash, train the trainer, coaching millennials and geometric dimensioning and tolerancing. In addition, General Dynamics is the first DCMA company to participate in a registered DOL apprenticeship program in manufacturing, a project for which Garland Campus is providing technical training. Craig Conner accepted the award on behalf of General Dynamics during the ceremony.

The Partnership Awards have been held since 2012. Previous winners include:

  • 2012: Hatco, DCMA; and Dallas County, Community
  • 2013: Micropac, DCMA; and Plastipak Packaging, Community
  • 2014: Interceramic, DCMA; and Perot Museum, Community
  • 2015: Unity Manufacturing, DCMA (more than 100 employees); Atlas Copco, DCMA (fewer than 100 employees); and City of Garland, Community
  • 2016: Micropac, DCMA; General Dynamics, DCMA; and City of Garland, Community
  • 2017: Sanden-Vendo, DCMA; DAP, Community; and Data-Matique, Community
  • 2018: Mapei, DCMA; and Aloe Vera, Community

In addition to these awards, Kelley, who was last year’s Leadership Garland Distinguished Leader Award recipient, presented this year’s Distinguished Leader Award to Garland Fire Marshall Mike Van Buskirk.

“The Garland Campus is here to serve the community and its companies, many of which are valued manufacturing companies in the Dallas County Manufacturers’ Association and the Garland area,” said Kelley. “Whether the company or organization dedicates time for employees to train on a grant or sponsor training, the college is proud to serve and help keep this economy growing.”

Tyler added, “As an organization, we believe that training is an integral part in having a high-performing workforce. We have company goals and standards as far as the minimum number of training hours every year for each employee, and Richland has been incredibly helpful over the years in accomplishing that goal. We look forward to partnering with Richland in the future to continue to provide high quality training for our employees for many years to come!”


Headshot of Kathleen Stephens Richland College Honors Program Coordinator Kathleen Stephens Named ‘Advisor of the Year’ by National Society of Collegiate Scholars

Richland College Honors Program coordinator Kathleen Stephens was recently named Region 3 Chapter Advisor of the Year by the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. According to NSCS, she was selected for her “strong leadership and unwavering support and dedication to the NSCS Chapter at Richland College.”

Stephens is the founding advisor for the Richland College NSCS chapter, which began in spring 2015. Colleague Patrick Moore, professor in the School of Social Sciences and Wellness, is also an NSCS advisor.

“It’s been a remarkable experience to watch our NSCS chapter grow from a new honor society in spring 2015 to have it achieve Gold Star status for the first time this year from the national office,” said Stephens. “I enjoy participating in the leadership development of chapter officers and helping them learn how to handle communication, responsibility and delegation. I’m very proud of them and all that they have achieved.”

In addition to her full-time duties as Honors Program coordinator, Stephens’ responsibilities as an NSCS advisor include attending new member induction ceremonies, meetings and events sponsored by the chapter; and sharing advice with officers and members.

“Your passion and commitment for student success are evident and you go above and beyond to support the chapter and encourage chapter officers to be leaders,” said Susan Kuper, director of Chapter Advisor and Campus Relations at NCSC. “We are impressed by the student leaders of your chapter and all that they have accomplished this year.”

As part of her award, Stephens will be awarded a $150 professional stipend. Her registration fee for the Leadership Excellence and Advisor Development certification online course, offered to NSCS advisors in June 2019, will also be waived.

Founded in 1994 at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C., NSCS is a member of the Association of College Honor Societies and is a recognized organization at more than 300 campuses across the country. This nonprofit honors organization recognizes and elevates high achievers and provides career and graduate school connections, leadership and service opportunities, and awards one million dollars in scholarships annually¾more than any other honor society. For more information, visit nscs.org.

The NSCS chapter at Richland College is part of Region 3, which consists of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California and Hawaii. Richland’s chapter achieved Gold Star status for the first time in spring 2019, an honor that reflects the chapter’s highly engaged members. The officers have organized several community service events this year, including a mental health awareness event as part of NSCS’s partnership with Active Minds. For more information about Richland’s NSCS chapter, visit richlandcollege.edu/cd/instruct-divisions/rlc/mshp/honors-program/pages/nscs.aspx. Students who have earned at least a 3.4 GPA on 9 college-level credit hours may self-nominate to NSCS at nscs.org/self-nomination.


Four people sitting on a stage in a discussion ‘Minority Serving Institution’ Convening Attendees Gain Valuable Insight About Equity and Inclusion

In keeping with its mission of teaching, learning and community building, Richland College, in collaboration with the Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution program, has hosted each fall since 2016 the Minority Serving Institution Convening, a conference dedicated to providing higher education professionals with tools to impact the academic success of students at minority-serving institutions. After attending the 2018 MSI Convening, “Minority Student Success: Using Data to Effect Change,” last October, many attendees left the convening with more than just insight on how to achieve minority student success: some also left with a zeal to put ideas learned into practice and provide education and encouragement for others to follow in those same footsteps.

As an MSI Student Fellow, Richland College student Camryn Morrow was nominated by a faculty member to participate in the 2018 MSI Convening. Of everything Morrow heard at the convening, one thing impacted her the most: the importance of showing empathy. “The MSI Convening helped Richland College because it emphasized that professors should go beyond just teaching¾even expressing an ounce of empathy ensures that all students have the same opportunity to succeed,” said Morrow.

Overall, Morrow was encouraged by what she learned at the MSI Convening. “I found the presentations to be reassuring,” she said. “They showed that despite what we don’t see, many things are happening behind the scenes to fix what students consider to be some of the most prevalent of issues, including race. I would highly recommend others attend a future MSI Convening to learn more.” Morrow will also be attending the 2019 MSI Convening, this time to share her experiences at the 2018 conference and as a student at Richland College.

Cassandra Himes, College Connections advisor at the College of the Mainland in Texas City, also attended the 2018 MSI Convening. Upon returning to their institution, Himes and her colleague, Stephanie Dilissio, used what they learned at the convening and put together a presentation for the COM Student Services Leadership Council to share their takeaways and actionable items. Now COM is using the practices and information Himes and Dilissio acquired to examine the college’s processes, including the way COM collects data, the need for all units at COM to collect and analyze quantitative data and the importance of initiating courageous conversations about equity, inclusive excellence and quality programs.

“After attending the MSI Convening, I have a clearer understanding of equity, inclusive excellence and quality, and how to translate those into campus practice,” said Himes. “I approach my work with the guiding question: ‘How can we, at College of the Mainland, continue to improve the way we collect and use quantitative data to design, evaluate, modify and improve programs and initiatives to address the success of minority and underserved students?’ On a personal level, the MSI Convening reignited my commitment to the statement ‘all means all.’”

Himes plans on returning to Richland College to attend the 2019 MSI Convening, and she encourages all higher education professionals to do the same.

Jennifer Baggett, professor of biology at Richland College and MSI Convening faculty program chair, said, “By working hard to provide a high-quality, free conference with nationally recognized speakers, we have created an affordable opportunity for community colleges and other minority-serving institutions to convene, collaborate and learn about research and programs in a data-focused way to improve minority student success. The feedback we’ve received from attendees has been overwhelmingly positive, especially about the quality of presenters, both invited and those selected from breakout session proposals.”

The MSI Convening provides an opportunity for educators and other higher education professionals devoted to student success to gather and participate in presentations and discussions about using data to modify and improve programs and initiatives that address the success of minority and underserved students. The 2019 MSI Convening will be at Richland College Oct. 18-19. Proposals to present are being accepted now through June 7. The MSI Convening is made possible in part through a grant from the AANAPISI program of the Department of Education.

Richland College serves as more than just the host college¾it completely plans and executes the conference each year. The planning team is led by convening chair and executive dean for the School of Social Sciences LaQueta L. Wright, faculty program chairs Baggett, Michael Puente and Rolanda Randle, and faculty logistics chair M.T. Hickman. This team identified the theme and created the structure for a four-year series of conferences, “Using Data to Effect Change”; secured funding support from community partners; invited and guided nationally recognized keynote and plenary speakers; solicited and selected breakout session proposals; oversaw the creation of the conference website, call for proposals and registration system; organized and planned facilities, food and host hotels for the convening, including the evening networking reception and breakfast and lunch on both days; and oversaw the advertising and marketing of the convening, both locally and nationally.

“As the final year of our four-year, grant-funded MSI Convening series approaches, we look forward to seeing what Richland College does from here,” added Baggett. “We have built new relationships with community colleges and four-year minority-serving institutions over the last few years, and we look forward to cementing those relationships into collaborations that lead us all forward in our efforts to improve student success through data-informed programs and initiatives.”

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 16% of Richland College’s student population comprised of Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander 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 about the 2019 MSI Convening, visit www.richlandcollege.edu/msi-convening.


Richland College Students Win 2019 EarthX Most Environmental Impact Award

Richland College dual credit high school students Samuel Flanagan and Paige Smith helped the Dallas County Community College District win the Division III Most Environmental Impact Award at the EarthX conference, held at Fair Park April 26-28, with their unique project that was part of DCCCD’s “Sustainable U” exhibit.

The Most Environmental Impact Award is given to a group with an outstanding presentation that inspires others to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle. Flanagan and Smith’s project was a boat made entirely out of plastic water bottles. During one month, the students collected a total of five hundred used water bottles from two families of four. Flanagan and Smith then designed and built a boat that holds a capacity of three hundred pounds and floats on water, which they tested by paddling out on White Rock Lake. The project took them one year to complete.

“Samuel and Paige were motivated by their passion to bring environmental awareness and consciousness to our community about how much bottled water we consume and the impact of these bottles, not only on our landfills, but also in our oceans,” said Sonia Ford, Sustainability Project Coordinator at Richland College.

The water bottle boat was very popular among the patrons of EarthX, including elementary school students, seniors, alumni, environmental groups, EarthX judges and DCCCD students. There were also many Richland College representatives at this event, including faculty members Tara Urbanski, Daniella Pezzo, Tiffany Savage and Michael Li; staff members Ford and Cindy Hood, and 35 student volunteers.

“In addition to fulfilling Richland College’s vision to learn, teach and build sustainable local and world community, this project also exemplified Richland’s culture of creativity, innovation, competitiveness and leadership,” added Ford.

All other DCCCD colleges attended EarthX to promote DCCCD’s 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Read more about these goals and how they can be used to achieve a better and more sustainable future for everyone at www.dcccd.edu/au/sustainability/initiatives/un-sdgs/pages/default.aspx.

EarthX is an international nonprofit organization whose purpose is to educate and inspire people to action toward a more sustainable future. It hosts the world’s largest environmental expo and conference sharing the latest initiatives, discoveries, research, innovations, policies and corporate practices that are reshaping the world. Learn more at https://earthx.org.

Richland College has tracked energy consumption since 1975, and it records and assesses key performance indicators for energy and water usage and recycling.  In 2017, Richland College became the first and only educational institution to be awarded the City of Dallas Zero Waste Management Gold Level Green Business certification for its efforts in preventing waste, incorporating recycling and promoting reuse and compost in its operations. In 2010 and 2011, Richland College was awarded the Environmental Protection Agency WasteWise Award for University and College Partner of the Year. Richland College also won the national Recyclemania Grand Championship in 2016 and the Texas Grand Championship each year from 2010 to 2018. For more information about Richland College’s green initiatives, visit www.richlandcollege.edu/greenrichland.


Colin Allred and Richland President Kay Eggleston pose together. Rep. Colin Allred Speaks at Richland College TRIO Student Support Services Ceremony

Richland College TRIO Student Support Services honored six students as TRIO Achievers at the 2019 TRIO Day Student Success Celebration, attended by Rep. Colin Allred (TX-32), Apr. 24. The students honored were Whitney Boyer, Nick Gjonaj, Felicia Keto, Christian Lara, Cedrick Munongo and Brytha Nkrumah.

“The federal TRIO programs are a set of educational opportunity programs established in 1964 that enable either first-generation-to-college or low-income students and underrepresented special needs populations to earn college degrees,” said Kathryn K. Eggleston, Richland College president. “The Richland College TRIO Student Support Services program is a component of the federal TRIO programs.”

At the event, Rep. Allred addressed the students and other guests, praising the accomplishments of the TRIO Achievers and encouraging the students not to give up on their version of the American dream.

“I want to congratulate the students here at Richland College, and the families who supported them, who succeeded in part because of this wonderful TRIO program,” said Rep. Allred. “This program, and really the charge of Richland College generally, provides opportunities for so many students throughout north Texas.”

Following Rep. Allred’s remarks, students Keto, Lara, Munongo and Nkrumah each told their personal stories of hardship and ultimate success in a TED Talks-style format. Keto, Munongo and Nkrumah are immigrants to the U.S. and outlined the paths they took not just to arrive in the U.S., but to succeed at Richland College. Lara, a first generation American, shared his story of his troubled past, showing a determination not only to succeed, but thrive.

“Success is the biggest thing that we should strive for, and we should never let anyone take that away from us,” Lara said. “The only person that can stop us is ourselves.”

The presentation, recorded by Richland Student Media, is available in its entirety at www.richlandstudentmedia.com/videos/trio.

TRIO programs assist students in overcoming the obstacles they face as the first generation in their families to attend and graduate from a college or 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 www.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 several 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 www.richlandcollege.edu/sss.