In order to better serve the needs of students, Richland College officially changed the name of its Travel, Exposition and Meeting Management (TEMM) Associate of Applied Science degree program to Hospitality, Exhibition and Event Management (HEEM), effective Jan. 1, 2018.
This change occurred after a survey was distributed to 77 students asking about intentions and goals of the program. With an 84 percent return rate, the survey determined 46 percent of students were most interested in meetings and events, 65 percent of students were interested in pursuing the Associate of Applied Science degree rather than just getting a certificate and 48 percent of students were extremely likely to pursue a career in the industry.
“The name was changed to HEEM so that potential and current students could more clearly recognize the hospitality and event management emphasis of the program,” said M.T. Hickman, HEEM lead faculty and program coordinator. “The word ‘travel’ is often associated with travel agents, who represent a very small segment of the industry. ‘Hospitality’ is a more commonly used term that includes lodging, events, tourism and recreation. This change more accurately describes the program and gives students and employers a better understanding of what we offer.”
Although the name has officially been changed for all new students, it will not affect current students in the TEMM program. In addition, the Hospitality and Tourism Management and Meetings and Event Management certificate programs will remain the same. While the travel and events courses currently offered at Richland College will not change, students will begin to see more hospitality courses added in the future.
“This program provides the education to prepare students for a career in the hospitality, events and tourism industry,” said Hickman. “The certificates build upon each other and lead to the Associate of Applied Science degree. These awards prepare students for entry-level positions in the industry. According to the U.S. Occupation Outlook, the hospitality and lodging industry is expected to grow by 6 percent, and the meetings and events industry is expected to grow by 10 percent by 2026. This program exposes students to the many segments of the industry, which will help them gain an understanding of where they would like to work and build relationships while they are in school.”
The HEEM curriculum is developed in collaboration with a 30-member advisory board whose members represent all segments of the industry. These industry professionals also teach in the HEEM program and mentor students.
Hickman started her career with the Irving Convention and Visitors Bureau and is still active in industry organizations, including the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE), Meeting Professionals International and the Professional Convention Management Association; she serves on the Hotel Association Advisory Board, the IAEE Faculty Advisory Board and the Stephen F. Austin Advisory Board; and she is co-chair of IMEX America and IMEX Frankfurt Faculty Engagement Program. Hickman has directed the Richland College HEEM program for 20 years, has developed and taught several courses in the program and is the student HEEM Club faculty advisor.
The Richland College HEEM program offers courses in the hospitality industry that prepares students for jobs as a marketing coordinator, show director, sales administrator, meeting manager, special events coordinator and event planners among other careers. Students can complete the Meetings and Events Management certificate, Hospitality and Tourism Management certificate or the Hospitality, Exhibition and Event Management Associate of Applied Sciences degree. The average college graduate makes $20,000 more each year.*
For more information about the HEEM program, click here.
For those who have completed the construction skills masonry course at the Richland College South Dallas Training Center (SDTC), putting up walls is easy. This seven-week, non-credit, workforce training course was designed for quick completion, industry certification and has a work experience component for immediate employment success.
Last month, the SDTC graduated its first class of students from this program, at the end of which they literally built walls.
“Masonry has always been a part of my life,” said Javiar Arias, lead instructor for the construction skills masonry class. “The masonry trade comes from my great, great grandfather, and I love teaching it to others. This class will help students not only build a career, but also be a better person in life. Our first masonry class literally showed us how one person can build something with his or her own hands.”
This training program is a mixture of classroom work and hands-on experience, and it takes place off-site at A-Star Stucco and Masonry and the Construction Compliance Training Center of the Hispanic Contractors Association de Tejas.
“I took this class to make myself a better worker and to understand the structural mentality of not only masons, but also engineers and architects,” said Kristopher DeAlva, a recent masonry student. “The part I enjoyed most was learning how to lay a concrete masonry unit and brick. The class helped me understand structures in building as well as architectural design. It opened a new perspective in the path I want to follow in the future to create my own buildings and manage a small business.”
This masonry class prepares students for a job as construction masonry laborers or bricklayers after they complete the program. This was the first time this class has been offered at SDTC, which opened in the spring of 2017.
“I took this class because I wanted a career in something that my family had experience in; I wanted to follow in their footsteps,” said Juan Aguilar, another masonry student. “It was so informative, and the people were great and very well-educated. Not one question went unanswered, and I have never felt more comfortable learning something new. This class helped me further my education on safety and the importance of small details when it comes to construction. I hope to one day have a small business of my own.”
At the end of the course, students showcased their newly acquired masonry skills to construction employers by building a wall unit with a print set, mixing all materials and completing the wall in a set time frame.
“I enjoyed teaching this class,” said Hector Dechner, the instructor for construction math and blueprint reading. “It was successful. The students met all the learning objectives and progressed in basic masonry knowledge. This class will open many opportunities in the construction field for our graduates. It also taught them knowledge and skills necessary for many different job opportunities.”
The SDTC was created through a partnership between Richland College Garland Campus and the Innercity Community Development Corporation in South Dallas Fair Park. It is a workforce training center that offers non-credit, short-term employment training programs in areas including office/accounting skills, construction skills and industrial logistics. Tuition, books and classroom materials are free to those who qualify.
For more information about the South Dallas Training Center, visit richlandcollege.edu/aboutrlc/sdtc.
The Richland College music department recently received accreditation by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM). This prestigious accreditation was announced at the NASM annual meeting in Arizona on Nov. 19.
“This accreditation means that the Richland College music program meets all the same standards for the first two years of music study as any four-year institution, making our transfers transparent,” said Diane Hilbert, executive dean of the Richland College School of Humanities, Fine and Performing Arts. “It means that we now have a voice at the national table to participate in national and state concerns regarding music education and to work with our colleagues in planning for the future of music education and the needs of our students and the changing workforce they will enter.”
For the past four and a half years, the music faculty have been working through the process to be granted accreditation by NASM. At the NASM Annual Meeting, 312 applications for new and renewal accreditation were reviewed by the NASM Commission on Community College Accreditation. Richland College was one of only two two-year institutions in the United States that were approved for new accreditation, and the fourth two-year institution in Texas to be nationally accredited by NASM. Other Texas two-year institutions to receive this accreditation include Del Mar in 1948, Odessa College in 1964 and Amarillo College in 1966.
Before receiving this accreditation, Richland College completed a thorough application process. This involved Hilbert attending the American Association for Women in Community Colleges (AAWCC) Leaders Institute and completing a process map and budget project, inviting a NASM consultant to evaluate all aspects of the Richland College music program, completing a self-study, receiving a site visit from the accreditation team, responding to recommendations from the team and submitting recommendation updates to the commission.
“This would not have been possible if it had not been for our music faculty and our students’ commitment to the quality and growth of the music program,” said Hilbert. “Additionally, the process of the self-study enabled us to identify opportunities for improvement and to plan strategically for the future needs of the program.”
Founded in 1924, NASM is an organization of schools, conservatories, colleges and universities with approximately 650 accredited institutional members. It works to establish national standards for undergraduate and graduate degrees and other credentials for music and music-related disciplines, and to assist institutions and individuals engaged in artistic, scholarly, educational or other music-related endeavors. For more information, visit nasm.arts-accredit.org.
The Richland College music department combines comprehensive academics, laboratory and ensemble work and applied instruction to prepare students for advanced musical study, build base-level credentials for working musicians and enrich general education for non-music majors. Programs offered include band, choir, jazz, orchestra and steel band. For more information about the Richland College music department, visit richlandcollege.edu/music.
Shooting hoops and chasing dreams are what Tony Bishop, Jr. does best. This former Richland College Thunderduck is making a name for himself in the basketball world, as he has recently played with the Panama National Team and Denmark’s Bakken Bears in several countries internationally.
Bishop competed as part of the Panama National Team in the FIBA AmeriCup in Montevideo, Uruguay on Aug. 28-30. The FIBA AmeriCup is a men’s basketball tournament that brings together the best 12 national teams across North and South America. The Panama team competed in Group C with the Dominican Republic, United States and Uruguay teams. Other teams present in the tournament were Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Puerto Rico in Group A and Argentina, Canada, U.S. Virgin Islands and Venezuela in Group B.
Although Panama finished last in the tournament, Bishop came in sixth out of 125 players for most points per game. The 28-year-old, 6’ 7” power forward finished the tournament with 16.3 points per game, 49 total points, had 20 rebounds, made 3 steals and blocked 2 shots. He was also featured on the Top 10 Plays on ESPN on August 29.
After the FIBA AmeriCup, Bishop played with Denmark’s team, the Bakken Bears, in qualifying rounds for the FIBA 2018 Basketball Champions League. The Bears won 80-78 in the first round against Donar Groningen in Groningen, Netherlands, but lost 83-91 in the second round in Risskov, Denmark.
Before he began competing in international competitions, Bishop played basketball as a Richland College Thunderduck from 2007 to 2009.
“Slim, as he is known to those close to him, was a very motivated player while at Richland College,” said Jon Felmet, former Richland College head basketball coach. “When I recruited him in 2007, he told me where he wanted to end up, and I told him what he would need to do to get there. Since his time at Richland, he has continued to be a hard worker and a role model for his son and the kids in the Garland community. He puts in countless hours of weight workouts and skill development to continue to perfect his craft. He is one of the most successful student athletes to come out of Richland College.”
In 2009, Bishop helped lead the Thunderducks to win the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division III men’s basketball title.
“I enjoyed my time at Richland College because of the brotherhood that was started with the guys,” said Bishop. “When we said ‘One Family, One Goal’ we really meant that! Still to this day, the coaching staff and players will always be brothers that came together to accomplish the ultimate goal – a national championship!”
While at Richland College, he was voted Metro Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year in 2007-08, NJCAA Honorable Mention All-American in 2007-08, Metro Athletic Conference Player of the Year in 2008-09, NCJAA Division III Player of the Year 2008-09 and NJCAA Division III National Champion. He also received a full athletic scholarship to Texas State University, where he ended up being a Southland Conference All-Conference Player.
“Slim was one of many players of the 2009 National Championship team that have gone on to do great things with their lives,” added Felmet. “He recently held a free youth camp in the city of Garland for more than 50 young basketball players, and he continues to give back. He is humble and hasn’t forgotten his roots. Also, he recently launched a clothing line ‘Eat or Get Ate,’ a phrase that he coined and lived by while at Richland College.”
Ready to catch Bishop in action? The Bakken Bears will be playing in the regular season of the FIBA Europe Cup, running now through May 2, 2018. For more information, visit fiba.basketball/europecup/17-18.
Richland College Thunderduck men’s basketball team is currently coached by Jon Havens. The team has won the NJCAA Division III National Championship title three times—in 2015, 2009 and 1999. For more information, visit richlandcollege.edu/basketball.
Richland College has been recognized as a top college choice for veterans and active duty
military members for the ninth consecutive year. The college is included on the 2018 Military Friendly® Schools list, which honors the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools in the country that are doing the most to embrace America’s military service members, veterans and spouses and to dedicate resources to ensure their success in the classroom and after graduation.
“I believe it is important for Richland College to strive to do what we can do to serve those who have served our country and their families,” said Kim Archer, Richland College’s veteran services coordinator. “Having the Military Friendly® designation is one of the ways to ensure we are reaching new targets each year.”
The Veteran Services office at Richland College works with veteran students and their families to help them complete their educational goals by maximizing their military education benefits. Many resources are available through Veteran Services, including assistance with benefits, financial aid and a variety of other support services for the college’s veteran and military students, dependents and spouses.
Richland College offers eligible students and spouses NAVPA scholarships, Hazelwood and Montgomery G.I. Bill® services and opportunities. In addition, Richland College is one of two Texas institutions awarded a $3.25 million Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to help veterans find immediate employment. Veterans benefit from the grant with manufacturing and electronics technology programs that include partnerships with 14 Dallas employers. The grant includes the Veterans-Focused Engineering Technology Project (VFETP) to meet the needs of local veterans and others who seek training to enter or re-enter the local job market. The college also hosts events to market and support veterans, including Military Appreciation Day and more.
The Military Friendly® Schools list is created by Victory Media, Inc., a leading media outlet for military personnel transitioning into civilian life. The Military Friendly® Schools list is also published in G.I. Jobs, Military Spouse and Vetrepreneur magazines. Access the list on militaryfriendlyschools.com.
For more information about Richland College’s Veteran Services, visit richlandcollege.edu/services/veterans.
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.
Richland 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.
Gary 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.
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.
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.