Tag Archives: Richland College

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.


Illustration of locks that appear digital in nature Info Session for Cyber Security Bachelor’s Degree Partnership with NEC, Apr. 30

Richland College and New England College recently partnered to offer an easy transition for Richland students interested in earning a bachelor’s degree in cyber security. Students can transfer their A.A.S. in Cyber Security from Richland College to a bachelor’s degree from NEC without having to leave Richland College.

Interested students can learn more about this partnership at an information session from 4-6 p.m. Tuesday, Apr. 30, in Sabine Hall, room SH117.

This unique partnership will allow students to get into a bachelor’s degree program by continuing to take classes on the Richland College campus. NEC faculty will teach bachelor-level courses on-site at Richland, and NEC will accept all 60 credits students earned in their Dallas County Community College District associate degrees. Additionally, there is a potential for transferring up to 30 more credits through additional coursework or prior learning assessments.

This hybrid program is designed for busy schedules and will only meet at Richland College one night per week. More information about this program is available here.

For additional information about Richland College’s cyber security program, click here.

Richland College is located at 12800 Abrams Rd. in Dallas. A map of Richland College is available here. Sabine Hall is most easily accessible by taking the Abrams Rd. entrance of Richland College and parking in lots A, B, C or D.


a shot of the Richland College library Registration Now Open for Summer and Fall 2019

Register now for Maymester, Summer and Fall 2019!

Registration is now open for all current and incoming Richland College students!

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!

2019 Term Dates:
Maymester: May 17 – June 5
Summer I: June 6 – July 3
Summer II: July 8 – Aug. 8
Fall: Aug. 26 – Dec. 12

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


Amazon Web Services logo Richland College Offering Amazon Web Services Classes for Summer and Fall 2019

Richland College is offering multiple sections of the Amazon Web Services Academy Solutions Architect class during summer and fall 2019. These AWS curriculum courses are designed to prepare students for the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate certification exam.

For students who need flexible class scheduling, online and evening courses are being offered, in addition to daytime courses.

The classes being offered are as follows:

Summer 2019:
May 20 – July 3 — 12:30-4:15 p.m. Mon.-Thur.
May 20 – Aug. 7 — 5:45-9:20 p.m. Mon. and Wed.
May 20 – Aug. 8 — Online Course

Fall 2019:
Aug. 26 – Oct. 16 — 1:00-3:45 p.m. Mon.-Thur.
Aug. 26 – Dec. 12 — 5:45-8:40 p.m. Mon. and Wed.
Sept. 9 – Nov. 27 — Online Course
Oct. 22 – Dec. 12 — 1:00-3:45 p.m. Mon.-Thur.

In these classes, students will develop technical expertise in cloud computing and will have access to course manuals, online knowledge assessments, a free practice certification exam and a discount voucher for the actual certification exam.

With AWS being the industry leader in cloud computing, AWS certification holders are extremely relevant and valued in the IT job market. According to the Global Knowledge 2018 IT Skills and Salary Survey, the average salary of AWS-certified professionals is 29 percent higher than average certified staff.

For information on registering for these classes at Richland College, contact Kaylin Ortiz at 972-238-6069.


A circle with red and white stripes on the bottom half. The top half is blue with the word "vote" in white. Early Voting at Richland College and Richland College Garland Campus

Exercise your right to vote! Richland College and Richland College Garland Campus are early voting locations for Dallas County residents through Apr. 30, 2019.

Early voting at Richland College is on the main floor of Guadalupe Hall.

Hours for both locations are as follows:
Now-Apr. 27 – 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Apr. 28 – 1 to 6 p.m.
Apr. 29-30 – 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

For additional information about early voting in Dallas County, including other early voting locations, click here.

Richland College is located at 12800 Abrams Rd. in Dallas.
Richland College Garland Campus is located at 675 W. Walnut St. in Garland.


Four of the five Wall of Honor winners (Kirubel Moges not pictured) pose with picture frames containing their headshots and biographies. Richland Honors Five Former and Current Students at 2019 Wall of Honor Ceremony

Congratulations to the 2019 Student Wall of Honor honorees! For more information on the Richland College Student Wall of Honor, click here.

Hope Anderson

When Hope Anderson began her educational journey as a dual credit student at Richland College when she was 16-years-old, no one knew just how far she would go. Hope’s journey is a testament to the power of purpose and planning.

As one of five siblings attending Richland College, Hope was responsible for her own higher education expenses. Undaunted by this challenge, Hope got a part-time job and created an aggressive four-year university transfer strategy.

By the time Hope completed 40 hours at Richland College, she not only was a member of Phi Theta Kappa and named to the President’s Honor Roll, but she also had a number of scholarship offers from top universities. Having an interest in human rights and wanting to stay near her family, she selected Southern Methodist University.

Hope graduated from SMU in 2017 with a 3.97 GPA and three undergraduate degrees: a B.A. in Human Rights with distinction, a B.A. in History, a B.S. in Sociology and a minor in Spanish. During her four years of study at SMU, Hope earned more than $150,000 in scholarships. Some of Hope’s many accomplishments include, but are not limited to, being a John Lewis Fellow, a Fulbright semi-finalist, a 2017 recipient of the SMU “M” Award, a Humanity in Action finalist and a member of both Phi Beta Kappa and the Dedman College Scholar University Honors Program.

In addition to her educational accolades, Hope’s human rights travels have taken her to countries including Nepal, Jordan and Chile. She served as a student leader for the Death Row Facilities in the American South program and interned with the International Rescue Committee of Dallas and the International Justice Mission in Washington, D.C.

In 2018, Hope became the community outreach coordinator for SMU’s Embrey Human Rights Program, and this fall she will begin her graduate studies in the field of human rights.

 

Kirubel Moges

As a student in Richland College’s Honors Program, Kirubel Moges has been described as “fearless in his pursuit of knowledge and academic enrichment.” Instead of protecting his GPA and playing it safe, Kirubel has enrolled in honors courses in a variety of disciplines.

Kirubel grew up in Ethiopia, and when he was three-years-old his father passed away, leaving his mother to care for her three sons. The family moved into a smaller house on their property and rented out the larger main house, and it was from this rental income that the family survived.

Always having the courage to dream big, Kirubel graduated from high school in Ethiopia in 2016 and was excited to attend Richland College that fall. However, political instability in Ethiopia forced him to delay traveling for six months. He got to the U.S. just in time—his travel window to the U.S. expired only one day after he arrived in early 2017. Once on campus, Kirubel threw himself into his studies and did more than excel: he thrived.

In addition to presenting at the 2018 Richland College Honors Conference and the 2018 DCCCD Philosophy Conference, Kirubel presented research on the death penalty in the U.S. at the 2018 Great Plains Honors Council Conference, and he also became the first Richland College Honors Program student to have a poster presentation accepted at the national level by the National Collegiate Honors Council’s 2018 Conference. There, Kirubel’s presentation expanded on his previous research, utilizing computer programming and philosophy to examine interviews as a data set to find which word was most commonly said by death row inmates in their final interviews. Kirubel found the most common word was “love.”

Kirubel is also active in a variety of campus organizations, including Phi Theta Kappa, the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, the Male Achievement Program, the Philosophy Club, the Computer Club and more. He is on track to earn the Richland Honors Scholar designation when he graduates this May, the highest designation possible through the Richland College Honors Program.

 

Adeeba Muntazer

Adeeba Muntazer has a true joy for learning, and at one time in her life she risked literally everything in pursuit of an education.

Growing up in Afghanistan, Adeeba was just nine-years-old when the Taliban gained control of nearly 90 percent of the country and adopted brutal policies that forbade women from receiving an education. People who were found violating these laws were sentenced to death. Despite this risk, many female teachers who had been dismissed from their jobs rebelled and opened secretive, underground schools for girls.

As a teacher himself, Adeeba’s father knew of some of these covert schools, and he understood the value of his daughter receiving an education. At the risk of being killed for facilitating her learning, her father enrolled Adeeba in a secret school. Every day for three years, Adeeba walked jagged roads, sometimes crawling and hiding to evade authorities, to attend the facility her teachers had made into a school. She and other girls gathered in the small, dim and dank room to learn and support each other, and it was here that Adeeba completed her 5th, 6th and 7th grades.

In 2007, when Adeeba turned 18, she honored her parents’ traditions and culture with an arranged marriage, and Adeeba was accepted to study at Kabul University the same year. She balanced her studies with motherhood and caring for a large extended family. In 2009, Adeeba and her family were provided with an opportunity to immigrate to the U.S. because of her husband’s employment with the U.S. Armed Forces in Afghanistan.

Adeeba put her education on hold when she and her family moved, but in 2015 she resumed her dream and enrolled in her first ESOL class at Richland College. Since then, she has become fluent in English and has completed 58 credit hours, maintaining a 3.5 GPA. In the spring of 2018, she even earned the highest grade of her Speech 1311 class with Dr. Sherry Dean Rovelo. Adeeba has plans to soon transfer to El Centro College or Brookhaven College to complete a degree in nursing.

 

Thao Nguyen

Thao Nguyen didn’t mean to follow in her mother’s footsteps and become a nurse. But when she grew to love science through her professors at Richland College, she changed her mind, and she has been using her profession to help other people ever since.

Thao was 17-months-old when she and her parents escaped the Communist regime in Vietnam on a small fishing boat with 72 other people. The trip was harrowing and included a pirate attack in the South China Sea before they were rescued by a U.S. Navy ship. The family ended up at refugee camps in Thailand and the Philippines before moving to the U.S. Once there, Thao’s parents worked hard, and Thao’s mother graduated with an associate’s degree in nursing in 1988.

Inspired by the tenacity of her parents, Thao enrolled at Richland College before transferring to Texas Woman’s University, graduating in 2004. In addition, she was awarded for having the most community service volunteer hours and was the first in her family to earn a bachelor’s degree.

After graduation, Thao became a registered nurse with Texas Health Dallas and won multiple awards and honors, including making the 2012 Great 100 Nurses list and earning the D Magazine Nursing Excellence Award in 2013. But even though Thao has a passion for nursing, she also has a passion for helping others. Thao enrolled at Christ for the Nations Institute in 2016 as a full-time student and will graduate in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in practical ministry with a major in creative media.

Some of Thao’s humanitarian efforts include partnering with World Relief to aid Afghan refugees in Dallas and creating ArtBark, a dog-friendly event that raises money for local nonprofits. She has also taken eight mission trips since 2012 to provide health care and take family photographs that were often a family’s first photo ever. Thao also volunteers her time to photograph babies in the NICU, documenting holidays and special occasions or taking bereavement photos to capture a baby’s final moments with his or her parents.

 

Steve Rodgers

During his tour of duty in the Vietnam War with the U.S. Air Force, Steve Rodgers found himself facing a choice when feeling overcome with emotional and physical hardships: He could focus on the bad in the world, or he could become the good and help those who suffered. He chose the latter, and his first act was teaching English to Vietnamese citizens.

Upon returning to Dallas, Steve began raising funds and promoting business investment within the Asian community. He has been instrumental in encouraging young people of Asian origin to pursue an education, even helping some of them finance their studies at Richland College.

Some of Steve’s other humanitarian contributions include: working with young addicts at the Palmer Drug Abuse Program; serving lunch at the Stewpot Ministry at the First Presbyterian Church in downtown Dallas; cofounding Restart, a program that assisted homeless and unemployed individuals affected by the recession of the 1980s; volunteering with the Eritrean refugee community in Dallas through organizing and furnishing a community center that offered services including ESL courses, job placement and legal assistance; cofounding the Dick Granger Society to help individuals and families needing assistance with housing, job placement and other necessities; and currently participating in the planning for a retreat center for battered women and children in Belize.

Steve has a degree in international trade from Texas Tech, an MBA from the University of Texas and took French classes at Richland College. Steve has used these educational pursuits to further his global service. During a dangerous mission to develop a camp in Algeria in 1996, Steve hit upon the idea of drilling for water instead of oil in impoverished areas.

Steve learned about digging and repairing wells from Living Water International. Since then, Steve has channeled his oil drilling expertise to provide potable water and teach pump repair and replacement at more than 20 sites in Ethiopia, Uganda, Haiti, Honduras, Guatemala and Belize.