Tag Archives: richland

Richland College Arts Fest ‘Moonstruck’ Celebrates All Things Lunar

Four drawings of the moon in various cyclesRichland College will be looking to the night sky when it presents “Moonstruck,” the 2014 Richland Arts Fest, Nov. 3-7.

“The theme ‘Moonstruck’ is about the cultural celebrations of the moon and the madness the moon inspires,” said Jennifer Rose, Richland College art faculty member. “We’re hoping visitors will not only have a great time, but that they’ll also come away with a greater sense of the moon’s importance throughout history and in current pop culture.”

Some of the festival’s highlight events include:

On Nov. 3, Humanities faculty member Aditi Samarth will be displaying student projects about mourning rituals in other cultures. Lois Parrot, Ph.D., Richland College’s 2013-2014 Excellence in Teaching honoree, will also give an informal lecture about the crescent moon in art.

On Nov. 4, visitors can get their faces painted in the style of calavera candy skulls that are used during the Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) holiday. In the east breezeway, the crowd is invited to participate in a spontaneous tap and modern dance performance.

On Nov. 5, the Richland College String Orchestra will be performing in the cafeteria. Participants are also welcome to give back and donate blood for the American Red Cross during the Harvest Moon Blood Drive.

The highlight of the Nov. 6 events is the full moon viewing party when the sun goes down. The art department and science department will host the party.

Moonstruck will culminate on Nov. 7 with a samurai sword fight and two performances of the “Moonstruck” dance performance at 12:30 and 7:30 p.m., featuring dance students, faculty, the Dallas Black Dance Theatre II, guest choreographer Jamie Thompson and guest tap dancer Sean Smith.

Richland College’s social media channels are also hosting two contests that will run throughout the week: the “Crater-Quest Scavenger Hunt” and the “Man in the Moon Photo Contest.”

All Moonstruck events are free and open to the public. To learn more about Moonstruck and see a full schedule of events, visit http://www.richlandcollege.edu/moonstruck/. To participate in the contests, visit www.twitter.com/richlandcollege or www.instagram.com/richlandcollege for more information on how to enter.

Richland College’s Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence Helps Local Businesses Build International Bridges
Richland College Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence Kristoffer Stauning Truelsen speaks to local corporate partners Sept. 18, 2014.

Richland College Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence Kristoffer Stauning Truelsen speaks to local corporate partners Sept. 18, 2014.

Kristoffer Stauning Truelsen, Richland College’s Fulbright scholar-in-residence, spoke last week to local corporate partners at a reception about building international bridges and international economics.

Representatives from a variety of industries were present, including precision manufacturing, electronics, international business development, 3D printing, technology sales and more.

Truelsen, a native of Denmark, is a Fulbright scholar-in-residence at Richland College for the 2014-15 academic year. He teaches economics at Niels Brock Business College in Copenhagen, the oldest business college in Denmark and a leader in international education. His experience spans business development, corporate communications and research, government relations and executive search, and he is a winner of the 2014 Politiken Prize for Teaching.

“After only one month in the U.S., Truelsen has already become a wonderful asset to Richland College’s faculty,” said Garth Clayton, Richland College dean of resource development. “His presentation was a debut of his work with our corporate partners, and it is timely and important. Many western European countries have their eyes on Dallas and see it as a city with great potential for mutually beneficial relationships. Richland College will be an active and diligent partner in the development of these bridges.”

During his time at Richland College, Truelsen will work closely with college faculty and administrators to build academic bridges between Richland College and Niels Brock Business College. Similarly, he has plans to work with the Richardson Chamber of Commerce to help local companies create the necessary bridges to “go international.”

“I hope to establish an exchange system between Richland College and Niels Brock,” Truelsen said. “It will economically benefit our colleges and give students a fantastic cultural and educational experience.”

For information on this initiative, contact Garth Clayton at 972-238-6357 or gclayton@dcccd.edu.

Richland College Named Leader College for ‘Achieving the Dream’

Achieving the Dream logoRichland College was recently named as an Achieving the Dream Leader College, a national designation awarded this year to only 16 community colleges nationwide that are committed to improving student success and closing achievement gaps.

Achieving the Dream recognizes community colleges that demonstrate over time how data can inform policy and practice to help community college students achieve their goals. This achievement includes improved skills, better employability and economic growth for families, communities and the nation.

“Achieving the Dream has made me a better teacher,” said Richland College accounting professor Lamrot Bekele. Bekele has held a leadership role with Achieving the Dream at Richland College.

“The work of improving student success is critically important to our education and economy,” said Carol Lincoln, Achieving the Dream senior vice president. “Richland College has demonstrated that better student outcomes are possible when an institution focuses on policies and practices that help students learn at high levels and overcome challenges life throws at them. Richland College is working hard to move the needle for whole cohorts of students, and deserves recognition for its relentless efforts and promising achievements.”

Achieving the Dream, Inc. is a national nonprofit that is dedicated to helping more community college students, particularly low-income students and students of color, remain in higher education and earn a college certificate or degree. With more than 200 institutions, 100 coaches and advisors and 15 state policy teams working throughout 34 states and the District of Columbia, the Achieving the Dream National Reform Network helps nearly 4 million community college students have a better chance of realizing greater economic opportunity and achieving their dreams.

For more information on Achieving the Dream, visit achievingthedream.org.

Richland College and City of Garland Team Up for Employee Training Initiative

As Richland College instructor Angie Whitney began to wrap up her customer service class at the City of Garland Unified Learning Center, she asked each of the 25 students in her class that day to tell her what each took away from the session.

Richland College instructor Angie Whitney teaches a class of City of Garland employees.

Richland College instructor Angie Whitney

Answers ranged from better ways to phrase questions to customers, to nonverbal cues to look for, to even that common sense is not universal.

“Common sense only makes sense to whom it is common to,” Whitney replied to the student.

Whitney is one of several Richland College corporate trainers participating in a collaborative effort between the college and the City of Garland. The end goal is to provide comprehensive, real-world training to city employees that will equip them to serve more efficiently the surrounding community and Garland residents.

“Richland College Garland Campus has become a full-service training provider for several area cities and many corporate clients, and we go to great lengths to make sure we provide the highest quality instructors to our clients,” said Konley Kelley, assistant dean of corporate services at Richland College Garland Campus.

The City of Garland’s relationship with Richland College is based on an expectation that the college will offer the top-level instruction upon which it has built a reputation, and as such Richland College has become the city’s “go-to” resource for training on a variety of subjects. According to Susan Fair, City of Garland’s workforce engagement and development administrator, students have also come to expect a high level of training and mutual understanding with Richland College instructors.

Richland College instructor Elke Brautigam teaches a class of City of Garland employees.

Richland College instructor Elke Brautigam

“Students look at the instructors as if they’re city employees, which in a way they are,” said Fair. “And there is a camaraderie and trust factor that goes with that.”

Richland College courses offered to City of Garland employees include Ethics for Municipal Government, Business Writing, Command Spanish, Computer Skills, Managing to Lead and Customer Service. Richland corporate trainers Elke Brautigam; Tim Colman; Hamaria Crockett, Ph.D.; Karen Hettish and Whitney teach these classes.

“All of our instructors are contributing to the success of this partnership,” said Kelley. “They all have huge, well-attended classes and are creating an impact with the different topics they are teaching.”

Richland College instructor Hamaria Crockett, Ph.D.,  teaches a class of City of Garland employees.

Richland College instructor Hamaria Crockett, Ph.D.

Whitney and the other instructors often receive feedback from students about how much they are learning in the classes taught by Richland College instructors and that word is spreading among employees that the training is truly valuable in the workforce. For instance, some employees with the Garland Senior Center realized that some of the paperwork was not serving the seniors very well. Because of the customer service training they attended, the employees worked to modify the paperwork in a way that made it better and easier for their clients, the seniors, to understand.

“By going through the customer service class, the impact was they modified their data to better suit the customer, which in the end is who the data are for,” Whitney said.

Over the past few years, the partnership between Richland College and the City of Garland has seen tremendous growth, with four to six classes each month serving City of Garland employees.

Richland College instructor Karen Hettish teaches a class of City of Garland employees.

Richland College instructor Karen Hettish

“We have to keep training real, relevant and fun in order for it to stick,” said Fair. “This isn’t old school anymore. My job with the City of Garland is to make sure people are prepared in their roles. Everyone is a leader in his or her job. We make decisions, and we need outcomes every day.”

“This has been a deep, solid partnership, and I love that this training is a priority for this city. This is what the City of Garland is all about,” Konley concluded.

Richland College Garland Campus is an award-winning community campus focused on workforce training and development. Training is provided for individuals who are entering the workforce for the first time or for those currently employed who want to enhance their skill sets. For more information, visit richlandcollege.edu/garlandcampus.

Richland College Designated as Military Friendly School for Sixth Consecutive Year

Military Friendly School LogoRichland College has been recognized as a top college for veterans and active military for the sixth consecutive year.

Richland College is included on the 2015 Military Friendly Schools list that honors the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools in the country 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.

“The designation of being a Military Friendly School shows Richland College’s commitment to our country’s servicemen and servicewomen and lets them know we offer a supportive environment where they can succeed,” said Kim Archer, Richland College’s veterans affairs coordinator. “We strive to provide our military students with resources that make their educational goals a bit more in reach.”

Richland College offers many resources available through its Veteran Services office, including assistance with benefits, financial aid and a variety of other support services for the college’s veteran and military students.

The Military Friendly Schools list is provided by Victory Media, Inc., one of the leading media outlets for military personnel transitioning into civilian life. The list is also published in G.I. Jobs, Military Spouse and Vetrepreneur magazines. To access the list, visit www.militaryfriendlyschools.com.

For more information about Richland College’s veteran services, call 972-238-3778 or visit www.richlandcollege.edu/va/index.php.

MEDIA ALERT: Richland College to dedicate new LEED Platinum-designed/constructed Science Building

Richland College is actively involved in the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment to reduce its carbon footprint and to exercise leadership in the community by modeling ways to minimize global warming emissions and providing the knowledge and educated students and graduates to achieve climate neutrality. It is in the spirit of this commitment that Richland College has designed and constructed its new science building to the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum standards, the highest level of LEED criteria. It is intended that the systems and operation of this building function in ways that produce minimal impact to the environment and the college’s carbon footprint and provide daily, measurable lessons from which Richland College students, faculty, staff, and community visitors can learn and teach how buildings can function in ways that are friendly, neutral, and sustaining to the environment. Some of the LEED design features are:

• 57,000 underground cistern to collect rainwater, roof run-off, and building condensate for landscape irrigation and toilet operation;
• bioswales of native plant material to filter and direct collected water to underground cistern;
• white reflective roof to minimize heat in the building during warmest periods of the year;
• light monitors and light shelves to harvest and direct sunlight in ways for building use that minimize energy use; and
• green roof terrace and green wall native plants to minimize heat in the building during warmest periods of the year.

Who: Richland College

What: Sabine Hall Science Building Dedication

When: 1-2 p.m., April 22

Where: Richland College
12800 Abrams Road
Dallas, TX 75243

Contact: Anitra Cotton
972-238-6022 (office)

TWC Awards $48,256 to Richland College for High-Tech Youth Career Initiatives

11 universities promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics to tomorrow’s workforce

DALLAS – Richland College in Dallas has received a $48,256 grant from the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) as part of the Texas Youth in Technology (TYT) Strategic Workforce Development initiative. Supported with federal Workforce Investment Act Statewide Activity Funds, the workforce development strategy supports job-growth opportunities that align with Gov. Rick Perry’s Texas Industry Cluster Initiative.

“Educating our youth in advanced skills is one of the greatest tools we have to continue positioning Texas as a national and global economic leader,” said Gov. Perry. “Through support from the Texas Workforce Commission, these initiatives provide the foundation for future high-tech workforce success.”

Through its participation in TYT, Richland College of the Dallas County Community College District has clear-cut goals for supporting the governor’s initiatives and Texas employers.

“We are pleased that the TWC recognized our unique partnerships with the University of Texas at Dallas, the University of Texas at Arlington, and the University of North Texas to prepare students to enter those universities as juniors in their electrical engineering programs,” said Richland College president Stephen Mittelstet. “This funding will allow us to encourage and support even more students to enter that vital pipeline and succeed.”

The youth workforce development initiative will include an academic adviser to provide individual outreach to students earning Associate of Science degrees in engineering or computer science, helping to ensure successful completion of studies and transfer to the university level. Scholarships will cover tuition and textbook costs, and qualifying students will earn financial assistance. Faculty will mentor students, as well.

TYT and resulting projects will establish programs to increase postsecondary enrollments, retention, and graduates in engineering and computer science. Working with the Texas Engineering and Technical Consortium (TETC), the grant program also will increase collaboration among Texas employers, institutions of higher education, and collegiate engineering and science departments.

“A diverse workforce skilled in science, technology, engineering and mathematics is critical to the future economic success and competitiveness of Texas,” said Arturo Sanchez III, TETC chair and Texas Instruments manager of Workforce Development.

TWC has awarded 11 TYT grants totaling $2,410,764 million. In addition to Richland College, recipients include:

• Prairie View A&M University, $312,137
• Sam Houston State University, $178,386
• San Jacinto College, $230,984
• Southern Methodist University, $211,155
• Texas Tech University, $241,449
• The University of Texas at Arlington, $272,162
• The University of Texas at Austin, $221,841
• The University of Texas at Dallas, $242,000
• University of Houston, $300,000
• University of North Texas, $152,393

Richland College receives $15k for engineering scholarships
Dr. Stephen Mittelstet (left) and Dr. Kristyn Edney (center) receive a check from Cindy Keiths (right), co-chair of the Tech Titan Awards.

Dr. Stephen Mittelstet (left) and Dr. Kristyn Edney (center) receive a check from Cindy Bond Keith (right), co-chair of the Tech Titan Awards.

Last week, Richland College President, Dr. Stephen Mittelstet, and Richland Collegiate High School of Mathematics, Science, and Engineering (RCHS) Principal, Dr. Kristyn Edney, accepted a $15,000 check from the Metroplex Technology Business Council (MTBC). The check was part of RCHS’ winnings for the Tech Titan of the Future Award (University Level) received last September during the MTBC’s eighth annual awards gala. RCHS was recognized for its inventive approaches to “closing gaps in the K-16 Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) student pipeline in its region’s engineering technology-related workforce.”

Cindi Bond Keith, Tech Titan Awards co-chair, presented the check and had this to say about the award, “Overall what we were looking for were places to go and give money where they are trying to make an impact on the future and to what’s going on in engineering in our own market.”

The Tech Titan of the Future Award was created to recognize innovative programs in higher education that prepare students for future careers in engineering technology-related fields. The $15,000 will go toward scholarships for RCHS engineering students who have not completed their engineering course sequence when they receive their RCHS diploma. Scholarship funds will also be available to other Richland College engineering students.

For more information about this award, contact Anitra Cotton at 972-238-6022. To read other RCHS news, visit the Richland College news and media page.

Baby boomers go back to college: Richland College is at the forefront in programs that retrain older workers and retirees for new careers

(Dallas Morning News, The) Jan. 3–Downsized and depressed, Leigh Hoes was approaching 50 and wondering what to do with the rest of her work life.

Then one day, as she leafed through a course catalog that had arrived in the mail from Richland College in Dallas, the idea came to her.

Why not work in a pharmacy, dispensing prescriptions?

After all, she thought, a health care career had always appealed to her, the job was fairly recession-proof, and she could train for it in just one year.

Like many other baby boomers, the food technology specialist turned to a community college for help in changing careers. She enrolled in one of Richland’s health professions certificate programs.

Today, at 51, Ms. Hoes is a pharmacy technician at Parkland Memorial Hospital, filling prescriptions and waiting on customers.

“I’ve found my niche,” she said. “I see myself working in health care into my 60s and maybe 70s.”

Four in five boomers have told pollsters they intend to work past their traditional retirement age, and many want to find new jobs with a higher social purpose and more flexible hours.

Labor analysts, meanwhile, predict the U.S. economy will face shortages of 6 million workers by 2012 and 35 million workers by 2030. The hardest-hit fields will be education, health care and public service.

“The two trends present a historic opportunity for community colleges,” said Judy Goggin, a vice president for Civic Ventures, a think tank that’s helping people reinvent themselves in the second half of life.

Community colleges have typically been nimble at adapting their curriculum to new workforce demands, she said.

“The time’s right for developing programs for boomers trying to launch the next phase of their working lives and for employers faced with a brain drain over the next couple of decades,” Ms. Goggin said.

One community college that educators say is emerging as a national model for catering to boomer students is Richland, which is part of the Dallas County Community College District.

“Richland was among the first to reach out to retirees and is now in the vanguard of schools helping students in midlife,” said Norma Kent, an executive with the American Association of Community Colleges.

The college’s Emeritus program for retirees began in 1989 with 150 seniors and has since grown to more than 4,000 enrollments in daytime classes that teach everything from computer skills to genealogy.

Now the school will launch its Boomer Reboot program in January, with evening classes that will teach boomers how to look for a job, plan for retirement, care for aging parents and manage their own stress.

The new classes are in addition to Richland’s current health professions and teacher certification programs, which each year attract dozens of midlife students wanting to switch careers.

“We realize that boomers aren’t the same as their parents, so we’ve built a curriculum around their biggest concerns,” said Mitzi Werther, director of the college’s Emeritus and Boomer Reboot programs.

Richland will offer 17 courses specifically for boomers in this first year.

Career counselor Jill Waterbury, for example, will tell boomers returning to the job market how to write a resume that emphasizes their experience rather than age and how they should field interview questions.

“On resumes, I recommend going back only 15 years,” she said. “That’s not a deception — it’s a way to get you in the door.”

Retirement planning

The new retirement-planning course has been tailor-made for boomers who say they haven’t saved enough, Ms. Werther said. Almost half of that generation worry they will outlive their money.

Certified financial planner Dave Bell will lead students through a do-it-yourself exercise designed to analyze their personal finances and answer whether they’ll be able to enjoy retirement.

“At the end of the six sessions, you’ll know enough to do your own financial planning,” he said.

Geriatric care manager Kay Paggi will coach boomers on how to juggle their jobs with their caregiving. One in six workers cares for an older relative. Stressed out, one in five caregivers quits working or looks for a less-demanding job.

“Parents often live out of state, so the caregiving may turn out to be long distance,” she said. “We’ll sort through the logistics.”


The Boomer Reboot courses start Jan. 22 and cost from $12 to $40. The yearlong certification programs run about $3,000.

About 1,400 of Richland’s 15,000 students are between 40 and 60, and college officials say they hope that number will increase as the school offers more boomer-oriented courses and steps up its marketing.