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.
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.
The Richland College dance program will be preying on our fear of the unknown with an upcoming fall dance concert, “Thriller,” at 12:30 and 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 3.
Directed by Richland College dance director Gina Sawyer, “Thriller” will involve both students and faculty in choreography and performance roles, with dance genres including contemporary modern, lyrical, jazz, tap and hip-hop.
“Thriller” is about exploring the mystery of the unknown through dance performance. Each choreographer has created a unique take on the subject, ranging from celebrating recognizable images in pop culture to conceptual pieces addressing surreal fantasy.
Sawyer also created an original piece, “The Scream,” which will be performed by Richland students.
“I am hoping to get a reaction of discomfort by abstracting and juxtaposing everyday and invented movements in a bizarre fashion, allowing the visual imagery of the dance to build in intensity until it reaches out and grabs the audience,” Sawyer said of her piece.
In addition to Sawyer, choreography will include original pieces by Cooper Delgado, Christie Nelson and Lauren Schieffer. Repertoire will include a tap piece from Dallas legend Buster Cooper, recreated by his granddaughter, guest artist Keira Leverton. The Dallas Neo-Classical Ballet Company under the direction of Emilie Skinner will also guest perform.
Kiera Leverton comes from a dance background—her grandfather was Buster Cooper, an influential tap dancer who founded the dance program at the Hockaday School. Much of her exposure to the tap community was through tap festivals such as the Chicago Human Rhythm Project and the Third Coast Rhythm Project, and she trained with a variety of professionals, including Gregory Hines and Yuji Uragami. Leverton has performed worldwide at venues such as Radio City Music Hall and Wembley Stadium in London.
Dallas Neo-Classical Ballet was established in 2011 as a nonprofit organization to bring concerts emphasizing neo-classical ballet to the Dallas-Fort Worth community, while also creating a venue for experienced classical dancers to utilize their training. The company’s dancers are primarily from the north Texas region.
Neoclassical ballet is the style of classical ballet exemplified by sophisticated and modern choreography, retaining the pointe shoe aesthetic, but often without the excessive drama and mime of the full length story ballets of previous eras.
The Richland College dance program provides a challenging teaching and learning environment for students that values diversity and develops artistic excellence, fosters creative and collaborative practices and encourages personal agency and social responsibility in appreciating dance.
“Thriller” is free and open to the public in the Fannin Performance Hall on the east side of the Richland College campus. Richland College is located at 12800 Abrams Road.
Richland College, Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), the City of Richardson and Associa representatives were present at a check-signing ceremony Wednesday morning at the Associa Shared Services Center in Richardson to award Richland College with a $449,988 Skills Development Fund Grant by the TWC.
The grant will be used by the Richland College Garland Campus to train 222 new hires and 79 incumbent workers at Associa’s Shared Services Center. Employees will begin their training next week.
“Richland College Garland Campus appreciates the ongoing confidence that the Texas Workforce Commission and area businesses and industries place in us as an experienced, dependable, high-quality and results-focused skills and workforce training provider,” said Richland College President Kay Eggleston. “We continue to remain ready and willing to serve the training and education needs of our community, and we look forward to meeting and exceeding your expectations for workforce training with Richardson businesses and industry partners such as Associa.”
Event speakers included Eggleston; Richland College Garland Campus Dean of Resource Development Shellie Heard; TWC Chairman Andres Alcantar; Texas State Senator and Associa Shared Services Center President, CEO and Chairman John Carona; and Richardson Mayor Laura Maczka.
More than 300 of Associa’s Shared Services Center employees also attended the ceremony, where they learned more about how the grant would affect them and their employer.
“It helps you acquire the skills that are going to be necessary to do a job that is needed in the facility right behind us and allow this company to continue to create opportunities for the new people that will be coming in next week and next month,” Alcantar said to the Associa employees in attendance. “Go out there and get the job done.”
“This generous grant from the Texas Workforce Commission will give our employees the skills they need to provide unsurpassed service, as well as to help strengthen the Richardson business community, said Carona. “We are grateful—very grateful—for this unprecedented opportunity, the first of its kind not only for Associa, but for our industry as a whole.”
“On behalf of the entire Associa family this morning, I would sincerely like to thank the Texas Workforce Commission, Richland College and of course the City of Richardson for this unique opportunity,” said Carona. “Thank you all so much.”
Associa is North America’s largest community association management firm with more than 150 branch offices in the United States, Mexico and Canada. The company serves homeowner associations of all types, including condo, mixed-use, master-planned, luxury high-rise, active-adult, resort and golf communities.
Richland College is once again offering flex entry enrollment for the fall 2014 semester, a program that allows students to register for classes at any point during the semester as long as the class has not yet started.
Flex entry enrollment gives students the option to enroll in classes if they miss regular semester registration deadlines, and it also gives them the option to take classes that last fewer weeks than the traditional 16-week semester.
“Richland College’s flex entry enrollment offers alternative options to students who can’t enroll in or attend traditional semester-long classes for one reason or another,” said Cindy Berry, Richland College director of academic advising and career educational placement. “Flex entry enrollment lends itself to some students being more successful with classes that last fewer weeks but more hours per day and that have different enrollment deadlines.”
Any class that begins after the first two days of the semester is eligible for flex entry enrollment. For a list of classes available with flex entry enrollment, click here.
Students wanting more information about flex entry enrollment should click here or contact Richland College’s Academic Advising at 972-238-3767.