Tag Archives: student success

Ari Rastegar smiling. | Photo courtesy of Forbes Richland Alumnus Ari Rastegar Featured in Forbes Article

Read about one of our outstanding alumni, Ari Rastegar, who was recently featured in a Forbes article! Ari is the CEO of the Texas-based Rastegar Property and one of the youngest investors in commercial projects across the state. Forbes recently covered his story and deemed him as the “Dallas Real Estate Underdog.”   

The story mentions Richland College, stating how Ari went here for a semester before graduating from Texas A&M University, then going on to get a law degree from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio. Now, his firm boasts a multimillion-dollar diversified portfolio and builds commercial real estate in Dallas, Austin, Phoenix and other areas.  

Read the full article here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/candaceevans/2019/09/03/ari-rastegar-the-dallas-real-estate-underdog/#5e3446974548 


Five Richland Collegiate High School Students Named Commended Students in 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program

Craig Hinkle, principal of Richland Collegiate High School, recently announced that Isra Abdulwadood of Garland, Ashley Babjac of McKinney, Stephan Farnsworth of Wylie, Swikriti Paudyal of Plano, and Sunnie Rhodes of Plano, all Richland Collegiate High School (RCHS) students, have been named Commended Students in the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program. These students join some 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation who are all being recognized for their exceptional academic promise. Hinkle will present each of these scholastically talented seniors a Letter of Commendation from Richland Collegiate High School and from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC).

Commended Students placed among the top five percent of more than 1.6 million students who entered the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Competition by taking the 2015 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). Abdulwadood, Babjac, Farnsworth, Paudyal and Rhodes will not continue in the 2017 competition for National Merit Scholarship Awards.

“The young men and women being named Commended Students have demonstrated outstanding potential for academic success,” commented an NMSC spokesperson. “These students represent a valuable national resource; recognizing their accomplishments, as well as the key role these schools play in their academic development, is vital to the advancement of educational excellence in our nation. We hope that this recognition will help broaden their educational opportunities and encourage them as they continue their pursuit of academic success.”

Richland Collegiate High School is a school designed to provide a rigorous academic experience for high school juniors and seniors. Students complete their last two years of high school at Richland College by taking college courses and earning college credits with a focus on mathematics, science and engineering or visual, performing and digital arts. These students can potentially graduate with both their high school diploma and an associate degree, prepared to transfer to a four-year university. Tuition and books are free, making RCHS an educational and affordable choice.

For more information on the Richland Collegiate High School, visit richlandcollege.edu/rchs/


Richland College Gets Groovy With Annual ‘Dance Jam’ Festival
Dancer break dancing

Richland College student Darrell Rodgers performs at the 2013 Dance Jam Festival.

The Richland College dance program will get audience toes tapping at the sixth annual Dance Jam Festival, 12:30-1:30 p.m. Dec. 4.

A summation of student learning throughout the fall semester, the Dance Jam Festival will showcase students from all fall semester Richland College dance classes performing tap, ballet, hip hop, jazz and contemporary modern.

“Each year, our students look forward to showcasing their talents and all they’ve learned throughout the semester,” said Gina Sawyer, director of Richland College’s dance program. “The Dance Jam Festival offers them a chance to do that while celebrating the joy of dance and the spirit of the Richland College community.”

Sawyer will direct the Dance Jam Festival, along with dance faculty members Cheryl Callon and Julie Rowley. Guest dancers include the Lakeview Centennial High School dance program under the direction of Crystal Post and the Richardson High School dance program under the direction of Kelly Fishback.

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.

The Dance Jam Festival is free and open to the public, and it will take place in the outdoor breezeway in between Lavaca and Fannin Halls on the east side of the Richland College campus. Richland College is located at 12800 Abrams Road.


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.


2014 APIASF scholars at Richland College announced
From left: Tung Dao, APIASF Scholarship Program Director Cecilia Marshall, Maria Louisa Ponsones, Richland College President Kay Eggleston, Damanta Adhikari, Lan Nguyen, Uyen Cao, Sana Hussein, Mai Huynh, Bhagawat Khatiwada and Damodar Dahal.

From left: Tung Dao, APIASF Scholarship Program Director Cecilia Marshall, Maria Louisa Ponsones, Richland College President Kay Eggleston, Damanta Adhikari, Lan Nguyen, Uyen Cao, Sana Hussein, Mai Huynh, Bhagawat Khatiwada and Damodar Dahal.

Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF) Program Director Cecilia Marshall recognized nine Richland College student recipients of APIASF scholarships during a reception on April 24 hosted by Richland College and sponsored by the Walmart Foundation.

In welcoming APIASF’s representatives, student recipients, community and college faculty and staff, Richland College President Kathryn K. Eggleston thanked the generous donors who support APIASF and Richland College’s partnership toward developing future leaders who excel in their careers, serving as role models in their communities and contributing to a more vibrant America.

Dr. Eggleston cited the growing Dallas County Asian and refugee population and credited the “partnership with APIASF in advancing Richland College’s goals to promote access and achieve equity for students who otherwise would not have this important opportunity to realize their educational goals.”

The scholarships are the result of Richland College’s partnership with APIASF. Richland College is the only U.S. Department of Education-designated Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution (AANAPISI) in Texas, and one of nine U.S. higher education institutions chosen by the APIASF to participate in the AANAPISI Scholarship Program.

Asian American students comprise 14 percent of Richland College’s student enrollment. With at least half of these students demonstrating financial need, the APIASF Scholarships and the AANAPISI funding positively impacts many of Richland College’s historically underserved students.


Former Richland College students receive Terry Scholarships

Former Richland College students Kathleen McGovern, Melchor Tijerina III and Samna Rasheed were awarded Terry Foundation Scholarships, each in the amount of $12,000 per year renewable for up to three years of undergraduate study.

The Terry Foundation, established in 1986, is one of Texas’ largest private providers of educational scholarships, including awards to transfer/non-traditional students who demonstrate financial need, academic achievement and leadership potential.

Kathleen, majoring in biology, transferred to Texas A&M University to study pre-med. Melchor, who also is a 2012-13 Dallas County Community College District STEM scholar and Joe Lucky scholarship recipient, is majoring in electrical engineering at The University of Texas at Dallas. Samna, majoring in biology, transferred to the University of North Texas to study pre-dental.