The walls of the Veteran Services office at Richland College are a little more beautiful thanks to retired U.S. Army veteran Bryce Hansen, who recently donated a custom-painted piece of artwork. His piece, titled “High Five,” is a colorful depiction of the High Five Interchange, a five-level freeway interchange in Dallas and near Richland College, on which Hansen drives daily for his commute to and from work.
“I look out of my office window every single day and see these highways,” said Hansen, vice president of energy operations at Power Brokers. “I wanted my painting to show that something so mundane and ordinary that people take for granted can be beautiful, just like veterans. You see something all the time–a road, a bridge, a veteran–and you take it for granted.”
Hansen served in the U.S. Army from 1996 to 2012, where he worked as an enlisted mechanic before graduating from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point as a Green Berets commander. He also spent two years in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. His time in the special forces resulted in a predominant and persistent problem in his personal life: emotional detachment.
His return home from deployment left him struggling to connect with his civilian roots. Although he was surrounded by many people, he felt detached, lonely and angry. In order to be more present as a father, husband and a friend, he turned to art. “My art is a safe place where I can be completely open and honest,” said Hansen. “So, while I paint to be free, I also paint as a means to relearn how to be vulnerable and to love.”
Earlier this year, Pedro Navagonzalez, USMC retired and Richland College Veteran Services program services coordinator, found Hansen’s artwork through LinkedIn and was impressed. Navagonzalez reached out to Hansen and asked if he would be willing to create something unique for the Veteran Services office at Richland College. “We discussed what Veteran Services was creating for the students, and I really appreciated the efforts the staff was doing to brighten up the space. I wanted to lend a hand,” explained Hansen.
“High Five” features blue, black, white and cream paints and is filled with beautiful intersecting lines and busy cars, which are meant to depict regular Dallas highways in a picturesque way.
“I believe that having artwork created by veterans not only makes the office look professional, but it also helps inspire other veterans to pursue their passions,” said Navagonzalez. “The painting that Bryce did is a great piece of art. The colors are amazing and the picture speaks volumes of our way of life in the Dallas metroplex.”
Manager of Veteran Services Jody Addison added, “This piece is personal and local for us. We are excited to show it off to all of our students who come in here. We are super proud, and we are hanging it right here in the hall, really prominently, for everyone to see.”
Unlike some of his other work, Hansen did not want his piece for Richland College to represent anything military-related. “I wanted to step out from my niche artwork of military-themed pieces and create a contemporary piece with crossover appeal to a civilian audience,” he explained. “I find the commute to work as a time where many people get stressed racing to and from their job. I try to use that time to open my mind and do a deep-dive in self-reflection.”
Hansen’s piece is not the first to grace the walls of Veteran Services. They also have artwork from Michael P. Solovey (U.S. Army retired) and George D. Romero (spouse of a U.S. Air Force veteran). These are currently hanging in the office for the enjoyment of student veterans, family members and staff. In addition, the office has a sculpture on display by student Lorie Justice, who won the 2019 Veterans Day Art Contest. Her ceramic and wood sculpture features a white stone representing a tomb, fallen leaves representing the lost and two white statues representing those who are reflecting. In the coming months, the Veteran Services office is looking forward to adding two additional pieces that highlight the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Navy.
Currently, Hansen is working on a series of people and scenes from the Global War on Terror. Samples of his artwork, including “High Five”, are available on his Instagram account, @bryce.n.hansen.
Richland College was listed as one of the U.S.’s top military-friendly schools by G.I. Jobs 2019-2020 and was awarded a “Silver” designation, with G.I. Jobs noting that only a select group of institutions achieves this honor. Veteran Services establishes a partnership with veteran students and their families to facilitate the completion of their educational goals. Active-duty personnel in the U.S. Armed Forces, veterans, veterans’ dependents and spouses, reservists and beneficiaries of related military educational programs can utilize the resources that the Veteran Services office provides. Additional information is available at www.richlandcollege.edu/veteran.
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.
Military veterans and other potential job seekers are invited to attend a free workshop that offers a wide range of services for individuals who want to work in lucrative technology fields. The one-day job readiness workshop at Richland College will be held Wed., Sept. 20, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in room SH118 of Sabine Hall. Richland College is located at 12800 Abrams Rd. in Dallas.
The goal of the event, billed the “Veterans Employment Workshop,” is designed to help participants uncover job opportunities, obtain interviews and interact with potential employers. Although the event is tagged for military veterans, the workshop is open to everyone, including Dallas County Community College District students and non-students alike, said Kimberly Archer, veteran affairs coordinator for Richland College.
“There’s a need to help veterans transfer what they did in the service into what’s available in the current workforce,” Archer said.
Representatives from Texas Instruments, Cyxtera, Compass Data Centers, Bright Horizons, Evolve, Uptime Institute and other employers will be on hand to provide resume and job hunting tips.
Job search expert and radio personality Todd Bermont also will provide insider secrets to finding employment. Bermont is the former host of “Your Career” on Lone Star Radio FM104.5. He has been featured on Fox News, CNN and ABC News Now.
The event is free, but space is limited. Dress is business casual. Attendees are encouraged to bring copies of their resumes and arrive early for the 10:30 a.m. check-in. Participants will be treated to a free lunch and a one-year subscription to “The Careers College” online job search training program by TCC Learning LLC – a $297 value.
To register, click on this link: dcccd.edu/VEW
“G.I. Jobs 2017” listed Richland College as one of the country’s top military-friendly schools. Richland was awarded a $3.25 million Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant to help veterans acquire new job skills for immediate employment.
For more information, call 972-238-3778 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
(courtesy of DCCCD)
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.
Richland College has been awarded the 2014 Military Friendly Schools® designation.
Victory Media, a media group for military personnel transitioning into civilian life, annually compiles the list, which honors the top 20 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 as students and ensure their success on campus.
Richland College has been named to the Military Friendly Schools® list for three consecutive years.
“Inclusion on the 2014 list of Military Friendly Schools® shows Richland College’s commitment to providing a supportive environment for military students,” said Sean Collins, vice president at Victory Media and a nine-year Navy veteran. “The need for education is growing and our mission is to provide the military community with transparent, world-class resources to assist in their search for schools.”
The Military Friendly Schools® media and website feature the list, interactive tools and search functionality to help military students find the best school to suit their unique needs and preferences. The 1,868 colleges, universities and trade schools on this year’s list exhibit leading practices in the recruitment and retention of students with military experience. These schools have world-class programs and policies for student support on campus, academic accreditation, credit policies, flexibility and other services to those who served.
Now in its fifth year, the 2014 list of Military Friendly Schools ® was compiled through extensive research and a data-driven survey of more than 10,000 schools nationwide approved for VA tuition funding. The survey results that comprise the 2014 list were independently tested by Ernst & Young LLP based upon the weightings and methodology established by Victory Media. Each year schools taking the survey are held to a higher standard than the previous year via improved methodology, criteria and weightings developed with the assistance of an Academic Advisory Board (AAB) consisting of educators from schools across the country. Find out more about the complete survey methodology.