This week’s RLC update

Institutional Effectiveness – The Thunderducks soared this week at the Malcolm Barldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA) Quest for Excellence Conference, White House-sponsored 2007 Award Ceremony, and 20th Anniversary MBNQA Gala. RLC President Steve Mittelstet helped kick off the national celebration with 20th Anniversary best wishes from the public and private K-16 education sector.  Vice President Kay Eggleston was a Special Topics co-presenter with Cargill Corp. and Bronson Healthcare on Applying for the Award. Planning, Research and Institutional Effectiveness Dean Fonda Vera and Directors Gloria Washington and Bao Huynh represented RLC/DCCCD and the education sector throughout the conference. In a national  academic research study of high-performance institutions, Dr. Mittelstet was interviewed for 4 1/2 hours regarding Richland’s performance excellence model, with specific interest in how RLC’s deployment of sustainable community building throughout its operations and curriculum might help infuse all seven MBNQA categories more explicitly with expectations of sustainability’s triple bottom line:  social equity and justice, economic sufficiency, and healthy environment. In Dallas, immediately prior to the conference, RLC hosted leaders of Yale College, recipient of the Welsh Quality Award, exploring potential partnerships in performance excellence and joint curriculum, similar to that between RLC and Saratov State University.

Community and Economic Development – Richland Humanities hosted its Fifth Annual Carnival of Steel and Caribbean Steel Band Music Festival on April 19. Hundreds of community members enjoyed inspiring performances by the Richland Steel Band and World Drumming Ensemble, the Midwestern State University Caribbean Steel Band, the Plano Sr. High School Pan Cats, the North Garland High School Steel Band, the Shields Elementary School Steel Band (Red Oak, TX), the Krum Texas High School Steel Band, and a professional group called Island Groove. The day-long outdoor festivities concluded with a Caribbean Carnival costume parade. The festival was directed by Joe Perea, Richland’s Director of Instrumental Studies, and assisted by numerous Richland music student and Emeritus volunteers.

Student Success – Richland Chronicle Photo Editor Tambra Sanders recently won Best of Show in the Photography Department’s Student Photo/Imaging Exhibition. In addition, Tambra and Tasleem Khan won Third Place in the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association (TIPA) Two-Person Photo Essay live competition on April 3, competing against junior and senior photojournalism majors from every major public and private university in Texas.  While at the TIPA convention in College Station, Tambra was elected TIPA’s parliamentarian.

Employee Success – At last week’s National Conference on Sustainability for Community Colleges, Richland’s Chief Sustainability Officer David Henry, GREENRichland Co-chair Eddie Hueston, and Academic Enrichment Dean Carole Lester led a session entitled GREENRichland: Building Sustainable Local and World Community. David also served on a panel with Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) Director Walton and Lane Community College President Spilde on the national beta test for the AASHE STARS (Sustainable Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System), in which Richland and the DCCCD District Offices are participants. Dr. Mittelstet — serving as the national director for the Wingspread-hosted initiative co-sponsored by the Continuous Quality Improvement Network, League for Innovation, AACC, and CCSSE, entitled Sustainable Community Building: A 21st-Century Vision for Community and Technical Colleges — networked with leaders of these groups in advancing this multi-institutional partnership initiative.

Richland Collegiate High School (RCHS) seniors Megan Erickson and Melanie Weller and RCHS junior Katie Bierschenk  were three of the 12 members of Richland’s Alpha Alpha Xi Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa who recently journeyed to the 90th Phi Theta Kappa International Convention in Philadelphia to bring home top honors in a number of categories. As President of the Texas Region of Phi Theta Kappa, Katie is also believed to be the first dual-credit and youngest Phi Theta Kappa regional officer. RCHS PTA President Fred Henley and the fund-raising and planning committees, hosted RCHS’s first junior-senior prom this past Saturday at the Texas Woman’s Museum in Fair Park. Principal Kristyn Edney, Deputy Superintendent David Canine, Superintendent Mittelstet, and the entire RCHS staff helped PTA volunteers chaperone the festive event.