Monthly Archives: August 2007

August 20, 2007


RCHS junior, Adia Garrett, and her father Stephen receive a laptop for the upcoming school year at the orientation held on campus earlier this month. The camp marked the kickoff of the second school year for RCHS and provided both new students and parents information on being successful in this unique program.

RCHS gears up for upcoming year, celebrates TEA “Exemplary” rating

Richland Collegiate High School of Math, Science, and Engineering (RCHS) gears up for its second school year on the heels of its recent “Exemplary” rating from the Texas Education Agency (TEA). The year-old charter high school housed here on the RLC campus was one of only 15 exemplary charter schools in Texas. Additionally, RCHS was one of 27 districts to receive this superior rating, eight of which were charter schools. RCHS administrators were pleased with the news.

“Especially notable in this achievement is that the marked slippage in ISD and charter school ratings state-wide this year was triggered by the very thing that RCHS was commissioned to help turn around: student success in mathematics and science,” says RCHS superintendent and Richland College president, Dr. Steve Mittelstet, in a staff memo.

The news of the ratings came a day prior to the kickoff of the upcoming school year. On Aug. 2, incoming 11th and 12th graders, along with their parents, gathered for orientation. Students met with numerous Richland academic divisions and departments as well as extra-curricular groups in preparation for the coming year.

RCHS students are now enrolled in the “August Term.” It’s a mini-semester specifically for these students and was created to give them guidance and skills for a successful academic experience. RCHS juniors are taking human development classes and are learning study skills. Some are taking preparatory courses in English and math. Seniors are also taking human development courses as well learning peer leadership and skills in gaming technology, PowerPoint, and Excel.

“We have almost 200 incoming juniors and more than 150 returning seniors. I am positive the seniors will do well again this year. After talking with many incoming juniors and their parents, I know they are ready for the experience, committed to working hard and learning more than ever,” says David Canine, Vice President for Educational Transitions.

Students in this unique program can complete their last two years of high school at Richland College by taking college courses with a focus on mathematics, science, or engineering. RCHS students can graduate from Richland College with an associate of arts degree at the same time as earning their high school diploma.


Kick-off Week Activities Include Opportunities for Professional Development

Intercultural Competence Workshops
Sessions 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B & 3A offered through Wednesday, E070
Session 3B offered Wednesday & Thursday, E070

Distance Learning/ThunderBbolt Workshops
Monday-Thursday, August 20-23, D220 and D270
Sessions on eCampus; Respondus; IM, Text, My Space, & You Tube; Peer Observation;
ADA 504: Universal Design; Creating PodCasts; and ThunderBbolt Training, Levels 1-4

Cooperative Learning Foundation Workshops
Part II Wednesday, August 22 8:30 – 3:30 pm, S219
Part III Thursday, August 23 12:30 – 4:00 pm, S219

To view the schedule of TOLI Professional Development workshops and to register, visit

Richland College providing Model UN videos to public

The Model United Nations at Richland College in cooperation with The United Nations Association (UNA) of Dallas, a local chapter of UNA USA, will present a series of 52 videos on global issues. One of two seasons of the series titled “Going Global with UN” will begin Aug. 27. Topics include education, health, the environment, poverty, war and peace, gender, and ageing. The videos are available to the public at no cost.

Thanks to technology made possible through the LeCroy Center, these videos can be viewed online via streaming video at Videos may also be viewed at Richland Colleges Media Center or on local cable stations. The cable showings are on Wednesdays from 7:30- 8:30 p.m. and Sundays from 3-4 p.m. Click here for a list of channels.

Dallas is only the second city to implement the videos and is being coordinated under the leadership of UNA of Dallas 2006 President Beth Pirtle and Richland College Program Services Coordinator Noeli Biggs.

Through the partnership between Richland College and UNA Dallas, Richland College is furthering its goal of making a positive difference in the world. As part of a global community, Richland College is facing the challenges and the opportunities for the future with a strong commitment for peace, human rights, and sustainable development.

For more details, contact Noeli Biggs at or 972-761-6742.

Area middle schoolers sharpen math and computer skills in Richland’s TexPREP program


Cesar Alex Sena, the youngest participant in TexPREP, receives his certificate of completion from Student Services Specialist Steven Taylor. Cesar is the son of Marisol and Cesar, both employees at Richland.

Richland hosted 14 middle school students from all over the Metroplex at its Texas Pre-freshman Engineering Program (TexPREP), a 7-week engineering, math/logic, problem solving, and computer science intensive grant program designed to increase female and minority participation in these career fields. Richland TexPREP program director Steven Taylor, along with instructors, program assistants, and others from Education Transitions, provided a collegiate classroom experience for these middle school students.

Participants attended Richland for six hours every weekday for seven weeks and participated in classroom learning, interactive designing, and building activities. They also went on related field trips throughout DFW. These activities provided an experience designed to encourage continued success in high school, college, and beyond.

TexPREP is a three-year program, each year progressively harder and more intense than the previous year. Richland plans to host over 120 students over the next two years.

Richland wins PTK Teacher Prep award

Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), in collaboration with the National Association of Community College Teacher Education Programs (NACCTEP), presented RLC with a Teacher Preparation Award during the opening session of the 2007 NACCTEP Conference, held last March in New Orleans. The award honors outstanding education programs among community colleges in their efforts to prepare students for careers in education. Richland was one of only five community colleges to receive this award.

Richland’s teacher preparation program was selected through PTK’s national competitive application process. Winners of this award exhibited strengths in the areas of scholarship, leadership, service, and professional development and were featured in a PTK publication that included case studies from the five colleges. A copy of the publication, can be viewed here.

Nominate a Faculty Wall of Honor recipient today

The Council for Teaching and Learning (CTL) sponsors a program that promotes featured teaching and learning practices at Richland College. The Richland Wall of Honor recognizes individual instructors and shares their innovative and successful teaching practices with the Richland learning community.

Anyone who teaches at Richland College, credit or continuing education (full-time or part-time), may be nominated. Nomination forms for fall 2007 awards are located at here.

This month’s featured Faculty Wall of Honor profile- Fred Newbury


Click here to view his profile.

Richland hosts international visitors


From left to right: Jeana Remington, Associate Dean, ESOL/WLCC/AECI; Dr. Carole Lester, Dean, Academic Enrichment Programs; Carlos Rovelo Faculty, Eastfield College; Angelica Ancona, University of Guadalajara CUVALLES; Carlos Soule, Univeristy of Guadalajara CUVALLES; Jean Conway, Vice-President Student Learning; Miguel Marrero, Faculty, WLCC; Dr. Sherry Dean, Executive Dean, Humanities


From left to right: Lori Hunt, International Visitor Leadership Program Director; Laura Solm, Dallas Independent School District ; Wei Wu, Interpreter, US Department of State; Dr. Li Ming, President, Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts; Dr. Sherry Dean, Executive Dean, Humanities; Jeana Remington, Associate Dean, ESOL/WLCC/AECI

The Richland Humanities Division recently hosted a visit by Dr. Li Ming, president of the Gaungzhou, China Academy of Fine Arts, as part of a national three-week arts education tour sponsored by the International Visitor Leadership Program. The division also hosted a delegation from the Universidad de Guadalajara CUVALLES visiting Richland College, where Maestro Carlos Soule and Maestra Angelica Ancona met with deans and program coordinators to discuss international exchanges and partnerships.


Richland College instructor receives language award


Anne Savidge, Instructional Specialist III in the World Languages Division at Richland College, has been named TexTESOLer of the Year by Texas Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Region V (TexTESOL V). Since 1995, Anne has been an active member of TexTESOL V, volunteering at almost every regional and state conference since 1997. She also served on the board from 2002-2004 and was the On-Site Registration Chair for the 2005 TexTESOL State Conference.

TexTESOL V was founded in 1979 to promote the teaching of English to speakers of other languages in North Texas as a profession. It is one of five Texas affiliates of TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages). TexTESOL V provides information, workshops, and conferences to keep teachers and administrators abreast of research developments and best practices in a rapidly evolving field.

Thunderducks share expertise across the state and U.S.

John Carmichael’s “Joys of Juggling” seminar has been receiving rave reviews among community college faculty and staff across the U.S. He has made the presentation across the country at NACADA, NISOD, and Houghton-Mifflin’s National Student Success conferences. John’s presentation was created to engage students, in an interactive manner, in learning how to balance their academic life including planning, researching, setting goals, time management, study skills, and more. John’s philosophy: “It’s attitude that literally determines altitude!” Other seminar topics include exercising both sides of the brain, building teamwork, and becoming aware of attitudes that steer us in certain directions. Students learn how the advising process fits into their overall success and how to use those tools when they face obstacles in their academic career.

Dr. Sherry Dean, Executive Dean of Humanities, was the keynote speaker for the Scottsdale College (Maricopa Community College District) Return Week luncheon, Thursday, August 16. Dr. Dean’s remarks focused on the critical role of community colleges in preparing globally competent learners. Dr. Carole Lester, Dean of Academic Enrichment Programs, presented a faculty session on best practices in global education. Dean and Lester also met with Scottsdale international students and personnel from the Maricopa District International Education Office.

Mr. Eddie Hueston, Director of Facilities Services, and Dr. Steven Butler, adjunct Professor of History, appeared on KERA-TV (Channel 13) in “A Fair to Remember,” a documentary film about the history of the State Fair of Texas. Mr. Hueston and Dr. Butler spoke on a variety of topics, including early auto races, the first airplane flight in Dallas, and the attractions of the fair’s Midway. Mr. Hueston served as the Executive General Manager of Fair Park from September 1992 through April 2004. Dr. Butler, a local historian, has served as a consultant to the White Rock Lake Museum, and has had several articles published in “Legacies: A History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas.”


Jeanette Murphy named the August 2007 Outstanding Employee


Jeanette Murphy, Financial Aid Office

Excerpt from Jeanette’s congratulatory note from Dr. Mittelstet:

Dear Jeanette:

Congratulations on being selected the Richland College Outstanding Employee for August 2007. Your award is well-deserved recognition of the exemplary service you have provided Richland College.

In your position as a Financial Aid Student Services Specialist, you serve a number of different programs and have efficiently processed over 800 files in 2006-2007. Students and colleagues see you as instrumental in the financial aid aspect of the Rising Star program, and your vast knowledge and willingness to assist these students contributes to their success. In coordinating all scholarships at Richland College, you work diligently with District Foundation and Richland’s business office to assist students by awarding over 500 scholarships totaling about $350,000 and ensuring that scholarship accounts are reconciled in a timely manner. Colleagues note your interaction with students as being clear, concise, and caring, and they rely on your accuracy and in-depth knowledge of all aspects of your duties. . . .

New Employees

Hazel Agent, Sr. Administrative Assistant, President’s Office

Vincent Brooks, College Police Officer

Eric Esparza, College Police Officer

*Orville Samford, College Police Officer
*Laurie Boze, Senior Academic Advisor, RCHS
*Rebecca Willis, College Police Officer

*Photos not available

Thanks T-ducks

To: Leslie Wendling & Mark Murray (Web Team)
From: Marcia Champion

Thank you both so much for getting my requests done so quickly. All of your efforts are greatly appreciated. I know that some of the projects took time and effort to put them together. Needless to say, everyone is very pleased with the outcome. As there are other projects waiting to be developed, I look forward to our working together on those as well.

Again, on behalf of Advising, Admissions/Registration, thank you.

To: Audra Barrett (World Languages/Cultures/Communications) & Leslie Wendling (Web Team)
From: Joe Cortina

Just wanted to thank you for setting up such an easy-to-use Course Profiles system. I was able to update my course sections and add a class (using the “duplicate class” feature) in no time flat! Well done!

To: Bao Huynh
From: Aliene Pylant (co-advisor), Dharmesh Patel, Nancy Corona, and Sophia Birk (members) of Phi Theta Kappa

Thank you so much for your excellent presentation on how to construct a program survey/evaluation. The handouts you provided were extremely helpful and we are now in the process of finalizing an instrument we will use this weekend at the District II Chapter Officer Academy we are hosting at Richland. With the guidance you provided, the feedback we obtain will provide insight into the quality of this year’s presentation and assist us in making next year’s even better.


Dr. Canham,

My name is Jason Otts. I am a student at Richland College and I am currently enrolled in Mrs. O’Connor’s 1409 biology class. I am writing this email to express my appreciation for such a wonderful teacher. Mrs. O’Connor has inspired me in many ways for the last two semesters that I have taken her classes. She teaches with a talent that cannot be acquired but is only God given. The teachers of today are teaching the future leaders of tomorrow. As long as there are teachers like Mrs. O’Connor then we can count on a great future. As my life continues to unfold and I seek out a career, I pray that I will have that same passion for my career as she does for teaching. She has done more than teach Biology. She has showed through her example great leadership skills, patience and how to communicate with others. She is a true inspiration to teaching and I am very grateful to have been her student.

Thank you,
Jason Otts

Dear Zelda Smith,

I am interested in picking up my assessments if possible. I plan on being at the gym on Wednesday and Friday. The assessment is a critical way for me to figure out what I need to do. I need to know if I am making progress or need to make major changes. I actually bought a membership at LA Fitness and hope I don’t get out of the habit before the new one at Plano and Belt Line opens.

Thanks for all your encouragement. You are a true inspiration, especially when you told your age. It really has been life changing for me.

Thanks again,
Nancy Crow