Monthly Archives: April 2008

April 22, 2008


Sen. Florence Shapiro makes a visit to Richland College and meets with RCHS students.
Texas State Senator makes visit to RLC

Sen. Florence Shapiro, accompanied by Chancellor Wright Lassiter, visited the RLC campus and interacted with RCHS students, parents and staff. The tour was led by Superintendent Steve Mittelstet and included an introduction of staff by Principal Kristyn Edney. Shapiro heard compelling testimony from a group of RCHS students, PTA members, and high school administrators about the differences between Advanced Placement and Dual Credit. They also discussed the need for the legislature and TEA to “even the playing field” regarding incentives to high schools for offering Dual Credit, at least equivalent to the incentives currently provided for offering Advanced Placement. She was enthusiastic about what she learned and indicated she would assist community colleges in the next legislative session regarding dual credit offerings.

Richland student places in top 20 of USA Today’s Academic First Team

Richland College student, Dharmesh Patel, was one of 20 students named to USA Today’s All-USA Community College Academic First Team last week, which recognizes outstanding two-year college students. Patel received a $2,500 award and received trophies during a ceremony Monday at the American Association of Community Colleges convention in Philadelphia. He is only one of three students in RLC’s history to receive such an honor. His application also was judged Best in Texas and he will receive an additional $2,000 scholarship from Coca-Cola as a New Century Scholar.

More than 1,500 students from 849 community colleges in 50 states and beyond were nominated for the USA Today award. Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for two-year colleges that encourages academic excellence and promotes community service, administers the selection process.

Patel, 27, arrived in the U.S. from Zimbabwe as a Green Card Lottery winner. Each year the U.S. grants 50,000 permanent resident visas, drawn randomly from a selection of eligible residents from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. With only $50 in his pocket, Patel left his family and moved to Dallas.

“It was the first time I was away from home,” Patel said. “Initially, what I wanted to do was to go back.”

more. . .

RLC in the News

RLC career/academic advisor and instructor, John Carmichael, was featured in the March 9 Metro section of The Dallas Morning News and April 5 “Editor’s Note” for the Lake Highlands neighborsgo. The articles featured Carmichael’s “Juggling for Life” seminars and the valuable lessons it teaches students. To view the copy of the Metro article, click here.

Actions to Cool Global Warming

A GREENRichland Tip

greentduck-rgb.jpgDrink Responsibly
Summer is coming and hot weather means drinking lots of water. What a perfect time to break the bottled water habit! Nearly 8.3 million gallons of water filled plastic containers in 2006, and related production and transportation took a heavy toll in energy use. You can keep carbon out of the air and chemicals out of your drinking water by using filters and reusable bottles. You’ll save money, too. The New York Times reports that, for the same amount of water per year, consumers will pay more than $1,000 in bottled water compared to less than $1 for tap. Check out sustainable options at and


Richland College and DCCCD employees were well represented at the 36th Annual Texas Association of Black Personnel in Higher Education, held March 5-7 in Houston. The conference focused on academic and cultural issues facing both minority students and employees in higher education.

Out and About

The Spring 2008 semester has been quite a busy month, full of activities and award ceremonies. See slideshow below for a brief overview of some of the events that have happened.

Upcoming Events

Teacher Preparation Information Session
April 23
Two sessions: 1‑2 p.m. and 5-6 p.m.
For more details, contact Emia G. Williams at 972‑238‑6917.

Richland College Theatre presents “Radio Show”
7:30 p.m., April 23-26 and 11:15 a.m. on April 25
RLC Arena Theatre
Admission free, donations accepted

Richland College Theatre presents “Mischief and Mayhem”
7:30 p.m., April 28
RLC Arena Theatre
Admission free, donations accepted
Must be 18+ to be admitted

RLC Graduation
7:30 p.m., May 2 and 3

If you have any other events you’d like to have publicized in the ThunderBridge, esigns, marquees and/or Web Calendar click here.

Outstanding Employee of the Month

April 2008

Thuy Anh Nguyen
Multicultural Center

An excerpt from a congratulatory letter from Dr. Mittelstet:

Dear Thuy Anh:

Congratulations on being selected the Richland College Outstanding Employee for April 2008. Your award is well-deserved recognition of the exemplary service you have provided Richland College.

Your co-workers cite your steadfast dedication to our students in working with instructional colleagues to make ESOL more meaningful to specific populations, such as creating career-focused learning communities for students planning to become health professionals or teachers. You are seen as a model of quiet strength and leadership, especially during peak registration, as you create more effective staffing deployments and adapt advising and testing processes to meet unanticipated demands.

You are capable, reliable, and focused on doing what needs to be done. Instead of fretting about how to stage campus events such as the Men’s Health Conference and several Asian festivals, with little or no funding, you enlist your network of community contacts to support each event. Your resourcefulness, creativity, and perseverance enable you to wring so much more out of the Multicultural Center’s small budget or the out-dated-yet-indispensable CARLOS system.

Humanities Happenings

n44-copy.jpgThe Richland College Humanities Division, along with the University of Texas at Arlington Liberal Arts and Music Department, presented Olusanjo Daramola to the RLC campus. He is an internationally renowned Fulbright Music Scholar and authority on African and Islamic music. He also teaches and performs at Obafemi Awolowo University in the Osun State of Nigeria. Daramola’s lecture included demonstrations of African traditional music and a performance with the UT Arlington African ensemble.

Dr. Sherry Dean, Executive Dean, Humanities, served as a facilitator for the Dallas Dinner Table on March 19 at the Wilshire Baptist Church in Richardson. The Dallas Dinner Table, an annual city-wide event, promotes the sharing of diverse perspectives about the impact of race on the daily lives of Dallas residents. More than 900 people gathered at homes, restaurants and religious institutions in this year’s Dallas Dinner Table event.

The Richland Guitar Ensemble participated in the Third Annual University of Texas Brownsville/Texas Southmost College Guitar Festival and Competition. Professor of Guitar Studies Jan Ryberg and his students won first place in the large ensemble division. They also heard two world class concerts by members of the LA Guitar Quartet and attended master classes featuring students from around the country taught by Scott Tenant. The Brownsville Festival was the most rewarding student trip for the Richland Guitar Ensemble in the last four years.

Richland College hosted its fifth successful Carnival of Steel festival on April 19. Hundreds of community members enjoyed performances by the Richland Steel Band and World Drumming Ensemble, the Midwestern State University Caribbean Steel Band, and steel drum bands from Plano Senior High School, North Garland High School, Shields Elementary School, and Krum High School. The event also featured a professional group called Island Groove. The day-long outdoor festivities concluded with a Caribbean Carnival costume parade.

Outstanding students honored for their perseverance and achievement

The Council for Community Building held is annual Wall of Honor ceremony on March 27. The event honors current and former students that have overcome major obstacles, excelled in the classroom, and displayed talents that help their fellow students and community. This year’s recipients are:

Alhaji F. Saccoh – Current Student
Babs King – Former Student
Elizabeth Haddon – Former Student
Keome Rowe – Current Student
Kyle A. Milberger – Former Student

For a biographical sketch of each recipient, click here.

New Employees

Vonetta Cartwright
Title: Administrative Assistant
Department: ACCESS

Carol Sperry
Title: Student Services Specialist
Department: Upward Bound

Latisha Harrison
Title: Senior Academic Advisor
Department: Educational Transitions

Anthony Leand
Title: Department Assistant IV
Department: Educational Transitions

Thanks, T-ducks

To: Various Thunderducks
From: Whitney Rosenbalm, Information Services

The Fall 2007 Student Wall of Honor was, as usual, inspiring and tear‑jerking. Larry Polk was gracious enough to fill in as emcee for the council. He was awesome, as he usually is at public speaking events! Thank you, Larry.

Thank you to the Anitra Cotton and John Pollock for all the hard work on the ceremony, as well as Jeremy Haldeman and Kris Hytinnen for their expertise. The Council for Community Building works diligently to bring this important event to our students, staff and faculty. Thanks especially to those members who are always visible and assisting during the ceremony: Bill Neal, Susan Barkley Gary Duke, and Simin Sadoughi.

Also, the ceremony could not take place without our faculty members who teach, learn and build community everyday. Thank you for your work with our students, and please continue to nominate those with inspiring stories.

*More Thanks, Thunderducks . . .


Dear Delores (Elder-Jones),

Thank you so much for devoting your Sunday to come and speak to our refugees about higher education. You gave a wealth of information to teens and adults alike. All of your efforts are so appreciated by me and those at St. Patrick Outreach. Thank you also for the fabulous pictures you sent.

Again my heartfelt thanks to you for your willingness to serve those in need of help with college entrance requirements and financial aid. God bless you!

Mary-Ann Martin
St. Patrick Outreach

*More letters . . .

*Thanks Thunderducks and Letters now has its own special page. If you would like for a letter of thanks to a fellow T-duck to appear there, please use this new, convenient online form. Letters from outside Richland may be e-mailed to or hard copies may be forwarded to the Information Services office. Thanks!


Dru Bookout welcomed the birth of a new grandson on April 11. Jeffrey Paul Hulbert III arrived weighing 7 lbs., 12 oz. at 20.5”. Congratulations to Dru and her family.