Monthly Archives: October 2008

October 20, 2008

2008 SECC campaign underway

The 2008 State Employee Charitable Campaign (SECC) is off to a great start. The campaign, entitled “Find Your Passion,” began Sept. 29. For an update on how much has been contributed, visit Our KPI target goal for the 2008 – ’09 campaign is $115,000 college-wide. Check e-mail for current totals every Friday of the campaign.

SECC provides a way for employees of state agencies to donate to their favorite charities, through the convenience of payroll deduction. One time gifts, however, are also accepted payable via cash or check.

If you need additional forms or booklets please call Sharon Wright, ext. 6224, or Nancy Gomez, ext. 6194. If divisions meet their monetary and participation goal, they receive 50% matching funds from the college which can be used to purchase departmental supplies.

Workgroups who met their monetary goal with 80% full & limited full-time staff participation by Fri., Oct. 17, 5 p.m. receive 50% matching funds plus a workgroup lunch celebration. These workgroups are also announced via e-mail each Friday.

  • 50% Matching Funds Deadline: Meet your monetary goal with 80% full & limited full-time staff participation by Fri., Oct. 31, 5 p.m. and receive 50% matching funds.
  • HINT: Matching funds will be based on your workgroup’s total donation, not just your goal. The more your workgroup gives, the more you will receive!

    Other important SECC info:

  • You can donate to the DCCCD Foundation (#280076 on page 11 of your SECC booklet).
  • You can donate to a specific Foundation scholarship by writing the name of the scholarship in the margin of your form.
  • All of Stephen K. Mittelstet scholarship funds will be used for scholarships at Richland College in which our students will benefit.
  • Several scholarships were established honoring Richland. Click here to learn more about RLC scholarships. Or you may visit the DCCCD Foundation for additional scholarships.
  • News
    RCHS named “Tech Titan of the Future” by largest technology trade association in Texas

    The Richland Collegiate High School of Mathematics, Science and Engineering (RCHS) at Richland College recently received the “Tech Titan of the Future” Award at the Metroplex Technology Business Council (MTBC) Gala on Sept. 26. The award recognizes higher education institutions that foster and support students to choose careers in engineering and tech-related fields. MTBC, the largest technology trade association in Texas, presented the award to RCHS because of its innovative approach to “closing gaps in the K-16 Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) student pipeline into our region’s engineering technology-related workforce.”

    “Three years ago Richland College (RLC) worked with area chambers of commerce, business leaders, public and private schools, home schools, universities, civic leaders, and organizations like MTBC assessing area workforce needs in the engineering and technology fields,” explained Stephen Mittelstet, RLC president and RCHS superintendent. “In response, RLC applied for and received the first and, to date, the only charter school in Texas held by a community college. RCHS has exceeded our highest expectations and we are thrilled and honored that MTBC has recognized this innovative approach with the 2008 Tech Titan of the Future Award.”


    New science building gets new but familiar name

    Richland’s new LEED-Platinum-designed science building, scheduled to open for fall classes in August 2009, will be named Sabine Hall. Richland College’s President’s Cabinet consulted with campus focus groups to select and approve an appropriate name. All campus buildings are named for Texas bodies of water, so once the new building opens, the building currently named Sabine Hall will become Wichita Hall.

    Williams solo show in Brazos Gallery

    The School of Humanities, Fine and Performing Arts presents a solo painting show by faculty member Keith Williams through Nov. 21 in the Brazos Galley.

    “Progression and Flow,” features figurative and landscape works in oil on canvas. Mr. Williams earned an MFA from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2006, and completed his BFA in 2001 from Southern Methodist University. His previous solo shows include “Synthetic Dreams” (2008) at the Janette Kennedy Gallery, Southside on Lamar in Dallas, and “Bodily Systems” (2006) at the U.T. San Antonio Satellite Space. He has shown in exhibitions juried by Bill Fitzgibbons in 2005 (“Resolutions” at U.T. San Antonio Art Gallery), and Frances Colpitt in 2004 (“Fire in the Belly” at Blue Star Art Space, San Antonio).

    Mr. Williams’ paintings are described as “expressive and squishy,” rendering the figure in occluded, swirling spaces. Frequent themes include the model, either human or animal in or near a water-based environment. The artist speaks of his own work in terms of the “dream-state” and “something very similar to a storyboard in movies.”

    For more information, contact Gallery Coordinator Randall Garrett at 972-238-6339. Click here for more information.

    Actions to Cool Global Warming

    A GREENRichland tip

    greentduck-rgb.jpg Baking soda, also known as bicarbonate of soda or sodium bicarbonate, is a very handy non-toxic compound that can be used as a more environmentally friendly replacement for many harsher chemicals. Here are some practical uses for baking sodas:

    1) Dissolve a couple of tablespoons of baking soda in water in a microwave safe bowl, then bring to the boil in your microwave. Allow to sit for a minute or two, then you should easily be able to wipe out any baked on stains.

    2) Instead of using harsh chemicals for clearing blocked drains, throw a cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by a couple of jugs of boiling water.

    3) To clean jewelry, use a paste of three parts baking soda to one part water, apply the mixture the piece, allow to sit for a couple of minutes, rinse off and then polish with a soft cloth.

    4) A thick paste of baking soda and water applied to bug bites can provide relief.

    More baking soda tips here.

    Have a global warming action to suggest? E-mail them to

    GREENRichland hosted Dr. Matthew Sleeth on Sept. 24. Dr. Sleeth spoke on “Serve God, Save the Planet,” a reflection of the belief that environmental stewardship is a major responsibility of people of faith.

    Upcoming Events

    Richland College Fall Job Fair
    9 a.m. – 1 p.m., Wed., Oct. 22
    El Paso Hall

    “Dark Exodus: The Lost Girls of Sudan”
    9:30-11 a.m. Thurs., Oct. 23
    Brazos Gallery
    Presented by African Student Union, Peace/Justice Club and SPAR.

    Adjunct Faculty Recruitment Fair
    10 a.m.-2 p.m., Oct. 25
    Thunderduck Hall

    Flu Shots
    10 a.m.-2 p.m., Tues., Oct. 28 and 2-6 p.m., Wed., Oct. 29.
    Richland’s Health Center
    $25, cash and check only. Open to the public.

    17th Annual Fall Thunderduck Classic golf tournament
    12 p.m., Thurs., Oct. 30
    Firewheel Lakes Golf Course
    $45 entry fee. Hamburger buffet before tournament. Contact Paul Baldwin at to sign up.

    Halloween Costume Party
    12-1:30 p.m., Fri., Oct. 31

    NJCAA 2008 Men and Women’s Division III National Soccer Championship Tournament
    Nov. 8-9, Richland Soccer Complex
    For details, click here.

    10th Annual American Indian Pow Wow
    1-10 p.m., Sat., Nov. 8
    Richland Gym, G101

    Veterans Day Ceremony
    12:30 p.m., Tues., Nov. 11
    location TBA

    Faculty Appreciation Week
    Nov. 17-21

    Fall 2008 Student Wall of Honor Ceremony
    10 a.m., Wed. Nov. 19
    Crockett Hall

    Featured Teaching and Learning Practices Ceremony
    11:15 a.m.-12 p.m., Wed., Nov. 19
    Crockett Hall

    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

    October 2008

    Raymond Choice
    Facilities Services

    An excerpt from a congratulatory letter from Dr. Mittelstet:

    “Dear Raymond:

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

    As Grounds Foreman with the Grounds Maintenance department of Facilities Services, your leadership and dedication to maintenance excellence of the 243-acre campus landscape, lake, and sports fields have provided students, employees, and the community with an aesthetically pleasing environment for all who come to learn, work, and play at Richland College. You also capably installed all 17 western red cedar Peace Poles located throughout the campus and attentively maintain them as they display their important message for all to view.

    During your 25 years of employment at Richland College you have distinguished yourself as an exceptional “hands on” supervisor. Because of your strong work ethic, attention to detail, varied skills, and good character, you have served as a mentor for virtually all new Grounds Maintenance employees, resulting in an exceptionally competent work group….”

    RLC faculty, staff share Richland principles across the country

    John Carmichael, Academic Advisor, and Cindy Berry, Advising Director, attended the National NACADA Conference in Chicago, Oct 1-4, where John presented “Joys of Juggling in the Advising Process, Metaphors for Teaching and Learning” to enthusiastic educators from across the nation. One attended commented, “I loved this! How unique and refreshing. I will definitely take a lot from this and put it to good use in my advising practice and the freshman seminar course that I teach.”

    Two of RLC’s deans, Sherry Dean and Carole Lester, recently served as keynote speakers for Normandale Community College’s Diversity Day Professional Development Series in Bloomington, Minn. Dr. Dean, Executive Dean of The School of Humanities, Fine and Performing Arts, and Dr. Lester, Dean of Academic Enrichment, presented a workshop, “The Richland College Thunderduck Experience,” which included an overview of the college’s organizational values and vision, Global Studies program, International Education partnerships, GREENRichland, TOLI professional development opportunities, and introduction to Richland’s Intercultural Competence series.

    New Employees

    Jody Cunningham
    Title: Administrative Assistant to the Instructional Dean
    Department: Distance Learning

    Susan Mathews
    Title: Administrative Assistant to the Instructional Dean
    Department: WLCC

    Natasha Crowe

    Title: Student Services Specialist
    Department: Upward Bound

    Sarah Daniel
    Title: Faculty – Visiting Scholar
    Department: BPI

    Thanks, T-ducks

    To: Richland College
    From: Earlene Bond and Sue Jones, CRWHE

    The weather was beautiful, the setting serene, the group delightful. Thanks to all of the Thunderducks and friends from around the DCCCD who attended the reception last week for the Center for Renewal and Wholeness in Higher Education, honoring Ann Faulkner, Garth Hill, Guy Gooding, Elaine Sullivan, Bill Tucker, and Bill Wenrich. We’d like to extend special thanks to all who made the reception possible: Chancellor Wright Lassiter, President Steve Mittelstet & ThunderTeam, Roy Bond, Maria Chobany, Suzy Hogue, Eddie Hueston & Facilities Services staff, Captain Baker & College Police, Whitney Rosenbalm & Marketing/Public Relations staff, Rainey Agent, and Jeremy Haldeman. It feels great to be at Richland College!

    *More Thanks, Thunderducks . . .


    Dr. (Ray) Canham, Math, Science & Health Professions

    As a manager of a department, I know too well that most times we hear of issues or problems with our staff – but I think it’s equally important to recognize those who do very well. I wanted to take a moment to express my sincere gratitude towards Professor Raj Seekri, whom I have had the privilege of having as my Calculus II instructor this past semester. Mr. Seekri’s experience and genuineness towards his students was extremely appreciated. It’s not often to come across instructors who do more than teach basics skills in the course, like Mr. Seekri. In addition, his nurture and inspiration towards all of his students is well recognized.

    Thank you,
    Christopher Zettle

    *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!


    Lt. Harry Chaney and Jamie Chaney are happy to announce the arrival of their new grandson, Tavien Aiden Hamilton, at 6:06 p.m. on Sept. 27. He weighed in at 7 lbs., 14 oz. and was 21 and 1/4″ long. Mother and baby are doing great.