Monthly Archives: September 2014

September 2014

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Photos by Paul Knudsen


Convocation: ‘Imagine Success: We Provide the Thunder’

Richland College’s 2014 convocation ceremony started off with a boom, quite literally, as hundreds of “ThunderStix” shook the rafters Aug. 19.

The theme of this year’s convocation, “Imagine Success: We Provide the Thunder,” was prevalent throughout the event as employees were honored for their outstanding contributions to Richland College and its mission.

This year’s recipients are:

Excellence in Teaching Award
Full-Time Faculty
Jennifer Jones
Dr. Jennifer Jones, School of Learning Enrichment and Academic Development

Associate Faculty
Melanie Pruit
Melanie Pruit, Richland Collegiate High School

Adjunct Faculty
Meggen Mills
Meggen Mills, School of Business, Engineering, and Technology

Continuing Education Adjunct Faculty
Charles Laterza
Chuck Laterza

PSS Full-Time Employee of the Year Award
Kimberly WIlkins
Kimberly Wilkins, Richland College Garland Campus

PSS Part-Time Employee of the Year Award
Gayle McAllister
Gayle McAllister, School of World Languages, Cultures, and Communications

Facilities Services Employees of the Quarter
Facilities Employees
Pictured from left: Terrick Tu, Anthony Buckley, Luke Luu, Laureano Hurtado

Administrator of the Year Award
Dwight Riley
Dwight Riley, School of Engineering, Business, and Technology

Innovation of the Year Award
The Richland Virtual Oral History Project
Team Leader: Dr. Clive Siegle; Team Members: Susan Wehe, Natalia Vargas, Michelle Navarro, Ronald Romanchek, Caitlin Anderson, Kam DeLeon, Dr. Ambronita Douzart, Peter Huynh, Don Partin, Dan Briggs, Jeremy Haldeman, Stephen Fagin, Krishna Shenoy

Jean Sharon Griffith Award
Stephen Levine
Stephen Levine, Academic Advising

Print Shop Open House a Success
Print shop staff

Print Shop Staff, from left: Angela Scales, Timesha Henderson, Sabrina Ligon

Konica Minolta held an open house on Aug. 21 to introduce their staff, products and services to the Richland College community. Print shop staff Angela Scales and Timesha Henderson set up presentation tables with paper samples and printing examples to showcase what Konica Minolta could provide to the college, and they gave away lots of prizes and snacks!

The below people each won a gift card from one of the following: Starbucks, Old Navy, iTunes, Toys’R’Us, Burger King, Olive Garden and Subway:

Ebenezer Kyei
Sherna Armstrong
Julie Phillips
Diana Vineyard
Rymma Dudar
Amy Ferguson
Jessie Delos
Ray Canham
Binaya Paudyal
Shawntae Minyard
Sherry Dean
Jennifer Curtiss

Winners may contact Konica Minolta to claim their prize.

Parking for a Great Cause

The Employee Development Fund’s (EDF) parking space silent auction was a success, with bids totaling $2,435 going towards the funds. The EDF helps offset the cost of individual job-related training such as conferences, seminars, workshops and college courses.

Congratulations to the winners: Susan Barkley, Dee Hobson, Becky Jones, Debbi Richards, Kathryn Klepak and Mary Darin.

Richland Police Participate in Ice Bucket Challenge

The Richland Police Department participated in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Aug. 22 after being nominated by Brookhaven’s Police. They were cheered on by Richland Collegiate High School students. Check out the video here.

Notary Services on Campus

Richland College has a group of employees who have agreed to serve the college in the role of Texas Notary Public. These individuals, listed below, have completed their official state requirements and are ready and able to notarize documents. Each notary has worked with his or her supervisor to set hours of availability and to provide services at no cost to the Richland community. In addition to college business, notaries are now authorized to provide personal services as appropriate for their work schedule.

Please check each individual’s availability in advance of your visit.

Monique Benatar, H-102, x6868 (Human Resources)
Jasmine Nguyen, H-120, x3866 (Human Resources)
Thomas Adams, T-150, x6903 (Multicultural Center)
Lynita Cook, T-140, x3850 (Business Office)
Shelly Turner, T-160, x6148 (Continuing Education)
Adam Kocian, T-160, x3705 (Continuing Education)
Diane Graifemburg, A-110, x6980 (ACCESS Center)
Andy Tubbs, A-110, x6141 (ACCESS Center)
Sandy Groom, B-101, x6706 (School of Engineering/Bus/Tech)
Mary Savage, C-179, x6898 (Richland Collegiate High School)
Marisol Sena, C-172, x6122 (Educational Transitions)
Hilda Della Sera, C-150, x6729 (Rising Star)
Greg Wright, P-160, x6174 (Police Department)

Richland Garland Campus Hold Workforce Training Programs Recognition Ceremony

The Richland Garland Campus held a recognition ceremony Sept. 5 to celebrate 58 students who completed training in various workforce training programs at the Garland Campus.

Being recognized were 18 students from the Workplace Skills/GED program, nine students from the Construction and Masonry program, 26 students from the Machine Operator program and five students from the Office Support Specialist program. Six students are college-bound, and the remainder are headed straight to the workplace.

We wish these students the best in their future endeavors.

Attendees at the Garland Campus recognition ceremony

Photo by Paul Knudsen

Green Matters

Clean the air in your home with house plants! They reduce unhealthy pollutants, airborne bacteria and fungi while adding humidity to help you combat respiratory problems and allergies.

Visit our It’s Easy Being Green board on Pinterest to check out all our Green Living Tips plus other eco-friendly info! Have a Green Living Tip to suggest? E-mail them to

Upcoming Events

Killing Us Softly 4
2-3:30 p.m., September 18
SH117, Sabine Hall
Watch a documentary exploring advertising and the female image. A discussion will follow after the film screening. For information, contact Julie Hanson at or 214-890-3825.

‘Camille Redouble’ Screening
7-8:45 p.m., September 18
SH118, Sabine Hall
Watch Camille Redouble, a French film about a woman who finds herself traveling back in time and having to choose again what path to take. The film will have English subtitles. Admission is free. Call 972-238-6299 for more information.

Richland Book Club
2-3:30 p.m., September 19
Richland Library, Lago Vista Gallery
This month’s book is The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd. For more information and/or to join, contact Michelle Navarro (Humanities) at

Free Yoga
2:30-3:30 p.m., September 25
C110, Crockett Hall
Join a free weekly yoga group for students, staff and faculty, every Thursday through Dec. 10. For information, contact Julie Hanson at or 214-890-3825.

Recital Series – Opera Workshop
12:30-1:30 p.m., October 7
Fannin Performance Hall
The Division of Humanities, Fine and Performing Arts at Richland College presents its recital series. All performances are free to the general public. For more information, contact Dr. MIchael Crawford at 972-238-6284.

Click through to the Publicity Request Form to have your event publicized in the ThunderBridge, on flat panel displays, marquees and/or on the Web Calendar.


Gina Sawyer Leads Dance Workshop

Gina Sawyer, Director of Richland College’s dance program, lead a workshop for dance educators in the Plano Independent School District Aug. 20.

PISD Dance Educators


New Employees

Cathy Godbois
Cathy Godbois, Coordinator, Instructional Labs

India Cannon
India Cannon, Department Assistant IV

Gabe Randle
Gabe Randle, Testing Assistant II
Testing Center

Bill Simolaridis
Bill Simolaridis, Instructional Specialist III

Keenan Cobb
Keenan Cobb, Marketing Information Specialist
College Communications and Marketing

Katie McClelland
Katie McClelland, Senior Web Writer/Editor
College Communications and Marketing

Zarina Noorani, Instructional Specialist III

Wally Good
Wally Good, Instructional Support Associate

Jonathan Havens
Jonathan Havens, College Director, Athletic Program – Basketball

Randy Jensen
Randy Jensen, Web Developer/Programmer
College Communications and Marketing

Omar Surillo
Omar Surillo, Visiting Scholar – Music Faculty

Michael Puente
Michael Puente, Visiting Scholar – Mathematics Faculty

Juanita Ocanas
Juanita Ocanas, Associate Registrar II

Burton King
Burton King, Admissions Specialist I

Anna Biryukova
Anna Biryukova, Instructional Specialist III

Thanks, T-ducks

To: Jean Carter, Community Outreach/School Alliance
From: Radhika Woodruff

Hello Mrs. Carter,

I want to let you know how much I enjoyed being part of the graduation celebration yesterday. I especially loved the keynote speaker and her message.

Your speech really resonated with me and what I believe in. The importance of a good education cannot be stressed enough. Your points about learning from our successes, adding value to society and following one’s heart were so true. It is not always easy to follow this advice, but it is so important.

I have a master’s degree in Computer Science from Iowa State University, and after having [my daughter] Meghana I left a very lucrative workforce to stay home because that is what my heart desired, and I wanted to make an impact in my children’s life in a way that I felt only I could do. I am very thankful for having the opportunity to choose this option; I know that not many have the luxury to do so. I have stayed home with my girls for 13 years and strived very hard to foster a love for learning, especially math and science, since those were my favorite subjects.

From a very young age Meghana has shown eagerness and a great aptitude for learning and I have relished in supplementing her education at home. I was very excited to hear about your program and my only regret is that I did not find out sooner. I know that she had a wonderful experience at Richland and met a lot of wonderful teachers, mentors and students alike.

I have recently joined the workforce and trying to play catch-up in my career has been very hard after such a long break. But through this experience, I am hoping to teach my girls that not only can women take care of families and the house, but we are pretty darn good at our jobs. I want to be a role model for my girls, to understand that with a good education you are giving yourself options and choices that may not exist otherwise.

From your speech today, I could feel your passion in what you do and I commend you for the wonderful program you offer these children. I wish you the very best and many more years of inspiring these young minds.

Thank you again for everything. I am looking forward to seeing you again, maybe next year when [my daughter] Manisha could be at Richland.

Have a wonderful day,

To: All RLC Members
From: Sue Jones, School of World Languages, Cultures and Communications

Many thanks to all of you who have sent emails and cards, flowers and prayers. Tomorrow (Friday, August 15th, 2015) I will be discharged from Corinth Rehabilitation Suites and will continue my rehab at home and as an outpatient.

Since I had the seizure on May 9, I have had three life-saving surgeries. I’m so fortunate to be here and writing this note to you! I have spent the summer in Denton Regional Hospital and Corinth Rehabilitation Suites (except for a few days at home in late May).

Credit goes to my husband, David, and our primary care physician, Dr. Jacci Walden, for saving my life. All of your positive thoughts and energies have been added to theirs and helped me heal. And they continue to do so as I begin this next phase of my journey. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate them!

I will be on sick leave for most of the fall. I look forward to reconnecting with you upon my return.

Until then, with love and appreciation,


To: Martha Hogan and Dan Dao, School of Engineering, Business and Technology
From: Royce Murcherson, School of World Languages, Cultures and Communication
Re: Noah Parker

Hi Martha and Dan!

I am sure you are already aware of the talented Noah Parker. I needed some assistance on a Photoshop project, so Mr. Parker was recommended. He did a wonderful job! I had no idea such miracles could be performed with this software. Richland is lucky to have him. Regards.

Royce Murcherson, Ph.D.

*If you would like for a note of thanks to a fellow T-duck to appear here, please use this convenient online form. Letters from people outside Richland may be e-mailed to or hard copies may be forwarded to the College Communications & Marketing office. Thanks!


Congratulations to Richland College dance student Liz Nguyen for her apprenticeship to 8 & 1 Dance Company under the direction of Jill Rucci.

8 & 1 is a Dallas-based modern and jazz based dance company whose mission is to dance, work, rehearse, perfect, perform and entertain. Founder and artistic director Jill Rucci was a principal dancer and guest choreographer for Vissi Dance Theater for over 10 years.

Richland College dance students Liz Nguyen and Darrell Rodgers perform "Human"

Richland College dance students Liz Nguyen and Darrell Rodgers perform “Human.” Photo by Paul Knudsen.

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