Monthly Archives: March 2010
Welcome back to a new semester of teaching, learning, and community building as a member of Richland College’s dedicated community of students, faculty, staff, and life-long learners. Much is new for us this spring — a beautiful 118,000 sq-ft. LEED Platinum-designed/constructed science building, a robust 18% increase in student enrollment, and a successful leadership transition with the retirement of our beloved 31-year president, Dr. Steve Mittelstet, and appointment of Dr. Kay Eggleston as our interim college president. We now begin a new decade of working together to fulfill our shared vision to be the best place we can be to learn, teach, and build sustainable local and world community.
Also new this year is Richland College’s approach to our spring semester kick-off. In years past, we began the spring with a convocation gathering in the performance hall. Because we listened to your feedback from a recent survey, we have re-designed the annual spring Thursday evening activities. This year, I look forward to joining you at a reception beginning at 5:45 p.m. on Thursday, January 14 in El Paso Hall. At 7:00 p.m. you will participate in your pre-selected choice of a faculty development workshop facilitated by your master-teacher peers. If you have not already done so, please take a moment to click on the following link and register for your preferred workshop at http://www.richlandcollege.edu/faculty2010/. After this one-hour workshop, you will attend the discipline breakout sessions scheduled by your specific School. Please be on the look-out for an e-program from my office early next week.
The spring 2010 professional development program is aligned to Richland College’s Vision, Mission, Values, and one of our Core Competencies — Developing and Engaging Faculty, Staff, and Students. Let me also share with you information about other such workshops and symposiums scheduled this spring:
• The first presents another opportunity to hear Dr. Alexei Matveev, Director of Quality Enhancement and Critical-Thinking Studies at Norfolk State University. Dr. Matveev was here in November, and those who heard him shared with us that they appreciated his expertise and knowledge and felt his presentation was both relevant and meaningful. He reviewed our assessment information as he prepared his comments, making this an especially meaningful presentation for us. Therefore, we have invited him to speak with all those who teach again at the beginning of this semester. I hope those of you who did not get a chance to learn about curriculum mapping for assessment from Dr. Matveev in November will be available to attend his workshop on Friday, January 15, 2010. Please see the attached flyer for more information.
• The Arts, Science and Sustainable Community Symposium will be held on Saturday, January 30, 2010 from 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. Richland College hosts a discussion on the role of water within the new model of sustainability. The symposium centers on themes of the built environment’s response to preserving ecology, striking a symbiotic equilibrium between human development and nature, and utilization of new technology towards creative responsibility. Our keynote speaker is Ignacio Bunster, lead architect of the Trinity Parks Lake Design, Dallas, Texas. The symposium will feature a dance troupe, two panel discussions on the development of a community-based sustainable future, and tours of Richland’s new Sabine Hall science building. After the symposium we will celebrate the opening of “Water: More or Less,” a regional juried art show, in the Brazos Gallery. For more information and details, visit www.richlandcollege.edu/artandscience.
• In a workshop titled Meet Generation NeXt! Dr. Mark Taylor will be spending a full day at Richland on Friday, March 5, the day after District/Richland Conference Day, orienting employees to the unique points of view of students and staff who are members of “Generation NeXt.” His morning session will focus on understanding the generational differences between those born after about 1982 and those of us who typically make up a college faculty and staff. His afternoon workshop is designed specifically for those who teach and will focus on the instructional implications of these generational differences.
What is ongoing is the college’s commitment to continuously assess and improve student learning. Let me update you on Richland College’s latest efforts on this front:
• This year, QEP discipline teams will assess at least one, or a part of one, of Richland’s Institutional/General Education Student Learning Outcomes. As you may recall, approximately 800 Richlanders-including full-time and adjunct faculty members, students, staff, administrators, and members of the community-helped to identify these outcomes as part of last year’s assessment efforts.
• Later this semester, you will have the opportunity to hear the results of the inter-disciplinary assessments of reading, writing, speaking, listening, critical thinking, computer literacy, and math. These efforts have been underway for quite a while, but this year is the final year for identifying how successful our students are with these skills, identified by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board as Core Curriculum Intellectual Competencies, which are essential to learning in any discipline.
• Also this semester you will hear about the college’s new journey toward its reaffirmation of accreditation in 2013. This process is defined and required by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS COC). As you may remember, Richland College was one of eight pilot institutions that helped the COC refine their new process, now the basis for today’s required process for all of SACS COC’s 1000+ colleges and universities. A new graphic aid illustrating Richland’s journey since its reaffirmation in 2002 is attached for your reference.
Thank you to each of you for your commitment to teaching, learning, and community building at Richland College. I look forward to seeing you Thursday evening and working alongside you for another successful semester in serving our college community.
Dear Richland College Community,
You have probably noticed several new faces on campus among our faculty and perhaps participated on committees and in professional development with them. It is with pleasure and timely that I introduce to the Richland College community our new Visiting Scholar Faculty for 2009-2010. The faculty featured in the VPTL Commons located at http://www.richlandcollege.edu/vptlcommons were selected through a search process to participate in the DCCCD/Richland nationally recognized Visiting Scholars Program.
Please join me in officially welcoming them to the ranks of Richland College faculty who strive for excellence and demonstrate continuous dedication to student centered values, learning, and personal growth. We embrace them as part of our outstanding community of faculty who contribute so much to help advance Richland College’s vision of becoming the best place we can be to learn, teach and build sustainable local and world community.
Visiting Scholar Faculty 2009-2010
Ofori C. Asante, originally from Ghana, West Africa, began working for Richland College in the fall of 2009. Here he teaches student success and learning frameworks courses. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, and earned a master’s in counseling from Texas A&M University, Commerce. Asante has been a licensed professional counselor for the past four years and his clinical background includes work with college students, children, adolescents, and families. He is a nationally-certified counselor and a member of the Texas Counseling Association (TCA). His areas of interest include leadership, conference presentations on diverse issues among college students and their families, multicultural and diversity issues. Asante’s primary research interest includes marital satisfaction in intercultural couples, and student success in community college. Currently, he is working on attaining a doctoral degree while completing his dissertation work in counselor education at Texas A&M University Commerce.
After graduating from Bowling Green State University with a master’s degree in geology focusing on mammalian biogeography and therapod evolution, Bryan Gibbs began work on a second master’s degree in physics and space science at Florida Tech. He received a research grant from NASA to study duststorm generation and evolution on the surface of Mars using data from the Mars Global Surveyor Project, which was the first successful mission by the United States to the red planet in over two decades. Gibbs performed groundwater modeling for the Trinity River Corridor project as a field geologist last year and looks forward to seeing the development of the area. He has taught a variety of geology and physics courses at Richland College and recently developed a very successful online earth science course. He is looking forward to expanded course offerings in the future.
Judi Heo attended the University of Texas at Austin and received a bachelor’s in applied learning and development with a specialization in mathematics. Starting out as a tutor at Brookhaven College fueled her increasing appetite for learning and teaching math. She was given the opportunity to teach two courses during the fall semester of 2004. As Heo continued to teach, she found teaching to be her passion and that Richland College was where she belonged. She is constantly seeking knowledge and has a tremendous desire to learn more, so she decided to continue her graduate studies at the University of Texas at Dallas and earned a master’s degree in mathematics education. Heo’s philosophy of teaching is to connect with students in a positive learning environment and encourages students to look at solving problems from their perspective.
Willie Holmes completed his undergraduate degree at Bethune-Cookman University and his master’s degree from Ohio State University in political science with further coursework in Africana studies. He completed his professional teacher certification at the University of Texas at Dallas in Social Science. Holmes holds additional certifications in special education and high school theater, as well as a mid-management certification from the University of Texas at Arlington. He was accepted into the doctoral program at the University of Texas at Dallas in political economy, but decided to pursue the field of public education. Holmes has 20 years experience in urban education and community service and is a playwright and founder of Blacken Blues Theater of African-American Life, a nonprofit community organization with the mission of promoting social responsibility and racial tolerance. Holmes believes urban educators must respect the learner and his cultural environment while maintaining high expectations of academic achievement regardless of race, ethnicity or socioeconomic background.
Tameca Minter joined the developmental writing faculty as a Visiting Scholar for the Human & Academic Development Division at Richland College in August 2009. She teaches developmental writing courses, in traditional classroom and online formats. Minter earned a bachelor’s in English and mass communications from Texas Woman’s University and holds a master’s degree in English. Currently, she is nearing the completion of a second master’s degree in counseling from the University of North Texas. She previously taught with the Irving Independent School District, The Diocese of Dallas and served as an adjunct faculty member for the DCCCD and TCCD in years past. She has extensive experience in correctional education and served as a counselor, director of education and principal with The GEO Group, Inc. and The Management & Training Corporation. Minter’s sole premise aligns with the adage from Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., “A mind stretched by a new idea can never go back to its original dimensions.”
Michelle Navarro, a native Texan, has enjoyed the benefits of attending most of the major universities in the Dallas area. Beginning with her undergraduate degree at the University of North Texas, she pursued a Bachelor of Arts in General Studies, with a focus on three areas of concentration: history, English, and anthropology. While attending school, Navarro spent many years working in the computer industry in a variety of areas such as technical support, webpage programming, and as a computer consultant with Accenture. She completed her master’s degree in humanities at Southern Methodist University and is currently finishing up her doctorate in humanities at U.T. Dallas. Navarro began teaching at Richland College in the fall of 2005 in the English department and has taught a variety of classes including English composition, American literature, creative writing, and classes that focus on Chicano studies, as well as U.S. history.
Mary Peacock is lead faculty for ESOL listening/speaking and is developing the ESOL online program. Her own experiences in learning English as a second language help her understand the challenges faced by students in the Richland community. Mary earned her B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin, with Highest Honors and with Special Honors in the Plan II Interdisciplinary Program, and her master’s from The University of Michigan, where she was a Regents’ Fellow. Peacock has served on the board of the North Texas affiliate of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TexTESOL V) and presents regularly at conferences on language learning and technology. She enjoys gardening, reading, and walking her dog at White Rock Lake.
Gina Sawyer’s artistic and professional experience includes work in the areas of teaching, choreographing, and directing as a dance and theatre educator for all educational levels. She earned a scholarship for her performance as a dance captain for the Apache Belles dance/drill team, and graduated with an Associate of Arts degree from Tyler Junior College. Sawyer then continued her undergraduate studies at Texas Woman’s University where she earned a Bachelor of Science with a Texas teaching certificate in secondary education. Recent degrees earned include a master’s in dance from Texas Woman’s University in Denton and a Master of Liberal Arts from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Current interests in dance-making include works that involve improvisational performances and digitalized technology.