Author Archives: erika
Government Visiting Scholar
Kacem graduated with a master’s and doctorate degree in political science from the University of Texas at Dallas. He also earned a master’s degree in French from the University of Oklahoma. Prior to joining Richland College as an adjunct instructor in government, Kacem taught political science and government at the University of Texas at Dallas and Collin College. His research focuses on democratization, public support for democracy, and ethnic politics in the United States.
EDUC 1300 Learning Framework Visiting Scholar
Ro has been an adjunct faculty member at Richland College for three years, teaching EDUC 1300 Learning Framework courses. Ro earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Texas at Dallas and a master’s degree in human relations and business from Amberton University. Prior to joining Richland College, Ro was the director of the Eastfield College Upward Bound program, which provides fundamental support to those preparing to enter college. Ro was also the co-advisor of the Eastfield College African American and Latino Male Initiative.
Developmental Writing Visiting Scholar
Heather began her teaching career at Richland College as an adjunct instructor of Developmental Writing in the fall of 2003. Over the past 10 years, Heather has served as an instructor at multiple institutions, including teaching and course development in various online educational platforms. Heather focused her career on beginning writers, teaching all levels of developmental writing and the two core composition courses. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English, with a minor in sociology, from Texas Woman’s University and a master’s degree in English from Texas Woman’s University with an emphasis on composition theory. Heather was the first writing instructor hired to teach part time at the launch of the grant-funded GED Transitions program at Richland College.
Computer Science Visiting Scholar
Tony began his teaching career at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio as an adjunct professor of computer science in 1999. That same year, he joined Brookhaven College as adjunct instructor of computer science. Since 2011, he has taught computer science and economics as an adjunct instructor at Cedar Valley College. In January 2012, he joined Richland College as economics adjunct instructor. Recently, he worked as a senior software engineer at Argo Data Resources. Tony retired from IBM in 2006 after a 20-year career where he worked as an infrastructure architect and consultant. He received his Master of Business Administration degree in computer information systems from the University of Dallas. He has also completed major course work for the Master of Science degree in economics from DePaul University.
Patrick B. Simpson
History Visiting Scholar
Patrick was recently hired by Richland College as visiting scholar in history. Prior to that, he taught as an adjunct professor at Richland for 15 years. Patrick has taught American and world history as well as western civilization, both on campus and online. He also has taught honor’s American history as part of the Cooperative Learning Communities in the Richland Collegiate High School as well as American history as part of Richland’s dual credit program. Patrick also serves as senior adjunct faculty for LeTourneau University. Recently, he was honored with the Richland College Adjunct Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award for 2012-2013. Patrick received an associate degree from Eastfield College, bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Texas at Dallas, and master’s degree in history from the University of North Texas. He is currently enrolled in a doctoral program at Cornerstone University.
Dear Richland Community,
I am delighted to officially introduce Richland’s class of 2012-13 faculty and visiting scholars. Visiting scholars are selected to participate in the nationally recognized Richland/DCCCD Visiting Scholars Program. Please extend a warm welcome to our colleagues joining the ranks of Richland faculty who strive for excellence and demonstrate continuous dedication to student centered values, learning, and personal growth. I invite you to take time to review their bios and get to know our colleagues who bring diverse skills and talents. These new faculty and visiting scholars already actively serve on committees, as assessment team leaders, and as program coordinators. We embrace them as part of our community of faculty who contribute so much to help advance Richland College’s vision of being the best place we can be to learn, teach and build sustainable local and world community.
Melinda has been an adjunct faculty member at Richland College for three years, teaching EDUC 1300 Learning Framework and student success courses. She has also been teaching college and career preparation and senior capstone for Richland Collegiate High School (RCHS). Melinda earned a master’s degree in human development from the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD). She completed all of her coursework except the dissertation for a doctorate in behavioral and brain sciences at UTD. She has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in business management and marketing. Melinda has worked as a contract negotiator for Texas Instruments, in management at Tom Thumb Food Stores, and as preschool director at several centers. Melinda sponsors the RCHS Celebration Club, the DUO Club, and the Urban Arts of the Future.
Jennifer began her teaching career at Richland College as an adjunct instructor of biology in 2005 and joined the School of Mathematics, Science, and Health Professions as a visiting scholar in January 2012. She attended graduate school at Johns Hopkins University, where she studied the mechanisms of key cellular events such as the movement of small particles into cells. After completing a doctoral degree, Jennifer continued researching basic cellular processes at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas and later at Southern Methodist University. Over the last several years, she has also worked as a lab coordinator on an NSF grant project at Eastfield College and helped to develop an online biology course for the LeCroy Center.
Christopher was most recently a managing partner and head of production at Perpetual FX Creative, a firm he co-founded in 2005. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Savannah College of Art and Design in Computer Art with a specialty in 3-D animation. He has over 10 years experience working in film and video games as a 3-D artist, animator, and producer. Christopher also has worked for companies including Electronic Arts and Ritual Entertainment. He is accredited on 20 video game titles such as “Medal of Honor Airborne,” “007: Quantum of Solace,” “Luxor Adventures,” “The Office,” “Sin Episodes: Emergence,” “Galactic Bowling,” “Rocket Racing League,” Inception: Mind Crime,” and “Alien Monster Bowling League.”
Praveena joins the mathematics faculty as visiting scholar for the School of Mathematics, Science, and Health Professions. She earned a master’s degree in applied mathematics from the University of Texas at Dallas. She also holds a master’s degree in mathematics from Anna University in India and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Madras in India. Praveena has been an adjunct at Richland College and in other Dallas area colleges teaching several areas of mathematics including calculus and algebra. Her work experience also includes working on software projects in India and the U.S. Praveena currently is pursuing a doctorate in applied mathematics.
Mrudula initially joined Richland College as an adjunct faculty member in the School of Mathematics, Science, and Health Professions but later accepted a position as a visiting scholar in 2012. Mrudula received a bachelor’s and master’s degree in biology from Osmania University (India) where she earned a gold medal for academic achievement and excellence, the university’s highest honor. She completed a doctorate in molecular biology at the University of Tulsa and then worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, where she was awarded a grant for her project entitled, “Elucidating the Mechanism whereby Mutations in MLL Contribute to Infant Leukemia.”
Sobia Azhar Khan (Class of 2011-2012)
Sobia is ABD (all but dissertation), pursuing a doctoral degree in literature from the University of Texas at Dallas. She joins Richland College as a visiting scholar teaching English. She has taught English composition, literature, and creative writing at the University of Texas at Dallas and at Richland. She is an active scholar presenting her work at numerous conferences around the nation. Her creative work has been published at Secretlytimid.com, in RiversEdge, Sojourn, and Parallax. She has won awards and recognition for her creative work by WOW! Women on Writing, Sojourn magazine, the Dallas Public Library, and the League for Innovation.
Charles joined Richland College in January 2012 as a visiting scholar in mathematics. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mathematics from Michigan State University, as well as a doctorate in philosophy from Syracuse University. He most recently taught at Tarrant County College and the University of North Texas, but previously taught at Thiel College in Pennsylvania and Central Missouri State University.
Jordan’s music has been praised in The New York Times as “animated and melodically opulent” and “consistently alive and inspired.” His compositions have been performed by ensembles such as the Pittsburgh Symphony and the 21st Century Consort, in venues such as Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Prior to joining the Richland College faculty as a visiting scholar, Jordan taught at Yale University, where he earned two master’s degrees and is currently pursuing a doctorate. Jordan earned a bachelor’s degree at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, where he studied cello and composition.
Yolanda transferred to Richland College’s School of Learning Enrichment and Academic Development team during the Fall 2012 semester. The daughter of educators, Yolanda discovered her true calling in teaching and began her DCCCD service as a tutor in Eastfield College’s Upward Bound program. Since then, she has taught mathematics at all levels from middle school through university, remedial through honors, and in formats including lecture, lab, and online. Yolanda has taught at Eastfield and Austin Community College. She earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and physics from St. Mary’s University and a master’s in mathematics from Baylor University. Yolanda went on to study education and received a Master of Education degree from the University of Texas at Arlington.
Dwight has taught biology as an adjunct instructor at Eastfield College and began teaching chemistry at Richland College as an adjunct in the spring of 2012. He became full-time this fall. He taught as a special chemistry instructor for the U.S. Naval Academy while working on a doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Maryland. He was post-doctoral research fellow at the Hammon Center for Therapeutic Oncology Research at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, investigating the genetic basis for multiple drug resistance (MDR) and assisting in the design and functional analysis of several anti-cancer drugs, which reverses MDR. He served as science and medicine advisor for the American Heart Association; and senior science advisor and director of national research grants for Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
Robyn began teaching accounting courses for Richland College as an adjunct instructor in 2009. She completed both her master’s and bachelor’s degrees in accounting at Texas A&M University. Before Robyn joined Richland as a visiting scholar, she was a tax manager at Grant Thornton where she practiced corporate tax. She is also a certified public accountant in the state of Texas.
Jennifer completed a master’s degree from the University of North Texas in 2002 and began teaching at Richland College as an adjunct instructor in 2003. In 2009, she became an instructional specialist at Richland before accepting the position of visiting scholar in ceramics this fall. In addition to her teaching career, Jennifer has an active exhibition record and has partnered with many area museums to teach a variety of family and adult programs. Her artistic interests extend beyond the craft genre to include drawing, installation, printmaking, creative movement, and art history.
Ron has had a diverse professional career, from being an award-winning master scuba instructor to a travel wholesaler. He has also enjoyed a successful career in corporate training and development for organizations such as American Airlines, Volkswagen of America, Electronic Data Systems (EDS), and Cingular Wireless, and AT&T. Just before coming to Richland, he was the senior vice president for a company in Fort Worth. As a recognized expert on gender differences and issues, he wrote the popular selling book “Secrets From Inside The Clubhouse: What Men REALLY Think About Women.” Ron is also a very proud member of the very first graduating class at Richland College and taught as an adjunct faculty member for 17 years before becoming full time in the School of Learning Enrichment and Academic Development.
Kendra graduated with a doctorate in American studies from Purdue University in August 2012. Since 2003, Kendra has taught a variety of English and women’s studies courses at multiple institutions including Wichita State University, Hutchinson Community College, Purdue University, and Ivy Tech Community College. Her research areas include 20th century American literature, gender studies, dance studies, and popular culture. A selection from her dissertation, “‘Jubilant Spirits of Freedom’: Representations of the Lindy Hop in Literature and Film from the Swing Era to the Swing Revival” was published last fall in the Journal of Pan African Studies. Besides her scholarly interest in the Lindy Hop, Kendra is also an avid swing dancer.
Amy joined the developmental writing faculty as a Visiting Scholar for the School of Learning Enrichment and Academic Development. She earned a master’s degree in English with a minor in psychology from Stephen F. Austin State University, a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Texas at Dallas and an associate degree from Richland College. Amy has taught in both traditional and online settings and her teaching career has encompassed several areas including composition, American literature, technical writing, introduction to psychology, ESOL and advanced composition. Since 2008, she has co-sponsored the Connections Club and from 2009-2011, she has co-facilitated Leadership Richland.
Rod has been an adjunct instructor at Richland for 16 years, teaching computer programming, systems analysis and design, and computer networking before joining the staff as a program administrator and technology instructor in 2010. He became a Visiting Scholar in 2011. Rod earned an master’s degree from Baylor University, a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Baylor University and has been named a Certified Information Systems Security Professional since 2004. He has extensive experience in information technology having held positions in project management, programming and support.
Andy Long is a professional actor and director represented by the Kim Dawson Agency. Andy has appeared in more than 100 commercials and has directed many professional productions including three national tours. He worked for 15 years as an artist in residence at Dallas Children’s Theatre. He is the former associate director of the Baker Idea Institute, a non-profit organization specializing in the collaboration of business, art and academia, and the former director of acting for Lon Morris College.
Rolanda joins Richland College as full-time government faculty in the School of Learning Enrichment and Academic Development. She holds a juris doctorate from the University of Maryland School of Law, a master’s of public management from the University of Maryland School of Public Affairs and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Prairie View A&M University. She has taught government as an adjunct at Cedar Valley College as well as criminal justice courses at another Dallas-area college. Rolanda is currently pursuing a doctorate in public affairs at the University of Texas at Dallas.
Sherry joined the DCCCD in 1991 as French and speech faculty at Mountain View. From 2006-2011, she served as Richland’s executive dean for the School of Humanities, Fine and Performing Arts. This fall, Sherry joined Richland’s full-time speech faculty. Sherry holds a doctorate from The University Of Texas at Austin and two master’s degrees from The University of Texas system. Sherry has done extensive professional development work in France, Mexico, the Middle East and China.
Jennifer began teaching speech courses for Richland as an adjunct instructor in 2008. She completed both her master’s and bachelor’s degrees in communication studies at the University of North Texas. Her master’s degree focused specifically on interpersonal and organizational communication. Jennifer has taught in a traditional as well an online class setting.
Liem is a Visiting Scholar for the School of Engineering, Business and Technology. She has been teaching computer science courses at Richland College and the Art Institute of Dallas for three years. She’s also had eight years of experience teaching at the high-school level.
Tim received a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of Southern California. He attended SMU, where he received a master’s degree in anthropology/conservation archeology. Tim began teaching at Richland and returned to graduate studies in sociology at North Texas State (now the University of North Texas). He obtained his doctorate from The University of Texas at Arlington in the newly established transatlantic history program.
Adriana earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in computer science from the University of Bucharest, Romania and a doctorate in computer science from the University of Texas at Dallas. She has more than three years of teaching experience that includes both undergraduate and graduate-level classes in computer science. Adriana joined Richland College in August 2009 where she has been teaching a variety of classes including introduction to computing, introduction to computer science and programming and business computer applications.
Patrick was an adjunct faculty member teaching government at Richland College for six years before accepting a position as a Visiting Scholar in the Fall of 2011. After earning a Master of Arts in Political Economy at the University of Texas at Dallas, he held executive positions in the non-profit sector, spent two years as a land use and zoning consultant and spent five years as district director for a north Texas member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Patrick also spent 11 years working at Recreational Equipment, Inc. where he served as director of sales and product training.
Clive was born in Butler, Pennsylvania, and divided his childhood between there and Erding, Germany. After graduate school he spent over 30 years in the business sector as a buyer, safari outfitter, magazine editor and creative director. He left his job with Mobil Oil Corporation’s Venezuelan drilling operation in 1998 to complete his doctorate and joined Richland’s faculty as an adjunct in 2003. He now joins Richland as a Visiting Scholar beginning this fall.
Erica is the lead faculty member for journalism and the coordinator for the Richland College Student Media Group. She holds a Master of Science degree in public relations from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication at Syracuse University. She teaches a variety of classes, including public relations, advertising, radio/TV production and news gathering and writing.
Dear Richland College Community,
Please join me in officially welcoming our new group of visiting scholars and faculty who have joined us this year. These faculty featured in the VPTL Commons were selected through a competitive national search process. Several of them served as adjunct faculty here at Richland College. You will agree from their bios that they are a qualified, talented group of scholars and master teachers who are already adding so much to help advance Richland College’s vision of being the best place we can be to learn, teach, and build sustainable local and world community. They join the ranks of current Richland College faculty who strive for excellence and demonstrate continuous dedication to student centered values, learning, and personal growth. We embrace our new colleagues as part of our outstanding community of faculty!
Lesley Benton has been an adjunct, teaching biology, at Richland College for the past seven years. She earned a degree in Biochemistry/Immunology at Strathclyde University in Scotland. She earned her doctorate in Immunology in the department of medicine at Cambridge University in England which focused on the immunological aspects of alcoholic liver disease. After completing her degree, Benton held a three-year post-doctoral position at Imperial College London studying immunological aspects of Halothane and NSAID induced liver disease. When her husband’s job relocated to Singapore, Benton held a lectureship on immunology at Ngee Ann Polytechnic position for three years. During this time she taught immunology, physiology and biomedical sciences. Benton has traveled extensively and enjoys learning about and visiting many different Asian countries. She joined the Richland College staff after relocating to Texas.
Lamrot Bekele joined the Dallas County Community College District in December of 2003. For the past seven years, she worked as an accountant, a senior accountant, a college finance manager and an IT auditor at the District Service Center and Mountain View College. She also taught accounting courses as an adjunct faculty. Before joining the DCCCD, she worked in accounting departments of a financial institution and the retail industry for 11 years. Her teaching experience includes both undergraduate and graduate-level accounting courses in face-to-face and online settings. Bekele earned an associate degree in accounting from the Addis Ababa Commercial College, a bachelor’s degree in economics from the Addis Ababa University, and a Master of Science degree in Accounting and Information Management from the University of Texas at Dallas. She is a Certified Public Accountant in the state of Texas and also a Certified Fraud Examiner.
Paul Bonneau joins the Richland College staff as a Visiting Scholar teaching music theory, musicianship and composition. He earned his bachelor’s, master’s, and Doctorate of Music degrees in composition from the University of North Texas where he teaches summer courses in composition as an adjunct faculty member. He has been music director for the Flower Mound Symphony Orchestra since 1996 and enjoys a career equally divided between conducting and composing. His compositions include works for film, television, dance, orchestra and all manner of acoustic ensembles and solos. They have been performed internationally and in the U.S. including at Carnegie Hall and the Juilliard School. He also has taught at Tarleton State University and was orchestra founder and director for Trietsch Memorial United Methodist Church from 1999-2010. He plays solo jazz piano; bass in his jazz trio named Prescription Jazz, and baroque harpsichord. Bonneau was a student at Richland College from 1981-1985. He enjoys reading, visiting with friends, practicing yoga and rock climbing.
Jacqueline Bryant completed her doctorate in English at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. For 12 years, she taught a wide range of courses and served in an administrative capacity in the English department at Chicago State University. Her research interests include the works of late 19th and early 20th-century Black Women Writers. Bryant’s works appear in “Journal of Black Studies,” “College Language Association Journal,” and “WarpLand: A Journal of Black Literature and Ideas.” Other works include “The Foremother Figure in Early Black Women’s Literature,” “Gwendolyn Brooks’ Maud Martha: A Critical Collection,” Editor, and Gwendolyn Brooks and Working Writers, Editor. Most recently Bryant contributed four entries to the “Encyclopedia of Identity.” She also served as the associate editor of the language and literature section of the (Encyclopedia of Identity.)
Kelly Dreier joined the developmental reading faculty as a visiting scholar for the School of Learning Enhancement and Academic Development at Richland College in the summer of 2010. She currently teaches developmental reading courses. Dreier earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Baylor University and holds a master’s degree in education from the University of North Texas. She began teaching as an elementary instructor in both the Pasadena and Irving Independent School Districts. Before joining Richland, Dreier worked as both an adjunct and faculty member in the Developmental Reading Department at North Lake College, where she received the President’s Award for Innovation. She has also taught master’s- level courses in adult education and training online for University of Phoenix. She attempts to engage students in relevant practices that connect with their life experiences and develops the tools to succeed, both academically and personally.
Patricia Ellens joined the Richland DMAT staff in the fall of 1996 as an adjunct instructor. She completed her undergraduate degree in secondary education at Calvin College and was certified to teach math, physics and chemistry at the high school level. She earned a master’s degree from Purdue University in applied mathematics and an MBA from Wayne State University. While completing her master’s degree at Purdue, she taught calculus and trigonometry classes for the university. After graduating from Purdue, Ellens worked for Ford Motor Company doing operations research and later for Ford Motor Credit Company as a finance and treasury analyst.
Vasant Gadre, originally from India, earned a master’s degree from the University of Delhi. He comes to Richland from Illinois where he taught spanish and the methodology of teaching foreign languages at the Monmouth College for five years. Prior to that, he was a faculty member at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and the University of Delhi. Gadre rose to be a full-time Professor at the JNU where, besides teaching, he supervised doctoral theses and dissertations. He served as chair of the Center of Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and Latin American Studies at the JNU for about 10 years and was also the dean of its School of Language, Literature and Culture Studies for two years. He spent several years studying in Spain on scholarships and fellowships, including the prestigious “Hispanista” a fellowship awarded by the Spanish government. His doctoral thesis, “Estructuras gramaticales de hindi y español,” was published by Spain’s Council for Scientific Research in 1996.
Gene Garrett joined the School of Mathematics, Science and Health Professions at Richland College as a chemistry instructor in fall 2010 after serving as an adjunct instructor for over seven years. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Texas at Austin and his doctorate degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, both in chemistry. Garrett brings over 27 years of laboratory experience to the classroom. He began his college career at Richland and is honored to serve as faculty.
Kory Goldammer joined the Richland College faculty as a Visiting Scholar in nanotechnology and Semiconductor Manufacturing in the fall of 2010. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Engineering Physics from Augustana College. He received his doctorate in physics from the University of Oklahoma, where he also received a Master of Science in Engineering Physics. Following his work at the University of Oklahoma, Goldammer worked for 12 years in the semiconductor industry, filling roles in companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500 corporations, and was in independent consultant to the semiconductor industry for two years. During that time, he worked with most of the largest semiconductor corporations in the world, but always had a desire to teach and have a more fulfilling career by giving back to society.
Jennifer Jones began working for Richland as a visiting scholar in the summer of 2010. She teaches psychology courses such as introduction to psychology, social psychology, and developmental psychology. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology at the University of Texas at Arlington in December 2004. Jones was accepted to the graduate program in experimental psychology at the University of Texas at Arlington. She received her Master of Science degree in Psychology in May 2008. She will receive her doctorate in experimental psychology in December of 2010. Her research focused on religiosity, death anxiety and support systems. She just began another master’s degree in professional counseling to become a licensed professional counselor. Jones has been teaching at the university and community college level for five years and has a genuine passion for teaching and helping other individuals.
Juan Carlos Martinez
Juan Carlos Martinez joined the Richland College faculty as a Visiting Scholar in the fall of 2010. Previously he has been an adjunct instructor for Richland College and Collin College. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics/Finance and a Master of Applied Economics from the University of Texas at Dallas. Martinez began his professional career with Merrill Lynch in 1990 and worked with the Wall Street firm until 1995. In 1995, he joined FlexVest Securities Group in Dallas and was there until 2002. In 2005, he joined Crescent Securities and worked there until the December of 2008. Martinez has a passion for teaching his students about economics and explaining the financial infrastructure that we all live in, so the students can be responsible consumers. His personal hobbies include financial economics, behavior economics and most importantly spending time with his wife Sandra and our family.
Dear Richland College Teaching Community,
I look forward to seeing you at the Fall 2009 Faculty Convocation to be held on Thursday, August 20 at 7:00 p.m. as we prepare to start a new semester of teaching, learning, and community building together. Please join me and your teaching colleagues in the student lounge located in El Paso Hall between 5:45 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. to register and enjoy light refreshments before moving into the Fannin Performance Hall for the main program at 7:00 p.m. A preliminary agenda for the program is attached.
The fall faculty convocation theme is Building Sustainable Local & World Community through Excellence in Student Success. As you begin preparing for your courses, I invite you to reflect on the vision of Richland College, which is to be the best place we can be to learn, teach, and build sustainable local and world community. With this vision in mind, I encourage you to continue to create a welcoming, engaging, and safe environment in which our students can thrive and learn — where whole people can collaborate to build the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that will lead to attainment of this vision.
Prerequisite to a sustainable community are three interrelated concepts known as the "triple bottom line" of sustainability: social equity and justice, economic viability, and environmental vitality. We need to keep in mind that any effort to build sustainable community must address all three of these elements. As you develop your syllabi and plan your learning agenda, consider how your particular discipline addresses each of these key sustainability components. Students should understand how your course engages them in helping Richland fulfill its vision. To assist you in incorporating a focus on sustainable community building in your courses, I have provided two attachments:
- Linking Soul to Role in Building Sustainable Local and World Community – the concentric circle diagram indicates how we develop whole people who foster a whole organization committed to whole communities, all of which contributes to a whole, healthy planet. Richland College’s Institutional Learning Outcomes – this set of outcomes, developed with input from over seven-hundred faculty, staff, students, and community members, is informed by the College’s Mission, Vision, and Values as well as the Essential Learning Outcomes for the New Global Century promoted by the Association of American Colleges & Universities.
- GREEENRichland Commons for Sustainable Community Building – this document explains how Richland College’s programs, locations, and partners work together to build sustainable local and world community.
I hope these documents and our Thursday evening program will help you engage your students in a successful semester of teaching, learning, and community building at Richland College and beyond. Thank you for your dedication to the future of our students, our community, and our planet.
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.