TCC Northwest Accolades

On December 5, the Student Retention NWISE Team hosted Gaming for Change, an online gaming tournament attended by about 70 students. The tournament was held using a combination of online gaming services as well as Discord, a chat application, and Challonge, an online tournament bracket system. The website promoting the event included information about TCC South’s gaming class. At the event itself the students heard from representatives from Texas Wesleyan University, who spoke about their eSports program as well as scholarship and career opportunities in this field. This is a terrific way to meet students where they are and engage them in content that not only excites them but connects their interests and passions to career opportunities.

Also in December, TCC Northwest had a float at the Eagle-Mountain Saginaw Rotary Club holiday parade. Participation in the parade was made possible through a collaboration between Student Development Services and Academic Affairs. This collaboration was spearheaded by Vesta Martinez, director of student development services, and included Fire Services coordinators David Lowe and Pat English as well as Instructional Associate from Visual and Performing Arts George Miller, who designed the float. Thanks also to Deb Gething who at the time served in TCC Northwest’s Community Education and Engagement office and was the current president of the EMS Rotary Club. Deb has since moved on to new life adventures in Florida!

On December 16, Alejandro Garza, assistant professor of spanish, was invited to give a virtual talk and workshop to the Tamayo Institute, Oaxaca Cultural Center. This cultural center invites international photographers who talk about different aspects of the art of photography. His talk was about the creative process and photography as a tool for cultural, global awareness and educational purposes. The talk is in Spanish and can be viewed on YouTube.

In the January/February 2021 issue of Gay Parent, Aubree Calvin, assistant professor of government, was asked by the magazine to share her thoughts on what 2021 LGBTQ family politics will look like. This is the second article she has written for the magazine, and her family is featured on the cover.

On January 8, President Zarina Blankenbaker was notified that TCC Northwest won the Fort Worth Beautiful Award for 2020-2021 from the Fort Worth Garden Club. This award is given annually to an organization or business that has made an outstanding contribution to the community through quality landscaping of its site and grounds. This award would not be possible without the dedication of TCC Northwest’s facilities team under the leadership of Facilities Manager Joe Gonzalez and Lead Groundskeeper Alma Castoreno. Our committed groundskeepers include Glenn Gregory, Raul Arriaga, Stanley Burris, Sergio Lopez, Billy Cockett and David Perez.

On January 13, the TCC Civic Engagement District Work Team, including Lou Davenport, Northwest’s own Coordinator for the Center for English Language Learning ESL & ESOL, was named a finalist for the Local category of the American Civic Collaboration Award, or “Civvys,” given out by the Bridge Alliance, Big Tent Nation, and the National Conference on Citizenship. This national is award dedicated to celebrating collaboration across divides to strengthen communities and empower citizens. The criteria for the award includes collaboration, impact and scalability, and work towards building a more diverse and equitable America. Lou Davenport is not only a member of the District Work Team, but has spearheaded the effort to bring this work to TCC Northwest and is now the chair of our campus-based Civic Engagement NWISE Team.

On February 1, the Kinesiology Department at TCC Northwest launched the Spring 2021 Fitness Challenge. This is a virtual version of their annual fitness challenge using the Tucan Fitness website. Faculty and staff who join are encouraged to log their walking, jogging and running sessions on the website. Their progress is displayed on a leaderboard as well as on a map, charting their progress along a predetermined route. So far, more than 20 faculty and staff have signed up and begun to log miles. This fitness challenge was organized by Sarah Matlock, learning lab manager.

On February 6, the Employee Professional, Career, and Leadership Development NWISE Team hosted a virtual half-day of professional development for adjuncts. The opening session featured a welcome from President Blankenbaker along with a presentation on how to utilize the CARE Team in a virtual environment by Leon Minor, director of student conduct and prevention education. The day also featured two breakout sessions. Allegra Davis Hanna, instructor of english at Connect and lead of the IILE LMS Implementation Team, facilitated a session on Canvas and Vanessa Wadlington, Coordinator of Supplemental Instruction, facilitated a session on how to use SI strategies in the virtual classroom. The event concluded with a reflection and debrief session led by Demesia Razo, director of workforce programs. This professional development opportunity was attended by more than 50 adjuncts representing every TCC campus as well as some faculty whose primary role is at a high school. 

From February, Rafael Perea and Jim McGregor from the Law Enforcement program at the Public Safety Training Center attended a one-month leadership program at the Institute for Law Enforcement Administration (ILEA). This is a competitive leadership program that aims to educate future law enforcement administrators in current and up-to-date practices of leadership techniques. This course is designed for first-line supervisors and middle-level management. It should be of interest to law enforcement agencies concerned with the professionalism of their management team. This is the only independent four-week school in the nation for police supervisors and recognizes the importance of supervision as a major management function in law enforcement. The curriculum focuses on the transition from “street policing” to management, especially the social and personal adjustments.

In mid-February, the facilities team worked tirelessly to address issues and maintain campus functionality during and after the severe winter storm. TCC Northwest was impacted in several ways – including multiple air handler coil breaks, burst pipes and water damage. Joe Gonzalez, and his entire team, including Jerry Inselman, David Carter, Stephen Thomas, Danny Aaron, Terrence Straughter and Paul St. John, took prompt action and demonstrated steadfast diligence during this extreme weather event. Their efforts in restoring our campus to 100 percent in the immediate aftermath of the storm is a splendid example of excellence and stewardship, two of TCC Northwest’s Employee Success Commitments.

On February 24, Mosaic Dance Project member Shakinah Robinson delivered a powerful performance in TCC’s celebration of Black history and culture: Celebrating Strides! Robinson performed in a solo screendance work titled Sistah created in collaboration between her, Kiera Amison, Instructor of Dance at TCC South, and Lacreacia Sanders, Associate Professor of Dance at TCC Northwest. Her performance can be viewed on YouTube.

On February 27, James Hobbs, instructor of geology and Greta Bowling, professor and department chair for life sciences, presented “Fostering a Culture of Environmental Awareness: Promoting Change Through Place-Based Learning” regarding the Marine Creek Land Scholar Program during UT Arlington’s College of Education’s Annual Research Day Symposium. This event at UT Arlington, where Hobbs is working on his PhD in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, is designed for graduate students to share their research with the university community. Hobbs’ portion of the presentation focused on the educational framework of the Land Scholars, such as involving Early College High School students in place-based STEM learning that emphasizes the interconnectedness of disciplines in solving complex social and environmental problems, while Bowling’s portion focused on some of the program specifics such as the hands-on, inquiry-based activities used throughout the program as well as introducing the students to the outdoors as a “classroom.” They are working to adapt this presentation for TCC’s Center for Teaching and Learning 2021 Summit for Promising Practices and Innovation as well as other future conferences and events.

On March 10, Carroll Clayton Savant’s upcoming book, Horror in the Age of Steam, an offshoot of his British Literature II and Humanities 1315 courses, was published by Routledge. From the official synopsis, “This book is a study of how authors Elizabeth Gaskell, Emily Brontë and Anne Brontë turned to horrifying representations of everyday reality to illustrate the psychological-traumatic terrors of an age of transition.”

In the March issue of the Council on Legal Education Opportunity (CLEO) JD Report, Julie Lantrip contributed the article, “Your Socially Distant but Not Forgotten Pre-Law Advisor.” Lantrip’s article provides advice for pre-law students on how to use the year of the pandemic to continue preparing for law school without interruption, utilizing their pre-law advisor as a resource. The article can be accessed via The CLEO JD Report’s website.

On March 31, the Northwest Advising & Counseling Center hosted the Third Annual Counselor Symposium. This virtual symposium invited ISD counselors, principals and administrators from area middle, intermediate, junior high and high schools to learn more about TCC program offerings and student support services. More than 70 attendees joined and left better equipped and supported in their efforts to continue to connect their students with Tarrant County College.