Northwest Campus Kicks Off Hispanic Heritage Month

Mariachi band performs

The Northside High School Mariachi Band performs at NW Campus’ Hispanic Heritage Month Kickoff.

Hispanic Heritage Month may be winding down, but the memories of food, fun, and fandangos still linger. We hope you had a chance to attend one of the Hispanic Heritage Month events on your campus, or perhaps you were able take in an art exhibit, sit in on a seminar or hear a guest speaker to learn more about Hispanic culture.

Northwest Campus opened their events in September with a Hispanic Heritage Month Kickoff, featuring live music from the Northside High School Mariachi Band and free food for those who attended. We received a video of the event from Northwest Campus Media Manager and all-around audio/visual guru Chip Cosgrove. Check out the video on our TCC Trailblazers YouTube channel to see if you can spot yourself there, or to see what you missed so you can make plans for next year.

Thumbnail for NW Hispanic Heritage month video

Click image to see video.

TCC Hosts Kickoff for FWISD Nutrition Program

Chancellor at Food for Thought Kickoff

Pictured from left are Oncor Vice President of Fort Worth Customer Operations Mike Guyton, TCC Chancellor Erma Johnson Hadley, TCC Board Trustee Gwen Morrison, FWISD Board Trustee Ann Sutherland, TCC Vice President for Student Development Services Adrian Rodriguez, and Fort Worth City Councilmember Dennis Shingleton.

Trinity River Campus recently hosted the kickoff for a new program that will test healthier lunch options for Fort Worth Independent School District students, and our own TCC Chancellor Erma Johnson Hadley was on hand to offer them encouragement and to stress the importance of a healthy lifestyle. De Zevala Elementary School was chosen as the pilot school for Food for Thought, a collaborative effort between the City of Fort Worth, the Steer Fort Worth Education Task Force, Fort Worth ISD and Fit Worth Fitness Center to address nutritional issues among young people.

The 16-week program, which will begin during the 2013 spring semester, will offer a healthier school lunch menu, nutritional education and a food-tasting club. Speaking of tasting, students, parents, teachers, school administrators and business and community leaders were treated to free samples from the new menu, as well as cooking demonstrations and fitness activities. The results of this pilot program will help determine if Food for Thought will be implemented district-wide.

Videos Honor Chancellor’s Award Winners

As you may have seen in the news lately, several members of TCC’s faculty and staff were recognized during the annual Chancellor’s Employee Appreciation Breakfast for their outstanding contributions to TCC and the community. In addition to receiving awards at the breakfast, they were also honored through video commentaries offered by campus presidents, supervisors and colleagues. [Read more…]

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month at TCC

Ollimpaxqui Ballet Folklórico

Ollimpaxqui Ballet Folklórico teaches through the universal language of dance.

Your college years offer a unique opportunity to meet new people, experience new things and broaden your understanding of the world. TCC is no exception, being a melting pot of ideas, cultures and personalities.

In fact, President Barack Obama proclaimed this week National Hispanic-Serving Institutions Week.  National HSI Week serves as a time to honor the HSIs and their efforts to address the higher educational needs of Hispanic students.

Expand your horizons and help us celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month through October 15 by attending an event, taking in a seminar, entering a contest, hearing a guest speaker or even watching a performance by Ollimpaxqui Ballet Folklórico on Southeast Campus. By the way, if you have trouble pronouncing “Ollimpaxqui”, then that could be a hint that it’s time to brush up on your knowledge of Hispanic heritage. See a PDF of some of our planned events.

Editor’s Note: The information about National Hispanic-Serving Institutions Week was added September 20.






TCC Graduates Share a High-Tech Commencement

TCC commencement 2012

A smartphone is also handy for straightening your cap.

Not only did this year’s commencement feature all of the traditional “Pomp and Circumstance,” but it was also full of Tweets, live streaming, status updates and picture uploads, as the ceremony went high-tech.

The scene outside of the  Tarrant County Convention Center was typical — friends and family posing for pictures; flowers and balloons being given as congratulatory gifts; kids squirming in their dress clothes.  Once inside, only graduates were allowed in the staging area, which caused many of them to turn to their smartphones to see if their family found good seats, or to advise their friends where to park.

Smartphone at commencement

Graduates were encouraged to share their real-time pictures and comments.

With the pressure of arriving on time and checking in behind them, the graduates found themselves with a little time to kill before the ceremony. So they also used their cell phones to comment on the event, take pictures of fellow graduates, and share them with the outside world.

This year, TCC jumped into the picture-sharing frenzy by offering everyone at the ceremony the opportunity to email their behind-the-scenes shots to TCC’s Flickr Photostream and to post their comments about the ceremony on TCC’s Facebook Page.

TCC Graduate John Humphrey

John Humphrey’s family in England watched him graduate via live streaming.

Graduates were also invited to follow TCC’s Twitter feed  and add their own comments throughout the ceremony. Tweets included bits of advice gleaned from Chancellor Erma Johnson Hadley’s speech; friends issuing congratulations; and inspiring words from commencement speaker Danielle Miles, who was also graduating that night.

Those who were unable to attend the ceremony in person could see live video streaming of the commencement online — a TCC first. TCC graduate John Humphrey, who happens to be an English major from England, said he was grateful that his family back home was able to see him graduate.

Web Team at TCC commencement

The TCC web team manages the live social-media feeds during commencement.

So during the long-held graduation tradition of the past, we were able to use the tools of today to watch our graduates step into the future. We can only imagine what next year will look like.

Storify screen capture

Click image to see a compilation of updates and pictures on

Tarrant County College Becomes a National TV Star

Surgical Technology Students

Surgical Technology students learn about surgical instruments with a little help from a "volunteer."

Set your alarm clock, or better yet, stay up all night to catch Trinity River East Campus Health Professions featured on The Profiles Series at 6 a.m. CST, Monday, May 21 on The Discovery Channel. [Read more…]

Something to Chalk About

Chalk About It Art Competition

Southeast Campus President Bill Coppola visits with chalk-covered TCC student Serena DeLeon.

Some Tibetan monks spend hours creating works of sand art, only to destroy them moments after they’re finished to remind us that everything in the universe is constantly changing. Artists at Southeast Campus recently spent the day creating chalk art to remind us that it’s still fun to draw on the sidewalk. [Read more…]

Northwest Campus Gets Creative with Earth Day

Earth Day

Northwest Campus students release seed-filled biodegradable balloons into the air.

Although NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope has identified more than 2,300 potential planet candidates outside of our solar system, this earth is still the only place we know of that sustains life. So we might as well take care of it — at least until April 4, 2063, when, according to some Star Trek fans, Zefram Cochrane makes the world’s first successful warp-drive flight. Besides, most of us have grown attached to this place, and we wouldn’t leave, even if we had the chance.

In observance of Earth Day, biology students at Northwest Campus banded together to offer green-living tips, fun activities and free hot dogs to their fellow earthlings. Participants were invited to make crafts, including pine-cone birdfeeders, customized reusable grocery bags, and painted Earth Day rocks. TCC student Laura Dang chose to paint a hippo on her rock because the animal has become a symbol for her family.

“They don’t get enough love,” she said. “They need love, too.” If you don’t count the mosquito, then the hippopotamus could be considered the deadliest animal on the planet. So maybe the hippo is worthy of more respect. However, I didn’t spot anyone painting pictures of mosquitoes on the rocks.

Earth Day video thumbnail

Click image to see video.

Other students demonstrated the free, clean power of the sun by constructing solar ovens and baking cookies with them. Northwest Campus student Mark Smith told me that a properly constructed solar oven can cook an entire roast in about five hours. I plan on doing my part to save the earth by eating cookie dough straight from the container and lying in the sun.

Northwest Campus President Elva LeBlanc was on hand to help plant a tree, and she also participated in a unique guerilla-gardening technique when the crowd released biodegradable balloons filled with helium and wildflower seeds. Biology instructor Miranda Newberry told me she went to great lengths to choose the environmentally friendly balloons, which were launched without strings.

As the balloons were whisked aloft by the wind, many walked away wondering where the seeds might take root — perhaps in an abandoned parking lot, or on a rolling hillside, or maybe even Saginaw. Others walked away remembering some important lessons — like consume less, re-use more and fear the mighty hippo.

See more Earth Day Festival pictures below.

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International Fest Celebrates Cultural Diversity

International Fest

A dragon snacks on an unsuspecting attendee at Northeast Campus’ International Fest.

Forget Paris, London, New York, and Tokyo. The latest hub for international culture is located right on the border of Hurst and North Richland Hills. And I’m not talking about the NRH2O Family Water Park, although its Purplepalooza water slide attracts people from every walk of life.

Northeast Campus was the site for this international meeting of minds, foods, and dance steps. Booths featuring facts, photos, and flavors from around the world lined the sidewalks by the giant chessboard outside of the Student Center, and the main stage set up nearby featured a steady stream of artists, singers, and dancers, as well as a fashion show featuring traditional clothing representing more than a dozen countries.

Audience participation was encouraged after the performers presented their art, and many of the spectators were invited to learn salsa steps or Bollywood choreography. The Trinity High School Polynesian Dance Team even held an impromptu hula contest.  Members of the J.K. Wong Kung Fu Tai Chi Academy displayed their prowess at Shaolin Kung Fu, including sword and spear demonstrations. However, no one from the audience was invited to try out the swords, for obvious liability reasons.

Festival video

Click image to see video.

The martial artists also treated spectators to a traditional Chinese drum performance, featuring a playful dragon that wandered the festival grounds and interacted with attendees, many of whom were understandably startled when they turned around to discover that a dragon had sneaked up behind them.

The sunny afternoon, packed with music, dancing and laughter, served as a gentle reminder that it’s our similarities that bring us together, and it’s our differences that make it fun.

See more images from the International Fest here.

Campus Display Mystery Solved

Career Coach sign

It turns out the mysterious signs on all of the campuses were paving the way for Career Coach.

Those cryptic displays that popped up on every campus right after spring break have finally been explained. They were promoting TCC’s launch of Career Coach, a Web-based tool designed to help you get moving career-wise.

While some of you might be disappointed that the displays were not foretelling the arrival of a TCC sports team or a new TV show starring a ventriloquist and his wacky dummy friend, at least we can all rest assured that our mascot Toro was not involved in any foul play, as some of the grainy images posted of him on TCC’s Facebook page may have hinted.

Apparently, Toro was busy updating these displays on a regular basis, spray-painting the original “Dead-End Job” posters with stenciled coach icons and “Coming Soon” messages every few days to generate interest for the official launch of Career Coach.

Blow the Whistle on that Dead-End Job

If you’ve ever asked questions like, “How do I become a dental hygienist?” or “How much do welders make?” or “Are there any ventriloquist jobs around here?” then Career Coach can guide you through the steps with current data about local job trends, wages, openings, and the training or education required to get one of those jobs.

You can begin your search on Career Coach in one of two ways. You can enter a specific job title that interests you, and Career Coach will show you actual local data for earnings, employment trends, required education and training, and even real job openings within a 25-mile radius.

Or you can enter the name of a field of study you’d like to pursue, and Career Coach will show you the programs TCC offers in that area, as well as the kinds of jobs and paychecks you can expect to get with that particular degree or certificate.

Career Coach is Your Motivational Trainer

If you’re still having trouble deciding what you want to be when you grow up, Career Coach is a great place to start. Or, if you know what you’d like to do, but you just don’t know how to get there, Career Coach can map it out, step by step. But we’re just scratching the surface of Career Coach. Check it out for yourself.

If you’d like to schedule a live demonstration for your class or organization, please follow this link to the Career Coach Demonstration Request form, and a TCC career counselor can show your group how to get the most out of Career Coach.