Community Invited to Reception Introducing New TCC Northwest President

TCC Northwest President . Zarina Blankenbaker, Ph.D.FORT WORTH, Texas (July 13, 2017)
Tarrant County College Northwest will host a special reception to introduce the campus’s new president, Zarina Blankenbaker, Ph.D., to the community. Area business leaders, education partners and others are invited to attend.
Blankenbaker has more than two decades of higher education experience, serving as a faculty member, advisor, financial counselor and administrator. She most recently served as executive vice president of academic affairs and student success at Richland College in Dallas, providing leadership for more than 20,000 students.
“Dr. Blankenbaker has a strong track record of success, meeting students where they are and giving them the resources and support to reach their goals,” said Eugene V. Giovannini, TCC Chancellor. “This is a wonderful opportunity for members of the community to meet Dr. Blankenbaker.”
Blankenbaker replaced Elva LeBlanc, Ph.D., who became the District’s first executive vice chancellor and provost this summer.
Interested community members may RSVP to
Monday, July 17
5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
TCC Northwest Campus
Michael Saenz Conference Center
WACB 1123
4801 Marine Creek Pkwy.
Fort Worth, TX 76179

TCC Southeast Chef Wins Top Pastry Honor

Alison Hodges FORT WORTH, Texas (July 13, 2017) – Alison Hodges, Tarrant County College Southeast culinary instructor, recently won Pastry Chef of the Year at the Texas Chefs Association meeting in Dallas. Hodges, a contender for the state recognition, will receive her plaque at the association’s August convention in Corpus Christi.
Hodges began her culinary career at the Hyatt Regency as an apprentice in the Dallas Chapter of American Culinary Federation in January 1990. In 1992, she was named the chapter’s Apprentice of the Year. That same year, Hodges earned an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in Food and Hospitality Services from Dallas County Community College’s El Centro College. She has since earned her AAS in Culinary Arts and her AAS in Bakery and Pastry, also from El Centro.
Alison Hodges decorates cakeAfter completing her apprenticeship, she remained at the Hyatt for another seven years where she specialized in pastries. Hodges said she was drawn to pastry work because of its “artistry and craftsmanship.”
“I enjoy detail work,” she said, adding, “Also, I simply like the way sweets taste!”
Hodges took a purchasing job at a catering and vending company in 2000 because she started to develop carpel tunnel in her wrists. She soon realized she missed the art of pastry, so when she was offered an adjunct teaching position at her alma mater, El Centro College, she took it. She joined TCC’s Culinary Arts program as a member of the adjunct faculty in 2006, teaching both the Fundamentals of Baking and the Advanced Pastry classes.
In the spring 2014, she became full time faculty at TCC Southeast and began teaching the Dual Credit Purchasing and Dining Room classes. Additionally, she has taught cake decorating as part of Community & Industry Education curriculum at TCC’s South Campus.
Hodges has been an active member of both the ACF and the Texas Chefs Association (TCA) since 1990. She has competed in numerous ACF-sanctioned competitions and won a number of medals — four gold, one silver and one bronze, as well as several medals through the TCA. Hodges joined the World Master Chefs Association in 1996 and participated on that year’s Golden Platter Banqueting Competition team as a member of its pastry team that brought home the Golden Platter from Limerick, Ireland.

CBS 11 Story Features Emergency and Crisis Preparedness Seminar at TCC

CBS 11 recently aired a story highlighting training that emergency and crisis preparedness professions received at an interactive seminar hosted by emergency preparedness experts with Tarrant County College and Alertus Technologies, featuring the Arlington Police Department. Reporter Brittany Jeffers provided details.
Watch the CBS 11 story.

TCC Connects Students, Community to Area Job Opportunities with Fall Career Fairs

  • Wednesday, Sept. 21; 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
    Southeast Campus (2100 Southeast Pkwy., Arlington)

  • Wednesday, Sept. 28; 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
    Northwest Campus (4801 Marine Creek Pkwy., Fort Worth)

  • Wednesday, Sept. 28; 1:30 – 4 p.m.
    South Campus (5301 Campus Dr., Fort Worth)

  • Wednesday, Oct. 5; 9 a.m. – noon
    Trinity River Campus (300 Trinity Campus Circle, Fort Worth)

  • Wednesday, Oct. 26; 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
    Northeast Campus (828 W. Harwood Rd., Hurst)

  •  Thursday, Nov. 17; 2:30-5:30 p.m.
    Erma C. Johnson Hadley Northwest Center of Excellence for Aviation, Transportation & Logistics at Alliance Airport (2301 Horizon Dr., Fort Worth)

FORT WORTH, Texas (September 21, 2016) – Tarrant County College is partnering with local employers to present career fairs at campuses throughout the area this fall. Events are free and open to the community.
Southeast Campus (2100 Southeast Pkwy., Arlington) will host a job fair Wednesday, Sept. 21, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The fair will take place in the Commons, in the main hallway near the information desk, and feature companies offering full-time, part-time, and temporary positions. For more information, contact Southeast Campus Career Services at 817-515-3592.
The following week, Northwest Campus (4801 Marine Creek Pkwy., Fort Worth) invites job seekers to an Employers on Campus event. Participating companies include Clayton Child Care Inc., Dillard’s, FedEx Ground, Lineage Logistics, Randstad temporary staffing and permanent placement service, Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office, UPS and Northwest YMCA. The fair will take place Wednesday, Sept. 28, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., in the WSTU hallway. Northwest Campus Career Services encourages job seekers to bring resumes and dress professionally. Employers have full-time and part-time positions available. For additional details, contact Northwest Campus Career Services at 817-515-7785.
A job fair focused on part-time and seasonal positions is set for Wednesday, Sept. 28, at South Campus (5301 Campus Dr., Fort Worth). The event will take place 1:30 to 4 p.m. in the SSTU dining hall and connect job seekers to 18 companies, including Six Flags Over Texas and GM Financial. Attendees should dress professionally and have copies of their résumé. Contact South Campus Career Services at 817-515-4551 with questions.
Career events continue next month at Trinity River Campus (300 Trinity Campus Circle, Fort Worth). On Wednesday, Oct. 5, from 9 a.m. to noon, check out the job fair along the campus’s Main Street hallway. The event allows prospective applicants to meet with employers in an informal setting and learn about job and internship opportunities. Those not ready to apply can network with recruiters and find out about requirements and upcoming openings. More information is available through Trinity River Career Services at 817-515-0870.
Fall Fest at Northeast Campus (828 W. Harwood Rd., Hurst) will include a casual, outdoor recruitment fair. The event will take place 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 26, on the lawn near the NSTU Building. Approximately 10 employers and four branches of the military will be on hand. For more information, contact Northeast Campus Career Services at 817-515-6692.
Individuals pursuing in a career in the fields of aviation, transportation and logistics are invited to attend a specialty job fair 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17. The Erma C. Johnson Hadley Northwest Center of Excellence for Aviation, Transportation and Logistics at Alliance Airport (2301 Horizon Dr., Fort Worth) expects up to two dozen employers, with full-time, part-time and seasonal positions available. Aviation, transportation and logistics employers are invited to participate
The event will take place in Room 1201 at the Hadley Center of Excellence; organizers encourage job seekers to dress professionally and bring copies of their résumé. Need résumé help? Northwest Campus Career Services will hold a résumé writing workshop before the job fair. It is set for 3 to 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 10, at the Hadley Center of Excellence’s Learning Resource Center (OWTL 1104). The workshop is open to all. Employers and job seekers may contact Carmen Wise with the Hadley Center of Excellence at 817-515-7267 or for more information.

What’s stopping you? Northeast Campus Department Chair recovers from life-threatening accident with determination, humor

Ken Moak has spent the better part of a year recovering from an accident that shattered his leg, cracked his vertebrae and ribs, lacerated his kidney, bruised his heart, knocked out his teeth and broke his pelvis, jaw, upper palate, sinuses, nose and eye orbit. But he calls himself lucky.
“As lucky as you can be under the circumstances,” explained Moak, associate professor and department chair of Computer Science & Information Technology at Tarrant County College’s Northeast Campus. “Most of the injuries are mendable. I didn’t suffer any permanent spine damage or lose any internal organs.”
The story began just after midnight on Nov. 20, 2015. Moak was headed to work on his farmhouse east of Waco after a fire damaged the home. As he drove down Interstate 35 in Burleson, a signal truck flashed, indicating the closure of the left lane. Moak says a pickup came up fast and hit the signal truck from behind—then spun across traffic before hitting the guardrail.
Moak pulled over and called 911. A former scuba instructor, he had gone through TCC’s Emergency Medical Technician Program as a precaution. Though his certification was not active, Moak exited his car to see if he could provide any assistance until first responders arrived. Both drivers were okay, but Moak knew it was a dangerous situation—the pickup was partially in the roadway and obscured by darkness. Moak made his way toward the guardrail so he could get out of harm’s way.
He never had the chance to get there.
A car crashed into the wrecked pickup, sending it flying into Moak. The impact knocked him out of his shoes and threw him 30 feet.
“I remember getting hit,” said Moak. “The amount of force was amazing. Then I blacked out.”
Help was already on the way. Without knowing it, Moak had summoned his own ambulance when he reported the original accident.
He regained consciousness as medics transported him to Fort Worth’s John Peter Smith Hospital, the nearest Level I trauma center. He had more than 10 breaks in his leg alone, and the bone protruded through the skin. Moak’s heart hit his ribs with such intensity that it was like he’d experienced a heart attack. He compares his facial injuries to being attacked with a baseball bat.
“If I had been three inches shorter, I would have been brain dead,” Moak noted.
Before going into his first surgery, Moak was able to call his family—which includes his brother, Terry Moak, a police lieutenant at Northeast Campus and mother Vickey Moak, a Northeast Campus retiree. Relatives and friends, including dozens of colleagues, were a constant presence at his hospital bedside. “That made it bearable,” said Moak. “Nearly 70 people came to see me. If you’d asked me before this, I would have guessed I’d have eight to 10 visitors.”
Betty Dalton, assistant professor of Computer Science and Information Technology, was among those who showed support. “It was obvious that Ken had come close to death,” Dalton reflected. “But even on that first afternoon after the accident, he was ready to move forward.”
When Dalton discovered that Moak’s phone had been lost in the chaos, she replaced it so he could communicate with friends and family. That phone also gave Moak the first real glimpse of his injuries. After observing there were no mirrors in his room, he took a selfie and discovered almost 30 pounds of swelling. Friends went from telling him he looked good to comparing him to the Michelin Man. Moak appreciated the laughs.
“Whenever I visited him, Ken was always frank and displayed a spirit to persevere—and his improvement was generally ahead of predictions,” noted Dalton.
As Moak embarked on recovery, so did his department. Dean Charlene Cole called together his colleagues and divided tasks. Everyone pitched in, with finals approaching and staffing for spring classes a priority.
“We work through challenges together,” said Dalton. “We share the load not only for academic efforts but also when facing personal trials.”
After three weeks at John Peter Smith and two weeks at a rehabilitation hospital, Moak finally went home. He still had a lot of healing to do, unable to return to work until the spring semester ended—nearly six months after the accident.
“Ken has shown tremendous courage and work ethic,” said Allen Goben, president of Northeast Campus. “He came back to work as soon as he was cleared by his doctors, diving right back in and tackling things with vigor while juggling his follow-up recovery.”
While recuperating, Moak learned policies and procedures implemented by the vice president for academic affairs who had come on board during his leave. But he wasn’t just catching up; Moak remained committed to growing and developing the department. Following his return, he led TCC in its efforts to become the first public academic institution in Texas approved to offer the Red Hat Certified System Administrator program—providing a new pathway to a well-paying IT career. Moak also updated department systems, enhanced equipment and is working toward a partnership with the International Council of E-Commerce Consultants.
To strengthen his leg, Moak walks the campus more, going to someone’s office instead of making a phone call, for example. While some words remain hard to enunciate, his physical recovery should be complete by January. Friends say Moak’s determination to get better never faltered.
“Yes, there were setbacks along the way,” said Dalton. “Ken just finds a way to get things done.”
Moak didn’t see an alternative. “My physical therapist told me that they have to beg most people to get out of bed. But I can’t imagine giving up. There’s nothing on daytime TV anyway,” he joked.
That sense of humor was instrumental in his recuperation. During one particularly grueling session, Moak told his physical therapist that he would grit his teeth if he had any.
“A lot of what happens is outside our control,” remarked Moak. “You just have to get up and get back after it.”
Support from the TCC community also was restorative.
“I was amazed at the number of people who came to see my brother,” said Lt. Terry Moak. “People coming to the hospital to see Ken would ask for his room number, and the attendant wouldn’t even have to look it up. TCC is like having extended family, and it truly is a great place to have a career.”
For Ken Moak, things are pretty much back as they should be. He is collaborating with colleagues and educating the next generation of IT specialists. In a way, he’s helping train future first responders too. His injuries are now a case study in TCC’s Emergency Medical Services’ Trauma Management class.
Ken Moak’s story is the latest in a series celebrating members of the TCC community who don’t let challenges stop them. Follow these links to read previous features: Salma Alvarez, Celia Mwakutuya, Jessica Caudle

New TCC Chancellor Eugene Giovannini Participates in Honoring Faculty and Staff at Annual Chancellor’s Employee Appreciation Day

TCC Chancellor Giovannini and Board President Louise Appleman

TCC Chancellor Giovannini and Board President Louise Appleman

Tarrant County College faculty and staff gained insight into new TCC Chancellor Eugene V. Giovannini when TCC Board of Trustee President Louise Appleman posed questions ranging from his childhood heroes to his current priorities during an “armchair chat”-style interview.

Each year, TCC hosts the Chancellor’s Employee Appreciate Day to honor faculty and staff for their dedication and commitment to TCC’s students and to the College’s institutional excellence. The 2016 Chancellor’s Award for Exemplary Teacher winners by campus are Northeast Campus Chemistry Professor Susan Patrick, Ph.D.; Northwest Campus English Instructor Wendi Pierce; South Construction Assistant Professor Orlando Bagcal, Ph.D.; Southeast Campus Developmental ESOL Instructor Mary Cinatl and Trinity River Campus Biology Assistant Professor Sophia Garcia, Ph.D.
Recipients of this year’s Chancellor’s Employee Excellence Awards are Gary Preather, associate vice chancellor for Real Estate and Facilities, for Access and Diversity; TCC Career Services Coordinators and Foundation Specialist for Forward Thinking; South Campus Starpoint Champions Team for Innovation and Creativity; Southeast Campus Accounting Associate Professor Karen Haun, Ph.D., for Service to Community; and, Paul Benero, South Campus Art associate professor, for Student Success.
Other nominees for Exemplary Teaching by campus include Northeast: Government Assistant Professor Joe Sutter and former Radio, Television and Film Assistant Professor Jerry Zumwalt, now vice president for Community Industry & Education at Northeast Campus; Northwest: Mathematics Instructor Alan Cazares and Computer Science Instructor Joan Shriver; South Campus: Biology Professor Jean H. de Schweinitz, Ph.D., and Health Physical Education Instructor Staci J. Smith; Southeast: Health Physical Education Associate Professor Melissa Evans, Ph.D., and Psychology Associate Professor Thelisa Nutt, Ph.D.; and Trinity River: Sign Language and Interpreting Instructor Sammie Sheppard and Nursing Associate Professor Tetsuya Umebayashi, Ph.D.
Additional nominees for Employee Excellence are District Executive Administrative Assistant Dora Massey and the South Campus Grounds Team for Access and Diversity; Welding Associate Professor Charles Credicott and the Innovation Forum Liaison Team for Forward Thinking; HR Chancellor’s Breakfast Team and South Campus Library Services Administrative Office Assistant Eileen Hart for Innovation and Creativity; District Physical Plant Administrative Office Assistant Lana Addington and Northeast Campus Sociology Instructor Cheryl North for Service to Community; and the NW Love Conference Team and TCC Connect Professional Development Team for Student Success.

New Tarrant County College Chancellor Eugene Giovannini Takes the Helm

Spending first few weeks visiting campuses, connecting with TCC community
FORT WORTH, Texas (Aug. 22, 2016)
As Tarrant County College’s new chancellor, Eugene V. Giovannini, Ed.D., officially steps into his new role and gets to know faculty, staff and students, he also is making himself available next month to meet with members of the media for one-on-one interviews.
Giovannini, founding president of Maricopa Corporate College in Scottsdale, Ariz., was selected following a national search for TCC’s chancellor, the top administrative leadership post at the TCC, one of the 20 largest colleges or universities in the United States. He is spending his initial days visiting campuses and participating in activities launching the fall semester.
Monday, Sept. 12, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. in 30-minute intervals.
Friday, Sept. 16, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. in 30-minute intervals
Tarrant County College District Office
1500 Houston Street
Fort Worth, TX 76119
Details to be finalized when interview is confirmed.
Rita L.B. Parson
Reggie Lewis


TCC Holds Public Forums for Two Finalists for Chancellor

FORT WORTH, Texas (June 2, 2016)
Tarrant County College will hold two public forums for students, faculty, staff and the community to meet two finalists for TCC chancellor. Chancellor is the top administrative leadership post at the College, the 12th largest institution of higher education in the United States.
After a national search the two finalists were announced at the May 19 board meeting as Eugene V. Giovannini, Ed.D., founding president of Maricopa Corporate College in Scottsdale, Ariz., and Barbara Kavalier, Ph.D., district president at Navarro College in Corsicana.
The board is expected to name the sole finalist for chancellor at a special board meeting on June 9. Following a 21-day period, as specified by Texas Education Code, the appointment as chancellor will be official.
Thursday, June 2
Morning Open Forum
10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. Eugene V. Giovannini, Ed.D.
10:50 a.m. to 11:35 a.m. Barbara Kavalier, Ph.D.
Afternoon Open Forum
1:30 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. Barbara Kavalier, Ph.D.
2:20 p.m. to 3:05 p.m. Eugene V. Giovannini, Ed.D.
Tarrant County College Trinity River Campus
Energy Auditorium, Fourth Floor, TRTR 4008
300 Trinity Campus Circle
Fort Worth, Texas 76102
NOTE: Media planning to cover this event should call 817-515-1543 to confirm attendance.

Barbara Kavalier, Ph.D.

Barbara Kavalier, Ph.D.

Eugene Giovannini, Ed.D.

Eugene Giovannini, Ed.D.


TCC Board Announces Two Finalists for Chancellor

FORT WORTH, Texas (May 20, 2016) – Following a national search, Tarrant County College Board of Trustees Thursday announced the selection of two finalists for chancellor, the top administrative leadership post at the College, the 12th largest institution of higher education in the United States.
Finalists are Eugene V. Giovannini, Ed.D., founding president of Maricopa Corporate College in Scottsdale, Ariz., and Barbara Kavalier, Ph.D., district president at Navarro College in Corsicana.
Two public forums for students, faculty, staff and the community will be held Thursday, June 2, in the Energy Auditorium at TCC’s Trinity River Campus from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. TCC faculty and executive leadership also will meet with the candidates.
Trinity River Campus is located at 300 Trinity Campus Circle in downtown Fort Worth.
The board is expected to name the sole finalist for chancellor at a special board meeting on June 9. Following a 21-day period, as specified by Texas Education Code, the appointment as chancellor will be official.
Giovannini has served the Maricopa County Community College District in Arizona since 2002, including 11 years as president of Gateway Community College in Phoenix. He began his community college career in 1983 at Virginia’s Eastern Shore Community College as an instructor for two years before becoming chair of Office Technologies at Broome Community College in New York.
In 2014, Giovannini was appointed to the board of the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship. He earned his doctorate in Community College Education from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and his Bachelor of Science in Business Education and Master of Education from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania.
Kavalier has more than 30 years of community college experience, including two community college presidencies and senior level experience in academic and student affairs at large urban and smaller colleges. She served more than 20 years with the Dallas County Community College District, three years as associate vice president at Tacoma Community College in Washington, three years at San Diego Mesa College as vice president of student services and three years as president of San Jose City College in California.
She earned her doctorate in Educational Administration with specialization in Community College Leadership from The University of Texas in Austin. She graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in English from Texas Christian University and earned her Master of Science in Business and Human Relations from Amberton University. Additionally, she earned her Associate of Arts and Science degree from DCCCD Mountain View College, where she later became an adjunct professor.
Kavalier’s experience also includes serving as the self-study director for Mountain View College before she was recruited to serve as president of San Jose College to focus on resolving accreditation issues. She has authored two books on community colleges.
TCC General Counsel and Vice Chancellor Angela Robinson has been serving as acting chancellor since TCC Chancellor Erma Johnson Hadley passed away in early October 2015.

Tarrant County College Hosts Celebration to Mark Commitment to Employee Well-Being

TCC is Fort Worth’s first higher education institution to become a Blue Zones Project Approved worksite
FORT WORTH, Texas (Jan. 28, 2016) – Making healthy choices easier is now all in a day’s work for employees of Tarrant County College, as all five TCC campus locations and the District office have become Blue Zones Project Approved™ worksites. Blue Zones Project®—a community-led well-being initiative—is partnering with TCC to create a culture that makes wellness a priority through changes to campus environment, policy and attitudes.
Blue Zones Project and TCC are hosting campus celebrations to mark the worksite designation and kick off the next phase of well-being efforts. The events culminate with the District office festivities, 2:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 29, at TCC’s May Owen Center, 1500 Houston St., Fort Worth. Mayor Betsy Price will be present.
TCC—the 12th-largest higher education institution in the United States—is the first college to earn recognition by Blue Zones Project, Fort Worth. In order to achieve Blue Zones Project approval, worksites must fulfill the requirements of the Blue Zones Project Worksite Pledge. This includes implementing best practices in a variety of areas, including physical surroundings, employee engagement, policies and benefits, and leadership.
“Committing to well-being through Blue Zones Project was the right thing to do, for employees as well as the College,” said Ricardo Coronado, associate vice chancellor for human resources. “Staff who have strong well-being perform better and ultimately lead healthier, more fulfilling lives. We’ve had employees lose weight, go off medication, and completely change their outlook.”
Blue Zones Project is patterned after lifestyles in the world’s Blue Zones® areas, which have higher levels of contentment, reduced rates of chronic diseases, and greater numbers of people reaching age 100. Launched in August 2015, TCC’s worksite initiatives center on adding movement to employees’ routines, creating healthier and tastier campus food options, helping employees downshift, and building stronger connections among colleagues.
Last fall, TCC faculty and staff began participating in Blue Zones Project’s Walking Moias, small social groups that walk together each week while creating bonds with others who also support healthy behaviors. TCC is now kicking off Potluck Moias, groups that will gather over the course of the next ten weeks to share healthy, plant-based meals and fellowship.
As part of the Blue Zones Project Worksite Pledge, more than 25 percent of TCC employees signed the Blue Zones Project Personal Pledge. Individuals who take the personal pledge agree to adopt small changes that are proven to increase wellness, extend life expectancy, and reduce stress. Personal Pledge actions may include eliminating electronic distractions in the bedroom; building a social circle that supports positive behaviors; and designating a space in the home for quiet time, meditation, or prayer.
TCC joins an elite network of local Blue Zones Project Approved organizations in Fort Worth, including 20 restaurants, four grocery stores, and nine other area worksites.
About Blue Zones Project:
Blue Zones Project is a community-led well-being initiative aimed at making healthier choices easier for people who live, work, and play in Fort Worth. Fort Worth is currently a Blue Zones Project Demonstration Site. Over the coming years, the city will implement environmental changes in six key areas, including worksites, schools, grocery stores, restaurants, individuals, and community policy. Once city-specific goals are met, Fort Worth will be certified as a Blue Zones Community®. For more information, visit
About Tarrant County College:
Tarrant County College is a public two-year college with campuses in Fort Worth and surrounding communities. TCC is the 12th-largest higher education institution in the United States based on annual enrollment, with more than 100,000 students in academic, career training and noncredit Community & lndustry Education programs. The College provides affordable, quality education in a welcoming and diverse atmosphere. TCC offers both on-campus and online learning, with a strong support system to help students from all backgrounds meet their academic and professional goals. Visit