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.

TCC Police Chief to Receive National Policing Briefing

Chief Williams w flag backdropFORT WORTH, Texas (Sept. 27, 2016) Tarrant County College Police Chief Shaun Williams is in Washington, D.C., this week participating in a law enforcement executives briefing by the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing at the White House.
The 11-member Task Force was established by President Barak Obama in an Executive Order on Dec. 18, 2014, to identify “best practices and offering recommendations on how policing practices can promote effective crime reduction while building public trust.” Co-chairs were Charles Ramsey, commissioner of the Philadelphia Police Department, and Laurie Robinson, professor at George Mason University.
Recommendations, released in a final report May 18, 2015, are organized around six main topic areas, called pillars, and include action items. Pillars are Building Trust and Legitimacy, Policy and Oversight, Technology and Social Media, Community Policing and Crime Reduction, Officer Training and Education and Officer Safety and Wellness.
Since his primary focus for the TCC police department has been on Pillar Five: Training and Education, Williams said he will take advantage of sessions providing more insight in that area.
Recommendations for Pillar Five include support from the federal government for “development of partnerships with training facilities across the country to promote consistent standards for high quality training and establish training innovation hubs involving universities and police academies.”
Williams was named TCC’s Chief of Police in 2011. A retired Arlington police officer and former operations lieutenant at Cedar Valley College, he has served in numerous policing roles including patrol officer, narcotics/organized crime detective, school resource officer and internal affairs division sergeant.
He is a graduate of Texas Christian University, where he received a Master of Liberal Arts in 2000, and of Dallas Baptist University, where he received a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Science in 1997. He holds a Master Peace Officer Certification and was named the 2012 Outstanding Administrator by the Texas Association of College and University Police Administrators.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Media interested in interviewing Chief Williams about his task force briefing may contact 817-515-1542 to schedule an interview.

TCC Communications, PR & Marketing Team Wins Worthy Awards

FORT WORTH, Texas (Nov. 25, 2015) – Tarrant County College’s District Communications, Public Relations & Marketing team won four honors in the recent 4th Annual Worthy Awards. The Worthy Awards, hosted by the Greater Fort Worth Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), recognizes the region’s best in public relations and communications.
Under the direction of Executive Director Suzanne Cottraux, the TCC’s District CPRM team’s four wins included an Award of Achievement for TCC’s magazine, REACH. CPRM staff involved in these efforts include DeeDra Parrish, Rita L.B. Parson, Kendra Prince, Sara Rogers, Brandon Tucker, Connie Wiebe and Cottraux. An Award of Excellence went to Parson for her REACH article, “TCC’s 50th Anniversary: Time for Reflection and Celebration.”
Rogers and Tucker, along with Web Communications colleague Barbara Prellwitz, received an Award of Excellence for the #TCCGrads Campaign, which featured creative graduation cap designs by students on TCC’s social media outlets.
In addition, Tucker and Web Development Manager Stephen Fornal created the TCC 50th Anniversary website, which also earned an Award of Excellence.
“I always tell my team that we enjoy the best jobs at Tarrant County College, because we get to craft and convey stories about how the College continually drives student retention and student success,” Cottraux said. “Our foremost priority is to produce consistently excellent work that illuminates TCC’s strengths as the third-largest higher-education institution in Texas, and awards like these underscore just how excellent the final products really are.”
Members of PRSA chapters outside of the region serve as judges for the competition. Entries are judged based on rationale, objective/purpose, execution and results.
Additional competitions in which TCC’s CPRM team placed this year include the CASE District IV Accolades, Educational Advertising Awards, Graphic Design USA’s American Inhouse Awards and the PR Daily Nonprofit PR Awards.
TCC 50th Anniversary Website
“TCC’s 50th Anniversary: Time for Reflection and Celebration” Article
REACH Magazine

TCC Instructor Honored as Fire Educator of the Year

Dennis Floyd, surrounded by TCC colleagues, accepts the Texas Association of Fire Educators award for 2015 Instructor of the Year. (L-R: Rodney Smith, TCC Fire Service Training Center [FSTC] program coordinator; Dennis Floyd, FSTC instructor; Jacob Smith, FSTC instructor; and Steve Keller, FSTC director.)

Dennis Floyd, surrounded by TCC colleagues, accepts the Texas Association of Fire Educators award for 2015 Instructor of the Year. (L-R: Rodney Smith, TCC Fire Service Training Center [FSTC] program coordinator; Dennis Floyd, FSTC instructor; Jacob Smith, FSTC instructor; and Steve Keller, FSTC director.)

FORT WORTH, Texas (April 9, 2015) –
The Texas Association of Fire Educators has honored Tarrant County College’s Dennis Floyd as 2015 Instructor of the Year.
Floyd brings more than three decades of firefighting experience, including 26 years with the Fort Worth Fire Department and 15 years with TCC, to his current post as an adjunct instructor for the TCC Fire Service Training Center. Floyd trains recruits for live fire scenarios and physical ability requirements; he also provides continuing education to professional and volunteer firefighters throughout the region.
“Dennis is a proven leader who is committed to the safety of students, firefighters and the community,” says Steve Keller, director of the TCC Fire Service Training Center. “He is an incredible asset to TCC and our students, and we are proud that the Texas Association of Fire Educators recognizes his impact on the next generation of first responders.”
Floyd was the recipient of TCC’s 2014 Instructor of the Year award for adjunct faculty. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Floyd serves as a mentor at local schools to encourage minority interest in firefighting.

TCC Construction Management Students Take Top Honors at National Competition

Flanked by two National Association of Home Builders representatives are: (L to R): Team Captain Nicholas Rex, Coach Orlando Bagcal. Jennifer Weaver and Hunter Reinhardt

Flanked by two National Association of Home Builders representatives are: (L to R) Team Captain Nicholas Rex, Coach Orlando Bagcal. Jennifer Weaver and Hunter Reinhardt

South Campus students recently placed first in the national Residential Construction Management Competition in the Two-Year Programs category. Sixteen schools with two-year programs entered the competition, which is a highlight of the International Builders’ Show and part of the National Association of Home Builders Student Chapters.
“The competition provides opportunity for students to showcase and demonstrate their knowledge and skills,” said Orlando Bagcal, an associate professor of construction at the South Campus. “Winning this competition certainly demonstrates the strength of our construction management offerings and is a testament to the quality and caliber of our students in the program.”
In addition to placing first in the Two-Year Programs category, the South Campus team also landed third place in the Outstanding Student Chapters category. Russell Miller took home an Outstanding Student Award, which is based on grade point average, involvement in the local student chapter, involvement with the local home builders’ association and interest in pursuing a residential building career.
The South Campus Construction Management program has a strong track record in the Residential Construction Management Competition. They won Rookie of the Year the first year they entered in 2011. The team’s rankings as a two-year-program moved up from fifth place in 2013 to second place in 2014 and first place this year. Every year since 2011, one of TCC’s students has received an Outstanding Student Award. In 2013, Bagcal was awarded the National Outstanding Educator of the Year Award by the National Association of Home Builders Student Chapters.
The TCC four-member team of students included Nicholas Rex, Miller, Hunter Reinhardt and Jennifer Weaver, the first female student to represent TCC in the competition.
For the competition, students complete a management proposal for a project, which includes a site plan, product design, estimate, schedule, marketing and risk analysis, cash flow forecast and other essential elements. Proposals are judged by construction company executives. During the International Builders’ Show, students defend their proposals to the executives before an audience.
Citing the benefits of the competition, Team Captain Rex said, “I learned the value and importance of team work and accountability for each other’s work that leads to a successful project.”

TCC South Campus Student Wins Prestigious National Scholarship

Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship Recipient, Lori King-Nelson and South Campus President Peter Jordan

Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship Recipient, Lori King-Nelson, and South Campus President Peter Jordan

FORT WORTH, Texas (April 25, 2014) Tarrant County College South Campus student Lori King-Nelson recently won the Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. King-Nelson was one of 85 students selected nationwide to receive the scholarship, which pays up to $30,000 in tuition per year for three years as recipients complete their undergraduate degree.
Finalists were selected from 3,705 applications representing 737 community colleges from 48 states, two U.S. territories and the District of Columbia. Selection criteria focused on exceptional academic ability and achievements, financial need, persistence, leadership and a desire to help others.
“This award means I will not need to work while I pursue my undergraduate degree, and I will be able to take more hours per semester,” King-Nelson said. She learned of the award when South Campus President Peter Jordan contacted her and requested she come up to the campus. “I cried,” she said. “I kept thinking it could be a mistake because the odds of receiving this scholarship were astronomical.”
King-Nelson started her college career at TCC in the fall of 2011 and will graduate in May with highest honors. She plans to transfer to Texas Wesleyan University in the fall where she will complete a dual major in religion and sociology. After completing her master and doctorate degrees in religion at Texas Christian University, she plans to teach at TCC and manage a non-profit organization to educate people on cultural and religious differences.
King-Nelson believes all students should complete their associate degree before transferring to four-year school because it is a confidence-builder. “I feel very fortunate that my campus offers so much support to students,” she said, crediting Jordan and associate professors Paul Benero and Armando Villarreal with providing her the support needed to go for this honor.
Jordan admires King-Nelson as well. “In the face of adversity, Lori has embraced her education and re-taken control of her life,” he said. “She has set a wonderful example for her family. She excels as a student and a leader on the South Campus and we are extremely proud of her achievements.”

TCC’s Continuing Education Services Trinity River Receives Award

Margo Price, GED Proctor (Spanish and English), Diana Cepeda, GED Examiner (Spanish and English) and                  Tiffany Lopez-Hamilton, Chief Examiner and Director for Continuing Education Services

Margo Price, GED Proctor (Spanish and English), Diana Cepeda, GED Examiner (Spanish and English) and Tiffany Lopez-Hamilton, Chief Examiner and Director for Continuing Education Services

The Office of Continuing Education Services at the Trinity River campus recently received a Community Service award from GED Testing Services in Washington, D.C. The award recognized the Continuing Education Services team for its availability to test a high number of students for the GED in November.
Interest in GED testing has grown due to test changes that take effect this month, which include switching to computer testing from paper, content focused on career and college readiness, immediate performance feedback and the ability to test in the four key areas separately.
Nicole Chestang, executive vice president of GED Testing Services, presented a plaque to the Trinity River Continuing Education Services team on November 21. It states:
“In recognition of the dedicated support and service to adult learners in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, demonstrated by the leadership and staff of the Office of Continuing Services, who work tirelessly to give a second chance to adults seeking to earn the State of Texas High School Equivalency Certificate by providing access to education and GED testing.”
Chief Examiner and Director for Continuing Education Services, Tiffany Lopez-Hamilton, worked with three other team members to test more than 800 students during four weekends in November. “There was a need and we accepted the challenge to serve our community,” said Lopez-Hamilton. “Each GED team member played an intricate role in the GED events testing, ranging from registering students, administering the exam as well as day-to-day functions of the office.”
Robert Muñoz, Ed.D., vice president for Continuing Education at Trinity River, concurred. “My team has done great work meeting the needs of students and our community partners with efficiency and professionalism. We look forward to continuing to meet those needs.”

TCC Among ATD’s 2013 Leader Colleges

On Aug. 20, TCC was named one of eight Achieving the Dream Institutions to earn the title Leader College.

Leader Colleges must show tangible proof on how they are using and spreading the principles of Achieving the Dream, which include committed leadership, use of data for program and service improvements, broad engagement and systemic institutional improvement. The focus of all these criteria is a student-centered vision of equity and excellence.

TCC’s development and work on new student orientation, a student success course, mandatory advising and case management for FTIC students, and a Math Emporium for the developmental math sequence, has contributed to its goals of student success.

Effective initiatives include:

  • Increased successful completion of developmental math for Hispanic students from 25.49 percent in 2008-09 to 30.98 percent in 2011-12.
  • Increased successful completion of developmental reading for Hispanic students from 47 percent in 2008-09 to 53 percent in 2011-12.

Achieving the Dream, Inc. is a national nonprofit that is dedicated to helping more community college students, particularly low-income students and students of color, stay in school and earn a college certificate or degree.

Trinity River Campus East Named in “Top 13 Texan Buildings to See in 2013”

Tarrant County College’s Trinity River Campus East was named in the “Top 13 Texan Buildings to See in 2013” by Architizer and The Texas Society of Architects.

Check out all 13 places to see on Architzer’s blog site.

Trinity River Campus East at night


Toro Touts

This month’s Toro Touts not only features faculty and staff, but also highlights a recent accomplishment by TCC students! As always, we encourage you to give your colleagues (and our students!) a pat on the back by leaving a comment in the space provided below. To submit the latest from your corner of TCC, use the News Alert form and let us tout your news!

Autumn Sprabary, left, and Jameson Johnson

Students Autumn Sprabary, left, and Jameson Johnson

Northeast Campus’ Speech and Debate Team Wins Honors

TCC would like to extend its hearty congratulations to the students in Northeast Campus’ Speech and Debate team.  The team, coached by Lisa Benedetti, Justin Blacklock and Stephen Thomas, recently participated in the Texas Intercollegiate Forensics Association State Tournament hosted by Howard Payne University and earned top honors. Jameson Johnson took first place in Novice Prose Interpretation and Autumn Sprabary won third place in Communication Analysis. Congratulations!

NE Campus President Larry Darlage

NE Campus President Larry Darlage

NE Campus President Inducted into HEB ISD Hall of Fame

Northeast Campus President Larry Darlage was inducted into the Hurt-Euless-Bedford Independent School District Hall of Fame during a banquet on Nov. 16.  He was inducted into the Distinguished Community Leader category for his years of service and support of HEB ISD.  Darlage joined TCC in 1996, and has not only helped the campus grow from about 9,000 students to more than 17,00, but also brought in the Pharmacy Technology and Long-term Care programs to complement those already part of the Allied Health program at NE. Darlage has served as a past chairmen for the HEB Chamber, the HEB ISD Education Foundadion, and the Harris Methodist HEB Hospital, as well as numerous others.

New Appointments for TCCD Police

The TCCD police department recently promoted Lt. Leigh Dietrich to the rank of Assistant Chief and also brought on board the department’s first police detective, Will Ivie.

Assistant Chief Dietrich began her career at the TCC Northwest Campus, where she worked for five years before transferring to Northeast Campus. In 2008, she was promoted to corporal and in 2010, promoted to sergeant. She is the second Assistant Chief Police in the history of TCC and will relocate to the May Owen Center to assume her new role as police administrator.

Detective Ivie began his career on the East Coast in 1993, working with the Virginia State Police and then as a State Trooper. In early 2003, he took a position with the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, where he learned to investigate crime and was promoted two years later to Senior Special Agent.  He moved to Texas in the summer of 2011 and started work with the TCCD police, graduating in December from the 147th Basic Peace Office Academy.

SE Vice President of CE Carrie Tunson

SE Vice President of CE Carrie Tunson

SE Vice President Speaks

Southeast Vice President of Continuing Education Services Carrie Tunson has been a popular lady, lately! Over the past seven months, Tunson has spoken at five events, including being the keynote speaker at the September Texas Professional Childcare Association Conference and the October Rising Star Baptist Church Scholarship Banquet. Other engagements have included presenting at Women’s Day at the Ervay Cedar Baptist Church, the Ervay Cedar Missionary Baptist Church’s 5th Annual “Sisters Strengthening Sisters” Caring and Sharing Conference, and hosting a workshop at the Westside Baptist Church in Lewisville. Tunson was also highlighted in the Texas Association of Black Personnel in Higher Education (TABPHE) newsletter for her recent speaking engagements and for her work helping others.


Local Radio Host Interviews NE Adjunct Pianist

Northeast Campus adjunct Eduardo Rojas was recently interviewed by local radio personality Cindy B. Rojas, who was born in Barranquilla Colombia, is considered one of the most promising members of the Colombian and Latin American Pianistic movement and granted the interview to promote his Nov. 10 concert at the Rose Marine Theater. The concert “Around the Latin World in 80 Minutes,” was a special, one night only event that took attendees on a trip through the world of Latin music.  Cindy B’s interview with Rojas can be heard on her Podomatic site.

NE Children’s Center Renewed for Another 5 Years

After a visit from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Assessor, the NE Children’s Center has received word that the Center will be renewed for another five years. The TCC Children’s Center is an accredited teaching center and lab school at Northeast Campus serving students, faculty, staff and the community. The Center serves Tarrant County preschool children and serves as an academic laboratory facility for TCC students in the Child Development and Education Program.

TCCD’s New Police Car Wins Best in the Law Car Show

Officers from the Trinity River Campus entered the new Police Interceptor Vehicle in the City Of West Worth Village’s Annual Day with the Law Car Show. It was a chance to show TCCD’s new “Black & White” Police Interceptor off to the community and TCCD police department’s peers. During the event the public got a chance to see all of the vehicles up close and personal and voted on which one they deemed the “best” at the show.  When it was all said and done, TCC PD was crowned the overall winner, getting the most votes from the public and the judge and taking home first place honors in the police division. TCC’s Mascot Toro was also in attendance and was a hit with the kids!