Community Invited to Reception Introducing New TCC Northwest President

TCC Northwest President . Zarina Blankenbaker, Ph.D.FORT WORTH, Texas (July 13, 2017)
 
WHAT:
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 NW.RSVP@tccd.edu.
 
WHEN:
Monday, July 17
5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
 
WHERE:
TCC Northwest Campus
Michael Saenz Conference Center
WACB 1123
4801 Marine Creek Pkwy.
Fort Worth, TX 76179
 

Delegation from Singapore Visits TCC’s Fire Service Training Center

Tarrant County College Northwest, Fire Service Training Center,
4801 Marine Creek Pkwy., Fort Worth, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, July 7

 
FORT WORTH, Texas (June 28, 2017) – The Tarrant County College Fire Service Training Center will host a delegation from Singapore on Friday, July 7. The delegation requested the visit as part of Singapore’s efforts to enhance training facilities for firefighters and paramedics.
 
The group from the Civil Defence Academy, part of the Singapore Civil Defence Force, will meet with the College’s faculty and staff and tour TCC’s training site at the Northwest Campus. The delegation will use the visit to assist in the design of a new training facility.
 
“We are pleased to welcome the Civil Defence Academy representatives and share our perspective on training first responders,” said Steve Keller, FSTC director. “We are fortunate to have outstanding facilities and resources, which serve as a model for training programs not just in Texas, but around the world.”
 
TCC is the region’s primary training facility for firefighters and other first responders. Fire Service Training Center courses combine classroom instruction with hands-on skills training. Facility features include a simulated city for live firefighting – with streets, residences, businesses, an apartment-hotel complex and high-rise buildings – along with a swift-water rescue site, trench rescue training area, confined-space rescue maze and simulated train derailment with hazardous materials scenario.
 
TCC holds three 14-week cadet classes each year, and the Fire Academy is certified with the Texas Commission on Fire Protection, which makes graduates eligible to take the state certification exam for basic firefighting. TCC consistently has a pass rate of (or near) 100 percent. In addition to the Fire Academy, the Fire Service Training Center offers an Associate of Applied Science in Fire Protection Technology and continuing education for professional and volunteer firefighters. For more information, visit the TCC website.
 

TCC Business Students Take High Honors in National Competition

FORT WORTH, Texas (June 22, 2017) – The Tarrant County College Northwest Campus chapter of Business Professionals of America (BPA) earned high honors at BPA’s National Leadership Conference in Orlando, Fla.
 
BPA is the preeminent association for students pursuing careers in business management, office administration, information technology and related career fields. The National Leadership Conference featured a variety of contests, testing business-related skills through written exams and presentations. TCC students competed against hundreds of other students from community colleges and universities across the country.
 
Honors include:

  • Victoria Devoll and Collin Curry, 1st place in financial analyst team
  • Jonathan McNamee, 1st place in presentation management, 3rd place in contemporary issues
  • Victoria Devoll, 2nd place in graphic design promotion
  • Collin Curry, 4th place in managerial accounting
  • Griselda Gonzalez, 5th place in business law and ethics

“These are extraordinary results which reflect the hard work of our students as well as their excellent preparation by our business studies faculty,” said Zarina Blankenbaker, Ph.D., president of Northwest Campus. “What our students learn on campus and are able to demonstrate in competition gives them the real-world experience to be effective, valued professionals from the start of their careers.”
 
TCC’s BPA chapter has competed in National Leadership Conference contests since 2009. The College offers a range of business programs, such as accounting, entrepreneurship, management, marketing and office technology. For more information, visit the TCC website.
 

Tarrant County College Selects Barnes & Noble College to Manage Its Campus Bookstores

Retailer to Bring Cost-Saving Options, Expanded Services to TCC Students and Faculty

FORT WORTH, TX – Tarrant County College District (TCC) has named Barnes & Noble College, a Barnes & Noble Education Company (NYSE:BNED), as the new operator of its five on-campus bookstores. The Tarrant County College bookstores will transition to Barnes & Noble College management beginning July 18, 2017. This selection follows a Request for Proposal and TCC’s subsequent evaluation of three competitive proposals. This transition will require us to close the campus bookstores beginning at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, July 11.  The bookstores will reopen at 7:45 a.m. on Wednesday, July 19.
 
“Over the last four years, we have worked diligently to make course materials more affordable for our students,” says TCC Chancellor Eugene Giovannini, Ed.D. “With the selection of Barnes & Noble College, we will be able to offer students a robust in-store and online rental textbook program, an extensive selection of used, new and digital textbooks, OER Courseware and a price-matching program. In total, we believe this move will help our students save a great deal of money.”
 
Barnes & Noble College also will create and manage Tarrant County College’s online bookstore, designed to mirror the selection of learning materials and promotional items students, faculty and staff can purchase in-store.
 
Tarrant County College faculty also will gain access to a groundbreaking online community called FacultyEnlight (www.facultyenlight.com), a streamlined textbook adoption platform that combines advanced search capabilities with detailed information on course material formats, pricing and reviews by other faculty.
 
Tarrant County College is one of 29 higher education institutions in the state of Texas that partner with Barnes & Noble College, including Texas A&M, Southern Methodist University, San Jacinto College, Texas Tech University and the Houston Community College System. Barnes & Noble College operates 770 campus stores nationwide.
 
“We’re very proud to partner with Tarrant County College,” said Patrick Maloney, president of Barnes & Noble College. “This partnership will allow us to support TCC’s ‘Success Within Reach’ mission by offering students and faculty a multitude of resources, innovative technologies and an array of affordable course materials.”
 
For more information about Barnes & Noble College’s services and locations, visit www.bncollege.com. To learn more about Barnes & Noble College’s affordable textbook rental program, visit www.bnctextbookrental.com.
 
About Tarrant County College

Serving more than 100,000 students each year, Tarrant County College is one of the 20-largest higher education institutions in the United States. The two-year college offers a wide range of opportunities for learners of all ages and backgrounds, including traditional programs, such as Associate of Arts degrees, Community & Industry Education courses, workshops and customized training programs. The College has six campuses throughout Tarrant County, including TCC Connect, which provides flexibility with e-Learning and Weekend College. TCC also assists employers in training their workforces with its TCC Opportunity Center.
 
About Barnes & Noble College

Barnes & Noble College, a Barnes & Noble Education company (NYSE:BNED), is a leading operator of college bookstores in the United States. Barnes & Noble College currently operates 770 campus bookstores and the school-branded e-commerce sites for each store, serving more than 6 million college students and faculty nationwide. As a strategic partner, Barnes & Noble College is committed to offering a complete support system and an unmatched retail and digital learning experience to foster student success in higher education. General information on Barnes & Noble College can be obtained by visiting the Company’s website: www.bncollege.com.

TCC Early College High School Earns National Recognition as Outstanding Urban School

Three graduates of the Marine Creek ECHS program.

FORT WORTH, Texas (May 30, 2017) – The National Center for Urban School Transformation (NCUST) has honored Marine Creek Collegiate High School (MCCHS) as a Gold-Level winner in the 2017 National Excellence in Urban Education Awards. The organization recognizes urban schools that achieve outstanding results across a number of academic indicators, such as test scores, attendance and graduation rates.

 

Located on Tarrant County College’s Northwest Campus, MCCHS is one of five early college high school programs offered by TCC. Students are able to earn transferable college credit up to an associate degree by the time they complete high school.

 

“The return on investment is huge when you consider the success rate of students graduating with a high school diploma and either an associate degree or a significant number of college credits that transfer to four-year institutions,” said Elva LeBlanc, Ph.D., president of Northwest Campus. “Clearly, it takes a tremendous amount of commitment, passion and dedication on the part of the students, faculty and staff. It is extremely rewarding to see their hard work recognized on this elite level.”

 

MCCHS was one of four schools in the nation and the only high school to receive the Gold-Level award among the 68 finalist campuses. NCUST representatives visited finalist schools across the country this spring, meeting with staff members and observing classes.

 

“During our visit to Marine Creek Collegiate High School, I was incredibly impressed by the consistently high level of rigor in each class observed,” said Granger Ward, an executive coach for the National Center for Urban School Transformation. “The level of student engagement and advocacy for their own educational success was apparent among these hard-working young men and women.”

 

Campus representatives accepted the award and a $5,000 prize at NCUST’s national symposium in Nashville this month.

 

MCCHS opened in fall 2010. This year’s graduating class amassed 4,766 college credit hours, for an average of more than 71 hours each. Eighty-eight percent graduated with both their high school diploma and an associate degree.

TCC to Graduate Record Number of ECHS Students

FORT WORTH, Texas (May 15, 2017) Tarrant County College will graduate its largest number of Early College High School graduates during its 49th Annual Spring Commencement on Tuesday, May 16. Two ceremonies will be held at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. in the Fort Worth Convention Center, 1201 Houston Street.
 
One hundred-eleven students are receiving their associate degrees from two TCC Early College High Schools prior to receiving their high school diplomas. Students are graduating from Marine Creek Collegiate High School (MCCHS) located at TCC Northwest Campus and the Texas Academy of Biomedical Sciences (TABS) at TCC’s Trinity River Campus. TCC conferred its first associate degrees to Early College High School students in 2014 to 11 students from MCCHS.
 
A total of 7,566 TCC graduates are expected to receive 8,887 degrees and certificates for the summer and fall 2016 and spring 2017. The total is nearly 15 percent more than the actual 6,590 students who graduated in spring 2016. Of the number of degrees and certificates expected to be awarded this spring, more than 6,000 are being awarded because of TCC’s special outreach efforts to eligible graduates to ensure they know when they have met graduation requirements. An additional 225 are reverse-transfer graduates, meaning they have already graduated from four-year institutions.
 

Fire Recruit Expo Provides Glimpse into Critical Profession

Saturday, May 6, 8 a.m. to noon
Tarrant County College Northwest Campus
Fire Service Training Center
4801 Marine Creek Pkwy., Fort Worth

 
FORT WORTH, Texas (May 4, 2017) – Ever wanted to be a firefighter? Now is your chance to try the profession. The Tarrant County College Fire Service Training Center will host the Fire Recruit Expo this Saturday, May 6, 8 a.m. to noon at Northwest Campus.
 
The event, sponsored by North Texas Women Firefighters, will feature representatives from departments across the area as well as interactive demonstrations. Pre-registered participants will breathe with oxygen tanks, wear full bunker gear, use a fire hose and climb a fire truck ladder, among other activities. A question-and-answer period will follow lunch.
 
More information on the Fire Recruit Expo can be found on the North Texas Women Firefighters’ website.
 
TCC is the area’s primary trainer for firefighters and other first responders. Fire Service Training Center courses combine classroom instruction with hands-on skills training. Facility features include a simulated city for live firefighting—with streets, residences, businesses, an apartment-hotel complex and high-rise buildings—along with a swift-water rescue site, trench rescue training area, confined-space rescue maze and simulated train derailment with hazardous materials scenario.
Tarrant County College holds three 14-week cadet classes each year, and the Fire Academy is certified with the Texas Commission on Fire Protection, which makes graduates eligible to take the state certification exam for basic firefighting. TCC consistently has a pass rate of or near 100 percent.
 
The deadline to submit an application for the Fire Academy’s fall 2017 cadet class is Thursday, July 27. Veterans are encouraged to apply. In addition to the Fire Academy, the Fire Service Training Center offers an Associate of Applied Science in Fire Protection Technology and continuing education for professional and volunteer firefighters.
 

TCC Student and Campus President Receive Top Honors from Phi Theta Kappa

Southeast Campus student Justin Alozie, left, and SE Campus President William Coppola

FORT WORTH, Texas (April 26, 2017) – Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for two-year colleges, has presented top awards to Tarrant County College Southeast Campus student Justin Alozie and Northwest Campus President Elva LeBlanc, Ph.D.
 
The organization named Alozie as a 2017 Guistwhite Scholar, which recognizes his academic achievements, leadership skills and engagement in Phi Theta Kappa programs. He is one of 15 Guistwhite award recipients in the country and will receive a $5,000 scholarship toward the completion of his bachelor’s degree. Alozie earned another $5,000 scholarship for his selection as a member of the 2017 All-USA Community College Academic Team, sponsored by Follett Higher Education Group, the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and Phi Theta Kappa. He is among 20 students in the nation to receive that honor.
 
“We are so proud of Justin and all he has accomplished and expect to hear about his continued success for years to come,” said Bill Coppola, Ph.D., president of Southeast Campus. “He is a leader and role model for many of our students. His enthusiasm and involvement embody the spirit of Southeast Campus.”
 
Alozie plans to transfer to the University of Texas at Austin this fall to study public health and then go on to dental school. He received recognition for his accomplishments this month at the AACC convention in New Orleans as well as at the Phi Theta Kappa convention in Nashville.
 

Northwest Campus President Elva LeBlanc

Also during the Nashville convention, Phi Theta Kappa representatives presented LeBlanc the Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction. The Shirley B. Gordon Award honors college presidents who demonstrate strong support for Phi Theta Kappa. The student leaders of Northwest Campus’ Phi Theta Kappa chapter nominated LeBlanc.
 
“She has been such an amazing influence on the Alpha Delta Delta chapter and on the whole campus,” said Taylor Cattes, chapter president. “Dr. LeBlanc does everything in her power to make this campus as great as it can possibly be, and we at Phi Theta Kappa admire her for that.”
 
“Dr. LeBlanc is our biggest supporter,” added Ayanna Jackson-Fowler, Ph.D., chapter advisor. “She comes to every Phi Theta Kappa induction ceremony, congratulates the students on their honors and constantly checks in with students and advisors to make sure everything is going well. Dr. LeBlanc leads in a spirit of excellence.”
 
LeBlanc was among 19 college presidents/campus CEOs to receive the 2017 award. In June, she will transition to her new role as TCC’s first executive vice chancellor and provost.

TCC Fire Academy Hosts Grapevine Fire Department for Special Appreciation Event

Donation of ladder truck enhances training as Academy accepts applications for fall class
 
sideview one of firetruckFORT WORTH, Texas (April 18, 2017) – The Tarrant County College Fire Service Training Center will host leaders from the City of Grapevine on Wednesday, April 19, to express gratitude for the city’s recent donation of an aerial apparatus truck to the College’s training program.
 
The ladder truck—a 1999 E-ONE 75-foot Quint—passed its serviceable life with the City of Grapevine. Used trucks often go to auction, but Grapevine Fire Department Chief Darrell Brown proposed giving the vehicle to the Fire Service Training Center, located on Northwest Campus. The Grapevine City Council unanimously approved the donation.
 
During a special appreciation luncheon from noon to 1:30 p.m., the College will conduct tours of its Fire Service Training Center and display the ladder truck. In addition to Chief Brown, dignitaries in attendance will include City Council members Paul Slechta, Michael Lease, Chris Coy and Duff O’Dell, City Manager Bruno Rumbelow, Assistant City Manager Jennifer Hibbs, Assistant Chief Stuart Grant and Assistant Chief John Sherwood.
 
“The generosity of the City of Grapevine will have a real impact on the next generation of firefighters,” said Steve Keller, director of TCC’s Fire Service Training Center. “This allows us to hold multiple truck courses simultaneously and give students even more experience in real-world situations. They will enter the workforce even more prepared to serve their communities.”
 
The donated vehicle is worth approximately $140,000. It becomes TCC’s second ladder truck and third fire truck overall. Prior to use by students, the truck was refurbished and underwent inspection and certification of the ladder.
 
The Grapevine Fire Department has had a long, successful partnership with TCC. In the 1970s, many Grapevine firefighters studied under Jim Nichols, who pioneered TCC’s fire service education program. When the Grapevine Fire Department launched the use of Mobile Intensive Care Unit ambulances the following decade, more than 40 firefighters obtained paramedic certification through the College.
 
Since the 1990s, TCC has worked with the Grapevine Fire Department to provide professional development classes in hazardous materials, specialized rescues and other topics. Many past and present leaders of the department, including Deputy Chief Mark Ashmead, are TCC alumni.
 

TCC is the area’s primary trainer for firefighters and other first responders. Fire Service Training Center courses combine classroom instruction with hands-on skills training. Facility features include a simulated city for live firefighting—with streets, residences, businesses, an apartment-hotel complex and high-rise buildings—along with a swift-water rescue site, trench rescue training area, confined-space rescue maze and simulated train derailment with hazardous materials scenario.
 
Tarrant County College holds three 14-week cadet classes each year, and the Fire Academy is certified with the Texas Commission on Fire Protection, which makes graduates eligible to take the state certification exam for basic firefighting. TCC consistently has a pass rate of or near 100 percent.
 
The deadline to submit an application for the Fire Academy’s fall 2017 cadet class is Thursday, July 27. Veterans are encouraged to apply. In addition to the Fire Academy, the Fire Service Training Center offers an Associate of Applied Science in Fire Protection Technology and continuing education for professional and volunteer firefighters.
 
EDITOR’S NOTE: Media interested in touring the Fire Service Training Center or conducting interviews should call 817-515-1542 by Wednesday at 10 a.m.
 

What’s stopping you? TCC student completes first novel—and continues his education

Name: Anthony L. Smith
Major: Communications
Degree: Associate of Arts, Fall 2016
Transferred to: The University of North Texas

 
Anthony L. Smith first enrolled at TCC Northwest Campus in 2008, after graduating high school. He had plans to become a writer, but Smith wasn’t ready to commit to college. He dropped out and enlisted in the military. Several years later, Smith returned to school. Now he has both a degree and a book bearing his name—and he’s just getting started.
 
TCC: Why do you think college wasn’t right for you the first time around?
 
ALS: I was immature, lazy. I had no direction in life and was more focused on the next big video game release or the next big party than getting decent grades. It’s funny…I couldn’t get up for an 8 a.m. class and then spent the next six years of my life getting up way earlier.
 
TCC: You served in Arkansas and Okinawa, Japan, with the Air Force. Thank you for your service. What did you take away from your time in the military?
 
ALS: I learned to be unwilling to accept anything but the absolute best from myself. I learned what it means to strive for something bigger than myself and to be part of a team. It’s the people you surround yourself with who have the biggest influence on your life. I wouldn’t have gotten where I am without those people.
 
TCC: What was different when you returned to college?
 
ALS: My entire mindset. I had discipline, I had the drive. I knew what I wanted to do with my life and what I needed to do to make it happen.
 
TCC: While you were a TCC student, your dream came true: You published your first novel. Did you always want to be a writer?
 
ALS: I actually have wanted to be a writer since I was a kid, when I first started writing on an old laptop my parents didn’t use anymore. Then in high school people started telling me I was actually pretty good.
 
TCC: Tell us about your book.
 
ALS: Blood Haven is a story about what the world would be like if 1 percent of the population suddenly got magical abilities. As you can expect, chaos erupted and Sydney, Australia, became a sort of magical safe haven, eventually renamed, “Blood Haven”. The story takes place 13 years after this magical “outbreak” and focuses on Killian, a young mercenary tasked with looking after a young boy, potentially the most powerful mage in the world. Government agents and a violent cult are after him, resulting in a fair bit of action and adventure. There also are themes of friendship, romance and political turmoil.
 
TCC: How did you get the idea?
 
ALS: A friend told me about a dream in which he was running from a monster and managed to transform his car into a giant sword. I thought that would be a really cool ability to have. But then I thought: What would it be like if a bunch of people suddenly had abilities like that? How would the world react?
 
TCC: Getting a book published isn’t an easy process.
 
ALS: I tried to publish traditionally, but after almost a year I couldn’t even find an agent to look at it. The publishing community is overwhelmed with young, budding authors. I read an article that said the best thing to do is just get your name out there. Publish independently, build a network of fans, and then try the traditional route. A friend of mine had an aunt who worked as a freelance editor so I hired her to go over my manuscript. She ended up falling in love with it and recommended me to a colleague who ran a very small, independent publishing firm. She got me in contact with him and I ended up getting published not long after.
 
TCC: What did it feel like to see the book in print?
 
ALS: It was easily the proudest, most influential moment in my life. When I got the package with the test-copy I was overcome with joy. I was shaking as I flipped through the pages. To see something I had thought up, written with my time and energy, put into professionally published form…it was enough to make me want to cry.
 
TCC: Do you have another book in the works?
 
ALS: I have two I am working on, and I bounce back and forth between them based on what mood I’m in that day. I’m working on the sequel to “Blood Haven,” which I’m hoping to have completed by summer for a release later this year.
 
The other project I’m working on is still in its very early stages. It’s an alternate history story. That’s really all I want to delve into at this point, though I can say that the large part of my time on this story has been research so I can get it as realistic and believable as possible.
 
TCC: What advice do you have for students who also are working toward a big accomplishment and may be frustrated with where they are now?
 
ALS: Do NOT under any circumstances give up. Very few are lucky enough to have their accomplishments just fall into their lap. It takes hard work, drive, to get it done. There will be setbacks, there will be heartbreak, but you have to know deep down that it is worth the pain in the end. And speaking from experience, it absolutely is.
 
TCC: While you’re studying at UNT, you are working at the Erma C. Johnson Hadley Northwest Center of Excellence in Aviation, Transportation & Logistics. What brought you back to TCC?
 
ALS: TCC is a college and understands better than any other work environment what it means to try to work and go to school at the same time. When I saw there was a position available to work at a campus that deals primarily with aviation, I figured it had to be a sign. I applied and got hired a few months later.
 
TCC: What do you do for the College?
 
ALS: I work as an administrative assistant to the campus’s lead coordinator. I help promote and market classes, reach out to potential students and build the Campus’s professional network. It’s great experience because I want to work in the literary field, either as an agent or an editor, and that requires the same kind of professional outreach I’ve been learning and practicing here.
 
TCC: What are your other aspirations?
 
ALS: If I could be the next J.K. Rowling and do nothing but write full time and make millions, I would be living the dream. However, I would be completely satisfied working as an agent or editor and writing on the side. I also want to help young, aspiring authors in a way that I never experienced. When I get my master’s, I wouldn’t mind teaching part time as well. We’ll see where life takes me.
 
Anthony Smith is majoring in communication studies, with a minor in creative writing, at the University of North Texas. He plans to complete his bachelor’s degree in fall 2018 or spring 2019.
This 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, Ken Moak, Melora Werlwas, Kevin Douglas, Marine Creek Collegiate High School students, students in atypical careers, Tre’Zjon Cothran and Karmin Ramos.