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.
 

Fire Truck Donation Enhances Firefighter Training at Tarrant County College

FIREHOUSE recently shared a post detailing how the city of Grapevine’s generosity is enhancing the training of cadets at the Tarrant County College Fire Service Training Center.
Read the post to learn more about the 75-foot ladder truck donation.

FIREHOUSE post

TCC Firefighter Cadet Tells Her Story

There is a class of high-demand, well-paying jobs historically dominated by men, but Tarrant County College is helping to change that by opening doors of opportunity to all. KERA reporter Courtney Collins spotlights one firefighter cadet’s journey through TCC’s Fire Academy at Northwest Campus. Hear what Alexis Dunn has to say about challenging the status quo.
 
KERA story
 

City of Grapevine Donates 75-Foot Ladder Truck to Tarrant County College Fire Academy

Donation enhances training as Academy accepts applications for summer class

sideview one of firetruckFORT WORTH, Texas (March 29, 2017) – The City of Grapevine is enhancing the training of cadets in Tarrant County College’s Fire Service Training Centerdonating an aerial apparatus truck for use in live firefighting, simulated rescues and physical exercises.
 
The fire 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 Tarrant County College’s Northwest Campus. The City Council unanimously approved the donation.
 
“Thanks to the City of Grapevine and Chief Brown, we can continue growing our program to meet the needs of the community,” said Steve Keller, director of TCC’s Fire Service Training Center. “This truck is a game-changer for us. We will be able to simultaneously run multiple courses that involve truck operations, and students will have more opportunities to gain experience on this critical piece of firefighting equipment.”
 
The Grapevine Fire Department has had a long, successful partnership with Tarrant County CollegeIn 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.
 
“My hope is that other fire departments will think of Tarrant County College as we have,” said Chief Brown. “We are all searching for quality men and women to join our team as firefighters. This is just one more way of working together to serve our communities.”
 
sideview two if firetruckThe donated vehicle 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 City of Grapevine is an important partner for the Fire Service Training Center and the entire College,” said Elva LeBlanc, Ph.D., president of Northwest Campus. “We are grateful for the city’s contribution, as well as for the work of TCC Board of Trustees Vice President Conrad Heede, who helped facilitate the donation. Their combined commitment to our students will pay dividends in Grapevine and throughout the region.”
 
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.
 
fire truck close up sideTarrant 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 summer 2017 cadet class is Friday, April 14. 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.
 
The deadline to submit an application for the 2017 Fire Academy cadet class is Friday, April 14. Veterans are encouraged to apply.
 

TCC Invites Job Seekers, Recruiters to Community Job Fair

FORT WORTH, Texas (March 30, 2017) – Job seekers and area employers will come together at Tarrant County College Thursday, April 27, for the College-Wide Job Fair. The event is free and open to students, alumni and the community. It is hosted jointly by TCC’s South, Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, Trinity River and Connect campuses along with the TCC Foundation.
 
The fair takes place 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. at South Campus (5301 Campus Dr., Fort Worth, SSTU Dining Hall). Companies are recruiting for full-time, part-time and seasonal jobs as well as paid internships. Candidates of all industries and experience levels are encouraged to attend, dress professionally and come prepared with résumés.
 
The fair will feature more than 40 companies, including the American Airlines Training and Conference Center, AmeriState Claim Solutions, Ben E. Keith, ChildCare Careers, Fastenal, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, Texas Department of Public Safety, Fort Worth Independent School District and Walmart Distribution Center.
 
“Whether you’re getting ready to graduate or just looking for your next position, the College-Wide Job Fair is a great opportunity to build important skills and get in front of some of the top companies in the region,” said Monica Miranda, coordinator of career and employment services on South Campus.
 
Job seekers can pre-register at tccd.edu/alumni or simply show up at the fair. Employers who wish to participate should contact Miranda at monica.miranda@tccd.edu.
 
The College-Wide Job Fair is co-sponsored by the American Airlines Training and Conference Center, AmeriState Claim Solutions and ChildCare Careers. Sponsors’ contributions benefit student scholarships and programs through the TCC Foundation.
 
In addition to the College-Wide Job Fair, recruiters from Billy Bob’s Texas will be at Northwest Campus Wednesday, April 5, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. (4801 Marine Creek Pkwy., Fort Worth, WSTU Hallway). Northeast Campus will host a military recruitment event during Spring Fest, which takes place Wednesday, April 12, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the campus lawn (828 W. Harwood Rd., Hurst). The Erma C. Johnson Hadley Northwest Center of Excellence for Aviation, Transportation & Logistics will host a job fair specific to those fields 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, April 20 (2301 Horizon Dr., Fort Worth).
 

TCC Hosts Job Fair in High-Demand Fields of Aviation, Transportation and Logistics

FORT WORTH, Texas (March 30, 2017) – Tarrant County College invites job seekers and area employers to the upcoming Aviation, Transportation & Logistics Job Fair, set for Thursday, April 20. The event is free and open to students, alumni and the community.
 
Representatives from dozens of companies will be on hand, recruiting for full-time and part-time positions as well as paid internships. Past participants include FedEx, Flight Safety and Lockheed Martin, among others. The event will be held at the Erma C. Johnson Hadley Northwest Center of Excellence for Aviation, Transportation & Logistics at Alliance Airport (2301 Horizon Dr., Fort Worth, Room 1201).
 
“Aviation, transportation and logistics professionals are in high demand, and the need will only grow,” said Michael Lucchesi, Ph.D., director of the Hadley Northwest Center of Excellence. “TCC provides a variety of affordable, flexible pathways into the industry.”
 
Job candidates are encouraged to dress professionally and bring copies of their résumé. Recruitment focuses on candidates with skills specific to the aviation, transportation and logistics industries.
 
The Hadley Northwest Center of Excellence trains students for careers as pilots, aircraft maintenance specialists, dispatchers, distribution managers and more. Employment growth is projected in Tarrant County and beyond. The worldwide aviation industry, for example, is expected to need nearly 1.3 million new commercial pilots and maintenance technicians in the next two decades, according to Boeing’s 2016 Pilot & Technician Outlook, an industry forecast.
 
At 163,500 square feet, the Hadley Northwest Center of Excellence is the largest aviation education facility in Texas. Students learn with professional training equipment, including a fuselage mockup of a G-280 Gulfstream aircraft donated by Gulf Aerospace and aircraft windows donated by Southwest Airlines. Logistics students use a warehouse laboratory with an on-demand warehouse management system. The Aviation and Logistics programs offer a variety of certificates and associate degrees. Visit the College’s website for more information on Aviation and Logistics studies.
 
Employers and job seekers may contact Carmen Wise at carmen.wise@tccd.edu or 817-515-7267 for additional information about the job fair. It is hosted by Northwest Campus Career Services and the Aviation Technology Department.
 

Fill Your Garden with TCC Horticulture Students’ Harvest

Annual plant sale set for April 7 and 8 at Northwest Campus
 
FORT WORTH, Texas (March 29, 2017) – Get spring off to a blossoming start with Tarrant County College Horticulture Department’s annual plant sale. The event will showcase more than 50 varieties of flowers, vegetables and herbs—all grown by students in the Horticulture Program.
 
The sale will take place 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, April 7, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 8, at Northwest Campus (4801 Marine Creek Pkwy., Fort Worth, outside Building WCTS). The sale is open to the community. It will feature flowering annuals and perennials including impatiens, marigolds, begonias, lantana, verbena and zinnias; foliage plants such as helichrysum and citronella geraniums; vegetables including many varieties of peppers as well as hybrid and heirloom tomatoes; and herbs such as basil, oregano and thyme. Students grew all the plants as part of their Horticulture Program coursework.
 
Items are sold below retail prices; most range from $1.50 to $4. Cash and checks will be accepted. Proceeds help horticulture students cover the cost of field trips and Horticulture Club projects.
 
Northwest Campus features on-site greenhouses, gardens and a vineyard. This spring, the Horticulture Department introduced a viticulture course, teaching students techniques for cultivating grapes. Students also learn greenhouse operation and management; landscape design, installation and maintenance; nursery and retail garden center operation and management; soil science; and pest control. Day and evening classes are available. Students can earn a certificate of completion or an associate degree and get the foundation for continuing their studies at a university. According to the Texas Workforce Commission, employment of landscape architects is projected to grow 33 percent between 2012 and 2022; for supervisors of landscaping, lawn service and grounds workers, the projected increase in employment is 23 percent.
 
Horticulture courses also are offered for personal enrichment. For more information on the Horticulture Program, visit the TCC website or contact David Bulpitt at david.bulpitt@tccd.edu.
 

EVENT UPDATE: TCC Dance Faculty and Guest Artists to Perform in Sundance Square

EVENT UPDATE: DUE TO ANTICIPATED INCLEMENT WEATHER, THE SUNDAY PERFORMANCE HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED UNTIL MAY 14. MORE DETAILS WILL BE AVAILABLE CLOSER TO THE DATE.
 
FORT WORTH, Texas (March 29, 2017) – Dance faculty and alumni from across the Tarrant County College District will team with guest artists for a special performance in Downtown Fort Worth’s Sundance Square. The “Merge” concert will be held Sunday, April 2, at 2 p.m., on the Plaza Stage at Main Street and 4th Street.
 
The performance will include choreography in the styles of modern and post-modern dance, modern hip-hop fusion, contemporary ballet and ballet folklorico. The performance will feature faculty members Kiera Amison, Claire Augstine, Brandy Niccolai-Belfi, Lacreacia Sanders and Amy L. Jennings. Guest artists include Ballet Folklorico Azteca, Collective Force Dance Company, Ephiphany DanceArts, imPULSE Dance Project, Jordan Fuchs Company: Group Action and Muscle Memory Dance Theatre.
 
“TCC is a vibrant aspect of Fort Worth culture, and we are excited to perform in the heart of downtown,” said Jennings, associate professor of dance at Northwest Campus. “Sundance Square gives us a great platform to share the talents of our faculty, students and partners in the dance community.”
 
This is the Merge concert’s 10th season and second season to take place in Sundance Square. The performance is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Jennings at amy.jennings@tccd.edu or 817-515-7174.