Saturday , July 22 2017
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Tag Archives: el paso community college

EPCC Summer Theater Season Continues

El Paso Community College (EPCC) Summer Theater continues its 2017 season with A Masterpiece of Comic…Timing.

A Masterpiece of Comic…Timing is a play about a Broadway producer who wants to write the next comedy hit. He hires a writer who is suffering from depression and no one knows why. They try to make him happy so that he will write the next hit show.

The play is written by Robert Caisley and directed by EPCC Theater Instructor, Matthew Smith.

Performances will be held July 7th and 8th at 8:00 p.m. and 9th at 2:30 p.m. The EPCC Summer Theater performs at the EPCC Forum Theater, 9570 Gateway North.

General Admission is $15, Non-EPCC students and military are $10 and EPCC students/staff and senior citizens are $7. Tickets are available at the door. The box office opens two hours before each performance.

All proceeds from the EPCC Summer Theater benefits student scholarships.

For theater information, call (915) 831-5056.

EPCC EMT Dual Credit Program Wins National Championship

The El Paso Community College (EPCC) Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Dual Credit program placed first, second and fifth in different categories at the Health Occupation Student of America (HOSA) International Leadership Conference in Orlando, Florida.

The 2017 EPCC EMT Dual Credit class at the EPISD CCTE consists of all female students.

“The culture is changing,” said Tony Ayub, EPCC EMT/Paramedic District Coordinator. “Dual Credit, EMT Dual Credit is tangible real-life training for their lives; this is an ideal career for women.” Completing the EPCC EMT program, the students are eligible to sit for the EMT Registry.

The EMT Dual Credit students are part of the El Paso Independent School District (EPISD) Center for Career and Technical Education (CCTE) program.

The Medical Reserve Corp (MRC) captured the championship competing against international health occupation student teams. The MRC participants were Chantal Guillen, Monica Ponce, Kelley Ricks, Tiana King, Amber Ledesma and Malia McNair. The MRC presented a portfolio of projects to better their community.

The project that was highlighted by the judges was an EPISD districtwide plan to raise the safety level of school buses by updating first aid and spill kits.

The other two teams sent to the HOSA Conference also excelled. The Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) team placed second. This team consisted of Esmeralda Ponce and Paola Quiroz. The team of Sofia Williams and Mofo Tah placed fifth in the category of Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).

EPCC engages students inside and outside the classroom which prepares students with marketable skills for gainful employment.

CERT 5th place picture left to right: Sofia Williams and Mofo Tah
CPR 2nd place picture left to right: Esmeralda Ponce and Paola Quiroz

EPCC President Elected to AACC National Board of Directors

El Paso Community College President (EPCC) Dr. William Serrata was elected to serve on the national Board of Directors for the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC).

AACC is the leading proponent and the national voice for community colleges, representing nearly 1,200 two-year, associate degree–granting institutions and more than 13 million students.

Community colleges are the largest and fastest-growing sector of U.S. higher education, enrolling close to half (45 percent) of all U.S. undergraduates.

“It is an honor to be elected to serve on the AACC board with esteemed leaders from across the nation who are committed to advancing America’s community colleges,” Serrata said. “Through advocacy and a focus on student success, the AACC Board of Directors will help lead community colleges in their goals to meet 21st-century education and employment needs.”

Serrata, a nationally recognized leader, will offer important insight and perspectives to the 32-member AACC Board of Directors.

He is also a board member for Excelencia in Education, the Higher Education Research and Development Institute, the Texas Student Success Council, the Texas Association of Community Colleges and the Texas Success Center Advisory Board. Locally he serves on the boards of the Hospitals of Providence East Campus, Workforce Solutions Borderplex and United Way of El Paso County.

Under his leadership, EPCC has received numerous national accolades including being recognized as one of the Top 10 Colleges in the nation by the Aspen Institute in 2015, a recipient of the 2016 AACC Excellence Award for Student Success and name by Hispanic Outlook Magazine as the #1 granter of Associate Degrees to Hispanic students among many others.

Serrata was an Aspen Ascend Fellow, a McDonald’s Hispanos Triunfadores for Education honoree and a National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Excellence Award recipient which represent just a few of his accomplishments.

UTEP’s Partnerships Strengthen Cyber Security Pipeline

There is no question that cyber security is a concern and a priority in today’s world. Technology has become more advanced, allowing us to have online access remotely and 24/7 in the palm of our hands.

We can communicate and conduct business with a few keystrokes or a series of simple finger taps. While these additions have improved our accessibility, they’ve arguably increased the threat of potential attacks in our virtual and daily lives.

The University of Texas at El Paso and California State University, Stanislaus have formed a consortium with their community college counterparts, El Paso Community College and Merced College, to help address this national concern. The group is utilizing a $3.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation over five years to increase enrollment and diversity in cyber security degree programs through a scholarship program called S-STEM. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math.

“Everyone needs security integrated within their networks and information systems, and equally important, everyone needs professionals who are able to develop and implement protective measures for these systems vulnerable to attacks,” said Claudia Casas, S-STEM manager at UTEP. “The demand for cyber security experts with excellent ethical values is high.”

El Paso Community College sophomore Rocio Cardona is one of the scholarship recipients.

“This scholarship and all the opportunities that it represents means better educational preparation, which will help me to succeed in the field,” Cardona said. “I think that the financial help will allow me to put aside the need of a job, allowing me to focus more on my studies … and I’ll have the time to attend all the professional workshops, competitions and research that come with this scholarship.”

Photo: J.R. Hernandez / UTEP Communications
Photo: J.R. Hernandez / UTEP Communications

Through the S-STEM partnership, students interested in studying computer science receive assistance for their first year at their community college, then transfer to the corresponding university. Professor and Chair of the UTEP Computer Science Department Ann Gates, Ph.D., said collaborating with community colleges is critical in the industry with the current demand in cyber security and the need for diversity in that skilled workforce.

Students funded at EPCC and UTEP will follow the Secure Cyber-Systems track at UTEP and complete a B.S. degree in computer science.

“We recognize that in order to increase the number of students in STEM fields, especially computer science, we have to look at the pathways to a four-year college like UTEP,” Gates explained. “We really feel it’s important to build these tracks and help the students thrive when they come to UTEP. We want to get them excited by increasing student engagement early in the program.”

At the core of the S-STEM program is competency in cyber security, and it is enhanced by professional development skills like interviewing, team communication, marketing and critical thinking, as well as involvement in professional internships. Funded students will participate in extracurricular activities, such as workshops and competitions that will enhance their knowledge in cyber security and enhance their professional skills.

“What we hear a lot nationally in the industry is that students who graduate with a computer science degree are technically good students, but it’s the soft skills that a lot of the time are lacking,” said Salamah Salamah, Ph.D., software engineering program director and the S-STEM grant lead.

UTEP Junior Elsa Gonzalez-Aguilar knows there is demand in the cyber security industry, but knows preparing to work in that field will not be easy.

“I am interested in cyber security because I find it to be one of the most challenging areas in computer science, requiring me to think both logically and creatively,” Gonzalez-Aguilar said. “It also requires me to keep learning new things every day, and thus allowing me to grow as a professional.”

As a UTEP alumnus, Christian Servin, Ph.D., associate professor of computer science at EPCC, understands the value of the S-STEM program on multiple levels.

“As a graduate from the computer science department at UTEP, I was lucky to work in many different research areas with many outstanding faculty,” Servin said. “Several of them were in the cyber-security area. As a former EPCC student, I was also aware of challenges that students have as freshmen and in the field of pre-engineering … I also have learned about the current demand in the computing fields. These experiences have helped to construct pathways between different entities in the academic area, this includes the S-STEM Scholarships and cyber-security areas. I know these partnerships between UTEP and EPCC are pillars for future collective efforts that will impact future generations in computing.”

Future industry experts enrolled in S-STEM are already thinking about the impact they’ll have.

UTEP sophomore Eduardo Herrera aspires to work for the CIA or National Security Agency defending the nation against cyber attacks.

“I was always interested in how technology works, especially in what you can do with it,” Herrera said. “I found cyber security fascinating because of how people find back doors to the technology to make it do what they desire. I see hacking as a kind of power in a world full of technology. Unfortunately, there are people in the world with intensions to do harm using this capability. My goal is to work for the government to protect information, not letting it fall in the wrong hands.”

El Paso Community College sophomore Briana Sanchez is looking forward to continuing her studies at UTEP and has great aspirations herself for developing future industry experts.

“I hope I will get the chance to open a recreation center in a low-income community where I can teach and introduce young minds to this field or any computer science field,” Sanchez said. “This degree has already impacted my life so much that I would like to give back to the community.”

Scholarship recipients can receive funding for up to four years. The S-STEM application for fiscal year 2017-18 will close on June 26, 2017.

For more details, students can click HERE.

Author:  Lauren Macias-Cervantes – UTEP Communications

EPCC Summer Repertory Opens Season

El Paso Community College (EPCC) Summer Repertory begins the 2017 season with Banging the Bell. All proceeds from the EPCC Summer Repertory benefits student scholarships.

The play is written and directed by Ted Karber, Jr., EPCC Drama Instructor. “What a great experience to hear my words spoken by such capable and devoted actors,” Karber said. “When I wrote Banging the Bell, I didn’t have any expectations that the show would be performed for El Paso audiences.”

Banging the Bell is a comedy about a group of women who plan to be the belles of the ball at the annual cotillion, but infidelity, a corpulent corpse and a dim-witted deputy could get in their way.

Performances will be held May 26th, 27th, June 2nd and 3rd at 8:00 p.m. and May 28th and June 4that 2:30 p.m. The EPCC Summer Repertory performs at the EPCC Forum Theater, 9570 Gateway North.

General Admission is $15, Non-EPCC students and military are $10 and EPCC students/staff and senior citizens are $7. Tickets are available at the door. The box office opens two hours before each performance.

For theater information, call (915) 831-5056.

EPCC Outstanding Staff, Faculty Honored at Awards Gala

El Paso Community College (EPCC) held its annual recognition dinner and award ceremony to celebrate and recognize outstanding faculty and staff for their contributions to the college.

“Our faculty and staff are vital to our mission of supporting our students in pursuit of the educational goals and dreams,” said, Steve Smith, Vice President of Instruction and Workforce Education. “These awards are a small recognition of the incredible work they do each day.”

The event was held on May 5th at the Coronado Country Club. Invited guests included recipients, Board of Trustees, Faculty-Professional Development Committee, Administrators, and the college staff.

Honorees:
Retirees

Minnie Stevens Piper Professor Award
Dr. Nader Rassaei, Pharmacy Technology, Rio Grande

Outstanding Faculty Achievement Award
Heather Fowler, Nursing, Rio Grande
Keith Townsend, Speech, Valle Verde
Dr. Rebecca Escamilla, Biology, Northwest

Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Achievement Award
Sylvia Aguilar-Zeleny, English, Valle Verde
Marcia Clark, Speech, Valle Verde
Melissa Aguilera, Speech, Valle Verde

President’s National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Award
Felix Hinojosa, Athletic Director, Valle Verde

Professional Staff Association (PSA) Full-time Employee of the Year Award
Carmen Wages, Accountant, Administrative Services Center (ASC)

PSA Part-time Employee of the Year Award
Michelle Chavez, Coordinator, Diversity Programs, Valle Verde

Classified Staff Association (CSA) Full-time Employee of the Year Award
Raul Lucero, Grounds Foreman, Valle Verde

CSA Part-time Employee of the Year Award
Perla Renteria, Resource Development Asst., Foundation, ASC

EPCC Highlights Student Achievements during National Community College Month

El Paso Community College joins two-year colleges nationwide to celebrate National Community College Month. During April, EPCC highlights its important achievements as well as accomplishments of its students, faculty and staff.

“With a long history of success and excellence. EPCC is providing accessible, affordable and quality education.” said Dr. William Serrata, EPCC President. “We are delivering opportunity to students, to coordinate our workforce, to our partners, to our region.”

EPCC is proud of its accomplishments inside and outside of the classroom. Many of our health programs, such as Physical Therapist Assistant, Medical Laboratory Technology and Medical Assisting Technology, have received 100% pass ratings in state and national exams.

Students like Bryant Muñiz, Lizette Navarro and Adrian Morales from the Medical Imaging/Radiography program were three of 51 nationally named Siemens Technical Scholars. The Performance Studies and Debate Team continued their successful record by winning the 2017 PI KAPPA DELTA National Tournament.

For the 10 th year, EPCC has been named the #1 grantor of associate degrees to Hispanic students by The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education magazine. In the past, EPCC won Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) award from INSIGHT into Diversity magazine and was named Military Friendly by Victory Media and Military Advanced Education.

UTEP, EPCC Partner with California Institutions to Strengthen Cyber Security Pipeline

The University of Texas at El Paso and California State University Stanislaus have formed a consortium with their community college counterparts, El Paso Community College and Merced College, under a $3.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation.

The group will utilize the funding over five years to increase enrollment and diversity in cyber security through a scholarship program called S-STEM.

Under the partnership, students interested in studying computer science will receive assistance for their first year at their community college, then transfer to the corresponding university. Professor and Chair of the Computer Science Department Ann Gates, Ph.D., said collaborating with community colleges is critical in the industry with the current demand in cyber security and the need for diversity in that skilled workforce.

Students funded at EPCC and UTEP will complete a B.S. degree in computer science with a Secure Cyber-Systems track at UTEP.

“We recognize that in order to increase the number of students in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields, especially computer science, that we have to look at the pathways to a four-year college like UTEP,” Gates explained. “We really feel it’s important to build these tracks and help the students thrive when they come to UTEP. We want to get them excited and increase student engagement early in the program.”

The consortium is looking at course alignment, coordination and sharing of best practices.

“We’re hoping to develop models that other universities can look at,” Gates said.

At the core of the S-STEM program is competency in cyber security, but it is enhanced by professional development skills like interviewing and communication skills, marketing, critical thinking and professional internships. Funded students will participate in extracurricular activities, such as workshops and competitions that will enhance their knowledge in cyber security and shape their professional skills, as well as skills necessary to function within a team.

“What we hear a lot nationally in the industry is that students who graduate with a computer science degree are technically good students, but it’s the soft skills that a lot of the time are lacking,” said Salamah Salamah, Ph.D., software engineering program director and the lead of this S-STEM grant.

Salamah added that providing the financial support for students may also help them gain more experience. Students who are awarded the scholarship can receive the money for up to four years.

“Giving them this money will hopefully allow them to work less and spend more time as students,” he said.

The scholarship application and selection process has various steps and requirements.

The program has already established the first cohort of students at all four institutions this spring semester, with a new cohort selected at the beginning of the new academic year.

For more details, students should visit www.cs.utep.edu/s-stem-program/.

EPCC Students Named Siemens Technical Scholars

Five students at El Paso Community College (EPCC) were named 2017 Siemens Technical Scholars by the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program (CEP) and the Siemens Foundation.

Current students Bryant Muñiz, Lizette Navarro and Adrian Morales plus graduates Javier Casillas and Angelica Muñoz were among 51 exceptional community college students selected from some of the nation’s strongest community college programs in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), which provide outstanding preparation for high-demand jobs in advanced manufacturing, energy, healthcare, and information technology.

“EPCC offers excellent college programs that deliver first-rate preparation of students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields,” Steve Smith, Vice President of Instruction and Workforce said. “It’s an honor for EPCC’s Nursing and Radiologic Technology programs to be among the top community colleges nationally that deliver exceptional training for STEM jobs and to be awarded with Siemens Technical Scholars scholarships for students.”

The Aspen Institute projects that jobs in STEM fields will grow at almost double the rate of non-STEM occupations. Community colleges like EPCC are playing a huge role in working to meet this demand.

More than half of all STEM jobs across the United States require an associate’s degree and pay wages that average more than $50,000 annually. Individuals with a postsecondary education earn 74% more than those with just a high school diploma.

“Watching the students grow every day, you see them advance and by the time they graduate, they are ready for the real world,” Christl Thompson, Coordinator of the Radiologic Technology Program said.

“They are not only a reflection of their education or the college, they are a reflection of us.”

The Siemens Technical Scholars selection committee identified exemplary community college STEM programs, like EPCC, that deliver exceptional training for technical STEM jobs in areas ranging from power plant technology to healthcare.

Five students, Bryant Muñiz (Radiologic Technology), Lizet Navarro (Radiologic Technology), Adrian Morales (Radiologic Technology), Javier Casillas (Radiologic Technology), Angelica Muñoz (Nursing), will receive scholarships of between $3,500 and $10,000 to continue their education.

As a progressive leader, EPCC has a vested interest in El Paso and is committed to creating access to education and the support services necessary to increase the number of college graduates. As a result, students and graduates are prepared to excel in the job market.

EPCC Recognized Nationally for College Completion

El Paso Community College (EPCC) was ranked number one in the nation for granting associate degrees to Hispanic students by two-year schools.

“EPCC is focused on engaging students, growing community partnerships and fostering a culture of excellence with measurable outcomes,” said EPCC President, Dr. William Serrata. “We are proud to be a nationally-recognized leader in getting students on a pathway to graduation.”

The honor, as well as profile of EPCC is featured in the current issue of The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education magazine.

“The lessons I learned from EPCC and my professors prepared me for the real world. To have that kind of support and see an institution striving for excellence in the Hispanic community, you can’t help but feel a sense of pride,” said Sean Diaz, EPCC graduate who successfully

Photo by Fernie Garcia
Photo by Fernie Garcia

transferred to and attends Western Kentucky University.

The publication annually surveys two- and four-year institutions in their serving of Hispanic students. This is the tenth year in a row that EPCC has been recognized with this honor.

EPCC’s work in educating the community is also featured on the front cover and centerspread of the magazine.

Since the first degrees were awarded in 1972 until December 2016, EPCC has granted 70,842 degrees. Nearly 80% or close to 55,000 of those degrees were earned by Hispanic students.

This is the tenth year in a row that EPCC has been recognized as the top associate degree grantor for Hispanics.

For more than 25 years, The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education magazine has been a top information news source and the sole Hispanic educational magazine for the higher education community.

Visit The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education’s digital edition for complete rankings.

EPCC’s Teachership Academy Finalist for National Bellwether Award

El Paso Community College (EPCC) is one of the top 10 finalists for the 2017 Bellwether Award from the Community College Futures Assembly in the Planning, Governance, and Finance category.

The Bellwether Awards are given to colleges with outstanding and innovative programs or practices focusing on cutting-edge, trendsetting initiatives that other colleges might find worthy of replicating. EPCC is being recognized for its Teachership Academy’s program Creating Our Own Master Teachers through a Two Phase Cohort Experience Focusing on Teaching and Learning.

“The Teachership Academy models what we strive to accomplish in the classroom in order to offer our students a stimulating learning experience,” Dr. Lydia Tena, EPCC Dean of Instructional Programs, Northwest Campus. “The Academy supports student success by providing faculty additional tools that can be used in their classrooms toinclude collaborative learning, active learning, and student engagement offered through a cohort experience and supported by mentoring for each participant.”

In 2013, EPCC was a Bellwether Award Finalist for its work with technology and teaching techniques in its Math Emporiums.

The 2017 Community College Futures Assembly will convene in Orlando, Florida, January 29-31, 2017. The programs that were selected by the national panel of judges as Finalists for the Bellwether Award will present information about their programs as part of the final competition and the winners will be announced.

A goal of EPCC is to provide academic programs and support services that are clear pathways to skill development, timely degree completion and transfer to a university or gainful employment.

The Teachership Academy is a faculty-created and directed ten- month professional development program designed to provide faculty a cohort experience while focusing on teaching and learning through a curriculum that is geared to enhancing their teaching skills, including learning new techniques to make their classes more interactive and thus making student success more likely in their classes.

EPCC Offers Registration Assistance Over Winter Break

El Paso Community College (EPCC) will be open over the College’s winter break. Staff will be available to answer spring registration in person and by phone at the Valle Verde Campus Enrollment Services Center, 919 Hunter.

“We recognize the need to consistently provide our students, families, and community with on-going opportunities to achieve their personal and professional success, providing extended support services during the holidays aims to support these efforts,” said Dr. Marisa Pierce, EPCC Executive Director of Outreach and Transition Services.

The offices of Admissions and Registration, Financial Aid, Veteran’s Affairs, Counseling and Cashier will be open:

– Monday, December 19 th , 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

– Tuesday, December 20 th , 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

– Monday, December 26 th , 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

– Tuesday, December 27 th, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

You may also call 915-831- EPCC (3722) and speak to a college representative during these times.

All other offices will be closed for the winter break from Monday, December 19 th , 2016 through Friday, December 30, 2016. College offices will reopen for regular business on Monday, January 2, 2017.

Registration Open for EPCC’s Buddy Walk

The Down Syndrome Coalition for El Paso (DSCEP), in partnership with El Paso Community College (EPCC), will hold the seventh annual Buddy Walk at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, October 1 st at the EPCC Valle Verde Campus Americana Language Village (919 Hunter.)

The walk raises funds for the DSCEP, EPCC scholarships for students with disabilities and the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS).

The three-quarter of a mile walk circles the beautiful Valle Verde campus. After the walk there will be refreshments for sale, prizes and entertainment, including local jazz greats, Billy Townes and Ruben Gutierrez. There will also be a visit by Chico, mascot for the El Paso Chihuahuas.

Local businesses and non-profit organizations will offer information to attendees.

Preregistration is available online; the price for the walk is $10 in advance and $15 the day of the walk. All paid participants receive a Buddy Walk t-shirt.  Registration the day of the event begins at 9:00 a.m.

The DSCEP Buddy Walk is one of 275 walks nationally.

October is National Down Syndrome Awareness Month.  Down syndrome is a rare genetic disorder that occurs once in every 691 births in the United States. NDSS is the national advocate for the acceptance and the inclusion of people with Down syndrome as valued members of the community.

Buddy Walk El Paso Tabloid Rev2

Hospitals of Providence Partner with EPCC for $497,608 Job-Training Grant

The Hospitals of Providence has partnered with El Paso Community College (EPCC) to provide job training for 331 new and incumbent workers using a $481,813 Skills Development Fund grant from the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC).

The grant will benefit workers in the Workforce Solutions Borderplex area.

This grant will be used to provide customized training with classes and training focused on industry-related topics such as basic nursing, critical care, neonatal intensive care nursing, emergency and operating room care, chemotherapy infusion and respiratory therapy.

Trainees will include registered nurses, nursing assistants, phlebotomists, radiologic technologists and respiratory therapists. Upon completion of training, the workers will receive an average wage of $26.02.

El Paso Community College Student Selected to Visit NASA

Freda J. Adams of El Paso Community College in El Paso (EPCC), TX has been selected to travel to NASA’s Johnson Space Center this spring to participate in the NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars project (NCAS).

Adams has been selected as one of 216 community college students from across the U.S. to be part of NCAS.

The five-week scholars program culminates with a four-day on-site event at Johnson Space Center and offers students the opportunity to interact with NASA engineers and others as they learn more about careers in science and engineering.

While at NASA, students form teams and establish fictional companies interested in Mars exploration. Each team is responsible for developing and testing a prototype rover, forming a company infrastructure, managing a budget, and developing communications and outreach.

The on-site experience at NASA includes a tour of facilities and briefings by NASA subject matter experts.

NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars is a project funded in part by the Minority University Research and Education Program, or MUREP, which is committed to the recruitment of underrepresented and underserved students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to sustain a diverse workforce.

With this project, NASA continues the agency’s tradition of investing in the nation’s educational programs. It is directly tied to the agency’s major education goal of attracting and retaining students in STEM disciplines critical to NASA’s future missions, which include missions to Mars and beyond.

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