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Home | Tag Archives: El Paso Community College (EPCC)

Tag Archives: El Paso Community College (EPCC)

EPCC Celebrates Black History, hosts Legacy Awards Dinner

El Paso Community College (EPCC) held its signature Legacy Awards Dinner Friday night, part of their celebration of Black History Month on campus.

With the theme of ‘African Americans and the Vote: Overcoming Obstacles to Success,’ Keynote Speaker, Dr. Gary Bledsoe, President of the Texas NAACP attended the event.

During the evening, honors were handed out to the Honorable Judge John Chatman, Ms. Baby Ruth Boswell, and EPCC Cross Country Half Marathon Team.

“Recognizing the accomplishments of Black Americans is an important part of Diversity and Inclusion Programs at EPCC,” said Olga Chavez, Director of Diversity and Inclusion Programs.

“The diversity of students, faculty and staff and their important roles leads to a better community as a whole.”

Wrapping up the month will be the Black History Panel Discussion on this year’s theme.

Panelists include Mr. Anthony C. Robinson (Retired Command Sergeant Major), Ms. Crystal S. Roman (Writer, Producer, Director at The Black Latina Movement), Ms. Abeni Janae Merriweather (UTEP Student, Teen Advocate, Musician), and Mr. Curtis Smith (Retired Army Veteran, Bronze Star Combat Award Recipient).

The event will be held at the Transmountain Campus, Forum, Wednesday, February 26 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Gary Bledsoe addresses students at afternoon assembly | Photo courtesy EPCC

EPCC set to celebrate Black History Month with numerous events

El Paso Community College (EPCC) will celebrate Black History with its annual month of activities this February. This year’s theme is African Americans and the Vote: Overcoming Obstacles to Success.

Through the month, each campus library will have displays; an art show will be in the foyer of the Administrative Services Center (ASC) Building A, 9050 Viscount Blvd., beginning February 17 and two special events will tie the celebration together.

“Recognizing the accomplishments of Black Americans is an important part of Diversity and Inclusion Programs at EPCC,” said Olga Chavez, Director of Diversity and Inclusion Programs. “The diversity of students, faculty and staff and their important roles leads to a better community as a whole.”

The first major event is the annual Legacy Awards Dinner. It will be held Friday, February 21 from 5:30-9:00 p.m. in the ASC Building A, Auditorium. Tickets to this event are $40 and are available online. Tickets are not available at the door.

EPCC Black History Legacy Award winners will be Honorable Judge John Chatman, Ms. Baby Ruth Boswell, and EPCC Cross Country Half Marathon Team. Keynote Speaker will be Dr. Gary Bledsoe, President of the Texas NAACP

Wrapping up the month will be the Black History Panel Discussion on this year’s theme. The event will be held at the Transmountain Campus, Foyer, Wednesday, February 26 from 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Panelists include Mr. Anthony C. Robinson (Retired Command Sergeant Major), Ms. Crystal S. Roman (Writer, Producer, Director at The Black Latina Movement), Ms. Abeni Janae Merriweather (UTEP Student, Teen Advocate, Musician), and Mr. Curtis Smith (Retired Army Veteran, Bronze Star Combat Award Recipient).

For information on all Black History Month activities, contact the EPCC Diversity and Inclusion Programs office at (915) 831-7898.

EPCC, YISD open Career Center at Riverside Pathways in Technology Early College High School

Tuesday morning, officials with El Paso Community College (EPCC) in partnership with the Ysleta Independent School District (YISD) held a grand opening for their new automotive-centered tech center.

EPCC President, Dr. William Serrata welcomed YISD Superintendent Dr. Xavier de la Torre and students from YISD High Schools to the Career Center at Riverside Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) at the Valle Verde Transportation Training Center.

Officials share that the Career Center at Riverside P-TECH is a collaboration focused on career and technical education. 

“The P-TECH experience that has been established by the Ysleta Independent School District and EPCC is designed to have strong academic and career-orientated results which will benefit both students and our workforce.” Dr. William Serrata said.

According to school officials, P-TECH offers studies in the areas of Automotive Technology, Diesel Technology and Computer-Aided Design.

“Students can couple their high school experience with their experience at a community college and make a solid living wage, contribute to our economy and contribute to their own quality of life,” Dr. Xavier De La Torre said.

P-TECH provides an opportunity for high school students to earn a high school diploma and an associate of applied science degree, a post-secondary certificate or industry certification and work-based training through internships.

As a result of the P-TECH experience, students will become skilled employees that will excel in today’s global economy.

L-R Dr. Armando Aguirre, Dr. William Serrata, Dr. Xavier de la Torre, Mr. Carlos Bustillos

EPCC Graduates to be honored as part of school’s 50th Anniversary

On Friday, El Paso Community College (EPCC) will grant 2,290 degrees and certificates at its Fall 2019 Commencement exercises and welcome a special guest.

Former Texas Senator Joe Christie will be the Commencement Speaker.

Christie was instrumental in the creation of EPCC in 1969. His leadership and hard work in the Texas Senate created the framework and secured funding to open the doors to 901 students in 1971.

The fall graduation is the final event in the college’s yearlong 50th anniversary celebration, and the ceremony will be held at the Don Haskins Center on the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) campus.

“Graduation recognizes the prosperous futures of students who have completed their academic journey,” Dr. William Serrata, EPCC President said. “EPCC is committed to increasing the educational attainment in our region and commencement celebrates that success.”

The journey to the 50th anniversary for EPCC began with a vote. According to EPCC’s website:

The El Paso County Community College District was established in June 1969 when citizens of El Paso County voted to form a junior college district and elected a board of seven trustees to administer the college, but did not pass a tax or bond to fund the school.

By 1971, the Board of Trustees and citizens of the community requested state financial assistance to open the doors. The 62nd Texas Legislature appropriated funds and El Paso Community College became a reality, enrolling 901 students in September of that year.

“EPCC is annually recognized as the top grantor of associate degrees to Hispanic students in the nation,” college officials added. “EPCC focuses on completion to increase graduation rates and to prepare students with marketable skills for gainful employment.”

Currently, the college serves over 27,000+ credit students and 8,000 continuing education students each semester.

Graduation information:

Date & Location

December 13th at 5pm at the University of Texas El Paso Don Haskins Special Events Center, 151 Glory Road


The Fall 2019 commencement times are as follows: Commencement 5:00 PM Check In at 3:30 PM

Associate of Arts

Associate of Arts in Teaching

Associate of Science

Associate of Applied Science

Certificate of Completion


Professional Cameras Graduation Policy:

-Professional Cameras Allowed

-No Tripods

-No Backpacks

-No Zero-Gravity Rigs or Brackets

-No Umbrellas

-No Additional Light Sources

-No Cables/Wires

Prohibited Items


-Helium Balloons

-Large Signs/Banners

-Glass Containers

-Vapor Products (E-CIGS)




-Selfie Sticks

-Laser Pens



EPCC selected to participate in Dana Center-led Collaboration

The Texas Transfer Alliance (TTA) has selected El Paso Community College (EPCC) as one of 26 Texas higher education institutions to participate in a one-year collaboration to improve student success in college.

“Changing the transfer landscape to improve student success requires dedicated collaboration between institutions,” said Martha Ellis, the Dana Center’s director of higher education strategy, policy, and services. “Seventy-five percent of Texans who earned a baccalaureate degree took courses at a community college as part of that degree. It is imperative that we work together to make sure students do not lose money, credits, and time when they move from institution to institution to complete their degrees. We anticipate very positive and visible impacts for Texas students, especially those from underrepresented racial and income groups.”

Every year, thousands of Texas students transfer between colleges and universities. Due to differences in policies and curricula among institutions, many students face major challenges in transferring course credits, leading to lost time and increased financial burdens that often impact their chances of successfully completing a degree.

Building on prior TTA work, the Dana Center leads this one-year effort, known as the Transfer Partnership Strategy (TPS), which is supported by a recent grant from the Trellis Foundation.

Since Fall 2018, TTA has collaborated with three national transfer partners—the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program, HCM Strategists, and Sova—to develop a long-term strategy for improving successful student transfer in Texas, Minnesota, and Virginia.

Research indicates that successful student transfer relies on a broad range of local and regional factors including:

  • Alignment of degree requirements policies between colleges and universities to reduce lost credits
  • Reduction of time-to degree-completion
  • Introduction of student supports to promote the completion of entry-level mathematics and English courses within the first year
  • Student advising designed to provide four-year degree completion plans even for students attending two-year institutions.

The 26 Texas institutions selected for the Alliance’s TPS work represent two- and four-year institutions across the state. Institutions were chosen based on prior success in student transfer-related efforts as well as their relative sizes and positions within the state’s higher education landscape.

The Texas Transfer Alliance is a collaboration between the Charles A. Dana Center at The University of Texas at Austin, the Texas Association of Community Colleges (TACC), the Texas A&M University System, the Texas State University System, the University of North Texas System, and the University of Texas System.

EPCC Men’s Cross Country wins meet in California

The El Paso Community College (EPCC) men’s cross country team won the 29th Vanguard Invitational competing against 17 other schools.

EPCC men took the first four positions in their race, while the women finished in 2nd place in their race.

The Tejanos were led by Gideon Cheplak who finished 1st in the 8K race with a time of 23.55.

The Tejanas were led by reigning National Champion, Everlyn Kemboi who finished 1st with a time of 17:09 in the 5K race. Teammate Francisca Jebor finished in 2nd place.

The Women are currently ranked 2nd in the nation and the Men are ranked 4th in the most recent US Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Poll.

Next up for the Cross Country Teams is the University of the Southwest Invite in Hobbs, New Mexico on October 18.

This season will lead up to EPCC hosting the 2019 NJCAA Half Marathon Championship on November 23rd as the finale of its year-long 50th anniversary celebration.

EPCC Professor Co-authors book; Named finalist for Regional Honor

Lawrence Welsh, El Paso Community College (EPCC) Professor of English, with co-authors, Ray Gonzalez and Bruce Berman, were named finalist for the 2019 New Mexico-Arizona Book Award.

The University of New Mexico Press published Cutting the Wire: Photographs and Poetry from the U.S. Mexico Border.

A collaboration between El Paso photographer Bruce Berman and poets Ray Gonzalez and Lawrence Welsh, the book, according to critics and reviews, offers readers a way to really look at the border between Mexico and the United States.

Welsh and Gonzalez’s poetry blends wonderfully with Berman’s visual investigations of the everyday realities of the border – detention centers, Smeltertown cemeteries and kids playing along a river levee.

According to critics and reviews, the multilayered histories of the border landscape provide an inexhaustible supply of rich and fertile raw material for the book’s three authors.

In February, the Pima County Library System in Arizona named the book a 2018 Southwest Book of the Year.

10th Annual ‘Buddy Walk’ set for Saturday

The Down Syndrome Coalition for El Paso (DSCEP), in partnership with El Paso Community College (EPCC) will hold the 10th annual Buddy Walk and 5K Fun Run.

The event will take place on Saturday, October 5 at the EPCC Valle Verde Campus Americana Village, located at 919 Hunter.

The run begins at 8:00 a.m., the walk festivities begin at 9:00 a.m. with the walk starting at 10:00 a.m.

As October is National Down Syndrome Awareness Month, the DSCEP Buddy Walk is one of 250 walks nationally.   The walk/run raises funds for the DSCEP, EPCC scholarships for students with disabilities and the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS).

The 5K run and the one-mile walk circles EPCC’s Valle Verde campus. Activities include entertainment, food trucks and information tables. Run prizes will be awarded in many categories.

Those interested in the event can register in advance for the walk as an individual or as a member of one of the many teams online.

Registration is available the day of the walk at the event location. The registration fee is $15 for the walk, $20 for the run and $30 for both. Registration includes a 2019 Buddy Walk t-shirt.

All individuals with Down syndrome and children in attendance will receive a Buddy Walk medal.

EPCC Diversity, Inclusion Programs and Faculty Recognized as National Role Models

National Harbor, Md  Minority Access Incorporated named El Paso Community College (EPCC) a winner of the 2019 Diversity Institution Recognition Award at its 20th National Role Models Conference.

EPCC was also honored to have two professors, Dr. Rebecca Escamilla and Dr. Xiomara C. Chianelli, named as 2019 National Role Models.

“I am honored to have our program recognized for making a mark on diversity,” Olga Chavez, EPCC Diversity Programs Director said. “Dr. Escamilla and Chianelli represent EPCC faculty’s work to better every student’s life.”

Dr. Rebecca Escamilla is currently an Associate Professor of Biology at EPCC’s Northwest campus. She feels that in order to ensure lifelong learning for her students, she must work to engage and challenge her students, both inside and outside the classroom.

Dr. Xiomara Chianelli is an Associate Professor of Biology at EPCC’s Transmountain campus. She enjoys mentoring students new to research.

Chianelli is currently teaching courses in Biology where students perform relevant and authentic research.

The Role Models Project brings attention to minorities excelling in STEM-related fields, whether academically or professionally.

According to their website, Minority Access Inc. is “committed to increasing diversity, decreasing disparities and reducing incidences of environmental injustices.”

El Paso Community College to hold part time, seasonal job fair

El Paso Community College (EPCC) Career & Transfer Services (CaTS) will hold a Part-Time & Seasonal Job Fair Wednesday, September 11, 2019.

Employers from different organizations will visit El Paso Community College to promote employment opportunities.

Job seekers should dress professionally, bring copies of their resume and be ready to interview on the spot.

For more information on the Part-Time & Seasonal Job Fair, please contact Silvia Dominguez or Aurea Garcia at (915) 831-2636.

This event is free and open to the public.

What: EPCC Career & Transfer Services Part-Time & Seasonal Job Fair
Where: EPCC Valle Verde Campus  |  Student Services Center 1st Floor Lobby  |  919 Hunter Dr.
When: Wednesday, September 11, 2019, 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

EPCC Board of Trustee members sworn in for new terms

El Paso Community College (EPCC) held a swearing-in ceremony for trustees during the May board meeting. The swearing-in ceremony welcomed Ms. Nina Piña who was newly elected.

Also sworn in were incumbents Dr. Carmen Olivas Graham and Ms. Christina Sanchez. All three won their respective elections on May 4, 2019.

“We are pleased to welcome Ms. Nina Piña, Ms. Christina Sanchez and Dr. Carmen Olivas Graham who were elected and sworn in as EPCC Trustees for a 6-year term,” EPCC President Dr. William Serrata said.

“The Board of Trustees has a laser-focus on student success and sets the vision for EPCC in achieving our mission of providing accessible, affordable and quality education so our students are able to achieve their dreams.”

Mrs. Nina Piña is the newly elected representative for District 6. As an educator for 11 years, former student and the parent of EPCC students, she advocates for the importance of higher education because it is the vehicle for upward mobility.

“As a businessperson, I’ve seen how higher education assists in our current economic environment,” Piña said.

Ms. Christina Sanchez is serving her first full term representing District 4 after originally being appointed to the board to fill a vacancy.

An El Paso native and the first generation of her family to attend college, she has practiced law with the El Paso County Attorney’s Office and currently serves as the Division Chief for the Commissioners Court Legal Unit.

In 2018, she became the President-Elect for the El Paso Women’s Bar Association.

Dr. Carmen Olivas Graham will serve her third term as District 5 Representative.

She has served Texas public schools for more than 27 years in various capacities starting as a teacher, administrator and parent educator.

As an adjunct professor, she has taught both at the university and community college levels and has worked with various international and local teacher education programs.

In addition to swearing-in trustees, the board also elected officers as follows:

Mr. Brian Haggerty, Chair

Dr. Carmen Olivas Graham, Vice Chair

Mrs. Belen Robles, Secretary

EPCC education students, staff heading to Finland, Sweden

A team of El Paso Community College students majoring in Education and select faculty will travel to Finland and Sweden for a teacher preparation program.

The tour is part of EPCC’s new partnership in the NASA Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) program.

“This trip will also highlight a developing collaboration with NASA’s GLOBE program with the University of Helsinki and EPCC,” John Olgin, EPCC Physics Instructor said. “Now students in STEM education and teachers in our region can become official GLOBE teachers through EPCC workshops and actively participate in submitting earth science data to NASA.”

The students will gain insight on how these countries implement successful educational practices, and will incorporate this experience in their classrooms.

Finland is a leader in collaborative learning, student well-being and hands-on approach to learning. NASA GLOBE program collaborators in Finland will show how to engage students in studying environmental changes.

“My goal for this trip is to soak in as much information on teaching practices, culture, and experience as I can and use it to help people,” Myca Nguyen, EPCC Education Student said.

Follow the EPCC team on Facebook, beginning on May 18 for daily reports on their learning opportunities and travels.

Journalist, former EPCC Student Alfredo Corchado to discuss Mexican Immigration

El Paso Community College (EPCC) will host award-winning journalist, former EPCC student and University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) graduate, Alfredo Corchado for two discussions on the transformational Mexican immigration to the United States over the past three decades.

Corchado is an award-winning journalist and Mexico-Border correspondent for the Dallas Morning News.  He is the author of two acclaimed books: Midnight in Mexico and Homelands: Four Friends, Two Countries and the Fate of the Great Mexican-American Migration.

He was also the first editor of EPCC’s student publication, Borderlands.

The discussions are part of the EPCC 50th Anniversary Celebration and Spring Arts Festival.  The May 9th discussion will be held in partnership with the Jenna Welch & Laura Bush Community Library at EPCC’s Northwest Campus.

The evening discussion is held in partnership with the El Paso Museum of History as part of EPCC’s 50th Anniversary exhibition which is currently on display.

Both events are free and open to the public.

WHAT:                       Discussion with Alfredo Corchado

WHEN:                      Thursday, May 9, 2019, 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

WHERE:                    EPCC Northwest Campus Library  |  6701 South Desert Blvd.


WHAT:                       Discussion with Alfredo Corchado

WHEN:                      Thursday, May 9, 2019, 5:30-7:00 p.m.

WHERE:                    El Paso Museum of History  |  510 N. Santa Fe St.

EPCC, El Paso Sheriff’s Department Team Up to Warm the Community

El Paso Community College (EPCC) students and staff presented 656 blankets to the El Paso County Sheriff’s Department as part of the fifth annual Keep El Pasoans Warm Campaign.

“The El Paso community has always supported EPCC and in turn, we look for ways to pass it on,” Cheryl Bowman, Keep El Pasoans Warm Campaign Chair said.

“The college knows the heart-wrenching situations that Sheriff’s deputies encounter throughout the county when their duties take them into homes in desperate need.   By working together, we can do more than we can alone.”

The fifth annual campaign is a partnership between the EPCC Professional Staff Association, Police Department, Service Learning Office, Student Technology Services, Chemistry Club, Fire Tech Academy, Criminal Justice Club and the entire EPCC family.

The Sheriff’s Department will distribute the collected items to those in need throughout El Paso County.

For more information on the EPCC PSA Humanitarian Outreach Committee, contact Cheryl Bowman at 831-6574.

Left to right: Carmen Wages, EPCC Professional Staff President; Sheriff Richard Wiles; Christian Venegas, EPCC Student Technology Services; Savannah Caraveo, EPCC Student Technology Services; Dr. William Serrata, EPCC President; Chief Jose Ramirez, EPCC Police Department

UTEP & EPCC Social Work Interns Help SEISD’s Alarcon Elementary

Lorenzo G. Alarcon Elementary is proud to open its doors to students in the Social Work Internship Program from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) and El Paso Community College (EPCC).

“We are always so grateful every time UTEP and EPCC sends us interns,” said Nora Garcia, Counselor at Alarcon Elementary. “We love having them here. They serve as additional support to our students, parents, and staff and make an incredible difference in our students’ social and emotional growth. Interns will always be welcomed here with open arms.”

The interns sent to Alarcon Elementary are completing their Associates, Bachelors, and Masters degrees in Social Work at the end of the 2018-2019 school year. They made the commitment to complete 16 hours of internship per week for a total of 240 hours.

Both UTEP and EPCC have assigned several of their students to complete their internship hours at San Elizario ISD’s Alarcon Elementary.

“So far this experience has been very humbling because I have never worked with kids in a school setting before,” said Diana Romero, a Social Work major at UTEP.

“The environment at Alarcon Elementary is very welcoming and the students and staff are all so friendly and full of energy. I am having a great time here.”


For residents that may be interested in interning at Alarcon Elementary, please contact Nora Garcia at (915) 872-3930  ext. 3458.

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