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Wednesday , October 16 2019
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Home | Tag Archives: el paso community college

Tag Archives: el paso community college

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 Cross Country Teams hold steady in National Rankings

The El Paso Community College (EPCC) Cross Country team held its 2019 ranking in the 2nd United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division 1 Poll.

The Tejanas were ranked 2nd and the Tejanos ranked 4th after a strong showing at the Saints Collegiate Cross Country Invitational held on September 21.

The EPCC men took the first four positions. The women’s team took the first three positions, dominating the event.

The teams travel to South Plains, Texas to compete at the South Plains Community College Invitational on October 5.

For more information about the NJCAA rankings, visit  their website.

EPCC Professor honored as Social Worker of the Year

El Paso Community College (EPCC) Criminal Justice professor, Hector Zamora, a Licensed Master Social Worker, was honored as Social Worker of the Year at the annual National Association of Social Workers Texas (NASW-TX) -Rio Grande Branch awards dinner.

Zamora was honored for his professional contributions and efforts to advance social justice and human rights.

Zamora’s criminal justice experience includes having worked as the Director of Special Programs with the West Texas Community Supervision & Corrections Department.; Assistant Chief Juvenile Probation Officer with the El Paso County Juvenile Probation Department. and Director of Dismas Charities-El Paso.

Zamora previously worked as a sex offender therapist for 16 years working with adult and juvenile offenders and their families.

Zamora is currently providing supervision of social work interns for Dimas Charities centers around the country, serves on the Foundation for EPCC Board of Directors, as a Service Learning Program liaison, Criminal Justice Club advisor, District Safety Committee member and has been assisting Student Technology Services in creating job opportunities in the criminal justice system.

The National Association of Social Workers is the largest organization of professional social workers and is committed to advocating and advancing the social work profession.

Each year, the NASW-Rio Grande Branch recognizes the contributions of outstanding individuals making a difference in our community.

EPCC Instructor named one of El Paso’s Hispanos Triunfadores

Dr. Maria Alvarez, EPCC Biology Professor from El Paso Community College (EPCC), was honored during the 2019 McDonald’s Hispanos Triunfadores Award Ceremony and Luncheon.

“Our faculty provide the foundation of success for our students,” Steve Smith, EPCC Vice President of Instruction and Workforce Education said.

“Dr. Maria Alvarez is an example of an outstanding professor, mentor and role model who has transformed STEM education, secured more than $13.2 million dollars of grant funding and has created extraordinary experiences for our students.”

Her students say she helps them understand that they can aspire to be anything because and thank her for mentoring them on a pathway to achieving their dreams.

“I became not only the first in my immediate family to finish college, but also the first in my extended family to obtain a doctoral degree,” said Salvador Muñoz, who earned his Ph.D. and was post-doctoral fellow at the University of Rochester after studying with Dr. Alvarez.  “She makes the improbable possible for many young minds.”

The award recognizes individuals who serve as outstanding role models and are an inspiration to area youth in the fields of Government, Arts & Entertainment, Business, Lifetime Achievement Business, Science, Community Service and Education. Alvarez, the STEM honoree, was nominated for her impact on higher education and science.

EPCC Celebrates Hispanic Culture starting September 16

The El Paso Community College (EPCC) officials announced that the Hispanic Heritage Committee will host a series of events for the 18th Annual Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration next week.

This year’s theme, Hispanic American: A History of Serving our Nation.

The kick off for the month-long celebration will be from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on September 16th at the Valle Verde Cafeteria Annex & Courtyard and end with a Mentor’s Dinner on October 3rd at 5:30 p.m. at 9050 Viscount Boulevard, Building A, Auditorium.

All the events, except Mentor’s Dinner are free to the public. Tickets for the dinner are $30 and are on sale through October 1st at any EPCC cashiers’ offices. Tickets may also be purchased online.

This year’s celebration will encompass several free events including Campus Read-Ins inviting the public and students to read a poem or work of or about a Hispanic American and an Art Exhibit from September 28, through October 15.

The Mentor’s Dinner will honor influential members of the El Paso community where our Keynote Speaker will be Ellen Ochoa, the first Latina astronaut in space.

Timeline of events:

  • Kick Off

10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Sept. 16, at the Valle Verde Campus, Cafeteria Annex & Courtyard. Food, entertainment and activities will be provided for the general public and students

  • Read-Ins

Students and the general public are invited to take the microphone and read a poem, short story or other work by or about Hispanic Americans. Read- Ins will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.:

Sept. 17   Northwest Campus, at the Multipurpose Room, Library, 6701 S. Desert Blvd

Sept. 18   Transmountain Campus Mall Area, 9570 Gateway Blvd. North,

                  Mission Del Paso Campus Outdoor Classroom, 10700 Gateway East

Sept. 19   Rio Grande Campus Little Temple, 100 W Rio Grande Ave

Sept. 23    Valle Verde Campus Cafeteria, 919 Hunter Drive

  • Art Exhibit

8 a.m. – 5 p.m. from September 28th through October 15th at the Administrative Services Center (ASC), Building A, Foyer, 9050 Viscount Blvd. Free and open to the public

  • Mentor’s Dinner

5:30 to 9:30 p.m., Oct. 3rd at the EPCC ASC, Building A at the Auditorium. Keynote speaker: Ellen Ochoa

Student travels over 200 Miles every week to attend EPCC

Throughout its 50 years of service, El Paso Community College (EPCC) has impacted the lives of thousands, granting them diplomas, certificates and unique skills required for the workforce in different fields of study.

One of the most popular programs within the college is English as a Second Language offered by the Language Institute. So popular in fact, that one student – Saminda Fonseka – takes to the road every week to attend.

Fonseka, a 32-year-old native of Sri Lanka, works as an engineer in a land process research company in Socorro, NM. He travels over 200 miles every Saturday to attend an Intensive English class at EPCC.

“I chose EPCC because of its great quality in education, safe and friendly environment and affordable tuition compared to other educational institutes,” Fonseka said, “I have only missed two classes since I started at EPCC, that is a testament to how much these classes have impacted me.”

“At the Language Institute, we are committed to offering classes in a dynamic, multicultural and effective environment with the most innovative, supportive resources imparted by highly qualified and competent faculty members,” said Lucy Flores, Manager of the Language Institute.

“Our team ensures student success through innovative teaching practices that challenge our students to acquire the level of global competency essential to being college, career, and world ready and assume responsible leadership roles in our global society.”

The program not only prepares students who want to start taking courses in the United States, it also provides the grammatical, writing and speech skills to professionals who have found a job opportunity and need to improve their English.

For more information on the program, click here.

EPCC Pasos Program named Finalist for state’s Star Awards

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) named the El Paso Community College (EPCC) Pasos Program as a finalist for the 2019 Star Awards.

“EPCC and its Pasos Program are inspired knowing that a significant number of our students work hard motivated by their goal to become the first in their family to complete college,” Lucia Rodriguez, Director, Office of Student Success said.  “Pasos is leading the way at EPCC in closing achievement gaps using culturally relevant teaching (CRT), student learning and civic engagement.”

Officials add that Pasos was nominated for “exceptional contributions toward meeting one or more of the goals of the Texas higher education plan, 60x30TX.”

The mission of the Pasos Program is to increase the number of educationally underserved students who enroll in four-year colleges and universities; earn certificates and higher degrees; and to return to the community as mentors and leaders of future generations.

The winner(s) will be announced on November 22 during the annual Star Awards luncheon and ceremony that will be held in conjunction with the 2019 Texas Higher Education Leadership Conference on November 21-22 in Austin.

The annual leadership conference brings together regents, trustees, chancellors, presidents, chief academic/instructional officers, and other higher education leaders to discuss critical higher education issues such as the 60x30TX strategic plan.

EPCC President named Top CEO by Association of Community College Trustees

The Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) announced Thursday that Dr. William Serrata, EPCC President, was chosen as the recipient of the 2019 Western Regional Chief Executive Officer Award.

“He is a pivotal force that is transforming education with progress, innovation and engagement both for EPCC and higher education as a whole,” EPCC Board Chair Brian Haggerty said. “Dr. Serrata is a true champion of EPCC’s efforts to provide innovative opportunities in higher education and always seeks to improve student outcomes.”

The award recognizes community college CEOs for innovation, service to post-secondary education and strong leadership. The honorees are recognized not only for the impact at their community colleges, but also for their commitments to post-secondary education locally, regionally and nationally.

Via a Thursday afternoon news release, ACCT officials shared that, “Serrata has served at EPCC since 2012 where he has proven himself a dynamic and influential leader.”

“In the time he has served as EPCC President, the college has seen impressive increases in student success outcomes and has become a nationally recognized institution, including being named one of the Top 10 Colleges in the nation by the Aspen Institute in 2015 and received the prestigious AACC Student Success Award in 2016,” ACCT officials added.

The ACCT is a non-profit educational organization of governing boards, representing more than 6,500 elected and appointed trustees who govern over 1,200 community, technical, and junior colleges in the United States and beyond.

This award will be presented during the 50th Annual ACCT Leadership Congress in San Francisco in October 2019.

Trio of El Paso organizations partner to offer free Summer Camps for area teens

A three-way partnership between Workforce Solutions Borderplex, the Success Through Technology Education (STTE) Foundation and El Paso Community College mean free youth Summer Camp opportunities concentrating on robotics, entrepreneurship and app development are now open for registration.

The one-day camps, that begin July 25, are tailored for youth ages 13-18 years of age and are located throughout El Paso to ease the burden of transportation costs. Lunch will also be provided.

About Camps

STEEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Entrepreneurship, and Math) Camp – Campers will work on a theme “Eliminating Paper Through an App,” where they will learn how to develop an app starting with Sketch Design.

They will discover the importance of User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI). The camp will wrap up with a lesson on the “Lean Startup” and discovering the nine building blocks of the “Business Model Canvas.”

Robotics Camp – Campers will design, build, and code robots to compete in a tournament. Applying basic STEM concepts to a competitive atmosphere increases student engagement and makes lessons feel more real.

VEX robots bring code to life and allow students to see how what they’re learning has a direct impact in the real world, and how individual math and engineering elements come together to form a solution to a real problem.

Youth will learn how VEX Coding Studio, a custom-made programming software, works.

Camp Dates & Locations

STEEM Camp – Thursday, July 25 from 9am to 4pm at STTE Foundation (inside CoWork Oasis) 114 Texas Avenue

STEEM Camp – Friday, July 26 from 9am to 4pm at STTE Foundation (inside CoWork Oasis) 114 Texas Avenue

Robotics Camp – Monday, July 29 from 9am to 2pm at Eastwood High School, 2430 McRae Boulevard.

Robotics Camp – Tuesday, July 30 from 9am to 2pm at EPCC Northwest Campus, 9570 Gateway North Boulevard.

Robotics Camp – Wednesday, July 31 from 9am to 2pm at EPCC Transmountain Campus, 6701 South Desert Boulevard.

Where to Register

To pre-register for STTE Foundation Summer Camps, go online and a Workforce Solutions Borderplex representative will be in contact to determine eligibility.

EPCC Student Athletes named First Team Academic All Americans

El Paso Community College is proud to announce that two athletes have been named to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) First Team All American list.

Donald Hodgson, Cross Country, and Brittany Santellanes, Softball, achieved 4.0 grade point average during the 2018-19 academic school year.

“EPCC is an academic institution first and foremost,” said Felix Hinojosa, EPCC Athletic Director. “Being awarded academic honors validates what we do as a college.”

The Academic All American list includes a total of seven EPCC athletes.

Individual Academic Student-Athletic Awardees:

Donald Hodgson              Cross Country                       4.00                  First Team
Brittany Santellanes         Softball                                     4.00                  First Team
Alyssa Martinez                Softball                                     3.84                  Second Team
Ivan Duarte-Trejo             Baseball                                   3.78                  Third Team
Genevieve Centeno         Softball                                     3.77                  Third Team
Samantha Corral              Softball                                     3.70                  Third Team
Carlos Quintana               Baseball                                   3.60                  Third Team

Since 1993, the NJCAA has recognized the team and individual student athletes with the highest grade-point averages. The student must have 24 credit hours or more with a GPA of 3.60 or higher.

Nominations are submitted by each athlete’s respective institution. See more at here.

50 Years of Excellence Celebrated at EPCC Gala

Friday night, El Paso Community College (EPCC) celebrated its 50th anniversary with a gala attended by more than 400 education, business and industry partners and community leaders as well as distinguished members of its past and present student body and staff.

The event celebrated the institution’s legacy and its vision for building the future.

“EPCC has a long history of excellence,” Keri Moe, 50th Anniversary Co-Chair and Associate Vice President of External Relations, Communication & Development said. “This gala honors the great work that has been done and renews EPCC’s commitment to continuing that legacy.”

EPCC was honored with the attendance of Former Texas State Senator Joe Christie who spearheaded the formation of the college in the late-1960s and secured the funding to establish the college. “Every time I comeback to El Paso, I am amazed at the growth of El Paso Community College,” Christie said. “I feel it was the most important event of my legislative career.”

On June 28, 1969, the voters of El Paso County passed the ballot item that created EPCC and formed its first Board of Trustee chaired by prominent businessman Joe Foster.

In the fall of 1971, the first class of 901 students began a path that over one million have taken since. Today, more than 80,000 graduates have received associate degrees or workforce certifications.

“Honoring the past at El Paso Community College is really looking at the legacy of the institution. We have a history of strong community leaders who were determined to ensure individuals in our community had access to a community college, visionary trustees and past-presidents along with faculty and staff who have built a solid foundation so we can help students achieve their dreams and strengthen our community,” EPCC President Dr. William Serrata said. “EPCC has reached great heights because of a supportive community, dedicated staff and committed students.”

During the past 50 years, EPCC has become a nationally recognized institution of higher learning. EPCC just received the Seal of Excelencia by Excelencia in Education for promotion of equity and college completion for Latino students.

Since 2006, Hispanic Outlook on Education magazine has consecutively recognized the college as the #1 grantor of associate degrees to Hispanics in the nation.

In 2015, EPCC was named one of the Top 10 Community College’s in the Nation by the Aspen Institute. In 2016, the college received the prestigious Award of Excellence for Student Success from the American Association of Community Colleges.

Video+info: EPCC set to celebrate 50th Anniversary with gala on June 28

The EPCC Foundation in collaboration with College President, Dr. William Serrata and the Board of Trustees, are celebrating the college’s 50th anniversary and the community is invited.

In the 50 years since EPCC first open their doors, one million students have passed through their classrooms; with over 80,000 degreed alumni crossing the graduation stage.

The celebration is for the entire community that’s supported EPCC for five decades: students, faculty and staff – current and former – and all funds raised will go to student scholarships.

The Gala will showcase fine food, live music, and dancing; proceeds from the sales of tickets or tables will support student success scholarships at EPCC.

The Gala – which is set 50 years to the day that El Paso County voted to create the college June 28, 1969 –  will be held at the EPCC Administrative Services Center, Building A  located at 9050 Viscount Boulevard at 6:00 p.m.

Tickets are $125, table of 10-$1,250  To purchase a ticket, a table for 10 or for more info, click here.

For any any questions, interested parties can call 915-831-6483 or email


Disclosure: El Paso Community College is a supporter of El Paso Herald Post via paid sponsorship.  Herald Post is funded via traditional advertising sales, donations and special fundrasing projects.  Sponsors and financial supporters have no say or role in the coverage of stories.

Playoff Bound! EPCC Tejanas set to take on Midland

El Paso Community College (EPCC) Tejanas Softball Team will begin their playoff run Friday, May 10 in Lubbock, Texas.

The fifth-seeded Tejanas’ first game in the double-elimination tournament will be versus Midland Community College at 10:00 a.m. (MDT).

The Tejanas finished the regular season with an overall record of 22-32 and 13-15 in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region 5 West.

Depending on the outcome of game 1, the Tejanas will either play at 3:00 p.m., Friday, May 10 or 11:30 a.m., Saturday, May 11.

In their most recent series, the Tejanas swept Frank Phillips College at home; the Tejanas then dropped the series against Howard College in Big Spring last week.

All playoff games will be live-streamed via TSRN and can be heard here.

EPCC RISE Student Receives American Society for Microbiology Award

El Paso Community College (EPCC) Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE) student, Blessing Savusa, received an award for her poster presentation at the American Society for Microbiology Rio Grande Branch Annual Meeting in Socorro, NM.

Her research project was done in collaboration with Dr. Maria Castillo at New Mexico State University (NMSU). The title of her presentation was Identifying and Characterizing Cultivable Bacteria Obtained from the Intestine of Euprymna scolopes.

The goal of Savusa’s research project was to “create a ‘Pathogenic Model’ that compares the immune system responses to pathogenic bacteria versus the symbiont Vibrio ficheri.” Savusa said, “This information can provide critical information to help understand the role of the immune system in recognition of beneficial symbionts.” Savusa used the knowledge gained from being a student in the RISE to the Challenge Bridge program at EPCC to complete her award-winning yearlong research.

EPCC was the first community college to be funded by the National Institutes of Health’s RISE Program, now called RISE to the Challenge Bridge Program.

“The program offers paid year-round internships for EPCC students like Blessing to conduct scientific research and present their projects at regional and national scientific conferences.” Dr. Maria Alvarez, Professor, Coordinator of Biology and RISE and Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD) Program Director said

“The goal is to provide EPCC students with all the tools to be successful in their science and mathematics classes at EPCC, so they can transfer to a four-year university including UTEP and NMSU and graduate with a baccalaureate degree and, eventually a PhD.”

The opportunities from being a RISE to the Challenge Bridge student at EPCC has opened many doors for Blessing Savusa both academically and career-wise.

“Being in the RISE Program I was able to learn a lot of basic research techniques. Just knowing how to work with research instruments really sets me apart from other students.” Savusa adds, “With this experience, I can pursue a career in biomedical research. This program has put me a step ahead and it was a great experience.”

El Paso Community College announces ‘Lights at EPCC’ winner

On Monday, El Paso Community College officials announced the winners of this weekend’s student competition The Lights at EPCC.

The second annual The Lights at EPCC was held at the Valle Verde Campus Americana Village, and featured teams of students that constructed light sculptures.

“The Lights at EPCC is a festival of creative art light structures representing the inspirational culture of El Paso,” Dr. Kenneth Gonzalez, EPCC Vice President of Student and Enrollment Services said.

“EPCC wants to reach out to the community and be a major hub for community gatherings and events.”

This year’s Best of Show went to “Stardust.” This wonderful display was created by Architecture students Jerod Booth, Sofia Dominguez and Tristan DeAnda.

Attendees of the festival not only received information about EPCC, but were entertained by the student-produced light show.

The Lights at EPCC highlighted approximately 80 designs created by EPCC Art and Architecture students as well as students from area schools.

The festival, which was held on Saturday April 27, included live music, food, family fun and games.

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