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Home | Tag Archives: epcc (page 10)

Tag Archives: epcc

EPCC Student Government Association Hosting ‘Know Your Rights’ Forum

The Student Government Association (SGA) of El Paso Community College (EPCC) will host a “Know Your Rights” educational forum for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and Senate Bill 4 (SB4).

“SGA believes everyone deserves access to education regardless of their immigration status,” Andrea Porras Portillo, EPCC SGA President said.

Everyone, regardless of their background, are invited to learn about key issues regarding immigration. The event is free, open to the public and set for November 3, 2017 from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at the EPCC Valle Verde Campus Cafeteria Annex at 919 Hunter Drive.

EPCC SGA partnered with Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center, the Border Network for Human Rights and Soñando Juntos to facilitate the forum and educate the college community.

EPCC Government Professor, Dr. Amber Archuleta-Lucero will speak at the event individuals can learn about the details of SB4 and what the repeal of DACA would look like. Individuals without an immigrant background are encouraged to attend to learn how to become an ally.

SB4 was a law passed in the 85th session of the Texas legislature. The law was signed by Governor Greg Abbott, but did not come into effect on September 1st as expected due to a temporary block by a federal judge.

The Trump Administration has threatened to repeal the DACA program, which can affect the livelihood of DACA recipients within the college.

EPCC Represented at the 29th Annual HENAAC Great Minds in STEM

Eight students from El Paso Community College (EPCC) and The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) attended the 29th Annual Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Conference (HENAAC) Great Minds in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) (GMiS), that took place in Pasadena, California earlier this month.

“I am proud to educate the future ethical hackers from society.” Dr. Christian Servin, EPCC Instructor of Informational Technology Systems, said. “Training these young minds in developing computational thinking through cybersecurity concepts and witness their success, make me proud to teach in an accessible community environment.”

EPCC students who currently are recipients of the Computer Science S-STEM Scholarship (through a unique partnership between Computer Science program at EPCC and the Computer Science department at UTEP) and students who developed research under the supervision of Dr. Servin, attended to the conference and presented a poster presentation with the results of the research.

Students who attended the conferences were able to participate in a Hackathon with more than 110 students from different universities and community colleges.

The Hackathon was composed of preliminaries workshops including concepts in cybersecurity, operating system environment setups and tools tutorials.

In addition, students attended developmental workshops that aid students in increasing their communication skills and resume writing.

As part of the conference students met with current Google, Microsoft, Shell, Intel, Locked Martin, NASA and other companies. EPCC is committed to preparing students to be competitive in workforce locally and nationally.

5-In-A-Row! EPCC Tejanas CrossCountry Win NJCAA Region V Championship Title

LEVELLAND, TX—The El Paso Community College women’s cross country team defended their regional title as they won their fifth consecutive National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region V Cross Country Championship title.

The men’s cross country team also did well placing second at the championship.

The Tejanas women’s cross country placed three runners inside the Top 10 to finish with a final team average of 19:05.74 in a 5k run.  New Mexico Junior College placed second and Ranger college women placed third.

The men’s cross country team placed three runners in the top 10 and placed second with an average 26:14:15 in an 8k run.  South Plains College placed first and Ranger College placed third in the men’s division.

For the women, Sophomore All-Conference Shalet Mitei once again showcased as the region’s best with a first-place time of 17:27.80.  Ocean Stevens and Michelle Renteria also earned All –Conference nods.

The Tejanas times are as follows:
1      Shalet Mitei 17:27
6      Ocean Stevens 18:42
8      Michelle Renteria 19:02
15    Amy Vidal 20:05
16    Evaline Cheptoo 20:11
18    Samantha Martinez 20:24
22    Celeste Zamarron 20:34

Michael Kirwa led the men’s team in the 8K race finishing in third place. Sammy Rono finished fourth and Boaz Kipemei finished eleventh. These three were named All-Conference. The Tejanos times are as follows:
3     Michael Kirwa 25:05
4     Sammy Rono 25:40
11   Boaz Kipemei 26:27
17   Adrian Morales 26:55
19   Esteban Esquivel-Reyes 27:00
21   Michael Flores 27:04
27   Eric Hunt 28:00

Up next for the EPCC Cross Country teams is the NJCAA Championship on November 13th in Fort Dodge, Iowa.

El Paso Community College Honors Elite Scholars

The El Paso Community College (EPCC) National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS) held its 2017 Induction Ceremony at the EPCC Administrative Services Center Auditorium earlier this week.

The NSCS at EPCC is an honors organization that recognizes and elevates high achievers.

“The National Society of Collegiate Scholars is an organization that not only recognizes the accomplishments of high achievers who are beginning college, but also engages them through leadership, service and scholarship opportunities,” Rose Lopez, EPCC NSCS Advisor

2017 inductees with family and friends

said. “The intent is to make their college experience rewarding and preparing them for a bright future.”

The 2017 class has 115 members and the NSCS at EPCC membership numbers over 500 students. Membership is by invitation only and is offered to freshman and sophomore students who carry a 3.4 grade point average or higher.

The NSCS has active chapters at more than 300 colleges and universities across the country. NSCS’ goal is to honor, inspire and engage.

Chapters are involved in service to their individual campuses and communities, as well as in scholastic and social activities.

EPCC Fall Festival Offers Family-Friendly Fun on Halloween

El Paso Community College (EPCC) Student Leadership and Campus Life and the EPCC Student Government Association (SGA) will hold their annual Fall Festival on Tuesday, October 31st.

“The Fall Festival provides a fun and interactive alternative to Halloween and it provides our students, their families, as well as the community with a safe environment for everyone to have fun,” Andrea Porras Portillo, EPCC SGA President said.

The Fall Festival is open to the public. There will be carnival rides, all types of inflatables, food, games, a Spiderman Rockwall Challenge and a costume contest; so dress the kids up in their best family-friendly costumes.

An all-access ride bracelet will be available for $15 or individual ride tickets can be purchased.

The Fall Festival will run from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. at the EPCC Valle Verde campus, Americana Language Village, 919 Hunter Drive.

For more information, call (915) 831-2096.

Valle Verde ECHS Named Apple Distinguished School

Valle Verde Early College High School (VVECHS) is among 11 campuses in Texas – and the only public high school in West Texas – to earn the prestigious Apple Distinguished School designation through 2019 for continuous innovation in learning, teaching, and the school environment.

This is the third consecutive time that VVECHS has won this designation from Apple, a company known worldwide for its popular and innovative products.

This year, only 400 schools in 26 countries earned this designation for serving as centers of leadership and educational excellence that demonstrate Apple’s vision for learning with technology.

Apple officials say its Distinguished Schools program highlights school leaders, faculty, and the extended community for having a clear vision that articulates how their technology-rich environment supports their goals for learning.

School leaders have established elements for continuous innovation to support their school’s vision, including culture, team, capacity, community, finance, and measurement.

VVECHS – and other Apple Distinguished Schools – understand that continuous innovation is an ongoing process that requires thoughtful planning, practice, and iteration along the way, officials said. They use Apple products to inspire student creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking.

This designation is the latest in a series of notable achievements for the 400-student VVECHS, which was also named a 2017 National Blue Ribbon School in late September.

It has also been recognized as a Texas Early College High School Demonstration School, and was listed in 2016 as the top-ranked public high school in the El Paso region by U.S. News & World Report and Newsweek.

In order to attend VVECHS, students must commit to a rigorous, four-year curriculum in order to graduate with a high-school diploma and an associate’s degree from El Paso Community College.

Through the Apple Distinguished Schools program, VVECHS will not only receive a customized plaque and banner, but support through leadership events, opportunities to engage with experts, and collaboration with peers who share an interest in sustaining an innovative learning and teaching environment.

EPCC Administrator Receives TASFAA Hall of Fame Award

Raul Lerma, El Paso Community College (EPCC) Interim Vice-President of Student Services received the Texas Association of Student Financial Aid Association (TASFAA) Hall of Fame Award.

“Mr. Lerma has been an outstanding advocate for our students.  He has demonstrated commitment to EPCC’s mission to provide access to high quality and affordable education in our region,” Dr. William Serrata, EPCC President said.

The TASFAA Hall of Fame consists of an honorary group of current or former financial aid administrators who served in Texas.

Recipients have been designated by TASFAA as having been exceptional in their dedication and service to TASFAA and the students of Texas.

The award was given to Mr. Lerma  on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 in San Antonio, TX.

For more information, visit


El Paso Community College Assists Veteran-Owned Businesses

El Paso Community College (EPCC) Contract Opportunity Center’s Veterans Business Conference returns for the 12th straight year.

The conference is scheduled for Tuesday, October 24, 2017 from 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. at the Centennial Banquet and Conference Center, 11199 Sergeant E. Churchill, Fort Bliss.

“Historically, this conference has been an important event for the business communities in El Paso County, West Texas and Southern New Mexico,” Pablo Armendariz, Program Manager of the EPCC Contract Opportunities Center said.

“It has also presented an opportunity for government agencies and government prime contractors to extend their outreach,” Amendariz added.

This conference is open to all businesses, contractors and vendors interested in contracting with government agencies with a focus on Veteran and service-disabled Veteran-owned businesses.

Providing a venue for local and regional veteran-owned businesses, federal agencies and their prime contractors will become aware of their existence and capabilities

The registration fee for the Veterans Business Conference is $35.

To register or obtain more information, visit or call (915) 831-7749

El Paso Community College Awarded $327k NIH Grant

El Paso Community College (EPCC) was awarded a grant in the amount of $327,501 by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for the project Rise to the Challenge Bridge which is a collaborative effort between EPCC, the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) and New Mexico State University (NMSU).

The Rise to the Challenge Bridge project is intended to increase transfer, retention and for students to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences.

Supplemental Instruction, Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences, which introduces research to all students enrolled in a course, and individual student research internships with faculty teams from the three institutions are the core elements of the program.

EPCC has received close to half million dollars each year for the past 16 years to provide student research training opportunities and implement supplemental instruction in Biology, Chemistry and Math courses to enhance student learning.

“EPCC students at the freshman and sophomore level have been able to participate in scientific activities that most students don’t get to do until they are seniors or in graduate school including participation in research projects, presentations at national conferences bringing at least one award per year, and being co-authors in professional journal articles.” Dr. Maria Alvarez, Rise to the Challenge Bridge Program Director.

EPCC was the first community college to be funded by the Research Initiative Scientific Enhancement (RISE) program. To date, 159 EPCC RISE research scholars have transferred to a university and 90 graduated with baccalaureate degrees in biomedical sciences, 17 with master’s degrees, 12 with doctoral degrees, 20 are in graduate school and four have College/University faculty positions.

Thousands have benefitted from the Supplemental Instruction Program.

EPCC is the largest community college located on the U.S.-Mexico border and will be the lead institution for this important collaborative.

EPCC Board Chair Elected to National Post

Art Fierro, Board Chair for El Paso Community College, was recently elected to be the Diversity Committee Representative for the Western Region for the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT).

The Diversity Committee ensures leadership for the involvement of historically underrepresented diverse populations within the governance activities of ACCT.

“The EPCC Board of Trustees has been focused on finding innovative strategies to bridge achievement gaps, promote student achievement and help ensure access for a greater number of students,” Dr. William Serrata, EPCC President, said.  “We are honored to have Board Chair, Mr. Art Fierro advocating for diversity in community colleges at the national level and representing our unique perspective from the border region.”

The purpose of the committee is to promote respect for and acceptance of diverse individuals and promotes awareness and educational opportunity for underrepresented populations.  Fierro will play a key role advising the ACCT Board by strengthening the links with minority membership, identifying issues that require member input, and recommending strategies to improve diversity at community colleges.

Fierro, who has served on the EPCC Board of Trustees since 2006 and has been Board Chair since 2012, says that improving diversity has been a critical priority for him.  He has provided the strategic leadership on the Board of Trustees that has resulted in numerous accolades for the college and created successful student outcomes.

“As a Latino and the father of a college-aged son in the Marine Corp and a young daughter who will be part of the community college graduating class of 2027, I see firsthand the need to create a college-going culture along with ensuring access and improving diversity,” Fierro said.

Community colleges, like EPCC, provide students access to high quality and affordable education.  The EPCC perspective is necessary on the national level.  The college’s location on the U.S./Mexico border where the majority of students are low-income, first-generation, and underrepresented youth and adult learners provides a valuable perspective. Fierro says he believes that community colleges are the best way for our nation to achieve its economic and educational goals.

He describes the impact of higher education and wants to share the successful results achieved at EPCC with other institutions.     “Serving as the Western Region Diversity Representative, I want to share my perspective and lead with a vision that is inclusive of all students and communities,” Fierro said.

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

The mission of El Paso Community College is to provide accessible, quality and affordable education that prepares students for academic, professional and personal growth and advance our regional workforce.

ABC’s John Quiñones talks to EPCC Students

On Thursday, El Paso Community College (EPCC) hosted the well-known television personality, John Quiñones, from the TV Show What Would You Do?.

Quiñones gave an emotional talk to EPCC students about his Hispanic heritage, the struggles he went through earlier in his life and how he began in television.

“I did not speak English until I got into elementary school and me and my cousin used to shine shoes to help our parents with money,” John Quiñones said when talking about his childhood. “What makes a great man is what he would do when no one else is looking, that is what What Would You Do? is all about.”

At the event, EPCC students, faculty and staff were able to ask questions to Quiñones about recent issues, journalism, Hispanic Heritage, personal and professional life.

The event was part of the conclusion of the Hispanic Heritage Month (HHM) and took place at the Valle Verde Campus.

“We are very honored that a celebrity such as Mr. John Quiñones comes to our institution,” said Olga Chavez, Director of the EPCC Diversity Program. “Every year we work very hard at EPCC to celebrate the Hispanic Heritage Month with the El Paso community and try to make it better than the previous year.”


Hispanic Heritage Month is a series of events that EPCC Diversity Programs Department prepares year after year for the El Paso community.

This year’s theme, Honoring our Heritage, Building our Future, focused and honored those who have impacted the El Paso community.

Quiñones was also the Keynote Speaker at the Mentors’ Dinner held at the EPCC Administrative Services Center Auditorium Thursday night.

Local FAFSA Nights Assist College-Bound Students

El Paso Community College (EPCC) partners with The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), other area educational partners, and the Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce to help students and families afford college.

During October and November, business volunteers join financial aid officers from EPCC and UTEP to visit area high schools assisting students in filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Beginning October 2nd from 4:30-7:00 p.m., financial aid experts will visit the computer labs of 52 area high schools to help students and parents complete a FAFSA and are available to answer questions.

Participating students have the chance of receiving a $1,000 scholarship. Students are encouraged to fill out their FAFSA application as soon as possible.  The sooner students apply, submit completed applications and are awarded, the more quickly they are able to obtain their financial aid funding.

Every year, billions of dollars are available in federal grants, work-study positions, and loans to millions of students to help pay for college or technical school by making it possible and affordable.

EPCC is proud to be part of this effort in making a higher education possible for those in our community wishing to pursue this dream.  “The last reason not to consider pursing a post-secondary education is thinking it is expensive,” EPCC Interim Vice President of Student Services Raul Lerma said.  “There are many financial aid programs available to assist with this and all it takes is completing a FAFSA to find out what you qualify for.”

For a complete list of the days and which schools will be visited, click HERE. For more information, contact Raul Lerma at (915) 831-2640.

EPCC Forms Lego/Robotics Teams for UTEP’s Lego League Championship in January

El Paso Community College (EPCC) has formed K-12 teams to be part of the Lego/Robotics Tournament being held at the University of Texas at El Paso this January.

EPCC’s Jenna Welch and Laura Bush Community Library at the Northwest Campus has partnered with the UTEP College of Engineering to support robotic training geared for students as young as Pre-K and up to high school students.

EPCC officials say, “Whatever your age group, robotic skills will be developed, but more importantly so will your team and life skills.”

Participants could be selected to partake in the Second UTEP’s Lego League Championship to be held January 2018.

The EPCC team has training every Thursday from 4:30-5:30 p.m. at the Library located at 6701 South Desert Boulevard.


What: EPCC Team for UTEP First Lego League Championship

When: Thursday, September 21st, 4:30-5:30 pm and Thursdays throughout the fall

Where: EPCC Northwest Campus Library, 6701 South Desert Boulevard

EPCC Administrator Receives National Fellowship

El Paso Community College (EPCC) and The National Community College Hispanic Council (NCCHC) announce Marisa Pierce, EPCC Executive Director of Outreach and Transition Services, is participating in the prestigious NCCHC Leadership Development Program as a 2017 Fellow.

“It is an honor and a privilege to represent EPCC as an NCCHC Leadership Fellow,” Pierce said.  “Through this learning experience I hope to build a strong leadership tool kit and become a greater advocate for Latin(as)os in higher education leadership roles.”

Pierce is one of 22 members of the 2017 Fellows cohort selected from community college candidates from around the country.

EPCC’s trendsetting role in the area of education to Latin(as)os has been recognized by many national publications. “Being a Hispanic in a leadership position affords me the opportunity to be a role model for our students.  In our roles we are the real life examples of Latino(as)os that have made it.” Pierce said. “As we work to foster our students’ success, we may very well be planting the seed that influences their own future academic and career possibilities.”

The program is designed to develop a pool of highly qualified Latin(as)os whose career interest focuses on assuming increasingly responsible administrative positions, with the ultimate goal of becoming a community college president.


EPCC Signs Alliance to Promote Worker Safety and Health

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the El Paso Community College (EPCC) – Risk Management Institute have signed an alliance to provide workers, students, and employers in El Paso with information, guidance and access to OSHA training classes.

“Thanks to our Texas Mutual Insurance Corporation partners, and now with our partnership with the OSHA Alliance, the EPCC Risk Management Institute will be able to reach out and offer training to more industrial employees than ever before,” said Barry Bogle, Director of EPCC Law Enforcement Training Academy Security & Special Officers. “By combining our resources and assets. the ability to receive quality safety training will open to nearly everyone in the industries within our region.”

The two-year alliance will expand access to OSHA’s 10- and 30-hour training courses to promote understanding of the workplace safety and health rights and responsibilities of workers and employers in the El Paso metro area.

These rights and responsibilities are detailed in the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.

Through its Alliance Program, OSHA works with businesses, trade associations, unions, consulates, professional organizations, faith- and community-based organizations, and educational institutions to prevent workplace fatalities, injuries and illnesses.

For details on OSHA partnerships and alliances, please call OSHA’s toll-free hotline 800-321-OSHA (6742) or OSHA’s El Paso Area Office at 915-534-6251.

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