In Brief: May 2024

May 30, 2024

Kirk Dickey

Black coffee cup and a stack of newspapers

Collision Technology professor Raven Hartkopf was a member of a panel discussion at the Auto Body Association of Texas’ first-ever Women’s Night of Honor on May 22. Hartkopf provided insights into the demographics of Collin’s program, discussed ways to engage and recruit those women into entry-level positions, and offered tips on implementing an inclusion/diversity program at shops.

More than 1,000 people attended the Celina Campus Carnival on April 17. The campus signature event drew 1,071 participants, including students, faculty, staff, and community members.

Five student essays have been chosen for the Integrated Reading and Writing (INRW) Co-Req Student Showcase for Spring 2024. The following INRW spring papers are now viewable in Collin College’s Digital Commons: Shatela Harris’ “From the Ashes Rises a Phoenix”; Jiayi He’s  “Grandma's Dining Room: Chinese New Year”; Phuc Thai Le’s “Historical Journey of Asian Americans: From Departing Homeland to Political Engagement and Voting Rights”; Jalimar Paredes Nava’s “Grandma's Dining Room with the Aroma of Coffee and Love”; and Nghi Nguyen Phuong Pham’s “My Comfort Zone.”

Sherry Scamardo, program director for Scholars Active in Learning (SAIL) at Collin College, was featured in the Plano Star Courier’s Plano Women of Inspiration on May 12. In a Q&A, Scamardo shared her experience as SAIL director and serving her second term chair of the Plano Senior Advisory Board. She talked about her advocacy for the 55+ community and how Collin College and the city of Plano have provided outstanding support and resources to the community.

Celina Campus Executive Dean Brenda Carter successfully completed her dissertation defense at Texas A&M-Commerce on April 30. The title of her dissertation is “Organizational Commitment: Describing Meaning via the Lived Experiences of Adjunct Faculty at a North Texas Community College District.”

Associate Dean Meredith Martin successfully defended her doctoral dissertation for a Doctorate of Education from St. Edward's University. Her dissertation was titled “Exploring the Lived Experiences and Belonging of Students With Disabilities in a Community College Environment: A Phenomenological Study.”

The Wylie Campus held its annual Collin Bound event in April, welcoming 306 seniors, parents, faculty, and staff to the event. Two scholarships were awarded to two seniors planning to attend Collin College in the fall. Deidra Carpenter and Andreshia Kelly served as the Co-Chairs of this event.

iCollin Virtual Campus Provost Dr. Sarah Lee and Associate Dean Jill Nugent presented at the Online Learning Consortium Innovate Conference in April in Denver, Colorado. The title of their presentation was: “From Brick-and-Mortar to Online: Lessons from Launching a Virtual Campus at a Large, Multi-Campus Community College.”

Design/painting student Camilia Diamante was accepted on scholarship to the London School of Art for Fall 24.

Jeff Angel, a U.S. Army veteran and HVAC student, received the Next Generation scholarship from Trade Academy, a division of HouseCallPro. The award includes $2,500 cash, tools, clothing, and supplies. Angel was one of only 20 winners.

In recognition of TX HB3435 and Collin College Board Policy EJA (Legal), the Girls in STEM committee, led by Dawn Richardson, Tripat Baweja, and Meredith Wang, hosted the first annual Girls in STEM camp for 45 middle school-aged Girl Scouts at the Technical campus. The camp participants built popsicle stick catapults and raced their newly constructed balloon-powered cars while earning a custom Collin College Girls in STEM patch.

The Collin College Model United Nations team recently brought 16 students to New York for the international conference. These students represented the country of Spain and were divided into multiple committees of the United Nations to simulate being representatives of the country. Olivia Houghtby and James Kramer earned a position paper award for their work on the United National Environment Assembly titled "Environmental Sustainability in the Textile and Fashion Industries and Implementing the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework." Position paper awards are given to delegations in each committee for their research and writing work before participation at the conference. The Collin College Model UN team received the Distinguished Delegation Award. Collin College ranked in the highest overall category of all junior colleges attending the conference. Other notable colleges and universities in the Distinguished Delegation Award category were the University of Mississippi, Wichita State University, and Georgia State.

Professor Paul Manganelli organized a Virtual Food Drive and raised $1,183 for the North Texas Food Bank (NTFB) as part of the Frisco campus Earth Day Celebrations. This money equates to 3,549 meals for people who are experiencing food insecurity. The NTFB works with area partners to purchase food at less-than-retail prices, so each dollar donated provides three meals. In the three years the Virtual Food Drive has run in association with Earth Day, a total of $4,349 has been raised to supply 13,047 meals in total.

Dr. Katie Johnson, professor at Frisco Campus, involved her Spring 2024 Biology 1408 students in a “Perils of Plastics” Service Learning project. The goal was to raise awareness about plastics and how they impact the environment and the human body. Students researched what plastics are made of and how that relates to the degradation (or lack thereof) of plastic products and the various types of plastics that can be recycled. The project promoted scientific literacy through peer-reviewed journal articles about the effects micro and nano-plastics have on cells and thus the human body, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and how plastic and other trash end up in the oceans. For the service aspect of the project, students collectively spent over 200 hours cleaning up litter in Collin County, including sorting and recycling litter items and reporting to the Texas Trash Audit. Many students also partnered with the City of Plano Environmental Health and Sustainability Department to clean up specific waterways and other locations and track and audit plastic utensil distribution in take-out orders at local restaurants, hoping to provide both financial-based and ecologic reductions in plastic use. Students reported being much more aware of trash in and around their community and being more willing to clean up litter when they come across it. They also felt they would make lifestyle changes by purchasing and using less plastics.

Collin College Alpha Mu Tau Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa attended the Texas Region Convention and received the Texas Top Chapter Award, Nancy Long Continued Excellence Award, and the Most Distinguished Chapter, being the fourth highest scoring chapter in the region out of 92 chapters.

Individual Awards include:

  • Horizon Award for New Advisors: Jennifer Morrow
  • Regional Coordinator Award: H. Jessica Hargis
  • Continued Excellence Award for Advisors: Professor Brandy S. Jumper
  • Hall of Honor for Advisors: Jennifer Morrow
  • Award of Merit for Outstanding Alumni: James Carter and Kassie Garcia
  • Hall of Honor for Outstanding Members: Caitlyn Jesselle Ballesil
  • Hall of Honor for Chapter Officers: Nathan Gray and Simrah Sajjad
  • Distinguished Chapter Officer Team Awards: Jayna Burch, Marcus Wade Bush, Maria Cecconato, Yerassyl Dauletbak, Nathan Gray, Jersey Johnson, Amanuel Moges, Raymond Masuka Philip, Simrah Sajjad, Charlene Tanya Sunde, Alan Tovar
  • Distinguished Chapter Advisor Team Award: H. Jessica Hargis, Dr. Brian Blanchard, Professor Brandy S. Jumper, and Jennifer Morrow
  • DII Hall of Honor: Amanuel Moges, Nathan Gray, Maria Cecconato, Caitlyn Jesselle Ballesil, and Temiloluwa Ogunleye
  • DV Hall of Honor: H. Jessica Hargis

Chapter Awards include:

  • Five Star Chapter
  • Texas Top Chapter 
  • Honors in Action & College Project Participation Award 
  • Poster Competition, HIA First Place
  • College Project Awards of Merit
  • HIA Award of Distinction - Theme 1 – Essence of Play

Collin College Alpha Mu Tau Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa recently returned from the International Convention, Catalyst, earning the following:

Individual Awards Include:

  • Phi Theta Kappa’s 2024 Distinguished Member: Caitlyn Jesselle Ballesil
  • Phi Theta Kappa’s 2024 Distinguished Officer: Nathan Gray
  • Phi Theta Kappa’s 2024 Distinguished Chapter Officer Team Awards: Jayna Burch, Marcus Wade Bush, Maria Cecconato, Yerassyl Dauletbak, Nathan Gray, Jersey Johnson, Amanuel Moges, Raymond Masuka Philip, Simrah Sajjad, Charlene Tanya Sunde, Alan Tovar
  • Phi Theta Kappa’s 2024 Distinguished Chapter Advisor Team Award: Dr. H. Jessica Hargis, Dr. Brian Blanchard, Professor Brandy S. Jumper, and Jennifer Morrow
  • Paragon Award for Advisors: Jennifer Morrow

Chapter Awards Include:

  • Distinguished College Project
  • Distinguished Honors in Action
  • Distinguished Theme Award Honors in Action (one of three given)
  • Beta Alpha Continued Excellence Award (Distinguished Chapter three years in a row – given to only 16 chapters internationally)
  • Top 100 Chapter
  • Top 50 (internationally)

Alpha Mu Tau Alumni Association Awards Include:

  • 5-Star status
  • Third-Runner Up to the most Distinguished Alumni Association (out of 65 alumni associations)

The Celina Campus hosted a Meet the Candidates forum for local Celina elections on April 18. The event was sponsored by Star Media and attended by more than 80 people.

Henry Elmendorf, a member of the team whose experiment was chosen for the  Student Spaceflight Experiment Program on the International Space Station, has been accepted to Texas A&M University to work on a master’s degree in Science in Water and Hydrological Engineering. His goal is to work with Texas A&M AgriLife as a water conservation specialist.

Amy Gainer, dean of Academic Affairs at Technical Campus, graduated from Leadership Allen Fairview, Class of 35. 

In May, the Collin College Law Enforcement Academy (CCLEA) hosted the Federal Bureau of Investigation Law Enforcement Executive Development Association (FBI-LEEDA) at the Public Safety Training Center. Over the past two years, CCLEA has hosted the three leadership courses required to obtain the FBI-LEEDA Trilogy Award, a sought-after accomplishment in law enforcement circles. As the host agency, Collin College has received complimentary seats in all courses. This has contributed to the following Collin College Police sergeants and lieutenants completing the FBI-LEEDA Trilogy or completing it this week: Lt. Don Mewbourn, Lt. Traci DeRose, Lt. Justin Atherton, Sgt. Scott Knight, Sgt. Darin Davis, Sgt. Jeff Rosso, Sgt. Warren McNurlen, Sgt. Eric Hawkins, and Sgt. Brittany Lemalu. 

The Collin College Law Enforcement Academy (CCLEA) hosted representatives from the Toronto Canda Police Services at the Public Safety Training Center for a facility tour and a discussion about the Officer Exchange Program. CCLEA has hosted cadets from the United Arab Emirates twice as a part of the exchange program.

Law Enforcement Academy Director Scott Donaldson and Lt. Don Mewbourn have accepted invitations to present on Campus Security and Safety at the Texas Community College Teachers Association’s (TCCTA) “Leading from the Middle” Conference in July. Donaldson said the pair will focus on various safety improvements the college is making in addition to discussions of the School Marshal program in effect throughout the district.

Respiratory care students received multiple grants and awards at the Texas Society for Respiratory Care (TSRC) 2024 convention in San Marcos. The Respiratory Care Foundation of Texas gives out grants to students who apply with a written paper, letter of recommendation, and their transcript. Of the five awarded at the event, three students were from Collin: Nicole Gehring, $500; Ella Fannin, $1,000; and Liza Potyok, $3,000. The college also won $2,000 for the college's Respiratory Care Excellence Fund.  

Collin College took first place in the Texas Sputum Bowl Competition. Organized in a quiz show format, Sputum Bowl is a respiratory care knowledge competition to test student and practitioner knowledge on anatomy and physiology, diagnostics, pathology, mechanical ventilation, neonatal/pediatric care, airway management, pharmacology, and more. Two teams of three face off in 10-minute games, trying to buzz in with the correct answers before the other. The winning team members are (from left) Ella Fannin, Justin Barrall, and Chloe Murillos.

In partnership with the Collin College Foundation, the Texas Big Star Half Marathon and 5K sold out at the Frisco Campus on April 20 and set a record with more than 2,000 runners crossing the finish line. A portion of the proceeds will benefit scholarships for Collin College students.

The Districtwide Career Fair was held on April 18 at the Plano Campus. The crowd included 686 job seekers – 324 current students, 80 alumni/former students, and 282 community members – and 121 employers.

Cisco Certified Network Associate student John Meisner was selected for the Cisco Networking Academy Dream Team. Dream Team members are top Networking Academy students from across the nation who are chosen to work alongside industry professionals to set up the Network Operations Center (NOC) at a high-profile event and maintain the network.

Collin College Tennis closed out its season with appearances at National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) national tennis tournaments. Collin College Men’s Tennis took fourth in the nation at the men’s tournament, hosted by Collin at the Plano Campus, May 13-17. Collin College Women’s Tennis took 14th place at their May 4-8 tournament in Tyler. Both teams expect many of their athletes to return in 2024-25.

Jacob Hollingsworth, a former dual credit student from Wylie East High School, was named the American Southwest Conference (ASC) Freshman of the Year for Hardin-Simmons Baseball and recognized on the 3rd Team All ASC. During his time at Collin College, Jacob completed 24 credit hours with a GPA of 3.00.

Collin College was awarded a $2 million dollar grant from the  U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration for building infrastructure improvements to support healthcare workforce training. Get ready to see some big changes at the Plano Campus. Thanks to Pritiben Patel of the North Central Texas Council of Governments for her guidance and expertise and Natalie Greenwell and her team for all of their work.

Collin College student Jersey Johnson of McKinney has been named a recipient of the Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. This highly-coveted national award covers up to $55,000 per year toward her university pursuits. Only about 85 awardees were selected this year out of nearly 1,700 applicants.