July TMCC Community Good News

K. Patricia Bouweraerts
GEAR Up Student Presentation Image

Washoe County School District GEAR UP students in the TMCC Jump Start Dual Credit, Entrepreneurship 200 course made professional business pitch presentations on July 14.

GEAR UP Students Excel in Entrepreneurship Presentations

Twenty professionally-dressed, animated entrepreneurship students presented their 40-second business pitches to classmates, college guests and family members on July 14 at Truckee Meadows Community College.

Confidently striding up to the front of the room, each presenter spoke about the features of their team’s product, how their product line meets market demand and the first year expected financials for their proposed company. Some handed out business cards following the well-practiced elevator pitches. The students projected their voices and made eye contact with the audience, showing preparation and skill.

Their ideas for products included an electronic charger that can charge a device while playing back music, a hair brush that conditions while detangling, a hands-free drone-based camera, and a make-up foundation that matches skin tone.

“Not only is this class such a great opportunity, but you really do learn and have fun on the way,” said Leslie, entrepreneurship student and GEAR UP participant.

Her classmate Eddie agrees.

“The dual credit class really got me more interested in going to college,” he said. “And the class itself made me realize what area of study I would like to pursue.”

The Washoe County School District high school juniors who have been studying ENT 200, Fundamentals of Entrepreneurship this summer are from the following schools participating in the GEAR UP program:

  • Earl Wooster High School
  • Procter R. Hug High School
  • Academy of Arts, Careers and Technology (AACT)

GEAR UP stands for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, and is a program of the U.S. Department of Education. The federally-funded grant has been put in place to increase the number of first generation or low-income students ready to enter and succeed in college.

“Our overarching goal is to set an expectation to go to college, and being ready to go to college,” said Mari Jimenez-Ortiz, the GEAR UP Ambassador at TMCC.

As part of Jump Start Dual Credit, students taking the entrepreneurship class will both earn one elective high school credit and three college credits at TMCC. The summer course took place on the Dandini Campus for three weeks from 8 a.m.-noon. Lunch was provided and the students worked in teams on projects or individually with tutors for the afternoon sessions from 12:30-2:30 p.m.

For more information about Jump Start Dual Credit, please call 775-674-7638.


ECE Program is Reaccredited and the Degree in ECE Administration Also Earns Accreditation

The Early Childhood Education (ECE) Program at TMCC, originally accredited in 2009 by NAEYC's Early Childhood Associate Degree Accreditation (ECADA) Commission, was just reaccredited for another seven years.

In addition, the Associate of Applied Science, ECE—Administration of Early Care and Education Programs Emphasis degree program at TMCC is newly accredited. This results in all four ECE degrees now being fully accredited.

“Our entire ECE program is the only associate degree program in the state to be externally accredited by ECADA,” said Crystal Swank, Professor, Coordinator of Early Childhood Education.


Annie Yamamoto and Jake Lau are Top-Place Finishers at SkillsUSA Competition

Annie Yamamoto and Jake Lau, Culinary Arts Program majors at TMCC, placed at number 3 and 15 in the nation for their categories in the SkillsUSA 2016 National Leadership and Skills Conference (NLSC) Championships.

“Not only was our trip to Louisville, KY full of wonderful experiences, lots of laughs and many good memories; our talented students represented Reno in a big way,” said Chef Karen Cannan, Professor of Culinary Arts.

Yamamoto won the Commercial Baking Bronze Medallion, earning third place in the U.S.

Lau was awarded the National Skills Certificate for his performance demonstrating above average skills in all points of the national SkillsUSA competencies for Culinary Arts. He placed 15 in the nation.

“This trip has generated our fifth medal competing at the national level,” Chef Cannan said. “Not bad for a community college from the Biggest Little City going up against all other colleges, including private big name schools including Le Cordon Bleu, Art Institutes and the Culinary Institute of America, (CIA).”

The 52nd annual SkillsUSA NLSC took place June 20-24, with more than 16,000 students, instructors and business and industry partners taking part in the event. Business partners included career professionals and trade association representatives—they determine the competencies which are tested in championship contests. About 6,000 students competed in 100 trade, technical and leadership SkillsUSA Championship categories. The theme of this year’s conference was “Champions at Work.” The NLSC awards ceremony took place on Friday, June 24 at the Kentucky Exposition Center.

“Words cannot express how grateful and blessed I feel being surrounded by such a strong, hard-working and talented group of people,” Chef Cannan said. “Thank you to my colleagues Chef Craig Rodrigue, Chef Mari Cole and to our assistants Mary McQueen and Toni Scott for continually going above and beyond, so goals can be met and then lead to these great accomplishments.”

Contact the Culinary Arts Program for more information.


Staff Member YeVonne Allen Volunteers with Youth Projects

YeVonne Allen, Equity, Inclusion and Sustainability Office, Specialist, enjoys volunteering because it brings together the community. This committed staff member has contributed for more than four years at OUR Center, Northern Nevada Pride and the Nevada Youth Empowerment Project.

“To me, volunteering has always been about keeping the local community connected,” Allen said. “The hours spent as a coordinator for Northern Nevada Pride CommUNITY Parade and Festival has been one of the most rewarding volunteer activities I have ever done.”

Allen is currently Media and Marketing Director for Northern Nevada Pride. Northern Nevada Pride is an advocacy campaign benefitting local nonprofit 501(c)3 organization OUR Center, Northern Nevada's only LGBTQ community center. In addition, Allen volunteers for the annual Homeless Youth Count sponsored by OUR Center.

The community has recognized Allen’s dedicated efforts, honored in 2014 and 2016 with the Harvey Milk-Made Award, Community Builder.

"Being a civil rights advocate in Northern Nevada, I strive for promoting equity and inclusion in my community," Allen said.

Allen also serves as the TMCC SGA student organization, Compass Club staff advisor.


Contributions to TMCC Good News are Welcome

Additional contributions for good news are welcome. If you have an achievement, volunteer experience or award to share with the TMCC community, please let us know.