April Good News

K. Patricia Bouweraerts
Natalie Brown Image

Estela LeVario-Gutierrez, VP of Student Services; Natalie Brown, Program Dir., Academic Advisement, Transfer, & International Student Services; and Sharon Wurm, Dir. of Financial Aid & Student Success

Natalie Brown is NACADA Region 9 Advising Administrator of the Year

“I am pleased to announce that Dr. Natalie Brown was named as the NACADA Region 9 Advising Administrator of the Year for 2017,” said Estela LeVario-Gutierrez, Vice President of Student Services and Diversity at Truckee Meadows Community College.

NACADA is The Global Community for Academic Advising, and Region 9 includes California, Hawaii, and Nevada. Natalie Brown, PhD, TMCC Program Director for Academic Advisement, Transfer, Orientation and International Student Services, received the award at the Region 9 Conference on Mar. 23. The Conference was held at the University of Nevada, Reno. Her honor is named specifically the “Region 9 Excellence in Advising—Advising Administrator 2017.”

Brown was nominated for the honor by the staff of her department at TMCC.

“Natalie is, as the award states, an outstanding academic advising administrator,” said Sharon Wurm, Director of Financial Aid and Student Success. “Her approach to advising theory, student development, and advising delivery is that of a scholar-practitioner. She will be the first to tell you that her success is due to her amazing team of advising professionals, all of whom are dedicated to student success; and led by Natalie, they offer a first-rate advising experience for our students.”

The NACADA Annual Awards Program for Academic Advising began in 1983 and honors those who make important contributions to the field of academic advising.

NACADA has 11,000 members and publishes a scholarly Journal and numerous regular online publications. It also funds research grants and awards scholarships. This professional organization fosters a network for faculty, advisors and administrators, helps further their education and training, and supports best practices in academic advising.

Kimberly Tran and AACT/TMCC Team Top Finishers at NASA Rover Challenge

The Academy of Arts, Careers, and Technology (AACT) and TMCC (includes TMCC High School) students' Rover Team competed in the NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge competition that took place at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL from Mar. 31–Apr. 1. A total of 96 high school and college teams competed, including international teams.

The AACT/TMCC team earned second place in the high school division, and third place overall for high schools and colleges. Kimberly Tran, a TMCC Student Government Association (SGA) Senator At-Large was Sub-captain of the AACT/TMCC team, Silver Wolves.

“The project is broken down into different divisions, allowing students to work on areas of their choice,” she said. “I was put in charge of the telemetry division of the project.”

The NASA Rover contest is one of the engineering design challenges prompted by NASA’s plans to begin more missions exploring the solar system, including its asteroids, planets and moons. Specifically, the Rover Challenge was a contest for high school and college students to design, construct and test devices that would be able to operate in demanding environments. One of the objectives of the competition was to challenge students in their application of technologies that will be needed in these future missions.

Student teams were required to build a working rover that is human-powered and can carry two students over a half-mile obstacle course. The course featured difficulties such as inclines, depressions, boulders, ridges and craters. Tran added that there was a time limit.

“The athletes using the rover were able to complete the course in five minutes and nine seconds,” she said. “The rover's volume dimension needed to be within 5 feet by 5 feet by 5 feet. The rover weighed approximately 218 lbs. Our two selected athletes had to carry the rover a designated distance before racing. The rover was equipped with a telemetry system capable of transmitting live video and recording GPS data.”

AACT and TMCC Rover
Team Participants
Instructors and Advisors
  • Alissa Chavalithumrong, senior, team leader
  • Jordan Buxton, senior, team leader
  • Lorenzo Arvisu, junior, athlete, telemetry, drafting, wheels, fabrication
  • Grace Wallace, junior, social media
  • Kimberly Aguilar, junior, athlete, collection system leader
  • Uriah Rupp-Lewis, sophomore, team member
  • Jacob Brown, freshman, team member
  • Sarahann Wallace, sophomore, team member
  • Benjamin Black, sophomore, team member
  • Henry Austin Day, junior, team member
  • Adrian Ortiz, senior, fabrication
  • James Mullins, junior, team member
  • Angel Lopez, sophomore, team member
  • Jacob Friedman, senior, team member
  • Sara Santero, freshman, team member
  • Amber Phillips, freshman, team member
  • Mason Perez, sophomore, team member
  • Kyle Andelin, senior, telemetry
  • Desmond LaCounte, sophomore, team member
  • Miranda Weiner, senior, team member
  • Mimi Hoppe, junior, athlete
  • Kimberly Tran, junior, telemetry leader
  • Ashen Mindnich, junior, team member
  • Juan Gil, senior, fabrication, assisted other project areas
  • Jack Brown, sophomore, team member
  • Turbo Sombatsiri, junior, collection system, drafting, wheels
  • Hunter Sykes, freshman, team member
  • Kenzie Machutta, junior, team member
  • Mark Perez, junior, athlete
  • Tanner Swinney, junior, technical writing
  • Jordan Hernandez, senior, team member
  • Irene De Haan, junior, human-powered vehicle, social media
  • Ivan Uy, sophomore, team member
  • Daniel W. Ruby, University of Nevada, Reno
  • Greg Burge, Washoe County School District
  • Addison Wilhite, WCSD
  • James Cooney, WCSD and TMCC
  • Brent Judy, WCSD
  • Phil Nowak (alumni helper)
  • Mrs. Frey (chaperone)

National 2YC3 Chemistry Conference at TMCC Impresses Visitors

The TMCC Physical Sciences Department hosted the national Two-year College Consortium’s 216th Conference, “Chemistry Inside and Outside the Classroom” from Mar. 31–Apr. 1, 2017.

Chemistry Professors Olga Katkova and Kathleen Kolbet, and Chemistry Instructor Matthew Leathen organized the event that brought together chemistry instructors from across the U.S.

“The conference was successful and we received a lot of positive feedback,” Katkova said. “Many of the attendees expressed that ‘it was the best 2YC3 conference’ that they ever attended. They commented, ‘Very interesting topics,’ and ‘great planning and organization.’"

The TMCC Science, Technology Engineering, and Math (STEM) Society student club volunteered at the event.

“Students Autumn and James volunteered at the registration table to welcome the conference attendees,” Katkova added. “Special thanks to Cal Anderson for his extraordinary help with the website. Thank you to all of our wonderful keynote speakers, presenters, and workshop facilitators. Additionally, thanks to Kathy M. Carrigan, Chair of 2YC3 and all our student volunteers.”

Katkova, Kolbet and Leathen wish to acknowledge the following individuals and departments for their support:

  • TMCC President Karen Hilgersom, PhD
  • Vice President of Academic Affairs Barbara Buchanan, PhD
  • Department of Physical Sciences: Julie Ellsworth, Dawn Ingraham, Dan Loranz, David Boden, Ted Plaggemeyer, Sameer Bhattarai, Patrick Guiberson, Lee Anderson
  • Marketing and Communications Office
  • Facilities Operations and Capital Planning
  • Professional Development Office
  • Information Technology (IT)
  • Cashier’s Office
  • University Police Services and TMCC Substation
  • Media Services
  • Food Service Director, Steven Jones
  • Dean of Liberal Arts, Jill Channing, PhD

For more information about the Conference, see TMCC's College News story about the national 216th 2YC3 event.

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.