October Good News: Part 2

K. Patricia Bouweraerts
Culinary Students Image

Culinary Arts students volunteer preparing the Challenger Learning Center's Gala Dinner on Oct. 14.

Culinary Arts Students Serve Science Education

Truckee Meadows Community College Culinary Arts students volunteered to work as part of the catering team for a charitable event advancing science education that took place on Saturday, Oct. 14 at the Renaissance Reno Downtown Hotel.

The festive banquet benefited the Challenger Learning Center of Northern Nevada, a regional chapter of the international nonprofit, Challenger Center for Space Science Education. Families of astronauts who died in the tragic Challenger Space Shuttle disaster in 1986 founded the Challenger Center. There are about 45 Centers in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, and South Korea.

The students worked with Renaissance's Banquet Chef preparing the Challenger Learning Center's Gala Dinner. The Gala Dinner is part of the Challenger Center’s month-long October Skies celebration.

Another event in which TMCC participated during October Skies was a presentation of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) by Instructor Mark Sharp. The talk and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) demonstration was held at the National Automobile Museum on Oct. 2. Sharp showed flight controls, presented take-offs, and talked about the UAS Program at TMCC.

Alumna Laura Torres Staffs a Booth at Fall Job Fair

TMCC Associate of Science Alumna Laura Torres participated in the Oct. 18 Fall Job Fair, tabling for her employer, Zulily, LLC.

She now holds the title of Area Manager at Zulily, and staffed a recruiting table at the Job Fair along with two of her colleagues.

“I liked the flexibility I had here as a student, the classes were small, and since I worked on campus, my school employer (TMCC's Access, Outreach and Recruitment Department) was very flexible with my schedule,” she said.

She transferred to UNR after graduating from TMCC, and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree—Business Administration and Management, General.

“The Summer Bridge helped out a lot too, they helped me through it—they were mentors for me encouraging me through college,” she said.

English Instructor Joshua Shinn Published in Reno Gazette-Journal

In August, TMCC English Instructor Joshua Shinn wrote a blog article for Reno Dads, a community network to which he belongs. The Reno Dads’ blog is a collaborative project, written by local parents about the tasks and joys of fatherhood, sharing their experiences with other like-minded dads in the region.

His original article, “The Modern Political Pawn: Children,” was posted on Aug. 23. In the thought piece, Shinn discusses how dads handle political topics as they try to be good parents. The Reno Gazette-Journal (RGJ) discovered the piece and reached out to Shinn to publish it on their website.

The RGJ made a few edits to set the piece into Associated Press (AP) style, and published it on Sept. 8 as “Reno Dads Blog: Children shouldn’t be used as political mascots.”

Fall Accomplishments by Liberal Arts Division Faculty

TMCC’s Liberal Arts professors and instructors have reached milestones in October that bring several of their most important goals into sharp focus.

The milestone of successfully applying grant funds to remodel traditional rooms into innovative learning environments is being celebrated with new teaching methods that are being created for the spaces.

English Instructor Karen Wikander, Ph.D. is developing iPad and Apple projects that will be applied in writing assignments for classes held in the new innovative classrooms at TMCC.

“She has led efforts to assess the effectiveness of our newly designed spaces, to coordinate training for instructors, and to strategize improvements,” said Liberal Arts Division Dean, Jill Channing, PhD.

Another accomplishment in the Division is the success of embedded tutoring and supplemental instruction, with data now available from the 2016-2017 academic year.

“We found in the Fall 2016 Semester, students who enrolled in English 101 were retained at a rate of 74 percent over all other sections whereas students enrolled in English 101 with exposure to an embedded tutor were retained at a rate of 86 percent,” Dr. Channing said.

For English 102: Composition II, the presence of embedded tutors increased the retention rate from 69 percent to 92 percent.

“In the face-to-face class and online environments, embedded tutors who also work at the physical tutoring center site are available outside of class for in-person appointments and small study group meetings, providing additional support, application of course material, and explanations of challenging and important concepts,” Channing added.

Monster Panel

For the fourth consecutive year, right around the time of Halloween, TMCC faculty have produced an educational, yet scary, special event for the enjoyment of students—the Monster Panel.

Throughout time, frightening tales have originated from very real human fears, and the Monster Panel examines the actual and imagined monsters featured in stories from various subject areas such as biology and anthropology.

Professors and the audience dress in costume, gathering to talk about monsters within, and from far away. The event is free and open to the public.

The “mad” panel of professors hosting the event on Oct. 19 this year:

  • Biology Professor Meeghan Gray, Dragons
  • Sociology Instructor Marynia Giren-Navarro, Business of Death and Dying
  • English Professor Hugh Frasier, Vampires
  • English Instructor Karen Wikander, The Monsters of David Lynch
  • Resource Librarian Neil Siegel, The Evolution of Monsters
  • Humanities Professor Wade Hampton, Aspects of Horror in Edgar Allan Poe
  • Biology Instructor Cecilia Vigil, Vampire Bats

Contributions to TMCC Good News are Welcome

Additional contributions for good news are welcome. If you have an achievement or volunteer experience to share with the TMCC community, please contact Marketing and Communications at 775-673-7087.