December Good News

Rebecca A Eckland
Chef and Culinary Arts instructor Craig Rodgrigue was recently named Chef of the Month by the High Sierra Chef's Association.

TMCC Culinary Arts Professor Chef Karen Cannan with Instructor Craig Rodrigue, who was recently named Chef of the Month by the High Sierra Chefs Association.

Craig Rodrigue Featured as Chef of the Month by the High Sierra Chefs Association

In November, Culinary Arts Instructor Craig Rodrigue was named Chef of the Month by the High Sierra Chefs Association. The organization, which has been an official chapter of the American Culinary Federation since 1977, embodies an essential part of the Culinary profession: community connection. Rodrigue, who has worked at favorite local restaurants such as Adele’s at the Plaza in Reno (now-defunct), where he was assistant executive chef, and The Stone House Café in Reno, where he was sous chef for four years, teaches his students the importance of becoming a part of the culinary community.

“The greatest joy in my life was working at Adele’s at the Plaza as an assistant executive chef,” Rodridgue said. “The one-on-one time I spent working with Adele’s owner was the best thing.”

As a dedicated chef and educator, Rodrigue works to impart the importance of gaining experience through the classroom and real-world experience. He has created an Aspiring Chefs Club on campus, which is open to future, past and present Culinary Arts students. The purpose of the Club is to connect students to opportunities to use their culinary arts skills in the community. This approachmerging technical skill with contextis key to all Rodrigue’s classes.

If you’re interested in a taste of the Culinary Arts program, students in Rodrigue’s Tech II class are hosting a Final Dinner on Wednesday, Dec. 5 at 6 p.m. to showcase their skills to other students, staff and members of the community. Tickets to the five-course meal are available for $30 each and all the proceeds go directly into the program. For more information, email Rodrigue directly.

Elena Bubnova Nominated to Serve as a Member of the NCMPR Executive Council

The National Council for Marketing and Public Relations (NCMPR) is one of the fastest-growing affiliates of the American Association of Community Colleges, and is the only organization of its kind that exclusively represents marketing and public relations professionals at community and technical colleges. With more than 1,700 members from nearly 650 colleges across the United States and Canada, the organization provides professional development opportunities, advocates on behalf of the profession and the institutions it serves and recognizes professional excellence. 

TMCC Associate Vice President for Institutional Research, Marketing and Web Services, Elena Bubnova, was elected as a representative in NCMPR's District 6, which includes representatives from Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Utah, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Territory of Guam.

“It is a tremendous opportunity to represent Nevada and TMCC, and the amazing work we are doing,” said Bubnova. “It is also a great way to stay at the forefront of best practices in community college marketing and communications. I’m humbled and honored to be a part of this professional organization, and to represent the entire state.”

Bubnova previously worked in the Institutional Research, Analysis and Effectiveness Office since 1999, becoming Executive Director of the office in 2003. The IR office is committed to providing data and analyses to support planning, policy development and decision-making aimed at improving the educational experience of students at TMCC. In addition to doing research and data analysis, Bubnova has served on multiple college committees, including co-chairing the Enrollment Management committee, while serving on the Planning Council, Accreditation Steering Committee, Resources Allocation, CRM Implementation Task Force and as a member of senior leadership. She has worked closely with five Presidents of TMCC and also works extensively with educational partners including Washoe County School District, Nevada Department of Education, University of Nevada, Reno and other NSHE institutions.

Kreg Mebust Pursues Licensure to Enrich Student Experiences in the Classroom and on the Job

Kreg Mebust, who is the lead faculty for the Architecture, Residential Design and Landscape Architecture classes at TMCC and a recent NISOD Excellence Award Recipient, recently received licensure in Residential Design, awarded by the Nevada State Board of Architecture, Interior Design and Residential Design (NSBAIDRD). “After cobbling together all my work experience, the NSBAIDRD found me eligible to sit for the state’s licensing exam.” Mebust passed the 2-day licensing exam, which broadened his understanding of structural, building and life safety systems, which in turn, can be imparted to his students as well. ”If design is a language, then it’s important to learn its different dialects,” he said.

Licensure also requires that Mebust earn annual continuing education credits to keep his knowledge relevant and current. This continuing education directly benefits his students by enriching their classroom and hands-on experiences. “I felt it was important for TMCC and the students to identify a relevant goal and to demonstrate its completion. I have been able to ‘carry over’ many of the state standards into the classroom. I have garnered additional respect from the community, TMCC and the students. Simply stated, it adds credibility to the degree paths.”

Recent and ongoing projects for Mebust’s students include a homeless shelter that was designed and constructed in collaboration with the City of Reno, which will provide temporary housing for 18–24 year olds, and design ideas for a firehouse, which will reside at the corner of 4th Street and Valley Road in Reno. Through projects like these, students explore design concepts while discussing larger issues, like compatible and incompatible uses in city planning. These projects enable students to become advocates for their architectural projects, and to realize that the department’s tagline “Design Matters” is true, whether it is applied to the design fidelity of one object or building, or of an entire community.

Mebust, who also a member of TMCC’s Sustainability Committee, extends his commitment to students and education to the campus environment. Mebust is currently working with other committee members to complete TMCC’s application for the Green Ribbon Schools Award, which recognizes schools, school districts and institutes of higher education for excellence in resource efficiency, health and wellness, and environmental sustainability education. Currently, TMCC is the only community college applying for this distinction. “Sustainability should be visible,” he said.