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April Good News at TMCC

YeVonne Allen accepting an award.
Rebecca A. Eckland

TMCC Receives 2020 NADOHE Institutional Excellence Award

Truckee Meadows Community College has identified diversity as an institutional priority in ways that’s gaining national recognition. The college was named the 2020 recipient of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE) Institutional Excellence Award, recognition of TMCC’s demonstrable progress in promoting and sustaining innovative diversity efforts within its campus community.  

“Receiving the NADOHE Institutional Excellence Award demonstrates a campus-wide drive for diversity, equity, and inclusion,” said Program Director for the Equity, Inclusion and Sustainability Office YeVonne Allen. “This is not one office, or one division. This is our entire college understanding that in order for us to succeed, we must ALL succeed. This philosophy is spread across our practices for students, faculty, and staff.”

TMCC has taken several steps to increase and perpetuate an inclusive campus environment. One example is TMCC’s “In It Together Campaign”, which was launched in 2018 and articulates some of the institutional transformations of inclusion and belonging that is happening not just from the “top-down”—but across every aspect of the campus. 

“This campaign was created by the TMCC Faculty Senate Professional Standards Committee and the TMCC Diversity Committee with buy-in from the Classified Council and the Student Government Association,” said Allen.  “TMCC has exemplary achievements and continues to make contributions that lead higher education toward inclusive excellence that impacts research, leadership, and service.” 

Allen also cited the presence of Vice President for Student Services and Diversity, the curricular review that has helped to infuse the subject of diversity into academic classes, and professional development for TMCC faculty and staff that focus on inclusive excellence as reasons why the award was received. There are year-round opportunities for TMCC faculty to attend professional development workshops that are focused on diversity. Additionally, TMCC is a co-organizer and sponsor of the annual Northern Nevada Diversity Summit. With an overage of 300 participants, the summit brings participants together from across the state to further their education on inclusion. 

NADOHE serves as the preeminent voice for diversity officers in higher education by supporting the collective efforts to lead institutions toward inclusive excellence—and attending the conference to receive the award, according to Allen, was “surreal.” The award ceremony, which happened March 13, coincided with the preparations of many colleges, including TMCC, to transition to remote learning. 

“We all discussed implications, practices and shared stories from our campuses. Most importantly, all of us college diversity officers shared a common thread of inclusion and wanting to make sure our campus was taken care of and that all students, faculty, and staff would feel supported through that transition.”  As a result of these conversations, TMCC’s student services are available to students online, including the Diversity and International Student Center and Office (a.k.a.: the DISCO) which will offer online office hours for students, faculty and staff. The first virtual event is happening Monday, April 6, from 2-4 p.m.
 
For more information about Inclusion at TMCC, contact the Office of Equity, Inclusion and Sustainability at 775-673-7027.

TMCC Gives Back to the Community 

In the wake of the recent public health crisis, the TMCC community shared and contributed resources to help the Washoe County Health District, Northern Nevada Medical, Quail Surgical and Pain Management Center, UNR Family Health Clinic, the Community Health Alliance and Renown through the donation of various high-demand supplies, such as masks, sterile gowns, shoe covers and gloves.

Additionally, the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Program donated the use of two of its ambulances to the Reno Fire Department. 

Faculty and staff at the William N. Pennington Applied Technology Center are going to use their 3D printers to create personal protective equipment (PPE) masks. The idea for this came from Greg Ellis, who saw an article on the Billings Clinic Foundation website that suggested that 3D-printed masks could help to fill the desperate need for the limited supply of PPE masks available to health professionals. 

According to the website, the 3D-printed mask has a snap-in section for filtration material that can be changed  out as needed. “My friend has someone who works in the hospital system here in Reno, and they are testing these,” said Ellis. “The 3D printer just makes the frame so the hospital would take the N95 masks they have and [can] make six filters from one mask. They can also be washed and reused.” Currently, instructor Brian Ruf is exploring solutions to making the masks, given the restrictions and campus closures.

In a recent statement, TMCC President Karin Hilgersom said: “I am proud of our TMCC administrators, faculty, and staff and their immediate and efficient response to community needs. As we proceed through the prescribed closures and cautionary measures, we will continue to use our online and social media presence to communicate to our students and the community, as a whole. To date, we have compiled numerous mental health and social resources on our website and Facebook page. We are also responding to multiple media requests seeking to understand the psychological impacts of this crisis, as well as how the community can support each other and our children.”

TMCC Marketing and Communications Wins National Award

This year, the messaging goes to the dogs with the Fundraising Campaign “If you love a pet, support Vet Tech” which was awarded a Bronze Paragon Award from the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations (NCMPR). The campaign, which ran during the month of March for 2019’s “Nevada’s Big Give,” encouraged donors to contribute to the relocation of TMCC’s Veterinary Nursing program from the William N. Pennington Health Science Center to the Meadowood Center where it would have more classroom and clinical space. 

The multi-modal fundraising campaign utilized various platforms and media to reach potential donors. This included a news story on the TMCC website, a series of e-newsletters and--at the heart of the campaign--videos featuring TMCC students, faculty and staff with their pets. The videos were purposefully casual, filmed with cell phones and unscripted. One video featured TMCC President Dr. Karin Hilgersom with her pet, a poodle-mix named Isaac. Another featured Veterinary Nursing Professor Michele Noreen with her students and a black labrador; another a TMCC staff member with a brood of chickens. Although the pets were diverse, the videos all featured the campaign’s tagline: “If you love a pet, support Vet Tech.” 

“For years, TMCC’s Veterinary Nursing program has been rapidly growing in pace with the need for veterinary services in our community. We created a marketing campaign with a grassroots, down-to-earth feel in order to reach community members in a targeted and meaningful way. We were confident that videos of our students and staff with their animal companions—dogs, cats, and other pets—were sure to brighten your day,” said Associate Vice President of Research, Marketing and Web Services Elena Bubnova. 

The campaign increased TMCC’s presence on social media substantially and raised more funds than TMCC’s participation in Nevada’s Big Give in previous years. In addition to the $7,000 raised from the 51 donations that occurred in the 24-hour giving window, TMCC was awarded an additional $1,000 during The Final Countdown.  Among participating non-profits around the state, TMCC placed twenty-first for most dollars raised and seventeenth for the number of donors for organizations over one million dollars.
NCMPR Paragon Awards recognize outstanding achievement in design and communication at community colleges nationwide, and winning entries demonstrate creativity and originality that set them apart from thousands of entries. “A hearty congratulations is due to our talented team in the Marketing and Communications department who are consistently creating effective campaigns to get TMCC’s name out into the community. I am thrilled that they received this distinction,” said Bubnova.
For more information about Marketing and Communications at TMCC, contact the department at 775-673-7087.

TMCC Named 2020 Promising Places to Work in Community Colleges

They say it takes a village to raise a child, but it also takes a village—or the expertise, help and support of an entire community—to create an inclusive community college environment.  This year, TMCC was recognized for its commitment to doing exactly that by the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) which granted TMCC the 2020 “Promising Places to Work in Community Colleges” award.

“TMCC is a college built on connectedness,” said Professional Development Manager Cathy Brewster.  “A great example is the coordination of our Professional Development offerings with the Office of Equity and Inclusion and WebCollege. This strong element of diverse offerings for all employees, who, in turn support our students, is a unique feature of TMCC that garners us national recognition.”

The accolade, which has been awarded to deserving community colleges nationwide, celebrates an institution’s commitment to diversity (including race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, age, class, veterans and thought) through best-in-class student and staff recruitment and retention practices, inclusive learning and work environments and meaningful community service and engagement opportunities.
 
At TMCC, creating and maintaining a welcoming and supporting environment begins at New Employee Orientation. “Each of you fit in and you are important,” is the theme as all recently hired employee groups meet together to learn about the uniqueness of TMCC’s mission and students.
 
“I’m proud that for the past fifteen years, Professional Development has had a strong emphasis in offering workshops focusing on diverse teaching strategies, including technology, and supporting TMCC full and part-time faculty in that mission” Brewster said. 
 
The award-winning institutions will be recognized on NISOD’s webpage for their commitment to diversity and inclusion.

For more information about TMCC’s Professional Development Office, contact the department at 775-674-7965.