June Good News

students in the business and entrepreneurship club make burritos for the reno burrito project
Rebecca A. Eckland

TMCC Business and Entrepreneurship Club Gives Back

Dr. Poku, smiling, holds his award from the SGA.

Dr. Kofi Poku, who is the faculty advisor for the Business and Entrepreneurship Club, was named Faculty Advisor of the Year.

In Spring 2021, TMCC’s Business and Entrepreneurship Club (BE Club) under the direction of Marketing Instructor Dr. Kofi Poku completed a community service project in collaboration with the Reno Burritos Project (RBP). RBP is a local non-profit organization that creates volunteer opportunities for students to make and distribute handmade burritos to homeless individuals in Reno on Sundays. 

“This organization offers warm meals and compassion that those in the homeless community often do not receive,” Poku said. “Many BE members took time off from their busy schedules as students to volunteer to fulfill these noble acts.” 

In addition to the hands-on work of making burritos, the BE Club raised $5,000 to purchase carts, rice cookers and bags of rice for the Reno Burritos Project. The BE Club will continue this fundraising effort by maintaining a GoFundMe page. 

This is Poku’s second semester advising the BE Club, a role in which he is showing students how entrepreneurs can also be positive leaders in the community. In response, TMCC students awarded Poku with the Faculty Advisor of the Year Award for the 2020-2021 academic year. 

TMCC Lands the Cover of Facilities Manager Magazine

Recently, TMCC Interim Executive Director of Facilities Design/Construction, Operations, Capital Planning and Auxiliary Services Dr. Ayodele Akinola had an article published in Facilities Manager Magazine which was also featured on the magazine’s cover. 

The magazine, which is published by the Association of Physical Plant Administrators (APPA) selected Akinola’s story, “TMCC Facilities: A Commitment to Environmental Stability” for the cover. 

“This is very exciting for us,” said Akinola. “APPA comprises professionals from more than 18,000 facilities from over 1,300 learning institutions worldwide.” 

Inaugural EcoBlitz Event A Success

On May 7, TMCC Biology and Environmental Science Professors Dr. Cecilia Vigil, Dr. Megan Lahti and Dr. Sameer Bhattarai hosted the inaugural EcoBlitz event at Rancho San Rafael Park. Over 170 participants, including 70 TMCC students and staff, 5 full-time faculty and 1 adjunct faculty.

Although Vigil and Lahti are still analyzing the data collected during the 24-hour event, the initial numbers are impressive: over 2,000 observations were made of over 300 identified species. Students in Biology 202 (General Botany) collected vegetation surveys using point intercept and line methods that included grassland, sagebrush, wetland and riparian environments. 

Additional results included: 

  • Insect surveys were also conducted at each of the 5 habitats and will be used to build our insect collections for use in undergraduate research and biology lab curriculum.
  • A total of 12 soil samples were collected for analysis at each of the 5 habitats.
  • Water quality samples from Evans Creek were collected at 3 key locations: upstream, Herman's pond inlet, and wetland outlet.
  • Information collecting also utilized drones, camera traps, and an apparatus called Anabat (for detection of bats) from which further data analyses will be conducted.

“This research data will be used to understand [Rancho San Rafael’s] biodiversity and natural resources,” said Vigil. “We plan to continue the Ecoblitz as a long-term ecological research project to better understand factors such as climate change and human impacts. The event will also continue to be integrated with the biology course curriculum, and will also provide students with undergraduate research opportunities.” 

The next EcoBlitz event is scheduled for Oct. 1, 2021.