December Good News: Part 1

Fill a Humvee event outside at the Dandini Campus flagpole roundabout.
Jared Libby

Toys for Tots and Veterans Services Put a Smile on Children’s Faces This Christmas

Santa came early this year! Generous souls stopped by the “Fill the Humvee” event at Dandini Campus on Nov. 16. It was a genuinely charitable turnout, with one hundred twenty-five gifts being delivered to Washoe County’s local kids in need! Hosted by Veterans Services, the Toys for Tots drive has been an affectionate display of how much our community cares.

“Overall, I think it went great. That is more than double what we collected the previous year and we are not done yet. For those who would still like to participate, we will be collecting toys outside the Veterans Resource Center till December ninth,” said Felipe Gutierrez De Alba, Veterans Program Coordinator.

Donation bins outside the Veterans Resource Center through early December collected gifts to share the joy of Christmas, and sent a message of hope to Washoe County’s less fortunate children.

“Everything we donate is given to children in our area, and, having seen these toys be passed out to the community, it really makes a child’s day when they’re handed the present,” he said.

For more information about the Toys for Tots campaign, contact Veterans Services.

First Generation College Celebration Day Honors Students from Today, Yesterday and Tomorrow

TRIO team members posing with Mighty the Lizard for First Generation College Celebration Day.

TRIO team members posing with Mighty the Lizard for First Generation College Celebration Day.

TMCC joined colleges and universities across the country in recognizing students who will be the first members of their families to graduate from college. In collaboration with TRIO Student Support Services, Veterans Upward Bound, and TMCC’s Health and Wellness Committee, an event was held on Nov. 8 to cultivate the relationship between continuing education, and health and wellness; centering on increasing productivity, building stamina, and growing into a creative member of our college community.

“This event has special meaning to me, gathering to celebrate those who are the first in their families to go to college, as I am also the first in my family to go to college,” said Maria Sandra Jimenez, Director of TRIO.

Being able to send a child to college represents promise for a family. It can also benefit as a guide for family members in younger generations, who will be inspired by those who made the commitment to attend college, and try to model themselves on that motivation. It’s an action that sets a standard, and one that illustrates how embracing college is a wise choice.

“First generation college students used to not get strategic support to navigate college and career pathways. Programs like TRIO have changed that. Please, be engaged with TRIO Support Services. Make this beautiful space your home away from home!” said Dr. Karin Hilgersom, President of TMCC.

This year’s event featured a healthy bodies, healthy mind theme, with TMCC President Emerita Maria Sheehan as the keynote speaker. Dr. Sheehan promoted ways to find healthy food alternatives when cheap, readily available food – like fast food restaurants – beckon.

An appetizing assortment of healthy snacks were made available to attendees of the celebration, placed into complimentary sustainable lunch boxes. Mighty the Lizard even made an appearance, high-fiving and taking photos with winners who put as much effort into their academics as Mighty does in his sports. Everyone was rooting for each other.

For more information about becoming a first generation college student, visit the TRIO Student Support Services website.

Dr. Jinger Doe Attends Genomics Course at NIH

Dr. Jinger Doe, Biology Professor at TMCC, learned a lot when she participated in a thorough examination of genomics education known as the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) Short Course in Genomics at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The NHGRI expressed their appreciation for Dr. Doe’s contributions to improve the integration of genomics into classrooms across the nation.

“Dr. Doe is a shining star at our institution, so these efforts and the dedication required to engage at this level do not surprise me. Congratulations to Jinger, not just from me, but on behalf of our students, the department and the college! We are so proud of Dr. Doe’s involvement,” said Dr. Julie Ellsworth, Dean of Life Sciences, Allied Health and Public Safety.

Genomics is the study of the structure, function, evolution of, and mapping genes. Dr. Doe’s course focused on some current practical applications of genomics, including CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats).

“We were also introduced to a way to bring DNA mapping to the classroom to look at relationships between organisms in a free and easy-to-understand method that can benefit students who are both science majors and non-science majors. One of the other highlights of the class was how to introduce kinesthetic learning to some of these challenging concepts. I have implemented all of these into different classes this year with great success and am looking forward to participating in future Genomics Short Courses from the NHGRI,” said Doe.

NHGRI expressed how excited they were to engage in future educational activities with TMCC. No doubt that TMCC biology students in Doe’s courses will continue to benefit for years to come.

For more information about our biology programs, visit the Biology Department website.