June Good News

Dr. Karen Hilgersom and Dr. Ayo Akinola present Nevada Green Dining Certificate in Café Verde.
Jared Libby

Café Verde Awarded Green Business Certification

TMCC is proud to announce that Café Verde received the Nevada Green Business Certification, a crowning achievement made possible by our community's faithfulness involving sustainability and environmentally-conscious habits. If you've taken a stroll to get your lunch recently, you've probably noticed the shiny plaque displayed on the center counter, which encapsulates our commitment to our planet and a message that we are far from finished.

Allies from Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful (KTMB) were there to congratulate us and present the award, marking a memorable moment in the College’s history. Throughout our Year of Sustainability, the phenomenal growth we have experienced is inspiring and shows no signs of slowing down. When we share the same mindset, we can accomplish anything. It is comforting to know our passions for education are as spirited as our endeavors in environmental activism. The number of projects undertaken across campus is astounding, and our drive pushes us to continue to do more for our home.

With this victory, we’ve established more than one constructive practice we’re pledging to maintain.

By choosing green dining options, we can effectively reduce our carbon footprint. Picking locally sourced and seasonal ingredients, minimizing food waste, and using energy-efficient appliances synchronize nicely with the support of local farmers and producers, boosting economic revenue.

Let’s not forget the assortment of flavorful and nutritious meals we’ll enjoy: free from harmful chemicals and additives, our menu will consist of balanced dishes that nourish our well-being. By harnessing every edible element and composting scraps, landfills will see a decline in the excess they procure.

Embracing sustainable dining alternatives also contributes by conserving natural resources such as water and energy, protecting the environment for future generations.

Dr. Ayodele Akinola, Executive Director of Facilities and Auxiliary Services, gave insight into this certification's impact on the TMCC community and how Café Verde characterizes the enduring principles we excitedly endorse.

“The Green Business Certification for Café Verde is a commitment towards promoting sustainable dining practices. It reinforces our pledge to empower and support our students through developing and maintaining good hygiene,” said Akinola.

“This encourages social interaction in the modern café spaces, operating with the ideals of providing high quality and healthy food offerings, with sustainability and affordability in our minds as a retention tool. Overall, the green dining certification benefits the environment, local communities, and individual health,” continued Akinola.

"Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful is excited to help businesses in Reno and Sparks become a certified green business in Nevada. It's admirable to see businesses like Café Verde committed to not only providing their students with a quality dining experience, but also providing it in an environmentally friendly way," said Kimberly Rios, Sustainability Education Manager, Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful.

Students Receive Kennedy Center Awards for That Day in Tucson

A huge kudos and congratulations are due to the actors of the compelling That Day in Tucson production, who recently received certificates recognizing their exceptional talent and energy. It is a remarkable accomplishment for all in the Theatre Program, led by Jared Sorenson and Shea King, who made this challenging story come to life; lovingly crafted and brilliantly performed while also tackling contemporary issues of gun violence, including the struggles the LGBTQIA+ community faces.

Jared Sorenson and Shea King stand proudly beside their cast and crew of That Day in Tucson.

Jared Sorenson and Shea King stand proudly beside their cast and crew of That Day in Tucson.

An adjudicator from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival saw the play on May 5, 2023, remaining after to host a live feedback session with the cast and crew. She shared excellent critiques and glowing observations about our students and the program. Within this discussion, she revealed that the following students would be receiving awards for their enactment of That Day in Tucson by Guillermo Reyes:

  • Meritorious Achievement Award for Stage Management – Leyla Perales Rizo
  • Meritorious Achievement Award for Dramaturgy – Jordan Pettipiece
  • Meritorious Achievement Award for Projections – Jacob Spaulding
  • Meritorious Achievement Award for Ensemble Collaboration – Cast and Crew of That Day in Tucson
  • Irene Ryan Meritorious Achievement Award for Acting – Sophia Roman
  • Irene Ryan Meritorious Achievement Award for Acting – Johan Espinosa

Shea King, Visual and Performing Arts Instructor, shared some warm words about his students, their exceptional ability, and their dedication to their craft throughout the year under trying situations.

“Each student has worked hard under seriously tough circumstances and created two full-play productions. No theatre space, no productions since 2020, and most are in theatre for the first time this school year. That is no small feat,” said King.

“We are so proud of each of them and grateful for them because they’ve made this theatre program a success. Awards are just the cherry on top of a vibrant production season, celebrating the energetic class work each has done. I speak for everyone in TMCC Theatre when I say our students are worthy of each prize they’ve received and the many more to come,” continued King.

Early Childhood Education Grant Supports Students Financially

Students interested in joining our Early Childhood Education Program will be thrilled about a new grant providing financial assistance for those pursuing the Early Childhood Educator I and II certificates. A veritable treasure trove of fiscal coverage, this sum of money will envelop the full range of costs, including tuition, fees, and textbooks.

Amy Williams, Dean of Business and Social Sciences, understands how imperative it is that we enlist future instructors who appreciate the power of learning in preschool aged children.

Early childhood educators sit laughing and playing with children.

Early childhood educators sit laughing and playing with children.

“Early childhood educators are central to our community, and so important to support a highly qualified workforce that educates these very young minds when they are excited about learning new things. We hope that the ability to scholarship 60 students through these programs will help more students embrace this essential profession,” said Williams.

“These skill certificates will aid students in gaining a solid understanding of the best practices and qualities needed to be effective pre-kindergarten educators. They stack into our associate degrees for students who wish to continue their education in this field,” continued Williams.

Education is our way of leaving the world a better place than when we found it through the eyes, hearts, and minds of the children we teach. Educators will always be indispensable because knowledge is the most valuable gift you can give to someone else. Here in northern Nevada, there’s also plenty of job opportunities in this valuable profession, and a growing population that includes children who need caring professionals in schools and centers around the region.

Taking up the mantle of such a virtuous pursuit requires determination but will be well worth the effort when they grow up cradled in a safe, educational setting built by your nurturing hand. Plus, getting your tuition paid for is a pretty phenomenal bonus!

For more information, please visit the Café Verde, Theatre, and Early Childhood Education websites.