September Good News

Candace Garlock stands happily beside her "Bird Chatter" exhibition inside the Reno-Sparks Convention Center.
Jared Libby

Faculty Finalists and Winners at Reno-Tahoe International Art Show Impress

The creativity across our community is astounding, a gold mine of imagination that consistently makes its foray into the exhibits of organizations that appreciate the artistry and the sway it holds in our hearts. What better locale to reveal their craft than at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center, where over 381,000 square feet of space exists for our gifted creators to showcase their abilities? The genius of our faculty and students was assuredly on display at the Reno-Tahoe International Art Show, garnering both finalist slots and awards to bring home! It’s the magic of producing a work that transcends social classes or identity that calls on our artists to connect with their audience through every brush stroke, line drawn, or slip cast.

Art comes in many forms, and TMCC Fine Arts faculty members Rossi Todorova, Candace Garlock, and Kyle Karrasch, with student Stephanie Hogen, brought their flair to their respective categories. Todorova, Garlock, and Karrasch are all active members of the Visual and Performing Arts Department, a fusion of the incredible work they do in the classroom and the expressiveness of their originality in galleries. Todorova, in the Oil and Acrylic category, and Hogen, in Photography, unveiled their creations within the booths during the spectacle. Todorova is a master of watercolor, while Hogen enjoys the scene from behind a camera lens. Whether adding splashes of color to an empty canvas or finding the perfect angle to capture a marvel and freeze it in time, our finalists intended to take people’s breath away.

The Best in 2D Mixed Media and 'Best of Show: Heart of Reno' awards that Candace Garlock won.

The Best in 2D Mixed Media and 'Best of Show: Heart of Reno' awards that Candace Garlock won.

Kyle Karrasch, with his 3D Mixed Media, also captured the audience’s attention with a collage of elements, jutting in or out of underlying layers, materializing into objects and sculptures. This art can be a twisted combination of shades and components, giving a voice to Karrasch’s inner sentiments and allowing the figure to speak for itself. It is no easy task to produce something out of everyday trinkets and baubles, but he discovered a process that earned him the finalist title.

Garlock revealed her captivating exposition, “Bird Chatter,” brimming with ceramic bird sculptures, prints, and magnets. She would take home two awards, Best in 2D Mixed Media and "Best of Show: Heart of Reno," the latter based on attendee votes. Garlock assembles something verily enchanting, the avian influence apparent in her touch, with meaning that eclipses the ordinary satisfaction of seeing feathered friends in their natural habitat. She began to make fashionistas, little characters that emulate the personalities of the people in her life. It is a pleasant process that reminds her of what she holds dearly.

“The constant reminder of life came from looking through the living room window, watching a cascade of different types of birds vying for their spot at the feeder. Over and over and over! So many hours spent on the sofa just watching them and being thankful for being alive,” said Garlock.

“While sitting on that sofa, I did draw a lot in my journal book. I wrote about the places I’ve been to, the people I’ve been with, and the meanings of the icons and images I was incorporating into my work. When we all began to venture out of our houses, I was more mindful of the journaling process and drawing the ‘memories’ of place,” continued Garlock.

TMCC Honored With the 2023 KTMB Sustainability Champion of the Year Award

Dr. Karin Hilgersom and Dr. Cecilia Vigil hold the KTMB Sustainability Champion of the Year Award.

Dr. Cecilia Vigil and President Dr. Karin Hilgersom hold the KTMB Sustainability Champion of the Year Award.

Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful (KTMB) recently recognized TMCC with a prestigious award for our sustainability efforts across the ’22–’23 school year, a celebration of the thoughtfulness that has gone into numerous projects from creating mindful class assignments, wholesome events on campus, office practices to conserve paper usage and electric power, and mindful home activities that fundamentally change the way we view this planet we are privileged to call our home.

It was a glorious, radiant evening at the Sensory Garden in Idlewild Park on Aug. 17. The presentation of this honor was held during this year’s Raise the River gala fundraiser, snow-white tables sitting atop verdant blades of grass, people in their seats, talking, drinking and making merry with their fellow green advocates. Local craft drinks, interactive sensory activities, mellow music, raffle prizes, and a meal prepared by Chef Mark Estee from Liberty Food and Wine Exchange were all on the docket. Dr. Karin Hilgersom, TMCC President, and Dr. Cecilia Vigil, Biology Professor and one of the premier Sustainability Champions, as well as several department leaders, were present to accept the distinction on behalf of the College. The rest of the students, faculty, and staff who helped make this a reality stood proudly beside them in spirit.

KTMB bestowed the Sustainability Champion of the Year Award upon TMCC while praising the College for the passion we display in achieving their team mission, protecting Truckee Meadows through environmental, economic, and socially sustainable approaches. Along with the abundant volunteer work and financial contributions, our institution went above and beyond to invoke mindsets and daily actions with lasting impact in our classrooms, neighborhoods, and this big blue marble we call home. The fight doesn't stop here, and every day offers a clean chance to leave the Earth better than when we found it.

Department leaders enjoyed their time at the ceremony.

Department leaders enjoyed their time at the ceremony.

“TMCC prides itself in working with community partners, and one with close ties to us is Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful. We have had a long and cherished relationship with KTMB. TMCC promotes that our students and constituents volunteer during their cleanups, SGA invites the organization to talk about recycling on our campus, and our Café Verde has been certified as a green business by them,” said Vigil.

We are most certainly sustainability champions, and while recognition is fantastic for that dedication in such a public setting, the real heroes are those who go unseen, routinely acting in the interest of our universal home. If we take every opportunity to build upon what we’ve learned, our families, friends, and colleagues will continue to look to our example, perhaps trying to make a real difference in the world, too.

“KTMB’s recognition of our sustainability efforts means so much, for they acknowledge that we strive and are dedicated, like them, to support sustainable efforts in education, practice, example, and community involvement,” said Vigil.

Four TMCC Faculty Members Named to CTE Industry Advisory Groups

You may have heard that Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs help students earn a career in months, not years. At TMCC, students also learn the academic and technical skills necessary to succeed in their future careers, with instructors streamlining this process for the next generation of learners in an increasingly competitive employment industry.

TMCC’s own Jared Sorenson, Dr. Julie Kauffman, Stephanie Mead, and Brian Addington are loyal members of this group, and their nominations to the CTE Industry Advisory Groups justify their passion for sharing knowledge.

Dr. Jeffrey Alexander, Vice President of Academic Affairs, explains the meritorious service of our specialists at TMCC in supplying their experience for this nationwide initiative to strengthen our organizational ties and produce members of society who are the backbone of America’s infrastructure.

“TMCC is very proud to have faculty expert representation on four of the CTE Industry Advisory Groups within the national effort known as the Advance CTE ‘Career Clusters Framework.’ First established in 1920, Advance CTE is the longest-standing non-profit representing CTE directors and leaders across all US states, districts, and territories,” said Alexander.

“Through its new Career Clusters Framework, Advance CTE is listening to CTE experts at all levels to chart a timely and effective course for future CTE education. These four TMCC faculty members comprise half of the eight reps selected from Nevada and are the only ones representing the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE). Once again, TMCC continues to play a leading role in the growth and development of CTE learning in Nevada and the nation,” continued Alexander.

As representatives from four different programs at TMCC, such as Visual and Performing Arts, Education, Emergency Medical Services (EMS), and Logistics Management, they bring a collective of talent to encourage individuals that there are many pathways to occupational prosperity in their fields. Industry Advisory Groups act as a stage for trade-specific experts to contribute their history, speaking directly to the recruitment and preparation requirements, challenges, and direction their discipline is heading.

“I am honored to be part of the CTE Industry Advisory Group for Education. I love everything about education and school! I hope that through this group, we can patch some of the leaks in the teacher pipeline by recruiting, preparing, and retaining quality teachers. I’m excited to work with this unique collection of caring professionals,” said Kauffman, Education Professor.

These groups bring up a fundamental concept of the work our nominees will engage with: Career Clusters. There are 16 total, representing 79 avenues to support learners in exceptional college and professional performance throughout the country. This framework bridges the gap between secondary and postsecondary systems and evaluates academic plans for vocational choices.

The Emergency Medical Services industry will be one of the fields discussed when advisors get together.

The Emergency Medical Services industry will be one of the fields discussed when advisors get together.

“I know how important it is to get younger students involved in CTE programs, enroll them in college, and become exceptional providers in the workforce. The nomination by my dean to do this, then being accepted, is such an incredible opportunity for my profession and me. Allied health and public safety often overlook emergency medical services, and I want people to know about our remarkable work!” said Mead, EMS Instructor.

Partnering with employers nationally, this lineup of experts will have the opportunity to explain the rises and falls of meeting personnel demands, offering insight into evolving positions and teaching priorities for students in all educational grades. The campaigns will help inform and validate changes to eventual Career Clusters.

“I enjoy working with other logistics and transportation professionals and learning about the sector’s needs nationally. Everything we can do to help prepare the next generation of professionals in this industry will make it more resilient and provide well-paying jobs to build families,” said Addington, Management Professor.

“My goal as an educator is to help students realize that theatre and entertainment technology is both a viable career choice and artistically fulfilling. In many cases, they may have some contact with the subject in high school but do not realize they can do it for a living! I hope that by supporting the CTE program, I can assist the high schools by providing them with a tangible pipeline to well-paying jobs,” continued Sorenson, Performing Arts Instructor.

A round of applause is due for these dedicated instructors, fundamentally altering the landscape for prospective CTE trainees through their wisdom and drive, two characteristics our TMCC faculty has in spades! They instill great confidence as we witness the College’s trailblazers rising to the occasion and taking responsibility for educating a tremendous and diverse body of people we trust to maintain an equitable and hospitable tomorrow for us all.

For more information, please visit the Academic Affairs, Sustainability, and Fine Arts websites.