December Good News

Nursing graduates pose for a picture on the stage inside the Student Center with instructors.
Jared Libby

Nursing Pinning Ceremony Celebrates Employed Graduates

A massive kudos to the Fall 2023 graduating cohort of our Nursing Program! After dedicating their education to pursuing a career in the service of others, they shared fantastic news regarding their admirable and deserving efforts: All 17 secured employment! What an exciting and extraordinary accomplishment realizing teamwork, perseverance, and ability. They’ll stride confidently into demanding, dynamic, and worthwhile roles in hospitals, physicians’ offices, home healthcare systems, and care facilities, boosting Northern Nevada’s workforce while equipped with the qualifications and ambition to supply effective patient care.

The Nursing Pinning Ceremony on Dec. 7 in the Student Center was a sight. Friends, family, peers, colleagues, and professors took in the stage, which glistened with white, jade, and gold balloons weaving together to make a colorful string, crowning a silvery, sparkling backdrop. The TMCC podium stood stoically at the center, braided with forest green leaves and luminous dandelion-colored lights. Low hums of conversations echoed, elated parents spotting their child in the crowd and shouting, “There they are!” Students, garbed in their sapphire cap and gowns, turned their heads to wave and smile at the sudden acknowledgment. In that moment, while completing this milestone, a lifelong, tender memory formed. They could begin the introductions.

Jody Covert, Nursing Director, is overjoyed with these students' progress, one hundred percent acquiring professional occupations, gaining classroom connections, and bringing steadfast attitudes with singular skills to introduce into their new jobs.

“The Fall 2023 graduating class is a group of very dedicated, passionate individuals who will be such amazing registered nurses. They worked together and kept each other strong throughout the program. They were always engaged and excited to learn and apply their knowledge,” Covert said.

These graduates reflect the finest aspects of our Nursing Program: innovation, energy, and knowledge. We wish them the best in their future endeavors!

Fire Academy Graduates Finish Strong Thanks to Remarkable Instructor

Dec. 9 was a momentous day for the ten cadets of the Fire Academy as they marched into Sierra Building 108 wearing spotless indigo fatigues complete with American flags on their right arm and the crimson TMCC Fire and Rescue Academy patch on their left, the words reading: “Competence. Compassion. Character.” Event organizers began distributing pamphlets to attendees with the poignant Firefighter’s Prayer coating its backside. “Wherever flames may rage, give me strength to save a life, whatever be their age,” the first four-line stanza declared. It takes a particular type of person to run headfirst into a blazing infrastructure, and the rest of the poem recites the strength and courage these graduates possess in the face of unfathomable adversity.

What a semester it had been for their group. Right about the halfway mark, their previous instructor left due to personal complications, and that’s when Chief Dale Carnes, Fire Technology Coordinator and acting Fire Academy Commander, voluntarily stepped into his leadership post. Losing their previous mentor put a question mark on their coursework, as they wondered if completion would be possible this late in the game. Enter Chief Carnes, who spurred the students with resiliency, a testament to their desire to finish. Over the next seven weeks, these recruits faced challenging physical and academic tests, yet with exceptional direction and trust in their abilities, they conquered this gauntlet and earned their Nevada State Firefighter 1 Certification.

“The academy is designed to be challenging both physically and scholastically, as each of these young men, once hired by a fire department, will be tasked with protecting the lives and property of the citizens of Nevada. I can personally attest that after many long days and hard work, each of these recruits exceeded their requirements,” Carnes said during his opening remarks.

“Throughout their academy, I watched them evolve from a group of individuals into a solid, high-performance team with a collective ‘can-do’ attitude. They not only faced their challenges but supported each other in the process. Lastly, I also witnessed in each of them the development of a strong commitment to excellence in their craft and the service of their community and fellow man,” continued Carnes.

Chief Dale Carnes with TMCC Fire Academy 23-1 presenting the distinguished axe.

Chief Dale Carnes with TMCC Fire Academy 23-1 presenting the distinguished axe.

Doling out student awards first, Ben Neikirk, Luke Navarro, and Darin Papillion received plaques for Outstanding Physical Performance, Student Leadership, and Valedictorian, respectively. Thunderous applause and cheers rumbled through the onlookers, the presentation of certificates up next for the brave fellows. Out of respect for Chief Carnes’s loyalty to their class, the boys gave him a gift: a steel axe wielding a long, oak handle printed with “TMCC Fire Academy 23-1.” As is tradition, Chief Dennis Nolan began playing Scottish bagpipes as its high-pitched skirls snapped the gentlemen to attention. It was their time to burn bright, the embers of an adventurous new chapter lighting the path before them.

“Gentlemen, by choosing to become professional firefighters, you have committed to a lifetime of service to others. You will respond to help people in their worst and most vulnerable moments,” Carnes said.

“Never settle for the status quo or ‘good enough,’ instead, develop a warrior’s ethos towards your job and accept that being a firefighter is not just a career: it is a calling. Never forget the honor, privilege, and responsibility of being a firefighter. I’m proud of each one of you,” concluded Carnes.

Marketing Team Wins Multiple NCMPR Medallion Awards

After a year filled with a new ad campaign, special events, and continued focus on student success, the TMCC Marketing and Communications Office (MCO) team recently took home two gold, a silver, and two bronze Medallion Awards at the National Council of Marketing and Public Relations (NCMPR) District 6 conference. Working alongside instructors, faculty, and staff who share our vision to teach, retain, and graduate the next generation of leaders is an honor and gives us purpose.

In the MCO office, staff members champion an inclusive and equitable campus culture, representing an institution whose academic principles allow us to implement cutting-edge technology, brainstorm impactful and creative ideas, and explore accessible educational outcomes for higher learning success. Congratulations to the outstanding talent within our organization!

Elena Bubnova, Associate Vice President of Institutional Research, Web Services, Marketing, and Communications, felt animated at the news of MCO's victories in each category, commending the dedication of its members.

“I am super proud and excited about the recognition of our MCO by the National Council of Marketing and Public Relations. This honor is a testament to our team’s top-notch work and a charge to continue pursuing excellence. Everything we do in MCO aims to elevate our shared story of serving students and the community,” Bubnova said.

The NCMPR Medallion Awards are as follows:

The NCMPR Medallion Awards sit on display within the MCO.

The NCMPR Medallion Awards sit on display in the MCO office in December 2023.


  • Day at the Legislature (Government or Community Relations Campaign)
  • “Works for Me” Ad Campaign (Successful Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Marketing)


  • Ceremonial Mace (Communication Success Story or Crisis Communication Campaign)


  • Stole of Gratitude (Quick Turn Video)
  • ArtFest (Special Event of Fundraising Campaign)

Every year, MCO submits projects and campaigns with powerful messages to be judged by experts in NCMPR. Skilled personnel in writing, editing, digital recording, social media, events coordination, and graphic design are all part of the MCO daily promotions, which inform and excite students, faculty, and community alike. Achieving successful communications together is far more meaningful than tackling our responsibilities solo. With a team like this, continued recognition will be in the cards.

For more information, please visit the Nursing, Fire Academy, and Marketing and Communications websites.