April Good News: Part 2

The Information Technology team poses for a group photo during the grand opening of the IT Nexus hub.
Jared Libby

IT Nexus Launch Welcomes Students and Colleagues

Information Technology celebrated its IT Nexus hub unveiling on Tuesday, April 2, encouraging students, faculty, and staff to experience the newly restored domain with a chic, modern aesthetic, spacious offices with technical support experts on standby, and valuable resources for MyTMCC, computer lab hours, and printing information. Located in the Red Mountain Building, room 204, administrative leaders and colleagues followed the arrows on the pristine, sleek placard greeting them at the start of the hallway. The golden, silver, and shamrock balloons ornamenting the door, not to mention the bustling conversation, was surefire evidence they made it. The words “Grand Opening” hung with a metallic sheen above. Novel artwork decorated the right of the welcome desk, with neon blue canvases and matrices opening into a seemingly cybernetic dreamscape. The left housed a workstation, with striking emerald lettering expressing “Innovation. Connection. Communication.” A mint ribbon separating the lobby from the back remained stagnant for now.

TMCC President Dr. Karin Hilgersom and Cheryl Jones cut the honorary ribbon, formally opening the IT Nexus.

TMCC President Dr. Karin Hilgersom and Cheryl Jones cut the honorary ribbon, formally opening the IT Nexus.

Cheryl Jones, Chief Technology Officer, turned the crowd’s attention toward her to acknowledge the efforts of the individuals who converted this previous classroom into the brilliant, inviting area it’s now become.

“This beautiful space, technology, furniture, welcoming environment, and million-dollar view are all for our students. We want to enhance their sense of belonging at the College. It wouldn’t amount to anything if its staff weren’t the professional, compassionate, knowledgeable, and friendly dedicated team they are. Please join me in thanking our outstanding IT Customer Service team,” Jones said.

The audience applauded these modest heroes, never one to chase the spotlight but universal in their mission: to promote success, academic excellence, and lifelong learning. TMCC President Dr. Karin Hilgersom and Jones then grabbed the handles on a pair of green scissors, and voices began the countdown. “Three, two, one!” Snip! A satisfying tear reverberated off the walls, with spirited cheers among the group echoing down the corridor. As associates mingled, snacked, and congratulated each other, one fact remains abundantly clear: elevating resources for students leads to better futures.

Visual Arts Students Collaborate With Reno Chamber Orchestra

The Reno Chamber Orchestra has shown repeated interest in working closely with TMCC’s Visual and Performing Arts undergraduates as they utilize their talents to produce original pieces harmonious with instrumental scores, telling a story unlike any other. A culminating exercise for those in ART 101 this semester set a goal to represent emotions in an imaginative, illustrative manner to pair with a music piece.

The Reno Chamber Orchestra performs 'La Furstemberg' while Kaylee Vergilio's enchanting artwork airs on the screen above.

The Reno Chamber Orchestra performs 'La Furstemberg' while Kaylee Vergilio's enchanting artwork airs on the screen above.

Student Kaylee Vergilio describes the rewarding assignment as a test of their knowledge and a chance to take experimental liberties with their designs to portray temperaments in a wholly unique style. The song “La Furstemberg” by Henry Purcell, an English composer of the middle Baroque era in Western Europe, would play as the screen shifted its striking imagery to feelings depicted through her artwork.

“My piece conveyed ‘Anxious, but Adventurous.’ It was an amazing way to punctuate everything we studied in the Drawing 101 class. It allowed for artistic freedom while still harnessing many techniques we learned throughout the course. It was a fun challenge for sure,” Vergilio said.

Other sensibilities from Purcell’s melody included “Confident, Proud,” “Energetic, Stubborn,” “Delicate, Pining, Sad,” “Melancholic, Introspective,” and “Tender, Sentimental.” Students gained the caliber over the semester to render these complicated qualities in black-and-white sketches bursting with detail, almost as if they were alive. It’s extraordinary to watch their actions actively touch the lives of perfect strangers through this vibrant medium, completing the requirements for the degree or certificate they’re pursuing as a bonus. They share perspectives with every graphite, charcoal, or colored pencil outlining the rich beige pastel paper. Our impressions enhance the conversation surrounding its meaning, but the artist truly knows its purpose.

“It was incredible to be present there. I love collaborating with others in the community. It was truly inspiring. The music was beautiful. It was great to see the artists’ interpretations of each piece. Seeing my art up on that screen was surreal,” Vergilio said.

Grand Opening Celebrates TMCC-Panasonic Partnership

Amidst a gathering of many workforce supporters, TMCC and Panasonic Energy North America unveiled its Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center on Tuesday, April 9. The facility, located in the heart of Reno, aims to foster innovation and education in manufacturing, emphasizing a joint commitment toward advancing STEM education and technology in the region. The event featured remarks from organizations, elected officials, community leaders, and tours of the new facility.

“We are proud to partner with Panasonic to establish this innovative technology education center,” said President Karin Hilgersom. “The TMCC Advanced Manufacturing FastTrack program is a model that works to get students into the workforce after just one short class. For students, it’s a quick start to competitive wages and regular employment. For employers like Panasonic, it’s a way to attract and retain entry-level employees with a foundation in applicable skills. TMCC is the conduit to making these connections for our community and providing the training needed to advance.”

So far, 76 students have already completed the MPT 101 course, with 11 more enrolled in the TMCC Advanced Manufacturing FastTrack program.

“With the commitment of adding 400 new jobs into the industry, as graduates transition into employment with Panasonic, they’re not only willing to contribute to the success of the company, but the prosperity of an entire community here in northern Nevada,” said Tom Burns, Executive Director of the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED). “You know, this is a great day for Panasonic and TMCC. It’s an amazing day for northern Nevada. It’s what economic development is supposed to do. It’s how economic development uplifts a community with partnerships and leaders in this room. We all hoped for this outcome as we advance technologies.”

Visitors took tours of the two classrooms and a demonstration of the Skills Boss trainers, which include over 55 functions that align with the digital, data-intensive practices in today’s advanced manufacturing workplace. Instructors Nathan Lower and Jack Sato, with a group of recent alumni of the class, showed how the equipment combines electrical, fluid power, and mechanical systems to create authentic learning environments in an immersive curriculum.

The U.S. Department of Energy Director of the Office for Energy Jobs Betony Jones, representatives from the offices of U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Cortez Masto (D-NV) and U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), representatives from Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo’s office, various northern Nevada city council members, county commissioners and more attended the event.

“This collaboration exemplifies our commitment to providing students with the resources and opportunities they need to excel in their careers. Together, we will empower the next generation of manufacturing leaders and drive economic growth in our community,” said Hilgersom.

This program was possible due to monetary contributions from the TMCC Foundation and Panasonic Energy for tuition and funding from the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development (GOED) through the Workforce Innovations for a New Nevada (WINN) Fund and the Nevada Department of Employment Training and Rehabilitation (DETR) for a full-time TMCC instructor.

For more information, please visit the Information Technology, Visual and Performing Arts, and Advanced Manufacturing FastTrack websites.