June Good News

TMCC members welcome a student and her children to the Mental Health Expo at The Discovery Museum in Reno.
Jared Libby

Counseling Center Partners with Discovery Museum for Mental Health

Every Saturday in May, TMCC’s Counseling Center partnered with the Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum and invited students, their families, faculty, and staff to explore its enlightening chambers, including free admission to the “Mental Health: Mind Matters” exhibit. Greeters from TMCC programs, including Career and Technical Education (CTE), Recruitment and Access Center (RAC), and Athletics, also participated on-site, expressing their support for psychological wellness.

YeVonne Allen, Executive Director of Student Life, explained this union’s origins and the effectiveness of concluding TMCC’s Year of Mental Health and Wellness with an accessible, rewarding, and passionate escape to visually stunning attractions, raising awareness for our inner battles.

“The collaboration started with the Marketing and Communications Office’s Social Media and Events Program Coordinator, Barrie Fenton. She brought the exhibit to my attention, and we all ran with it. It was a perfect way to wrap up the initiative. I met with folks at The Discovery, and they were so excited to hop on board,” Allen said.

With hands-on, immersive, and interactive multimedia activities, family members could join and experience its emotional and societal imperatives and habits to improve. The brain surpasses all organs in complexity. How we think, feel, and act are pillars of human interconnectivity–handling stress, relating to others, and making healthy choices signify our cultural responsiveness. Young and adult patrons walked within its halls, gaining a sharper understanding of the mind’s contrivances. They witnessed demonstrations of illnesses like depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Clubhouse International claims one in four people around the globe suffer from these afflictions–more than cancer, diabetes, or heart disease. It’s tragic to learn, but reclaiming a fulfilling life is possible alongside preventative self-care. Remember, seeking help is a sign of strength–not a weakness.

“We came up with the name ‘Every Saturday in May is TMCC Day,’ and it stuck. May was Mental Health Awareness Month, so things kept lining up. I am so thankful The Discovery extended our suggestion and allowed everyone in the household of TMCC students, faculty, and staff. TMCC members also tabled, promoting our campus and outreach,” Allen said.

Two hundred and eleven visitors took positive steps in identifying mental health conditions while reinforcing balanced and sustainable outlooks, a perpetual contest to better themselves.

The best news is that TMCC students can continue to enter The Discovery over the summer at no cost, thanks to this innovative alliance.

“This partnership was important as we continue to discuss mental health. We need to break down the stigmas and care for ourselves and each other,” Allen said.

Business and Entrepreneurship Club Donation Drive Results a Success

Jaime Gudino, BE-Club Secretary, and Sarah Fricke, Human Resources Generalist at The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe, smile while holding up the generous contributions.

Jaime Gudino, BE-Club Secretary, and Sarah Fricke, Human Resources Generalist at The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe, smile while holding up the generous contributions.

Throughout spring, the Business and Entrepreneurship Club (BE-Club) circulated donation bins across the Dandini Campus in the spirit that students, faculty, and staff would share urgently needed hygiene products with local women and family shelter Our Place. The Hope and Home Charity Collection Drive collected deodorants, toothbrushes, underwear, gloves, and hairbrushes. Our community’s generosity shined brilliantly. Teaming up with The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe, a precise item inventory confirms compassion for disadvantaged people:

  • 440 women’s pads
  • 340 tampons
  • 152 razors
  • 118 toothbrushes
  • 76 lip balms
  • 66 toothpaste tubes
  • 55 deodorant bars
  • 38 hair brushes
  • 28 lotion bottles
  • 30 soap/body wash bars
  • 16 shaving cream cans

Jarret Orcutt, Educational Partnership Programs Coordinator, shared thoughts on this monumental success and outreach, complimenting the individuals who recognize a singular act of kindness pays dividends.

“We had no idea what an amazing turnout we would see from students. It is heartwarming to know that they put together this program and achieved such an incredible outcome, highlighting their deep care and commitment to the world around them,” Orcutt said.

“We had the privilege of working with Ben Castro, Executive Director of the Reno Initiative for Shelter and Equality (RISE), and Malcolm Chapel, Facilities Director of Our Place. Their dedication and collaboration made this drive even more impactful,” continued Orcutt.

Most would prefer a roof over their heads and shoes under their feet, and Our Place is a beacon for impoverished souls who have neither. A supportive network is invaluable, and the staff and volunteers offer healing. Stepping up to provide safety through selfless conduct is virtuous.

“I strongly encourage all students to get involved and actively make a change. It’s not enough to be idealistic; you put your values into action. You will only feel disappointed if you don’t seize these opportunities to make a difference,” Orcutt said.

Theatre Students Win Kennedy Center Regional Awards

Our Theatre Program has done it again! This spring, presentations of the disturbing yet powerful production of Good Kids directed by Brüka’s Holly Natwora depicted a relevant and chilling tale of a high school girl gang-raped by football players. Its sensitive material strained TMCC’s student actors to push themselves for their art, but it was worth their remarkable efforts.

The show garnered four awards from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) Region 7. A representative viewed a profound performance and imparted their critiques to the cast and crew. Honors included:

  • Meritorious Achievement Award for Lighting Design – Jacob Spaulding
  • Meritorious Achievement Award for Stage Management – Monica Venegas
  • Irene Ryan Meritorious Achievement Award for Acting – Alwin Pizana
  • Irene Ryan Meritorious Achievement Award for Acting – Alyssa Carter
Fellow student actor Layla Conrad in a compelling performance of 'Good Kids.'

Fellow student actor Layla Conrad in a compelling performance of 'Good Kids.'

It was the perfect way to cap a vibrant and illustrious semester for the stage. Shea King, a Visual and Performing Arts Instructor, reflected on the dynamic conversations with the undergraduate performers to create an uplifting environment where voices matter, manifesting dramatic, satiric, comedic noir plays resonating messages for generational individualism and retaining quality for audiences to inherit perspective.

“We selected the play after conversations with students after my first year here–the topics and materials they wanted to see. That contributed to the overall product and how well it came off. It shows the quality we have at TMCC, the passion and hard work they all put into our shows and classes,” King said.

“We are the only college or university in Northern Nevada participating in this theatre festival, out for adjudication each production. The fact they selected our shows to receive honorary prizes is a testament to what we’re doing and the support we get from our administration and committed students,” continued King.

“I’m happy my students are having a similar relationship with what the festival lends, as it was a memorable part of my college experience. I’m glad they get a chance to receive feedback and training from different professors and artists around the country,” King finished.

For more information, please visit the Counseling Center, BE-Club, and Theatre websites.