Outstanding Male Leadership Program Member

Photo By: Joe Van Vranken
Story By: Amye Bueno-Benitez

The ACC Male Leadership Program is designed to be the support and encouragement for first year male students. 

Born and raised in Austin, Texas, Edwin Sanchez found himself wanting to go to college, straight out of high school. However, he also needed a job. Sanchez felt that coming to Austin Community College was the best way to get where he wanted to go. He enrolled at ACC as a part-time student and was able to transition into a full-time student.

Read more about Edwin Sanchez’s story in Life4U magazine of pick up an issue on your campus.

Presidential Student Achievement Award Winner

Photo By: Joe Van Vranken
Story By: Mary Maule

The Presidential Student Achievement Award is the most prestigious Austin Community College award to be earned by a student. This recipient demonstrates academic excellence, service to ACC and our community, plus commitment to our values and vision.

Eleazar Herrera Hernandez was born in Mexico City and grew up in a small city near Tampico. As a child he became interested in Space after listening to physicists discuss singularities and the unknown qualities of space on Discovery Channel’s How the Universe Works. As there are many singularities in neuroscience and astrophysics, Herrera Hernandez has made it his goal to discover and answer to a single singularity. His goal has been refined as he determined his strengths and interests in the related subjects.

Read more about Eleazar Herrera Hernandez’s story in Life4U magazine.

Prizes, Pizza, and Kombucha Pop: A Look at the Eastview Campus Fall Fest

Story and photos by Shaina Kambo, Reporter

Eastview Campus hosted the Fall Fest, a student appreciation event providing free food, admission, and activities open to all ACC students.

The seventeen-member Enrollment Management Team at Eastview Campus organized the October 15 event.  Recruiting Advising Specialist Kendra Singletary said the aim of putting on such an event was to allow students to have a moment to relax between classes.

“It’s a way for students to get to know their enrollment management team and get together [with] some of their fellow classmates in a fun environment,” Singletary said.

The arrival of midday brought along several curious and hungry students who ate pizza and candy coated popcorn while trying out the different activities including shooting basketballs into inflatable hoops , competing in a game of indoor soccer, and trying to score against their opponents in the  Fake- It-‘til- You-Make-It Challenge: a game involving opposite facing players  moving against the pull of an elastic cord which joins them together in an attempt to dunk a basketball their corresponding hoop.

The management team joined in on the amusement. Event coordinator and Recruiting Advising Specialist Vincent Bustillos said he had no qualms with defeating his coworkers at the Fake-It Challenge on more than one occasion.

He also said that various organizations such as H-E-B, ACC Student Life, and the ACC Bookstore, donated food and giveaway items for the Fall Fest. LIVE Soda Kombucha “generously donated over eighty bottles” of the organic beverage for the event, Bustillos said. “[I] definitely want to give them recognition.” He hopes to help organize future campus events for students to enjoy.

As the raffle numbers were announced, several students glanced at their blue tickets in anticipation to win something. The first prize of the afternoon, a twenty dollar gift card to H-E-B, was awarded to freshman Mikhayla Johnson, the first of several raffle winners.

Megan Reyes, who’s in her fourth semester at ACC, walked away with a LIVE Soda case containing coupons for free drinks, a hat, t-shirt, and a bandana. Fifteen minutes later, Amy Deng, a dental hygiene major, won an ACC backpack including a school-themed banner, t-shirt, sunglasses, and water bottle.

Student Derrick Ellis said that he enjoyed the event and would like to see “more events like this”. Ellis spent much of his time at the event competing against first-year Meagan Harper in a game of life-size Connect Four.




FACE-OFF – Students competing against each other in the Fake- It-‘Til-You-Make-It Challenge.


PIZZA-APPRECIATION – Students enjoying some pizza.


IN-BETWEEN – Students taking a break between classes during the Fall Fest.


ALL SMILES – Recruiting advising specialist Kendra Singletary enjoying the festivities.

Photo Story: Collings Guitars

Photo story by, Kelly West News Photography One Class, Fall 15′

Collings Guitars, which started as a one-man shop in the mid-1970s, has grown to include more than 70 full-time employees and an expanding facility on the western edge of Travis County. Bill Collings dropped out of college as a pre-med major and started repairing and building guitars, and eventually hired his first employee in 1989, who still works for the company.

The Collings shop turns out high-quality acoustic and electric guitars, as well as mandolins and ukuleles, and most steps of the production process are performed painstakingly by hand. The cost of the guitars can range anywhere from $3,500 to $6,000 or more, depending on how custom the design is.

Collings instruments are played by a variety of musicians, including Lyle Lovett, Lloyd Maines, and Patti Smith.

[Students from the News Photography 1316 class spent a morning documenting the work and craftsmanship at Collings Guitars, and complied a photo story from the assignment.]

Jerome Little, an employee of Collings Guitars, a local guitar manufacturer since the 1970’s, sands a piece of an electric guitar inside the Collings facility in Austin, Texas. October 9, 2015. photo by Anneke Paterson
Hard at work – An employee Sands a piece of an electric guitar inside the Collings facility. Photo by Anneke Paterson.
Collings Guitars is a stringed instrument manufacturer established in 1973 in Austin, Texas. Reid Albach smooths out the sides of an acoustic guitar on Friday, October 9th. photo by Mario Cantu
Smoothing out the edges – Reid Albach smooths out the sides of an acoustic guitar. Photo by Mario Cantu.
Collings guitars, a handmade guitar and mandolin company located on highway 290 W in Austin, TX has been locally owned and operated for over 20 years. A satin finish A-Model MT mandolin made by Collings Guitars receives its final adjustments before completion Friday October 9th, 2015. photo by Nicholas Skelton-Tangredi
Collings guitars – A satin finish A-Model MT mandolin made receives its final adjustments before completion. Photo by Nicholas Skelton-Tangredi.
Jerome Little, an employee of Collings Guitars, uses a chisel tool to finish a piece of an electric guitar inside the Collings facility in Austin, Texas on October 9, 2015. photo by Anneke Paterson
It’s all in the details – Jerome Little, an employee of Collings Guitars, uses a chisel tool to finish a piece of an electric guitar inside the facility. Photo by Anneke Paterson.
Scott Butts assembles a bridge to a Mandolin at Collings Guitars in Austin, Texas on Friday Oct. 09, 2015. photo by Mario Cantu
Putting it all together – Scott Butts assembles a bridge to a Mandolin at Collings. Photo by Mario Cantu.
Andrew Murray makes small cuts into a guitar, a process called kerfing which requires intricate and skilled work. photo by Mario Cantu
It takes skills – Andrew Murray makes small cuts into a guitar, a process called kerfing which requires intricate and skilled work. photo by Mario Cantu
Ed Rodriguez repairs an old guitar at Collings Guitars, located in Austin, Texas on Friday, October 9th, 2015 . The C10 series acoustic was sent back to Collings for a scratch made at the headstock. photo by Chloe Bennett
Making repairs – Ed Rodriguez repairs an old guitar. The C10 series acoustic was sent back to Collings for a scratch made at the headstock. Photo by Chloe Bennett


For a look at how Collings employees take a break to have fun during the day, enjoy this short video at http://bcove.me/z93mtt9m.

Campus Viewpoint: What is Your Reaction to the Umpqua Community College Shooting in Oregon?

Story by Ryan Fontenette-Mitchell, reporter

Photo by Joseph Lee, photographer

Abby Castner (1)
Abby Castner – I think it’s a systemic sign of a larger problem within our society and how we deal with a lot of things from mental illness all the way down to isolation.
Fasih Hashmi (1)
Fasih Hashmi – It’s surprising and terrible because sometimes you never know how people can become dangerous about using guns at school. They can just shoot at each other. It’s not very safe to have guns at schools.
Brooklyn Terlinde
Brooklyn Terlinde – There is always a possibility of something bad happening anywhere. People would be more secure if they were taught the behaviors of people that may do that.


Joshua Valdez (1)
Joshua Valdez – The name of the shooter should be kept private. They shouldn’t get the publicity for what they’ve done. We know what happened in the shootings, but putting their name out there is unnecessary.



Hien Li (1)
Hien Li – I don’t think its appropriate to have gun with you in school someone can get angry and start shooting. Its not a need, because we have cops around to protect us.


Alec Rakoff
Alec Rakoff – There’s been suggestions, arming teachers, lettings students carry (guns) although that can lead to more shootings. All of those can be good ideas, but they’re all have consequences of their own.








On the Record: Gigi Edwards Bryant

Story by Shaina Kambo, reporter

Photo Courtesy of Deborah Cannon, Austin American-Statesman

ACC District Trustee and businesswoman Gigi Edwards Bryant, who grew up in the Texas foster care system, began her post-secondary education at ACC in 1977. Bryant recently discussed her journey to success with Accent.

ACCENT: What was your childhood like?

BRYANT: My childhood before I was six was very good, but when I was six, I entered the foster care system. There was abuse and mistreatment. It was an old system, and the checks and balances that they have today were not there for children. I aged out at age eighteen with my daughter. My experiences taught me to be more caring about people, that it’s the little things that make a difference, and that one individual can change the world.

ACCENT: Who encouraged you on your journey to achievement?

BRYANT: My Big Mama (great-grandmother) told me that I could do anything and that God would protect me.

ACCENT: Has your definition of success changed throughout your life?

BRYANT: Success has to be defined by the individual, and everyone has to realize their own potential. Some days in my life, success was just getting out of bed. Some days, success was helping somebody to do the things that they wanted to do. Some days, success was knowing that I had done a good job and that I could take a nap.

ACCENT: What was it like being a student at ACC in 1977?

BRYANT: It was fabulous: small classrooms, professors and individuals who looked for you when you weren’t there. When I was going to ACC there were so many [moments when] I thought I was going to drop out. I just didn’t think that I could do it all: take care of my kids, pay my bills, go to work. It started out tough, but I stuck to it until it improved; I didn’t want to opt out.

ACCENT: How did your ACC education help you to achieve your goals?

BRYANT: It gave me an opportunity to realize that I could achieve an education at a pace that was successful to me.

ACCENT: What improvements at ACC would help students reach their full potential?

BRYANT: I want to see our graduation rate go up. I want to see our involvement in high schools be more concerted. I want us to put ACC in the minds of those students and [help them to realize] that we are a very good option. On the other side, I want to hear our students talk about the experiences they’ve had at ACC — the positives and the negatives — and then come back and help us do a better job.

ACCENT: What are some of the goals that you have for the future?

BRYANT: I want to leave a legacy behind about education and I want it to be empowering for the next generation. I want to make sure that I do something every day that leads the next generation to know that they can do it.

ACCENT: Is there any advice that you can give regarding perseverance?

BRYANT: Perseverance is a step-by-step journey. [Within] anybody that you encounter, there is a story. I want to encourage people to tell their own story. Tell [it] the way it happened to you. If it’s validation that you need, you may not get it, but keep telling your story because that’s where your strength is going to come from.


Campus Viewpoint: How do you feel about finding water on Mars?

Story by Noor Alahmadi, reporter

Widyan Younes
Widyan Younes • It’s important because they might discover there’s life there, or something lives there. I would want to live there.
Victor Morrow
Victor Morrow • I’m not surprised. I thought, there’s something we didn’t know that we just found out, so there must be more that we don’t know that we will find out. If you find water, there’s a good chance that we’ll find life.
Eri Watanabe
Eri Watanabe • That’s totally astonishing! There’s a possibility we can find life there. It’s new. We haven’t found water there before. We might find other things other than water. I wouldn’t want to live there, but I would go sightseeing. In Texas, the water supply is a problem. We could use that water.

Campus Viewpoint: Is Voting Important to You?

Story by Anthony DeVera, reporter

Daniel Woo
Daniel Woo • I didn’t vote. I’m just not informed enough about the candidates. I’m too inexperienced, too naive right now to really vote. I might vote someday. Maybe when I have actually read up on the candidates and what I affiliate myself with.
Jasmine Scott
Jasmine Scott • I didn’t vote. I wanted to, but I have a lot on my plate and I didn’t have the time to get around to it. Voting just in general is important. I mean, if you want to be heard, if you want things to change, you have to vote. If you don’t, you don’t have a say so, you can’t complain about what’s going on in the world.
Maleha Baset
Maleha Baset • I voted. My brother reminded me since he’s more informed and can inform me of what I need to know. I also have a pretty good government teacher who gets my class really well informed on how local voting affects us more. It’s important to vote because it affects you and your lifestyle.

At the Movies: A Review of Recent Box Office Films

Reviews by Avery Callaway and Gaius Straka,

Bridge of Spies

Steven Spielberg’s latest film, “Bridge of Spies,” is pleasant, but not very memorable. There are no standout moments that can really push it over the edge from being good to great. Even with the Coen brothers writing and Tom Hanks’ star power elevating the film, it never tries to go any farther than it has to with it’s story and characters. The story focuses on James Donovan (Hanks), an insurance lawyer who has been given the difficult task of representing a captured Soviet spy in 1950s America. His ethics as an attorney are tested when his own country seems to turn against him. There are no glaring issues to be seen within “Bridge of Spies.” It achieves everything it wants to accomplish with gusto. Tom Hanks is Tom Hanks, he never gives a performance that isn’t superb. The plot can switch seamlessly from tense to lighthearted on a dime and not be jarring in the slightest. Unfortunately, it never tries to go farther than it has to, and that holds “Bridge of Spies” back.

Accent Rating B+ Avery Callaway


“Goosebumps” gains some points immediately for being one of the more inspired young adult novel adaptations to come out recently. Instead of just adapting one of the novels, “Goosebumps” tells an original story by throwing many of the series’ monsters into the same setting. That, and some sharp performances early on earn the film some merit. However, “Goosebumps” quickly loses it due to a lack of consequences and a bad script.

The plot is a mess. There are so many unnecessary characters and subplots that nothing is ever accomplished scene-by-scene. Every time the audience might feel some progress has been made, the film finds a way to waste time, usually with some awful computer generated effect. Even at a run time of just over 100 minutes, it still seems like it’s an half hour too long.

It’s a shame, because sometimes a glimmer of creativity can be seen in this mess of a film. However, these moments are not frequent. The greatest sin “Goosebumps” commits is that it decided to be a feature-length film.

Accent Rating D Avery Callaway


“Sicario” is a great example of mechanical film-making at it’s finest. Every scene and music beat work toward creating a feeling of dread and tension that immediately engrosses the audience in the events that play out.

The cinematographer, Roger Deakens, deserves recognition for his work because every frame is purposeful and precise.

The story is focused on Kate Macer (Emily Blunt), an idealistic FBI officer who is recruited onto a task force, headed by Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) and the mysterious Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro), designed to bring a major cartel located in Juarez to justice. However, the longer Kate works with her new team, the more her ideals conflict with the shady actions of her higher ups.

If there were a complaint about “Sicario,” it would be that some of the dialogue in the film was stilted at times. Some of the dialogue was too light-hearted for events taking place. However, this should not keep you from seeing the film.

Accent Rating: A- Avery Callaway

The Martian

“The Martian,” is an exciting action/adventure film about a man surviving in a vast unforgiving world millions of miles from home.

Mark Watney, brilliantly acted by Matt Damon, is an astronaut stationed on Mars and presumed dead after an intense storm strikes his base during a rushed departure off the planet.

Watney shows how much of an elite specialist he is by surviving for years on the desolate Red Planet with few resources. He even manages to make his own garden.

The movie brings out the good of humanity in many ways including the portrayal of how far the astronauts are willing to go to bring one of their own back home.

Despite the dire situation, Matt Damon’s character doesn’t fall into a gloomy depressed frame of mind. Rather, he turns to making fun of himself through his failures while remaining confident and driven to survive, and eventually, leave Mars.

Director Ridley Scott has even more to offer in “The Martian” than he did in “Exodus.” The cinematography and special effects are stunning, creating gripping scenes and a feeling of realism.

Accent Rating: A- Gaius Straka

A Surreal Steve-O

Story by Christian Santiago, reporter

In lieu of recording his Showtime comedy special at the Paramount Theater on November 21, Steve-O of Jackass fame took some time to speak with Accent to answer a few questions.

Accent: What inspires you? What’s the inspiration for the things that you do?

Steve-O: “My main inspiration is the fact that I am an attention whore. I’m also a sensitive guy, it’s important to me to be impressive.”

A: As a stand up comic, are there any other comedians that you look up to?

S: “Dane Cook was a big deal for me. He put the wind in my sails early on. Beyond that I generally don’t model myself after anybody. My experience in life as a drug addict, alcoholic, sex addict, and as a maniac is where I draw my material from.”

A: Your fans have grown to love you by watching you go through some sort of pain or get sick by your own stunts. What is it like to have so many fans that love to watch you go through that?

S: “I don’t feel like my fans are sadistic, I just feel like there is an inherent compulsion for people to stare at accidents and be comforted by the misfortune of others. I think Jackass was about manufacturing accidents for this reason.

A: What motivated you to work with and promote the efforts of the David Lynch Foundation including starting a fundraiser?

S: “David Lynch teaches transcendental meditation. The program that I am raising money for is to bring this [program] to inner city youth. I have been practicing transcendental meditation for two and a half years and it’s really helped.”

A: How did you come up with the seaworld protest?

S: “The whole thing was really random. My buddies and I were looking for cool stunts to do with drones, but I thought it would be a really cool shot to bring a killer whale, and it would be a great publicity stunt for bringing attention to Sea world”

A: You’ve gone from home movies, to TV series, to feature films. You’ve published a book, and you’ve garnered a following on your Youtube channel. What’s your favorite medium to work in? And If you had a choice, how would you like to continue entertaining your fans in the future?

S: “I love it all, and again, thats because I’m an attention whore through and through. Right now I am looking to make my own movie and I have a great idea for it. That and my stand up is another thing I am working on. I can’t tell you enough how excited I am to come to Austin and perform. I feel like this is my opportunity to really break through. I love Austin, and this is going to be the best show [The Paramount] has ever had.”

Steve-O is extending a special invitation to ACC students. Purchase your tickets online at tickets.austintheatre.org, use promo code “jailed” to get a discount on your purchase.