From the Provost: Discovering pride points

August 1 marked my first year as ACC’s provost. It’s certainly true that time flies!

The past 12 months have been a nonstop flurry of meetings, traveling, observing, and listening. One of the best parts of this has been learning more about the programs and individuals who are helping ACC provide life-changing opportunities for students. Here are just a few examples I’ve encountered recently that make me proud to be a part of the Riverbat family.

State-of-the-art education and training for nursing


Nan Walters, chair of the Associate Degree Nursing Program and assistant dean for health sciences, proudly displays the incredible technology available at our Eastview and Round Rock Campuses.

For years, ACC has been the top trainer of nurses in the area. We currently enroll 550 students on three campuses and have an outstanding record in graduating highly proficient students. In 2014, more than 94 percent of our associate degree nursing graduates passed the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN), a rate that is well above state and national averages.

I recently saw some of the state-of-the art health science facilities at our Eastview and Round Rock Campuses. In addition to audio/video equipment that can be used to record and project clinical experiences from the labs to campus classrooms, the Associate Degree Nursing Program uses advanced equipment to help students practice both their methods and their clinical reasoning. Virtually every type of patient can be simulated, from a pregnant mother giving birth, to patients in need of emergency care, and those undergoing surgery and recovery. Additionally, students work with an electronic health record program similar to those used in clinical agencies.

In phase II of the Highland Campus, we’ll be taking our health science labs to the next level with the latest advancements in simulation equipment. ACC recently met with representatives from the Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin, Texas Tech, Texas State, and Texas A&M universities as well as from Seton and St. David’s Medical Centers to discuss regional needs and opportunities for collaboration in education and training.

Let’s make a record!

For a city that bills itself as the Live Music Capital of the World, our Associate of Applied Science degree program for Music Business, Performance and Technology to some may be considered as vital to our region as nursing!


Kurtis Machler, coordinator of the recording studio lab; John Cates, student and lab assistant; and Geoffrey Schulman, MBPT Program chair, gave me the grand tour at the Northridge Campus.

While visiting the MBPT program at the Northridge Campus I dropped in on the annual MBPT Summer Music and Recording Workshop, a unique week-long program for high school students interested in music and sound production. The students were learning how a song is conceived, constructed and produced; from initial inspiration, rough sketch, demo, to final recording and “mixdown.” Students helped with a recording session for a professional band, created a remix, and helped create a TV commercial.

In MBPT students learn state-of-the-art recording technologies, time-honored musical skills, and sound business principles. MBPT students also take traditional music classes to address the constants of music, as well as classes in music business and technology. Program faculty connect students the local business community in multiple ways: recording in-store performances at Waterloo Records, offering internships at local music businesses, and providing volunteer opportunities at South by Southwest.

Eastview mural reflects area’s rich heritage

On a recent visit to the Eastview Campus, Loretta Edelen, director of community outreach, introduced me to the “Eastview” mural that hangs in the stairwell near the Workforce Solutions Capital Area offices.

The Eastview Campus mural provides a beautiful glimpse into the history of the neighborhood.

The Eastview Campus mural provides a beautiful glimpse into the history of the neighborhood.

Loretta provided a fascinating history of the mural, created in 2001 by ACC students assisted by community artists. Surrounded by squares painted by neighborhood elementary students, the mural’s images are superimposed on historic photos of the neighborhood, and highlighted by “The Angel of Hope.” The angel memorializes Tamika Ross, a 16-year-old whose random shooting in 1992 galvanized activists to transform the neighborhood from one of violence to one of peace and promise, as evidenced by the nearby Millennium Youth Entertainment Complex and our vibrant campus.

If you’ve never viewed the mural, I encourage you to take a look next time you’re at Eastview.

Dr. Gene Binder celebrates distinguished career

Dr. Gene Binder, director of external affairs outreach, retired this month after a distinguished career.


Dr. Molly Beth Malcolm, special assistant to the president, and Dr. Hector Aguilar, executive dean of continuing education, thank Dr. and Mrs. Gene Binder for their many years of service to higher education.

Gene came to Austin in the early 1970s to establish the College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) at St. Edward’s University. Administered by the U.S. Department of Education, CAMP provides financial and academic support services to approximately 2,000 students annually from migratory or seasonal farm work backgrounds.

Geronimo Rodriguez, a local community leader and vice president for diversity and community outreach for the Seton Healthcare Family, became the first in his family to attend college as a result of the CAMP program. He was on hand at Gene’s retirement celebration to personally thank him for a program that resulted in “student success” for thousands of Austin students!



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