Earning A’s: Faculty and staff activities, accomplishments, and accolades

This regular feature recognizes activities and honors of ACC faculty and staff. To submit news or suggestions, see the contact information below.

Making an impact in education

During Dr. Cook’s tenure at Houston Community College, credential completions increased more than 245 percent.

Dr. Charles Cook, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, was selected as a 2017 Distinguished Alumni by the University of Houston’s College of Education. The award recognizes outstanding alumni who have made a significant impact on society.

The university noted Dr. Cook’s contributions and partnership as vice chancellor of academic affairs at Houston Community College, where graduates and credential completions increased more than 245 percent under his leadership.

“His entire career has been in service to students through the strengthening and expanding of experiences that community colleges offer,” says Dr. Cathy Horn, UH associate professor of educational leadership and policy studies.

Dr. Cook will be honored at an April reception.

Showcasing Puente leadership

Three faculty and staff were invited to present at a recent statewide training session for the Catch the Next Dream Catchers program, previously known as the Puente ProjectAllegra Villarreal, professor of English, Rosa Rodriguez-Alvarez, assistant dean of student services at South Austin Campus, and Alejandra Polcik, coordinator of Hispanic outreach, addressed topics including effective pedagogy, integrated counseling with classroom instruction, and mentoring Puente volunteers.

Math faculty attending the training were Assistant Professor Pedro Merced, Associate Professor Amy Gutierrez, and Assistant Professor Kris Marcus.  Counselor and Student Development Professor Margie Sandoval-Samilpa, Advisors Laura Garcia and Hilda Gartzske, and Advising Supervisor Diana Hernandez-Quinonez also attended. Dr. Richard Armenta, associate vice president for student engagement, accompanied the group.

ACC was recognized at the event for Puente student outcomes for developmental reading and writing and English Composition 1 (ENGL 1301), which exceeded statewide averages and those of participating community colleges.

 Accounting association leadership

Accounting Associate Professor Tracie Miller-Nobles has been elected to the board of directors of the American Accounting Association. She will focus on association membership during a three-year term beginning in August. The Austin chapter of the Texas Society of CPAs named Miller-Nobles CPA of the Year in 2016. She received the Texas Society of CPAs Rising Star award in 2014.

Promoting global partnerships

Dr. Tyler Drake, director of the Bioscience Incubator, was a panelist at a City of Austin event promoting international partnerships for Austin industry, government, and higher education. Fifty-five delegates from several countries attended. Other panelists represented the University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School, BioAustin, and Spot On Sciences. The panel was part of the ACE (America’s Competitiveness Exchange ) initiative organized by the U.S. Department of Commerce, the International Trade Administration, the Organization of American States, and the Inter-American Competitiveness Network.  The Bioscience Incubator also was recognized for its role in expanding knowledge of innovation and entrepreneurship networks.

Woman of the Rock

Round Rock Living magazine named Louella Tate, dean of student services at Round Rock Campus, one of its 2017 Women of the Rock. The award celebrates women who live or work in Round Rock and have “broken glass ceilings, worked diligently to remove barriers for other women, and are disrupting established industry norms through a high degree of professionalism, intellect, and innovation.” She will be honored at a ceremony later this year.

Boys Scouts recognition

President/CEO Dr. Richard Rhodes received a 2017 Silver Beaver award from the Boy Scouts of America Capitol Area Council. The award recognizes registered scouting leaders for their service, self-sacrifice, and dedication to the scouting program and community.

Coca-Cola scholar

Nicole Eversmann is the first student to serve as a trustee.

Trustee Nicole Eversmann is a 2017 Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team Silver Scholar. Selection is based on scores in the All-USA Community College Academic Team competition, sponsored by the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation and administered by Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. The award includes a $1,250 scholarship.

Helping students conquer math anxiety

A Pearson Education promotional campaign focusing on exceptional teachers features Dianne Young, adjunct professor of math and developmental math. An online article describes how Young helped student Shellie Burton overcome her math anxiety. Now a teacher, Burton applies Young’s strategies with her 3rd-grade students at Huntington Christian School in California. Read the article.

Promoting ACC

Dr. Richard Rhodes, President/CEO, Dr. Molly Beth Malcolm, vice president, community engagement and public affairs, and Dorado Kinney, executive dean of student services,  presented “Urban Renewal: A Mall for Higher Education” about the ACC Highland redevelopment at SXSWedu in March.

Elgin Campus Student Services Advisor Hector Aguayo promoted the April 7 Job Fair and Career Exploration Event on KVUE-TV and Fox 7 Austin. Watch the KVUE interview and the Fox 7 interview.

Riverbat racers

Ragnar Relay 2017 team.

The Ragnar Relay team covered 200 miles from Austin to Luckenbach.

For the second year in a row, ACC participated in the Ragnar Relay, covering 200 miles from Austin to Luckenbach over two days and one night. Team members included Brette Lea, executive vice president of public information and college marketing, Mike Midgely, vice president of instruction, Dr. Richard Rhodes, president/CEO, Jessica Vess, associate director of communications, Brandon Whatley, interim dean of applied tech, multimedia, and public service, and Cameron Keel, staff evaluation coordinator. Completing the 12-member team were family and friends of ACC. Dahlia Anzaldua-Torres, marketing event coordinator; Pam Sutton, special assistant to the president/CEO; Gabby Guerrero, human resources specialist; and Debbie Benavidez, student services executive assistant, provided relay support for the event.

Do you know a faculty or staff member who has accomplished something notable outside the classroom or in their community? We want to hear about them. Contact Jennifer Powers, [email protected]


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