September 2011, Volume 5, Number 11

In This Issue

Announcing the Fall 2011-2012 NISOD Webinar Series 

NISOD WebinarsLooking for a way to bring quality year-round professional development opportunities to your faculty and staff? Eager to share the in-depth expertise of the nation’s leading educators? Look no further than the NISOD Webinar Series, a membership benefit free to all NISOD-member colleges.

  • September 2011
    Adjunct and Engaged: Effective Strategies for Part-time Faculty Success
  • October 2011
    Making Technology Work: Meeting the Demand for More Students
  • November 2011
    Redesign and Modules and Change, Oh My: The Adventures of Integrating Technology into Developmental Curriculum

Submit Names for the 2012 NISOD Excellence Awards! 

medallionThe tradition of the NISOD Excellence Awards continues to celebrate outstanding faculty, staff, and administrators. Selection criteria are left to the discretion of each institution. Only faculty, staff, and administrators at NISOD-member institutions are eligible. NISOD-member colleges are invited to submit the names of Excellence Awards recipients by December 1, 2011. Submissions are received through our password-protected online system. The password has been sent to all NISOD-member presidents as well as to the designated NISOD Liaison on each NISOD-member campus. If you do not know your password, please contact Sheryl Powell

Faculty and Staff College Completion Pledge

Completion PledgePresident Obama challenged the nation that by 2020, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world, and community colleges will produce an additional five million graduates. Watch a short video of NISOD Excellence Award recipients sharing their suggestions about how to ensure that students are successful. NISOD encourages community college faculty and staff to add their own voices and commit to this exciting and critical national college completion movement by signing the pledge today.

Member Spotlight

Achieving Her Dream

WNCC logoFriday, May 13 marked an important milestone for Janet Artz. After three years of working toward the completion of her GED, she graduated from Western Nebraska Community College’s (WNCC) GED Program, surrounded by her admiring family and friends.

Janet, originally from Alliance, was married for 22 years to Clyde, working alongside him at their family farm and assisted him while he worked for Castle Rock Irrigation District as a ditch rider. When Clyde passed away five years ago, Janet felt lost, but she knew she had more to contribute to the world. Their son, Gerald, returned home to help manage the farm, and, as a student at WNCC, encouraged his mother to do something more with her life.

Janet found herself attending WNCC’s GED orientation on November 6, 2008 at the age of 63. Not only was Janet among the 88 graduates of WNCC’s 2011 GED graduation ceremony, but she was also the recipient of the 2011 Perseverance Award. GED Instructor Mary Carson says, “Janet was honored with the Perseverance Award because she was faithful about coming to class and cooperated with all the suggestions presented to her regarding her studies.” Janet has high praise for the GED Program instructors and staff. “They are fantastic, willing helpers who have faith in you and are very encouraging.” After her final test, Janet waited for the phone call and was told by Mary, “Janet, you should get measured for your gown!”

What’s next for Janet? She has filled out job applications and prepared her résumé, but right now, she’s filling in for her church’s office secretary who has been sick. It might be said that Janet’s first job after graduation was heaven-sent!

Janet Artz“When the graduation processional began, and I was walking into the room with my cap and gown on, I was holding up just fine. But I looked up and saw my son, Gerald, taking my photo, and he was crying. Then I started crying. I said to myself, ‘You did it!’ I was soaring on cloud nine; I never had that sort of feeling in my life. I was like a flower opening up. I’m blossoming.”

Partner Corner

Discount to DELL World for NISOD Members

Dell WorldNISOD’s corporate partner, DELL, is offering NISOD members a 100% discount to attend DELL World, October 12-14, 2011, in Austin, Texas. Dell World 2011 is not a typical conference—it's an immersive experience designed to bring together top industry professionals and prompt the types of discussions that lead to breakthrough innovations. Together we will share strategies, techniques, and best practices to harness IT efficiency. To register today and receive a 100% discount, visit NISOD's Partner Discounts page. (This page is password protected. If you do not know your password, please complete a password-request form.)

Top Ten Finalist of the Community College Week–NISOD Student Essay Contest

CCWNew3.jpgCongratulations to Chanelle Castracion, a student at Mt. San Jacinto College (MSJC) (CA), for writing one of the top ten essays for the Community College Week—NISOD Student Essay Contest. Chanelle’s essay describes a rewarding learning experience as a student in Gary Vargas’ class. Gary Vargas is a History Professor at MSJC. NISOD is proud to feature all of the Top 10 essays in upcoming editions of Hook’Em Up. For the month of September, please enjoy Chanelle’s masterpiece!

Hope and Inspiration
Spring semester was a crowning achievement and an accomplishment of which I am very proud. I learned a valuable lesson about myself through the care and guidance of one outstanding professor at MSJC, Mr. Gary Vargas.

I was born and raised in the Palm Springs desert, and have been attending community college since 2004. I balanced full-time work, helped my family, and paid for my own tuition and books by myself. I am a first-generation college student and my dream has always been to graduate with academic excellence. Recently, I decided to spread my wings and move away from the only city I have ever known. I landed in Temecula where I could continue my education at an accredited community college, MSJC.

From the moment I stepped onto the campus I felt at home. Everyone from the students, staff, and administration were kind and helpful. This was not the environment I was used to while attending my previous community college. I made an appointment with a counselor who helpfully advised me which classes to take in order to graduate in June, 2010. I was able to enroll in nine of the 12 units, but the history courses were full. I was determined to try to become enrolled into the history course I needed, although I knew my odds of being enrolled were scarce.

Gary Vargas

Gary Vargas, History Professor, and Chanelle Castracion, Student, Mt. San Jacinto College (CA)

When the spring semester began, I was excited to become a part of a new community, but troubled that I may not get the last course I needed. I attended Mr. Vargas’ world history course without being on the roster, with optimism that there might be an opening I could fill. However, to my chagrin, there was not. After class I spoke to Mr. Vargas. He was very easy to talk with, and immediately I felt that he was sympathetic to my predicament and cared. He took the time to help me, and not turn me away as I was afraid would happen. Instead, he gave me another option, which was to enroll in his honors class.

Although I have managed to carry a competitive GPA through the years, I was unsure if I would be able to handle the rigorous assignments in a college honors course. Despite my insecurities, Mr. Vargas encouraged me to try, and personally showed me to the honors department where I applied. Shortly thereafter, I received a notice that I was accepted into the program. With the assistance of Professor Vargas I was able to write my first honors research paper, and ended the course victoriously with an “A.”

Professor Gary Vargas made the 2010 spring semester my most rewarding experience at MSJC. As I graduated with an Associates of Science, I also achieved a new confidence and faith in my abilities in the future. Mr. Vargas’ sincere care has also propelled me towards a career in teaching. My desire is now to help shape another student’s future, just as Professor Vargas helped shape mine.

Friends of NISOD

Take Advantage of Professional Opportunities Tailored to Community College Professionals

TCCTAJoin us at the 65th TCCTA Annual Convention on March 1-3, 2012, at the Embassy Suites Hotel & Convention Center in Frisco, Texas. Experience "Community Colleges: Foundations for Success" with more than 150 sessions on discipline-specific topics, great ideas for teaching students, financial planning, technology, and a host of other pertinent topics while connecting with vendors from across the educational spectrum. Visit our ever-expanding convention website throughout the year as the programs grow. Convention is the place to be this March!

Save the dates for the Texas Community College Teachers Association (TCCTA) Summer Series: The Great Teaching Round-Up (May 2012) and Leading from the Middle (July 2012).

TCCTA is proud to promote a genuinely unique professional development experience! Great Teaching Round-Up is a three-day master teacher seminar for community college faculty. We hope you will choose to be an active participant this May, adding to the diversity and richness of this successful movement.

Why should I Round-Up?
1. Participants decide what to talk about and how much time to spend.
2. Teachers learn best from one another; the collective expert is best.
3. Everything is positive and productive. (No griping! No whining!)

Then in July, come experience Leading from the Middle. Designed for mid-level administrators at Texas two-year colleges, we consider it a "boot camp" for deans, division chairs, instructional technology directors, student services directors, and others, as we provide key information and insights to help them succeed. We have addressed such topics as legal issues, educational technology, legislative and Coordinating Board orientation, leadership skills and ethics, communication issues, and other areas that directly affect performance.

Always available is the timely and popular TCCTA Blog. This daily tidbit is your best resource for community college issues. You can have the Blog delivered directly to your email by subscription, or you can access it directly from the TCCTA homepage. With so many pertinent issues and changes ahead, you will not want to miss a post.

Publications Corner

Innovation Abstracts

Innovation AbstractsInnovation Abstracts
Visit NISOD’s fully searchable online archives containing all of our archived Innovation Abstracts published over the past 30 years. Innovation Abstracts is a password-protected resource for NISOD members only. Members who do not have a password can complete a password request form.

Recent articles include:

Publish Your Good Ideas in Innovation Abstracts!
Are you an administrator or instructor who has successful practices, innovations, programs, or initiatives that work for you, your college, and your students? Consider sharing them with NISOD readers in an upcoming issue of Innovation Abstracts. Find out how!

At the 2011 NISOD International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence, Rod Risley, Executive Director, Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, delivered an extraordinary keynote address: “Community Colleges: Ready for Primetime?” This address was so well received that we elected to publish his remarks as a Celebrations for the benefit of all NISOD readers.

Partner VoicePartner Voice
"Project Management Education Goes Mainstream" describes how project management curriculum is designed to increase graduates' employability and earning prospects. Help your graduates find gainful employment with value-added skills developed with certification in Business Management Programs.

CCLP Corner

CCLPIn May 2011, Block 67 set the record for the smallest Block ever in the history of the Community College Leadership Program (CCLP) at The University of Texas at Austin.  Block members are:

Block 67’s journey began by visiting three Texas Gulf Coast area community colleges: Brazosport College, President Dr. Millicent Valek; San Jacinto College, Chancellor Dr. Brenda Hellyer; and Lee College, President Dr. Michael T. Murphy. The Block got a first-hand look at the outstanding work being done by these colleges to improve student success and how they are meeting the challenges of serving an area whose economy is largely dominated by the petro-chemical industry.

Other May Intersession highlights included excellent sessions from Dr. Barbara Mink, Chair of the Austin Community College Board of Trustees; Dr. Stephen B. Kinslow, President of Austin Community College; and Dr. James O. Hammons, Professor of Higher Education, The University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. During these sessions, Block 67 gained valuable insights into trustee responsibilities, organizational master planning, and the importance of the role of department chairs in institutional effectiveness.

Intersession ended with standing room only at the annual CCLP Fandango and with Block 67 proudly earning its “Horns” by participating in the NISOD Conference at the Austin Convention Center. All told, the new Block had a full immersion experience in CCLP traditions and felt privileged to participate in the many NISOD sessions that illustrated the work of outstanding community college faculty and staff.

Not to be outdone by Block 67, nature itself set a summer session record of 100-plus degree days in the Austin area, adding both heat and light to Block 67’s enlightenment. Learning about organizational leadership, educational politics and policy, ethics and values in education, and the philosophical foundations of research, Block 67 ended the summer session with advanced insights into higher education administration.

As the fall semester begins, Block 67 has bonded into a lean and efficient machine, and looks forward to a full slate of speakers, travel experiences, the Texas Association of Community College Trustees and Administrators and Association of Community College Trustees conferences in Dallas, and the special treat of working with Dr. Walter Bumphus, President and CEO of the American Association of Community Colleges (DC) on emerging issues of interest to future community college leaders. In Austin the sun is shining brightly on the CCLP!

Conference Corner

2012 NISOD Conference

conference logoSave the Date!
NISOD invites you to attend the 34th annual International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence, over Memorial Day weekend, May 27-May 30, 2012, at the Austin Convention Center, in downtown Austin, Texas. NISOD has hosted the largest conference to focus on community colleges for the past five years. Check out the Schedule at a Glance. Highlights of the conference include:

  1. Keynote addresses on the most pertinent current issues in higher education
  2. Descriptions of successful initiatives in preconference seminars
  3. Breakout and roundtable sessions focused on exemplary practices and programs
  4. Examples of best practices from colleges around the world at our College Showcase
  5. An Exhibit Hall featuring NISOD partners and supporters demonstrating products and services

Call for Presentations
NISOD’s Call for Presentations is now open! Please submit your proposal for a breakout or roundtable session by December 1, 2011.

Please check NISOD’s website for updates and further information. To receive brochures and conference updates by email, please join our conference mailing list.

Coral M. Noonan-Terry, Editor-in-Chief
Hook’Em Up is published monthly by the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD), Department of Educational Administration, College of Education, 1 University Station, D5600, Austin, Texas 78712-0378, (512) 471-7545.

© The University of Texas at Austin, 2011, All rights reserved.


National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD)
College of Education | The University of Texas at Austin
1912 Speedway, Stop D5600 | Austin, TX 78712-1607
Ph: (512) 471-7545 | Fax: (512) 471-9426 |
Email |