Category: Academic

Regent Carroll Sunseri

Galveston College board moves forward with PBK Architects for Nursing and Health Sciences Education building project

The Galveston Community College District Board of Regents, in a special session on April 7, authorized Dr. Myles Shelton, president, to negotiate a contract with PBK Architects, Inc., of Houston for architectural and engineering services for the construction of a new nursing and health sciences education building on the main campus.

The college received 13 responses to its request for qualifications for architectural and engineering services. Of those 13, the five firms scoring the highest were invited to make presentations for review.

In addition, the board approved proposals for landscape and architecture planning and design services for the main campus and for the Charlie Thomas Family Applied Technology Center from Elizabeth Austin Associates of The Woodlands. The proposals will take the projects from schematic design and construction documentation to oversight of installation.

Dr. Shelton said campus landscaping at both locations sustained considerable damage as a result of the February winter storm, and college staff will not know the exact extent of the damage for another month or so until the plants break their winter dormancy and begin to grow – or in some cases, not grow.

The board also decided to meet on April 27 at 4:30 p.m. to review and discuss proposals for bond financial adviser services.

Above: Galveston College Regent Carroll Sunseri looks at a virtual rendering of a nursing and health sciences building at another institution at the April 7 special board meeting.

Jaime Retiz

Galveston College Diagnostic Medical Sonography program receives CAAHEP accreditation

The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), at its March 19 meeting, awarded programmatic accreditation to Galveston College’s Diagnostic Medical Sonography program. The initial five-year accreditation followed a rigorous review process, including a self-study and virtual site visit to the Galveston campus.

“Becoming an accredited program is a wonderful achievement for the college and our students,” said Program Director Jaime Retiz. “This gives us recognition as a program maintaining national standards and quality and allows our students to be eligible for the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) board registries. This also gives our graduates an opportunity to become a registered sonographer by graduation and to be a hirable candidate when they begin their job search.”

The Galveston College Diagnostic Medical Sonography program is also an American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) recognized educational program. This recognition allows graduates to be ARRT – Sonography registry eligible upon completion of the program.

A diagnostic medical sonographer uses imaging equipment and soundwaves to form images of parts of the body, known as ultrasounds. They are trained to acquire and analyze these sonographic images, which are used to help doctors diagnose and treat many medical conditions.

Galveston College began the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program in spring 2019 in response to the needs of the local healthcare industry for highly skilled sonographers. Four students from the first graduating class in December 2020 have completed the registry exam.

“There is a high demand for certified sonographers in the Galveston and Houston areas,” said Dr. Cissy Matthews, vice president for instruction. “We are very proud that our Diagnostic Medical Sonography program has achieved CAAHEP accreditation. This demonstrates the quality of our program and the dedication of our faculty to ensure the program prepares students for success as diagnostic medical sonographers.”

Students in the Galveston College Diagnostic Medical Sonography program benefit from a blend of rigorous classroom instruction and hands-on training—a combination that enables them to strengthen their newfound knowledge and skills.

The Galveston College program accepts eight students a year into the program. Accreditation will enable the college to grow the program with the addition of new clinical sites.

The application period is open now and ends May 31. For application information, visit the Galveston College website at, call (409) 944-1490 or email Retiz at

Prerequisite courses for the program include Anatomy and Physiology I, College Algebra, College Physics and Composition I.

Above: Jaime Retiz, Program Director, Diagnostic Medical Sonography

Dr. Cissy Matthews

Dr. Cissy Matthews receives Contributions to Texas Women in Higher Education Award

The Texas Women in Higher Education on March 22 honored Dr. Cissy Matthews, vice president of instruction at Galveston College, with the 2021 Contributions to Texas Women in Higher Education Award.

The Contributions to Texas Women in Higher Education Award is designed to recognize a member of Texas Women in Higher Education (TWHE) and her outstanding contributions to TWHE and advancing women in the academy.

Dr. Matthews began her involvement with the TWHE Board of Directors in 2012 and served as president from 2016 to 2018. She has served on a number of TWHE’s committees, including the Nominating Committee, Institutional Representative Committee, Awards Committee and Social Media Committee.

“From the list of positions she has held, anyone could surmise that Cissy has been a positive force for TWHE. Although her positions outline Cissy’s time with TWHE, they do not adequately describe the true impact she has had on the organization,” said Dr. Dani Day, immediate past president of TWHE, in presenting the award.

“True leaders focus on a vision and lead others to join them in implementing that vision. Cissy has done just that with both her board positions—especially her leadership as president and continued influence as past president. The vision of TWHE is to ‘transform higher education leadership in Texas and beyond,’” Dr. Day said.

“Through her focus on that vision, Cissy has led TWHE to plan its work to achieve the vision through strategic priorities related to development, networking, advocacy, advancement and professional growth of women in Texas colleges and universities.”

Through her statewide leadership of TWHE, Dr. Matthews worked to promote the American Council on Education’s Moving the Needle: Advancing Women in Higher Education Leadership initiative. Additionally, she worked to diversify the membership and participation of women from all sectors of higher education in TWHE.

“I would like to extend my sincere congratulations to Dr. Matthews on this tremendous honor,” said Dr. Myles Shelton, college president. “We are extremely fortunate to have such an outstanding leader here at Galveston College.”

Dr. Matthews has more than 20 years of experience in higher education. She joined Galveston College as the vice president of instruction in 2012 and has been instrumental in creating several new instructional programs, including the college’s first bachelor’s degree.

Prior to joining the Galveston College leadership team, she was the dean for workforce and continuing education at College of the Mainland in Texas City.

Dr. Matthews received a Bachelor of Business Administration at the University of Houston and Master of Business Administration at University of Houston-Clear Lake. She returned to the University of Houston for her Doctor of Education.

She and her husband, Dave, are the parents of one son, Travis. They reside in Friendswood.

Class of 2021

Deadline to register for spring 2021 graduation is March 26; graduate photo sessions are March 30-April 1

Are you graduating from Galveston College during the 2021 Galveston College Commencement ceremony on May 14?

The deadline to register for graduation is Friday, March 26, at 5 p.m. on the Whitecaps student portal.

There will be complimentary professional photo sessions for the virtual ceremony next week for all Galveston College graduating students. No appointments are necessary.

The schedule is as follows:

  • Tuesday, March 30, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Northen Center Atrium, Main Campus
  • Wednesday, March 31, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Building 3, Charlie Thomas Family Applied Technology Center
  • Thursday, April 1, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Northen Center Atrium, Main Campus


Students may bring their Galveston College caps, gowns and tassels or wear what they prefer to wear for their graduation photo.

A cap, gown and tassel will be provided for students to wear for the photo opportunity for those who do not have one.

Students who attend a photo session may sign up to receive a free graduation T-shirt.

Please confirm attendance at a photo session with Andrea Wiste in the Admissions office at

Seibel Spring Flowers

2021 Galveston College Commencement goes virtual

Galveston College officials have announced that the 2021 Commencement Ceremony, set for Friday, May 14, will be conducted virtually.
“With the increasing availability of the COVID-19 vaccine and decreasing numbers of cases, there is good reason to be hopeful that we’re turning the corner on the pandemic in Galveston and our region. However, it does not appear that conditions in May will allow for the traditional large, in-person commencement ceremony,” said Andrea Wiste, assistant director of admissions and records and coordinator of the commencement ceremony.
“We share your disappointment in once again having to cancel an in-person ceremony. We are working to make the best of an ever-changing situation, and we promise to make this year’s virtual ceremony an event to remember.”
The virtual ceremony will launch at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 14, and will include a brief program and a slideshow featuring individual graduates. A link will be made available to graduates, their family members and friends, and the general public.
Graduating students will receive an email and/or text from Galveston College with specific instructions on where to send a photo and message for their individual graduate slides. Graduating students should make sure the Admissions department has their most recent cell phone number.
If graduates purchase a cap and gown, they should wear them in their photos. The college will be announcing graduation photo opportunity dates for students to come to the campus to have their photos made in their caps and gowns for the slide show if they so desire.
Additional information will be available in the next few weeks.
Mae Francis

Student Success Seminar to focus on note-taking and study skills

Galveston College Technical and Professional Education will present the second workshop in its spring Student Success Seminars series on Thursday, March 11, at 9 a.m. titled “Note-Taking and Study Skills for Success” featuring Mae Francis of Lookin’ Up Consulting.
The seminar is free and open to all students, faculty, staff, and the general public. The Zoom link to the seminar is as follows:
The seminar will focus on developing note-taking and study techniques to become stronger academically.
Francis, known best for inspiring and transferring positivity to whomever she comes in contact with, is currently the president and owner of Lookin’ Up Consulting, a training and development company that builds interactive programs, speeches and mentorships that educate and inspire professionals, as well as programs that support the emotional and social development of youth.
With more than 25 years in the field of teaching and training, Francis believes that her purpose on earth is to enhance the lives of others. She spent 19 years in the chemical industry, including five years selling plasticizers for Sterling Chemicals and 14 years as the training and development leader for Ashland Chemicals.
Francis has been certified as a trainer and coach by the Association of Training and Development and is a United States Army veteran. She studied Bible and Theology, as well as Business Administration, at St. Leo University and College of the Mainland.
Francis is an active member of the Texas City/La Marque, League City and Galveston chambers of commerce, the Association for Talent Development, and the advisory board for the College of the Mainland Petrochemical Process Technology program. She also is an active big sister for Gulf Coast Big Brothers Big Sisters. She is the mother of one, Whitnie, and is married to Merlin.
For more information about the Student Success Seminars series, please contact Martin Crichlow, student success advisor, at the Galveston College Charlie Thomas Family Applied Technology Center, at

Galveston College Theatre to bring back the Golden Age of Radio in ‘The Vintage Radio Hour’

The talented cast of the Galveston College Theatre Department will bring back some of the most popular radio programs of the 1940s for their upcoming virtual production of “The Vintage Radio Hour.”
The virtual performances, originally set for Feb. 19-21, have been rescheduled because of power outages resulting in technical delays in production. New show dates and times are Friday, Feb. 26, at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 27, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 28, at 2:30 p.m. There is no charge for access to the online events.
Please contact Galveston College Program Coordinator for Performing Arts Liz Lacy via email at for the link to listen to a performance.
“Before the era of computers and television, radio provided entertainment by presenting programs of mystery, intrigue, comedy and romance,” said Lacy, director of the show. “Please join us for ‘The Vintage Radio Hour’ and enjoy these nostalgic programs.”
Company members include Dorion Alcantar, Eva Arita, Elijah Barrie, Daniel Bourque, Alyssa Gudz, Benji Shelton and Cricket Smith.
Galveston College’s award-winning Theatre department stages up to five productions each academic year. Its fall virtual production of “The Invisible Man” was one of only 11 productions from colleges and universities throughout a five-state region invited to be presented at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Region VI Festival 53, which will be produced virtually this month.
For more information about the Galveston College Theatre department, please contact Lacy at
Above: Galveston College Theatre company members (clockwise, from top left) Benjamin Shelton, Eva Arita, Daniel Bourque, Alyssa Gudz and Elijah Barrie rehearse for the upcoming production of “The Vintage Radio Hour.”
The Vintage Radio Hour

Galveston College Theatre to present ‘The Vintage Radio Hour’

The talented cast of the Galveston College Theatre Department will bring back some of the most popular radio programs of the 1940s for its upcoming virtual production of “The Vintage Radio Hour.”

“Before the era of computers and television, radio provided entertainment by presenting programs of mystery, intrigue, comedy and romance,” said Liz Lacy, Galveston College program coordinator for the performing arts and director of the show. “Please join us for ‘The Vintage Radio Hour’ and enjoy these nostalgic programs.”

Show dates and times are Friday, Feb. 19, at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 20, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 21, at 2:30 p.m.

Company members include Dorion Alcantar, Eva Arita, Elijah Barrie, Daniel Bourque, Alyssa Gudz, Benji Shelton and Cricket Smith.

Please contact director Liz Lacy via email at for the link to listen to one of the performances. A link to the performances will automatically be sent to all Galveston College faculty and staff.

Above: Galveston College Theatre students (clockwise, from top left) Benjamin Shelton, Eva Arita, Daniel Bourque, Alyssa Gudz and Elijah Barrie rehearse for the upcoming production of “The Vintage Radio Hour.”

Carmen Kosinski

Galveston College Nursing students volunteer at mass vaccination clinic

Galveston College Nursing students are obtaining extremely valuable clinical experience this semester assisting the Galveston County Health Department and UTMB Health in administering COVID-19 vaccinations at the county’s drive-through mass vaccination clinic coordinated by the Galveston County Office of Emergency Management and the Office of County Judge Mark Henry at Walter Hall Park in League City.

On Feb. 3, students in Associate Degree Nursing Instructor and Simulation Lab Coordinator Joan Moss, RN, MSN, CHSE’s class volunteered at the clinic.

On Feb. 5, students in Jeff Eubank, RN, MSN’s ADN class volunteered.

The students will continue to volunteer throughout the semester.

Above: Galveston College Nursing student Carmen Kosinski administers a vaccination at the Galveston County Office of Emergency Management mass vaccination clinic in League City.

Galveston College promotes Dr. Arlinda Washington to professor of Nursing

Dr. Arlinda Washington has been promoted to professor of Nursing at Galveston College. The Galveston Community College District Board of Regents approved Dr. Washington’s promotion at its Jan. 13 regular meeting.

Dr. Washington is celebrating more than half a century of dedication, leadership, teaching, compassion and service as a nurse, nurse educator and nursing professional.

Dr. Washington graduated from Alvin Community College with an Associate Degree in Nursing in August 1971. She went on to obtain her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston in 1973. She served as a nursing supervisor and head nurse at Mainland Medical Center in Texas City from 1972 to 1983.

From 1983 to 1989, she served as a staff nurse and head nurse at Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital in Yakima, Washington. She obtained a Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Portland in 1987. From 1989 to 1991, she taught nursing at Yakima Valley Community College.

She returned to Texas in 1991 and served as a professor in the Associate of Applied Science in Nursing program at College of the Mainland in Texas City and as a staff nurse at Mainland Medical Center.

Dr. Washington joined the Galveston College family as an adjunct professor in July 2010 and came on board as a full-time faculty member in 2013. In 2017, she obtained her Doctor of Nursing Practice from the Chamberlain College of Nursing.

Dr. Washington said it is important for her to be a role model to her students and other nurse educators and nursing professionals.

“I am a lifelong learner. I have a strong passion for learning and paying it forward,” she said. “Standing in solidarity with thousands of other nurses, students and nurses that I have taught, I realize how blessed I am to call myself a nurse, a teacher and now a nursing professional.”

Galveston College is truly blessed to have Dr. Washington on its faculty.