Category: Academic

2021 Dual-Credit Graduation Celebration

Galveston College celebrates dual-credit graduates

Galveston College celebrated its seven dual-credit graduates from Ball High School who received their associate degrees during the college’s virtual commencement on May 14 with a drive-through graduation ceremony at Galveston College on May 24.

This is a record number of dual-credit graduates in one semester at Galveston College.

The Galveston College dual-credit graduates will graduate from Ball High School on Wednesday, June 2, with their high school diplomas.

Galveston College Student Government Association President Maia Adolphs, a dual-credit senior at BHS, and Priscilla Culver, dual-credit student success advisor, recently met with Galveston Independent School District Superintendent Jerry Gibson and the BHS graduation team, and BHS Principal Joseph Pillar and school district personnel have approved recognition of the dual-credit graduates with associate degree cords at the BHS graduation ceremony on Wednesday.

Congratulations to the 2021 dual-credit graduates:

Maia Z. Adolphs
Kelsey A. Barillas
Lily Benavidez
Isabella Corrales
Gabriella Lopez
Kayla E. Olguin
Abigayle Pruns

For photos of all of the dual-credit graduates and the celebration, please click here.

Galveston College library website is featured as model site

The Galveston College David Glenn Hunt Memorial Library website has been featured on Springshare Buzz as one of the academic examples by Simplified Design without a lot of coding requirements.

Springshare is the vendor for the Galveston College library’s libguides, room reservations, chat, event registrations and many other services. As stated on the page, the website is built from a LibGuide using LibGuides CMS (content management system).

The library website was designed, created and is maintained by Telishia “Tee” Mickens, director of library and learning resources. The website build started in summer 2019 and the site went live in fall 2019.

“Libraries are hubs for knowledge, research and so much more,” Mickens said. “The library website gives users an online experience to access library resources with the same value as they would find walking through the doors.”

The library website allows users to easily locate resources, find the newest resources and services offered, participate in virtual events and displays, virtually connect with the library team through Chat Reference and more.

The library website has had 38,094 views since 2019, with an average of 1,800 views a month.

April 2021 Quickstart+ Graduates

All 10 Spring Grads of Quickstart+ HVAC Helper Program Pass EPA Section 608 Universal Exam

Under the instructional leadership of Karen Alsept, all 10 graduates of the Galveston College Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Quickstart+ Helper program passed their EPA Section 608 Universal certification exam at the completion of their training on April 9.

Those receiving their certifications include Andrew Quintana, Alex Neal, Efrain Garza, Yulianna Perez, Ramses Flores Demetrio, Andre Perry, Joshua Marshall, Ronald Cokins, Zachary Folse and Leonardo Morales.

Sharon Pagan, grant manager, said graduate Ronald Cokins was employed by SCR Services, and Flores Demetrio was hired by Miles Cooling and Heating of Pasadena. Efrain Garza is currently completing a five-week paid internship with Waffle House Restaurants, and Andre Perry was employed by R and L Remodeling in La Marque.

Funded with a Foundational Skills for Construction Career Pathways Grant. the Quickstart+ programs are designed to help individuals find entry-level jobs in the fast-growing HVAC and electrical industries.

In the eight-week programs, students will be presented with the basics of a trade, including safety procedures, proper tool usage, regulations, codes and more. They also will receive career counseling and job placement assistance.

Tuition is free for those accepted into the programs. However, students must purchase their own steel-toed boots and personal protective equipment.

An individual applying to a Quickstart program must

• be age 18 or older. (Proof of age is required such as driver’s license or birth certificate.)
• be a United States citizen or certified to work in the United States. (A Social Security card or original I-9 documentation is required.)
• meet United States Military Selective Service registration requirements, if male. (Student must present Registration Acknowledgment Card at the time of enrollment.)
• have a working computer and internet access.
• have steel-toed boots and personal protective equipment (mask or face covering).

Following acceptance into the program, the applicant must meet with the job placement navigator and bring required documents.

For more information, please visit and contact Sharon Pagan at

Above: Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVAC-R) instructor Karen Alsept stands proudly with her 10 Quickstart+ HVAC Helper students who all passed their EPA Section 608 Universal certification exam at the completion of their training on April 9. Pictured left to right are Andrew Quintana, instructor Karen Alsept, Alex Neal, Efrain Garza, Yulianna Perez, Ramses Flores Demetrio, Andre Perry, Joshua Marshall, Ronald Cokins, Zachary Folse and Leonardo Morales.

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.”