Category: Campus News

Eight Whitecaps softball players named 2021 NFCA All-America Scholar Athletes

Eight Galveston College Whitecaps softball players have been named National Fastpitch Coaches Association 2021 All-America Scholar Athletes. Athletes who achieve a 3.5 or better GPA on a 4.0 scale are recognized as NFCA Scholar Athletes.

Those recognized include the following:


Alyssa Castellano


Cailtin Denison


Bailey Groom


Aspyn Grossman

Chasity Kambitsch
Chasity Kambitsch

Odette Lopez
Odette Lopez

Jordan Rasmussen
Jordan Rasmussen


Makinzie Tomascik

Galveston College Law Enforcement Academy celebrates graduations

The Galveston College Law Enforcement Academy recently celebrated the graduations of Class 6 of its full-time, daytime program and Class 34 of its evening program with virtual ceremonies for family members, co-workers and friends.

Crystal Robinson, director of the Law Enforcement Academy, served as master of ceremonies and commended the work of the program instructors and the cadets, congratulating the graduates as they launched their careers.

Instructor Bart Stephenson presented special awards for marksmanship and academic achievement.

Class 6D award recipients included Cadet Sam Kayal, Top Gun award for the best marksmanship on the firing range, and Cadet Ethan Torres, top academic achievement award.

Cadet Kevin Anderson received both the Top Gun marksmanship award and the top academic achievement award for Class 34.

Galveston College is now accepting applications for its Law Enforcement Academy for 2021-2022.

The Galveston College Law Enforcement Academy’s seventh full-time day program will run Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for one semester. Classes begin July 26. Graduation will be in December 2021.

The Galveston College Law Enforcement Academy’s 35th evening program will run Mondays through Fridays from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., beginning Aug. 2. The program runs for two semesters. Graduation is set for May 2022.

The deadline to apply for the day or evening program is June 30.

More than 450 cadets have graduated from Galveston College’s Law Enforcement Academy since it began in 1987. Many of those graduates have gone on to join county law enforcement agencies and police departments across Texas.

The 740-hour law enforcement academy is designed for those who are seeking certification as a Texas peace officer from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE.)

For more information on the Galveston College Law Enforcement Academy, contact Crystal Robinson, Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement Academy program director, at (409) 944-1331 or crobinson@gc.edu, or instructor Bart Stephenson at (409) 944-1263 or bstephenson@gc.edu.

Students also can visit the Law Enforcement Academy office in Room 323 of the Mary Moody Northen Center on the Galveston College campus, 4015 Avenue Q, Galveston, Texas, or online at https://gc.edu/criminal-justice-law-enforcement.

Graduates of Class 34 of the Galveston College Law Enforcement Academy include (front row from left) Benjamen Cohan, Keren Chapman, Reynol Lopez, Kevin Anderson, Shamael Ruiz, Law Enforcement Academy Program Director Crystal Robinson, (back row) instructor Bart Stephenson, Andrew Moffet, Alyssa Dale, Geria Brown, Johnathan Aucoin, John Perry, Wesley Hurt and instructor Sgt. Billy Kilburn, Galveston County Sheriff’s Office.

Graduates of Galveston College Law Enforcement Academy Class 6D include (front row from left) Wesley Divine, Britnni Love, Meghan Bilbrey and Felicia Barrienties, (back row from left) instructor Bart Stephenson, Andy Duhon, Zachary Williams, Sam Kayal and Crystal Robinson, program director of the Law Enforcement Academy.

Registration underway for summer and fall 2021

Registration for summer and fall 2021 classes is underway at Galveston College.

Summer I classes begin Tuesday, June 7. Summer II classes begin Tuesday, July 12.

The fall 2021 semester begins Monday, Aug. 30.

#YourCollegeYourWay
The #YourCollegeYourWay schedule of classes features a robust offering of in-person classes, fully online classes and hybrid classes that combine learning modes.

Advising
In order to plan coursework for the summer and fall, students should contact their advisor or email advising@gc.edu.

Online Registration
To register online, students should

–log in to their Whitecaps portal by entering their Galveston College user ID and password. Students who do not know their Galveston College user ID should contact the Information Technology Service Desk at helpdesk@gc.edu.
–view Degree Audit.
–select Register for Classes.

Students who need help or who have questions about registering online should email the Counseling and Advising Center at advising@gc.edu.

In-person Registration
In-person registration hours are from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Mondays through Thursdays in the Counseling and Advising Center on the first floor of Moody Hall on the main campus. The college is closed on Fridays.

Financial Aid and Scholarships
Students should contact the Financial Aid office at finaid@gc.edu to ensure their financial aid awards are in place. Those who have not completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for 2021-2022 should complete the application here.

Tuition and Fees Payment Arrangements
Registration is not complete until payment arrangements are made. Students who owe a balance can make full payments online with a credit card via their Whitecaps portal or by sending a check or money order by mail to the Galveston College Business Office, 4015 Avenue Q, Galveston, TX 77550. (Please include the student’s name and student ID number.)

Students with payment questions can email the Business Office at bo@gc.edu or leave a message at (409) 944-1362. (Please leave name, student ID number and contact information.)

Students who want to set up a payment plan must sign up via their Whitecaps portal using the FACTS payment plan system. For more information on payment plans, please visit the FACTS payment system information page here.

Payment questions may be directed to the Business Office at bo@gc.edu.

Please contact the Counseling and Advising Center at advising@gc.edu with any questions concerning registration.

Whitecaps Wardrobe

Whitecaps Wardrobe appointments available

Are you looking for clothes for work or a job interview?

The Galveston College Student Government Association is accepting appointments to shop its new Whitecaps Wardrobe professional clothing closet. The closet is located on the second floor of the Hermes Fitness Center.

A variety of free business and business casual attire is available, including dress shirts and slacks, jackets, dresses, pants, blouses and career-specific attire.

To schedule a confidential appointment, please contact Jose Martinez at jmartinez@gc.edu to arrange a date and time.

Donations also may be dropped off near the screening stations in the Moody Hall lobby and the Mary Moody Northen Center atrium and at the Charlie Thomas Family Applied Technology Center.

Whitecaps Wardrobe is made possible thanks to generous donations from faculty, staff, students and friends of Galveston College.

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.

Sandi Smith

Galveston College Whitecaps logo wins national Paragon Award

Galveston College has been awarded a 2020 Bronze Paragon Award from the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations (NCMPR) for its new Whitecaps athletics logo. The Public Affairs team celebrated the win virtually during the recent 2021 NCMPR National Conference.

NCMPR’s prestigious Paragon Awards recognize outstanding achievement in communication and design at community colleges. It is the only national competition of its kind that honors excellence exclusively among marketing and public relations professionals at two-year colleges. NCMPR has more than 1,700 members from nearly 650 colleges across the United States and Canada. This year’s competition had more than 1,800 entries.

The new Whitecaps logo was developed in-house under the art direction of Galveston College Creative Services Manager Sandi Smith. It was part of a comprehensive Whitecaps rebranding initiative conducted by the college’s Public Affairs department and the college’s Communication, Marketing and Advertising Committee comprised of faculty, staff and students.

Since the college launched the logo in spring 2020, it has been featured on a new Galveston College athletics website, gcwhitecaps.com, and on merchandise, signage, advertising, apparel, and digital and print publications.

“The design features a blue wave with a foamy crest and a friendly but fierce expression,” said Carol Langston, director of public affairs.

“The logo is fresh and fun. It’s been well-received by our students, faculty, staff and the community. I want to commend Sandi for her design excellence and art direction on the project. I also want to thank the members of our Communication, Marketing and Advertising Committee for their willingness to sift through many designs. It’s always a great day to be a Whitecap.”

Food for Thought

Food for Thought distribution is open to the general public

Galveston College’s free Food for Thought drive-through food distribution is now open to the general public in addition to Galveston College students.

The next drive-through distribution will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (while supplies last) on Wednesday, April 21, at the college’s Charlie Thomas Family Applied Technology Center, 7626 Broadway St., Galveston.

The final distribution date for the spring 2021 semester will be Wednesday, May 5.

Food for Thought is a partnership between Galveston College, the Galveston County Food Bank and the Houston Food Bank through its Food for Change food scholarship initiative.

The Food for Thought distribution gives Galveston College students and the general public access to fresh produce, meats and other groceries on the Galveston College campus, enabling them to save money for other necessities.

Here are the steps to receive food:

–Bring ID card, client card or current student ID for the spring 2021 semester.
–Open trunk of automobile so that volunteers may place box/bag of food inside.
–Drive off safely after receiving food.

Galveston College adheres to the wearing of facial coverings/masks and COVID-19 protocols.

For more information, please contact Jose Martinez at jmartinez@gc.edu or (409) 944-1234.

Galveston College hosts ‘Meet a UTMB Scientist’ virtual panel April 13

Are you pursuing a career in science or a medical field? Are you interested in science as a hobby? Do you find science fascinating and fun?

The Galveston College Faculty Professional Development Committee will host a virtual lecture featuring a panel of six scientists who will discuss their disciplines and their latest research on Tuesday, April 13, at 3 p.m. via Zoom videoconference.

To access the meeting, please use the following link:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89296791451?pwd=dHlzNXVrQTJ1UjQ5TjBwSGE3SzVUdz09

Meeting ID is 892 9679 1451. Passcode is Galveston.

Panelists include the following:

Scott Segura
Scott Segura is a third-year pathology student at the University of Texas Medical Branch working on using Salmonella bacteria to shut off immune checkpoints that allow Leishmania parasites to survive in hosts. He received his Bachelor of Science in biology from the University of Texas at Dallas where he participated in research on cancer and a protein from Y. pestis, the bacteria that causes plague. He also spent summers doing internships at UTMB and Weill Cornell in New York City working on many pathogens from Zika virus to malaria. His scientific career started in high school through a partnership between Ball High and UTMB where he shadowed a graduate student working on West Nile virus. After graduating, he plans to pursue a career in science communication and community outreach to educate the public on the latest biomedical science and the benefits of research. Scott was born in Galveston and enjoys working out, swimming, and horticulture.

Clairissa Hansen
Clairissa Hansen is a third-year PhD student at UTMB studying experimental pathology and public health. In the lab, she studies yellow fever virus and aims to uncover how the vaccine against this virus is so effective at preventing disease. She started gaining lab experience in a microbiology lab as an undergraduate, continued with a summer fellowship at the Mayo Clinic, and came to UTMB to study viruses in 2018. However, she is planning to move away from the lab bench in the future to focus on more translational studies. She is interested in pursuing a career in science communication, public health, and health policy and hopes to help the public better understand the science that affects their lives. Clairissa grew up in Colorado and enjoys swimming, playing the saxophone, traveling, and trying new recipes in the kitchen.

Linda Kenney, PhD
Dr. Linda J. Kenney is the Tom and Kaye Arnold Professor of Gastroenterology in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at UTMB. She was raised in Iowa, attended the University of Iowa and then when to the University of Pennsylvania for graduate school.
There she studied the Na,K-ATPase, an enzyme isolated from dog kidney and also from human red blood cells. She moved to a post-doctoral fellowship at Yale University and then changed fields to work on bacteria. At Princeton University, she began studying how bacteria such as E. coli sense their environment and respond by changing gene expression. She became an Assistant Professor at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, OR where she continued her work on signaling. In 2003, Dr. Kenney moved to the University of Illinois-Chicago and began working on Salmonella, a bacterium that causes food poisoning. From 2009-2019, she worked at the Mechanobiology Institute in Singapore before moving to UTMB. Dr. Kenney is exploring novel models for studying Salmonella, using Zebrafish, the nematode C. elegans and chick embryos. Most recently, she has been working to develop Salmonella as an anti-tumor agent. In her spare time, Dr. Kenney enjoys hiking in the mountains of New Mexico, plays tennis, is a keen birdwatcher and participates in close-readings of Shakespeare.

Kyle Buchan, PhD
Dr. Kyle Buchan is a postdoctoral fellow and Zebrafish scientist working in the Kenney lab in the department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at UTMB. Kyle received his undergraduate in Microbiology from the University of Dundee, Scotland in 2014, where he worked on bacterial pathogenesis and protein secretion. Afterwards, he crossed the border and moved to Sheffield, England for his PhD, where he went from working only on bacterial pathogens to working with a unique animal model, the Zebrafish. During his PhD he created several unique strains of humanised Zebrafish and used them to study the immune response to MRSA infection. In 2018 he moved to Singapore to work with Dr. Kenney, using the Zebrafish to study Salmonella infection inside the gut using cutting-edge microscopy, and explore Salmonella as an anti-tumour agent using a Zebrafish that develops liver cancer. In 2020
Kyle moved to Galveston with the Kenney group to establish the university’s first Zebrafish facility, which now holds over 200 fish. In his spare time Kyle enjoys listening to music, playing guitar, cycling and reading.

Jennifer Hurtig
Jennifer Hurtig completed her undergraduate studies at the College of Wooster in Ohio. She is currently a fourth-year graduate student at the University of Texas MD Anderson UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, in the Microbiology and Infections Disease program. Her project focuses on understanding RNA processing and its involvement in a rare neuronal disease called pontocerebellar hyperplasia. Jennifer has made many significant contributions to the scientific and academic community, and has held a number of leadership roles as part of the Texas Medical Center Chapter of the American Society for Microbiology. Most recently, her outstanding efforts were recognized when she was selected as the most recent group of John Kopchick Fellows at the graduate school.

Natalie Sirisaengtaksin, PhD
Natalie Sirisaengtaksin received degrees in Psychology and Biology from the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Houston-Downtown. She completed her PhD in Neuroscience at the University of Texas MD Anderson UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, where she studied how proteins affected the growth of neuroblastoma, the most common pediatric solid tumor. For her postdoctoral studies, Natalie shifted to microbiology, where she earned a fellowship from UTHealth and the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas to study and understand the strategies of bacterial defense systems and to adapt them for use against diseases like cancer. In addition to research positions, she has also worked as a communications/contract specialist for a local biotech start-up company, interned in the Office of Technology Management for UTHealth, and was a project manager for a number of consulting projects contracted by both large and small pharmaceutical companies.
Currently, Natalie works for the graduate school and serves as an academic advisor for entering graduate students.

For more information on the event, please contact Dr. Laimutis Bytautas, chair of the Faculty Professional Development Committee, at lbytautas@gc.edu.

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 gc.edu, call (409) 944-1490 or email Retiz at jretiz@gc.edu.

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

April is Community College Month

Galveston College joins #CCMonth campaign to improve awareness of value, need to support community colleges

Galveston College announced it is participating in #CCMonth, a grassroots education campaign coordinated by the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT). The primary goals of #CCMonth are to improve awareness of the economic, academic and equity advantages of attending community colleges, and to bust longtime stigmas wrongly associated with public two-year colleges.

Galveston College students, alumni, faculty, staff and community supporters are encouraged to share their Galveston College stories on social media and to tag their posts with the hashtags #GCSuccess, #CCMonth and #CCTrustees.

“The past year has proved beyond any doubt that our college is absolutely vital to our community and our state,” Galveston Community College District Board of Regents Chair Karen Flowers said. “#CCMonth is an opportunity to reach out into both and to demonstrate not only that community colleges should be the first choice of many collegegoers, but why community colleges are first-class institutions that are vital to our local and state economies.”

Public community colleges are a uniquely American educational model that was designed to guarantee access to affordable, high-quality higher education for all people. They are the primary educators of life-saving nursing and other healthcare professionals among many others. They also serve as an onramp to bachelor’s, master’s and higher-level degrees for many students, and particularly for the most demographically and socioeconomically diverse students. They guarantee fair admissions for all students. They offer supports for adult students who have to work to support their families. And without community colleges, many American students would not be able to access higher education at all.

Despite all this, many American people wrongly believe that community colleges are inferior institutions, and in most states, universities receive significantly more per-student state support than community colleges do. These negative attitudes and disparities support and encourage ongoing socioeconomic and demographic disadvantages and inequities in the United States.

“Community colleges are engines of diversity, equity and inclusion,” said ACCT President and CEO J. Noah Brown. “They give opportunities to all students, and they support all students throughout their educations, whether they attend to attain an associate degree or certificate, intend to transfer on for a bachelor’s or higher degree, or they take one or a few courses to learn a new skill or expand their horizons.”

The campaign is expected to have strong participation from community colleges and their supporters throughout the country.