Category: Campus News

Galveston College celebrates 7th full-time Law Enforcement Academy graduation ceremony

In a processional led by a traditional police bagpiper, the five graduates of Galveston College Law Enforcement Academy Class 7D filed into the Abe and Annie Seibel Wing Wednesday, Dec. 15, to receive their certifications and to be administered the law enforcement pledge.

Crystal Robinson, director of the Law Enforcement Academy, served as master of ceremonies.

Following the presentation of the colors by the Galveston Police Department Honor Guard and the National Anthem, Robinson introduced Galveston College President Dr. Myles Shelton, who gave welcoming remarks to family and friends of the graduates. Dr. Shelton commended the work of the program instructors and the cadets and congratulated the graduates as they launched their careers.

Guest speaker Sheriff Henry Trochesset of the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office commended the cadets for choosing a career in law enforcement.

“This is not just a job; this is a career,” Sheriff Trochesset shared with the graduates. “If you don’t have the heart to make tough decisions … to do what’s right … it’s going to be tough to wake up in the morning to want to come to work. You have to have the heart to want to do it.”

Graduates included Jovani Herrera, Jackson Krueger, William Osteen, Kyle Post and Ernesto Ramos.

Graduating Cadet Jackson Krueger was named class valedictorian for top academic achievement. The presentation of special awards also included the Top Gun award for the best marksmanship on the firing range to Cadet Kyle Post.

Cadet Class 3D instructors included Barton Stephenson, Galveston College; Lt. Paul Atkins, Texas Department of Public Safety; Director Dan Blackford, College of the Mainland; Officer Brandon Bonhert, Galveston Police Department; Officer Patrick Brosch, Galveston Police Department; Assistant District Attorney Shawn Connally, Galveston County District Attorney’s Office; Cpl. J. Creech, Galveston County Sheriff’s Office; Officer Mark Davis, Galveston Police Department; Officer Geoffrey Gainer, Galveston Police Department; Sgt. Ashton Gill, Galveston Police Department; Chief Chris Harrison, Galveston Fire Department; Officer Josh Henderson, Galveston Police Department; Lt. Margo Idhe, Galveston County Sheriff’s Office; Sgt. Billy Kilburn, Galveston County Sheriff’s Office; Officer K. Mach, Port of Galveston; Lt. Sean Migues, Galveston Police Department; Det. Geovanny Martinez, Galveston Police Department; Det. Thomas Murdock, Galveston Police Department; Officer James O’Donnell, Galveston Police Department; Officer Leroy Puga, Galveston Police Department; Officer Vincent Ramirez, Port of Galveston; Assistant District Attorney William Reed, Galveston County District Attorney’s Office; District Attorney Jack Roady, Galveston County District Attorney’s Office; Agent S. Saldivar, Texas ABC; Det. Michelle Sollenberger, Galveston Police Department; and Officer Miguel Zapata, Texas A&M University Police Department.

More than 430 cadets have graduated from Galveston College’s Law Enforcement Academy since it began in 1987. Many of those graduates have gone on to join law enforcement agencies in Galveston County, throughout Texas and the Gulf Coast region.

The law enforcement academy is designed for those who are seeking their Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) basic peace officer certification.

For more information on the Galveston College Law Enforcement Academy day and evening programs, contact Crystal Robinson, Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement Academy program director, at (409) 944-1331 or crobinson@gc.edu.

Above: Galveston College on Dec. 15 celebrated its latest full-time Law Enforcement Academy graduation ceremony. Top photo: Graduates Jovani Herrera, Jackson Krueger, William Osteen, Kyle Post and Ernesto Ramos are pictured with Law Enforcement Academy instructor Bart Stephenson.

Kelly Raines

JUCO Coaching Standout to Lead Galveston College Whitecaps Softball Team

Howard College head softball coach and junior college coaching veteran Kelly Raines has been hired by Galveston College to lead the Whitecaps softball program.

“Coach Raines brings a vast amount of knowledge and experience with the National Junior College Athletic Association and Texas community college softball to Galveston College,” said Dr. Myles Shelton, college president, in making the announcement.

“Kelly has a tremendous dedication to student success – both in the classroom and on the field. She has been to the NJCAA national tournament seven times in her 16-year career. We are truly excited to have her join our Whitecaps family.”

Coach Raines has served as head softball coach at Howard College in Big Spring, Texas, since 2005. During her tenure, the Hawks had 16 years of 30 or more wins in a season, won seven regional championships and nine conference championships, and placed fourth in the 2015 national tournament.

Prior to joining Howard College, Coach Raines served as head softball coach at her alma mater, Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri, for two years and assistant softball coach at Midland College in Midland, Texas, for two years. During her time at Midland, the Chaps won two regional championships and two conference championships and finished fourth at the national tournament.

Coach Raines has a Master of Business Administration, a Bachelor of Arts in Physical Education, and an Associate of Arts. She has also taught undergraduate classes in sports management and business management.

“Coach Raines’ enthusiasm and excitement, her strong educational background, her knowledge of softball, and her goals and vision will be a tremendous boost to our program,” said Dr. Van Patterson, vice president for administration and student services and interim athletic director. “She will hit the ground running on day one and take our program to the next level.”

Coach Raines is an eight-time Western Junior College Athletic Conference Coach of the Year and a three-time recipient of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Staff of the Year award. During her playing career at Pensacola Junior College and Lindenwood University, she was a two-time National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics All-American, National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-American, All-Region and All-Conference student-athlete. She is a member of the Lindenwood University Player Hall of Fame.

“I am so excited to be a Whitecap,” said Coach Raines. “I look forward to an exciting new chapter in my life and Galveston College softball.”

Anna Shepherd (seated), Benji Shelton (standing) and Dorion Alcantar in Dracula

Halloween treat: Galveston College Theatre opens 2021-2022 season with ‘Dracula’

“I have long followed the trail of the vampire. It lives on…for centuries…draining the blood…the life…from its victims, causing them also to become vampires. And this is our story. The story of a small band of mortals who faced the most powerful vampire of them all.” – Abraham Van Helsing, “Dracula” – Abraham Van Helsing, “Dracula”

The Galveston College Theatre Department will kick off its 2021-2022 season with a virtual production of the chilling radio play, “Dracula,” adapted by Philip Grecian and based on the classic novel by Bram Stoker.

Show dates and times are Friday, Oct. 29, Saturday, Oct. 30, and Sunday, Oct. 31, at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

“Tune in for thrills, chills and intrigue as we venture into the dark, creepy tale of everyone’s favorite count,” said Liz Lacy, program coordinator for the performing arts. “Join us if you dare on Halloween weekend for this memorable, classic saga.”

Company members include Walker Albert as Jonathan Harker, Dorion Alcantar as R.M. Renfield, Eva Arita as Birdie, Elijah Barrie as Count Dracula, Daniel Bourque as Dr. Abraham Van Helsing, Alyssa Gudz as Lucy Westernra, Benji Shelton as Dr. Jack Seward and Anna Shepherd as Mina Harker.

“Dracula” will be available via streaming on Vimeo at https://vimeo.com/613178754. The password is GCFALL21.

For additional information, please contact Program Coordinator for the Performing Arts Liz Lacy at (409) 944-1398 or llacy@gc.edu.

Volunteers Needed

College seeks volunteers for Food for Thought packing and distribution

Are you looking for a way to give back to the college and community? Does your club or organization need service hours?

Ten to 12 volunteers are needed to assist in packing, bagging and distributing food to Galveston College students at the Food for Thought drive-through mobile food distribution at the college’s Charlie Thomas Family Applied Technology Center, 7626 Broadway St., Galveston.

Volunteers are needed on the following dates:

Oct. 27 from 8 a.m.-10 a.m. – Food Packing/Bagging and 10 a.m.-12 p.m. – Distribution
Nov. 10 from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. – Food Packing/Bagging and 12 p.m.-2 p.m. – Distribution
Nov. 23 from 8 a.m.-10 a.m. – Food Packing/Bagging and 10 a.m.-12 p.m. – Distribution
Dec. 8 from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. – Food Packing/Bagging and 12 p.m.-2 p.m. – Distribution

To volunteer to assist with the program, contact Randy Graves at rgraves@gc.edu or (409) 944-1234. Please send him the dates on which you would like to volunteer.

Please do not volunteer if exhibiting any of the following symptoms:

cough
fever
tiredness
difficulty breathing

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations regarding social distancing, masks/face coverings, gloves, hand washing and sanitation will be followed.

About Food for Thought
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.

Food for Thought gives all Galveston College students access to fresh produce, meats and other groceries on the Galveston College campus, enabling them to save money for other necessities and to maintain their focus on school.

The program will be operating on the regular scholarship program schedule this semester and will not be available to the general public. For a calendar listing of mobile food pantries in Galveston County open to the public, click here.

Here are the steps to receive food:

Bring a Food for Thought client ID card and current student ID for the fall 2021 semester.
Present ID through the window of automobile to receive food. (Windows must remain closed for the safety of the students and volunteers.)
Open trunk of automobile so that volunteers may place box/bag of food inside.
Drive off safely after receiving food.

Currently enrolled students can obtain Food for Thought client ID cards in the Galveston College Counseling and Advising Center on the first floor of Moody Hall on the main campus or at the office at the Applied Technology Center.

In addition to the distributions at Galveston College, students also can locate unrestricted Food for Change markets here or by using the Houston Food Bank Mobile App. Food for Change markets are labeled to help clients identify all markets available to all Food for Change recipients.

SGA Induction

SGA Celebrates Officer Induction

The Galveston College Student Government Association celebrated its incoming officers at an induction ceremony Sept. 28 in the Regents Hall courtyard.

Dora Martinez was inducted 2021-2022 president. Benjamin Shelton was inducted as secretary. Also recognized was incoming officer Ethan Fox, vice president. Randy Graves, student life coordinator, is SGA adviser.

The SGA is responsible for governing student interests, advocating for student concerns, providing support and recognition for student organizations, and serving students by hosting activities and events that enhance student life.

The positions of treasurer and historian are currently open.

Above: Galveston College Student Government Association adviser Randy Graves (right) administers the oath of office on Tuesday to 2021-2022 SGA officers President Dora Martinez (center) and Secretary Benjamin Shelton. Not pictured is SGA Vice President Ethan Fox.

Dr. Myles Shelton

Galveston College extends remote learning through Oct. 8

The following message was sent today via email from President Myles Shelton to Galveston College students, faculty and staff:

Campus Community:

As you are aware, Galveston College announced a shift to remote instruction for the first three weeks of classes of the fall 2021 semester because of a significant increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in Galveston County, the City of Galveston, and on the Galveston College campus. Since that time, COVID-19 cases in the United States have climbed back to levels not seen since last winter. Here in Galveston County, more students and staff members in our local school districts have tested positive for COVID-19 so far this semester than did during the entire first semester of 2020.

Extension of Remote Learning for Three Weeks
While we had hoped to have better news to share and to return to in-person learning here at Galveston College on Monday, Sept. 20, the continued surge in COVID-19 cases, coupled with a strain on our local healthcare resources, necessitates that we continue to scale back the number of students, classes, and employees on campus. This means that the majority of our on-campus classes will continue to operate remotely for at least three more weeks through Friday, Oct. 8. During the weeks ahead, we will continue to monitor and assess our operational plans and protocols. It remains our intention to return to on-campus learning this semester.

As they did during the first three weeks of classes, students enrolled in technical and professional programs that require hands-on instruction will continue to come to campus for in-person laboratories and instruction. These programs include, but are not limited to, the following:

Associate Degree Nursing
Certified Nurse Assistant (Continuing Education)
Computed Tomography
Computer Network System Administration
Cosmetology
Culinary Arts
Diagnostic Medical Sonography
Electrical & Electronics Technology
Emergency Medical Services
Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Technology
Instrumentation Technology
Law Enforcement Academy
Logistics
LVN/EMT-P Transition to Associate Degree Nursing
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Technology
Medical Administration
Nuclear Medicine Technology
Patient Care Technology (CE)
Phlebotomy (CE)
Radiation Therapy Technology
Radiography
Surgical Technology
Vocational Nursing
Welding Technology

Specific information regarding laboratories and/or clinicals for technical programs requiring face-to-face, hands-on training will be provided by the individual program directors and/or instructors.

Dual-credit classes will continue to meet as scheduled and will follow all health and safety protocols as established by each school district.

Vaccinations and Vaccination Opportunity and Incentive Program
With the full approval of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine by the FDA, we strongly encourage COVID-19 vaccinations for everyone in our campus community. The Galveston Community College District Board of Regents recently approved a vaccination opportunity and incentive program for current students, faculty, and staff at Galveston College. The program is being funded by the federal Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund. Participating students will receive a $200 gift certificate to the Galveston College Bookstore. Current full- and part-time employees as of Aug. 30 will receive a one-time incentive of $300, which will be included on the November payroll. Information concerning the vaccination opportunity and incentive program is available at https://gc.edu/vaccination-opportunity-and-incentive-program/.

We know that vaccination is the best way each of us can protect ourselves, our loved ones, and our community against the effects of COVID-19 and its Delta variant. We hope this incentive program will encourage students, faculty, and staff who haven’t been vaccinated to avail themselves of the opportunity.

Facial Coverings/Face Masks
For students, faculty, staff, and visitors coming to campus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued guidance and safety protocols to help us protect each other from COVID-19. The latest information from the CDC essentially states that due to the Delta variant of COVID-19, fully vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals alike should wear facial coverings/face masks indoors in high-transmission areas. And all of Galveston County has been determined to be a high-transmission area. These recommendations are in addition to the recommendations concerning social distancing, hand washing, and other healthy hygiene habits.

Based on the Governor of Texas’s most recent Executive Order concerning COVID-19, we cannot currently require the wearing of masks on campus; however, we strongly encourage all students, faculty, staff, and visitors to accept personal responsibility and commit to wearing a mask or facial covering while on campus. In doing so, you are protecting yourself and others.

COVID-19 Reporting
As in previous months, students, faculty, and staff who test positive for COVID-19, who have been exposed to an individual who has tested positive, or who are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 are required to self-report. Additional information concerning COVID-19 and the form to self-report can be found at https://gc.edu/coronavirus-report/.

Thank you for your efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 within our campus community. The health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and community is paramount. We appreciate your patience, resilience, cooperation, and support, as we continue to respond to the pandemic and to fulfill the mission of Galveston College.

Sincerely,

W. Myles Shelton
President

Vaccination Incentive Program

Galveston College board approves vaccination opportunity and incentive program

On Wednesday, the Galveston Community College District Board of Regents approved a vaccination opportunity and incentive program for current students, faculty and staff at Galveston College. The program is being funded by the federal Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund.

“We know that vaccination is the best way each of us can protect ourselves, our loved ones and our community against the effects of COVID-19 and its Delta variant,” said Dr. Myles Shelton, Galveston College president. “We hope this incentive program will encourage students, faculty and staff who haven’t been vaccinated to avail themselves of the opportunity.”

The student/work-study student vaccination incentive program is open to full- and part-time credit and continuing education students who are enrolled at Galveston College for the fall 2021 semester. Students must receive the full COVID-19 vaccination series by Monday, Nov. 1, to participate.

Participating students will receive one $200 gift certificate to the Galveston College Bookstore. The gift certificate can be used to purchase items in the bookstore up to but not to exceed $200. Students will need to pay any amounts over $200.

To participate, students must present a copy of their Galveston College student ID, a copy of their class schedule and a copy of their Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued COVID-19 vaccination card demonstrating they have completed the vaccination regimen to the Counseling and Advising Center on the first floor of Moody Hall on the main campus.

Once all of the information is received, students will be given a one-time-use gift certificate to present to the Galveston College Bookstore. Students who are unable to spend the entire $200 will forfeit any remaining balance. All unused gift certificates expire at the close of business on Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022.

To further encourage vaccinations among faculty and staff, Galveston College will provide current full- and part-time employees as of Aug. 30 a one-time incentive of $300, which will be included on the November payroll.

Faculty and staff members must have received their full COVID-19 vaccination series by Oct. 31 and submit their certification application to Human Resources on or before noon Monday, Nov. 1.

Work-study students are not eligible for the faculty and staff program but rather should apply using the student/work-study student vaccination incentive program.

Information concerning the vaccination opportunity and incentive program is available here: https://gc.edu/vaccination-opportunity-and-incentive-program/.

Hurricane Relief Flyer

Donate now to Hurricane Ida relief

Galveston College is accepting donations of food and personal supplies from now through Sept. 11 to help families in Louisiana affected by Hurricane Ida.

Meghann Nash, director of Financial Aid, and her family will be transporting the donations to Houma, Louisiana, on Sept. 12.

Donation boxes are located in the Moody Hall lobby on the main campus of Galveston College, 4015 Avenue Q, and at the Charlie Thomas Family Applied Technology Center, 7626 Broadway.

Hurricane Relief Flyer

Whitecaps Logo

Whitecaps welcome new assistant coaches

Galveston College recently added new assistant softball and baseball coaches to the Whitecaps coaching team.

Former Whitecaps standout and professional baseball player Chad Rogers also has signed on with Whitecaps baseball as a volunteer assistant coach.

Whitecaps Softball Tori Smith

Assistant Softball Coach Tori Smith came to Galveston College from Vernon College in Vernon, Texas, where she spent the last three seasons (2019-2021) as the assistant softball coach for the Chaparrals.

The Chaps completed the year with a 42-12 record, earning the program’s highest ranking of sixth in the nation. Coach Smith served as the primary hitting instructor for the Vernon College offense, and defensively, her focal point was on the catchers. Offensively, the Chaps accrued record-breaking institutional statistics in on-base percentage (.447), doubles (144), and home runs (81). In her tenure at Vernon (including a COVID-shortened season), Coach Smith helped lead the program to a compiled 99 wins.

Coach Smith graduated from Cameron University in Lawton, Oklahoma, in December 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in Sports and Exercise Science. Before graduating, she completed her Senior Capstone as an assistant coach at Cache Middle School in southwestern Oklahoma. She also aided in the Oklahoma Bulldogs travel ball organization in the summer of 2018.

Coach Smith finished her softball career as a Cameron Aggie after transferring from Northern Oklahoma College-Tonkawa, where she was a two-year starter. As a JUCO product, she said she was excited to continue her career in the NJCAA realm and looked forward to working on the island.

“When considering applicants, Tori’s name rose to the top from the beginning,” said Maria Winn-Ratliff, head softball coach and athletic director. “Adding someone like Coach Smith to our staff is indescribable. Her passion for the game, on-field coaching, and recruiting abilities and ties are incredible. I’m excited to get the team back on campus so we can get to work.”

The Whitecaps softball team will kick off its fall schedule on Saturday, Sept. 25, with a 10-inning game against the Texas Southern University Bobcats at 4 p.m. at the Lassie League Complex in Galveston.

Whitecaps Baseball

Ryne Edmondson

Prior to joining the Galveston College coaching staff, Assistant Baseball Coach Ryne Edmondson spent the summer as the volunteer assistant coach with the Whitecaps. During the 2020-21 year, he played his last season of collegiate baseball at the University of Houston, where he was an outfielder. He is in the Global Retailing master’s program in the College of Technology and will complete the program in two semesters.

Before his time at the University of Houston, Coach Edmondson played baseball and earned his undergraduate degree in Kinesiology at Houston Baptist University. Prior to his time at HBU, he played baseball and earned an associate degree at Cisco College, an NJCAA member in Region 5.

“I am excited to add Ryne to our staff and to help mentor him on his journey into college baseball coaching,” said Kevin Lallmann, head baseball coach. “Coach Edmondson has been a tremendous player at the NCAA and NJCAA D1 levels and will be a great asset in recruiting, player development and moving our team forward this year. I look forward to our student-athletes returning to campus and to a great fall season.”

Coach Edmondson was born in Chandler, Arizona, and graduated from Perry High School in Chandler in 2015. His parents are Tom and Jennifer, and he has two siblings, John and Sarah. His hobbies include golfing and cooking.

“I am very excited about getting into coaching and having the ability to make an impact on student-athletes’ lives,” Coach Edmondson said. “Throughout my life, I have been blessed to have been surrounded by great mentors and role models who have taught me a great deal about not only baseball but also life.”

Chad Rogers

Volunteer Assistant Baseball Coach Chad Rogers was born and raised in Galveston. He graduated from Ball High School in 2007 and was drafted out of Galveston College by the Cincinnati Reds organization in the 28th round in 2010.

Coach Rogers spent six years with the Reds where he accumulated four All-Star bids for their minor league system. He had two Major League Baseball spring training invites and spent his 2014 year on the 40-man roster. He was traded to the Atlanta Braves in 2016 and signed with the Chicago Whitesox in 2017 where he finished his career.

After retiring Coach Rogers went back to school and earned his degree in Kinesiology at the University of Houston-Clear Lake. He now operates a baseball training academy in Galveston.

“I could not be happier that Chad has agreed to be part of the Whitecaps baseball program,” Coach Lallmann said. “Coach Rogers knows firsthand what it takes to compete in Major League Baseball, and he brings a great amount of experience in training and education to the program. He is an outstanding addition to our coaching staff, and I know our players will be excited to welcome him to the Whitecaps baseball family.”

Galveston College baseball’s fall schedule will begin Friday, Sept. 10, at 1 p.m. against the San Jacinto College Gators at Bernard Davis Stadium in Galveston. On Saturday, Sept. 11, the Whitecaps take on the Alvin Community College Dolphins at 1 p.m. at home.

Self-Care Workshop

Galveston College Outreach and Retention Committee to host virtual self-care and mental health workshops

The Galveston College Outreach and Retention Committee will host a series of virtual health and wellness workshops this summer via Zoom videoconference. The workshops are free and open to all students, faculty, staff and the general public.

July 28, 1 p.m.
“Self Care”
Presenter: Denysse Guzman, LPCA, VOCA Counselor, Gulf Coast Center
This presentation is designed for community members as an introduction to self-care planning. The objectives of this presentation are to explore self-care domains and begin to create a self-care plan.
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83895942757?pwd=aUxFbXU1QStXTUg1aGZRM1lxZVBuQT09
Meeting ID: 838 9594 2757
Passcode: Whitecaps

Aug. 2, 1 p.m.
“Addressing Stigma toward Mental Health”
Presenter: Kristin M. Holt, LCSW, VOCA Counselor, Gulf Coast Center
Individuals are often more comfortable talking about their physical health than their mental health. This discussion is intended for individuals who would like to learn more about how to talk with family members about mental health in a supportive and positive way.
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85163230797?pwd=aDBoNHo5b1FpNFg0TDlrc3dMYkpMdz09
Meeting ID: 851 6323 0797
Passcode: Whitecaps
About the Presenters

Kristin Holt
Kristin Holt is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. A native of Galveston County, she holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Work from the University of Houston-Downtown and a master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Houston.

Her professional experience includes working with adolescents, engaging special populations via outreach and education, and trauma-focused training to help those with complex grief and bereavement.

Denysse Guzman
Denysse Guzman is a Licensed Professional Counselor Associate. She earned an Associate of Science from Galveston College, a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and a Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology from The University of Houston-Victoria.

Her experience includes working with individuals dealing with complex trauma in residential settings following abuse, assault or disaster. She uses a person-centered approach, motivational interviewing, and trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy in working with individuals and groups.