Category: Featured Campus News

2020 BAS HM Graduates

Historic milestone: 13 students receive bachelor’s degrees from Galveston College

In a first for Galveston County, 13 Galveston College students made history in December as the first graduates to receive Bachelor of Applied Science in Healthcare Management degrees from their local community college – Galveston College.

The students also were the first students ever to receive bachelor’s degrees from Galveston College, which before 2019 offered only two-year associate degrees and technical and professional certificates.

“The future is bright for the class of 2020,” said Dr. Tirizia York, program director. “I was honored to be a part of their educational journey, and I know they will use the leadership skills gained in the program to make a difference in the field of healthcare management.”

Class of 2020 graduates included Hemal Amin, Gabriela Bailon, Brittany Diaz, Ginger Jackson, Roza Kastis, Patricia Phol, Marsha Scoggin, Tiffany Sherman and Catalina Tovar, all of Galveston; Michele Garza and Yvonne Shaw, both of La Marque; Jeremy Ross of Rosharon; and Christina Trevino of League City.

“We are so proud to have our first cohort of students graduating with their Bachelor of Applied Science degrees,” said Dr. Cissy Matthews, vice president of instruction. “These students were able to balance responsibilities they have for home and work while completing this rigorous curriculum. I know their hard work and determination will pay off as they take on future leadership roles within the healthcare industry.”

The Bachelor of Applied Science in Healthcare Management prepares graduates for entry- to mid-level management positions in planning, directing and coordinating medical and health services in hospitals, clinics, managed-care organizations, public health agencies or similar organizations. The students took a blend of online and on-campus classes.

“I enjoyed being in the program, and I feel that I learned a lot throughout the courses I took,” said Roza Kastis of Galveston. “Prior to this program, writing papers had been a challenge for me; however, the BAS program strengthened my ability to write effective reports pertaining to healthcare management. My instructor, Dr. York, was very helpful and responded quickly to emails if I had a question. Overall, this experience enhanced my growth and my intellectual skills.”

In November 2017, the Galveston Community College District Board of Regents took a historic vote to create the opportunity for Galveston College to pursue offering the bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Management, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

The college launched the Bachelor of Applied Science in Healthcare Management in fall 2019 and plans to add the Bachelor of Science in Nursing soon.

“The bachelor’s degrees we are offering complement our two-year degree and certificate programs that prepare students for the workforce and to transfer to four-year universities,” said Dr. Myles Shelton, president of Galveston College. “These are degrees where there is a local workforce need either for skills that need specific training and require a bachelor’s degree or for someone who has those skills and wants to advance into a management role.”

Dr. Shelton said Galveston College will continue to add baccalaureate programs, while retaining the technical mission that is part of a community college’s job — that is, training workers for local industries.

“These graduates are a testimony to the need for affordable bachelor’s degrees offered close to home, work and family,” Dr. Shelton said. “We are very proud of their achievements and wish them the best as they continue their careers and future educational pursuits.”

Dr. John Pickelman

Galveston College mourns passing of former president

The Galveston College community is mourning the Jan. 13 passing of Dr. John Pickelman, 75, fourth president of Galveston College.

Dr. Pickelman served as president of Galveston College from 1983 to 1991. He followed third president Dr. Jack Stone and preceded Dr. Marc Nigliazzo, who served as vice president of instruction under Dr. Pickelman.

Under Dr. Pickelman’s leadership, the college completed Regents Hall in 1990 with a library, atrium, nursing faculty offices, science labs and classrooms. The following year, the college renovated the original Moody Hall with a lecture hall, counseling center, bookstore, admissions and financial aid offices. The first floor of Moody Hall has since been remodeled.

In addition to his contributions to the college, Dr. Pickelman was a tireless supporter of the Galveston community. He inspired the Leadership Galveston program, which Galveston College coordinated in partnership with the Galveston Regional Chamber of Commerce from 1984 to 2017.

After leaving Galveston College, he became the chancellor of Lone Star College from 1991 to 2007, and he was widely credited as being the most instrumental in developing the concept of comprehensive multi-campus systems across the service area. During his tenure, LSC grew from about 20,000 students to more than 75,000 students.

“We extend our sincerest condolences to his family and to those who knew him and respected him,” said Dr. Myles Shelton, Galveston College president.

A private service is scheduled. Memories may be shared at the following link:

https://www.dignitymemorial.com/en-ca/obituaries/frisco-tx/john-pickelman-10000395

Galveston College Board of Regents accepting letters of interest and résumés for Position 8

The Galveston Community College District Board of Regents nominating committee is accepting letters of interest and résumés to fill the unexpired term of Regent Carl Kelly, who died unexpectedly July 31.

Nominating committee members include Board of Regents Vice Chair Fred D. Raschke, chair, past Board of Regents Chair Raymond Lewis, Jr. and Regent Mary R. Longoria.

The college will accept letters of interest for Position 8 for two weeks, beginning Tuesday, Jan. 19, and ending on Tuesday, Feb. 2, at 5 p.m. Letters of interest should be submitted to the Office of the President in person or at GCBoardElections@gc.edu.

Following a review of the letters of interest, the nominating committee will select a small group of candidates for interviews and further consideration by the full board.

Please submit letters of interest and nominations to

Dr. W. Myles Shelton

Office of the President

Galveston College

4015 Avenue Q

Galveston, TX 77550

GCBoardElections@gc.edu

Galveston College mourns passing of Charlie Thomas

Galveston College is deeply saddened by Friday’s passing of longtime business leader Charlie Thomas, 89, of Houston, who at one time owned multiple Texas car dealerships as well as the Houston Rockets basketball team.

Through the generosity of Mr. Thomas and his family, Galveston College opened the Charlie Thomas Family Applied Technology Center in 2013 at the dealership’s former Galveston location on Broadway Street as a commitment to provide multiple workforce and technology programs for residents to be trained to enter lucrative careers in the Galveston County area.

Since that time, the programs have produced hundreds of graduates who have joined the workforce or become their own service industry business owners and providers.

“Mr. Thomas was an outstanding business and community leader, Texan and friend of Galveston College,” said Dr. Myles Shelton, Galveston College president. “He left a tremendous legacy in Galveston and will continue to touch many lives through the students who receive technical education and training at the Charlie Thomas Family Applied Technology Center. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.”

For more information about the Galveston College Charlie Thomas Family Applied Technology Center, please contact Dr. Van Patterson at vpatterson@gc.edu or (409) 944-1205.

Mr. Thomas’ obituary may be found in the Wednesday, Jan. 20, issue of the Houston Chronicle. Funeral service information may be found here.

Photo: Geo. H. Lewis & Sons Funeral Directors

Galveston College Beacon at Sunset

Galveston College Board of Regents forms nominating committee for Position 8, hears report on technology survey

The Galveston Community College District Board of Regents on Wednesday formed a nominating committee to make recommendations to the board to fill the unexpired term of longtime Regent Carl Kelly, who died unexpectedly July 31.

Board of Regents Chair Karen F. Flowers appointed a nominating committee comprised of Board of Regents Vice Chair Fred D. Raschke, who will chair the committee, past Board of Regents Chair Raymond Lewis, Jr. and Regent Mary R. Longoria.

The term, which expires in May 2022, is Position 8 on the board.

The college will accept letters of interest for two weeks, beginning Tuesday, Jan. 19, and ending on Tuesday, Feb. 2, at 5 p.m. Letters of interest should be submitted to the Office of the President in person or at GCBoardElections@gc.edu.

Following a review of the letters of interest on Feb. 17, the nominating committee will select a small group of candidates for interviews on Feb. 24 and further consideration by the full board. It is anticipated that a decision will be made at the March 10 board meeting.

In other business at the meeting, board members heard a report on a student technology survey from Director of Institutional Effectiveness and Research Carmen Allen.

During the fall 2020 semester, Galveston College conducted an online survey to gather information about students’ ownership, use patterns and expectations as they relate to technology and the academic experience.

“Eighty-eight percent of the students who responded to the survey reported having access to the internet five or more days a week, on average,” Allen said. “Ninety-four percent were able to access the internet from home. More than 90 percent of students with home internet access described it as being at least moderately strong and reliable. Ninety percent of students used a laptop for at least one class in fall 2020.”

When asked to rank various learning environments in order of preference, Allen said 60 percent of students preferred either totally or mostly face-to-face classes.

The survey also addressed issues related to technology challenges during the fall semester.

“Seventy percent of students experienced at least one technological issue that presented a challenge to their online learning experience in fall 2020, and 40 percent experienced multiple issues,” Allen said.

In other business, board members

  • approved the promotion of Dr. Arlinda Washington from associate professor to professor of Nursing.
  • ratified the appointment of full-time faculty members Melissa Gauna, instructor of Healthcare Management, Dr. Alex-Giovanny Peniche-Trujillo, instructor of Biology, and John Ryland, instructor/program director of Logistics.
  • heard a legislative update and college calendar report from President Myles Shelton. The spring 2021 lecture series will be conducted virtually.
  • heard updates from Janene Davison, president of the Galveston College Faculty Senate, and Liz Lacy, program coordinator for the performing arts.
  • heard a Student Government Association update from Maia Adolphs, SGA president.
  • approved a proposal to offer Continuing Education Level 1 certificates in Automotive Diesel Technology and Massage Therapy.
  • ratified acceptance of a $750,000 Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Texas Reskilling Support Fund grant award from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund.
  • approved a proposal for a website content management system from OmniUpdate.
  • accepted the fiscal year 2020-21 first quarter investment report.
  • reviewed the monthly financial reports presented by Jeff Engbrock, chief financial officer/comptroller. 

Galveston College Foundation announces Helen K. and Phillip A. Lohec Endowed Scholarship

The Galveston College Foundation Board of Directors has announced the creation of the Helen K. and Phillip A. Lohec Endowed Scholarship at Galveston College.

Established by Mark T. and Pamela Lohec Stasney and family, the new scholarship is available to full- and part-time students at Galveston College who are pursuing an associate degree or technical certificate and may be applied to tuition, fees, books or course supplies. The first recipient will be announced in spring 2022.

“My parents have been a part of the Galveston community for decades,” said daughter Pamela Stasney. “They have served and volunteered in the community in many roles, from government to historical to education to church. We wanted to find a way to honor their contributions and hard work, and we felt a scholarship at a local institution would be an appropriate way to thank them while supporting and encouraging others. We hope the recipients will find the same calling to work hard and to support their home communities.”

Galveston College Foundation Board of Directors Chair Jeri Kinnear said, “It is a great honor to announce that Pam Stasney and her family have endowed a scholarship to recognize the contributions that her parents, Helen K. and Phillip A. Lohec, have made to our community. Galveston College is so fortunate to have patrons such as the Stasneys, who like the college believe and support the philosophy of “opening doors and changing lives.”

“On behalf of our students, faculty and staff at Galveston College, I want to express my sincere gratitude for the creation of this endowed scholarship that will benefit our students for years to come,” said Dr. Myles Shelton, president of Galveston College. “We are thankful for the Lohec family and the positive impact they’ve had on the Galveston community.”

Currently, there are several scholarships available for students interested in Galveston College.

Application information is available on the college website at https://gc.edu/financial-aid/available-aid/scholarships/ and from the Office of Financial Aid at finaid@gc.edu.

To make a gift to the Galveston College Foundation, please contact Dr. Van Patterson at (409) 944-1205 or vpatterson@gc.edu.

Welding Technology at Galveston College

Galveston College Receives $750,000 in Texas Reskilling Support Fund Initiative

Galveston College Receives $750,000 in Texas Reskilling Support Fund Initiative  

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) on Dec. 18 awarded Galveston College $750,000 as part of the first round of awards totaling $18.1 million to Texas higher education institutions under the Texas Reskilling Support Fund grant program.
Through a competitive process, 40 applicants representing 49 institutions were selected for the awards.

Reskilling grants will allow Texas public colleges, technical schools and universities to provide financial assistance to Texas students to cover tuition and fees. The grants are designed to support displaced Texas workers who need to reskill or upskill to get back into the workforce, and to support students who have previously stopped out of higher education in completing a postsecondary credential. The program is supported by a portion of the $175 million allocation to the THECB from the Governor’s Emergency Educational Relief (GEER) Fund

“Galveston College is honored to be selected as one of only 40 applicants in the state for first-round funding for this important workforce development initiative,” said Dr. Myles Shelton, college president. “Our workforce programs are prepared to move full-speed ahead in the coming months to assist in retooling and reskilling our local workforce in response to the needs of our region’s economy.” 

“These strategic investments, supported by Governor Abbott and our Texas legislative leadership, will play an important role in supporting Texas students and driving the recovery of the Texas economy. We can help students who have previously stopped out of higher education without completing a postsecondary credential as well as help displaced Texas workers who need to reskill and upskill and complete a higher education credential so they can rejoin the workforce and get back on their feet,” said Commissioner of Higher Education Harrison Keller. “Our Texas institutions are making significant commitments to create programs that keep more students on track to enter the workforce with the high-value credentials and education that tomorrow’s economy will demand.”

2021 Spring Registration at Galveston College

Spring registration is Jan. 11-13

General registration for the spring 2021 semester at Galveston College will be from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, Jan. 11 -13, in Moody Hall on the Galveston College campus, 4015 Avenue Q, Galveston, Texas.

Late registration is set for 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 14, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 15. Classes begin Tuesday, Jan. 19.

Returning students can register on their Whitecaps portal at whitecaps.gc.edu. To view the spring 2021 schedule of classes, please visit https://gc.edu/admissions/course-schedule/

Students have five course-delivery options that fit their preferred learning styles and comfort levels: 

  • face-to-face instruction,
  • hybrid synchronous (a combination of face-to-face and Zoom meetings),
  • hybrid asynchronous (a combination of face-to-face and traditional online instruction),
  • online synchronous via Zoom,
  • traditional online internet instruction, or
  • a combination of the options.

 Not all classes are offered in all course-delivery methods. 

To meet with an adviser, contact the Counseling and Advising Center at advising@gc.edu or schedule an appointment on the QLess app on a mobile phone or on the kiosks in Moody Hall to avoid the wait. 

Financial aid and Galveston College scholarships are available. Contact the Galveston College Financial Aid office at finaid@gc.edu or visit gc.edu/financial-aid for information. 

For more information on admission to Galveston College, write to admissions@gc.edu. For information on registration, call (409) 944-4242 or email advising@gc.edu.

Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival recognizes Galveston College Theatre department

The Galveston College Theatre department’s fall production of “The Invisible Man” has advanced to Region VI of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF).

Galveston College’s production is one of only 11 productions from colleges and universities throughout a five-state region that have been invited to be presented at KCACTF Region VI Festival 54, which will be produced virtually in February 2021.
Galveston College Theatre company members also were notified by representatives from the KCACTF Region VI Committee in late November of a number of recognitions.

Eva Arita, Daniel Bourque and Alyssa Gudz each received an award for Meritorious Achievement in Acting for their performances. Program Coordinator for the Performing Arts Liz Lacy received a Meritorious Achievement award for Excellence in Direction. Additional outstanding company members include Dorion Alcantar, Elijah Barrie and Benji Shelton.

Adapted by John de Lancie from the script by Nat Segaloff and John de Lancie, “The Invisible Man” is described by author H.G. Wells as “a grotesque romance.” It remains as remarkable and frightening today as it was upon its publication over a hundred years ago.

About KCACTF

The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) Region VI Theatre Festival includes colleges and universities within Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. The KCACTF is a national organization that exists to celebrate the educational and creative process of university and college theatre. KCACTF promotes professional standards and provides students and faculty with opportunities to bridge the academic and professional worlds. KCACTF honors achievements in diversity and excellence and encourages experiences in all areas of theatre. 

Above: Cast members Benji Shelton and Dorian Alcantar rehearse for Galveston College Theatre’s recent virtual production of the classic science fiction radio drama, “The Invisible Man.” The production has advanced to the regional competition of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF).

College Foundation announces endowment of Vandy Anderson Scholarship Award in Culinary Arts

The Galveston College Foundation Board of Directors has announced the creation of the Vandy Anderson Scholarship Award in Culinary Arts endowment at Galveston College.

The new scholarship will foster the development of aspiring culinary arts professionals enrolled at Galveston College. The first recipients of the Vandy Anderson Scholarship Award in Culinary Arts will be announced in spring 2021.

“The Vandy I knew loved good food. You could frequently find him along with his food enthusiast friends enjoying the culinary achievements of all his favorite restaurants. This scholarship honors Vandy’s love for Galveston’s culinary gastronomic community and those that chose to take up that life’s work. The Galveston College Culinary Arts Academy scholarship means that students will be able to pursue their dreams and our local hospitality industry will have a skilled workforce,” said Jeri Kinnear, chair of the Galveston College Foundation.

Ann Anderson, Vandy Anderson’s sister, said she is thrilled and grateful to everyone in the community who supported the family in establishing the endowed scholarship.
“We are so honored by the establishment of this scholarship that lovingly will be named after Vandy, to whom education, history and the island were so very important,” Anderson said. “By supporting culinary student talent, this scholarship will celebrate our Vandy’s passion for life, support for education, and love of family and community – not to mention a fine meal!”

Vandy Anderson passed away on April 16, 2016. He was 73. He started his radio career at KILE radio and would become the owner/manager of KGBC for more than 30 years. Broadcasters inducted him into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame in 2014.
“Vandy served his community in numerous ways as a broadcaster, trustee, chair or adviser for organizations across Galveston until his passing,” said Paulie Gaido, retired Galveston restaurateur. “The scholarship honors his legacy in the Galveston community and his love for the people of the island.”

Gaido’s book, “Entertaining at Home with Fresh American Seafood and Exceptional American Wine,” which he wrote with his wife Mary Kay, helped raise funds locally to honor the much-beloved man known as the “Voice of Galveston” during his long tenure at KGBC.

“On behalf of our culinary arts program and our culinary students, I want to thank all of those who made this endowment possible for their generous and thoughtful gifts,” said Dr. Myles Shelton, president of Galveston College. “This scholarship will honor Vandy’s memory and celebrate his passion for life, the joy of cooking and the importance of the culinary arts. We are grateful for and humbled by the Anderson family’s decision to honor Vandy in this way.”

Currently, there are several scholarships available for those interested in the Galveston College Culinary Arts Academy. Application information is available on the college website at https://gc.edu/financial-aid/available-aid/scholarships/ and from the Office of Financial Aid at finaid@gc.edu.

To make a gift to the Vandy Anderson Scholarship Award in Culinary Arts or for more information about the Galveston College Foundation, please contact Dr. Van Patterson at (409) 944-1205 or vpatterson@gc.edu.