Category: Featured Campus News

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 or (409) 944-1234.

Martin Crichlow

Galveston College student success advisor to be featured on national podcast

Galveston College Student Success Advisor Martin Crichlow will be featured this week on the national podcast “Careers in Higher Education,” discussing what it’s like to work as an academic advisor at a community college.

“Careers in Higher Education” (CHE) is a weekly podcast hosted exploring pathways and functional areas for those interested in pursuing a career working at colleges and universities.

Each week features a different higher education professional in a specific area of higher education who shares stories and advice from their professional journeys.

The podcast is scheduled to be released Friday, April 23, at 8 a.m. and can be accessed at

Crichlow, originally from Columbus, Ohio, and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, serves as the student success advisor for the Charlie Thomas Family Applied Technology Center at Galveston College.

A lifelong college administrator, he began his student affairs career in residential life as a resident director at Northwest College in Powell, Wyoming. He has served in a variety of student affairs positions within diverse institutions of higher learning (community colleges and universities).

Crichlow’s professional skill set focuses on project management, program development, training, advising, recruitment and retention. He possesses more than 22 years of leadership and management experience, in which he has supervised the performance of team members, interceded to resolve problems, and delivered training on improving efficiencies and client services. He is often instrumental in establishing department infrastructure, job descriptions, office policies and cost-saving practices. In addition, he has served in a leadership capacity on regional and national committees for his professional associations.

Crichlow holds a bachelor’s degree in Middle Eastern History from Oral Roberts University, where he graduated cum laude, and a Master of Science in Student Affairs in Higher Education Administration from Colorado State University. In addition, Mr. Crichlow has studied abroad at Institute of Touraine (France) and University of Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) in West Africa.

Crichlow is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. He enjoys spending quality time with his 16-year-old son Reece. His hobbies include travel, spending time at the beach and the search for the perfect steak and barbecue ribs.

Dr. Kimberly Fain

Speaker to discuss ‘Black Hollywood: How African Americans Gain Agency and Empowerment in the Movie Industry’

The audience will have a front-row seat as Galveston College continues its 2021 virtual lecture series on Diversity, Inclusion and Empowerment with “Black Hollywood: How African Americans Gain Agency and Empowerment in the Movie Industry” featuring Dr. Kimberly Fain on Tuesday, April 27, at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom video conference.

Dr. Fain is a visiting professor at Texas Southern University, an author and a licensed attorney. She holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Technical Communication and Rhetoric from Texas Tech University, a Juris Doctor from Thurgood Marshall School of Law, a Master of Arts from Texas Southern University and a Bachelor of Arts from Texas A&M University at College Station.

A featured speaker on national radio shows and podcasts, Dr. Fain’s publications include books, reviews, essays, and chapters in various journals and presses, such as Buffalo Journal of Gender, Law & Social Policy, JSTOR Daily, McFarland, Modern Fiction Studies, National Book Review, Ploughshares, Scarecrow and Southern Studies.

She has served as associate editor of World Literary Review and has published three books: “African American Literature Anthology: Slavery, Liberation and Resistance,” “Black Hollywood: From Butlers to Superheroes, the Changing Role of African American Men in the Movies” and “Colson Whitehead: The Postracial Voice of Contemporary Literature.”

For her 2017 blog series in Ploughshares, “The Black Aesthetic,” she published essays on the musical revolution and the cultural rhetoric of Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar, Prince and SZA. Her series claims, “When poetry is set to music, harmonious beats relay liberating feelings that transcend history and culture.”

“We are very excited to have Dr. Fain present at our lecture series. The presentation will surely enrich our view on Diversity, Inclusion and Empowerment in American culture and the movie industry in the United States,” said Dr. Laimutis Bytautas, chair of the Faculty Professional Development Committee at Galveston College. “We would like to invite all of you to this exciting lecture and to share this invitation with your family and friends.”

To access the April 27 lecture, visit the following Zoom link on the internet:

Meeting ID is 841 3687 0565. Passcode is Galveston.

For more information about the Galveston College lecture series, please contact Dr. Laimutis Bytautas, chair of the Faculty Professional Development Committee, at

Apply to Galveston College

Galveston College Board of Regents hears report on CARES Act funding and financial needs of students

The Galveston Community College District Board of Regents on April 14 learned that Galveston College had distributed $1.07 million in direct federal financial aid to Galveston College students through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act: Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) and the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA): Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II (HEERF II).

Dr. Myles Shelton, college president, said emergency grants were provided to students whose lives were disrupted because of COVID-19 and who faced financial challenges due to job loss and unemployment, healthcare, childcare and other unexpected expenses.

Dr. Shelton said the American Rescue Plan, which Congress signed into law in March, includes provisions for Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III (HEERF III).

In other business, Carmen Allen, director of institutional effectiveness and research, presented a student success report on the results from the Trellis Student Financial Wellness Survey (SFWS).

The SFWS is a national, online survey used to document the financial health and student success indicators of students in higher education. In addition to financial wellness, data from the survey provide critical insights into topics such as basic needs security and student perceptions of institutional support.

Findings from the fall 2020 survey administration show that many Galveston College students have anxiety about paying for school: 73 percent agree or strongly agree that they worry about having enough money to pay for school, and 67 percent have run out of money three or more times in the past year.

Additionally, 74 percent of students said their family’s finances have worsened since before the COVID-19 pandemic. However, more than two-thirds (68 percent) of students agree or strongly agree Galveston College has the support services to help them address their financial situations.

“By utilizing the data and research-based suggestions presented in the survey report, the college can continue to structure programs and initiatives to bolster students’ success in the face of financial challenges,” Allen said.

In board action, the board approved instructional agreements for dual-credit and early-admissions enrollment classes for the 2021-22 academic year with the Galveston Independent School District, O’Connell College Preparatory School, Odyssey Academy and Upward Hope Academy.

In other action, board members:

–approved the reappointment of full-time faculty for the 2021-22 fiscal year.
–accepted the retirement of Kathleen Hutchins-Otero, Associate Degree Nursing instructor, effective Aug. 31.
–reviewed the first and second quarter reports on incidents of sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking under Section 51.253(c) of the Texas Education Code as amended during the 86th Legislative Session.
–approved an agreement between The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and Galveston College to provide student health and counseling services for the 2021-22 academic year.
–heard an update on the 2020-21 Galveston College lecture series on Diversity, Inclusion and Empowerment from Janene Davison, president of the Faculty Senate.
–heard a Student Government Association update from SGA President Maia Adolphs, who said the SGA had begun a Whitecaps Wardrobe professional clothing closet for students. The SGA also will be recognizing seven dual-credit students from Ball High School who will receive their associate degrees in May and will host officer elections and a virtual escape room this spring.
–reviewed the monthly financial reports presented by Jeff Engbrock, chief financial officer/comptroller.

Upon request by college officials, the board removed from the agenda a proposal to supply and install a needlepoint ionization system at the main campus and at the Charlie Thomas Family Applied Technology Center to allow further study and review.

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,, 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.”

Priority registration for summer and fall 2021 is underway

Priority registration for summer and fall 2021 classes is now open.

Summer I classes begin Tuesday, June 7. Summer II classes begin Tuesday, July 12. The fall 2021 semester begins Monday, Aug. 30.

In order to plan coursework for the summer and fall, students should contact their adviser or email

To search for summer and fall classes, click here.

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
–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

In-person Registration
In-person registration hours are from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Mondays and Tuesdays and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays in the Counseling and Advising Center on the first floor of Moody Hall on the main campus.

Financial Aid and Scholarships
Students should contact the Financial Aid office at 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.

The deadline for Galveston College scholarship applications for fall 2021 is Friday, April 16, at 5 p.m. Please click here to complete the online application.

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 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

Please contact the Counseling and Advising Center at with any questions concerning registration.

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.

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:

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

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

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.