Category: Featured Campus News

Universal Access 2019

Galveston College Foundation lightens the load

Galveston College Foundation is privileged to continue working away at the tough barrier which is student debt through its Universal Access (UA) Community Endowment Scholarship program and the Non-Tuition Educational Expenses Endowment Fund (UA Plus) in 2019. The changes will mean more dollars for UA-eligible students than ever before.

Galveston College UA scholar Priscila Becerril is in her fifth semester and studying to be a nurse. She will finish in 2021-2022. She plans to pursue her bachelor’s degree after graduation.

“I would love to continue,” she said. UA has been her primary source of funding her college education.

UA is a performance-driven scholarship program where eligible students receive up to $4,620. This pays for full tuition and fees for up to 60 credit hours at Galveston College. This is enough to complete an associate degree or certification program. Students must maintain a 2.0 grade-point average. Beginning in the fall 2019 semester, the Non-Tuition Educational Expenses Scholarship (also known as UA Plus) has added a $500 stipend to help students meet costs of books, digital access and other education information costs.

Jeri Kinnear became chair of the Galveston College Foundation Board of Directors this past August. Kinnear has seen first-hand the benefits the UA program creates.

“Galveston College, through the Universal Access and UA Plus scholarship programs, evens the playing field for those who graduate from high school in Galveston and want to go to college and cannot afford to do so. And, for those who can afford to go and want a head start, we will offer the same UA and UA Plus scholarships. What a great way to begin your next step in life,” Kinnear said.

The increased funding will be a big help to Becerril in completing her degree. A Ball High School graduate, she said a lot of her classmates are like her and not eligible for federal aid but can benefit from the additional assistance.

Over the last 18 years, the Galveston College Foundation’s Universal Access Community Endowment has supported over 1,700 Galveston high school graduates. These students were not eligible for federal or state funding—oftentimes because their income exceeded eligibility limits. However, they still needed financial assistance to attend college and graduate.

The Galveston College Foundation is an independent 501(c)3, founded to support Galveston College through fundraising locally, regionally and nationally. Its mission is to support Galveston high school graduates through an earned scholarship program as they strive to obtain their first two years of a baccalaureate degree or the foundation of a career through an associate degree or certificate debt free regardless of their family’s ability to pay.

Eligibility criteria for the UA scholarship program at Galveston College are available on the college’s website or by contacting the Offices of Development and Galveston College Foundation. 

Galveston College costs 7 percent less than its peers (in district) and 11 percent less (out of district). Students can save $14,000 by taking their first two years at Galveston College when compared to attending the University of Texas Medical Branch – Galveston’s School of Nursing and studies at Texas A&M University at Galveston.

Galveston College received approval from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges in December 2018 to expand its traditional community-college mission to include the awarding of bachelor’s degrees. The college launched a Bachelor of Applied Science in Healthcare Management program in fall 2019 with a full cohort of students, and plans to expand its applied baccalaureate offerings in the future.

In May, the Galveston College Foundation’s full board voted to extend UA Plus funds beyond the associate degree to its scholars that choose to continue at Galveston College for a baccalaureate program.

In sharp contrast to a low of 35 percent graduation rate of students receiving federal Pell grants, a full 88 percent of students receiving support from the Universal Access endowment either graduate or obtain sufficient academic credits to transfer to a four-year institution of their choosing.

Submitted by the Offices of Development and Galveston College Foundation

Success Seminar Graphic

‘Money Management’ is focus of Success Seminar

Personal financial literacy is more than just being able to balance a checkbook, compare prices, or get a job. It also includes skills like long-term vision and planning for the future, and the discipline to use those skills every day.

The Student Activities office at Galveston College will present “Money Management” on Tuesday, Oct. 22, from 4-5 p.m. in the Abe and Annie Seibel Foundation Wing-West.

Presenter is Elizabeth Brantley Spiller, a personal financial representative with the University Federal Credit Union.

For more information, contact Cynthia Parra at cparra@gc.edu.

Galveston College sets 2019 Fall Festival and FAFSA Fest

Galveston College will host its 2019 Fall Festival on Thursday, Oct. 24, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on the Abe and Annie Seibel Foundation Wing lawn of the main campus at 4015 Avenue Q, Galveston, Texas.

The festival is open to the public. Children are welcome.

Now in its 12th year, the festival is hosted by the Galveston College Student Government Association and the Office of Student Activities under the direction of Cynthia Parra, coordinator of Student Activities.

“Galveston College began the festival shortly after Hurricane Ike to bring the community together and to give the children of the island some consistency in the aftermath of tragedy,” said Parra. “The event has continued to grow over the years and has become a Galveston College tradition along with Spring Fling during the spring semester.”

Highlights of the festival will include music, games, inflatable bounce houses, activity booths, food and many more attractions that are sponsored by the Office of Student Activities, student clubs and organizations.

In conjunction with the Fall Festival, the Office of Financial Aid will host its semiannual FAFSA Fest, featuring a Halloween theme, “Don’t Fear the FAFSA,” from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Abe and Annie Seibel Foundation Wing.

FAFSA Fest is designed to help students and their families navigate the sometimes-challenging financial aid process. Current and prospective students can get help completing the online Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in addition to having other questions answered. Students who complete their FAFSAs that day will be entered into a drawing for prizes.

The FAFSA application period for the 2020-2021 academic year opened on Oct. 1. Students should bring their families’ 2018 income and tax information. Students under the age of 18 should bring a parent or guardian.

Activities and attractions sponsored by the Office of Student Activities, as well as FAFSA Fest, are free of charge. Student organizations may charge nominal fees for food items and other fundraisers in support of club activities such as attendance at professional conferences.

s, In the event of rain, the event will be located in the Hermes Fitness Center on campus.

More Photo Than Bowling Publicity Photo

Galveston College Theatre to stage ‘More Fun than Bowling’

The Galveston College Theatre department will return to the stage this fall for a three-day run of “More Fun than Bowling,” a funny and eccentrically philosophical comedy by veteran playwright Steven Dietz.

Show dates and times are Thursday, Oct. 17, at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 18, at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, Oct. 19, at 7:30 p.m. Performances are located in Room 207 on the second floor of the Galveston College Fine Arts Building.

Doors open 30 minutes prior to curtain and admission is free.

The story follows Jake Tomlinson as he relives moments of his life with his two dead wives, Lois and Loretta, both of whom died in freak bowling accidents.

Main character Jake owns the bowling alley in a small Midwestern town and passes the time ruminating about life while sitting on a hilltop where two of his three wives are buried. Lois was zapped by lightning while carrying a bowling trophy in a thunderstorm, and Loretta was killed by only the second bowling ball rack collapse in history. In his younger days Jake was a promising concert musician, but a foul tip baseball broke his fingers which subsequently healed into a perfect bowler’s grip. Jake replays the key frames of his life and, from time to time, is visited by his daughter Molly who has become adept at talking women into marrying her father for love and free lane time. But who is that nattily dressed man with dark glasses and a revolver lurking nearby?

The Washington Times describes “More Fun than Bowling” as “a very funny and eccentrically philosophical comedy. Mr. Dietz is a…writer with a distinct comic voice. He shows us that life and certainly death is a lot like bowling. For every experience, there seems to be an appropriate bowling expression just waiting to be applied. And for those who thought that bowling was merely a matter of rolling a ball and knocking down some pins, there is an Act II description of the Zen of bowling that will change your thinking forever…. In addition to inventing vivid cartoonish characters and giving them wacky tragic actions, Mr. Dietz is a master of the comic monologue.”

Director is Liz Lacy, program coordinator for Performing Arts at Galveston College. Company members include Dorion Alcantar, Eva Arita, Daniel Bourque, Alyssa Gudz, Christiana-Rose LaCross, Eric Scales and Brittney Somoza.

This production of “More Fun than Bowling” is entered as a participating production in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, a national theater program involving 20,000 students from colleges and universities nationwide annually. It is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc., a Concord Theatricals Company.

For additional information, please contact Liz Lacy at (409) 944-1398 or llacy@gc.edu.

 

Daniel Bourque, Eva Arita and Alyssa Gudz rehearse for the upcoming Galveston College Theatre production of “More Fun than Bowling” by Steven Dietz. Show dates and times are Thursday, Oct. 17, at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 18, at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, Oct. 19, at 7:30 p.m. Performances are located in Room 207 on the second floor of the Galveston College Fine Arts Building. Doors open 30 minutes prior to curtain and admission is free.

Distinguished Texas historian to speak at Galveston College on ‘Texas and Texans During World War II’

Galveston College will present “Texas and Texans During World War II,” a lecture featuring distinguished Texas historian Bill O’Neal on Wednesday, Oct. 16, at 7 p.m. in the Abe and Annie Seibel Foundation Wing at Galveston College, 4015 Avenue Q, Galveston, Texas.

The lecture is the first in the college’s 2019-20 lecture series. It is free and open to the public.

A longtime professor at Panola College in Carthage, Texas, O’Neal recently concluded six years of service as State Historian of Texas, traveling tens of thousands of miles across the Lone Star State as an ambassador for Texas history. He is a past president and fellow of both the East Texas Historical Association and the West Texas Historical Association.

“We are very excited to have such an outstanding speaker as Bill O’Neal present at our lecture series this year,” said Dr. Laimutis Bytautas, chair of the Faculty Professional Development Committee at Galveston College. “The theme for this year is ‘Discovery: The Forefront of Knowledge.’ We hope that anyone attending this lecture will discover something new about Texas history.”

Committee co-chair Michael Berberich agreed. “Like documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, Bill O’Neal is that kind of scholar who readily connects with broad popular audiences. His years of teaching, his more than 40 books and his many honors have done community colleges proud.”

“Texas made a remarkable contribution to the American war effort during World War II,” said O’Neal in describing his presentation. “Almost 830,000 Texans, including 12,000 women, donned uniforms, and more than 23,000 Texas fighting men died for their country. America’s most decorated soldier, Lt. Audie Murphy, and most decorated sailor, submarine commander Sam Dealey, both were Texans.

“Texas A&M, an all-male military college, placed over 20,000 men in the armed forces, of which 14,000 were officers – more than any other school in the nation. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, the supreme commander of Allied forces in Europe, was born in Denison in northeast Texas. Adm. Chester Nimitz, commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet, was born and raised in the Texas Hill Country. With more than 80 military bases of every type, Texas was the largest training field in the nation. Texas oil fueled the Allied war effort, while Texas shipyards and defense plants provided a flood of war machines and munitions.”

O’Neal’s father was a veteran of World War II. Through his college students, he has collected several hundred interviews from WW II veterans, and two of his books have been about Texans in the Second World War.

In addition to more than 40 books, O’Neal has written over 300 articles and book reviews. His most recent writing award, the A.C. Greene Literary Award, was presented at the 2015 West Texas Book Festival in Abilene. In 2012, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Wild West Historical Association, and in 2007 he was named True West Magazine’s Best Living Non-Fiction Writer.

O’Neal has appeared on TV documentaries on TBS, The History Channel, CMT, The Learning Channel, A&E and the American Heroes Channel.

During a long career on the faculty at Panola College at Carthage, Texas, his most prestigious teaching award was a Piper Professorship, presented in 2000. In 2013 Panola’s new dormitory was named “Bill O’Neal Hall,” and in that same year he received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Texas A&M University-Commerce.

O’Neal’s four daughters all have entered the field of education, and he is the proud grandfather of seven grandchildren.

EdFest for All is Oct. 5 in Galveston

Galveston College will co-host the 2019 EdFest for All career, health and education fair on Saturday, Oct. 5, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the McGuire-Dent Recreation Center, 2222 28th St., Galveston.

EdFest is an annual event sponsored by the City of Galveston’s Families, Children and Youth Board.  EdFest is a way to promote education across the lifespan by showcasing the kindergarten through college schools in Galveston. There will be activities featuring programs from both public and private institutions, arts & crafts and stage performances, as well as free fun for kids & fun for the whole family.

The event is also co-hosted  by the City of Galveston Parks and Recreation, The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Galveston ISD and Texas A&M University at Galveston.

Galveston College students to hear from workforce development leader

“Build Your Future” will be the theme of a student success seminar featuring workforce development authority Carla Thompson on Tuesday, Oct. 8, at 10 a.m. in the Abe and Annie Seibel Foundation Wing at Galveston College.

Backed by solid credentials and proficiencies in hiring, training and retention of workforce, Thompson brings strong knowledge of communication, construction and craft needs for industry to the Houston-Galveston region.

Her presentation will focus on career opportunities, craft professions, training programs and steps to finding a career in industrial construction.

Thompson is a workforce development manager – Western Region for Turner Industries Group, LLC. She developed her administrative skill set through experience as a workforce development manager, craft training manager, office manager and educational specialist.

Her experience includes power, nuclear, industrial maintenance and industrial construction. In 2009, she earned credentials as a National Center for Construction Education and Research master trainer and NCCER administrator. Her major strengths include administration for NCCER programs, setup of craft training and apprenticeship programs, and collaborating with area businesses and schools.

Thompson is currently the chairperson of the East Harris County Manufacturers Association Craft Training Sub-Committee. She is also involved in workforce development as member of the Gulf Coast Associated Builders and Contractors High School Committee, a previous chair and member of the Associated Builders and Contractors/Construction and Maintenance Education Foundation Craft Training Committee, a member of ABC/CMEF Youth Committee and the ABC Industrial Committee. She has also held an executive position for the State of Virginia on the Southwest Virginia Workforce Development Board.

Construction well underway on Abe and Annie Seibel Foundation Student Residences

Construction work is well underway on the Abe and Annie Seibel Foundation Student Residences at Galveston College.

The student housing complex, located at the corner of 39th Street and Avenue R, will include seven units that have been designed to resemble the historical homes of Galveston.

Sullivan Brothers Builders of Galveston is construction manager for the project. Creole Design LLC of Houston is architect.

To follow the construction progress, click here.

Board of Regents adopts 2019 tax rate

In a special session on Friday, Sept. 20, the Galveston Community College District Board of Regents voted unanimously to adopt a tax rate of $0.171188 per $100 valuation for the 2019 tax year.

The rate is lower than the 2018 tax rate of $0.17519 per $100 valuation but represents an increase over the effective tax rate of $0.167432 per $100 valuation.

The board had public hearings on Sept. 4 and Sept. 11 before adoption of the tax rate.

No other action items were on the agenda.

College 101 Panel Discussion Success Seminar is Sept. 24

The Student Activities office at Galveston College will present a College 101 Panel Discussion Success Seminar on Tuesday, Sept. 24, from 12-1 p.m. in the Abe and Annie Seibel Foundation Wing.

Galveston College Student Government Association officers and faculty will answer students’ questions about the college. Carol Langston, director of public affairs, will serve as moderator.

The event will be streamed live via Galveston College social media. Refreshments will be served.

For more information, contact Cynthia Parra at cparra@gc.edu.