Category: Featured Campus News

Dr. Myles Shelton

Galveston College temporarily modifies course delivery for fall semester

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

Dear Whitecaps:

As you are aware, in recent days there has been a high COVID-19 positivity rate and a significant increase in the number of COVID-19 cases reported in Galveston County, the City of Galveston, and on our campus. These changes in the pandemic have served as a trigger for us to re-evaluate and reassess our plans and operational protocols for the fall semester.

Temporary Changes to Instruction
As a result of the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in our area, it is necessary to scale back the number of students, classes, and employees on campus when the fall semester begins. This means that the majority of our on-campus classes will be moved online beginning with the first day of classes, August 30, and continuing through Friday, September 17. It remains our intention to return to on-campus classes as soon as possible. During the weeks ahead we will continue to monitor and assess operational plans and protocols for the fall semester.

For the first three weeks, all fall semester classes moving online shall be delivered online synchronously via Zoom (i.e., at the same time and on the same days as they are currently scheduled, only instead of students coming to campus, the classes will be available electronically via Zoom), except where certain technical courses or programs require hands-on instruction that cannot be delivered online, but can be delivered face to face in accordance with appropriate health and safety protocols. Galveston College programs where certain hands-on instruction cannot be delivered online may include:

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 meet as scheduled and will follow all health and safety protocols as established by each school district.

Facial Coverings / Face Masks
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 resume wearing facial coverings/face masks indoors in high-transmission areas. And all of Galveston 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.

As you are aware, following CDC recommendations, more specifically the wearing of masks, has become highly politicized. 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.

Vaccinations
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. Vaccines are readily available from local healthcare providers and pharmacies. If you have questions about the vaccine, please consult with your physician or healthcare provider. In addition, the College will be hosting a vaccination clinic on campus on September 15. In the days ahead, we are also planning to announce an incentive program for faculty, staff, and students that will promote being vaccinated. Please look for more details on this matter in the days ahead.

Student Support Services
Registration for the fall semester will continue as scheduled. As classes move online for the first three weeks of the semester, student support and academic services will remain available in both virtual and in-person formats. In some departments and areas of the College, supervisors may limit the number of personnel in a given area. More information will be available on this matter to College personnel through their supervisors.

Cleaning and Disinfecting Procedures
For anyone who is on campus, I want to assure you that our facilities staff’s cleaning and disinfecting procedures are ongoing. Our goal is to keep the College clean, open, and accessible to our community.

Student Housing and Food Service
GC Student Housing move-in day is Wednesday, August 25. All student housing will open as scheduled. We strongly encourage all students living on-campus to follow all health and safety protocols. Mr. C’s, our on-campus food service provider, is planning to follow all safety protocols appropriate to any restaurant in our area.

Athletics
Practice and all intercollegiate competition will be conducted within the guidelines established by the NJCAA and Region XIV, as well as certain specific college guidelines and protocols. Student housing will be open and available to student-athletes for the fall semester.

COVID-19 Reporting
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/.

As we work together to seek to slow the spread of COVID-19 within our campus community, we want you to know that our campus is open to our faculty and staff, our students, and to the public as we continue to seek to fulfill the mission and purposes of the College. And, as we move forward, I want to thank each one of you for your flexibility, patience, and respect for one another. This is a time for all of us to work together as each one of us has a role in protecting the health and safety of our college community.

Sincerely,

W. Myles Shelton
President

Vaccination Clinic

Galveston College Vaccination Clinic is Sept. 15

The Galveston College Employee Relations and Wellness Committee and Walgreens will co-host a vaccination clinic on Wednesday, Sept. 15, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Seibel Wing.

A variety of vaccines will be available, including influenza, meningococcal meningitis, COVID-19, Shingrix and TPAD. Walgreens staff members will return on Thursday, Oct. 7, to administer the second COVID-19 vaccine and provide other vaccines.

Those who plan to participate in the vaccination clinic should email Joyce Landry at jlandry@gc.edu by Sept. 1. Please indicate vaccines needed. This will assist Walgreens in planning for the clinic.

Please email jlandry@gc.edu and visit https://www.walgreens.com/pharmacy/immunization/immunization_index.jsp for additional information.

Anthony Sanabria

Quickstart grad finds new career in Galveston College Facilities department

After a series of discouraging, low-paying jobs with little hope for advancement, Anthony Sanabria decided to check out Galveston College’s Quickstart Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning training program in the fall of 2019. Coming from a family with no college education and no understanding of its value, Anthony was not sure this was a good path for him and had little confidence in his ability to handle the demands of college studies.

After some time in instructor Karen Alsept’s class, Anthony found he was enjoying learning, had the aptitude for HVAC, and realized that this was a good career path for him. When he completed the eight-week program and passed the Universal EPA test on his first try, he gained the confidence to enroll in the Associate of Applied Science degree program in HVAC and Refrigeration.

“No one told me how important college is and that I had the potential to succeed. Quickstart was the perfect opportunity to try out something new and see if it was a good fit,” Anthony said. “It completely changed my life.”

And now Galveston College will benefit from his aptitude, training, enthusiasm and strong work ethic as he begins his new position as a maintenance technician in the Galveston College Facilities department.

“Already having two months with us, Anthony has demonstrated his great commitment and knowledge in the complex systems that we handle in air conditioning systems and digital platforms,” said Jorge Otero, director of Facilities at Galveston College.

”Anthony has undoubtedly been a great acquisition both for his quality as a human being and for his constant desire to help and to acquire new knowledge. Now, as a full-time employee taking advantage of his already acquired knowledge in the HVAC field, he is now beginning his second associate degree in Computer and Network Administration hoping to complete it by 2023. Without a doubt, Anthony is a great addition to our department and his continued development will help our college to operate even more optimally.”

Funded with a Foundational Skills for Construction Career Pathways Grant, the Quickstart+ programs are designed to help individuals find entry-level jobs in the fast-growing HVAC and electrical industries.

In the programs, students are presented with the basics of a trade, including safety procedures, proper tool usage, regulations, codes and more. They also receive career counseling and job placement assistance.

Tuition is free for those accepted into the programs. However, students must purchase their own steel-toed boots and personal protective equipment.

An individual applying to a Quickstart+ program must

· be age 18 or older. (Proof of age is required such as driver’s license or birth certificate.)

· be a United States citizen or certified to work in the United States. (A Social Security card or original I-9 documentation is required.)

· meet United States military Selective Service registration requirements, if male. (Student must present Registration Acknowledgment Card at the time of enrollment.)

· have access to a working computer and the internet.

· have steel-toed boots and personal protective equipment (mask or face covering).

Following acceptance into the program, an applicant must meet with Pagan and bring required documents.

The next class begins Sept. 15.

For more information, please visit https://gc.edu/continuing-education/quickstartplus/ and contact Sharon Pagan at (409) 944-1410 or spagan@gc.edu.

Galveston College Beacon

Galveston College Board of Regents adopts proposed budget, tax rate

The Galveston Community College District Board of Regents on Aug. 18 adopted the college’s 2021-2022 budget and district’s 2021 tax rate.

The balanced $25,338,529 budget reflects an increase of $1,971,784 or 8.4 percent compared to the 2020-2021 budget of $23,366,745.

“The college budgeted conservatively in 2020-2021 due to anticipated decrease in student enrollment because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Myles Shelton, college president. “Fortunately, we did not experience a significant loss in student enrollment; therefore, we are adjusting this year’s budget to reflect the current status of the college.”

Regents adopted a 2021 tax rate of $0.146188 per $100 taxable value, which is 8.17 percent less than the 2020 tax rate of $0.159188 per $100 taxable value.

The no-new-revenue tax rate has been calculated to be $0.135013 per $100 taxable value. The no-new-revenue tax rate is the tax rate for the 2021 tax year that will raise the same amount of property tax revenue for the college district for the same properties in both the 2020 tax year and the 2021 tax year.

GALVESTON COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT ADOPTED A TAX RATE THAT WILL RAISE MORE TAXES FOR MAINTENANCE AND OPERATIONS THAN LAST YEAR’S TAX RATE.

THE TAX RATE WILL EFFECTIVELY BE RAISED BY 7.69 PERCENT ABOVE THE NO-NEW-REVENUE MAINTENANCE AND OPERATIONS RATE AND WILL DECREASE TAXES ON A $100,000 HOME BY APPROXIMATELY $13.

Seibel Spring Flowers

Galveston College students eligible for up to $2,000 in emergency funding

President Myles Shelton announced today that Galveston College is offering emergency grants of up to $2,000 to enrolled students this fall to help ease the financial burden from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The students will be able to use this money toward emergency costs that arise due to the coronavirus,” he said. “Anything from childcare, food and healthcare to transportation, books and school supplies.”

Students will receive a payment if they are enrolled and attend classes for the fall 2021 semester and qualify under the federal Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III (HEERF III) authorized by the American Rescue Plan.

Galveston College received $2.8 million in funds to distribute to enrolled students in the form of emergency financial grants in fall 2021 and spring 2022. Since March 2020, 893 Galveston College students have received $1.3 million in emergency relief funds.

Students will receive payments ranging from $500 to $2,000, depending upon the number of semester credit hours in which they are enrolled.

Students enrolled in 1-5 hours will receive $500. Students enrolled in 6-9 hours will receive $1,000. Students enrolled in 9-11 hours will receive $1,500, and students enrolled in 12 or more hours will receive $2,000. Students enrolled in eligible Continuing Education workforce programs will receive $1,000.

“What is best for our students is at the heart of every decision we make at Galveston College,” Dr. Shelton said. “During COVID-19, our students have had hardships and even had to put their education on hold. Our hope is that this will help them get back on track to earn their certificates and degrees, and will help our new students get started without the additional financial barriers the pandemic has created.”

To receive emergency relief funds, all enrolled students are encouraged to submit an online form that will be available on the college website on Sept. 6.

Under the new funding guidelines, a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is not required, and students who were not eligible in 2020 may now be eligible.

Registration is underway for the fall 2021 semester, which begins Monday, Aug. 30.

For more information, please visit https://gc.edu/arp/ or email cares@gc.edu.

Galveston College Board of Regents Renews Contract with Galveston County Sheriff’s Office

The Galveston Community College District Board of Regents on Aug. 11 authorized President Myles Shelton to execute a three-year agreement with the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office to provide police services on campus.

The proposal, which includes coverage at both college locations, is similar to the college’s current contract with the GCSO and includes an option of two, one-year renewals. Cost is $465,172.47 for the first year and includes annual salaries and benefits for five deputies, officer training, an administrative fee, gun qualification, shift differential, uniforms and equipment, and cellular phones.

In other action on Wednesday, the board approved a board facilities committee recommendation to utilize a construction manager-at-risk procurement method for a new building to support nursing and health sciences programs at Galveston College. Regents also approved the committee’s recommendation to authorize contract negotiations with Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, LLP, to provide bond counsel services to the college.

Regents also heard a report on Galveston College’s three-year Public Junior College Safety and Security Audit from Dr. Van Patterson, vice president for Administration and Student Services. Dr. Patterson said, as a result of the report, the college identified a need for additional automated external defibrillators on campus.

Dr. Mary Jan Lantz, director of human resources and risk management, applied for and received a donation of 12 AED units from the Living for Zachary organization. Living for Zachary’s mission is to raise awareness and prevent sudden cardiac arrest in youth. The units have been installed at both campus locations.

Board members also heard a report from Dr. Sandra Metoyer, Dr. Ana Sanchez and two Galveston College students who participated in the summer 2021 trip to Costa Rica as part of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Honors program.

In other action, board members:

–ratified the nomination of Regent Armin Cantini for re-election to the Community College Association of Texas Trustees Board of Directors.
–granted tenure to Daniel Fink, Allied Health division director and Radiography program director/instructor.
–ratified the appointment of full-time instructors Angie Hoermann, Associate Degree Nursing and Vocational Nursing instructor; Anastasia Silvas, Associate Degree Nursing clinical instructor; Jerrod Tynes, Biology instructor; and Sandra Hayden, Radiation Therapy program director.
–amended the 2021-22 and 2022-23 calendars to reflect the college’s observance of Juneteenth National Independence Day.
–accepted Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III (HEERF III) Minority Serving Institution (MSI) supplemental grant funds in the amount of $233,612.
–ratified acceptance of a Greater Texas Foundation Emergency Aid and Technical Assistance for Texas Community Colleges grant in the amount of $122,500.
–accepted a U.S. Department of Education TRIO-Upward Bound grant award for 2021-22 in the amount of 297,601.
–accepted a U.S. Department of Education Title V Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions grant award for 2021-22 in the amount of $549,996.
–approved a four-year lease to refresh the Ricoh multifunction copier and printer fleet at a cost of $292,740 and purchase of HP multifunction printer/copier/scanners for $6,546.56.
–approved a proposal for a new campus phone system at a cost of $166,744.
–approved the purchase and implementation of automated degree and certificate evaluator software at a cost of $25,500.
–approved an assessment of records and registration, financial aid, general ledger and accounts, and student accounts at a cost of $48,000.
–approved a facilities committee recommendation to approve a proposal for a cast aluminum plaque at the Abe and Annie Seibel Foundation Student Residences.
–approved an annual contract for heating, ventilation and air conditioning service and repair with AMS of Houston of Stafford, Texas, as the primary vendor and Gowan, Inc. of Houston as the secondary vendor, effective Sept. 1.
–ratified approval of freeze damage cleanup at both campus locations by landscaping maintenance services contractor Beach Town Lawn Services, LLC, and authorized payment for services at a cost of $12,213.
–renewed workers’ compensation coverage through the Texas Association of School Boards at a cost of $16,602, effective Sept. 1
–renewed unemployment compensation coverage through the Texas Association of School Boards at a cost of $26,000, effective Oct. 1.

Above: Galveston County Sheriff’s Office law enforcement officers serving the college community include (from left) Corporal Rick McCullor, Deputy Shawn Broussard, Deputy Mark White, Sergeant Marcus Alfred and Deputy Andres Monterrubio.

Kendall Merriweather

Galveston College Quickstart+ graduate finds success with local HVAC industry

When Kendall Merriweather walked into Galveston College’s Quickstart+ Grant Navigator Sharon Pagan’s office last August, he was working part-time at a Galveston Island Family Dollar store.

In 2019, Merriweather, his wife and three children moved to Galveston to follow his wife’s dream to experience island living. Earlier in 2020, he lost his job following a reduction in force due to the COVID-19 pandemic. After that experience, he said he wanted to expand his technical skills and begin a new career. He said a friend sent him a screenshot of a Quickstart+ advertisement, and he wanted to register for the Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Helper training program. He said he was eager to enter a high-demand, high-growth industry where he had the potential to provide financial stability for his family.

Merriweather enrolled in the eight-week training session last September and successfully completed the training in mid-November. He was one of nine students to pass the Universal Section 608 Technician Certification examination on how to responsibly handle refrigerants by the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Recycling and Emission Reduction Program.

He was hired by Bosworth Air Conditioning and Heating in April 2021 as an HVAC Helper and continues to learn as he works alongside an experienced HVAC technician. He is now eligible to participate in a health insurance plan and says he will also be able to participate in the company’s retirement plan when he reaches his one-year work anniversary.

Funded with a Foundational Skills for Construction Career Pathways Grant, the Quickstart+ programs are designed to help individuals find entry-level jobs in the fast-growing HVAC and electrical industries.

In the programs, students are presented with the basics of a trade, including safety procedures, proper tool usage, regulations, codes and more. They also receive career counseling and job placement assistance.

Tuition is free for those accepted into the programs. However, students must purchase their own steel-toed boots and personal protective equipment.

An individual applying to a Quickstart+ program must

–be age 18 or older. (Proof of age is required such as driver’s license or birth certificate.)
–be a United States citizen or certified to work in the United States. (A Social Security card or original I-9 documentation is required.)
–meet United States military Selective Service registration requirements, if male. (Student must present Registration Acknowledgment Card at the time of enrollment.)
–have access to a working computer and the internet.
–have steel-toed boots and personal protective equipment (mask or face covering).

Following acceptance into the program, an applicant must meet with Pagan and bring required documents.

For more information, please visit https://gc.edu/continuing-education/quickstartplus/ and contact Sharon Pagan at (409) 944-1410 or spagan@gc.edu.

Eddie Filer

Eddie Filer to teach painting and drawing through Continuing Education

Nationally known artist Eddie Filer will teach a series of eight-week classes on the art of painting and drawing through the Galveston College Continuing Education department, beginning Aug. 30.

In Basic Portraiture 1 and 2, students will learn to recognize changes in the face from light to dark, variations of value changes in color, warm and cool temperature changes in paint, large to small comparisons of planes in the face, and building three-dimensional forms of the human head.

Filer will also teach his way of obtaining a likeness through seeing negative to positive spacing, by distance relating with a focus on the development of learning to see.

Basic Portraiture I runs on Mondays and Wednesdays from 3:30-5:30 p.m. from Aug. 30 to Oct. 20. Basic Portraiture II is on Mondays and Wednesdays from 3:30-5:30 p.m. from Oct. 25 to Dec. 15. Cost is $149 per course. A supplies list is available from the Continuing Education department.

To register, visit https://www.gc.edu/continuing-education/about-ce/register/ and select Beginning Portrait Painting I or Beginning Portrait Painting II from the Arts/Leisure/Music menu.

For more information, please contact ce@gc.edu or call (409) 944-1344.

Galveston College Community Chorale

Galveston College Community Chorale celebrates 50 years of musical memories, seeks new members

The Galveston College Community Chorale will celebrate 50 years of musical memories in 2021-2022 and is seeking new singers in all vocal parts.

After a pandemic-induced hiatus during the 2020-2021 academic year, the community chorale will begin its fall rehearsal schedule on Monday, Aug. 30, from 7 to 9 p.m. on the main campus of Galveston College, 4015 Avenue Q, Galveston.

Michael Gilbert, who served as choral director for the Galveston Independent School District for more than three decades, serves as director of the community chorale. Nationally acclaimed concert organist Ron Wyatt is accompanist.

The Galveston College Community Chorale was established in 1972 by Dr. Larry Patton, who directed the chorale for 27 years. The chorale was part of the newly formed music department at Galveston College to allow interested individuals the opportunity to participate in a performing organization.

The first year, the chorale had approximately 40 singers. During the 2019-2020 academic year, the chorale averaged 65 singers.

“The chorale is a representative of the city of Galveston,” said Gilbert. “Many family members and friends of the chorale attend our concerts, as well as other choral music lovers from the community and surrounding area.”

The chorale performs all styles of music, both sacred and secular, from the Renaissance period of music, to Handel’s “Messiah,” Schubert’s “Mass in G,” madrigals, operatic choruses, patriotic music, American folk music, spirituals, the music of Broadway and popular music.

Music by contemporary composers such as John Rutter, Robert Shaw, Daniel Pinkham, Randall Thompson and Texas resident Dan Forrest has also been performed by the chorale.

The group has even performed at Carnegie Hall.

The chorale is a non-auditioned organization supported by Galveston College and is part of the Continuing Education department’s curriculum. It is open to all individuals who enjoy singing and performing.

“It’s a fun group of people to work with,” Gilbert said.

In 2018, the Galveston Art League recognized the Galveston College Community Chorale for making significant and valuable contributions to the arts in Galveston.

Gilbert said he welcomes back former members of the chorale and wants to attract new members who love to sing, are looking for a venue to sing with others, enjoy learning new musical arrangements, and want to entertain in public.

The chorale will prepare for its holiday concert of traditional carols scheduled for Dec. 13 at 7:30 p.m. at Moody Memorial United Methodist Church in Galveston.

The chorale also presents a spring concert and is often involved in other special events and/or fundraisers.

Membership tuition in the Galveston College Community Chorale is $40 each semester. To register, please contact the Galveston College Continuing Education office at (409) 944-1344 or https://gc.edu/continuing-education/about-ce/register/Galveston College Community Chorale.

For additional information, please contact Galveston College Community Chorale Director Michael Gilbert at mgilbert@gc.edu or the Galveston College Continuing Education office at (409) 944-1344.

Kristin Holt

Galveston College to host virtual presentation on “Addressing Stigma Toward Mental Health”

The Galveston College Outreach and Retention Committee will host a virtual presentation titled “Addressing Stigma Toward Mental Health” on Monday, Aug. 2, at 1 p.m. via Zoom video conference. The speaker is Kristin M. Holt, a counselor with the Gulf Coast Center.

The presentation is free and open to the general public.

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.

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.

To join the presentation, visit https://zoom.us/join. Enter meeting ID 851 6323 0797 and passcode Whitecaps.