A Lot to be Thankful for at Bragging Breakfast

At the November Bragging Breakfast, there was a lot to be thankful for before heading into the Thanksgiving break.

First, Karla Ellis introduced the areas that make up the Creative & Communication Arts Institute and different team members talked about initiatives they are involved in or events coming up, such as Cosmic Art Night on Friday, Nov. 16 at the Palmetto Center for Arts.

Northwest Vista College President Dr. Ric Baser said since his time at NVC, the college has recently received a great deal of money in grants. Earlier this month, NVC announced it received a $3.7 million grant to help parents and elementary kids in the community. Additionally, NVC is a part of another $3.7 million grant in which UTSA is taking the lead to increase the number of Hispanic teachers.

This past summer, NVC was awarded a $10,000 grant from the National Endowments for the Arts. Tim Jones will be working with Dr. Sandra Garza, coordinator for the Mexican American Studies program, to enlist a local, professional artists, students from NVC are area high schools, and community volunteers to produce a new mural for NVC this year.

Also this summer, NVC received a $200,000 grant to help embed tutors in classes that have been historically difficult. To read more about this grant, go here.

Speaking of grant money, Nadia Bakdash received an innovation grant to giver her students a once-in-a-lifetime experience. She told the audience that her students were provided hands-on anatomy lab experiences, to include tours of the medical school facilities and instruction by medical school faculty. They also got to experiment with a medical school’s anatomage table, an anatomy visualization technology system which provides digitally-restored images of actual human cadavers. This allows students to have interactive dissection experiences that enable a clinical-level understanding of anatomy and physiology concepts.


  • Team 9, which includes Math, Science and Engineering, received more trophies and another pizza party for their fundraising efforts during the Employee Giving Campaign.
  • NVC’s Natural and Physical Science Department held a two-day event to help students have fun with the Sciences, called Sci-Tober. Several hundred students came out to a variety of patio experiments despite the dreary weather.
  • Congratulations on a successful Health Awareness and Psychology Day. NVC successfully hosted a drumming circle encouraging students to come and “drum away the stress” as well as hosting a Fitness Challenge to encourage staying healthy through physical activity. The NVC Counseling department collaborated with San Antonio Behavioral Healthcare Hospital, NVC Student Life,Psi Beta, and the NVC Psychology Club to present a screening of “The Ripple Effect,” a documentary following mental health advocate Kevin Hines.
  • Approximately 600 people and volunteers attended the fourth annual HalloVista festival. Congratulations to the NVC Public Relations team on a successful event.
  • The NVC chapter of the National Society of Leaership and Success, the CAT Crew Programming Board, and NVC’s Student Government Association teamed together to help register new voters. Together they have registered 386 new voters this year.
  • In support of students in their educational journey, NVC Math for Teachers Faculty have been going above and beyond to create learning and teaching materials for students through Canvas. Read more about it here.
  • NVC faculty Denise Tolan was invited to read her short story in “Best Small Fictions” book in Hollywood, Calif, and also has been invited to read her story in New York City in December.


  • The Employee of the Month award went to Felicia King.
  • The Wildcat Spirit Award went to Claudia Verdin from the NVC President’s Office. Dr. Ric Baser said Professor Verdin has provided much needed support to STEM students at the beginning of their college journey through the development of a SDEV course specifically designed for first time in college STEM students. Claudia also provides vital leadership on calculus trajectory-related initiatives. She is also instrumental in helping NVC get significant math grants and being the principal investigator on major grants.
  • The Touchstone to celebrate for the next month is diversity. We value diversity, appreciating different ways of knowing and ways of living and recognizing that our diversity is a source of strength.

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