March “Mardi Gras” Bragging Breakfast

The March Bragging Breakfast had a Mardi Gras theme with an authentic Cajun accent from Northwest Vista College Dean Pat Fontenot. He introduced his Academic Support Services team, and three of them did mini presentations of their areas.

Laura Lawrence of NVC Teaching with Technology said her area has seen passing rates increase for students who complete the orientation class for online learning. In 2014, there were 2,749 students who enrolled in Orientation for Online Learning or OLRN, and in 2018 that number increased to 3,223.

Norma Velez-Vendreall talked about several of the services the library is providing to students, such as:

  • Supplies for Success (pencils, pens and paper)
  • Overdrive
  • Book a Librarian
  • Zine (mini magazines) Making Workshop
  • NASA Air Cleaning Plants
  • Pop-Up Library

Yvonne Haynes of the the NVC Community Education shared how her area is focused on the community in providing the Academy for Lifelong Learning, personal interest classes, and summer camps for kids. She said kids programs are focused on STEAM principles in a fun learning setting.

Thomas Pressly of the NVC Engineering area talked about NVC’s new STEAM Makerspace, thanks to an Innovation Grant. The area will be used for students to create prototypes, club projects, art, experience engineering and science, through tools such as 3D printing, machining, etc. In addition, the space will help with recruitment and improve the STEM ecosystem in the SA area, and provide more local opportunities for the creative arts.


  • Debi Gaitan, Gary Bowling, and Felix Stalins were voted Trusted Leaders by the Emerging Leaders 2019 cohort.
  • Congratulations to Bianca Ramirez and Stephanie Sonneman for leading the Phi Theta Kappa Beta Lambda Upsilon chapter, which was just recognized as 2019 REACH chapter and will receive special recognition the form of eight stoles for the students at commencement.
  • Jose Egremy and Erick Madrid attended the Texas Academy of Science at Howard Payne University in Brownwood, TX. At the same conference, NVC students Damari Anderson and Nick Robinson were the only presenters from a community college and everything they presented was created at NVC. Nick learned that a lab from the University of Texas was working with the same species of plant and that he had actually gotten further than them keeping this species alive in a lab. Damari was challenged by a researcher from Sul Ross about a potential release of invasive species from her work, but she held her ground and gave an accurate explanation of the value of biodiversity.
  • The Wildcat Spirit Award went to Mark Tovar of Student Success
  • The District Employee of the Month Award went to Jewel Graw of Natural and Physical Sciences
  • The Touchstone of the Month is Community: We strive to be a community in which all members are empowered to contribute as learners and leaders, practicing mutual respect and building mutual trust.



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