This regular feature recognizes the achievements, activities, and accolades of Austin Community College District (ACC) faculty and staff. To submit news or suggestions, see the contact information below.

Austin Community College District (ACC) has been recognized as one of the Best Colleges to Earn an Online Associate Degree in the U.S. The college was ranked among the top 100 colleges in the nation by University HQ. University HQ developed the list using data such as the cost of tuition, admission rate, retention rate, graduation rate, graduating salary, number of programs offered, online programs offered, and more. See the full methodology here

Several ACC students and programs participated in the Austin PBS grand opening celebrations in August. A group of choir students, led by program director Virginia Volpe, performed an a cappella rendition of “It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” the theme song for PBS’ renowned Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood show. In addition, the college’s Fashion Design program created custom-designed bow-ties for both ACC’s mascot, R.B. the Riverbat, and Austin PBS’ Clifford the Big Red Dog. Matching bow-ties also were created for ACC Chancellor Dr. Richard Rhodes and Austin PBS CEO Luis Patiño. 

The Welding Technology Department was recently awarded a $349,182 Texas Workforce Commission Jobs and Education for Texans grant to acquire orbital welding and welding inspection equipment. The equipment will enable students in our associate of applied science in Code Welding and Welding Inspection programs to train with the same equipment they will encounter in the regional job market. These tools also will allow ACC to increase enrollment for the existing orbital welding classes and support our student’s ability to gain employment in the regional semiconductor equipment manufacturing sector.

ACC Jewelry Professor Gay “Sugar” Isber was one of six jewelry designers and experts from around the world featured in the New York Times for a piece on armlets called “Bracelets for the Biceps.” According to the author, Kathleen Beckett, armlets are becoming increasingly popular with celebrities and on fashion runways. Isber described how she crafted her bold, lightweight Golden Armlet.

ACC’s Facilities and Construction Department is the recipient of the 2022 Ellington Innovation Award for its Geographic Information System (GIS) campus mapping initiative. The award is granted to one higher education institution nationwide each year by The Campus FM Technology Association at its annual conference. About 30 presentations were chosen, and from those, the peers at the conference voted on the one that they thought was the most innovative to receive the award. Deborah Massaro, ACC GIS/Digital Information Manager, received the award on behalf of her team based on the innovation the department is providing by finding a solution to get this large-scale project complete while saving the college money by using interns. Another factor is how the team is using all different technologies — GIS, CAD, drones, 360 cameras — and finding ways to put all of the data together. 

ACC’s El Centro/Latin-American Studies Center has acquired a donation from Aurora Margarita Peraza-Rugeley, a scholar of Latin American literature from Henderson State University in Arkansas. It includes 182 Spanish language classics from the colonial period to the present. Among them are the complete works of Sor Juana Inéz de la Cruz, Mexico’s first feminist. With many rare titles, this collection has a value of approximately $5,000 and was acquired through the efforts of El Centro Director Dr. Gary Moreno.

ACC student Alan Kim has been selected as one of 18 students to receive Phi Theta Kappa’s Spring 2022 Walgreens Pharmacy Technician Certification Scholarship. As a Walgreens Pharmacy Technician Certification Scholar, Kim will receive a $250 scholarship award to help pay for Pharmacy Technician Certification exam fees. 

ACC is among 44 colleges and universities nationwide selected to receive funding support from the U.S. Department of State’s Increase and Diversify Education Abroad for U.S. Students (IDEAS) Program. ACC will receive $35,000 to create, expand, and diversify its study abroad programs. The IDEAS Grant project will be a collaboration between International Programs, Professional Nursing, and Peace and Conflict Studies. Learn more HERE.

Do you know a student, faculty, or staff member who has accomplished something notable outside the classroom or in their community? We want to hear about them. Contact Victoria Garza Gonzalez, ACC internal communications coordinator, at [email protected].