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.

ACC Chancellor Dr. Richard Rhodes was one of three new members selected to serve on the American College Testing (ACT) board. According to the ACT Board, members are selected based on their knowledge and experience in leading efforts to make education and training after high school more equitable, accessible, and successful for all students. Learn more HERE.

ACC Biology Adjunct Professor Dr. Rodney E. Rohde’s article, “Louis Pasteur’s scientific discoveries in the 19th century revolutionized medicine and continue to save the lives of millions today,” published on The Conversation to coincide with World Rabies Day on September 28.

ACC’s inaugural Racial Equity Leadership Academy (RELA) cohort has been appointed. 73 faculty — all of whom teach our high-enrollment gateway courses — are now participating in a year-long professional learning community focused on supporting belonging in the classroom. Under the leadership of Dr. Samuel Echevarria-Cruz, our cohort faculty are doing a deep dive into the role of the syllabus in supporting inclusion and equity in the classroom. This work will impact nearly 5,000 students in spring 2023. 

Dr. Don Tracy, ACC’s director of Corporate & Community Education in the Continuing Education Division, was named a 2022 recipient of both the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education Presidential Award for Exceptional and Innovative Leadership in Adult and Continuing Education and the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education Outstanding Service Medallion. 

Austin Community College District (ACC) was selected as “The Best College/University” in the region in the Austin American-Statesman’s 2022 Best of the Best Awards. ACC was awarded the distinction ahead of Texas A&M University and the University of Texas at Austin. Learn more HERE.

ACC is also one of nine institutions nationwide to earn recertification for the National Seal of Excelencia by Excelencia in Education. The college was part of the inaugural cohort of colleges to receive the seal when it debuted in 2019. This re-certification is a testament to the good work happening here to serve and support Latino students. Learn more HERE.

ACC Rio Grande Campus received the highest LEED certification possible for its sustainable design and construction. The U.S. Green Building Council awarded the campus Platinum-Level Certification. Learn more HERE.

ACC Highland Campus was recognized for its design, value, and transformation and awarded three Stars of Distinction for Excellence by the Texas Association of School Administrators and the Texas Association of School Boards. Learn more HERE.

ACC Highland Campus Phase 2 was also awarded the prestigious Best Project Innovation award at the Urban Land Institute (ULI) 2022 Impact Awards for Phase 2/Building 2000. Highland Campus Building 2000 was recognized for its originality and creativity in development. Learn more HERE.

ACC’s grants team earned the college two grants from the Department of Education. The first is a $4 million grant to fund a four-year project called Child Care Access Means Parents in School. The dollars will help us increase the number of on-campus child care spaces and evening drop-in spaces at ACC’s Children’s Lab School. It will also provide grant participants child care scholarships and access to a comprehensive range of robust wrap-around services. Learn more HERE.

The second is a $1.1 million grant to fund a five-year project called Rise to Success. This grant will allow ACC to serve 500 eligible 6th- to 12th-grade students and adults ages 18 to 27 who reside within a target area in inner-city East Austin. Participants will receive comprehensive services, including tutoring; college readiness instruction; assistance with course selection; help with college admissions and financial aid and scholarship applications; and more. 

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].