Let Your Advisor Help with Bumps in the Road

Going back to school was one of the smartest decisions I’ve made as an adult. These days, there aren’t many well-paying jobs out there that do not require a degree or specialized training of some sort.

However, life tends to throw curve balls at our plans for a better life. Not to deter us from our path but to prove to us how much gumption we have to achieve our goals; even if that means taking a break again.

This semester, life threw one of its curve balls at me. I found out towards the beginning of the fall semester that I was pregnant. Even with a rocky beginning to this pregnancy, and some professors who gave me more than enough leniency than I imagined, I persevered through.  Now, I have an even bigger decision on my hands. I already have two older children and now I’m adding a third into the mix. Did I want to add school work on top of learning how to adjust to life with two kids and a newborn? Would I have the time I needed to devote to school? I have so many questions flowing through my head and absolutely no answers. So where does that leave me?

I made an appointment with my advisor to go over the logistics of taking a break from school, but the one question was, how long of a break I needed to take is a question only I can answer. I know I won’t lose my credits I’ve earned or the grades I’ve received but I’m afraid I might lose some of the gumption I have to complete school. For now, I plan on only taking two semesters off to give me time to adjust to the new direction life is taking me and I feel like that is enough. I’m just hoping that when the time comes to re-enroll, I won’t have anymore curve balls thrown my way for a while!

As with any concerns about school, go talk to your advisor or any of the ones available. They’ve seen and heard just about every situation and know how to help you fit school around the bumps in the road.

By NVC Student Jessica Longoria

Health Professionals Inspire NVC Students

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Congrats to Northwest Vista College’s student club, Pre Health Delegation (PHD), of NVC’s Health & Biosciences Institute. Over 150 students attended a recent panel discussion, hosted by PHD, featuring health and science professionals who provided information on their own paths, careers, answered questions and served to inspire other students.

The panel professionals were:

  • Pharmacist- Michael James, Pharm D R.Ph.- Feik School of Pharmacy – former NVC alumnus
  • Doctor- Brian Parker, MD, MS- Assistant Clinical Professor, Dept. of Emergency Medicine, UT Health San Antonio
  • Flight nurse – Charles Robbins – RN/EMT-P Program Director, Air Evac 48 – former NVC alumnus
  • Scientific Researcher-  Adam Salmon, PhD- Assistant Prof, Department of Molecular Medicine, UT Health San Antonio
  • Physician’s Assistant- Caroline M. Sipili, MPAS, PA-C Physician Assistant, Medicine-Hematology/Oncology UT Health San Antonio, MD Anderson – former NVC alumnus
  • Occupational Therapist/EMT- Brad Zirkel US Army Reserves Major, OT, EMT-B

Students asked questions and interacted with the speakers. Many students said that the panel was inspiring and important for student’s future in science and health due to the information given. Samantha (Sam) Williams, PHD’s vice president, had put together the panel and hosted the event. John Pinion, PHD’s president, had originally came up with the idea. NVC’s Health Institute funded the snacks.

Interested students are welcome to submit their applications to the PHD Club through Orgsync. Applications will be available beginning next week.

 

Students Make the World a Better Place

Northwest Vista student Adam Ramirez is working to make the world abetter for cancer patients.

Ramirez, an LVN and part-time student at Northwest Vista, got together with fellow classmates Katrina Lopez, Tanner Greven and Genesis Ramiro on a project aimed at making the world a better place. The group has been tasked by NVC Professor Dr. Don Lucas with creating and executing a project that will essentially make people happy.

Lucas, is hoping to take students outside of the classroom and into the communities. “The Create The World a Better Place” assignment is all about giving students opportunities to define what the “world” is and then change that world in a fashion that makes it better,” Dr. Don said.

Dr. Don’s assignment presented Ramirez with an opportunity to realize something he had already been thinking about.

“My group and I decided we wanted to celebrate the strength of people going through cancer therapy, and this assignment was the perfect opportunity to do just that,” Adam said.

Adam and his group decided to provide an opportunity for cancer patients to receive a complete makeover. From hair and makeup, to manicures and pedicures, participants will have a chance to feel beautiful for a day.

For Adam, this project hit particularly close to home since his wife had recently been fighting brain cancer.

“After she had brain surgery she went through chemo and radiation and she lost a lot of hair. From the chemo, she also got a lot of acne and gained a lot of weight,” Adam added. “Having a friend come by and style her hair and makeup made her feel good about herself.”

He was surprised to see how just a little bit of extra attention gave her the hope and confidence she needed to continue battling the disease.

“I figured maybe we can do this as part of the school project and have it at Northwest Vista,” Adam added. “We could get others involved and make it a collaborative initiative with the schools.”

Palo Alto College agreed to do the makeup and hair of participants.

Adam welcomes the unconventional lesson, pointing out we live in a world where most of our connections are via social media.

“What is important for college students is not just to come to college and get lectured, but to come with the intent of actually using what we learned to go out and help people,” Adam added. “In today’s society, where we live in a world disconnected because of technology, we still really need that personal connection with people.”

That concept is exactly what Dr. Don was aiming to teach his students.

“Most classes have students talking about changes,” said Lucas, “my class requires students to actually make the change. And what is the ‘change?'” My students get to define that too,” he added.

“Even after teaching for nearly 30 years, it is still amazing to me—what students will do—when given the opportunity—and encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity—to learn,” he added. “It is something that I really wanted to do and I couldn’t think of a better place than at Northwest Vista.”

The makeovers will take place on Nov, 16 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the Pecan Hall conference room. Those interested may RSVP starting now, until Wednesday, November 14th at 11:59pm. Please copy and paste the following RSVP link to your browser and sign up for your FREE MAKEOVER:
https://abeautifullystrong.wixsite.com/strong/event-info/a-beautifully-strong-day/form

 

 

 

 

NVC Students Travel to Morocco for Researching and Learning Culture

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Northwest Vista College students ventured over 5,500 miles from San Antonio to the historic region of Zawiya Ahansal in North Africa last May for NVC’s first Adventure Science experiential learning project.

The first leg of their trip landed them in the city of Marrakech in Morocco. Professor Scott Walker of Geography, and Adam Aguirre of Anthropology then led the six students on a five-hour trip to Morocco’s High Atlas Mountains for field work, trekking, community service, and an incredible cultural immersion experience. This area is relatively isolated from the rest of Morocco due to its unique geography.

NVC student, Farhana Khan said, those “two weeks in Morocco were not an average study abroad program…our learning took place at the airport, on bumpy roads, around campsites, and in the river—literally.”

Students, who were enrolled in Physical Geography (GEOG 1301) for the journey, learned how to measure the water flow and discharge of the local river that is used to irrigate subsistence crops by the people of Amazigh, a village in the Morocco mountains. The Taghia River was a crisp 49° F according to their measurements taken while standing knee deep in the water.

Two of the students, Farhana Khan and Marcella Palaferri, with the help of Professor Walker, leveraged the river data into a community service project. They spent the rest of the summer back home crunching numbers to develop a professional 24-page hydrology report they have given to the Atlas Cultural Foundation in Zawiya Ahansal, a region of the mountains that encompasses several villages. This is only the second study of the Taghia watershed ever conducted due to its remote mountain location. The students determined this year’s water flow was up to 542 times more than that found in a previous 2016 study by a professional hydrologist.

Link to report https://drive.google.com/file/d/1xLnOFY4EmaAkSBu63XhMzyddUMnc5tiA/view?usp=sharing

“The project our team completed was an excellent opportunity to understand how important the river systems are for this region,” said student Marcella Palaferri. “It is truly the lifeblood for subsistence farming practiced by the people. The information in our report will be extremely helpful for them for future comparative studies.”

Marcella, Farhana, and Scott will be presenting the results of their work at the 2018 Southwestern Association of American Geographer’s meeting in Baton Rouge, LA next month.

In addition to getting wet and dirty, students conducted interviews of local residents for their Cultural Anthropology (ANTH 2351) class. Each student covered a particular cultural aspect of the community such as religion, the local monetary exchange system, or kinship.

“We were humbled by the simple and family oriented life of the Berbers [Amazigh people] and questioned our rat race for more material goods.,” said Farhana.

Marcella added we “were completely immersed in to the culture for the entire 15-day period.”

The students also worked in two rural schools teaching English to middle and high school-aged students who speak French, Arabic, and Tamazigh. The program’s mountain guides doubled as Arabic and Tamazigh language instructors, teaching NVC students basic survival phrases such as “mashi moshkil” (no problem) and “la la bzaf” (no that costs too much), among other things like how to count to ten. Scott is working with the Atlas Cultural Foundation to plan another adventure science field study project in 2020.

Contributed by NVC Geography Professor Scott L. Waker, ScEdD.  

Annual Student Art Exhibition at Northwest Vista College

This year’s annual student exhibition highlights the artwork of 12 exceptional Northwest Vista College students.

The students were chosen for the exhibition from a pool of 40 applicants. NVC Instructor Rachael Bower looked at over 200 works of art by those students to narrow down the artists. The featured students span a variety of media including ceramics, collage, digital, drawing, fashion design, painting, photography, sculpture and woodworking.

Rachael has curated the student show each year since 2015. Typically there are eight students whose work is showcased over the summer months, half two-dimensional and half three-dimensional. This year there was such a wonderful variety of themes, techniques and media that it was expanded to include even more artists.

Arranging the work for installation is one of Instructor Bower’s favorite parts of the process, “it is always exciting to see how the art informs one another.” Each student’s artwork is accompanied by a brief biography and artist statement for viewers to learn more about them and their work.

Exhibit on Display Through Summer

 

The exhibition remains on display through the first day of classes, Aug. 27. The public is welcome to view the exhibition at any time Monday through Thursday this summer. You can find the art exhibit lining the hallway in the Palmetto Center for the Arts building. Purchase inquiries may contact Instructor Rachael Bower, rbower3@alamo.edu.

Interested in submitting your artwork next year? Look for the ‘Call for Art’ posters in the art building in spring 2019. Students do not need to be art majors to apply or enrolled in art classes-this juried opportunity is open to all Northwest Vista College students. All skill levels and media are encouraged to apply!

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Two NVC Students Get Funding in “Shark Tank” Style Competition

Two Northwest Vista College students recently took part in an Alamo Colleges “Shark Tank” competition and came out unbitten and with some investor funds to help turn their ideas into profitable businesses.

NVC student Jorge Latorre; San Antonio College (SAC) student Angela Costlow, and Joel Robbins of St. Philip’s College (SPC) won second place and $3,000 for their business called Veteran’s Property Renovation that is a veteran-managed company targeting key renovations to maximize property values.

Alexandria Borrero, an NVC student, and Brian Etheridge, a student at Palo Alto College, won third place and $1,500 for their business called Ali-Rooz, which will offer custom screen-printed athletic wear produced and sold out of a “fashion truck” that can offer its products on site at events.

The first place honor and $5,000 went to Lakeisha Matthews, a student at SPC, Melissa Rodriguez, a SAC student, and Tracy Watts and Thermajean Jones, SPC faculty members, for their Kid Car-go business, which is a concept for a rideshare company to transport children using moms from the same school districts as drivers to work or after-school programs.

The competition was sponsored by Alamo Colleges’ The Learning Company, which is a six-week program that encourages student entrepreneurs to turn their “big ideas” into reality. Students and faculty participate in free innovation boot camps where they are trained and mentored by experienced instructors and business partners.

“I am so proud of the students and faculty members who have devoted a great deal of time and hard work to making their big ideas into real-world products and businesses,” said Alamo Colleges Chancellor Dr. Bruce Leslie. “We started The Learning Company to provide additional opportunities to our students to become successful entrepreneurs in a format designed specifically for community college students. With the support of our community partners and outstanding leadership, we have students who are already seeing their ideas realized,” he added.

Other teams also were recognized for their achievements. The Early Birdies team won the Change-Maker award. The Grindhouse award for perseverance went to the Showstopper team and the IC2 Best Business Model honor went to the Texas Revolution team. A number of other individuals from the Alamo Colleges District also were recognized for their encouragement and support of The Learning Company program and the teams.

Past winners of The Learning Company have gone on to launch companies, received funding from investors and begin manufacturing of their products.

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NVC Psychology Club Receives National Recognition for Event

Mental Health HeaderLike most students, I wanted to be a part of something on campus and I finally decided to join the NVC Psi Beta chapter. Integrating yourself into a club for the first time is hard, but this was worth it; I walked into a tight-knit group who invited me in!

For months before, some key club members, advisors, officers and club vets alike, had worked to put all the pieces together to get the Mini Mental Health Summit (see national award at bottom) up and running. It was amazing to see the well-oiled machine they had scheduled. On the day of the event, there was a photobooth with a cutout filter, artwork done by students, an inkblot station to tell us how it made you feel, a variety of local agencies all dealing with mental health and wellness, a panel of speakers, videos, and food!

Still a newbie in the club, I stayed close to the few I knew by the photo booth, took pictures and saw some of the artwork we collected, with our members playing music and singing across the hall. It was there I saw representatives from Clarity Child Guidance Center, and got to chat them up about future opportunities. I even painted an inkblot that students could respond to – it seemed to make people feel happy or hungry! The panel though, was my favorite part. Hearing from our counselor, from some of the agency representatives and our own students tell their stories and offer wisdom was insurmountably inspiring. I began to see some of these quasi-strangers differently and I wasn’t shy anymore.

Our mini mental health summit was a defining moment for NVC, Psi Beta, and myself. It was MY first big event that I worked with the clubs, and showed me what we could do! The officers that put it together showed me what we were capable of; this club and our amazing advisors helped to introduce me to one of the communities where I fit best and has astronomically improved my college experience.

The panel we held supplied to the conversation we were having around mental health and contributed to creating a safe space on campus. It allowed students and teachers to see that we weren’t afraid to have the conversation in the first place! The summit was a trend setting, award-winning event that was put together with the goal of simply educating; it was a selfless act that has driven me to want to give back and provide the same opportunity for our club and our school and our community. It’s success has made me determined to gather the troops and hold an event to inspire and teach people here, too. Holding such an event on campus so shamelessly added a brick to the pavement on the trek to breaking the mental health stigma.

I have had some amazing professors here at Northwest Vista, and they have aided in my growth, as well as this organization. To have a community this open minded surrounding you, we grow close and have meaningful friendships because of it. We help each other and accept each other because of it, too. We were able to open up our community to the whole campus during the summit, and by making the discussion of mental health visible and accessible, we shed light on the topic. I believe that there are students out there who made strides to talk to someone about their feelings, and we made people unashamed to ask for help. That is why we need events like this: so people don’t feel so alone. We stay silent out of fear of being rejected and ostracized, but when people get up on stage and draw attention to their survival and their strength it shows the rest of us what is possible.

By NVC Student Diane Goguen

Note: 
Psi Beta National Honor Society awarded the NVC chapter the 2016-17 Community Service Award for its Mental Health Summit last November at NVC. Read News Release Community Service Award 16-17.doc.

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NVC Male Students Learn About Discipline Thoughts

On May 6, nine Northwest Vista College students attended the 7th Annual Empowering Males to Build Opportunities for Developing Independence (EMBODI) conference at St. Philip’s College. The theme was: Disciplined Men with Disciplined Thoughts Taking Disciplined Actions.

The nine students who attended the conference came from NVC’s initiative to empower young men, called MSI for Male Success Initiative. The group has 28 members and started with only 10 at the beginning of the spring semester. NVC’s Daniel Johnson is the advisor of the group.

All of the nine attendees summited a scholarship essay and completed a minimum of six hours leadership training. Each of them received a $200 scholarship.

Daniel says, “Our guys stood out at the conference in several ways. Initially, by the way they looked. All of the guys, except two, were wearing MSI Polos and received several compliments from conference sponsors; and during the break-out sessions, our students asked and answered questions and participated in the discussions through-out the sessions.”

Norberto “Norbe” Salazar, who’s back at NVC working on an associate degree in Personal Fitness, said it was worth his Saturday to go to the conference.

“It was very informative from learning about leadership skills to being disciplined in order to get stuff done,” Norbe said. “I always thought of the word discipline as punishment, but the conference opened my eyes to see it differently.”

The attendees were:

  • Robert Medellin
  • Camron Bowman
  • Christopher Jones
  • Gustavo Salinas-Pinal
  • Jeffrey Long
  • Norberto Salazar
  • Troy Martinez
  • Alejandro Mendez
  • Robert Shaw

 

NVC Men

Design the 2018 NVC & FANs Fiesta Medal and Win a Scholarship

Northwest Vista College students are invited to submit designs for the 2018 official NVC and Friends of the Arts at NVC (FANs) Fiesta medal.

Designs should feature something reflecting the arts, NVC and should include the year. The Fiesta medal is an official project of the Friends of the Arts at NVC (FANs) and is the only approved Fiesta medal for NVC.

Prizes will be awarded to the top two finalists in the contest. The winner of the design contest will receive a $250 scholarship and be recognized as the designer of the 2018 medal. A $100 scholarship will be awarded to the student whose design is selected as the runner-up.

The deadline to enter the design contest is Monday, April 24, at 2 p.m. Designs must be submitted to Mimi Duvall in the Palmetto Center for the Arts, Room 118. Those interested in entering the contest may contact Dr. Duvall for additional information on the specifications for the design. She can be contacted at mduvall@alamo.edu. Members of the FANs Board of Directors will select the winning design.

The 2017 NVC and FANs Fiesta medal was designed by NVC student Pablo Frontaura and is currently available in the NVC Bookstore or can be ordered online at www.alamo.edu/NVC/FANstore.

Saving Money

NVC Psych Students Making Waves

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Northwest Vista College’s Psychology students are making waves across the city:

Gerona Nylander and Callie Roberts (NVC graduate and senior at OLLU) presented research titled “A Sexual Vocabulary Test: How Much Do We Really Know About Sex” lead by NVC Professor of Psychology Dr. Don Lucas and instructor of NVC Psychology Jen Fox at the 2nd Annual OLLU McNair Scholars and Student Research Symposium on April 20, 2017.

  • The research explored the knowledge of human sexuality by evaluating responses to 10 vocabulary words
  • Their research was previously presented at 2017 SWPA in San Antonio
  • Out of 40 presentations, the NVC alumni won 1stplace and $300 grand prize

Additionally, four NVC Psychology students, Kathleen Lozano, Patrice Gibson-Scott, Linda Rangel, and Alejandra De Leon represented Northwest Vista College in a friendly psychology jeopardy competition against UTSA psychology honor students earlier this month.

NVC Psychology instructor Jen Fox said the NVC students “gave them a run for their money.”

We were leading by 1,000 points at one point. However, we missed two of the Motivation and Emotion questions, which allowed UTSA to catch up with us. The final question worth 500 points was asked, and UTSA answered first, which gave them the win. The final score was 5,400 to 5,700.

“Our students were disappointed but extremely proud of how well they did, “said Jen. “I think that this is an excellent testament to how well our psych faculty are doing and the amazing students that we are blessed to forge relationships with.”

Mental Health Students