Northwest Vista Singers Snag Wins at South Texas Competition

National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) South Texas Chapter Spring Audition was very successful for Northwest Vista College on April 6 at Del Mar College in Corpus Christi.

Ten singers from Northwest Vista College competed against singers from colleges and universities in our chapter. NVC was recognized with four finalists and one semi-finalist:

  • Hector Tobar and Luis Gonzalez in Second Year College Men (Classical Division)
  • Lorena Del Angel and Ana Delaney in Upper College Musical Theater Women, and
  • Natalia Jasso in First Year College Women (Classical Division) as a semi-finalist.

NVC Instructor Dr. Minkyung Lee said “I am very thrilled to share this wonderful news with Northwest Vista College, and it’s such a great honor to be recognized myself as a teacher for these outstanding singers. I am so proud of all their hard work and amazing attitudes to support each other and special bonding to be proud of singers who represented Northwest Vista College.”Congratulations to all winners and participants:

  • Luis Gonzalez – 1st Place in Second Year College Men (Classical Division)
  • Ana Delaney – 1st Place in Upper College Musical Theater Women
  • Hector Tobar – 3rd Place in Second Year College Men (Classical Division)
  • Lorena Del Angel – 3rd Place in Upper College Musical Theater Women
  • Natalia Jasso – Semi-finalist in First Year College Women (Classical Division)
  • Serena Hernandez, Thalia Moreno, Kristin DeGennaro, Ashley Rodriguez, Elizabeth Potts were also recognized with high scores and only a few points away from being semi-finalists.
Dr. Lee added that “this incredibly fine day of singing couldn’t have happen without the following supporters: Special thanks to our amazing pianist, Bogum Park from the University of Texas at Austin for her fabulous performance on the piano to add artistic touchups for beautiful performances with the NVC singers. Also, we are very thankful to NVC Music Coordinator, Daniel Smith and Chair of FAPK, Karla Ellis, for a great deal of support and encouragement during this audition preparation.

NVC Psychology Students Present Original Research in New Mexico

More than a dozen current and former Northwest Vista College psychology students, along with NVC psychology faculty, Anna-Marie Evans, Jen Fox, and Don Lucas attended the annual meeting of the Southwestern Psychological Association (SWPA) from April 5-7 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Established in 1953, SWPA represents American Psychological Association members living in Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas. SWPA promotes and strengthens psychology’s scientific, professional and educational facets.

In addition to attending workshops, invited talks, research symposia, poster sessions, and research paper sessions — several students presented their original research to standing-room-only audiences!

Kiana Kelley, Diane Goguen, Tailar Matthews, and Kristelle Cefre presented their research titled, “Dispelling Sexual Myths with Higher and Virtual Education.”

Areayla Jeanpierre, Valerie Ortiz, and Marin McDaniel presented their research titled, “What is Your Sex IQ?”

Maimoona Palwala, Chris Lowell, and Kristina Martinez presented their research titled, “Sexual Language is implicitly More Offensive to Females than Males.”

Ethan Berry, Christian Salazar, Jacqueline Tucker, and Jacqueline Dominguez presented their research titled, “Does Childhood Adversity Affect Overall Well-Being?”

Summaries of their research can be found at:

https://www.xcdsystem.com/swpsych/program/hZV1oUP/index.cfm

Additionally, during the SWPA award ceremonies, Ethan Berry received national recognition from the American Psychological Association and was awarded for his services in the Northwest Vista College chapter of Psi Beta.

Several students have on-going research projects they plan to present at next year’s annual meet of the SWPA, which will be in Frisco, Texas.

 

Living on the Road and Studying

I decided to take online classes since I am constantly on the move. You see, my husband and I decided to travel cross country via RV once our youngest daughter got into college. Once we moved her into her dorm, we packed up and put the house up for sale.

We are now full timers in our RV. I am enjoying all of the sightseeing. However, with us being on the road it is impossible for me to find temporary employment or attend classes on campus. My professional background is in the medical field. Since these positions aren’t easy to get into, especially for short term, I decided to look into something else.

There are many job opportunities that you can do online but there are many scams as well. I have come across many people that work online doing virtual assistant, blogging, social media management, websites, data entry, and much more. Unfortunately, these are areas I’m not too familiar with so my only option was to look into a degree plan that would allow me to study while on the road to be able to achieve a career with my current lifestyle.

This is my second semester taking all online classes. It can be very stressful and challenging at times. Living on the road in the RV, you have to make certain that you have good internet service, but prepared to hit a lot of dead spots. You definitely need to have a time management plan. Believe me, it is very easy to fall off track. This is something you have to train yourself on and stick to it.

Make it a habit to check on announcements, emails, and assignments daily. It was always my belief that all assignments were due on Sundays by midnight but that is not that case. Checking these sites daily will help you stay on top of your courses throughout the semester.

Also, if you have any questions or simply need clarification on assignments, you should contact your professor as soon as possible. They are there to help you, you just need to reach out.

By NVC Student Connie Miller

 

Studying Tips and Living Away from Home

I have been attending college for about two years, and this is my first semester that I am taking courses for my degree. In the beginning of my college career, core classes were very easy to me. I could easily finish assignments and get good grades, which I though would be impossible with me living out of the house and having to work full time.

Now that I am starting to take courses for my degree, there is a noticeably different difficulty level to them. With a higher difficulty there is more time consumption attached, which is kind of hard due to the limited time I already have. But over these two years of living out of the house and attending college, I have picked up a few tips and tricks. When I first moved out, my roommate always had people over and I had too many distractions while trying to complete my homework and projects. I found that my room was a great quite and safe space from all of the distractions happening on the outside. Another thing I learned quickly was that finishing my school work first was more important than hanging out and working, this led to me finishing my work early in the week so I had more free time throughout the rest of the week. Putting your school work as your top priority really helps out in the long run so you do not have to rush in the end.

Learning to study was also another great trick I figured out. Previously in grade school, I never studied for anything, I just went with the punches. Studying became important when I entered college because I knew that I wanted to keep a good GPA. Unlike high school, I found that studying, even though it may be boring, really helped out in the long run. Studying kept the stress off while taking a test, and even made class work easier at times. There are a lot of tricks and tips to learn in college, and I hope these few help.

By NVC Student Ethan Wise

Congrats to NVC’s National Society of Leadership & Success

Northwest Vista College’s chapter of the National Society of Leadership & Success earned the prestigious Founder’s List Award, as well as the President’s Volunteer Service Award – Gold Level.

The Founder’s List is one of the highest honors of NSLS’s Pillar Program. This is reserved for chapters who successfully complete eight of 10 pillars in the administration of their chapters. The National Office developed the program to help set each chapter up for long-term success. The NSLS is the nation’s largest leadership honor society. With 648 chapters, the organization currently has 876,911 members nationwide, and many of its members say being in NSLS impacted their likelihood of landing their desired future job.

The President’s Volunteer Service Award is the premier volunteer awards program. It encourages citizens to live a life of service through presidential gratitude and national recognition. The NVC Chapter earned the Gold Level Award for members contributing over 1,000 hours of community service.

To learn more about NVC organizations, go here: www.alamo.edu/nvc/experience-nvc/campus-life/student-life/

 

NSLS Volunteering

 

Follow Your Passion to a Degree

College can be intimidating no matter how old you are. I tried attending school twice before and life just got in the way. Now, I am 26 years old with school age kids, working full-time and planning a wedding. I decided to go back to school in December of 2017, because after two failed attempts at school, I finally know what I want to be when I grow up!

I listened to other people on what I should get my degree in. You can never go wrong with a business degree, they said. I didn’t actually stop to think about what I was interested in or passionate about. Just what would make me the most money, or land me a job. So, I tried pursuing my degree in Business Management with the intent to transfer to a university. I had amazing professors, but I just was not interested in the classes so I fell behind.

After talking to many friends, family, colleagues and by passers, it seems that this is more common than I thought. So many of us get caught up in the money we can possibly make in the future, rather than what will make us happy. I’ve realized that if you love something, whether it be art, fitness, literature or whatever, there is always a way to make money off of your passions. This is why I’m now choosing to pursue an associates degree in Digital Media at Northwest Vista. I would never have guessed that my hobby of playing on Adobe Photoshop would be able to make me money one day. The classes feel like a breeze because I’m engaged with the material, rather than another boring class I have no interest in.

For those of you just starting out, or maybe you are considering school again, I would suggest to make sure you are truly pursuing your passions. One degree might not sound as important as another, but they all matter.

By NVC student Viviana Smith

NVC Graduate Gets Ready for International CrossFit Games

NVC Graduate Goes to CrossFit Games
L to R: Jessica Aelvoet, Casey Viator, Gio Contreras, Joceline Marie Gonzales

On most days of the week, you can find Northwest Vista College graduate Giovanni “Gio” Contreras coaching classes at LoneStar CrossFit in San Antonio – motivating students to get through a tough workout, do a few more pushups, keep their back straight when doing squats or giving advice about nutrition.

Between coaching, finishing up his master’s degree in accounting from UTSA, and waiting on the birth of his first son, Gio and a team of three other people train for several hours a day with the goal of grabbing the top spot in the team division from the international CrossFit games in early August.

The LoneStar team was the only team that qualified from San Antonio to compete at the Reebok CrossFit Regionals recently. They snagged the coveted fourth spot out of five in order to get to the international competition in Madison, Wisconsin. Just 40 teams from all over the world will vie for the No. 1 spot. In addition to Gio, the LoneStar team consists of Jessica Aelvoet, Casey Viator and Joceline Marie Gonzales.

“I knew I would get here eventually. It has been one of my goals since I discovered CrossFit in 2013,” Contreras said, who’s also a U.S. Marine reservist and got hooked on the sport when he was stationed in Afghanistan in 2013.

NVC Graduate Goes to CrossFit Games

He’s accomplished this in just five years though it has come with a lot of determination after bouncing back from knee surgery, while also pursuing a higher education. Gio first attempted college in 2008, but didn’t take it seriously and joined the military. He chose to come back to Vista because of small class sizes and the campus environment. In 2015, he earned an associate degree in accounting.

It also helps that NVC is only four miles from LoneStar CrossFit, which attracts a lot students, faculty and staff to the facility. In 2016, Contreras qualified as an individual competitor to go to the CrossFit Regionals. He repeated this feat again this year, however, he said it’s much more fun to compete as a team.

When Gio and his teammates head to Madison, he will not only have his LoneStar family cheering him on, but much of the San Antonio CrossFit community and his fellow Wildcats at Northwest Vista College.

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!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Finding a Purpose Helping Veterans

Just 10 days after graduating from high school, Albert “Bert” Jimenez was in a grueling U.S. Marines boot camp in San Diego. Three weeks after that, he found himself in Iraq at the age of 18.

Four years later and two deployments to Iraq, Bert left the Marines with a heavy toll. PTSD and the trauma of seeing close friends die in a war zone impacted his mental and physical health. He didn’t know how to pick up his life after the Marines and turned to heavy drinking.

While all the mental demons are not totally gone, Bert has found a new life through exercise, attending Northwest Vista College, and slowly dropping about 115 pounds. This past fall, Bert completed the Boston Marathon with a group of other veterans and is also on course to earn his associate degree from NVC after this summer.

He said Vista was his first shot at college and he wasn’t sure if he could handle it.

“For me, it’s still kind of scary because I don’t do too well with crowds, but college has helped me to be a better person and get me out of my comfort zone,” Bert said.

Now, he wants to help other veterans through psychology. He has been accepted to UTSA this fall and he hopes to get a bachelor’s and master’s degree to work in a clinical setting to counsel veterans.

He says often times it’s hard to relate to psychologists or counselors because while they may be book smart, they don’t have that experience of watching a friend die in a foreign country or the aftermath that veterans face after being deployed multiple times. He believes he can bring that missing element to help counsel veterans.

In fact, Bert is getting his psychology field experience now through the San Antonio chapter of 22 Until None, which has the mission of ending suicide among veterans. The group’s website says 8,030 veterans commit suicide a year; and after military service, the chances of veterans committing suicide goes up 200 percent. Even worse, 1 in 5 suicide deaths are veterans, according to the site.

Bert says it’s not uncommon for him to get phone calls from veterans daily or even at 3 am because a former soldier needs help in order to make it to the next day.

Along with 22 Until None, Bert is also a fitness coach with Rise Above Hardship, which is a local nonprofit started by fellow NVC student Jose Luis Sanchez. R.A.H’s mission is to help veterans and the community through fitness. Bert can be found motivating others to do squats, run or do pushups Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at local parks around the city. Many of the people who go to R.A.H. classes are veterans with missing limbs, wives of veterans or just regular community members who need a coach’s motivation to push through a tough workout.

In the meantime while Bert is finishing up classes at NVC, he will be training to do his first triathlon in San Marcos this summer and will head to Washington, D.C. to participate in the Marine Corps Marathon in October.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.