Former Collin College student Jake Nelson never thought The Juilliard School was in his future. The process took diligence, Collin College scholarships and a village of professors. Today, Nelson is the proud recipient of a full scholarship from Juilliard, and he is honing his operatic skills with Juilliard masters and doctoral students.

Richard Alexander, of Plano, joined 40 community and junior college students from across the nation for three days October at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., as part of the National Community College Aerospace Scholars (NCAS) project. Aside from learning about careers in science and engineering, Alexander’s adventure at the space center included forming a team and establishing a fictional company interested in Mars exploration. The company was responsible for developing a prototype rover, designing a line drawing of the rover and forming the company infrastructure including the budget, communications and presentations.

Denise Thatcher Collin’s CNSA President was elected to chair the Texas Council of Schools Presidents’ Committee and Kelli Jones was nominated to run for TNSA Vice President.

Collin College Board of Trustees member Stacy Anne Arias will have an Op Ed printed in the January 2013 issue of Trustee Quarterly. In this issue Trustee Arias discusses the importance of forging an alliance between students and trustees, students becoming active and engaged, and what board members bring to the table and can teach students.

Dr. Alicia Huppe, dean of enrollment and academic success momentum, has been named president of the Texas Association of College and University Student Personnel Administrators (TACUSPA). In the TACUSPA’s 87-year history, Dr. Huppe is the first president from a community college. TACUSPA membership represents more than 75 institutions of higher education in the state of Texas.

Associate Professor Cindy Briggs and her husband, Scott, received an Angels in Adoption honor from Congressman Sam Johnson for their contributions on behalf of children in need of homes.

Professor of Humanities Dallie Clark has been selected as presiding chair of the Community College Humanities Association (CCHA) Southwestern Division.

The October/November issue of Community College Journal includes the article “Gaining an edge in technical careers.” One section, The next killer app, features quotes from Ann Beheler, executive director of Emerging Technologies, about Collin College’s National Convergence Technology Center.

Professor and Director of Jazz Studies Kris Berg’s new CD, “This Time/Last Year” by Kris Berg & The Metroplexity Big Band is on the 55th Grammy Ballot in following four categories: “Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album;” “Best Instrumental Composition – This Time/Last Year by Kris Berg;” “Best Instrumental Arrangement” – Night Dreamer arranged by Kris Berg; and two solos were nominated in the “Best Improvised Jazz Solo.”  The Metroplexity Big Band has also been invited to perform at the Jazz Education Networks International Conference in January. The band will be the closing act on the Thursday night main stage concert and will be heard by thousands of jazz fans, musicians and educators.

R. Scott Yarbrough published the poem, “Buzzard Starts Fire: A Texas Newspaper Headline” in volume XXXVI, Spring issue of the Concho River Review.  Yarbrough’s poem entitled “Upon My Cousin’s Decision” is scheduled to appear in the Winter/Spring issue of The Fox Chase Review. Recent presentations for Yarbrough include the keynote address for the Texas Poet’s Association and an event featuring his poetry in Las Vegas at the Veteran Writers’ convention.

Visual and Performing Arts Professor Tiffanee Arnold has been appointed the National Board of Directors of the American College Dance Festival Association for the South‐Central region.  She will serve a three-year term that extends through June 2015.

English Professor Shirley McBride wasselectedto receive the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge National Awards Program – George Washington Honor Medal – for her work in educating the nation’s youth about the country’s rich heritage, principles and unique freedoms.

Pastry Arts Professor Michelle Brown participated in the IKA Culinary Olympics 2012 with the Epicurean World Master Chef Society. Brown’s team, one of 50 regional teams in the world and one of three for the United States, was awarded a bronze medal. Overall, 87 teams (national and regional) participated. Aside from Brown, there was a deep Collin College connection in this team, including Chef Michael Scott, Collin College’s first chef professor, of Northwood Club and Chef Gene Anthanasion, Collin College’s second culinary graduate, of Medical Cities.

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