Pay-It-Forward-Fridays

Jinjer Holmes is a bright spot at the Admissions and Records counter at PRC.  She always has a smile on her face when assisting students and colleagues no matter how long the line is.  Many college-going processes can be overwhelming for students, but Jinjer kindly guides students to a better understanding.  She speaks to students in a very professional way and clearly explains to them what is required.


Today, the Collin Health Information Management Association (CHIMA) Student Organization showed their kindness for those in need!  The CHIMA members created “Thinking of You” greeting cards at their general meeting for patients in surrounding area nursing homes.  Many of the patients in nursing homes don’t have much contact and/or thoughtfulness from the outside community.  As the student advisor for CHIMA, I am pleased to announce the PIFF/Random Act of Kindness the CHIMA students have taken on today!


I received a call today from a student who told me it was his last semester at Collin College and he wanted to thank me and the library staff for helping him while he was a student here.  He said the service he received from the library staff was always “top notch,” that everyone “went out of their way” to help him, and that he felt our collection and our materials would rival even four year colleges.


An Art department faculty member had a class canceled the week before class. The faculty member had to teach a course he never taught before and had to prepare quickly. Two colleagues working on his campus, Rebecca Boatman and Theresa Traweek, gladly assisted the affected faculty member by meeting with him and providing examples of their course syllabus, assignments, tests, etc. Thank you, Rebecca and Theresa!


Yajaira “Yaya” Diaz, a part time academic advisor at SCC, is a remarkable asset to Collin College.  During one of our busiest times of the year she took time out of her short lunch break to assist a student who did not speak much English, patiently explaining the admissions process and the ESL testing procedure.  This doesn’t sound like much, perhaps, but during the crazy, busy week before classes begin, a lunch break is a precious thing indeed.  “Yaya”, as she is known, gave up half her time off in order to make sure the student understood what to do, going as far as showing the student how to begin an online application and explaining in detail the three parts of the ESL assessments.  The student started off almost in tears and by the time Yaya walked her through the steps she left beaming, eager to begin her journey into English as a Second Language classes.  Way to go, Yaya!


There is a young woman named Aniesha McClinton who very kindly waited to hold the door for me into the building and then again at the elevator at CHEC.  On the surface, this may not seem like a big deal, but I cannot walk very fast because of my bad knees.  She waited for me to catch up to the door and then later to the elevator, where most people would have gone on with their business.  She was very kind and considerate and I would like to let it be known.


It was two days before Christmas and my son who attends Collin College had a friend from high school call him and asked for a ride to the Samaritan Inn. He went and picked her up to find she had been abandoned by her father. Her Mother died several years before from cancer so she did not have anywhere to go. I did not have the heart to take her to the Samaritan Inn, so now she is living with my family. I brought her to work that next week and went to see Carolyn Jones at the Central Park Campus. We explained her situation and Carolyn immediately helped her, she found her a loan until her financial aid would come in. She was able to register, get her books and supplies. Carolyn worked very hard getting all her paperwork processed in three very short days. This young lady has had many doors shut in her face but our extended family at Collin College provided her a new path in life that she will never forget.  Thank You!!


I am a new full-time faculty member at SCC and from the day of my first visit to campus to interview for the job, to my arrival in Plano last June and every time I visit the Communications and Humanities Division office, the dean’s assistant Annie Garcia has been extraordinarily welcoming, warm, kind and exceptionally helpful.  Her demeanor is always both friendly and professional. She has been patient in the extreme and always has a ready smile.  She has gone out of her way to make me feel at home here.  She is an extraordinary gem and I am always grateful that she is here.  She has made SCC feel like home.  Thank you, Annie.


Tori Hoffman has been a long time Collin College employee and advisor with a heart for assisting students and understanding their unique situations.  I can think of no one else more deserving of recognition for her long service and commitment to the college, our core values, and our students.  Thank you for the opportunity to shine the light on a good staff member.

Below is an excerpt of a thank you letter acknowledging the support/help a student received from her.  Today was a very challenging day for me, but sitting with you really soothed some of the stress and disappointments that I faced.  I was scared of what the results were going to be of my credit transfers from another college, and even though they were not what I wanted to hear, it was what I needed to hear.  You were so patient with me and it didn’t go unnoticed.  You didn’t have to help as much as you did, and that didn’t go unrecognized.  Thank you so very much; I felt your empathy.


I asked for and was given your name as being the person to whom I would pass along a story of appreciation for an employee at Collin in the advising dept.  I applied to Collin College in 2012 and began my courses in the summer.  As you know, as part of that process, transcripts are reviewed.  I had three courses I took 36 years ago at Texas Tech which I felt should have been evaluated and accepted as part of my core.  Those classes were speech, math, and humanities.  Back in 2012, I disputed this assessment and was told my course would not satisfy the core.

I enrolled in math, humanities, and speech this Spring semester at Collin College.  I am almost core complete but still lack another science and history.  I met with Lisa Gibbs for the first time last week in the second week of classes for a different reason altogether.  In reviewing my Tech transcript, she saw the math and sophomore literature course and said to me that she wondered why they didn’t count them.  That raised the issue again for me and I contacted the registrar at Texas Tech.  I was able to get the course descriptions like Lisa told me to do, and I forwarded them to Lisa.

But what happened after that is what I want to address.

At that point, Lisa, the adviser, knowing how I desperately was needing to find out the outcome of the decision, really worked hard to get me answers quickly.  She took the ball and ran.  On her own initiative, she contacted Texas Tech again on my behalf and was able to talk to the Dean of the math department there.  She worked with him to determine that the course numbers changed from 1977 to 1982, and that is why Collin College did not automatically accept my older courses.  It took probing deeper, and knowing how to ask the right questions to be able to come up with this inconsistency.

I am writing you to tell you how much it meant to me that Lisa went above and beyond what everyone else had done to help me.  I really appreciate the efforts of Lisa and her actions put me six hours further in my pursuit of my associate degree.  I couldn’t be happier with the outcome of her efforts and I wanted to let you know my appreciation.  She could have just done like others have and said no, those won’t work.  But Lisa did not do that.  And I am so much better off as a result.


On Monday, I had a surprise visit from Lori Haberberger.  She baked fresh bread over the weekend and delivered half a loaf to me, along with some butter.  She had no idea I had a difficult weekend.  She just did it of her own accord.  Her generosity and thoughtfulness absolutely made my day.  She has always been a joy to work with.  Now that I am at a different campus, I’ve missed getting to see her.  It was a wonderful surprise.  Her actions definitely made (and make!) a difference!