College faculty and staff are taking part in several local leadership programs this fall and spring. Natalie Greenwell, Nichole Boone and Kandi Hoye-Nixon will take part in Consortium Leadership and Renewal Academy (CLARA) as part of the North Texas Community College Consortium. Wendy Gunderson will attend Leadership Frisco. Kari Kimbrough will participate in Leadership McKinney. Brian Lenhart will work with Leadership Allen-Fairview. Alan Pixley has signed on to Leadership Plano.

Jennifer O’Loughlin-Brooks presented “Opportunities Derived from Collaboration: An Overview” at the national Psi Beta meeting in August.  Her presentation looked at many of the programs and events put together by the Collin College Psi Beta organization, including the Dog Days of Finals event, Psi Beta’s “Building Bonds” conference, Honors/Psi Beta’s visit to Terrell State Hospital and an Austrian internship. Jennifer also was installed as the new national President-Elect for Psi Beta and will take on full presidential duties in August 2016. Psi Beta is an honor society for psychology at community and junior colleges. The Psi Beta meeting was held in conjunction with the American Psychological Association annual conference.

Honors Biology professors Dr. Bridgette Kirkpatrick and Dr. Rebecca Orr are participating in the PARE Project, a national research partnership with Yale University to help determine the prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the environment. Collin College faculty will engage their students and students from local high schools in testing local soil samples. The project is designed to provide valuable information about antibiotic resistance, while providing significant hands-on learning opportunities to undergraduate and high school students. Thank you to Drs. Orr and Kirkpatrick for pursuing this project, as well as Dean Leo Neal and Vice President Mary McRae for encouraging it.

The Spring Creek Campus Lab School passed its yearly inspection from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services with flying colors. There were no problems to report. The inspector was very impressed with the classrooms, the furniture and the program. Thank you to Lab School Director Barbara Batista, Assistant Director Ashley Reames, Dean Gary Hodge, Vice President Mary McRae and the lab school staff for continuing to provide a safe and instructive environment for young children.

Chris Grooms, professor of English, is featured on the cover of the 2015 issue of the Journal of the Welsh Folk Song Society. Chris wrote an article for the journal that compares and contrasts handwriting conventions with print in music from the 17th-19th century in England and Wales.

Collin College has been named one of the top community colleges in Texas by The website pointed to Collin’s affordability, as well as its weekend and evening programs, calling the college “a solid fit for working professionals who want to advance their educations.” The article also noted the Collin Higher Education Center’s partnerships with Texas universities, which allow students to pursue bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees without the need to relocate. See the full article at .

Collin College’s Purchasing Department received the 2015 Achievement of Excellence in Procurement Award for the 10th year in a row. The award honors organizations that demonstrate excellence in innovation, professionalism, productivity, e-procurement and leadership attributes of the procurement organization. The award is given by the National Purchasing Institute and is sponsored by the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing, the National Association of Educational Procurement, the Institute for Supply Management, as well as several other organizations. Congratulations to Purchasing Director Cindy White, Reporting Manager Cyndy Smith and the entire Purchasing Department for their work in achieving this recognition.

The Auteur Film Series for fall will begin with “Life is Beautiful,” at 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 10 at the Angelika Film Center in Plano. This year’s series will focus on religion, its depiction and role in cinema. The Auteur Film Series focuses on classic, foreign, and independent films, and features a panel discussion about the movie and its themes afterward.

Professor Tiffanee Arnold has been elected to a second three-year term on the National Board of Directors of the American College Dance Association representing the South-Central Region.  She is the first and only two-year institution faculty representative to serve on the board in this region. The American College Dance Association thrives as a primary support for the quality performance and choreography in higher education. Congratulations to Tiffanee.

The Collin Dance Ensemble attended Allen ISD Bolin Elementary School in May and performed four different lecture/demonstrations about dance. The programs were performed for about 600 students from kindergarten through sixth grade.  The dance programs included hands-on experiences for the elementary school children, discussions of the benefits of dancing, what it means to keep our bodies healthy and dance career opportunities.

Professor J.D. Isip, director of Collin’s Honors Institute, was accepted to present at the American Literature Association Symposium in New Orleans this September. The symposium theme is “The City and American Literature” and the presentation is titled, “Trigger City: Fanny Fern, Claudia Rankine, and the City in an Age of Microagressions and Trigger Warnings.”  Dr. Isip will also attend the National Collegiate Honors Council annual conference in Chicago, Ill. from Nov. 11-15.

Brian Lenhart, director of Weekend College, recently published the article “Get Hate Out of Your Classroom, Start by Not Saying It” in Edueto Magazine.

Collin Theatre Center’s summer production, “Sinatra” was its second-most attended show of this past season. Many of the patrons were first-time theatre attendees and the fine arts department raised more than $3,000 in donations to the Theatre Partners Fund and the Collin College Foundation.

Several former theatre students have been making waves on the screen and the stage. Scott Michael Foster stars on both “Chasing Life” and “Blood and Oil” (starting this fall). Michael Urie co-stars with Patti LuPone, on Broadway, in the Lincoln Center production of “Shows for Days.” Jason Ralph stars in the hit NBC series, “Aquarius.” Candace Patton stars in the TV series “The Flash” on the CW Network. Brian J. Smith stars on the Netflix series “Sense8.” And Diane Perotta is beginning her tenth season as a producer on “Dancing with the Stars.”