NVC Alumni and Friends Update - Vol. 4, Issue 2
Hello NVC Alumni and Friends,
The word ‘Vista’ translates into a remarkable view, sight or vision. Looking out upon the graduating class of 2015, at the Northwest Vista College Commencement Ceremony, I saw the visions of over 600 new NVC Alumni become a reality.
There were individuals such as Michelle Blas, who survived a near fatal car accident caused by a drunk driver and found the motivation in her daughter to complete a degree.
There’s Gustavo Villa Jr., who diagnosed since birth with Cerebral Palsy, advanced his goal to become a teacher.
Mervat Kamel, who emigrated from Egypt to become a college graduate, has now realized that goal.
Ryan Rodriguez, a veteran wounded in Iraq and a father of four, found support through the Wounded Warrior TRACK program at NVC. In addition to earning his degree, his daughter now shares a similar vision and will be attending Northwest Vista this fall.
What continues to become clear is that the focus exhibited by every graduating class since 1998, exemplifies why employers, colleges and universities hold NVC graduates in the highest regard.
I recently received such an accolade in a letter from the President of Texas State University, Dr. Denise M. Trauth, regarding Megan Felicia Veltri, a 2012 NVC graduate and recipient of the distinguished Sally Beretta Outstanding Senior Woman award at Texas State.
“Megan is a wonderful example of how students who begin their college education at your institution successfully graduate from Texas State University,” she wrote. Dr. Trauth also reaffirmed that Megan’s accomplishments are a testament to the importance of creating a smooth pathway from community colleges to universities.
My thanks to Dr. Trauth for her correspondence and my sincerest congratulations to Megan Veltri.
Clearly, the Vista vision that NVC Alumni carry continues to leave a lasting impression on everyone you meet.
Dr. Ric Baser
Third Annual Graduation Fundraiser Builds Alumni Scholarship
This year, NVC Alumni and Friends raised $405 selling carnations at the 2015 commencement ceremony.
NVC student Kristina Mahler (pictured), volunteered for the evening to help with sales. Kristina is studying pre-med at NVC. Her brother Julien Mahler, is a Vista graduate who continues to be an active volunteer on campus. All proceeds go towards the NVC Alumni Scholarship fund.
Business Leader and Community College Grad Gives Commencement Speech
Rosantina Aranda (pictured), vice president and business banker with Frost Bank, delivered an inspiring and heart-felt speech to the graduating class of 2015.
“You are now graduates of a really amazing college,” she said.
A graduate of Palo Alto College, who went on to earn her Bachelor’s in Accounting from the University of Texas at San Antonio, Rosantina said she was shocked, excited and honored when asked to be a part of NVC’s graduation ceremony.
“I have no doubt that as a graduate of Northwest Vista College, each one of you are ready to take on the world,” she said. Rosantina added that she would have never imagined herself standing there that evening when she graduated with her associate degree in 1995.
“Standing here today definitely shows that anything is possible in life, no matter where you come from or how you get started.”
Rosantina Aranda is a founding Board member and Chair of the NVC Business Council. She continues to be a staunch supporter of both education and Northwest Vista College.
NVC Business Council Launches New Webpage
The Northwest Vista College Business Council, whose mission is to create opportunities for success at NVC through collaboration, partnerships, mentorship, marketing and financial support, recently launched a new webpage. Visitors to the site can view a description of member benefits and download the membership application.
Recently, members of the Business Council participated in a new mentorship program designed to connect students with business leaders to learn from their experiences. NVC President, Dr. Ric Baser, said that Rosantina Aranda, vice president and business banker with Frost Bank, and NVC instructor Jenny Martin, shared how they helped students develop more in-depth networking skills and learn how to participate in mock interviews for a job.
If you are interested in learning more about the Northwest Vista College Business Council and their activities, visit alamo.edu/nvc/businesscouncil.
FANs Memberships for Graduating Class
This year, the Northwest Vista College Friends of the Arts (FANs) organization gave each member of the 2015 graduating class a free one-year membership in honor of their graduation. FANs is a community-based organization which supports the fine and performing arts at NVC. The complimentary membership is valued at $25. To find out more about the NVC Friends of the Arts, visit alamo.edu/nvc/academics/pca/fans.
Alumni Tip: You Can Use the Library
Remember that Northwest Vista College Alumni and Friends can check-out books, DVDs and other multimedia from the NVC Library. For information on activating your privileges, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 210-486-4513.
To see new arrivals available for check out visit the NVC Library New Titles page.
Juried Student Art Exhibit Now Open
Now through August 30, Northwest Vista College will be showcasing student art work in the Palmetto Center for the Arts Lobby. This exhibition was curated by Rachael M. Bower and selected by a jury of NVC Fine Arts faculty. Viewing hours are Monday through Saturday, 7 AM through 9 PM. For information, email NVC-Palmettoevents@alamo.edu or call 210-486-4527.
Meet: Sarah Senger, Class of 2015
“Having an associate degree distinguishes me from other transfer students by turning my credit hours into a symbol of my commitment and motivation.”
Sarah Senger is a Pre-Nursing major at Northwest Vista College who graduated this spring. Her path to graduation began as a dual credit student who completed high school with 25 hours of college coursework.
Dedicated to her beliefs of helping others, Sarah was a volunteer at Methodist Hospital in San Antonio. She now works at the hospital part time and says the experience from volunteering helped her choose a career in healthcare.
Sarah plans to attend the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). “I am interested in ICU (Intensive Care Unit) nursing and would like to work in cardiac or surgical ICU because I find those specialties challenging and interesting,” she said.
So why is earning an associate degree important to Sarah?
“It symbolizes my character and my willingness to sacrifice short-term pleasures to meet my long-term goals,” she said. “Having an associate degree distinguishes me from other transfer students by turning my credit hours into a symbol of my commitment and motivation.”
She explained that both the teachers and learning resources at NVC have helped her not only academically, but also personally and professionally.
“The learning environment on campus is one of the most prominent reasons why I have enjoyed my time here,” she said. “Students are encouraged to understand the material rather than just memorize it.”
She went on to explain why finding the right balance in life is key for her.
“I have learned the importance of prioritizing my time,” she said. “NVC has challenged how I view myself and showed me I was capable of more than I was previously giving myself credit for.”
Sarah’s advice for incoming students is for them to use the time here at NVC to develop good study habits.
“Identify your personal strengths and weaknesses and use that evaluation to further develop yourself,” she said.
Her favorite “Vista Touchstone” is synergy.
“My experience at NVC has shown me how important it is to be able to work with other people both in the academic and work setting,” Sarah added.
Sarah has been a recipient of the T-STEM and Allied Health Scholarship, the Nancy Smith Hurd Scholarship and was a finalist in the Why A Degree at NVC Essay contest.
Alumni Profile: Trevor Chauvin, Class of 2014
“Be different, be bold and be daring. If you’re scared, it means you’re doing something right.”
Trevor Chauvin is an accomplished stage actor, director and graduate of Northwest Vista College. Devoting his life to the theatre, he said NVC helped him find the focus and purpose to show him his path.
“I was involved in a beautiful production of ‘Cabaret’ a couple of years ago,” he shared. “That show changed my life and pulled things out of me I didn’t know I could give.”
Trevor said the NVC faculty and the Palmetto Center for the Arts theater and its amenities provide students with a “truly incredible experience.”
“The Arts programs at NVC surprised me,” he said. “People such as Tim Hedgepeth (NVC faculty) have served as mentors who provided the guidance and inspiration to help me succeed. “
Now as a graduate of Northwest Vista, Trevor has stepped into the role of becoming an advocate for the arts.
In addition to performing in theatre productions across San Antonio, he recently accepted an invitation to sit on the board of directors for the Friends of the Arts at NVC (FANs) arts organization.
Trevor was previously a student representative on the board for two semesters and says he is proud to now represent The Playhouse San Antonio.
“I think it’s important for members of the artistic community in San Antonio to realize what is going on at Vista,” he said.
When asked what advice he has for current and future students, Trevor said they should find their passion and not let anyone tell them it is wrong.
“My degree from NVC has allowed me to work in a field of study I am passionate about,” he explained. “As Confucius said, ‘Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
Currently, Trevor is the Education and Outreach coordinator at the Playhouse San Antonio. He plans to pursue his bachelor’s degree at the University of the Incarnate Word, which he says will allow him to continue following his path of teaching theatre.
Trevor can be seen performing in stage productions throughout San Antonio.
Caring for Our Campus
- Battery recycle boxes are at Manzanillo, Redbud, the TLF office in Mountain Laurel Hall and the Facilities office in the Mexican Persimmon building.
- By using the water bottle refilling stations over the last two years, NVC has helped to eliminate 54,548 disposable plastic bottles. The stations are at Huisache, Manzanillo and the Cypress Campus Center.
- NVC's thermal storage unit produces and stores cold water for campus air conditioning at night when electricity is cheaper. By using the stored cooling in the heat of the day, this helps to reduce the college's energy bills and the strain on the electrical grid.
- The NVC parking garage solar panels collect enough energy to maintain the lighting in the garage without have to rely on CPS Energy.
- If the 3.5-acre lake every needed to be filled manually, it can be filled with recycled water from the San Antonio Water System.
- Lago Vista Lake holds 4-million gallons of water and is used to irrigate our grounds and flower beds.
- The numerous fish in the lake only eat plants, which help prevent plant life from getting out of control.
- The NVC Facilities team has replaced every 32-watt indoor fluorescent lamp (total 3,000) to 28-watts; and replaced outdoor 400-watt lamps (over 300 fixtures) with 127-watt LED lamps.
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