June Jazz stages free outdoor concerts on Tuesday Nights at AC

Amarillo College is gearing up for the return of a favorite community tradition: Jim Laughlin June Jazz. The outdoor concert series, held on Tuesday nights in June, has been a staple of the community for nearly three decades.

This will be the 28th year for June Jazz, which commonly draws an audience of hundreds to the College and is named in honor of its founder and continuous organizer, Dr. Jim Laughlin, professor of music.

Dual graduations on the rise due to program launched at Highland Park

The Amarillo College dual-credit Diplomas & Degrees program has been changing the game for top-performing area high schoolers for a long time now, and it all began at Highland Park High School.

This marks the 14th year of Highland Park’s inclusion in the program that enables students to receive associate degrees from AC weeks in advance of attending their high school graduation, and Highland Park has 8 AC graduates this year.

AC commencement ceremonies set for 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. on May 12th

Amarillo College will conduct a pair of Spring commencement ceremonies on Friday, May 12 at the Amarillo Civic Center, where as many as 1,104 spring and summer 2023 graduates will be eligible to take part in the back-to-back rites of passage.

The first ceremony begins at 3 p.m. and will be a celebration of graduates from AC’s Health Sciences, Industry, and Public Service communities.

AC theatre presents Sondheim’s popular musical ‘Into the Woods’

Anyone familiar with Stephen Sondheim’s dark comedy “Into the Woods” knows that it can be a daunting musical to present, but with help from some like-minded friends, the Amarillo College Theatre Arts program is up to the challenge.

AC’s presentation of “Into the Woods” will feature a collaborative cast comprised pretty much equally of AC theatre majors, community members, and theatre students from West Texas A&M University.

Amarillo College shares Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 20, 2023 — In 2021, when the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program christened Amarillo College a Rising Star, it could only speculate that AC’s ascendancy would continue, that the Rising Star might one day eclipse the stratosphere.

There’s no question now that it has.

College will host 400 high school students for creative arts conference

Amarillo College and the Texas Panhandle Art Education Association proudly present IGNITE: High School Creative Arts Conference, which will draw more than 400 talented high school students to AC’s Washington Street Campus on Friday, April 21.

The event kicks off at 9 a.m. in Ordway Hall with a welcome and panel discussion led by writer and journalist Jason Boyett of Brick & Elm and Hey Amarillo, and featuring four successful creatives who will discuss “Creating Careers.”

Creative Mind Lecture Series features digital wellness expert Amy Blankson

The only individual to receive a Point of Light award from two sitting U.S. Presidents – Amy Blankson – will headline the 2023 installment of the Amarillo College Creative Mind Lecture Series, the theme for which is Digital Flourishing.

Blankson is CEO of the Digital Wellness Institute and the bestselling author of The Future of Happiness.

Aspen Prize will be awarded April 20 to best community college in nation

On Thursday, April 20, the Amarillo College (AC) community will turn its collective attention toward Washington D.C., for the Aspen Institute’s much-anticipated announcement of which community college is the nation’s very best.

AC is once again among the Top 10 finalists for the $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the nation’s signature recognition of America’s community colleges. It is awarded every two years.

AC Regent John Betancourt invited to moderate panel discussion in NYC

John Betancourt, a member of the Amarillo College Board of Regents, was pleased when his application was approved so that he may attend a NALEO Policy Institute conference during the last week of April in New York City.

NALEO, in which Betancourt holds membership, is the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, and the limited-capacity conference is titled “Economic Mobility: Building the Infrastructure of Opportunity for Latinos.”

High school students to compete in Top of Texas Contest & Expo at AC

High school students from throughout the Texas Panhandle are expected to converge on Amarillo College’s East Campus to showcase their work and compete for prizes at the Top of Texas Career & Technical Education Expo.

The event is Tuesday and Wednesday, April 25-26. The East Campus (view map) is located at 1401 J Ave.

Come be inspired by the best artwork of AC and WT in the Student/Faculty Exhibition

Each year AC and WT come together and showcase the best work by our students and faculty. It is such a fun party and the artwork on display is always amazing. Students learn about preparing work for exhibition and get their first taste of seeing their art on display in a museum. The reception is such a joyous occasion. Come be inspired.

Two AC students chosen to serve as SkillsUSA Texas Ambassadors

The Construction Technology Program at Amarillo College is pleased to announce that two of its high-achieving students have been selected to participate in the 2023 SkillsUSA Texas Ambassador Fellowship Program.

Additionally, those two students – Vania Esparza and Brandon Martinez Olvera – will be among a contingent of 30 AC students who will take part in the SkillsUSA state competition April 14-15 in Houston.

AC duo captures a national title at technology conference in Plano

Amarillo College teammates Andrew Gonzales and Daniel Guillen were unsurpassed in the Application Development competition at the United States Information Technology Collegiate Conference (USITCC) on April 1 in Plano.

The AC duo edged out the second- and third-place teams, both from Missouri State University, to capture a National Championship in their event.

Class Act: Jennifer Rabson relishes elements of both music & chemistry

There is more to Dr. Jennifer Rabson than meets the eye.

The assistant professor of chemistry at Amarillo College is not only a dedicated scientist, she is a versatile musician whose polished voice has long been integral to the Amarillo Master Chorale.

“She is a longtime alto in our group and a real joy to have,” said Dr. Nathan Fryml, AC’s director of choral activities and artistic director of the Amarillo Master Chorale. “She is greatly valued and bends over backwards to perform with us despite her very demanding academic schedule.”

Art Force Piano Series concludes with incomparable talents of John Bayless

Renowned pianist John Bayless, a product of Borger, Texas, who has performed in preeminent auditoriums worldwide, will put his incomparable talents on display in April at Amarillo College (AC) for a concert that is free and open to the public.

The concert is at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 11 in the Concert Hall Theater on the Washington Street Campus. It will be the fourth and final installment of AC’s 2022-2023 Art Force Piano Series.

Amarillo College Mass media students capture 27 awards at state convention

Amarillo College’s student media brought home 27 awards from the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association (TIPA) convention March 23-25 in Fort Worth.

TIPA is the oldest state collegiate journalism association in the nation. The group’s members include more than 60 Texas colleges and universities, two-year and four-year; private and public. Since its formation in 1909, TIPA has grown into one of the largest and most respected collegiate groups in the country.

Grant enables AC nursing to add night classes with a new learning model

Recently, nursing education far and wide has been shifting to a concept-based curriculum (CBC), and thanks to a grant from the Harrington Cancer and Health Foundation, Amarillo College has remained at the forefront of that big change.

AC received a $250,000 Harrington grant late in 2021 to help expand capacity in the Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) program through the addition of a never-before-offered night-classes component that prioritizes the new CBC approach.

Cisco Networking Academy names Chris George Expert Level Instructor

Amarillo College is pleased to announce that Chris George, instructor of computer information systems and cybersecurity at Amarillo College, has received the Instructor Excellence Award from the Cisco Networking Academy.

The award recognizes George as an “Expert Level Instructor” and for being ranked “among the top 10 percent of instructors globally in student feedback and performance.”

Texas Tech’s Aaron Hegert to exhibit digital composites at Amarillo College

Aaron Hegert used a branch of artificial intelligence called “deep learning” to create a series of images that compares the way people see photographs to the way algorithms see them.

Hegert, an assistant professor of photography at Texas Tech University, will display his images March 24 to May 4 at Amarillo College’s Southern Light Gallery in an exhibit he calls Shallow Learning.

AC’s Christie Martinez named Coca-Cola Academic Team Silver Scholar

Christie Martinez continues to reap the rewards of the academic excellence she demonstrated at Amarillo College, where, in addition to graduating in December 2022, she also served as student commencement speaker.

Martinez, an education major who graduated from AC with highest honors and plans to become an elementary school teacher, has been named a 2023 Coca-Cola Academic Team Silver Scholar and will receive a $1,250 scholarship.

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