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.

Amarillo College awarded participation in $16 million Pathways grant

Based on outstanding accomplishments and dedication to student success, Amarillo College has been selected to participate in Talent Strong Texas Pathways.

The $16 million 5-year statewide economic mobility grant administered by the Texas Success Center is designed to increase the number of credentialed Texans prepared for high-demand careers that offer a living wage.

Amarillo National Bank contributes $3.7 million to College’s Badger Bold campaign

Amarillo College is pleased to announce that it is once again the recipient of a magnanimous gift from its most consistent benefactor, Amarillo National Bank (ANB), which today presented the College with $2.5 million.

Today’s gift significantly boosts ANB’s contributions to the College’s $45 million Badger Bold comprehensive campaign, which was publicly launched in September of 2022 behind ANB’s “lead gift” of $1.2 million.

AC captures nine prestigious national advertising awards

Amarillo College is pleased to announce that its Communications and Marketing Department has received nine prestigious accolades, including six of Gold and three of Silver, in the 38th Annual Education Advertising Awards.

AC captured Gold Awards for a variety of initiatives, from its Relaunch of Badger Athletics to its efforts in support of AC’s comprehensive campaign, Badger Bold.

Amarillo College Scholars to explore South Africa during Spring Break

A visit to the prison on Robben Island where Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years behind bars – with some of his former cell mates serving as tour guides – awaits Amarillo College Presidential Scholars who will travel to South Africa over Spring Break.

“I can’t wait for the first-person perspectives of the tour guides,” AC freshman Leah Aviles, an international business major, said. “How amazing is it that we’ll get to hear the insights of people who spent time with and actually knew such an influential and inspiring person?”

AC students to present mosquito research at national conference

Two Amarillo College students who collaborated last summer with the City of Amarillo to discern if locally captured mosquitoes carried harmful diseases are poised to present the details of their study at a national conference.

Marcus Baber-Newton and Dustan Francis will attend the 89th annual meeting of the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) Feb. 27-March 3 in Reno, Nev., where they will participate in the general poster competition.

AC theatre presents Shakespearean comedy in a New York City setting

It will be Shakespeare with a twist when the Amarillo College Theatre Arts Program presents The Merry Wives of SoHo, a comedy relocated – just for AC audiences – from Elizabethan England to a trendy New York City neighborhood.

“I chose to place our version of The Merry Wives of Windsor in America,” Monty Downs, instructor of theatre and the show’s director, said. “Shakespeare’s story is still the focus, but very little of the language is iambic parameter. Rather, it’s set in a modern place and time and intentionally has a Real Housewives feel.

'Intelligent' group ranks AC best community college in Texas for 2023

Amarillo College (AC) is the very best community college in Texas, bar none, according to, a trusted resource for program rankings and higher education planning., which provides unbiased research to help students make informed decisions about higher education programs, has placed AC in the No. 1 spot on its list of the “Best Community Colleges in Texas” in 2023.

AC selects veteran coach Scott Sandel to spearhead Badger volleyball

Amarillo College has a new head women’s volleyball coach who likely needs no introduction to enthusiasts of the sport, and not just those residing in the Texas Panhandle; Scott Sandel has helped produce winning teams from coast to coast.

In a career spanning 35 years, Sandel has assembled an impressive résumé that reflects his coaching prowess at the club, high school, and collegiate levels and conspicuously includes 10 NCAA post-season appearances.

Engineering Week features visiting professionals, transfer and job fairs

Engineers from industry partners like Sandia National Laboratories, Xcel Energy, Pantex, BP, and the U.S. military will share their stories of academic and professional success during Amarillo College’s observance of Engineering Week.

The National Society of Professional Engineers celebrates Engineering Week each year in February, and this year’s theme is Changing the Future. In conjunction with that, AC will conduct its related events Feb. 21-23.

AC Foundation adds development officer, inaugural alumni coordinator

The Amarillo College Foundation is pleased to introduce a pair of newcomers who recently joined its dedicated staff – a development officer whose focus will be on the Liberal Arts Learning Community, and the first Alumni Coordinator in AC’s history.

Alumni Coordinator Katelynn Kenyon is a 2022 graduate of West Texas A&M University where she earned a bachelor of science degree in agricultural and media communication. A native of House, N.M., she served recently as a director of WTAMU’s new-student orientation program, Buff Branding.

Panhandle Oilmen’s Foundation presents AC with a $10,000 gift

For the third year in succession, Amarillo College is the recipient of a generous gift from the Panhandle Oilmen’s Foundation, which in 2021 established a scholarship at AC to support industrial technology majors.

The three co-founders of the non-profit Panhandle Oilmen’s Foundation – Jeff Moore, Kim Britten and Rick Johnson – presented a gift of $10,000 to the AC Foundation on Feb. 3.

Class Act: Rochelle Fouts loves next generation of teachers to success

Rochelle Fouts, instructor of education at Amarillo College, stresses to her students – future educators – that they will one day be charged with ensuring that the schools where they work have maximum appeal for students of their own.

“My job is to help aspiring teachers understand it is their job, their passion, to make students want to come to school,” said Fouts, who also serves as the Education Department’s faculty program coordinator. “You have to meet students where they are and show them where they can be, encourage them to go further.

Southern Light Gallery to feature Christopher Hudson’s Crop Circles

Dr. Chris Hudson has long been drawn to the boundless crop circles that airline passengers cannot help but see blanketing the Great Plains, so much so in fact that he has drawn them – painted them, too.

But it was not until Hudson, an assistant professor of English at Amarillo College, began downloading and digitally embellishing images of crop circles that his handiwork proved truly satisfying.

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