News & Notes

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VC_news_notesEmerging Technology Complex’s Industrial Training Center opens in January

Victoria College’s Emerging Technology Complex is on time and on budget, according to VC President Dr. Tom Butler.

The complex’s Industrial Training Center, which opens in January, includes six high bay training facilities with plenty of room for equipment. Six associated classrooms on the second floor overlook each of the high bays. Machining, industrial maintenance mechanic, and oil and gas technology are some of the new degree programs to be offered there, in addition to warehousing, safety training, and training for employees of the Caterpillar North American Hydraulic Excavator facility.

Around mid-March, the Conference & Education Center will be complete and ready for use in the summer. The structure will have ample rental space, including a large meeting room that can seat 400 people at round tables and as many as 800 people with auditorium-style seating. It will also be equipped with state-of-the-art technology, including large video presentation monitors.

The building’s second floor will feature more meeting and conference rooms. Computer labs, classrooms, and office spaces will be located on the third floor.

Nuns bring good habits to VC Adult Education Center ESL class

P09_VC_News and Notes_ESL for nuns

Seated from left are: students Sister Guadalupe Guillen, Sister Raibella Becerril, and Sister Josefina Maldonado. Standing from left are: Instructor Pearce Barnum, student Martin Li, and Adult Education Lead Instructor Debbie Janysek.

Victoria College’s Adult Education Center’s English as a Second Language course teaches a variety of students. While all of these students want to learn how to read, write, and speak English, one particular group stands out for their good habits.

They have good study habits.

They have a habit of being on time and ready to learn.

And, they wear their habits to class.

These students are sisters of the Missionary Catechists of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Mary, and they have been taking ESL classes while working and living in Victoria. Most of the nuns come from New Jersey, California, and Arizona. A large number of them are originally from Mexico and came to the U.S. to serve in different parishes.

The free three-week class met 3-4 days a week in July and was structured strictly for the sisters for the first two years. Last summer, the course was opened to secular students who now take the ESL class alongside the nuns.

“Those (secular) students really benefitted from being there with the nuns,” recalled Debbie Janysek, Adult Education Center Lead Instructor. “They are very helpful. We had a Spanish-speaking man who knew no English. The sisters mothered and helped him, and he really did well.”

VC, Victoria ISD Foundations partner to create new dual credit student scholarship

Dual credit students from Victoria ISD taking classes at Victoria College can now apply for a new scholarship to assist them in their educational goals. The scholarship became available in Fall 2014.
The VC Foundation has allocated $10,000 to match $10,000 from the VISD Education Foundation to provide financial assistance to high school students taking classes at Victoria College.

“We’re really excited about this partnership,” said Amy Mundy, Victoria College Foundation Executive Director. “We’re hoping these scholarships will help students attain their educational goals a little quicker than they would have beforehand.”

The dual credit program gives students a chance to earn college credits towards their certifications or degrees while still attending high school.

The scholarships can be used for any dual credit class, including courses such as Firefighting, Process Technology, Instrumentation, and Nurse Aide.

Facial reconstruction exhibit allows museum visitors to come face-to-face with an early French colonist

P09_VC_News and Notes_Marquis de SablonniéreAt Victoria College’s Museum of the Coastal Bend, a visage from the past now stands watch over the seven French cannons found at an early French colony in Texas.

That visage is a reconstructed face believed to be that of the Marquis de Sablonniére, a lieutenant in René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle’s Texas expedition in the 1680s. Sablonniére and other colonists were killed by the native Karankawas in late 1688 while at Fort St. Louis, along Garcitas Creek, and later buried by the Spanish. His remains and other artifacts were discovered in Victoria County and excavated in the early 2000s by the Texas Historical Commission.

“People who have seen Sablonniére’s facial reconstruction have been taken aback and stopped short because it is so very human; it’s looking them in the face,” said Museum Curator Eric Ray.

The facial reconstruction process, performed by forensic sculptor Amanda Danning, took six months. The facial sculpture has been installed at the museum as part of the permanent exhibit, “Where Texas History Began.” The museum’s purpose is to collect, preserve, exhibit, interpret, and educate using the history and heritage of the region. Admission to the museum is pay-what-you-want.

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