Author Archives: Joanna

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Manager, Digital Marketing

Kinky Boots Costume Design (Student Blogger)


This post is written by Annabell Talavera, a spring student blogger and El Centro College Fashion Design student.

A couple of weeks ago, my classmates and I attended the musical Kinky Boots because last semester we were challenged to create a costume inspired by the show. My wonderful professor was able to work with the Dallas Music Hall and actually got our costumes on display for the entire run of the show!

Words can’t explain the excitement that I felt when I turned the corner and saw my costume — I could hear the angels sing! It is the first time any of my designs have been on display. At that moment, I knew that the sleepless nights my partner, Marla, and I endured were totally worth it. It was great for both of us to finally make something completely out of our box and to create a costume that is all about the sparkle!

The best part of the whole night was seeing all the attention our costumes received. Watching people who were amused by our creations, taking pictures, commenting on their favorites and taking the time to read our bios — it felt great! The musical had great performances and awesome costumes with extremely talented actors.

Afterwards, we were able to speak to some of the cast members. It was awesome hearing their back stories and what it’s like to perform for an award-winning musical. My mind was blown by the behind-the-scenes information they gave us, the detail in the costumes and the entire process costume designers go through to get everything fitted perfectly on every actor. The whole night was surreal, definitely one for the books — such a blessing!

Check out the costumes below. Marla and I designed the black and silver costume with the cage and black bodysuit.

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Want to see the costumes up close? The costumes are now display at the Fashion Design department display window at El Centro in building C. Check it out!

Thanks for the read!

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***Read all of our student blogger posts. Are you interested in being a student blogger? Send us an email at

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Career and Leadership Focus at Las Llaves del Éxito This Weekend

llavesCareers and leadership take center stage at Las Llaves del Éxito Leadership and Career Spring Symposium this Saturday, March 28 at Cedar Valley College.

The symposium encourages students to explore their academic and career interests while developing leadership skills essential for their success.

Saturday’s topics include:

  • leadership
  • career exploration
  • internships
  • writing resumes and cover letters
  • starting a business (for parents)

When: Saturday, March 28, from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Where: Cedar Valley College


  • Admission and breakfast are free.
  • Participants can pre-register at
  • Complete a Llaves Passport for a chance to win a $500 DCCCD scholarship and other prizes.
  • Registration is not required to attend, but it is required for a chance to win the scholarship!

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My Life. Is. Chaos. (Student Blogger)

KariHunter480x332This post is written by Kari Hunter, a spring student blogger and Richland College student.

Today I’m tasked with letting you know about a typical day in my life. It took weeks for me to write this post trying to determine my patterns and activities and schedule until I finally realized there is no such thing as a typical day in my life.

Let me rephrase… a typical day in my life. Is. CHAOS.

Every day is different, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Take today for example: I voluntarily (read: no alarm) woke up at 6 a.m., got to work on birthday party plans and invitations for my soon-to-be four year old, thought about making breakfast and decided it was more of a cereal-and-milk kinda morning. (Hey, that’s an extra 30 minutes, people!) No one was awake yet, so I took some time to multitask and watch the morning news. This is a rarity as we usually end up watching some type of kids’ educational programming — thus why every Disney theme song is permanently etched in my brain.

Since multitasking is paramount to my life, I’ll expound a bit more on this.

I have the luxurious option of working from home, or “tele-commuting,” an industry term for not having to pay for office space. But this also gives me the freedom to make my office wherever I please. (I once spent a day working from the beach in Puerto Rico; it was a very productive day, let me tell you.)

Once the family is up and fed, the kiddo is off to daycare and the husband off to do his own studying (he’s a full-time student), I settle into my full-time IT professional work routine — and by routine I mean meeting after meeting and a ton of multitasking. Today, in the middle of meetings, I head off to the chiropractor (because sitting in front of a computer all day, every day is bound to give you some spinal issues). Rarely do I find enough time to go out for lunch with a friend or the husband. By the time my day of work is finished – generally around 6 p.m. or so — it’s time to get the kiddo from daycare (awesome that they serve dinner), rush to evening activities (dance class, gymnastics, swimming, etc.), throw together some semblance of dinner (Pei Wei anyone?), run some errands, etc.

And then the real fun begins. Bedtime: the nightly battle of bath time, brushed teeth, story time, “read it again,” “it’s time to sleep,” “I’m still hungry,” “go to sleep,” “can I have an apple?”

So when do I find time for studying? Generally, after everyone is asleep, I start studying and putting in work for my “side gig” — taking classes at Richland — and finish up work for the “paying gig.” I’m usually up until 3 a.m. or until I groggily wake up with pages stuck to my face — thus why it’s so strange to find me voluntarily awake at 6 a.m.

Wish me luck for whatever I’ll be doing tomorrow!

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***Read all of our student blogger posts. Are you interested in being a student blogger? Send us an email at


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Free Microsoft Email + Office 365 for DCCCD Students

emailStudents of the colleges of DCCCD get a free online account that includes Microsoft Outlook email and Microsoft Office 365. Every student, whether credit or noncredit, will automatically be assigned a free account.

Microsoft Outlook Email

Microsoft Outlook is one of the most widely used email programs. Every student will have his or her own unique email address.

Note: Before you install your free products or access your email, you must change your eConnect password. To do so, go to the “Change Password” page in eConnect ( Complete the form on the page and then click Submit.

(If you’ve forgotten your password to sign into eConnect, reset your password on the “Forgot/Reset My Password” page at

Steps to Install

  1. Click on

  2. Sign in with your username: (substitute your student ID number for the 1695991) and your eConnect password.

  3. After you sign in, you’ll see the Office 365 mailbox. Click on the gear symbol (to the left of the question mark):

  4. Choose “Office 365 settings.”

  5. Click “Software” in the screen that opens:

  6. Finally, click the Install button:

Microsoft Office 365

Microsoft Office 365 includes such popular products and services as OneDrive, WebApps and ProPlus:

  • OneDrive gives you one terabyte of cloud storage for documents, photos and videos. (To put that in perspective, one terabyte would be enough to store millions of documents and photos.) You can access files from desktop computers or laptops, smartphones and tablet computers.
  • WebApps gives you the ability to create and edit documents from your Web browser.
  • Through ProPlus, you can install Microsoft Office 2013 on your home computer and up to five mobile devices. The Office 2013 suite includes such popular programs as email (Outlook), word processing (Word), spreadsheets (Excel) and presentations (PowerPoint).

More Information

Read frequently asked questions.

Find out how to forward your Outlook email.

Need help?

Call the Help Desk at 1-866-374-7169.

If you need further help, try the Office 365 Community.

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Fire Protection Technology: Serve Others & Save Lives


Few careers are as rewarding as one in fire protection. You’ll serve others, save lives and be a crucial member of your community.

El Centro College’s Fire Protection Technology program could be the start of a new career for you or it could give you valuable advancement potential if you’re already working in public service.

A Fire Protection Technology graduate can go on to be a(n):

  • Certified safety professional
  • Emergency manager
  • Emergency medical service provider
  • Fire and arson investigator
  • Fire equipment sales representative
  • Fire insurance appraiser
  • Fire officer
  • Fire or building inspector
  • Fire or emergency service instructor
  • Fire protection specialist
  • Firefighter
  • Hazardous materials technician
  • Occupational safety and risk manager
  • Rescue technician

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Meet Lamontry Lott, Fire Protection Student of the Week

LamontryLott160x200Lamontry Lott went to college for Fire Protection Technology so that he could get the training he needed to move up with Dallas Fire-Rescue.

Lamontry’s drive to learn and grow is why he’s our student of the week!

He says, “I’ve been a driver and paramedic for Dallas Fire-Rescue since 2001, and before that worked as a sports coordinator at the Dallas Housing Authority for 10 years.

Back when I was working at the DHA, my supervisor had a cousin who was a firefighter and always stopping by to talk. He told me I needed 45 college hours to qualify to be a firefighter, and I had zero because I’d never been to college. So I worked full time while I took 12 to 15 hours a semester at El Centro and Brookhaven to get enough college hours to apply to Dallas Fire-Rescue.

“I went through the approval process and made my qualifications, then waited for the call back. After the Dallas Fire-Rescue Fire Academy, I went to EMT and paramedic school through El Centro’s program at UT-Southwestern.

“Now I’m working toward my associate degree in Fire Protection Technology, which will help with rank promotions within the fire department. It helps to maintain my knowledge on the job and makes me better at the job I already do.”

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Gardening: A Fun Stress Reliever

LindaSimington500x332This post is written by Linda Simington, a spring student blogger and Eastfield College student.

Ahhh, spring is in the air, and 2015 classes seem to have taken off with a bang! Students and faculty alike are hustling, bustling and establishing their routines as we settle in to yet another new semester. The seriousness of classes and homework have already begun to weigh in on anxious nervous systems as academics take a front-row seat in our lives.

We all want to do our best, so, yes, school can be a bit stressful. However, there is a way we can help alleviate some of the stress and relax our minds, if just for a bit: gardening! Yep, that thing your parents and/or grandparents like to talk about and putter around the yard doing.

Even apartment dwellers are usually successful at growing a potted plant or two. And potted plants don’t just have to be flowers or house plants. Vegetables and herbs make lovely plants and taste great, too! Herbs like basil and thyme look great in pots and add a delectable flavor zing to ordinary salads, sauces and much more. Tomatoes even have a more compact variety called — Can you guess? — patio tomatoes!

Whether you garden in your yard or on an apartment balcony, most seem to agree that gardening is relaxing. Cultivating and caring for the little gems can be very therapeutic, can reduce stress and can even be fun. But don’t take my word for it. The American Horticultural Therapy Association published an article connecting the benefits of gardening to health and well-being. Still not convinced? USA Today also touts the benefits of gardening.

Even Eastfield must surely agree, as landscapers have been beautifying our campus by adding more plants that will make areas more pleasing and relaxing. Just kind of makes you want to smile, doesn’t it? I can hardly wait to see what it will look like once Mother Nature gets with the program and sets everything to bloom.

Gardening does call for a little physical effort or, what some might even refer to as, toil. But a little work never hurt anyone and seems to make it just that much more rewarding once the fruit of one’s labor (couldn’t resist that pun), is realized.

Stressed much? Try introducing yourself to a new little buddy or buddies from your neighborhood garden center, or better yet start one from seed!

There, I feel better already. Don’t you?

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***Read all of our student blogger posts. Are you interested in being a student blogger? Send us an email at


Filed under Why DCCCD?