The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

NE recognizes 7 alumni for outstanding contributions

Julia So
Julia So

By Katie Hudson-Martinez/feature editor

Every year NE Campus celebrates alumni who have contributed to the community and become successful in their desired fields.

This year seven were recognized as Distinguished Alumni. They came from different backgrounds and chose different courses of study, but one thing they all have in common is they used Tarrant County College as a springboard into their future.

Charlene Ghaedi
Charlene Ghaedi

Charlene Ghaedi graduated with an associate degree in computer science in 1990. She continued her education at UTA where she earned her bachelor’s in information systems and analysis, and in 2002 she received her master’s in computer education and cognitive systems from the University of North Texas. She currently holds the position of department chair for the information technology department on South Campus.

“ I very proudly tell my students every year on the first day of class that I have been exactly where they are now,” she said. “TCC gave me the foundation and the confidence I needed to be successful.”

Kelly Holt
Kelly Holt

Kelly Holt graduated from the Cornerstone Honors Program in 2000, and continued on to the University of North Texas to pursue a bachelor’s in English, which she received with honors. In 2005 she earned her master’s degree in creative writing from the University of Houston. Holt is now the volunteer coordinator for the Keller Public Library.

“ The Cornerstone program was particularly beneficial in helping me to achieve my goals,” she said. “It gave me the personalized attention I needed; it was a great opportunity for me.

”Devoyd “Dee” Jennings
”Devoyd “Dee” Jennings

”Devoyd “Dee” Jennings studied at what was then TCJC 1968-1969 and also took classes in 1981. After being nominated for a Tandy Corp. scholarship by Dr. Van Parker on NE Campus, he won the award and went on to earn a bachelor’s in marketing from Texas Wesleyan University in 1971. Jennings is currently the president and CEO of the Fort Worth Metropolitan Black Chamber of Commerce, a career that he finds very rewarding.

“ I enjoy having the opportunity to help small disadvantaged businesses,” he said.

Barbara Lawrence
Barbara Lawrence

Barbara Lawrence earned an associate degree in mental health in 1993 and continued her education at Park University, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude and earned a bachelor’s in social psychology. In 2006, Lawrence received her master’s in social work. She currently works as a social worker for the Riverside County Department of Social Services.

“ TCC helped me in my re-entry to college by bringing to me excellent faculty and programming to begin a career change,” she said. “It was the most phenomenal start I feel anyone could have, and I am thankful for this every day.”

Julia So
Julia So

Julia So graduated from TCC with her associate degree in 1990. She continued her education at the University of North Texas, where she earned a bachelor’s and then a master’s in sociology. In 2007 she completed her doctorate in public policy and political economy at the University of North Texas. So dedicated her dissertation to a professor she had at TCC, and she has turned herself into an advocate for community colleges. She currently serves as director of community development for the Dallas County Community College District, where she mentors students.

“ It is very rewarding to see other people succeed and know that I had a small part in that,” she said.

Leslie Stephens
Leslie Stephens

Leslie Stephens earned her associate in applied science degree in respiratory care from TCC in 1996. She is currently working as the respiratory therapist/respiratory care education coordinator at Baylor Medical Center in Waxahachie, where she is recognized as a specialist by her colleagues.

“ The specialized curriculum of the respiratory care program, along with the dedication of its instructors, allowed me to fulfill my long-time desire to be a respiratory therapist,” she said.

Patty Wallace
Patty Wallace

Patty Wallace received her associate in applied science degree from the physical therapy assistant program in 1982. She currently serves as the director of rehabilitation services at Ethicus Hospital in Grapevine, where she has helped to solidify a contract between the hospital and TCC to use interns from the college for rotations.

“ The program was excellent when I graduated, but it’s even better now,” she said. “The students are very well prepared for real-word physical therapy.”

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