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Education Notes: New TCC Trinity River president takes the helm

🕐 7 min read

S. Sean Madison is the new president of Tarrant County College Trinity River Campus.

He succeeds founding Trinity River Campus President Tahita Fulkerson, who retired Aug. 31 after more than 34 years at TCC, which included positions at three of TCC’s five campuses as well as with the district.

Madison has 22 years of experience in higher education, serving on the faculty and in administration at Miami Dade College and Broward College in Florida. He was the president of Broward College’s Judson A. Samuel South Campus for the last five years. Broward College is a multi-campus system and an Achieving the Dream Leader College. At the South Campus, Madison led more than 18,000 students who enrolled annually in the campus’ signature programs, which included supply chain management, nursing and aviation administration.

At Miami Dade College, Madison served in a variety of positions, including as a tenured associate professor of English, chairman for English and college preparatory studies, dean for Academic and Student Affairs and district director of Learning Outcomes Assessment. He also brings to TCC expertise in strategic planning, strategic enrollment planning and implementation of high-impact student success initiatives to support the completion agenda.

Madison earned his bachelor’s degree in literature and English from Morehouse College, his master’s degree in teaching and English from Boston University and his doctorate in higher education administration from Florida International University. He is a member of the American Association of Community Colleges’ Commission on Research, Technology and Emerging Trends.



Physicians with Texas Health Resources are collaborating with the University of Texas at Arlington to mentor undergraduates pursuing medical careers via a new program this fall.

The Pre-Medical Student Preceptorship Program began as a pilot project in spring 2015. The program pairs selected students with physicians whom they shadow at Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital in the operating room and in patient settings. Students will analyze medical literature and present case studies to their physician-mentors for critique. They also will meet with UT Arlington faculty members to discuss and enhance their clinical experience.

Additionally, UT Arlington’s College of Nursing and Health Innovation will offer a new doctoral program in kinesiology beginning in 2016. – photo —

The program will build on existing research, education and community outreach initiatives in health and disease from the Department of Kinesiology and the Center for Healthy Living and Longevity. It will focus on the prevention, assessment and treatment of motor difficulties, chronic diseases and musculoskeletal injuries.



Penny Armstrong, headmaster at Southwest Christian School in Fort Worth, has retired after serving the college preparatory school for 12 years.

Shane Naterman has been named interim headmaster for the 2015-2016 school year while a committee led by the school’s board of trustees conducts a search for a permanent replacement.

Naterman is a 14-year veteran at Southwest Christian, having served as teacher, assistant principal, middle school principal and high school principal.

Armstrong fostered many advancements at both the elementary and preparatory campuses, including a renovation of the elementary building, construction of the high school building and purchase of nearly 15 acres adjacent to the preparatory campus’ current location on Lake Benbrook. She also helped establish and implement Minimester, the school’s international service outreach and education program that takes students on mission-based and academic experiences locally, nationally and internationally.

Armstrong plans to stay in Fort Worth as she works on two books and does some academic consulting.

Founded in 1969, Southwest Christian is an independent, interdenominational Christian college preparatory institution for students K-12. The elementary campus accommodates students in early childhood through grade six, while students in grades 7-12 attend the preparatory campus.


Richard Kurz, dean of the School of Public Health at the University of North Texas Health Science Center since 2007, retired Aug. 31.

Kurz oversaw all academic, research and service activities of the school. Under his leadership, the school launched numerous initiatives, including a master of health administration program, a new doctorate in public health and the Texas Prevention Institute.

Dennis Thombs, professor and chairman of the Department of Behavioral and Community Health, will serve as interim dean while a national search is conducted.



Lena Pope Early Learning Center in Fort Worth has earned national certification as a Nature Explore Classroom from Dimensions Educational Research Foundation and the Arbor Day Foundation.

The center serves children ages 6 weeks to 5 years. In addition to its learning curriculum and its emotional and behavioral curriculum, the center features a Nature Explore Outdoor Learning Classroom, providing research-based outdoor learning opportunities. Nature Explore classrooms are designed to enhance a child’s science, math, observation, visual-spatial, language, music, movement, art, and social and emotional skills. The classrooms offer interactive elements such as musical instruments made of natural materials, garden areas and natural materials for building and creating art.



Texas Woman’s University received state funding totaling $2.2 million to establish a Center for Women in Business on its Denton campus, with plans to expand on the school’s other campuses in Dallas and Houston.

The new center will be the first of its kind in North Texas and will provide leadership opportunities to encourage and support women-owned businesses and success.

“We believe that women-owned businesses are an economic resource yet to be fully developed, and that TWU, which is the nation’s largest university primarily for women, is well positioned to be at the forefront in making a difference in the lives of so many women in Texas as well as having a huge economic impact on our state,” said TWU Chancellor Carine M. Feyten.

Students and entrepreneurs will have access to education in business creation and ownership, engagement and mentorship with role models who already own their own businesses, and opportunities to engage in a learning lab and research opportunities.

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, 30 percent of all enterprises in the United States are owned by women, but they only employ about 6 percent of the country’s workforce and contribute to less than 4 percent of business revenues in the country. That is roughly the same share they contributed in 1997. This national experience is mirrored in Texas.

“There is substantial potential for future growth in women-owned businesses in Texas, and it is exciting that TWU is taking a leadership role in making this happen,” said Mary Pincoffs Wilson, chairman of the TWU Board of Regents.



Raytheon Co. has named Southern Methodist University as a strategic partner in cyber research based on the company’s collaborative efforts with the Darwin Deason Institute for Cyber Security in SMU’s Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering.

The partnership includes joint research projects in cyber security, Raytheon internships for SMU students and education initiatives benefiting both SMU and Raytheon.

“The work we do together benefits SMU and Raytheon, government and industry, and ultimately anyone with a laptop or smart phone,” said Fred Chang, director of the Deason Institute and the Bobby B. Lyle Endowed Centennial Distinguished Chair in Cyber Security. “It will also help train our students to become part of a desperately needed workforce of cyber defenders.”

Also at SMU, beginning this fall the university will offer a doctor of liberal studies degree, aimed to position graduates as community leaders. Rather than focusing on a specific discipline for advancement in an academic or research arena, the DLS student will become an authority on a particular issue and be prepared to become a community or workplace leader.

SMU joins Georgetown University and Washington University as the only universities offering the advanced degree.


A new leadership program – Texan Pioneer Leadership Academy – will be part of Tarleton State University’s offerings next spring.

The new program is made possible by a $150,000 grant from the Texas Pioneer Foundation to Tarleton’s School of Criminology, Criminal Justice and Strategic Studies.

Tarleton, a member of the Texas A&M University System, has campuses in Stephenville, Fort Worth, Waco, Midlothian and online.


Starting this fall, the University of Dallas’ Satish & Yasmin Gupta College of Business will offer new master’s degrees in business analytics and global business.

Also beginning this fall, the College of Business will offer MBA courses at the Cascades Event Center in The Colony with two evening courses and terms that are 12 weeks long, in fall, spring and summer. The Colony MBA program is the same as the program offered on the college’s Irving campus.

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