Author Kathleen M. Rodgers named a Distinguished Alumni for Tarrant County College/NE Campus 2014

kathleenmrodgers:2014 Distinguished Alumni Tarrant County Community College

When I walked across the stage at Tarrant County Convention Center in Fort Worth, TX to receive my diploma in May 2007, I felt ten feet tall in my cap and gown. I was also one of the oldest graduates at 48. With my husband Tom, our two grown sons and my mother looking on, I graduated with highest honors, a total victory considering I feared I would flunk college biology my first day in lecture and lab. Most people complete an AA degree in about two years, but then I’m not most people. It took me 30 years to earn a college degree. In that time, I attended one university, two community colleges, recovered from a life-threating eating disorder, wrote numerous articles for national and local publications, completed one novel, followed my Air Force fighter pilot turned airline pilot husband from base to base, and raised our two sons. I also raised one puppy dog and served as a nanny to my three young boy cousins while their mom worked as an attorney in downtown Dallas.

By the time I earned my associate degree, I’d already enrolled in Southern Methodist University’s noncredit novel writing course. With one completed novel The Final Salute under my belt, a second novel began to take shape. That novel grew up to become Johnnie Come Lately and will be published by Camel Press, an imprint of Coffeetown Press, February 1, 2015.

Being named a 2014 Distinguished Alumni for Tarrant County College/Northeast Campus is one more affirmation that I’m on the right track with my new novel. My protagonist, Mrs. Johnnie Kitchen, goes back to college later in life. In my own little way, I’ve tried to shine the spotlight on community colleges. Tarrant County College inspired the fictional Portion Community College in the novel.

Although I didn’t need a college degree to become a writer, I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. Regardless of my many successes in the writing profession, earning a college degree thirty years after I graduated from high school gave me a boost of confidence like nothing else.

No matter what level of education we all achieve, we are all students of the world. Every day we have a chance to learn something new and to apply it to our lives.

Here’s the announcement I received from the President of Tarrant County College/NE Campus:

Greetings Kathleen Rodgers,

As president of Tarrant County College Northeast Campus, I would like to congratulate you for being named as one of the Distinguished Alumni of the campus for recognition in 2014!

Recognition of graduates who have made a difference in the community is a relatively new endeavor for TCC Northeast.  Twelve years ago I established a committee of faculty members with the goal of developing guidelines for this project.  The committee decided to ask departments to name outstanding former students who had graduated from TCC Northeast at least five years ago with associate degrees or certificates.  In the last few years, we also wanted to include students who had attended TCC Northeast for a substantial portion of their college course work, but who may have transferred to another institution to finish a degree.  Each discipline chose one person to be recognized in a ceremony that will take place on campus in May during the Faculty Luncheon.  As a member of this group of Distinguished Alumni, you will receive a certificate that will be presented during that ceremony.

We have scheduled the recognition ceremony/luncheon to take place in the Center Corner (NSTU 1615A) in the Student Center Building.  You might remember that this is the building with the clock tower.  It will begin at approximately 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 6, 2014 and should be over by 1:00 p.m.

The photo and a short bio will eventually be transferred to our Distinguished Alumni Wall of Recognition housed in the J. Ardis Bell Library on the Northeast Campus.

Again, congratulations, and I look forward to seeing you next month.

Larry Darlage, PhD

President| Tarrant County College Northeast Campus



Published by


Author of the novels The Final Salute, Johnnie Come Lately & Seven Wings to Glory. Former contributor to Family Circle Magazine and Military Times. Future work represented by agent Diane Nine, Nine Speakers Inc.

10 thoughts on “Author Kathleen M. Rodgers named a Distinguished Alumni for Tarrant County College/NE Campus 2014”

  1. Congratulations Kathleen what an honor!!
    We have so much in common. I was a mature student too.
    Just today I was offered a teaching position at ‘my’ community college.
    I will decide by Wednesday.
    Congratulations again and I hope your husband is on the mend. I will continue praying for him.

    1. Doreen,

      I hope you heed the call and take the teaching position. I was just talking to my dear friend Elizabeth who teaches accounting a Austin Community College. She’s taught at the university level as well and absolutely loves teaching at the community college level.
      Good luck and keep me posted. 🙂

  2. You are such an inspiration!!!! I am delighted that Tarrant County College is recognizing your accomplishment and your contributions!!!! Way to go!!!

    (I completed the first 2 years of college at the community college level while working full time and being a full-time mom and wife … it was a fabulous experience. The classes were of at least equal quality to the ones I had taken at UT-Austin or the ones I subsequently took at UT-Arlington. I, too, am a huge proponent!)

    Congrats!!!! I am so proud of you!!!!

    1. Hi Donna!

      Thanks so much for taking time to visit my blog and leaving your thoughtful comment! I love to hear good news about community colleges. Thanks for sharing your story with me and others who will read the comment section. Congrats to you, too, for your accomplishments.

      Hugs and see you on Facebook! 🙂

  3. You have come so far since that first day I met you in my class in 2003! Your determination and tenacity have been and continue to be an inspiration, and I couldn’t be happier that you are receiving this recognition! Your first book has a very special place on my bookshelf, and I’m looking forward to reading your latest one in February. I am looking forward to seeing you receive this well-deserved honor next Tuesday!

    1. Dear Anita,

      YOU helped me get here. From the moment we first met, you helped me believe in myself. Thank you for all the kindness and guidance you have shown me over the years. Out there in the world right now are hundreds of former TCC students who’ve benefited from your work at TCC. You are an awesome advisor and friend.



    1. Thanks, Irv.

      It came as a complete shock. I almost deleted the e-mail announcement the other night as I was so tired from being at the hospital. Good thing I decided to run my cursor over the sender’s name and notice TCC and EDU in the address. LOL

      Thanks for your amazing support, my friend.

    1. Hi Elaine,

      Receiving the message about my award proved to be just the lift I needed late one night when I snuck home from the hospital after spending several nights in the “chair/bed” in Tom’s room. The awards luncheon yesterday was so perfect. I’m still pinching myself that I was selected. Hugs to you and Willow from Denton and me. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.