New contract OK’d for COM president

April 1st, 2019

COM Board of Trustees Chairman Kyle Dickson, left, congratulates COM President Dr. Warren Nichols after the board approved a new contract for Nichols.

College of the Mainland President Dr. Warren Nichols has much to smile about these days.

After getting a 67 percent approval of the college’s fall bond referendum, the COM Board of Trustees unanimously approved a new contract for him.

Nichols, who became president of the Texas City community college in February 2017, had one year left on his three-year contract, but following the trustees’ vote, his new contract now extends through 2022 and provides for an automatic renewal on an annual basis unless terminated by either party.

Trustees voted 5-0 to extend Nichols’ contract. Trustees Rachel Delgado and Alan Waters was absent.

“Under his leadership, Dr. Nichols is taking College of the Mainland to the next level. He has implemented initiatives aimed at student success, seen a rise in student growth and directed much needed maintenance projects on the campus,” COM Board of Trustees Chairman Kyle Dickson said.

Although not present for Monday’s meeting, Delgado, who served on the search committee that hired Nichols, said she agreed with the new contract.

“I support Dr. Nichols’ contract and thank him for the turnaround he has overseen at the college.  It has been everything I was hoping for,” she said.

After several failed bond referendums, Nichols was instrumental in meeting with community members and sharing the college’s goals and visions which led to the overwhelming approval of a $162.5 million bond package, Dickson said.

The landscape of the college is changing under Nichols’ direction.

With voters in the COM Taxing District approving the bond referendum in November, architects now are putting the final touches on plans for a new STEAM/Allied Health Building and a Student Success Center to replace the current Administration Building. Both buildings should be completed by January 2021 followed by the construction of a new Industrial Careers Building.

“I am excited to see COM grow and serve our community,” Nichols said. “More and more students and families are finding College of the Mainland to be an affordable option when obtaining a college degree or workforce certificate. With the construction of new buildings on campus, we will be able to offer even more options in career opportunities.”

Enrollment at COM continues to increase. For the Spring 2019 semester, more than 6,000 students – a record for COM – registered for classes.

With Nichols’ leadership, there has been a transformation as the college has become a beacon for the entire region when it comes to higher education, continuing education and just resonates “community.”

With an aging campus, Nichols oversaw a $16.2 million maintenance project to rebuild a chemistry lab, replace underground pipes and convert a closed natatorium into a state-of-the-art conference center that is available for community use. A complete renovation of the Student Center also is ongoing.

COM was highlighted at national conferences after it became the first Texas college or university to fully implement a successful corequisite program designed to help underprepared students complete required English and math classes. The success of corequisite has been outstanding. The college also is focused on a Guided Pathways to Success program to help students stay on track to complete their associate degree or workforce certificate.

Other successes include:

  • Increase in number of degrees and certificates awarded by 16 percent
  • Decreased the amount of time for degree completion to 4.5 years
  • Completed Employee Compensation Study
  • Offering multi-year contracts for new, full-time faculty

In January, Nichols was a finalist for Citizen of the Year presented by the Texas City-La Marque Chamber of Commerce and has been honored with the Rising Star award given to emerging leaders.

The college, under Nichols, also continues to meet and improve upon its goals of Student Success, Employee Fulfillment and Exemplary Facilities.

COM students to perform with Texas All State Band

January 15th, 2019

College of the Mainland musicians, Thomas Austin, left, and Austin Kelton have been selected to perform with the Texas Community College Band Directors All-State Jazz Ensemble and Symphonic Band next month.

Two College of the Mainland students will perform with the Texas Community College Band Directors All-State Jazz Ensemble and Symphonic Band next month.

Austin Kelton and Thomas Armstrong, both music majors at the Texas City community college, auditioned and were chosen to play during the Texas Music Educators Conference on Feb. 16 in San Antonio. Armstrong, a clarinetist, is part of the Symphonic Band while Kelton, a trombonist, is part of the Jazz Ensemble for the second year.

“I am really happy for them” said Sparky Koerner, chairman of the Fine Arts Department.

“They both put in lots of practice on the audition music and it has paid off.”

Kelton will rehearse and perform under the direction of Rick Condit, director of the Lamar University Jazz Ensemble, and a former member of the Stan Kenton Orchestra.

“That will be exciting for him, considering that Mr. Condit has an international reputation as a jazz educator and performer,” Koerner said.

Kelton is part of the COM Jazz Ensemble and Concert Band and Armstrong is a member of the COM Concert Band. Both students are from Texas City and were part of the Texas City High School band program.

Being a part of the All-State ensembles has become a tradition at COM with 32 students having performed in the All-State and All-Star jazz and symphonic bands in Texas and around the United States.

COM Student Nurses Help Revive Electrician on Campus

October 9th, 2018

Four COM student nurses, COM electrician Lorrin Ching and COM Police Lt. Jill Hamm helped save the life of Gary Glover, who was electrocuted, and are being recognized on Oct. 16 with the COM Distinguished Service Award. Pictured, from left, are Ching, student nurses Rachel Cunningham and Shanee Scribner, Glover, student nurses Alexis Boettcher and Andrea Strickland, and Hamm.

Four nursing students at College of the Mainland, who were on break from a medical management of defibrillation cardiac resuscitation (CPR) class, jumped into action Sept. 19 when an electrician was electrocuted.

The students were in the financial aid office located within the administration building about 10:30 a.m. when they saw a man in distress outside. Gary Glover, an electrician supervisor for Crescent Electric Co., who is part of a crew doing maintenance work on the Texas City campus, was electrocuted while working near a manhole cover and went into cardiac arrest.

Glover, who has worked as an electrician for 35 years, was in the process of lifting a manhole cover using a crowbar when the bar made contact with a live wire. Lorrin Ching, a COM electrician who was working alongside Glover, was able to immediately roll Glover away from the energized cover by pulling on his shirt despite putting himself at risk of being electrocuted and began CPR.

The four student nurses – Alexis Boettcher, Rachel Cunningham, Shanee Scribner and Andrea Strickland – rushed to the grassy area where Glover was, found he did not have a pulse and took over the compressions on Glover’s chest. Strickland called COM police on her cell phone requesting an Automated External Defibrillator, or AED.

COM Police Lt. Jill Hammond arrived a short time later with an AED that is kept in the COM police cars. She followed the verbal instructions on the AED and was able to apply the pads to the man’s chest to help get his heart into rhythm. The nursing students continued with heart compressions after the AED was used and Glover eventually responded.

Glover, 55, who returned to work at the Texas City campus five days later, said he remembers lifting the manhole cover but didn’t realize he had so many helping to revive him.

“Thank you,” Glover said when he met the four student nurses for the first time a week later. “Thank you all.”

Glover was transported by ambulance to the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston where he spent a few days.

Ching is grateful that Glover is doing well and back at work.

“The student nurses were great, they helped coach me through the CPR chest compressions and then took over for me and then, hooked him up to the defibrillator,” said Ching who has worked at the college for four years. “That day was very scary, I thought he was going to die.”

Hamm credits the use of the AED for being able to revive Glover.

“I’ve been doing this for 25 years,” she said of her law enforcement career. “Had the AED not been there, he wouldn’t have bounced back so fast. Those seconds really counted.”

For Scribner, the day already had been traumatic before the incident. Her father, who had been suffering from liver cancer, had passed away at 3 a.m. that morning.

“He was in San Antonio and I was feeling guilty for leaving him on Sunday to come back for school but when he was diagnosed with liver cancer and given only a few weeks to live, he made me promise I wouldn’t fail out of school,” said Scribner, who wants to work in cardiology. “Being able to be there to help save Gary’s life reinforced in me and gave me peace knowing that I was supposed to be there instead of with my Dad.”

Scribner lost her mother due to cardiac issues over the summer.

The four student nurses, who are all expected to graduate in December with an associate degree in nursing, were on break from a Complex Concepts of Adult Health class taught by Deanna Machula and Debra Bauer when the incident occurred. The class usually gets a 10-minute break but on that day, the class was given a 15-minute break.

With the extra time, Boettcher asked her friends to walk with her to the financial aid office.

“We were very proud of how they did not hesitate to respond and do what they have been practicing and trained to do,” Bauer said. “It validates what we do: educate the next generation of nurses to be able to assess a patient’s condition and implement the appropriate intervention to improve the outcome. In this case, Mr. Glover is alive today because of the coordinated actions of everyone who initiated CPR and early defibrillation. The fact that they were able to ask for and obtain an AED saved Mr. Glover’s life.”

During an active shooting training earlier this year, Bauer stopped the training and insisted her students program COM’s police department emergency number on their cell phone.

“I was so glad Mrs. Bauer made us stop and program in the COM police emergency number in our phones during the active shooter training,” Strickland said. “I was able to whip out my phone and call them.”

Cunningham said she was glad they were studying the cardiovascular system in class that day.

“I actually had to call our instructor and another classmate to tell them we were going to be late coming back to class because we were doing CPR on a man that got shocked,” said Cunningham, who hopes to work an operating room nurse.

With the timing of the event, Cunningham is convinced, “God put us there for a reason. It was to save that man’s life.”

Boettcher, who aspires to be a Life Flight registered nurse, concurs.

“I honestly believe God put us there for him. He was blue and had no palpable heartbeat, he was going. I’m blessed to have been there for him that day. It is still unfathomable what happened but like I said, God put us there and I am so grateful Gary is still with us.

Bauer said that aside from those who revived Glover, she is convinced he also had some divine intervention watching over him on Sept. 19:

  • The nursing students were given a 15-minute break instead of the usual 10 minutes; otherwise they would not have had time to visit the financial aid office
  • The students were able to call for an AED.
  • The students had been reviewing the specific scenario/content in class hat day.
  • The students had been in ICU and ER for clinical rotation four days prior to the incident.

“There are alignment facts that make you realize Mr. Glover had angels watching over him,” Bauer said.

COM to dedicate Student Center for Trustee Bennie Matthews

September 26th, 2018

Trustee Bennie Matthews is pleasantly surprised on hearing of the College of the Mainland honor.

The College of the Mainland Board of Trustees plans to dedicate the first floor of the renovated Student Center on campus after long-time trustee Bennie Matthews.

Board Chairman Kyle Dickson made the announcement during the monthly board meeting on Monday in Texas City. While not voting on the issue, Dickson said the measure – which is expected to be unanimously approved – would be on the Oct. 22 meeting agenda.

The first floor of the two-story building that overlooks the lake on campus will be known as the Bennie Matthews Commons. Matthews, who has served on the COM Board of Trustees since first elected in 1983, was surprised by the announcement and was greeted by family and friends. During her tenure on the COM board, she has served as chairman, vice chairman, secretary and currently heads up the human resources committee.

A graduate of Samuel Huston College, now called Huston-Tillotson College in Austin, Matthews studied science and mathematics. She became a member of the local branch of the NAACP where she was a charter member and first secretary of the Texas Youth Division. She graduated with honors and began a long and rewarding journey as an educator and community worker.

As a National Science Foundation awardee and Shell Merit Fellow, she studied at New Mexico Highlands and Stanford University. She received a Master of Science in Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics. She also took advanced math and science courses at Lake Forest College, The University of Texas and Northern Illinois University as a National Science awardee.

Matthews taught school for 42 years in La Grange and La Marque, Texas. Her assignments in La Grange included teaching algebra, geometry, physical science and physics plus band, tennis, and girls’ basketball. In La Marque, Matthews taught mathematics and computer science at the former Lincoln High School and then La Marque High School.

When Matthews first ran for the COM board, she stressed that she wanted College of the Mainland to be a leader in education. “I think we all can agree that COM is a leader in education and the college owes much of that to Mrs. Matthews’ leadership,” Dickson said. “As such, as chairman of this board, I recommend, and I am sure my fellow board members will concur, that it is appropriate to recognize Trustee Bennie Matthews by naming the first floor of the newly renovated Student Center as the “Bennie Matthews Commons.” The student center currently is being renovated and is expected to be completed by year’s end. The dedication in honor of Matthews will take place in early 2019.

College of the Mainland offering teacher certification exams

August 28th, 2018

As the start of a new school approaches, teachers who need to take exams to get their teacher certification or other certifications can do so at College of the Mainland in Texas City.

Teacher certification exams being offered at COM include the Texas Examinations of Educator Standards and the Texas Examinations for Master Teachers. The exams are being offered daily starting Sept. 1.

These exams are aimed at candidates needing to certify for the first time and for those certifying in other areas. To sign up to take an exam, candidates must first register at the Texas Educator Certification Examination Program website at www.tx.nesinc.com. Once registered, candidates can schedule a test appointment at College of the Mainland. Appointments are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

The COM Testing Center, located in the administration building on campus at 1200 Amburn Road, also offers TSI assessment tests for students and a variety of other exams from high school equivalency to fire protection and law enforcement exams.  A valid/current picture ID is necessary to take an exam.

The testing center hours are from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday. Admission into testing rooms ends an hour before closing and all testing stops at close of business.

For more information about the testing center go to www.com.edu/testing-center; email testingcenter@com.edu or call 409-933-8676.

COM leases space to train workers for job opportunities

January 9th, 2018

College of the Mainland trustees have approved a one-year, $54,264 lease with the Community Family Center to house COM’s new Construction Trade Center at 2000 Texas Ave. in Texas City and offer area workers more job opportunities.

The Trades Center will occupy 9,044-sq. ft. of the 60,000-plus center to provide Hurricane Harvey Fast-Track Training Courses through funding provided by the Texas Workforce Commission.

The college will offer short non-credit classes to train workers for construction trades positions, now in high demand following Hurricane Harvey. The courses will benefit anyone who wants a working knowledge of home reconstruction.

Most courses are approved by the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER), a non-profit organization encourages standardized skills and credentialing in more than 70 craft areas. Programs are scheduled to begin in January, and include a variety of carpentry, drywall, basic interior finishing, painting, masonry, heating and air conditioning and plumbing courses.

Students will learn basic hand and power tools, and receive the safety credential OSHA 10 upon completion. The Community Family Center includes several state and local agencies and a clinic operated by UTMB.

“The purpose of the center is to help families get back on their feet,” said Lynda Perez, executive director of Mainland Community Partnership, which operates the center. “Agencies here provide financial, medical, family and counseling support,” Perez said. “The job training being offered by College of the Mainland fits very well with our mission.”

Laura Baumgartner, COM’s director of CE Industrial Workforce Programs, explained that classes offered at the center are win-win- win for individuals, the community and the college. “After Harvey, these entry-level skills are now in great demand,” Baumgartner said. “Students who complete these short programs — which last three weeks — will improve their opportunities for employment. That’s good for students, the community, and COM.”

COM moving forward and looking to the future

July 10th, 2017

The College of the Mainland Board of Trustees gather for a photo with their president. They are, from left front row, Melissa Skipworth, Rosalie Kettler and Bennie Matthews; back row, President Warren Nichols, Kyle Dickson, Alan Waters, Don Gartman and Rachel Delgado.

Last week trustees and administrators of College of the Mainland fleshed out long-term plans for the future—one that includes modernizing current facilities and building new ones, and making an education at the 50-year-old college more accessible in days to come.

“It’s a new day for College of the Mainland,” said President Warren Nichols, who joined the college in February. “Our June 30 retreat showed that this board is engaged and working proactively to move College of the Mainland into a bright future.”

Part of that vision includes COM’s part in implementing the state of Texas’ 60×30 higher education plan, that, if successful, will help 60-percent of all Texans between 25 and 34 years of age attain a certificate or degree by 2030. The president’s goals were four months in the making and addressed three areas – student success, employees and facilities

“Student success is our top priority,” Dr. Nichols said, as he outlined his goal to grow the college’s enrollment of full-time students to 4,000 by 2025. While COM’s student headcount is more than 3,900 students, its full-time students number 2,778, since more than 70-percent of its students attend part time.

Dr. Nichols also gave trustees a plan to double the number of annual degrees and certificates awarded to COM students by 2025. His agenda includes decreasing the number of years it takes for students to complete a degree by lowering the average number of credits students take while pursuing their degree from an average of 101 semester hours to 70.

Perhaps no topic received more interest than a plan to expand and enhance the college’s aging facilities while addressing the workforce needs of business and industry in the region. “Improving our facilities to serve our workforce needs is critical to the future and economic well-being of our communities,” Nichols said.

The president presented an aggressive plan to begin now, rather than later, to transform the campus by using a 2015 master plan as the foundation.  Renovations, infrastructure repairs and facility upgrades will be funded by a revenue/maintenance bond that will not impact taxpayers. Included in the list of renovations is modernizing a 50-year-old chemistry lab into a state-of-the art learning facility.

Also included are repairs to the façade of the student center, theater renovations, and roof replacements. The board reviewed each of 13 projects and indicated that they felt positive about the direction that college is taking. Another goal discussed with trustees is to create a college environment that attracts administrators, faculty and staff serving COM students.

COM’s current brand and communication plans will get a facelift, as well. Trustees reviewed a new look for publications and new communication vehicles rolled out by the college’s Marketing and Communications Office.

Those plans include a community newsletter to better inform every community resident, to be mailed into homes at least three times a year, as well as a workforce magazine, Career Focus, which will provide information about high demand careers in the area and the training COM provides for these careers.

The productive half-day retreat wrapped up with the board discussing committee assignments, as well as the recent approval of officers. 

Leading the COM Board of Trustees for the next two years are Kyle Dickson, chair, Alan Waters, vice-chair, and Rosalie Kettler, secretary. Don Gartman is chairing the Building and Grounds Committee, Rachel Delgado is chairing the Finance/Audit Committee while Bennie Matthews is chairing the Human Resources Committee. The Policy Committee is being chaired by Rosalie Kettler.

Celebrating 50 years of student success, College of the Mainland offers a variety of fully accredited associate degrees and certifications. Fall registration is now open. The college prepares students to meet their goals, whether transferring to a university or entering the workforce. An Achieving the Dream Leader College, COM has an excellent professor-to-student ratio that allows instructors to connect with each class. COM is the launch pad for success throughout the Mainland. For more, visit www.com.edu.

Free Career Exploration Day June 14

May 30th, 2017

A student operates a machine at a COM Career Exploration Day. The third annual Career Exploration Day, June 14, 8 a.m. to noon, is free to students who have completed grades 7 to 12 to explore careers from welding to nursing.

High school students can investigate a crime scene, explore firefighting or discover more about health care robots during a hands-on Career Exploration Day this summer at College of the Mainland.

The third annual Career Exploration Day, June 14, 8 a.m. to noon, is free to students who have completed grades 7 to 12. Students can select one of four hands-on tracks depending on their interests: health care, public service, cosmetology and education, and industrial trades.

The nursing and allied health track will let students explore nursing and other growing health care fields to determine which fits their abilities.

The public service track will focus on a day in the life of those who work in fire technology, law enforcement and emergency medical services

The cosmetology and education track will showcase the rewards and roles of teachers and cosmetologists with interactive activities.

The industrial trades track will highlight welding, mechanical maintenance and other skilled crafts with hands-on projects.

It is free to students who sign up. Call 409-933-8462 to register by May 31.

Celebrating 50 years of student success, College of the Mainland offers a variety of fully accredited associate degrees and certifications. Summer registration is now open. The college prepares students to meet their goals, whether transferring to a university or entering the workforce. An Achieving the Dream Leader College, COM has an excellent professor-to-student ratio that allows instructors to connect with each class. We’re the launch pad for success throughout the Mainland. For more, visit www.com.edu.

Schools open doors to variety of careers for today’s students

April 1st, 2017

On the road to a career in Pharmacy.

By Mary Alys Cherry

Little do today’s high school students realize just how lucky they are as they begin planning their future.

Whereas their parents and grandparents had to work a number of jobs before they stumbled on to their dream – and many never did — today’s students can begin sampling various fields while just a high school freshman.

Clear Creek ISD, for example, offers students 14 different pathways, with each combining academic courses with career-related classes – helping students understand the relationship between education and careers so they can make informed decisions on what courses they need to learn its various aspects, what type of work they can expect and what education is necessary.

Its Career and Technical Education program reinforces state and national academic standards by providing students training in career areas of interest to them.

They can take a look at being a chef, an electrician, a dentist or dental assistant, automobile technician, actor, graphic designer, interior decorator, computer programmer, nurse, an air conditioning technician, cosmotologist or architect and more, and then follow their dream at one of the nearby colleges such as San Jacinto College, College of the Mainland, Alvin Community College or at the University of Houston-Clear Lake.

Some of the other subjects are veterinary medical applications, communications, livestock production, food technology, wildlife fisheries and ecology management, audio/video production, animation, construction technology, civil engineering and video game design.

Learning about Broadcasting.

In fact, Clear Creek ISD is building a career technology wing at Clear Creek High School which will provide students with an opportunity to explore careers such as the dentistry profession and prepare them to become registered dental assistants.

It’s almost mind boggling how many career paths are available for today’s students, who can even graduate from high school and earn a college associate degree at the same time through the Early College High School at both CCISD and Pasadena ISD.

Think about that. Students can earn a high school diploma and complete two years of college while in high school, saving two years of college costs for their parents – thousands of dollars.

However, many students do not want a four-year degree. They may want to be an auto mechanic, a truck driver or hair dresser and hope to find one with a minimum of training.

Years ago if a young man wanted to be an electrician, a mechanic or air conditioning technician, he had to find someone who would take him in and see him through several years of training before he could be certified. Today he can learn most of the essentials in a community college classroom before becoming a trainee.

In addition to the multitude of programs leading to degrees colleges have offered for generations such as education, engineering, history, math, journalism, business, physics, accounting and languages, local community colleges offer a variety of additional associate degree programs that can put the student on a path to success. Some can be completed in less time than degree programs.

And, employers are pleased as they want employees with the right education and certifications as these employees will most likely have the proper training and safety knowledge, are open to change and have up-to-date credentials.

San Jacinto College, for example, offers certificate programs in paralegal, welding, maritime technology, auto repair, interior design, process technology, culinary arts, environmental safety technology, cosmetology, medical billing, multimedia computer animation, eye care technology, criminal justice, diesel technology and many more. Some are longer than others.

A student in a course on trucking, for example, spends two hours of his daily classroom study learning federal laws, securing loads, etc., and the rest of the day driving different vehicles in varying road conditions. That can be completed in six weeks with entry-level drivers earning $35,000 to $45,000 the first year.

College of the Mainland also helps prepare students with courses in photography, air conditioning technology, nursing, mechanical maintenance technology, art, welding, electrician helper, process technology, construction, project management and design, to name a few of the hands-on ways the school is helping bring the students and the job market together.

Alvin Community College also offers a wide variety of courses, along with a number for the student who is not interested in a four-year degree, including culinary arts management, helicopter pilot training, nursing assistant, pipefitting, machinist, computer training, radio/TV, crime scene technician, real estate (online), pharmacy technology, court reporting, veterinary assistant, emergency medical technology, electronic diagnostics and criminal justice.

San Jac Vice Chancellor Allatia Harris said area businesses are proponents of short-term workforce programs as they need employees immediately and those who can contribute on their first day on the job.

“The construction sector and the health care industry need workers right now,” she added.

Nichols new COM president

January 31st, 2017

Dr. Warren Nichols has been named president of the College of the Mainland by the college board of trustees and will start at COM Feb. 13.

“We are thrilled to have Dr. Nichols on board because he brings a vast amount of experience to COM. He’s been the president of a community college and supervised presidents of community colleges in Tennessee. He has a great deal of political acumen and he’s worked with a state legislature in establishing programs. He’s the right guy at the right time,” said Wayne Miles, COM board of trustees chairman after the board’s unanimous vote Jan. 30.

Nichols previously served as the vice chancellor of community colleges for the Tennessee Board of Regents, which leads the 13 community colleges in Tennessee.

Partnering with the community, staff and students will be a priority, Nichols said. “I’m a big proponent of getting the community to view the college as a meeting place and resource,” said Nichols, who has worked with establishing innovative programs for students.

As president of Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin, Tenn., he collaborated with local bankers to create a short-term bank-teller program that was highlighted in the Wall Street Journal. In an effort to improve college preparedness among high school students, he expanded the college’s dual enrollment offerings to serve more than 1,200 students in 12 counties. He launched international and diversity initiatives, which resulted in an increase in graduation rates for African-American and Hispanic students.

“Nichols grew Volunteer State Community College to a record student enrollment of nearly 9,000 students. He also led the college through an $8 million rebuilding and renovation project of 13 buildings damaged by a tornado in 2006.

A native of Fort Worth, Nichols holds a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Houston after earning his master’s and bachelor’s degrees at the University of Texas at Arlington. He began college at Tarrant County Junior College in Hurst, Texas and started his career a police officer in Arlington, before later transitioning to the field of higher education.

Nichols is listed in the International Who's Who of Professionals. He serves on the board of directors for the Gallatin Economic Development Agency. He is a Rotarian and a two-time Paul Harris Fellow.