As we begin the process of conducting a search for our new vice president of administration, I felt it important to name an interim to keep many of the college's important initiatives on a steady course - particularly with regard to our new demand-based scheduling and budgeting process. We are fortunate to have Pat Sendelbach, professor and department chair for accounting, agree to serve in this interim capacity. Pat, a certified public accountant, has been teaching for more than 26 years, 20 of those with Lone Star College, and the last six as a full-time faculty member. Not only has she taken on leadership opportunities for LSC-Montgomery, she also has forged partnerships with a variety of external organizations, including the Montgomery County Tax Assessors office. Pat was a recipient of the Faculty Excellence award in 2011-12.
In addition to her work in education, she has held various positions in the field of accounting. She began her career in auditing with Price Waterhouse and continued working in this field as an internal auditor with Pfizer. Pat also gained experience in the area of corporate accounting as a staff accountant at Hoechst-Celanese.
Originally from New Jersey, she received her bachelor's degree in accounting from Fairleigh Dickinson University. After relocating to Texas, she earned an MBA with a specialization in accounting from Sam Houston State University. She is an active member of the American Women's Society of CPAs and currently serves as the chair of the organization's scholarship committee. Pat is also a member of the American Institute of CPAs and the Texas Society of CPAs, Houston Chapter. She serves on the Board of Directors of Bridgewood Farms, a center for teens and adults with intellectual disabilities and physical handicaps. Pat is married with two children and currently resides in The Woodlands.
Her experience as a faculty member, combined with her administrative and non-academic business background, make her an ideal fit for this interim opportunity. I expect her to serve through the spring 2014 semester as we conduct our search for a permanent vice president of administration.
Avoid the Stampede
Like clockwork, each November and April the campus pulls together for our early registration push. Avoid the Stampede has become a welcome tradition in Maverick Country, and the results are always impressive. Mike Devoley, professor of psychology, leads a large group of faculty, staff and administrators who make sure our students are aware of (and take advantage of) early registration.
Events were held last Monday and Tuesday at LSC-Conroe Center, followed by last Wednesday and Thursday at LSC-Montgomery. More than 5,100 students have already registered for 814,400 contact hours for Spring 2014. And registration only began on Monday! This represents a significant increase over the same time period as last year.
This year, a concerted effort was made to encourage our students to register online and bring a printout of their schedule to the Stampede events. Congratulations to everyone involved with this important part of our college's enrollment management strategy.
Earlier this month, LSC-Montgomery held two events to commemorate and honor our veterans who have served our country. A kick-off event was held in the Commons on Tuesday, Nov. 12, with free food and several speakers, including Dr. Craig Livingston, a veteran of the U.S. Army; Chavon Salter, a student veteran; Terrance Hudson, a student with the Student Veterans Association; and Valerie Shepherd, student support specialist and veterans advisor.
The following day, Dr. David Gottlieb, a community and business leader from The Woodlands (and a U.S. Coast Guard veteran) spoke on how the power of one can make a world of difference. I am very proud of the hard work our staff and faculty do to make our campus veteran-friendly, and I am equally proud of the leadership opportunities that our student veterans seek-both here on our campus and throughout the rest of their careers.
Each semester, our Student Government Association sponsors a campus safety walk, held in the evening, to look for opportunities to make our campus as safe as can be. More than a dozen students broke into groups and walked the campus with college administrators, facilities personnel, and police officers, taking notes and submitting a final report to my administrative team. We take their findings seriously, and we make every effort to address those things that need to be fixed or improved.
Emergency Preparedness Taskforce Update
In October, I charged an Emergency Preparedness Taskforce to meet and discuss the college's emergency planning efforts and to provide me with a list of recommendations to be considered for the upcoming year. The group has met four times, developing and administering an emergency awareness survey (more than 200 responses to date!), and examining our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. The task force is also examining the appropriate role for our existing Health & Safety Committee.
In early December, my administrative team will review the task force's recommendations. By early January, we will communicate the overall plan to the campus community, and we'll work throughout the spring to implement and address the recommendations and findings of the committee. Stay tuned for updates soon!
Applications for the Next Generation Leadership Program (NGLP) have been reviewed, and I feel we have an excellent first cohort. As a reminder, one of the goals that emerged from both our 2009 and 2011 visioning sessions was the need to groom our own employees for positions of leadership when they become available. While several systemwide efforts serve that purpose, including the successful Academy, I've been working with Mike Devoley, professor of psychology and soon-to-be Academy graduate, to create a more local initiative. Thus, the NGLP was developed.
Our first cohort for 2014 includes:
Maverick Give-a-Can Crushes its Goal!
It's one thing to set a goal and reach it. It's quite another to crush the goal by DOUBLING it! That's what the Mavericks Give-a-Can project did, collecting 20,606 cans, well beyond the initial 10,000 cans, that have now been delivered to the Montgomery County Food Bank. Like Avoid the Stampede, Give-a-Can involved a broad, group effort. The project was led by psychology professor Karen Buckman and philosophy professor Tim Cowan, and many student organizations, classes, groups, and individuals contributed.
Seeing that many cans assembled in the Commons was overwhelming. The best part is that these cans of food will provide much-needed nourishment for the hundreds of clients of the Montgomery County Food Bank during the upcoming holiday season. This project is a testimony to the power of our Maverick spirit, and the "can do" attitude (pun intended) of our faculty, staff and students.
Over the past month and a half, the new MaverickMobile (branded truck and trailer) have been making the rounds at a variety of community events. The MaverickMobile was a big hit during tailgating outreach events at four area high school football games--at Woodforest Stadium (twice) in Shenandoah, Moorhead Stadium in Conroe, and Berton Yates Stadium in Willis.
Student, faculty and staff volunteers passed out more than 10,000 rally towels in the colors of our primary feeder high schools with the message that "More Montgomery County high school graduates attend Lone Star College-Montgomery than other college or university." This was a great outreach event, getting our Maverick brand in the hands (and minds) of prospective students and their parents.
Please make sure to mark Friday, December 6, from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., on your calendar, as we will celebrate together with a traditional holiday luncheon in the atrium of Building B. The annual event is a way to say "thank you" for all of your hard work, celebrate the season, and mark the culmination of a long semester. In addition to holiday music provided by some of our talented music students, all employees will receive a small gift as a token of the college's appreciation for your hard work.
Please make every effort to attend.
Holiday Benefit Concert Benefitting Interfaith
Although the Super Bowl is a couple months away, the LSC-Montgomery Super Bowl, featuring our award-winning music groups, will be held early next month. Indeed, our music groups are the equivalent of a university's football team. (And they get much more applause than our local NFL team has been getting!)
The entire family is invited to our music department's annual Holiday Benefit Concert, on Thursday, December 5, at 7:30 p.m., in the Performing Arts Center (Building D). The concert features traditional carols, familiar tunes, and upbeat holiday favorites performed by the college's choirs, Symphonic Band, and Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Dr. Eiki Isomura, Kris Chapman, and Dr. Mark Marotto, all professors of music.
Ticket proceeds and contributions will be donated to Interfaith of The Woodlands, a faith-based organization that brings people together to build a more loving and caring community through service. This is the eighth year that holiday concert proceeds have been donated to a local non-profit organization and the fifth year that LSC-Montgomery has partnered with Interfaith of The Woodlands.
Interfaith of the Woodlands helps individuals in crisis through financial assistance for rent, mortgage, utilities, gasoline, prescription drug assistance, emergency shelter, food, family and individual counseling, job training, senior programs and child care. For more information about Interfaith of the Woodlands, visit www.woodlandsinterfaith.org.Tickets for the holiday concert cost just $10 for general admission and $5 for LSC-Montgomery faculty, staff, and students. Additional donations will be accepted. To purchase tickets or to make a donation, contact Fong Chau, program coordinator for fine arts, at (936) 273-7021. Tickets can also be purchased at www.MyCommunityEvents.com.
Faculty Excellence Award Recipients Named
Congratulations to our newest group of Faculty Excellence recipients. Truly, these four are extremely deserving of this honor. They include Juan Lebron, academic counselor; David Quarles, professor of math; Amy Roberson, academic counselor; and Anitha Iyer, professor of biology. These four talented faculty members received multiple nominations, not only from fellow faculty members, but students also. This is one of the highest honors that our faculty can be awarded. Please give them your congratulations!
Professor of Politic Science
Honors College Director
Not many people are diverse enough to be able to do a handstand on a skateboard, build a gaming computer from the ground up, and direct the college's newly restructured Honors College--except for David Kennedy, professor of political science.
Diversity and excellence are the very things he appreciates about LSC-Montgomery and works hard to foster in his students.
"Being able to work with students and faculty that have a true passion for education, life, and service is one of the many great things about my position," said David. "I truly enjoy the diversity of activities and events constantly taking place around our campus. I love taking my wife to musical performances or college plays on campus, and our kids have grown up attending many of our annual events, such as Healthier U."
David holds a bachelor's degree from Texas A&M University and a master's degree from the University of Texas at Austin. He came to the college when it first opened in 1995, has served as an associate dean and professor, co-founded the college's chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, and has been actively involved with the academic Honors program since its inception, including the recent transition to a system-wide Honors College.
"Frequently when I tell people where I work, I see their faces light up as they share life-changing experiences they've had taking academic or community-based classes on our campus," said David. "It's encounters like these that make me proud to be a part of LSC-Montgomery and all that we do to have a positive impact on our community."
When Ross Brighten came from London to Lone Star College in 2006, he brought with him a wealth of world-class theatre information and experiences that aide
him in scenery construction, technical direction, stage management, and production management within the theatre department.
"I enjoy the constant, ever-changing nature of theatre," said Ross. "I revel in the challenge of creating a unique live event for our student body and community. If I can introduce people to a new idea or world view, I feel extremely happy."
Ross enjoys working in a positive environment that focuses on high-quality education.
"Our students constantly surprise me with their talent and ability," he said. "They are resourceful and bold. When we worked on the 2012 production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, they proved their strong professional work ethic. They constructed, painted, and collaborated on a great production of a Shakespearean classic. It always makes me feel very proud when I see the students grow in such a short time."
Ross is also very proud of his family; he and his wife have two daughters, Ruby (2) and Violet (10 months).
After arriving from London, Ross had a short stint in Staten Island in New York City before he moved to Texas specifically to work for the college.
"I enjoy the local area and everything Texas has to offer," he said. "I am always discovering new things. It stills seems like a big adventure."