In spite of the budget shortfall from the state, LSC-Montgomery's budget increased from $26.29 million in 2010-11 to $28.06 million in 2011-12. This $1.77 million increase is largely the result of a shift in utility costs, which will now be budgeted and managed at each college. The college's new budget also includes four new faculty positions (biology, physics, political science and developmental math), an increase in funding for additional sections based on last year's growth, last year's salary increase, and a 30 percent reduction in travel. In spite of the lean economic times, LSC-Montgomery (along with our sister colleges) is fortunate to experience a growth--as opposed to a decline--in our overall budget.
All of the employees in the student services division are working extremely hard to register and enroll our students. We still have enrollment leading up to the start of the second summer session, but our numbers (compared to last year) indicate that our enrollment, both in terms of student headcount and contact hours, will be roughly equal to last year's figures. Regarding fall enrollment, we are running ahead of where we were at this time last year, and we fully expect to reach our forecast of 5 percent growth in contact hours. We anticipate more than 13,000 students this fall--another record enrollment number for LSC-Montgomery. Again, thanks to all of the hard work from our Student Services personnel, as well as the many faculty and staff helping to meet student needs.
|Foundations of Excellence
At the end of the spring semester, the Foundation of Excellence (FoE) leaders and dimension co-chairs presented a list of recommendations that will help make the first-year and transfer experience even better for our students. That list was prioritized and then reviewed by the college's administrative team at a retreat in late May. Each of the top priorities was assigned to one or more individuals with the charge to develop an implementation timeline and strategy. I can tell you that the initiatives are ambitious, but I know that we have the drive and the talent to move our first-year and transfer experiences to the next level. The survey results showed that LSC-Montgomery rated extremely high in almost every category--higher than almost all of the schools participating in FoE--but we still have room to get better. And that is what we will do! More on FoE will be shared at the August 24 convocation.
Just when you thought construction was finished at LSC-Montgomery, a slew of renovations are taking place this summer. Most of these renovations were planned to come on the heels of our new buildings opening, which freed up existing space for new purposes. Some of these include:
- B209 Lab conversion (general lab converted to a organic chemistry lab)
- Welcome Center (off the lobby of the Student Services Center, this is a place for prospective students to learn more about becoming a Maverick)
- Faculty/Staff Lounge (upstairs in the Administration Building, this new space will be the perfect "quiet space" away from your everyday work area). More information about the faculty/staff lounge will be coming soon!
- Student Organization meeting rooms/offices (upstairs in the Commons Building in A227 where the nursing lab used to be)
Additionally, many of our new classrooms and labs in the Health Science Center (Bldg. B) and General Academic Center (Bldg. G) will have minor renovations to meet the original design specifications. Almost all of these renovations will be completed in time for the start of the fall semester.
|Capital Funding Projects
In addition to the renovations listed above, we were able to "green light" several projects out of our capital funding account. Most of these will also be completed by the end of this summer. They include:
- (BASS) Paint the entire A220 suite and offices (excluding A220L) and replace carpet
- (BELS Fire Science) Portable radios for the Emergency Training Center.
- (COLLEGE RELATIONS) Front entryway landmark/monument
- (FACILITIES) Install AED (defibrillator) at Conroe Center and replace two AEDs at LSC-Montgomery
- (NASH Biology) Lab carts and shelving for new lab prep area
- (NASH Nursing) Flow meters and vacuum regulators for one of the skills Labs
- (NASH Rad Tech) Permanent table-based x-ray machine for simulation
- (NASH Wellness Center) Exercise equipment and storage racks
- (STUDENT LIFE) Renovate A229 into student organization office/resource suite
- (STUDENT SUCCESS) Add televisions and furniture in the Welcome Center C100
- (Teaching Theatre) Upgrade lighting in B102
- (Student Life) Renovation to enhance Student Life space A100 Commons Bldg
- (TEAM Art) Expansion of photo darkroom D200
- (TEAM Drama) Convert D204 into a black box theatre (electrical and curtains)
- (TEAM Theatre) Replacement of dimming system D100 Mainstage Theatre
|Return in the Fall
While there is still plenty of summer left ahead of us, I want to make sure you are aware of a few key dates heading into the Fall 2011 semester. Our new faculty will join us on Monday, August 15, for a week of orientation and integration into the LSC-Montgomery family. The following Monday, August 22, all returning faculty will be back on campus for division and department meetings, as well as an exciting presentation entitled, "Teaching, Learning and Improving Presentations," on Tuesday, August 23, by Dr. David Tobin, co-director of Rice University's Summer Business Institute.
On Wednesday, August 24, all LSC-Montgomery faculty and staff are invited to the annual "Welcome Back" breakfast and presentation. The breakfast begins at 8 a.m. in the lobby of the Performing Arts Center (Bldg. D) and the Mary Matteson-Parrish Art Gallery. My convocation presentation will follow from 9-11 a.m. in the Mainstage Theatre. This is a chance for me to welcome new employees, review our previous accomplishments and strategic planning efforts, as well as outline the upcoming visioning process. We will also give you a more complete update of our Foundations of Excellence progress. Don't miss it!
Commencement (LSC-M and GED)
Dr. Lane poses with the newest Maverick graduates prior to the Spring Commencement ceremony.
The culmination of the 2010-11 academic year, the 15th annual commencement ceremony for LSC-Montgomery, was held on May 13 at The Woodlands Church-Fellowship Campus. This year, more than 250 graduates took part in the ceremony, although LSC-Montgomery had more than 600 graduates in total. Dr. Larry Loomis-Price, professor of biotechnology at LSC-Montgomery, and Elizabeth Chrisman, a Class of 2011 graduate, addressed the graduates at the ceremony. Not only was the evening a chance to recognize the outstanding achievements of the graduates, but the second annual President's Reception that followed the ceremony was a great way to cap off the academic year.
Two days prior to the college's commencement ceremony, LSC-Montgomery celebrated the accomplishments of 36
students at the annual General Education Development (GED) graduation ceremony, held in the college's Performing Arts Center. The ceremony, which I consider to be one of the emotional high points of the college year, honored more than 170 students who took the preparation course and passed the GED exam during the past year. Students such as Lea Croston, a single mother of four children who was laid off last year, and Robert Stiles, a 76-year-old retiree who simply wanted to prove he could do it, are representative of the GED graduates who were honored that evening. Many of the students plan to continue their education at LSC-Montgomery, either enrolling in CE workforce certificate programs or academic programs at either LSC-Montgomery or LSC-Conroe Center.
LSC-Montgomery "Mav-ulous" Spellers included Lisa Rickord, adjunct math instructor; Dr. Lori Hughes, professor of English; and Lana Myers,
professor of English.
Home field advantage wasn't quite enough for the LSC-Montgomery "Mav-ulous" Maverick Spellers, although the threesome finished a very respectable fourth place out of 17 teams in the 9th Annual Adult Spelling Bee, sponsored by the Literacy Volunteers of America and held earlier this summer in the Commons Building. Lana Myers, Lori Hughes and Lisa Rickord performed admirably for LSC-Montgomery and were one of only two teams that managed to complete the first two rounds (20 words) with only one misspelling. (The other team was LSC-Kingwood.) Only two teams were eliminated by the end of the second round; however, teams dropped like hotcakes in the 3rd round when "first aid patches" (i.e., mulligans) could no longer be used. After just three words, the field was narrowed to four teams. The next word was spelled incorrectly by each team, so the contest continued. Finally, the "Mav-ulous" Maverick spellers were tripped up with "picaresque." A few words later, the last team standing was LSC-Kingwood, outlasting the Rotary Club of The Woodlands ("Rotar-Bees") and the Montgomery County Memorial Library "Librar-Bee-ans" with the correct spelling of "carburetor." As a result of Kingwood's triumph over Montgomery (and a friendly bet I made with my counterpart at LSC-Kingwood), I am forced to wear an LSC-Kingwood shirt at some point in the near future. All for a good cause, however!
Conroe ISD 8th Graders
Dr. Danny Kainer, professor of biotechnology, demonstrates some of the interesting bio-diesel and algae-related projects to Conroe ISD's 8th Grade Leadership Academy.
In early June, a group of 50+ Conroe ISD 8th graders (as part of the CISD 8th Grade Leadership Academy) toured the college and heard from several college faculty, staff and administrators. CISD superintendent Dr. Don Stockton accompanied the 8th graders on the tour. I spoke to the group and encouraged them to continue excelling in school and keep college in their sights as they begin to make important decisions about their future. The students toured the biotechnology lab, the Music Hall, Library and Commons Building.
More than 300 students have enrolled in our half-day Discovery College summer youth camps, each of which runs Monday-Thursday from 1-5 p.m. Discovery College follows the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) model and has placed an emphasis on these courses while incorporating lots of fun into the learning. Each week the students tour a different department on campus from 3-3:30 p.m. To date, campers have toured the nursing labs and the ceramics studios and are scheduled for a behind-the-scenes tour of the theatre and recital hall, as well as the biotechnology lab. Several LSC-Montgomery adjunct professors teach at Discovery College including Deon Robinson, Mary Castagna and Candace Strang.
EMS program expansion
Beginning this fall, the college's emergency medical services (EMS) department will begin offering emergency medical technician (EMT) certification on an intermediate level. Previously, the one-year-old program only offered the EMT basic program. Congratulations to Kelly Weller, EMS program director, who is doing an outstanding job taking our EMS program to the next level--literally!
LSC-Conroe Center August 6 "Block Party"
In an effort to raise awareness of the new LSC-Conroe Center in the surrounding community and to encourage enrollment in upcoming fall classes, the LSC-Conroe Center will host a community block party on Saturday, August 6, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. The event will include music, free food, games and contests, campus tours and information sessions. More information about this exciting LSC-Conroe Center block party can be found at www.LoneStar.edu/conroe-center
Staff Development Day
In late May, LSC-Montgomery staff members participated in the annual Staff Development Day at the new LSC-Conroe Center, learning a variety of tips, techniques, and skills, as well as having a chance to network with each other throughout the day. One of the sessions focused on social networking and how to incorporate this ever-growing communication tool into their everyday job. All attendees were given a tour of the new center, allowing them a better understanding of the unique mission of LSC-Conroe Center and the community it serves.
professor of sociology
"Simply put, I enjoy teaching," said Cootz, who was selected as a faculty excellence recipient for 2010-11. " I get pleasure from helping our students learn."
Cootz, who teaches both psychology and sociology courses, has a teaching approach that focuses on creating an effective learning environment by using humor, reducing anxiety, using repetition, and focusing on application.
"I especially enjoy teaching the introductory Principles of Sociology (SOCI 1301) course, where I can creatively
produce an overview of sociology, an area that touches all aspects of daily life," said Cootz. "I have even referenced the television drama 'LOST' to focus on group dynamics or how societies are formed."
Cootz is currently a doctoral candidate at Texas A&M in educational administration human resource development.
He holds a master's degree in sociology and psychology from Our Lady of the Lake University.
specialist III, library circulation
Suzie Solomon worked at Lone Star College-CyFair before transferring to LSC-Montgomery three years ago. Her work in the library is consistently rated as outstanding, as she assists students, faculty and staff with their information resource needs. Additionally, Suzie serves on several community organizations and campus committees, including as co-chair for the learning dimension committee for Foundations of Excellence and organizes blood drives.
"Working here has allowed me to grow intellectually, use my interpersonal skills to assist others, and use my cultural upbringing to provide excellent customer service," she said. "I want to thank all the people who have allowed me to receive this prestigious award, and I hope that I can continue to be a role model for others to follow."
As you enjoy your summer, don't forget to take part in the Maverick Challenge. Just take a picture of yourself with the free Maverick Challenge horseshoe. Whether you're traveling to interesting places or simply enjoying time close to home, you just might take the picture that wins a prize. Prizes will be awarded the picture taken at the highest altitude, the furthest distance from LSC-Montgomery, and the most interesting picture. Another way to win is to write a "Tale from the Trail," a 100-word-or-less description of your traveling experience with the horseshoe. You can submit your entries and get more information at http://LoneStar.itsanet.us/MaverickChallenge
. All entries will be shown at the college's opening convocation presentation in August (more details on that below).