|P-16 Council established
LSC-Montgomery is working closely with our local ISDs and workforce/economic development councils to create a continuous pathway for students, from pre-school through their higher education experience (P-16). To formalize the process, we have developed a P-16 Council for LSC-M. The council members consist of a representative from the Chamber of Commerce (Scott Harper), the Economic Development Council (Larry Calhoun), the three service area Superintendents (Dr. Beau Rees-Montgomery ISD, Dr. Don Stockton-Conroe ISD, and Dr. Bret Jimerson-Willis ISD) and LSC-Montgomery (Becky Duncan-Ramirez, Ann Kirch, Wendell Williams and myself). We will meet as a group twice a year in order to provide leadership and guidance towards meeting the goal of a seamless transition for students from the moment they enter the school setting until they graduate from college. This council will add members as necessary as more opportunities are pursued in this area. We are currently working to ensure clear curriculum crosswalks within the STEM concentration areas between the high school and college curriculum. The team will also support the establishment of a partnership between LSC-M faculty and high school instructors as we move forward in providing the seamless transition for our area students.
It's hard to believe, but LSC-Montgomery recently was honored for its 20th anniversary of membership in the South Montgomery County Woodlands Chamber of Commerce. The college joined the chamber in 1992, shortly after Conroe ISD residents voted to join LSCS. Founding president, Dr. Bill Law, quickly got involved in both the SMCWCC and the Conroe Chamber, making sure that our commitment to the community was solid from the beginning. I'm proud to say that the college is still closely partnered with both chambers. We host job fairs, participate on chamber committees, sponsor chamber and related community events, etc. It won't be long before we celebrate our 20 years here on this campus. We have a long, proud history of being the community's college, and I know that this will continue into the future. Congratulations to all of you who help keep that community commitment alive!
Recently, to help show the community how much pride we have on our campus, we placed several full-page ads in area newspapers and magazines. One of the inputs we received from the visioning sessions was that we needed to let the community know more about the great things happening in Maverick Country. This is one of those efforts.
|SHSU Transfer Conference
Last Friday, a large group of LSC-Montgomery faculty, counselors, advisors and administrators held a mini-conference with their counterparts from Sam Houston State University. The day-long meeting, titled "Transfer Pathways: Helping our Students Succeed in Their Academic Endeavors," provided for rich discussion and helped to solidify our already strong relationship with SHSU. I was pleased to kick off the meeting alongside Dr. Dana Gibson, SHSU's president, expressing the commitment we both have to each other's success. During the meeting, updates were given on the core curriculum and the need to provide clear pathways for our students. Much of the work that our counselors and faculty are doing with regard to specific degree pathways was presented, as well. The soon-to-be-formed Maverick Transfer Center was also presented, and there was rich conversation about the importance of transfer advising. All said, it was a fantastic meeting. Both institutions agreed that similar conferences centered around "transfer pathways" are needed to make sure we are providing our students with efficient, easy-to-follow roadmaps for degree completion. It is also critical to note that we are in similar discussions with partner universities such as University of Houston, where a significant number of our students aim to transfer. This is Maverick-quality work!
More than 50 representatives from LSC-Montgomery and Sam Houston State University attended the "Transfer Pathways" mini-conference held last week at the new SHSU The Woodlands Center.
|New Faculty Lunch with Administration
At the beginning of each semester, I've begun a tradition of having my administrative team meet with our new faculty. The lunch serves several purposes. For the faculty, it puts a face to a name, and gives them an informal environment to ask questions and to describe their teaching experiences and background. For my staff, they can connect with our newest faculty in a way that formal meetings don't typically allow. The last time we did this, I know that I left with a great sense of pride, knowing that we are hiring some of the best, most highly-sought-after faculty members in the region. This year's lunch will take place later today, and it is one of those events that I eagerly anticipate.
|Meeting with Faculty Senate Officers, Faculty Reps, Deans, VPs Update
Earlier this month, we held the first of what will be monthly lunch meetings with Faculty Senate officers, faculty reps, deans, vice presidents and myself. This meeting is a way for the college to enhance internal communication at LSC-Montgomery. It is important for faculty and administration to have regular updates with each other to share not only good news and accomplishments, but also address concerns and questions. In addition to our open forums (which we are expanding this year to include vice president and dean forums), this meeting will serve to bridge communication gaps that naturally exist in large (and growing) organizations. Attendees were encouraged to share the nature of the meeting with their colleagues, and also bring questions or concerns from those who do not attend. The next meeting will be more issue-driven by the attendees themselves. Regular attendees include: Austin Lane, Ann Kirch, Wendell Williams, Jim Taylor, Steve Scheffler, Becky Gustamante, Barbara Buchanan, Deborah Ellington, Kitty Gronlund, Renee Pruitt, Gordon Carruth, Barbara Eckenfels, John Magner, Phil McCue, Eric Oslund, Jared Cootz, Michele Richey, Frank Granack, Tim Algeo, Chase Waites, Erma Walker, Janice Peyton, and Sara Palacios-Wilhelm. Our next meeting is set for Tuesday, October 9. If you would like to attend, please contact Sheila Davenport.
|Dean Search Update
As you know, this fall we are conducting two simultaneous searches for the dean positions with our NaSH and TEAM divisions. The NaSH search committee has identified the top applicants, and it will meet on October 9 to schedule initial phone interviews, which will take place the following week in October. In-person interviews during campus visits for the finalists will then be scheduled in November. The TEAM search committee is in the process of ranking the applicants, which should be completed next week. This committee anticipates carrying out phone interviews during the last week of October, followed by campus visits and interviews for finalists in November. Stay tuned for more details about these important searches.
|Ann Kirch (chair)||Ann Kirch (chair)|
|Katie Halbert||Barbara Eckenfels|
|Kathy Johansen||Earl Holt|
|Kitty Gronlund||Linda Woodward|
|Renee Pruitt||Chase Waites|
|Linda Crow||Kris Chapman|
|Linda Vogel||Denise Meyers|
|Manijeh Scott||David Benzel|
|Nathalie Brandes||Rob Kreps|
|John Magner||Joanie Sloan|
|Betsy Stern||Maureen Loiacano|
|Mike Sundermann||Habib Far|
|Nishi Mathew||James Lee|
|Frances Ozor||Heidi Smith|
|October 5 Retreat
The college's annual fall retreat will take place on Friday, October 5, with vice presidents, deans and other administrators presenting their Unit Effectiveness Plans (UEPs). This retreat provides ample evidence that our planning is not simply housed in a publication that sits on a shelf. Rather, our plans are alive and well throughout the year! Each academic division and college department will review the outcomes from their 2011-12 plan ("closing the loop"), and outline their new goals for 2012-13. This retreat provides a great opportunity to hear about the things that did (and didn't) work last year, and how we are taking those experiences and building on them for the new planning cycle that has just begun. These presentations also give us a chance to see how our initiatives are solidly linked to the college's overall strategic plan for 2012-15. A follow-up retreat is held each spring, which provides an opportunity to update the college on these new goals we've set. I know that so many of you are involved in your division/department's UEP process, tying your individual goals to the larger plans. Thank you for all you do to keep our planning cycle alive and well!
|Open Forum Schedule
In an effort to continuously increase our communication and interaction with faculty and staff, I've asked our administrative team, including all deans and vice presidents, to hold one open forum each month covering their specific division or department. The goal is to let the campus community know about new initiatives for 2012-13, highlight recent accomplishments, and answer questions or concerns you might have. The open forums scheduled this fall (listed below) will take place on Thursdays at 3 p.m. in G102. Please mark your calendar and plan to attend as many as possible.
Open Forum Schedule
|Oct. 18||Wendell Williams, VP Student Success|
|Nov. 8||Austin Lane, 3-4:30 p.m.|
|Nov. 15||Becky Gustamante, Dean, BASS|
|Dec. 4||Renee Pruitt & Kitty Gronlund, Interim Deans, NaSH|
Meeting with First Bank Junior Board of Directors
Earlier this week, I met with the First Bank (formerly First Bank of Conroe) Junior Board of Directors. These high school seniors come from Willis, Montgomery, Conroe, and Caney Creek, and they are incredible examples of the promise of youth! They are selected to the board based on both academic and community service. Many of them have completed (or are currently enrolled in) our dual credit program, so they know the value and quality of instruction at LSC-Montgomery. I was able to provide them with an overview of the college, including our unique partnership with Sam Houston State University.
Piper Professor Nomination
Each year, LSC-Montgomery nominates a faculty member to be considered for the prestigious Piper Professor award. Often considered to be the Heisman Trophy for college faculty in Texas, the program provides ten (10) awards of $5,000 each to the selected professors teaching in both the university and community college arena. This year, the process we'll use for selecting our Piper nominee is as follows:
Step 1: The committee will send out an electronic nomination form for students and college faculty to identify faculty they feel should be considered for the Piper Professor nomination.
Step 2: Anyone with questions can check with the Piper Professor nomination committee members in their divisions: BASS contacts are Frank Granack and Dana Morales; BELS contacts are David Zimmerman and Simone Rieck; NaSH contacts are Nanette Meyer and John Magner; TEAM contacts are Robby Woods and Patrick Caldwell.
Step 3: Once nominations are received, the committee will make a determination on the Piper Professor nominee for the college.
Step 4: The committee will facilitate completion of the nominee's application materials and send it in.
LSC Foundation Kicks Off 2012 "Your Gift is the Key" Campaign!
Did you know that almost half of our students rely on some form of financial aid or scholarships to attend LSC-Montgomery? Or that 1,000 students were dropped from their classes prior to the semester for non-payment? Sadly, for many students, college costs prohibit many students from pursuing their career goals.
The Lone Star College Foundation makes college possible for hundreds of LSCS students each semester. Through generous donations from individuals, businesses and organizations, scholarships through the Foundation fuel students' dreams, opening doors that otherwise would be closed.
The Foundation's new giving campaign, "Your Gift is the Key to Student Success," is a way for each of us to participate in making a student's dream a reality. This is the Foundation's first employee-based campaign since 2007, and it is very easy to give -- even as little as $2 per paycheck!
At LSC-Montgomery, our campaign began last week with a great presentation at my open forum by co-chairs Steve Scheffler, dean of college relations, and Linda Vogel, nursing professor. Both have been involved with the Foundation for many years. Three years ago, Linda helped establish an endowed scholarship in memory of her daughter, Kelsey. This annual scholarship goes to an aspiring actor/actress in our theatre arts program.
Giving is easy. Full-time employees can donate via payroll deduction. Simply go to MyLoneStar and follow these directions. You can also pledge by cash, check or credit card. Just complete a pledge card and return it to DeAlva Engelhardt (room E101) by October 12. All donors will receive a collectible Monty the Maverick bobble head, and divisions/departments that achieve 80 percent participation will have a special lunch catered to their area.
Fitness Challenge Begins on Monday!
If you have a desire to get fit, or simply improve your fitness over time, consider participating in the President's Fitness Challenge, which kicks off this coming Monday. Developed by several LSC-Montgomery faculty and staff, the Challenge can be tackled in two levels of participation: All-Star and Challenge. To find out more about the Fitness Challenge, visit https://www.lonestar.edu/montgomery-fitness-challenge.htm