Welcome back! I hope you were able to take some time over the break to rest, relax, and reflect on all that you've accomplished so far in 2013. The semesters seem to go by faster and faster. Believe it or not, commencement is only two months away! But hold on. There's still a lot left to accomplish before the 2012-13 academic year is complete. Just take a look below and you'll see that the best is yet to come.
Bond Referendum - Open Forum
Last month, the LSCS Board of Trustees approved a bond referendum to be held on Saturday, May 11. Their decision was based on the recommendations of six campus-based Citizens Advisory Groups, which met last fall to discuss the future growth needs of LSCS. The group recommended a variety of projects, including a student service center for our campus, and a new University Center, which would allow our college to occupy the existing University Center building. They also recommended expanding and improving our entry/exit roadways and parking lots. Systemwide, the projects total just under $500 million, with LSC-Montgomery receiving just under $40 million of that total. The LSCS board made this decision with the understanding that this amount of bonds would not require any tax rate increase. Now, it is up to the voters to decide in May. To that end, we will have an open forum on Friday, April 12, from 3-4 p.m. in G102. Although I reviewed our campus projects at my open forum last month, we will briefly go over our college's projects as well as the Systemwide projects. This is also a chance to learn what employees can (and can't) do with regard to communication about the bond. For more information about the 2013 LSCS bond referendum, visit LoneStar.edu/Bond2013.
|Nominate for Shining, Rising Star Awards |
Many of you are doing great things to move our college forward, helping to achieve both departmental, divisional, and college wide goals. Now is the time to nominate your colleagues, teams/groups, even yourself, for a Shining Star Award. The nomination process is simple, and it gives you the opportunity to recognize excellence that is taking place here in Maverick Country. The online nomination form is easy to complete, and you can nominate as many individual or team efforts as you like. All nomination forms must be submitted (online) by Thursday, March 28, at 5 p.m. On Friday, May 3, at 1:30 p.m., we will gather in our Performing Arts Center (Building D) for the "Heights of Excellence" awards reception and ceremony. We will celebrate and recognize those individuals who have been selected for the Shining, Rising, Students', and President's Star awards, in addition to other awards such as faculty/staff excellence and service awards, and more. Please mark your calendar for this special event.
|LSCS Completes (Intentionally Designed Completion Plan)!
As you know, the Texas state legislature is moving toward a higher education funding model that rewards institutions demonstrating high rates of student success and completion. In fact, one piece of legislation being considered during this year's session asks for 10 percent of an institution's funding to be based on student success. Certainly, student success and completion are things we have always stressed. Now, with the stakes even higher, it is critical that we incorporate all of our existing completion strategies-and new ones as well-into our college's strategic plan. To do this, we will have a meeting on Monday, April 1, with all academic deans, vice presidents, and other key faculty, staff and administrators to discuss the upcoming completion plan-Lone Star Completes-that will be implemented Systemwide NEXT FALL. We will make sure to include all of the unique initiatives happening at LSC-Montgomery so that our flavor is not lost in the larger plan. All of our initiatives in this regard will be published in the next update of the Maverick Way and discussed during my next open forum.
|Learning Networks Gain National Notoriety, Demonstrate Success
I am very proud of the work being done on the part of all faculty participating in the variety of Learning Networks at LSC-Montgomery. Not only are our students and faculty engaged in a unique style of learning community, they are flourishing at the same time. Data from the first two semesters of the Learning Networks (Spring 12 and Fall 12) indicate that students enrolled in sections that are part of a Learning Network not only perform better (success), but also complete at a higher rate than the general student population in identical non-Learning Network courses. The college has received local and, recently, national attention for this initiative. Take a look at this USA Today College article about the Fear & Horror Learning Network in particular: https://www.usatodayeducate.com/staging/index.php/ccp/zombies-demons-part-of-curriculum-at-lone-star-college
NaSH Dean Search Continues
Later this month, the NaSH dean search committee will conduct phone interviews with several candidates prior to conducting in-person interviews. The committee, led by Dr. Ann Kirch, vice president of instruction, also includes the following faculty and staff members:
Following the phone interviews, the committee expects to conduct in-person interviews in early to mid-April, followed by a selection prior to the end of the spring semester. We will keep you informed regarding open forums for the in-person, on-campus candidate interviews.
Congratulations to Melanie Hail!
The Texas Society of Radiologic Technologists (TSRT) recently honored our own Melanie Hail, professor of radiologic technology, as Educator of the Year. This is a tremendous recognition. Not only does it speak to Melanie's outstanding classroom and instruction abilities, but it is another indicator of the high quality of our radiologic technology program. Melanie was honored at the TSRT annual conference, which our college hosted just before Spring Break. The conference brought hundreds of radiologic technology students and educators together for two days of learning and networking, and it is the second year that LSC-Montgomery was able to showcase our campus to this organization.
Maverick 'Que-st: Are you Ready for March 27?!
Once again, we will take a little time this semester for some inter-departmental competition and team building. Maverick 'Que-st will take place on Wednesday, March 27. Join your division/department in this exciting event! Last year, it was kickball. This year, we have two very different activities - one that stresses physical prowess, and the other that stresses mental stamina! The fun begins at 11:30 a.m. by the baseball field. Be there! We will divide up into the following teams:
Captains are being named, and they will be given a sneak preview of the competition just prior to the 27th. Come enjoy great food, friendly competition, and camaraderie with your colleagues!
- Student Success
- Administration - everyone else: CE, HR, College Relations, etc.
Faculty & Staff Spotlight
Professor of Mathematics
For eight years, Professor Erik Oslund has been teaching at LSC-Montgomery. Recently, he was recognized as a Faculty Excellence Award winner.
"It is a great honor to be chosen by colleagues to win this award," said Oslund, who teaches courses ranging from developmental math to Calculus and Trigonometry. "I'm very interested in making sure students understand math is a language. It has it's own structure and rules. If you learn those rules, it becomes much more manageable."
Oslund incorporates both individual and group work into his classroom, as well as provides students with notes to guide them during lectures.
"It is very rewarding to watch someone who has struggled with math finally understand it," said Oslund. "I enjoy helping students achieve their goals."
Oslund, who is originally from San Antonio, enjoys poker and real estate, as well as spending time his fiancÚ and dogs.
Interim Program Coordinator for Health Occupations
Katie Halbert is currently serving as the interim program coordinator for health occupations. In this role, she assists with compliance and the accreditation process for NaSH health occupations and workforce programs. She finds value in the work she does because it directly impacts program and student success.
"I started my college career at LSC-Montgomery, and it was a great place to go to school," said Halbert. "I thought that working in higher education would be rewarding, and it really is. Plus I love the people I work with. We have a great team and work well together to accomplish our goals."
Halbert recently completed her bachelor's degree in business administration from Sam Houston State University.
"My greatest accomplishment, however, is having a happy family!" said Halbert. Her daughter Molly recently turned two and her second daughter is set to arrive in early April. She and her husband, Will, live in The Woodlands area.
|United Way Campaign Concludes
The college's annual United Way campaign concluded just before Spring Break. The college raised $5,000 in support of Montgomery County United Way and its funding partner agencies. This represents a significant increase over last year's campaign contribution, and it shows the heart that we have to help those in need. Congratulations, too, go to Francis Ozor, director of the radiologic technology program, who won the drawing for the iPad Mini on the final day of the campaign.
TEAM Division Open Forum - March 21
Texas Wildlife & Woodland Expo / Spring Fling - March 23
Maverick Quest - March 27
Maverick Mania Open House - April 2
Healthier U - April 3-5
Avoid the Stampede - April 10
President's Open Forum - April 11
Bond Referendum Open Forum - April 12
Global Awareness Day - April 17
Student Awards Banquet - April 18
BELS Division Open Forum - April 25
Presidential Scholars Reception/Ceremony - April 29
College Relations Open Forum - May 2
Heights of Excellence Reception/Ceremony - May 3
Commencement - May 10