Dr. Austin Lane
               September 2013 

Dr. Austin Lane 



Follow-up Links

It's hard to believe that we are already a month into the fall semester. As I make my way around campus, I'm amazed at the high level of activity taking place on the part of students, faculty and staff. I have no doubts that Lone Star College-Montgomery is, as usual, performing on all cylinders - maximum horsepower - as only Mavericks can do! I'm particularly impressed with the energy that is coming from our Student Government Association. The new officers are working on many levels to best represent the students and partner with the college. I'm committed to raising the level of awareness of our SGA, and you will soon see flyers and posters around campus, as well as SGA profiles on the  
college's website. Stay tuned!


NASHPermanent Dean for NaSH


I'm proud to announce that Mike Krall has been named permanent dean of the NaSH division. Mike has served as interim since June, and he has done an outstanding job in that capacity. Please congratulate Mike as he permanently joins the Maverick family. I'd also like to thank the committee for its diligent work, and the two interim co-deans - Kitty Gronlund and Renee Pruitt, both of whom served with great success for more than a year. Great work! As a reminder, here is Mike's bio:

From 2009-13, Mike Krall served as dean of math & natural sciences at Lone Star College-North Harris, leading 45 full-time faculty and staff in their efforts to educate over 8000 student enrollments per semester.  Among other accomplishments, the division was awarded a $4.3 million STEM grant from the Department of Education to inspire student success in math through the introduction of the Math Achievement Center and innovative instructional techniques.  Mike has introduced processes to improve operational efficiency and to increase evidence-based decision-making.
From 1999-2009, Mike was professor of engineering and physics and department chair of chemistry, physics, engineering, and geology at Lone Star College-Montgomery. In that role, Mike taught all levels of introductory college physics, and authored the lab manuals used in many of the courses. He also founded the engineering program at LSC-Montgomery, where he developed student skills in computer programming, AutoCAD, application of physics principles, and design. Mike has a passion for the teaching and learning process and has been recognized for his outstanding teaching at both the Lone Star College System and Georgia Tech. In 2007, Mike also served as the physics representative on the State of Texas team for curriculum alignment.


In addition to Mike's work in education, he also has a strong background in the engineering industry. He has worked as a microcontroller and digital signal processor applications engineer at Texas Instruments where he developed and taught microcontroller workshops, supported customers with all levels of embedded controllers, programmed flash memory interface software, and served as author and reviewer of TI technical documentation.   Mike also used these same skills as a consulting engineer supporting a Baker Hughes microcontroller application. 


Mike grew up in Spring, TX, and graduated from Spring High School in 1989.  He later received a bachelor of science in bioengineering from Texas A&M University and a master of science in electrical engineering from Georgia Tech.
Mike currently resides in The Woodlands with his wife and five children, whom he and his wife devote time to homeschooling.  In his spare time, Mike enjoys his family, traveling, a variety of sports, and photography.

BELSBELS Dean Search


As you know, we have a vacant dean position in the BELS division. On an interim basis, co-deans Brandy Harvey and David Zimmerman are serving very capably to see BELS through this transition period. Over the course of this academic year, a search process will take place, with the goal of hiring a permanent dean for BELS by late spring. Dr. Kirch will chair the search committee with lots of representation from the BELS division. The committee includes: Lori Hughes, Michele Richey, Patty O'Neal, Angela Martin, Mike Green, Marilyn Speight, Sam Thomas, Beverley Turner, and Elizabeth Pena.



The timeline for the search is as follows:
  • Position posted: December 1, 2013
  • Interviews: March/April 2014.
  • Selection made: May/June 2014 (so that the new dean can start in fall 2014)

LeadershipLSC-Montgomery-Leadership Initiative (Next Generation Leadership Program)


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 within our college 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. I will also be working with Debbie Hernandez (incoming PSSA president) and identifying staff who are interested in taking their career to the next level. Though still in the formative stages, the plan is, on an annual basis, gather a group of select employees who have an interest in pursuing new leadership opportunities - whether it be a support, administrative, managerial, faculty leadership, or project management position. I will meet regularly with the group, provide job shadowing opportunities, and explore relevant professional development workshops or conferences as appropriate.

MaverickMobileMaverickMobile Outreach


LSC-Montgomery has always been known for its tremendous outreach into the community. A new facet of that outreach is the addition of the MaverickMobile, combined with our recent sponsorship of Conroe ISD varsity stadiums (Moorhead in Conroe and Woodforest in Shenandoah). This sponsorship, which includes stadium and scoreboard signage, logo-branded video replays, and PA announcements, permits us to have a tailgating-style presence outside the stadium. Beginning this Friday night at Woodforest Stadium (The Woodlands H.S. vs. Conroe H.S., we will park the Maverick Mobile truck and trailer on the home and visitor sides, passing out free rally towels for each team. Additionally, we will provide literature about the college, answer questions and encourage prospective students to fill out an online admissions application. If you're interesting in working at these events, please contact DeAlva Engelhardt (273.7232 or DeAlva.L.Engelhardt@LoneStar.edu). All workers will receive a free dinner. The MaverickMobile tailgating schedule is as follows: 

  • Fri., Sept. 27: The Woodlands vs. Conroe (Woodforest Stadium, Shenandoah) 5-8 p.m. (kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.) 
  • Fri., Oct. 4: College Park vs. Oak Ridge (Woodforest Stadium, Shenandoah) 5-8 p.m. (kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.)  
  • Fri., Oct. 11: Caney Creek vs. Huntsville (Moorhead Stadium, Conroe) 5-8 p.m. (kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.) 
  • Fri., Nov. 8: Willis vs. Huntsville (Berton Yates Stadium, Willis) 5-8 p.m.*   *tentative

UEPUEP Retreat


This Friday, the college's administrative team will hold its annual fall retreat to "close the loop" on last year's unit effectiveness plans (UEPs) and highlight the 2013-14 goals and initiatives. We hold three retreats each year; the fall retreat closes out last year's cycle and profiles our new goals; in early 2014, we'll meet again to look at how we're doing with implementation of our new goals; finally, in late May or early June, we do an initial evaluation and assessment of those goals. Our annual cycle of effectiveness has become a tradition at LSC-Montgomery, and it provides a common framework to make our college a better place for our students, employees, and the community. It gives us a chance to celebrate our successes and assess where we can improve. Just as important, these retreats give us time to analyze our enrollment projections which, as you know, are tied to our annual budget cycle. Our enrollment and budgeting processes work hand-in-hand to make sure that we maximize our resources and meet student demand. 

compensationCompensation Update 


I'd like to keep you updated on the status of the compensation review process. Dr. Jeff Ling with Evergreen Solutions will return to LSCS next Tuesday and Wednesday, October 1-2, to finalize compensation job placement scoring and training with the LSCS HR Compensation team members. Additionally, Dr. Ling will meet with the Systemwide compensation committee members to discuss final review form information and hear feedback on the summary draft findings for potential change recommendations. Finally, he will also meet with Dr. Carpenter and Rand Key to update them on the status.

From October 3-13, HR will hold one-on-one meetings with LSCS Executive Council members across the System.

Noted below is the ongoing follow-up plan with Evergreen and the current process and activities to be followed:

  • Approximately 440 Classification Review Request forms were read and reviewed, and verbal discussions and input provided by the committee (Tuesday, September 10) Jackie Cooper was appointed rep for LSC-M.      
  • Copies of  the forms were made and express mailed to Dr. Ling with Evergreen for his team's review (Friday, September 13)      
  • A telephone meeting was held for summary discussion, updates and planning with Evergreen/Dr. Ling, Rand Key, Ronda Rotelli and Lisa Cowart (Tuesday, September 17) 
  • Ongoing teleconference meetings for review and analysis of recommendations scheduled weekly    
  • To be scheduled:  Follow up information and  suggested changes with Executive Committee; Dr. Ling and Ronda Rotelli  presentation, no later than October 15, 2013    
  • To be scheduled:  Campus employee information meetings regarding updates/changes and additional program information October 16 through October 30      
  • Finalization of any changes to jobs on career bands and job titles, inputted into the system by October 30, 2013.

Additionally, the following are some future considerations to be included through the fall and into the spring time period: 

  • Internal compensation compression analysis and discussion (committee/team member inclusion)   
  • Finalization and on-line posting of job descriptions (by January 1, 2014)    
  • Part time employee compensation study and strategies - inclusive of budgetary analysis    
  • Pay for performance discussions/consideration/concepts, etc.    
  • Additional EC-suggested ideas

councilP-16 Council


Over the past year, LSC-Montgomery has been working with our local school districts, businesses and non-profits to establish an ongoing P-16 Council. Collectively, our goal is to prepare more students - across their entire educational journey - for college and careers. We've gathered executive-level players, including superintendents and CEOs, who can help provide clearer paths from the earliest stages of education through to college completion and entrance into the workforce. Our P-16 Council meets quarterly, with the next meeting planned for the last week in October. Since our last meeting, new members have been added to give us a better representation of our local businesses and service providers. We look forward to their participation and input as we finalize our vision and mission statements. We also welcome Tristyn Davis as our new program manager of school partnerships and facilitator of the P-16 Council. Tristyn formerly served with the Adult Basic Education portion of the college's $1.5 million Developmental Education Demonstration Grant.

fitnessMaverick Fitness Challenge


After last year's successful kick-off of the Maverick Fitness Challenge (more than 60 employees participated), we will begin the second year with a slightly modified approach. Our Wellness Center staff have created a Bingo-like fitness card, complete with an array of health and fitness activities for all employees to consider. Any employee who completes 25 of the activities will be recognized at our end-of-the-year Heights of Excellence event. One of the optional activities is to participate in the President's Fitness Challenge, which includes timed exercise (running or walking), push-ups, sit-ups, and flexibility test. We will award a "Mr. and Ms. Fit Maverick" based on the top male and female score. The Maverick Fitness Challenge officially begins Tuesday, October 1, and runs through April 1, 2014.  More details can be found at


initiativeTHE Initiatives


Classes scheduled in our innovative learning spaces, launched this fall as part of THE (Teaching Highlighting Engagement) Initiative, are in full swing. While each room (F102, F112, and SHSU 150) has its own purpose, the overall emphasis is on student collaboration.  Everything in these rooms-the set-up of the furniture; the large TV screens; the portable glass boards-work together to help students and faculty interact and grow in a nontraditional manner. You'll see students engaging in groups, using iPads to complete work, or even taking notes-on their desk. It took a lot of work to get to this point, so congratulations to the hardworking group of faculty and staff who have helped launch THE Initiative. We look forward to sharing our success in a big way!

If you haven't had a chance yet, I encourage you to drop by and observe any class meeting in these spaces. (In fact, F-102 has a dedicated space for visitors.)

passLicensure Pass Rates


I'm always excited to share with the community how great our occupational programs are--especially those that require licensure upon completion of our program. These programs, including nursing, radiologic technology, fire science, EMT, and physical therapist assistant, do outstanding work to prepare our students for success beyond Maverick Country. Sometimes, numbers speak louder than words. So, in this case, I'll let our numbers do the talking:



openOpen Forum - Oct. 15 Datesaver


Please mark your calendar for the fall semester Open Forum with the President, set for Tuesday, October 15, from 3-4:30 p.m. in G102. Come prepared to hear some brief highlights, news and announcements, followed by your opportunity to ask me anything on your mind. In addition to some new snacks (not the typical cookies and punch!), we'll have a prize drawing for a personal parking spot of your choice (from Oct. 15 through the end of the fall semester)! Don't miss this informative-and fun-session.


Every so often, I'll receive a note from a student expressing gratitude for the work that a faculty or staff member has done. Earlier this week, I opened the following e-mail from one of our veteran students. His praise of Joseph Trackey, professor of biology, and Vicki Saunders, counselor, absolutely made my day. I'd like to personally congratulate Joseph and Vicki on a job VERY WELL DONE!


"Howdy Dr. Lane. Sir, I want to let you know that I, as a disabled veteran, have been getting the best support that anyone could have ever imagined. Ms. Vicki Saunders and ALL of her staff have gone out of their way to support me with my accommodations. I was injured in Iraq back in March of 2010. One of the things that kept me going was, I wanted to receive my college degree. There is a faculty member that really stands out, amongst all of the others. His name is Joseph Trackey, and he is my biology professor. Mr. Trackey devotes a lot of time in order to give me additional help for biology. Mr. Trackey deserves the highest possible recognition, and he truly teaches his students to be empowered, with the knowledge to be competitors in the job world. He is the true epitome, of an educator that wants to see their students succeed. I would like to put Mr. Trackey in for an award at the highest possible level. I should be graduating after this coming Spring semester, and am proud of where I got my start. Take care, Sir. Go Mavericks!"

-Bobby Deiss    


facultyFaculty Spotlight: 

Dr. Mark Marotto

Director of Choral Activities / Associate
Professor of Music


Of the five countries Dr. Mark Marotto has lived in and worked in, he selected to stay in the U.S. at LSC-Montgomery about two years ago. Fortunately for the campus, he hasn't looked back. 


"I just bought my very first home in Houston last month!" said Marotto. "I feel like I've been given a platform to truly grow as an educator here. I find amazing support from my colleagues and the administration. Innovation in the classroom is not only encouraged, it is actively supported."


After growing up in New Jersey, Marotto has lived and worked in Norway, Romania, Spain, Switzerland, and of course, the U.S. While in Switzerland, he served as artistic director of Le Louverain, a summer choral festival in Neuchâtel, as well as conducted a number of ensembles, including the Bern University Chorus, Le Motet de Genève, and the Lausanne Youth Choir. 


Marotto holds a doctorate in choral conducting from the University of Michigan; a master's degree in orchestral conducting from the National Music University of Bucharest, Romania; and a bachelor's degree in music, summa cum laude, from Duke University.


"It's great to be a Maverick!" he added. "I love our students. They are kind-hearted, and they value their opportunity to go to college.



Staff Spotlight: 

Norma Medina  

Human Resources Specialist  


The oldest of six children, human resources specialist Norma Medina, was born in Houston. About nine years ago, her husband was offered a welding job in The Woodlands, so they moved from Pasadena to Conroe with their first-born son Isaiah, who is now 11. In 2006, their son Elijah was born.
Medina is very proud of her heritage and family. She deeply admires her parents because of the hardships they went through as children and while settling in the U.S. Her large family gathers at least once a month for companionship, music, and all kinds of food. Their favorite Christmas specialty is homemade tamales.  
In 2007, Medina joined a different family-the LSC-Montgomery family.
"I love our campus," she said. "It is very peaceful and welcoming. Our staff is always available to assist the students, employees, and the public."
Medina is currently a student herself here at the college. Her goal is to obtain her bachelor's degree from Sam Houston State University in business administration.
When not working or studying, Medina enjoys exercising, volunteering at her church, and spending time with her family at the ballpark. Both of her sons are devoted baseball players whose dreams are to become Major League players.
"My boys enjoy everything baseball...from practice to competition, video games, and movies!" she exclaimed.   



Sept. 27 Student Recital; 1 p.m.; Music Hall
Sept. 30Art Show/Reception; noon; Mary Matteson-Parrish Art Gallery
Oct. 1Hispanic Heritage Month: Panel with Art Rascon, Maria Jordan and Rodrigo Chaves); 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; G102
Oct. 2 Discover SAM; 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.; SHSU The Woodlands Center
Oct. 2Oil & Gas Engineering Forum/Panel; 1 p.m.; G102
Oct. 4Music (Johnny Salinas, saxophone); 1 p.m., Music Hall
Oct. 4Hispanic Heritage Month: Fiesta Latina; 7:30-11:30 p.m.; Commons Building
Oct. 8Jazz Ensemble Concert; 7:30 p.m.; Music Hall
Oct. 9Preview Showing - "Place of the Skull"; 5:30 p.m.; Mainstage Theatre
Oct. 9Campus Blood Drive; 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; Bldg. B Atrium
Oct. 10-12"Place of the Skull"; 7 p.m. (3 p.m. Matinee on the 12th); Mainstage Theatre
Oct. 10Band & Orchestra Concert; 7:30 p.m.; Music Hall
Oct. 11Student Recital; 1 p.m.; Music Hall
Oct. 15President's Open Forum; 3-4:30 p.m.; G102
Oct. 16Monty's Birthday/Sculpture Dedication Event; 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; Fountain Courtyard
Oct. 17Fall Choir Concert; 7:30 p.m.; Music Hall
Oct. 17Writers in Performance; 7 p.m.; Library
Oct. 18  Music: Guest Artist Dr. Kyle Kindred; 1 p.m.; Music Hall
Oct. 19Lyceum: Dr. John Sadler - "Crime/Mental Illness"; noon; Music Hall
Oct. 22Campus Blood Drive; 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; Bldg. B Atrium
Oct. 25Student Recital; 1 p.m.; Music Hall
Oct. 30Fall Family Festival; 4-7 p.m.; Commons Building/Pavilion

Lone Star College-Montgomery 3200 College Park Drive

Conroe, TX 77384 - 936.273.7000

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