Archives for October 2017

Lee cuts ribbon on expanded nursing complex

Funded through bond approved in 2013, expansion project completed on time & on budget

Lee College cuts ribbon on McNulty-Haddick Nursing Complex Expansion
Lee College administrators, Nursing Program faculty and nursing students gather in the new lecture hall inside the McNulty-Haddick Nursing Complex Expansion during a ribbon cutting and open house held Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017. The expansion project was funded through a bond approved by voters in 2013 and focused on meeting student and faculty needs, including new classrooms and a new student lounge and computer area.

BAYTOWN, TX — Students in the Lee College Nursing Program now have a renovated and revamped facility on campus to train and prepare for rewarding careers on the front lines of patient-centered health care – complete with new spaces to learn and practice critical professional skills, and connect with classmates and instructors.

Lee College administrators, students and faculty came together Tuesday, Oct. 24, with members of the Board of Regents and local health care community to cut the ribbon on the McNulty-Haddick Nursing Complex Expansion, which was funded through a $40 million bond overwhelmingly approved by voters in 2013. The project was completed on time and came in just under its original $6 million budget.

“We know how important nurses are; they’re essential to health care. Nurses are where the rubber meets the road,” said Pete Alfaro, chairman of the Board of Regents, in thanking citizens for supporting the bond referendum that made the expansion possible. “Property taxes, student tuition and fees and state funding do not cover everything. We are grateful for what the community did for us. We want to give every student and faculty member at Lee College the very best.”

At the expanded McNulty-Haddick Complex, there is a new lecture hall that seats 105 students; additional classrooms that can also be used for lab spaces and give faculty and students a variety of ways to interact and enhance instruction; and a new lounge, computer area and outside patio for students to connect with each other and review materials in close proximity to their classrooms and labs.

The Clinical Lab and Simulation Center inside the complex – a replicated hospital setting where students practice their professional skills with high-fidelity mannequins that sweat, bleed and even give birth – has been expanded to add an area dedicated specifically to pediatric care. Through a donation to the Lee College Foundation and grant funding from the state’s Nursing Innovation Grant Program, the Clinical Lab and Simulation Center have also received new mannequins, supplies and equipment that will allow faculty to teach clinical application in each nursing course throughout the program curriculum.

“This project focused on fulfilling the needs of nursing students, faculty and staff,” said Dr. Tracy Allen, director of the Nursing Program. A Lee College alumna herself with more than 20 years of experience in the field, she praised the previous nursing directors — many of whom attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony — who taught her how to be a professional and set the solid foundation upon which the program continues to build today.

“We share that same commitment to student success and to the nursing profession,” Allen said. “Lee College nursing graduates are some of the best nurses I know.”

With a strong reputation for its challenging and relevant curriculum that prepares students for the realities of modern health care, the Lee College Nursing Program emphasizes practical experience. From their first semester, students are required to spend time in both traditional classes and the laboratory and hands-on clinical environment. They are also encouraged to become lifelong learners and continue their education beyond the associate degree.

Since the expansion of the nursing complex was completed, students have particularly enjoyed using the lounge area to hold study groups and unwind together from the rigors of their coursework.

“We want to express our gratitude. Your financial resources have been to good use,” said Danyel Browder, a Level 3 student and president of the Lee College Nursing Students Association, at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “This new addition has made us really proud to say we are nursing students at Lee College.”

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Undergraduate research on display Nov. 2 at San Jacinto College

By Jeannie Peng Mansyur

Event will showcase award-winning research from students’ Rice University internships

Undergraduate research on display Nov. 2 at San Jacinto College

PASADENA, Texas – Undergraduate research will be on full display on Nov. 2 at San Jacinto College as three students present their findings and share experiences from their 10-week internships with the Rice University Institute of Biosciences and Bioengineering Summer Undergraduate Research Program.

The San Jacinto College Student Research Poster Presentation will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. on the San Jacinto College Central Campus, C-19.123. Dr. Joff Silberg and Dr. Rafael Verduzco from Rice University will serve as keynote speakers. Rice University is also an event sponsor along with the Nanosystems Engineering Research Center for Nanotechnology-Enabled Water Treatment.

San Jacinto College students Muhammad Musa, Sara McAda and Marvin Valverde were three of 12 students selected from across the United States to participate in the Rice University Institute of Biosciences and Bioengineering Summer Undergraduate Research Program. As research interns, they were assigned mentors to participate in studies that varied from how drugs affect microscopic worms, to proteins that affect bacteria. They also received a stipend and an option to stay in Rice University housing. In addition to time in the labs, the students participated in research discussions over lunch meetings and seminars to discuss topics related to multi-scale bimolecular networks.

Musa researched the Optimization of Reaction Conditions for Copper-Mediated Modification of Peptides Using Design of Experiment. McAda researched Utilizing Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Cancer Therapeutics. Valverde researched the Characterization of Shewanella oneidensis SO0839 Transcription Factor. Valverde and Musa received Outstanding Poster Awards for their work with the Rice University Institute of Biosciences and Bioengineering Summer Undergraduate Research Program.

View a full photo gallery of the San Jacinto College students at Rice University:

Watch a San Jacinto College social media video of the students’ Rice University Institute of Biosciences and Bioengineering Summer Undergraduate Research Program:

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HCC Advanced Manufacturing Conference highlights training and education

The latest trends, outlook and future in advanced manufacturing were only some of the topics of discussion at Houston Community College‘s (HCC) first Gulf Coast Advanced Manufacturing Conference. More than 200 people attended the conference October 6 at the Stafford Center.

Dr. Cesar Maldonado, HCC Chancellor, welcomed business leaders, public officials, and educators to the conference. Maldonado stressed the crucial role that community colleges play in training the advanced manufacturing workforce in Houston, one of the top manufacturing cities in the country.

“We pride ourselves in leading the way in advanced manufacturing education and training,” Maldonado said. “Our Stafford Workforce Center is second to none in providing students the tools they need to succeed in advanced manufacturing.” Dr. Madeline Burillo-Hopkins, President of HCC Southwest College, emphasized the importance of advanced manufacturing education in the 21st century global economy. “Our collective work will strengthen the long history of economic growth in this area,” Burillo-Hopkins remarked, “The doors that are opened to students today will define the decision-makers of tomorrow.”

The event offered the insights of expert panelists on economic outlook, automation, additive manufacturing/3D printing and workforce education. One of the major points during the discussions was the need for a qualified skilled workforce. That was a message resonated with Kody Snead, a Sealy High School senior who attended the conference with a group of his peers.

“I was exposed to 3D printers in middle school. Now, knowing that this technology is so closely tied into advanced manufacturing makes me want to explore the option of entering this field,” Kody said.

Katherine McMellan, one of the panelists representing the National Association of Manufacturers, emphasized that community colleges like HCC are well positioned to offer education consistent with the needs of industry.

“Advanced manufacturing programs need to lead to jobs and community colleges like HCC continue to prove that they are the most adaptable in the short and long term to educate future professionals,” added McMellan.

Keynote speaker Tony Bennett, President and CEO of the Texas Association of Manufacturers, encouraged industry leaders to collaborate with organizations to convince students as young as middle school to enter one of the professions with the lowest turnover rates.

“How do we align advanced manufacturing organizations to partner up with students starting in the 8th grade? Success is achieved through collaboration. To continue being leaders, we must take the long-term view,“ said Bennett.

The conference culminated with a tour and demonstration of classrooms and equipment at the HCC Workforce building in Stafford, Texas.

To learn more about the HCC Advanced Manufacturing Center of Excellence, visit:

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WCJC hosts book signing for authors Spellman and Hudgins

By Zina L. Carter
WHARTON, TEXAS – Wharton County Junior College is hosting a book signing for two of the college’s own authors.

Dr. Paul Spellman, an instructor of history, and WCJC Board of Trustees member Merle Reue Hudgins will be the featured authors at the book signing event, scheduled for 3 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 24, in the Hutchins Memorial Conference Room on the Wharton campus. During the event, both writers will discuss their recent publications and have a number of books available for purchase and for autographs.

A WCJC instructor for 20 years, Spellman is the author of nine books on Texas history and in 2009 was inducted into the Western Writers of America. He is a member of the Texas State Historical Commission, the Texas State Historical Association and the Fort Bend Historic Commission. He holds degrees from Southwestern University, Southern Methodist University, the University of Texas, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and earned his doctorate from the University of Houston.

Spellman will speak on two of his works: Old 300: Gone to Texas and Until I Come Home: Love Letters from the War, 1918-1919. The first book focuses on the 300 families who followed Stephen F. Austin to Texas in the 1820s while the second book reveals true letters a World War I soldier wrote to his wife back home.

Hudgins is a WCJC alumnus and currently serves on the WCJC Board of Trustees. She is a member of the Texas State Historical Commission, the Texas State Historical Association, and is a charter member of the Wharton County Historical Museum and is the longest serving member of the Wharton County Historical Commission. She is a prolific writer and researcher and is widely known throughout Wharton County for her newspaper column, as a video documentarian and as a historical marker writer for the Texas Historical Commission, works which earned her the moniker “Wharton County’s Official Historian” by the Wharton County Commissioners Court.

At the book signing, Hudgins will present her two-volume work, War Between the States Changed Texas Forever – a Study of Pre-Civil War, Civil War & Post-Civil War. Published earlier this year, the hard cover set – spanning some 850 pages – details America’s most tumultuous period. All proceeds from the sale of the books will benefit the Wharton County Historical Commission.

Wharton County Junior College will host a book signing for Dr. Paul Spellman and Merle Hudgins at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 24, in the Hutchins Memorial Conference Room on the Wharton campus. The public is invited and refreshments will be served.

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Brazosport College rewarded for participation in CenterPoint program

by Billy Loveless


Brazosport College recently participated in the 2017 CenterPoint SCORE Program and was awarded more than $188,000 in energy-efficiency incentives.

The completed energy-efficiency measures include campus-wide LED lighting, HVAC and HVAC controls upgrades.

In total, these projects will help the College save more than 324 kilowatts of peak demand and 1,700 megawatt-hours annually. This sum of energy savings is the carbon dioxide equivalent of 254 passenger vehicles driven for one entire year or 177 homes’ electricity use for one entire year.

Pictured are, from left: Dan Dippon, Director of Energy Efficiency & Economic Development, CenterPoint; Julienne Sugarek, Service Area Director, CenterPoint; Cheryl Bowman, Energy Efficiency Manager, CenterPoint; Drew Scatizzi, Program Manager, CenterPoint; David Marshall, Vice President, Financial Services & CFO, Brazosport College; and Dr. Millicent Valek, President, Brazosport College.

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