New class will explore physical science through science fiction

Sci Fi Physics course enrolling for fall, will use pop culture to illuminate scientific concepts

BAYTOWN, TX — A new course debuting this fall at Lee College will give students the chance to learn the fundamentals of physical science by exploring well-known movies, television shows and stories of science fiction — from “Star Wars” to “Interstellar,” “X-Men,” “Back to the Future” and more.

Sci Fi Physics is an introductory class designed for students who are not majoring in technical fields, but need a science elective to complete their Lee College degree or certificate. Evan Richards, Ph.D., instructor of physics and pre-engineering, will teach the course on Monday and Wednesday afternoons.

While many science classes involve heavy analysis and multiple mathematical equations, Sci Fi Physics will focus instead on exposing students to major concepts of physical science in a way that is more exciting, engaging and relevant to their daily lives and interests. Material from science fiction movies, television shows and short stories will be used as the launching pad for more in-depth examinations of basic physical science principles.

“Science fiction fascinates people and physical science has a lot to say about that,” said Richards, who often reflects on his own expertise in physics and engineering when evaluating the validity of scientific ideas highlighted in popular culture. He looks forward to helping students link and compare Hollywood’s version of physical science — like invisibility and time travel — with real concepts and ideas.

“I want to cast a wide net with this class,” Richards said. “I think it will really be engaging and capture people’s imaginations. I want to reach the student who says, ‘I want to broaden my mind and horizons a little bit.’ If I can use that curiosity to teach them something about science, then that’s great.”

Registration for Sci Fi Physics and other fall 2016 classes at Lee College is ongoing. For more information about the course, search for “PHYS 1415 – F02A” in the online course catalog at catalog.lee.edu or contact Richards at erichards@lee.edu.

Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses, that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite center in nearby South Liberty County, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 14 independent school districts. To learn more, visit

Space still available in final weeks of youth tennis camps

BAYTOWN, TX — The Lee College tennis courts have been filled since June with dozens of children and teens running drills and playing games to increase their skills and knowledge of the sport — and there is still time to register youths 5-16 years old for the last remaining tennis camps of the summer.

Tennis summer camps run weekly, with the final camps set to begin Aug. 15 at the Lee College Tennis Center on Market Street. Parents can select from a half-day option that runs from 8:30 a.m.-noon, or a full-day option that runs from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. and includes lunch. Students are divided into groups according to their age and skill level, with the goal of improving their overall athletic ability and sharpening their fundamentals to make them more successful tennis players.

Tennis campers spend their week on the court enjoying a variety of different activities that enhance their conditioning, coordination and footwork. Participants run relay races, practice strokes and compete in matches against their peers. Care is also taken to ensure that the campers stay hydrated and get plenty of rest in the Texas heat. In addition to the youth summer camps, Tennis Professional Rob Coles also offers year-round after-school and private lessons for both children and adults. To sign up or get more information about costs and other program details, contact Coles at 281.425.6843 or rcoles@lee.edu.

Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses, that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite center in nearby South Liberty County, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 14 independent school districts. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.

Job fair Aug. 4 to find part-time instructors in multiple disciplines

BAYTOWN, TX — Lee College is looking for part-time instructors in dozens of disciplines to add to its pool of talented faculty and continue the legacy of high-quality teaching and learning.

Interested parties are invited to discuss the available part-time teaching opportunities at the Adjunct Job Fair, to be held from 5-7 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 4, in the Phyllis Davis Room at 909 Decker Drive. Job fair participants are encouraged to bring their resumes to the event to share with current faculty, who will be available to answer questions and share insights from their own experiences in the classroom. Light refreshments will also be served.

Adjunct instructors are needed to teach day, evening and/or weekend classes in a wide range of fields across the Academic Division, Applied Sciences Division and Center for Workforce and Community Education — from Government, Psychology and Art Appreciation to Pipefitting, Millwright and Electrical.

Those who want to teach academic courses like English, History and Mathematics must have a master’s degree and 18 graduate hours in the discipline being taught. Instructors for technical courses like Process Technology, Instrumentation and Welding typically require an associate degree and three years of related work experience in the teaching discipline.

Part-time faculty may teach traditional face-to-face classes, online classes or in a hybrid format at multiple locations: the main campus and McNair Center in Baytown; the newly opened Lee College Education Center – South Liberty County; the prison education program in Huntsville; and in dual-credit classes offered at several local high schools.

For more information about the upcoming Adjunct Job Fair or available positions, contact the Office of Human Resources at 281.425.6875 or hr@lee.edu.

Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses, that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite center in nearby South Liberty County, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 14 independent school districts. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.

Weekend College still enrolling students for fall

Free info session on July 26 will include more details about program for adult learners

BAYTOWN, TX — When Cathy Graham made the decision to enroll in the Weekend College at Lee College, she was tired of being a secretary and eager to embark on a new career path — but also a little apprehensive about returning to the classroom after many years away.

Graham’s journey in the Weekend College, in which students earn associate’s degrees in less than 2 years by attending classes only on Friday evenings and Saturdays, has been better than she could have imagined. In her very first class in the Computer and Network Maintenance Technology program, she learned how to build a computer from scratch; now, even coworkers in her department at NASA come to her for help troubleshooting their machines. She marvels at how much she has learned so quickly.

“When we started this, we never thought that in a year and 9 months we’d be graduating,” said Graham, a grandmother of three and long-time Baytonian who will walk across the stage in May to receive her Associate of Applied Science degree. “I didn’t believe it at first, but our instructors knew. They are our cheerleaders. I learned to start trusting.”

Funded through a $2.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education, the Weekend College is designed for adult learners and those juggling work, school and other responsibilities. A free information session about the program will be held from 7-8:30 p.m., Tuesday, July 26, in the Rundell Hall Conference Center on campus. Faculty, staff and students will provide more details about enrollment for the Fall 2016 semester, share experiences and answer questions. Free food and refreshments will be provided.

Weekend College students can choose from five different Associate of Art and Associate of Applied Science degree program options: Industrial Welding Technology, Computer and Network Maintenance Technology, Business Administration and Management, Transfer Allied Health and General Studies – Social Science. The program uses a cohort model that keeps the same groups of students together from enrollment to graduation or transfer, and class sizes average just 18-25 students.

Through 3-week and 8-week bridge courses, Weekend College students are able to move more quickly from developmental classes into credit classes. Classes are offered at multiple Lee College locations to enhance convenience and flexibility, and many are delivered in a hybrid format that blends online and classroom instruction. Weekend College courses are never dropped; once accepted into the program, students will always have the courses they need for their degree.

Students in the Weekend College also receive personalized advising, financial assistance and tutoring offered 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A completion coach provides assistance with the application process, financial aid and registration, and continues to help students through each semester until graduation or transfer.

The overwhelming support of her Weekend College instructors and classmates helped calm Graham’s initial fears about going back to school, and has kept her motivated to succeed. She looks forward to completing her associate’s degree and moving on to her bachelor’s and master’s — and feels confident her Weekend College family will always be there to cheer her on as she pursues a career in information systems and security.

“You have to commit yourself and your time to the program,” Graham said. “Believe in yourself and don’t give up; never give up. The Weekend College has been a great experience that I am so glad I’ve had.”

For more about Lee College’s Weekend College or the July 26 information session, contact Completion Coach Jessica Falla at 281.425.6421 or visit www.lee.edu/weekend.

Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses, that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite center in nearby South Liberty County, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 14 independent school districts. To learn more, visit

Free info sessions on Weekend College set for July 20 & 26

Students in program earn associate’s degrees by taking classes Fridays and Saturdays only

BAYTOWN, TX – Adult learners and those juggling work, school and other responsibilities can learn more this month about Lee College’s Weekend College, a specially designed program that allows students to earn an associate’s degree in less than two years by taking classes only on Friday evenings and Saturdays.

The Weekend College will host open information sessions from 7-8:30 p.m., Wednesday, July 20, and Tuesday, July 26, in the Rundell Hall Conference Center on campus. Faculty, staff and students will provide more details about the program and enrollment for the fall 2016 semester, share their experiences and answer questions. Free food and refreshments will be provided.

Weekend College students can choose from five different Associate of Art and Associate of Applied Science degree program options: Welding Technology, Computer and Network Maintenance Technology, Business, General Transfer Allied Health and General Transfer Social Science. The program uses a cohort model that keeps the same groups of students together from enrollment to graduation or transfer, and class sizes average just 18-25 students.

Through three-week and eight-week bridge courses, Weekend College students are able to move more quickly from developmental classes into credit classes. Classes are offered at multiple Lee College locations to enhance convenience, and many are delivered in a hybrid format that blends online and classroom instruction. Weekend College courses are never dropped; once accepted into the program, students will always have the courses they need for their degree.

Students in the Weekend College also receive personalized advising, financial assistance and tutoring offered 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A completion coach provides assistance with the application process, financial aid and registration, and continues to help students through each semester until graduation or transfer.

The Weekend College is funded through a $2.7 million First in the World Grant awarded to Lee College by the U.S. Department of Education. For more about the program or the upcoming information sessions, contact Completion Coach Jessica Falla at 281.425.6421 or visit www.lee.edu/weekend.

Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses, that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite center in nearby South Liberty County, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 14 independent school districts. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.

V.P. Ponce noted among rising Baytown leaders

Dr. Christina Ponce
Dr. Christina Ponce

BAYTOWN, TX – Dr. Christina Ponce, Vice President of Student Success, Workforce and Resource Development at Lee College, has been named by The Baytown Sun newspaper as one of 20 young and rising leaders in the Baytown area.

The Baytown Sun “20 Under 40” recognizes those who have had business success, made a significant community impact and represent the next generation of city leaders. As part of her selection, Ponce was featured this week in a special section of the newspaper and honored at a reception.

Ponce brings to Lee College more than 15 years of experience in student services, instruction and resource development. Prior to coming to Baytown, she served as the Executive Director for Foundation & Resource Development at El Paso Community College. She has also worked with the Early College Start program at Austin Community College; the Gear UP program with Austin Independent School District; the College for Texas and Texas Scholars programs at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board; and as a professor teaching Texas and U.S. Government.

A strong advocate of expanding student success and access to education, Ponce was recently awarded the prestigious Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence and is involved with several national organizations that promote progress at community colleges. She has served as a faculty resident for the Community College Survey of Student Engagement, and is the recent past chairwoman of the board for Junior Achievement of the Desert Southwest. In addition, she currently sits on the National Advisory Board for the Center for Minority-Serving Institutions at Penn State University.

Within the community, Ponce is board chairwoman of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and an active member of Baytown Habitat for Humanity and the Baytown Kiwanis. She is also a member of several local and regional workforce development committees.

Ponce earned her doctorate degree in Educational Administration from the Community College Leadership Program at the University of Texas at Austin, where she also completed a bachelor’s degree in education with a minor in Spanish and worked in various capacities around campus. She also earned a master’s degree in political science from Texas State University, with a minor in legal studies.

Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses, that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite center in nearby South Liberty County, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 14 independent school districts. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.