Grant director chosen for national program for Hispanic community college leaders

Victoria Marron
Victoria Marron

BAYTOWN, TX — Lee College grant director Victoria Marron was one of 22 community college administrators from around the country selected for the 2016 National Community College Hispanic Council’s (NCCHC) Leadership Fellows Program, which aims to develop a pool of highly qualified Hispanics and assist them in attaining high-level positions in community colleges.

As part of the program, Marron traveled to the University of San Diego School of Leadership and Education Sciences for two residential seminars. She prepared an individualized professional development plan, engaged in a mentoring relationship with a Hispanic community college leader and attended the NCCHC Leadership Symposium, where she also completed online activities between sessions.

“Assisting in creating policies, offering services and helping students is part of my core,” said Marron, who oversees the college’s $2.7 million U.S. Department of Education First in the World Grant and more than $5.3 million in federal Hispanic-Serving Institutions STEM Grant funding, while also serving as coordinator of the Puente Project mentoring program for academically under-served students.

“I myself had been a Lee College student in developmental education courses, fresh out of high school with a newborn baby. I walk across campus and understand the struggles our students face,” Marron said. “I look forward to continuing my growth and having the ability to continue to learn how to serve all of our students better. Lee College is truly a family and I am very appreciative of the ongoing support from my teams, faculty, staff and administration.”

NCCHC is an affiliated council of the American Association of Community Colleges, a national organization that has provided leadership to the community college movement for more than 50 years. The council works to promote the educational interests and success of the Hispanic community and emphasizes access, equity and excellence for students and staff in community colleges.

Marron is one of more than 250 NCCHC Leadership Fellows who have graduated from the program since its inception. Of the original 72 Fellows, more than 15 are now community college presidents and many others have moved to positions of increased responsibility as executive-level administrators.

“Preparing strong leaders for the future is the primary purpose of the NCCHC Leadership Fellows Program,” said council Pres. Maria Harper Marinick. “A demographic shift is occurring in the United States and we need leaders who can model the way for the growing Hispanic population. Through this program, Fellows gain the knowledge and skills they need to lead higher education into the future and positively impact the economic and civic success of their respective communities.”

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.

Lee College Foundation Gala raises record $175,000 for scholarships and support

Foundation Board will award a total of more than $470,000 to students this academic year

Gala Fundraiser
The Thursday Night Band, a Lee College ensemble featuring students Emily Vaughan, Simon Flores, and Andrew Adams-Whitehead, performs at the 31st annual Lee College Foundation Gala, held in September at Sylvan Beach Pavilion in LaPorte. The gala raised a record $175,000 that will be used for student scholarships and other forms of support.

BAYTOWN, TX — With nearly 400 guests in attendance and $175,000 raised, the 31st annual Lee College Foundation Gala was a record-breaking success that will help ensure deserving students at all levels will have the scholarships and other forms of support they need to pursue higher education.

And while many college and university foundations only offer scholarships to students attending school full-time, the Lee College Foundation will  instead focus on meeting students’ needs wherever they are.

Under the leadership of its Board of Directors, the foundation will award more than $470,000 to students this academic year, and all are eligible: those enrolled full-time; part-time; in dual-credit classes for high-school students to earn college credits; in non-credit classes offered by the Center for Workforce and Community Development; and in the Lee College Huntsville Center prison program.

“Many of our students are surprised and amazed that somebody they don’t know is willing to donate funds to help them get an education,” said Pam Warford, executive director of the Lee College Foundation and director of Foundation and Donor Relations. “The gala provides an opportunity for industry and the community to celebrate together and gives us the chance to thank those donors, who are so loyal and proud to have their own community college that’s doing so well.”

Tax-deductible contributions from industry and private donors are also used to support the Student Success Fund, created to help those facing extraordinary circumstances pay for college-related expenses. When a student was notified that she would receive a Pell Grant for her tuition — but not before the deadline when her classes would be dropped for non-payment — the Student Success Fund helped bridge the gap. When a student received a $400 textbook scholarship but still lacked several books she needed for her rigorous coursework in the nursing program, the Student Success Fund provided the additional money to buy all the books required for her class.

“Enrollment is one thing, but students have to persist, stay the course and graduate,” said Pres. Dr. Dennis Brown. “So many little things can impede a student’s progress and we have to be able to step in and help them. Financial contributions are immensely important — more important now than ever.”

As the foundation continues in its mission to provide financial support to Lee College students, board members hope to see more donors choosing planned giving by setting up bequests, charitable trusts and annuities that will allow them to make a lasting difference for generations to come.

“I’m excited about my future,” said Emily Vaughan, a native Baytonian and foundation scholarship recipient who is active in Lee College Theatre and plans to attend Sam Houston State University to earn a bachelor’s degree in music education at Sam Houston State University. “None of this would be possible without donations. They really lightened my load.”

For more information about giving to the Lee College Foundation, contact Warford at pwarford@lee.edu or visit www.lee.edu/foundation.

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 education 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.

Lee named a Military Friendly® School fifth year running

Selection comes as Veterans Center hosts fifth anniversary celebration & Veterans Job Fair

BAYTOWN, TX — As the Lee College Veterans Center celebrates its fifth year of helping military students and their families successfully pursue higher education and transition into civilian careers, Lee College has again earned designation as a national Military Friendly® School.

Victory Media released Thursday the 2017 Military Friendly® Schools list, which recognizes the colleges, universities and trade schools around the country that are doing the most to embrace military students and dedicate resources to ensure their success in the classroom and beyond. Those that received the Military Friendly® School credential were evaluated using public data sources and responses from a proprietary, data-driven survey in which more than 1,600 institutions participated.

With input from the Military Friendly® School Advisory Council of independent leaders in higher education and military recruitment, Victory Media assessed institutions’ ability to meet thresholds in several areas: student retention, graduation, job placement, loan repayment, persistence and loan default rates for all students and student-veterans, specifically.

Ehab Mustafa, a U.S. Army veteran and licensed counselor who serves as director of the Lee College Veterans Center, attributes the college’s continued effectiveness with student veterans to the one-on-one support they are given during their educational journey and beyond.

“We work as a team,” said Mustafa, who was recently named to U.S. Rep. Brian Babin’s Veterans Advisory Council. “It’s not just a job for us, and it’s not about recognition. We care about the veteran.”

Established in 2011 as part of the College Credit for Heroes program and a grant from the Texas Workforce Commission, the Lee College Veterans Center strives to be a warm and friendly home away from home for more than 450 military students and their dependents. The center provides academic advising and development of individual education plans; advising about educational benefits, like the G.I. Bill and Hazlewood Exemption, and the certification process; and moral and mental health support that includes career guidance, peer tutoring and individualized counseling. The center also works to ensure military students are connected with prospective employers through special job fairs, workshops and networks for internships and other opportunities.

Students are always welcome to drop by the Veterans Center, grab a snack or a cup of coffee, study from one of the textbooks in the Veterans Library, use the computers and free printing, and spend time with their fellow veterans. They can join the Student Veterans of Lee College and the nationally recognized Student Veterans Honor Society, and are encouraged to continue their service to others through participation in events like regular visits to local hospice and nursing home facilities, and fundraising for veterans in need.

As a 2017 Military Friendly® School, Lee College will be showcased in Victory Media’s annual Guide to Military Friendly® Schools, special education issues of G.I. Jobs and Military Spouse magazines and on www.militaryfriendly.com.

“Our ability to apply a clear, consistent standard to the majority of colleges gives veterans a comprehensive view of which schools are striving to provide the best opportunities and conditions for our nation’s student-veterans,” said Daniel Nichols, a Navy Reserve veteran and chief product officer at Victory Media. “Military Friendly® helps military families make the best use of the Post-9/11 GI Bill and other federal benefits while allowing us to further our goal of assisting them in finding success in their chosen career fields.”

For more information about the Lee College Veterans Center and its support of military students and their dependents, visit www.lee.edu/veterans or call 832.556.4300.

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.

Lee looking for part-time instructors at Nov. 17 job fair

BAYTOWN, TX — Lee College is looking for part-time instructors for multiple subjects. These new hires will add to its pool of talented faculty members and advance the legacy of quality teaching and learning for a growing student body.

Interested candidates are invited to discuss available part-time teaching opportunities at the Adjunct Job Fair, to be held from 5-7 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 17, in the Rundell Hall Conference Center on campus. Job fair participants are encouraged to bring their résumés to the event to share with current faculty members, who will be available to answer questions and share insights from their own experiences in the classroom.

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, millwrighting, 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’s 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.

Kosins to be special guest at free ‘Jazz Night @ Lee College’

Kathy Kosins
Kathy Kosins

BAYTOWN, TX — Award-winning jazz singer and songwriter Kathy Kosins will bring her internationally acclaimed vocals and eclectic musical palette to Lee College as the special guest star at the free “Jazz Night @ Lee College” concert set for Friday, Nov. 11, at the Performing Arts Center (PAC).

Jazz Night @ Lee College will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the PAC Main Performance Hall. The show is open the public, and tickets are not required.

Born and bred during the Motown era of Detroit, Kosins was a sought-after session singer throughout the 1980s, known for singing and arranging background vocals for producer Don Was. After finding and falling in love with the freedom and artistry of jazz music, she completed stints with the JC Heard and Nelson Riddle orchestras and released “All In A Dream’s Work” in 1996. The debut album featured original songs and a cover of “Four” by Miles Davis, earning Kosins play on 250 jazz stations across the country.

Kosins recorded multiple albums throughout the 2000s, including “Mood Swings” in 2002 and “To The Ladies Of Cool” in 2012. For “The Space Between,” released in 2013, she worked in the studio with some of the best musicians in Los Angeles to bring new life to little-known records by Shirley Horn and Nat King Cole, among others. Her newest album — the sultry and intimate “Uncovered Soul” — will also feature rarely heard records by legendary and contemporary soul performers like Curtis Mayfield, Eugene McDaniels, Aaron Neville, and Amos Lee.

Described by critics as “one of the most alluring voices in jazz” and “a joy to listen to,” Kosins has toured and performed at events and venues throughout the U.S. and Europe — from jazz festivals in France and Switzerland to clubs and concert halls in New York, Washington, Philadelphia and Chicago.

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 education 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.