Lee earns honor for excellence in student success

Achieving the Dream logoAchieving the Dream Awards “Leader College of Distinction”

Achieving the Dream announced that Lee College has earned Leader College of Distinction status for achieving higher student outcomes and narrowing equity gaps.

“The metrics ATD established for Leader College of Distinction are meant to encourage colleges to sustain aggressive efforts that result in far greater student success and equity,” said Dr. Karen A. Stout, president and CEO of Achieving the Dream. “The honor recognizes network colleges that have stayed focused on the change process and seen real improvements in student achievement across the institution.”

ATD created the Leader College of Distinction award in 2018.

Leader College of Distinction showed improvement on three student outcome metrics, including at least one lagging indicator such as completion. In addition, they showed narrower performance discrepancies in at least two metrics between disaggregated groups, such as gender, race/ethnicity, or socioeconomic status. The metrics are: (a) completion of gateway math and/or English in Year 1, (b) persistence from Year 1 to Year 2 (fall-to-fall retention), (c) courses attempted/completed with a C- or higher grade within one year of initial enrollment; (d) completion of a certificate or degree within four years of initial enrollment; and ( e ) transfer to a four-year institution and achievement of a baccalaureate degree within six years of initial enrollment.

Leader Colleges of Distinction will have their own identity as part of the ATD Network, including a new logo. Leader Colleges of Distinction also will receive priority to participate in ATD’s innovation initiatives. They will be asked to present and facilitate more sessions at ATD events and institutes and asked to serve as mentor colleges.

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.

Recent debaters join staff of area state rep

Diamond and Lyrock pose for a photoFormer Lee College students and Mendoza Debate Society alumni Kyle Diamond and Josh Lyrock have accepted professional positions as Legislative Analysts for Texas State Representative Mayes Middleton (HD23). Diamond and Lyrock, pictured here at the start of the 86th Texas Legislative Session on Jan. 9, will be assisting Rep. Middleton on a variety of issues including education, criminal justice reform, law enforcement, and various matters of concern for much of the Lee College Service Area in Texas District 23/Chambers County.

Diamond, a 2018 graduate in Social Science, was a two-time IPDA Varsity Debate National Champion (2016, 2018) and two time IPDA Team Division Debate National Champion (2016, 2017), as well as a two-time James Madison Cup Finalist (2016, 2017). Lyrock, a Computer Science major from 2015-2017, was an IPDA Team Division Debate National Champion in 2017 and a James Madison Cup Finalist in 2017.

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.

Debate Wins a Trio of Championships in Baton Rouge

Debate team with awards after Baton Rouge win.Despite taking a partial squad of seven Debaters and one Individual Events competitor, the Mendoza Debate Society at Lee College emerged victorious at the Louisiana State University “Mardi Gras Invitational” as they brought home a dozen awards and honors including the Overall Sweepstakes Community College Championship. Hosted by LSU in Baton Rouge on Feb. 1-3, Lee College Debaters also won Third Place in the Team Debate Sweepstakes against a banner field including Duke University, Texas Southern University, host Louisiana State University, Mississippi State University, and Bossier Parish Community College.

Members of the Mendoza Debate Society brought home individual championships as well, including closing out the JV Debate division with the naming of Aria Giacona and Pamela Johnson being named Junior Varsity Debate Co-Champions. Vanessa Rangel took home the Team Debate Speaking Championship, as she and teammate Ty Young finished as Team Debate Finalists. Young also finished in Fifth Place in Team Debate Speaking.

Lee College Debaters brought home the lion’s share of speaking trophies, with Jaden Houseman being named Third Place in Junior Varsity Debate Speaking; Johnson also won Fourth Place in Junior Varsity Debate Speaking while Giacona finished in Fifth Place in Junior Varsity Debate Speaking. Rangel also finished as a Varsity Debate Quarterfinalist. They were joined in competition by teammates Adam Naiser, Dax Ramgoolam, and Hailegh Wingo.

Debate team with awards following La. Tech eventsPrior to the New Orleans event, the Mendoza Debate Society also won 14 awards and honors at the Southern Forensics Championships at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston Jan. 25-27.

Award for Lee team members included the Overall Sweepstakes Community College Championship. Lee College Debaters also finished as the Debate Sweepstakes Community College Champions against a field of over two dozen top community colleges and universities including University of North Texas, Louisiana State University, University of Central Arkansas, University of Southern Mississippi, Drury University (Missouri), Northeastern State University (Oklahoma), and Jefferson State Community College (Alabama).

Lee College Debaters also found success as individuals with the pair of Vanessa Rangel and Dax Ramgoolam earned their Quarterfinalists awards in Team IPDA Debate. Ramgoolam also finished as an Octofinalist in Varsity IPDA Debate. Pamela Johnson finished in Fifth Place in Extemporaneous Speaking, Top Novice in Extemporaneous Speaking, and as an Octofinalist in Junior Varsity IPDA Debate; she also picked up a Fourth Place award in Junior Varsity IPDA Debate Speaking. Hailegh Wingo brought home a DeSemifinalist award in Extemporaneous Speaking and a Quarterfinalist award in Junior Varsity IPDA Debate. Miguel Lopez finished as a Novice IPDA Debate Octofinalist while Maddie Orozco, in her first tournament ever, won 4th Place in Novice IPDA Debate Speaking and was named a Double Octofinalist award in Novice IPDA Debate. They were joined in competition by Lacey Gulley, Julio Martinez, and Adam Naiser.

Lee College Debaters will return to competition on Feb. 15-17 at the BPCC “Eddy Shell Invitational” in Bossier City. The Mendoza Debate Society is led by Director of Forensics Joe Ganakos and Assistant Debate Coach Christine Courteau. For more information about the Lee College Debate Team, please contact Director of Forensics Joe Ganakos at jganakos@lee.edu or 281.425.6502.

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.