Presidential Honors Day list announced for 2020

Lee College recently announced its 2020 Presidential Honors Day Honorees, a tradition at the College for the past 30 years. Presidential Honors Day distinguishes the top student in each academic and applied science discipline program at Lee College. Honorees are nominated by their instructors and, in cases when there are multiple nominations, voted on by the instructors in that division or program. Students can be nominated for exceptional grades and academic mastery in the classroom, as well as exhibiting high levels of integrity and perseverance in their educational pursuit.

During the celebration, honorees’ friends, families, and instructors come together to praise their triumphs and hard-earned victories from the past year. This year, however, among virtual classrooms and social distancing, the gatherings will be much smaller and will most likely include only people living under the same roof. Even still, the title remains one of the highest honors at the College. And that is a big reason to celebrate.

“These students have worked exceptionally hard to earn this honor, and our entire community could not be prouder of them,” said Dr. Lynda Villanueva, Lee College President. “Their achievements are a bright light in the midst of these uncertain times, and we are celebrating with them even if it is from afar. I hope they know how sincerely proud we are of them and all they have accomplished at Lee College. We cannot wait to see what the future holds for these honorees.”

To commemorate this distinction, all 2020 Honorees will receive a personalized letter of congratulations from President Villanueva, and a special certificate of achievement delivered to their home address.

“These students have gone above and beyond in academic excellence, hard work, leadership, and influence in their classrooms and programs,” said Dr. Georgeann Ward, Honors Program Coordinator for Lee College. “For some students, Honors Day is the first time that they have had such recognition, and it opens up the possibilities they imagine for themselves. Although we aren’t able to gather together for the formal celebration, I hope the students understand how proud Lee College is of them.”

Congratulations to the 2020 Lee College Presidential Honors Day Honorees:

  • Ashley Bliss, Alcohol & Drug Abuse Counselors Program
  • Brittney Bomar, Computer-Aided Drafting & Design
  • Michael Bond, Process Technology
  • Kelby Buchanan, Volleyball
  • Jessica Burrows, Analytical Instrumentation
  • Victoria Burwell, Teacher Education
  • Marco Cardenas, Chemistry
  • Julio Cesar Chacon, Safety Management
  • Lesly Chavez, Sociology
  • Christina Contreras, Developmental Math
  • John T. Elliott, Electrical Technology
  • Adam Fontenot, Mathematics STEM Pathway
  • Adanna Frazier, Mathematics Non-STEM Pathway
  • Melissa Gill, Alcohol & Drug Abuse Prevention Program
  • Joey Isaac Guerrero, Computer Maintenance Technology
  • Amy Halik, Child Development
  • Scott Helms, Kinesiology
  • Nathan Howard, Applied General Chemistry
  • Jesus Rodriguez Jaime, Industrial Instrumentation
  • Pamela Johnson, Economics
  • Cynthia Justice, Health Information Technology
  • Melody Land, Vocational Nursing
  • Ryan Lara, American Studies
  • Melanie Leal, History
  • Monica Erin Lilley, SocialWork
  • Melissa Mar, Freshman Composition
  • Julio Martinez, Speech
  • Juan Nevarez Martinez, Computer & Graphics Technology
  • Cristina McMillin, Anatomy & Physiology
  • Bryan Medina, Psychology
  • Karlynn Miller, Environmental Sciences
  • Aquila Mitchell, Humanities
  • Karen Montemayor, Drafting
  • Daniel Mullins, Process Pipe Design
  • Izailah Ortuna, Philosophy
  • Izailah Ortuna, Accounting Technology
  • Richard Perdomo, Instrumentation Technology
  • Dani Perry, Sophomore Literature
  • Elizabeth Powell, Theater Arts
  • Avinash Rambarran, The Human Condition
  • Israel Robles, Photography
  • David Rodriguez, Welding Inspection
  • Andrea Rogers, Government
  • Zuleymma Saldana, Associate Degree of Nursing
  • Jeremy Salinas, Manufacturing Engineering Technology
  • Keyma Sanchez, Learning Strategies
  • Ashlyn Scheller, Business Administration
  • Aldo Simental, Developmental English
  • Larissa Solis, Art
  • Madison Steadham, Business Management
  • Grace Ann Strouhal, Music-Piano
  • Grace Ann Strouhal, Music-Vocal
  • Nicholas Washington, Music Instrumental

Trustees vote to waive summer e-books, tuition, fees

Baytown, TX — The Lee College Board of Regents approved a plan Thursday (April 23) to utilize more than $2 million in funding from the federal stimulus to pay for students’ tuition. Lee College is waiving tuition, e-books, and fees for the Summer 2020 semester for all in-district residents, out-of-district residents who attended Lee College in Spring 2020, any person in the Lee College service area who has been displaced or suffered a loss of income due to COVID-19, and students who graduated from our service area high schools in the 2019-2020 academic year.

“You may not be able to go off to university and live in a dormitory, and you may not have as much income as you did before the pandemic, but you can afford to go to Lee College, and you can’t afford to postpone your college dreams,” President Lynda Villanueva said.

The free tuition proposal is part of a comprehensive plan, Lee Cares, designed to meet the needs of Lee College students who have suffered financial hardship due to the impacts of COVID-19. An additional $2 million of CARES Act stimulus funding is being used to pay for expenses related to the coronavirus outbreak, including materials and technology, food, housing, and childcare.

“When many members of our community are struggling with the COVID-19 fallout, Lee College is committed to ensuring that education will always be the foundation upon wihc the success of our community is built,” Villanueva said. “I am determined to make it easier for our students to get the education they need to improve the quality of their lives, and that means removing financial and technological barriers for students in our community.”

Lee College continues to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by implementing measures to help students navigate these extraordinary circumstances. Here are some steps the College has taken in recent days:

• Lee Cares Emergency Fund—Assists students by providing emergency financial assistance to students who are unable to meet immediate essential expenses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
• Credit/No Credit – Because of the disruption caused by the transition to distance learning education, students will have the option to convert any or all of the letter grades they earn in their Spring 2020 classes to Credit/No Credit grading.
• Laptop/Chromebooks/Hotspots — The college has purchased new laptops and tablets for students who need them to participate in distance learning. If you are a student in need of a device, go to www.lee.edu/leecaresemergencyfund.
• Donations — Lee College Nursing Department donated several medical supplies to the Houston Methodist Baytown Hospital to help with the nationwide shortage of medical supplies.
• SBDC—Offering virtual SBA loan application consultations for local businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lee to receive $4 million from Federal CARES Act

Lee College will receive a little more than $4 million from the federal Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund as part of the $14 billion in support for colleges and universities and their students under the recently passed Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Of the more than $4 million, half of the money — or approximately $2 million — will be earmarked for emergency financial aid grants for Lee College students.

From its share of the funding, Lee College will award cash grants to students to pay for expenses related to the COVID-19 outbreak, including materials and technology, food, housing, and childcare. Lee College President, Dr. Lynda Villanueva, has appointed a task force to develop a plan for distributing the money to students. The group, which is working on a tight deadline, plan to begin disbursements as soon as possible. Details on how students can apply for the emergency aid will be shared broadly as soon as they are available.

These federal dollars will supplement Lee College’s ongoing efforts to provide financial relief for students in need of assistance. Since the pandemic began, Lee College has provided aid to more than 150 students who suffered expenses related to COVID-19 disruptions, including Chromebook computers and food.

The Department of Education plans to announce guidance for the second half of the funds allocated to post-secondary institutions — in Lee College’s case, approximately $2 million — in the next two weeks. This funding is intended for direct institutional use to cover costs associated with changes to educational delivery and campus operations as a result of coronavirus disruptions. Lee College wants to use these federal stimulus funds to pay for student tuition and lessen the impacts of the pandemic on the college’s student body.

The CARES Act provides $31 billion overall for education aid at all levels, including $14 billion in funding to institutions of higher education and students. The Department of Education based college awards on two factors: the share of recipients of federal Pell Grants, and overall undergraduate enrollment numbers.

Debate team wins again

The Mendoza Debate Society at Lee College were named the Overall Sweepstakes Community College Champions at the first “Joseph J. Cardot Invitational,” hosted by Abilene Christian University Feb. 7-9, 2020. Braving snow and sub-freezing temperatures, Lee College Debaters also finished in Third Place in Individual Events Sweepstakes, also finishing as the Top Community College in that same sweepstakes category. Lee College extended its lead in the 2019/2020 IPDA Community College Division standings as they faced a dozen top universities and colleges from around the nation including Southern Methodist University (Texas), LSU-Shreveport (La.), University of Oklahoma, University of Arkansas-Monticello, Colorado Christian University, and others.

Team standout Pamela Johnson was named the Team Debate Speaking Champion, as well as bringing home a Team Debate Quarterfinalist finish with teammate Dax Ramgoolam. Vanessa Rangel finished in Second Place in the Varsity Division, as well as finishing in 4th Place in Extemporaneous Speaking. Adam Kinder, a Lee College / Impact ECHS student, won an award in his fifth consecutive tournament as he was named a Novice Debate Quarterfinalist. Lacey Gulley was named 5th Place in Extemporaneous Speaking while Adam Naiser finished in 6th Place in Impromptu Speaking. They were joined in competition by Jessenia Cabrera, Aaliyah Castro, Ervin Fuller, Lilly Gutierrez, La’Vonte Holt, and Julio Martinez.

The team went on to win Overall Sweepstakes Community College Champions again at the Bossier Parish Community College “Eddy Shell Invitational” Feb. 14-16, 2020. Team standout Pamela Johnson continued her prolific season as she finished as the Runner-Up in Team Debate Speaking. Johnson and her partner Dax Ramgoolam added to their 2019-2020 accomplishments by finishing as Quarterfinalists in Team Debate. Over the three-day tournament, Lee College squared off against a tremendous field of 29 colleges and universities from around the nation including Abilene Christian University (Texas), Tulane University (La.), Arkansas Tech, University of Southern Mississippi, Jefferson State Community College (Ala.), Union University (Tenn.), Drury University (Mo.), and Whitworth University (Wash.).

First-year competitor Adam Kinder, currently ranked second in the nation in the Novice Division of the IPDA, medaled for the seventh consecutive tournament en route to a Double Octofinalist finish in Novice Debate. Adam Naiser followed up his strong Individual Events showing from last week’s tournament at Abilene Christian University with a Sixth Place finish in Impromptu Speaking at BPCC. They were joined in competition by Aaliyah Castro, Lacey Gulley, Julio Martinez, Vanessa Rangel, and Erica Truong.

Lee College Debaters will wrap up the 2019/2020 IPDA regular season Feb. 28-March 1, 2020, at the University of Texas-Tyler’s second annual “Tournament of Roses” in Tyler, Texas. The Mendoza Debate Society is coached by Director of Forensics Joe Ganakos and Assistant Coach Christine Courteau. For more information about the Lee College Debate Team, contact Director of Forensics Joe Ganakos at jganakos@lee.edu or 281.425.6502.

Lee College Debate Team named Overall Sweepstakes Champions

The Mendoza Debate Society at Lee College were named the Community College Overall Sweepstakes Champions at the super-regional 2020 Southern Forensics Championship Tournament (SFCT) hosted by Mississippi State University in Starkville, Miss., Jan. 24-26, 2020. With a tremendous effort from the members of the Mendoza Debate Society, Lee College retook the lead for the 2019/2020 IPDA National Community College Championship and saw multiple debaters climb in individual rankings for the IPDA season. Lee College competed in the SFCT against a field of nearly 200 students from 29 top universities and colleges from around the nation including Texas Christian University (Texas), Tulane University (La.), University of Southern Mississippi (Miss.), Arkansas State University (Ark.), University of Tennessee (Tenn.), Morehouse College (Ga.), and the University of West Florida (Fla.).

Individually, Pamela Johnson was named the SFCT Varsity Division Champion for 2020, and she brought home a Team Debate Semifinalist finish with teammate Dax Ramgoolam. First-year debater Adam Kinder, a Lee College / Impact ECHS student, medaled in his fourth consecutive tournament; he was named a Novice Debate Semifinalist and finished in 5th Place in Novice Debate Speaking. Sophomore Julio Martinez brought home an award for the third consecutive tournament, finishing as a Professional Division Semifinalist. They were joined in competition by Jessenia Cabrera, Aaliyah Castro, Lacey Gulley, Lilly Gutierrez, La’Vonte Holt, Adam Naiser, Vanessa Rangel, and Erica Truong.

Lee College Debaters will return to competition on Feb. 7-9, 2020, at Abilene Christian University’s “Joseph J. Cardot Forensics Invitational” in Abilene, Texas. The Mendoza Debate Society is coached by Director of Forensics Joe Ganakos and Assistant Coach Christine Courteau. For more information about the Lee College Debate Team, please contact Director of Forensics Joe Ganakos at jganakos@lee.edu or at 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.

One College, One Book scholarship winners announced

Congratulations to Maryashley Schrock and Aylin Mendez for winning $550 textbook scholarships as part of the One College, One Book program at Lee College! After reading the featured book, American Like Me: Reflections on Life Between Cultures, edited by America Ferrera, students had the opportunity to participate in an essay competition and visual arts competition for the chance to win two scholarships provided by the Lee College Foundation.

Maryashley Schrock’s painting entitled, “Strengths in Silence,” was the winning entry in the visual arts category. As someone who exper

Schrock
Schrock

ienced partial hearing loss at a young age, Maryashley says the she wanted to use her art to communicate the love and respect she has for the deaf culture.

“It’s hard for the hearing world to understand how the deaf community works,” she said. “When I was growing up, I had a hearing loss issue, and that caused me to have a speech impediment that I still have to this day. I didn’t learn American Sign Language until high school, but I did it for four years, and the impact it had on me was amazing. Even now in college I still struggle, but I am going to try my hardest to go further than I could have ever expected.”

After Lee College, Maryashley plans to attend the University of Houston – Clear Lake and become a secondary science teacher.

Aylin Mendez placed first in the essay category for her work entitled, “In Between Two Worlds.” Through her writing, Aylin wants people to know that living between cultures is not as bad as it may seem.

“We always have to look at the positive outcome; we were blessed to live and share both culturales.” said Aylin. “Never try to be someone else just to be accepted by society. Just be yourself and know that if someone loves you, they’ll love you just the way you are.”

Aylin is working toward an associate’s degree in general studies, then she plans to transfer to the University of Houston to earn a bachelor’s degree, and eventually apply to law school to become an immigration lawyer.

“This scholarship has motivated me to keep writing about my personal experiences, and I will make sure to use it in a positive way,” Aylin said.

“I would like to dedicate this award to my mom for being my biggest supporter and always motivating me to do my best. Even though she is not physically here with me I know she is cheering and supporting me from miles away.”

Mendez
Mendez

Sponsored by Title V and the Lee College Library, One College, One Book was designed to: inspire a sense of belonging on campus through a shared reading experience; encourage a culture of reading on campus; and create a space to critically think about our own experiences in addition to the experiences of others.

The One Book experience reached beyond Lee College’s main campus last semester when Donna Zuniga, Dean of the Lee College Huntsville Center, purchased 100 copies of American Like Me to enable the peer tutors and a small group of incarcerated students at the Huntsville Center could participate in the book discussion at their campus. Two students entered the essay contest, and one received honorable mention.

In American Like Me, Ferrera invites 31 of her friends, peers, and heroes to share their stories about life between cultures. We know them as actors, comedians, athletes, politicians, artists, and writers. However, they are also immigrants, children or grandchildren of immigrants, indigenous people, or people who otherwise grew up with deep and personal connections to more than one culture. Each of them struggled to establish a sense of self, find belonging, and feel seen. And they call themselves American enthusiastically, reluctantly, or not at all.

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.

Honors students shine at GCIC Conference

Congratulations to five Lee College honors students who were selected to present their research at the Gulf Coast Intercollegiate Consortium (GCIC) in Houston recently. The annual academic conference brings together educators and honors students from across the Gulf Coast region to encourage and promote student presentations and publication.

According to Dr. Georgann Ward, Honors Program Coordinator at Lee College, few students have the opportunity to present their work at academic conferences like this one. In fact, faculty members typically begin this type of work in graduate school or once they become professional educators.

“One of the most exciting parts of my job is to see how students grow in the process of revising work for a ‘real’ audience at an academic conference. Through this process, they understand how their ideas truly matter and devise the best ways of expressing those ideas to others,” said Ward. “Lee College’s commitment to student presentations at conferences shows that it is important to our college to professionalize students and also to make them most competitive as they transfer to a four-year institution.”

The students applied to the conference and were selected in a “blind scoring” by judges associated with the Gulf Coast Intercollegiate Honors Council. Judges selected their research based on a high level of interest, purpose and appeal.

Ryan Lara, Noe Sanchez, Lindsey Sanford, and Amber Fanning shared their papers from the Human Condition, a combined English and Humanities class at Lee College. Their work used a philosophical “lens” to analyze a film or work of literature. Each semester, students in the Human Condition complete this type of paper – called a seminar paper – and present their work to the Lee College community as a practice for potential conferences they might be invited to attend.

Dinah Lemonier wrote her paper in Steve Showalter’s honors Government class, and though it was a film analysis, she used research about the Red Scare to analyze themes in the film more deeply.

“It is always a thrill to see how our students have grown over the course of a semester or year,” said Jerry Hamby, co-instructor of the Human Condition. “Their papers demonstrate increasing levels of sophistication, and their level of confidence is markedly greater. The students also get a chance to compete with the best and brightest peers from other colleges. Our honors students always make us proud.”

The Lee College Honors Program serves academically talented and highly motivated students. Students entering the nationally recognized program will experience enrichment of course materials and the freedom to work independently and collaboratively with faculty members who encourage lively, engaging discourse and activity both inside and outside the classroom. Enrollment in Honors classes is limited and classes are taught in a seminar format.

  • Noe Sanchez, The Complex and Versatile “Boy Codes” in “Vulgaria”
  • Lindsey Sandford, Bohemian Rhapsody and Freddy Mercury: The Un-Masculine Man
  • Amber Fanning, The Conditioning of Choice: Existentialism in a Clockwork Orange
  • Ryan Lara, Hardening of a Soul: Racism, Masculinity, and Dehumanization in Fences
  • Dinah Lemonier, More than Black and White: A Film Analysis of Good Night and Good Luck

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.

Board of Regents names Villanueva next president of Lee College

Dr. Lynda Villanueva portrait
Dr. Lynda Villanueva

At its regular meeting last Thursday, the Lee College Board of Regents finalized the hiring of Dr. Lynda Villanueva as the next president of Lee College. Dr. Villanueva is scheduled to begin her new position at the college on Jan. 5, 2020. Dr. Dennis Brown will be available to assist in transitioning the role until his official retirement date on Jan. 31, 2020.

Dr. Villanueva was named sole finalist for the position in September. After the required 21-day waiting period, the board officially voted to appoint Villanueva as the next president of Lee College. Dr. Villanueva will be the tenth president of Lee College since it was formed in 1934.

Lynda Villanueva, Ph.D., most recently served as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and Student Affairs at Brazosport College in Lake Jackson, Texas. She previously served as Dean of Instruction at Brazosport College. Dr. Villanueva earned a doctor of philosophy degree in industrial/organizational psychology; a master of arts in psychology from the University of Houston; and a bachelor of science in psychology from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo.

Mental health a top priority for students, staff

College isn’t just about essays and exams. It’s also about learning how to care for yourself mentally, physically and emotionally. Enter Stress Relief Week at Lee College. This event, sponsored by a Title V grant from the U.S. Department of Education, encouraged students and faculty at the college to take a break from their normal routine and practice self-care and stress management. Activities like color walls, spa treatments, games and animal therapy were all part of the mix.

“The idea behind Stress Relief Week was to create spaces and activities to help reduce stress levels of students and to cultivate awareness of ways to help their minds relax and manage stress,” said Diana Aslin, Lee College Title V Project Director.

“By offering these events, we hope students will know we care about them as people. We aren’t just here to help them pass their classes, but we want them to be the best versions of themselves by taking a moment to take care of themselves. The students are worth it, and they deserve it,” said Aslin.

Originally intended to help students cope with anxiety the week before finals, Stress Relief Week was moved to October because faculty and students said they would benefit more from an event mid-way through the semester.

“As we know, it is very difficult to perform at our best when we feel stressed or overwhelmed. We want students to know that self-care, in moderation, is just as important as homework and other responsibilities,” said Kassandra Flores, Coordinator for the Puente Program at Lee College.

One of the most popular activities on campus was called “Cat Therapy,” in which students and employees were invited to interact with rescue kittens from the City of Baytown Animal Shelter.

Jessica Polvadore, a second-year art and education student at Lee College, said the interaction with the animals couldn’t have come at a better time.

“I am literally about to take my midterms, and this is helping me stay calm before the test,” said Polvadore. “Now I feel relaxed and I can focus. I’m ready.”

Good mental health is a top priority for Lee College. Since 2017, 150 staff members have been certified in Mental Health First Aid, which trains individuals to provide support services until professional mental health care is available. The training also teaches people to look for signs of mental health problems or crises, while understanding the warning signs of illnesses such as anxiety, depression and addiction.

To help reduce stress experts recommend getting plenty of sleep, practicing deep-breathing exercises, and spending time with friends and family. If students or instructors find they are overwhelmed by stress, they are encouraged to reach out to their academic dean or counselors for help with community referrals. A list of helpful mental health resources can also be found at http://www.lee.edu/behavioral-intervention-team/mental-health-resources/

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.

Foundation Gala raises record $204,458 for student financial assistance

Baytown, TX – The Lee College Foundation’s 34th annual gala raised $204,458, making it the most successful fundraising gala in the organization’s history. The gala was held Sept. 27 at the Sylvan Beach Pavilion in La Porte, Texas, where more than 300 supporters, community members, and industry leaders attended.

Dr. Dennis Brown, Pam Warford, Jennifer Marcontell
From left, Dr. Dennis Brown, Pam Warford, Jennifer Marcontell 

Ignacio Ramirez, Carol Bartz, Joan Linares, Donna Mohlman, David Mohlman, and Virginia Miller
From left, Ignacio Ramirez, Carol Bartz, Joan Linares, Donna Mohlman, David Mohlman, and Virginia Miller

Suzanne Heinrich, Diane Englert, Lauren Williams, Kelly Regian and Judy Wheat
From left, Suzanne Heinrich, Diane Englert, Lauren Williams, Kelly Regian, and Judy Wheat

The money raised during the event will go directly to deserving Lee College students for tuition scholarships, textbooks, equipment and supplies. Some of the money will also go toward the Student Success fund, which helps students with unexpected expenses directly related to enrollment and persistence in class.

“We are proud to say that the Lee College Foundation is healthy and going strong,” said Pam Warford, Executive Director of Foundation & Resource Development at Lee College. “But the need in our community is still great, and we won’t stop striving until that need is met for every student possible.”

“There is still room for anyone who wants to join us in making a difference in our community and changing lives for generations,” Warford said.

Miguel Lopez, Lee College alumnus and past recipient of the Pat Mann Memorial Scholarship, spoke to the crowd about how pivotal the Foundation has been in his life.

“You made my dream of graduating into a reality,” Lopez told donors. “Your impact on my life has inspired me and many other students to be the next generation of donors.”

Some of the top-selling items in the evening’s live auction included a photo and baseball bat signed by Houston Astros first-baseman Yordan Alvarez, which sold for $1,800; a dinner at the home of Junior and Robin Forrest, owners of Ainsworth & Co. and Junior’s Smokehouse in Highlands, which sold for $2,100; and a catered Super Bowl party at the home of Lee College Board Vice Chairman Gilbert Santana, which sold for $2,000.

Last academic year, the Lee College Foundation raised a total of $1.2 million through donations and investment returns. Established in 1968, the Lee College Foundation is committed to making a difference in the lives of students by providing financial assistance wherever it is needed. For more information, contact Pam Warford at 281.425.6361 or visit http://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.