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.

Jordan: Industry vets can leave legacy as teachers of skilled trades

BAYTOWN, TX — As increasing numbers of students enroll in technical programs that can lead to well-paying careers in the booming petrochemical industry, Lee College and other Texas Gulf Coast institutions are working overtime to recruit and hire enough qualified instructors to meet the demand.

Debi Jordan
Debi Jordan

Debi Jordan, executive director for Workforce and Community Development, wrote about the challenge to find instructors this month in a blog featured on the website for Construction Citizen, a coalition of owners, contractors and craftspeople who want to advance the construction industry.

More than 50,000 new petrochemical workers will be needed across the Texas Gulf Coast over the next decade. Retirees and others who have worked in the petrochemical industry are among the best candidates to train students in pipefitting, millwrighting, instrumentation, electrical, welding, computer maintenance and many other fields — and often, a four-year degree is not required to leave a legacy for the next generation by becoming a teacher of the skilled trades.

“The kinds of things required include industry work experience, a passion for the subject matter, and a willingness to learn new skills through targeted faculty training that we provide for new instructors,” Jordan wrote in her blog. “Other types of instruction require certain industry certifications, educational certificates and degrees and participation in faculty training.”

Full-time and part-time teaching opportunities that include flexible schedules are available now at Lee College and community colleges across the region. For more information, visit the Community College Petrochemical Initiative online at www.energizehouston.org.

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 Liberty, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 13 independent school districts. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.

Instructor feted at San Francisco literary festival

One of the walls in Lee College instructor David Ensminger’s campus office is covered with a hodgepodge of fliers promoting punk rock band appearances and concerts — but the dozens of paper leaflets are only a tiny sampling of the nearly 5,000 pieces he has collected over the last 30 years.

Ensminger
Ensminger

“If I don’t retain it and preserve it, who will?” asked Ensminger, who teaches courses in English, humanities and folklore. “To me, it’s the art of my generation and it deserves the same kind of attention as any other.”

Drawn into the punk world before he was even a teenager, Ensminger is widely considered one of the world’s foremost experts in the genre. He has written several award-winning books and articles exploring various dimensions and impacts of punk as a cultural movement, including “Left of the Dial” and “Visual Vitriol: The Street Art and Subcultures of the Punk and Hardcore Generation,” which documents many of the fliers in his collection. In addition, he co-edited a biography of legendary blues man Lightnin’ Hopkins that won a Certificate of Merit in September from the Association for Recorded Sound Collections.

Ensminger’s body of work was celebrated this month at the 10th annual San Francisco Lit Crawl, billed as the world’s largest literary event of its kind with some 10,000 attendees each year. His panel discussion, “Punk: The Permanent Revolution,” featured icons of the movement like three-time Grammy nominee Peter Case, Jack Grisham and Mia Simmans.

Ensminger examines punk through the lens of a folklorist, analyzing the characteristics and traits of the genre in an attempt to reveal what makes it distinct. His research has expanded understanding of the punk movement beyond the traditional images of wild-eyed young men with crazy hair and black clothes, to include recognition of the contributions of gays, women, minorities and even members of the deaf community.

After the publication and release this year of “Mavericks of Sound,” a collection of interviews with indie and roots artists, Ensminger is now working on a new book that puts the spotlight on politics and punk. The 300-page investigation will explore the conscience of the movement by focusing on how punk musicians invest their money in political and social causes, an indication of whether their anti-establishment spirit and messages of rebellion were truly authentic.

“Studying the lyrics is just a literary exercise,” said Ensminger, who instead aims to shift historical perceptions and attitudes about punk. “I can change that sense of the narrative, and to me, that’s why you put out books. That’s what’s important.”

Sporting tattoos and piercings of his own, Ensminger admits he does not fit the image of the typical college instructor. He encourages students in his classes to be similarly unafraid of bucking convention in pursuit of their dreams, and enjoys watching them grow over the course of their educational journey.

“I’m thankful to be a teacher in those moments,” Ensminger said. “As a community college graduate myself, I want the kids to know that nothing should stop them. Have ambition, work hard, seek excellence and persist.”

Marquez urges students to ‘dig deeper’ into history

Lee College Honors Program alumnus and Northwestern University professor John D. Marquez, Ph.D., isn’t surprised or disheartened when his thoughts about racism and its continued and pervasive presence in society make someone angry — in fact, he’s encouraged.

Causing disruption and stirring disagreement come along with the job of being an activist and “agitator.”

“This is the role that artists and intellectuals play,” Marquez told dozens of Lee College students last week in Tucker Hall, where he appeared as part of the third annual Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) Week celebration. “Without facilitating conversations and bringing up issues, we tend to gloss over and mythologize parts of the past as though they have nothing to do with our present.”

A graduate of Robert E. Lee High School, Marquez was also the honored guest at a special reception where he discussed and signed copies of his book, “Black-Brown Solidarity: Racial Politics in the New Gulf South.” The book focuses particular attention on the history of racial tension in his native Baytown — where his parents moved their family decades ago with the hope of earning a good living and achieving the American dream — and how black and Latino citizens came together to fight inequality.

Raised in The Oaks of Baytown — one of the more notorious neighborhoods in the city — Marquez said he and other children from his community were often treated as problems by the local educational system. It wasn’t until he graduated from Robert E. Lee High School, came to Lee College and enrolled in the American Studies honors course with retired instructor John Britt that he believed he could contribute more in school than just athletic ability.

“He was the first person in my life that treated me like a student,” Marquez said of Britt, whom he still considers a role model and mentor. “I impressed a teacher as an intellectual, and I had never felt valued in that way. I’ve been all over the world as an educator and speaker, but that journey started here.”

After graduating from Lee College, Marquez went on to earn his doctoral degree and co-found the Latina and Latino Studies program at Northwestern. His academic success and scholarly pursuits only strengthened his knowledge and resolve as an activist, and he continued to protest and speak out against issues ranging from border militarization to police brutality.

Citing the high numbers of blacks and Latinos currently incarcerated against the low numbers of black and Latino males who have attained a degree, Marquez challenged students to familiarize themselves with the history of their community and its unsung heroes. Be unafraid to speak truth to power, he said.

“Some look at those statistics and blame the victims for their culture, their style of dress, their style of music; they forget that there could be residual effects of a history of oppression and racial tension,” Marquez said. “Try a little harder. Dig a little deeper. The artist in an intellectual society is a moral witness; that’s what unites us all as human beings: the capacity to be honest.”

Teacher feature: Art exhibit highlights area instructors

A degree in photography from Lee College paved the way for M.J. Sadler to transition from a career in construction safety to a field she truly loved: teaching art to her own students at Chinquapin Preparatory School in Highlands.

Teacher Feature

Now, Sadler is one of more than a dozen local art teachers whose work will be on display through July 25 as part of a special summer exhibit at the college Performing Arts Center (PAC) gallery. Other featured artists include current and retired teachers from the Goose Creek Consolidated, Anahuac, Liberty and Hull-Daisetta independent school districts.

“We have a lot of talent in our area and I wanted to give them a chance to show their work,” said Jennifer Herzberg, a Lee College instructor of visual arts who devised and curated the exhibit.

The exhibit includes a wide range of artwork — from watercolors, pencil drawings and oil paintings, to ceramics, jewelry and sculpture fashioned from wood, metals and gemstones. Sadler’s pieces are enlarged chalk pastel drawings of an amaryllis and a plumeria flower reminiscent of Georgia O’Keefe and taken from her photographs.

“I love color, so a lot of my work involves bright, vibrant color,” said Sadler, a photographer for nearly 30 years who has never felt happier or more fulfilled than she does in her art classroom with her students. She has even found herself teaching them to also draw big and fill their pages.

“If I find something that catches my eye, that is what I create,” Sadler said. “My days as a student at Lee College are really happy memories; I found my inner artist while I was there. I was very surprised and honored to be asked to contribute to the show.”

The summer art exhibit at the PAC gallery is free and open to the public 8 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 8 a.m.-noon Friday. For more information, contact the Visual and Performing Arts Division at 281.425.6821.