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

Sole Finalist for College President Selected

TO: Lee College Community

FROM: Mark Hall, Board Chair, Board of Regents, Lee College 

DATE: September 24, 2019 

RE: Announcement of the Next President of Lee College

I am pleased to inform you that the Lee College Board of Regents has asked Dr. Lynda Villanueva to assume the position of President of Lee College and is expected to begin duties on February 1, 2020. We hope to welcome her in January for a transitional month with President Dennis Brown who retires January 31, 2020. We look forward to Dr. Villanueva’s leadership as we enter the next chapter of Lee College’s history. 

The Lee College Presidential Search provided the Board of Regents four very qualified and competitive candidates.  Ultimately, the Board chose Dr. Villanueva, in part for her demonstrated leadership with many of the student success programs and initiatives already underway at Lee College and the vision she shared to move Lee College forward in the years to come.  

Lynda Villanueva, Ph.D., is Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and Student Affairs at Brazosport College in Lake Jackson, TX. She previously served as Dean of Instruction at Brazosport College in Lake Jackson, TX. Dr. Villanueva earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Industrial/Organizational Psychology and a Master of Arts in Psychology from the University of Houston in Houston, TX; and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO.

On behalf of the Lee College Board of Regents, I would like to share my appreciation to every member of the Presidential Search Committee for their time, dedication and thoughtful work on behalf of Lee College. I would also like to extend my appreciation to the College community for your participation at the recent presidential forums. As well, I extend my appreciation to my fellow Regents for their time and consideration of all of the applicants.  Everyone’s input was reviewed and greatly valued by the Board. Your collaborative work truly enriched the search process. 

Dr. Lynda Villanueva
Dr. Lynda Villanueva

“I’m honored to be named as the sole finalist for the presidency at Lee College.  I have received such positive responses from faculty, staff, and the community and I see such potential.  I cannot wait to work to realize that potential for our students, our business and industry partners, and everyone who cares about Lee College and this community.” – Dr. Lynda Villanueva

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to our ACCT Search Consultants: 

  • Bill Holda, Ed.D., ACCT Search Consultant, or (903) 987-3332 (mobile)
  • Julie Golder, J.D., Vice President of Search Services, or (202) 384-5816 (mobile) 

Lee recognizes top students for academic and extracurricular achievements

Honors Day
Lauralyn Dickerson (left) smiles as she accepts the Safety Management Award from Dr. Charles Thomas, chairman of the Process Technology Division, at the 2017 Lee College Presidential Honors Day held Tuesday, April 11, 2017. The annual event recognizes the top students in every Academic Studies and Applied Sciences discipline at the college.

BAYTOWN, TX — As Lee College prepares for the end of the semester and the 2017 Spring Commencement Ceremony, dozens of the best and brightest students received awards and recognition for achieving excellence this year in academic programs and extracurricular activities.

At the annual Presidential Honors Day in the Performing Arts Center, top students in every Academic Studies and Applied Sciences discipline were called on stage one by one to receive plaques and certificates. Faculty members selected many of the honorees for their outstanding grades and performance in the classroom or laboratory, mastery of key course concepts and skills and display of intellectual curiosity and growth. Others were chosen for having a strong work ethic and enthusiasm for subject matter, helping and encouraging their classmates and being persistent in overcoming obstacles to reach success.

“Lee College has positively impacted our lives and the least we can do is represent it well. You all have met that mark,” said Kyle Diamond, a 2016 Hall of Fame inductee and president of the Student Government Association for the 2016-17 school year. “Your excellence in service and academics guarantees that Lee College will maintain its spot as a point of pride in this community.”

The first-ever Presidential Recognition Luncheon in the Rundell Hall Conference Center complemented the traditional Honors Day ceremony, celebrating students for high achievement in co-curricular and extracurricular activities – from presenting original research at academic conferences, to performing in a national theatre festival and playing well on the basketball and volleyball courts. Students received medallions and certificates for winning campus, district, regional, state and national awards and scholarships through participation in the Honors Program, Webb Historical Society, Mendoza Debate Society, Model United Nations, Visual and Performing Arts, Athletics and Service Learning.

Honors Luncheon
New inductees into the Lee College Hall of Fame were honored at the first-ever Presidential Recognition Luncheon, held Thursday, April 20, 2017, to celebrate student success in co-curricular and extracurricular activities. Pictured (l-r): Pres. Dr. Dennis Brown; Hall of Fame inductees Justin Mathews, Adrian Touchstone and Brenna Sallee; and Vice Pres. of Student Affairs Dr. Donnetta Suchon. Not pictured: Hall of Fame inductees JaVonte Cooper and Cynthia Rose Pizana.

The five newest inductees into the Lee College Hall of Fame were recognized at both Honors Day and the Recognition Luncheon: JaVonte Cooper; Justin Mathews; Cynthia Rose Pizana; Brenna Sallee, who was named Most Representative; and Adrian Touchstone. Hall of Fame honorees are the students who best represent academic excellence, extracurricular involvement, campus leadership and dedication to community service.

“You take Lee College far beyond Baytown — throughout the region, into the state and even to the nation’s capital and New York City — and you have made this institution something very special,” said Pres. Dr. Dennis Brown, who presented the awards to each honoree at the luncheon. “Your involvement has made a difference in your life, and the tools you’ve gathered here will serve you well today and into the future. One day, someone will follow in your footsteps and thank you for leading the way.”

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