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  • Melissa.Trevizo 10:17 am on October 19, 2017 Permalink | Reply  


    Our deepest sympathies go to Dr. Laurel Williamson on the recent passing of her sister, Rachel Kalil.
    Rachel Jean Deere Kalil was born on November 14, 1959 and passed away on Sunday, September 24, 2017 at the age of 57. Services were held on September 28, 2017 at First Christian Church in McComb, Mississippi.

    Rachel was a retired Registered Nurse and a member of the First Christian Church of McComb. She was a loving wife, mother and grandmother. She had a passion for colors and as an artist created many colorful works. She will be sadly missed by those who knew and loved her.

    She was preceded in death by her father.

    She is survived by her husband, Raymond A. Kalil, her mother, Britty Leddy Deere, one son, Emile Tones Kalil (Kelsey), one daughter, Jessica Rose Kalil, two brothers, Andrew Robertson Deere (Vicky), Prentiss A. Deere III (Kathy), one sister, Dr. Laurel Deere Williamson (Michael), two grandchildren, Ashlyn Kalil and Cooper Kalil, and numerous nieces and nephews.

    Dr. Williamson is the Deputy Chancellor and President of San Jacinto College.

    Our deepest sympathies go to Nicholas Allen on the recent passing of his mother, Gaynell Allen.

    Gaynell, a native of New Orleans, LA, passed away on October 3, 2017, at the age of 76. She was from a large family of eleven siblings, and has two children, Nicholas Allen, and Darly Allen.

    Gaynell graduated from Southern University; she worked at the university for 25 years in the school of Social work until her retirement in 2006. Prior to her employment with Southern University, she worked at Charter Mental Help Center where she assisted the mentally disabled.

    She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006 and was in remission for the last 11 years. She was laid to rest with her 7 brothers and 2 sisters in the family plot on Friday, October 13 in New Orleans, LA.

    Nicholas Allen is a part-time faculty for the Music Department on Central Campus.

    Our deepest sympathies go to Rukiya Akua on the recent passing of her mother, Johnnie Mae “Jackie” Stallworth Isles.

    Jackie was born in Evergreen, AL on March 8, 1937, to Johnny and Mary Lou (Bush) Stallworth.

    Over the years, Jackie worked at Molax, MacNeal Hospital, and Fairfax Nursing Home. She left the employment sector permanently in 1997 to care for her grandchildren.

    Jackie is survived by her devoted husband Charles Isles, to whom she was married for 61 years; her children – Louis (Juana), Rukiya Michele, and Lynnetta (Keith). Another son, Charles Jr. preceded her in death. She is also survived by three brothers, a sister and sister-in-law, several grandchildren and a great-granddaughter, three goddaughters and many other family and friends.

    Jackie’s funeral was held on Monday, October 9, 2017.

    Rukiya M. Akua is a Speech Professor at South campus.

  • Melissa.Trevizo 10:11 am on October 19, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    Welcome Ali Shah! 

    We are excited to announce that Ali Shah has joined the Safety, Health, Environment and Risk Management team as the Emergency Manager. Although Ali’s start date was scheduled for Sept. 1, 2017, Hurricane Harvey prompted an earlier arrival.

    Ali comes to us from the North Campus. He began his career with San Jac as an adjunct instructor in the EMT program. He later became a full-time faculty member and in 2016 was promoted to EMT Program Director. Ali was instrumental in creating the Emergency Response Group on the North campus. This was a campus based student success initiative that provides students with real experiences in EMS while serving the needs of the campus community. We are very fortunate to have Ali in his new role.

    If you would like to meet with Ali, he may be contacted at: His office is located in A2.204 in the District west administration building . He can also be reached by phone at 281-998-6311.

  • Melissa.Trevizo 8:47 am on October 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    The newest edition of the San Jacinto Times is now online! 


    The newest edition of the San Jacinto Times is live online!

    San Jacinto Times Website:

    Like us on Facebook: 

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  • Melissa.Trevizo 5:01 pm on October 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    Jim Griffin selected to lead petrochemical training division 

    In his new position, Griffin oversees the curriculum and instruction of the College’s petrochemical-related training programs, as well as the development of the upcoming Center for Petrochemical, Energy, and Technology, set to open in 2019. One of his first goals as associate vice chancellor / senior vice president is to ensure that all petrochemical training program curriculum at the College meets the expectations of hiring managers throughout the region’s chemical plants.

    Griffin said he looks forward to expanding on the partnerships that the College has established with petrochemical companies as the Texas Gulf Coast region experiences tremendous growth with the construction of mega plants.

    “I can honestly say that the partnerships and collaboration between San Jacinto College and the local petrochemical industry are the strongest I’ve ever seen, and I’m excited to be a part of this,” said Griffin, who also serves as chairman of the board for the Economic Alliance Houston Port Region.

    Griffin brings more than 30 years of experience in the petrochemical manufacturing industry to the College. He has experienced the many changes in workforce demands of the petrochemical industry and the increased need for workers with degrees and certificates.

    “The standards are higher now, and that’s a good thing because this is a global business,” said Griffin, who has served as a spokesperson for legislative affairs, workforce and economic growth on behalf of the East Harris County Manufacturers Association (EHCMA). “This is why associate degrees and certificates are even more important in today’s petrochemical industry. The business is a lot more technical and sophisticated than ever before. Degrees help employees grow to become the next supervisors.”

    Griffin began his career in petrochemical manufacturing as an environmental, health and safety engineer in Illinois, following completion of his master’s degree thesis on chlorine handling and application safety. He is the past chairman of the board for EHCMA and has served in a variety of key roles at chemical plants, including corporate director and plant manager. Before joining San Jacinto College, he was vice president of manufacturing for Dianal America, a Mitsubishi Chemical Company. He has also served as manufacturing director and in a variety of leadership positions with PolyOne Corp.

    “Preparing a workforce in one of the world’s largest petrochemical manufacturing regions requires strong partnerships with industry leaders,” said Dr. Brenda Hellyer, Chancellor of San Jacinto College. “Jim Griffin is one of those leaders and brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience gained from a variety of areas within the petrochemical industry. We welcome him to our college and our team as we take the next big step in workforce training with the building of the Center for Petrochemical, Energy, and Technology.”

    Griffin holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial education and a master’s degree in safety and environmental study from the University of Wisconsin-Stout. His family includes wife, Patty Griffin; and their two daughters, recent Texas A&M University graduates Casey and Alex.

  • Melissa.Trevizo 4:27 pm on October 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply  


    Chet Lewis
    October 17, 1963 – October 11, 2017

    Our deepest sympathies go to the family and friends of Chet Lewis, who passed away unexpectedly on October 11, 2017. He was born on October 17, 1963 in Provo, Utah.

    Chet began his college career at Brigham Young University, but after deciding on his choice of career, accounting and finance, he relocated to Arizona State University, receiving his Bachelor of Science in Accountancy.

    Chet officially began his duties as Vice Chancellor, Fiscal Affairs at San Jacinto College on January 19, 2016. As a member of the Strategic Leadership Team, Chet provided leadership and administrative oversight to the business services of the College including financial accounting and reporting, budgeting, purchasing, auxiliary services, grants management, internal audit, facilities maintenance and construction, risk management, safety, crisis management, business continuity, elections, and police services. Chet was the lead on the College’s $425 million 2015 building program and worked closely with the College’s elected Board of Trustees. While Chet’s position was largely focused on the fiscal side of the College, he was passionate about all aspects of the College with his ultimate interest being focused on how students were impacted and supported. He led and participated in many community and college committees. He encouraged all voices to be heard. He was a friend and supporter to all – students, faculty, staff, administrators, the Board, and the community.

    Chet was recently appointed to the Community and Technical Colleges Formula Advisory Committee by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. He was also appointed to the Dual Credit Taskforce as part of this important committee work. Chet was an active member of the Texas Community College Business Officers Association and served with pride on the Deer Park Rotary Club. He also served as a liaison to the San Jacinto College Foundation Board of Directors, and he was an active donor and supporter of the Foundation’s fundraising efforts. Most recently, he was instrumental in the fundraising efforts for the Emergency Relief Fund established for employees and students after Hurricane Harvey.

    Prior to his time with San Jacinto College, Chet served as the Vice President for Administration and Finance at Texas Southmost College, and Associate Vice President for Business Affairs at The University of Texas at Brownsville. He also worked for a time at Xcel Energy in Denver, CO, and served as the Chief Financial Officer for The City of New Braunfels.

    Chet had a sense of humor and sharp wit that made him memorable to all who met him. He loved music, and had recently learned to play the acoustic guitar. Within a few short years, he had become an accomplished classical guitarist – a testament to his passion and drive. He will be missed by all.

    Chet is survived by his two sons, Justin and Trevor; his mother, Sharron Bowling; his sisters, Shannon Winski and Shanda Horsley; his brother, Richard Lewis; and his beloved cat, Indigo. He was preceded in death by his eldest son, Ryan, and his father, Chester Evert Lewis II.

    A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, October 18, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. at Niday Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the San Jacinto College Hurricane Emergency Relief Fund.

    Niday Funeral Home
    6777 Fairmont Parkway
    Pasadena, Texas 77505

  • Andrea.Vasquez 2:03 pm on October 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ACCT, Lewis   

    Congratulations Matt Lewis, ACCT National Faculty Award Recipient! 

    The Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) has named Matt Lewis as its 2017 William H. Meardy Faculty Member Award recipient.

    Prior to receiving the national faculty award, Lewis was named the ACCT Western Region Faculty award recipient in July. ACCT’s regional and national awards recognize the tremendous contributions made by community colleges and their leaders to meet the needs of their communities. Award categories include: Trustee Leadership Award, Equity Award, Faculty Member Award, Chief Executive Officer Award, and Professional Board Staff Member Award.

    Formerly a math professor at the South Campus, Lewis recently transitioned into his new role as a qualitative research analyst, supporting the College’s ongoing advancement in leveraging data for institutional improvement work. He will also continue his leadership role in implementing the College’s SmartStart program.

    Read more about about Matt’s national ACCT award here.

    Congratulations, Matt!


  • Jeannie.PengMansyur 11:11 am on October 4, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    Welcome, Larry! 

    Larry Claflin has sailed, equivalently, around the world, been a part of the first U.S. Army vessel to enter the Arctic Circle since WWII, and even owned an ice cream shop. He can now add San Jacinto College to the list!

    Larry joins San Jacinto College as the director of the Commercial Maritime Program. As director, he is responsible for instruction of all of the United States Coast Guard-approved maritime courses and business development at the Maritime Technology and Training center.

    Larry comes to the College by way of nearly 34 years of military service in the Transportation and Maritime Operations arenas. He holds a US Army Unlimited Marine license and extensive experience in Maritime Operations, Planning, and Program Management. Over the course of his military service in the US Army, Larry deployed twice in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, and once in support of Operation Noble Eagle. His awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, five Meritorious Service Medals, Army Meritorious Unit Citation, three Army Commendation Medals, US Coast Guard Meritorious Unit Commendation ribbon, and nine US Army Sea Service Ribbon Awards.


  • Amanda.Fenwick 9:44 am on October 2, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    Expect traffic congestion around Central Campus 

    Please be aware that FEMA has set up a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) at the Pasadena Convention Center, located directly across Fairmont Parkway from the San Jacinto College Central Campus. Traffic in the area directly around the Central Campus is heavy as those affected by Hurricane Harvey are seeking assistance from FEMA and the DRC. Access to the campus from eastbound Fairmont Parkway may be limited and you should plan for an alternate route to avoid delays.


    If your travel plans take you to the San Jacinto College Central Campus, please allow extra time to navigate the traffic congestion in the area.


    For hours of operation of the Pasadena Convention Center DRC, visit the FEMA website.

  • Andrea.Vasquez 1:36 pm on September 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    STEM Speaker Event Series- Shiela Ford 

    The event STEM Speaker Series began with a big success at the South Campus on Thursday, Sept. 21 with Ms. Shiela Ford, San Jacinto College South Campus nursing department chair. There were 303 attendees for the talk, some of which included students from other colleges and the general community thanks to great outreach efforts with the help of the College’s marketing department. Natural science faculty, the South Campus biology department chair, allied health science faculty, staff, LVN students and a numbner of students from other programs and the other College campuses came to hear Ms. Ford discuss the LVN to BSN career pathway.

    Ms. Ford talked about all the programs that San Jac offers for nursing majors.  She also announced and acknowledged the collaboration efforts between her department and the South Campus natural science department.  The first step in this exciting collaboration is the implementation of a service-learning project in our anatomy courses.  Ms. Ford and professor Sheema Nasir will be piloting the project this fall, along with support from Dr. Mary Wisgirda, South Campus natural sciences department chair.  We are excited to see how this collaboration evolves!

  • Jeannie.PengMansyur 3:42 pm on September 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    Thank you for helping during Hurricane Harvey recovery 

    So many people throughout the community volunteered to help others during Hurricane Harvey. From gathering supplies for a local school to helping to clean out flooded homes, every contribution helped recovery efforts.

    Do you know of San Jacinto College faculty or staff members who donated time to help out during or after Hurricane Harvey? If so, we’d love to recognize them here on the San Jacinto College Watercooler. Please send stories to

    • Melinda Benham 9:57 am on October 3, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Sagemont church took requests from people in the community that needed assistance with cleaning out and cutting out sheetrock. They were called Mudout teams. My husband and I joined in on one of the teams on Labor Day.

    • Amy Weaver 8:49 am on October 4, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I am part of a team from Clear Creek Community Church that has been working on Harvey relief efforts since the recovery began. As of Sept. 14, our church has received more than 1500 requests for assistance from the community. 2,500 volunteers have helped to clean out (“mudout”) 826 homes. We are organizing them, feeding them and providing the tools needed. A warehouse of supplies from around the country is being distributed to individuals, food banks and distribution centers.

      There are still so many homes that have not had mudout completed. People in our communities are living in homes that are rapidly building mold because they took in water and have had no one to help them remove furniture, flooring, walls, etc. Just this weekend, I helped one of my San Jac coworkers remove furniture and walls from his home, which took 1.5 feet of water during the hurricane. Fortunately he isn’t forced to live in the environment. The fact that we are more than a month out from the hurricane and there are still people living in toxic environments is disheartening but also keeps me motivated to continue my volunteer efforts during all of my free time. I am reminded daily that this is a marathon, not a sprint and the need is ongoing.

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