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  • Jeannie Peng-Armao 2:56 pm on March 27, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    From WWII and D.C. to Southern Pacific and SJC, it’s all ‘fun’ for Clara 

    Clara Hollaway

    Meet Clara Hollaway.

    Please, call her Clara, because if you happen to call her Ms. Clara, you just might make her feel a bit old, as she says.

    “I’ll be 89 in July,” said Hollaway, which in fact, makes her 88 and one of San Jacinto College’s most “advanced in years yet forever young” employees.

    She came aboard San Jacinto College in 1991 and began working in the business office at the North Campus before switching gears and working as an administrative assistant for the police department, where she continues to work.

    “I love my officers. They’re my officers because they’re like my family. They’re going to be my pallbearers,” she said.

    So, how does a young woman from Velasco, now Freeport, Texas, go from watching President Franklin D. Roosevelt on Constitution Avenue during World War II to becoming one of San Jacinto College’s most dynamic personalities to ever answer a phone? The answer is in her story …

    Tell us where you’re from, and how you got here.

    “I graduated from Freeport High School in 1944 and went to work in Washington D.C. as a clerk for the VA during World War II. I remember that time being very exciting. We were all working with the goal of supporting our country. I lived in the dormitories in Arlington, Virginia, and I made a lot of friends. I saw Roosevelt go into his third term, when presidents had three terms, on Constitution Avenue. I had already seen him in 1936 on a yacht in Freeport for the Texas Centennial.

    After a year in D.C., I returned to Texas and worked here in Houston for the U.S. Navy and typing letters for the officers. I married a WWII veteran in 1946 and went to work for the Southern Pacific Railroad. There, I worked in a variety of jobs. I worked in U.S. Customs, the cashier department, and as a chief rate bill clerk. I retired from the railroad after 38 years.”

    After retirement from the railroad, what did you do?

    “My second husband died in 1987 after my retirement from the railroad. That is when I decided to take road trips by myself to see places like Niagara Falls, to see the fall in New England, and Yellowstone. I took a cruise to Alaska.

    I had no problem going alone. I like myself!

    I wasn’t scared at all and had all my stops mapped out.

    I’ve done a lot of things just by deciding to hit the road. I have a friend now who I go with, and we’ve been to Nova Scotia, Mexico, and Colorado. We may leave for Louisiana tomorrow.”

    Why did you decide to return to work?

    “In 1991, my friend attended an election at the San Jacinto College North Campus and was asked by a business office employee if he knew a person who could work part time in the evening.

    Well, I wasn’t looking for a job, but he thought I’d be a good candidate because he said I went to bed too early that I needed to get out of the house. I came in on a Friday afternoon, and the business office offered me a job.”

    What was San Jacinto College like in 1991?

    “Back then, we didn’t process student payments using a computer. It was all hand written. The campus was much smaller. When Banner came in, it drastically changed everything! Now, I love it! You can look up on there and find people. You can find everything now. It’s so easy!

    After some years there, the police captain at the time asked me if I wanted to work for him. I debated because the hours were late at night, but I took it and started part time in 2003. Since then, it’s been fantastic. I love the officers. I love the College. The new officers call me Ms. Clara, and that makes me feel old!”

    You have worked quite a lot throughout the years. You’ve seen a lot of places and people. Would you like to offer any words of inspiration to others?

    “Yes! It’s not about the money. It’s about the environment. It’s about the people. Get to know who you’re around, you’ll start to see personalities, and you’ll start to see the people. Working is fun. I don’t know; it just is. Is that weird?

    I just like to get up and go. I’ve worked all my life, so why stay at home? To me, it’s wasting time, just like sleeping in too late!

    Life is worth getting up for and experiencing different things during the thing. I just thank God that I’ve never been off sick and that I’m in good health.”

    Okay, we just got to know, any secrets to your good health?

    “Well, it isn’t from my eating!

    I think it’s just family longevity. My dad lived to be 91. My mom lived to be 83. They were both workaholics. My dad was a business man, ran a feed store, and believed in education. He would always say two things – obey my mother and daddy, and read the Bible.”

    Your father believed in education. How do you pass this belief along to our students?

    “I see our students a lot and when I do, I encourage them to go farther. Take more courses. You got this far, don’t ever stop.”


    Clara Hollaway has one son and one daughter, three grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren. When on the North Campus, stop by the police department and say “hi.”

    “When people call the San Jacinto College police department, I want them to know I’m there to help them.” – Clara Hollaway


  • Jeannie Peng-Armao 2:13 pm on March 27, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    Thousands visit Mind Trekkers for two days of STEM action 

    There were plenty of microscopes, balloons, and tanks of liquid nitrogen at the largest science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) festival that San Jacinto College has held to date.

    Families from the community and approximately 7,000 sixth-graders from Holy Trinity Episcopal School; Rhodes School; First Baptist Christian Academy; and Galena Park, Clear Creek, Sheldon, La Porte, Deer Park, and Channelview Independent School Districts visited the College’s Central Campus to participate in more than 100 science experiments over a two-day span at the Mind Trekkers Dow Chemical Adventures in STEM.

    Mind Trekkers was coordinated through Michigan Technological University. Experiments included how to walk on water, play music with fruit, make ice cream in 60 seconds, skewer balloons, and hair-raising physics. The event allowed San Jacinto College students to serve as volunteers and engage in outreach education to inspire students.

    Sponsors included Dow Chemical, Lubrizol, Memorial Hermann, East Harris County Manufacturers Association (EHCMA), Air Liquide, Schlumberger, and Ocean Star. The San Jacinto College STEM Council assisted with the coordination of experiments.

    The STEM Council at San Jacinto College strives to increase awareness of education and career opportunities related to the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The Council sponsors STEM activities throughout the College and region, as Houston ranks among the top 10 cities for STEM careers. The Council works with community members to promote the STEM fields, while forging strong partnerships with universities and industries for further education and workforce training. To learn more, visit

    For a video of the Mind Trekkers event, visit the San Jacinto College YouTube channel.


  • Jeannie Peng-Armao 12:00 am on March 27, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    Add your April and May STEM events to the list! 

    Do you have a STEM event coming up in April and May and would like to include it on the STEM Council page? Just visit the STEM Council page and click EVENT FORM to submit your event.

    In the meantime, check out the Mind Trekkers event we hosted just before Spring Break!


  • Amanda.Booren 10:29 am on March 26, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    Children’s Book Drive 

    The Intentional Connections students at the South Campus, as well as other classes, are participating in a service learning project where they are collecting new or gently used children’s books. The books will be donated to the San Jacinto South Campus Children’s Center, two area elementary schools, as well as the San Jacinto College South Campus Library‘s children’s collection. (More …)

  • Amanda.Booren 10:11 am on March 26, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    Support our Veterans at the DeBakey VA Medical Center 

    The district Service-learning committee, in partnership with the South Camps Student Veterans Association, is hosting a personal items drive for items that will be packed into the Veterans office backpacks.  We have 333 backpacks per campus to stuff with the items listed on the attached flyer, including books, stationary, toiletries, etc. (More …)

  • Amanda.Booren 4:53 pm on March 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    College featured on Hola Houston and Viva Houston 

    San Jacinto College was recently featured on the Fox 26 show Hola Houston, as well as the ABC 13 program Viva Houston. A big shout-out and thank you go to Recruiter Alfredo Gomez, who served as the spokesperson for the College. He spoke about what we are doing to help Latino students get into and complete college.


  • Andrea.Vasquez 11:25 am on March 13, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Art exhibition   

    Martin Wnuk’s “Karmic Residue” Art Exhibition- March 26 – April 16 


    South Campus art professor, Martin Wnuk, will feature his exhibition, “Karmic Residue,” in the South Campus art gallery room, S15.112 from March 26 – April 16. “Karmic Residue” will present a select group of Wnuk’s recent paintings and mixed media drawings. (More …)

  • Andrea.Vasquez 4:04 pm on March 10, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Heather Knight, ,   

    Heather Knight visits San Jacinto College 

    The San Jacinto College Lyceum Committee recently hosted their annual Fall speaker event with social roboticist, Heather Knight. Knight brought along her robot Ginger, who also does comedy. Knight also showed a short film and music video featuring OK Go, which she helped work on. Students of all ages in the audience showed an interest with questions during the Q & A, especially elementary-age female students who already have a strong interest in STEM and robotics. Check out some of the photos from Heather’s live afternoon demonstration and her evening presentation below.

  • Amanda.Booren 8:48 am on March 10, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    NY Times features San Jacinto College in article 

    NY Times reporter Patti Cohen recently visited San Jacinto College for an article about the resurgence and demand for welders. Central Campus dean of business and technology, Jeff Parks, greeted Ms. Cohen and gave her a tour of our facilities before she visited the 10 p.m. – 2 a.m., welding class. You can read the entire article in the NY Times here.


    Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 8.42.37 AM

  • Andrea.Vasquez 3:50 pm on March 9, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    Speech classes visit Rice University 

    Last month, the San Jacinto College South Campus Speech 1315 Public Speaking Honor’s students attended the Rice University President’s Lecture featuring Dr. Martha C. Nussbaum, world renowned philosopher and ethicist as well as Law Professor at the University of Chicago.  Dr. Nussbaum presented a lecture entitled: “Anger and Revolutionary Justice.” Nussbaum began her lecture with the Greek story of Athena and the Furies and concluded her lecture with the concept of transformational justice in which she gave examples from Martin Luther King Jr. and his “I have a dream speech,” Mahatma Gandhi, and Nelson Mandela. (More …)

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