Updates from September, 2009 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • wpadmin 4:01 pm on September 28, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Congratulations to Dr. James Braswell and Van Wigginton at Central campus! 

    Dr. James Braswell is our new dean of administration at the Central campus. Dr. Braswell, who previously served as academic dean,  has already been pulling double duty for quite some time now as the campus experiences an incredible amount of construction, building programming, and logistics. In his new position, he will focus on the building program, construction logistics, space planning, budget issues, and targeted research in support of academic, technical, and health science programming.

    Van Wigginton moves from his position as government department chair into the new role of academic dean. He will serve on a two-year appointment, followed by a confirmation vote by academic faculty in January 2011.

  • wpadmin 3:51 pm on September 28, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Welcome, Rukiya Akua! 


    Rukiya Akua joins the San Jacinto College South campus as a speech/communication instructor. She has experience teaching at Chicago’s Probation Challenge Academy and has also served as a faculty member at DeVry University, South Suburban College, and Malcolm X College in Chicago. She is a published author of poetry, newspaper and magazine articles, award-winning essays and short stories.

    A native of Chicago, Rukiya earned her master’s and bachelor’s degrees from DePaul University and Chicago State University and holds an Associate Degree in Black Studies from San Diego City College. She also studied in Ghana and attended the 2001 Conference Against Racism and Xenophobia in Durban, South Africa.

    Rukiya is married with two children, and during her free time, enjoys traveling.

    So, what brings her to Houston? In Rukiya’s words, she “loves hot weather!”

  • wpadmin 3:46 pm on September 28, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Congratulations, Dr. Neil Matkin! 


    San Jacinto College Central President Dr. H. Neil Matkin will participate in national studies and policy research as a 2009-2010 Associate with the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education.

    The College administrator is one of 15 higher education leaders nominated and selected from across the country to serve in this position. As an Associate, he will review and comment on draft papers by the Center, project descriptions and research findings. Some of Dr. Matkin’s previous research regarding college systems includes the study of retention, persistence and affordability.

    “I am particularly interested in continuing this research,” Dr. Matkin said. “I am also interested in the further study of the success of community college graduates, broader articulation policy and legislation related to transfer to four-year institutions.”

    The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education is a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization based in San Jose, Calif., that promotes public policies to enhance Americans’ opportunities in the pursuit and achievement of high-quality education and training beyond high school. The Center communicates performance results and key findings to the public; to civic, business and higher education leaders; and to state and federal leaders who are poised to improve higher education policy.

    The Center’s Associates Program serves as an advisory tool to test ideas and as a source for policy conversation and advice.

    “Neil Matkin’s accomplishments at the state and institutional levels make him an ideal candidate for the Associate Program,” said Joni Finney, vice president of the Center. “The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education will benefit from his continuing contributions to American higher education.”

    Dr. Matkin’s first meeting as an Associate is scheduled for October at the Airlie Center in Warrenton, Va.

  • wpadmin 3:43 pm on September 14, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Welcome Mark and Mary! 

    Mark and Mary

    Please welcome our new food service managers for the South and Central campuses, Mary Johnson and Mark Escobedo.

    A native of Houston, Mary worked for the ARAMARK Corporation for more than 30 years and brings a wealth of knowledge in safety, sanitation, cost control, menu planning and positive customer service. She is ServSafe Certified and has completed Diversity and OSHA Compliance and Facilities Management training. She will work with on-site personnel at the South campus to ensure that cafeteria hours and food choices coincide with the needs and preferences of the students, faculty and staff.

    Mary is married and a mother of two children, ages 17 and 11. Her hobbies include coaching girls volleyball at the YMCA, reading autobiographies and collecting cookbooks.

    San Antonio native Mark Escobedo comes to San Jac with 25 years of experience in the restaurant and entertainment industry. He has worked for a number of companies all over the country from Chicago to New York and Florida. Most recently, he served as a general manager for a local Red Robin franchise; prior to that, he held the same position at Saltgrass Steakhouse.

    Mark is married and a father of five children. The family live in Sugar Land where they attend church and various community activities. Mark enjoys fishing and playing golf and says he’s excited to help provide quality food at exceptional value for all San Jac Ravens and invites everyone to stop by and meet him at the Central campus anytime.

  • wpadmin 3:30 pm on September 14, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Thank you Sonia and Norma for nominating San Jac! 

    San Jacinto College joins the top 15 percent of the nation’s colleges, universities and trade schools on the 2010 Military Friendly School list.

    Published by G.I. Jobs Magazine, more than 7,000 schools were considered before selection was made based on criteria that included efforts to recruit and retain military and veteran students and academic accreditations. Many schools on the list also offer benefits to student veterans such as on-campus veterans programs, credit for service, military spouse programs and more.

    Sonia Townsand and Norma Aguilar, both from financial aid services at the South campus, nominated San Jacinto College for the Military Friendly School list.

    “I felt like this was a way to show the community that San Jacinto College values our veterans through our commitment to them,” Townsand said, who is a Veterans Civic Counsel board member. She and Aguilar also serve as point of contacts for the Lone Star Veterans Association and the Houston Marine for Life.

    More than 650 students utilized Veteran Affairs benefits at San Jacinto College last Fall.

    U.S. Army veteran Dr. Laurel Williamson, vice chancellor of instructional programs and services at San Jacinto College, said support services at a college are essential to the educational goals of military and veteran students.

    “After I served in the U.S. Army, I returned to college and was fortunate to attend a university which welcomed and supported veterans,” Williamson said. “The transition from military service to civilian life is often difficult, especially for those veterans who have seen combat service. They deserve our help, and we are taking the initiative to make San Jac a place which supports those who’ve served our country.”

    This is the first year G.I. Jobs has compiled the Military Friendly School list.

  • wpadmin 3:24 pm on September 1, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Congratulations to the entire San Jacinto College family! 

    San Jacinto College has received reaffirmation of its 10-year accreditation by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

    During a routine site visit by the SACS committee, members examined data and conducted interviews to evaluate the soundness of the College’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) and its compliance with the Commission’s Principles of Accreditation. Serita Dickey, SACS compliance director at SJC, attributes successful results to a district-wide collaboration in preparing the reports that were required for reaccreditation.

    “This truly was a team effort,” Dickey said. “The main reasons for success included the organization of the work project and the effective attention to detail with prompt and appropriate follow-ups to resolve issues of concern.”

    Other points of appraisal by the SACS team included the work of the College’s information technology department, the QEP steering committee, preparation of evidence reports for the site visit by various faculty members and administrators, student services offices and library services directors from all three campuses.

    “Because of the incredible College-wide teamwork during the work on our SACS self-study compliance report and during the SACS site team visit, San Jacinto College received commendations on this work, on our Quality Enhancement Plan, and on the work we did in response to Hurricane Ike,” said Dr. Laurel Williamson, vice chancellor of instructional programs and services at San Jacinto College. “Our facilities and instructional recovery plans after Ike were met with accolades from each member of the visiting team. Thanks are due across the College for all the work, the dedication, and the attention to detail that such a project requires.”

    The SACS Commission on Colleges is the recognized regional accrediting body in the 11 U.S. southern states and in Latin America for those institutions of higher education that award associate, baccalaureate, master’s or doctoral degrees.

  • wpadmin 3:16 pm on September 1, 2009 Permalink | Reply  



    Kaye Moon Winters, advisor and recruiter for the
    Central campus, received a pleasant surprise recently.
    Pasadena resident Kenny Robinson hand delivered a
    bouquet of flowers in appreciation for her assistance in
    helping him with his son’s enrollment process.
    “It was the most pleasant experience,” Kenny said. “All
    the frustration of enrollment was alleviated, because
    she took the time to help me. Now my son is enrolled
    and ready to go.”
    Thank you, Kaye, for reminding us that a little help goes
    a long way.

  • wpadmin 3:14 pm on September 1, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Congratulations Niki Whiteside! 

    Whiteside, Niki 2

    Niki Whiteside, vice president for educational technology, was
    recently invited to participate in INSIDE CCISD, also known as
    Interested Neighbors Staying Informed on District Efforts.
    INSIDE CCISD is a dynamic community education program
    offered to community members, civic and business leaders
    and parents each semester. Through tours, presentations and
    discussion, program members will learn about their district
    operations and special programs and help shape INSIDE’s
    work agenda by indicating areas of particular interest.
    The first semester will run from August to December and
    include monthly meetings.

  • wpadmin 3:13 pm on September 1, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    South faculty attend national conference 

    Back row (left to right): Joanie DeForest, Danielle Morgan, Sherry Swim, Su Eason, Carol Chance, Kristi Collins, Greg Smith, Bich Tran Front row (left to right): Bobbie Williamson, David Baisden, Pam Betts, Mario Garcia, James Wong Helping Hands People who

    Back row (left to right): Joanie DeForest, Danielle Morgan, Sherry Swim, Su Eason, Carol Chance, Kristi Collins, Greg Smith, Bich Tran Front row (left to right): Bobbie Williamson, David Baisden, Pam Betts, Mario Garcia, James Wong

    Thirteen San Jacinto College South faculty members participated in this summer’s Teaching for a Change conference in Flagstaff, Ariz. after winning the Spring 2009 SJCS Instructional Olympiad.
    The team had to out-perform out roughly 10 other faculty teams by earning points through completing various activities designed to help faculty add to their teaching toolboxes while also having fun.
    The ultimate prize was the annual TFC conference, a nonprofit organization that attracts educators and administrators who share a common commitment to using a variety of interactive approaches to support student learning.
    Nice teamwork everyone!

  • wpadmin 3:01 pm on September 1, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Silver Gold Reception 

    San Jacinto College South campus recently held the Silver and Gold Reception in honor of retirees and the welcoming of new employees.

    The following were honored for their years of service to the College:

    • Ro Divecha

    Economics Instructor

    21 years of service

    • Sanford Kanter

    History Instructor

    29 years of service

    • Jerry McIntyre

    Test Examiner – Testing Center

    17 years of service

    • Jerry Orr

    Business Analyst – Information Technology

    12 years of service

    • Jennie Plunkett

    Biology Instructor

    19 years of service

    • Roy Sanchez

    Business Administration Instructor

    18 years of service

    • Carol Wennagel

    Business Administration Instructor

    26 years of service

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