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Dale and Lynda Woodruff Honored for Dedication to Lone Star College-Montgomery
By Lauren Maddox, LSC-Montgomery College Relations
The Academy for Lifelong Learning (ALL) at Lone Star College-Montgomery has honored an outstanding couple, Dale and Lynda Woodruff, with the organization’s 2010-11 Volunteer of the Year award. This is the third year that ALL, an intellectual and personal growth organization for active, older adults, has issued this award.
The Woodruffs have been a part of the ALL organization since 2004. Over the past seven years, Lynda has served as a volunteer class coordinator, an ambassador, the chairman of the spring and fall open house, and since 2008, a member of the ALL Advisory Board.
Dale, while supporting Lynda in her roles, has been ‘instrumental’ in putting together ALL’s dulcimer group, The Lone Star Strummers, which provides musical entertainment at events throughout the area including the Montgomery County Fair. Dale also volunteers with ALL’s technology team as a computer coach
“We were very surprised with the honor of being named Volunteers of the Year,” said Lynda. “It was a total surprise, as we had no idea that we were even nominated. It’s been an honor for us to have our names placed on a plaque with the previous recipients.”
The Woodruffs, who have been married for more than 50 years, moved to The Woodlands from the Houston area in 2001 after Lynda retired from her administrative position at Cy-Fair Hospital in Cypress. Two years later, Dale retired from his long-running, successful career as an electrical engineer.
“We moved here to retire, and ALL has given us a whole new outlook on life,” said Lynda, who enjoys attending classes about medical issues, the Civil War, and traveling. “I have actually heard people say, ‘ALL saved my life,’ or ‘ALL gave me somewhere to belong.’ This may not be true for every person who joins, but it certainly is a place to start.”
The ALL program offers older, active adults non-credit classes and social activities for continued intellectual and personal growth. For a small, annual membership fee, area residents have access to a variety of lectures, workshops, art, and computer classes, as well as trips to local destinations. Classes are taught or facilitated by a variety of individuals who represent a wide range of expertise and life experiences. These include current and former professors, subject matter experts, guest lecturers, and hobbyists.
Each of the five colleges within the Lone Star College System offer continuing education for their older, active adults through the ALL organization. Course offerings and program events vary with each campus.
“The members are quite often retirees, couples, widows or widowers moving to our area to be near a child and their family,” said Lynda. “It can be difficult to find you own group when coming to a new area, but ALL provides the entertainment, education, and fellowship to help seniors adjust to new situations.”
The Woodruffs have two children, a son who lives in Houston and a daughter who lives in Seattle, along with three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
“Dale and Lynda are fantastic people—real genuine Texans with a big heart,” said Donna Smith Burns, LSC-Montgomery’s ALL program manager. “It’s people like them that make the ALL program so successful. We strive for a ‘personal’ touch in lifelong learning, and that’s only possible through volunteers like the Woodruffs.”
For an opportunity to learn more about the ALL lectures and classes being offered this fall, LSC-Montgomery is hosting an open house on Saturday, August 20, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., in The Commons (Building A). The public is invited, and entertainment and refreshments will be provided.
For more information about LSC-Montgomery’s Academy for Lifelong Learning or the open house, call (936) 273-7446, or visit www.LoneStar.edu/all-montgomery.
By Steve Scheffler, LSC-Montgomery Dean of College Relations
Students Explore the Culture of Baseball "First Hand"
For a group of Lone Star College-Montgomery College English students, an early April field trip to Minute Maid Park was more about challenging them to become the next W.P. Kinsella than the next Hunter Pence.
Astros personnel including the assistant groundskeeper, director of guest services, coordinator of amateur scouting, and head of guest services spoke to students and answered their questions.
The course was taught by English professor Dr. Ron Heckelman, a lifelong Chicago White Sox fan who said he wanted to offer an English 1302 course that challenges students to write about the connection between baseball and American culture.
Writing About Baseball is one of several thematic English 1302 courses that LSC-Montgomery offers. Others include Writing About the Movies, Writing About Science Fiction, Writing About the South, and Writing About Fairytales. Many of these classes are offered for the upcoming fall semester, which begins Monday, August 29.
Each of the thematic courses is a variation on the traditional English 1302 Writing About Literature class, said Heckelman, who taught the same class from 2000-2004 before taking a break for a few years.
"These courses satisfy the college district's requirements for learning outcomes for English 1302," he said. "The benefit of the thematic courses is that many students do better when they choose a subject they enjoy."
Students in the writing-intensive course kept a reading journal, wrote a personal memoir about their connection with baseball, reviewed a baseball movie and a book about baseball and ended the course with a research project. A part of the research was the field trip to Minute Maid Park to interview front office and other personnel and watch the Astros play a game against the Chicago Cubs.
"It was very valuable for the students to see how the guest speakers got into baseball and to learn the nuances of their jobs," said Heckelman. "The students submitted a paper about the field trip, highlighting the most intriguing things they learned."
One student wrote, “There is no other genuine way to learn about the culture of a baseball organization than to interview the people of the park. We saw first hand what it’s like working for a professional baseball team. The culture suggests that you must love the sport to be able to survive the long hours and extremely busy lifestyle. No matter what job each worker in the stadium has to do, they all share one thing in common: the love of the sport.”
The baseball course and all of the college's thematic writing courses are a win-win situation for both students and faculty, said Heckelman, while noting that, unfortunately, the win-win situation did not carry over to the game itself, as the Astros lost 9-5.
By Lauren Maddox, LSC-Montgomery College Relations
Student Ranked No. 3 Out of 144 Female Barrel Racers
Don’t let her petite frame fool you—Lauren Sparks, a student at Lone Star College-Montgomery, has more tenacity than a buckin’ bull and more confidence than the finest steer.
Backed by a team of loved ones, Lauren has used her unwavering resolve to fight for her future, her health, and a spot in the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association’s (NIRA) national championship, to be held June 12-18 in Casper, Wyo.
“I’m very excited, but not too nervous,” said the 19-year-old from Conroe. “I’ve been to other big rodeos before, and some of the regional competitions seemed more nerve-wracking.”
Lauren competes as a barrel racer with the Lone Star College Intercollegiate Rodeo Team, which is in its first year of existence. With scores placing her third in the NIRA’s Southern Region, which pegs Lauren and her teammates against 12 colleges, including major universities like Sam Houston State University (SHSU) and Texas A&M University, Lauren qualified to compete on a national level for an NIRA championship title. Only three females from within the Southern Region qualified for this prestigious position in barrel racing.
But it’s been quite a long haul to get there.
“We’ve had just about everything happen—from Lauren getting sick to her horse getting hurt to hitting a barrel during a rodeo,” said Rose Sparks, Lauren’s mother and one of the team’s coaches. “But God has a plan, and He had it all mapped out. Lauren is blessed to have this gift.”
“Even today he goes beyond the call of a brother,” said Rose. “He’s our biggest support—the boss, really—who keeps us on track and helps us prepare for every race.”
Lane is Lauren’s ‘right-hand,’ researching rodeos and competitors, taking care of the horses, hooking up the trailer, and doing whatever needs to be done.
“I’m pretty competitive, too, and I get as much joy from her winning as she does,” said Lane, who is also a student at LSC-Montgomery and club president for the rodeo team.
“Lane really does put up with a lot,” said Lauren with a smile. “He’s my manager, and well, he gets me straight.”
Growing up, Lauren competed in rodeo championships, overcoming the setbacks of four broken arms, a broken femur, a broken shoulder, a rare genetic disorder, hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which is a disease that destroys red blood cells and causes short-term kidney failure, and most recently, necessary blood transfusions and a bone marrow aspiration in her hip.
“It’s kind of funny because this semester, I got a blood transfusion on a Wednesday, and then Thursday, I was on the road leaving for the rodeo,” said Lauren. “I was a ‘dead-man-walking’ one day, but it was like a rechargeable battery.”
Lauren, choosing LSC-Montgomery in part for its radiology program and in part for its location—close to home and close to her horse, Belle—joined the team soon after it started up.
With the support of Zipperer, Lane, Rose, and two close friends and teammates—Rachel Wood and Jeannette Carlson, Lauren made it through the 2010-2011 rodeo season despite coming into the season late, struggles in her math class, hitting barrels during a race, and losing to the reigning female barrel racer champion twice by 1/1000th and 3/1000th of a second.
“Lauren missed three out of 10 rodeos, but still managed to place third out of 144 female barrel racers,” said Zipperer. “We are all fighting for her, even to the point of using rubber bands to keep her feet in the stirrups during competitions.”
Another sponsor, Dr. Brian McGee, is Lauren’s oldest brother. A chiropractor with Sadler Clinic and a trained equine chiropractor, Dr. McGee supports Lauren’s rodeo efforts as a loving big brother and as a doctor, performing chiropractic work on both Lauren and her horse.
“It’s truly a family deal,” said Rose. “It takes a lot to do this, and the whole family supports her.”
“You’d never know Lauren is as good as she is because she doesn’t like to draw attention to herself or boast about her talent,” said Zipperer. “I expect to see her at least in the finals at nationals. She’s amazing, and the team centers around her.”
For more information about the Lone Star College Intercollegiate Rodeo Team, contact James Zipperer at (936) 273-7348 or James.F.Zipperer@LoneStar.edu.
By Beth Eytcheson
Psi Beta, the National Honor Society of Psychology for Community and Junior Colleges, had an award winning semester. As Student Organization of the Year, Psi Beta has brought William Mitchell who performed a Hypnosis Stage Show, Dr. Rowland Miller of Sam Houston State University who discussed “Picking A Partner: Advice from the “Love Doctor.”, were winners of the Friendship Center’s Pet Food Drive, and an integral part of the Crawphish Festival in association with The Woodlands Children’s Museum.
The Spring 2011 Installation of new members and officers for Psi Beta was held on Wednesday, April 27. Vice President of Instruction, Dr. Ann Kirch, was the keynote speaker who discussed how she learned leadership skills from her cats. Nine new members were installed and they were: Liz Conlin, Beth Eytcheson, Dan Goodrum, Tina Hughes, Eleana Mosley, Jennifer Piper, Staci Prall, Jo Rogers, and Matthew Williams.
New officers were also elected for the Fall 2011 semester and they will be: President Kelsey Richardson, Vice President Angela Tallant, Secretary Matthew Williams, Treasurer Liz Conlin, and Chapter Delegate Katie Sanborn. Advisors for Psi Beta are Dr. Michael Green and Dr. Karen Buckman.
By Kellie Pearson
A well-known gun-rights advocate told a packed crowd at an April 14 discussion at Lone Star College-Montgomery (LSCM) that a proposed law to permit concealed weapons on Texas campuses still has a chance to pass, despite the emotions it raises.
The discussion, sponsored by the LSCM Second Amendment Club, took place April 14 in the college’s Teaching Theater. It featured nationally recognized Constitutional lawyer, Charles Cotton from Houston. He is a board member of the National Rifle Association as well as former executive director of the Texas State Rifle Association.
Cotton wrote the first concealed handgun license bill in I980, and has edited pieces of legislation on guns since 1985. In addition to that, he founded the TexasCHLforum.com in 2004. Before he began his career as a lawyer in 1985, he was a policeman in Friendswood for 15 years. Needless to say, he knows a lot about guns. He professed his three favorite things other than God and his family were shooting, flying, and talking to people.
Cotton travelled to LSCM to answer questions and inform students about the ongoing legislative process involving the concealed carry on campus bill.
“It is a very emotional topic, and is going to take time,” Cotton said. “It is more of a matter of educating the public.”
Cotton said that senators and representatives generally are supportive of the bill but fear the reactions of their constituents. Texas residents believe in gun rights, but a vast majority of the state’s population are members of neither the National Rifle Association nor Brady’s campaign against guns - they are in the middle.
“People don’t harbor feelings against guns, but they react when they think about guns being on college campuses,” Cotton said.
Texas legislators have been working on the bill since 2007, and an interim campus study on campus carry was carried out in 2008. The bill passed the Senate in the 2009 session but died in the House of Representatives because Democrats put pressure on voter ID, nearly shutting down the legislative process and killing numerous bills, including concealed carry on campus.
The problem the bill faces in the current session is receiving a two-thirds majority from the Senate to bring it to the floor, since the Senate does not use a calendar system. A two-thirds majority calls for the support of 21 senators in the 31-member chamber. There were 22 votes up until mid-April when Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr., D-Brownsville and Sen. Mario Gallegos, D-Houston withdrew their support.
Time is running out, as the 2011 session ends in July. According to Cotton, if the battle for redistricting gets out of the House or Senate and carry on campus has not been brought up yet, the chances it will get brought to the floor will drop dramatically.
“It is not guaranteed to pass, but campus carry is not dead either. It should pass, but that does not mean that it will,” Cotton said.
“Don’t believe that because everything doesn’t go as you planned it that everything is lost. A high-profile bill has never passed in the first session, it takes time.”
Cotton stated that he has gotten a number of questions regarding why there are so many versions of the bill. There are six different versions of campus carry including three general versions and one that involves faculty, advisors, and professors. He stated that the number of versions of bills does not water down the support and the reason there are so many is so that legislators can amend them.
In other gun-related legislation, Cotton and his supporters have also created an employer parking lot bill prohibiting employers from having policies that require employees with concealed weapons permits to leave their weapons locked in their vehicles.
Students asked a variety of questions over the bill after Cotton concluded his presentation.
One student asked how important calls and emails from supporters are in passing a bill. Cotton replied that it is very helpful and encouraged students to fax a letter and make a phone call once a day, especially to senators Lucio and Gallegos. Emails, however, do not usually get checked and are not paid attention to since there are so many.
There were also concerns that bystanders could get caught in the cross fire between a shooter and a student with a concealed weapon permit. Cotton said that it was possible, but not likely, and “Even if one student does get killed accidentally, the death toll would still be lower than the other option, which would be students just sitting around and getting killed.”
Cotton also proclaimed that the main thing that gets lost in all the debate is the benefit of added protections for students against assaults that occur every day either on and off campus. That additional protection against day-to-day criminal threats is the main benefit of the legislation, he said.
Business and Economics Professor James Zipperer, one of the two advisors of the Second Amendment Club, said that the event was well-received and he was satisfied with the turnout. “I think the best point that he made was that there are over 460,000 concealed handgun licensees in the state of Texas that carry safely and commit less crimes than the rest of society, and it is foolish to think that carrying on campus would change statistics.”
LSCM student Saul Cortez, 22, actually attended for extra credit in a class but admitted that he was glad he decided to go. “I thought it was very interesting and informative. I definitely know a lot more about the legislation process of conceal carry on campus now than I did before,” he said.
If you would like to find out more about the Second Amendment Club and the events it sponsors, contact the club’s student leader Kaitlyn Beauregard at KaityKatB@yahoo.com, or advisors Richard Hunting at Richard.Hunting@lonestar.edu and James Zipperer at James.F.Zipperer@lonestar.edu. The club’s meetings are the second Tuesday of every month in Building F, Room 313 at 2:30pm
Beta Delta Iota Wants You! Eligible students have until May 2nd to register for Phi Theta Kappa. The international honor society of two-year schools is open to all students with a minimum 3.5 GPA and 12 completed credit hours. In addition to service and fellowship opportunities, Phi Theta Kappa offers a multitude of academic and transfer scholarship to members. Please refer to the invitation letter you received or email email@example.com for more information.
By Violeta Ayer
According to LSC-Montgomery’s Beta Delta Iota chapter Service Officer of Phi Theta Kappa, “being part of the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) family is an advantage beyond school. In my transfer application to UT, I found a check box just for PTK members. At my job interview, the company representative said, 'I can see you are a people person because you are involved in PTK activities.' I had listed many other organizations on my job application, but she picked out only PTK.”
PTK recruits its members by invitation only. Membership invitation letters are sent to students whose GPA's are 3.5 and above, placing them in the top 10% of the student body at LSC-Montgomery.
"When I received the PTK letter in the mail I cannot even describe how good it made me feel. It is verification to me that everything I am doing is working and it is worth it to continue on," mentioned one of the 60 students present at the orientation ceremony on Feb. 25th .
At the orientation ceremony, PTK new members learned about personalized assistance in finding scholarships, leadership opportunities as officers, and about the local chapter's service events. According to the national organization website, PTK has more than $37 million in transfer scholarships available exclusively to their members.
As community service action, PTK members donate their time to Habitat for Humanity's North Harris County section. On Feb. 19, fourteen PTK members helped paint the interior of an 1149 square foot home.
The new house belonged to a single mother with three kids. She has a 13-year old and identical twins who are 8 years old.
“I keep imagining a little boy or girl having this room for their own. It is a nice feeling knowing that I am helping and that I am part of a kid's life even without meeting them," said David DeBlois, an enthusiastic PTK member.
In only three and a half hours the group painted seven rooms and the garage. The Habitat coordinator, Karly Grilliot, inspected the job, saying “PTK always does a great job." PTK members will return three more times during the semester to continue working on habitat projects.
In addition, PTK makes efforts to implement more service opportunities in a closer relationship with the community. For example, twice in the past month Junior Achievement offered volunteer, tutor, and mentor training to interested PTK members. These college students will tutor disadvantaged children ages 3 to 8 while encouraging them to envision a world in which they can succeed.
As part of PTK's fundraising activities, this past February, PTK members raised over $800 selling candy-cane hearts around campus to donate to The Montgomery County Women's Shelter.
As a way to encourage the continuation of leadership activities, PTK paid hotel and registration costs to send its officers to the Texas Regional Convention in Round Rock, TX the first weekend of March. More than forty PTK- Texas chapters participated.
The Region’s convention offered workshop training to teach members how to research social issues as well as plan and carry out community service activities in response to their findings. “PTK tries to build their very own superhero teams to change the world,” affirmed Mike A’ali, District II Vice President from Texas Regions.
In addition, the convention offered awards. The Delta Beta Iota LSC-M chapter brought home two recognitions for this academic year. The Texas Region “Two Star Level”, awarded for achievements, and the "Pinnacle Award" in recognition for dramatically increasing membership totals.
The convention was also about fellowship and adventure. The attendees enjoyed a Casino Night with a Roaring 20’s theme and a dance in the Ballroom of the Marriot Hotel. “It is time for us to celebrate our accomplishments for the year,” said one of the 400 members that participated in the event.
As a way of recognizing the LCS-Montgomery students’ success, PTK carried out the induction ceremony, on March 1 at LSC-Montgomery. PTK welcomed the new members to the chapter family and awarded certificates to officers who successfully fulfilled their duties. It was followed by a banquet dinner for the PTK family and their relatives.
In the immediate future, PTK will pay tickets, airfare, hotel and registration costs to send its officers to the international convention at the Washington State Convention Center the second weekend of April.
Activities and accomplishments like these are probably the reason why PTK was named “The Student Organization of the Year" at LSC-Montgomery for 2009-2010.
By Andrew Payne
Members of LSC-Montgomery’s Japanese Club and the Anime Club gathered March 2 to celebrate the second annual Japanime Day event in The Commons. The event was designed to "...show the students the culture, language, and media of Japan," according to Anime Club’s student leader Alyssa Oropeza. Japanime Day featured traditional Japanese dance, music, art, calligraphy and clothing, as well as more modern aspects of Japanese culture like anime, the Japanese style of animation.
Enthusiasts manned booths that displayed these various facets of Japan's cultural history.
At one booth, a woman trained in Japanese script wrote visitors' names in kanji, a hybrid of Chinese and Japanese characters. Interestingly, the term kanji actually means "Han characters" in reference to the second imperial dynasty of China.
During Japanime Day, the Japanese Society of Houston partnered with the Japanese and Anime Clubs to showcase the traditional dance of Japan. Women from the Japanese Society performed three dances for the students that demonstrated the beauty of Japanese dance, emphasizing grace in transition and the perfection of forms much like western ballet.
The event boasted 100 visitors to the morning demonstrations and displays, and 50 visitors to the evening dance party. At the dance party, students celebrated Japanese popular music such as J-rock (Japanese rock) and Japanese electronica. Many students were dressed as popular characters from Japanese culture such as the famous video game characters Mario and Luigi as well as others. Student disc jockeys provided the sound equipment.
According to Oropeza, "Students were so interested in learning Japanese culture, writing, and origami that many joined the Anime Club to learn more about it. They discovered what anime is and the interest that people have behind it." As she puts it, Japanime Day was an "amazing success"!
The LSC-Montgomery Japanese Club has about 10 members while the Anime Club has about 30. The Anime Club meets 3-8 p.m. every Friday in the General Academics Building in room G225. For information on the Japanese Club, contact their student leader Amanda McCormick at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Beth Eytcheson
More than two weeks’ time donated by PTK members, as well as thousands of candy canes from Wal-Mart when assembled, created candy cane ‘Hearts of Love’. Thanks to support from the LSC-Montgomery community, PTK has raised over $800.
“This is a cause close to many members’ hearts,” said PTK President Kaitlyn Beauregard, as some PTK members have either been residents or have had loved ones as residents of the shelter over MCWC’s years of service. “It’s a chance to give back,” she said. All funds raised go directly to the Montgomery County Women’s Center in the form of cash and supplies.
Counseling and legal aid are just a few of the services offered by MCWC. Long term however, families need to reestablish themselves having traded their home for safety. This is where PTK and the community steps up with furnishings, clothing, food, diapers, supplies and cash to help families get back on their feet.
According to Kaitlyn Beauregard,“this is the first year PTK has raised money for MCWC, but we aren’t done yet.” PTK is going to continue to raise money all semester long with their Hearts campaign for MCWC.
‘Hearts’ were also sold at the PTK Orientation on Feb. 24th and will continue to be available at the PTK table set up during Spring Fling on March 26. Even if campus goers do not have a sweetheart or a sweet tooth, they can be assured that their contribution is going to a sweet cause.
By David Bracewell
Students from Lone Star College-Montgomery enjoyed great success at this year's Theatre Fest/Design Fest at the Hyatt Regency hotel in downtown Houston.
The event, which took place Jan. 27 through 30, is presented annually by the Texas Educational Theatre Association, TETA, and features workshops, celebrities, scholarships, and much more for aspiring theatre students.
Chase Waites, professor of theatre, and Rob Kreps, associate professor of audio video systems, accompanied nine students to the event. Waites remarked on the benefits of these kinds of trips for students, saying, “If [we] don’t take some students out of Montgomery County, then they’d never leave Montgomery County.”
The success of the students made the best case for the trip, as the six students who auditioned for schools received a combined 36 callbacks. TETA callbacks meant that if a college was interested in a student after seeing their audition, then they would sit down with them to gain further information and potentially recruit the student. One student, Laurel Johnston, also won the Founder’s Scholarship, “the penultimate award available,” according to Waites.
Laurel, 20, who has been involved in many shows here at LSC-Montgomery, said, “TETA was an amazing experience for me to network with colleges and connect with people who share the same passion for theatre...” Laurel alone had at least 13 colleges expressing interest in her, but was unable to visit all of them in the time allotted.
Nicole Thoma, 21, won honorable mention in Design Fest for her prop design in LSC-Montgomery’s production of Too Much Memory last semester as well as Excellence in Tech/Management from the United States Institute for Theatre Technology. She enjoyed both the networking opportunities and the chance listen to theatre greats such as Brian Stokes Mitchell and Carol Channing share their experiences.“It was so inspiring and uplifting, especially since most of us are just beginning that journey," Thoma said. "There aren’t many places that you can go to get that kind of experience.”
She believes the trip was very important and benefitted her directly. “Not only did I come away with how I can better myself and my craft, but I also came away with the knowledge that I can realistically turn my dream into a reality. That is the best feeling in the world.”
The trip was funded by Lone Star College-Montgomery, and cost roughly $400 per student. These trips benefit the campus as well. The campus had an information booth at the event, which the students, along with Rob Kreps, helped to staff. This gave the department exposure, as the event hosts nearly 800 high school and college theatre students and shows them what participating colleges have to offer. Waites takes a group of students to this event every year, and hopes to continue to do so, saying “In this age of budget crises, travel budgets may be the first to go, but these opportunities make us who we are and give students chances for success.”
If any students would like more information on how they can be involved in the theatre, they can e-mail Chase Waites at Chase@lonestar.edu.
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