Earning A’s: Faculty and staff activities, accomplishments, & accolades

This regular feature recognizes the activities and honors received by ACC faculty and staff. To submit news or suggestions, see the contact information below.

Outstanding police administrator


Chief Dixon oversees ACC’s 92-member police department.

District Police Chief C. Lynn Dixon received the 2015 Bill G. Daniels Outstanding Administrator Award from the Texas Association of College and University Police Administrators. Dixon has been the college’s police chief since 2011. He joined the department after 21 years as a state trooper, retiring as a lieutenant. In addition to overseeing the 92 officers in ACC’s police department, he is an adjunct professor of criminal justice.

Sharing expertise

History Professor Dr. Andres Tijerina is a featured expert in the documentary “Avenging The Alamo: The Road to Texas Rising,” which premiered on the History Channel May 18. The program discusses the battle for the Alamo and other moments that defined the Texas revolution.

Several faculty and staff presented at the annual NISOD conference May 23-26:

  • Trustee Nan McRaven presented “Globalizing the Community College.”
  • Terry Barksdale, Cypress Creek Campus head librarian, led a breakout session, “Just-In-Time for Success: Connecting the Underprepared Student to College Resources.”
  • Provost Dr. Charles Cook, participated in a panel discussion, Texas Reverse Transfer Initiative (TRTI): Reverse Transfer Partnerships in Action.”
  • Dr. Richard Rhodes, president/CEO; Dr. Cook, and Anne Vance, mathematics associate professor, presented “The ACCelerator: Big Answers to the Developmental Math Question” along with student Sheila Estabillo.

starlighttacticsVisual Communication Professor Garry Gaber discussed job opportunities in video game development on KVUE-TV. Watch the interview. Gaber’s recently released video game “Starlight Tactics” is available online through Steam, iTunes, and the Mac App Store. His game “Starlight Inception” now is available for PC, PlayStation 3 and PS Vita game systems.

Haley Woodward, adjunct associate professor of welding, led a blacksmithing workshop in May as part of the visiting artist series at the Center for Metal Arts in Chester, New York. The center offers artisans, design professionals, and the public an opportunity to pursue various metal arts. See Woodward’s work at haleywoodward.com.

Dr. Rhodes was keynote speaker at the Texas Association of Community College Marketers’ annual conference June 7. He presented an overview of ACC Highland, ACC’s approach to individualized learning, and the future of career-technical education.


Dr. Tom Husak directs the award-winning Jazz Ensemble.

Meanwhile, ACC’s Jazz Ensemble entertained TACCM conference attendees. Directed by Dr. Tom Husak, the Jazz Ensemble has combined musical tradition and innovation at performances and benefit shows for more than 30 years.


 losingmogadishuRecently published

Mark Harden, manager of veterans affairs and adjunct associate professor of management, has published “Losing Mogadishu,” a collection of poems about war and the soldiers who fight them.

On the web

The University of Houston’s College of Education website featured Dr. Cook, an alum of the school’s Department of Educational Leadership & Policy Studies program. A former colleague praised him as a “champion for community colleges and the powerful and positive role they play in student success.” View the webpost.

Marketing ‘Something Exciting’

The Public Information and College Marketing team received a Bronze award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education District IV for its Highland Campus grand opening promotions. The Integrated Marketing Campaign award recognizes campaigns in which various media work together seamlessly to reinforce core messaging. The campaign included web announcements, social media, special events, public relations, and billboard ads.



Dr. Julie Todaro has been with ACC since 1985.

Dean of Library Services Dr. Julie Todaro has been elected president of the American Library Association (ALA). She is the first community college librarian to become the chief elected officer of the world’s oldest and largest association for libraries, librarians, and library supporters. She will serve as president-elect for one year before becoming president in summer 2016. See the announcement.

Dr. Samuel Echevarria-Cruz begins his Fulbright assignment in October.

Dr. Samuel Echevarria-Cruz begins his Fulbright assignment in October.

Dr. Samuel Echevarria-Cruz, chair of the Sociology and Social Work Department, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant to teach and perform research in Romania. He will spend nine months teaching sociology, demography, and health at Babes-Bolyai University and help examine the health and socioeconomic inequalities experienced by the Roma people. Read the announcement.

Achievements of Faculty and Staff Directory

The deadline for the 2014-15 Achievements of Faculty & Staff directory is Friday, June 12. Submit information about awards or recognition, or if you have presented, authored, exhibited, added to your educational credentials, or received a grant or sabbatical. Achievements must have been completed between May 31, 2014, and May 31, 2015; submit each listing separately. See details on the Achievements of Faculty & Staff webpage.

Do you know a faculty or staff member who has accomplished something notable outside the classroom or in their community? We want to hear about them. Contact Jennifer Powers, [email protected].

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