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

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

Educator of the Year honors

Christie Allen-Johnson, developmental math instructional associate, was named Educator of the Year by the Texas Association of Developmental Education. The award honors an individual who has made a major contribution to developmental education or learning support. Allen-Johnson has taught at ACC for more than five years and was the fall 2014 Riverbats Excellence award recipient for Highland Campus.


Dr. Sam Echevarria-Cruz is spending nine months teaching and conducting research in Romania.

Recruiting Riverbats abroad

Sociology Professor and Fulbright Scholar Dr. Samuel Echevarria-Cruz represented ACC at a November education fair at Ion Mincu University of Architecture and Urbanism in Bucharest, Romania. Fulbright grantees and U.S. Embassy staff served as ambassadors for their institutions or alma maters. Read about the event. Echevarria-Cruz also spoke at the Summit of Integrity for Prosperity at Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu on November 23. Read about the event on the Fulbright Romania News and Events website. Echevarria-Cruz will teach and conduct research at Babes-Bolyai University in Romania through spring 2016.

Sharing expertise and talent

Welding Technology Chair Troy Defrates discussed the thriving job market for welders in Central Texas on KVUE-TV. View the video.

Dr. Sulatha Dwarakanath, associate professor of biotechnology, was the featured speaker at a Women in Bio – Austin event in September. Dwarakanath’s presentation focused on quality assurance in life sciences.

Creative Writing Department Chair Charlotte Gullick taught a November 21 class, “Minor Characters and Major Insights: How to Create a More Compelling Narrative through an Exploration of Secondary Characters,” for the Texas Writers’ League. Read a Q&A with Gullick from the Writers’ League online newsletter.

Gullick and several ACC student writers and editors also were featured on the KOOP-FM program “Writing on the Air,” where they discussed ACC’s Rio Review. Listen to the interview.

losingmogadishuMark Harden, manager of veterans affairs and adjunct associate professor of management, recently read selections from his book “Losing Mogadishu” at Malvern Books in Austin. Harden is a retired U.S. Army chief warrant officer whose work has been published in the Rio Review, the Red River Review, Windhover Journal, and Old Mountain Press Anthologies. View a video of the event.

Dr. Missi Patterson, assistant dean of faculty development, discussed ACC’s Futures Institute and its process for exploring and implementing guided pathways at the Pathways to Progress Summit in November at Lone Star College in Houston.

Austin’s most stylish


Shelley Neuman blogs about Austin fashion.

Readers of the website CultureMap Austin named ACC’s Social Media Coordinator Shelley Neuman Stylemaker of the Year” in a landslide vote. The site said readers connected with Neuman’s personal style, noting its air of effortlessness. Neuman’s blog ATX Street Style documents fashion in Austin.



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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