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

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

Celebrating 30 of years of service to PTK

Mary Kohls has advised the PTK chapter for 30 of the 35 years she has taught at ACC.

ACC’s Phi Theta Kappa alumni chapter hosted a surprise celebration honoring advisor Mary Kohls’ 30 years of service.  Friends, alumni, and colleagues from as far away as Lynchburg, Virginia, and Seattle attended. The alumni group named its charter scholarship in her honor. The first two scholarships, which recognize students for their leadership in the honors organization, were presented April 30.

Representing local travel and tourism

Michelle Fitzpatrick, chair of the Hospitality, Meeting and Event Planning, and Tourism Program, was selected for the Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau’s “Faces of Travel” photo campaign. The campaign is a local version of the national campaign of the same name sponsored by the U.S. Travel Association during National Travel and Tourism Week in May. View the featured ad (photographed at Eastview campus).

Award-winning designers

Public Information and College Marketing graphic designers Lisa Rehbein, Kim Vo Langridge, and Favian Zeledon received American Inhouse Design Awards from Graphic Design USA magazine. They earned honors in the categories of posters; annual and corporate reports; advertising; and brochures and collateral.




Newly minted Ph.D.s

Dr. Dorado Kinney, executive dean of student services, and Dr. Guillermo “Willie” Martinez, associate vice president of student success and analytics, recently presented doctoral dissertations examining topics relevant to ACC. In “Hearing Their Voices: The Lived Experiences & Sacrifices of African-American & Latino Males in the Boarding School Environment,” Kinney looked at the lives of 11 African-American and Latino men who attended elite boarding schools in the late 1980s to examine factors that contributed to their ongoing success.

For his study, “Examining the Sociocultural Influences on the Academic Identity Development of Highly Educated Borderland Latinos,” Martinez looked at success factors for men and women who grew up in Eagle Pass, Texas, and eventually earned a doctorate or medical degree.

Kinney and Martinez plan to present their findings and implications for ACC practices later this year.

Sharing Expertise

The following faculty and staff presented at the 2017 NISOD conference in May:

  • Melissa Biegert, director of early college high school, and Dr. Heather Elias, interim manager of college high school program operations – “Listening to Faculty: How Austin Community College Leveraged Faculty Input to Improve Early College High School Design.”
  • Chelsea Biggerstaff, faculty development coordinator – “When Mindfulness Meets the Classroom” and “Using the Five Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace to Strengthen Student Engagement.”
  • Herb Coleman, director of campus technology services – “How Google Classroom Is Quickly Becoming My LMS.”
  • Lillian Huerta, director of service learning/civic engagement ─ “Service Learning – An Avenue to Student Success.”
  • Jeff Johannigman, faculty development coordinator – “Think Like a Game Designer: Applying Game-Design Techniques to Learning” and “Using the Five Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace to Strengthen Student Engagement to Learning.”
  • Barbara Mink, chair of the Board of Trustees – “Survive, Adapt, and Thrive: Strategies for Navigating Change in Higher Education.”
  • Gaye Lynn Scott, associate vice president of academic transfer programs – “Hit the Gas: Four Ways to Go From 0 to 60 Adopting Open-Educational Resources.”
  • Kathy Statos, associate professor of psychology ─ “A Little Full-Time Goes a Long Way.”

These faculty and staff presented at the annual American Association of Community Colleges conference:

  • Richard Rhodes, president/CEO; Dr. Charles Cook, provost/EVP; and Dr. Barbara Mink – “Moving from the Cafeteria to Guided Pathways for Students at Austin Community College.” Dr. Rhodes also presented “Understanding Excellence: Organizational Characteristics of Award-winning Institutions” and “Successful Approaches to Boosting Community Colleges’ FAFSA Completion.”
  • Guillermo Martinez – “Embedding Integrated Advising and Student Supports in Pathways Redesign” and “Democratizing Data to Enable Holistic Advising and Improve Student Outcomes.”

In the media

Enrollment Advisor Ross Nelson discussed ACC’s 1-on-1 help for new high school grads on Fox 7 Austin. See the interview.

Dr. David Lauderback, history professor and interim dean of social and behavioral sciences, shared perspectives on the congressional hearing involving former FBI Director James Comey on Fox 7 Austin. View the interview.

The Texas Tribune posted a commentary co-written by Dr. Rhodes and Yvonne VanDyke, senior vice president for nursing for Seton Healthcare Family, on proposed RN-to-BSN legislation. Read the article.

An essay by Gerry Tucker, vice president of human resources, appeared in the July 10 edition of the Austin American-Statesman. In “Give new graduates ‘The Talk’ about how to start their lives,” Tucker writes about the importance of sharing messages about living a good and purpose-filled life. Read the article.

Sharing literary voices

Creative Writing Chair Charlotte Gullick joined fellow novelists Natalia Sylvester and David Hicks for a reading at Malvern Books in May. Gullick has taught at ACC since 2009.

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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