University Park | President's Office | Faculty Senate |

Founding Faculty

With three Faculty Excellence Award winners in our first year, the beginnings of our Founding Faculty Endowment, a well-respected and newsworthy  literary series in the Houston area, receiving national recognition at conferences, authors of books, articles, essays, and choosing to further our own educational pursuits, we are poised for greatness.

The days of mundane lectures, chalkboards, overhead projectors, transparencies, and VHS players, are ancient news in our classes.  Here, our professors incorporate the best practices, technology, teaching methods, theories, and culturally responsive pedagogy to enhance the teaching and learning process.  With the support of our outstanding professional development series, full-time and adjunct faculty are fully immersed in what the program has to offer.

More importantly, it is the faculty that is the lifeline of this academic institution.  Lone Star College cannot operate without the participation of its faculty.  We are the heroes that make a difference to help pave the way for the twenty-first century leaders of tomorrow.  We lay the foundation and building blocks necessary for our students to pursue careers in their chosen fields and attend four year colleges and universities.

Founding Faculty Members:

Rui Dai

Lone Star College-University Park Math

Martha Donnelly

Lone Star College-Unviersity Park Math

After graduating with a BS in Computer Science from Lamar University, I started working as a Manufacturing Software Systems Engineer for Compaq Computer Corp in 1988.  After 10 years of setting up CPU manufacturing sites in such places as Brazil, Singapore, Scotland, China, as well as Houston, I decided a different, more kid-friendly career was in order.  I obtained my secondary teaching certificate for mathematics through the Alternative Teacher Certification program at Region IV and started teaching juniors and seniors the wonders of Calculus at Tomball High School.  During this time, I obtained a MA degree in Mathematics through Sam Houston State University and a second daughter.  In 2005, while my daughter was an infant, I became an adjunct Math instructor at Tomball College.  Finding that I enjoyed the interaction in a college classroom, I became a full-time faculty member at the same campus in 2008.  When University Park was started, I leaped at the chance to become a founding faculty member and ended up as the Department Chair for Math, Science, and Economics.

Abraham Haje

Lone Star College-University Park Math

Cassandra Khatri

Lone Star College-University Park Political Science

Cassandra Khatri is a native Houstonian who attended Seton Hall University (BS, MA 2009. She is passionate about government and politics and in helping students better understand the world around them. In her spare time, she enjoys baking, reading and spending time with her husband and dog.

Devika Lalsinghani

Lone Star College-University Park Math

After completing my postgraduate degree in Statistics, I started teaching Math to high school students and worked as a production analyst at a manufacturing company. I moved to United States in 1995, transitioning into a homemaker, mom, PTO mom, soccer mom etc. Subsequently, volunteered at schools and libraries, worked as a substitute at Cypress Fairbanks schools district and teaching math as an adjunct at Lone Star College-Cy Fair. I joined the fine team of Math faculty at Lone Star College Tomball in 2009 and relocated as founding faculty to University Park in January 2012. I’m blessed to have two teenage boys and a loving husband. I love to travel, read, walk & cook different cuisines during my free time.

Jason LaPres

Lone Star College-University Park Biology

Jason LaPres began his teaching career in 2001 as a part time instructor at several Detroit area community colleges at night. From 2001-2002 he endured many 14-16 hour days working during the day as a construction laborer pouring concrete. During the 2002-2003 academic year Professor LaPres took a job at Detroit Community High School teaching chemistry and physics to 10th grade students, and was able to reduce his work days to 12-14 hours. Jason continued teaching for Henry Ford Community College, Schoolcraft College, and Wayne County Community College during this school year.  In early May 2003 Jason received a phone call from Lone Star College-North Harris offering him a fulltime position teaching Anatomy and Physiology. When he received the call he was lugging an old overhead project down 5 flights of stairs, due to an elevator being out of order, to return it to the library of the college he was teaching at so that it would not be stolen from the classroom. Needless to say, Professor LaPres joined the faculty of LSC-North Harris in August of that same year. In August 2011, he was offered an “Invitation to Innovate” with a transfer to LSC-University Park to become one of its founding faculty.

In other professional scenes, Professor LaPres is very active. He has authored or contributed to several dozen anatomy and physiology textbook supplements, both digital and print. He won the Lone Star College System Writing award in 2006 for his contributions to test banks. He is currently co-authoring an anatomy and physiology textbook, and is the sole author on a soon to be released pathophysiology textbook. Professor LaPres is a very active member of the Human Anatomy and Physiology Society (HAPS). He usually attends and presents at their annual conference, and has been on their Board of Directors as the Southern Region Director since 2011.

In his personal life, he is married to Professor Leslie LaPres (also at LSC-UP). They have a son and a daughter. They also have 3 dogs and 1 cat, which proved he is a very patient man. Professor LaPres likes to travel, play golf and volleyball, watch almost any sport, and most importantly spend time with family.

Leslie LaPres

Lone Star College-Unviersity Park Psychology

As the first in my family to graduate from college, I was eager to get right to work on my communications career after graduating from Texas A&M University (Whoop!). I went to work in major market radio sales, but I really missed living my life in semesters and working for the common good. Most importantly, I truly wanted to help people! So, I went back to school and earned my Masters in Psychology. While going to graduate school, I worked for Lone Star College-North Harris beginning in 2002, and I LOVED IT! I began teaching at night within Developmental Studies and knew I was home because I enjoyed every second of being in the classroom.

After graduating from Our Lady of the Lake University, I began teaching Psychology. In August of 2011, after almost 10 years at North Harris, I joined the founding faculty of Lone Star College-University Park. I am blessed everyday with the opportunity to teach and to help students both change and enhance their life through education. Currently, I serve as the lead faculty for Psychology and Sociology as well as the facilitator for the Adjunct Certification Program on campus. I love to learn and am honored to share my passion with my colleagues and students, whom I learn from and gain motivation from every day!

When I am not teaching, grading, or creating new activities for my classes, I’m spending time with my husband, two step kids, our 3 tiny dogs, and extended family. I love volunteering! I serve on both of my children’s schools PTOs, volunteer with S.A.F.E. House All Breed Dog Rescue and Tiny Paws Animal Rescue. I enjoy traveling, entertaining, playing board games, football, and just about anything chocolate!

Philip Lee

Lone Star College-University Park Computer IT

My eleven (11) years in the Lone Star College System included the Tomball and University Park campuses. I am a 2010 Fellow in the Lone Star College System Academy Leadership Program.  During my career in the Lone Star College System, I have taught courses in three different departments:  Business, Technology, and Health-Kinesiology & Natural Science.

I have over 26 years of experience in the computer field and have been in seven (7) different industries during his 26 year corporate career:  I use these experiences as examples for my Project Management classes and to assist others. I try to create an environment where people feel comfortable asking questions of me at any time.

My community involvement includes: being VP Membership for the Project Management Institute (PMI)Houston Chapter from 2009-2012 Chapter andI attended numerous CIT Advisory meetings with the business community. Since 2005, I possess a Project Management Professional (PMP) certificate from Project Management Institute (PMI) that allows me to keep abreast of the latest tools and techniques which I will apply to the LSC-UP Academic environment. 

Lone Star College(LSC)-University Park is the sixth and newest college in the Lone Star College System.  LSC-University Park is designed to be a college as well as an incubator for innovative partnerships between education, business and industry, and the community. Through our LSC-UP University Center’s partnerships with several universities, our students are able to seamlessly transition into Bachelor and Master Degree programs.

Honors / Accomplishments 

  • Project Management Professional (PMP) since 2005
  • Lone Star College-Academy Leadership Program - 2010 Fellow
  • VP Membership for Project Management Institute (PMI ) Houston 2009-2012
  • Faculty Excellence Award Nominee 2007/2008/2010/2012
  • Leadership Institute Programs with PMI
  • Online Teaching Certificates for Blackboard/Angel
  • Microsoft OfficeSpecialist (MOS) Certificates
  • Created new course (Computers in Agriculture) by bridging technology and Agriculture curriculum

Committees/College Service  

  • Computer Information Technology (CIT) Curriculum Team 2011/2012
  • Business Curriculum team 2011/2012
  • Workforce Council Cluster Meetings 2011/2012
  • Completion by Design (CbN)
  • Hiring Committees
    • VPISS – Fall 2011
    • Economics Professor – Fall 2011
  • Grants Committee 2010/2011/2012
  • Continuing Education Committee 2010
  • Austin PHIT – Myitlab Symposium 4/2012
  • Myitlab Administrator for LSC-UP
  • CurricuNet – LSC-UP

Education:    

  • Master’s Degree Program, Tarleton State University, Stephenville, Texas.  Major:  Computer Information Systems.
  • Master’s Degree in Business Administration, University of California, Irvine.  Major:  Management Information Systems.
  • Bachelor of Arts Degree, University of California, Santa Barbara. 
         Majors:  Business Economics and Political Science.

Hank Lewis

Lone Star College-University Park Economics

Upon completion of Graduate School at Rice University in May of 1992, I was flung headfirst into the dynamic world of Adjunct Economic Instruction at Houston Community College, Southwest.  While I was an Adjunct Professor at HCC, I had an 8 year career in Banking that included such roles as Financial Services Rep., Teller Supervisor, Assistant Branch Manager and Risk Management Specialist.  This transitioned into another 8 year career as an Actuarial Specialist with American General, later AIG.  In July of 2007, I saw the handwriting on the wall and left AIG prior to their major problems.  I took on more Adjunct Professor positions at Lone Star College CyFair (Economics) and The University of Phoenix (Both Economics and Mathematics) on top of what I was doing at HCC.  I continued the juggling of part time positions for nearly 5 years when I was blessed with the opportunity to be the Full Time Economics Faculty at Lone Star College University Park, for which I am most grateful.

Outside of the life Professorial, I am the husband of my long-suffering CPA wife Julie Zhou Lewis, and the father of two wonderful, intelligent and challenging Children named Helena and Jason, whom many of you have met on their various school holidays.  I am the owner/principal author of the food blog HankOnFood.com, where I share my love of good restaurants, craft beer and occasional recipes with those who find my writing and photos worth their time.  I am an avid fan of Professional Ice Hockey and Football, I am an avid cyclist who really needs to get back in the saddle a bit more, and a lover of Smooth Jazz and Alternative Rock. 

J. Allen Margoitta

Lone Star College-University Park Biology

David Miller

Lone Star College-University Park English

Sharon Miller

Lone Star College-University Park Developmental English

After teaching in public school, enjoying life as an at-home mom, volunteering in the community, and teaching as an adjunct at LSC-North Harris, I joined the founding faculty of Lone Star College-CyFair to teach Transitional English in 2003.  In January 2012, I was blessed with the opportunity to transfer to University Park. I am currently doing some work with the state professional organizations and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.   I enjoy learning from each of my colleagues and share your passion for student learning and success.  Together, we are shaping a unique institutional culture, and it is an honor to be working with y’all here. 

In real life, I have two grown Aggie daughters, a husband, and we have custody of Princess #1’s dog, Cooper.  I like to travel, read, garden, feed my backyard birds, teach Sunday School, walk in the park, and listen to rock n roll.  When we can, we volunteer for Habitat for Humanity.

Irina Nizova

Lone Star College-University Park ESOL

Gregory Oaks

Lone Star College-University Park English

I had to add something about Uproar:  Greg Oaks has an MFA in Literature and Creative Writing from Texas State University and a Ph.D. in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Houston.  His short stories have been published in the Gettysburg Review, the Cimarron Review and elsewhere.  He is a faculty sponsor, along with David Miller, of Lone Star College--University Park's new literary/arts magazine Uproar.  He is one of the co-founders of one of Houston's premier reading series, Poison Pen, and was voted one of Houston's top "Creatives" 2012 by the Houston Press.  If he were to ever have time for hobbies, they might include running, yoga, and country-western dancing (despite his extreme distaste for "New Country" music).   

Brian L. Reeves

Lone Star College-University Park Developmental Studies

Teaches Developmental English and English and has been with LSC for just over ten years.  He digs movies, theater, pop culture and his two cats, Apollo and Athena.

Frank Rodriguez

Lone Star College-University Park Math

My educational career started immediately after completing my own college career.  I was given the opportunity to gain invaluable experience while teaching mathematics at Richardson High School.  Teaching high school mathematics was wonderful, but my goal was always to teach at a community college.  In a fortunate turn of events, I was able to begin my higher education career at Westwood College.  In 2007, I was blessed with the opportunity to begin teaching as an adjunct instructor at LSC-CyFair.  Since then, I have been exposed to many aspects of the community college while serving as an adjunct instructor, program manager, and founding faculty member at LSC-University Park.  Currently, in addition to teaching, I am advising for LSC-University Park’s Phi Theta Kappa chapter Beta Upsilon Nu.  Every day brings another unique challenge, but LSC-University Park has built a wonderful group of faculty and staff that I am confident can accomplish great things.

Outside of LSC-University Park, I am lucky to be married to a beautiful wife and have two beautiful daughters.  In addition to my wife and children, we have two dogs.  I enjoy supporting my favorite sports teams and supporting Texas A&M University.  Additionally, I take pleasure in traveling, food exploration, and music. 

Tom Rogers

Lone Star College-University Park Humanities

Born 9/11/48 in Ennis, Texas
Grew up and attended public schools in Huntsville, Texas|
Attended TCU and SHSU here in the USA, and Leicester University for two years (England)
Initially taught for one year 4th and 5th grade Humanities/Social Sciences
Began teaching at what is now LSC/Tomball in January, 1992 as an adjunct in the History department
Taught for LSC as an adjunct for seven years
Personal interests include travel, both here in the USA and in Europe (with special interest in the UK and Ireland), historical photography, historical preservation work, and reading.
Have been married to Jan for 41 years, and have two daughters (Amy & Emily), their spouses Doug and Chad, and two grandchildren (Avery and Carter). 
Have one surviving sibling (younger sister Susan), my parents (now 90 and 91), and numerous cousins and nieces and nephews – for all of whom I feel very blessed.

Richard Smalley

Lone Star College-University Park Math

Gina Sprowl

Lone Star College-University Park Accounting

Jennifer Thompson

Lone Star College-University Park Political Science

Jennifer has been with Lone Star College since 2006, when she joined Tomball as an Adjunct faculty member.  In 2007 she became a full-time Professor of Government at that same campus.  She is now very excited to be a member of the founding faculty at University Park.  Jennifer has her BS in Political Science from Louisiana State University.  Geaux Tigers!  She has her MA in Political Science from Mississippi State University. 

Jennifer is married to Tommy and mom to the cutest puppy in the world, Belle.  She enjoys traveling, yoga, reading and scuba diving but loves her role as teacher! 

Scott Travis

Lone Star College-University Park Math

Suzanne Weatherly

Lone Star College-University Park Developmental English

I am thrilled to be a professor here at Lone Star- University Park!  I have spent my entire career in education.  After graduating from Houston Baptist University with a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies and History, I began my career in Spring Independent School District, teaching first grade.  From there, I moved outside of Washington, DC to a small school in Arlington, VA where I taught third grade.  It wasn’t long before I quickly came back to Texas and began teaching in Alief ISD, where I taught Reading Recovery and served as a Reading Specialist for five years.  It was during my years in Alief that I completed a Master’s degree in Education with a specialization in Reading from the University of St. Thomas.  After leaving Alief, I went to Magnolia ISD and served as Assistant Principal and then Principal of Lyon Elementary.  In my final year with Magnolia ISD, I worked at central office as Coordinator of the New Teacher Mentor Program.  In 2008, I became an adjunct professor at Lone Star- Tomball, and was hired as a full-time instructor in 2009.  I made the transition to University Park in January 2012, and currently teach Developmental English and serve as the Lead Faculty for DS.  In May 2011, I completed my doctorate in Educational Administration from Baylor University.

I am now in my eighteenth year in education, and am so happy to be able to make a difference in students’ lives!  I have always loved learning, and it is something I hope to pass on to my children.  My husband, Mark, is a junior high principal in Conroe ISD, and we spend our free time chasing after our five children!  Mark’s three oldest children are 19, 15, and 13, and our two little ones are 4 and 6 months of age.  Needless to say, we can often be found at football games, soccer games, cheer competitions, or carpooling any one of them to various events!

Jessica Weisel

Lone Star College-University Park Speech

Jessica joined Lone Star College System at the Tomball campus as a fulltime professor of speech communication in 2007.  Prior to 2007, Jessica taught fulltime at Collin College in the Dallas area.  She is excited to now about be a part of the new University Park campus.  Jessica has a BS in speech communication from The University of Texas at Austin, a MS from Texas Christian University and is pursuing her PhD in higher education from University of North Texas (currently ABD and projected graduation December 2013).  In addition to her love for teaching, she is busy loving on her two beautiful little girls, both preschool age. Be sure to ask her about Dora or Elmo’s latest adventures.  She is quite well versed.

Daria Willis

Lone Star College-University Park History

Dr. Daria J. Willis, an associate professor of history, lead faculty, and Faculty Senate President at Lone Star College-University Park, is first and foremost, a mother of two beautiful children, Lyric and Izzy, and the wife to Dr. Isiah Brown of Texas Southern University.  She has published two articles, the first “Mary E. C. Day Smith: An Intimate Portrait of a Pioneering Black Educator and AME Minister in Post-Civil War Florida,” in the AME Church Review (2005) and the second “Mary E. C. Day: An Intimate Portrait of a Black Missionary Educator in Tallahassee, Florida, 1866-1880.” Her second article appeared in the University Press of Florida’s book, The Varieties of Women’s Experiences: Portraits of Southern Women (2010), edited by the president of Fort Valley State University, Dr. Larry Eugene Rivers, and her former professor Dr. Canter Brown, Jr.  She is currently working on her third article, a compilation of Florida’s first ladies, which will also be published by the University Press of Florida.

Her areas of expertise include African American history, United States history, women, and the South.  Her current research interests focus on her dissertation titled, “The Life and Times of Adella Hunt Logan: Educator, Mother, Wife, and Suffragist, 1863-1915.”  This study examines the life of the black middle class in the late nineteenth and twentieth century America, focusing on the act of passing, and suicide in the black community.  

A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Dr. Willis received a bachelor of arts degree in history and a master’s of applied social sciences degree in history from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University.  While pursuing her education, she was an adjunct professor of history at both Tallahassee Community College and FAMU.  She also worked as a museum associate and archivist for the John G. Riley House/ Center and Museum for African American History and Culture, the State of Florida’s Task Force for African American History, the Florida African American Heritage Preservation Network, the Museum of Florida History, and she served as a consultant for the Natural Bridge Historical Society.  In 2012, she ended her career as a student, receiving the Ph.D. degree in history from Florida State University, under the direction of Dr. Maxine D. Jones.

Her honors and awards include the 2002 Presidential Scholar Award from FAMU, the 2006 SUS Fellowship to study her master’s degree at FAMU, and the McKnight Doctoral Fellowship, awarding her a full scholarship to study for the doctorate degree at FSU, along with the Diversity Scholarship from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  Dr. Willis was a member of FAMU’s incomparable Marching 100  band, and her professional associations include the Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, the American Historical Association, and the Organization for American Historians.  She also lends her time to the community serving as the chair of Texas Southern University’s Thomas F. Freeman Honors College Board.

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