Dr. Marie Sesay is the Dean of Social Sciences & Humanities (SSH) for Lone Star College-Kingwood. For more than a decade, Sesay has been committed to educating adults within the mission and vision of community colleges. Sesay's passion for education has grown through the various positions she has held. Prior to her present position, Sesay taught sociology for various campuses within the Lone Star College System, Houston Community College System, Park University in Austin, Texas and online. In previous careers, Sesay served as compliance officer for workforce programs, Psychotherapist, nursing home administrator, and in management at a rehabilitation facility.
Sesay earned a Bachelor's degree from Stephen F. Austin and a Master's degree in counseling from Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU). She also completed post-graduate work in sociology at PVAMU and earned a doctorate degree from the Community College Leadership Program at The University of Texas at Austin where she received the Jessie H. Jones Endowed Fellowship Scholarship, the Great American Scholarship and the George and Irene Baker Scholarship.
Sesay is the first child of parents from Sierra Leone, West Africa. She is fluent in African dialect of Krio and is committed to her community locally and internationally.
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John J. Theis, Ph.D., a political science professor, joined LSC-Kingwood in 2007. Theis received a Bachelor of Administration degree from the University of Tulsa. He also earned a Master of Arts degree from Oklahoma State University. He earned a Ph.D. from the University of Arizona.
In 1997, Theis published an article entitled, "The Institutionalization of the American Presidency: 1924-1992", which he co-authored with Lyn Ragsdale.
Theis has presented numerous papers which include: "Split Ticket and Divided Government" to the American Political Science Association in 1994; "The Institutionalization of the American Presidency" to the Midwest Political Science Association; and "Split Ticket Voting in American Elections: A Pooled-Time Series Analysis" to the Southwestern Social Science Association, which he co-authored.
Theis has also delivered a variety of presentations. In August 2012, he was the keynote speaker at the Community College of Allegheny County in-service. Theis also served as moderator during a discussion of "Engaging the Community: Student Perspectives" before the American Democracy Annual meeting. He also presented, "Rabble Rousers: Engaging Students from the Classroom to the Campus" with LSC-Kingwood history professor Steve Davis and Dr. Rebecca Riley, vice-president of academic instruction.
Theis' professional awards include: LSC-Kingwood Innovator of the Year, Man of the Year by the United Methodist Men, Missouri West Conference, and the Governor's Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Steve Davis, history professor, is one of the founding faculty members at LSC-Kingwood, having started in the fall of 1984. He earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Houston. He also worked on his doctoral degree in American history from the same institution. Aside from the standard survey courses in U.S. and Texas history, Davis teaches specialized courses in the Beatles and the British Invasion and the History of Rock and Roll. He has won teaching excellence awards both at the University of Houston and at LSC-Kingwood.
Davis is the main author of the instructor's manual to accompany the 8th edition of America: A Narrative History by Tindall and Shi, which is one of the most adopted college history textbooks in the country. His current project is the co-authorship of a documents reader in U.S. history to be published in 2013 by W.W. Norton.
In his limited spare time, Davis is an avid distance runner who has completed eight marathons and who makes appearances a couple of times per year as rhythm guitarist in a local garage band.
John Barr, Ph.D., U.S. history professor, joined LSC-Kingwood in 2008. Barr teaches a variety of courses including a "Survey of U.S. History Pre-Columbian to 1877 to "The Emancipators: Charles Darwin, Abraham Lincoln, and the Making of the Modern World."
In 2011, Barr was the recipient of the Hay-Nicolay Dissertation Prize by the Abraham Lincoln Association and the Abraham Lincoln Institute. He was also named Outstanding Graduate Student and was honored with the John King Award from the University of Houston in 2010.
Barr earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Studies Education from the University of Kentucky. He also received a Master of Arts degree in History from the University of Houston-Clear Lake. Barr earned a Ph.D. from the University of Houston. His dissertation examined the various individuals who have dissented from the positive view of Abraham Lincoln that has persisted in American life since the Civil War. It included investigations into how African-American views of Lincoln have changed since 1865 and the role of Lincoln's memory in American conservative and liberal thought.
Barr has delivered various papers on the topic of Lincoln's assassination to the East Texas Historical Association and to the Southwest Social Science Association.
"I think that the study of the past is one of the most important activities in which an individual can be engaged. The study of history gives students access to a range of human experience to which they are unaccustomed and unexposed, and should therefore prompt inquisitiveness into their own world and help them better understand the present."
Eric C. Skiles, professor and artistic director of theatre, joined LSC-Kingwood 10 years ago. Skiles earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree in conducting, vocal music and pedagogy from Texas Tech University and a Master of Fine Arts degree in acting and directing from the same institution.
Skiles has presented more than 39 papers at the local, state, regional and national levels. In addition, Skiles has contributed and/or authored more than 20 publications including 18 book reviews for the American Library Association. He also co-authored "Acting Across Disciplines" with Homan and Ellison. Skiles has also written and produced one play, "Across a moonbeam."
Skiles has earned numerous awards. He was recognized for the production of "The Vagina Monologues" by the Kennedy Center American College (KC-ACTF) Theatre Festival in 2011. He was also recognized by the KC-ACTF for "Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde." In 2010, Skiles was recognized with the LSC-Kingwood Faculty Excellence Award."
"I am madly passionate about the world of theatre, and creating unique works of art to share with our students and our community," Skiles explained. "This has been an amazing ride, and the great ride continues. It is a pleasure to work at LSC-Kingwood and be surrounded by other passionate people who care so much for our students and their education."
Dr. David Ragsdale earned his Ph.D. in English at Texas A&M University in 1987 after having studied for 10 years at A&M and 3 years at Rice University. Dr. Ragsdale has taught at Lone Star College—Kingwood for 25 years, starting in 1989, and has made presentations at Two-Year College English Association meetings. He teaches courses in English, where his area of specialization is British literature, especially the 16th, 18th, and 19th centuries. Because of a further background in music as well, he also teaches Humanities 1301 and 1302 because he enjoys seeing the connections that English literature has with history and the arts, such as music and painting. His favorite periods in Humanities are ancient Egypt and Rome along with the Tudor monarchs and the 18th century.
Because of an interest in music, Dr. Ragsdale has played with the Kingwood Big Band for 10 years and, in the past, with the Kingwood Pops Orchestra for 15 years. He plays clarinet and alto saxophone and is learning flute. He was also the past faculty sponsor of the Baptist Student Ministry for about 20 years. In addition to reading European history and the comic novels of P.G. Wodehouse, in his spare time Dr. Ragsdale enjoys woodworking and makes pens and various nutcrackers on a wood lathe.
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