Dr. Cassandra Rincones, dean of the Social Sciences and Humanities Division, joined LSC-Kingwood in 2013 as an associate professor of history. Rincones earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Texas A&M University in Kingsville. She holds a Master of Arts degree in U.S. History from the same institution. Rincones earned a Ph.D. from Texas A&M University in May of 2015, specializing in U.S./Southwest Comparative Border studies.
Rincones has been awarded several fellowships and grants, including the Lone Star College Chancellor’s Dissertation Research Grant, the Race and Ethnic Studies Institute Fellow from Texas A&M University, and the Catarino and Evangelina Hernández Research Fellowship in Latino History from the Texas State Historical Association.
Rincones has more than 15 years of experience, having taught at South Texas College, Weslaco and Alice independent school districts. She has also presented numerous papers including, "Bridging Cultures in the Community College: LSC-Kingwood NACCS Tejas Foco, and at LSC-North Harris in 2015; and "Tejana Rights: Solidifying Legal Codes in Early Texas" at the Texas State Historical Association meeting in March. Rincones is a member of the Texas State Historical Association.
"I enjoy working with our stellar faculty! Together I feel we make a real difference in our students’ lives!"," Rincones stated.
"Tejana Land Grants: Gender and the Expansion of Empire," Southern Historian, (Spring 2015), Vol. 36.
"The Introduction of Women into Hidalgo County Politics," Journal of South Texas, (Spring 2009).
Jennifer Chiotti, associate professor of criminal justice, is the lead faculty for the criminal justice program and joined Lone Star College-Kingwood in 2013. Prior to her present position, Dr. Chiotti was an assistant professor at the University of Houston-Downtown. Dr. Chiotti holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in criminal justice from St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas and a Master of Arts and doctorate in criminal justice from Washington State University in Pullman, Washington. Dr. Chiotti has a diverse background in student services including working within the Offices of Student Conduct, Greek Life, and Financial Aid. After teaching her first course as a graduate student, Dr. Chiotti changed careers paths and gave up her employment with the U.S. Secret Service to pursue education and instruction full time. In addition to her passion for teaching, Dr. Chiotti actively researches and presents on topics including sex crimes and criminals, violence against women, human trafficking, and corrections.
Dr. Chiotti is originally from Portland, Oregon (where her parents currently reside) and has a younger brother that is a fireman/paramedic in San Diego, California.
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.
Paul Blakelock, Ph.D., professor of political science, joined LSC-Kingwood in 2003. Blakelock earned a Bachelor of Science degree in economics from Lamar University and a Master of Arts degree in political science from the University of Houston. He is also earned a doctorate degree from the University of Houston. Blakelock is the advisor of the LSC-Kingwood veterans club.
Vida Davoudi, Ph.D., is a government and politics professor. She joined LSC-Kingwood in 1989. Davoudi earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Administration from American University of Beirut. She also holds graduate and doctoral degrees in Political Science from Southern Illinois University.
Davoudi has presented a variety papers including "Arab Spring and its impact on American Foreign Policy", "Religion as a uniter rather than divider", and "Islam and its political impact."
"LSC-Kingwood is very cordial and scholastically rewarding."
David Putz, Ph.D., professor of political science, joined LSC-Kingwood in 2000. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in communications from the University of Texas and a doctoral degree in political science from the University of Houston. In addition to his teaching duties, Putz is also director of the college's Honors Program.
Putz published, "Partisan Conversion in the 1990s: Ideological Realignment Meets Measurement Theory" in the Journal of Politics in 2002.
He has presented at numerous conferences. In 2010, Putz presented at the annual meeting of the National Collegiate Honors Council in Kansas City, MO on the subject, "Overcoming Recruiting Hurdles in Honors". He also presented, "What makes it An Honors Course, Anyway?" at the National Collegiate Honors Council in St. Louis, MO in 2005.
Putz also "Differential Success Rates in Congressional Primaries: An Historical Analysis of the Effect of Candidate Sex," at the 2002 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association in Boston, MA.
In 2007, Putz was awarded the Faculty Excellence Award at LSC-Kingwood.
Putz' decision to go into teaching was purely by accident. "I returned to graduate school after a short career in the telecommunications industry and wanted to pursue a degree in history, but I did not have enough undergraduate hours to begin graduate work. I had minored in Middle Eastern studies and those hours were credited toward work in political science."
Alicja Jac-Kucharski, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in political science. She joined LSC-Kingwood in 2013. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Slavic Languages and Literatures from the University of California at Berkeley. She also holds both graduate and doctoral degrees in political science from the University of California at Davis.
Prior to her position at LSC-Kingwood, Dr. Jac-Kucharski was an adjunct professor at LSC-Cy Fair, where she taught courses in government. She is a member of the American Political Science Association, the International Studies Association and the Midwest Political Science Association.
In 2012, Dr. Jac-Kucharski published an article entitled “The Determinants of Human Trafficking: A U.S. Case Study” in International Migration. She is currently working on publishing her dissertation.
Dr. Jac-Kucharski has presented at numerous conferences. In 2011 and 2012 she presented “Screening for Health: International Migration and Security Threats” at the Annual Conferences of the Midwest Political Science Association and the International Studies Association, respectively. In 2009 and 2012, she presented her work on human trafficking and European integration at several ISA conferences.
"I relish the idea of teaching a full range of students and am especially appreciative of the opportunity to help people better their own lives. I act on this in my professional life, as I am frequently approached by students, especially female students, who seek advice on how to do better in their classes to be able to transfer to other institutions, apply to law school, graduate school or who want to take the foreign service exam. However, as I have served as a mentor for several institutions, I also take this conviction outside of the classroom. Being able to help people achieve their dreams is the best part of my job."
Dr. Matthew Newton, a product of LSC-Kingwood, utilizes his wealth of experience as an assistant professor of government. Joining the faculty in 2016, Newton’s professional background includes adjunct teaching two government classes at the college and teaching classes in American government, as well as Canadian Politics and Political Methodology at other institutions.
The professor was also a dissertation fellow for the Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy and an assistant election administrator for the Nacogdoches County Elections Office. Newton published a paper in 2015 on interest group contributions in state legislative elections in the United States.
“I relish the opportunity to impart enthusiasm I have for the study of government and its institutions onto students,” he said. “Having been exactly in their shoes myself as a former LSC-Kingwood student, I know how important a teacher’s enthusiasm can be for unlocking students’ passion for education and learning.”
After LSC-Kingwood, Newton earned a Bachelor of Science degree in political science from Stephen F. Austin State University and a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Missouri. He is a member of the American Political Science Association, Association of Canadian Studies in the United States, and Pi Sigma Alpha (national political science honor society) Iota Epsilon Chapter at Stephen F. Austin State University.