Faculty and Staff
Jay Whatley is Associate Professor of Music and at Lone Star College - Kingwood, where he coordinates the applied keyboard, class piano & theory programs. He holds both the BM & MM in Piano Performance & Pedagogy, and completed coursework for the DMA in Piano Performance & Pedagogy with Betty Mallard, Marth Hilley & Sophia Gilmson, and in Organ Performance with Frank Speller, at the University of Texas at Austin. Additional study and master classes have been with Jane Abbott-Kirk and William Doppmann (piano) and Lenora McCroskey, Jesse Eschbach, and William Mathias (organ).
In high demand as a collaborative artist, chamber musician, & continuo player, Whatley maintains an active & varied career at the state, regional & national levels. He has performed with such notable choral conductors as Robert Sund, Maria Guinand, Craig Jessop, Charles Bruffy, and Sigrid Johnson. He was recently selected to accompany the 2009 Texas Music Educators Association All-State Men's Choir under the direction of Larry Kaptein, and also a large festival choir under the direction of Andre Thomas in February 2009. He collaborated with Allen Hightower and the SHSU Chorale in performance at TMEA (San Antonio) and ACDA (Miami), as well as on the Chorale's tour of Italy. Solo organ recitals include Salzburg's Dome Cathedral and Bath Abbey; he was guest soloist in a performance of Poulenc's Organ Concerto at St. John's Smith Square, London. Along with Dr. Todd Miller, tenor, Marion Russell Dickson, soprano, and Dr. Shannon Hesse, pianist, he will present a program of new American art song in Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall in March 2009.
Whatley is a successful vocal coach and répétiteur, with students repeatedly winning Regional Auditions of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, and also the coveted Grady Harlan Award from the Texoma Region of NATS. His reputation, especially as an interpreter of recitative, has led him to coach both studio artists and principal leads at Houston Grand Opera, and the occasional visiting Metropolitan Opera soprano.
In addition to his busy career as a performer and teacher, Whatley also serves as organist of Cypress Creek Christian Church, home of The Centrum and The Forum concert halls. Under the direction of Clara Lewis, Minister of Music, the Cypress Creek Community Chorale has performed concerts in Bavaria & Salzburg, and London & Bath. The church has embarked on fundraising to culminate in a large concert organ by renowned builder Manuel Rosales.
As an active member of Music Teachers National Association, Texas Music Teachers Association, and Cyress Creek Music Teachers Association, Whatley is in his first year of a three-year appointment as Piano Competitions Chair for TMTA. He is a frequent adjudicator, most recently for the World Piano Pedagogy Conference in Atlanta, with another invitation to adjudicate at the 2008 World Conference in Dallas.
Jay is a familiar face at professional conferences and conventions. He has presented conference sessions for the TMEA and TMTA, as well as performances at TMEA, TMTA, MTNA, and ACDA. He recently accepted an invitation to join the Oxford Round Table, held at Oxford University, where he will present a paper in July 2009. He is an active member of TMEA, TMTA, American Guild of Organists, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and Mensa, among others.
Suzie Goss, professor of mathematics, joined LSC-Kingwood in 2010. Goss obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Stephen F. Austin State University. She also earned a Master of Science degree in Mathematics from Texas A&M University.
"Math is interesting to me," said Goss. "I enjoy helping others understand mathematics. I hope that through understanding math, students can have an appreciation for it and even grow to like it," she explained.
"The faculty and staff at LSC-Kingwood are here because they want to help students be successful and achieve their goals."
Stephanie Cockrell Andrews, Ed.D
Stephanie Cockrell Andrews, Ed.D, mathematics professor, has been teaching at Lone Star College-Kingwood for eight and a half years. During her tenure, she earned the Faculty Excellence Award in 2009 at the college and the Educational Leadership Doctoral Award in 2010 from Sam Houston State University (SHSU).
"I teach math, because math is fun for me. I want others to know that math is doable and even fun," she said. "My experience at LSC-Kingwood has been wonderful."
Doyen earned a Bachelor of Science degree in education from East Texas Baptist University, a Master's of Education degree in counseling and a Master of Science degree in mathematics from Stephen F. Austin State University. She earned an Ed.D in educational leadership from SHSU.
Dr. Miguel Caceres
Dr. Miguel Caceres utilizes more than 30 years of experience in mathematics, statistics, and operations research to help students earn their college degrees. He has been a math professor at Lone Star College-Kingwood since 2002.
“I enjoy my job as an educator, because I have a chance to help students and convince them that learning and getting a college degree will have a positive impact in their lives,” he said.
Caceres’s career includes being a visiting professor at Sam Houston State University and University of Houston, a teaching assistant at U of H and Georgia Tech, and an instructor at West Georgia College.
“I pursued this career because I enjoyed reviewing calculus with my classmates as an engineering student at George Tech,” he said. “The faculty, staff, and administration at LSC-Kingwood have made my job easier to accomplish. I appreciate their friendship and willingness to help me in every aspect.”
Caceres earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering, a Master of Science degree in Mathematics and a Master of Science in Operations Research from Georgia Tech. He earned a Ph.D. in Statistics and Operations Research from the University of Houston. He is a member of the Texas Community College Teachers Association (TCCTA).
Charity Combs, mathematics professor, joined LSC-Kingwood in 2016. Combs obtained a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Norwich University in 2005. She earned a Masters of Aeronautical Science with specializations in Safety Systems and Education Technology from Embry-Riddle in 2011, as well as a Master of Arts in Mathematics from University of Houston in 2014. She also holds a private helicopter certificate.
Combs has been an adjunct mathematics professor at several educational institutions in the Houston area, including LSC-Montgomery and San Jacinto College North and Central.
“Too many people have an extreme dislike of math. I teach for that lightbulb moment; that moment when that student who thinks it is impossible, realizes ‘oh, that’s easy’”.
Jose Jonathan Gamez, assistant professor of mathematics, joined LSC-Kingwood in 2013. Gamez earned a Bachelor of Science degree in applied mathematics from the University of Houston-Downtown. He also holds a Master of Science degree in mathematics from the University of Texas El Paso.
Gamez taught courses at LSC-North Harris, LSC-University Park and at the University of Houston-Downtown.
"The best part about being a math teacher is not only helping my students understand mathematics, but also helping them achieve their goals," Gamez stated.
Amy Jo Hoherz
Amy Hoherz, professor of mathematics, joined LSC-Kingwood in 2013. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics degree from the University of Iowa. Hoherz also obtained a Master of Science in Mathematics degree from Emporia State University. Additionally, she holds a Master of Curriculum and Instruction degree from the same institution.
Hoherz held numerous adjunct positions including Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas and at Metropolitan Community College in Penn Valley, Kansas City. She was also a mathematics adjunct facilitator in Johnson County Community College. In this position, Hoherz supported the dean of mathematics in the supervisory and administrative duties of more than 60 adjunct mathematics professors.
Hoherz has also held teaching positions at the high school level. She has taught classes in Fundamentals of Mathematics, Introduction to Algebra, Intermediate Algebra, College Algebra, Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus, Statistics, Business Calculus I, and II.
Keturah Johnson, math professor at LSC-Kingwood, started teaching math at the middle school level.
"My students' goals are important to me and I like working with them to obtain them."
Johnson earned both a bachelor's degree and master's degree in Mathematics from Texas A&M University. Before working at LSC-Kingwood, she taught math at the high school level and was a soccer coach.
Dr. Chris Martin
Chris Martin, professor of mathematics joined LSC-Kingwood more than 25 years ago. His undergraduate degrees are from Rice University in English and Religious Studies. His graduate and doctoral degrees are in mathematics from the University of Houston. His dissertation was in Nonlinear Partial Differential Reaction Diffusion Equations. His current research interests are in Mathematical Physics and Mathematical Biology.
Mari M. Menard
Mari M. Menard, mathematics professor, has taught at Lone Star College-Kingwood since fall 2002. During her time at Kingwood, she has presented at AMATYC (American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges) and presents at the Academy for Lifelong Learning (ALL) at the EMCID center during the fall and spring semesters. She was secretary for the Faculty Senate for several years; most recently she was the recipient of the Faculty Excellence Award and a graduate of The Academy (Leadership Development Program at LSCS).
"Math and I have not always gotten along as well as you would think. When I was in grade school, I could not multiply and was placed in what was termed resource math. I graduated high school, started college and majored in medical technology - but soon learned it was not for me. I returned to college after a year off with plans to obtain my math degree. When taking my first calculus course I became the “tutor” for several of my classmates. This was my first experience as a math “instructor” and that is when I found my calling. This experience helped me recognize that I can help students understand math and how much I enjoy teaching math. I love seeing the understanding in my students’ eyes, the knowledge that I impart to help build and grow their math skills - what I term “math ego”, and to help my students succeed in their math courses" she said.
Menard earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics and a Master of Science degree in mathematics from Lamar University - Beaumont.
Lyle O'Neal, associate professor of mathematics, joined LSC-Kingwood in 2013. O'Neal earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from Tarleton State University. He also holds a Master of Science degree in mathematics from the same institution.
O'Neal has been an adjunct professor at several educational institutions in Texas. Some of these include Northwood University, Cedar Hill; Navarro County, Corsicana; and Tarrant County College. He also taught at the public school level. O'Neal taught at Granbury ISD, Lancaster ISD and Bosqueville ISD.
He is a member of the Texas Community College Teachers Association.
"The best part of my role is helping students be successful," he stated.
John Reutter, associate professor of mathematics, joined LSC-Kingwood in 2009. Reutter obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. He also earned a Master of Science degree in Mathematics from Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan.
Reutter describes his experience at LSC-Kingwood as "tremendous and the greatest place to work."
He is a member of the Society of Mathematicians and Engineers.
Lee J. Topham, Ed.D
Lee J. Topham, Ed.D, mathematics instructor, has been with Lone Star College since 1979. He was an instructor and department head at LSC-North Harris for five years and has been at LSC-Kingwood as instructor and division head since 1984. Prior to LSCS, he taught nine years at San Jacinto College.
During his career, Tohpam has developed and taught four online mathematics courses, instructed students in the use of the TI-83 graphing calculator and assisted adjunct faculty in the use of WebAssign, which is an online homework software. In 2004, he received the Faculty Excellence Award at LSC-Kingwood.
Topham earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Southwestern Louisiana and a Master of Education degree in education from Sam Houston State University. He earned his Ed.D in educational administration from the University of Houston.
Topham is a member of the Texas Community College Teachers Association and the American Federation of Teachers.
Nathalie M. Vega-Rhodes
Nathalie M. Vega-Rhodes, mathematics professor, has been teaching at Lone Star College-Kingwood since 2012. Her math experience in college led her to conquer the subject and teach it to others.
"As a student who started in developmental math, I never believed that I would or could be successful at math. I always thought that math was a subject to 'get through' and dreaded my first few semesters. Then I had a professor who encouraged me to work with her as her SI leader in college algebra. Over the course of that semester, I saw frustrated students conquer their fears and grasp concepts that were previously obscure. I think the 'light bulb' moment is why most instructors decide to teach - reproducing this experience is addicting! For me, when I saw that I could help others in math, the rest was history," she said.
Vega-Rhodes earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics with a minor in geology from the University of Houston and a Master of Science degree in mathematics from the University of Houston-Clear Lake.
"Everyone that I have come in contact with at LSC-Kingwood has been so welcoming! I love not only my department, but also the people in and around my office suite. It's clear that almost everyone here believes that we are all a team and I truly appreciate the sense of camaraderie," she said.
Loris Zucca, professor of mathematics, joined LSC-Kingwood in 1998. Lucca earned a Bachelor of Science in mathematics degree from Texas A&M University and the University of Houston. Additionally, he holds a Master of Science in mathematics degree from the University of North Texas.
Zucca is member of the Mathematical Association of America and the Texas Community College Teachers Association.
"I enjoy challenging students to do their best," stated Zucca.
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