New CE manager and police captain

New CE Program Manager Denny Dobson plans to build workforce partnerships and offerings

With 10 years experience in higher education, Denny Dobson is ready to make a difference at the Lone Star College-Fairbanks Center as the new Continuing Education Program Manager.

Dobson earned his bachelor’s in communications, gained perspective on the value of education and lifelong learning while working in recruiting and advising; and used his managerial skills over admissions and financial aid in a vice president position.

In his new role at LSC-Fairbanks Center, Dobson’s been preparing for this summer’s Discovery College for ages 6 to 13 as well as trying to get a sense of the community’s needs, particularly in training.

“One of my goals is to build the workforce offerings,” said Dobson.

 Students with certificates and degrees are more employable, so he would like increase area partnerships and efforts to bring a more global world market perspective into the programming.

Shifting from private to public education has not been as a big change for Dobson as moving to Houston from Anchorage, Alaska. 

When his wife, Stephanie, an engineer with Conoco/Phillips, accepted an excellent job transfer opportunity, they took a nearly two-week leisurely drive across the country to get to the Lone Star state spending time camping, visiting friends and sightseeing along the way.

Dobson said he misses Alaska’s geography and climate, but since their move, they’ve been exploring Texas, mostly on weekends and in an air-conditioned RV.  Dobson also admits he got in one more moose hunting trip back in Alaska before joining the LSC-Fairbanks Center family in March.  

For information on continuing education courses or workforce partnerships, call Dobson at 832-782-5039.

New Police Captain Ben Russell takes
command of student, staff and campus safety

He’s only in his third month at Lone Star College-CyFair, but Ben Russell brings nearly three decades experience to his new position as Police Captain.

Russell said he enjoyed helping people for 25 years in patrol, special operations and undercover work with the Houston Police Department.

 “Police work is 99% service,” said Russell. “I’d tell people I’m not on the police force, I’m in the police service.”

After honorably retiring in 2002 with some 126 commendations earned during his HPD career and spending a brief three years in retirement, Russell returned to “police service” in 2005 in the education arena. He joined the Lone Star College-Tomball Police Department and was promoted to Corporal six-months before joining the LSC-CyFair Police Department with a promotion to Captain in April 2008.

From Houston’s city streets to LSC-CyFair’s campus sidewalks, Russell’s focus is still helping people and, in particular, on safety.

“I want to make this a very safe campus and for people to perceive that it’s safe because it is safe,” said Russell.

In education, police service includes handling domestic disputes, irate students and jealousy issues among students and any student and staff safety concerns as well as emergency planning in case of disasters, he said. 

Among his department goals for both LSC-CyFair and LSC-Fairbanks Center are immediate response; high visibility outside and inside as well as a structured lunch program so officers are always on site; and to quickly identify any possible threats. Personally, he will use his HPD experience to make the campus and satellite center safer.

Under Russell’s command, officers patrol the campus in police cars or security golf carts, on bicycle and on foot. In addition, an officer is physically at the police department’s desk covering the phones 24 hours a day, he said. Officers are also undergoing active shooter, tactical training in preparation of any serious campus situations.
 
This spring, the department provided training for the Safewalk Program. This service provides students, employees and visitors an escort safely to their vehicle or any campus destination.  This summer, all classrooms should have emergency phones that when the receiver is picked up, the campus police at extension 5911 is automatically dialed.  This fall, college police departments across the Lone Star College System will have new police radios, communication with outside law enforcement agencies and there will be dispatchers at the system office.

Russell adds that while he reports to the system’s Chief of Police Richard Gregory, he will still work with and consult with administration on campus.

“I encourage everyone if they have concerns about safety or even complaints to let me know,” said Russell. “I have an open door policy for staff, faculty and students.”

His door is located at Public Safety Department office in the College Center, Room 113. He can be reached at ben.w.russell@LoneStar.edu or 281-290-3979.