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LSC-Kingwood highlights excellent faculty and staff

HOUSTON (Feb. 25, 2010) – Lone Star College-Kingwood has a lot to be proud of. Recently, 12 faculty and staff members earned the coveted 2010 excellence awards during the Spring in-service and two employees earned writing awards for their published works.

“Members of the faculty and staff that earned the excellence and writing awards are a true testament to what we strive to do here at Lone Star College-Kingwood,” Dr. Katherine Persson, college president, said.


The faculty excellence awards were given to Nickie Loftin, an associate professor of nursing; Eric Skiles, professor of drama/theatre; Diane Wilson, professor of dental hygiene; and Raul Reyes, professor of history.

“The faculty at LSC-Kingwood is some of the most amazing people I have ever worked with. We are all very fortunate to work here. I was deeply honored to be recognized by my peers as an outstanding member of faculty on campus,” Skiles, who has worked at the college for seven years, said.

Loftin, who has been in the nursing profession for many years, said her favorite moment on the job is watching her students struggle and succeed in their quests to be in the medical profession. She goes on to say that she has always wanted to teach others how to be a nurse; contribute to the future of nursing and to give back to the community.

In accepting her award, Wilson said she was honored and surprised for the recognition. She goes on to say that striving to always do better in herself and in her profession is what keeps her focused each day.

“The field of dental hygiene in itself is very challenging. To have a student come to you with the desire to be a dental hygienist, to see the struggles that they may go through, and when they learn  the process or concept is the most rewarding moment of all,” Wilson, who has been with LSC-Kingwood since 2004, said.

Reyes said he was humbled to receive the excellence award and goes on to say that his students are his motivation each day. The faculty member, who has been with the Lone Star College System for 10 years, expressed he is proud of the distinction and honor especially since the system and/or college leadership has communicated the value of recruiting and retaining a diverse faculty reflective of the student body.


College staff and supervisors decided to give the staff excellence awards to Linda Cundiff, business office specialist; Maria McNease, administrative assistant to the president; Richard Miertschin, manager of buildings and grounds; and Suzan Nasra, operations manager of the Math, Science, and Healthcare Division.

Receiving the award, Cundiff, who has worked at LSC-Kingwood for a total of 15 years, said, “I am so appreciative of all of my co-workers for voting for me. I actually think we motivate each other.”

Miertschin, a six-year employee, said he was excited to win the staff excellence award because he felt he finally achieved one of his goals.  “What keeps me motivated in my position is the enjoyment of making LSC-Kingwood a place that students and employees can be proud of,” Miertschin said.

Nasra, who has been with the college for nine years, said that she was honored to receive the recognition from her colleagues, who she believes keeps her inspired.  She said she was surprise, appreciative and grateful to her colleagues for this recognition.

McNease, administrative assistant to the president, Dr. Katherine Persson, expressed that the award is a wonderful privilege for her. She has been with the Lone Star College System for 15 years, with the last 11 years at LSC-Kingwood.  “I was surprised to receive the award and feel extremely honored to have been selected by my peers,” McNease said. “It is a pleasure to be a part of the LSC-Kingwood family. In my position, new challenges are presented every day, so there is no room for ‘burnout’.”


The adjunct faculty excellence awards were given to Caroline Chamness, computers and gaming; Charles Gillis, educational support; William McClellan, speech; and Rajrani Sharma, nursing.

“I was surprised and honored to receive this type of recognition by my peers,” Chamness, a nine-year employee, said. “My students keep me motivated each time, because I love engaging them in new learning experiences and being a part of their success.” 

Teaching at the college since spring 2003, McClellan said that teaching students and having an impact on their futures is what drives him to do his job. “I was happy, appreciative and honored to receive the excellence award in light of the quality of fellow adjunct instructors I have met at LSC-Kingwood,” he said.

Working as an adjunct faculty member in nursing at the college since 2006, Sharma said she looks forward to being with her students and teaching them the skills that they need in their professional lives. She went on to say that she was completely surprised and honored to receive the award.

Gillis began his work at LSC-Kingwood as a full-time reference librarian in 1994. After he retired, he returned to the college to work in his current position as an adjunct librarian three years ago. “It is an honor to be recognized and appreciated for the work I do. My motivation comes from seeing students achieve their goals and feeling that I have been some small part of their success,” Gillis said.


In addition to recognizing the 12 excellence award winners, Lone Star College Systems’ writing committee announced its 2010 award recipients. The winners, which includes Suanna Davis and Crystal Weber from LSC-Kingwood, were selected based on their published works. 

Davis, a long-term adjunct, teaches primarily freshman composition and during the May mini-term, she also teaches British Literature I. Davis, who she started teaching at the college in 2002 when she homeschooled her children, earned the writing award for journal entitled, “Teaching the Taboo: Reading Mental Health and Mental Illness in American Literature.” 

“I was thrilled when I received the writing award. I hadn’t checked my mail until late that day. By the time I did, I had three people wishing me congratulations. It was very nice,” Davis said.

A newcomer to LSC-Kingwood, Weber earned the writing award for her work, “Model-based Analysis of reflectance and Fluorescence Spectra for in vivo Detection of Cervical Dysplasia and Cancer”.This is her first year as an assistant professor in chemistry at the college.

“I felt very proud when I received the writing award,” Weber said. “I stay motivated in my position due to my students’ appreciation.”

The winners were honored at the Lone Star College System’s annual employee award banquet on Feb. 26 at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel and Convention Center.

For general information about Lone Star College-Kingwood, call 281-312-1600 or visit our Web site at http://lonestar.edu/kingwood.htm

Lone Star College System consists of five colleges, including LSC-CyFair, LSC-Kingwood, LSC-Montgomery, LSC-North Harris, and LSC-Tomball, six centers, LSC-University Center, LSC-University Park, Lone Star Corporate College, and LSC-Online. With more than 62,000 students in credit classes this spring, LSCS is the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area and third largest community college system in Texas. To learn more, visit www.LoneStar.edu.