College’s Film Studies Series Leader Honored With ‘Instructor of the Year’ Award

Gary Brown accepting award
Gary Brown (pictured in center) was named LSC-Montgomery's “Instructor of the Year” by the college’s Academy for Lifelong Learning (ALL) for his long-running work with ALL's Film Studies Series. Pictured from left to right are: Dr. Ann Kirch, vice president of instruction at LSC-Montgomery; Janice Bachesais, co-chairman for LSC-Montgomery's ALL advisory committee; Brown; Dick Sanders, co-chairman for LSC-Montgomery's ALL advisory committee; and Donna Smith Burns, continuing education coordinator at LSC-Montgomery.
He has a knack for financial investments, a background in political science, and an ability to bring a smile to anyone’s face. But it’s his involvement with Lone Star College-Montgomery’s Film Studies Series that’s earned Gary Brown the “Instructor of the Year” award form the college’s Academy for Lifelong Learning.
 
The Film Studies Series offers the community—primarily ALL members, a chance to view ‘off the beaten path’ movies and discuss plot, director’s elements, special effects, underlying themes, and more—for free. It was originally created in 2000 to save people a trip to Houston to a theatre that showed foreign flicks, but for Brown, it has evolved into something more.
 
“I wanted to settle into a community where you know people by name and become involved in helping others who might be having a tough go of it,” said Brown. “That's why the ALL Film Studies Series has been so special for me. I've gotten to know many of the regular attendees throughout its 13-plus years of operation, laughing with many of them before the film starts and discussing plot details afterward.”
 
Along with being a full-time political science professor at LSC-Montgomery since the college began almost 19 years ago, the ALL Film Studies Series fulfills both a professional and personal ambition for Brown.
 
“There are some folks who, while living on fixed incomes and being financially squeezed in tough economic times, cannot afford to have cable television in their homes or a satellite dish on the roof,” he said. “If I'm providing them with just two hours of entertainment and film education, showing and discussing golden oldies movies, then it is all worth it to me.”
 
Brown and fellow ALL instructor Mike Durham show and discuss 12 movies each semester. The theme this fall is "Cary Grant, Film Noir, Inspirational Sports." With diverse film tastes—Durham gravitates toward political fare, and Brown gravitates toward the Turner Classic Movies—most patrons find something they’ll enjoy watching and learn something new in the discussion.
 
“I know it isn't exactly flying to Paris for the weekend, but a Monday afternoon becomes a great excuse to get out of the house and converse about a first class movie in a fantastic venue,” said Brown.
 
ALL is a membership-based program offering intriguing lectures, workshops, and seminars for the 50-plus retired or semi-retired community. Since 2007, the program has recognized instructors, like Brown, who volunteer their time and expertise to the program.
 
“We have other professors who volunteer for ALL each semester, but none have been as dedicated as Gary,” said Donna Smith Burns, continuing education coordinator at LSC-Montgomery. “He has remained loyal to this program, providing insight to some of the best films.”
 
For more information on ALL, visit www.LoneStar.edu/ALL-Montgomery. For more information on the Film Studies Series, contact Gary Brown at (936) 273-7324, or garyb@LoneStar.edu.
 
LSC-Montgomery is located at 3200 College Park Drive, one-half mile west of Interstate 45, between Conroe and The Woodlands. For more information about the college, call 936.273.7000, or visit www.LoneStar.edu/montgomery.
 
Lone Star College System has been opening doors to a better community for 40 years. Founded in 1973, LSCS remains steadfast in its commitment to student success and credential completion. Today, with 78,000 students in credit classes, and a total enrollment of more than 90,000, Lone Star College System is the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area and the fastest-growing community college system in the nation. Dr. Richard Carpenter is the chancellor of LSCS, which consists of six colleges including LSC-CyFair, LSC-Kingwood, LSC-Montgomery, LSC-North Harris, LSC-Tomball and LSC-University Park, five centers, LSC-University Center at Montgomery, LSC-University Center at University Park, Lone Star Corporate College, and LSC-Online. To learn more visit LoneStar.edu.