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LSC-Montgomery Honors Four Professors with National Faculty Excellence Award

Faculty Excellance Winners
Four instructors at Lone Star College-Montgomery were recently recognized as Faculty Excellence Award recipients. This annual award distinguishes leaders in teaching excellence and innovation. Pictured from left to right are Gary Brown, professor of government and geography; Dr. Kelly Weller, director of the emergency medical service program; Lori Hughes, professor of English; and Renee LaRue, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) professor.

Lone Star College-Montgomery and the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) recently announced Dr. Kelly Weller, Gary Brown, Renee La Rue, and Lori Hughes as Faculty Excellence Award recipients for their dedication and contribution on campus, for the 2014-2015 academic year.

“These faculty members are significant leaders both in and out of the classroom, key components of what makes LSC-Montgomery a great place for students to learn,” said Dr. Rebecca Riley, interim president of LSC-Montgomery. “We’re proud of our first-class professors who work creatively and diligently to support the aspirations of our students.”

Each year NISOD, an organization that recognizes outstanding community college instruction worldwide, formally recognizes the best in higher education with Faculty Excellence Awards, chosen from nominations received from member schools.

For Dr. Weller, director of the emergency medical service program at LSC-Montgomery, this year marked the second time she has received this award.

“I have grown a lot as a faculty since my first award in 2008,” Dr. Weller said. “My philosophy for teaching has grown with me and I feel this award recognizes my personal and professional growth.”

Dr. Weller is very student-centered and believes it is important to educate students to become well-rounded individuals. She strives to light a fire within her students to continue learning, exploring and questioning everything in their world.

Another recipient of the Faculty Excellence Award is founding LSC-Montgomery faculty member Gary Brown. As professor of government and geography, Brown still continues to have the same passion for teaching that he had when he began teaching at Lone Star College in 1983.

“The real treat for me is that I’ve met a lot of really good people,” Brown said. “In my 33 years, I’ve had the privilege of teaching over 10,000 students. I’ve covered all the wars in the 20th and 21st centuries, and have taught Korean, Vietnam, Persian Gulf, Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans throughout the years.”

Brown also stays actively involved with student organizations, multiple Lone Star College committees, and the LSC-Montgomery Academy for Lifelong Learning (ALL).

Renee La Rue, full-time instructor in the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program, was also recognized. Influential in helping students reach reading, writing, listening and speaking fluency in English at a level that will allow them to meet their education, professional and personal goals, La Rue is also committed to sharing with other faculty the richness that multicultural students can bring to their classroom.

“I am thrilled and honored to have received this recognition,” La Rue said. “Teaching is the most important gift we can give our students. My goal, after 11 years of teaching at LSC-Montgomery, is to continue to help them succeed and advance, and I am proud of what my students are able to achieve.”

La Rue is also actively involved in The Write Place, advisor training, communication across the curriculum (CAC), and various LSC committees.

Finally, Dr. Lori Hughes was also honored with the Faculty Excellence Award. As an English professor at LSC-Montgomery for the past 10 years, Hughes has valued the classroom as a stepping-stone to the workplace, fostering collaboration, problem solving and student confidence as it applies to real world experiences. Hughes values her students’ input, engagement, and creativity and remarks that she learns from her students’ every time she teaches.

“I am very honored,” said Hughes. “I am also very proud of my students; they teach me new ideas and fresh concepts. Education is a two-way street, and my students continue to motivate and inspire me.”

Beyond the classroom, Dr. Hughes, who received her Ph.D. in technical communication from Texas Tech University and is currently working toward a certification in teaching developmental education from Texas State University, has served the college as a lead faculty member and director of The Write Place, and is currently a steering committee member of The Academy and the chair of the LSC English curriculum team.

NISOD, housed at the University of Texas-Austin, is a worldwide consortium dedicated to the professional development of faculty, administrators and staff, and to the continued improvement of teaching and learning, with the ultimate goal of student success. More than 600 community colleges around the world are NISOD members.
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 more than 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 one of the fastest-growing community college systems in the nation.  Dr. Steve Head 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, seven 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.