Instructors Receive Excellence Award

Three Lone Star College傍omball instructors receive Faculty Excellence Award

The three Lone Star College傍omball instructors who have recently been named Faculty Excellence Award winners for the current year share a common belief that teaching at the community college level offers them the opportunity to mentor students in their fields of expertise while developing a stronger teacher-student relationship.

This year痴 honorees, Patricia Falbo, Rachel Whitten and Bo Rollins, represent the fields of mathematics and English. Each year痴 recipients are chosen from among instructors at the college who have been nominated by students or fellow instructors.

Falbo and Whitten are mathematics instructors and Rollins is an English instructor specializing in British and ancient literature.

A 20-year education veteran, Falbo began her teaching career at the secondary education level and was the first adjunct mathematics instructor hired when Lone Star College傍omball opened its doors. She began teaching full-time at the college four years ago. Falbo earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland and a Master of Science degree from the University of Houston, both in mathematics. She also holds a Texas secondary mathematics teacher certification.

In addition to her classroom duties, Falbo shares her time with students as the sponsor for a future teachers club on campus and by working in the tutoring lab. .

She describes Lone Star College傍omball as a positive place with staff and faculty members that work well together for the benefit of the students.

的知 delighted to be here, said Falbo. 的 feel like I知 more available to the students and have more time to be with them. I find it fulfilling to listen to them. I view myself as a mentor and sounding board as they determine the direction they want to go in life.

A good teacher痴 mission, she added, is to provide opportunities for students to be successful and give them the tools they need to find that success.

Falbo said she was surprised and honored to receive the Faculty Excellence Award.

的t痴 something I値l have for the rest of my life, she said.

Whitten has been with Lone Star College傍omball for four years and taught two years previously at another community college in the Houston area. She holds both a bachelor痴 and master痴 degree in math from Baylor University and is nearing completion of her doctorate degree in mathematics from the University of Houston.

After a stint as a teaching assistant while in graduate school Whitten said she knew teaching at the four-year university level wasn稚 for her.

鄭s a grad student I had up to 200-300 students in a class, she said. 的 know a big university isn稚 for me. I prefer the smaller classes.

Smaller classes, she said, gives her the chance to know her students, she said. 典he students aren稚 just numbers.

One facet of Whitten痴 teaching philosophy is that of flexibility.

摘ach student is different, she noted. 典hey all have different concerns and backgrounds. And, what works for one student doesn稚 necessarily work for another. As an instructor I have to be flexible to meet their needs in the classroom.

While very pleased to receive this honor, Whitten believes she is simply doing the job she was hired to do, doing to the best of her ability and enjoying the ride.

的 kind of think I知 just doing my job, she said. 鄭ren稚 you supposed to care about your students? But, it does make you sit back and smile that someone noticed. Right now, I have fun and I leave every day with a smile on my face and that痴 what痴 important.

Rollins, an instructor at Lone Star College傍omball since 2002, has his roots locally. He graduated from Magnolia High School and received his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts from the University of Houston along with a masters degree in literature from Cambridge University. He too is a doctoral candidate at the University of Houston. Prior to joining the faculty at Lone Star College傍omball, Rollins taught for one year at Prairie View A&M University.

As a product of the community, the college痴 proximity to home is a nice plus, but at Lone Star College傍omball, said Rollins, the emphasis is on teaching and reaching the students and instructors are supported in their efforts.

典he pressure to publish isn稚 there, so there is a teaching connection with the student, although I still research and publish, he noted. 典he support here is incredible. There is tremendous support professionally and practically.

Rollins also appreciates the strong relationship between the college and the community at-large.

典his place seems to encourage that, so it benefits the community in ways beyond education, he said.

溺ost of the students I get are not English majors, but what I hope to do is create some fans (of the classics) and pass on that appreciation, said Rollins. 鏑iterature is the real sociology, the real psychology and the real anthropology. To be boring in an English lecture seems blasphemous and I hope I bring something to the table to make it more interesting.

The Faculty Excellence Award was a surprise, he said.

典here are so many excellent faculty members here, so I知 really humbled to be nominated, said Rollins. 的t痴 amazing to be selected. It is an honor.

Lone Star College傍omball, located at 30555 Tomball Parkway, is a member of the Lone Star College System. Lone Star College System comprises Lone Star College-North Harris, Lone Star College-Kingwood, Lone Star College傍omball, Lone Star College邦ontgomery, Lone Star College砲yFair, six satellite centers and The University Center. For information on Lone Star College傍omball or any of its programs, please go to tomball.lonestar.edu or call 281.351.3300.