New directors at Cy-Fair College

Claire Gunnels - Assistant Director for Adult Library Services 

Cy-Fair College Branch Library has a new Assistant Director for Adult Library Services and that is Claire Gunnels. 

“Claire is no stranger to us because she has been a faculty reference librarian at Cy-Fair College since we opened in August 2003,” said Mick Stafford, library director. “She has been instrumental in the success of the library’s Learning, Inspiration, Fellowship and Enrichment (L.I.F.E.) program. In addition, Claire is library liaison to many departments, has developed the college archives and is a certified tutor.”

Gunnels earned a bachelor’s in History from Mount Holyoke College. Inspired by “a cool reference librarian - Nancy Devine” who helped Gunnels find all sorts of sources for her own research in college, she went on to get her master’s in Library Science from Simmons Graduate School of Library Science and was a reference librarian for many years.

“I just loved research and so I thought, I can do that,” said this veteran reference librarian. “I also love Sherlock Holmes. To me research is like solving a mystery.”

While specializing in academic librarianship, Gunnels also has experience in both the public library and the corporate library. Prior to Cy-Fair College, Gunnels worked at Kingwood College as the Library Reference Coordinator. Now she is active in the promotion of academic integrity, teaching of research techniques, critical evaluation of resources and forging community partnerships through library outreach programs.

A partnership with the Harris County Public Library and Cy-Fair College resulted in the 78,500-square-foot joint library, which offers a unique blending of services to enhance learning opportunities for all ages in the Cy-Fair community from toddlers to seniors and throughout the year.

“Cy-Fair College and Harris County Public Library have provided the best of both worlds to our community: the excellent academic library and a vibrant public library for children and teens, who are our future students, as well as adults, who can keep learning and growing,” said Gunnels.

For information on library programs, call 281-290-3241 or go to cyfair.lonestar.edu/library.

 Richard Gilbert - Director of the Advanced Technology Center

Cy-Fair College's new Director of the Advanced Technology Center, which includes machining, welding, drafting and electronics, is Richard Gilbert.

After nearly three decades as a technology education teacher (primarily wood working and metal working) in the Cypress Fairbanks Independent School District, Gilbert continues teaching with two welding classes at the Barker Cypress campus.

“Since I was a junior in high school, I wanted to teach,” he said. “I graduated from CFISD, student taught at the ISD and then retired from the ISD after 28 years. It was only natural to come to the college next.”

In his director role, Gilbert will continue seeking community partners, scheduling site visits and holding roundtable meetings to stay current and on top of projections for needs within industry.

“There is currently a dire need for machinists, manual and CNC, as well as engineers,” he said. “We’re working with industry along the 290 corridor to form partnerships for next fall. For example a diesel mechanic class with Cy-Ridge high school and Caterpillar.”

Also in progress are new programs in industrial maintenance with classes in hydraulics.

Gilbert said he chose a career path related to technology because it’s “education with application - you learn it quicker and take it to heart.”

And Gilbert isn’t the only one in the family in education and welding. His wife and daughter both teach and his son is a welder. In his spare time, he is working on a family house in Galveston, fishing and going to the beach.

For information on the Advanced Technology Center, programs and partnerships, call Gilbert at 281-290-5942.