Chosen from student and coworker nominations, this year’s Lone Star College-CyFair Adjunct Faculty Excellence Awards Winners are inspiring their students to be confident, capable and passionate about their own personal and professional futures.
These award-winning role models are Adriana Alcantara, professor of psychology, Kristin Henze, professor of history, Tracy Leigh, professor of communications and Lawanda Maxwell, professor of marketing and business.
With a passion for teaching and mentoring for more than 20 years, Alcantara joined LSC-CyFair in the fall of 2018. Creating a learning environment of contagious enthusiasm where they feel respected and valued, this professor is invested in her students as she teaches them principles that will bring them the greatest success.
“The study of psychology is very important to our students because it will influence every aspect of their lives including self-discovery, relationships and gainful employment,” said Alcantara. “I help guide them into leadership positions and foster their creativity. I also encourage my students to find their voice and to define their own vision of success.”
Sharing her “unquenchable thirst” for studying and teaching history to diverse groups of students since the fall of 2014, Henze is described as “an outstanding instructor who really brings it!” She encourages all students to contribute their perspectives to historical discourse.
“Studying history in context, understanding its development, and knowing how to determine and challenge the validity of evidence is crucial for engaging in informed debates over contemporary issues in the local community, the nation, and the world,” she said. “My course reinforces to my students that history is a living thing and their histories are a part of the American narrative and deserve to be acknowledged and celebrated.”
A professor known for developing great relationships with her students while helping them achieve their goals, Leigh brings 10 years of communication experience working for global engineering firms to her 14th semester at LSC-CyFair this spring.
“I pour into students my passion and love for the art and science of communicating effectively and appropriately,” said Leigh. “Skills learned, from training in basic conversation to complex conflict management, have the power to enhance the student’s career, relationships, and build confidence. My goal is to help empower them to go from the classroom to make a difference solving the multiple challenges facing our relationships at home, work and within communities.”
A professional marketer as owner of La Max Marketing, Maxwell has found teaching for almost four years provides a sense of purpose while mentoring and sharing knowledge to help others succeed.
“I customize my lessons to include students’ interests and their various learning styles, while also providing them with opportunities to use real world tools to position them for an immediate increase in marketability in today’s job market,” she said. “I encourage students to utilize campus resources, participate in campus activities, and to take on Service Learning opportunities, emphasizing the value of resources and networks for professional and personal success.”
One of her students said “Professor Maxwell immerses herself in her online class and has managed to make an impact on me even though I have never met her in person.”
These four adjunct faculty members were honored again at a system event this spring.
For information on LSC-CyFair, adjunct faculty opportunities, late start class registration as well as college degree and workforce programs, go to LoneStar.edu/cyfair.