Lone Star College-University Park welcomes new academic deans

Headshot photos of Dr. Christa Spears and Andrew Johnson
Lone Star College-University Park welcomes two new academic deans. Christa Spears, Ph.D., will serve as the new Dean of Mathematics, Engineering and Sciences, while Andrew Johnson III, MBA, will assume the position of Dean of Workforce Education.

Following an intensive search, Lone Star College-University Park (LSC-University Park) is delighted to announce the selection of two exceptional individuals to key leadership roles within the institution. Christa Spears, Ph.D., will serve as the new Dean of the Mathematics, Engineering and Sciences division, while Andrew Johnson III, MBA, will assume the position of Dean of Workforce Education.

"We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Christa Spears, who has been serving as interim dean, and Mr. Andrew Johnson," said LSC-University Park President Virginia M. Fraire, Ph.D. "Their combined expertise and dedication to education will significantly contribute to the institution's mission of excellence in both academic transfer and workforce programs."

Spears brings a wealth of experience to her new role, having been a part of the LSC-University Park community since 2015. She initially joined as a Geology professor and has since demonstrated her dedication to the institution by serving as the department chair and, more recently, as the interim dean of the division. Spears also actively participated in the NSF GEOPAths grant for Geoscience Exposure and Training in Texas (GET TX) during the 2022-2023 academic year, collaborating with other faculty members from LSC-University Park and Sam Houston State University. Her extensive background includes valuable industry experience, having worked at ExxonMobil in Houston as an exploration geologist. 

Johnson joins LSC-University Park with a substantial background in education and industry, characterized by a proven ability to create and implement workforce programs in high-need areas. His previous role at Houston Community College (HCC) as the Director of Industrial and Energy programs exemplifies his unwavering commitment to workforce development. In addition to his tenure at HCC, Johnson has held numerous pivotal positions in the industrial sector, such as Operations Manager at Puffer-Sweiven, Plant Manager at Midland MFG, and Machine Shop Manager at Timken Steel. His four-year service in the U.S. Army further attests to his dedication to excellence and leadership.

LSC-University Park Vice President of Instruction Steven Kahla, Ph.D., shared, "The addition of Dr. Spears and Mr. Johnson to the leadership team represents a pivotal moment for the institution. Their collective experience will further elevate the educational experience provided to students."

Spears will officially assume her role as dean on Nov. 1, 2023, while Johnson will join as dean on Nov. 16, 2023.

LSC-University Park offers more than 70 programs of study, including credit and non-credit courses, workforce training, and continuing education classes. Classes can be taken during the day, evenings, and weekends in traditional, online, and hybrid formats. For more information or to register online, visit www.lonestar.edu/StartUP, call 281-290-2600, or email UPAdvising@LoneStar.edu.

Established in 2012, Lone Star College-University Park has been recognized as one of the fastest-growing and most innovative higher education institutions in the country. The college, led by Dr. Virginia M. Fraire, is devoted to impacting the community's prosperity and upward mobility through student success. LSC-University Park’s expert and compassionate faculty and staff provide students with holistic and immersive education and training in disciplines and industries that meet current and future workforce needs.

Located on the grounds of the former Compaq Computer Corporation and Hewlett Packard's world headquarters, LSC-University Park's facilities include the Center for Science & Innovation, the Energy & Manufacturing Institute, Learning Innovation Labs, and the Geology Rock Wall. It is also home to the University of Houston-NW Downtown, Lone Star Corporate College, iSchool, and YMCA Children's Academy.

Lone Star College enrolls over 80,000 students each semester providing high-quality, low-cost academic transfer and career training education. LSC is training tomorrow’s workforce today and redefining the community college experience to support student success. Mario K. Castillo, J.D., serves as Chancellor of LSC, the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area. LSC has been named a 2023 Great Colleges to Work For® institution by the Chronicle of Higher Education and recognized by Fortune Magazine and Great Place To Work® as one of this year’s Best Workplaces in Texas™. LSC consists of eight colleges, seven centers, eight Workforce Centers of Excellence and Lone Star Corporate College. To learn more, visit LoneStar.edu.

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