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Only ophthalmic technician program in Texas turns students into graduates with job offers

Written by staff. Posted in Schools

SJC OpticPatrick Barraza is one of many who will soon graduate with job offers from clinical rotation sites completed as a San Jacinto College eye care technology student. Photo credit: Jeannie Peng Mansyur, San Jacinto College marketing, public relations, and government affairs department.

As the only ophthalmic technician training program in Texas accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Ophthalmic Medical Programs, San Jacinto College eye care technology is getting students job interviews before they take the commencement stage.

Just ask Patrick Barraza, who has his choice of future employers. The eye care technology student said it was his own experience as a child wearing glasses that inspired him to help others in need of vision care.

SJC Board votes to discontinue 4 sports

Written by Bobby Vasquez. Posted in Schools

SanJacintoCollege SportsLigIN SCHOOLS
The San Jacinto College Board of Trustees unanimously voted to discontinue four of the college’s six competitive sports by May of 2018, citing operational costs and growing facility needs. The affected programs are men’s and women’s basketball, women’s volleyball and men’s soccer.

Deepwater JH student makes threat via social media

Written by Bobby Vasquez. Posted in Schools

Deepwater Junior HighIN SCHOOLS
Thursday evening, parents of students at Deepwater Junior High were informed a student made an online threat via social media. Although the threat was found to be “not legitimate,” DPISD Superintendent Victor White said the district takes all threats seriously in the name of student and staff safety.

DPISD employee, UHCL student earns TABE scholarship

Written by staff. Posted in Schools

UHCL ArriagaARRIAGAUniversity of Houston-Clear Lake student Jessica Arriaga has been awarded a scholarship by the Texas Association for Bilingual Education. Arriaga, a senior in the College of Education, will graduate this December earning a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies with a Concentration as an EC-6 Bilingual Generalist. She is currently completing the required Internship II as a second-grade teacher at Parkwood Elementary in the Deer Park Independent School District, and will become a full time second-grade English as a Second Language teacher at the school after graduation.

Arriaga is a member of the Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society, and she is serving a second term as president of the university’s Bilingual Education Student Organization. She was previously employed for seven years at the nonprofit agency, Neighborhood Centers, where she assisted at-risk students ages 5-18. When possible, she volunteers at the agency, helping with its monthly food fairs. She is also a Harris County registrar, who assists citizens in registering to vote. In addition, Arriaga volunteers at local schools by tutoring students, assisting with GED classes and planning activities for families such as applying for financial aid.

She graduated from Pasadena High School and attended San Jacinto College Central where she made the Dean’s List and was inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa honor society.

New UHCL Bayou Theater director values audience experience

Written by staff. Posted in Schools

UHCL AlexMaloneNew University of Houston-Clear Lake Bayou Theater Managing Director Alex Malone is passionate about creating engaging experiences. An arts enthusiast since childhood, Malone says live performance offers connections between audiences and artists that are unmatched in other types of entertainment. Photo by George Mattingly IIUniversity of Houston-Clear Lake’s new Bayou Theater Managing Director Alex Malone wants to showcase the power of live performance and create memorable experiences for theater-goers.

“I want the Bayou Theater to be a vibrant and vital component of the Clear Lake community. It can succeed wildly as a hub for artistic endeavors,” he said shortly after beginning his new role at the university in early October.

While audiences have all sorts of entertainment vying for their attention, Malone says live performances offer a connection between audiences and artists that other mediums can’t match.

“A recording is a nice memento of what happened,” he said. “It’s like a postcard of the Alps: It shows the mountains. It shows that they’re pretty, but it doesn’t come close to seeing the Alps in person and their grandeur and their splendor.”

Malone is well-versed in the splendor of performance. He has loved the arts since his school days in west Houston, and he spent two years on the stage as an actor in Chicago after graduating from University of North Texas with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre. He also holds a Master of Performance in Musical Theatre from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. After moving behind the scenes as a production assistant, he found a passion for creating meaningful experiences for audiences.

He comes to UHCL with seven years of experience coordinating arts events, including five years as the Pops and Presentations coordinator at the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and, most recently, two years as the managing producer of Symphony Pops! at the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.

With that expertise, Malone plans to expand on the Bayou Theater’s past success, capitalizing on both the 500-seat venue’s size and accessible Houston-area location.

“This is an ideal-sized venue for putting on new performances,” he said. “When you enter the theater, you are in a comfortable environment. The artist should feel safe to experiment and try new things, and the audience should feel confident that they’re going to come and see a quality production. It’s a place they’re going to want to come back.”

Other planned additions include pre- and post-performance social events, a broad variety of artists, facility upgrades and other enhancements to engage and inspire the community.

UHCL Associate Vice President for University Advancement Rhonda Thompson said Malone’s experience and energy will play a key role in shaping the theater’s future.

“Alex is personable, passionate about performing arts and very enthusiastic about the opportunity to transform the Bayou Theater,” she said.

UHCL leadership sees unique experiences in music, art and other types of performance as one of many important services the community-minded university provides. The Bayou Theater was built in 1976 and has been used by both the campus and local community over the years, with an estimated 26,000 visitors annually.

“Our theater has good bones and great acoustics, making it a wonderful venue for arts organizations, school districts, performers and audiences,” said Thompson. “The arts play a crucial role in drawing communities together, and our vision is to create a dynamic, welcoming arts center for everyone.”

The theater, located in the university’s Bayou Building on 2700 Bay Area Blvd., Houston, can be rented in four-hour blocks and offers theater staff to support events, equipment for lighting and sound as well as other amenities. The theater is regularly used to present music concerts, ballet performances, seminars, film screenings and more.

For more information about the Bayou Theater, call 281-283-2065.