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SJC's The Perm to feature student artwork

Written by staff. Posted in Schools

SJC ThePermSan Jacinto College student Michael Escamilla studies an oil painting entitled “Bubble Gum” by artist Rebecca Perez that is part of “The Perm” exhibit at the South Campus Gallery. Photo credit: Rob Vanya, San Jacinto College marketing, public relations and government affairs department.

San Jacinto College will host "The Perm," an exhibit of artwork by former students of the College through Sept. 23 at the South Campus Gallery. The exhibit is free and open to the public.

The South Campus is located at 13735 Beamer Road in the South Belt-Ellington area. The art gallery is located in the Marie Flickinger Fine Arts Center, Building 15, Room 143.

Audience invited to join the fun in SJC melodrama production

Written by staff. Posted in Schools

SJC LornaLoveLostFrom left San Jacinto College student Payton Millsap plays the role of Floozy Flannigan, guest artist Cody Hoefar plays the role of Uriah Blackstone and guest artist Angelica Stross plays the role of Lorna Dove in the melodrama “Lorna’s Love Lost,” set to open Sept. 21 at the College’s Powell Arena Theatre. Photo credit: Rob Vanya, San Jacinto College marketing, public relations and government affairs department.

The San Jacinto College theatre and film department will present "Lorna’s Love Lost," an interactive melodrama that invites audience members to join the fun and participate in live theatre action.

Performances will take place in the Powell Arena Theatre (Building 13) on the Central Campus, located at 8060 Spencer Hwy., in Pasadena. Show dates and times are Sept. 21, 22, 23 and 24 with a 7:30 p.m. curtain, and Sept. 25 with a 2:30 p.m. curtain.

"This is an action-packed, entertaining, family-oriented show and it’s the type of play that encourages audience participation," said Dr. Jerry Ivins, the Central Campus theatre and film department chair.

The setting for the melodrama is 1880. Preston Dove is a rich and ailing landowner trying desperately to protect his only child, the innocent and pure Lorna Dove, the heroine of the show. But in the shadows, the mischievous master of disguise, the villain of all villains, Uriah Blackstone, has other plans. Can the hero, Leroy Prince, save the day? Can the evil villain be stopped? Only the audience knows.

"Melodramas are a great tool to train actors in improvisation, physical expression and vocal variety," said Richard Turner, theatre professor at the College and director of the show. "It is a demanding genre to perform. With the audience as active members, you have a living art form than can never be recreated. That is what live theatre is all about. Each performance is different."

General admission is $10 per person at the door, with a discount price of $8 per person for all who purchase tickets by Sept. 20 by calling the box office at 281-476-1828.

To find out more about theatre degrees and courses at San Jacinto College, visit

EnergyVenture reaches milestone during 8th year

Written by staff. Posted in Schools

SJC Berry Kim Berry, EnergyVenture instructor and Deer Park Independent School District teacher, demonstrates the science behind making root beer with dry ice. Photo credit: Jeannie Peng Mansyur, San Jacinto College marketing, public relations, and government affairs department.

More students are returning to school this month with fresh perspectives about the petrochemical industry and careers thanks to the EnergyVenture summer camp.

Over the last eight years, EnergyVenture has introduced 1,500 students, ages 12-15, to the energy industry and the lucrative careers of engineering, process technology, geology and others strongly linked to the science, technology, engineering and math fields.

"EnergyVenture is designed for young people to learn about jobs that they typically have never heard about such as process technologist, engineer and geologist," said Linda Drobnich, business development manager for the Continuing and Professional Development (CPD) division at San Jacinto College. "We’re able to offer this opportunity with help from our local employers. It is because of their generosity that we can educate their future workforce."

EnergyVenture students are able to attend the week-long camp for free, thanks to sponsorships by Gold Level

Sponsor, Shell, and other companies including Air Products, Braskem America, CenterPoint Energy, Chevron Phillips Chemical Company, DuPont-Bayport, The Kaneka Foundation, The Lubrizol Corporation, LyondellBasell, Occidental Chemical Corporation and the TPC Group.

Each day of the camp presents new activities related to the petrochemical industry and the STEM fields, like making root beer with dry ice. In the process, students discuss the chemical properties of dry ice and the feedstock or raw materials needed to make root beer. Students also visit a local plant for tours and hear from employees about the pay, job duties and education necessary to enter into the workforce.

"This camp provides a great way for these kids to learn about the cool jobs that even I didn’t know about when I was their age," said Melanie Mares, EnergyVenture teacher assistant who is San Jac Certified after graduating from San Jacinto College this year with her associate degree in education. "They learn about the importance of the energy field, but they also have a lot of fun doing so throughout the entire week."

EnergyVenture students take an energy industry pre-test during their first day of camp and a post-test on the last day of camp. On average, students have scored 46 points higher on their energy industry post-test. Setting goals and reporting the results is a critical part of the EnergyVenture program.

However, just because a student completes EnergyVenture camp doesn’t mean it’s over. San Jacinto College follows up each year with camp alumni, offering additional hands-on activities at a weekend program to maintain their interest. The goal is to bring students back each winter for an annual reunion and move them forward in the program until they’re ready to interview for a job in the energy field. To learn more about EnergyVenture, visit

View a complete San Jacinto College summer camp wrap-up at

UHCL adds Pedro as associate dean

Written by staff. Posted in Schools

UHCL PedroPEDROUniversity of Houston-Clear Lake welcomes Professor of Curriculum and Instruction Joan Y. Pedro as the new associate dean in the College of Education. Pedro, originally from the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, joins UH-Clear Lake’s leadership team after serving 15 years at the University of Hartford in Connecticut, where she was the associate dean for Academic Affairs for nine years in the College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions. She also served as the coordinator of Teacher Education/certification officer, and the accreditation coordinator for the Department of Education.

"We are delighted to have Dr. Pedro join our team," says College of Education Dean Mark Shermis. "Not only does she bring a wealth of expertise, but also a deep passion and total dedication to teacher education. Our university, our college, our students and faculty will all be served well by her."

Pedro arrived on campus in mid-July, assuming the role from Professor of Educational Leadership Larry Kajs who has been serving as the interim associate dean.

"I am really happy to be at UHCL," Pedro says. "It is a beautiful, scenic and very inviting place. I think, too, it is a place where you can do really innovative and creative things.

"Even though I've been here only a short while, I have seen the commitment of the faculty and staff. There is a lot of enthusiasm and a lot of passion, and that is what we need to be able to do our work. I want to be able to continue with them on this journey of building distinctive programs. I also want to ensure that our students’ needs, both at the undergraduate and the graduate level, are met, and that we are able to provide them with the best education possible."

Pedro confesses that from an early age she loved teaching, and although she was told that she would be good at many things — lawyer, politician — she chose the teaching profession. "I love to see people learn, and I believe that teaching is one of the most treasured professions —although not treated that way."

She first came to the United States on a scholarship from the Organization of the American States to complete a master degree in Special Education and Psychology at the University of Miami before returning to Trinidad. Several years later she was offered a fellowship at Virginia Tech, where she completed her Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction before accepting the position at the University of Hartford.

While in Trinidad and Tobago, Pedro was a pioneer and leader in the education system in the area of inclusive education. She says she was immersed in special education early in her career, working with hearing impaired children at a time when those with special needs were segregated. It was then that she became a strong advocate for inclusive education.

"I have an affinity for the less privileged, and people who are disempowered. I believe that it is important that there are advocates for people who need support," she says.

Pedro also served in collaboration with the University of Sheffield, England, as program director for one of the first distance learning initiative in Special and Inclusive Education in Trinidad and Tobago.

Today, her research is centered on teacher development, revolving around the themes of reflective practice, multicultural education, literacy practices, and online learning. She has published works in educational journals and has presented at National and International Education Conferences. She has also delivered national and regional workshops for educators in the Caribbean with support from CIDA, UNESCO and the University of Manitoba.