Notes of appreciation to celebrate writing and service

The English and Humanities Division will have card stations set up Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 17-18 in the Writing Center (Bonner Hall), Library (Advanced Technology Center) and Veterans Center (Rundell Hall) where students can compose cards of appreciation to be sent to military troops during the holidays.

Jill Gos, instructor and composition coordinator, said, “This is our way of connecting the National Day on Writing with Veterans Day as well as the holidays. We celebrate the gift of writing by showing appreciation to those who serve our country.”

The National Day of Writing is an annual observance by the National Council of Teachers of English to focus attention on writing through a social media campaign with tweets, blogs, videos, posts and more, tagged #WhyWrite.

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Mental Health Awareness Month activities Wednesday, Thursday, Monday

Mental Health Awareness Month continues, with Lee College planning activities both Wednesday and Thursday of this week and Monday of next week.

Wednesday is Self Care for Mental Health Day, with several events on tap:

9:30 a.m. Yoga at the Gazebo

11 a.m.-2 p.m. Spa and massages at the Student Center

2-3 p.m. Nutrition workshop at the Gazebo

3-3:30 pm. Walk for mental health at the Student Center

3:30-4:30 p.m. Let’s Taco ‘Bout It in the Covestro (Bayer) Conference Center

6 p.m. A Spike Lee Joint Improv Show at the Game Room of the Student Center (food and drinks provided)

Thursday

2-3 p.m. Healthy Relationships in the Edythe Old Studio. This interactive workshop starts the conversation on identifying the four pillars of a healthy relationship.

Monday, Oct. 22

10 a.m.-2 p.m. Mental Health Resource Fair. Several local organizations that advocate for mental health will have resources in the Student Center. The Bridge Over Troubled Waters, which provides education and support related to domestic violence, will be one of the participants.

11 a.m.-noon Stress, Anxiety and Depression, Oh My! Workshop in the Covestro Conference Center about identifying and coping with these common problems

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‘Remembering Harvey’ final performances at Town Square this weekend

Graphic image of "Remembering Harvey" titleThe Lee College Players will present ‘Remembering Harvey,’ a collection of remembrances of the hurricane that brought massive flooding to the region a year ago, at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday on the stage at Baytown Town Square, 213 W. Texas Ave.

The outdoor performances are free.

Theater instructor Kim Martin described “Remembering Harvey,” as, “a challenging and provocative look back at the events which rocked the world of our region and community one year ago. In this originally conceived presentation, we will invite the community to look back at Hurricane Harvey, relying on our artistic resources to remember and reevaluate the experience that has left many of our community’s citizens touched for life.”

Lee College also performed this original production at the Fort Worth Fringe Festival, Sept. 7, 8 and 9, a play festival presented by Texas Nonprofit Theatres.

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Baytown Symphony to present ‘Elgar’s Enigma’ Sunday in the PAC

"Elgar's Enigma" image with inset photo of Laura CividinoThe Baytown Symphony Orchestra is kicking off its 51st season with a bang! Italian violinist Laura Cividino will perform the beloved Violin Concerto in E minor by Felix Mendelssohn at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7, in Lee College’s beautiful Performing Arts Center.

This performance is Cividino’s debut with the Baytown Symphony, but she is no stranger to the greater Houston area. She performs regularly with the Houston New Arts Movement, Mercury Chamber Orchestra, Bach Society Houston, Austin Baroque Orchestra, and the Brazos Valley Symphony—among other guest appearances—and tours internationally with the Calliope String Quartet. You are sure to be impressed by her rich sound and musical depth.

This season-opening concert will conclude with Edward Elgar’s unparalleled Enigma Variations. This inspired work is built from multiple short movements that represent the important people in the British composer’s life, from his wife to his colleagues. This orchestral homage to Elgar’s friends is among his greatest works and, undoubtedly, one of the finest works by a British composer.

Student tickets are free at the box office before the concert!

Program:

The Italian in Algiers Overture, Rossini

Violin Concerto in E minor, Mendelssohn

Enigma Variations, Elgar

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From the president: Facilities

Portrait of Lee College President Dr. Dennis Brown.

Dr. Dennis Brown
Lee College president

Unlike public universities, who receive state funding to build and maintain their facilities, public community colleges in Texas do not enjoy the same financial support.  Public two-year institutions like Lee College have three ways in which they can build new or modify existing buildings, and maintain them: General Obligation Bond, Revenue Bond and Federal/Private Funds.

The primary source of funding that is available to construct new buildings, for the most part, is through a General Obligation (GO) bond election. Through this method, property owners vote to approve a bond for a specified amount and for the purposes outlined in the election information shared with the voters. Lee College has been blessed with support from property owners since it first asked taxpayers to approve a bond in the 1950s to build Rundell Hall and the Gymnasium. Prior to that time classes were held at Lee High School. The most recent bond approved by property owners was for $40 million in 2013. That bond was approved by 72 percent of the voters participating in the election, which is a very high approval rating for general obligation bonds. The strong connection between Baytown, Highlands and Lee College began with the College’s inception in 1934, and remains strong to this day. GO bond elections, as they are known, are held periodically based on the needs of the College. These funds can be used for new construction, renovations and other infrastructure needs. Like with your home, as time passes, maintenance and upkeep costs grow. The 2013 bond funds were primarily used to renovate Rundell Hall, add 50,000 square feet to the McNair Center to house the College’s, Welding, Pipefitting, Millwright and Machining Technology programs, add 15,000 square feet to the current Nursing facility at the Main Campus, and renovate the existing technical facilities at the Main Campus. Our students, Board of Regents, faculty and staff are forever grateful for this support. Approximately 75 percent of the taxes received from property owners come from business and industry. Lee College’s Strategic Plan includes initiatives that support business and industry, such as workforce development.

A second source of funding, which can be used for new construction or for remodeling, is a revenue bond. Through a revenue bond, funds received by the institution, typically through a building use fee paid by students, are pledged to repayment of the bond proceeds. Over the years the College has used revenue bonds to build and remodel facilities, and well as to address critical infrastructure needs throughout the Main Campus and McNair Center. This type of bond, similar to a GO Bond, is paid back over a number of years. A revenue bond is not paid for by property owners. As you can see, our students also contribute to the support of our facilities. The Board of Regents recently approved an $11 million revenue bond to address a number of projects throughout the Main Campus. Among the projects are renovations to the Science Building, replace campus fiber optic system, electrical, HVAC, plumbing, swimming pool and sidewalks.

A third source of funds to build or remodel facilities is through federal dollars or private foundation support. Funds for facilities through these sources is very limited. A recent example of federal dollars is the Phase I construction of the Cosmetology, Crafts Lab and Healthcare classrooms at the McNair Center. The federal Economic Development Administration contributed a million dollars toward the construction of the 50,000-square-foot expansion at the McNair Center. Private foundation support for Lee College has come from the Kresge Foundation for the Performing Arts Center, Houston Endowment for the Student Center, Greater Texas Foundation for support of the renovations at the Lee College Education Center in South Liberty County (a facility owned by five public school districts), and TLL Temple Foundation for the new Grad Café at 909 Decker. Our most recent substantial private gift was given for the College’s Writing Center because it had made a significant difference in the success of the donor’s son when he attended Lee College.

Routine maintenance projects are typically funded through the annual operating budget.  More extensive maintenance projects are addressed through GO Bonds or revenue bonds.

As you can see, there are a variety of sources of funds that can be tapped into. However, how much is available and when it is available, varies greatly. Ideally, public community colleges should receive state funds for facilities. However, that is not currently available.  All of us at Lee College understand the role that the community plays in supporting our facilities, and we are most appreciative of that support. We take pride in maintaining functional and modern facilities and grounds. After all, this is your community college. It is our goal at all times to be good stewards of your facilities and of the funds you entrust us with.

Dr. Dennis Brown

President

Lee College

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Board of Regents meeting for Sept. 20, 2018

The Lee College Board of Regents met Thursday, Sept. 20.

In addition to hearing several reports, the board approved all action items on the agenda. These items:

  • Approved buying furniture and equipment for a pre-engineering classroom from OnePointe.
  • Approved an agreement allowing City of Baytown staff, staff spouses, and council members to purchase memberships for use of the Lee College swimming pool.
  • Approved awarding a contract to Collette Vacations for three senior adult and travel trips and to Premier World Discovery for one trip. Costs are paid by participants.
  • Approved a contract with BC Commercial for construction needed to relocate the Lee College Writing Center to the library, including a director’s office. The cost is being covered by a donor gift.
  • Approved the appraised property tax rolls for Harris and Chambers Counties.
  • Approved the property tax rates, including an increased rate for Maintenance and Operations and a decreased rate for Debt Service. The total tax rate for 2018-2019 will be $.2501 per $100 valuation, down from a rate of $.2504.
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Puente program in need of mentors

Lee College is one of two community colleges in  Texas to host the nationally recognized Puente Mentoring Program.

Victoria Marron, director of Hispanic Serving Institution Initiatives, said the college has just welcomed its seventh cohort of students and is in need of mentors in the community from different professions.

There will be a Mentor Training and Info Session on Thursday, Oct. 4, from 6-7:30 p.m. in the Covestro Conference Room.

There is also a Mentor Interest Form for those interested in serving as mentors. Follow this link to complete the form.

http://www.lee.edu/hsi/mentoring/puente-mentor-interest-form/

If you have any additional questions contact vmarron@lee.edu.

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Coffeehouse set for Saturday in the PAC

Lee College is hosting its annual coffeehouse event Saturday, putting local musicians in the spotlight.

Music instructor Ken Booker said, “This is something I founded because there were a lot of creative types I was seeing around–songwriters usually–and it seemed that there were quite a few who were sort of the typical singer-songwriter-guitarist-type mold.

Over the years, Booker said, the coffeehouse has stayed centered on the singer-songwriter, but has experimented with other forms.

“The first one I set up, I probably had five or six of those [singer-songwriters], and we also opened it up to some stand-up,” he said.

Poets have taken part some years–one year late faculty member Dan Mendoza read a chapter from a book he had written.

In recent years, he has invited a band to perform at the end of the coffeehouse. This year, that band is Phthalo Blue, which Booker is a member of.

While the event is produced by the music department, participation is not limited to Lee College students or faculty. “Anybody in the community who would like to do this is welcome,” he said. Auditions are required, though.

“I love it when it’s kind of diverse,” Booker said. “You can have a country singer and a rapper right after them.”

Admission is $5 at the door (no online or pre-sales). Snacks will be available. Money raised supports the Lee College Music Club.

The event is 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 29 in the black box theater of the Lee College Performing Arts Center.

Booker said he will consider performers who contact him by Tuesday, Sept. 25. His email address is kbooker@lee.edu.

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Theatre department to hold auditions for ‘Animal Farm’ tonight and tomorrow

The Lee College theatre department will hold auditions for “Animal Farm” at 7 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, Sept. 24-25 at the Performing Arts Center.

Director Marc Anthony Glover Garcia asks that those auditioning arrive at 6:45 p.m. to complete paperwork. Bring a head shot and resume.

The department will stage Animal Farm, adapted by Ian Wooldridge from the book by George Orwell. Auditions will be held Monday, Sept. 24, from 7-10 p.m. and Tuesday, Sept. 25, from 7-10 p.m

Performances will be Nov. 2-3 and 9-11 in the Black Box theater of the Performing Arts Center, with Friday and Saturday shows at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinee at 2:30 p.m.

The stage play is adapted by Ian Wooldrige from the book by George Orwell. (Wikipedia article about the book)

ABOUT THE SHOW:
George Orwell’s satire on the perils of Stalinism has proved magnificently long-lived as a parable about totalitarianism anywhere and has given the world at least one immortal phrase: “Some are more equal than others.” The animals on Manor Farm drive out their master and take over and run the farm for themselves. The experiment is successful, except that someone has to take the deposed farmer’s place. Leadership devolves upon the pigs, which are cleverer than the rest of the animals. Unfortunately, their character is not equal to their intelligence. This dramatization remains faithful to the book’s plot and intent, and it retains both its affection for the animals and the incisiveness of its message.

Character descriptions
Napoleon (pig) The pig who emerges as the leader of Animal Farm after the rebellion. This character is manipulative, crafty but still a charismatic leader who draws the other animals to believe in his twisted vision. Any age male.

Snowball (pig) The pig who challenges Napoleon’s leadership, but in the end is unsuccessful. This character is intelligent, passionate and eloquent but lacks the deviousness of his fellow pigs, which becomes his downfall. Any age, any gender.

Squealer (pig) The pig in charge of propaganda and the mouthpiece of Napoleon’s regime. This character is slimy, manipulative and a talkative trickster. Any age, any gender .

Old Major (boar) The inspiration for the revolution, when he tells the animals of his vision of a free and just animal-run society. This is a smallish but very important character. He dies in the first act but has a cracking big speech that opens the play. Age 30+ Any gender.

Boxer (cart horse) The hardest worker on Animal Farm. This character is physically strong but none too bright, easily lead and manipulated by others, especially by Napoleon. Boxer’s belief in Napoleon and his words is almost fanatical. Any age male.

Mollie (horse) A pampered and vain horse who loves being spoilt with ribbons and sugar cubes. She struggles the most in the new Animal Farm society and ends up running away back to life with humans. Any age female.

Clover (horse) Close friend and workmate of Boxer. Clover is one of the few animals who questions the pigs’ motives and actions but does not have the self-confidence to believe in her doubts about them. Any age, any gender.

Benjamin (donkey) A moody negative character who believes that life has always been and will always be unpleasant. He opposes the rule of the pigs and often complains about it but never does anything about it. Any age, any gender.

Moses (raven) Somewhat of a religious leader among the animals, talks a lot about sugar candy mountain, a sort of animal heaven. You are never sure about his motives or motivations. Any age, any gender

Minimus (pig) A young and impressionable pig who is drawn in by Napoleon and Squealer. Any age, any gender.

Mr. Jones/ Mr. Pilkington (men) Mr. Jones, the owner of Manor Farm, before the revolution and it becomes Animal Farm. A moody old drunk (non-speaking part). Mr. Pilkington, the owner of the next-door farm, an opportunist who makes an alliance with the pigs at the end of the play.

Assorted animals – Pigs, pigeons, dogs, geese, sheep, hens etc. Some speaking and non-speaking roles. These are smaller parts but no less essential than the main characters. Any age, any gender.

Interested actors should come to auditions with their CONFIRMED availability on all the dates listed above. While ALL actors may not be called for every rehearsal, we would like to have a clear idea of who can rehearse when.

Would you like to get involved but don’t want to be on-stage?

Lee College Theatre Department is always looking for people to help BACKSTAGE during production (as stage managers, crew, light or sound techs, prop-masters, etc.). Sound interesting? Come to auditions and talk to the director or tech director of the show.

For more information about the theatre or the auditions please email the director directly at marc_anthony_glover@yahoo.com.

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‘Tres Vidas’ celebrates legendary Latina women

Illustration of Tres Vidas performer and logoThe college’s series of events recognizing its mission as a Hispanic-Serving Institution will culminate with the presentation of “Tres Vidas” at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 24, in the Performing Arts Center.

The production will celebrate the lives of three influential Latina women: Frida Kahlo, Rufina Amaya and Alfonsina Storni. 

All three women illustrated in “Tres Vidas” are now touted as legends, but during their respective times, they were just women, surviving and prevailing. Frida Kahlo, probably the most well known of the three, was a Mexican painter who also lived in several American cities with husband Diego Rivera. Kahlo is best known for her engaging self-portraits, displaying both her physical and emotional pain in such an enchanting way.

Rufina Amaya’s story is far darker. She was the sole survivor of the horrific El Mozote Massacre in El Salvador on December 11, 1981. The brave woman witnessed the brutal execution of her community, including that of her husband and four young children, by the government. As the only witness, her testimony and character was attacked and discounted until forensic evidence proved her story true years later, prompting a formal apology from El Salvador’s government.

Poet and writer Alfonsina Storni battled her own demons, as many artists do, through her work. Much of her poetry and written work is influenced by her life, as she traveled and taught. Her work is known for its feminist themes as well as her literary evolution through her travels. The troubled poet ended her own life in Mar del Plata, Argentina.

The music ranges from traditional Mexican folk and Argentine tango songs performed in Spanish to piano works by composers such as Astor Piazzolla and Osvaldo Golijov.

Standard tickets are $10. Student tickets are $5. Tickets may be purchased online at www.lee.edu/pac.

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