Dr. Tyler Olivier, Minnie Stevens Piper Award nominee.

College announces Excellence Award recipients

San Jacinto College recently named its 2024 Minnie Stevens Piper Professor Award nominee and Faculty and Staff Excellence Awards recipients.

Dr. Tyler Olivier, Generation Park Campus STEM department chair, is the College’s 2024 Minnie Stevens Piper Professor Award nominee. Olivier has been teaching at San Jac for eight years, with nine years’ experience at the collegiate level.

Dr. Tyler Olivier

Dr. Tyler Olivier, Minnie Stevens Piper Award nominee

Since 1958, the non-profit, charitable Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation has recognized outstanding professors from two- and four-year Texas public and private colleges and universities. One of the foundation’s biggest programs is the Piper Professor Program. Ten awards of $5,000 are distributed annually to college professors for superior teaching based on submissions by each college or university.

San Jac Faculty Excellence Award recipients include…

  • Elizabeth McKinley, accounting/general business, South Campus
  • Diana Perez, cosmetology, South Campus
  • Richard Garcia, maritime transportation, Maritime Campus
  • Sheina Farooqui, occupational therapy assistant, South Campus
  • Cheryl Mott, college preparatory mathematics, Central Campus

Staff Excellence Award recipients include…

  • Earle Thomas, manager, financial aid/application process, District Office
  • Imelda Rodriguez, coordinator/resource specialist, Central Campus
  • Genoveva (Veva) Garcia, manager, campus business offices, Central Campus
  • Goldie Tabor, coordinator, division operations, South Campus

The Administrator Excellence Award went to…

  • Joanna Zimmermann, associate vice chancellor student services, District Office
  • Scott Hairston, director, grants development, District Office

Criteria for the College’s Faculty and Staff Excellence Awards nominations include addressing the nominee’s last two years of work and service in the following areas:

  • Ability to serve as a role model and work collaboratively with others
  • Possession of exemplary attributes or qualifications
  • Contribution to addressing or meeting the needs of our students and/or our employees
  • Dedication, service, and involvement in the College community

Students preparing experiment for space launch

San Jacinto College announces the winning Student Spaceflight Experiment Program project that will be conducted both in the classroom and on the International Space Station.

Under the mentorship of South Campus chemistry professor Dr. Carrie Owens, a dedicated team of San Jac STEM Club students — Amna Qureshi, Maheen Bukhari, and Marcus Pitre — is now embarking on a journey of scientific discovery. The group was selected from a pool of 52 students to represent San Jac in this gravity-defying adventure.

The Student Spaceflight Experiment Program provides students the opportunity to design, propose, and conduct experiments in microgravity aboard the International Space Station. Proposed projects went through a rigorous selection process involving two-stage evaluation.

In the initial round, the College took charge of the evaluation, reviewing numerous proposals submitted by aspiring student scientists. The second round, however, is overseen by the Student Spaceflight Experiment Program’s national review board, which evaluates not just San Jac’s submissions but any other high school or college’s to determine which experiments will prepare for execution in space.

The chosen experiment, titled “Comparison of Arabidopsis thaliana germination and cell wall growth in microgravity versus standard conditions,” reflects the program’s commitment to advancing scientific knowledge in unique environments. Through the spring semester, the team will set up its experiment, adhering to the stringent safety protocols required for space-bound projects.

Additionally, San Jac is encouraging creativity through an art patch competition. Students from the College and area school districts will submit patch ideas, and the chosen designs will accompany the experiment to space.