Faculty, staff members recognized for excellence

03.03.2016 | By Amanda Fenwick

PASADENA, Texas – Barbara Schumacher, Betty Woodfill, and Imelda Umansor have been recognized by San Jacinto College for their outstanding service to the institution and higher education.

Schumacher, a professor in the biology department on the Central Campus, is this year’s Minnie Stevens Piper nominee from San Jacinto College, and also earned one of the College’s faculty excellence awards. Since 1958, The Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation has recognized outstanding professors from two- and four-year colleges and universities, both public and private. The Piper Professor Program is one of its biggest recognitions. Nominations are based on submissions by each college or university in the state of Texas.

“We are extremely proud of each of our faculty and staff award recipients,” said Dr. Laurel Williamson, San Jacinto College deputy chancellor and president. “These individuals embody our College mission and values in their interactions with students and colleagues, and they truly represent exemplary teaching and service. These awards are selected by San Jacinto College employees, their peers, which makes this honor even more special. We congratulate each of them, and appreciate their hard work and dedication. They make San Jacinto College the great institution it is, and a place where students succeed every day.”

On her nomination application, Biology Department Chair Barry Furman stated that Schumacher’s dedication to the College is clearly on display through her involvement and engagement in the science department. Most recently, she created a new online, ready-to-teach biology course; is actively involved with judging the Pasadena Independent School District science fair; and engages her students in service learning. “She involves every student, in every one of her classes, every semester in student service learning,” Furman said. “One of these service learning activities involves taking her general biology students to Armand Bayou Nature Preserve for field studies culminating in a class project. At the conclusion of the project, the students return to the preserve to plant native plants.”

Woodfill, a writing professor in the college preparatory department, is a faculty excellence award recipient. She envisioned and planned the first annual College Prep Student Leadership Reception in which 10 outstanding college preparatory students from each San Jacinto College campus were recognized. She and her students are actively involved in numerous volunteer and service opportunities, including collecting food for the campus food pantries, participating in Veterans Day events, and encouraging students to work together on various projects. Woodfill is president of the Texas Association of Developmental Education (TADE), and helped San Jacinto College earn the prestigious TADE Curtis Miles Outstanding Established Chapter Award, recognizing excellence in state and regional chapters.

Umansor is a financial aid specialist on the San Jacinto College South Campus. Her nomination application noted that, “Imelda not only helps our new and/or continuing students, but she goes the extra mile to help our San Jac Certified students apply and transfer to universities.” Over the last two years, Umansor conducted more than 100 financial aid visits and presentations to high school, dual credit, and incoming students, helping them understand the financial aid application process. She also co-created a Financial Aid Summer Camp which is the first camp ever created for the San Jacinto College financial aid department. The focus of the camp is to create and foster dreams of obtaining a college education for children in the local community. Its goal is to inspire children to turn their dreams into reality while exposing them to college. The camp promoted the importance of preparing for college, saving for college, and openly discussed the campers career goals.

About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. As an Achieving the Dream Leader College, San Jacinto College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of approximately 30,000 credit students. The College offers 186 degrees and certificates, with 46 technical programs and a university transfer division. Students benefit from a support system that maps out a pathway for success, and job training programs that are renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $690 million each year to the Texas workforce.

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