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Expert List

Thank you for your interest in San Jacinto College. You will find our faculty and staff to be knowledgeable and reliable resources for your reporting. They are available to discuss with you a wide range of issues, topics, and trends that may be of local, regional, or national significance. San Jacinto College faculty specialize in a variety of skilled job training areas, such as petrochemical, health care, maritime training, automotive, cosmetology, and child development. Our staff can provide information related to college admissions, financial aid, career and employment services, non-traditional students, and more.

If you are working on a breaking news story regarding a current event, please contact our office as we may be able to provide an expert on that topic.

When you have a question, we have the answer! We encourage you to contact any member of the marketing communications team  to arrange an interview with one of our experts. We're happy to take care of the arrangements to make sure you get the information you need in a timely manner.

Printable Expert List


Expert List

Greg Black

Area(s) of expertise: specializes in General Motors (GM) vehicle repair

Experience within field: : more than 45 years working in automotive industry, GM World Class Technician, GM Master Technician, experience in vehicle maintenance at Ellington Air Force Base

Romulo Vela

Area(s) of expertise: specializes in Honda and Ford vehicle repair

Experience within the field: Honda silver level technician, state vehicle inspector, shop foreman, team leader, Automotive Youth Educational Systems (AYES) mentor


David Baisden

Area(s) of expertise: auto body repair and airbrush painting

Experience within field: 44 years experience in automotive paint and body, 40 years experience in automotive air brush painting, ASE Master Collision Technician, ICAR Qualified Instructor, DuPont Top Gun painter, PPG Platinum Qualified, 3M Best Practices Top Shop Qualified, Blackhawk Frame repair qualified, BASF paint qualified, worked in every type of area in GM and Toyota body shops, paint technician, frame technician, shop foreman, body shop owner, graduate of Tri-County Vocational Auto Collision Program, Associate of Applied Science in Auto Collision San Jacinto College, Associate of Arts in Art

Deborah Smith

Area(s) of expertise: Career and personality assessments, resume and cover letter development, interview strategies, networking, effective job search strategies, labor market data

Experience within the field: More than 30 years in career services.

Dr. Debbie Simpson-Smith

Area(s) of expertise: child development, preparing students for work in teaching profession

Experience within the field: Nearly 25 years teaching child development at San Jacinto College

Dana Belt

Area(s) of expertise: hair coloring and cutting

Experience within the field:

More than 20 years of teaching cosmetology and training students for state and national SkillsUSA competitions




Pandora Freestone

Area(s) of expertise: hair design, coloring (chemical processing), permanent waves and hair cutting

Experience within the field: More than 30 years of experience within the hair industry and training students for state and national SkillsUSA competitions

Sean Perrodin

Area(s) of expertise: management within culinary arts, food critique, styling, pastry, catering, and entrepreneurship

Experience within field: Nearly 20 years of professional work within culinary arts, including experience as executive chef; 2010 Food Educators Service Educator of the Year

Don Clayton

Area(s) of expertise: diesel engines, alternators, fuel injection rebuilding, work in heavy diesel service and repair industry

Experience within the field: More than 50 years of experience in diesel mechanics, developer of experimental mechanical gasoline injected engine

Debra Clarke

Area(s) of expertise: eye care technology education, education through service learning

Experience within field: Serves as the College's eye care technology program director. More than 30-years in eye care technology that includes serving as a clinical trial technician for the Food and Drug Administration for Holmium & Excimer LASER Research; studying under the world renowned Dr. Theo Seiler, one of the first physicians to use an excimer laser on a human eye; lecturing at the American Academy of Ophthalmology; and teaching for the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology. Clarke schedules regular service learning opportunities for students, including the See to Succeed initiative, where they deliver free screenings and examinations to schoolchildren across the Houston metroplex region.

Robert Merino*

Area(s) of expertise: financial aid regulations, processes, federal and state aid policies and procedures

Experience within field: Serves as director of financial aid, holds approximately 17 years of work experience in financial aid at both two- and four-year higher education institutions, serves as co-chair for the community college advisory committee with the Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation.

Ben Ficklin

Area(s) of expertise: Compressor change outs, retrofitting equipment, Manual ”J” & Manual “N” HVAC software, EPA & Employment Ready Certifications Proctor, Simu-tech software trainer, and blackboard Certified trainer

Experience within field: Six years in commercial air conditioning repair and eight years in residential heating and cooling and refrigeration repair, electrical substation, pipe, CNC, and heavy equipment operator.

Paul Keltner

Area(s) of expertise: licensed massage therapist and instructor, working with students in coordination with Texas Chiropractic College

Experience within field: Nearly 10 years teaching, experience as a first responder, member of the Worldwide Aquatic Bodywork Association, Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals, and American Massage Therapy Association, licensed massage therapist and instructor with the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Stephen Rowland

Area(s) of expertise: Career in non-destructive testing for more than 30 years. Has developed equipment and procedures for a variety of problems in the aerospace, marine, nuclear, power, and petrochemical fields

Experience within field: President of Rowland Scientific, developing and applying equipment for non-destructive testing in the areas of electro-magnetics, ultrasonics, and remote visual methods. Corporate work experience in the field, in addition to an education in physics and serving as a non-destructive testing instructor.

Kaye Moon-Winters

Area(s) of expertise: Recruitment, retention and completion of adult learners with an emphasis on recognizing needs and implementing programs for this cohort. Started school at age 55 at San Jacinto College, graduated from University of Houston at the age of 60.

Experience within field: Founder of the Never Too Late (N2L) Center for Adult Learners, director of the AACC Plus 50 Completion Program, and serves as an education planner/recruiter for adult learners. Author of the presentations "What to Do When the Student is Older Than You (or God),” and “Building Community Within a Community College (Adults Only!)." Professional honors include the Kellogg Institute Class of 2010, National Institute for Developmental Education; grand prize winner of the Borders/AARP “My Next Chapter” Essay Contest. Previous experience includes serving as a State Certified Presenter for the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented and as an Accredited Teaching Artist with the Young Audiences of Houston.

Dr. Ernest Davila*

Area(s) of expertise: criminal appeals, wills, trusts and probate

Experience within the field: private attorney, served as a Harris County appellate prosecutor

*denotes Spanish speaking expert

Mario S. Garcia

Area(s) of expertise: automation (Pyxis, medDispense, unit dosing), TPN compounding, Retail and Inpatient simulation software

Experience within the field: Five years military experience working in both outpatient and inpatient pharmacy at Moncrief Army Community Hospital in Ft. Jackson, S.C.; Sterile Products certified M.D. Anderson Cancer Center; Non-Sterile Compounding certified NPTA

Mike Speegle

Area(s) of expertise: petrochemical and refining industry

Experience within field: Nearly 20 years in the industry; retired from BP-Amoco; author of several books/articles, including “Quality Concepts for the Process Industry;” member of the Gulf Coast Process Technology Association; recipient of oil and gas certificate from the Center for the Advancement of Process Technology

Kevin Morris

Area(s) of expertise: real estate brokerage

Experience within field: Licensed real estate broker in state of Texas since 1985, president-elect of the Texas Real Estate Teachers Association (TRETA), 26 years experience teaching as real estate instructor

Dr. Ann Cartwright

Area(s) of expertise: Chemistry with an emphasis in science service learning. Her teaching method is a fusion of traditional chemistry projects and experiments mixed with a freethinking interactive environment, inside and outside of the classroom.

Experience within field: More than 30 years as a higher education instructor, awards include the prestigious American Chemical Society Excellence in Teaching in a Two-Year College Award for 2011, National Catalyst Award for Teaching Excellence, a National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Excellence Award, Minnie Stevens Piper Professor award and numerous Who's Who awards

James Sells

Area(s) of expertise: math education, STEM initiatives, methods in moving students from remedial math to college-level coursework

Experience within field: Serves as chair of the math department, previously served on Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board committee that created the Field of Study curricula for Associates Degrees for E-8 Mathematics Teachers and for Engineering. Worked as a petroleum reservoir engineer for Union Texas Petroleum, studying oil and gas fields in Texas, New Mexico, Canada, Madagascar, Argentina, Indonesia and the Gulf of Mexico.

Patricia Steinke

Area(s) of expertise: biology education through science service learning in the community

Experience within field: More than 20 years teaching biology with previous experience as a high school science teacher. Serves as an advisor for the Texas Student Education Association, which received the Patsy Goss Community Service Award. Member of the College’s Green Team, Texas Community College Teachers Association, Texas State Teachers Association, National Association of Biology Teachers, and the National Education Association.

John Stephens

Area(s) of expertise: commercial truck driving, industry trends and employment trends

Experience within field: More than 30 years in the industry with 20 years teaching commercial truck driving. Specializes in flatbed and hauling heavy equipment across country.