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Hill College Awards Faculty Grants

10.05.16

Hill College awards six faculty study grants for summer research

Six Hill College faculty members were recipients of study grants to continue their research and fields of study this past summer.  Faculty interested in applying for the available grants submitted a proposal to President Dr. Pam Boehm and grants were awarded.

 “A grant at Hill College is more of a challenge aimed directly at Faculty,” Geology instructor Paul Bellah said.  “As a seasoned educator, what would I do if I had a grant to re-ignite my own passions for learning and expand my own professional development?  Most important, can I pass that new knowledge on to students?”   

Inspired by the tornadoes that struck his hometown of Rowlett, TX this past December, Bellah studied the efficiency and effectiveness of solar energy and how beneficial having a solar-power reserve at home can be when natural disasters strike. 

Through his research and his personal experiences in the weeks and months following the storms, Bellah will be able to educate his students in his Natural Disasters course on being prepared when the unexpected occurs, to include updated equipment and solar-powered equipment.

With the knowledge gained from traveling to Latin America with funds from her grant, instructor Lauri Heintz has first-hand experience to share with her Biology students regarding the impact humans have on the environment in relation to the poaching of endangered sea turtles in the region.

Heintz traveled to La Tortuga Feliz in Costa Rica for a week, participating in nightly patrols to search for nesting turtles, helping to save some endangered sea turtles from being poached and guarding turtle eggs that had previously been retrieved and taken to a hatchery.

Biology instructor Dr. Lori Rose used the funds she was awarded to enroll in a Holistic Nutrition Therapist program online for continuing education.  She spent hours in classes all summer, submitting homework, seeing clients, and completed the 1000-hour course.   She is currently seeking approval for her own Nutrition Therapist degree option within the Associates of Science degree at Hill College.

“I am using information I learned this summer in my nutrition classes that I teach,” Rose said.  “I will hopefully have a nutrition therapist and an herbalist path offered to students by Fall 2017.”

Katy Holden, Accounting and Business instructor, traveled to New York City to tour the financial districts and New York Stock Exchange to learn more about the history.  During her two-day visit, she toured Wall Street and the old NY Stock Exchange.  She then visited the World Trade Center, the 9/11 Memorial and got to go up inside the new One World Trade Center tower on the second day of her stay. 

“I’ll be able to take what I saw and learned during my visit to New York and relate it to what I am teaching my students,” Holden said.  “One of my tour guides referenced several books and videos that I can now refer my students to read and watch as guides and learning tools.”

In an effort to transition the Hill College Phi Theta Kappa from a One Star Honors Society to a Three Star Chapter, Phi Theta Kappa advisors Jim Williamson and Jenny Corder traveled to St. Louis, Missouri with their grant funds to attend Phi Theta Kappa’s Leadership Instructor’s Certification Seminar. 

Williamson said that to meet Leadership Development needs at Hill College, the curriculum learned at the seminar will not only be for Phi Theta Kappa, but for the existing leadership courses taught at the Hill College campuses, as well as supporting the mission at Hill College.

The faculty at Hill College are dedicated to continue to build on their passions in order to enhance the engagement and learning experiences for students.  Areas across campus, both in the classroom and in student activities, benefit through faculty study grants.