Houston Community College System Change Agent Team
Lorraine Carey, Natural Sciences/Geology
Robin Nagy, Natural Sciences/Geology
Lorraine writes, "I am interested in all aspects of the Earth Sciences - observations, teaching, arguing, collecting....I am always looking for ways to share my enthusiasm for learning about the Earth with my students, and make learning more relevant (though I confess I'm not always successful)." In her previous life she spent 15 years in the oil and gas industry, where she participated in state-of-the-art research. She likes to share the variety of geologic settings and problems she experienced while working in industry to show real-world relevance. She also loves to collect rocks and fossils with her own children.
Lorraine teaches lecture portions of Environmental Science, Earth Science, Oceanography, and Meteorology including both face-to-face and online courses. She also teaches the lecture and lab portions of Physical Geology and Historical Geology, mainly in-person and sometimes in a hybrid format.
Robin teaches Geology, Earth Science, and Environmental Science to primarily non-science majors and has focused her instruction on engaging and empowering her students. She has developed a catalog of active learning exercises for Norton Publishing, designed curriculum specific to active learning spaces, and initiated a collaborative, project-based learning experience with the campus makerspace. Robin loves visiting geologically interesting locales, and often records in-situ selfie lectures for her students while traveling.
Robin teaches Geology, Earth Science, and Environmental Science. She is also the faculty coordinator for the HCC Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, an NSF-funded program to increase the minority participation in STEM degrees.
Houston Community College (HCC) serves more than 80,000 students per year from more than 6 main campuses and numerous satellite campuses in the greater Houston area. Less than half of their students are of traditional age (18-25 years old); 44% are older than 25. Twenty-eight percent of students are black/African-American and 34 percent are Hispanic/Latino. Twelve percent are international students.
Geology is combined with Physics in the Natural Sciences Department, along with some smaller specialized programs such as Horticulture and Technical Math. The Natural Sciences Department is part of the Life and Natural Sciences Division, along with the Chemistry Department and the Biology Department. Courses include Astronomy, Atmospheric Science, Earth System Science, Environmental Policy/Studies, Environmental Science, Geology, Oceanography, Physics, Horticulture and Landscape, and Technical Math.
Students in the Geology program come from a wide range of backgrounds. The faculty see a diversity of students who reflect the diversity of the college as a whole. Typical department enrollment is approximately 800 - 1000 students per semester. In Fall 2019, 839 students were enrolled in 47 sections of various Geology program courses (Physical Geology, Historical Geology, Oceanography, Environmental Science, Earth Science, and Meteorology). Most students take Geology program courses to complete what is known as Core Curriculum requirements for their degree or certificate program. Students who are transferring to a 4-year institution take their lab courses at HCC. They offer an A.S degree in Geology and currently have about 35-40 declared majors.
The Geology program has 7 full-time faculty and 10 adjunct faculty and shares 2 lab technicians with the Physics program.
Institutional demographic data is from IPEDS the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, U.S. Department of Education, typically for the 2018-19 year as available.