NVC Faculty Senate Officers

From Michael Lee Gardin, PhD
Assistant Professor
Faculty Senate President

To give you a view of the NVC Faculty Senate, I need to tell you a little about myself. I am Michael Lee Gardin, and I have been teaching at NVC for three years. I am the Faculty Senate President for the 2018-2019 academic year, a position I am very thankful and honored to have. In my view, I serve the faculty (who serve the students day in and day out), so I truly see this role as that of an advocate.

I advocate for the needs of the NVC faculty and work to ensure their interests and views are considered so that they can best do what the whole enterprise of a college is about: teaching and learning. The mission of the NVC Faculty Senate is “to examine issues of concern to the faculty and institution,” understanding that “the mission of the faculty of Northwest Vista College is to facilitate learning, [and] the atmosphere in which this takes place requires a commitment to excellence. Fostering learning and excellence necessitates cooperation and communication among the trustees, administration, support staff, faculty, and students.” This is what the senate seeks to do, cooperate and communicate with our all of our college and with those across the district.

Our executive team this year includes myself, Adam Aguirre as our Vice President, Liz Wright as our Secretary and Treasurer, Craig Coroneos as our Parliamentarian, and Sabrina Carey as our Historian. Our meetings occur on a Friday each month at 1 pm (typically the second Friday of the month and typically in Live Oak Hall 202, but please join our Canvas page for the formal meeting schedule). For more information including our meeting schedule and our notes, as well as notes and updates from various governing bodies at the college and across the district, you can join the senate’s Canvas page by contacting Liz Wright at mwright70@alamo.edu.

Feel free to contact me with any questions as well at mgardin@alamo.edu. But while I could tell you more about our aims, our achievements, our setbacks, and the inner workings of the senate, the only way any of this happens is the senators themselves, so I would like to allow you to get to know our 2018-2019 senators.

Wes Anderson teaches math and statistics.  He started part-time at NVC in 2000 and full-time in 2001.  He was not part of the original faculty senate but has served 3-4 terms now.  He says, “My view is that the faculty senate is there to represent the needs of faculty.  We are there to bring in ideas or complaints from faculty members, and address them with the college and/or district administration.” 

Sabrina J. Carey has been an English Instructor for three years now. She was an adjunct at NVC prior to being hired full time. Now she is the Faculty Senate Historian, and she thinks the primary function of the Faculty Senate is to represent faculty interests and concerns when decisions are being made.

Sarah Ball is an Instructor of History and is in her 4th year teaching full time at NVC. She teaches United States History with a Peace & Conflict emphasis. This is her first year serving in the Faculty Senate and believes the most important function of the Faculty Senate is to represent the faculty’s voice and interests regarding district policies and decisions.

Chris Harrison says he has been teaching at NVC for “…a number of years… since just before they opened Pecan Hall? 14 or 15 years? “ He teaches Anatomy and Physiology and General Biology, and this is his second term on the senate.  In his view, the Faculty Senate performs an important role in communicating faculty issues to the administration.  It gives the faculty more of a voice in the college.   It is also a great sounding board for faculty discussion regarding current issues on the campus.

Nancy Kaida has been a librarian with NVC since 2006, and she has worked on numerous college and district committees.  For her, the Faculty Senate provides a voice for matters that affect NVC as a whole.   

Heather McCreery has been a Clinical Research Coordinator faculty and Discipline Coordinator since 2009. This is her second, non-consecutive tenure on the Faculty Senate. Having seen its function first-hand over several years, she believes that the group serves an essential role as the central voice for the multiple interests of faculty across disciplines.    

Aaron Prado teaches music theory, ear training, as well as private piano and improvisation, and he directs the NVC Jazz Ensemble. He has been teaching at NVC for about 5 years and has been the Fine Arts and Kinesiology representative on the Faculty Senate for about 2 years. Outside of class, he is also a professional pianist and composer with regular performances in the area including every Friday evening at Jazz, Tx at the Pearl. He believes “the most important function of a faculty senate is that of classroom conscience, ethical watchdog, and moral compass in light of any well-meaning but misguided policies handed down from college and district administrations.” 

Liz Wright has taught psychology at NVC for ten years and has been involved with senate for four years as the Secretary. To her, the most important function of the senate is to disseminate information about district and college opportunities, operations, and problems. Many faculty may not have the opportunity to see the college inner workings, and serving on senate allows you to see those and to share the information you learn with your department. It also allows you to bring concerns from your department to the larger senate and have an impact on those issues.

Adam O. Aguirre has been an Anthropology Instructor and Discipline Coordinator at NVC for five years now. He was the Faculty Senate President from 2015-2017 and was happy to let someone else take over. Now he is the Faculty Senate Vice President, and he thinks the primary function of the Faculty Senate is two-fold: harvest faculty input about issues affecting them at any level (discipline, department, college, or district) and tirelessly represent faculty interests when decisions are being made.

Paul Martinez is a History Professor and has been with the college for 18 years. He helped initiated the Senate at NVC and has served as president 2007-2010 and 2017-2018 and has served as a senator for many years. He thinks that the senate plays a vital role in keeping faculty and administration focused on the mission of the college. 

Prakash Nair has been teaching Chemistry at NVC for the past 15 years (first 3 years as an Adjunct) and got involved with the senate in December of 2017. He says, “[I] am still trying to understand everything that the senate does. I think the senate plays an important role in representing and voicing the opinions of the faculty to the administration.”

Craig Coroneos has been teaching Humanities at NVC since 2002 and is currently an at-large Senator.  He is a former vice president of the Senate, an institution which he feels is essential for supporting the shared governance model at NVC.

Linda Reeves has been a librarian at NVC for 17 years and has been involved in the senate for much of that time. She values the senate as a vehicle for providing faculty with news about what is going on at both the college and district levels and for providing faculty with a voice to express their thoughts and concerns.

Brian Stout joined NVC as a biology faculty member in 2002.  As one of the founding members of the Faculty Senate, Brian has been a senator since its inception in 2004.  He has served as President of the Faculty Senate and as Chair of the Natural and Physical Sciences, and while both roles were challenging and rewarding, as Senate President, he thought there were more opportunities to influence policy across the district. He says, “Even during times when district offices seem oblivious to faculty concerns, I have seen the effectiveness of thoughtful diligence in altering opinions.” He believes the Faculty Senate should strive to maintain productive discourse between faculty, staff, administration, and students.

Eric Madrid has been a faculty member at NVC for seven years: five as an adjunct and two full-time.  He is currently in his first year on the Faculty Senate and has enjoyed learning about how the college functions and how things function across the district.  Eric believes the purpose of the senate is to act as a communication tool between the faculty and administration that helps to prioritize issues and clarify messages we hear from district for faculty.

 

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