By Perla Arellano and Amanda Castro-Crist
Three faculty members were recommended and approved for tenure at the semester’s first meeting of the Amarillo College board of regents Jan. 28.
The people approved were Michelle Orcutt, a speech communications instructor; Sam Schwarzlose, a biology assistant professor; and Mark Usnick, an engineering computer science associate professor.
“They are not just worthy of this designation but worthy of their colleagues following their role model,” said Dr. Russell Lowery-Hart, vice president of academic affairs.
Lowery-Hart also was recognized at the meeting with the 2013 Instructional Leadership Award from the National Council of Instructional Administrators.
Tray Jimenez, Student Government Association vice president, presented the SGA report. Jimenez said there will be a poetry slam and free lunch with poet, Asia, from noon to 1 p.m. Feb. 13 in the College Union Building on the Washington Street Campus.
Jimenez also announced the speaker chosen for the 2014 Distinguished Lecture Series. Paul Rusesabagina, subject of the 2004 film, Hotel Rwanda, will speak at 6 p.m. March 4 the Amarillo Globe-News Center for the Performing Arts.
Rusesabagina was portrayed in the Academy Award-nominated film for saving 1,268 refigees during the Rwandan genocide of 1994.
“A very ordinary guy doing extraordinary things, which goes with our institutional theme, which is ‘The Power of the Ordinary,’” Jimenez said. “Really an extraordinary man; I myself am really excited to have him.”
There will be a private reception at 5:30 p.m. before the lecture. Tickets will cost $50, which will cover the reception, lecture and reserved seating.
Tickets for the lecture only will cost $5 for students and $15 for the general public.
Before the lecture, SGA members will host a viewing of Hotel Rwanda Feb. 20 at the Downtown Campus which will include a free dinner. The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. with dinner, and the film will start at 7 p.m.
Lee Colaw, chief information officer, presented technology updates to the regents.
Colaw detailed usage statistics, success rates of technology initiatives implemented this year and upcoming plans for the college.
Other motions approved during the meeting include:
• Purchase of two full-motion driving simulator systems with equipped trailer for $279,000. The simulators will be used in the truck driving training program on the East Campus.
• Three instructors were approved for appointment.
• James Hughes was hired as a utility power worker instructor and replacement for Terry Tucker. Sarah Milford was hired as a vocational nursing instructor to replace Tamara Rhodes. Yufeng Sun was hired as a physical sciences professor.
• Contingency allowance for additional work on Dutton Hall to re-work the handicap ramp, stairway and sidewalk.
• Purchase and installation of new equipment for the energy management system in the Washington Street Campus.
• Approval for the final payment for the Lynn Library second floor renovations.
• Request for the use of $60,000 from the Harrington Library Consortium endowment to benefit the consortium.
• Bids on multiple properties and the annexation of other properties in the college district.