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San Jacinto College
News Release
Thursday, September 29, 2011

San Jacinto College appoints seven new deans across all three campus locations

PASADENA, Texas — With the start of the Fall 2011 semester underway, San Jacinto College welcomes seven new deans to the Central, South, and North campuses.

At Central, Veronica Jammer steps into the position of dean of health sciences; Dr. Deborah Myles serves as dean of student development; and Jeffrey Parks is dean of industrial and applied technology. At the South campus, Dr. Kerry Mix takes on the role of dean of enrollment services, and Dr. Barbara Ake will serve as dean of allied health and sciences. North campus welcomes Serita Dickey as dean of allied health and sciences, and Shawn Silman as dean of liberal arts.

Central Campus

Jammer steps into her new position as dean of health sciences at the Central campus after approximately 20 years holding various positions at San Jacinto College. She assumes the duties of the dean position, once held by the late Barbara Taplin, who passed away earlier this year. Jammer's experience as a registered nurse includes serving as a school nurse for an elementary school, a family nurse practitioner for Baylor College of Medicine's Teen Clinic, and a home health nurse.

"I'm excited to have been entrusted with this responsibly," said Jammer. "The previous leadership makes this a very tough act to follow. Barbara (Taplin) was always a forward thinking person. You have to look beyond one program and look at the big picture. Allied health means you have an obligation to all programs. She taught me to follow policies, seek help, be consistent, listen to the people you work with, and don't assume anything; come in with an open mind. She stressed integrity. Our integrity and ethical decision making is foundational for what we do here."

Jammer earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Texas Health Science Center and a Master of Science in Nursing from Texas Woman's University, where she also obtained family nurse practitioner certification. She is currently enrolled in the nursing PhD program at University of Texas Medical Branch - Galveston.

"I look forward to working with both campuses and pulling our resources together to prepare our students, and provide an academic environment of continuity and consistency," said Jammer. "I would like to continue to prepare our students to be job ready - prepared for the current industry and what is in store in the future, including preventative health care."

Myles' new position as dean of student development at the Central campus follows her four years with the College's North campus as the student success center counselor and director of educational planning and counseling. She will oversee student discipline and engagement and manage the first year experience program, student life, educational planning and counseling, career and employment, and plans to expand the Never Too Late program for nontraditional students.

Prior to her arrival at SJC, she taught psychology at Houston Community College, served as director of student services for Westwood College, taught in Houston Independent School District for several years, and continues to work in private practice as a licensed professional counselor.

"I'm definitely excited about this opportunity," said Myles. "The field of education, plus helping people as a counselor, has always been a passion for me. In the words of Winston Churchill, ‘We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.’ Coming to work everyday allows me the opportunity to give students the encouragement to succeed because an education is necessary for anything that you do in life. The most rewarding feeling in this position is helping students set their goals and then watching them reach their goals.

Myles earned her Bachelor of Science in Education and Master of Arts in Counseling from Prairie View A&M University. She received her Doctorate in Counselor Education from Texas Southern University. She said her plans include continuing to ensure a welcoming and inviting atmosphere for San Jacinto College students and encouraging them to utilize all of the resources available, especially in student development.

"I want every student to know the value of a college education," said Myles. "When I see students graduate with their degree or certificate, it shows that they’re disciplined, dedicated and determined. As a student strives for an education, along the journey, he or she is going to learn so many valuable lifelong learning skills. I'm grateful for every opportunity to help students through this journey and to share my story along the way.

Stepping into the position of dean of industrial and applied technology, Parks will oversee occupational and technical programs at the Central campus. With more than 20 years of experience in higher education, Parks’ previous experience includes serving as an administrator at Tyler Junior College, and administrator and faculty member at Tarrant County College, Mesalands Community College, and Northeast Community College. He said goals for his first year with SJC include helping technical education areas receive what they need to continue a successful track.

“I want to serve as a conduit to help the instructional specialists attain what they need in their departments,” said Parks, who also plans to continue the College’s outreach initiatives. "I’ve lived in the state of Texas for about 15 years and was very aware of  San Jacinto College’s reputation as a leader in technical education. The College has a heavy technical footprint, and that’s why I looked forward to coming to work here.”

With a strong background working alongside industry, Parks' education includes a Bachelor of Science in Technology from Wayne State College and a Master of Science in Human Resource Development from the University of Texas at Tyler. He said he hopes to further educate future and current students about the variety of career opportunities that result from an education.

"Community outreach is definitely something we should all strive for, from talking to local schools, to local organizations and becoming involved in various community groups," said Parks. "I think the biggest thing we're always trying to do as educators is to open students’ eyes to the opportunities available and the goals they can achieve through education.”

South Campus

As dean of enrollment services for the South campus, Mix will supervise and lead the campus' enrollment services office, testing center, financial aid, the Center of Excellence for Veteran Student Success, and the information desk. He came to the College in 2010 as an administrative intern. Prior to that time, his most recent experiences included serving as a research assistant for the Center for Community College Student Engagement, and as a membership liaison for the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development.

Mix said goals for his newest position include maintaining alignment of the division’s operations to the College’s four strategic goals – student success, P-16 pipeline, workforce and economic development, and our people. Also, as the campus undergoes construction for its new welcome center, Mix said he'll continue to increase awareness of the new centralized environment for student services.

A graduate of a community college, Mix earned his Associate of Applied Science from Coastal Bend College. He received his Bachelor of Applied Arts and Science and Master of Education from the University of Houston-Victoria. He attained his Doctor of Philosophy from The University of Texas at Austin’s Community College Leadership Program.

"Overall, the division strives to provide a quality student experience," said Mix. "It would be a great success if I were able to articulate the division’s story in the context of the College’s goals."

Ake begins her first semester with San Jacinto College, after spending three years as chief academic officer with Aultman College of Nursing and Health Sciences. Her prior experience includes 16 years of teaching in higher education and 30 years working in the health care field. She has traveled the world as a health care professional. Some of her accomplishments include practicing as a nurse in Paris, France; researching women's health and nursing care delivery in Sydney, Australia; and researching women's health in the Canary Islands of Spain.

"I've always been in health care; that's my first education," said Ake. "My mother was a nurse and worked at the hospital across the street from where we lived. I remember always being around doctors, nurses, and laboratory technologists. Science makes me tick, and that's what health care is all about."

Ake became a registered nurse in 1982 from Wascana Institute of Applied Arts and Technology and earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Saskatchewan. She earned her Master of Science in Administration from Central Michigan University and her Doctorate in Health Care Education from Nova Southeastern University.

Ake said her goals as dean of allied health and sciences at the South campus will include faculty leadership development; collaboration among team members within the divisions; review and investigate new grant possibilities; professional development for faculty; assist with new hires in biology, chemistry and vocational nursing; and develop annual priorities for staff and faculty within the division.

"When I looked at the population of this college, there are students from all over the world with various backgrounds," said Ake. "With this diversity, brings tremendous benefits for the students because the best way to care for people is for those people to identify with you."

North Campus

As new dean of allied health and natural sciences at the North campus, Dickey already holds more than 30 years of experience teaching nursing at SJC. She said one of her main goals for this year includes working collaboratively across the health sciences division and across all three college locations. 

“I will challenge all members of the division to work collaboratively to develop more efficient processes that allow us to work more closely with students to retain them and to help them achieve their educational goals here at SJC,” said Dickey. “The goal is to help students complete their certificate of technology and/or associate degrees here at SJC, and then successfully transition into the workplace as a work-ready graduate or to transfer to a senior institution."

Dickey earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Texas System School of Nursing at Houston and her Master of Science in Nursing from Texas Woman’s University. She is the recipient of a 2011 NISOD Award of Excellence and serves as director of SACS compliance. 

“Becoming the dean of allied health and natural sciences at the North Campus is a dream come true for me,” she said. “After 30 years as a faculty member, department chair, and associate dean here, I now have the privilege of helping to guide the department chairs, program directors, faculty and staff who directly touch our students every day; this represents the high point in my career as a nurse educator. I am humbled by this opportunity; I am energized every day by the opportunity to impact the lives of the students who have entrusted us with their academic future.”

Silman’s newest position as dean of liberal arts at the North campus follows 15 successful years in athletics administration at SJC. Previous SJC positions include athletic director, women’s basketball coach and kinesiology department chair. Silman said he aims to ensure that decisions made as dean of liberal arts are centered around what’s best for the campus’ student population.

“I plan on being responsive to our students needs with regard to the class schedules we build and office hours we maintain so that we are available when they need us,” said Silman. “As our enrollment continues to increase, we have to have a growth plan and a vision to accommodate these students by hiring qualified instructors, as well as efficiently managing and utilizing our classrooms.”

Silman holds a bachelor’s degree from East Texas State University and a Master of Science in Education from Henderson State University. He is currently pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy from Capella University. He is a 1999 NISOD Award of Excellence recipient.

“As a dean, I am fortunate to have a strong faculty who have a wealth of experience and knowledge,” said Silman. “Being surrounded by quality people who are proficient at their craft, makes any challenges associated with this job enjoyable and rewarding.”

About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for 50 years. The College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of more than 29,000 students in over 140 degree and certificate options, including university transfer and career-track choices. Students also benefit from the College’s job training programs, renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College. Your Goals. Your College.

For more information about San Jacinto College, please call 281-998-6150, visit, or find us on Facebook at

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