Ms. Vavra joined the Blinn College faculty in 1996. She completed her undergraduate work in Speech Communication at Texas A&M University and her graduate work in Communication at the University of Houston. She has completed post-graduate work in Health Communication at Texas A&M University.
In addition to teaching Speech courses, Ms. Vavra has been very active in student organizations. She has served as the Director of the Blinn College Cheerleaders and as an Advisor for Phi Theta Kappa (international honor society for two year colleges).
For her dedication and leadership in education, Ms. Vavra has received the NISOD award and the Robert Giles Distinguished Advisor Award. She has also been nominated three times for the Blinn College Teaching Excellence Award.
Ms. Vavra is active on campus and in the community. She volunteers at St. Mary’s Church and tutors at Krause Elementary in the HOSTS program. She has also served on the Washington County Relay For Life Committee (American Cancer Society).
A member of the Blinn College Fine Arts faculty since 1999, Karin Dahmann received a B.A. degree from Sam Houston State University and a M.Ed degree from Stephen F. Austin University.
Prior to joining the Blinn College faculty, she was instructor of Speech at Weatherford Junior College in Weatherford, Tx. and Tarrant County College in Fort Worth, TX. She has a wealth of experience in Speech and in Theatre Arts, having taught Speech, Theatre, and English at Weatherford High School for twenty years.
She serves Blinn College as a member of the Professional Development Committee and has served as a Phi Theta Kappa advisor. Through her association with Phi Theta Kappa she was nominated for the Texas Hall of Honor for Outstanding Advisors.
The Fine Arts Department is appreciative of the professional experiences she brings to our campus community.
A member of the Blinn College Fine Arts faculty since 2004, Tracy Sommerlatte Matthies is a 2001 graduate of Blinn College. In 2002, she earned a B.A. degree in Speech Communication from Texas A&M University with a minor in journalism. She completed a M.A. degree in Speech Communication, emphasis in health communication, from Texas A&M University in 2004. While working as a teaching assistant at Texas A&M, she realized her passion for teaching college students.
Professionally, Tracy served as the 2008-2009 president of the Blinn College Professional Association, serves on various Blinn College committees, and teaches five speech communication courses and one yoga class during a regular semester. She is a member of the Texas Community College Teachers Association and has been active in the National Communication Association. She also served as advisor of the Beta Alpha chapter of Phi Theta Kappa from 2005-2007.
In the local community, she is a member and past officer of the Washington County A&M Club and has been involved with the Washington County Relay For Life at the committee level. She is also involved in her church.
Tracy Matthies is enthusiastic about serving her community, being a part of the Blinn College community, and teaching and learning from her students. As an alumnus of Blinn College, she is delighted to serve and teach at the first county-owned junior college in Texas.
Theatre Arts Director since 1990, Bradley Nies earned an A.S. in Theatre Arts from Amarillo College, a B.S. degree in Radio/Television/Film from West Texas State University, and a M.A. degree in Communication (Theatre Emphasis).
In 2007 Mr. Nies received the Blinn College Professional Association Teaching Excellence Award. In 2008, he was honored by the Texas Educational Theatre Association with the Community College Educator of the Year Award.
He currently holds memberships through such organizations as the Texas Educational Theatre Association and the Texas Community College Speech and Theatre Association.
Through Blinn College, Bradley Nies has served in various office appointments for the Blinn College Professional Association, as well as the Blinn College Faculty Council.
Under the direction of Bradley Nies, students enrolled in the Blinn College Theatre Arts program actively participate in Delta Psi Omega, the national theatre fraternity, and the Texas Community College Speech and Theatre Association Play Festival.
Mr. Nies's years of committed service to his students and Blinn College have provided a venue of exciting and engaging theatrical productions and classroom experiences.
SPCH 1311 Introduction to Speech
SPCH 1315 Public Speaking
SPCH 1318 Interpersonal Communication
SPCH 1321 Business & Professional Speaking
SPCH 1342 Voice and Diction
SPCH 2341 Oral Interpretation