June 10, 2014
Seven faculty members with almost 70 years of experience at Blinn College have been named assistant deans for the College’s Visual/Performing Arts, Humanities, and Business/Agriculture/Kinesiology divisions.
Craig Jeffrey and Deborah Vavra will be assistant deans in the Division of Visual & Performing Arts, John Schaffer and Amy Winningham will serve as assistant deans in the Division of Humanities and Jennifer Garcia, Bryn Behnke and David Corkran will serve as assistant deans in the Division of Business, Agriculture and Kinesiology.
The assistant deans serve all campuses district-wide, providing assistance and leadership to the academic deans in developing and maintaining curriculum and programs. Assistant deans will promote activities, strategies, and processes that prepare students for success while meeting the requirements of all internal and external accreditation entities. Additionally, they will help lead their divisions in planning, development, implementation and evaluation tasks.
Announcements will be forthcoming regarding assistant deans in the Science/Engineering/Math and Social Sciences divisions. Moreover, the College anticipates announcing department head hires by the end of the month.
All assistant deans and department heads will begin their new duties on August 20.
Deborah Vavra – Assistant Dean, Visual & Performing Arts
Vavra has served 18 years at Blinn College, including the past year as interim division chair for Visual & Performing Arts. She was assistant division chair from 2002-13, and has been a member of the Visual & Performing Arts faculty since 1995.
Vavra received the NISOD Excellence Award in 2003 and 2013 and has received numerous honors for her role as a Phi Theta Kappa advisor. She prepared documents for Blinn’s SACS monitoring report in 2013 and was a member of the SACS writing team for faculty credentialing standards. She is also a current member of Blinn’s curriculum, program review, campus climate, academic standards and communication studies assessment committees.
Vavra earned her bachelor’s degree in speech communication in 1989 and her master’s in communication from the University of Houston in 1992. She has also completed 15 hours of post-graduate coursework at Texas A&M University.
Craig Jeffrey – Assistant Dean, Visual & Performing Arts
Jeffrey has been a full-time instructor on the Bryan campus for more than three years, teaching a variety of architecture courses as well as Arts Design I. He has been a coordinator for Arts and Architecture since Spring 2012 and was named interim assistant division chair in Fall 2013 before being named interim division chair in Spring 2014. Prior to joining the Blinn faculty, he taught Introduction to Architecture at Lee College.
Jeffrey earned his associate’s degree from Lee in 2004 and earned his bachelor’s (2008) and master’s (2010) degrees from Texas A&M.
John Schaffer – Assistant Dean, Humanities
A Blinn faculty member since 1992, Schaffer has served as Humanities division chair since 2010 and served as assistant division chair from 1999-2010. As a division leader, he has managed assessment/curriculum projects and been responsible for supervising faculty, scheduling and registration, budgets, hiring and textbook adoptions. He has also served as Council of Divisions president and served on the College’s Administrative Council, Curriculum Committee, Final Course Grade Appeals Committee, Appeals Committee for Scholastic Suspension and the program review committees for Humanities and Academic Technology.
Schaffer earned his bachelor’s in history from Texas A&M in 1984 and his master’s in English in 1991.
Amy Winningham – Assistant Dean, Humanities
A Blinn English instructor since 2008, Winningham was named interim division chair for Humanities earlier this year.
Winningham is a current member of Blinn’s QEP development team, D2L course review team, the Blinn Professional Association and is a member of the Texas Community College Teachers Association. She has also volunteered as a University Interscholastic League district and regional judge since 2009.
Winningham earned her bachelor’s degree in English in 2003 and her master’s in English in 2005, both from Stephen F. Austin State University.
Jennifer Garcia – Assistant Dean, Business, Agriculture and Kinesiology
Garcia came to Blinn in 2002 as Applied Business program coordinator and was named assistant division chair in 2008. As a division leader, she has supervised faculty and assisted in faculty performance reviews, class scheduling submissions, program budget requests, and the textbook selection process.
Garcia was named a NISOD Teaching Excellence Award winner in 2012, and is a member of the Texas Community College Teachers Association, the National Business Education Association, the Texas Business and Technology Education Association and the Texas Community College Instructional Leaders.
Garcia earned associate’s degrees in accounting and business administration and management at Blinn before earning her Bachelor of Business Administration in General Business from Sam Houston State University in 2002. She earned her real estate certificate from Blinn that same year and earned her master’s in educational administration from Lamar University in 2013.
Bryn Behnke – Assistant Dean, Business, Agriculture and Kinesiology
Behnke has been a Blinn faculty member since 2009, and was named an assistant division chair in January. As assistant dean, he has helped lead the department’s SACS review and compliance initiative and implemented the semester schedule.
Behnke was a finalist for Blinn’s Teaching Excellence Award in 2012 and 2014 and was named the College’s outstanding organization advisor in 2011. He has been an advisor for the College’s Agricultural Club since 2012.
Behnke earned his associate’s degree from Blinn before earning his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Sam Houston State.
David Corkran – Assistant Dean, Business, Agriculture and Kinesiology
Corkran has been with Blinn since 2006 and was named an assistant division chair in 2008. In 2011, he was named division chair and was responsible for budgeting, hiring, curriculum, class scheduling, course syllabi creation and review, instructor evaluations and equipment purchases and maintenance.
Corkran earned his bachelor’s (1992) and master’s (1994) degrees in kinesiology from Sam Houston State.