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First endowed chairs at CCCCD named
By Stefanie Ackerman, Staff Writer
To spread the wealth and prove Collin Count Community College District a viable source of higher education, CCCCD officials created its first endowed chairs.
Both chairs were created by $1 million donations from philanthropists from the area and abroad.
Dr. Lisa Roy-Davis, professor of English, was named to the Lebrecht Chair of Scholarly and Civic Engagement, and Dr. Joyce Swegle, professor of nursing, was named to the Dickinson Endowed Chair in Nursing.
Royden L. Lebrecht, of Tuscon, Ariz., donated $1 million to the Collin in March 2005, which he intended to be used for the establishment of a chair and scholarships for students. The Lebrecht Endowed Chair for Scholarly and Civic Engagement was established to recognize his commitment to education and the community. Lebrecht supported a number of charitable and civic organizations and believed that education created opportunity.
“Royden loved Texas and loved community colleges. He was very important to us as a leader in business and civic engagement. We want to preserve his example of citizenship, so we are creating an endowed chair in his name to continue his legacy,” said Dr. Cary Israel, president of CCCCD.
The Dickinson Endowed Chair in Nursing was established in January 2006 with a $1 million gift by Richard Dickinson, of McKinney, on behalf of his mother, Florence Marie. The endowment will further the attraction and retention of highly qualified nursing faculty as well as support student scholarships.
Both $1 million dollar gifts are tied for the largest donation amounts ever given to the district.
Roy-Davis, 37, of Plano is a professor of English at Collin since August 2003. She holds a bachelor of arts in English from Atlantic Union College in South Lancaster, Mass., a master of arts in English from La Sierra University in Riverside, Calif., and a doctorate with a specialty in 20th Century American Literature, U.S. Latina Writers from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Roy-Davis was given the 2005 Ambassador Award from the college’s Center for Scholarly and Civic Engagement and was named Outstanding Faculty Member of the Year for the Communications and Humanities Department for 2003-04. She is a member of the National Council of Teachers of English, NCTE’s Latino/a Caucus, the College English Association and the Modern Language Association. Currently, she is the chair of the Mexican-American Field of Study Task Force.
Her passion for interdisciplinary study have led her to create a project that reaches out to the community members of Collin County, but provides students and faculty with a way to engage and work on it as well.
Roy-Davis’ project is to write down the stories of Collin County residents, who have immigrated from other countries.
“The idea is to gather but also use as research for students and turn it over to others in the community,” Roy-Davis said. “Ideally I’d like to teach our students to change the course of national discussion. If you gather first person experiences and engage with that type of story, it changes the discussion.”
Her project will begin in January 2007. She will be the named chair, which she said is “exciting” and “affirming,” for two years, then she’ll have to be asked back to continue her large scope project.
From 1995 to 2003, the Collin Nursing Department program tripled its annual enrollments and graduated 424 students. Last year, the program began admitting students twice a year to meet demand. For Collin nursing students, the average pass rate on the state licensure exam is an impressive 96.87 percent, CCCCD officials said.
“To fill the desperate need for qualified nurses, we need to take advantage of every opportunity to expand our capacities,” said Merry McBryde-Foster, dean of health sciences and emergency services. “This gift will mean a great deal to the nursing program and our students.”
To compensate for the demand for nurses, the chair was created and Swegle was named.
Swegle received her doctorate in nursing from Texas Woman's University. Her initial nursing education was from an associate degree nursing program in Kansas City, Kan. She received her bachelor's degree in psychiatric rehabilitation from Central Missouri State and her master's education in nursing from Vanderbilt University.
She came to Collin in the fall of 2002 with a varied experience background in nursing, including home health, long term care and community mental health. Her teaching experience includes clinical staff development and quality management for health care institutions and baccalaureate nursing education at Texas Woman's University. Her expertise in quality management, clinical service and nursing education makes her an effective role model and teacher for the last semester nursing courses at Collin. Swegle was not immediately available for comment.
The endowments will be administered through the college’s Foundation and Development Office.
Contact staff writer Stefanie Ackerman at 972-398-4265 or email@example.com.
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