The Rotary Club of Humble is in discussions with members to change its name, possibly to the Lake Houston Area Rotary Club.

In an update of board discussions at the club’s weekly virtual meeting, Club President Mike Kevlin laid out the process for the proposed name change. Discussions will be held at a Rotary meeting in August. Members will vote by email to amend the bylaws allowing for the change.

After the board announcements, Kevlin introduced guest speaker Dr. Katherine Persson, president of Lone Star College-Kingwood.

Dr. Katherine Persson says Kingwood college has ‘gone through hoops’ to get ready

“One good thing about Hurricane Harvey was that it gave our faculty invaluable experience when we had to close the campus and move to online classes,” Persson said at the July 22 meeting. “Our faculty and students in March were ahead of the game compared to many other campuses. One faculty member actually told me he was ‘glad for Harvey’ because of the experience he gained.”

Speaking virtually from her home in Splendora, Persson told more than 30 Rotarians gathered in front of their computers that she was concerned she would put them to sleep with the statistics she was about to present.

The data, however, was a fascinating snapshot of how successful the Kingwood campus has been in educating students since the pandemic began in March.

The Spring 2020 semester finished with 11,330 students while, a year earlier, 11,675 students completed courses, and 42% of 2020 students received an A while 34% of 2019 students received an A.

“It is tougher to get better grades online than it is in person,” Persson explained. “We had fewer failures in 2020, 9% of our students, compared to 11.6% of our students failing in 2019.”

The switch to online learning, however, did cause more students to pull out of class in 2020; 2% of registered students had an incomplete in 2020 compared to 0.3% in 2019.

Kingwood registered 330 more students for the summer classes compared to last summer, a 13-15% increase in enrollment, credit hours and contact hours even though classes are online except for a few health-care and fire classes.

As for Fall 2020, Persson said staff has “… gone through hoops to get the system, processes and buildings ready.” Here is the safety blueprint for summer and fall classes:

- Distance decals have been placed on the sidewalk. Students and faculty go to a check-in tent to receive Ziploc packages containing gloves and a mask. Temperatures are taken at a kiosk and a health declaration form is completed. Then they are allowed into one of two buildings open on the Kingwood campus.

“We expect 53% of our classes this fall online, 18% face-to-face, and 29% a hybrid,” Persson said. “Hybrids may include only one or two times on campus.”

She praised the ingenuity of the faculty, for example, the nursing faculty who created software simulation programs to assist students when they take their nursing boards.

- Student or faculty members who discover they may have been infected or test positive will not be identified but will list when, where and who they were in contact with and those individuals will be contacted by the college.

“In the future, we probably won’t need as many classrooms so that’s why the only building approved to be built is the Health Professions Center which is needed for the hands-on training for the health professions,” Persson said.

The college is enlarging detention ponds near the music building and behind the baseball field and would like to construct a fire science building near there.

As the meeting ended, Memorial Hermann Northeast COO Noel Cardenas said COVID-19 patients have finally fallen below 100. He said many patients were “lost” and the staff has been devastated by the deaths.

In response to a question about timely testing, Cardenas suggested Rotarians go to their primary care physician to write an order for an expedited test. Once again, Cardenas recommended all homes have a thermometer and pulse oximeter to measure oxygen which should be higher than 92%.

Among the “Zooming” viewers was Justine Bonnett from France, who was to be a Rotarian exchange student before the program was paused for a year.

Kevlin announced that virtual meetings will continue to be held through August, the Rotary budget has been approved, and a grant has been approved allotting $8,000 to purchase 450 backpacks for the Lake Houston YMCA’s annual Operation Backpack. Half will come from the Humble club and half from the district.

The Rotary Club of Humble meets virtually on Wednesdays at noon. To learn more about the advantage of being a Rotarian, visit

Tom Broad
Author: Tom BroadEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Besides being a proud graduate of The University of Nebraska-Lincoln and, therefore, a Cornhusker, I am retired from Memorial Hermann. I am a correspondent and columnist for Lake Houston's hometown paper, The Tribune, as well as a director of the Lake Houston Redevelopment Corporation, a member of the board of the Humble Area Assistance Ministries, and Volunteer Extraordinaire for the Lake Houston Area Chamber.

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