For our Winter Term, in addition to faculty and staff teaching their favorite subjects, we partner with local experts to broaden the experiential learning that is a hallmark of this St. Michael’s program. This year includes a diverse panel of guest lecturers – four of whom are introduced here - all outstanding representatives from their respective fields.
Nel Carroll: Winter Term Photography Course
Nel Carroll is the Director of Visuals at the Austin American-Statesman. She has been at the Statesman for 24 years, starting as a photo editor. Before coming to Austin, she was a sports photo editor at USA TODAY. Ms. Carroll began her career as a photographer in Binghamton, NY after graduating from Syracuse University's Newhouse Communications school with a B.S. in Photojournalism. During her time in Austin, she has been an adjunct at UT and Texas State.
Course Goals: To help students understand different types of photography, learn the principles of making a good photograph and then be able to put those principles into their own photography. Students use their phones so much for photos now that all the composition factors they are learning can be used daily.
Carrie Keith: Winter Term Interior Design Course
Originally from Texas, Ms. Keith has also lived on both coasts. She has a fine arts background, is passionate about interior design and has been working as an independent designer for the past 10 years.
Course Goals: Our goal is to create a comprehensive design plan for a room of the student’s choice by going through a step-by-step process, pairing design theories with technology to create a final presentation to be shared with the class. One exercise involved creating a mood board. By developing their own mood boards, their potential “client” is provided a snapshot into the overall design by demonstrating use of color theory, inspiration sources, to-scale recommendations, and cohesive styling.
Pam LeBlanc: Winter Term Adventure Journalism Course
Ms. Leblanc grew up in Austin and attended Texas A&M University. She worked at the Plano Star-Courier and The Monitor in McAllen, Texas, before joining the staff of the Austin American-Statesman in 1998. During a nearly 21-year career at the Statesman, she wrote about fitness, travel and adventure. Today as a freelance writer specializing in stories about outdoor adventure and recreation, from backpacking and scuba diving to paddling and snow skiing. Her work has appeared in Texas Monthly, Texas Highways Magazine, Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine, Real Simple, AARP, Austin Monthly, Texas Co-op Power, Tribeza, the Houston Chronicle and more. Her first book, “My Stories, All True: J. David Bamberger on Life as an Entrepreneur and a Conservationist,” was released in September 2020.
Course Goals: The ability to write a solid and entertaining story about an outdoor adventure. They should know how to research, interview sources, use quotes, formulate a lede and nut graf, and structure both a profile and a first-person story.
Arturo Pinzon: Winter Term Networking & Cybersecurity Course
Arturo Pinzon is president and CEO of his own company, SpanishTech LLC, a professional English to Spanish Communications and Technical Integration Solutions Company in Austin. His is also a current St. Michael’s parent. He has a degree in electrical engineering and computer engineering from Bradley University and works with a bilingual technology company on databases, software development, infrastructure and enterprise level server configurations, installations, and network solutions for organizations.
Course Goals: The objective is to introduce networking and cybersecurity, to spark interest in the kids to go beyond being a user-consumer and see the behind the scenes on how things tick and perhaps spark some curiosity about this important technology field.