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Texas District 2 Rep. Dan Flynn gets first-hand look at Blinn College’s diverse educational and career training opportunities

September 8, 2017

State Rep. Dan Flynn received a first-hand look at the variety of educational and career training services offered at Blinn College’s Brenham and Bryan campuses, and glimpsed the future of the RELLIS Campus during a visit to the Blinn College District on Friday.

 

Rep. Dan Flynn receives a guided tour of the Blinn College-Bryan Campus on Friday, Sept. 8.

 

“This visit was valuable in allowing me to see first-hand how top Texas community colleges such as Blinn offer a wide variety of services to their communities,” Rep. Flynn said. “It also allowed me to learn more about the ways in which I can help community colleges meet the growing demand for affordable academic and skills-training pathways.”

Rep. Flynn (R-District 2) toured the RELLIS Campus and witnessed the progress of Blinn’s new facility on the site. Once complete, the building will span 83,000 square feet and include 18 classrooms and eight laboratories. The four-story facility will serve as many as 2,500 Blinn students completing their freshman- and sophomore-level courses before seamlessly enrolling in degree-granting programs with Texas A&M University System institutions.

“It was a privilege for Blinn College to show Representative Flynn the incredible programs we offer students from across the State of Texas, and to discuss the ways in which the RELLIS Campus will change the way institutions across the globe look at higher education,” said Dr. Mary Hensley, Chancellor of the Blinn College District.

In May 2016, Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp announced plans to create a new research and development campus to help companies move ideas from the laboratory to the marketplace, while also offering a new path toward a college degree. One aspect of the RELLIS Campus plan involves the development of a multi-institutional education center that will provide space for Texas A&M System member institutions and Blinn to offer a variety of curricula.

The RELLIS Campus establishes a new educational community combining a major university system and a community college at a single physical location. This shared location will allow Blinn students to enroll seamlessly with leading universities throughout the Texas A&M System in the years to come, and creates opportunities for Blinn to partner with other organizations and institutions located on the RELLIS Campus, including high-end, innovative, private research and development companies, the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES), and the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX).

“The faculty, staff, and administrators at Blinn College are doing remarkable work to prepare students for employment or academic transfer,” Rep. Flynn said. “I particularly enjoyed seeing the work taking place at RELLIS to offer students incredible new opportunities in the high-demand fields that fuel the Texas economy.”

 

Blinn College Dean of Health Sciences Tom Lescarbeau (left) demonstrates Blinn College’s Surgical Technology Lab at the Health Science Center Campus in Bryan for Legislative and Committee Director Kelli Linza, Rep. Dan Flynn, and Blinn College Chancellor Dr. Mary Hensley on Friday, Sept. 8.

 

Rep. Flynn toured Blinn’s Health Science Center (HSC) in Bryan, which serves as the home of Blinn’s Division of Health Sciences. The HSC includes Blinn’s Simulation and Clinical Labs area, a 26,000-square-foot training facility that allows associate degree nursing, vocational nursing, physical therapist assistant, radiologic technology, fire science, and emergency medical services students to simulate myriad scenarios in a variety of hospital and outpatient settings.

The facility includes an EMS lab with an ambulance simulator, two operating rooms with attached scrub areas, six high-fidelity intensive care unit rooms, 16 mid-fidelity private hospital rooms, six low fidelity private hospital rooms, a physical therapy lab, two radiologic technology x-ray suites, a virtual IV training room, a home setting, and an outpatient clinical space.

Rep. Flynn also met faculty at the A.W. Hodde, Jr. Technical Education Center in Brenham, where contractors recently completed the new Technical Education Annex. This expansion of the Hodde Center was funded through a $1.35 million grant obtained through the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s Economic Development Assistance Program, and will allow Blinn to introduce new programs and courses to meet the continuously evolving demand for local job training.

 

Blinn College Welding Instructor John McGee shows State Rep. John Flynn the welding equipment students use in the A.W. Hodde, Jr. Technical Education Center in Brenham on Friday, Sept. 8.

 

Rep. Flynn’s Brenham Campus tour included a visit to the W.J. “Bill” Rankin Agricultural Complex. Built in 2011, Blinn’s 20,200-square-foot agricultural complex houses classrooms, laboratories, offices, an agricultural mechanics shop, a livestock show arena, and a fully-automated greenhouse.

Rep. Flynn is serving his sixth term representing House District 2 in the Texas House of Representatives. Former Gov. Rick Perry commissioned Rep. Flynn as an admiral in the Texas Navy, a title reserved for honoring those who have provided great service to Texas. During the 85th Legislative Session, Rep. Flynn served as Chair of the Pensions Committee and served on the Defense and Veterans Affairs Committee, and is past Vice Chair of the National Conference of State Legislatures Standing Committees.

A native Texan, Rep. Flynn had a distinguished career in the banking industry, including service as the Deputy Banking Commissioner for the State of Texas. Prior to his election to the Texas House of Representatives in 2002, he served as county judge of Van Zandt County.