Ever since her days dressing up in a bathrobe as a child, Erica Hughes knew she wanted to be a judge. After years of hard work, she achieved her goal in the historic 2018 election that saw 17 African American women elected to judgeships in Harris County, all of whom were recently sworn into office in early 2019.
In addition to now presiding over the Harris County Criminal Court at Law No. 3 and serving as a judge advocate in the Texas Army National Guard, Judge Hughes also finds time to shape young legal minds as an adjunct professor at San Jacinto College.
“I’ve always liked to teach and have a passion for it,” she said. “It’s very rewarding to witness students achieve goals and to hear about their successes. That’s why I keep coming back to San Jacinto College every semester.”
A faculty member at San Jacinto College North Campus since 2010, Hughes teaches civil litigation, interviewing, investigating, and family law, and is beloved by students and well-respected by her fellow faculty members, says Jeanette Liberty, San Jac’s paralegal program director.
“Erica is such an outstanding role model, and our students look to her as someone aspirational,” she said. “By becoming so successful, Erica puts in students’ minds that they are capable, too.”
“I want to convey to students that they can be what they want to be,” Hughes said. “There may be roadblocks or obstacles, but don’t be defeated by those circumstances. Those goals may be delayed, but not denied. Don’t let anyone dim your light. I have taught in this position since 2010, and now I have this new role. Don’t be afraid of change and trying new things.”
While serving as a role model in the classroom and on the bench, Hughes is also providing opportunities outside of the classroom, hosting a San Jacinto student as her intern at the courthouse in spring 2019. “It’s all about lending a helping hand and paying it forward,” she said. “These students are capable of so many great things and I’m glad to be able to help them on their journey.”
About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has served the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, since 1961. The College is fiscally sound, holding bond ratings of AA and Aa2 by Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s. San Jacinto College is a 2019 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence Top 10 institution, a 2017 Aspen Prize Rising Star Award recipient and an Achieving the Dream Leader College. The College serves approximately 45,000 credit and non-credit students annually, and offers eight areas of study that puts students on a path to transfer to four-year institutions or enter the workforce. San Jacinto College’s impact on the region totals $1.3 billion in added income, which supports 13,044 jobs.
HOUSTON, Texas — San Jacinto College, along with partners from the Houston Airport System, Houston City Council, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and community and project partners gathered on June 26, 2019, to celebrate the groundbreaking of the Houston Spaceport at Ellington Airport.
Work is already underway at the development site, which will sit on 154 acres at Ellington Airport. The Houston Spaceport is the 10thcommercial spaceport license in the United States awarded by the FAA. The project scope includes providing streets, water, wastewater, electrical power distribution facilities, and fiber optic and communications facilities necessary to attract future development.
As the official education training partner for the Houston Spaceport, the San Jacinto College EDGE Center will offer four initial training programs: composites manufacturing and repair technician, aerospace electrical assembly technician, aerospace structures technician, mechatronics and industrial automation technician. In addition to these programs, San Jacinto College will also offer customized and individualized training based on the needs of the spaceport partners.
“We are excited for this opportunity,” said San Jacinto College Chancellor Dr. Brenda Hellyer. “We look forward to creating an educational space that will support and enhance the workforce needs of current and future businesses in the Houston Spaceport. We thank the City of Houston, the Houston Airport System, and the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership for working with us to make this EDGE Center a reality.”
Phase 1 of the Houston Spaceport project offers potential tenants and parters a unique environment in which to collaborate, as well as an operational platform to achieve critical business objectives. By housing organizations from across several industries and disciplines on one campus, the “innovation incubator” concept will foster and accelerate key aerospace engineering activities including: component and composite development and fabrication, space vehicle assembly, zero-gravity scientific and medical experiments, microsatellite deployment, astronaut training and development, and space tourism.
“Once completed, Phase 1 will stand ready to encourage even more progress to help companies with development of satellite technologies, drone technology, and urban air mobility initiatives,” said Houston Airport System Director Mario Diaz. “And beyond technology, it will help develop the talent to drive innovation forward. San Jacinto College is taking steps to open an aerospace workforce training center here, providing a talent pipeline that will help attract companies to Houston.”
Eventually, when all 450 acres at Ellington Airport available to the project are fully developed, the Houston Spaceport will become a focal point in the region for aerospace research, manufacturing, and commercial space operations.
About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, industries, and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has served the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, since 1961. The College is fiscally sound, holding bond ratings of AA and Aa2 by Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s. San Jacinto College is a 2019 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence Top 10 institution, a 2017 Aspen Prize Rising Star Award recipient, and an Achieving the Dream Leader College. The College serves approximately 45,000 credit and non-credit students annually, and offers eight areas of study that put students on a path to transfer to four-year institutions or enter the workforce. San Jacinto College’s impact on the region totals $1.3 billion in added income, which supports 13,044 jobs.