Dr. Pam Millsap named Dean of General Education
College of the Mainland has hired Dr. Pam Millsap, Chair of the Social and Behavioral Sciences Department, as Dean of General Education. Pam Millsap has taught at COM since 2005 and been tenured since 2008.
“We will benefit from her being in the position,” said Al Bass, chair of the hiring committee. “She brings so much to the job.”
Millsap is a licensed clinical psychologist. “It forces me to stay current in my field,” she said. She has a B.S. from the University of Houston and a M.S. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Vanderbilt University.
Millsap first became interested in psychology because of her love for listening to people and learning to understand their perspectives. While working on her bachelor’s degree in psychology, she volunteered at a Head Start program. One of the children she worked with there never spoke. She played and worked with him but did not pressure him to talk. One day as they put a puzzle together, she asked him, “What is this piece?” “Triangle,” he said. “What?” she asked. He whispered in her ear, “A triangle.” After that she helped the four-year-old communicate by letting him whisper in her ear and repeating his words aloud.
Her experience at the Head Start program confirmed to her that she was in the right field. She is now married and has three sons, ages 19, 17 and 14, and her youngest has been diagnosed with autism. “I worked with autism and ended up living with [my son’s] autism,” she said.
Millsap previously was a faculty member at the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center where she directed a day-treatment program for children and adolescents. “In the medical school setting, I practiced, taught and researched. It was a multipronged role,” she said.
After moving to Texas, she taught at UHCL as an adjunct professor, where she discovered that she enjoyed teaching in a traditional classroom setting.
At COM Millsap also serves as codirector of the Achieving the Dream Initiative, of which COM is a Leader College. She was also the primary writer of COM’s Quality Enhancement Program, which seeks to improve students’ oral communication skills in all disciplines.
With her experiences of working to ensure each student’s success, she looks forward to continuing to work with faculty to further education at COM. “I hope we can do more to support new faculty in terms of mentoring and professional development,” she said.
She will work closely with department chairs to support students. “The chairs we have are all excellent and really strong; I look forward to working with them,” she said. “Community colleges have been known for student access, but now we want to focus on student success.”
With her experiences of working with youth and adults of all ages and abilities, she is amply prepared to do just that.