Your questions answered for the Houston Community College experts

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Whether you're graduating from high school or looking to better your life by training for a new career, HCC has a plan for you. Get your questions answered and learn about ways to get a degree and upskill your life.

We were live July 14 at Noon, with Houston Community College experts to answer your questions about enrollment, financial aid, tuition assistance and more.

Watch us on our Facebook page or below.

Click here for more information about Houston Community College.


Moderator: Todd Duplantis

With more than 30-years-experience in broadcasting, Todd Duplantis has spent most of his life in front of a TV camera and behind a microphone. After spending a decade as a television reporter, Todd joined Houston Community College in 2012 as the director of public relations for the Southwest College.


Speaker: Dr. Michael Webster - HCC Associate Vice Chancellor/ Workforce Instruction

Dr. Michael Webster is the Associate Vice Chancellor for Workforce Instruction at Houston Community College. He has deep experience in workforce development having served as Director of Workforce Development at the Greater Houston Partnership, Assistant Superintendent for Career Readiness at Houston ISD, and as an Industry Liaison at the Gulf Coast Workforce Board. He is a Senior Fellow from Education Class Four of the American Leadership Forum and alum of the Center for Houston's Future Leadership Academy. Dr. Webster currently sits on the Gulf Coast Workforce Board and serves as a member of East Harris County Manufacturing Association's Workforce Development committee.

Dr. Webster started his career as a high school English and Journalism teacher in Houston ISD and continues to pursue a passion for literature. He recently received his PhD in English and American Literature at the University of Houston with a specialization in eighteenth-century British fiction.

Speaker: Erica Castro - HCC Academic Advisor

Erica Castro is an Academic Advisor for Houston Community College. She has a bachelor's degree in Psychology and a master's degree in Non-profit Management from University of Houston-Downtown. She has more than five years' experience connecting students with the best educational pathway to their career goals.

Speaker: Alberto Urbina - HCC Dean of Material Science and Smart Manufacturing

Alberto Urbina is HCC's Dean of Material Science and Smart Manufacturing. Urbina is a graduate of the University of Houston's College of Science and Technology and The Ohio State University College of Engineering. He is a Registered Engineer with the Texas Board of Professional Engineers and Certified Welding Inspector and Certified Welding Educator with the American Welding Society.

Speaker: Jim "Matress Mack" McIngvale - Owner- Gallery Furniture

Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale is a Texas-grown phenomenon who knows how to "Save You Money, TODAY!" In 1981, Mack and his wife, Linda, started Gallery Furniture with five thousand dollars and a dream. Mack began television advertising with his motto of "early to bed, early to rise, work like hell and advertise," he quickly became a household name. With three locations, Gallery Furniture has been top in the nation for many years selling the most furniture and mattresses per square foot. Over the years Mack has received countless awards, most notably the volunteer service award "Points of Light" awarded personally by former President George H.W. Bush. Mack's strong work ethic is matched only by his philanthropy and believes "we all have the responsibility for the well-being of our community."

Past charitable contributions include: providing shelter for hundreds displaced by Hurricane Harvey and hosted countless relief efforts following the disaster; as well as supplied Houstonians with cleaning materials, clothing, water and food. Mack hosts the Annual Christmas Giveaways furnishing hundreds of homes for 30+ years. McIngvale has also donated $4+ million to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. He has a passion for supporting health innovations, including sponsoring the nation's first Mobile Stroke Unit with The University of Texas Health Science Center in partnership with Memorial Hermann, Texas Heart Institute, Baylor College of Medicine, Harvard Medical School and co-founded the Peace of Mind Foundation for those affected by Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. McIngvale has donated millions of dollars of furniture to teacher lounges in Houston-area schools, Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, United Way, hurricane victims, and more. He helped to raise over $12 million dollars for the Bush/Clinton fund to aid those affected by the Tsunami in Southeast Asia and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. McIngvale and Gallery Furniture fed 25,000+ people celebrating Thanksgiving and Easter for countless years. Despite these efforts, Mack believes that being at Gallery Furniture every day providing hope to the community is his most important and significant community involvement.

Mack and Linda also own and operate Club Westside; and enjoy spending time with their children James, Laura, Elizabeth and Regina, and their three grandchildren.