1 November, 2017
Dr. Martha Lavender, president of Gadsden State Community College, has announced the winners of the Exceptional Achievement in Teaching Awards and the Staff Excellence in Service Awards.
“It is a wonderful privilege to bestow annual awards on outstanding members of our faculty and staff,” said Dr. Martha Lavender, president. “The awards are given to those who have exhibited an unwavering commitment to excellence in teaching and in service.”
The Exceptional Achievement in Teaching Award is the highest honor bestowed on the faculty at Gadsden State. Each of the four awards given recognizes career achievements in teaching with emphasis on concrete accomplishments and proven results.
The Brenda Crowe Exceptional Achievement in Teaching Award is named for the former dean of institutional advancement and community Services. The winner is Phillip Snider, a biology, human gross anatomy and pathophysiology instructor. He implemented the cadaver-based anatomy and physiology course and lab at Gadsden State. The lab is the first of its kind at a community college in Alabama. Snider is a faculty fellow at Gadsden State and assisted in implementing the Faculty Development Institute. He is a graduate of the Leadership Development Institute and a past winner of the Chancellor’s Award as well as the Innovative Technology in Education Award. He is a member of the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development, the Human Anatomy and Physiology Society, Alabama Conference of Educators and the Alabama Community College Association.
The Pierce C. Cain Exceptional Achievement in Teaching Award is given to a member of the academic faculty and is named for the founding president of what is now the Ayers Campus. This year’s recipient is Dr. Billy Jenkins, a psychology and philosophy instructor at the McClellan Center. He is a member of the Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools, the Alabama Reading Teachers Association and the Alabama Science Teachers Association. He has been published in the textbook “Mathematics in the Preschool Primary Grades” as well as in Principal Magazine and a publication about instructional leadership. He has made presentations at the Alabama Community College Association State Conference, Athens State University, JSU, the University of Alabama and the Alabama State Department of Education. He has been honored with the Master Teacher Award from the Alabama
Community College System as well as the ALFA Teacher of the Year. He has been inducted into the Elementary Teacher Hall of Fame and is a Faculty Fellows recipient.
The award given to a member of the technical faculty is known as the Eugene Prater Exceptional Achievement in Teaching Award, which honors the founder of what is now Gadsden State’s Valley Street Campus. The winner is Bruce Hill, who has been an Auto Collision Repair Technology instructor at Gadsden State since 2007. He is based at the College’s East Broad Street Campus. Hill was instrumental in establishing the first student learning outcomes for his program, and he played an integral part in the certification of the program on the Ayers Campus. Thanks to his assistance, the program has been certified by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation. He prepares his students to compete in state and national SkillsUSA competitions, and he assists his students in securing tool grants and scholarships.
The Beverly Hill Award is given to a member of the health sciences faculty. Hill was a nursing instructor at Gadsden State who helped develop the curriculum, programs and projects for the emergency medical services program. The award goes to Kay Cunningham, a clinical coordinator and instructor for the Emergency Medical Services program. Cunningham has taught at Gadsden State since 1999 on multiple campuses. She has been a practicing EMT and paramedic since 1995.
The Staff Excellence in Service Award is being bestowed on two individuals and recognizes more than their ability to perform their responsibilities in a proficient and capable manner.
“Each of these award winners have unique attributes and strengths that make them valuable members of the Gadsden State team,” Lavender said. “They are self-motivated, focused on success and highly productive. Because of their unwavering commitment to our mission and our students, they truly exemplify the best Gadsden State has to offer.”
Winners of the Staff Excellence in Service Award are Dr. Dana Davis and Jason Millirons.
Davis is an academic advisor and admissions counselor and has worked at Gadsden State since 1998. She also has supervision duties for Advising, Testing, Career Services and Student Engagement. Davis has made presentations at the National Association of Academic Advisors Conference, the National Education Finance Conference and the American Association of Collegiate Registrars Conference and Admissions Officers Conference. Davis is the recipient of the Excellence in Service to Students Award from the National Society of Leadership and Success.
Millirons has worked at Gadsden State since 2013 and is the business services analyst. He is a graduate of Leadership Etowah and serves his community as a little league baseball and football coach as well as a fishing coach and sponsor. He is a member of the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy Center for the Public Trust, Alabama Onsite Wastewater Association and the National Society of Professional Surveyors. He is an active participant in Gadsden State’s Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges reaffirmation process and recently attended the SACSCOC Institute on Quality Enhancement and Accreditation.
Each of the award recipients receives $1,000 in discretionary funds within the appropriate department or division budget for the academic year to be used for equipment, professional development or teaching supplies.