Congratulations to Diane Sparks – Excellence in Education Faculty Award Winner for 2012

Diane Sparks Excellence in Education Faculty Award Winner 2012

Grand Rapids Community College bestowed its  Excellence in Education Awards at the college’s opening day ceremonies to kick off the 2012-2013 academic year. This year’s awards were presented to education professor Diane Sparks and Secchia Institute for Culinary Education operations manager Mike Kidder.

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The award is the college’s highest recognition, and is given annually to one faculty and one staff member for his or her contributions to the college, higher education and the community. Each recipient receives a $1,000 cash award and a matching award goes to the GRCC Foundation in each recipient’s name.

“This award speaks to the quality of the individuals we have working at GRCC, and I am extremely proud of Diane and Mike,” said GRCC president Steven C. Ender. “The nomination process is a stringent one, and the fact that the nominations came from not just their peers, but from a cross-section of individuals from the GRCC community makes it that much more special.”

Among the award criteria categories outlined are respect for people and environment, responsiveness, integrity and diversity.

Sparks’ career spans 27 years at GRCC, the last 13 of them as an education professor. She also worked in the college’s preschool program, including six as the school’s lab director.  Letters in support of her nomination included comments such as, “She encourages feedback from her students and is always willing to implement a new idea or change the way a concept is presented to help students succeed,” and “She helps future teachers understand the importance of including the community in the development of young children.”

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