Congratulations to Dawn Cheikh – Excellence in Education Adjunct Faculty Award Winner 2012

Dawn Cheikh Adjunct Faculty Excellence in Education Award Winner 2012Congratulations to Dawn Cheikh, adjunct professor of French and Arabic, who was presented with the Excellence in Teaching by an Adjunct Faculty Award at the Adjunct Appreciation Dinner last night. Dawn, a native of Grand Rapids, earned her B.A. in French and Music from Aquinas College, and her M.A. in French from Middlebury College. She has been at GRCC since 2004.

Congratulations to Mike Kidder – Excellence in Education Staff Award Winner for 2012

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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.

Kidder is a GRCC alum and has worked at the Secchia Institute since 1991.    His nominators described him as “…simply put – a model for excellence,” while another expressed how “No one gets less than his best; every event – and every individual – receives tremendous respect and effort.”

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.”

Excellence in Education Staff Award Winner Laurie Witczak

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The winner of the Staff Excellence in Education Award for 2011 was Laurie Witczak in the Tutoring Department.

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From her nomination form:

  • “You hold yourself to extremely high standards and you manage to keep everything running smoothly without sacrificing efficiency or quality.”
  • “You understand that each student comes to GRCC with different needs, skills and abilities.  You work with each student and are able to bring out their strengths and encourage them to grow.”
  • “You are always willing to look at a situation or problem and think outside the box to come up with creative solutions that will work for everyone.”

Video of Laurie’s well-received acceptance of the award available here:

 

Excellence in Education Faculty Award Winner Professor John Dersch

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Mathematics Professor John Dersch was the recipient of the 2011 Excellence in Education faculty award last week at the Opening Day event.

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Some of the comments on his nomination form included:

  • “You are dedicated to teaching and you have a reputation for being tough on your students, yet you demand more of yourself than you do of them.”
  • “When you meet students who need to be challenged beyond what is offered, you are willing to design independent studies or seminar classes to meet their needs.”
  • “You hold yourself accountable for your students’ learning and progress through your classes.  You spend an ungodly number of hours grading homework that you collect from all of your classes – you are the benchmark for many in your department.”

Video of the award ceremony and John’s heartfelt comments here: