Posted on Tuesday, May 2, 2017

AWARD-WINNING FACULTY: Outstanding Professors Honored

The 2017 New Horizons Conference has come and gone, but a lasting memory from the event is the recognition of two outstanding faculty members for their superb contributions to the art of teaching.

The Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence is presented annually to one teaching faculty member who distinctly represents the teaching excellence found at VCCS colleges. This year’s recipient, Professor Isidoro Kessel, assistant professor of Spanish at Thomas Nelson Community College, received a cash award of $5,000 and a VCCS stole.

The Susan S. Wood Professorship for Teaching Excellence recognizes a VCCS faculty member who demonstrates faculty excellence, dedication to students, and academic leadership. This year’s recipient, Dr. Kim Hoosier, professor of Sociology at Piedmont Virginia Community College, received a $2,500 cash award, and will participate in leadership and professional development opportunities throughout the year.

“Our colleges are blessed to have so many outstanding faculty members,” said Chancellor Glenn DuBois. “They demonstrate a passion not only for their chosen profession but especially for their above-and-beyond efforts to help our students succeed.”

We recently had the opportunity to interview these fantastic faculty members:

2017 Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence Recipient: Professor Isidora Kessel, assistant professor of Spanish, Thomas Nelson Community College

Question: How long have you taught at TNCC?

Prof. Kessel: I have been employed full time at Thomas Nelson since 2010; however, I served as an adjunct here from 1996 until 2004, and from 2009 until 2010.

Question: Why did you choose the higher education field?

Prof. Kessel:  I was chosen to serve as a Teaching Assistant (TA) — I taught beginning and intermediate level Spanish classes — when I was in college. I did that for three years. The experience as a TA confirmed for me that my passion for educating the public was real. I taught at the high-school level for 30 years while also teaching at local colleges and universities as an adjunct.

Question: What motivates you to strive for excellence as a professor?

Prof. Kessel: Definitely, the students whose lives I affect. My students’ education matters greatly, as it will have a profound effect on their lives. I do not dare to deliver anything but my best performance every single moment that my students are with me. 

Question: What does the Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence mean to you?

Prof. Kessel: It’s a validation of my life-long dedication to my students and recognition that what I do makes a positive difference. 

 

2017 Susan S. Wood Professorship for Teaching Excellence Recipient: Kim Hoosier, Ph.D. , professor of Sociology, Piedmont Virginia Community College

Question: How long have you taught at PVCC?

Dr. Hoosier: I started as an adjunct at PVCC in 1999 and became full time in 2004.

Question: Why did you choose the higher education field?

Dr. Hoosier: I majored in sociology for my BS, MA, and Ph.D. However, I was not sure exactly what I wanted to do with the degrees. I had worked in social services and non-profits before teaching, but was unclear as far as direction. I wanted to try teaching and luckily there was an open adjunct spot at PVCC. After that first experience, I knew I had found my career.

Question: What motivates you to strive for excellence as a professor?

Dr. Hoosier: I am so lucky each semester to work with diverse, passionate, and motivated students who often want to make a positive change in the world. They truly get excited about learning and figuring out ways to apply their knowledge in the real world. This passion and drive of students continues to motivate me and encourage me to try to be a better teacher.

Question: What does the Susan S. Wood Professorship for Teaching Excellence mean to you?

Dr. Hoosier: I am truly humbled and honored by this award. I know there are so many wonderful teachers in the VCCS, so this award is truly an honor and one I greatly appreciate.

I am also thankful to have such a rewarding career at PVCC. I truly work with some of the most amazing and talented people. I have the opportunity to interact with unique, special and talented students every day, which makes me a very happy and lucky person.

For award details, deadlines and eligibility requirements, please click on the links below.

Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence

Susan S. Wood Professorship for Teaching Excellence

 

losberger@vccs.edu'

Laura Osberger

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