Nominating Jill Mitchell to be recognized for the VCCS top faculty honor, Northern Virginia Community College President Scott Ralls wrote “Jill has a uniquely stimulating style of teaching, being able to relate discipline concepts to real world business situations, using her depth of professional experience and her personal abilities to relate to her students. She holds students to the highest standards and provides tools to push beyond them, helping them achieve their greatest potential.”
Mitchell, associate professor of accounting at NOVA, received the Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence during the 2019 VCCS New Horizons Conference. Mitchell has been on the NOVA faculty for 10 years, and only recently also received the Outstanding Faculty Award for two-year colleges from the State Council for Higher Education in Virginia (SCHEV).
More than 900 VCCS faculty and administrators converged on the Hotel Roanoke April 10-12 for the annual event, billed as the community college system’s premier teaching and learning conference.
The Susan S. Wood Professorship for Teaching Excellence annually recognizes a VCCS faculty member who demonstrates faculty excellence, dedication to students, and academic leadership reflected throughout Dr. Wood’s 40-years of service to Virginia’s Community Colleges.
This year’s recipient is CVCC faculty member Cynthia Lofasso (right). Dr. Lofaso has taught psychology at Central Virginia Community College since 2001. Prior to coming to CVCC she worked with runaway youth in Los Angeles and with several drug treatment programs in Southern California.
Four VCCS adjunct faculty members also were recognized at New Horizons for their positive impact on students across Virginia. The four received the award named for George B. Vaughan, who served as president at two Virginia community colleges before becoming a national leader in training college administrators.
(l to r): Kurt Eberly, Adjunct Instructor of History, TCC, Patrick New, Adjunct Professor of Theatre and Communication BRCC, Babur Kohy, Adjunct Professor of Cybersecurity, NOVA and Teresa Jewell, Adjunct Instructor of English, SWCC
The New Horizons Excellence in Education (EIE) Awards Program provides an annual opportunity to showcase, celebrate, and share ideas and innovations across the VCCS that contribute to improving student outcomes and reaching our strategic goals. Projects are chosen not only for their already demonstrated success, but with the further aim of sharing, replicating, and scaling these winning strategies across the college system.
2019 EIE Award – FIRST PLACE:
Success in CITE – Southside Virginia Community College
Team Members: Chad Patton, Kelly Arnold, seen below with SVCC President Alfred Roberts
The Center for Information Technology Excellence (CITE) trains students for high-demand IT careers. This program, a collaborative effort between the college and Microsoft, is designed to remove barriers, increase credential attainment, and support students from entry to completion. This support includes scholarship funding which has increased diversity and removed financial barriers to student entry and success, curricula design assistance by industry experts, the creation of a mock datacenter, and tutoring and coaching from Microsoft employees. The result has been an increase of first-time-in-college students who earn 12 credits or more in their first year (Chancellors Biennium Goal of Entry) and an increase in industry recognized credentials earned by students (Complete 2021).
2019 EIE Award – SECOND PLACE:
Breaking Cost Barriers and Increasing Success: An Open Textbook in English 111 – Virginia Western Community College
Team Members: Dale Dulaney, Ann Moser, Katelyn Burton, Jenifer Kurtz, Kathryn Boylan, Elizabeth Browning, Kirsten DeVries, Kalyca Schultz, seen below with Sharon Morrissey (right) VCCS Sr. Vice Chancellor for Academic and Workforce Programs
A 2017 student survey reported that students at Virginia Western Community College are negatively impacted by the high cost of required textbooks and learning materials. A group of English faculty and librarians submitted a grant proposal to create a free and open textbook for ENG 111, the highest enrolled classes at Virginia Western.
2019 EIE Award – THIRD PLACE:
Authentic Competency-Based Learning to Develop an Industry-Ready Cyber Science Graduate – Lord Fairfax Community College
Team Members: Melissa Stange, Henry Coffman, seen below with LFCC President Kimberly Blosser
Dr. Stange and Dr. Coffman have devised an approach that focuses on five ways to ensure students are gaining the competencies and skills needed to successfully enter the workforce, while giving back to the community and future learners. These focus areas are (1) participation in individual and team competitions, (2) summer internships, (3) real course projects, (4) clubs, and (5) community/ outreach service. It is often common to do one or two of them, but combining all of them has shown positive results in the Computer Science and Cybersecurity programs at LFCC.