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AACC Student Association Presents Awards to Faculty

May 18, 2012

The Student Association of Anne Arundel Community College recently honored five members of the faculty for their passion and dedication to their students and their profession. Students presented 2012 Teaching Excellence and Adviser of the Year Awards to:

  • Dawn R. Blanche of Easton, instructional specialist, CyberCenter, the Rookie Professor of the Year Award;
  • Jennifer L. Johnstone of Alexandria, Va., part-time instructor of music, the Part-time Faculty Teaching Excellence Award;
  • Kathy Jo Keever, R.N.C.-O.B./C.N.M., of Stevensville, associate professor of nursing, the Online Faculty Teaching Excellence Award;
  • Jill A. Loukides, Ph.D., of Annapolis, associate professor of biology, the Full-time Faculty Teaching Excellence Award;
  • Carolin Woolson of Annapolis, associate professor of philosophy and adviser of the Student Association Philosophy Club, the Adviser of the Year Award.

The winners were nominated by students, faculty and staff members and recognized by the Student Association at its April 27 Honors and Awards Ceremony.

Blanche was nominated by the center director for her work in the “Cyber Forensics” class, for “raising the bar regarding student performance,” encouraging teamwork, giving students real-world scenarios and practicing discovery-based learning. She led the college’s Digital Forensics Team, which placed first in the community college division in an international competition.

Johnstone was nominated by a student for being a gifted instructor who is passionate about her field, intelligent, thorough in her instruction, open to questions, an inspiration and a mentor. “There was a time I thought about giving up on my studies in music and career goals but Ms. Johnstone proved to me that you should always continue to study what you love and focus on your goals. Because of her help and her formative classes, I decided to stay in school.”

Keever received the new award for online teaching through nominations from her students, who praised her availability online, by phone and in person, her quick response via email to questions and discussion posts, her work to improve the online material and her passion for the field of nursing and for teaching. One student wrote, “I appreciate her down-to-earth style and that she is very approachable, never making a student feel incompetent or inconsequential.”

Loukides was nominated by students for encouraging those who struggle academically, for helping them build problem-solving skills, providing multiple opportunities to learn the material and mentoring students. She treats her colleagues and students with courtesy and kindness and walks “the fine line of holding a high standard building student enjoyment and achievement.”

Woolson was nominated by students, who described her as being energetic, organized, dedicated and passionate about the club and the field of philosophy. “She pushes us to expand our knowledge, to challenge social norms, to think outside the box,” one student wrote.