by Roger Barnes
Georgia Perimeter College recognized the work of the college’s outstanding faculty and staff during the April 26 Celebration of Excellence Faculty and Staff Awards held on Clarkston Campus.
The highlight of the celebration was the Exemplary Professor Award given to Dr. Behnaz Rouhani of the Clarkston Campus Math Department.
The winner of the Exemplary Professor Award is required to provide evidence demonstrating how his or her teaching methods impact student learning. The winner must also be current in his or her field of scholarship by holding office or serving on the committee of one or more professional societies, giving presentations at professional meetings, publishing in refereed sources, or being a successful recipient of a grant.
Behnaz was named the Governor’s Teaching Fellow in 2011. In 2010-11, she served on the Innovative Teaching and Learning Committee of the American Mathematics Association of Two-Year Colleges and put together a position statement for the “Proctored Testing in Online Courses.” She is now the southeastern representative of AMATYC and an executive member of the Innovative Teaching and Learning Committee. Her publications include “A Study Guide for Intermediate Algebra,” “A Study Guide for College Algebra” and a quick guide called “A Winning Approach to Mathematics.”
The Faculty Teaching Excellence Award was won by Nicole Harsch of the Social Science Department, Newton Campus. Harsch describes her approach to teaching as similar to being a “tour guide,” leading her students through the experience of discovery and learning.
The Faculty Service Excellence Award went to Robert Hopkins, an economics professor at Dunwoody, for his commitment to excellence in service to students and the community. A veteran of the Vietnam War, Hopkins is treasurer of Georgia Veterans Day Parade Association of Atlanta, an active participant in the Family Readiness Program and a judge for the Voice of Democracy program.
The Faculty Professional Development Award went to Tracie Justus of the Clarkston ESL Department. She has worked to organize numerous training events and faculty development activities. In 2005, Justus was selected to attend a summer Fulbright Faculty Development Seminar in Argentina and Chile. In 2011, she was selected as the first Center for Teaching and Learning faculty associate.
GPC Teamwork Awards were won by Peggy Davis of the Center for Teaching and Learning and Sgt. Graham Denio of Public Safety.
Davis worked with a team of Staff Senate representatives to create the senate’s kick-off, Fall Convocation and Voices and Choices meetings and helped coordinate Staff Development Day.
Denio was the project manager for the revised College Emergency Action Plan and Guide. He has been involved in Homeland Security meetings and active shooter drills. He also provides training to GPC employees.
GPC Leadership Awards were won by Alan Craig, Dunwoody Learning and Tutoring Center, and Brad Blitz and Nicole Weeden, Dunwoody and Clarkston Advising and Counseling.
Craig redesigned the Learning and Tutoring Center website, which won first place in an awards competition. He also pressed for collegewide Learning and Tutoring Center certification, which was earned in January 2010. Since then, the centers have certified more than 100 tutors.
Blitz and Weeden co-chaired the 2011 National Academic Advising Association’s state of Georgia Drive-in Conference that hosted more than 225 faculty, staff and administrators from more than 30 institutions. As a result of their leadership, Georgia Perimeter is recognized by NACADA as a leader in the development and practice of academic advising.
GPC Quality Service Awards went to Latesha Burley of GPC Online Financial Aid and Kiawannee Grant of the Decatur Campus English and Humanities Department.
Burley uses her expert knowledge of federal, state and college financial aid policies to make sure students understand their financial aid status.
Grant was an Automatic Data Processing super user when the college implemented the ADP payroll system in 2009 and is the Decatur Campus resource person for ADP.
GPC Continuous Improvement Awards were won by Joe Odom of the Clarkston Campus Academic Services and Renni Pringle of Advising and Counseling, Dunwoody Campus.
Odom developed systematic steps to make the hardship withdrawal process more consistent and streamlined. He planned the training for deans and secretaries who are the first point of contact for students who need to withdraw from classes.
Pringle created a shared drive that houses electronic records of vital student documents such as TAG agreements, unofficial graduation audits and academic plans for financial appeals. Advisors now access these documents in seconds instead of minutes, allowing them to spend more time talking with students.
The GPC Outcomes Award went to GPC Online Student Success. This team delivers timely, accurate and complete information to GPC’s nearly 4,000 online students. They use CRM (customer relationship management) software, email, telephone, in-person meetings and the online student success course to meet students where they are and create a sense of connection.
The GPC Enhancement Award was won by the Collegewide Dual Enrollment team, which works with more than 220 high schools. They are recognized for positively impacting high school graduation rates and GPC’s Dual Enrollment being the largest program of its kind in the state. Their work has resulted in a consistent increase in DE enrollment every semester since fall 2009.
The GPC Access/Capacity Award went to Newton Campus Office of Information Technology. This team has provided services to secondary/post-secondary assemblies as they teamed with Dual Enrollment to comply with state regulations. They also provided support for training in Common Core State Standards, Georgia Performance Standards, Workforce Development and Professional Learning.
GPC Values Awards were won by Tracy Adkins-Burge of Lakeside OIT, Michelle Solomon of Decatur Student Services, Diane ‘Dede’ Weber of Clarkston’s Enrollment and Registration Services and Rufus Larkin of Newton’s Personal Counseling services.
Adkins-Burge uses her knowledge about academic technology to deliver best solutions to GPC faculty.
Solomon’s accomplishments include the conversion of judicial files to SharePoint, coordination of WEAVE online training, report and form creation and the coordination of SACS responses.
Weber quickly embraced her role as chair of GPC’s new Staff Senate. As part of that job, she served on the President’s Policy and Procedure Advisory Board and the President’s Cabinet.
Personal Enrichment workshops are one of the many initiatives Larkin has implemented to help with GPC’s retention efforts. He also is involved in the Military Outreach initiative, faculty and staff self-care training and parent sessions at orientation.