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Award Gala Shines Spotlight on District Employees

photo of DCCCD Awards Gala winners

Award winners Gary John, Courtnery Carter-Harbour, Jeff Quan, Cindy Castaneda, Dr. May, Rita Hines, Dottie Clark and Barth Loe.

 

The strains of Big Band melodies and quiet conversation gave way to cheers, applause and pride as employees from colleges and service locations across the Dallas County Community College District were honored recently for their creative thinking and problem solving, their dedication to higher education and their service to students.

Observing the theme “As Time Goes By,” DCCCD’s annual employee awards event ensured that the district and the seven colleges in its system literally took time to acknowledge top faculty, support staff and administrators who make a difference in the classroom and on campus as they help students achieve their dreams of success, professional development and personal growth.

Hosted by Brookhaven College this year, the event was emceed by Dr. Thom Chesney, who welcomed everyone to the Marriott Quorum in Addision and reminded them, “Tonight we celebrate the many inspiring accomplishments of exceptional employees from our colleges and district locations that contribute daily to the success of our students and the communities we serve.” Music was performed by the Brookhaven Big Band.

 

Dr. Joe May, DCCCD’s new chancellor, echoed those sentiments. “We celebrate each other and the excellence that occurs in every corner of our district,” he said. “I am honored to celebrate your accomplishments at my first employee recognition program. Your outstanding efforts every day make a difference in the lives of both our students and our communities.”

The top faculty honor, the Minnie Stevens Piper Excellence in Teaching Award, was given to Cindy Castaneda, full-time faculty member in social science, human services and business at Eastfield College. Castaneda’s commitment to students was acknowledged; her work reaches beyond the classroom and engagement among students. She instructs students on how they can be actively involved in a democratic society, using her experience as an elected official to share teachable moments. After a decade of teaching in DCCCD, she has met with hundreds of students individually (outside the classroom) to help them develop a customized plan so that they can complete their associate’s degree and transfer successfully as juniors in their major.

Other districtwide honors and their recipients were:

Adjunct Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award – Rita Hines, mathematics, El Centro College;

Jean Sharon Griffith Student Development Leadership Award – Gary John, faculty counselor, Richland College;

Administrator of the Year Award – Courtney Carter-Harbour, associate dean of arts, language and literature, Eastfield College;

Innovation of the Year Award – Expanding Professional Counseling Services through Expanding University Internships, Academic Affairs and Student Services (Jeff Quan, LPC-S and director of counseling services, team leader), Eastfield College;

Full-time Professional Support Staff Employee of the Year Award – Kathena Joseph, faculty contracts specialist, liberal arts, North Lake College;

Part-time Professional Support Staff Employee of the Year Award – Sergio Ulloa, instructional assistant, Open Computer Lab, Mountain View College;

 

photo of Dottie Clark

Vivian Dennis-Monzingo (L)
 and Dottie
Clark.

DCCCD Retiree Hall of Honor Award – faculty: Donna Gormly, English/world literature/creative writing/women’s studies, Eastfield College; administrator: Dottie Clark, business office, LeCroy Center; professional support staff: Barth Loe, assistant director for admission, Richland College.

Each college and service location named winners in those categories as well; those nominees were considered for the districtwide awards.

College and location winners are listed below by the award they received:

Minnie Stevens Piper Excellence in Teaching Award

  • Kathleen Long, mathematics, Brookhaven College;
  • SaRita Stewart, criminal justice, Cedar Valley College;
  • Cindy Castaneda, government, Eastfield College;
  • Cassandra Bowell, mathematics/developmental mathematics, El Centro College;
  • Sarah Hutchings, biology, Mountain View College;
  • Katherine Villarreal, mathematics and science (Learning Center), North Lake College;
  • Lois Anne Parrott, humanities, Richland College.


Adjunct Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award

  • Lisa Devine, theater, Brookhaven College;
  • Myrtle Freeman, liberal arts, Cedar Valley College;
  • Florence Cox, reading, Eastfield College;
  • Rita Hines, mathematics, El Centro College;
  • Valerie Wielard, science, Mountain View College;
  • Richard Miller, art, North Lake College;
  • Angel Gregory, world languages, Richland College.


Jean Sharon Griffith Student Development Leadership Award

  • Brad Thomas, assistant director of academic advising, Brookhaven College;
  • Mike Alford and Susan Gordon, Career Service Center, Cedar Valley College;
  • Heidi Bassett, college financial manager for business services, Eastfield College;
  • Elizabeth Flash, coordinator of retention services, El Centro College;
  • Shelly Austin-Garcia, admissions specialist, Dallas Colleges Online, LeCroy Center;
  • Jesse Gonzalez, professional counselor, Mountain View College;
  • Leigh Poston, academic advising, North Lake College;
  • Gary John, faculty counselor, Richland College.


Administrator of the Year

  • Kendra Vaglienti, executive dean of communications division, Brookhaven College;
  • Olivia Guerra-Long, director of college readiness, Cedar Valley College;
  • Steve Glick, associate director of IT/network services, District Service Center;
  • Courtney Carter-Harbour, associate dean of arts, language and literature, Eastfield College;
  • Iris Freemon, dean of resource development, El Centro College;
  • Valerie Cavazos, director of marketing, LeCroy Center;
  • Stephen L. Jones, interim executive dean for the SNAP division and program administrator for the STEM Success grant, Mountain View College;
  • David Evans, executive dean of arts, business, sports science and technology, North Lake College;
  • Michael Crawford, associate dean for the School of Humanities, Fine and Performing Arts, and choral director of music, Richland College.


Innovation of the Year

  • Brookhaven College – Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service (Andrew Deibert, coordinator of service learning and civic engagement, team leader);
  • Cedar Valley College – Grants Management and Compliance: LiveBinder (C.A. Engleton, team leader);
  • District Office – Virtual Transfer Fair (Gregg Williams, team leader; team members April Ellis, Rick Walker, Kris Hyttinen, Dea Yemen, Sunny Huang and Jackie Glee);
  • District Service Center – TSI Accuplacer Test Downloads (Gary Mahagan, team leader; team members Ron Kidwell, Charles Ruiz, John Cassidy, Sharilyn Cox and Roger Cox);
  • Eastfield College – Expanding Professional Counseling Services through Expanding University Internships, Academic Affairs and Student Services (Jeff Quan, LPC-S and director of counseling services, team leader);
  • El Centro College – Accuplacer Test Prep Video (Karen Stills, team leader; team members Elizabeth Flash, Karla Damron, Zharro Webb, Wayne Conrad, Jonathan McComas, Anand Upadhyaya, Jamie Hurtado and Megan Howard);
  • LeCroy Center – Texas Success Initiative Video (Rick Walker, team leader; team members Kris Hyttinen, Martha Kelley, Dea Yemen, Theresa Roffino, Becky Stinson, Audra Barrett and Clay Marshall);
  • Mountain View College – STEM Success (Stephen Jones, team leader; team members Dr. John DeLeon, Jennifer Davila, Reginald Gray, Joyce Larkin and STEM PALs/Peer Assisted Learning Supporters, including Eric Torbellin and others);
  • North Lake College – Blazer Success Math Lab (Jodi Acker and Marie Kohrmann, team leaders);
  • Richland College – Center for Success in Mathematics (Jaime Hurtado and Thales Georgiou, team leaders; team members Scot McClain, Donny Le, Saeid Darabadey, Patricia Ellens, Barbara Branum, Sam Tinsley, Jerry Matlock, Eleanor Browne, NeKeith Brown, Judi Nam and Yolanda Manzano).


Professional Support Staff Employee of the Year (Full Time)

  • Linda Reyna, academic advisor, disability support services, Brookhaven College;
  • Candace Rucker, specialist V, administration, Cedar Valley College;
  • Jonathan Blundell, senior rich media developer/producer, District Office;
  • Denise Willingham, senior district payroll accountant, District Service Center;
  • Marilyn Turner, administrative assistant, college readiness and mathematics division, Eastfield College;
  • Elizabeth Flash, coordinator, retention services, El Centro College;
  • Mary Bernal, administrative assistant, Dallas Learning Solutions, LeCroy Center;
  • Jimmy Gresham, assistant director, facilities services, Mountain View College;
  • Kathena Joseph, faculty contracts specialist, liberal arts, North Lake College;
  • Kimberly Wilkins, coordinator, continuing education and workforce development, Richland College.


Professional Support Staff Employee of the Year (Part Time)

  • Nikitia Ferguson, coordinator, workforce and continuing education division, Brookhaven College;
  • Tammie Wilker, tutor, automotive and diesel program, Cedar Valley College;
  • Tania Marin, administrative clerk, Children’s Laboratory School, Eastfield College;
  • Martha Ramirez, administrative clerk, administration, El Centro College;
  • Joan Parent, Help Desk analyst I, LeCroy Center;
  • Sergio Ulloa, instructional assistant, Open Computer Lab, Mountain View College;
  • Cristi Deleon, tutor I, Science Learning Center, North Lake College;
  • Gayle McAllister, ESOL grammar instructional support associate, Richland College.


See the 2014 Awards Presentation PowerPoint.

For more information, contact Ann Hatch in the DCCCD office of public and governmental affairs by phone at 214-378-1819 or by email at ahatch@dcccd.edu.


(On the newsletter cover: Chancellor Joe May, Cindy Castaneda and Ray Attner)