MCC Daily Tribune

President's Wednesday Message

Recently, Teaching and Creativity Center Director Gena Merliss forwarded the spring 2018 nominees for Kudos for Teaching Excellence. This new and welcome opportunity to highlight the excellent work of MCC faculty began in fall 2016, when the TCC started asking students, faculty, and staff to nominate a faculty member for exceptional teaching. This semester's nominees include the following inspiring MCC faculty:

  • Jason Anderson, Chemistry/Geosciences
  • Ilene Benz, Visual and Performing Arts
  • Kathleen Borbee, Business
  • Maria Brandt, English/Philosophy
  • Colleen Caruana, Nursing
  • Christy Fogal, Mathematics
  • Tokeya Graham, English/Philosophy
  • Rebecca Griffin, Hospitality
  • Grant Hewitt, Nursing
  • Matthew Koehler, English/Philosophy
  • Sherri Kurtz, Dental Studies
  • Eileen Lanzafame, ESOL/Transitional Studies
  • Mark Sample, Anthropology/History/Political Science/Sociology
  • Mary Seely, Surgical Technology
  • Joanna Tsai, Biology

The list made me think about the faculty who made a difference when I was in college, faculty who deserved a kudo for teaching excellence. Memories of professors came flooding back:

  • Toni Lopez-Kemmerle, who, with humor and much patience, made me a better writer in office sessions that interspersed tutoring with recaps of Dallas and Knots Landing and discussions about capitalist critique in It's a Wonderful Life, The Godfather, and Chinatown--and who kindly gave me an umbrella when I literally couldn't afford one.
  • Hernan Vera, whose personal experience with the Pinochet regime in Chile led him to refuse authority in all its forms, including telling us to call him Hernan or, failing that, "Beloved Dictator"; he treated all of his undergraduate students as fellow Sociology scholars, inviting us to small salon-like discussions with researchers like Elaine Pagels and Harry Edwards.
  • Andy McCollough, who gave every student a sheet with a year and two interest rates, one from January 1 and one from December 31; our class assignment: explain why they were different. By the end of that class, each of us were veteran researchers who knew the library from top to bottom--which was likely his goal all along.
  • Art Sandeen, who knew both the history and the value of higher education inside and out and had a joy for learning and a passion for student success that was contagious. At a time in his career when he could have earned much, much more by consulting, he dedicated himself to teaching the next generation of higher education leaders.

If you could give a Kudo for Teaching Excellence to one or more of your college faculty, who would you pick and why?

Please share your thoughts on the blog.

Kress, Anne
Office of the President