Five SPC faculty members will be in Texas at the end of May to receive Excellence Awards at the 2012 National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) 34th annual International Conference on Teaching & Leadership Excellence in Austin, Texas, May 27-30.

The Excellence Awards are given annually to community college faculty, staff and administrators who are innovators in teaching and learning. The five recipients and their awards are:

Outstanding Student Mentoring

Cathy Crumbs, Instructor, College of Nursing

Nursing is a passion for Cathy Crumbs, who wants to learn everything possible about the field and share it with her students.

Crumbs’ love for nursing spans back to age 13, when she worked as a candy striper at Mound Park Hospital (now Bayfront Medical Center) and Mercy Hospital. Her history at St. Petersburg College goes back to 1970s, when she graduated from the nursing program.

“I am a lifelong learner as well as an educator,” said Crumbs, who keeps herself abreast of the latest technical innovations through continuing education, journals, staff training and workshops, as well as seminars on nursing skills, clinical procedures and practices, as well as medications and medical research.

A strong nursing foundation is a must. Through tutoring and an open door policy for questions regarding homework and assignments or celebrations of achievements, she encourages students to develop that foundation in a comfortable environment that meets their individual learning needs.

“I wouldn’t be where I am now if it wasn’t for St. Petersburg College,” Crumbs said. “I couldn’t afford to go away for college, like a lot of students, but still learned the skills I needed to do well.”

Excellence in College Preparatory Education

Patricia Smith, Associate Professor of Communications

As a developmental educator, Patricia Smith is particularly aware of cognitive and affective needs of students.

“Knowing the fragility of my student population makes me acutely sensitive and responsive to the individual differences and special needs among learners,” Smith said.

Her teaching style encourages their individual learning styles to further develop and increase their skills  in the classroom and also offers tutoring to students in her office to help make the out-of-class connection. An individualized education plan helps to change the dynamic into the one-room schoolhouse and improve student learning outcomes and strengthen their self-efficacy, esteem and motivation.

Smith thinks she was nominated because of her passion for developmental education and belief in interdisciplinary team teaching.

“Honors and graduate students self-discover what they need to learn, but developmental students need not only the educational tools but instructors and advocates who will journey with these students to help them succeed and complete what they start,” she said.

Outstanding Peer Mentoring

Li-Lee Tunceren, Lead Faculty Associate, Center of Excellence for Teaching and Learning

For Li-Lee Tunceren, peer mentoring is not a rule-governed process. It develops naturally as colleagues build professional and personal relationships.

“I very much value the individual contributions of each faculty member, full-time and adjunct, and enjoy welcoming those new to our institution into a collegial environment,” Tunceren said.

Through her work with CETL, she worked to increase and improve communication between college administrators and faculty.

“One of the biggest challenges in a large organization like ours is communication,” she said. “I try hard to share policies, procedures and professional development opportunities and make myself available in person, by phone and online at point of need.”

Whether it’s connecting a faculty member to information or resources, or lending an empathetic ear, supporting colleagues is rewarding. It gives faculty a chance to learn from each other by discussing ways to better teaching and learning within and across disciplines.

“Mentoring and networking serve as a great model for student success,” Tunceren said. “It is they who ultimately benefit from well-informed, professional and caring teachers.”

Innovative Pedagogical Approach to Teaching and Learning

Robin Wilber, Professor of Finance in the College of Business

Robin Wilber’s goal is to emphasize the importance of her students’ success in the business field and to ensure that her students can compete with graduates from other universities.

“In the upper division at the College of Business we want to prepare our students for a job market five years into the future. In other words, we want our students to be ready for change and know how to use critical thinking skills.”

One of her key tactics is to utilize The Business Strategy Game Simulation, a world-renowned program in the capstone course she designed. The game allows students to gain the business and leadership experience of running a multi-million dollar company.

The capstone course projects have been successful. The inaugural class winners completed online against schools around the world and came in second place. The second capstone class placed first in the worldwide competition.

Wilber refuses to take credit for the NISOD recognition.

“I think I was nominated because our students made me look good,” she said.

Innovation in the Use of Technology

Brad Yourth, Instructor, College of Computer and Information Technology

Making course content as accessible and understandable as possible to students is of the utmost importance to Brad Yourth. His ANGEL shell for CGS 1000 is so well developed that many of his colleagues use the shell for their own sections.

One example of how he achieves this goal of accessibility is by making short, online instructional videos.

“I include QR codes in course content so students can view the videos with their mobile devices,” said Yourth, who likes to challenge his students to be creative and develop their own original programs.

He also utilizes Google Talk to connect with students during virtual office hours and supplements his course content with a blog to address issues that students may encounter when completing their assignments.

“I feel a bit nonplussed about this award because I know that many of my peers are at least equally deserving,” he said. “I am really just doing a job I love, and that is rewarding enough for me.”

Steve Meier

Steve Meier

Steve Meier will receive the Phi Theta Kappa Lifetime Achievement Award for his 32 years of service and leadership as advisor for the honor society’s Eta Nu chapter at the St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus. The award will be presented during the 2012 Annual Convention in Nashville, Tenn. April 12-14.

This marks the first year the Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented, and Meier is one of two individuals chosen to receive the honor. The award, which recognizes exceptional dedication to the mission and programs of PTK and efforts to support student success over an extended period of time, is not expected to be presented annually.

Meier, who retired June 30 after serving as an SPC faculty member for 35 years, was honored and surprised to receive a letter from Rod A. Risley, PTK’s Executive Director, recognizing his service.

In his letter, Risley credits him with the overwhelming success of what has become one of the most engaged chapters in the organization’s history.

“Because of your leadership, the Eta Nu Chapter not only holds many records for awards and honors, but also pioneered the concept of student success through engagement in projects to support and sustain the college and local community,” Risley wrote.

“I was speechless,” Meier said. “I never expected anything like this. I am deeply touched and honored.

“What is special to me is that this is a first-time award and I’m one of the ones they’ve selected,” said Meier, who attended every international convention during his 32 years as chapter advisor. “I don’t believe I’ve ever seen this type of award given, especially for an advisor. This really is quite an honor.”

Since 1982, the Eta Nu chapter has ranked No. 1 in the state of Florida 21 times. The chapter also has ranked No. 1 internationally five times since 1986 and has received numerous awards throughout its 62-year history.

In October 2011, Meier received the 2011 Southern Regional Faculty Member Award from the Association of Community College Trustees.

Lisa Borzewski

Lisa Borzewski

Lisa Borzewski, Academic Chair of Mathematics at the Seminole Campus, is one of 15 educators nationwide named a 2012 Distinguished Educator by the Instructional Technology Council.

The ITC is an organization that advances distance education through leadership, professional development and advocating, collaborating, researching, and sharing exemplary, innovative practices and potential in learning technologies. Borzewski was nominated to receive the Outstanding eLearning Faculty Award and was chosen by SPC as an exemplary member of its learning community.

via Instructional Technology Council recognizes Seminole Math Chair as Distinguished Educator « St. Petersburg College news.

“Jannus: American Aviator,” a historical documentary produced by St. Petersburg College Videographer Jeremy Peplow and his class of Advanced Videography students, is one of six historical documentaries nominated for a 2011 Suncoast Regional Emmy Award..

Robin Wilber

Robin Wilber

College of Business professors Robin Wilber and Tom Philippe have been inducted as Master Professors in The Business Strategy Game Hall of Fame.

Of the more than 6,200 registered BSG instructors, they are two of 205 to achieve that status by having one or more Grand Champion teams in the Best-Strategy Invitational competition in August 2011. They are the only St. Petersburg College faculty members named to the BSG Hall of Fame.

But neither College of Business professor will take credit for the honor. They credit the spring team’s students, Ashley Kobe, Heather Schmeck and Zoltan Kocsis for their success in the SPC capstone course competition, and Kocsis’ ultimate solo victory in the August 2011 BSI international business competition.

Tom Philippe

Tom Philippe

“It’s more about the students than about us,” said Philippe, a Professor in the College of Business who teaches international business courses. “They did a really fantastic job and they put a lot of time into it; they deserve all the credit for everything that was done.”

“Our students have earned the award for us,” said Wilber, a Professor of Finance for the College of Business. “Since this is their capstone course, we give them the basic framework but do not really go beyond that.”

“We take a very hands-off approach in teaching this course,” Wilber said. “They are doing this on their own.”

“It really shows that the department is on the right track and that all the work that my colleagues and I have done is paying off,” Philippe said. “So it’s really a validation of all that we are doing.”

An estimated 650 faculty and staff attended SPC’s Fall Faculty event Aug 18, 2011 at the Coliseum in St. Petersburg. The keynote address was delivered by President Bill Law. (The question and answer session is not included in this video because of technical difficulties.)

Some of SPC’s 1,020 Spring 2011 graduates personally thank professors and the college for helping them succeed.