State Fair Community College celebrated a time-honored tradition on May 3 with the announcement of the 2019 Instructor, Adjunct and Staff of the Year awards. Based on student nominations, SFCC’s Dr. Brent Bates, Dr. Joanna Anderson and Student Government Association President Elaine Ewigman announced the recipients at a reception in Yeater Learning Center on the Sedalia campus. In celebration of SFCC’s 50th anniversary, previous award recipients were invited to attend this year’s ceremony and reception.
Students submitted 49 nominations for the awards. A selection committee, comprised of student leaders, chose five finalists in each category. Committee members conducted classroom surveys for instructors and questionnaires for staff to select the winners.
Tawnya Blades-Reed, Earth Sciences, was named Instructor of the Year. Blades-Reed has taught almost nine years at SFCC and holds a Masters in Science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Students nominated her because of her knowledge and passion for Earth sciences and her concern for the academic wellbeing of her students.
One student wrote, “She inspires greatness in everyone she meets … Not only does she know everything about the subjects she teaches, she knows every single one of her students by name, not just current, but past students as well … I’ve never had an instructor email me just to let me know they enjoy having me in class and that is what sets her apart.”
Ron Wineinger, retired Theatre Arts instructor and current SFCC Board of Trustees member, was the first recipient of Instructor of the Year in 1988. Previous winners who attended the celebration were Brad Driskill, Kaley Hobbs, Lisa Shoemaker, Randy Crawshaw, Kevin Haulotte, Rick McBride, Jim Page, Carol Schibi, Connie Lamm, Laura Taylor, and Keith Swanson.
Rosemarie Hartner, Literature and English instructor at the SFCC-Clinton campus, was named Adjunct Instructor of the Year. Hartnerhas taught part-time at SFCC since January 2007 but has many more years of teaching experience. She holds an Education Specialist and a Masters of Arts degrees from University of Central Missouri.
The student who nominated Hartner shared that she not only enriched her life in the classroom but also gave her a home. Last fall when the student suddenly needed a place to stay so she could complete her degree in the spring, Hartner opened her home to the student.
The student wrote, “My dream is to become an English teacher, too … and living with her provides me with an infinite reservoir of insight that I could have never dreamed of tapping in to at my age. I’m honored each time she lends me a piece of advice or suggests a book for my reading list … I cannot express exactly how grateful I am for this instructor.”
Students presented the Adjunct of the Year for the first time in 2007 to George Shelley, retired English instructor. Previous recipients in attendance were Kim Rimel, Jessica Wingerter, Dondi Ramirez, and Dan Page.
Macheznie Craig, Science Lab Technician, was named Staff of the Year. Craig has worked full-time at SFCC since September 2015 and holds a Bachelor of Science degree from University of Central Missouri.
Students nominated Craig because she maintains an organized, clean and accessible lab for students and faculty that greatly enhances the learning experience. Craig also was praised for her willingness to answer questions, her positive attitude and concern for students. One supporter wrote, “The most important thing is how well she cares for our safety in lab. She really does want us to be safe at all times. Not just for her job.”
The Staff of the Year was first presented in 2010 to Stacey Klein, Student Life administrative assistant, who now is a navigator. Previous recipients who attended the ceremony were Lindy Johnson, Alex Bliskavka, Danika Doyle, Polly Grapes, Julie Crawshaw, Joe Gilgour, and Klein.
All honorees received plaques and their photos will be displayed in the Yeater Learning Center lobby. They also will lead the procession of faculty and staff at commencement May 17.