2011 April 18 - 12:00 am


  • Essays written by San Jacinto College students Chris Shelton and Pauline Eklund placed among the top 10 finalists in a national essay contest sponsored by Community College Week and the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development. In the annual contest, students submit essays about persons who have positively influenced their college learning experiences. Shelton and Eklund’s essays were selected as finalists from among more than 1,000 entries submitted by college students from all over the nation. This is believed to be the first time two essayists from the same community college were chosen as finalists. Shelton wrote about Ruth Keenan, who he describes as “the most influential person of my academic life.” Keenan served as the director of the North Campus Career And Employment Center, and was recently named as the college’s interim executive director for development. Currently finishing her associate degree in sociology, Eklund began her journey feeling very unsure if going back to school was even the right decision for her. In 2009, she originally took her daughter to enroll at the SJC South campus, but as advisor Angie Sprowl began explaining how to choose courses, she noticed a quiet spark within Pauline as well. CCWeek initiated the annual essay contest, in conjunction with NISOD, in honor of the late CCW editor Scott Wright, an avid supporter of the community college mission.

  • John Bookstaver, a professor of chemistry at St. Charles Community College, received the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in Jefferson City, Mo The award was presented at a luncheon sponsored by the Missouri Community College Association. Bookstaver was described as a prototype of an excellent teacher. Bookstaver is an advocate for high academic standards whose students consistently rate him above department and college averages. His courses are challenging, but his enthusiasm and innovation keep students tuned in, and nearly 100 percent of those who take his classes say they would recommend him to another student.

  • Kansas’s Johnson County Community College debate team was awarded the prestigious McClintock Award, presented to the national champion community college team, at the Cross-Examination Debate Association National Tournament. The CEDA national championship is based on the team’s earned points during an entire season in competition with four-year colleges and universities as well as other community colleges. JCCC was the top-ranked community college the entire 2010-11 season. JCCC dominated the head-to-head competition with fellow community college debate teams throughout the season. This is the second year in a row JCCC has won the National Championship.
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