2011 May 16 - 12:00 am


  • Pamela Anne Tranby, Riverland Community College biology instructor, was one of the four educators presented with the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees’ highest academic honor, Educator of the Year. The four honorees were selected from 33 educators nominated by the presidents of their institutions. A panel of judges that included faculty members, presidents, administrators and students reviewed the nominees and recommended the four honorees to the trustees. Reviewers said Tranby uses engaging methods and innovative assignments: human immunodeficiency virus epidemic simulation, forensic case studies and a “cemetery demographics” exercise in statistics. She has done the hard work of developing biology labs that work for online classes. She applies both qualitative and quantitative methods to evaluate her teaching throughout her courses, not just at the end. Tranby expects her biology students to be strong critical thinkers.

  • Missouri’s St. Charles Community College Foundation has selected James Hall III, a sixth grade science teacher at Orchard Farm Middle School, to receive the college’s 2011 Distinguished Alumni Award. Hall’s passion for teaching was ignited during a physics class at SCC, and today Hall is focused on making an impact on his students — both in the way they understand science and in the way they view their own career potential. Hall said he also checks out telescopes to students so they have an opportunity to experience the wonder of science firsthand, and that he keeps a class pet, a bearded dragon lizard, to make learning fun for students. When Hall first decided to go back to school at age 29, he was on a path to get a degree in engineering. A scholarship from SCC allowed him to quit his job as a test cell operator on jet engines and go to college full-time. Hall said that had it not been for SCC, college would not have been an option.

  • Ann Gioia, an assistant professor of nursing at New Jersey’s Salem Community College, was honored by the National Academic Advising Association for providing excellent advising to students. Gioia received the Outstanding Advising Award for Faculty Academic Advising. The award recognizes individuals who have demonstrated qualities associated with outstanding academic advising of students. Winners receive a recognition plaque and a one-year membership in NACADA.
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