2016 July 20 - 04:27 pm

Honors & Awards

A summary Listing of Colleges Receiving Institution and Individual Honors and Awards

For Imogene Mathison Mixson, deciding what she wanted to do in life was easy. “I came into this world knowing that I wanted to be a teacher,” she once said, and for 37 years, she practiced her resolve. Little did she know she would become a legendary instructor and an avid supporter of education. In April, she was named Auburn University College of Education Outstanding Alumnus at the Outstanding Alumnus of the Year at the 35th Annual Awards Recognition Ceremony for the AU College of Education. Wallace Community College-Dothan was one of the fortunate institutions to have been gifted with her guidance and gift for educating others. “In 1968 I was a student in her English Literature 262 class at Enterprise State Junior College, now Enterprise Community College. She possessed the innate ability to make the subject matter ‘come alive’ for students,” said Linda C. Young, WCCD president. “Without a doubt, she is the most capable and inspiring teacher I ever had at any level.” Young nominated Mixson for the Auburn award. Mixson’s years of service in the Alabama Community College System include stints as an English instructor, department chair, and academic dean. She also served as interim president — twice. She has been honored as teacher of the year and administrator of the year, and was named an outstanding Auburn University Woman Graduate in 1992 as part of the Celebration of the Centennial of the Admission of Women to Auburn University. Mixson earned a bachelor’s degree in secondary English education from Troy University in 1959 before completing a master’s degree in English education at Auburn in 1963. She earned a Ph.D. in English education from Florida State University in 1972.


Val Harris, associate dean of adult education at Lewis and Clark Community College (Ill.), has been honored as one of the YMCA’s Women of Distinction for 2016. For more than 20 years, Harris has been an advocate for students at the college. She has served with the Adult Education Department for the past 26 years. The Adult Education programs at L&C revolve around meeting the educational needs of adults who lack basic skills and are looking for a nontraditional way to find their path and fulfill their potential. Many have dropped out of high school. “My life goal is to make the world a better place by giving people access to transformative resources, like education,” Harris said. “It is hard to see myself doing anything else.” Besides GED preparation and English as a Second Language courses, L&C also offers support services and coursework to help students transition to college, including Project READ, which provides volunteer tutors to provide individualized tutoring for those who need extra assistance; family education programs, ich encourage an intergenerational approach to educational achievement; and the YouthBuild Building Futures program, for which Harris was the principal grant writer. “Being involved with YouthBuild has fed my soul,” Harris said. “I love to give students the opportunity to transition into college. These efforts have kept me excited about my work, while reminding me how important our goals are.” Harris earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Illinois, a master’s degree in higher education leadership from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and will complete her Doctorate in Education in December 2016.

Oakton Community College (Ill.) Microsoft Curriculum Coordinator Ed Gallagher has been awarded Microsoft Most Valuable Professional for his outstanding contributions in Windows and Devices for IT technical communities during the past year. The MVP honor, Gallagher’s 10th in a row, is given to exceptional leaders who actively share their high quality, realworld expertise with others. Gallagher, a computer networking and systems instructor at Oakton since 2000, has more than 70 technical certifications and developed the college’s Microsoft Certification program in 2003. He also has served as the advisor the Chicago Computer Society, a club that offers opportunities for students to enhance knowledge and understanding of computer software and hardware. When he’s not teaching at Oakton, Gallagher works as an IT consultant, designing and building networks for various size companies across the country.

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