Honors & Awards
A Summary Listing of Honors and Awards at Colleges Around the Nation
Dani DuCharme, associate professor of biology at Waubonsee Community College (Illinois), has another accolade to add to her award-winning career. The college’s 2016 Outstanding Faculty Member was recently named a recipient of a National Institute for Staff and Organizational Excellence Award. NISOD is a membership organization dedicated to promoting excellence in teaching, learning and leadership at technical and community colleges. The NISOD Excellence Awards were established in 1991 to recognize individuals from member colleges who do extraordinary work. Since then, more than 25,000 recipients have been honored. DuCharme was recognized during the NISOD International Conference on Teaching and Learning Excellence, which was held last month in Austin, Texas. She began working as a full-time instructor at Waubonsee in 2007. Since then, she has earned a reputation as an expert in her field and an advocate for innovative teaching in science, biology and STEM. The 1998 Illinois Math and Science Academy graduate also demonstrates her passion for these studies through her leadership and involvement in many professional and community organizations dedicated to science education.
Amanda Salers remembers the day vividly — the day she found out she would not graduate from high school because she didn’t pass the mandatory Alabama High School Graduation Exam. “I found out my senior year at Sardis High School that I would be receiving a certificate of attendance but I would not be getting my diploma,” she said. “I was devastated.” Now, at are 32, Salers has finally earned her diploma after participating in the non-traditional High School Diploma Option program at Gadsden State Community College. She will be a speaker at the Adult Education Services Graduation at Gadsden State’s Wallace Hall Fine Arts Center. “I’m so excited that I’ve accomplished something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time,” she said. Salers is one of over 500 Alabamians taking advantage of the new HSDO program, which was developed through a partnership between the Alabama Community College System and the Alabama State Department of Education. The program is for those who dropped out of high school without earning the required number of credits or failed portions of the now-retired graduation exam. In 2004, Salers failed the social studies and science portions of the graduation exam. According to the Center on Education Policy, 19 percent of Alabama students failed the science portion and 24 percent failed the social studies portion that year. “Even though I was a good student who earned a scholarship to a community college, I could not receive my diploma because I didn’t pass those two portions of the exam,” Salers said. “I was so upset.” In 2005, she took the GED test but failed the math portion by one point. In April, Salers took several practice tests before taking the WorkKeys Test, one of several options considered for successful completion of the HSDO program. “The option pursued is determined on an individual basis,” Smith said. “Scores on the GED, ACT WorkKeys and Test for Adult Basic Education as well as prior work experience are considered.” Salers completed all requirements for the diploma and will be awarded her diploma at the June 29 ceremony. Her high school transcript will be updated to reflect the credential. Now, she’s focused on continuing her education to work with preschooland elementary-age children.
The Cuyahoga Community College (Ohio) Foundation Board of Directors awarded its 2017 Heath Oliver Distinguished Director Award to Louis G. Joseph in recognition of his exemplary service to the college and its students for more than a decade. Joseph, president and CEO of The Brewer-Garrett Company, joined the foundation board in 2001 and dedicated himself to making higher education accessible to residents of Northeast Ohio. The Westlake resident and his wife established a scholarship fund with the foundation in 2012 to help degree-seeking students meet their academic goals at Tri-C. The Valerie & Lou Joseph Endowed Scholarship Fund supports students in the college’s Honors Program Fellowship. Joseph also has taken an active role on the Foundation Board, serving as board treasurer (2006-2010) and on the Finance Committee (2001-2010) and Executive Committee (2006- present). In addition, he has hosted foundation events at his home.
The Heath Oliver Distinguished Director Award was established in memory of longtime Foundation Board Director Heath Oliver, president of Bardons & Oliver and a valuable member of the Board from 1988 until his death in 2009.