Teaching excellence lands five faculty members George Fridell, NISOD awards

June 17, 2008

PINAL COUNTY, Ariz. – Every May Central Arizona College churns out graduates who excel beyond the institution’s Pinal County campuses and centers. Many exit down the commencement ramp toward a promising future thanks to teachers who have impacted their lives.

Each year Central Arizona College honors these educators, first in February with the institution’s George Fridell Excellence in Teaching Awards, then again in May with the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Awards.

Central’s standout teachers for 2007-08 are John Crosby, professor of computer information systems at the Arizona State Prison in Florence; Nancy Enck, professor of health occupations at Central’s Superstition Mountain Campus; Keith Eubanks, professor of English on the Signal Peak Campus; Rick Moore, professor of instrumental music and Central Arizona College band director located at Signal Peak; and Varr Myers, a retiring professor of diesel and heavy equipment technology, heavy equipment operator and head men’s and women’s rodeo coach.

Formerly known as the President’s Award, the George Fridell Excellence in Teaching Award is presented annually in memory of longtime faculty member George Fridell who passed away several years ago.

Winners are chosen based upon their willingness to further their own knowledge; engage and support students and student knowledge; use a variety of new concepts and teaching methods; and participate in the college’s community activities. The criteria includes:

  • Demonstrates excellence in the teaching/learning process
  • Actively involved in student learning (inside and outside the classroom)
  • Demonstrates use of a variety of teaching methods
  • Actively and successfully integrates technology in the classroom
  • Actively demonstrates innovation, which facilitates student learning
  • Incorporates into the classroom the concept that students have different learning styles
  • Active in institutional, campus and division activities.

The announcement of the George Fridell Award was made on February 29 during Central Arizona College’s Faculty Development Day at the Superstition Mountain Campus in Apache Junction.

Each award winner was then afforded the opportunity to attend the International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence hosted by NISOD at the University of Texas at Austin May 25-28.

On May 28 more than 1,300 faculty, staff and administrators were recognized during the closing ceremony of the conference.

Since 1978, according to the organization’s website, NISOD has been dedicated to the professional development of faculty, administrators, and staff; and to the continued improvement of teaching and learning, with the ultimate goal of student success.

More than 700 community colleges around the world are NISOD-members, including almost every large community college district, the majority of urban and technical colleges in the United States and Canada, and more than 200 small, rural colleges around the world.

NISOD is the outreach vehicle and service arm to the Community College Leadership Program (CCLP). The CCLP, at The University of Texas at Austin, is a doctoral-level program training community college presidents, vice presidents, and deans for 60 years. More than 15 percent of the nation's presidents, vice presidents, and deans, as well as a healthy proportion of other college administrators, are UT-CCLP graduates.

Award Winners

Crosby teaches computer applications at the Arizona State Prison Complex in the East Unit and has been with Central Arizona College since 2001. In addition to his regular teaching duties, Crosby is readily available to sit on college committees and teaches a number of courses for the Small Business Certificate offered at the Florence Center.

In addition, he has taught grant-funded transition classes at the Arizona State Prison, giving younger offenders support and encouragement as they prepare to be released from the prison system.

“John’s love of teaching is manifested by the quality of students that complete his program,” Terri Ackland, Central’s dean of arts and social sciences, said, reciting the words of one of Crosby’s co-workers. “He is constantly upgrading his knowledge in the technical aspects of his field.”

Crosby earned his B.S./B.I.S. degree from the University of Phoenix.

A native of Corning, N.Y., Enck is a health careers instructor who is truly student centered. Student needs are never an imposition, which provides ample reason why her students remain in contact with her long after graduating from Central Arizona College.

“Nancy goes above and beyond in every task assigned to her, including many hours spent preparing and then discussing courses and programs in the curriculum process,” Ackland stated. “According to her colleagues, the quality of her work is exceptional in every detail, not only for her classes, but also for the inordinate amount of work hours on our accreditations.”

Enck graduated from the University of Rochester in Rochester, N.Y. with a degree in nursing in 1957 before heading to the Teachers College at Columbia University in New York City where she earned 30 master’s degree credits in nursing education from 1958-61. She completed her master’s degree in education in 1990 at the University of Akron in Akron, Ohio.

She graduated from the former Northside High School in Corning while growing up in Upstate New York.

Since 1958, Enck has held an RN license in the state of New York and has been a certified medical assistant in the state since 1987.

She joined Central Arizona College a decade ago and has served as the medical transcription instructor at the college’s Superstition Mountain Campus while also teaching a multitude of health career courses.

“This is a great honor to be nominated for this award,” Enck said. “It is wonderful to be recognized for being successful in a profession I truly enjoy. I have found teaching at Central Arizona College to be very rewarding and I especially enjoy the students I teach.”

Eubanks teaches English, technical writing, literature, and a leadership course for the Honors Program at Central Arizona College. He has created an annual college and community writing anthology entitled Saguaro Speaks which has been met with tremendous enthusiasm and success.

“He is dedicated to his students and has taken them to national conferences to present their extraordinary papers,” Ackland said of Eubanks. “Keith spends a great deal of time commenting on multiple drafts of student papers and meeting with them individually to discuss their writing.”

Eubanks also is involved in the college community. He serves as a waiter at the Faculty Serving Students dinners; sponsors the Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Club; serves on the Academic Review and Curriculum committees; represents CAC at the English Articulation Task Force; and has created a Shakespeare version of the popular literature and film class.

“He genuinely wants the students to write stronger papers - not just for his class but for all other courses in which writing is critical,” Ackland relayed, citing one of Eubanks’ colleagues. “He merges compassion, energy and laughter into the learning experience.”

A graduate of St. Mary’s College in California, Eubanks earned his master’s at the University of Connecticut.

Myers dedicated his career to Central Arizona College. As the Vaqueros rodeo coach, he honed the athletic skills of his athletes, many of whom have gone on to successful careers in the professional ranks.

Myers stresses the importance of academics as well as athletics. As an instructor of heavy equipment operation, he incorporates new technology into his labs and offers students the opportunity for solid, high-paying careers after graduation.

He has been a key member of the salary and benefits committee and an influential member of the annual Vaquero raffle for the CAC Foundation.

Myers earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Arizona in Tucson.

Moore is an instrumental music instructor at Central Arizona College who conducts music from varied groups such as the Pinal County Middle School Honors Band, the Community Wind Ensemble, and the Jazz Ensemble.

“According to student, supervisor and peer faculty evaluations, Rick is a superior teacher who is enthusiastic, entertaining and knowledgeable,” Ackland stated. “He teaches several instruments and regularly visits Pinal County high schools, teaching workshops and scouting for talent.”

Moore’s duties as the director of instrumental music also include providing all brass and percussion private lessons, and teaching classes in music appreciation, jazz history, and music theory.

In addition to his college duties, Moore serves as musical director for Big Band Memories of Tucson, and performs on the trumpet and saxophone with his own group, the Sonoran Jazz Ensemble, and the Phoenix-based Seniors Unlimited.

Prior to arriving at CAC he served as a middle/high school band director for 17 years in Wyoming, Illinois, Missouri and Iowa. Moore’s high school concert, jazz, and marching bands earned consistent superior ratings at state music festivals. His bands have made appearances at the Fiesta, Holiday, Gator and Cotton bowl parades and games, as well as state music educator conventions.

Moore is in demand as a clinician and guest conductor throughout Pinal County, the Phoenix metropolitan area, and many regions of Arizona. He also has made appearances with schools as guest conductor or adjudicator for music festivals or competitions in Wyoming, Nebraska, Michigan, Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Oklahoma and Arizona.

“This honor is humbling - to be nominated by such talented colleagues whom I look up to,” Moore said. “The students are who inspire me to create, perform, and to pass on the various experiences of life through music. What I do at CAC is not just a job, but very much a big part of who I am.”

A 1984 graduate of Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa with a bachelor’s of music education, Moore earned his master’s degree in education in 1988 from Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, Mo. The Detroit native graduated from Cass Technical High School.



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