Seven St. Petersburg College faculty members will receive the 2014 John & Suanne Roueche Excellence Awards from the League for Innovation in the Community College. The awards will be presented at the Innovations 2015 conference in Boston in March.
The League is an international, nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering the community college movement by hosting conferences and institutes, developing Web resources, conducting research, producing publications, providing services, and leading projects and initiatives with member colleges, corporate partners, and other agencies.
Michael R. Gordon
Outstanding Student Engagement (On-Campus or Blended)
An associate professor in the College of Computer and Information Technology, Gordon designed a blended Cisco Certified Network Associate certificate program that can be completed in just one semester – half the time it normally takes. The blended format allows students to spend their time in the classroom devoted to hands-on lab work. His work was funded in part by a U.S. Department of Labor grant to help the long-term unemployed gain employment.
Results have been outstanding, with 80 percent of the first cohort completing the program successfully and 86 percent of these students passing the CCNA exam on their first attempt. Many graduates have since found jobs with local companies like Tech Data, American Computer Telecom, YMCA, NetWolves, Vology and Cisco Systems.
Cynthia Grey and Wendy Rib
Outstanding Student Engagement – Online
Cynthia Grey and Wendy Rib, professors of Veterinary Technology, collaborated to restructure the curriculum for the college’s online bachelor’s degree program in veterinary technology.
The pair created a more individualized, learner-centered experience to improve learner outcomes and increase student success. Using collaborative web technology, students “attend” at least two senior capstone presentations of their peers and actively participate in a question and answer period. Students also contract with a mentor outside of the course who has specific skills and support that will help them complete their capstone. As peer champions, they support, encourage and act as a resource for at least one other classmate’s project.
Students also receive individual guidance from their professors, as both Rib and Grey spend time consulting with each student, usually by telephone, on their progress throughout capstone journey.
Excellence in Student Coaching and Support
As an associate professor of Natural Science, Ray Menard has worked to help develop students’ technical skills in microbiology research for the past seven years. Students visit the lab on their own time to learn the theory behind the techniques they use and gain hands-on experience in performing the experiments that make them successful and better prepared for the workforce. They develop critical thinking skills, learn to work individually and in groups, and also learn about science in a low pressure environment.
With Menard’s coaching and support, students have investigated how spices inhibit microbial growth, and isolated an antibiotic-producing microbe that was identified as being Bacillus clausii. They have performed several molecular and biochemical analyses, and have isolated and characterized both DNA and proteins. The students have acquired good sterile techniques, are able to successfully culture microbes, and also have learned how to analyze the data and format figures and graphs.
Therezita K. Ortiz
Innovation in the Use of Technology
Therezita K. Ortiz has been a full-time faculty member at St. Petersburg College since 1999 and teaches in the College of Computer and Information Technology. As of Fall 2014, she has taught more than 165 online courses, including Microcomputer Applications, Operating System Security, and Ethical Hacking, Network Defense and Countermeasures. She also has developed courses for traditional, blended and online formats.
Ortiz was the first in CCIT to use virtual machines in her courses. She also implemented LABSIM, a web-based tool that creates real-world, high-fidelity lab simulations, for networking, operating systems, Linux and security-related courses. Her use of multiple online communication resources like showmewhatswrong.com has allowed her to generate step-by-step video tutorials as she provides assistance to her students by walking them through particular tasks. This tool also enables the student to generate videos of what they are doing – right down to their key strokes as they work on assignments and projects. This capability is an asset to any learning environment, especially if it is online.
Innovative Pedagogical Approaches to Teaching and Learning
Anthony Valentine is a professor of Communications with more than 30 years’ experience as a professional actor and acting coach, including appearances on Days of Our Lives, Miami Vice, Night Court, Cybill and Murder, She Wrote.
He incorporates his professional performance experience into his speech courses by demonstrating to students how speaking in public is a form of performance that is similar to acting onstage. His acting experience helps students with both the performance and the business sides of theater and film, and his research includes acting for the camera based on a model of interpersonal communication, public speaking as performance, and teaching diversity in the classroom.
Valentine holds a bachelor’s degree in mass communications, a master’s degree in communication/performance and a doctorate in fine art/theatre. He currently teaches Introduction to Speech Communication, Public Speaking, Introduction to Theatre Arts, and Acting for the stage and for the camera.
James A. Wallis
Innovation in the Use of Technology
A professor of Natural Science, Wallis has led numerous study abroad trips to Belize, Costa Rica and Ecuador, giving his students a greater appreciation of the tropics and related conservation issues.
With the help of a grant from SPC’s Center of Excellence for Teaching and Learning, Wallis has acquired a repository of 700 videos and images from these trips and from around Florida. With these, he has developed multimedia virtual field trips, allowing students to experience places they may not be able to travel to.
The repository includes science and ecology images cataloged for quick reference, including tropical species, reefs, aquatic species, and images of students engaged in science-related activities. All materials are available to other SPC instructors to develop classroom support materials.