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Kimberly Hensley and Steven Lacek have been awarded the President’s Award by First Lady/President of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, Joanne Jaeger Tomblin.
Tomblin announced the recipients during the annual President’s Awards Ceremony.
The President’s Award was established by President Tomblin to recognize an outstanding college employee who demonstrates a commitment to the college and is dedicated to making the community a better place.
Hensley, an Associate Professor of Biology in the Natural Sciences Department, believes in the empowerment of education, and helping her students discover their ‘aha’ moment. “I strive to help my students shape their future and find a path to their goals,” said Hensley.
Hensley is a graduate of Williamson High School and attended Marshall University, where she earned her undergraduate degree in Biology and a Master’s in Environmental Science. She has been a full time professor at Southern since 2001.
She maintains a very busy schedule at Southern and is active in the community, serving as a Sunday school teacher and youth leader and is an instructor for the Merit Badge College for the Boy Scouts. She also tutors and helps with science education on the secondary level.
Fellow recipient, Steven Lacek, Assistant Professor / Department Chair for Transitional Studies began his career at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College in the fall of 1997 as a part time lab manager on the Wyoming Campus. After several semesters he left the state but returned in 2004 as an Instructional Specialist for the Transitional Studies Department eventually leading to his current position.
He recently assumed a leadership role as the Co-Coordinator of Southern’s Self Study for reaffirmation of accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission, leading to his recognition as Southern’s Outstanding Contributor to Community College Education.
He was the 2011 recipient of the Savas-Kostas Outstanding Faculty Award for Excellence and was selected to be a participant in the President’s Future Leaders’ Academy. Lacek is a member of the National Association of Developmental Educators and serves on the WVCTCS Developmental Education Task Force Sub Committee on Assessment.
Lacek earned his bachelor's degree in Education with a concentration in Mathematics from Concord University and Master of Arts in Mathematics from Marshall University.
“At the heart of any great educational institution, are those talented and passionate individuals who devote their time, enlightening and mentoring students for the future,” said Tomblin. “Kim and Steve are two such individuals.”
Several guest speakers visited the Logan Campus to speak to nursing students during their recent workshop. The morning began with a presentation from Dignity Hospice to orient the first year nursing students to end-of-life care. Additional presentations were made by representatives of the Tug Valley Recovery Shelter, the Logan County Sheriff's department, and the Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Christopher White. Together, they discussed the procedures and legalities surrounding the growing domestic violence crimes within our area. The afternoon session included a presentation by Melissa Kirk on Sexual Assault.
Anna James is being recognized as the Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, March Faculty Member of the Month.
James graduated from Eastern University in Philadelphia and earned her MFA in Writing at Queens University of Charlotte.
She joined the faculty in 2011 and holds the position of English Instructor/Transitional Studies.
James states that she wants her students to leave class knowing what they should and to be prepared for the next level course. “I think a key responsibility is to instill a sense of confidence in my students that they can not only pass my course, but also achieve their goals and dreams in life,” said James. “Because so many students limit themselves, I try to help them to dream bigger dreams and to open themselves up to wider possibilities than they've ever imagined,” she added.
James serves on various committees and in the summer she volunteers with College Summit as a Writing Coach, helping high school seniors craft exemplary college entry essays.
She boasts her greatest accomplishment here was getting the job. “I'm a lucky dog,” she said. “I still have to pinch myself that I get to do what I love.”
Her greatest challenge is learning how to get students to carry what they've learned in her course out the door and into their lives. “Some students want to learn for the course grade, not for life. I'm trying new strategies this semester.”
James has two daughters, Shelby 11 and Sonora 14.
Carol Howerton is being recognized as the Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, February Faculty Member of the Month.