Staff recognized for making the Delta Difference

Faculty and staff awards 2019
By Michael Piwowarski, news editor.

BAY CITY − Delta College faculty and staff members were recognized for their service and accomplishments at an April 5 award ceremony, held at the DoubleTree in Bay City.

Several staff members were awarded for their years of service at Delta. Linda Petee, Dana Jo Denney, Linda Plackowski-Witucki and Virginia Przygocki were recognized for being with Delta for 40 years.

Following this recognition, awards were given to more than 20 faculty and staff members present. The Faculty Executive Committee Governance Award was presented to the Michigan Education Association (MEA) organization team, in recognition of their leadership in their recent unionization efforts.

Kimberly Wells, assistant professor in electronic media, accepted the Ormond E. Barstow and Ludo K. Frevel Award for Scholarly Achievement, which she received in recognition of her documentary film “My 2 Brothers: From Disability to Despair,” which aired on WDCQ-TV.

“My 2 Brothers” is a story about the journey of a Saginaw police officer who was injured in 1978; when Wells met him for the first time, she felt compelled to tell his story.

“There’s many people in this room who linked arms with me and lifted me up when I needed it most,” Wells said during her remarks. “You really are the reason why I’m here today. You are the reason why I’m standing up here and can say that I have this award, and I have this amazing career.”

English professor Jeff Vande Zande, who introduced Wells, received an award himself: the Rolin M. Gerstacker Award for Innovative Use of Technology in Teaching.

Vande Zande opened his remarks on a humorous note, expressing surprise in winning this award.

“Had you told me 15 years ago that I would have been awarded the Rolin M. Gerstacker Award for Innovative Use of Technology in Teaching, I would have wondered: for what? My ability to email students? My groundbreaking use of an overhead projector as a means to share information? Maybe it would have been my cutting edge strategy of turning on the lights in the room so students can see better,” joked Vande Zande.

The award was presented to Vande Zande in recognition of his venturing beyond English classes towards screenwriting and cinematography, which he has taught at Delta.

“I want to thank the Gerstacker family for having the foresight to start such an award for Delta,,” said Vande Zande. “[…] And I want to end by encouraging all of you to continue to look for opportunities in both your personal and professional lives to reinvent yourself. I can promise that the effort almost invariably will bear rewards.”

List of award recipients:

Bergstein Award for Teaching Excellence
Janet Alexander, professor of English and Melissa Appold, associate professor of dental assisting.

Ormond E. Barstow and Ludo K. Frevel Award for Scholarly Achievement
Kimberly Wells, assistant professor of electronic media

Rollin M. Gerstacker Award for Innovative Use of Technology in Teaching
Jeff Vande Zande, professor of English

Don Laughner Award for Creative Change and the Innovation of the Year Award (from the League for Innovation in the Community College)
Sharon Bernthal, professor of English

Lynn Heatley Award for Distinguished Service by an Adjunct Faculty Member
Ann De Corte, French
Adam VanDyke, astronomy

Executive Committee for Administrative and Professional Staff (ECAPS) Team Excellence Award Lori Kloc, education simulation specialist & learning facilitator
Kara Reder, health lab assistant

ECAPS Willie E. Thompson Outstanding A/P Service Award
Reva Curry, vice president of Instruction & Learning Services

Faculty Executive Committee Award for Support Staff Distinguished Service
Brandy Benkert, administrative office professional in Dental Hygiene Clinic

Faculty Executive Committee Governance Award
Nate Blecke, professor of mathematics
Toni Clegg, professor of accounting
Chris Curtis, professor of psychology
Chey Davis, associate professor of English
Donna Giuliani, professor of sociology
Phoebe Lutz, professor of mathematics
Daisy McQuiston, associate professor of nursing
Carla Murphy, professor of Lifelong Wellness
Felicia Peters, professor of Computer Science & Information Technology
Karen Randolph, professor of English
Andrew Rieder, associate professor of art
Steve Rosin, professor of mathematics
Liz Ullrich, associate professor of political science
Ski VanderLaan, professor of accounting

Support Staff Excellence Award
Kayleen VanWert, administrative office professional in Academic Services

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