Long-time professor named Teacher of the Year

Anita Williams was recently named 2013-14 Teacher of the Year. She was given the The President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching at the college’s May commencement.

Williams said winning the award was unexpected.

“I felt great,” she said. “I was surprised and very honored.

“[It’s] a great honor just to be nominated because we have so many fantastic faculty and staff that work here.”

Williams said she has been a part of the college in one way or another for many years.

“I was a graduate from OCCC, so my contact with [the college] began in probably about 1978,” she said.

Williams said she didn’t always teach.

“I’ve been teaching for 22 years,” she said. “I’ve been here at the college for 32.

“About the first 10 years I was a full-time coordinator of the banking and finance program and then I moved into a teaching position after that and I’ve been teaching ever since.”

Williams said teaching has been the most rewarding job she’s had.

“I hear from my former students a lot. It’s really satisfying for me to hear from students and that’s what’s been really great about getting this award — because it’s brought my name forward again and so some of my former students have contacted me.”

Kristi Fields, Business Division secretary, said Williams is deserving of the award.

“She is honestly one of the best professors at this school,” Fields said.

Williams said she is honored to have been nominated.

“I thank whoever nominated me,” she said. “I thank my colleagues because they’re just great to work with and they make me better, as well.

“I just try to do the best that I can. I really love teaching. I have a passion for it.

“I just appreciate anyone who takes recognition in the work that I do. I love to teach and I love OCCC.”

According to the OCCC Communicator, “The President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching is presented each spring to a full-time OCCC faculty member who exemplifies teaching excellence. The office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs administers the process of receiving nominees and developing recommendations to the President of the college.

“To be considered for this award a faculty member may be nominated by a fellow faculty member, a current or former student, or by a staff member. Nominees will be asked to complete a reference sheet supplying personal and professional information.

“After a review of all nominations, a selection committee appointed by the Vice President for Academic Affairs will recommend three candidates. The Vice President for Academic Affairs will then forward the recommended candidates to the President of the college who will make the final selection.

“Criteria for selection include:

a) a high degree of professional competence exhibited by knowledge and expertise that is extensive and current;

b) effective teaching methods that demonstrate quality, creativity, and resourcefulness, as well as clear, accurate and effective communication;

c) enthusiasm and a strong commitment to teaching in general and a genuine concern, commitment, and fairness to students; and

d) contribution to the teaching profession at the institutional, state, or national level.

“The recipient of the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching will be announced during commencement exercises. At that time, the recipient will be presented a plaque and cash award of $1,000 to commemorate the honor.

“The award is for the 2013-2014 school year. All nomination forms must be returned by the last Friday in March, to the office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs.”

Nomination forms can be printed by going to www.occc.edu/academicaffairs/index.html and clicking on President’s Award for Excellence.

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