Professors react to being named as NISOD winners

NISOD logoOCCC touts eight recipients of the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development award for 2015.

NISOD, created in 1978, awards faculty and staff among community colleges for their dedication and excellence.

According to the NISOD website, nominations are provided by faulty and students.

Each department then makes a selection from the nominees.

Biology Professor Brenda Breeding, Mass Communications Professor Gwin Faulconer-Lippert, Computer Science Professor Vicki Gibson, Math Professor Ernest Gobert, Business and Economics Professor Germain Pichop, Geography Professor Julie Rice-Rollins, Occupational Therapy Assistant Professor Fonda Scott, and English Professor Mark Zindelo are this year’s winners.

“I’m very honored,” said Scott. It’s a big deal.”

Scott has been teaching as an adjunct since 2002 and full-time since January 2014.

Scott said she was surprised, but pleased to be selected.

“It’s nice to be rewarded for the job I do.”

Pichop had the same reaction to being named.

“It just took me by surprise,” he said. “It’s an encouragement for me to continue with what I’m doing.

“It’s nice to know people notice what I’m doing.”

Pichop has been teaching as an adjunct for 12 years and full-time since 2008.

“I’m not big in personal gratification. I just do what I’m supposed to and what feels right,” he said.

Gobert said he feels honored “to get acknowledged by the school, the dean, and the people running the school.”

Gobert has been a full-time faculty member at OCCC for 10 years and an adjunct for 12. He also won the award in 2008.

Zindelo also previously won the award in 2007.

“I never would have expected to win it again,” he said. “I had to ask the person next to me, ‘did they really say me?’ It came completely out of the blue.”

Zindelo said winning the award is a way for him to know he is living up to his goals since starting at OCCC as an adjunct in 1999 and going full-time in 2002 with a year break from 2007 until 2008.

Breeding, who has been teaching at OCCC since 1992, has previously won the award 20 years ago in 1995. Breeding said she was thrilled to win again, but said this time was different than the first.

“The first time it was a complete shock,” she said. “This time it was just nice to know that they think I’m still doing a good job.”

Gibson, who has been at OCCC for 13 out of her 33 years in teaching, said winning the award is always an honor. She won the award for the second time this year, with her first being in 2004.

“I was pleasantly surprised since we have such wonderful professors in this division.”

Gibson said it was nice for the professors who work hard and care about their students to be recognized.

“ … That’s kind of what I’m made of, is helping people get better at what they do.”

The NISOD 2015 award winners will be honored at the Excellence Award Dinner and Celebration at the NISOD Conference in Austin, Texas.

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