2018 Faculty and Staff Excellence Award Winners

September 11, 2018

The Tulsa Community College Foundation awarded several faculty, staff and professional staff with Excellence awards at this year’s Convocation. Each recipient, nominated by TCC colleagues, received a plaque and $1,000 from the TCC Foundation.


· Debbie Bateson, Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence. Debbie served in the Dental Hygiene program for 10 years. Just recently, Debbie was named Dean of the School of Allied Health. For those who know Debbie, she doesn’t back down from a challenge. Whether she’s taking students to Nicaragua, researching new technology or creating student debates, she embraces all challenges in a courageous manner with a smile on her face. Her nominator said this about her, “Debbie isn’t one who learns new tools and then hoards them. She’s ready and willing to share what she knows with others. She is a huge inspiration to other faculty!”

· Kim Fryer, Staff Award for Service Excellence. Kim is an administrative assistant in the Academic & Campus Services office. In her role, she helps adjunct faculty navigate TCC systems, serves as a sounding board for ideas, and even serves as a tour guide, helping visitors lost on campus find where they need to go. Kim works with various disciplines and Schools to assure smooth communication and seamless service to faculty, staff and students. Her nominator said this about her, “people from across the college know that Kim can be counted on for quick, accurate, professional leadership.”

· Kelly David, Professional Staff Award for Service Excellence. Kelly is an assistant director of academic advising. Kelly’s work on implementing new student success software such as Starfish and Degree Works has had a tremendous impact on TCC students. Her incredible technology skills, as well as knowledge of State Regents and TCC policies, helps her advisors and peers on a daily basis. Her nominator said this about her, “Kelly has proven to be a true student advocate and a mentor for all the staff members that work closely with her. She goes the extra mile to ensure our College’s student success goal is fulfilled.”


· Sabrina Ripp, Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence. Sabrina is a math professor. Sabrina is dedicated to her students and makes sure they can reach her through email, phone, office hours and virtual office hours. She is always looking for inventive ways to help students understand math and knows not all her students learn the same way. She listens to her students and helps them with plans to succeed academically. Her colleague said this about her, “Sabrina inspires me to be a better teacher, colleague, and human being.”

· Debbie Pleasant, Staff Award for Service Excellence. Debbie is an administrative assistant in the School of Liberal Arts and Communication. Debbie is the go-to person for any needs, from losing your keys to equipment malfunctions, she can solve almost any issue. In addition to being a whiz at technology, she also helps plan campus celebrations like the Thanksgiving and Holiday luncheons. She is knowledgeable of her surroundings and works diligently with the faculty in her division to support students. Her nominator said this, “Debbie is the epitome of helpfulness. Employees at Northeast Campus know they can turn to Debbie for help with anything.”

· Karen Harmon, Professional Staff Award for Service Excellence. Karen serves as interim senior director of diversity and inclusion and director of military support and special programs. Karen is dependable, trustworthy and a person of great integrity. She leads by example and is always willing to aid all students, especially TCC Veterans, in their ability to navigate the world of academics. Her colleague said this about her, “Karen’s enthusiasm for life and faith in the potential of each individual is contagious.”


· Brena Bellovich, Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence. Brena is a math professor. Brena is a mentor to her peers and regularly met with an adjunct who needed a refresher for teaching Calculus 2. She coordinated this year’s Integration Bee and helped her peers co-plan their Quantitative Reasoning course. Her nominator said, “Great educators are reflective of their practices, intentional with their planning, and willing to hear another’s idea. Brena exemplifies all three of these characteristics.”

· Dr. Dusti Sloan, Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence. Dusti is a science professor. Dusti has worked tirelessly to create pathways of education for her students in the biotechnology program. She is a supportive colleague who often works behind the scene to produce stellar products for the TCC community. She embeds research experiences into her curriculum that culminates in a science presentation and she has created an apprenticeship course for her students. Her nominator said this, “Dusti is the picture of intellectual achievement and creative energy.”

· Lawrence Rosenborough, Staff Award for Service Excellence. Lawrence is a financial aid advisor. Visiting the financial aid department can be a stressful experience for many students so Lawrence goes out of his way to greet each student and create a stress and anxiety-free environment. He answers questions and gives each student encouraging words before they leave. He has an ability to break down policy into easy to understand terms so students understand the complicated world of financial aid. One of his colleagues said this about him, “He is an asset to students,and TCC as a whole.”

· Vicki Jones, Professional Staff Award for Service Excellence. Vicki is the TRiO Educational Opportunity Center Director and Interim Director of TRiO Student Support Services. Vicki sets high standards for herself in terms of ethics and integrity and expects the same from her staff. She never asks an employee to do anything that she would not do herself. She ensures her staff members are adequately trained to help with areas within TCC and outside of the college, such as finding webinars and online trainings. Her colleague said, “Vicki is passionate about her job and shaping others to be successful.”


· Dr. Jan Weaver Barnett, Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence. Jan has been in the TCC Veterinary Technology Program for the past 20 years. Not only is she responsible for the Vet-tech students, but she’s also responsible for the many dogs, cats, horses and other animals they see throughout the year. She welcomes questions and discussion among her students and creates a safe, effective learning environment for them to succeed. Her colleague referred to her as “a jewel of a faculty member, guiding a highly-complex program.”

· Dr. Stephanie Youngblood, Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence. Stephanie is an English Composition professor. She believes in her students’ ability to be curious about the world, and she grounds her Composition assignments within that curiosity. Her students participate in ArtFocus, where they meet at Philbrook to discuss and make art with dementia patients and their caregivers. Her nominator said this about her, “Stephanie inspires me to try new things. She taught me how to use portfolios to access student writing, and now I see huge differences in my students’ writing from the beginning to the end of the semester.”

· Jennifer Champion, Staff Award for Service Excellence. Jennifer has been a Student Life coordinator for the past eight years. Her eagerness to serve the students and staff of TCC is evidenced by her ability to go above and beyond the call of duty. She is respected by her colleagues and brings creativity to all her work. She is the first to volunteer for Student Life events that go beyond working hours because she is passionate about students enjoying their time at TCC. Her colleague said this, “Jennifer is an advocate for students on campus and truly believes that student services and student life enrich a student’s education.”

· Emily Tichenor, Professional Staff Award for Service Excellence. Emily is the former director of the West Campus Library and the recently named director of project management in the Academic Affairs department. Emily is known for setting goals and giving her library staff the tools and training to help them meet those goals. She encourages critical thinking skills and helped revamp a study space for students on West Campus so they have a place where they can connect and build meaningful relationships centered around learning. Her nominator said this about her, “she supports the campus and the college community by fostering collaboration in other areas on campus and across the college.”


· Carrie Warren, Staff Award for Service Excellence. Carrie is an administrative assistant in the facilities department. Carrie is the administrative hub of the department. She coordinates requisitions, quotes, and requests for all TCC campuses. She maintains her laser-like focus on each transaction and ensures all vendors have a great experience when communicating with TCC. Her colleague said this about her, “she doesn’t do enough just to get by, she serves the team and provides quality information that allows for quicker service and faster decision making.”

· Lori P. Knight, Professional Staff Award for Service Excellence. Lori is an institutional research manager in the Institutional Research and Assessment department. Lori is a driving force for interpreting the College’s data and she frequently produces accurate information with little turnaround time. She also oversees TCC’s annual reporting for IPEDS and HLC via their annual institutional update. Her nominator said this about her, “Lori is an unsung hero in this College. She can interpret and turn data around quickly.”


· Kelly Scalf, Staff Award for Service Excellence. Kelly is the assistant director of the Answer Center. In her time at TCC, she has held many roles, but one thing that remains true is her undeniable heart for service and for TCC students. Her colleague said, “I watch in amazement how she effectively balances her duties while remaining friendly and approachable. Her smile and demeanor do not change from the first student of the day to the last.”


· Metro Campus: Connie Dollens, adjunct faculty in the occupational therapy assistant program

· Northeast Campus: Charles Mansfield, adjunct faculty in the criminal justice program

· Southeast Campus: Tracie Sexson, adjunct faculty teaching the First Year Experience class

· Southeast Campus: Kimberly Banfield, adjunct faculty in the School of Science and Math

· West Campus: ;Dan Hart, adjunct faculty in psychology

Download link: photos from the Convocation presentation. (Right click and open in a new tab.)