Faculty & Staff Honored For Excellence

August 18, 2014

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 $1,000 from the TCC Foundation and a plaque.

Faculty recipients are:

Carolyn Bednar is a valuable resource in the Nursing Program, serving at TCC for 25 years. Her wealth of knowledge, attention to detail and calm presence has made her a go-to person in the division. She has a nurturing spirit that is evident when she interacts with students or answers questions from prospective students. As one of her colleagues said, “Carolyn is truly amazing.”

Francoise Sullivan has made outstanding contributions to the College and the community as a faculty member in Communication Services. Since 1995, she has shown excellence in her profession. She was one of the first language professors to develop and implement Internet courses, which has been integral to the French program. She is a mentor to others and a cultural leader in her community.

Fran French is a caring leader in the Science and Engineering Division. She is adored by students for her ability to make class both informative and fun. Volunteering for leadership roles within the College is common for Fran. She is cosponsor of the Horticulture Club and serves on numerous TCC committees. Her love of education, TCC and her community is evident through her giving spirit.

Lu Ann Thompson creates engaging assignments for students in the Communications Division. She has taken students to record their work at the Thomas K. McKeon Center for Creativity. She developed an honors class based on the Harry Potter series and worked with librarians across the College to offer related learning experiences, which included the Harry Potter Halloween Bash. Additionally, she serves on many College committees and volunteers at TCC events.

Dr. Allen Culpepper is an esteemed colleague in the Communications Division. He promotes excellence through his teaching methods and his respectful disposition toward everyone he encounters. He works with faculty from across disciplines to improve students’ writing and critical thinking skills. Surprisingly, he still finds time to volunteer at Street Cats of Tulsa. Because of Allen’s involvement at TCC, it would be difficult to find someone at Southeast Campus who doesn’t know him.

Mark Swanson is an active leader in the Science and Mathematics Division. Usually the first one to enter the building each day, he always has a smile on his face. For several years, he has worked on building an outdoor classroom with a grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. As you may have noticed, he has used the funds to transform a pond on the Southeast Campus into a natural habitat and wetlands area that gives students hands-on learning opportunities.

Terry McDevitt is supportive to students in the Science and Mathematics Division. He works with them to ensure that they understand math concepts and applications. A few years ago, he developed Event Horizons—a series of events in which he shows scientific and historical documentaries that oftentimes cultivate lively discussions. He collaborates with other faculty, and he often tutors high school and concurrent enrollment students. Terry is a devoted professional and leader.

Staff recipients are:

Mariko Takahashi brings a unique perspective to the office of Global Education and Engaged Learning. A native of Japan, she is passionate about learning and encourages her coworkers to be active, engaged learners. She stays current with trends in technology and enthusiastically shares information with coworkers. In addition to her day job, she also teaches Japanese language courses at TCC.

Andrea Peverley has demonstrated her commitment to the learning process in the RISE TRiO Student Support Services Program. She works hard to provide students with resources and skills that will make them successful at TCC. For more than a year, she has served as the Metro Campus representative on the College Staff Council. She is active in her community and has served youth in this area through 4H and FFA.

Kelly Rose has both the name and the knack for growing things in the Horticulture Department. She has been using her green thumb at TCC for the past 32 years. Using her talents in floral design, she creates arrangements used at various TCC events each year, including the annual commencement ceremony. She is a nature lover and has put her talents to use volunteering as a guide for Keystone Ancient Forest.

Chelsea Denizot brings innovation and collaboration to the office of Academic and Campus Services. She works one-on-one with instructors to ensure they understand the technology available to them and their students. To build relationships with other administrative assistants, Chelsea helped create a training session for those new to TCC. She plays a vital role in the efficient operations of Academic and Campus Services.

Benjamin Bryson, fondly known as Ben, demonstrates commitment to excellence every day in the Student Development office. He is a dedicated professional adviser with students’ best interests at heart. Students specifically request his help because they know they can rely on Ben. He gives to both the College and the community, volunteering for responsibilities such as United Way and GradFest. He is also a great chef.

Professional staff recipients are:

Matt McCoin has a service-oriented approach in Information Technology Services, and that approach has permeated throughout the department. During the Great Metro Fire of 2013, he and his staff literally walked the student information system, Banner, across the street to safety. He led the College in implementing Outlook 365. Most recently, he led the implementation of MyTCC, the single sign-on portal. Additionally, he has a gift for translating technical jargon into plain English for non-techie audiences.

Miguel Da Corte demonstrates excellence every day in the Education Access Center. Opening doors for students through higher education is his passion. He encourages students when they have difficulties navigating through the world of higher education by empowering them with newfound confidence and knowledge. Working diligently to tear down barriers for students, Miguel is the rock that many students need in order to succeed. His ability to motivate others is unparalleled.

Jocelyn Whitney has an energy that is contagious to the people around her in Communication Services. She often volunteers for committees simply because she enjoys being of service. She is positive, creative, intelligent and organized. Jocelyn helps others do their jobs well by setting high expectations, but she also provides them with the tools and leadership coaching they need to succeed. Her service at TCC spans 25 years, and TCC is a better place because of her.

Part-time Faculty recipients are:

Tammy Teague comes highly recommended by students in her Writing II classes, and she provides great leadership to part-time instructors. She has been associated with TCC since 1997, pursuing additional degrees to enhance her education during that time. In her spare time, she volunteers within the community to help with food ministries. Tammy is a wonderful instructor and colleague who has given many contributions to TCC.

Maryann Wright has a teaching style and philosophy that makes her a valuable part of the Communication Services Division. She believes that the classroom is a place for lecture as well as discussion, and that materials covered in class should have real-world applications. Convincing students to stand up and take the podium isn’t always easy, but Maryann has a way of putting students at ease.

Steven Oliver makes an effort to get to know his students in the Business and Information Technology Division. He uses his vast experience as a computer programmer to give students real-world advice that can help them in their careers. As a true lifelong learner, he attends at least two seminars on various topics each month. He is active in his church, serving on both the church board and the church staff.

Phillip King is a loyal faculty member in the Hospitality Management Program. He has taught classes at Dick Conner Correctional Facility, and gladly accepts each teaching request that comes to him. He has served his community by volunteering at Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Oklahoma Medical Reserve Corps. He frequently works on professional development by attending various training opportunities. He leads by example and is admired by his students.