Northwest Board of Trustees recognizes faculty, staff for awards

    The Northwest Mississippi Community College Board of Trustees recognized one faculty and one staff member for their excellence in customer service and one faculty for her excellence in teaching at their Aug. 11 meeting.

    Northwest President, Dr. Gary Lee Spears, commended mathematics instructor Kristie Duncan Waldrop for receiving the Sandy Grisham Excellence in Teaching Award for her work on the Senatobia campus and with eLearning. This award is given to an academic faculty member on the Senatobia campus in honor of Sandy Grisham, a retired instructor in the Social Sciences Division.  The selection is made by the Academic Division Directors on the Senatobia campus.  The award winner will receive a check in the amount of $300 from the Northwest Foundation, which represents earnings on the endowment established by faculty and staff.

    According to Canon, this year’s award winner is a dedicated and innovative instructor whose work ethic and passion for teaching create a role model who is admired by peers and students alike.

    "One characteristic that is particularly admirable is the unique talent for problem solving utilizing the latest technology available," said Canon.  "The faculty in this instructor’s division, as well as other divisions, have benefitted enormously from this person’s training sessions in the use of SMART Classroom, including the Sympodium Pad.  From the very beginning of online classes at Northwest, this instructor has served on the E-Learning Council and has taught virtual classes for a number of years."

    Spears congratulated Lafayette Yalobusha Technical Center (LYTC) Special Populations Coordinator Brenda Holmes for being awarded the staff Customer Service Award. Holmes is a 22-year employee who has served in numerous capacities—adviser, teacher, tutor, counselor, administrative assistant and testing coordinator. Holmes was recognized for selflessly donating money to practical nursing students who could not afford to take their comprehensive exams, with her only request that in repayment they help someone else when they could. According to LYTC Dean, Dr. Jack Butts, she has collected money, clothing and household items for students having hard times financially and is sought out by many students as a well-trusted and respected confidant.

    Spears recognized office systems technology instructor Debby Rutledge with the faculty Customer Service Award for her work at the DeSoto Center. Rutledge is one of the Charter Members of the DeSoto Center faculty and for the past 20 years has been the designated lead instructor in the Business and Office Management Technology program. According to DeSoto Center Dean, Richie Lawson, Rutledge is “the epitome of customer service to her students.” Rutledge is consistently one of the highest rated instructors at Northwest based upon her student evaluations.

    “She believes whole heartedly that her responsibility as an instructor is to make every possible effort to elevate her students from the level of education in which she find them initially to the highest possible level during their tenure at Northwest,” said Lawson.

    Pictured above:  Northwest Mississippi Community College President, Dr. Gary Lee Spears (r), recognizes office systems technology instructor Debby Rutledge (l) and Special Populations Coordinator Brenda Holmes (third from left) for winning the 2011 Customer Service Awards and mathematics instructor Kristie Duncan Waldrop for winning the Sandy Grisham Excellence in Teaching Award at the Aug. 11 Board of Trustees meeting. (Photo by Sarah Sapp)