SMC recognizes Employees of the Year
Published 6:39 pm Thursday, May 5, 2016
Southwestern Michigan College’s third Employee of the Year class consists of Dr. Anna Norris, full-time faculty; Joe Coti, part-time faculty; Judy Mustak, staff; and Emily Schrock, student worker.
The second annual team award went May 2 to SMC’s Wellness Committee of Kate Dorner, Judy Cripe, Brent Brewer, Eileen Toney, Bethany Ballard, Kim Luthringer, Cathy Feirick, Maria Veloz, Danielle Lucas and Eric Clayborn.
Dean of Arts and Sciences Dr. Scott Topping served as master of ceremonies, with President Dr. David Mathews presenting trophies and Jane Mitchell from the business faculty and Computing Services Project Manager Eric Clayborn escorting winners along the red carpet to the podium.
Schrock, a 2014 Constantine High School graduate, majored in business for her December associate degree and is now a Ferris State University student. She is a Keith H. McKenzie Hall resident assistant.
Student worker finalists introduced by Vice President of Student Services Eileen Crouse include Arrow Burkholder and Jacob Hainer.
Burkholder, a 2014 graduate of Northridge High School in Middlebury, Ind., majored in psychology and will transfer to Eastern Michigan University to pursue bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology.
His dream job is becoming a mental health psychologist.
Hainer, a 2013 Decatur High School graduate, majored in graphic design. He is interested in attending The Art Institute of Chicago to ultimately become a Smithsonian curator.
Of Mustak, Arts and Sciences administrative assistant, nominators said, “She is the glue that holds us together. She is never shaken or frustrated. She’s quietly efficient and the backbone of Arts and Sciences. She keeps the ship running smoothly. If someone has a problem or a question, Judy always has time to talk and come up with a solution.”
Staff finalists introduced by Chief of Staff Tom Atkinson included Dave Dilno, Computing Services lead programmer analyst; Elva Whaley, Niles Campus academic advisor; Dr. Angie Evans, Director of Institutional Research; and Chris Smith, School of Nursing and Health Services administrative assistant.
Coti teaches in two disciplines, communications and physical education.
“As one of his students writes,” Vice President of Instruction Dr. David Fleming read, “Mr. Coti is very encouraging. I also like when he calls me a kid because I’m 51 years old. Another student comments that he is a dedicated employee who works very hard to help students succeed. He’s kind and makes classes interesting while still letting students know when it’s time to be serious and get things done.”
Part-time faculty finalists were George Field, Social Sciences; Cody Miller, English and Niles Learning Center Tutor of the Year; Erin Russell, nursing; and Melinda Wall, math.
Fleming said of Norris, who teaches anatomy, “One of her nominations is short, sweet and apropos: ‘Anna Norris’ teaching style is the best I’ve ever had. She is very helpful, very clear, very organized and smart.’ Another student called her ‘hands down the best instructor I’ve ever had.’ She has an almost-unheard-of 90-percent student success rate in Principles of Human Physiology.”
Fleming also introduced fulltime faculty finalists Heather Day, communications; Kyle Kelly, information technology; and Melissa Kennedy and Shelley Todd, nursing.
The Wellness Committee provides a variety of fitness challenges, such as the summer Employee Olympics, speakers and other resources that promote healthier lifestyles.
Also nominated were the Math/Science Department for the move to the renovated William P.D. O’Leary Building, organizing its first STEM conference in November and hosting Niles Eastside Connections STEM Club in January; the multi-department EDUC 120 Retention and Persistence Initiative; and Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE) administered by the Niles Campus.
A committee of Director of Human Resources Kate Dorner, Director of Financial Aid Chris Passer, Niles Campus Director Brent Brewer, Director of Development Eileen Toney, Vice President and Chief Business Officer Susan Coulston and Topping reviewed nominations.