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05 July 2007

HACC faculty selected for excellence in teaching awards

HACC, Central Pennsylvania's Community College, recently recognized five faculty members for outstanding service and excellence in teaching.

Taking home the national NISOD Excellence in Teaching Award were faculty members who represented HACC at the annual International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence, sponsored by the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) at the University of Texas, Austin.

Debra Grieneisen, associate professor of biology; Geraldine Gutwein, associate professor of English/Reading; Ruth Negley, assistant professor of biology; Cynthia Nicotera, associate professor of information science, and Lois Schaffer, associate professor of cardiovascular technology, were selected for their commitment to teaching excellence by a committee of HACC students, faculty and administrators.

On HACC's Harrisburg Campus, Grieneisen was recognized for her teaching skills and ability to guide students through their college careers. She was instrumental in developing the Medical Assisting program and developed the criteria for the new biotechnology program. Grieneisen also assisted in designing and establishing biology labs at HACC's Gettysburg Campus and Penn Center in Harrisburg.

Gutwein uses innovative teaching methods, such as student self-evaluations, guest speakers and hands-on experiences to bring interest to her Harrisburg Campus classroom. Her commitment to her students is apparent through one-on-one conferencing and positive student feedback.

At the same time, she is committed to seeking professional growth by regularly attending conferences and seeking publication of her writing. Gutwein's dedication to the Wildwood Writers' Festival and the commitment to college involvement outside the classroom reflect her active college service.

Ruth Negley at HACC's Gettysburg Campus is an instructor in several areas. She is the biology department facilitator, overseer of the Medical Laboratory Technician program and also teaches biology online in HACC's Virtual Campus.

Not only does Negley receive positive reviews from her students, she also is adviser for a large number of allied health related majors. She is co-adviser of the Gettysburg Campus Environmental Club.

Nicotera, a member of the Library and Information Resources division at the Harrisburg Campus, has taken on several responsibilities for the college, such as the organization of the College Archives and the Library and Information Resources Department's Website.

She created the first online "Ask a Librarian" service to answer students' questions more effectively and developed the Nursing Website, which integrates library resources like text, video and PowerPoint. Nicotera's involvement in Faculty Council and the Middle States sub-committee on information literacy indicates her dedication to the college.

Schaffer was a key contributor in the accreditation of the Cardiovascular Technology program at the Lancaster Campus. No deficiencies were noted, indicating that HACC's program is a national model. Schaffer also volunteered to take over the Health Information Technology program and the noncredit EKG training to better serve the needs of HACC students.

NISOD is part of the Community College Leadership Program in the Department of Educational Administration, College of Education, at the University of Texas.

HACC is part of the membership consortium of colleges and universities that share a philosophical commitment to the support of excellence in teaching and learning.

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