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Inside March 11, 2003's Issue

FC wins Teaching Excellence Awards

By Daniel BellDr. Kemper wins Teaching Excellence Award

Georgia Highlands College has won both of the University System of Georgia's Board of Regents 2003 Teaching Excellence Awards for the two-year college division.

Dr. Kristie Kemper, professor of English and adviser of the Six Mile Post, is this year's recipient of the Board of Regents Faculty/Staff award and Georgia Highlands College's Dental Hygiene program has won the Department/Program award.

Each two-year college may choose a nominee for both the faculty/staff award and the department/program award, at which point the nominees have to put together a portfolio and collect recommendations.

A special Regents committee, composed of faculty members and department chairs from across the system, reviews the nomination portfolios and recommends finalists for each award.

Concerning the faculty/staff award, the award committee (as stated by the award criteria) looks "for persuasive evidence that nominees have a record of superlative teaching at their campus, including a strong commitment to fostering the academic success of students through classroom instruction and through interaction with students outside the classroom (e.g. advising, mentoring, recruiting, etc.)."

When selecting finalists for the department/program award the committee looks for evidence that nominated departments or programs promote, support and recognize excellence in teaching and in service to students.

"I was surprised and pleased to learn that I have been selected to receive the Regents' Teaching Excellence Award for two-year college faculty," Kemper said.

Donna Miller, director of dental hygiene, said, "The dental hygiene program is honored to be selected by the Board of Regents for the Teaching Excellence Award. We would like to thank the administration, faculty and staff of Georgia Highlands College who have contributed to our success through their support and efforts on behalf of our students and the program."

Besides the obvious distinction and prestige that comes with such an award, there is also usually some prize money included. It had not been disclosed as of press time if that were to be the case this year.

This is the second time in three years that a faculty member at Floyd College has won this award. Two years ago Dr. Margaret Davis, professor of mathematics, won the Regents' Teaching Excellence Award. Also, the Georgia Highlands College Nursing Program received the Regents' Teaching Excellence program award in 1999.
"The fact that this is the second time a Georgia Highlands College faculty member has received this honor in the past three years speaks volumes for the quality of the faculty that teach at Floyd. Dr. Kemper exemplifies the dedication of this faculty to our students and to teaching and learning," said Dr. Randy Pierce, Georgia Highlands College president.

Pierce continued, "I am also very excited about the honor our Dental Hygiene Department has received. Dr. Miller and her staff are to be congratulated. I am very proud of this institution, its academic programs and its faculty/staff. It is a great day for Georgia Highlands College."

Dr. Virginia Carson, vice president of academic affairs, said of the dental hygiene program, "The quality of the program is demonstrated by the fact that during the 12 years since the program was opened 100 percent of the gradates have passed the National Dental Hygiene Boards and the Southern Regional Testing Authority for registered dental hygienist. This record far exceeds both state and national averages."

Kemper echoed the thoughts of Pierce. She said, "I consider this award as recognition for all the faculty at Georgia Highlands College, who always give their best effort to their teaching and who never forget that students come first."

Carson described Kemper as a teacher worth celebration and said that she has "a profound impact on the lives and careers of her students."

(For pictures and more information on the Dental Hygiene Program please see the related story, "How students work to keep smiles healthy.")

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