GRCC names three recipients of Excellence in Education awards



Leah Nixon

Director of Communications


Aug. 27, 2013 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids Community College presented Excellence in Education awards to a psychology professor known for making each student feel valued, a “go-to” staff member in the School of Workforce Development, and a professor who has received national attention for her outstanding course design.

The Excellence in Education Awards were established in 1989 to honor GRCC employees — all of whom are nominated by their peers — for their contributions to the college, higher education and the community. This past spring, all previous winners were invited to a first-time gathering, where they were given special commemorative medals by GRCC President Dr. Steven C. Ender. The college plans to make the spring celebration a biennial event.

“The Excellence in Education Award is the most important award that our institution has,” said Provost Gilda G. Gely. “It is highly regarded by all employees as the ultimate recognition from your peers, and it is truly an honor to be recognized.”

This year’s Excellence in Education Faculty Award went to professor Judy A. Jankowski, who began in GRCC’s psychology department in 1986.

“Judy holds herself to a very high standard as a teacher and continues to be very passionate about her students’ learning and keeps her teaching fresh and energetic,” President Ender said. “She epitomizes the reflective, committed teacher.”

This year’s Excellence in Education Staff Award went to Nanci Guigue, an Educational Support Professional in GRCC’s School of Workforce Development. She started working for GRCC in 1992.

“We all know who our go-to person is when we have questions,” stated one letter of support for Ms. Guigue’s nomination.

“Nanci’s skills make her one-of-a-kind — irreplaceable — and yet she’s always willing to share her knowledge and experience with others,” Dr. Ender said. “She is continually looking for ways to make a trip to GRCC a top-notch experience for all who come to campus.”

This year’s Excellence in Teaching by Adjunct Faculty Award went to Cheryl Kautz, who has taught in the computer information systems department since 2007. She has done extensive work on accessibility and has led workshops through GRCC’s Center for Teaching Excellence and developed online tutorials to help faculty create courses that are accessible to all students. This summer, she was awarded two 2013 Blackboard Catalyst awards for Exemplary Course Program. She also received a Catalyst Award in 2012.

“When you look at the values of Grand Rapids Community College, it is easy to see why this year’s Excellence in Teaching by Adjunct Faculty Award winner was selected,” Dr. Ender said. “Her skills, passions and work — combined with her reputation among colleagues and students — truly do personify the values of this institution.”

Grand Rapids Community College, established in 1914, offers opportunities for more than 30,000 students annually in degree courses, certification and training programs, workshops and personal enrichment classes. GRCC holds classes on the downtown Grand Rapids campus as well as several locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties.