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May 4, 2012

Blinn recognizes top educators with Teaching Excellence Awards

Bryan campus honors Utley, May for their dedication

Blinn College-Bryan recognized two of its finest recently, presenting Teaching Excellence Awards to Science Professor Dr. Dennis Utley and Business Professor Karen May during the Blinn Professional Association’s annual banquet.

Utley is an  astronomy, physics and chemistry teacher as well as the coordinator for Blinn-Bryan’s Service Learning program, which allows students to apply their classwork in real-world community service applications.

Utley, who is a sponsor for the Brazos Region Astronomy Service Society (BRASS) and the Blinn College Student Veterans Club, is also on the NASA Night Sky Network outreach planning committee.

“There is no better way to spend your life than to share what you know with others,” Utley said. “Besides, scientists have great toys, and astronomers the best of all.”
Utley also won a Texas A&M Teaching Excellence Award while he was a graduate teaching assistant in nuclear chemistry in 1991.

Outside of his dedicated work at Blinn, Utley spent eight years as a volunteer for the Boy Scouts of America and 20 years as a Sunday school teacher.
Utley is retiring at the end of the Spring semester.

May has taught information management and applied business at Blinn for 11 years in addition to her duties as the information management program coordinator for all four campuses.

She is one of many teachers on Blinn’s campuses who have fully adopted the use of online teaching technology. May, who teaches on the Bryan campus, tutors a student taking classes on the Brenham campus at 8 a.m. four or five days a week using online teaching. She also teaches fully online courses and blended courses, which combine online instruction with some on-campus classwork.

“I believe everyone has the potential to learn, given the right opportunity, and I really enjoy teaching students individually,” May said. “This has always been my passion.”

Prior to working at Blinn, she spent 25 years teaching public school, including 20 years at Ellison High School in Killeen. She also taught for the U.S. Army in Germany.

A native of Belton, Texas, May graduated from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor with degrees in business and secondary education, and a master’s in adult education from Capella University. She has written the curriculum for nine courses in Texas high schools and has authored four textbooks. She also designs web pages and is the state webmaster for the Texas Business and Technology Educators Association.