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Blinn names its 2015 Teaching Excellence Award winners

Wahrmund, Bow and Pearson are recognized for their commitment to student success

May 12, 2015

Blinn College celebrated another year of outstanding instruction by honoring three instructors for their commitment to student success.

Blinn named Theresa Wahrmund its Teaching Excellence Award winner for the Brenham, Schulenburg and Sealy campuses, while Linda Bow and Shelley Pearson earned the honor on Blinn’s Bryan campus. The awards are presented by the Blinn professional associations on the Brenham and Bryan campuses.

Rachael Lacina-Taylor and Stephen Sebesta were named finalists for the Brenham, Schulenburg and Sealy campus awards. On the Bryan campus, Nicole Cloutier and Jane Kalscheur were awarded Blinn Professional Association student scholarships.

Blinn also recognized its recent retirees on all campuses, including: Cynthia Griffith, vice president for instruction for technical and workforce programs; Harold Nolte, district president; Joan Richards, apartment manager; Marvin Tate, associate director of resource development; Wanda Cartwright, residence hall coordinator; Esther Landry, administrative assistant; Lola Hutson, business office assistant director; Lori Krchnak, academic affairs assistant; Nancy Roesler, instruction for academic programs administrative assistant; Robert Ferguson, computer science instructor; Jane Haggard, communication instructor; Rosemary Degner, fine arts instructor; Edwin Ueckert, criminal justice instructor; GayeLynn Thomas, humanities instructor; Esther Quantrill, humanities instructor; Sally Deuermeyer, communication instructor; Virginia Machann, humanities instructor; Victoria Sharpe, natural science instructor; Gary Ivy, mathematics instructor; Charles Heller, natural science instructor; and Charisse Richarz, humanities instructor.

Theresa WahrmundWahrmund, TEACH Program director for the Division of Humanities, has served on the Blinn faculty since 2001. Prior to that, she worked for Brenham ISD as a teacher, curriculum specialist and lead teacher and technology specialist.

“The dedication she has to her students and to the subject she teaches is great,” wrote one of the students who nominated Wahrmund for the award. “She believes in us and lets the students know she believes in them every day in the classroom.”

Another student wrote, “I think Mrs. Wahrmund could teach the most boring subject in the world and make it interesting. I think all teachers, elementary all the way through college, could learn something from her.”

Bow, a Blinn instructor since 2000, is department head for the English and Philosophy Department within the Division of Humanities.

Linda Bow “Linda is one of the most effective instructors with whom I have worked in almost 20 years of teaching experience at the college and university level,” said Dr. Richard Williamson, director of the Blinn – Bryan campus Writing Center. “As a teacher, scholar and faculty member, Linda exemplifies what a successful and inspiring college instructor should be.”

Pearson, director of the Radiologic Technology Program in the Division of Health Sciences, began her relationship with Blinn as a volunteer clinical coordinator before joining the faculty in 2005.

“Albert Einstein said, ‘It is the extreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge,’ and I find that to have been so true of Shelley because I’ve seen her find her own pathway to excellence,” said Dr. M. Elia Flores, dean of the Division of Health Sciences. “She has certainly made an impression on her students and I know she’ll do even better things in the years to come.”

Lacina-Taylor, a Blinn instructor since 2009, teaches English for the Division of Humanities.

“What sets Mrs. Taylor apart from other teachers is her passion and dedication to her classroom work as well as participating very actively with the Blinn College Music Department,” one student wrote in nominating Lacina-Taylor.
Sebesta, a Blinn instructor since 1997, teaches sociology for the Division of Social Sciences.

Shelley Pearson “It is rare that a student stumbles upon a teacher who impacts their life in such a drastic way that the course of their life changes,” wrote a student in nominating Sebesta. “Mr. Sebesta was that teacher for me. A teacher has never inspired me as much as Mr. Sebesta has and I have never been more motivated in life to be a better person and a better student.”

Blinn has earned a statewide reputation for academic quality and affordability. Its academic transfer rate regularly ranks among the highest in the nation and is approximately 20 percent higher than the state average. Out-of-district students who took 30 credit hours at Blinn in 2014-15 saved approximately $4,000 in tuition compared to the average Texas public university (48.8 percent).

Registration is currently open for Blinn’s May Minimester and Summer and Fall semesters. For enrollment information and to learn about financial aid opportunities, visit: www.blinn.edu.

About Blinn College
Founded in 1883, Blinn is a comprehensive community college committed to educational excellence and to individual and community enhancement. With an enrollment of 19,317 students, Blinn ranks among the nation’s leaders in transferring students to leading four-year universities and has received national recognition for its affordable educational excellence.

As part of its commitment to student success, Blinn is implementing a Quality Enhancement Plan titled “Destination Success: First-Year Focus,” which utilizes learning communities to support first-year college students.

For enrollment information and to learn about financial aid opportunities, visit: www.blinn.edu.

LindaBow – Linda Bow (left), department head for Blinn College’s English and Philosophy Department, is presented her Teaching Excellence Award by Bryan campus Blinn Professional Association representative Shahnaz Milani.

ShelleyPearson – Shelley Pearson (left), Radiologic Technology Program director, is presented her Teaching Excellence Award by Bryan campus Blinn Professional Association representative Shahnaz Milani.

Lacina-Taylor Wahrmund – Theresa Wahrmund (right) was awarded the Teaching Excellence Award by the Brenham campus Blinn Professional Association. Rachael Lacina-Taylor (left) and Stephen Sebesta (not pictured) were named finalists.