The Blinn College District names its 2019 Teaching Excellence Award winners
Jennifer Patrick, Nilsa Pérez-Cabrera, Brenda Walker, and Audrey Wick are recognized for their innovative approaches to student success
September 9, 2019
The Blinn College District has recognized four instructors for the commitment to student success, passion for learning, and inventive expertise they bring to the classroom.
Blinn named Drama Instructor Jennifer Patrick, Foreign Languages Professor Nilsa Pérez-Cabrera, Health Information Technology Instructor Brenda Walker, and English Professor Audrey Wick as the recipients of its 2019 Teaching Excellence Awards.
Patrick has been a part-time faculty member for Blinn’s Theatre Arts Program at the Brenham Campus since 2010. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Southwestern University and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro.
"I tell my students that I’m not just teaching them about theatre, I’m helping them with time management skills and accountability," Patrick said. "I teach because I am genuinely invested and care about my students, and I want them to fully succeed in life, no matter where their path takes them."
Prior to working at Blinn, Patrick was an assistant lecturer at Texas A&M University. She is a member of various organizations, including the U.S. Institute for Theatre Technology and the Texas Educational Theatre Association. Patrick also serves as director of Brenham Broadway Kids, an organization that coordinates musicals produced by fourth through eighth graders.
Pérez-Cabrera came to Blinn in 2003 and has taught both psychology and Spanish. She holds a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in psychology from the University of Puerto Rico and a Master of Arts in Spanish from Texas A&M University. She is pursuing her Ph.D. in educational psychology at Texas A&M University.
"Sharing my knowledge in Spanish and psychology as well as my passion for learning with my students is one of the greatest joys of my life," said Pérez-Cabrera. "I teach to encourage my students to appreciate the value of languages, become proficient in Spanish, and become responsible citizens of their communities and the world."
In addition to her courses at Blinn-Bryan, Pérez-Cabrera serves as an instructor and coordinator for Blinn’s Study Abroad Program in Granada, Spain. She also is a member of the Texas Community College Teachers Association, the National Association for Chicana & Chicano Studies, and has presented her work at numerous conferences.
Walker came to Blinn as a Health Information Technology Instructor in 2016, after 30 years of working in various managerial roles at hospitals. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from East Texas Baptist College, Master of Science in Health Informatics from Walden University, Master of Science in Health Information Management from the College of St. Scholastica, and is pursuing her Ed.D. with a specialty in e-learning from Northcentral University.
"I want students to understand that healthcare is not just a job, but it is a ‘calling’ to help others," said Walker. "As an educator, I teach the mechanics; however, just as important is my responsibility to demonstrate to students the need for attention to detail and a work ethic that says only my best is good enough for my patients."
Walker earned the Teaching Excellence Award on behalf of Blinn’s technical programs. She is a member of the American Health Information Management Association and is a Registered Health Information Administrator and Certified Coding Specialist.
Representing the Brenham, Schulenburg, and Sealy campuses, Wick has been a member of the Blinn faculty since 2003 and has taught both English and kinesiology. A Blinn alumna with an Associate of Arts degree, Wick also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication and English and a Master of Arts in English, both from Sam Houston State University.
"I believe in celebrating the work of others and showing students the value of writing is its own reward," said Wick. "I enjoy seeing their smiles and helping them discover that the world of writing can be inclusive to them."
In 2011, Wick began the Emerging Writers Contest to celebrate the work of Blinn’s Schulenburg Campus students and she has helped arrange various campus visits by professional authors. An active writer herself, Wick’s articles have been published in The Daily Yonder and on the Writer’s Digest blog, to name a few, and she has produced several novels.
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With an enrollment of 19,581 students, Blinn ranks among the nation’s leaders in transferring students to leading four-year universities and has received national recognition for affordable educational excellence.