BC Foundation awards exceptional faculty

Source: flickr.com/photos/nataliyakhan

On Wednesday, May 16, students and faculty gathered in the Carlson Theater to see the annual Margin of Excellence awards presentation, sponsored by the Bellevue College Foundation.

Four members of the faculty were picked from 22 nominations and given awards in different categories: The Classified Employee Award, the Administrative Exempt Award, the Part-Time Faculty Award, and the Full-Time Faculty Award.

“The Margin of Excellence Awards recognize outstanding faculty and staff members who demonstrate a commitment to excellence through their contributions to the campus and to the community,” the BC Foundation explains on their website.

Winning staff and faculty are given an award of $1000 each. Students, other faculty administrators, staff, and trustees can all nominate a person who has done outstanding work to be a recipient of the award. The nominees are evaluated and eventually four winners are selected.

This year, the Full Time Faculty Award went to Nancy Gonlin from the Anthropology department. “It’s truly an honor to receive the college’s highest award for Outstanding Full-time Faculty for this academic year.  I’m thrilled!” said Gonlin.

Gonlin, with a Ph.D from Penn State, has been teaching at the college for 13 years. “I’m an archaeologist and … [I] teach a number of anthropology courses (Survey of Anthropology; Biological Anthropology; Cultural Anthropology; Great Discoveries in Archaeology; Archaeology; Aztecs, Mayas, & Their Ancestors).”

Gonlin’s specialty is in Mesoamerican Archaeology and she has studied this in Mexico and Honduras.

The Classified Employee Award went to Danny Pham from the Education Planning Advising Center. Pham can be seen around the IBIT drop-in advising, and is always available to help students plan their class schedules correctly in order to obtain their desired degree.

The Administrate Exempt Award went to Carol Grant, Director of the Academic Success Center. She organizes the program that works with students in need of tutoring, the math lab, reading lab, and writing lab and is responsible for a large amount of the growth that has happened there.

The Part-Time Faculty Award went to Chan Beauvais, from Information Systems and IBIT. Adjunct faculty are making up a larger and larger percentage of teachers in modern colleges, and impact students at many local schools. Beauvais teaches in the Database Administrative department.

The BC Foundation is a not-for-profit group responsible for fundraising for the college – they raise money that, as a state institution, the college couldn’t raise on its own. For example, they put on the luncheon last month that raised nearly $280,000.

They also make it their mission to seek out and award excellence in students – in the form of scholarships and financial aid – and in teachers – in the form of grants and the Margin of Excellence awards.

This year the Margin of Excellence process was made very popular by surprise appearances by Laura Saunders, Interim President. “This year the surprise visits from the College President drew the biggest crowds ever!” proclaims the Foundation on their event updates.

So with bigger crowds than ever and faculty members nominated as deserving by their colleagues and students, the 28th Annual Margin of Excellence Awards Ceremony was a big success.