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Left to right: Heather Fowler, Dr. Rebecca Escamilla, Steve Smith, Vice President of Instruction and Workforce Education, Sylvia Aguilar-Zeleny, Felix Hinojosa, Marcia Clark, Dr. Nader Rassaei, Melissa Aguilera, Keith Townsend, Dr. William Serrata, President

EPCC Announces NISOD Excellence Award Recipients

El Paso Community College (EPCC) is proud to announce its recipients of the annual National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Excellence Awards.

“EPCC is proud to recognize these dedicated individuals who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment and contribution to our students and our college with the NISOD Excellence Award.” Dr. William Serrata, EPCC President said.  “The extraordinary work of these educators includes not only what they do for their students and colleagues, but what they do for our college and our community.”

All of the educators being recognized exemplify the important work being done at EPCC every day and are a testament to the role of education in improving student’s lives.

Dr. Nader Rassaei is most satisfied when he sees a former student doing well in his profession. “Raise the bar high and push students beyond their comfort zone, it is only then that they become confident enough to see the sky is the limit,” Rassaei said.

“I realized early on that in order be an amazing teacher, you must love students then you love the subject you are teaching,” said Heather Fowler. “I am inspired by my students, their struggles and their journey to succeed.” 

Keith Townsend believes empowering students leads to their overall development. “I engage students, through project-based learning and to comprehend its real-world connection,” Townsend said.

 “Recognizing those individuals who have contributed to student success and their colleges’ mission is something we look forward to doing each year,” said Dr. Edward J. Leach, NISOD’s Executive Director. “The extraordinary work of these men and women includes not only what they do for their students and colleagues, but what they do for the communities in which they live and work. We’re honored to be able to play a part in celebrating their achievements.”

The recipients were also recognized at EPCC’s annual Faculty Recognition Dinner. The 2017 honorees include:

Minnie Stevens Piper Professor Award Winner
Dr. Nader Rassaei: Pharmacy Technology

Full-time Faculty Achievement Award Winners
Dr. Rebecca Escamilla: Biology
Ms. Heather Fowler: Nursing
Mr. Keith Townsend: Speech and Theater

Adjunct Faculty Achievement Award Winners
Ms. Sylvia Aguilar-Zeleny: English
Ms. Melissa Aguilera: Speech
Ms. Marcia Clark: Speech

President’s NISOD Excellence Award Winner
Mr. Felix Hinojosa: Director of Athletics

The recipients will be celebrated during the Excellence Awards Dinner and Celebration in conjunction with NISOD’s annual International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence, May 27-30, in Austin, Texas.

Since 1989, the NISOD Excellence Awards and annual conference has represented the largest and most inspiring gathering that recognizes the contributions and achievements of community and technical college faculty, administrators and staff.  Created in 1978, NISOD is a membership organization committed to promoting and celebrating excellence in teaching, learning and leadership at community and technical colleges.

NISOD supports its member colleges by providing professional development resources and learning experiences, including practitioner publications, webinars, the annual International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence, the NISOD Excellence Awards and more. For more information about NISOD, visit www.nisod.org.

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