NORFOLK – Five Northeast Community College faculty and staff members were recognized with awards from US Bank during the College’s spring semester In-Service recently.
The US Bank Great Performer Awards annually honor employees who have been nominated for their outstanding contributions to the College. The bank, or its predecessor institutions, has presented the awards since 1993.
This year’s honorees and their awards include: Dave Beaudette, US Bank Great Performer Award for Teaching Excellence – Full-time Faculty; Don Burke; US Bank Great Performer Award for Teaching Excellence – Part-time Faculty; Carissa Kollath, US Bank Great Performer Award - Professional Managerial; and Kirk Christian, US Bank Great Performer Award - Classified Staff. The US Bank Great Performer Administrative Award, a new category this year, was presented to Shelley Lammers.
Beaudette, an auto body technology instructor, was initially employed by Northeast as an adjunct instructor in 1998, and moved to a full-time position in 2009.
“Dave Beaudette represents one of those natural leaders who is genuinely well-liked and highly respected by not only those that have worked with him, but also students, parents, and industry leaders,” Beaudette’s nominator wrote. “Dave’s demand for student excellence and determination to continually improve his teaching performance to ensure each student realizes success in the program and in the 21st century workforce has contributed to persistence rates of 79-percent over the past five years and graduate placement rates of 89-percent in the field.”
Students and parents have also expressed their gratitude for Beaudette’s willingness to provide advice and assistance.
“My son didn’t really know what he wanted to do and wasn’t motivated to try,” one parent wrote. “Upon taking classes with Mr. Beaudette, my son couldn’t wait to go back to class and get started on the next project.”
Beaudette was also instrumental in introducing the auto body field to students through the Fridays @ Northeast program, which allows high school seniors to spend the final day of the school week on campus as college students, and promoting SkillsUSA opportunities to students, which assists them in preparing for careers beyond the classroom.
Burke has been an adjunct instructor in the building construction program since 1999, where he has taught evening classes in advanced cabinetry and millwork, in addition to assisting in the management of laboratory activities for the building construction program.
One nominator wrote of Burke, “He always sheds a positive light on any situation and is always willing to give the students whatever assistance he can to ensure their success. It is not uncommon to witness Mr. Burke lending a student one of his personal specialty tools to help make the process go smoother, and maximizing students’ time on the important tasks. One can often hear students discuss among themselves: ‘If you need something, just ask Mr. Burke.’”
In addition to teaching at Northeast, Burke also works as a self-employed contractor in the Norfolk area.
His nominator concluded, “With his educational and work backgrounds, Don excels at showing students the importance of craftsmanship and customer service. Like many of our adjunct faculty, he represents the backbone of our institution.”
Kollath has been employed in the student services division as the director of student activities since 2005.
“Carissa embodies the culture of Northeast and is the epitome of the College mission,” her nominator wrote. “She does this through visible student activities and behind the scenes with Northeast staff. She provides students with exceptional activities throughout the year, topping out at over 100 events. Compared to similar colleges, she is producing over double the amount of events for students to get involved in.”
Kollath and her students’ Escape Room project has been recognized by the Association for the Promotion of Campus Activities (APCA) as the regional program of the year and will compete at the national level in February. Her student leaders have been recognized as Regional Student Programmers of the Year for the past three years and have won a number of other awards.
Another nominator said Kollath has been a role model and leader for staff on campus.
“Carissa is always looking for ways to improve herself and pushes others do so as well. She does all of this with intense energy and a smile on her face.”
Christian is currently employed in the technology services division as the learning space technologist. He joined Northeast in 2009 as a computer support specialist, and prior to his current position, he was an instructional technology systems specialist.
His nominators praised Christian’s technical guidance and support to faculty.
“Kirk is always willing to help and is diligent in following through with a matter until it is resolved. He is persistent and resourceful until he discovers a workable solution. Kirk offers his help and takes the time to share his knowledge with others when it will improve work processes and efficiencies. He not only has the knowledge to do his job well, but he is so willing to provide exceptional customer service.”
Other nominators said Christian is particularly effective at explaining a technology problem in terms that anyone can understand.
“Kirk is a great role model to everyone, as he is calm with presented with computer crises, and his professionalism calms instructors as he solves problems. He takes on additional work when ‘confronted’ outside the office and will almost always take the time to help everyone. Kirk always reflects a courteous and professional manner along with a bit of humor to lighten the day.”
Lammers is currently employed as the dean of student success in the student services division. She was originally employed as a part-time advisor/recruiter in 1999 and transferred to a full-time position in 2003.
“Shelley is a team player and consistently keeps the big picture in mind,” one of her nominators wrote. “She doesn’t let small hurdles become insurmountable obstacles. She is creative and an excellent communicator and can always manage to find her way through any challenge by focusing on doing what is right for the students.”
Lammers’s nominators also praised her leadership as part of the Strengthening Student Advising Team for the past three years, an undertaking that will result in both process and culture changes at Northeast.
“Shelley has not hesitated at all as she has worked through this plan. While this is a joint effort with Educational Services, there always has to be a ‘driver,’ and Shelley has taken that responsibility and has the initiative to keep this team moving in the right direction.”
Troy Strom, president of US Bank, Norfolk, congratulated the recipients and wished the College much continued success.
PHOTO IDs: (left to right) Don Burke, Kirk Christian, Troy Strom, Dave Beaudette, Carissa Kollath, Shelley Lammers.