MHCC Announces Part-time Faculty Awards

Posted June 28, 2013 

Each year, Mt. Hood Community College recognizes outstanding part-time faculty for their contributions to teaching and learning – a core MHCC value, along with community engagement and resource development. The 2013 Part-time Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching goes to Michael Jones, Scott Plinski and Kori Torheim.

The award recognizes excellent teaching and service to students and peers, and encourages continued excellence in those areas. Each recipient learned about his or her award by a surprise visit from several MHCC administrators who brought gifts and congratulations. Recipients were lauded at the June 12 MHCC Board of Education meeting and each will be presented with a $500 check from the Foundation.

Jones, a Natural Resources instructor, received an outpouring of support from his students in written nomination forms. Students praised him for his clear instructions and patience, professionalism and friendly manner. "Dr. Jones is always polite, courteous and open for conversation," the students unanimously agreed.

Students also wrote, "Dr. Jones genuinely cares about us!" and "The knowledge Dr. Jones shares is relevant to our daily lives; he knows our northwest ecology and he lives what he teaches. His field trips are the best!"

Administrators also recognized Plinski, from the Humanities division, with an award of excellence. Students went wild with excitement, whooping, hollering and clapping at the announcement.

Plinski received strong recommendations from his colleagues and division dean. He has taught reading at MHCC since 2010 and during this time he has shared his knowledge of research and trends in developmental education and specifically in the area of reading. He is greatly admired and respected by everyone who works with him and by the students who benefit from his instruction.

Written nominations praised Plinski for his "gentleness, the safe environment he creates in his classes and the sense of mutual respect he shares with his students."

At the surprise announcement, several students spoke about how much Plinski has helped them through some tough times, one of whom shared, "It took me three tries, but I finally got it!"

Torheim, an Adult Basic Skills instructor, received high marks for her support of students. Her strengths, as noted in her nominations, include her deep compassion for students and an innate understanding of their individual needs.

She uses various teaching methods to help her students reach learning levels at their own pace. She encourages them to problem-solve by engaging them in different kinds of instruction, including group sessions, individual work and teaching games. She recently used a fly swatter to help students increase their vocabularies. The students not only learned new words, but they had fun doing it, too! She uses group work to demonstrate what it is like in the workplace.

Congratulations to the winners of the 2013 Part-time Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching!

For more information, please contact the Office of College Advancement, 503-491-7204 or 

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 Last Modified: 6/28/2013 04:38:22 PM