2014 NISOD Excellence Award recipients are pictured, from left, Kathy Hayhurst, professional development assistant; Missy Spengel, Division secretary, Humanities and Social Sciences; Shiela Venkataswamy, sociology instructor; and Robin Deak, adjunct psychology instructor and adjunct faculty development coordinator.
Four McHenry County College employees were named recipients of the annual National Institute of Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Excellence Awards. The 2014 honorees include Robin Deak, adjunct psychology instructor and adjunct faculty development coordinator; Kathy Hayhurst, Professional Development assistant; Missy Spengel, Division secretary, Humanities and Social Sciences; and Shiela Venkataswamy, sociology instructor.
This is the ninth year in a row that MCC faculty and staff received this award and these four employees are among more than 1,000 recipients who will be recognized at NISOD's annual International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence, May 25-28 in Austin, Texas.
Excellence Awards recognize men and women each year who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment and contribution to their students, colleagues and the institution.
"I’m proud of these employees because they exhibit the high quality and innovative spirit recognized by NISOD and they contribute to the success of our students," said Tony Miksa, vice president of Academic and Student Affairs.
The following MCC employees are named 2014 NISOD recipients:
Robin Deak, adjunct psychology instructor and adjunct faculty development coordinator, brings an enthusiastic smile and positive attitude into her classroom each day that has prompted some students to share with her that her passion motivates them to learn. “I constantly use examples from real life so my students can relate to them, including humorous examples from my own personal life,” she said. She was named MCC Adjunct Faculty of the Year in 2011. She coordinates a 9-week adjunct faculty orientation course each semester and has served on several committees at the college. She earned a Master of Arts degree in clinical psychology from Roosevelt University.
Kathy Hayhurst, professional development assistant, was named MCC Employee of the Year in 2010 for her professionalism and her outstanding customer service and interpersonal skills. “My philosophy has always been to treat other people as I would like to be treated,” she said. She has served on several college committees and is chairperson of the Staff Council social committee. She volunteers at her church and is completing an accelerated bachelor’s degree program in Workforce Education and Development through Southern Illinois University. “I want to be able to help employees learn and help the organization I work for grow.”
Missy Spengel, Division secretary, Humanities and Social Sciences, creates a pleasant work environment and treats people fairly in a competent and genuinely kind manner. “Students find our office to be a safe and welcoming place to ask questions,” she said. She is co-chair of the Assignment Contracts team and wrote their manual, serves on various college committees and has choreographed and performed in several theatre department productions. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in dance/physical education from Illinois State University, taught at Maine South High School, and has done graduate work in choreography and dance history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Shiela Venkataswamy, sociology instructor, strives to give students an understanding of the material and apply it to the world around them. She encourages students to work in groups to learn from each other and welcomes a healthy debate. “Every discussion is unique and exciting,” she said. She participates in several Committees, serves as Social Science Club advisor, and guides students conducting Sociology research as a part of the Undergraduate Research Scholar Program. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of Akron.
Excellence Award recipients receive a pewter medallion and their names are included in a special booklet. All Excellence Award recipients and their colleges are also listed in a special multi-page display in a special edition of “Community College Week.”
"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 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."