And the award for excellence goes to ...

Have you ever had a professor who left a lasting impression? Someone who didn’t just lecture but really taught and helped you grow? Perhaps you thought his class was irrelevant but he managed to keep you interested. Maybe she pushed and challenged you to improve when you just wanted to pass the class. Have ever wanted to tell that professor thank you? Well, now you can.

Every spring, Richland College offers students the chance to nominate the professor of their choice for the Excellence in Teaching Award. You don’t have to nominate just one. Categories include full-time and part-time instructors. As long as they teach, they can be nominated. The winners are honored at the fall convocation on campus. The recipients are also entered into the district-wide Minnie-Stevens Piper Award. The Piper finalists compete with Dallas County Community College District colleges and advance further to the state-wide Piper competition. 

To nominate an instructor, fill out a form with their information and why you selected them at The deadline is March 10.  

Once an instructor is nominated, Dr. Zarina Blankenbaker, executive vice president for academic affairs and student success, will contact them to coordinate their credentials with a peer committee that will choose a finalist for each category. 

“There are typically three finalists and from the three one recipient is announced,” said Blankenbaker. “It’s definitely worth a student or peer’s effort to nominate an instructor because the award is really a recognition, an honor, for individuals who work hard to distinguish the caliber of their teaching.” 

If a student’s nominee is a finalist they may attend the fall convocation and might get to see them win the award. 

Last year’s full time faculty winner from Richland was Dr. Dee Hobson from the School of Business. Hobson has taught at Richland for 17 years. She specializes in Access, Excel and computer skills needed for business in the modern world. Currently, she teaches a Windows 10 class for emeritus students. 

Hobson was surprised to win the award. “My feeling was it’s an honor to be nominated. That’s probably as far as I can go and that’s fine,” she said. “So literally I was speechless. I don’t even remember what I said. I do remember saying the other two were just as worthy as me.” 

Hobson won a stipend, which she has yet to spend, but was particularly happy to receive a parking pass to make getting around campus much easier.

“That was the real prize right there,” Hobson said.  

If you know an instructor who goes the extra mile, nominate him or her so that he or she knows his hard work is appreciated and recognized.