Faculty and staff recognized with annual awards

San Juan College faculty and staff were recognized for outstanding work at the Spring 2014 Convocation on Tuesday, January 7. Annual awards were handed out for the President’s Mission Awards, the Annabelle Friddle Outstanding Educator Award, the Stu and Jane Wilson Professional Staff Award and the Golden Sun Award.

The President’s Mission Awards are given to an adjunct-faculty member, a full-time faculty member, a professional staff member and a support staff member. Dr. Toni Hopper Pendergrass, San Juan College president, presented the awards. These awards are given to employees who go above and beyond the call of duty and provide a level of service that exceeds expectations. 

Crystal Offut was the chosen recipient of the adjunct award after dedicating the past two summers to being SJC’s Kids Kollege coordinator, helping to facilitate positive learning experiences for hundreds of San Juan County Kids. Offut is also a full-time second-grade teacher and was recognized for being a devoted educator who focuses on what students need to be successful.

The President’s Mission Award for Support Staff was given to Vickie Rothlisberger in recognition of her work across the campus and the community. Rothlisberger serves on the SJC budget committee and acts as the Perkins School Coordinator, administering over $1 million in Perkins grant monies so far. The administrative assistant for the School of Health Sciences is also involved in local youth soccer leagues, Leadership San Juan College and Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Professor of Biology and longtime San Juan College employee Donna Hobbs received the full-time faculty President’s Mission Award for “developing a reputation for classroom excellence and creating intellectual excitement among her students,” Dr. Pendergrass said.  Hobbs was acknowledged for her diligent work to stay current in her field and helping to instill in her students a love of biology.

Finally, the President’s Mission Award for Professional Staff was awarded to Liesl Dees, Director of the Community Learning Center. Dees began her work as an adjunct instructor, before accepting a professional staff position more than 5 years ago. She serves on numerous committees and works tirelessly to provide excellent classes for the community, serving thousands of people each year with enrichment classes and credit classes for older adults. Dees also coordinates more than 150 classes each summer for Kids Kollege including the creation of an Energy Camp this past summer. 

The President’s Mission Awards have been given out for 18 years, and each recipient is awarded a $300 stipend. 

Music Professor Keith Cochrane was honored with the Annabelle Friddle Outstanding Educator Award for his enthusiasm and dedication to students and community-music lovers. Student nominations for the award mentioned Cochrane’s inclusive and encouraging attitude. This is the 16th year the Friddle Award has been presented by San Juan College to an outstanding faculty member. It comes with a $2,500 stipend. Recipients are nominated by students and selected by a student panel. The award was established by Annabelle Friddle, a longtime advocate and supporter of San Juan College. 

The Stu and Jane Wilson Professional Staff Award was then given to Dean of the School of Trades and Technology Bill Lewis. This award carries a $500 stipend and is based on the employee’s selfless service to the college. Lewis was described as a person with many abilities, keen insight and a longtime dedication to San Juan College. Lewis often puts in extra hours and this dedication to the College has made him an outstanding supervisor and invaluable employee.

The Golden Sun Award is a peer-to-peer award given twice a year to an employee who exhibits outstanding commitment to the college’s mission and vision. Judy Hale, who won the award in the Fall of 2013, presented the Sun Award to faculty-member Mike Hattabaugh for his rare ability to combine practical humor with a keen intellect and heartfelt interest in the people he interacts with. The Sun Award carries a $300 stipend.

Recipients’ awards and stipends are provided through the San Juan College Foundation.