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May 1, 2012

Teaching Excellence Award winner Connie Youngblood (center) is joined by award finalists Bryn Behnke (left) and Jill Stewart (right)

 

Schulenburg/Sealy instructor’s dedication earns Blinn teaching award

‘I couldn’t picture myself doing anything but teaching,’ says Youngblood

Blinn College recently recognized the very best of its faculty from the Brenham/Schulenburg/Sealy campuses, honoring Humanities Instructor Connie Youngblood with a Teaching Excellence Award at the College’s 15th annual retirement luncheon.

Youngblood, an eight-year teaching veteran, has taught English and philosophy at Blinn for six years, working primarily on the Schulenburg and Sealy campuses. A Faculty Senate Representative for humanities and parallel studies, Youngblood also teaches dual credit courses to students from Schulenburg, Flatonia, Columbus and Weimar.

She was a finalist for the Teaching Excellence Award in 2009.

“I surround myself daily with so many wonderful professors and instructors that this is completely overwhelming,” Youngblood said in her acceptance speech. “We are very fortunate to be at Blinn College and to journey with these students.”

Outside the classroom, Youngblood presents at a local book club, and she and her husband Aaron, along with their daughter Skye, 5, are a licensed foster care family. She was nominated for the Teaching Excellence Award by Blinn-Sealy Campus Director Jeri Dulaney and a student on the Sealy campus.

“She’s got that rare talent to be professional at all times, but also approachable and positive,” Dulaney said. “She puts tremendous effort into her class and her students appreciate it.”

“We are very fortunate to have Connie Youngblood teaching at Blinn,” said Schulenburg Campus Director Rebecca Garlick. “She exhibits tremendous passion for her subject area and her students love her. She truly deserves this recognition.”

Youngblood is a former Blinn College student who earned her Associate of Arts degree in 1996. She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Houston before going to the University of St. Thomas in Houston for her master’s.

“I loved being a university student,” she said. “I loved every minute of it, and I thought a college campus was where I wanted to be forever. I couldn’t picture myself doing anything but teaching.”
Youngblood said she adopted her own teaching style thanks to the influence of many outstanding professors during her collegiate career, including Blinn’s own Texas history professor, Dr. Ken McCullough.

“Dr. McCullough was such a shining light because he loved what he did and he demanded so much from his students,” said Youngblood, who took McCullough’s Texas history course while earning her associate’s degree. “His classes were always so lively, and that’s what I try to do in my classes – I try to make them accessible and interesting.”

Agriculture and Applied Technologies Instructor Bryn Behnke and Fine Arts Professor Jill Stewart were finalists for the award.

The luncheon also recognized some of Blinn’s retiring faculty and staff from the Brenham, Sealy and Schulenburg campuses, including:

  • Catherine Cook, Counselor, 25 years.
  • John DeBlieux, Assistant Institutional Research and Evaluation, 10 years.
  • Robert Haberman, Associate Dean of Student Affairs, 34 years.
  • Helen Harris, Math Professor, 25 years.
  • Dr. John Harris, Dean of Students, 24 years.
  • Jo Ann Hundemer, Accounting Clerk, 35 years.
  • Sandra Kana, Accounting Professor, 25 years.
  • Kenneth Renner, Grounds Worker, 16 years.
  • Linda White, Computer Lab Assistant, 11 years.
  • Donna Winkelmann, Housing Management Assistant, 8 years.

 

PHOTO – Blinn College Teaching Excellence Award winner Connie Youngblood (center) is joined by award finalists Bryn Behnke (left) and Jill Stewart (right) at Blinn’s 15th annual retirement luncheon. Youngblood is an English and philosophy instructor, while Behnke teaches agriculture and applied technologies and Stewart teaches fine arts.