Seven Blinn College District faculty and staff recognized with excellence awards

Recipients will be honored with medallions for their service to students and the community

March 11, 2021

Seven Blinn College District faculty and staff members have received 2021 National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Excellence Awards for their dedication to Blinn students.

Division Operations Coordinator for Business/Mathematics Kim Boetger, Assistant Director of Housing Myron Dippel, Library Technical Assistant Kathy Holtkamp, English Instructor Dr. Candice Melzow, Assistant Dean for Visual/Performing Arts and Kinesiology (VPAK) Programs Dr. Shelly Peacock, Academic Advisor Rose Springfield, and Veterinary Technology Program Clinical Coordinator Leigha Wright will receive commemorative pewter medallions from NISOD to commemorate their achievements. Each winner will be recognized during NISOD’s annual International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence, which will be held virtually April 28-30.

“These individuals embody Blinn’s commitment to students and the communities we serve,” said Dr. Mary Hensley, Chancellor of the Blinn College District. “It is a pleasure to congratulate them on this well-deserved recognition and to celebrate their dedication to higher education and student achievement.”

NISOD is a membership organization that promotes and celebrates excellence in teaching, learning, and leadership at community and technical colleges. First presented in 1989, NISOD’s Excellence Awards recognize educators who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment and contribution to their students and colleagues.

“Recognizing those individuals who have contributed to student success and their college’s mission is something we look forward to doing each year,” said Dr. Edward J. Leach, NISOD’s Executive 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 are honored to be able to play a part in celebrating their achievements.”

Faculty, staff, students, and departmental supervisors initiated nominations based on character and integrity, effectiveness as instructors, involvement in student organizations and activities, service to Blinn, and participation in professional organizations and professional development activities. Final recipient selections were made by Blinn’s Professional Development Funding Committee.

Boetger came to the Blinn-Bryan Campus in 1998 as laboratory coordinator for the Natural Sciences Department before advancing to her current position as Division Operations Coordinator for Business/Mathematics. Prior to Blinn, she worked as a medical technologist at Texas A&M University’s A.P. Beutel Health Center. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Scientific Nutrition from Texas A&M University in 1990.

“Throughout my more than 20 years at Blinn, I have worked each day to accomplish tasks that contribute to the success of our team and our students,” Boetger said. “I am humbled by this award and do my best to play an active role in being part of the Blinn family and contributing to the positive achievements and happiness of our staff, faculty, and students.”

Dippel joined Blinn in 2008 as an admissions counselor/recruiter for the Brenham and Schulenburg campuses. He also served as coordinator for prospective student relations on the Brenham Campus before becoming Assistant Director of Housing. He earned an Associate of Applied Science in Accounting from Blinn in 2006, a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing from Texas State University in 2007, and a Masters of Arts in Higher Education Administration from Sam Houston State University in 2013.

“Working with my colleagues and the students at Blinn is a true passion for me,” Dippel said. “Our students come from diverse cultures and backgrounds, and it has been a privilege to get to work and grow in this environment while also helping them navigate the college experience.”

Holtkamp has been a Library Technical Assistant at the Blinn-Brenham Library since 2015. Prior to Blinn, she was a teacher for the Burton independent school district. She earned her Associate of Arts from Blinn in 1972 and her Bachelor of Science in Education with a major in Social Studies Composite from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University) in 1974.

“My service philosophy is summarized by four simple words: ‘How can I help?’” said Holtkamp. “Through my work at the Blinn Library, I endeavor to help our students succeed and support my coworkers in any way possible. I feel extremely blessed to have wonderful, dedicated coworkers and supervisors, as well as terrific students, to work with. I am honored to receive this award.”

Melzow joined the Blinn faculty as an English Instructor on the Bryan Campus in 2015. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Humanities in 2004 and her Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies in 2006, both from the University of Houston-Victoria. In 2012, she received her doctorate in English with a concentration in Rhetoric and Composition from Texas A&M University.

“My relationships with colleagues and interactions with students are a treasured opportunity for me to connect with others and foster critical thinking skills,” Melzow said. “I hope that students emerge from my courses as more confident communicators and critical thinkers, and in turn, as more vocal participants in society at large.”

Peacock began teaching in Blinn’s Kinesiology Department on the Bryan Campus in 2004. In addition to teaching, she currently serves as Assistant Dean for the Division of Visual/Performing Arts and Kinesiology. She earned her Associate of Arts in Kinesiology from Blinn in 1987, her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from Texas A&M University in 1990, her Master of Science in Kinesiology from Sam Houston State University in 1993, and her Doctor of Health Education from Texas A&M University in 2000.

“An academic work environment is a magical place and I nurture this philosophy by having a servant’s spirit, providing creative and dynamic teaching, and helping where needed,” Peacock said. “I believe it is my job to connect, educate, and move students on to their dreams, one class period at a time. There is nothing that I will not do to get the students engaged and involved in the subject matter or just school in general.”

Springfield joined Blinn’s Bryan Campus as an academic advisor in 2017. In this role, she aids currently enrolled students in developing an educational plan and pursuing transfer opportunities as they complete their associate degrees. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics in 1984 from Texas A&M University.

“My role as an advisor is to provide an experience that is calming and supportive to current students, prospective students, and parents.” said Springfield. “I strive to assure students that their success is important, and they have what it takes to excel as they navigate their educational journey.”

Wright joined Blinn’s Veterinary Technology Program in 2018 as the clinical coordinator. In addition to teaching, Wright contributes to curriculum development and organizes mandatory clinical rotations for students. She earned her Associate of Applied Science and Bachelor of Science degrees in Veterinary Technology from Morehead State in 2013 and 2014, respectively, and her Master of Business Administration from Lincoln Memorial University in 2018.

“I want my students to forget that they are learning, and instead have fun in my classroom while absorbing the course material,” Wright said. “I encourage my students to actively engage in their own learning process and to work together and play off of each other’s strengths with the ultimate goal of saving and protecting their animal patients.”

Registration is available for Blinn’s second 8-week and third and fourth 4-week Spring 2021 courses. For application and registration information, visit www.blinn.edu/admissions. To learn more about available classes, visit www.blinn.edu/spring.

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