SCCC wraps up academic year with service awards

Faculty and staff at Seward County Community College wrapped up what president Brad Bennett called “the best worst year” with service awards and the “Faculty of the Year” recognition. True to the year’s pandemic flavor, the ceremony was live-streamed for the campus team while award winners and administration met in the SCCC Showcase Theater. 

The year has been one of lightning-fast changes, noted Bennett in his remarks. As the SCCC COVID response team deliberated about next steps for campus procedures, the Centers for Disease Control and Kansas Department of Health and Environment released new guidance for people who have received the vaccination. 

“For the first time in months, we can take off the masks and see each other’s faces,” Bennett said. “Thank you to all our faculty and team members who got us through this year. We didn’t close down, we didn’t give up on in-person learning, and our students completed their courses and graduated.”

Vice President of Academic Affairs Luke Dowell announced the winner of the “Instructor of the Year” award, Dr. Suzanne Campbell. 

“This is a unique award, because the decision, from start to finish, is made by our students,” Dowell said. “Students who nominated and selected Dr. Campbell, including our Student Government Association, said her passion for learning, her ability to make complicated content accessible, and the fact that she cares greatly for students contributed to the award. One student simply said, ‘She is amazing.'”

A 29-year member of the SCCC family, Campbell was also recognized by the Liberal Area Chamber of Commerce. Director Rozelle Webb presented her with a gift package and award.

VP of Academic Affairs Luke Dowell, Liberal Area Chamber of Commerce executive Rozelle Webb, and SCCC Instructor of the Year award recipient Dr. Suzanne Campbell.

President Bennett received a surprise gift from the SCCC Executive Team, presented by Vice President of Finance and Operations Dennis Sander and Vice President of Student Services Celeste Donovan. 

“Nothing says ‘Saints Care’ like Brad Bennett,” Sander said, thanking Bennett for his eight months at the helm.

“I can’t think of any other president who could have done such a great job leading us and keeping us safe through the pandemic,” Sander said. 

Service awards were presented to SCCC employees for the following years of service:

Five Years

Ty Hughbanks, Manuel Bustillos, Carlos Hernandez, Manuel Hernandez, Candice Olson, Jared Nobles, Janae Zachary with their five-year awards; not pictured: Shayla McElvania, Everett Ponder, Joshua Revord, Sue Sprenkle, Cecil Stoll, and Patty Volden.

Ten Years

Ten-year recipients Sharon Brockmann, Paul Fisher, Dave Ratzlaff, Susan Rodriguez, and Dennis Sander; not pictured: Norma Jean Dodge, Chris Hickman.

15 Years

15-year award recipients Amy Bridenstine and Michael McCarthy.

20 Years

Chief Information Officer Louie Lemert, left, and Professional Employees Association President Jerad Nobles, right, present Felix Babineaux with a 20-year award. Amy Knudsen, not pictured, also received a 20-year award.

35 Years

Emery Swagerty, right, with his 35-year service award.

Board of Trustees – 20 years

SCCC President Brad Bennett, left, recognizes College Trustee John Engel, right, for 21 years of service. Engel’s 20-year service award was not able to be presented in 2020, due to the pandemic.

Categories: Awards & Honors, Meet our Team

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