Students at Seward County Community College selected recipients for the Faculty and Staff Members of the Year, with awards presented at the 53rd annual commencement ceremony May 6.
The selection of these two awards are entrusted to the Student Government Association at SCCC. Students across campus nominate the individuals they feel best represent the college’s mission, vision and values. A group of SGA members then evaluate the nominations to make a final selection.
“These awards are unique because the decisions, from start to finish, are made solely by SCCC students,” noted SCCC Vice President of Student Services Celeste Donovan. A third award, for 2023 Graduate of the Year, was based on nominations from campus personnel and students.
Art instructor Dustin Farmer was named award winner for 2023. Having worked at the College for more than 20 years, Farmer spent 12 years as the 3-D art instructor with an emphasis on pottery and ceramic work; For the past eight years, he has overseen visual art and graphic design, as well as managing both 3-D and 2-D studios.
Farmer received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in studio art.
Student nominations noted his patience and understanding. If they encountered problems or had concerns or questions, “he was always the first person I went to because I knew he would do his best to address the situation,” one student wrote. Another stated that Farmer “made my two years here at Seward a smooth and enjoyable experience.”
Ruth Rivera was named Outstanding Staff Member of 2023. A new member to the Saints family, Rivera just completed her first year as the student success and transfer coordinator. A Saints alumna, she completed a bachelor’s degree at Newman University. She is also currently enrolled at Fort Hays State University to earn a degree in psychology.
Students commented that Rivera is “just an amazing person, always willing to help.” They praised her big heart and stated that “she brings happiness and joy to SCCC.”
“My first semester, I was nervous because it was a new place for me,” wrote one student. “Ruth took the time to walk me to my class.”
Outstanding Graduate of the Year was awarded to Logan Dodge. A Liberal native, she is the daughter of Jim and Norma Jean Dodge.
During her time at SCCC, Dodge participated in many activities, including Phi Theta Kappa honor society, Campus Messengers for Christ, and the SCCC Strategic Planning Committee. A member of the Saints volleyball team, Dodge was also an academic competitor, holding Presidential Scholar duties, and earning an Academic All-American award through PTK.
Dodge’s nominators noted her diligence and dedication in the classroom, and her leadership on and off the volleyball court.
“She has strong morals and ethics, and is always willing to help when asked,” one wrote.
Having earned both an associate of arts and associate of science degree, Dodge will transfer to Western New Mexico University in Sliver City, N.M. where she will continue to pursue volleyball and academic studies.