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Monday, January 30, 2017

ACC Roueche Award Winners Announced

An Alvin Community College Respiratory Care director and a Biology instructor turned interim dean have been named ACC's 2016 recipients of the League of Innovation in the Community Colleges' John & Suanne Roueche Excellence Award.

Respiratory Care director Marby McKinney and interim Dean of Arts and Sciences John Matula were nominated for the honor by the ACC faculty and staff.

“I was surprised,” McKinney said. “I am completely humbled. I do what I do because I love it and I want to make a difference.”

Matula said he was honored and humbled to receive the award.

“I am honored to receive this distinguished award that recognizes innovation in community college teaching and leadership,” Matula said. “I would like to dedicate this award to the faculty and administrators of Alvin Community College that I have collaborated with during my career. They have shaped me into the instructor and leader that I am today.”

The Roueche Excellence Award recognizes outstanding contributions and leadership by community college faculty and staff. Recipients are recognized in a series of activities and promotions, and honored at the annual League for Innovations Conference in March in San Francisco.

McKinney was nominated by her peers at the college for her dedication to her students and her program. She has served on the ACC faculty for eight years

“Marby goes above and beyond the call of duty at ACC,” Dean of Technical Programs Dr. John Bethscheider said. “Her willingness to help her peers is commendable. She also volunteers to conduct CPR training for the entire organization.”

McKinney is a first-generation college student and understands the challenges her students face.

“I was able to learn the skills I needed to get into the workforce so that I could continue my education and become the best I could be,” she said. “I like to think that I get to play a small part in paying it forward to others who face the same obstacles as I did.”

McKinney said she has a passion for Respiratory Care and enjoys spreading that passion to her students.

“I focus on problem-based learning activities that can help the students develop the much needed critical thinking skills that will make them great therapists,” she said. “If learning is easy, it is often not fruitful. I want my students to know they can do hard things.

Instructors and administrators supported Matula’s nomination because he is a “consummate” faculty member who works tirelessly to implement new strategies for ACC faculty. He was also an instrumental force on ACC’s recent five-year accreditation reaffirmation report to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, said Dr. Cynthia Griffith, Vice President of Instruction.

“He has demonstrated exceptional and effective leadership skills while serving as an interim dean and during his service on numerous campus committees,” Griffith said. “He also fosters a culture of continuous improvement through feedback and assessments.”

Matula has been a college instructor for almost 15 years. He has served as a biology instructor for ACC before becoming the interim Dean of Arts and Sciences in August.

“I draw my inspiration and motivation from the student-teacher dynamic, a relationship in which knowledge impacts the future,” Matula said. “The challenge of the classroom teacher is not only to deliver content, but to open minds to new possibilities and new ways of thinking about the world we live in.”

Matula said his purpose as an educator is to help usher students from the classroom to their career.

“I believe that my work is important because I have a responsibility to teach marketable skills and habits for students entering the workforce or transferring to a university,” he said. “I want to make an impact during a student’s educational career by preparing them for the next step in their lives.”

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