2023 Employee Recognition Awards

Gaston College honored its faculty and staff at the annual Employee Appreciation and Recognition Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, April 12, 2023. The event took place in the Myers Center Multipurpose Auditorium on the College’s Dallas Campus.

John Dancoff, Chairman of the Gaston College Board of Trustees, welcomed the attendees and introduced Dr. John Hauser, President of the College. Dr. Hauser congratulated faculty and staff members for their many accomplishments and achievements, including the completion of the Lincoln Campus renovation, the progress on construction of the Fiber Innovation Center on the Kimbrell Campus, the success of our Rhinos sports teams, our being named a finalist for the prestigious Bellwether Award, and the College having the highest enrollment growth in the North Carolina Community College System.

Recent retirees were acknowledged, as were employees who have reached milestone years of service—19 with 5 years of service, 16 with 10 years, 4 with 15 years, 1 with 20 years, and 5 employees who have been with Gaston College for 25 years.

Dr. Heather Woodson, Vice President for Academic Affairs, congratulated a number of faculty members who have completed the Association of College and University Education (ACUE) Certificate in Effective Online Instruction. Bob Blanton, who retired from Gaston College in 2021 after 51 years as an instructor and department chair and who continues to lead the Bob Blanton Study Tours Program, was named Faculty Emeritus.

Mary Browne, President of Altrusa International of Gastonia, presented the Altrusa Award for Excellence to Dr. Lisa Albright-Jurs, Dean of Career and Technical Education. The award recognizes an outstanding Gaston College faculty or staff member who personifies the College’s mission and ideals of lifelong learning.

The Staff Excellence Awards were announced by Luke Upchurch, Chief Development Officer and Executive Director of the Gaston College Foundation, and Tanisha Williams, Director of Admissions. Nominees for the award were:

  • Katie Fraley from Educational Partnerships
  • Misty Helms from Student Affairs
  • Jodi Huffman from Economic and Workforce Development
  • Dotty Packett from Finance, Operations, and Facilities
  • Caleb Stalcup from Academic Affairs

Katie Fraley was the winner of the Staff Excellence Award and will be the College’s nominee for the North Carolina Community College System Staff of the Year Award.

The Instructor of the Year Awards were announced by Heather Woodson and Jeff Pruett, President of the Faculty Senate. Winners for their divisions were:

  • Erin Brassell from Arts & Sciences
  • Kate Carmody from Career & Technical Education
  • Melody Gibson from Health & Human Services

Melody Gibson won the overall Instructor of the Year award and will be Gaston College’s nominee for the North Carolina Community College System Excellence in Teaching Award.

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