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SCCC Instructors Win State Honors

Joe Denoyer - November 9, 2016 8:16 am

Teaching means more when it changes lives, and two members of the Seward County Community College academic team earned awards recently for doing just that. Computer Information Systems instructor Ed Hall and Dean of Industrial Technology Larry McLemore received honors from the Kansas Council for Workforce Education.

Hall received the 2016 KCWE Outstanding New Teacher Award, while McLemore received the 2016 KCWE Leadership Inside the Field Award.

Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Todd Carter, said the awards reflect SCCC’s focus on providing workforce skills at all levels.

“This is Ed’s second year as an instructor, and what’s really notable about his work, is that he has expanded our offerings in the computer science area,” said Carter. While Hall teaches basic computer skills classes required for associate-level degrees, he also pushes the envelope.

“He has worked very hard to collaborate with other divisions on interdisciplinary activities such as drones and robotics,” Carter said. “Because of that, we’re looking at a new area of STEM education that puts our students on the cutting edge.”

In fact, at its monthly meeting, the SCCC Board of Trustees approved the purchase of Super Droid robots that will be used in an interdisciplinary study that brings together computer science, agriculture, and engineering students.

STEM Grant Director, Dr. Suzanne Campbell offered high praise for Hall’s work.

“We called Ed into action over the summer to assist with the research for our droid robots and drones,” she said. “These superdroid robots are custom-made for our purposes. They can be set to screen the color of a tomato and know that it’s ripe and ready to be picked. We have other models of the robots that can be incorporated into the Sustainable Agriculture program, and we are moving into studies with drones for those purposes as well.”

In similar fashion, McLemore was honored by KCWE for his leadership at the institutional level. Working with colleagues at SCCC, in his division and in the Business & Industry department, McLemore has led the way in partnering with industry, said Carter.

“He’s really focused on how we can equip students and also employees already out there in the workforce to grow their skills and earn certifications that benefit the economy and the individual’s life and career,” Carter said.

“This is a key trend in higher education, and it’s often been a challenge in academia. Larry brings a real-life grit to the challenge.”

The KCWE Award recipients were honored and recognized at the Kansas Council for Workforce Education Fall Conference Nov. 4, in El Dorado.


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