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Collin College Faculty, Staff Receive Excellence Awards

Feb. 15, 2017 – Collin College is proud to announce its recipients of the annual NISOD (National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development) Excellence Awards. NISOD’s Excellence Awards recognize men and women who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment and contribution to their students and colleagues.

Collin College’s honorees for 2017 include: Scott Cheney, professor of English; Nicole Grose, professor of biology; Cynthia Gruver, paralegal professor and discipline lead; Kimberly Harris, professor of music; Beth Kasprisin, nursing coordinator; Fernand Vera, professor of music; James Smith, professor of environmental technology; and Kandice Swarthout-Roan, professor of dental hygiene.

Excellence Award recipients will be celebrated at a special dinner during NISOD’s annual International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence, May 27-30, in Austin. Each Excellence Award recipient receives a specially-cast, pewter medallion hung on a burnt-orange ribbon. The names, titles and colleges of all Excellence Award recipients are included in a special booklet that features congratulatory ads from many of the recipients’ colleges. In addition, presentations at the conference involving Excellence Award recipients are indicated in the conference program with a special icon.

“Recognizing those individuals who have contributed to student success and their college’s mission is something we look forward to doing each year,” said Dr. Edward J. Leach, NISOD’s executive director. “The extraordinary work of these men and women includes not only what they do for their students and colleagues, but what they do for the communities in which they live and work. We’re honored to be able to play a part in celebrating their achievements.”

NISOD hosted its first ceremony honoring Excellence Award recipients in 1989, in connection with a University of Texas at Austin national study of teaching excellence. The response to that ceremony was so positive that NISOD began what has become the largest and most inspiring gathering that recognizes the contributions and achievements of community and technical college faculty, administrators and staff.

Collin College serves more than 53,000 credit and continuing education students annually and offers more than 100 degrees and certificates. The only public college in the county, Collin College is a partner to business, government and industry, providing customized training and work force development. In addition, the college operates the Collin Higher Education Center, which serves 3,100 additional students each year in partnership with The University of Texas at Dallas, Texas Woman’s University, Texas A&M Commerce, Texas Tech and the University of North Texas.

For community and technical colleges that want to make the most of their professional development dollars, NISOD provides budget-friendly, high-quality and faculty-focused programs and resources. For nearly 40 years, NISOD’s customer-focused approach has helped align our wide array of benefits with the needs of our members. For more information about NISOD, visit