Sept. 9, 2005
HACC, Central Pennsylvania's Community College, recognized six faculty members today for outstanding service and excellence in teaching.

Taking home the national NISOD Excellence in Teaching Award were faculty members who had represented HACC at the annual International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence, sponsored by the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) at the University of Texas, Austin, earlier this year.

Linda Buckwalter, associate professor, mathematics; Marcia Hajduk, professor, hotel, restaurant and institutional management; Getachew Kassahun, associate professor, hotel, restaurant management and travel and tourism; Linda O'Connor, assistant professor, mathematics; Eleana Shipman, assistant professor, nursing, and Robert Troxell, professor, art, were selected for their commitment to teaching excellence by a committee of HACC students, faculty and administrators.

Buckwalter, of New Cumberland, has been recognized many times for the quality of her teaching. She has developed new and innovative mathematics courses for her students, two of which were recognized and included in a book that highlighted exemplary programs reflecting new national standards.

Hajduk, of Harrisburg, has spent all 23 years of her teaching career with HACC. Known for creating an active learning environment that incorporates current events into her presentations, her workshops and seminars on hospitality management are highly rated by students. Through varied classroom activities, field trips, guest lecturers and culinary demonstrations, she demonstrates a commitment to students understanding key issues.

Kassahun, of Mechanicsburg, has served the college for 16 of the 20 years he has been a teacher. Kassahun was recognized for his willingness to spend extra hours with students helping them to understand a concept or theory and provide guidance and counseling. He also has spent a great deal of his own time developing a website that helps students research careers in the hospitality industry.

O'Connor, of Littlestown, serves the mathematics, science and allied health division at HACC's Gettysburg Campus. She motivates and inspires her students by maintaining high academic standards while creating a supportive classroom climate. Her peers say it is not uncommon to find her in her office or outside at a picnic table working one-on-one with a student who is struggling in math, regardless of whether or not the student is in her class.

Shipman, of Lancaster, has spent more than 20 years teaching nursing and is considered a content and clinical expert, as well as an extraordinary educator, by her peers and students at the Lancaster Campus. Best known for her use of Socratic teaching, she leads her students to discover answers through a highly effective method that helps them develop critical thinking skills that will serve them beyond graduation.

Troxell, of Enola, is known for his commitment to helping his students-especially those who are non-traditional and minority students-achieve their goals. Because he is well networked with artists across the country, Troxell is able to teach his students the most current trends in art. He was instrumental in bringing the student-run shop, Radius, to the State Museum, where crafts marketing students create, market and sell their art as professional entrepreneurs.

NISOD is part of the Community College Leadership Program in the Department of Educational Administration, College of Education, at the University of Texas. HACC is part of the membership consortium of colleges and universities that share a philosophical commitment to the support of excellence in teaching and learning.

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