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MCTC's MnSCU Outstanding Educators

Three Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) faculty members have been honored with the 2015 Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) Outstanding Educator award. Linda Russell (Reading), Taiyon Coleman (English) and Kim Munson (Machine Tool Technology) were nominated from the College community, tasked with compiling an extensive portfolio of their professional work and awarded the distinguished honor earlier this month.

The Outstanding Educator award is an honor bestowed upon a select number of MnSCU faculty to acknowledge and reward exceptional individual professional accomplishment and to encourage ongoing excellence. This designation by their presidents reflects the exceptional commitment that each of the nominees have demonstrated in teaching, in their continuous professional development, and in their service to students, the college and the MnSCU system.

This month, the MnSCU Board of Trustees will honor a total of 35 outstanding educators who teach at 20 colleges around the state. The Board will also announce selection of its 2015 Educators of the Year—an extremely significant achievement.

Linda RussellAbout MCTC’s Outstanding Educators

Linda Russell
When Linda Russell retires this May, she’ll be able to look back on an illustrious teaching career. The Reading instructor has been at the College for 27 years, previously worked in K-12 and other colleges education for 10 years, and has always enjoyed teaching in an urban environment. In fact, she held off on other job offers from suburban colleges before her interview at MCTC in 1988. “There’s rarely any instant gratification in teaching,” she said. “Seeing students make dramatic changes that allow them to succeed throughout the semester is an amazing reward.” During retirement, she plans to travel and work with a colleague to create developmental math textbooks. “There’s still lots of learning I would like to do,” she said.

Taiyon Coleman and classTaiyon Coleman, Ph.D.
“What I like most about teaching is the ability to learn in concert with others, as education can only take place if my students teach me, and I, in turn, teach them,” said English Instructor Taiyon Coleman. “We learn together.” Coleman idolized her English professors in college, citing that their values aligned with their career, intellectual, creative and personal pursuits within the field and discipline. Her admiration drove her to pursue teaching English, and she hasn’t looked back. “Writing’s ability to facilitate visibility, expression, social justice and positive, equitable change was and still is irresistible,” she said. In addition to her full-time teaching at MCTC, Coleman is also a research associate in the Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.

Kim MunsonKim Munson
Before becoming a machinist and toolmaker for Northwest Airlines in 1977, Machine Tool Technology Instructor Kim Munson received his diploma in the same field at what was then called Minneapolis Vocational School. Working in aerospace machining for 20 years has given Munson a tremendous amount of knowledge in the field that he brings to the classroom. “My favorite part about teaching is the students,” he said, and tells them that they should be doing something they’re passionate about. “I get to educate them and place them into good-paying jobs and see their lives change.”