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MCTC faculty recognized for teaching excellence

Creel and Wolston receive Educator of the Year Awards

Left to right: Cheryl Neudauer, Gill Creel,
Kirk Boraas, Sharon Pierce, Maran Wolston

The Minnesota State Board of Trustees’ Awards for Excellence in Teaching program recognized three MCTC faculty members as Outstanding Educators April 19, 2017 in St. Paul, Minn. Kirk Boraas, Chemistry faculty, Gill Creel, English faculty, and Maran Wolston, Philosophy faculty, were among the 31 statewide recipients of the 2016-2017 Outstanding Educators Award.

In addition, the board also announced its selection of Creel and Wolston from the pool of Outstanding Educator Award honorees to receive 2016-2017 Educator of the Year Awards. This award is granted annually to a few, select faculty nominated by their college presidents. Since the award’s inception in 2007, MCTC has only had one other faculty member, Biology instructor Cheryl Neudauer, recognized with the Educator of the Year Award, in 2014. This year, just four educators from across Minnesota State Colleges and Universities were selected for this honor.

Thomas (Gill) Creel, English Instructor,

In January, MCTC President Sharon Pierce selected Boraas, Creel and Wolston to be honored as Outstanding Educators and nominated them for Educator of the Year Awards. The program evaluates each nominee in the following areas:

  • Content expertise and professional growth
  • Teaching strategies and materials
  • Assessment of student learning and performance
  • Service to students, profession, institution and the system
Maran Wolston, Philosophy Instructor,

Leading up to the selections in January, MCTC’s students, employees and various external stakeholders were invited to submit nominations. A selection committee evaluated the 50 nominations and selected the three nominees to forward to Pierce to consider as MCTC’s 2016-2017 Outstanding Educators. MCTC’s two Educator of the Year honorees were chosen based on comments from the selection committee including the following.

“Gill is a steadfast innovator who has a profound impact on the students and community at MCTC. Since joining MCTC’s English faculty in 1999, Gill has distinguished himself through innovative teaching online and in the classroom. He is dedicated to continually improving his own teaching and helping others do the same by sharing what he learns and leading important conversations about the learning environment at MCTC.”

“While her passion and hard work are notable, the true foundation of Maran’s success is built on relationships. Research has shown, time and again, that meaningful and personal relationships directly influence student persistence, success and engagement. One of the reasons Maran has been able to have such a significant impact on campus is because of her ability to collaborate and earn the respect of others including her fellow faculty.”

Pierce continued, “This is a well-deserved honor for our faculty as they represent the high quality of education MCTC provides its students.” In addition to the system-wide recognition at the board meeting, MCTC will host a reception April 27 from 3 until 4:30 p.m. in L.3100 to celebrate its 2016-17 Educator of the Year and Outstanding Educators Award recipients.

Additional information about the awards program and the statewide list of 2016-2017 Outstanding Educators is available on the Minnesota State website.