Innovations of the Year Innovations of the Year Home Page
Innovations of the Year Innovations of the Year Innovations of the Year
Innovations of the Year Innovations of the Year Home Innovations of the Year Search Innovations of the Year Site Map Innovations of the Year LeagueTLC Innovations of the Year League Store Innovations of the Year
League Navigation Banner
Student Art Award
Student Literature Award
Sudent Technology Award
Innovations of the Year Award


2001-2002 Innovation of the Year Winners

Every year the League honors outstanding innovations that have been recognized by member institutions as Innovation of the Year. These innovations represent capstone achievements and the continuing renewal of the spirit of innovation and experimentations upon which the League was founded. Congratulations to this year's distinguished group of innovators.


Gilda Rubio-Festa & Ricky Simpson Central Piedmont Community College
Gilda Rubio-Festa,
Interim Division Director, International Programs and Languages
Ricky Simpson,
Senior Production Specialist, Marketing and Community Relations

“Crossroads Café”
The innovation is an enhancement of the Crossroads Café telecourse for students with limited English proficiency. Instructor Gilda Rubio-Festa and Video Production Manager Ricky Simpson produced 30-minute “wrap around” segments to improve students’ ability to master the material. The result is a high quality pre- and post-viewing segment for each of the 13 episodes of Crossroads Café to create a full, hour-long class in a distance learning format. Research has shown that Crossroads Café is more effective when paired with an organized program of classroom teaching by a qualified ESL instructor. Funding provided the production of the next 13 episodes, the distribution of the first 13 videos to all North Carolina community colleges, three teacher trainings, and the development of a website with civics education resources and lesson plans.


Colleen Olson & Elizabeth Walker-Knauer Cuyahoga Community College
Colleen Olson, Assistant Professor, Early Childhood Education
Elizabeth Walker-Knauer, Assistant Professor, Early Childhood Education

“Faculty Development Project on the Brain”
An interdisciplinary team composed of Cuyahoga Community College faculty from the areas of early childhood education, biology, and psychology, traveled to the Erikson Institute in Chicago to learn about brain development and research through lecture and discussion with project staff and neuroscience consultants. The Cuyahoga faculty team brought back information and materials to the Cleveland faculty study group, which provided an opportunity for dialogue between child development faculty from different institutions with an ultimate goal of building the knowledge base of local early childhood educators regarding recent brain development research, and thereby enhancing teacher preparation.

Dallas County Community College District – Richland College
Kathryn Alvis, Director, Thunderwater Organizational Learning Institute
Pat Bollin, Director, Human Resources
Earlene Bond, Staff Development Specialist, Thunderwater Organizational Learning Institute
Jean Carter, Senior Administrative Assistant, Human Resources
Debra Lockhart, Benefits Coordinator, Human Resources
MaryAnn Parker, Team Leader, Office of Institutional Effectiveness

“Richland ThunderSTAR Program”
Employee turnover, replacement, and training are inherent and expensive components of being an employer. Hiring the best candidate alone is not enough to ensure employee success, regardless of the applicant's skill level, education, and background. At team of Richland participants identified the need for a systematic approach to the orientation and training of new employees. The team developed a systematic, pervasive approach to orientation that allows new employees to be immediately successful and feel welcome as employees. The Richland Thunderduck (mascot) and a member of the Information Services team welcome new employees. The new employees receive a new employee survival kit and view a video welcoming them to the college. After the explanation of benefits and completion of necessary insurance paperwork, they are taken on a tour of the campus in the "ThunderSCOOTER." A stop is made at the Student Programs and Resources office and a photo is taken of each new employee. These photos are later published via 3-mail and in the weekly staff newsletter. At the conclusion of the orientation a mentor escorts the ThunderSTAR to his/her workstation. Once at the work area, the new employee is greeted by the supervisor and introduced to the other team members. The supervisor spends the first afternoon with the new employee and covers essential information necessary to success in the new position. This process is followed by orientations and professional development.


Neville Britto Delta College
Neville Britto,
Professor, English


"Champion for Diversity”
Neville Britto is a champion for the ideals of diversity at Delta College. He has contributed over a decade of leadership on the Human Relations and the Affirmative Action Committees and was also an active member on the President’s Commission on Diversity which initiated conversations between citizens of the tri-counties and Delta employees. Mr. Britto’s continuous participation, support and leadership of Delta’s Global Awareness Week are unmatched. For over twenty years, his influence and enthusiasm for teaching English on campus and at the Ricker Center in Saginaw have increased enrollments and contributed to a more diverse student body at Delta. Mr. Britto is the recipient of the 2002 Don Laughner Award for Creative Change and this year’s winner for Innovation of the Year.


Vivian Sinou Foothill-De Anza Community College District – Foothill College
Vivian Sinou, Dean, Distance and Mediated Learning

“Easy to Use Education Software (ETUDES)”
Vivian Sinou’s work with ETUDES has positioned Foothill College in a statewide leadership role for online instruction. Under her leadership, student participation in Foothill’s online classes has grown significantly. She serves as a mentor for both new faculty and faculty who are new to e-learning, as well as Expert Online, a collaborative service that links experts with professionals who are developing online teaching and learning strategies, Web course materials, and instructional uses of technology. She has participated in the creation of five online degree programs at Foothill College.


Alvina Cassiani & Phillip Sworden Humber College
Alvina Cassiani,
Director of Continuing Education, The Business School
Philip Sworden,
Program Coordinator, Law Clerk, Court and Tribunal Programs, The Business School

“Department of Justice Canada Partnership”
This innovation is a corporate training partnership between Humber’s Business School and the Ontario Regional Office of the Department of Justice Canada. It is designed to provide Humber’s two-year Law Clerk Diploma Program credential for the Department’s Toronto-area support staff. Expert faculty deliver the training on-site to over 25 employees at class times mutually convenient to the department’s employees. This partnership provides high quality professional development and a customized curriculum to experienced employees who wish to earn a recognized post-secondary credential to further their careers. As a result of this initiative, the Department of Justice Canada has presented Humber College with a Partnership Award, signed by the Prime Minister, and 25 of its employees are completing Humber’s two-year Law Clerk Diploma Program.


Byers, Beatty, Cannell, Foster & Hanson
Johnson County Community College
Donnie Byers, Professor, Physical Science
Lynn Beatty, Associate Professor, Physical Science
Kevin Cannell, Assistant Professor, Physical Science
Johanna Foster, Associate Professor, Life Science
John Hanson, Associate Professor, Physical Science

“Collective Science Initiative”
Donnie Byers, Lynne Beatty, John Hanson, Kevin Cannell, and Johanna Foster designed an educational model called the Collaborative Science Initiative (CSI). This group has formed a CSI partnership between the Shawnee Mission School District and the Science Department to provide professional development training aligned with the Kansas Science Standards for fourth-grade teachers in the public school district. The goal of CSI is to help fourth-grade elementary school teachers teach science, and make science exciting for their students. The design of this project has been to bring elementary science teachers to JCCC to receive content information and hands-on activities about science for use in their classrooms. They receive in-depth information and plans for classroom activities in chemistry, earth science, physical science, astronomy, and biology.


Bunting, Henik, Branstetter, Rose, Nollsch, Sefl, Beaty, Jorgenson, Willig, Erlacher, Collins, McCall, Van Steenhuyse & Haack
Kirkwood Community College
David Bunting, Executive Director, Secondary Programs
John Henik, Dean, Business Education
David Branstetter, Assistant Professor, Industrial Technology
Vivian Rose, Retired Dean, Health Science
Melanie Nollsch, Coordinator, Career Option
Carl Sefl, Retired Executive Director, Marketing
Bill Beaty, Coordinator, Business Education
Gary Jorgenson, Instructor, Industrial Technology
Susan Willig, Department Coordinator
Mary Lou Erlacher, Director, Area 10 Work-Based Learning
Joe Collins, Dean, Industrial Technology
Daryl McCall, Instructor, Industrial Technology
Kathleen Van Steenhuyse, Dean, Social Sciences
John Haack, Program Director, Reg. Telecomm

“Career Edge Academy”
The Career Edge is an opportunity for high school students to explore new careers and earn college credits while still attending high school. Many high schools have teamed up with Kirkwood Community College to create hot, new career academy programs that let them “get an edge” on the new world of work and earn college credits in the last two years of high school. Career Edge programs include health sciences, automotive technology, local area networking, graphics and media, engineering technology, and early childhood education. Each of the these Career Edge programs gives students the chance to move up the career pathway they choose and get a jump on college while they’re still in high school.


Budz, Cuadros, Cusimano, Gagnon, Hall, Luke, Matalon-Florendo, Stefanovska & Zabala
Lane Community College
Devon Budz, Spanish Instructor
Juan Cuadros, Spanish Instructor
Roma Cusimano, Spanish Instructor
Armand Gagnon, Spanish Instructor
Elizabeth Hall, Retired Spanish Instructor
Matthew Luke, Spanish Instructor
Sylvie Matalon-Florendo, Spanish Instructor
Bojana Stefanovska, Language Lab Coordinator
Gloria Zabala, Spanish Instructor

“Spanish Program’s Learning Strategies Project”
The Spanish program developed a new type of student support system to help students become more effective language learners. They adopted two mottos, “Do it again, only better next time” and “How do we do it again, only better?” – these mottos elucidated the need for greater student involvement and academic/personal success through goal setting, autonomy, and responsibility for one’s own learning. The faculty developed a multi-tiered approach that incorporates the following learning strategy groups: memory, cognitive, metacognitive, compensation, affective, and social. Since its introduction in the fall of 2001, student input has been extremely favorable and instructors report a marked positive change in classroom environment fostered by lower levels of student anxiety, students’ growing sense of community and ownership in the program, and increasing levels of student creativity that developed out of a dynamic relationship between community and autonomy.


Auten, Bendotti, Chichester, Cornell, Cullop, Dale, Downey, Eller, Gerkin, Harbster, Hill, Marion, Mays, McClelland, Mosley, Rebadow, Rings, Shoenhair & Taylor
Maricopa Community College District – Paradise Valley Community College
Marianne Auten, One-Year-Only Faculty, Counseling
Bob Bendotti, Dean of Instruction
Linda Chichester, Peer Mentor
Renee Cornell, Faculty, English
Maggie Cullop, Coordinator, Academic Advisement
Paul Dale, Dean, Student Services
Jan Downey, Faculty, Anthropology
Anne Eller, Director, Student Life and Service Learning
David Gerkin, Director, Learning Support Center
Dave Harbster, Faculty, Biology
Kurt Hill, Faculty, Geography
Michele Marion, Adjunct faculty, Sociology
Patri Mays, Faculty, Computer Information Systems
Lynn McClelland, Faculty, English
Mary Lou Mosley, Senior Associate Dean, Instruction
Donna Rebadow, Faculty, Human Development
Sally Rings, Faculty, Reading/English
Cindy Shoenhair, Faculty, Human Development
Paula Taylor, FYE Administrative/Program Assistant

“The First Year Experience Program”
The First Year Experience Program (FYE) integrates academic and co-curricular learning to help new students transition successfully to college life. Students enroll in an FYE block of 3 or more courses as a cohort and remain with the cohort throughout the first year. FYE provides students with a holistic education to help them understand how college intertwines with real life. The classroom content is integrated with campus life, student services such as advising, tutoring, etc., and service learning opportunities outside the classroom. Course content is linked or integrated so that students see the relationship between academic disciplines and with college activities.



Miami-Dade Community College

Maria “Pasita” Andino, Senior Graphic Designer
Juan Cabrera, Photographer
Ricardo Delgado, Senior Graphic Designer
Lee Kline, Senior Graphic Designer
Irene Gimenez Muñoz, Director, Marketing
Malou C. Harrison, Chief of Staff, Executive Assistant, President’s Office
Lissette Mendez, Editorial Assistant
Aileen Ochoa, Coordinator, Community Relations
Lina Rodríguez, Department Secretary
Ellen Saltzman, Typesetter
Susan Smitherman, Production Assistant
Arturo Valdes, Typesetter

“Everywhere You Turn: Successful Alumni”
Miami-Dade Community College embarked on a high-visibility marketing campaign that re-branded its image by stressing educational quality. Utilizing a variety of media with messages in both English and Spanish, it showed the far reaches of a Miami-Dade education by featuring alumni in more than 50 professions, including United States politicians and ambassadors, the president of Panama, captains of industry and television anchors at the network and affiliate level, to name a few. All advertising and print efforts incorporated the campaign theme, “Everywhere You Turn: Successful Alumni,” and integrated communications were also accomplished with a consistent graphic look. Apart from generating a great deal of attention, these efforts helped reinforce Miami-Dade’s magnitude and importance to the community, which in turn helped build a solid foundation for partnership efforts.


James Coffey
Monroe Community College
James Coffey, Professor, Visual and Performing Arts


“Rochester Parent Network”

The Rochester Parent Network is an interactive child care support network designed to connect parents and caregivers of young children to child care professionals, to local support systems, and to each other. Its mission is to empower parents to develop their child’s full potential in the first three years of life. The first initiative, “292-BABY,” is a telephone number that parents and caregivers can call 24-hours a day to find answers to health, child care, or developmental concerns. The second initiative, “Parent Talk,” is a live, 30-minute, call-in television program that focuses on effective parenting and early childhood development and will air locally each weekday.


Tomas Dow & Troy Swanson Moraine Valley Community College
Thomas Dow, Assistant Professor, Communications
Troy Swanson, Teaching and Learning Librarian

“Team Teaching Toward Information Literacy: Communications 101 Source-Based Writing Project”
This project is a team teaching approach to the research component of COM 101 redefining “research” as striving toward information literacy and stressing the successful integration of authoritative ideas from sources into written communication. This project is a collaborative effort between a composition instructor and a librarian, which maximizes the expertise of both “teachers.” The assignment requires students to research a career and thus links information literacy and written communication skills to their everyday lives.


O'Connor, Locke, Olafson, Chapman, Tran, Yockey, Rodriguez & Raya
San Diego Community College District –
San Diego Mesa College

Colleen O’Connor, Professor Emeritus, History
Mary Lou Locke, Professor, History
Patricia Olafson, Coordinator, Mesa Humanities Institute
Pamela Chapman, Professor, Landscape/Architecture
Ngoc Tran, Professor, Mathematics
Pat Yockey, Adjunct Professor, Art
Aimmee Rodriguez, Administrative Aide
Leonore Raya, Administrative Aide

“Faces of America”
“Faces of America” was spawned by remarkably successful family photo exhibits at San Diego Mesa College. Faces of America is a family photo history project being replicated nationwide at 30 community colleges. Mesa College faculty created and coordinated the local and regional “Faces” projects as well as the national effort (funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities). As in San Diego, historical societies and other civic organizations across the USA have joined with their community colleges to conduct Faces of America. In each instance, family photos are researched, exhibited on campuses, in museums, and on the Internet. The initial contests/exhibits were so successful that the San Diego Union-Tribune Newspaper featured a year-long series entitled, “Faces of San Diego,” and conducted its own contest/exhibit. Local courthouses also replicated the project.


Dug Jones & Dan Rodkin Santa Fe Community College
Dug Jones, Director, Center for Student Leadership and Activities
Dan Rodkin, Coordinator, Center for Student Leadership and Activities

“Development of Student Organization Advisor Honoraria Criteria”
Dug Jones and Dan Rodkin have been recognized by Santa Fe Community College as this year’s recipient of the Innovation of the Year Award for their success in creating and using objective criteria to determine student organization adviser honoraria amounts. Working with a committee of organization advisors and presidents, the criterion developed has introduced a funding formula for adviser honoraria. This new formula, which includes measurements of organization activity, advisor participation in development activities, and an online evaluation of the adviser by organization members, has resulted in equity for advisers’ honorarium and has created a level accountability for the 54 organization advisors at Santa Fe.


Nakagawa, Kiyohara, Cruz & Sun
Seattle Community College District

Jane Nakagawa, Director, Resource Development, North Seattle Community College
Bea Kiyohara, Project Director, Vice President, Student Services, Seattle Central Community College
Bob Dela Cruz, Faculty, South Seattle Community College
Yilin Sun, Coordinator, District Faculty Development

“Journey to Democracy – Learning from the Japanese American Experience”
The Seattle Community Colleges led a consortium of local and national organizations to present a yearlong array of programs focusing on issues of civil liberties and the experience of Japanese Americans during World War II. The project, “Journey to Democracy – Learning from the Japanese American Experience,” included art exhibits; a statewide essay and art contest for high school students; a Civil Liberties Celebration with U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye as keynote speaker; and also development of the first community college curriculum in the country to focus on the Japanese-American internment experience during World War II and its continuing implications for social justice today.


Chaney, Carruth, Thomas & Cornelius
Sinclair Community College
Robert Chaney, Associate Professor, Mathematics
Barbara Carruth, Professor, Mathematics
Frederick Thomas, Professor, Physics
Kay Cornelius, Assistant Professor, Mathematics

“Collaborative Learning Activities for the Math-Science Technology Center”
The math department has developed hands-on, collaborative learning activities and incorporated them into the statistics and technical math courses. A Math-Science Technology Center has been developed experimenting with the activities and utilizing equipment and available materials. Teaching courses by incorporating hands-on, learner-centered activities as a primary component of course procedures and assessment exemplified the true spirit of the Learning College. This experience provides students a challenging and stimulating opportunity to learn course concepts in a more practical, concrete way, yet it serves to deepen and broaden their perspective and understanding of topics covered to a much greater extent. The use of technology and other lab equipment to actively involve and excite learners has created a teaching-learning atmosphere.


Richard Kalfus
St. Louis Community College
Richard Kalfus, Chair, Humanities

“Life and Death During the Nazi Era”
Dr. Kalfus teaches an innovative, nationally recognized interdisciplinary humanities course on the Holocaust, Life and Death During the Nazi Era, to high school students through the medium of interactive television. Dr. Kalfus established a distance-learning classroom in most of the St. Louis area school districts and was the first college/university professor to develop and teach an interactive, distance learning college course for high school students.