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CCCC's Brown named NCCCS 2008 Teacher of Excellence

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Click to enlarge,  Jessica Brown, science instructor at Central Carolina Community College

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Jessica Brown, science instructor at Central Carolina Community College

10.10.2008Admin, Faculty & Staff

SANFORD - Jessica Brown, science instructor at Central Carolina Community College, has been awarded the 2008 Excellence in Teaching Award by the North Carolina Community College System.

She is the first Central Carolina C.C. instructor to receive this prestigious award, which recognizes a full-time teacher in the NCCCS who exemplifies the highest standards of instruction and professionalism in the classroom and who consistently demonstrates excellence in service to their college and community.

The Excellence in Teaching Award will be presented at the NCCCS's Day of Recognition Program on Nov. 21 in Raleigh.

"I am overwhelmed and humbled at the same time at receiving this award," Brown said. "It is truly a blessing and an honor for myself and the college."

Brown said she has lived and breathed biology from an early age. Her father, Jim Hall, was a biology instructor at Central Piedmont Community College for 33 years before retiring in 2001.

"I thought it was normal when you went fishing with your dad that an anatomy lesson on fish followed catching them," she said. "Biology is all around us and we interact with it every day. I think everyone should love biology as much as I do."

Brown received her bachelor's degree in animal science in 1997 from NCSU and her M.S. in Animal Physiology from Clemson University in 1999. She will soon receive her M.S. in Forensic Science from the University of Florida.

Since 2001, Brown has been a full-time faculty member, sharing her love and enthusiasm for biology with her students on the college's Lee County Campus, helping them appreciate and understand how it impacts their daily life. She also teaches anatomy, physiology and forensic science.

"The selection committee was impressed with the quality of your application and the dedication you give your students, college, and community," said Dr. R. Scott Ralls, NCCCS president, in a letter announcing her selection. "Your qualifications and achievements are exemplary. (The winner is) selected from the most academically gifted faculty in the North Carolina Community College System. We applaud your commitment to excellence in teaching."

Brown was previously selected as the college's Instructor of the Year. Each of North Carolina's 58 community colleges selects an Instructor of the Year and the NCCCS chooses the recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award from this group. Among the criteria used in selecting the winner are: how they motivate students for successful learning, how they help students develop as well-rounded persons, use of technology in the classroom, professional development activities, leadership beyond the classroom related to teaching, past recognitions and awards, and job behaviors that contribute to student, college and system success.

From the responses to these criteria, the NCCCS selects 10 semi-finalists, then reduces that to five finalists through interviews. From these, the winner is chosen.

Other finalists for the NCCCS 2008 Excellence in Teaching Award were Tim Haley, professor of music, Sandhills C.C.; Katherine Allen, Special Education/Early Childhood instructor, Blue Ridge C.C.; Cathy Cook, Communications instructor, Rowan Cabarrus C.C.; and Maria Orsini, Associate Degree Nursing instructor, Vance-Granville C.C.