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CCCC’s Bland among NCCCS top five

Click to enlarge CCCC’s Bland among NCCCS top five

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Ellen Bland, of Pittsboro, Central Carolina Community College's humanities, communication and theater ... (more)

02.07.2012Admin, Faculty & Staff

SANFORD - Ellen Bland, humanities, communications and theater instructor at Central Carolina Community College, has been selected as one of the top five instructors in the North Carolina Community College System.

"You are among a select group of instructors who represent the best teachers employed in the NCCCS," said Sharon Morrissey, the system's senior vice president and chief academic officer over Academic and Student Services, in announcing Bland's selection.

In September, Bland was chosen by the full-time faculty at CCCC as the winner of the college's 2011 Instructor of the Year Award. She then competed against the winners from the other 57 community colleges in the NCCCS for the system's 2012 Excellence in Teaching Award. She was chosen as among the top five.

"As a career teacher, I'm really honored to be among the top five," Bland said. "There are so many great instructors in the North Carolina Community College System."

The NCCCS employs about 3,000 full-time faculty at its 58 colleges that serve all 100 of the state's counties.

"We have known for a long time that Ellen is among the finest instructors in the NCCCS," said CCCC President Bud Marchant. "We are delighted that she has now been recognized as such. Ellen has a strong reputation for excellence in service to students, the college, and her community. She has helped CCCC to be the outstanding community college it is."

Bland, a Pittsboro resident with a master's degree in communication, has been motivating humanities, communication and theater students at CCCC for 20 years. She said her favorite classes to teach are interpersonal communication, public speaking, and acting. Prior to coming to the college in 1992, she taught at Marshall University and Northwood High School.

She has taught at the college's Chatham and Lee campuses, earning high praise from her students and co-workers for bringing out the best in her students, increasing their self-confidence, and giving them skills that carry over into everyday life.

In addition to her excellence in teaching, Bland has put the college on the map as a source of quality theater productions. Each year, under her tutelage, students and community members present shows that sell out and bring rave reviews.

After directing plays at the Lee County Campus, her first major CCCC production in Chatham County was "Millworker," in 2003. Bland created the script, which is based on a UNC-Chapel Hill Southern oral history project, "Like a Family: The Making of a Southern Cotton Mill Worker." "Millworker" received the 2005 State Community Theatre Award and played to audiences totaling more than 4,000 around the state.

Her students also produce one-act plays that they take to area elementary schools and libraries, as well as dinner theaters for local social services fundraisers.

Others selected as among the top five in the NCCCS were: Sara Juarez, of Alamance C.C.; Shari Brown, Caldwell C.C. and Technical Institute; Stephanie Tolliver Osborne, of Gaston College; and Dreese Eley, of Roanoke-Chowan C.C.