Bravo! WCC faculty, staff honored for positive impact on students' lives

April 4, 2019 Richard Rezler

Washtenaw Community College faculty and staff members were recognized Thursday, April 4 for making a positive impact on students’ academic, professional and personal lives.

WCC President Dr. Rose B. Bellanca sits with Bravo Award winners (from left) Myron Covington, Bob Lowing and Jing Bai Swanson.
WCC President Dr. Rose B. Bellanca sits with Bravo Award winners (from left) Myron Covington, Bob Lowing and Jing Bai Swanson.

A total of 131 WCC employees from various areas and disciplines around the college were nominated by students to receive a Bravo Award. All nominees were invited to a luncheon to be honored and receive a certificate and gift of appreciation.

RELATED: See photos from the event on our Flickr page.

The event is co-hosted by the Office of the President and the Student Activities office.

WCC President Dr. Rose B. Bellanca told the assembled nominees that receiving a Bravo Award nomination from a student should be considered among the highest honors a college employee can earn, since "touching the lives of students is what we do."

The Bravo Awards were started in 2015 to give students an opportunity to thank helpful staff members and demonstrate appreciation for faculty in a more personal manner than traditional class evaluations allow. Since that first event, Student Activities has collected a total of 868 nominations.

Rachel Barsch, Supervisor of Student Activities, said the Bravo Awards nomination process encourages the sharing of stories that are “warmer and more impactful” than the data-driven rating system used on the college’s student opinion questionnaires.

The nominators remain anonymous, but the nominations certainly aren’t void of emotion. Here are some excerpts:

Nomination of Dennis Bila

Mathematics faculty member

“Truly, in no uncertain terms, Professor Bila is the best teacher and role model I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing; the greatest regret of my academic career is not meeting him earlier. The man transcends teaching; he is the academic father-figure you never knew you needed. … He turned a course as difficult and vaunted as Calculus 3 into a joyous and fruitful experience.”

Nomination of Danette Bull

Physical Sciences faculty member

“Professor Bull has an excellent grasp on the material and clearly is invested in doing a good job of teaching the material; all of these positive traits make for an unbelievable bargain for the price. She easily outpaces professors on the four-year university level in nearly every teaching metric (in my opinion), and for that I think she's a great asset to the college. If I end up half as intelligent, organized, curious, thoughtful and hard-working as Professor Bull, I would count my life as a successful one.”

Nomination of Susan Dentel

Life Sciences faculty member

“Professor Dentel has nearly single-handedly managed the WCC STEM Scholars Program, of which I am a member. She has undertaken the Herculean task of managing nearly every facet of the program in addition to her duties as a professor with the college. Prof. Dentel has taken diligent steps to make sure every student has a clear academic plan, a faculty mentor, supplementary academic support, financial assistance for tuition and books, while personally doing her best to instill a belief and confidence in each of us. Her imprint on the cohort extends past academic issues and into ensuring that all of us are in the best possible position to succeed moving forward, and for that I am very thankful.”

Nomination of James Popovich

Industrial Technology faculty member

“I've never come across such a phenomenal instructor. The way he is so patient with his students is something I've never seen in an instructor before. … Professor Popovich has spent many hours with me and my classmates, above and beyond what is required, reinforcing the lessons taught. Not because we were lacking, because he recognized we were learning.”

There were more than 180 total nominations submitted (some faculty and staff received multiple nominations). Below is a list of all the nominees:

  • Mohammed Abella, Mathematics faculty
  • Amnesty Alston, Childcare Professional
  • Aaron Anderson, Human, Social & Behavioral Science faculty
  • Laurice Anderson, Performing Arts faculty
  • Jing Bai Swanson, Computer Science faculty
  • Brenda Baraniak, Purchasing & Student Accounts Support
  • Steven Barone, Math, Science & Engineering faculty
  • Christopher Barrett, Anthropology faculty
  • Morgan Barrie, Photography faculty
  • Maryam Barrie, English/Writing faculty
  • James Bauer, Student Services Professional Counselor
  • Dena Blair, Communications faculty
  • Veronica Boissoneau, Coordinator of Student Organizations
  • Marvin Boluyt, Biology faculty
  • Caleb Boswell, Student Services Advisor
  • Danette Bull, Physical Sciences faculty
  • Starr Burke, Behavioral Sciences faculty
  • Cristina Buzas, Student Services Advisor
  • Justin Carter, Auto Services faculty
  • Robert Carter, HVACR faculty
  • Tabetha Chaney, Student Employee
  • Bradley Clink, Welding faculty
  • Michelle Coleman, Philosophy faculty
  • Myron Covington, Human, Social & Behavioral Science faculty
  • Nicole Cullin, Human, Social & Behavioral Science faculty
  • Kirsten Cunningham, Childcare Professional
  • Jason Davis, Mathematics faculty
  • Brittany Davis-Johnson, Childcare Professional 
  • Allen Day, Auto Services faculty
  • Susan Dentel, Life Science faculty
  • Khiet Do, Industrial Technology faculty
  • Danielle Douglas, Math, Science & Engineering faculty
  • Kristen Ellis, Childcare Professional
  • Laura Evans, Math, Science & Engineering faculty
  • Amir Fayaz, Physical Science faculty
  • Beth Feldkamp, Student Success Specialist
  • Cheryl Finley, Student Services Advisor
  • Mark Foret, Math, Science & Engineering faculty
  • Betsy Foss, ESL faculty
  • Patty Fragner, Human, Social & Behavioral Science faculty
  • Micheal Galea, Computer Instruction faculty
  • Michelle Garey, Foreign Languages faculty
  • Andreia Karina de Carvalho Gendera, Business & Computer Technologies faculty
  • Cassandra Goerge-Sturges, Psych/Education faculty
  • Margaret Green, Basic Skills English faculty
  • Rhonda Greene, Purchasing & Student Accounts Support
  • Erin Hammond, Radiography faculty
  • Robert Hatcher, Mathematics faculty
  • Deborah Hill, Human, Social & Behavioral Science faculty
  • Rachel Hoffman, Human, Social & Behavioral Science faculty
  • Terri Jennings, Student Services Advisor
  • Tresa Jex, Human, Social & Behavioral Science faculty
  • Patrick Johnson, Math, Science & Engineering faculty
  • Charles Johnson, Humanities faculty
  • Danielle Joye, Human, Social & Behavioral Science faculty
  • Carol Kirkby, Human, Social & Behavioral Science faculty
  • Nichole Klemmer, Mathematics faculty
  • Dougles Langs, Social Science faculty
  • Julie (Niki) Lee, Academic Advisor, ATP
  • Patricia Lehman, Human, Social & Behavioral Science faculty
  • Anthony Lessard, Lab Assistant
  • Hava Levitt-Phillips, English/Writing faculty
  • Kyle Linford, WTMC Mathematics instructor
  • Robert Lowing, Auto Body faculty
  • Matthew Lucas, WCC Sports Supervisor 
  • Daniel Majaess, Astronomy faculty
  • Smita Malpani, Environmental Science faculty
  • Khaled Mansour, Computer Instruction faculty
  • Gayle Martin, Human, Social & Behavioral Science faculty
  • Kristen Meck, Math, Science & Engineering faculty
  • Michele Meissner, Business & Computer Technologies faculty
  • Jan Militello, Veterans Center Student Advisor 
  • Bryan Miller, Math, Science & Engineering faculty
  • Lonnie Mitchell, Math, Science & Engineering faculty
  • Jacqueline Montalvo, Health Sciences faculty
  • Jimmy Moore, Public Service Careers/Apprenticeships faculty
  • Mary Mullalond, English/Writing faculty
  • Michael Naylor, Performing Arts faculty
  • Leslie Neal, Student Services Advisor
  • William Nelson, Radiography faculty
  • Jodi Neuman, Dental faculty
  • Nathan Oliver, Welding faculty
  • Maria Ortega, Behavioral Sciences faculty
  • Carol Osborne, Career Education Coordinator 
  • Christopher Packard, Human, Social & Behavioral Science faculty
  • Jack Peeples, Human, Social & Behavioral Science faculty
  • Thornton Perkins, History faculty
  • Dale Petty, Electrical/Electronics faculty
  • Sharyl Politi, Culinary Arts faculty
  • Julie Pomerville, Human, Social & Behavioral Science faculty
  • Jessica Ponce-Torres, Student Development Tech Assistant
  • Michael Quail, Mathematics faculty
  • Kristin Rahn, Math, Science & Engineering faculty
  • Juan Redondo, Foreign Languages faculty
  • Bill Reichert, Networking faculty
  • Jennifer Rivas-Murillo, Human, Social & Behavioral Science faculty
  • Shequelia Rogers, Health Sciences faculty
  • Bayne Roland, Human, Social & Behavioral Science faculty
  • Elise Sampson, Human, Social & Behavioral Science faculty
  • Heather Sanford, Student Welcome Center Call Center Specialist
  • Tracy Schwab, Physical Sciences faculty
  • Carl Seaver, Human, Social & Behavioral Science faculty
  • Karen Shaper, Human, Social & Behavioral Science faculty
  • James Skufis, Radiography faculty
  • Karen Smith, Facilities Management
  • Aaron Smith, Human, Social & Behavioral Science faculty
  • Mary Smyth, Health Sciences faculty
  • Claire Sparklin, Communications faculty
  • Kathryn Staron, Human, Social & Behavioral Science faculty
  • Ross Strayer, Life Sciences faculty
  • Leon Swan, Math, Science & Engineering faculty
  • Nancy Sylvester, Student Services
  • Clifford Taylor, Mathematics faculty
  • Larry Taylor, Math, Science & Engineering faculty
  • Anthony Terry, Business & Computer Technologies faculty
  • Elisabeth Thoburn, Humanities faculty
  • Michael Thompson, Human, Social & Behavioral Science faculty
  • Katie Torkelson-Regan, WTMC Science instructor
  • Susan Travis, Health & Applied Technologies Counselor
  • Bonnie Truhn, Adult Transitions Director 
  • Jennifer Tucker, Human, Social & Behavioral Science faculty
  • Randy Van Wagnen, Digital Media Arts faculty
  • Ruth Ann Walsh, Public Services Careers faculty
  • Donna Wasserman, Social Sciences faculty
  • Douglas Waters, Business faculty
  • Anthony Webster, Student Resource Specialist
  • Benjamin Wielechowski, Human, Social & Behavioral Science faculty
  • Andrea Wilseck, Student Services Tech Assistant
  • David Wooten, Biology faculty
  • Heather Zettelmaier, Human, Social & Behavioral Science faculty
  • Elizabeth Zimmerman, WTMC Mathematics instructor

Tags: Bravo Awards, ousearch_News_2019