NWCCD Announces 2017 Excellence Award Winners

Northern Wyoming Community College District recently announced its 2017 Excellence Award Winners. Each year, NWCCD, which includes Sheridan College, Gillette College and Sheridan College in Johnson County, recognizes staff, volunteers, and students who have shown exemplary efforts in supporting the goals and overall mission of the district.

This year’s award winners include Mark Thoney, faculty; Miranda Miller, faculty; John D. Pearson, foundation; Robert Leibrech, trustee; Rósborg Halldórsdóttir, student; Chad Trebby, classified; Brady Fackrell, professional.

Mark Thoney, Sheridan College computer science instructor, won the Faculty Member of the Year Award.

“(Mark) has used his extensive industry experience as a web app developer to combine traditional materials, primarily textbooks, with open source content into innovative learning experiences that stimulate students to think critically and work independently,” his nominator explained. “Coding is a craft and Mark teaches it that way, emphasizing hands-on, experiential learning.” (WACCT nominee)

Miranda Miller, Gillette College English instructor, also received the Faculty Member of the Year Award.

According to her nomination letter, Miller exemplifies teaching excellence with an approach that consists of an interactive lecture incorporating visual, aural, and social strategies to reach a broad variety of learning styles. “Miranda puts an extraordinary amount of time and effort in developing material that will not merely expand the horizons of our students, but will engage them in ways that force them to be much more critical and thoughtful participants of the communities in which they reside,” her nominator explained.

John D. Pearson is this year’s Foundation Volunteer of the Year.

“The easiest way to describe John to a group would be…community college advocate. He is committed to Sheridan College and speaks passionately about what it offers the people of our community, region, and state,” his nomination packet said. “John Pearson dedicated ten years to the betterment of Sheridan College, with students’ education needs informing his decisions on the Sheridan College Foundation Board.” (WACCT nominee)

Robert Leibrich received the Trustee Leadership Award for his work on the NWCCD Board of Trustees.

“Trustee Leibrich has a background in finance and investment and has been invaluable in helping the institution develop a robust risk management program which the full Board updates annually…(he) has worked together with college staff to create a five-year budget outlook for the institution,” his nomination packet said. “This important innovation allows the Board to see potential problems years in advance and to work with college staff on necessary corrective action.” (WACCT nominee)

Rósborg Halldórsdóttir, a Sheridan College dual music and chemistry major and volleyball athlete, is this year’s Student of the Year.

“Rósborg set out to excel at Sheridan College, and she has succeeded across the board in academics and as an athlete, musician, colleague, and student employee,” her nomination packet said. “Rósborg…was immediately recognized by the faculty as a student and musician with excellent talent, attitude, and potential…she has grown to become the undisputed leader among her peers with regard to musicianship, academic prowess, and servant-based leadership.” (WACCT nominee)

Gillette College Campus Police Lieutenant Chad Trebby is this year’s Classified Employee of the Year.

According to his nomination packet, “Chad is not only an exceptional employee, he is a fine human being…While he understands and performs his professional duties as a police officer very well, he also understands that he is an integral part of the broader education effort. Often times you will see him working with student groups, providing a guest lecture in class, or collaborating with colleagues on one of our many events.” (WACCT nominee)

Brady Fackrell, Director of Information Technology Services and Chief Information Officer, is this year’s Professional Employee of the Year.

According to his nomination packet, “(Brady) always has the best interests of the College in mind when making decisions. We have had continual construction, moves, and expansion projects at all three locations that have made the IT department’s contributions critical. At the same time, Brady’s professional reputation and expertise is known statewide, and he is strongly recruited for contributions to other programs.” (WACCT nominee)