The inaugural Presidential Recognition Award recipients were honored at the West Shore Community College Board of Trustees meeting on Monday, Feb. 21 during a presentation by the West Shore Community College Foundation. The Presidential Recognition Award recognizes individuals for exemplifying the vision and mission of the college as displayed by significant or innovative impact in instruction, service to students, service to the college, and/or exceptional service to the community.
Each award recipient will receive an internal grant from the Foundation which may be expended on WSCC allowable expenses. Examples include, but are not limited to, professional development, books or subscriptions, office or workplace materials or equipment, supplies or equipment for their own or another department, and student support, awards, or scholarships.
There were four recipients of a $500 grant each. The grants are funded by President Scott Ward and his wife Laura. “Not only is this a way to honor individual accomplishments, it is an opportunity to expand the scope of our Foundation. The main focus of the Foundation will always be students, but adding components like this helps the Foundation touch other important aspects of the College. Our main goal of student success is only possible through efforts of people like these honorees,” stated President Ward. “Our hope is these awards provide inspiration and enhances the spirit of collaboration.”
The four recipients of 2022 are Kelly Glover, Irma Hinojosa, Wade James, and Xavier Verna.
Glover is adjunct faculty at WSCC and has been teaching Mathematics for 13 years. She has been active in the community, especially when it comes to food insecurity, one of the greatest obstacles for college students. Glover has been instrumental in managing and growing Caritas Food Pantry at St. Mary’s Church in Custer. The pantry serves not just those in Mason County, but families from Oceana and Newaygo Counties as well.
Hinojosa is a long-standing employee of the college; for 36 years as of September of 2021, she has been the Administrative Assistant for Student Records. Residing in Oceana County, she is involved in many organizations that are addressing various needs in the community. She serves as the chairperson for both the Oceana Hispanic Center and the West Michigan Migrant Resource Council boards. She additionally serves on the Hart Public Schools Board of Education and the West Shore Educational School District Board. Hinojosa works a second job to assist students completing their GEDs as well as learning English as a second language.
James has been with the college for 24 years as a Professor of Mathematics and is Chairperson of the Mathematics department. James has been a campus leader and champion, also recognized for his efforts statewide, on both digital learning and open educational resources. He has moved all of his classes from textbooks to open educational resources that are free and digitally available. James is currently working with colleagues in the Academic and Student Services departments to develop a model where students can successfully take developmental and college level math courses simultaneously.
Verna is the Executive Director of the Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts. Having been there for five years, Verna has worked to elevate the caliber of performances as well as extend the reach of the arts. One way that has been accomplished is through enhanced collaborations with WSCC. Along with collaboration on various acts and performances in the region, Verna has brought his expertise to WSCC by leading the Percussion Ensemble for four years, and the newly formed WSCC Drumline.
“Each of these individuals embodies what it means for the college to be a part of the community,” said President Ward. “This grant is a chance to expand that work or aid in another area of the college that they may be passionate about. I am proud to be associated with these inaugural awardees and the work they do.”