ACCT honors faculty for success and involvement

George Treviranus, Editor in Chief

Life rarely presents the opportunity to turn a passion into a rewarding career. Madison College President Bettsey Barhorst, Ph.D., chemistry instructor Holly Kerby and health educator Anna-Marie Hoffmann – all Madison College faculty – have now had this rare opportunity.

The Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) oversees 1,200 community colleges and will give national recognition to Barhorst and Kerby for their hard work and dedication to the college, and will be awarded in Boston, Mass. They will be receiving the Chief Executive Officer award and Faculty Member award, respectively, for the Midwest region.

The event will occur on Oct. 8, 9 and 10, and recognize community colleges employees in five regions nationwide. ACCT expects the ceremony’s attendance to exceed 1,700.

“I was humbled and honored. That’s the easiest way to put it,” Barhorst said. During her career in teaching and education administration, she has worked at numerous community colleges and universities.

“I’ve been here almost eight years now. I’ve taught at all levels of education, all the way up to graduate school, and I really believe community college is the best,” Barhorst said.

She previously served as president of Hawkeye Community College in Waterloo, Iowa, has taught grade school and high school and even taught business communications courses for five years in Geneva, Switzerland.

Many of her 40 years in college teaching and administration were spent at Illinois Central College in Peoria, Ill.

It is considered a great honor to receive two of these awards for a single college. She considers herself to be a teacher at heart still, saying she meets with students at least once a day. “It’s very uncommon to have two faculty win these awards from one school,” Barhorst said. “We are so lucky.”

Kerby, is being recognized with Barhorst in Boston.

“It’s an enormous honor, but it’s also a little daunting,” Kerby said. She had previously been awarded a Nisod Excellence Award from the University of Texas–Austin, for excellence in teaching.

She still participates actively with Fusion Science Theater, advocating science education for children. “I believe our ideas are transformative for science outreach,” Kerby said.

She has taught at Madison College for 20 years and notes that she has had more opportunities here than she could ever hope for at another college, especially in the realm of science and theater. She teaches playwriting every other year, which helps keep her skills sharp for Fusion Science Theater.

This also is not the first time a Madison College faculty has been recognized by ACCT. Lisa Seidman, a biotechnology instructor, was awarded with a Faculty Member Award in 2008.

Barhorst and Kerby will speak to a panel during their time in Boston to compete for the national award in their services to Madison College. Each has four competitors from the other regions in the country.

Hoffmann will also be recognized for her presence at Madison College as a health educator over the last 13 years, as well as serving as a nurse for 12 years both before and during her time with the college at Dean health clinic.

“My role has sort of evolved over the years,” Hoffmann said. She worked as a part time instructor for roughly eight years, also acting as the campus nurse for two or three years in that time.

Hoffmann worked very hard in bringing the clinic to the school, working with the clinic. “I’m back to being a full-time health educator for now, and to be recognized for something I love is almost unfair.”

Madison Magazine will recognize her as “Madison’s Favorite Nurse.” She remarked that it is the biggest thing to happen to her since being a nurse, making her glad to know her efforts with the school are noticed.