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Clark College News and Events

December 4, 2006
For Immediate Release
For additional information:
Barbara Kerr, Executive Director of Communications and Marketing
Telephone: 360-992-2921


Three faculty members and two classified staff members
are honored by Clark College as “Exceptional”
for their service to students and the community

VANCOUVER, Wash. – A communications specialist, metal arts instructor, dental hygiene instructor, math instructor and life sciences staff member are the 2006 Exceptional Faculty and Exceptional Classified Staff honorees at Clark College.

Nell Gladson, Beth Heron, Brenda Knutson, Chris Milner and Lynn Schinzing were nominated by colleagues and students in recognition of their excellence and dedication to students and the community.  

Clark College interim President Robert K. Knight noted that all of the honorees “are exceptional professionals who are committed to making a difference in the lives of our students.” 

2006 Exceptional Faculty Award Honorees

Beth Heron, Exceptional Faculty honoree
Portland-based artist Beth Heron never fails to amaze her students. As a metal arts instructor, Heron blends complex physical skills with advanced artistic skills and techniques, demonstrating this unique combination to her students in a hands-on approach daily.

As one student observed, “She teaches welding, the use of oxy-acetylene torches [and] the use of monster machines…Yet, on another day, she teaches a class in jewelry, probably one of the more sensitive and delicate skills to teach.” “It is flattering [to win such an award],” said Heron. “You just hope you’re doing a good job and reaching students. You don’t always get that feedback, but it is what you hope you’re doing—you hope to affect their lives positively.”

Brenda Knutson, Exceptional Faculty honoreeAsk Brenda Knutson what it means to her to teach at Clark College, and the first words out of her mouth are, “I love working at Clark.”

It is no surprise, then, that Knutson’s students nominated her for, and that she won, the exceptional faculty award for 2006—except to her. “I was shocked that I had been nominated, and to receive the award was an even bigger shock,” said Knutson. 

As one of the primary instructors for junior dental hygiene students, Knutson uses both traditional and innovative teaching methods to foster various learning styles. Her creative techniques lend a sense of camaraderie and teamwork among the students.

Said one student, “When our workload becomes more difficult and the students feel overwhelmed, Brenda is all the more positive and supportive. I believe much of our success can be directly attributed to the positive leadership and influence of Brenda Knutson.” Knutson, however, points much of the credit back to her students. “This is a highly competitive program,” she said.   “The students are very driven.  They work hard, take feedback and ask questions that demand the instructors know their subject.”

Exceptional Faculty honoree Chris MilnerA “math revolution” is underway at Clark College. Students in math instructor Chris Milner’s classes who readily admit they once struggled with mathematics insist his love and excitement for the subject is contagious.

“Math has never been my favorite subject,” said one student. “But because of the excellent instruction by Chris Milner — believe it or not — now I think math is fun!”

Milner began teaching at Clark in January 1994. This was his third nomination as an exceptional faculty member and his first award. “I walked around in shock for a week and a half after I learned I was an award recipient,” said Milner. “I didn’t even tell anyone about it until the day of graduation.”  He added, “It is a great honor coming from the students and my colleagues. We all share ideas and I learn from them all.”

2006 Exceptional Classified Staff Award Honorees

There is an old saying: If you want to get something done, ask a busy person.

Exceptional Classified Staff honoree Nell GladsonNell Gladson proved that every day during her six years as communications specialist at Clark College. During her time at Clark, Gladson oversaw production of the quarterly class schedule and the college catalog. She also wrote news releases, researched articles for college newsletters, prepared PowerPoint presentations, and coordinated college photography, flyers and brochures.

Although Gladson left Clark College in June of this year, the impact of her time will carry on. “This award has deep meaning to me because not only was I part of the incredible classified staff at Clark College for almost six years, but I’m also a Clark College graduate,” said Gladson. “My experiences as a student and an employee will forever shape my future endeavors and keep me connected to the campus and the community.”

Exceptional Classified Staff honoree Lynn Schinzing“I don’t expect any extra recognition for doing my job.  But it is nice to know that people appreciate taking the extra step to be helpful,” said Lynn Schinzing, life sciences staff member at Clark College, after receiving the Exceptional Classified Staff award.

Schinzing added, “This means a lot to me because it was a departmental nomination.”   Her nominators wrote that their unit relies heavily on Schinzing in assisting faculty and students with class notification, instructor absences and general directions.

“Her skills go beyond the routine,” wrote her nominators. They added, “Lynn is diligent in her work and committed to completing her work even during inclement weather. She is willing to work a full day and then return to take notes at an advisory committee meeting.”


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