College of Lake County instructors Rory Klick (horticulture) and Jeff Varblow (accounting) recently received the 2012-13 Teaching Excellence Award from the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development in Austin, Texas.
Klick and Varblow, who were nominated by other CLC faculty and deans, were chosen from a pool of 12 CLC applicants by a faculty committee. The instructors accepted their awards at the NISOD conference, held May 26-29 at the Austin Convention Center.
Klick said she sees her teaching role as part of the larger effort of faculty and staff to provide good customer service.
"I think my students perceive that I genuinely care about their learning experience and their success," she said. "Everyone contributes to the students' experience here. As I went to various sessions at the NISOD conference, that was one of the things that really struck me: how to create a college culture where every staff and faculty member feel they are part of the equation for student success."
Varblow, who said he feels "humbled" to receive the award, said he emphasizes critical thinking and real-world application in his accounting courses.
"Memorization does not yield a deep enough understanding for students to master the concepts shared in my classes or add value in their eventual careers," he explained. "My ultimate goal is to prompt students to ask 'Why?' I want them to question why an equation works in a certain situation or why a company will alter its business decisions based on a certain accounting practice."
Since its inception in 1978, NISOD has emphasized the importance of teaching and leadership excellence in institutions of higher education.