By Lauren Maddox, LSC-Montgomery College Relations
Lone Star College-Montgomery and the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) recently named professors Dr. Karen Buckman, Jared Cootz, Dr. Danny Kainer, and James Zipperer as Faculty Excellence Award recipients for the 2010-2011 academic year.
“We are very proud of our top-notch faculty who work diligently to support and encourage the aspirations of our students,” said Dr. Austin A. Lane, president of LSC-Montgomery. “Each of these faculty members have creative and effective methods of teaching that resonate with the students.”
Each year, NISOD formally recognizes the best in higher education with the Faculty Excellence Awards chosen from nominations received from member schools.
“Receiving this award is humbling, especially given the quality of the faculty cohorts that surround me,” said James Zipperer, professor of economics and international business. “LSC-Montgomery is an innovative place to work, as faculty members are given the latitude to create, produce, and add value to the student life on campus.”
He holds a master of business administration degree from Sam Houston State University, with additional emphasis in economics, finance, and business.
“The teaching approach I incorporate is simple: every student is important,” said Zipperer. “I endeavor to afford support to every student, volunteering for tutoring services and implementing an open-door policy in my office.”
Most recently, Kainer has been involved with an on-campus algae-derived biofuel research project in collaboration with the National Algae Association, bringing innovative research and new curricula and training for students interested in the newly emerging algae biofuel industry.
“When I began teaching at the college in 2003, I was instantly impressed with what the biotechnology program had going on,” said Kainer. “I had no idea that students could receive such top-quality training on a community college level. Today, close to eight years later, it’s an honor to have this privilege to work with students daily to change the face of their future and ours too.”
“Simply put, I enjoy teaching,” said Cootz. “ I get pleasure from helping our students learn.”
Cootz, who teaches both psychology and sociology courses, has a teaching approach that focuses on creating an effective learning environment by using humor, reducing anxiety, using repetition, and focusing on application.
“I especially enjoy teaching the introductory Principles of Sociology (SOCI 1301) course, where I can creatively produce an overview of sociology, an area that touches all aspects of daily life,” said Cootz. “I have even referenced the television drama “LOST” to focus on group dynamics or how societies are formed.”
Cootz is currently a doctoral candidate at Texas A & M in educational administration human resource development. He holds a master’s degree in sociology and psychology from Our Lady of the Lake University.
In addition, she is an advisor for the college’s Psychology Club and chapter of Psi Beta, the national honor society for psychology students.
“It is a joy to come and teach, because at LSC-Montgomery, we have such great students and a positive atmosphere,” said Buckman. “I try to make my courses educational and engaging, sharing with students that psychology is all around us. I also try to enjoy life, so I encourage humor in my classroom.”
Buckman holds a doctorate degree from Texas A & M University and a master’s degree in counseling from Central Missouri University.
NISOD, housed at the University of Texas at Austin, is a worldwide consortium dedicated to the professional development of faculty, administrators, and staff and to the continued improvement of teaching and learning with the ultimate goal of student success. More than 600 community colleges around the world are NISOD members.