Troy Moon, Pensacola State College
Want just an example of why Pensacola State College lead culinary instructor Chef Jimmie Langham was inducted into the PSC Academy of Teaching Excellence?
Well, minutes before the reception for the Academy inductees was to begin, Langham was in his chef garb overseeing last-minute details of the (scrumptious) hors d’oeuvres that were to be served at the event on Sept. 30 in the Charles W. Lamar Studio Gallery.
“Yeah, everyone’s telling me I need to get out there and mingle,’’ Langham said. “But this is what we do.”
Langham was one of 11 PSC instructors who were honored at the reception – six were 2021 inductees and five were 2020 inductees. Traditionally, inductees are honored with a spring dinner reception, but the events were canceled because of COVID-19.
The 2021 inductees are:
• Karen Carter, Cybersecurity
• Jimmie Langham, Culinary Arts
• Randall McClellan, Physics (Outstanding New Faculty Member)
• Sarah Meyer, Veterinary Technology
• Scott Schackmann, Spanish
• Britni Schoocraft, English
The 2020 inductees:
• Andrew Barbero, History
• Amber Carey, Spanish
• Domenick Grasso, Chemistry
• Lauren Rogers, Astronomy (Outstanding New Faculty Member)
• Deborah Woods, Mathematics
PSC President Ed Meadows called the inductees the “greatest teachers in this institution.”
Others were equally effusive in their praise.
“Without you, our students could not and would not excel,’’ said Dr. Troy Tippett, a member of the PSC Board of Trustees, who earlier in the day had attended the groundbreaking of the new PSC Truck Driver Training Facility in Milton. “I remember every great teacher I had, but I don’t remember every great building I was taught in.”
The Teaching Excellence awards are designed to recognize outstanding classroom instructors who demonstrate sustained teaching excellence as measured by four criteria:
• Demonstrated knowledge of and enthusiasm for subject matter.
• Good rapport/relationship with students
• Effective course content and organization
• Effective instructional methods.
The PSC Academy of Teaching Excellence was started in 1986. Since then, nearly 200 current and former faculty members have been inducted. The selection process begins with student nominations.
Erin Spicer, Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs, read a student nomination letter for each inducted instructor.
“That’s why this means what it does – because of the students,” Meyer said of the student recognition. “That’s the whole reason we do what we do.”
Here are some of the nomination letters than students, whose names were not released, wrote about their instructors:
Chef Jimmie Langham
“Chef Langham is the best teacher I have ever had. From when I started this program, I have come miles. I have attained knowledge of my craft and a mentor for life. Thank you so much Chef Langham.”
“She is amazing, inspiring, fair, uncompromising, resourceful, empathetic, and no words could ever say how thankful I am to have been her student.”
“She did a great job of balancing group work, class discussions, and in class work time. I felt like I had plenty of opportunities to ask questions if I didn’t find something clear, which rarely occurred because Ms. Schoolcraft did such an awesome job at making expectations clear. She did a wonderful job of making her class enjoyable with her sense of humor, professionalism, and understanding.”
“Karin is literally the best teacher in the whole cybersecurity program. She cares for her students’ futures and takes the responsibility of preparing for their future careers very seriously. I cannot say enough good things about her!”
“Best professor I have had! I really enjoyed this class and look forward to having him next semester for Spanish II. I highly recommend him to those who are having to take any foreign language course in college. He is down to Earth and makes class fun and enjoyable. He makes learning Spanish fun.”
Outstanding New Faculty Member
“Dr. McClellan has a very patient and understanding manner when teaching this introductory course in Physics, especially when he has ignorantly blissful students like me who had difficulty with the concepts. But he came across brilliantly as the light bulbs clicked on above our heads and suddenly everything made sense!”
“His enthusiasm for history made me more enthusiastic about it and made me love it even more. To say that he is an amazing teacher would be an understatement. If I could have a class with Mr. Barbero for the rest of my life, I would sign up immediately!”
“There are not enough adjectives in the language to describe Professor Carey. She is a rock star in the classroom! When I learned that I had to take a foreign language at my age, I was terrified. However, from the very first day, Professor Carey made learning fun! You can tell from her upbeat attitude from the moment she steps in the room, she loves what she does and that puts everyone at ease. She always makes you feel like you are her main priority and it shows how kind, genuine, and caring she is toward her students.”
“He makes chemistry very easy and understandable! I’ve never had a science class make so much sense and especially chemistry! Dr. Grasso always makes himself available to his students for help and any questions they have. The way he teaches is perfect for just about any type of learner. He uses real world examples, humor, visuals, and notes along with his explanation of the subject. I couldn’t have asked for a better chemistry teacher.”
“I believe that a genuinely talented professor makes or breaks a student’s interest and ambition in a specific subject. As thorough and committed as Mrs. Woods is, I could probably work for NASA if more math teachers were like her and I’m not traditionally a math guy.”
Outstanding New Faculty Member
“I thoroughly enjoyed your classes ─ both lecture and lab. The lab activities were so much fun and honestly it is insane how many of my assignments I have forced my mom to put on the fridge because they are so interesting and pretty! …and I am moved out of the house with my own child and everything!”