At All College Day in August, Collin College recognized the winners and finalists of the full- and part-time Recognition Of Service and Excellence (ROSE) awards. Cougar News is featuring the ROSE award finalists. Budget analyst Ann Thompson received the full-time ROSE Award and Central Park Campus Writing Center director Betty Correll received the part-time ROSE Award.

The college thanks all finalists for their dedication and service. Click here to see the full-time ROSE Award finalist video and here for the part-time ROSE Award finalist video.

FULL-TIME STAFF

Melissa Blackmore, reference librarian

melissa

Q. There are always small things that make one’s job interesting or worthwhile. What minute aspects of your job do you get the most joy out of?

A. One of the perks of working in a library is certainly the opportunity I have to read about, select and examine a large number of the great new books and movies in the world as part of my day-to-day activities. Even more worthwhile, though, is being able to connect people with these materials and the most relevant resources and information that they need to improve their work and their lives.

Q. As a ROSE Award finalist, you’ve been acknowledged for going the extra step in one way or another. What is your approach or philosophy toward your job?

A. On the most basic level, my approach is to do everything to the best of my ability and always try to improve the situation of those around me. I consider it my primary purpose to help and serve the college’s students, faculty and staff as well as local community members. More specifically, I try to be fully engaged in every task and, most importantly, in every personal interaction. I try to treat every question, request or communication as important and always try to understand the perspective of the other person. There are no standard one-size-fits-all answers. Everyone deserves a focused response that is fully tailored to specific needs and outlooks.

Francis Choy, eCollin Learning Center instructional designer

Francis Choy

Q. There are always small things that make one’s job interesting or worthwhile. What minute aspects of your job do you get the most joy out of?

A. When working with faculty, I am contributing a small part to every student being impacted. I realize that every move I take in developing a class and every suggestion I make may impact tens of thousands of students. There’s nothing better than knowing that you are positively impacting thousands of people with your work.

I once worked with a faculty member who was retiring soon. We tried to estimate how many students he had taught over the decades of his teaching career, and we estimated he taught over 20,000 students. He might not remember all of the students, but he had likely impacted each of them and perhaps their families too. We all remember the teachers we like and we do better in their classes. Faculty members are content experts, and many have their own teaching styles that are interesting to explore.

Whether a new faculty member or a veteran at Collin College, one thing that strikes me is that they are very conscious to make their courses better. With the evolving teaching environment as more classes become online and new technologies become available, faculty members are trying new teaching methods and technologies and introducing these elements in courses. This is an exciting venture and particularly rewarding if the change brings along good outcomes.

Q. As a ROSE Award finalist, you’ve been acknowledged for going the extra step in one way or another. What is your approach or philosophy toward your job?

A. I always try to put myself in the other person’s shoes. This way, I will have a better understanding and perspective on what other people need and think and then do my best to help. Whether it is a small task or big project, I provide the best effort and resources available to satisfy the needs and accomplish the task with a lot of patience and attention to detail. I want to treat and help people the way I want to be treated and helped.

Keyona McClellanacademic advisor

keyona

Q. There are always small things that make one’s job interesting or worthwhile. What minute aspects of your job do you get the most joy out of?

A. I enjoy creating relationships with professionals from various departments; those relationships are the building blocks to helping all of our students achieve their goals.

Q. As a ROSE Award finalist, you’ve been acknowledged for going the extra step in one way or another. What is your approach or philosophy toward your job?

A. My approach is to be honest, direct, objective, patient and when necessary incorporate a little bit of humor.  I work with an awesome group of people.  I constantly strive to be the best, because I work with the best.

Rajesh Michaelweb editor

Q. There are always small things that make one’s job interesting or worthwhile. What minute aspects of your job do you get the most joy out of?

A. Probably the day-to-day interaction with the other staff and faculty members.  It seems silly, but I really am a people person.

Q. As a ROSE Award finalist, you’ve been acknowledged for going the extra step in one way or another. What is your approach or philosophy toward your job?

A. Composer Igor Stravinsky once said, “Just as appetite comes from eating, so work brings inspiration, if inspiration is not discernible at the beginning.”  It’s hard to not be excited to come to work when inspiration is right around the corner.

Ann Thompsonbudget analyst

Ann Thompson

Q. There are always small things that make one’s job interesting or worthwhile. What minute aspects of your job do you get the most joy out of?

A. I get the most joy out of knowing I have helped someone solve a problem or find an answer to a question they don’t know.  Most of the contact I have with other employees gives me the opportunity to help and that brings lots of happiness to me.

Q. As a ROSE Award finalist, you’ve been acknowledged for going the extra step in one way or another. What is your approach or philosophy toward your job?

A. My approach to anything I do is to do it to the best of my ability, and above all think of others in the process and represent the college in an appropriate manner.  I don’t ever want anyone to think Collin College is not a good place because of the encounter they had with me.

PART-TIME STAFF

Betty Correll, Central Park Campus Writing Center director

Betty Correll

Q. There are always small things that make one’s job interesting or worthwhile. What minute aspects of your job do you get the most joy out of?

A. Much of my work through the years has been in individual student conferences at the Writing Center. When showing a receptive, concerned student how certain changes can improve his or her composition – perhaps a more focused thesis statement, topic sentences introducing paragraphs, or greater conciseness—and seeing that student’s expression brighten at recognizing the possibilities, I always feel pleased. Psychologists say that immediate rewards are usually more effective than delayed ones. Students’ expressions of understanding and appreciation give me an immediate little reward that helps make my work satisfying. Such situations may seem small and commonplace, but they provide little daily moments of gratification that I think we as educators need.

Q. As a ROSE Award finalist, you’ve been acknowledged for going the extra step in one way or another. What is your approach or philosophy toward your job?

A. Certain basic assumptions underlie much of my teaching of composition, though they are not necessarily stated in syllabi. First, I must help students realize how the language of formal academic writing differs from that of their daily life; shortcuts of texting and many informal expressions of daily speech are inappropriate in academic papers.

On the other hand, I must help other students realize that filling sentences with big words only because they are big words –polysyllabic Latinate diction—does not create effective writing. Effective writing does not consist of verbal clutter. Effective writing consists of precise words and clear, concise sentences – “maximum meaning in minimum words”  someone once said. I like to tell students that we shall work on writing higher-octane sentences. Of course, teaching composition involves far more than questions of style, but I have often found myself returning to them in trying to help students improve their writing ability.

Renee Longadministrative assistant

Rene

Q. There are always small things that make one’s job interesting or worthwhile. What minute aspects of your job do you get the most joy out of?

A. One of the simple joys of my work is interacting with students, faculty and staff throughout my day. I’m a people person and enjoy having that connection. Whether it be just a “Good morning!” or “Can I help you?” I hope that positive energy can make their days better, resulting in a more positive work place for all.

Q. As a ROSE Award finalist, you’ve been acknowledged for going the extra step in one way or another. What is your approach or philosophy toward your job?

A. When I was young, my parents taught me early to do things to the best of my ability and to take pride in your work. I strive for that every day at the office. My life philosophy is simple and is the Golden Rule: “Treat others the way that you would like to be treated.” In a customer service setting, I appreciate someone who is positive and works hard.

Elissa Valdezadmissions and records assistant

Elissa Valdez

Q. There are always small things that make one’s job interesting or worthwhile. What minute aspects of your job do you get the most joy out of?

A. I like to watch the incoming high school graduates with qualifying exit level test scores. They are exempt from testing and excited to make such a smooth transition from high school to college. They’re a hint of great things to come. The older generation returning to school is no less interesting.  I have the opportunity to encourage them to continue and contribute to the student body.

Q. As a ROSE Award finalist, you’ve been acknowledged for going the extra step in one way or another. What is your approach or philosophy toward your job?

A. My job encapsulates everything I like: people, technology and communication.  I am always learning and in the best environment I could want.  I’m constantly learning how to better use my time working in an area that’s an opportunity for individuals to start college or improve skills.