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Katherine Burns and Anna Wolff are 2016 Faculty Excellence Award winners
Katherine Burns and Anna Wolff (picture above, left to right) are the recipients of the 2016 Whatcom Community College Foundation Faculty Excellence Awards. They were honored at the College's commencement ceremony on June 17. WCC President Kathi Hiyane-Brown said, these two colleagues epitomize the integrity and philosophy of the educational profession they have selected, which is demonstrated by their dedication to their students and to the entire College community. They both exemplify the term “excellence” in this award.
Katherine Burns—Adjunct Faculty Excellence Award
In being nominated for the 2016 Faculty Excellence Award, Katherine Burns was described as “particularly gifted at addressing the needs of our most vulnerable students.” Since she first started teaching English at WCC in 2002, and after a brief hiatus returned as an adjunct instructor in 2013, Katherine has earned praise for her work with both native English speakers and English language learners. One of the former stated “I have never had a teacher that spends so much time, effort, and energy working with her students.” Another student praised Katherine for providing “very encouraging, meaningful, and profound education [for] both American and international students.” Still another student said simply “She is the life changer for me.” Katherine’s department chair said “Our students love her, and it’s not hard to see why…. She is one of our most conscientious, approachable and dedicated faculty members, richly deserving of this award for faculty excellence.”
Anna Wolff—Full-time Faculty Excellence Award
Anna Wolff came to Whatcom as an adjunct English instructor in September 2009 and has been a full-time instructor here since fall of 2014. In that time she has distinguished herself as an exceptional teacher and contributor to departmental and college-wide initiatives. Her colleagues note her dedicated efforts in bridging the writing curriculum between Developmental Education and college-level English, building relationships that strengthen student success. She has taught a linked English/Political Science course, as well as team-taught the English 101-Plus class in its pilot phase. Anna has incorporated Reading Apprenticeship theory into her writing instruction, and helped create a Faculty Learning Community on Growth Mindset. Anna’s colleagues also praise her work with the WCC Diversity Committee, her active support of LGBT+ students, her service as faculty advisor for the Writers of Whatcom student club, and her many contributions to community organizations. Her students describe Anna as an enthusiastic, motivated, and passionate instructor, dedicated to her students and deserving of this recognition.
Thank you to all the faculty, staff and students who participated in this recognition tribute to our Whatcom faculty by submitting nominations.