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Whatcom Community College geology faculty wins state teaching award

Post Date:04/03/2018 12:09 p.m.

Kaatje Kraft at Mount St. HelensBellingham, Wash. – Whatcom Community College’s Dr. Kaatje Kraft is a recipient of the 2018 Anna Sue McNeill Assessment, Teaching and Learning Award. Each year, the award recognizes the contributions of outstanding faculty teaching at a public two- or four-year college in Washington state. Kaatje (right, in front of Mount St. Helens) will be honored at the Assessment, Teaching and Learning Conference in May in Vancouver, Wash.

Kaatje has been teaching at WCC since 2014 and has been active in geology education for nearly 20 years. She completed her doctorate work from Arizona State University in science education with a focus on persistence for community college geology students. She makes the content of her courses relevant through field trips where students are able to examine regional geology like slope stability of a beach cliff side or soil quality at the local Growing Veteran's farm. “Kaatje’s students directly benefit from the creative ways she is able to incorporate research and service-learning into her classroom,” said Ed Harri, WCC Vice President for Instruction. “Students are excited to take courses with Kaatje, and geology enrollments at Whatcom have grown more than 40% under her leadership.” 

Kaatje is also a leader in sustainability initiatives at WCC. She serves as the College’s faculty sustainability coordinator and chairs the sustainability committee. Under her leadership, WCC was recently awarded a STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System) Bronze rating by the Association for the Advancement for Sustainability in Higher Education. 

About Whatcom: Whatcom Community College is a regionally and nationally accredited college with an accomplished faculty and staff who serve 11,000 students annually. The College works closely with industry to prepare graduates to excel in their fields and meet emerging business trends. On its campus in Bellingham, Wash., and through online courses, Whatcom offers a four-year bachelor of applied science, transfer and professional-technical degrees, as well as basic education, job skills training, and community education classes. For more information, visit whatcom.edu

Contact: Marisa Ellis, Whatcom Community College PIO, 360.383.3310, pio@whatcom.edu
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