OCTC Announces Employee Award Winners

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OWENSBORO, KY (01/10/2019) Owensboro Community & Technical College recognized employees of OCTC for excellence with awards during the annual holiday luncheon held Friday, December 7, 2018.

The OCTC Peer Awards are nominated by the employees of the college and the winners selected by a committee of peers. All of the honors included an award of professional development funds to be used within the next calendar year.

"We are happy to be able to expand our awards selection this year and include the funds for professional development opportunities. It is an easy way for the college to re-invest in our employees who are striving for excellence" added Dr. Scott Williams, OCTC President.

The Quiet Hero Award was established to recognize employees who have had an impact on others and who exemplify a servant's heart. Nominations included: Bruce Burns, Rhonda Logsdon, Vickie Hohiemer, and Connie Johnson.

Connie Johnson was selected as the honoree and has been referenced as a wonderful, patient instructor who inspires her students, to have confidence in themselves, to conquer their fears, and be successful. Johnson has been with OCTC since 1988, and has been teaching Computer & Information Technologies since 2004. Johnson has worked tirelessly with OCTC's Phi Theta Kappa honor society. She has also served on the GG Talbott 5K committee since 2006.

The OCTC Pillar Awards were named to coincide with the college ideals of Community Service, Workforce Education and Readiness, Fostering an Approachable Learning Environment, and Student Advocacy.

The of nominees for the Pillar Award for Community Service were Casey Hamilton and Lisa Burns-Kirby.

Lisa Burns-Kirby received the honor for her positive energy and her passion for community. A security officer at OCTC Kirby volunteers in the community with numerous organizations. She is active on campus and is the first to volunteer when needed. She is a tireless advocate for the homeless and mentoring young adults.

The Pillar Award for Workforce Education and Readiness nominees included: Danny Moseley, Sheri Plain, and Katie Vincent.

Katie Vincent was chosen for the award. She has been at OCTC since 2007 in various roles working with students and business and industry, most recently as a program facilitator for Workforce Solutions. Vincent is noted to have a genuine passion for helping others and makes every effort to accommodate student schedules. She works with students to remove barriers and find resources to assist them, so they can persevere and succeed. Vincent shepherds and guides over 125 students per year. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from Western Kentucky University, and a Master of Science in Human Development and Leadership from Murray State University.

The nominees for the Fostering an Approachable Learning Environment Pillar Award include: Matt Alschbach, Zara Basham, Tara Groves, and Dr. Court Lewis.

The recipient of this honor, Matt Alschbach was selected for working tirelessly on behalf of OCTC students. He demonstrates a respect for congeniality and discourse in all of his activities. He has an ability to discuss and debate diverse viewpoints with students while maintaining trusting and cordial relationships.

Alschbach has been with OCTC since 2012, he is an Associate Professor, with a master's degree in history from San Diego State University, and a bachelor's degree in history from California State University San Marcos. He is a strong advocate for diversity and inclusion, serving as faculty advisor for Students Aligned for Equality at OCTC. Alschbach serves on a number of college committees dedicated to students' success both in college, and in life.

The nominees for the Student Advocacy Pillar Award: Lindsey Greer, Dr. Meredith Skaggs, and Nikki Wimpelberg.

Lindsey Greer was selected and noted as a caring person and colleague, always holding students' best interest in mind. She is the Program Facilitator for the college's TRiO program. The nomination conveyed that Greer had a "can-do" attitude with everyday tasks and motivates first-generation students through her encouraging words and positive emails.

The 2018 OCTC Scholarship Award was given to Dr. Court Lewis for making significant academic contributions that enhance the mission and vision of OCTC.

Lewis has been at OCTC since 2013, is an Associate Professor, who readily shares his higher education journey and career path with his students, making him relatable and approachable. He has also authored and edited several publications, most recently he published Repentance and the Right to Forgiveness from Lexington Books and co-authored with Dr. Tim Dick, Medical Ethics: The 16 Week Consult from Kendall Hunt.

Court Lewis received his PhD from the University of Tennessee and is Program Coordinator and Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies at OCTC.

The President's Award for Adjunct Instruction was created to recognize excellence and innovation in the classroom and in online instruction. The nominees included: Mary Kinney, Marvin Marksberry, and Erica May.

Erica May received the honor and teaches in the Agriculture program. May has taught the maximum number of courses allowed by an adjunct faculty member while demonstrating excellence and innovation in establishing a student friendly learning environment. She also establishes a cohesiveness between classwork and the work environment. May has taught at OCTC since 2017. May earned a Bachelor's in Science in Agriculture from Western Kentucky University (WKU) in 2017. She will graduate with her MS in Agriculture Education from WKU in May 2019.

The nominees for the President's Award for Teaching were Shannon Collins and Dr. Tim Dick.

Dr. Tim Dick received the honor for being known as one of the toughest faculty members on campus, but also one of the most beloved. He has led OCTC's award winning PTK Chapter and also leads research on polycystic kidney disease. Dick co-authored a textbook with Kendall Hunt Publishing Company, Medical Ethics: The 16 Week Case Consult an interactive workbook designed to teach students the basics of critical thinking and ethical reasoning and how both skills apply to the field of medicine.

Dick received his PhD from the University of Kentucky in Policy, Ethics, and Biology, holds a MA in Cellular Biology from the University of Evansville, and a MA in Behavioral Biology from the University of Evansville. He has been with OCTC since 1986, and serves on several ethics boards in the community.

The OCTC Awards of Excellence are considered the pinnacle of honors at the college and include the individual categories of faculty, staff, and administrative staff. The winners are selected from a group of previous OCTC Award of Excellence winners.

The nominees for OCTC Staff Award of Excellence included: Stacey Bertke, Connie Porter, Ceary Thomas, and Katie Vincent.

Connie Porter was selected for the honor. The nomination highlighted that Porter has been with OCTC for several years and is known to go out of her way to help others. She has a high level of professionalism and a caring attitude and has been known to say "I would rather everyone have a peace of mind about this, and no worries when comes to dealing with benefits issues". Also noted were her kindness and a genuine willingness to meet individually with employees.

The nominees for the OCTC Administrative Staff Award of Excellence were Kenny Moxley and Micah Perkins.

Kenny Moxley was chosen for the award. His nomination summary noted him to be a team player, work-side-by side with others to get the job done, and not asking his employees to do anything he would not do himself. Moxley looks for positive outcomes and compromises in difficult situations, while making it look effortless. He is excellent at managing multiple campuses and grant projects, while making it look easy.

The nominees for the OCTC Faculty Award of Excellence: Randy Crowe, Dr. Court Lewis and Theresa Schmitt.

Professor Theresa Schmitt was honored with the award. Schmitt began her career with OCTC in 2002. She serves as the program coordinator Computer & Information Technologies, is a faculty advisor for the OCTC student chapter of the Association of Computing Machinery, annually coordinates the Boy Scout Merit Badge University on OCTC's Main Campus, is a member of the NSF Access to STEM grant team, serves on the FIRST Lego League Robotics Challenge committee, and is a member of the Kentucky Community Colleges Women in Computing Association.

Schmitt implemented the Digital Divas! project in the spring of 2018 with funding support from the Yeager Charitable Trust. Schmitt's goal for the project was to encourage girls to learn about careers in the field of technology. To accomplish this goal, she helped students at College View learn about programming and app development with MIT's App Inventor. She plans to continue and expand the program.

Schmitt earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Technology from Texas A&M in 1981, and a master's degree in Business Administration from the University of Akron in 1992. She is a first-generation college graduate, raised in Texas, and was encouraged by her mother to complete her educational goals.


Owensboro Community & Technical College is one of the sixteen community and technical colleges that make up the Kentucky Community & Technical College System. OCTC serves the KY counties of Daviess, Hancock, Ohio and McLean. OCTC has three campuses in Daviess County and a Center and Annex in Hancock County. OCTC strives to serve the communities in the service area by providing associate degree education for transfer, state of the art technical education for students focusing on entering the workforce, customized business and industry solutions through the Workforce Solutions division, and adult education and business and industry testing through the SkillTrain unit.


The Kentucky Community and Technical College System is the Commonwealth's largest postsecondary institution with 16 colleges and more than 70 campuses. We also are Kentucky's largest provider of workforce training and online education. Through partnerships with business and industry, we align our programs to meet the needs of local employers. We help students fulfill their dreams of creating a better life through programs that lead directly to jobs or help them transfer to one of our four-year partners.

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