NISOD Award Winners

Every year Yavapai College recognizes individuals for teaching and leadership excellence. Nominations are provided by Faculty and reviewed by the Deans. Award recipients have the opportunity to attend the annual NISOD International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence in Austin, Texas. Thank you for your commitment to quality teaching and leadership that richly benefits the students at Yavapai College.

2013-14 NISOD Excellence Award Recipients

Justin BreretonJustin Brereton

  • Agribusiness Professor
  • Justin Brereton is a passionate, dedicated, and knowledgeable instructor who is community service oriented, and always goes the extra mile to provide students with the best learning opportunities possible. Justin brings agriculture expertise from his experiences in landscaping, nurseries, botany, forestry, and agriculture instruction. He constantly strives to improve the agriculture programs by seeking additional training, serving the community, and using student feedback to improve curriculum. Justin supports both the viticulture program at the Verde Valley campus and the agriculture programs at the Chino Valley campus. To expand his knowledge and experience, Justin has completed internships for Mountain State Wholesale Nursery (native plants), AZ Game and Fish (aquaculture), US Forest Service (forestry), and Merkin Vineyards (viticulture). Justin was instrumental in Plant a Vineyard Day at the Clarkdale campus in support of the viticulture program.

    Justin has shown leadership by serving on Curriculum and Standards Committees, mentoring new faculty, and coordinating faculty projects. Justin also helps organize and run contests twice a year, each year, at the district Future Farmers of America (FFA) days hosted by Yavapai College, Chino Valley campus. Justin has worked with his students to organize and run a fall pumpkin patch, holiday poinsettia sale, and spring plant sale that benefit both the community and the Agriculture program. Just recently Justin has developed community partnerships and new curriculum to allow students to learn how to engage in community supported agriculture. Additionally, Justin has invested time and effort to improve his skills with ITV technology, and to use our media room to create engaging video segments as part of his instructional materials.

    From the classroom to the community, Justin has always exhibited a keen interest and passion in expanding his learning and in contributing his time and expertise. He is a great example of the “Kaizan” philosophy of “change for the best” and “constant improvement”!

Dr. Suzanne WaldenbergerDr. Suzanne Waldenberger

  • Humanities Professor, General Education Coordinator
  • Suzanne Waldenberger came to Yavapai College five years ago as the college’s Humanities instructor. In 2010 she also took on the task of General Education Coordinator for the college. She teaches a variety of classes in humanities, religious studies, anthropology, and history, but always with a focus of understanding the human condition and the many ways that humans express their hopes, fears, beliefs and values.

    Suzanne strives for new and compelling ways to engage her students in the course materials and to help them understand that topics in the humanities are more than just academic disciplines. Her goal is always to help students make connections between their studies and their lives and to understand how a grounding in the humanities will allow them to better understand the world they live in. Toward that end, she uses various techniques and pedagogies that take students out of the classroom (either physically or virtually) and force them to look at their education and their lives from new perspectives. She was a beta tester for an LMS called 3D GameLab that uses game mechanics to encourage students to take control of their own educational path and pursue their own interests within class topics. She introduced Reacting to the Past to Yavapai College, a game pedagogy that allows students to explore classic and influential primary source texts by role-playing actors in critical events in human history. In all her classes, Suzanne has transformed the structure of all her classes to deemphasize failure in favor of revision. Instead of earning a percentage of the total points for any assignment completed just once, students in Suzanne’s classes are expected to get the assignment right, but are given as many times as necessary to master the skill being taught. This shifts the focus from losing points on any assignment to earning those points, reducing grade anxiety and allowing students to choose their own level of commitment to their education.

    As General Education coordinator, Suzanne has overseen the wholesale revision of the college’s own commitment to and articulate of general education, resulting in the GECCO, the Yavapai College General Education Core Curriculum Outcomes. In addition, she has worked with members of the Student Learning Outcomes Assessment committee to develop an effective and useful way to collect assessment data on general education at the college. The development of this assessment process played a part in the favorable feedback that the college received from its accrediting agency in the spring of 2013.

Tania SheldahlTania Sheldahl

  • Director of Academic and Career Advising, Testing Services and High School Relations
  • Tania Sheldahl came to Yavapai College as a basketball recruit in 1982 and has worked fulltime for the college since 1988, currently employed as Director of Academic and Career Advising, Testing Services, and High School Relations. Tania is a role model for her staff members and colleagues at YC. Her knowledge of College processes and policies and her focus on student success are respected by faculty, staff members, and administrators. She is always looking for ways to improve the work of her staff members with students, most recently using student development theory to inform the practice of academic and career advisors. Tania collaborates well with faculty and staff to effectively meet the challenges of changes in the educational environment, most recently in regard to high school concurrent enrollment and recruitment. She has been very involved with the First Year Experience initiative. Tania is a leader within Student Services and the College.

Past NISOD Award Winners

Year Name Division Title
2012/2013 Lauren McCreaLauren McCrea Visual Performing and
Liberal Arts
2012/2013 Gino RomeoGino Romeo Chemistry Instructor
2011/2012 Alan LohrAlan Lohr Gunsmithing Instructor
2010/2011 Denise WoolseyDenise Woolsey Communications Instructor
2010/2011 Matt PearcyMatt Pearcy Biology Instructor
2010/2011 Rick PetersRick Peters Mining Instructor
2009/2010 Stacey HiltonStacey Hilton TeLS/Summer and
Winter Institutes
2009/2010 photo unavailableKen Schoch EMS and Paramedic Program Director
2009/2010 Brent RobertsBrent Roberts Math/Honors Program Instructor
2008/2009 photo unavailableGennie Fuemmeier
EDU/Reading Instructor
2008/2009 Larry FrolichLarry Frolich Anatomy/Physiology Instructor
2008/2009 Ernie HernandezErnie Hernandez Automotive Instructor
2007/2008 Al GarbagnatiAl Garbagnati Psychology/Sociology Instructor
2007/2008 Paul EwingPaul Ewing Liberal Studies Instructor
2007/2008 Vickey LaMotteVickey LaMotte Family Enrichment Ctr. Director
2006/2007 photo unavailableJim Bushman
Public Services Program Director
2006/2007 David GraserDavid Graser Math Instructor