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STLCC Employees Earn Excellence Awards

Seven faculty and staff members from St. Louis Community received Excellence Awards from the League for Innovation in the Community College.

League Excellence Awards logoThe League for Innovation has presented Excellence Awards to outstanding faculty, staff and leaders in the community college field who have made a significant difference in the lives of students and in the communities their colleges serve. They recognize individuals who exemplify excellence in community college teaching and leadership. Individuals from any STLCC location can be selected to receive this honor. 

STLCC’s award winners were:

  • Carl Fischer and Chad Shade, Florissant Valley
  • Kimberly Hallemann and Casey Shiller, Forest Park
  • Elizabeth Granier and Marilyn Powers, Meramec
  • Joan Williams, Wildwood 

They received their awards at the league’s Innovations Conference in March. They will be recognized at the STLCC Board of Trustees meeting April 20.

Carl FischerCarl Fischer is an associate professor of engineering and technology. Long before he taught students to use the heavy machines in the Advance Manufacturing Center, Carl himself was an STLCC student and earned an associate degree in engineering technology. Fischer then was hired by then-McDonnell Douglas in the microelectronics division. He later earned a bachelor’s degree by taking night classes at Washington University in St. Louis. Carl always encourages students to consider the opportunity that the community college affords and the various paths for furthering their education once employed, because McDonnell Douglas paid for his classes. 

When McDonnell Douglas left the semiconductor business in 1995, Fischer joined the College as a lab supervisor and taught as an adjunct. Since that time, he has taken graduate courses to stay abreast of developments, became full-time faculty and witnessed the department’s addition of the Emerson Center for Engineering and Manufacturing. Fischer has taught 15 courses within the mechanical technology, engineering graphics and general engineering prefixes in addition to Project Lead the Way courses for area high schools. 

Tom McGovern, dean of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, is impressed with the value Fisher brings to the department. "Carl is a true example of professionalism in teaching. He has been a foundation of the engineering and technology program for many years. Faculty, staff – and most importantly students – can count on him. He tinkers with his courses for improvement and brings real life into his classroom. He is the kind of faculty member that exemplifies excellence." 

Chad ShadeChad Shade is the manager of enrollment services. Born to an U.S. Air Force family, Shade has lived all over the word and joined the Air Force after graduation. During his career, he was stationed in various places, including Alaska. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Shade began his work in higher education in 2008 at Pratt Community College in Kansas before moving to St. Louis to join STLCC. He is a strong leader who is credited with guiding Florissant Valley’s enrollment services area through multiple leadership and procedural shifts.  

Patti Barnes, district manager of testing services, notes that Shade quickly resolves challenges, and has seen a positive difference in department operations under his leadership. 

“This past year admission advisors were tasked with registering first-time students for the fall. Chad met with the advising team to learn this task, provided training to his staff and jumped in to assist students,” Barnes said. “Although this was a new duty for his department, he was able to maintain a positive attitude and encouraged his staff to do the same. They rose to the challenge and provided excellent service to our new students. Chad's leadership in enrollment services should be acknowledged. He always maintains a "can-do" attitude no matter what is put before him and works across the institution to provide the best experience for our students.”

Kimberly HallemannKimberly Hallemann is the manager for academic success and tutoring. She joined STLCC in fall 2019 as an adjunct English instructor and was hired as manager of academic success and tutoring at Forest Park in February 2020. Prior to that she served as coordinator of composition at NorthWest Arkansas Community College following a stint as a secondary English instructor in the Lindbergh School District.

“Kim demonstrates excellence in innovation by being eternally creative, pioneering and receptive to new ideas in the name of continuous service improvement,” said one of Hallemann’s nominators, Amanda Gallogly, Writing Center supervisor. “She models a culture of centering students’ unique needs by making sure the students she engages with always feel their concerns are her top priority in that moment. She exemplifies excellence in her leadership role with A-S-and-T staff by championing us, encouraging us to take on challenges and fostering an environment where we can take pride in our work and strive to become our best professional selves.”

Casey Shiller is a professor and program coordinator of baking and pastry arts. He was named the American Culinary Federation’s National Chef Educator of the Year in 2012 and the 2013 ACF Chefs de Cuisine Association of St. Louis’ Chef of the Year. Casey earned Teacher of the Year for St. Louis Community College in 2010 and received Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon’s Excellence in Teaching Award in 2011. 

Casey Shiller“Casey has consistently shown his commitment to excellence by action,” said Ellen Piazza, department chair for hospitality studies, one of Casey’s nominators. “He is an incredibly hands-on instructor/coordinator. He gives not just his time, but his knowledge and skill. He is always observant of best practices and sets a high bar quality in both product and student experience. He actively pursues industry professionals and industry experiences for the students in his program. He sets the standard for himself at the highest level and nurtures his students to do the same for themselves.”

Shiller is a two-time winner of Food Network’s Cupcake Wars and was featured on the program in 2012 in a “Battle of the Champions” episode. He is the lead judge and administrator for the ACF’s National Chef Educator of the Year competition. He also is a national judge for Skills USA and ProStart youth culinary competitions and is considered a global leader on educational pastry programming.

Shiller’s extensive community volunteerism focuses on the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Foundation and the Spastic Paraplegia Foundation.

Elizabeth GranierElizabeth Granier, Ph.D., is a professor in biological sciences. She is around every corner in the Meramec community. Granier finds a way to make an impact with students and coworkers in many ways. She serves as a mentor to several adjunct professors in the biology department, helping with syllabi and course content, as well as giving assistance to ensure course rigor is appropriate. She oversees classroom models and lab equipment orders, and works with video specialists to create short videos for biology labs. 

Granier is highly collaborative with her colleagues, as she helps look over exams, shares materials and works around schedules to accommodate others. She has also served as the NEA representative for Meramec, and assisted with the Veterans Club and other campus life functions. She goes out of her way to support students outside of the classroom by being a staunch supporter of the tutoring program and writes numerous letters of recommendation for students. 

Marilyn PowersMarilyn Powers has served as the business services supervisor at Meramec since 2019. She goes above and beyond in all her work, particularly when interacting with students and employees. She makes sure people know they are valued when working with her or her department. Her experience and knowledge make her a go-to person for many people on the Meramec campus. Powers can get anything done no matter how difficult the task, and her cheerful personality brings people back to her office whenever they need assistance. 

Powers previously worked at Forest Park in the financial aid office and then in payroll. She also worked in the human resources department at the Cosand Center prior to her appointment at Meramec.

Joan WilliamsJoan Williams serves as the administrative assistant to Stephen White in the president’s office at Wildwood. White said Williams was nominated for the award because of her professionalism and positive attitude.

“Joan is a true asset,” he said. “She’s efficient, detail oriented and always goes above and beyond to help. We appreciate all that she does to support our campus.”

Williams joined Wildwood from Meramec in 2019, where she held a similar position for two years. Prior to that, she served in the dean’s office for business and communications and held a secretarial position in the business and information systems department. She also served for seven years as a part-time admissions and registration assistant at South County Education and University Center.

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