Monday, January 9, 2012
Dr. Phil Buckhiester Dr. Harriette Dudley Kevin Steele

Three Faculty/Staff Members Are Tri-County's Educators of the Year


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                      1/9/201 

(By Lisa Garrett)

         PENDLETON --- Three faculty/staff members have been chosen as Tri-County Technical College's 2012 Educators of the Year and will be recognized at the South Carolina Technical Education Association (SCTEA) meeting in February. 

         Dr. Phil Buckhiester, provost, is the College's outstanding administrator; Dr. Harriette Dudley, public services department head and early childhood development instructor, is the outstanding instructor; and Kevin Steele, manager of administrative services, is the outstanding staff nominee.

         Each will be honored at the SCTEA Annual Conference, set for February 23 - 25 at the Hilton Myrtle Beach Resort.  SCTEA is a professional association of technical education personnel and others interested in post-secondary technical education.

         Piedmont native Dr. Buckhiester returned home to the Upstate in 2004 when he joined the College as vice president for academic affairs.  He is a former member of the executive committee of the Chief Academic Officers' (CAO) peer group and serves as the liaison for the General Education/AA/AS peer group.   He is a former member of the Commission on Higher Education's articulation and dual enrollment, high school graduation and postsecondary entrance alignment committee, established by the Education and Economic Development Coordinating Council.  In 2005, he served as chair of the degree structure committee of the CAO's peer group and as a member of the presidents' WorkKeys committee.

         Dr. Buckhiester retired from the University System of Georgia in 2004, with 28 of those years spent at North Georgia College & State University in administrative and teaching capacities.  His last position there was as vice president for academic affairs.

         Other administrative positions held there were associate vice president for academic affairs, director of the academic advisement center and head of the department of mathematics & computer science.  Prior to moving into administration, Dr. Buckhiester taught mathematics at North Georgia College & State University and at Valdosta State University.  While at North Georgia, he received the Phi Kappa Phi promotion of excellence in higher education award, the president's outstanding service award and the North Georgia College alumni distinguished professor award.

         His professional memberships have included Omicron Delta Kappa, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the Mathematical Association of America, the American Mathematical Society, the National Academic Advising Association, the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, the Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society and the Society of the Sigma Xi.  As a mathematics faculty member, Dr. Buckhiester was awarded nine grants, served as a book reviewer for the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and published eight papers in journals.

         Dr. Buckhiester's undergraduate degree in applied mathematics and his Ph.D. in mathematics are from Clemson University.

         He and his wife, Becky, live in Seneca.  They have three adult children and are members of Trinity Baptist Church in Seneca.

         Dr. Dudley joined the College as public services department head/early childhood development instructor in June 2010.  She has spent most her career in education - most recently as a professor/coordinator for St. Louis Community College from 2000 - 2010.  Prior to that she was the early childhood education coordinator for Southern Illinois University, and a pre-K and elementary teacher for the Norfolk public schools.  She began her career as a special services supervisor for the Human Development Corporation (Head Start).  She holds a bachelor of arts from the University of Missouri - Columbia in Columbia, Missouri, a master of arts in teaching from Norfolk State University in Norfolk, VA, and a doctor of education from Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD. 

         She authored an article, "The Cohort Leadership Development Model: Student Perspectives," that appeared in the April 2008 Community College Journal of Research and Practice. 

         She received the phenomenal woman award from the Sigma Gamma Rho sorority in 2009, the service excellence award from St. Louis Community College in 2009 and the teacher of the year award from the Sentinel Newspaper in 2008.

Last year the work of Tri-County's Early Childhood Development (ECD) advisory committee members, both in the classroom and the community, earned them the distinction of advisory committee of the year.

         The committee's work included partnering with Clemson University's Early Childhood program to co-sponsor/host a professional development conference for more than 100 teachers, parents, and college students. Committee members also shared their time, expertise and experiences with ECD students by serving as mentors and guest speakers in ECD classes. 

         Dr. Dudley is a member of the American Association of Women in Community Colleges and the National Association for the Education of Young Children.  She and her husband, Ernest, live in Anderson.

         Steele joined the College in 2005 as manager of the bookstore and cafeteria services operations.  His duties have expanded to include responsibility for all auxiliary services of the College, which includes café services, the Campus Store (bookstore), cleaning services, risk management, postal services and shipping.  He also plays a pivotal role in audio-visual support, the telephone system and special events.

         Steele and the Campus Store staff recently were featured in "Foreward Online," an online newsletter published by MBS Textbook Exchange, Inc., the industry leader in wholesale textbook distribution.  The newsletter touted the innovative strategies and services Steele has undertaken to make the Campus Store successful.

         Two years ago, Steele "in-sourced" the College's café operations and built a highly valued student service. Café sales grew more than 34 percent in the second year of café operations. He was the first in the technical college system to introduce meal plans which have been highly subscribed by students (over $40K sold in first year of adoption). The café system serves three campuses for both breakfast and lunch.

         Steele also introduced new technology, operation standards and commercial arrangements to more efficiently and effectively operate administrative systems at Tri-County Technical College.

         The Seneca resident received the Presidential Medallion for Staff Excellence at the 2010 annual faculty/staff fall convocation.  The medallion, along with a cash award made possible by the Tri-County Technical College Foundation, goes to a person who has demonstrated over and over a strong belief in the purpose and mission of the College. 



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