Friday, January 10, 2014

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


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                      1/10/2014

                                                                                 (By Lisa Garrett)

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

         Dr. Brian Swords, director of the Easley Campus and QuickJobs Training Centers, is the College's outstanding administrator; Deborah Brock, Dr. Brian Swordsinstructor in Medical Laboratory Technology and faculty development liaison, is the outstanding instructor; and Stephanie Winkler, coordinator of Disabilities Services, is the outstanding staff nominee.

          SCTEA is a professional association of technical education personnel and others interested in post-secondary technical education.

         A 20-year employee of the College, Dr. Swords currently serves as director of the Easley Campus, as well as the QuickJobs Training Centers in Anderson, Easley and Seneca and the Watkins Center classroom/lab facilities in Honea Path.

          In addition, much of last year he spent coordinating and overseeing a new matriculation (enrollment) process that focuses on student success and student engagement.  Those efforts helped to earn him the College's 2013 Staff Excellence award.  Nominations from his peers lauded his work on the new matriculation process that focuses on proper assessment, registration for the right courses during students' first semester and a support system in place to help the students throughout their college career.

         He continues to work with team members to implement processes and facilities changes and to expand engagement opportunities with students through fall 2014.

         He is among the 10 pilot mentors for the new Twenty/20 program that launched last fall. Twenty20 is a mentoring and personal relationship-building program aimed at improving student retention.

         He is an active member of the community as well, working with the Pickens County School District to create innovative partnerships that use resources on Tri-County's Easley Campus, as well as facilities owned by the school district.

         He serves as chairman of the Greater Easley Chamber of Commerce, is an active member of the Easley Rotary Club, is chairman of the Junior Leadership Pickens County Board of Directors and is a member of the Board of Visitors at Southern Wesleyan University.  He recently was named to the Leadership SC Class of 2014.

         He has been an adjunct faculty member at Tri-County for the last 17 years, teaching courses in business, management, marketing and computer technology.  He is also an adjunct at Southern Wesleyan University and Anderson University, teaching graduate and undergraduate classes in educational administration.

         The Pickens County native joined the College in 1993 as a student services specialist in the registrar's office and later worked as admissions team leader and coordinator of admissions processes and technology for the admissions office.  After serving as coordinator of computer training for the College's Business Training Center, he became director of operations for the Corporate and Community Education Division.  While in that position, in 2009, he coordinated and taught the College's first apprenticeship class making Tri-County the first technical college in the State to have a registered customer service apprenticeship through Apprenticeship Carolina.

         Dr. Swords holds an undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Southern Wesleyan University and a master's in Technology and Human Resource Development and doctorate degree in Vocational and Technical College Administration from Clemson University.

         Dr. Swords lives in Liberty.

Brock joined the College in 2006 as an instructor for the Medical Laboratory Technology (MLT) department. She also serves as the faculty advisor to the student chapter of the Future Laboratory Professionals Organization and is a regular presenter at state and national conferences focusing on topics that Deborah Brockpromote student success in the field of medical laboratory technology.

         Last May she was honored with the highest award presented to the faculty.  She received the Presidential Medallion for Instructional Excellence at the College's spring commencement.

         Brock continues her professional development by attending the Clinical Laboratory Educators conference annually. She also attends the Carolinas Clinical Connection each year and is often a presenter at both conferences.

         In 2009 she was elected president of the SC Society of Clinical Laboratory Sciences and represented the state at the national and regional levels.  She also served as Area I Director and Student Forum Chair for the organization.  She is a recipient of the regional Omicron Sigma Award for Outstanding Service in the medical lab field. She also attended and presented at the League for Innovation in Community Colleges in Dallas last year.

         In her role as faculty liaison for professional development, Brock is instrumental in coordinating faculty development at Tri-County.  She manages professional development opportunities and coordinates new faculty orientations.

         On campus she coordinates the South Carolina Medical Laboratory Technology Student Bowl, a statewide competition between MLT students.  She is a site visitor for the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences, the accrediting body for MLT programs.  She also authored the most recent MLT self study, an extensive document required for the reaccreditation process, which resulted in full reaffirmation with no deficiencies.

Her publications have appeared in Advance and the ASCLS newsletter, Clinical Laboratory Science and Laboratory Medicine.

She holds B.S. and B.A. degrees in chemistry from Texas Woman's University, a Medical Technologist certificate from Baptist Medical Center in San Antonio, and a master of Health Sciences degree -- Advanced Generalist in Medical Technology -- from the Medical University of South Carolina. 

         She and her husband, Greg, live in Pendleton and have one adult daughter. 

         Working as Disabilities Coordinator since 2011, Winkler spends much of her time on the telephone or in student meetings, educating new students and parents, along with high school groups, about the College's resources that are available to help students with disabilities. She provides students who Stephanie Winklerhave a qualifying disability with equal access in their educational programs.

         She's taken the lead on two major College projects this year --  opening the new veterans center and co-designing and implementing the new Twenty20 mentoring and personal relationship-building program that kicked off last fall.

         Winkler teamed with Dean of Students Dan Holland to design a Twenty20 program for Tri-County that is similar to the positive experiences they had as college freshmen.  Twenty members of Tri-County's faculty and staff each serve as "Twenty20 coaches" for twenty students to improve student retention and success.  This initiative supports the institutional goal of increasing student retention.  A pilot program began last fall with 10 coaches teamed with 20 students each.

         She also worked to create a veterans center that offers assistance with enrollment processes, resources and is a place to hang out and talk. Patriots' Place opened on Veterans Day 2013 on Tri-County's Pendleton Campus. In addition, a licensed professional counselor will be available by appointment to give counseling to combat veterans.  There are more than 200 veterans on all of Tri-County's campuses.

         Winkler has a B.A. in Politics from Converse College and earned a Juris Doctorate in 2005 from Appalachian School of Law in Virginia.  She was a law clerk to Judge Roger Couch from 2005 - 2006.  The next year, she began working as was an attorney for the Hawkins Law Firm where she stayed until 2009 when she opened her own law practice, The Winkler Law Firm, in Anderson.  She is a member of the S.C. Bar Association.  

         She and her husband, Donny, have a daughter.  They reside in Seneca.



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