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2021 Academic Excellence Awards honor four educators

2021 Academic Excellence Awards honor four educators
Story posted on: 
Monday, June 28, 2021

Salem Community College has honored Nursing Instructor Renee Gieswein and part-time faculty member Ann Marie Bell with 2021 Academic Excellence Awards.

“We commend our recipients for going above and beyond the call of duty in interacting positively with students and colleagues, and creating a climate conducive for learning,” said Dean of Academic Affairs/Chief Academic Officer Ken Robell, during the virtual awards ceremony.

Added Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs Maura Cavanagh Dick, “Renee and Ann Marie are wonderful examples of the high-quality and caring faculty at Salem Community College.”

Full-time faculty honoree Renee Gieswein

Gieswein’s nominator praised her for jumping in and helping manage the demands brought on by the pandemic starting in March 2020. She successfully adjusted from traditional face-to-face instruction to strictly online teaching. She coordinated lecture, clinical, simulation and lab schedules to accommodate the Associate Degree in Nursing students. She quickly responded each time a revision was necessary.

Gieswein was instrumental in getting the COVID-19 vaccine clinics off the ground by ensuring students were prepared. She volunteered to cover many of the clinics at Salem Medical Center and on the SCC campus with the Salem County Department of Health and Human Services.

In addition, Gieswein identified and addressed the need for additional support to the part-time clinical faculty. This became evident during the first few months of the pandemic. As the go-to person for clinical faculty assistance, Renee has developed an orientation and mentoring program.

Part-time faculty honoree Ann Marie Bell

Teaching speech and business writing, Bell has distinguished herself by combining the traditional instructional techniques -- such as group projects and oral presentations -- with cutting-edge digital tools.

At the start of the pandemic, Bell rapidly moved her speech class online and immediately adopted the software that allowed students to record speeches and upload them to Canvas (the online learning management system). She set up a practice assignment well in advance of the deadlines for the graded speeches and coached the students through the exercise.

Bell’s assignments for the business writing class reflect her keen interest in trends in employment and hiring. In addition to the typical business writing examples, students create a LinkedIn profile ideal for job hunting. She also searched for a text and digital platform that covered newer means of business communication that allows students to record and upload a business presentation and complete video assignments.