GRCC Faculty Members Receive National Excellence Award

Posted at 4:22 PM, Mar 29, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-01 08:38:55-04

Diane Sparks, left, and Dawn Cheikh, right.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Two faculty members at Grand Rapids Community College have received the John and Suanne Roueche Excellence Award.

Diane Sparks, Professor of Education, and Dawn Cheikh, Adjunct Instructor of French and Arabic, received the awards at the League for Innovation in the Community College annual conference in Dallas this month.

Sparks has been at GRCC for 28 years, and the award caps a long career of leadership and teaching excellence that includes time as both an education professor and the Director of the GRCC lab preschool.  According to Sparks, her passion for education began at a young age.  “I have been teaching since I could wrangle my little sister and friends into sitting and watching me use a pointer on the map on the wall in our basement when I was 10-years old,” she said.

That focus on the needs of the students is a defining characteristic of Cheikh as well. “I care about my students first,” she said.  “The subject matter is secondary. I try to make every moment we spend in class golden.”

Sparks and Cheikh were recognized during a special ceremony at the close of the conference and each received a certificate and medallion.

The John and Suanne Roueche Excellence Awards were established in 2012 to recognize outstanding teaching and leadership by faculty at League for Innovation member institutions.