WyDEC Innovative Educator of the Year Awards

With the advent of the Wyoming Innovations in Learning conference, WyDEC has changed its award to recognize outstanding, innovative faculty from each of the member colleges. This award recognizes exemplary educators who demonstrate a commitment to education by bringing innovative learning experiences to their students. They embed innovation in their instructional practice to create a collaborative, student-centered, and active learning experience, thereby demonstrating connectedness with students and their learning.

Below is a partial list of award winners from the past.


  • Dan Dalen, Physical Education Instructor, CC
  • Dan Fetsco, Criminal Justice & Sociology Instructor, UW
  • Lora Hosman, Biology Instructor, NWCCD-Sheridan
  • Amy Madera, Culinary Arts, Hotel & Restaurant Management Instructor, CWC
  • Danielle Opp, Interim Program Director of Health Sciences, LCCC
  • Amy Smith, Agroecology Instructor, EWC
  • David Tanner,¬†Biology Instructor, WWCC


  • Troy Amick, Information Technology Instructor, LCCC
  • Aysenur Bicer, PhD, Physics Instructor, UW
  • Julie Leavitt MSN, RN, Nursing Instructor, WWCC
  • Vicky Mayfield, Mathematics Instructor, EWC
  • Charity McKenzie, Mathematics Instructor, NWCCD
  • John Ordiway, Psychology Instructor, CC
  • Kyle Trumble, Entrepreneurship Instructor, CWC


  • Jason Barnett, Math Instructor, WWCC
  • Sheri Coughenour, Business Adjunct Instructor, CC
  • David Currie, MSN, RN, Nursing Instructor, EWC
  • Esther Hartsky, American Sign Language Instructor, UW
  • Sue Torney, Speech Language & Pathology Instructor, LCCC
  • Amy Turpin, MSN, RN, Nursing Instructor, NWCCD
  • Kaitlin Wood, Cosmetology Instructor, CWC


  • Paula Belknap, Ph.D., Nursing Instructor, UW
  • Jennifer Cole, Equine Studies Instructor, CWC
  • Jessica Dean, English Instructor, WWCC
  • Julie Guernsey, Nursing Instructor, NWCCD
  • Jill Hughes, English Instructor, English Placement Coordinator, CC
  • Brandon J. Semler, Ph.D., Communication Instructor, EWC
  • Marie Yearling, Ph.D., Microbiology Instructor, LCCC


  • Lori Britton, Biology Instructor, EWC
  • Monia Haselhorst, Biology Instructor, NWC
  • Rachel Kristiansen, Ph.D., Psychology Instructor, NWCCD
  • Matthew Painter, Ph.D., Criminal Justice Instructor, UW
  • Ann Shelby, Education Instructor, LCCC
  • Diana Quealy-Berge, Ph.D., WY LAT/LPC, Psychology Instructor, CC
  • Kelli Vandiver, MSN, RNC-OB, Nursing Instructor, WWCC
  • Jennifer Weatherford, Education Instructor, UW
  • Brittany Yeates, Business Instructor, CWC

For several years, WyDEC presented Master Distance Educator Awards to outstanding faculty from each of the member colleges. Criteria for this award include:

  • Inspiring passion and commitment from his or her students
  • Using available technology to enhance varied learning styles
  • Participating in ongoing professional development opportunities
  • Communicating best practices and pedagogy of online learning

Below is a partial list of award winners from the past.


  • Kaela Bretz, Paramedic Technology Instructor, CC
  • Scott Crawford, Ph.D., Statistics Instructor, UW
  • Kasey Damori, Distance Learning Specialist, WWCC
  • Paula Kihn, Nursing Instructor, CWC
  • Carol Muirhead, Networking Administration Instructor, NWCCD
  • Mathew Osborne, Anatomy and Physiology Instructor, NWC
  • Crystal Stratton, Communications Instructor, LCCC
  • Sherri Warren, Mathematics Instructor, EWC
  • Margaret Wilson, Ph.D., Theater & Dance Instructor, UW


  • Renee Dechert, Ph.D., English Instructor, NWC
  • Andrew Espinoza, Computer Applications Instructor, EWC
  • Tricia Giovacco Johnson, M.Ed., ¬†Elementary & Early Childhood Education Instructor, UW
  • Kelly Heenan, Ph.D., Psychology Instructor, WWCC
  • Todd Jones, Ag-business Instructor, CC
  • Alli McCown, Academic Advisor, LCCC
  • Dona Olsen, Ph.D., Instructional Technologist, CWC
  • Nancy Preuit, Psychology Instructor, NWCCD


  • Colleen Bartlett, Education Instructor, CWC
  • Kristine Clark, Nutrition Instructor, WWCC
  • Ellen Ostheimer Creagar, J.D., Humanities Instructor, EWC
  • Mary Keller, Ph.D., Religious Studies Instructor, UW
  • Kerri Mahlum, Ph.D., Education Instructor, CC
  • Mathematics Team: Martin Stensing, Don Anderson, Neil Waite, NWC
  • Dawn Puente, Healthcare Administration Instructor, LCCC
  • Nikki Smiley, Health/Fitness Instructor, NWCCD


  • Ryan Campbell, English Instructor, WWCC
  • Kent Drummond, Professor of Business, UW
  • Connie Fisk, Agriculture Instructor, NWCCD
  • Muriel de Ganahl, Education Instructor, EWC
  • Jessica Hurless, Communication Instructor, CC
  • Trent Morrell, Geoscience Instructor, LCCC
  • Kristine Walker, Education Instructor, NWC
  • Val Whitmore, Mathematics Instructor, CWC

2012-2013 – no conference


  • Keri De Deo, English Instructor, NWCCD
  • Heidi Edmunds, Social Science Instructor, EWC
  • Ignacia “Nish” Ferrero, Spanish Instructor, WWCC
  • Kimberly Fields, English Instructor, LCCC
  • Bill Mixer, Water Quality Instructor, CC
  • Connie Moore, Spanish Instructor, NWC
  • Dr. R. Timothy Rush, Professor in Elementary Education, UW
  • Angel Sparkman, Business Instructor, CWC


  • Dan Alberghetti, Network & Web Design Instructor, NWCCD
  • Dr. Debra Beck, UW
  • Betty DeRentis, Accounting Instructor, WWCC
  • Coventry Dougherty-Woodin, Science Instructor, EWC
  • Dr. Micah Humphreys, Agriculture Instructor, NWC
  • Bernadino Madsen, Medical Sciences Instructor, CC
  • Dr. Brett McDonald, Meteorology Instructor, CWC
  • Gina Turner, Communications Instructor, LCCC


  • Don Anderson, Mathematics Instructor, NWC
  • Ray DeWitt, Mathematics Instructor, EWC
  • Gary Fleishman, UW
  • Michael Manning, Rural Health and Safety Instructor, CWC
  • Lisa McClure, WWCC
  • Sharyn Polley, CC
  • Patty Terry, NWCCD
  • Robert Van Cleave, LCCC


  • Ann Avery, English Instructor, CWC
  • Marty Finch, CC
  • Dianne Quealy-Berge, Social Sciences Instructor, EWC
  • Karen Wendel, Business/Computer Application Instructor, Gillette Campus NWCCD
  • William Wiggins, WWCC


  • Tina Christinck, Biology Instructor, EWC
  • Donna Drew, NWCCD
  • Carla Hester-Croff, Computer Science Instructor, WWCC
  • Jeff Hosking, Rural Health and Safety Instructor, CWC
  • Rob Koelling, English Instructor, Humanities Division Chair, NWC
  • Patricia Landy, LCCC
  • Paul Marquard, Engineering Instructor, CC
  • Sean Valentine, UW


  • David Barkan, Chemistry/Mathematics Instructor, NWC
  • Randy Fetzer, English Instructor, LCCC
  • Robbi Marvel, Business/Computer Applications Instructor, EWC
  • Susan Nelson, Mathematics Instructor, CC
  • Jennifer Sorensen, English Instructor, WWCC
  • Kathy Wells, Nursing Instructor, CWC
  • Karen Wendel, Business/Computer Application Instructor, Gillette Campus NWCCD


  • Ruth Doyle, Ed.D., Education/Psychology Instructor, CC
  • Jim Hissong, Adjunct Political Sicence Instructor, WWCC
  • Dr. Larry Hubbell, Professor of Political Science, UW
  • Jeremy M. Johnston, History Instructor, NWC
  • Debra Kayser, Business Instructor, Sheridan Campus NWCCD
  • Ron Medina, Art Instructor, LCCC
  • Melissa Meeboer, Business/Accounting Instructor, EWC
  • Stacey Stanek, Nursing Instructor, CWC


  • Aaron Bahmer, Instructional Technologist and Adjunct Instructor, EWC
  • Mercedes Batty, Sheridan Campus NWCCD
  • Dudley Cole, Automotive and Welding Instructor, CWC
  • Deborah Koelling, English Instructor, NWC
  • Sandra Mitchell, WWCC
  • Leah Noonan, Computer Support Specialist Instructor, LCCC
  • Kelly Politte, CC
  • Mark Sunderman, Professor of Finance, UW