The Missouri Community College Association (MCCA) recognized State Fair Community College award winners and nominees during its annual conference recognition and excellence awards program in Kansas City on Nov. 9.

MCCA is dedicated to recognizing individuals and institutions that have set the standard of excellence during the year.

SFCC’s winners and nominees who were recognized at the convention’s awards dinner are as follows:

Jill Semau, Medical Assisting program director, received the MCCA Innovation Award which recognizes an innovative project by an individual or group of faculty or staff that creatively use technology for effective outcomes and/or operations. Semau was recognized for creating a Medical Assisting program (MEA) that includes online coursework with in-person labs offered at four of SFCC's campuses. She established online coursework to enhance students’ accessibility to learning; however, travel for in-person labs was a barrier for many students living throughout Missouri.

By collaborating with campus site directors and extensive planning, she took the labs to the students by offering in-person labs on Boonville, Lake of the Ozarks, Sedalia, and Clinton campuses with start dates twice a year. This accessibility to in-person learning without loss of time and money for travel significantly improved student retention and completion in the MEA program, thus elevating the number of skilled graduates entering the workforce.

Additionally, Semau has built innovative partnerships with multiple clinical facilities that enable paid tuition and paid clinical experiences for students with associated employment at partner institutions.

Golden Valley Memorial Healthcare (GVMH), a highly valued partner and supporter of SFCC, received the MCCA Distinguished Business and Industry Award that recognizes individuals and/or businesses that have engaged in significant partnerships with local community colleges to stimulate economic activity and support students and programs. GVMH leadership and staff have been loyal supporters of SFCC for more than a decade, resulting in profound impact on successful delivery of the college’s mission in Clinton and other parts of the SFCC service region. GVMH’s significant financial contributions have been pivotal to the successful start-up of the SFCC Medical Assisting program, expansion of SFCC’s Associate Degree Nursing program and by purchasing the facility on which the Clinton campus is located. Additionally, GVMH’s commitment to frequent and cooperative interaction with SFCC has formed a sturdy partnership that has created a positive culture for student learning that is building a quality healthcare workforce.

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Kayla Allison was a nominee for the Excellence in Teaching Award that honors outstanding instructors for their work during the previous year. Allison is an instructor and program director for SFCC’s Practical Nursing program. She was selected by SFCC students as the 2023 Instructor of the Year for her engaging and caring teaching style and her passion for student success.

Bethany Pfeiffer was a nominee for Administrative Professional Leadership Award that recognizes exemplary leadership practices within colleges and communities. Pfeiffer, SFCC’s Boonville campus director, is a role model for effective leadership and has generated an enthusiasm for higher education in the Boonville community through her positive and intentional engagements with students, faculty, staff, and the community.

Christy Admire was a nominee for the Classified Staff Achievement Award that recognizes employees who have a positive impact on their college and their department. Admire is the Nursing program administrative assistant and facility coordinator at SFCC’s Eldon campus. Admire is known as the “face” of the Eldon campus and provides unwavering support to the nursing students and faculty while serving as the Classified Staff Association president and a College Council member. She willingly and regularly volunteers in the community. As evidence of her influence at SFCC, Admire was selected as SFCC’s 2023 Outstanding Employee of the Year.

Shannon Kammerlohr was a nominee for Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Award that recognizes the vital contributions adjuncts make to the community college mission. Kammerlohr is an English and Literature instructor who was selected by SFCC students for the 2023 Adjunct of the Year award. Students honored Kammerlohr because of his creative multimedia teaching style, global perspectives and conversational engagement that encourages students to share their views and ideas.

Amber Blankenship, Iberia High School counselor, was nominated by SFCC for the Missouri Pathfinder of the Year Award that is presented to an “unsung hero” high school teacher and/or guidance counselor for outstanding efforts in assisting students with their college-going plans. Blankenship was nominated for helping high school students under her guidance to discover their career path and set goals and for encouraging them to attend college.


In the photos:

Top image: Jill Semau, State Fair Community Colleges Medical Assisting program director, received the Missouri Community College Association Innovation Award; Dr. Brent Bates, SFCC president, is on the right.

Bottom image: Golden Valley Memorial Healthcare administrators and staff received the Missouri Community College Association Distinguished Business and Industry Award; Dr. Brent Bates, SFCC president, is on the right.


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