This year SPCC recognized Anjella Tabor-Smith for Excellence in Teaching.
Anjella Tabor-Smith has taught Spanish at South Piedmont Community College since 2013. During that time she has advised, mentored and helped many students deepen their understanding and interest in the Spanish language and its cultures. For many years, she has spearheaded our campus’ multicultural events. She also lead our students on the College’s first study abroad trip to Spain and France in 2017.
Students praise Tabor-Smith for her engaging activities that promote not only a love of language, but a love of service. Many of her courses include a service learning component that has allowed students to author and create children’s books in Spanish for local elementary schools, to participate in bilingual story time, or create their own Spanish magazine. According to Tabor-Smith, she desires to instill a “healthy curiosity” in her students and encourage them to use what they’ve learned in class to be of service to others.
Tabor-Smith first began taking Spanish courses through the continuing education department at Wilbur Wright Community College, while her mother worked on her associate’s degree. She was eight years old. She earned her bachelor’s degree from DePaul University and her master’s from the University of Knoxville.
This year SPCC recognized two very deserving recipients for the 2020 Staff of the Year award.
Carl Bishop, Vice President of Academic Affairs, has been recognized for removing barriers for students, building pathways that have multiple entry and exit points to meet students where they are and providing quality instruction for the diverse communities SPCC serves. In the past year, he has worked closely with Wingate University to develop several new programs including the Gateway to Wingate Scholarship, Road2Wingate (guaranteed admission program) as well as other projects that are still in development.
Bishop has been a leader in several college-wide initiatives over the past few years, which culminated into a focused initiative called GPS for Student Success. This initiative focused on aligning programs with labor market needs, reorganization of college resources for efficiency and assessment of processes to bring about systemic changes focusing on student success. During the interview process one of Bishop’s references stated, “He is trying to establish pipelines that show students the path continues in many ways from where they are.”
Keith Rogers, Director of Fire and Rescue Training, was recognized for putting students first and foremost in decision making and demonstrating impeccable character and integrity that has allowed for the cultivation of community partnerships. These partnerships have allowed for over $100,000 in training materials to be donated to the college including a fire engine, other training vehicles and thermal imaging cameras.
Rogers was also instrumental in the implementation of two innovative courses this year. In early 2020, a leadership series was started that uses a podcast to present a topic and then participants discuss the implications of that topic to the field in a second session. In partnership with Montgomery Community College, a drone training course has been developed which will teach public service officials how to use drones to spot criminal activity, locate victims and other challenging tasks. One of Keith’s references stated, “This is not a job; it’s a passion that he gives everything he has.”
When asked what his motivation was for South Piedmont, Rogers responded, “providing quality training for firefighters so they can serve residents and do it in a safe manner to be able to return home to their families at the end of their shift.”