It is with great delight we announce the 2021-2022 NHCC Excellence in Education Awardee Therese Rice, and the Board of Trustees Excellence in Education Nominees Sara Van Asten and Paul Melchior. The Excellence in Education Award recognizes faculty from across the campus whose work exemplify the integrity, innovation, thoughtfulness, and commitment to our mission of engaging students and changing lives.


Nominator Comment(s)

Therese Rice, 

Accounting Faculty

Therese Rice


2021-2022 NHCC Excellence in Education Awardee

Professor Rice offers an extensive amount of helpful material designed to address specific difficulties in the course. She explains everything thoroughly, clearly, and easily! She works with her students, and encourages the class to work together in study groups, motivating students to do their best. 

Sara Van Asten, 

Math Faculty

Sara Van Asten



2021-2022 Board of Trustees Excellence in Education Nominee 

Sara is constantly refining her strategies and materials based on student outcomes. She's committed to addressing multiple learning styles and reducing the time devoted to traditional lecture. She's implemented groups work in which groups that change every class period, but she's also had students stay in the same groups as they work together on bigger questions. At the end of every semester, she does quite a bit of reflection to determine how to improve for the next semester. I've seen some hands-on activities Sara uses to teach factoring, adding/subtracting mixed numbers, and adding fractions with different denominators. These activities are fantastic and clearly speak to visual and kinesthetic learners. 

Paul Melchior,

Science, Engineering, & Math Faculty

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2021-2022 Board of Trustees Excellence in Education Nominee 

Professor Paul is clearly passionate about his teaching. He does not just read off of the textbook and assign homework related to the current chapters that are being studied, but will draw examples out and cleverly give excellent analogies that make a hard concept as clear as day. 

Peng Zhao, 

Chemistry Faculty                  

Peng Zhao



He is really organized in his materials, and he takes time with each student. He is not a lecturing teacher for Organic chemistry, but he is open to helping you, and understands when there's difficulties to learn and will give you the best approach to that subject. He did not care how many times he needed to repeat something so you can understand the topic.         

Eugenia Paulus, 

Chemistry Faculty

Eugenia Paulus




Professor Eugenia has been nothing but helpful to her students. When I took her summer class when I didn't get the material, she made sure to help  me understand it better. She was just a teacher to me, but she was also like my mentor with the field of study that I am going for. 

Todd Johnson, 

Business Faculty

Todd Johnson





Professor Johnson does not take the easy way out and use common software so that students can teach themselves. He believes in true learning and not memorizing material for the grade. Everything he teaches prepares us to go out in the real world and apply it while making a difference. 

Luna Akhtar, 

Biology Faculty

Luna Katar



I do not have much experience or knowledge in Microbiology except for the Biology classes I've taken. It's very overwhelming when I take a course and it's all about the text. Professor Luna makes learning easier by relating microbiology to real life. Hearing her life stories and experience as a microbiologist makes this course more interesting and pulls me in to learn more or encourages me to study harder on the subject at hand. 

Joel Jensen, 

Philosophy Faculty

Joel Jensen



I came into this course admittedly afraid of the content. I am taking this class to satisfy a math requirement. Each homework I have turned in has been 89% or better and I owe that to Dr. Jensen's teaching style. His notes are easy to follow, the videos are clear, and whenever I email or visit office hours, he is pleasant, patient, and extremely helpful. 

Cody Ellos, 

Psychology Faculty 

Cody Ellos




He's super understanding. Cody is very passionate about working with his students and trying to help them succeed. He brings a lot of energy to talking with students both inside and outside of the classroom, and is very supportive and thoughtful. His dedication is clear, and students can definitely tell that he cares. 



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