Clovis Community College instructor receives national honor

CCC instructor Ann Brandon. (Photo courtesy of Clovis Community College)

Clovis Community College instructor Ann Brandon has received national recognition for her role in the advancement of education.

Brandon received the Ambassador of the Year award from On Course, an organization that provides colleges and universities resources to improve student academic success and retention.

“I am very honored and humbled by the award,” Brandon said. “I would rather be behind the scenes and this award definitely put me out of my comfort zone. I am just a small part of it since it’s the faculty, staff, and administrators who really made this possible.”

At Clovis Community College, Brandon helped in the establishment of the First Year Experience (FYE) program for incoming freshmen. In addition, Brandon is recognized for implementing active learning strategies as opposed to lecture only classes.

“Being California’s newest community college and being on the ground floor is pretty spectacular,” she said. “I get to work with fabulous colleagues and students on a daily basis. I believe we truly live up to our mission statement of ‘Creating Opportunities, One Student at a Time.’”

Since 2007, Brandon has been an English instructor at Clovis Community College (formerly known as Willow International). Before coming to Clovis Community College, Brandon taught high school for 13 years.

“When I see and talk with former students in the hallways on campus and they say they are thriving in their classes or they stop by to say hello and tell me what’s going on, that makes me proud,” she said. “When students who struggle for whatever reason learn a difficult concept or earn a good grade, that is exciting.”

Melanie Sanwo, also an English instructor at Clovis Community College, nominated Brandon for the award. Brandon said she is not sure why she was nominated by Sanwo.

“Maybe she wanted to see me squirm while sharing at the On Course National Conference’s closing session about what Clovis Community College is doing to create an active-learning environment on campus,” Brandon said.

The national On Course conference was held in Anaheim on April 21. That’s when Brandon received the On Course Ambassador of the Year award from Skip Downing, founder of On Course.

“Our campus is very innovative in offering ongoing professional development for our faculty and staff. I just happened to be the one instructor who went to an On Course I Workshop first and thought it would be something we could incorporate at CCC,” Brandon said. “Our Student Success Committee is the group that really said to ‘Go for it,’ and of course, the administration supports it.”

Tomas Kassahun
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