Six Harford Community College employees win excellence awards from National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development


Six Harford Community College employees have received National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Excellence Awards. Here are the details provided by Harford Community College:

Harford Community College announces its recipients of the annual NISOD Excellence Awards. 2021 honorees include (top row, l-r): Jeff Ball, Susan Muaddi Darraj, Jessie Thompson, and (bottom row, l-r): Wayne Hepler, Dawn Volkart, and Greg Priebe. (Photos courtesy Harford Community College.)

Six Harford Community College Employees Named NISOD Excellence Award Recipients

Harford Community College is proud to announce its recipients of the annual National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Excellence Awards. 2021 honorees include Jeff Ball, Associate Professor of Arts and Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) Director; Wayne Hepler, Professor of Mass Communications; Susan Muaddi-Darraj, Associate Professor of English; Greg Priebe, Instructional Design Associate; Jessie Thompson, Instructional Specialist; and Dawn Volkart, Case Manager for Disability and Student Intervention Services. 

NISOD’s Excellence Awards recognize men and women each year who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment and contribution to their students and colleagues. In 1989, in connection with a University of Texas at Austin national study of teaching excellence, NISOD hosted its first ceremony honoring NISOD Excellence Award recipients. The response to that ceremony was so positive that NISOD began what has become the largest and most inspiring gathering that recognizes the contributions and achievements of community and technical college faculty, administrators, and staff. 

“On behalf of the Board of Trustees, faculty and staff at Harford Community College, it is my honor to congratulate our colleagues who were chosen for this year’s prestigious NISOD Excellence Award. Their hard work and dedication to excellence is the reason why our students are successful,” said Dr. Theresa B. Felder, President of Harford Community College. 

Award recipient Jessie Thompson stated, “My experience as an elementary school teacher always left me wondering what happens to the students who were not in my class. How do they achieve education, work, and life goals as an adult? Working with students in the Adult Literacy Program at Harford helps me answer that question every day. I am humbled to be a NISOD award recipient and very fortunate to work with a dedicated staff of caring and compassionate professionals to help our adult literacy students achieve their life goals. Thank you for considering me for this award; it is truly an honor.”

Excellence Award recipients are recognized during NISOD’s annual International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence, to be held virtually April 28-30, 2021. Excellence Awards recipients receive a specially cast, pewter medallion hung on a burnt-orange ribbon. The names, titles, and colleges of all Excellence Award recipients are included in a special booklet that features congratulatory ads from many of the recipients’ colleges. In addition, presentations at the conference involving Excellence Award recipients are indicated in the conference program with a special icon.

“Recognizing those individuals who have contributed to student success and their colleges’ mission is something we look forward to doing each year,” said Dr. Edward J. Leach, NISOD’s Executive Director. “The extraordinary work of these men and women includes not only what they do for their students and colleagues, but what they do for the communities in which they live and work. We’re honored to be able to play a part in celebrating their achievements.” 


The National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) is a membership organization committed to promoting and celebrating excellence in teaching, learning, and leadership at community and technical colleges. NISOD provides budget-friendly, high-quality, and faculty-focused programs and resources for community and technical colleges that want to make the most of their professional development dollars. The American Association of Community Colleges named NISOD, “The country’s leading provider of professional development for community college faculty, staff, and administrators.” For more information about NISOD, visit