Cengage Learning Presents “Outstanding First-Year Student Advocates” Awards at 35th Annual Conference on The First-Year Experience

Awards recognize ten outstanding educators for their work in the area of college success

ORLANDO, Fla., Feb. 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — As part of its ongoing commitment to student success, Cengage Learning joined the National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition to announce the winners of the “Outstanding First-Year Student Advocates” awards at the opening ceremony of the 35th Annual Conference on The First-Year Experience. These awards recognize exceptional educators who have gone above and beyond to help first-year college students achieve success.

“We are honored to co-sponsor and present this year’s ‘Outstanding First-Year Student Advocates’ awards to ten passionate educators who have dedicated their work to improving college success for first-year students,” said Liz Covello, Vice President and General Manager of Developmental Studies, Cengage Learning. “The first year of college can be incredibly stressful and overwhelming, in many cases leading to students falling behind in their coursework or dropping out altogether. The extraordinary efforts of these educators to improve the educational experience of first-year students is a demonstration of how the right support and guidance can positively impact student success.”

Award winners were selected based on their exceptional work in the areas of student learning, development and success. Winners were chosen from a pool of candidates nominated by presidents of higher education institutions across the country. A national panel of distinguished educators reviewed the nomination portfolios and selected 10 individuals as the nation’s Outstanding First-Year Student Advocates. 2016 Award recipients include:

Two-Year Colleges

  • Marnelle Alexis Stephens, President – MacCormac College (Chicago, IL)
  • Patsy Fischer, Advising & First-Year Student Support Coordinator – Seward County Community College (Liberal, KS)

Four-Year Colleges & Universities with less than 2,000 students

  • Gerald Poe, Interim Sr. Technologist /Webmaster – Wilberforce University (Wilberforce, OH)
  • Jenn Daniels, Associate Professor of Psychology – Lyon College (Batesville, AR)

Four-Year Colleges & Universities with 2,000 to 7,000 students

  • Brenda Sanders Dede, Associate Vice President Academic and Student Affairs – Clarion University (Clarion, PA)
  • Erin Kimura-Walsh, Associate Director, LEAD Scholars Program – Santa Clara University (Santa Clara, CA)

Four-Year Colleges & Universities with 7,001 to 15,000 students

  • Nancy KingSanders, Associate Vice President for Student Success, Texas A&M UniversityKingsville (Kingsville, TX)
  • Dante Cantu, Director, Center for Student Success – SUNY New Paltz (New Paltz, NY)

Four-Year Colleges & Universities with more than 15,000 students

  • Chris Caplinger, Director of First–Year Experience, Georgia Southern University (Statesboro, GA)
  • Sonia Maria Gipson Rankin, Associate Dean, University College – University of New Mexico (Albuquerque, NM)

In addition to participating in the award ceremony at this year’s conference, Cengage Learning has a booth on the show floor showcasing MindTap College Success and featuring visits by Cengage Learning college success authors Constance and Steve Staleyand Dr. Christine Harrington. Visit exhibit #27-28 on the show floor or  www.cengage.com for more information.

About Cengage Learning

Cengage Learning is a leading educational content, technology, and services company for the higher education and K-12, professional and library markets worldwide. The company provides superior content, personalized services and course-driven digital solutions that accelerate student engagement and transform the learning experience. Cengage Learning is headquartered in Boston, MA with an office hub located in San Francisco, CA. Cengage Learning employees reside in nearly 40 different countries with company sales in more than 125 countries around the world.  www.cengage.com.