Miami, Dec. 15, 2020 – Miami Dade College (MDC) has selected six outstanding faculty to receive the College’s highest distinction, the 2020 Endowed Teaching Chairs. Honorees will be recognized at a virtual event at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 17. To view, visit www.mdc.edu/livestream.
Endowed Teaching Chairs are generously funded by donors through the ongoing work of the MDC Foundation. Each year, top faculty members are selected by their peers for this special award, based on demonstrated excellence in teaching and commitment to MDC’s mission.
More than 300 MDC faculty members have been recognized since the Endowed Teaching Chair Program began in 1992. Endowed Teaching Chairs receive an annual stipend of $7,500 for three years to explore new teaching methods, develop new projects and enhance their technological expertise.
Meet the 2020 Endowed Teaching Chairs:
W.L. Philbrick and Christine J. Philbrick Mortuary Science Endowed Teaching Chair
Jorge Obeso, Professor
For 21 years, Professor Obeso has helped MDC students build the confidence and skills needed to excel in STEM careers. A first-generation college student and son of immigrants, he has worked tirelessly throughout his career to advance representation of underrepresented minorities in STEM fields, and more broadly, to improve STEM education throughout the K-20 pipeline. During his time at MDC, Professor Obeso has served in numerous capacities, including department chair, natural sciences convener, Honors College faculty and STEM advisor for students pursuing careers in research and allied health. Last year, he earned a President’s Innovation Fund award for collaborative work with the School of Education focused on assessing the effects of project-based learning. This is his third Endowed Teaching Chair.
The Henry E. S. Reeves/Miami Times Endowed Teaching Chair
Victor Calderin, Associate Professor
A native of Hialeah like many of his students, Professor Calderin shows students what is possible through self-expression. In the classroom and through the pages of Café Cultura, the Hialeah Campus student literary magazine that he co-founded 13 years ago, he creates opportunities for students to find their voice, find community, and even attain publishing credit early in their college careers. The magazine has won several awards over the years, shining a spotlight on MDC students for excellence in writing and design. Professor Calderin’s commitment to students extends beyond the individual. Viewing student success from a systematic lens, he has contributed to research on ENC 1101 repeaters to identify what factors prevent them from successfully completing the foundational course, and college altogether.
South Florida Educational Credit Union Endowed Teaching Chair in honor of Hubert O. Sibley
Theresa Chormanski, Professor
Nurturing living things comes naturally to Professor Chormanki, whose work has manifested into life-changing experiences for students who work with her in the Landscape and Horticulture program. A Kendall Campus CASSC representative, she also serves as a School of Science faculty research mentor, coordinator of service-learning projects at the Landscape Technology Nursery, faculty mentor for the Horticulture Veterans Club, and co-instructor of landscape architecture courses. Passionate about helping students find their strengths and connecting them with jobs in the field, Professor Chormanski spearheaded the creation of a seamless pathway to a bachelor’s degree from the School of Global Business, Trade and Transportation, giving students a means to continue their studies at MDC and gain highly sought-after business skills in the industry.
The Andrew Blank Endowed Teaching Chair
Brooke Bovee, Assistant Professor
Professor Bovee excels at empowering students to become stronger readers, writers and critical thinkers through the power of language and humanities. She encourages students to research and write about topics that pique their interests, while sharing and integrating her passion for civic engagement into curriculum, inspiring students to reflect on their rights and responsibilities as global citizens and changemakers. Through her contributions to cross-curricular professional development at MDC, Professor Bovee has helped to advance equity for MDC’s diverse student body. She proudly represented the College as part of the faculty panel for the Aspen Prize visitation team, and served as a member of the Student Achievement Initiatives Early Alerts and Interventions team, applying her pedagogical know-how and passion for the art of instruction to the benefit of MDC faculty and students.
The Anastasios and Maria Kyriakides Endowed Teaching Chair
Kimberly Carter, Professor
Professor Kimberly Carter has shown MDC students how to reach for their full potential while also reaching back and lifting up others. Whether working to improve the academic reading skills of Developmental Education or Honors College students, Professor Kimberly Carter embeds civic engagement into curriculum as a means to nurture higher-order thinking and to inspire students to become changemakers. She and her students have clocked approximately 2,000 service-learning hours over the past six years in pursuit of fulfilling her “Three Cs”: Thinking CRITICALLY, CONNECTING to the reading, and CARING for communities. One of the inaugural winners of a President’s Innovation Fund award, Professor Carter has also contributed to professional development efforts at MDC offering faculty of all disciplines tools to support academic reading.
The Juan A. Galan, Jr. Endowed Teaching Chair in Entrepreneurship
Hoa Burrows, Senior Associate Professor
Professor Burrows embodies excellence, perseverance, compassion and the American Dream. An MDC alumna with decades of high-level experience as an accountant, auditor and tax professional, Professor Burrows is a champion of her students. As lead coordinator for Kendall Campus’ Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, also known as VITA, Professor Burrows has contributed over 1,500 hours of her time beyond the classroom and, under her leadership, student volunteers have collectively logged over 13,700 service-learning hours, an experience that gives them a competitive edge in the job market while serving low-income residents. In 2016, Kendall Campus’ VITA site won two awards from the Internal Revenue Service for having the lowest error rate out of 50 South Florida sites and the highest number of student volunteers.