The Strategic Ohio Council for Higher Education (SOCHE) has honored four Southern State Community College staff members who demonstrated excellence in teaching, service and scholarship in 2021.

Those honored with 2020-2021 SOCHE Excellence Awards include Bruce Fugate, associate professor of nursing; Samuel Ginn, distance learning support specialist; Angel Mootispaw, director of instructional technology; and Cathy Zile, academic technology support specialist.

Fugate originally joined Southern State in 1999 as a technician for the nursing program’s simulation programming. In 2002, Fugate joined the ranks as a full-time faculty member.

For nearly 20 years, Fugate has been a leader in introducing cutting-edge technology into the student experience. As a pioneer in simulated learning environments, Fugate was among the first to introduce high-fidelity human patient simulators into the curriculum.

Throughout the years, Fugate has monitored these systems and assured sustainability. Most recently, Fugate committed himself as a leader in the planning and designing the College’s new $3.6M, 20,000-square-foot Health Science Center. An integral part of this design includes a full-scale simulation area to provide students an optimal learning environment using state-of-the-art simulation equipment.

Ginn joined the college when it was in desperate need of a credentialed faculty member in philosophy. Joining the College’s adjunct ranks in 2019, Ginn has quickly positioned himself as an exceptional instructor and indispensable instructional technology support professional.

Marrying his unique skill sets of teaching and instructional design with an approachable and pleasant demeanor, Ginn has quickly become a hero among students and faculty alike. Like his colleagues in the Instructional Technology Department, Ginn delivers critical guidance and support to students who need help navigating CANVAS and faculty building learning spaces.

His regard for quality and passion for helping others serve as a model for excellence.

Mootispaw has committed 13 years to advancements in instruction, library service, and instructional technology as a leader within the Southern State system. Having served as a faculty member and librarian for many years and then migrating exclusively to Instructional Technology, Mootispaw has leveraged her advanced knowledge of instructional resources and technology to build a robust network of distance learning courses and services.

Delivering nearly 150 training sessions during the peak of the pandemic, Mootispaw prioritized helping others lead and teach through challenges. This spirit of support continues for students as Mootispaw consistently prioritizes student experience in her daily work. There are no limits to the investment she makes in supporting students.

As the urgency of the pandemic subsides and faculty and students are finding comfort in the online and hybrid learning space, Mootispaw is already looking ahead for opportunities to enhance the college’s current offerings and expand to reach new markets while never taking her sights off of quality and providing exceptional service to all.

Zile has been an integral part of Southern State Community College’s team since 1998. Her current contributions in supporting the instructional technology division of the college, specifically as the lead technical specialist for CANVAS, have proven invaluable.

During the height of the pandemic and beyond, Zile worked tirelessly to make sure faculty and students had a good experience in the learning management platform. This was possible through many individual and group training and coaching sessions.

As the urgency of the pandemic subsides, Zile continues to lead in this area by supporting project management initiatives and continuing to seek opportunities to leverage CANVAS to build community and help students stay on track from a distance.

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