NIC recognizes outstanding faculty, staff with annual achievement awards

North Idaho College Communication Instructor Tim Christie believes that in life, all people strive to make a mark in the world. The profound impact he has had on students during his 33 years at NIC is the mark Christie left, changing literally thousands of lives during his tenure at NIC, and earning him this year's NIC Faculty Achievement Award.

“There are in our lives a select few people we come in contact with who have the ability to impact us on a scale that resounds our entire lives through,” said Joel Crane, a former student of Christie's. “Tim Christie is one of these people. Tim used to say that we start out in life with a toolbox with a few dull tools in it; if that is so, then Tim is the grindstone by which we sharpen our tools.”

Christie began teaching speech at NIC in 1972 before accepting a position as the director of public relations for two years. In 1978 he returned to serving in the Communication Department as an instructor of speech communication, interpersonal communication, nonverbal communication and listening.

Christie served as the division chair of the Communication/Fine Arts/Humanities Division for nine years and has taught nature photography since 1992. In 2000, Christie along with his wife Kathy, the current assistant to the president for planning, assessment and research, and NIC President Michael Burke began team-teaching a leadership development course.

While at NIC, Christie has also participated on the College Senate, the General Education Committee, Curriculum Council, Instructional Council and various advisory committees. He currently serves on the Disability Services Advisory Committee, the Sexual Harassment Committee and the Campus Crisis Response Team.

Christie is also a freelance writer and nature/outdoor photographer, which he says adds to the life experiences that he shares in class to help students grasp new concepts.

“I am, and hopefully with good health, will always be a lifelong learner, which enriches my life and expands the boundaries of what I do and can do,” Christie said.

In three decades of teaching, Christie's passion for education has come full circle.

“Tim Christie has an instructional style that is inspiring, nurturing and admonishing—all essential ingredients for student success,” said Lewis Watkins, an NIC academic adviser and a former student of Christie's. “Tim's passion for teaching is contagious to his students and colleagues and I am fortunate to have experienced both in my time at NIC. To this day, my advisees speak of their extraordinary communication instructor and I smile when I hear Tim's name and know that he is still shaping lives, as he has mine, with the same academic enthusiasm year after year.”

The award was presented to Christie along with a $1,500 check from the NIC Foundation at the annual Employee Awards Breakfast May 20.

“I am deeply touched by the nomination and profoundly impacted by the overwhelming outpouring of appreciation for what I've tried to be for my entire career at this wonderful college… a good teacher that truly makes a difference in the lives of my students,” Christie said.

Other finalists for the Faculty Achievement Award included NIC Health Professions and Nursing Counselor Margaret Fedje, a 33-year employee of the college, and counselor, adviser and instructor Don Bjorn, a 12-year employee of NIC, who were presented checks for $500 from the NIC Foundation and honored at the awards breakfast.

The Adjunct Faculty Achievement Award, for part-time faculty members, was presented to Idaho State Police Department Captain Wayne Longo, who has taught in the NIC Law Enforcement program for 16 years. Longo received $500 with the award, which is sponsored by North Idaho Title Company.

Staff members recognized for their outstanding service to NIC with the Staff Achievement Award included Custodian Jim Howerton, Silver Valley Center Administrative Assistant Geri Totey and Senior Accountant Sandra Jacquot. Each received $500 from the NIC Foundation.
Employees were recognized with Length of Service Awards, sponsored by the NIC Board of Trustees.

Five-year award recipients include David Abshere, Bob Bennett, Erin Bundy, Kim Cheeley, Jeff Crowe, Kathleen Czurda-Page, Cindy Deschamp, Roxanne Finney, Peg Gillespie, Virginia Hickman, Milt Jacobs, Jim Jeitler, Kim Johnson, Kriss Klassen, Patty Leiser, Barb Lundberg, Patty McCray-Roberts, Mary McNeil, Craig Morris, Kathy O'Brien, Corky Partridge, Janice Ramirez, Karen Ruppel, Dwight Sederholm, Ali Shute, Kecia Siegel, Steve Taylor, Pete Townsend and Darrell Tso.

10-year award recipients include Lynn Bates, Andy Finney, John Gallegos, Vic Gilica, Jim Hamilton, Alan Lamb, Ann Lewis, Linda Shaw, Deborah Stone, Larry Wise and Tom Wuest.

15-year award recipients include Joyce Ferrell, Duane Gross, Kathryn Hunt, Dalona Lee, Pat Lippert, David Mann, Judy Parker and Richard Schultz.

20-year award recipients include Charlotte Anderton, Michele Chesnut, Lucy Hein, Kris Brown, Don Friis, Chad Klinger, Mona Klinger and Nils Rosdahl.

25-year award recipients include Student Activities Director Dean Bennett, Accountant Doug Halliday, Campus Events Director Jim Headley, Math Instructor Tom Rigles, Information Technology Director Steve Ruppel, Art Instructor Allie Vogt and English Instructor Fay Wright. 

30-year award recipient Physical Education Instructor John Owen.

35-year award recipients Nursing Program Coordinator Beverly Hatrock, Business and Professional Programs Instructor JoAnn Nelson and Political Science Instructor Tony Stewart.

For More Information
For story info: NIC Foundation Executive Director Rayelle Anderson, (208) 769-5978

Posted: Friday, May 20, 2005

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