Article: Harrison honored for helping speech department grow - Speech & Communication Studies in the News

Harrison honored for helping speech department grow

By Danelle Meyer, Staff writer.

Thursday, September 15, 2005—Reprinted from Monitor.

Kay Harrison.Kay Harrison has won the National Communication Association’s Community College Outstanding Educator Award. —Photo by Joyce Leung.

Kay Harrison remembers when the school only offered two speech classes 30 years ago.

"We now offer 14 classes, 7 certificates, and an A.A. degree," Professor Harrison said. It was her efforts, and that of other faculty and staff, that caused the speech department to boom.

This was one of the reasons Harrison was awarded, the National Communication Association's Community College Outstanding Educator Award for 2004.

Winners are nominated by colleagues. The nomination must include a V.P. of Instruction's written support, and it is then sent to the National Communication Association to be reviewed.

"I was surprised to receive a phone call from a … professor from Florida State University … telling me I had been selected to receive the award," Harrison said.

Certain items are taken into consideration, including teaching skills. The person "is recognized for classroom teaching, curriculum development and leadership in the field of communication," Harrison explained.

Brenda Ahntholz nominated Harrison, and Harrison was notified in June to attend a November meeting in Chicago. This is where she received the award. "I love the field of communication and enjoy sharing that with my students," Harrison said.

Dr. Treadway also announced Harrison’s award when he recently spoke to faculty during a Fixed Flex Day meeting.

"I nominated Kay … because she has been the most important and influential mentor I have had in my professional career," began Ahntholz. "She has helped me to be a better teacher, communicator, and faculty member here at Ohlone."

Harrison said Ohlone's Speech and Communication Department is now "recognized for both its academics and its competitive speech and debate team."

Faculty and students both are continuing to work hard in keeping the Speech Department strong. Harrison is also grateful for the fact that the department has had "full support of the college" through its expansion.

The Speech department's faculty consists of many individuals that make it what it is.

"I have had the pleasure of working with wonderful colleagues … and the department could not function without our dedicated and skilled part-time Speech faculty - many of whom have been here for 15 years," Harrison said.

"I believe that creating anything special is a team effort and I am proud to be part of that team," Harrison stated.