HLC Self Study
Chapter 7 Graphic

Employee Recognition

In addition to the recognition of student achievement, as a Learning College it is important to the Estrella Mountain community to formally recognize the achievements of all faculty, administrators and staff.

Innovation of the Year

Estrella Mountain supports and participates in the District and League for Innovation in Community Colleges co-sponsored Innovation of the Year Award. The award recognizes an employee, or teams of employees, who have designed and implemented a significant innovation that has had a positive impact on the education of students. One innovation is selected from each college and the District Office. A District-wide innovation is then selected to receive the Dr. Paul M. Pair Innovation of the Year Award. The recognition is accompanied by a $2,000 award.  Estrella Mountain Community College has formally recognized the following campus programs as part of the Innovation of the Year process.

  • 1994/95 – A New Learning Community
  • 1995/96 – The Fitness Center Team
  • 1996/97 – The Genesis West Program
  • 1997/98 – Fitness Track
  • 1998/99 – Beta Alpha XI “Students’ Right, Responsibilities, and Privileges”
  • 1999/00 – Cisco Regional Networking Academy
  • 2000/01 – The New Car Raffle
  • 2001/02 – One-Stop Enrollment (Recipient of the Dr. Paul M. Pair Innovation of the Year)
  • 2002/03 – Center for Teaching and Learning
  • 2003/04 – The NASA Center for Success in Mathematics and Science
  • 2004/05 – Hybrid Learning Program
  • 2005/06 – Planning, Effectiveness, and Assessment: A Stakeholder Driven Strategic Planning Process
  • 2006/07 – Learning Studios” Radical Flexibility for the Next Generation of Learning Spaces
  • 2007/08 – Student Success Conference
  • 2008/09 – Student Peer Mentoring Program
  • 2009/10 – Online Adjunct Faculty Orientation 
  • 2010/11 – The Humannequin Project

Awards for Excellence Gala

A formal part of the Estrella Mountain Employee Recognition program is the Awards for Excellence Gala. Held in partnership with Glendale Community College and Rio Salado College, the Awards for Excellence recognizes outstanding alumni who have distinguished themselves in their profession, organizations that are avid supporters of the community college system and faculty and staff who have demonstrated outstanding support and dedication to the success of students. The following individual and community partners have been recognized by Estrella Mountain Community College at the Awards for Excellence Gala:

  • Estrella Mountain Outstanding Student Advocate Award for Excellence: This award recognizes a faculty or staff member for outstanding support to a student, or group of students, through an achievement or activity that fosters a pathway for student success.
    • 2009 – Alex Andrews, English Faculty
    • 2010 – Jason Martinez, Counseling Faculty
    • 2011 – Marylyn Bradley, Adjunct Faculty Member, PTK Honor Society Advisor
  • Estrella Mountain Outstanding Alumni Award for Excellence: This award recognizes Estrella Mountain alumni who have distinguished themselves by contributions they have made in their respective fields of endeavor, by the leadership they have exhibited and by the general benefits to the community resulting from their activities. Alumni are defined as all persons who hold degrees, diplomas, certificates and persons having attended Estrella Mountain Community College who have earned a minimum of 12 credit hours.
    • 2009 – Reyes Medrano, Jr., City Manager, City of Tolleson
    • 2010 – Lieutenant Cuauhtémoc “Memo” Espinoza, City of Avondale Police Department
    • 2011 – Mark Brown, Police Chief, City of Goodyear
  • Estrella Mountain Outstanding Community Partner Award for Excellence – This award recognizes friends of the College (business or organization) who have rendered outstanding generosity, support or service to further the mission of Estrella Mountain.
    • 2009 – Core Construction
    • 2010 – APS/Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station
    • 2011 – Hispanic Leadership Forum del Oeste

NISOD Awards

The annual National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Conference honors higher education’s best faculty and staff who have dedicated their careers to excellence in the classroom and innovation outside of the classroom. Each year, Estrella Mountain selects three employees to receive the award.

Women of Distinction Award

Estrella Mountain supports and participates in the District’s Women of Distinction Award. Sponsored by the Maricopa County Community College District’s Women’s Leadership Group, the award recognizes women who show distinguished achievement in the areas of leadership, innovation and service to women. Since the inception of the program, 12 women from the College have been formally recognized. Each recipient was honored at Estrella Mountain during the Annual Women’s Luncheon held during Women’s History Month and then again at a District-wide luncheon.

Campus Communications

The College President makes a concerted effort to formally recognize employees for achievements through the Estrella Mountain Campus Updates.  An e-communiqué, Campus Updates is distributed bi-weekly from August through May. Examples of items in Campus Updates include new program announcements, partnerships and employee and student recognition. In addition to Campus Updates, the College President hosts an all-employee meeting three times per year, where faculty, administrators and staff are recognized for their professional and academic achievement and service.