Duran Named 2016 LCC Distinguished Faculty Award Recipient

April 26, 2016
Therese Mitchell

Parsons, KS--Labette Community College announced Thursday, April 21 that Tom Duran, Professor of Communications, was named the 2016 Distinguished Faculty Award Recipient. The Distinguished Faculty Award is presented annually. Faculty members must be nominated by students or LCC employees to be considered by the selection committee. Criteria for the award include teaching effectiveness, college service, student involvement, and community service. All full-time faculty who have completed at least four years of full-time teaching at LCC are eligible to be nominated.

Duran was honored at a reception in the Cardinal Café on Thursday afternoon among colleagues, staff, and a surprise visit from his family. This award ceremony is to pay tribute to one instructor’s contribution to the central mission of the college- to provide quality learning opportunities to students of LCC. This award was developed to allow the college to publicly recognize and reward an instructor who has performed in an exemplary manner.

Tom has taught the Fundamentals of Speech, Intro to Mass Media, and Critical Thinking classes since August 2002 at Labette Community College. He also teaches courses at the LCC Cherokee Center near Pittsburg.

His current service outside of the classroom includes: being involved in many on-campus committees including Library, Special Employee Recognition, search committees, and past committee member of workforce development, enrollment management, retention, public relations, and curriculum and instruction. Duran has also been the presenter at several LCC in-services for faculty and staff.

Tom is very active in the community and on campus as well. He always makes time for his students by being an on-campus advisor team member at the main campus, attending his student’s extra-curricular activities, practicing counseling intervention strategies for students who encounter academic or non-academic difficulties, and constantly going the extra mile to help the student achieve his/her academic and sometimes personal goals. Beyond the classroom, Tom enjoys socializing with student in hallways and student lounge by listening intently to student’s comments and opinions presented outside of classroom setting. Tom also lends and borrows books with students for personal enrichment to create an open dialogue on current topics.

“Talking with him before and after class is one of my favorite memories I will have at Labette. He has helped encourage me to do my best in the classroom and on the wrestling matt. I feel I have grown into a better person because of this man. In my opinion he is very deserving of this award,” said one of Duran’s students.

On a personal level, he is an Ordained Minister and Elder of Lighthouse Tabernacle Board in Pittsburg. Duran also volunteers at the Pittsburg Salvation Army. His public speaking skills are utilized by presenting workshops at St. Mary’s Elementary School in Pittsburg, speaking to the PSU Electronic Engineering class, speaker at Parsons Lions and Kiwanis clubs, and presenting workshops for Leadership Parsons.

Duran practices a teaching philosophy which utilizes critical thinking and analyzing technical issues. He requires students to develop research proposals and reports by utilizing computer software that is highly significant for today's workforce. “I believe further education is of vital importance to the general community and that education, whether it is academic, technological, or otherwise, has highly significant basic value,” said Duran.

“Mr. Duran deserves this award because he is not only an amazing teacher, but an amazing person as well. He puts his students before himself and makes sure that everyone is happy while they learn,” said a student. “He works with his students after class with more than the curriculum. He is helping them prepare for life after Labette.”

Another student said, “He strives to ensure that every student really grasps every concept he teaches us. His classes have taught me a lot, but he has also taught me as a person with his classroom stories and hallway chats. His many years at LCC make him a valuable member of the faculty.”

For more information about the Distinguished Faculty award, contact Janice Every at janicec@labette.edu.

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