Snyder earns Isothermal’s top teaching award
By: Mike Gavin
Published: May 17, 2023
SPINDALE (May 13, 2023) – Kimberly Snyder, Human Services Technologies instructor at Isothermal Community College, earned the institution’s highest teaching honor this month.
The 2023 Robert Wendell Eaves Distinguished Teaching Award was presented to Snyder by Dr. Margaret Annunziata, Isothermal’s president, at the Curriculum Commencement on Saturday, May 13.
Snyder has just completed her nineteenth year at Isothermal, her fourth as a full-time instructor. She was nominated by 15 students.
One student says about Snyder, “From the moment you meet her, she engages you with her warm smile and true sense of caring and you realize you truly have an advocate.”
One of the selection committee members noted that Snyder “understands ‘grace’ with students and how this builds trust and relationships. It affords her the opportunity to empower her students while simultaneously assisting them with overcoming barriers.”
She’s a fan of active learning techniques who gets a thrill, in her words, from seeing students “think through a scenario, collaborate with peers, apply the situations to real life examples, and then share with their classmates. It is both beautiful and exciting when it works. My goal is to try to create those opportunities in every class.”
“Kim has taken her work as a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Professional Counselor straight to the classroom in a curriculum area she has largely created at Isothermal, Human Services Technologies,” said Annunziata.
Snyder is the second person to win the Eaves Award and the Willard L. Lewis Staff Award. The first was the late Debbie Puett, who was awarded the Lewis Award posthumously.
The Robert Wendell Eaves Distinguished Teaching Award is given each year to an instructor who demonstrates excellence in teaching and a true zeal for service to students. It was established by the Eaves family in 1982 to honor the late Dr. Robert Wendell Eaves and his distinguished career in education.
Dr. Eaves’ philosophy and credo on the importance of teaching was simple: “A zeal for service is the first requirement of professionalization. Without a zeal for service, our efforts as educators are void and helpless. We cannot expect remuneration commensurate with our achievements. Our remuneration comes largely from the joy of seeing people grow strong, useful and intelligent. This is the best life has to offer. No greater life can anyone live.”
Each year, the recipient is selected by a committee composed of past award recipients from nominations submitted by students, alumni, college personnel and members of the general public. Any full-time employee of Isothermal who spends at least 25 percent of his or her time on the job in teaching is eligible for the award.
Other past winners have included Nancy Womack, Ruth Boehning, Vivian Sitton, Clara Fowler, Chris Koone, Carol Jones, Pete Golden, Aubrey Calton, Bill McDaniel, Dean Byrd, Gary Shipley, Mike Croussore, Lowery Luckadoo, Jay Coomes, Rhonda Davis, Cathy Alexander, Debbie Puett, Scott Bradey, Jeremiah Councill, Donna Harrison, Tim Beaver, Brett Parker, Amber Thompson, Melissa Johnson, Nathan Fisher, Scott Hutchins, Loreen Smith, Marisa Sudano, Jeremy Burris, Rebecca Haney, Bret Watson, Alice McCluney, and last year’s winner, Carolyn Young.
The other Eaves finalists this year were Joy Thompson and Adam Petit.