Northeastern Junior College
January 23, 2018

Dante Penington named Faculty of the Year

January 22, 2018, Sterling, CO – Northeastern Junior College (NJC) recently honored faculty and staff at the spring in-service on January 12, 2018.

Dante Pennington 

Dr. Dante Penington, Criminal Justice Professor and highly respected teacher was awarded the Faculty of the Year. Dante has built the Criminal Justice Program considerably since coming to NJC in 2014 after a previous career as an investigator.  Dante engages his students with relevant course material that includes examples of real time headlines, hands on class projects and use of cutting-edge technology. His students appreciate his expertise and passion for his field. 

In addition, Dante advises the Criminal Justice Club, and the club is very active taking tours to correctional facilities and terrorism museums.  He also has become a certified debate coach and is developing a plan to add a competitive debate team to Northeastern that will compete in intercollegiate competitions. Dante is also very active as a leader throughout campus, he is part of the Safety and Security Committee and works closely with area first responders. This past year he has taken on the role as Academic Liaison for the Liberal Arts Department on the Curriculum and Instruction Committee to help research, develop and implement improvements to increase student achievement.

Nancy Kugler 

Nancy Kugler, English Adjunct Instructor, was awarded the Adjunct Faculty of the Year.  Nancy has been an English adjunct instructor at NJC since 2014, she is a solid instructor with genuine concern for her students. After experiencing the struggles many English 121 students have with basic spelling and grammar issues, she added a component to her curriculum called Daily Language Curriculum. In this, students do short exercises at the beginning of each lecture to strengthen their grammar and language skills. She is dedicated, kind, and fun to work with on top of being a very talented instructor. Nancy does her job with a graceful comradery for her fellow colleagues and a genuine interest and care for her students.

Jason Hazlet 

Jason Hazlett, Director of Renewable Energy and Transportation, was awarded the Administrative Professional Technical Employee of the Year. Jason joined NJC in 2011 as the Director of Renewable Energy and Transportation and Wind Technology instructor. Jason has been very involved in finding and acquiring various grants to help grow NJC’s career and technical education programs. In addition to his duties as Director, Jason has a substantial class load where he is able to engage his students and help them better understand the challenging curriculum.

Jason has a tremendous work ethic, is personable and approachable; he is a great asset to NJC as he is always willing to help when asked. He has high expectations and, as a result, everything he does is top quality. He goes above and beyond in his work with faculty, staff and students.

Sarah Robinson 

Sarah Stone-Robinson, Administrative Assistant II, was awarded the Classified Staff of the Year. Sarah was first hired as an adjunct instructor in 2015 teaching college composition and reading. In April of 2016, she transitioned in to her current role in the Admissions office. NJC couldn’t ask for a more welcoming and pleasant person to help in the onboarding of students. In addition to her job duties, Sarah has taken on the role of being a mentor and coordinator for the international students. The passion and care she has for the students is inspiring.

Dante, Nancy, Jason and Sarah will be honored by Colorado Community College System at their annual awards luncheon in February.

The employee of the year award recipients are nominated and voted on by their peers each December. To be nominated the employee must be employed by NJC for one-year.

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