The three OSU Institute of Technology recipients of the 2017 John & Suanne Roueche Excellence Awards all said advancing technology has impacted their industries and fields, but that it hasn’t changed the core values of their professions.
School of Nursing & Health Sciences instructor Jodi Campbell was recognized in the faculty category; Student Union Bookstore Manager Alison Ward in the staff category; and Academic Excellence and Distance Learning Director David Files in the administrator category.
The John & Suanne Roueche Excellence Awards recognize faculty, staff and administrators from two-year colleges and universities across the country.
Ward, who has worked at the bookstore for nine years, has been managing the store while the space is also undergoing a multistage remodel project.
“I’m excited and overwhelmed all at the same time. It’s challenging, but it’s doable when you have good co-workers,” she said.
But it’s more than just the shelves, counter station and inventory that have transformed in the bookstore.
“Things are changing every day. The technology is changing; the students change,” Ward said. “We have to stay on our game. There’s always things to improve.”
Seeing things change and improve is what Files enjoys the most about his job at The Center.
“Seeing progression. Seeing learners progress and grow is always very rewarding,” he said, and utilizing advancing technology in the area of online classes and distance learning is a big part of his work.
“Helping staff bring their traditional face-to-face lessons to online or blended courses,” Files said. “OSUIT is really right there in that trend and part of our strategic plan moving forward.”
For Campbell, new technology and equipment can be great tools for nursing students, but it doesn’t replace their core mission.
“Nursing has some key principles that never change. At the core is the patient,” she said. “Technology changes, medications change, policies change. Providing compassionate care—that never changes.”
Campbell worked as a nurse for 21 years before becoming an instructor seven years ago.
“I love teaching; that’s my passion. I feel like I’m still affecting the care of patients, it’s just through my students now,” she said, and it’s a passion held by all her fellow nursing instructors.
Being surrounded by faculty that are strong and work hard has made her stronger and work harder, Campbell said, and the John & Suanne Roueche Excellence Award could have easily gone to any of her co-workers instead.
“Anyone from the nursing program is deserving and could be sitting in this spot,” Campbell said. “In my department, excellence breeds excellence. I try to live up to that standard all the time. There’s value in being seen and knowing I’m doing the right thing.”
For Ward, she said she was honored and humbled to be recognized.
“I don’t necessarily feel like I’m excelling; I do try to give 100 percent,” she said.
Files said he was also honored to be recognized for trying his best after just a year and a half in his position, but knows there’s even more he can, and wants, to do.
“It’s always nice to be nominated and recognized for the hard work we do every day,” he said. “Excellence is not a single target; it’s an everyday thing to strive toward.”