Texarkana College announced its recipients of the annual National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Excellence Awards at the Board of Trustees meeting held Monday. Each year TC recognizes two individuals as NISOD nominees, one staff member and one faculty member, who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment and contribution to their students and colleagues. 2021 honorees include Associate Professor of Government Doug Saffel and Chief Financial Officer Kim Jones.
Saffel has been a public educator for over twenty years and currently teaches Government and History at Texarkana College. He also serves as the advisor for the TC Student Government Association (SGA) and was named SGA Region III Advisor of the Year in 2015 and 2016. In 2020, Saffel was named as the Texarkana College Endowed Chair for Teaching Excellence. Saffel is the TC’s Faculty Association President and Achieving the Dream Data Co-Chair.
Dr. Donna McDaniel, TC’s VP of Instruction, said Saffel is a respected mentor and leader on campus.
“We are so grateful for Doug’s demonstrated leadership and professionalism both in and out of the classroom,” said McDaniel. “His commitment to student success and excellence in teaching leaves a lasting impact on our students and our community. Doug wears a lot of hats here on the TC campus and is always ready to serve where needed. It is an honor for TC to have Doug as a member of our faculty and a role model for our students.”
Jones is a Certified Public Accountant and is the Vice President of Finance and CFO for Texarkana College. Jones said it is a great honor to receive the NISOD Award of Excellence.
“I have the best job in the world because I get to go to work every day with an amazing team that works extremely hard to change our students lives for the better,” said Jones. “It is easy to work hard and strive for excellence when the reward is seeing our students succeed!”
McDaniel said Jones has been the catalyst for the financial strength of the institution over the last decade.
“Kim has demonstrated remarkable fiduciary skill and passion for student success amid years of restructuring and rebuilding at Texarkana College,” said McDaniel. “We are so grateful to Kim for her generous ability to serve TC through some of the most trying times in the history of institution. Her outstanding expertise in financial management coupled with her unique ability to seamlessly balance administrative duties and family responsibilities is remarkable. She is a resilient and talented leader and mentor, and we are so lucky to have her talent here at TC!”
TC President Dr. Jason Smith said the NISOD Award underscores the culture of excellence at TC by rewarding the work of our talented faculty and staff.
“TC is committed to celebrating the extraordinary work of our faculty, administrators, and staff whose service to our students, colleagues, and community deserve our special recognition,” Smith said. “I am so proud of the work done on behalf of TC by our NISOD Excellence Award recipients this year, and I’m honored to be able to work alongside such talented individuals.”
More information about NISOD and Award of Excellence honorees can be found at www.nisod.org.
In other business, TC Trustees reviewed the newest COVID-19 campus protocols effective May 24, 2021, changing the campus mask-requirement to recommended rather than required in response to Texas Governor Abbott’s recent mandate. Phyllis Deese, VP of Administrative Services, said TC established a COVID-19 task force to develop and review campus protocols.
“The TC COVID Task Force, comprised of 30 members of the TC staff and faculty, has met throughout the last year regarding the establishment of campus safety protocols in an effort to keep our employees and students as safe as possible while continuing to serve our community,” said Deese. “This newest protocol is clear that facial coverings are still recommended, particularly for unvaccinated individuals, and when students/staff are working in close proximity. We will continue to monitor CDC recommendations and comply with state mandates and will adjust or reimplement any protocols deemed necessary.”
Trustees also took action to authorize TC administration to negotiate the purchase of property located at 2501 College Dr., Texarkana, TX, which is the former location of the TC Annex and dormitories which have now been demolished. President Smith said that the College sold the property to a local contractor prior to demolition who is now interested in selling the property back to the college to allow for development of green space.
“Local contractor, Stan Excavation, acquired the property and has now completely demolished the building removing the liability and eye sore to the community,” said Smith. “Stan Excavating is offering the property back to the college as green space which would make it available for public practice areas for baseball and soccer and retain the land by the college in case it is ever needed for expansion in the future.”
Smith said the amount of the purchase price will be negotiated with Stan Excavation.
Trustees also took action to approve continuation of Phase 3A and 3B of the STEM remodel project of the old Biology building and the connecting atrium between buildings.
“We are so excited about nearing the completion of the building enhancements and upgrades to our existing STEM facilities- both on-time and under budget,” said Smith. “Phase 1, the remodel of the old Health Occupations Building, is complete and now Phase 2, the remodel of the Chemistry Building, is finishing up. It is now time to begin work on our final phases.
Smith said TC is working with Construction-Manager-At-Risk, ML James Construction, to complete the project.
“I have full confidence that the final phase of this project will be completed on time and under budget as the other phases have done,” said Smith. “I attribute the success of these projects to our campus project manager, Rick Boyette, Director of Facilities, and his team who have worked tirelessly over the course of the last three years to stay on pace with this huge undertaking. They have served our stakeholders well by providing excellence in project management while overseeing the modernization of these important instructional spaces. We are very proud of the progress and eager to welcome students to campus to see for themselves!”
The projects will be paid for from TC’s the Capital Projects budget and will have a Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) on Phase 3(A) of $2.5 million and Phase 3(B) of $2.4 million.