Harford Community College is proud to announce its recipients of the annual National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Excellence Awards. 2022 honorees are AnnMarie Profili, JD, Assistant Professor of Paralegal Studies, and Cathy Sikora, Coordinator, Nursing Simulation Lab.
NISOD’s Excellence Awards recognize men and women each year who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment and contribution to their students and colleagues. In 1989, in connection with a University of Texas at Austin national study of teaching excellence, NISOD hosted its first ceremony honoring NISOD Excellence Award recipients. The response to that ceremony was so positive that NISOD began what has become the largest and most inspiring gathering that recognizes the contributions and achievements of community and technical college faculty, administrators, and staff.
AnnMarie Profili worked as an adjunct faculty at Harford Community College for many years before becoming full-time faculty in 2009. She became Coordinator of the Paralegal Studies program in 2015. Over the years, she has worked diligently to re-establish a high level of respect for the College’s Paralegal Studies program. Maintaining American Bar Association (ABA) certification for the Paralegal Studies program is an ongoing process requiring extensive documentation of practices and reporting. Profili has accomplished this task successfully for years by ensuring that HCC’s program meets the ABA’s strict teaching requirements, and that the program develops students with strong conceptual and technical skills leading to successful employment in the legal profession. Profili has brought in numerous guest speakers from industry such as state’s attorney’s, professional paralegals, private attorneys, probation and parole officers, and lawyers from pro bono agencies engaged with the Harford County Bar foundation to support income-eligible recipients. She has led field trips to Washington D.C., such as a trip with her Constitutional Law class to visit the United States (U.S.) Supreme Court and Library of Congress. Her Administrative Law class visits the U.S. Dept. of Treasury’s Bureau of Engraving. She also re-built and revitalized the program’s internship class and placement network. She is the faculty advisor for Lex Paralegal Honor Society and the Paralegal Student Association. In addition, Profili has a solid record of community service, including serving as a member of Harford County’s Human Relations Commission.
During the COVID Pandemic, Cathy Sikora used her expertise in high and low fidelity simulation and clinical debriefing to enable students to continue to learn, practice and apply nursing skills in the Clinical Simulation Lab. She collaborated with nursing faculty and lab staff to create one-to-one virtual skills instruction utilizing creative processes. Through further collaboration with faculty, Sikora envisioned and modified the low fidelity clinical lab space to allow students to return to campus in a safe manner with distancing and elimination of potential environmental infection control hazards. For many nursing students during the 2020-21 and 2021-22 academic years, the time spent in the HCC Clinical Simulation Lab was the only client experience available for learning since clinical partners limited or eliminated student attendance at facilities. Without the innovative initiatives developed and implemented by Sikora, the nursing program would not have been able to meet student learning outcomes for lab and clinical portions of the nursing courses maintaining requirements of State and National accrediting agencies. In the early weeks of the COVID pandemic, Sikora was instrumental in identifying and evaluating virtual products for teaching basic to advanced nursing skills and client care. She utilized virtual Teams meetings, developed videos, developed written debriefing guides for individual virtual scenarios and mentored faculty through peer observation and feedback of debriefing sessions. She also collaborated with the noncredit and Allied Health programs at the College, offering guidance for reopening the skills and learning labs utilized by these programs. In addition, Sikora supported program clinical partners by packing and shipping personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies from the HCC lab supply stock to University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health Center early in the pandemic for use by health care providers at the bedside of patients. This effort was recognized by the clinical partners as essential for front line workers at a time when PPE supplies were very limited. Sikora serves as the co-chair of the Nursing Program Resources and Technology Committee.
“On behalf of the Board of Trustees, faculty and staff at Harford Community College, I am proud of AnnMarie’s and Cathy’s commitment to our students and their overall contributions to our campus community,” said Dr. Theresa B. Felder, President of Harford Community College.
Excellence Award recipients will be recognized during NISOD’s annual International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence, to be held May 28-31 in Austin, Texas. Excellence Awards recipients receive specially cast, pewter medallions hung on a burnt-orange ribbon. The names, titles, and colleges of all Excellence Award recipients are included in a special booklet that features congratulatory ads from many of the recipients’ colleges.
The National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) is a membership organization committed to promoting and celebrating excellence in teaching, learning, and leadership at community and technical colleges. The American Association of Community Colleges named NISOD, “The country’s leading provider of professional development for community college faculty, staff, and administrators.” For more information about NISOD, visit www.nisod.org.