Harford Community College Employees Named NISOD Excellence Award Recipients

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Harford Community College is proud to announce its recipients of the annual National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Excellence Awards. 2023 honorees are George Budelis, Academic Advisor in Advising, Career and Transfer Services, and Breonna Martin, Assistant Professor of Biology.

NISOD’s Excellence Awards were established in 1991 to provide NISOD member colleges with an opportunity to recognize individuals demonstrating an outstanding commitment and contribution to their students and colleagues. Since then, more than 30,000 recipients have been honored with the Award by their colleges.

George Budelis has worked in Advising, Career and Transfer Services at Harford for 22 years. Budelis earned an AA from Harford Community College and a BS from Towson University. As an academic advisor, his cohort includes students from the Business and Applied Technology division. He also advises student athletes and serves as Co-Director for the One-Step Away grant. Budelis serves as a transfer advisor liaison to regional four-year institutions; he is a member of the curriculum workgroup and participates on numerous campus-wide committees. He has coordinated the fall and spring Transfer Fairs for 17 years, bringing 50+ college representatives to campus each time to meet with HCC students. He is an active member of the National Academic Advising Association and has presented regionally and nationally at several conferences on a variety of topics including athlete advising, live chat advising, assigned advisor initiative, and the One Step Away program. Budelis is also an active member of the Maryland Community Colleges Transfer and Advising Affinity Group to discuss statewide best practices. He serves as the Co-Director of the One-Step Away Grant. He has been involved with the grant every year since it was first awarded to Harford by the Maryland Higher Education Commission in 2014. The One-Step Away Grant provides funds for public and nonprofit independent two- and four-year institutions’ efforts to identify, re-engage, re-enroll and graduate near completer students who have earned 75% or more credits towards an associate or bachelor’s degree before stopping out. To date, the concierge advisor model has helped over 500 students re-enroll at Harford Community College. Budelis served as Harford’s Men’s and Women’s Tennis Coach for 23 years. He coached close to 300 players during his career, not only from Harford County, but international student athletes from all over the globe. Budelis has also served as adjunct instructor for physical education for the past 22 years, teaching classes including Introductory and Intermediate Tennis and Fitness Walking.

Breonna Martin is an assistant professor at Harford Community College. She earned an MS in Biological Sciences at the University of Delaware. She currently teaches microbiology, microbial biotechnology, and honors general biology. She mentors her microbial biotechnology students in undergraduate research discovering and characterizing novel bacteriophages, as a Science Education Alliance’s Phage Hunters Advancing Genomics and Evolutionary Science (SEA-PHAGES) faculty member. Breonna has served as a facilitator for the National Institute on Scientific Teaching (NIST, formerly Summer Institutes on Scientific Teaching) and as a leader for the Mobile Summer Institutes for several years. Recently, Breonna has supported Harford Community College’s BIOTECH Pathways Program, funded by the National Science Foundation (Grant No. 2000193) by leading workshops and summer programs to introduce high school students, teachers, and parents to biotechnology and its applications. Throughout her career, Breonna has championed interdisciplinary and evidence-based teaching practices and has collaborated with chemists, physicists, mathematicians, journalists, and more to do so. Breonna enjoys spending her free time in the sun hiking with her dog, kayaking, and gardening.

Excellence Award recipients will be recognized during NISOD’s annual International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence, to be held May 27-30 in Austin, Texas. Excellence Awards recipients receive a unique silver medallion engraved with The University of Texas and NISOD insignias and adorned with a burnt orange ribbon.

About NISOD

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.” To learn more about NISOD, visit https://www.nisod.org/.

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