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Six KC instructors honored with NISOD Excellence Award

Kilgore College is pleased to announce that six KC instructors are recipients of the annual National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Excellence Award.

  • Courtney Akvan, director and associate professor, Radiologic Science
  • Danny Darden, associate professor, Computer and Information Technology
  • Michael Willbanks, lead instructor, Process Technology
  • Joseph Kirchhoff, associate professor, Physics
  • Karen Morris, program coordinator and instructor, Child Development/Education
  • Meredith May, assistant department chair and associate professor, History

May is also KC’s 2023 Minnie Stevens Piper Professor nominee and the recipient of the Hamilton F. and Kathryn G. Beeson Teaching Award. The Beeson Award was established in 1993 to award the best-of-the-best teachers with a $1,500 stipend and $1,500 to be used for instructional costs in the classroom.

NISOD’s Excellence Award recognizes faculty, staff and administrators each year who demonstrate an outstanding commitment and contribution to their students and colleagues.

Recipients of the award will be honored May 27-30 in Austin during NISOD’s annual International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence.

Each Excellence Award recipient received a specially cast, pewter medallion.

“Recognizing those individuals who have contributed to student success and their colleges’ mission is something we look forward to doing each year,” said Dr. Edward J. Leach, NISOD’s Executive Director.

“The extraordinary work of these instructors includes not only what they do for their students and colleagues, but what they do for the communities in which they live and work. We’re honored to be able to play a part in celebrating their achievements.”


About NISOD:

Created in 1978, NISOD is a membership organization committed to promoting and celebrating excellence in teaching, learning, and leadership at community and technical colleges. 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. NISOD supports its member colleges by providing professional development resources and learning experiences, including practitioner publications, webinars, the annual International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence, the NISOD Excellence Awards and more. For more information about NISOD, visit

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