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TCC Showcases Excellence in The Classroom

TCC Showcases Excellence in The Classroom

Get To Know Some of TCC's Excellent Educators


The Exemplary Teaching Award was founded in 1986 by Chancellor Joe B. Rushing, first chancellor of what was to become Tarrant County College, as an annual award to foster a culture of recognition and excellence. He described its purpose this way:

“This award is not intended to accomplish the impossible by rewarding every example of excellence. It is designed to honor some who consistently perform at the highest level, provide a goal for all and serve as an endorsement for the primary mission of (the College).”

The Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) provides leadership for the process. Faculty are nominated by their peers with each campus president selecting three candidates. Nominees are selected based on how they model:

  • exemplary teaching and learning practices
  • exemplary inquiry and scholarship achievement
  • exemplary service to the College and the community

Each nominee creates an e-portfolio, with guidance from the CTL, to include artifacts representing achievement in several areas, documented by appraisals, testimonies, evidences of successful teaching and student learning, evidences of involvement and support of the TCC mission and goals, community involvement, professional recognition, research and publications. The portfolios are reviewed against a scoring matrix by the faculty evaluation committee. The top-rated faculty member from each campus receives the award.

Since its inception, the award has been bestowed upon 125 outstanding faculty. The faculty who are awarded the College’s highest teaching honor each receive a monetary award and an engraved plaque.

“I greatly appreciate when faculty take pride in their work, understand how their efforts impact student learning, set high expectations of their students and also provide high support,” said TCC Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Elva LeBlanc. “Through our collective power, we can make a positive difference.”

Lindsey Davis, Instructor of English, TCC South

Lindsey Davis
  • B.A., English and certified secondary teacher, Texas A&M University
  • M.A., English, Texas A&M University

Lindsey is co-director of the Cultivating Scholars Undergraduate Research Showcase. Her commitment to teaching is evident as she mentors showcase winners who present their research at the National Conference for Undergraduate Research.

What are you most proud of in your teaching career?

I think I’m most proud that in my role as co-director of the Cultivating Scholars Research Program, I have been able to mentor dozens of students as they’ve presented their research in front of thousands of attendees at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research. I could not have fathomed a chance to present my work at a conference as a university undergrad, yet TCC South students, some of whom have never left the state of Texas, have accomplished masterful presentations of their scholarly work on a national stage. We are among only a handful of community colleges represented amidst a sea of universities. This year, we’re taking four student showcase winners to present their research projects at Montana State University, and I’m excited to see how this unique celebration of their accomplishments helps grow their self-confidence and fosters a further zest for their fields of study.

Lindsey and her husband, Chris, met as undergrads at A&M and have been married for 13 years. They have two energetic toddler sons.

Angel Fernandez, Associate Professor of Art, TCC Trinity River

Angel Fernandez
  • B.F.A., Intermediate Sculpture, Texas Wesleyan University
  • M.F.A., Sculpture, University of Massachusetts

Angel infuses passion into his students and has a personal investment in each of them. He broadens their perspective of art and the world at large by modeling respect for all, enthusiasm and expertise in his field. He also encourages them to grow and achieve new levels of artistic expression.

What are you most proud of in your teaching career?

Receiving the Exemplary Teaching award is among the top proud moments for me. Earning my Master of Fine Arts degree was also a highlight for me. Additionally, I was awarded a full-year Faculty Development Leave during the 2017-2018 academic year. It was a great time delve deeply into my professional art career, which included being in a group exhibition in South Korea. I was awarded third place for works that were created during my FDL.

Angel, and his wife, Winter Rusilosk, also TCC art faculty, have been married 10 years and have six children, including a set of twin girls.

Allegra Davis Hanna, Instructor of English, TCC Connect

Allegra Davis Hanna
  • B.A., English, Austin College
  • M.A, Creative Writing, Graduate Teacher Certification, University of North Texas

Allegra teaches composition and creative writing, leads faculty teams in creating master courses and provides training for campus faculty and instructional designers in the creation of videos and podcasts.

What are you most proud of in your teaching career?

I can’t take too much credit for this, but I am very proud of how our campus has grown and evolved to meet our students’ changing needs.

Allegra and her husband, Brian, have been married two years.

Alison Hodges, Instructor of Culinary Arts, TCC Southeast

Allison Hodges
  • Associate of Applied Science, Food and Hospitality, El Centro College
  • Associate of Applied Science Culinary Arts, El Centro College
  • Associate of Applied Science Bakery/Pastry, El Centro College

Alison enjoys taking time to cultivate her students’ skills based on the knowledge she has attained over the last 25 years as a practitioner. She offers students hands-on learning opportunities and gets them involved by providing desserts for various campus events.

What are you most proud of in your teaching career?

There are many things that I am proud of, but I think first and foremost I am proud of my students who have done extremely well in a dog-eat-dog industry. I have had several students open restaurants, and I even had one student who won Hell’s Kitchen. I taught Michelle Tribble while teaching at another community college. I am waiting for the next superstar to walk through our kitchen door!

Alison and her husband, William, also a chef, will celebrate 40 years of marriage in June.

Randy Saleh, Assistant Professor of Business, TCC Southeast

Randy Saleh
  • B.B.A., University of Texas at Arlington
  • M.S., Business, Graduate Certificate: Project Management, Amberton University

Randy started his career at TCC in 1996. He has had an amazing journey at the College where he opened the TCC Southeast bookstore, later serving as a tech prep recruiter/advisor, an academic advisor, then as an adjunct instructor. Randy is now assistant professor of business.

What are you most proud of in your teaching career?

I have been quite fortunate to see many of my former students graduate with their degrees, start their own businesses and progress through their careers. I would say that the culmination of the successes of my former students and receiving this award have been the proudest moments of my teaching career.

Randy and his wife, a TCC academic advisor and adjunct speech instructor, have a daughter who is a TCC 2018 AA Cornerstone graduate and receipt of the TCU Provost Transfer Scholarship.

Jaye Simpson, Associate Professor of Business, TCC Northwest

Jaye Simpson
  • B.B.A., Sam Houston State University
  • M.S., Texas A&M University
  • M.Ed., University of North Texas

Jaye supports students in the Business Professionals of America (BPA) leadership conferences every year. She meets with them weekly from October through May to help them perfect their entries and speeches. Since 2009, TCC students have won 42 national BPA awards.

What are you most proud of in your teaching career?

Without a doubt, the highlight of my career is working with the student members of the TCC Northwest Business Professionals of America chapter. Over the past 10 years, I’ve helped more than 40 students advance to the BPA National Leadership Conference. At the national level, our community college students are competing against other college and university students from across the nation, and not only do they hold their own against students who may have many more years of education than they do, they frequently win. I love working with students, but I especially love working with dedicated students who are passionate about what they are studying. Every week I meet with students to help them perfect their competitions, and when our students are standing on a national stage receiving recognition for their hard work and dedication, it is an honor to know that I was a part of that and to get to share in their joy and their accomplishments. But BPA is more than winning awards. When my co-sponsor and I travel with students, we are frequently traveling with students who are not worldly. We have taken a student on their first plane ride and held their hand on take-off. We have taken students to spend the night in a hotel for the first time. We have even taken students to dine in a restaurant with waitstaff for the first time. We teach students how to dress for the professional workplace, how to behave in a professional environment and show them sights, such as the Lincoln Memorial or the site of the Boston Tea Party — sites they have only seen on TV or in a history book. We have the privilege of giving them a tiny glimpse of a future that they never dreamed they could have but suddenly seems within their reach.

Jaye and her husband, Kenny, have been married 19 years and have a 15-year-old son and a 14-year-old daughter.