NISOD and Community College Week Announce 2018 Scott Wright Student Essay Contest Winners

Austin, Texas – April 25, 2018 – The National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) and Community College Week are proud to announce the winners of the 2018 Scott Wright Student Essay Contest. Held each year, the competition honors the memory of Scott Wright, past editor of Community College Week and winner of the 1998 Award for Excellence in Higher Education Journalism. Wright’s reporting focused national attention on developmental education and the unique open access mission of community colleges.

The winning students, as well as the featured employees, each receive $1,000 and a trip to Austin, Texas to be recognized during NISOD’s May 26-29, International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence. The winning student essays will also be published on Community College Week’s website. Additionally, each winning student’s college receives a complimentary 2018-2019 NISOD membership.

To participate in the contest, students at NISOD member colleges describe a faculty member, staff member, or administrator who encouraged him or her to complete a course, finish a semester, or graduate from college, and describe how that encouragement helped him or her reach that goal.

The 2018 winners include:

  • Andrea Montes, student, and Debby Sutton, professor, El Centro College, Dallas Community College District (TX)
  • Sofia Velasquez, student, and Teela Foxworth, instructor, Portland Community College (OR)
  • Troy Presley, student, and Forster Agama, professor, Tallahassee Community College (FL)

“Each year NISOD looks forward to awarding students who take the time to thank someone who helped them reach their goal,” said Edward J. Leach, NISOD’s executive director. “Each student who entered the contest is to be congratulated, as are the individuals at our member colleges who continually make a positive difference in the lives of their students.”

More information about the contest is available at For questions about the contest or NISOD’s 2018 conference, contact Edward J. Leach at or (512) 232-1430.


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. For community and technical colleges that want to make the most of their professional development dollars, NISOD provides budget-friendly, high-quality, and faculty-focused programs and resources. For 40 years, NISOD’s customer-focused approach has helped align our wide array of benefits with the needs of our members, which explains why the American Association of Community Colleges named NISOD, “The country’s leading provider of professional development for community college faculty, staff, and administrators.” Visit for more information about NISOD.

About Community College Week

Published biweekly, Community College Week‘s readers include college presidents, chief academic officers, faculty, student-service professionals, librarians, and other educators. In each edition, our readers find news and features not provided by other news sources, including analyses of critical academic trends and issues, vital statistics, technology updates, and employment opportunities.

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