Meet the 2019 Faculty Conference Scholarship Recipients

Read more about 2019’s five Faculty Conference Scholarship recipients and learn how they exhibit values that reflect NISOD’s mission of promoting and celebrating excellence in teaching, learning, and leadership at community and technical colleges.

Sharon Cisneros

Institution: Malcolm X College, Chicago, Illinois

Disciplines: Biology, Business Administration

Why I Teach: I truly love what I do, it’s really that simple. Teaching is not for fame or recognition or money…it’s something that makes me want to get up in the morning and bring knowledge, enthusiasm, and some fun to young minds. Teaching is also my fountain of youth. Beauty creams and serums don’t do it for me, but looking into the eyes of my students that smile or nod because they understand what I’m trying to convey in class gives me a sense of accomplishment and pride. I enjoy the interaction between my students because we all learn from one another. It is this engagement that gives me satisfaction and brings me joy in teaching.

Why I’m excited to receive the conference scholarship: I’m honored by this opportunity to be among experts in the fields of education and leadership. I’m looking forward to learning new teaching strategies so that I can be a better and more effective educator. Had I not received this scholarship, I would not have been able to attend this conference so, for this, I am grateful.

Sharon Cisneros

Emmanuel des-Bordes

Institution: Blue Ridge Community College, Weyers Cave, Virginia

Disciplines: Mathematics and Statistics

Why I teach: My motivation for a career in mathematics and statistics is part of my passion for teaching students and promoting the STEM fields. It is clear that mathematics is going to play a very important role in the near future of our society, and I wanted to become a teacher because I wanted to be part of the change. In particular, I enjoy the beginning and end of each semester and seeing the growth and accomplishments of my students. The great teachers and researchers I studied under during my own education provided me with great examples ad techniques, and laid the foundation for my teaching philosophy. They also gave me an imperative aspiration to provide a similar experience for my students. My career as a teacher in higher education has been very rewarding.

Why I’m excited to receive the conference scholarship: I’m pleased and very thankful to be one of the recipients of the Suanne Davis Roueche Faculty Scholarship as it will have a remarkable impact on my professional development. The award will definitely encourage me to learn more about Dr. Suanne Davis Roueche and her work on teaching and learning in American colleges and universities. Winning this award also further recognizes my dedication to undergraduate education. In addition, attending the 2019 conference will allow me to network on new levels, learn more about what others are doing in their colleges compared to mine, and gain a number of useful ideas and multiple insights about teaching and learning.

Emmanuel des-Bordes

Timothy Gerdmann

Institution: Nicolet College, Rhinelander, Wisconsin

Disciplines:  Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Basic Recruit Academy

Why I teach:  I teach because I find it fascinating to watch my recruits grow from raw recruit to working sworn officers. To be able to be even a small part of their transformation from what they think a law enforcement officer is to becoming an officer is amazing. Our program focuses on rural law enforcement where professional communication and problem solving are very important. Seeing our students learn to talk to people and not at people is extremely gratifying. Having our students be able to solve problems with dialogue rather than force shows the continued transition of law enforcement from just a job to a true profession.

Why I’m excited to receive the conference scholarship: I am excited to receive this scholarship so I can learn how to recruit more of our Native American population to become students in our program. We have a large Native American population in our district and they are very underrepresented in our Criminal Justice student population. With the knowledge gathered, I hope to bring more Native American students into our program and continue to foster growth of law enforcement from a job to a profession that represents all of those in our district. 

Timothy Gerdmann

Michelle McNamara

Institution: Glen Oaks Community College, Centreville, Michigan

Disciplines: Communications

Why I teach? There is simply no other job in the world that has such a tremendous impact on our future as teaching! When I began my career many years ago, I vowed to appreciate each and every single day in the classroom. That perspective, along with my ability to connect and interact with students from diverse backgrounds, has made it very clear that teaching is not just what I do, but who I am.  

Why am I excited to receive this scholarship? My college has only recently joined the NISOD organization, and that makes receiving this scholarship even more special! Being able to network with colleagues who share my passion for teaching is an opportunity that I do not take lightly. I am excited to bring new ideas and concepts home from this conference and implement them in my classroom. I feel tremendously honored to be a 2019 Suanne Davis Roueche Scholarship winner and can’t wait to participate.  

Michelle McNamara

Kelley Simpson

Institution: Ross Education, LLC, Flint, Michigan

Disciplines: Administrative Medical Assisting

Why I teach:  “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” – William Arthur Ward

This quote is the epitome of my goals as an instructor. I want to be that teacher that inspires! From the first moment I was in class as an instructor almost 13 years ago, I knew I was where I was supposed to be in my career. My life has been blessed and enriched tenfold from having the privilege of meeting so many wonderful people that are looking to change or improve their lives with a career in the medical field. Teaching allows me to use my knowledge and pay it forward in an educational atmosphere, which I love. In the classroom, I have the ability to encourage, mentor, and collaborate with these fresh minds that are like sponges. The more they soak up, the more I want to share the wealth of my knowledge and experience as a medical assistant. I am able to do these things because I work for a wonderful organization that strives to enhance the lives of anyone who wants to further their education, change their career, and begin an exciting, lifelong journey of working in the medical field.

Why I’m excited to receive the conference scholarship: I am excited to receive this scholarship because I have been offered an awesome opportunity to learn from other colleagues from around the world and from all fields of education. This experience will offer a look into commonalities that other instructors and teachers face, such as classroom retention, being innovative, and keeping things interesting. I have attended many webinars hosted by NISOD, so I am brimming with excitement about what I can expect at this conference. I can’t wait to learn all that I can and bring it back to my campus to “share the wealth.”

Kelley Simpson

Questions about NISOD’s Faculty Conference Scholarship Program should be sent to Nicole Novelli at or (512) 471-7545.