Employee Awards

We love recognizing the great work of our faculty and staff. We started recognizing the great work they do when Delta College was founded decades ago, and the tradition continues. We think it's a big deal, so every spring we have a big awards ceremony to celebrate. 

Awards and most recent recipients

The Bergstein Award for Teaching Excellence is the highest honor for any faculty member at Delta College. The Bergstein Family of Midland has sponsored this award since 1965, and it reflects their commitment to teaching excellence over the years. Leonard Bergstein was a charter member of the Delta College Board of Trustees, serving from 1957-1964. Mr. Bergstein and his wife, Esther, were very active in the community in a number of volunteer activities. Their son, Stuart, was a member of the Delta College Board of Trustees from 1974-1984, and served on the Delta College Foundation Board of Directors from 1979-1982 and 1993-1996. Stuart Bergstein also served as Chair of the College’s $5 million capital campaign to convert its public television station from analog to digital broadcasting. He and his wife, Ruth Ann, have been very active supporters of the College. The award is chosen by a vote by Delta College students and faculty.

2022 recipients:

Wendy Szafranski (Linwood), Associate Professor of Nursing
Angela Trabalka (Saginaw), Associate Professor of English 

This special award was created by two very good friends, Ormond E. Barstow and Ludo Frevel. Mr. Barstow, who passed away in 1992, was a member of the Delta College Foundation Board of Directors and worked for The Dow Chemical Company, first as an apprentice and then as a chemist. He retired in 1969 from Dow’s Physics Laboratory, and was responsible for designing and building a number of innovative instruments. Mr. Frevel, who died in 2011, also worked at The Dow Chemical Company as a pioneering chemist, and was the first Dow scientist to receive the title of Research Specialist. After retiring from Dow, he worked as a consultant at Dow Corning for another 30 years. Applicants submit various forms of support for the award, a resume, samples of writing, art work, music, letters of recommendation, video, program modules, etc.  The committee reviews the materials submitted and discusses how the materials have contributed to the broad scholarly community. The achievements do not have to be in the applicants discipline or in the area of their expertise – however, often the committee considers the expertise of the applicant. For the purposes of this award, scholarly achievement is defined as: the creation of works, which are studied in or developed through pursuit of an academic discipline; for example, a painting, book, articles, textbook, computer program, musical score, performance, theory, analysis, etc.; not necessarily limited to the discipline in which one teaches, works, or has a higher degree; and has been affirmed by the opinions of members of the appropriate discipline. The Scholarly Achievement Award Committee makes its decision by soliciting nominations of full-time college employees, examining scholarly works of Delta faculty and staff, and considers the opinions expressed by professionals within a discipline in order to judge the quality of scholarly work.

2022 recipient:

Nancy Hartshorne (Mount Pleasant), Professor of Psychologyy

The Rollin M. Gerstacker Faculty Award for Innovative Use of Technology in Teaching began in 2002 with a gift from the Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation of Midland. When Mr. Gerstacker passed away in 1945, his widow, Eda U. Gerstacker, began the Foundation in memory of her husband. The award recognizes Delta College faculty members who demonstrate exceptionally creative or innovative use of technology in teaching, and those who use technology in a new and pioneering manner beyond its normal use by an educator.

2022 recipient:

David Baskind (Saginaw), Professor of Psychology

This award is intended to recognize an adjunct faculty member’s dedication to supporting the well-being, learning, growth and development of Delta College students.  It was established by the Delta College Foundation and first given out in 2022. Eric “Q” Beckman was a beloved Delta associate professor of economics, who taught at the College from 2004 until his passing in 2021. He was known College-wide as an individual who respected and treated everyone equitably, regardless of background, demographics, or classification at the College. Q appreciated and celebrated diversity. This dedication to equity was recognized in 2013, by the American Association of University Professors with its Governance Award from the Delta chapter. During his tenure as a leader in the college’s shared governance structure, he had the exceptional ability to listen, reason, communicate and push to bridge and balance divides between faculty and administrative interests.

2022 recipient:

Maggie Zimmerman (Breckenridge), Laboratory Coordinator/Adjunct Faculty of Biology & Fire Science

During his years at Delta College (1964-1980), Don Laughner was a tireless and inspirational leader, a math professor, division chair, dean, senate president, and director of several grant programs. Family and friends established an endowment in his memory to honor individuals and groups responsible for creative change at Delta. Any present or former Delta employee(s) or Board of Trustees member(s) may be nominated for this award. The criteria for the Laughner Award are:  1) Recognition of contributions resulting in significant institutional change; and 2) Significant change in areas such as organization, programming, staffing, curriculum, college procedures, governance structure, or personal growth and development of individuals or groups. 

2021 recipient:

Charissa Urbano (Ypsilanti), Professor of Biology

This award annually recognizes adjunct faculty who, through their work at Delta and the community, have provided outstanding service. George Lynn Heatley was an Adult and Vocational Education consultant at Delta College from 1963 through 1978. While at Delta, he was instrumental in the development of Community Education and Women’s Education Programs in the early 1970s. In the late 1970s, staff in the Community Affairs Division developed this award in his honor. Division chairs and other appropriate supervisors submit nominations. A maximum of two nominees may be chosen per year. Winners are selected by the Dean of Teaching and Learning, the Dean of Career and Continuing Education, the Director of the Faculty Center for Teaching Excellence, and the Director of Instructional Support Services.

2022 recipients:

Wes VanPetten (Reese), Adjunct Faculty of Office Administration & Technology
Lula Woodard (Saginaw), Adjunct Faculty of English

The award is in recognition of exemplary teamwork, resulting in substantial benefit to learning, or outstanding service to the College community. The nomination must include a minimum of one Administrative/Professional Staff member.

2022 recipients:

Covid Team

Robert Battinkoff (Brant) Director of Public Safety; Reauna Brushaber (Beaverton) Disability Services Specialist/Covid Manager; Wendy Childs (Bay City) Assistant Director of Human Resources; Leanne Govitz (Beaverton) Director of Marketing & Public Information; Randall Hall (Midland) Pioneer Connect Advisor; Wendy Harness ( Saginaw) Assistant Director of Sustainability & Midland Center; Dionne McCollum (Saginaw) Director of Athletics & Student Athlete Development; Daisy McQuiston (Saginaw) Professor of Nursing; Shannon Mehl (Freeland) Benefits Manager; Christopher Rader (Canton) Director of Student & Career Engagement; Karl Rishe (Midland) formerly Vice President of Student & Educational Services; Melissa Vargas (Saginaw) Scheduling Processor/Veteran’s Certifying Official; Melissa Wallace (Saginaw) Director of Disability Resources

The award honors Willie E. Thompson's legacy of commitment to education, service and diversity. Mr. Thompson served as Delta College's Vice President of Student & Educational Services until his death in 2005. The purpose of this award is to recognize an A/P staff member for consistently outstanding service to the College community over the course of his/her career.  Nominations are open to any current, full-time A/P staff member who has been employed at Delta at least ten years. 

2022 recipients:

Angela Cramer (Munger), Controller
Shannon Mehl (Freeland), Benefits Manager

The Governance Award is given for leadership or exceptional involvement in the shared governance of Delta College that benefit the faculty, staff or students of the College. Examples of governance activities include the following: Protection and promotion of the rights and responsibilities of faculty, staff or students; shared governance of the College or the development of College policies.

Most recent recipients (2019):

MEA Unionizing Committee – Nate Blecke (Bay City) Professor of Mathematics; Toni Clegg (Alger) Professor of Accounting; Chris Curtis (Midland) Professor of Psychology; Chey Davis (Midland) Associate Professor of English; Donna Giuliani (Blanchard) Professor of Sociology; Phoebe Lutz (Bay City) Professor of Mathematics; Daisy McQuiston (Saginaw) Associate Professor of Nursing; Carla Murphy (Flushing) Professor of Lifelong Wellness; Felicia Peters (Saginaw) Professor of Computer Science & Information Technology; Karen Randolph (Midland) Professor of English; Andrew Rieder (Owosso) Associate Professor of Art; Steve Rosin (Midland) Professor of Mathematics; Liz Ullrich (Holly) Associate Professor of Political Science and Ski VanderLaan (Bay City) Professor of Accounting

The FEC recognizes a Support Staff member who, through his/her work with Delta College faculty, has provided outstanding service.  Faculty members are encouraged to nominate individuals they feel are deserving of such an award.

2022 recipients:

Tonya Hafoka (Freeland), Office Professional
Stacey Shinkel (Linwood) Administrative Office Professional

The Support Staff Executive Committee (SSEC) chooses a recipient who is a contributing member of the Support Staff and exemplifies professionalism, service and dedication within Delta College, as well as positively represents the College in the community.

2022 recipient:

Tina Gwizdala (Bay City), Coordinator - Library

The Carlyon Endowed Chair honors President Emeritus Don Carlyon, his wife Betty, and their many years of innovation and service to the Delta community. The Carlyon Endowed Teaching Chair encourages faculty to pursue a professional activity/project and related follow-up which may include the development of new academic modules, infusion activities or service learning opportunities. Eligibility: All Delta College faculty who have taught full-time for the College for at least three years.

Most recent recipients: 

David Baker, Professor of Chemistry, and Melissa Haswell, Associate Dean of the Science and Mathematics Division, for their project Integrating Authentic Research Experience into Organic Chemistry  Laboratory Courses (2022)

Jill Harrison, Professor of Child Development, for her project Creating a Child Development CDA Pathway (2022)

The SunGard Higher Education Endowed Teaching Chair has been established by the Florida-based company that specializes in providing information technology services to colleges and universities nationwide. This Chair supports and rewards innovations that foster excellence in student learning, and have a direct impact on student learning. Projects should foster an integrated perspective on student learning through cooperation of more than one department, discipline, or division. Eligibility: Full-time faculty members, or adjunct faculty members or staff members (if in collaborative partnership with a full-time faculty member).

Most recent recipients:

Bernadette Harkness, Associate Professor of Chemistry; Andrea Bair, Associate Professor of Geology; Joshua George, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice; and Nicole Rausch, Instructional Designer; for their project Using Learning Outcomes Tools to Critically Examine Course Design and Student Success  (2022)

Robert DeVinney, longtime Professor of Mathematics at Delta, is memorialized through the endowment that bears his name. The DeVinney Endowed Chair honors his commitment to innovation in using technology in classroom teaching. Proposals focus on the innovative use or study of technology in the classroom or other learning environment. Eligibility: All Delta College full-time faculty, adjunct faculty, or full-time and regular part-time staff whose work directly impacts student learning.

Most recent recipient:

Jim Ham, Professor of Mathematics, for his project Course development for the new 7 course Data Science Certificate for Math and Science (2022)

Karen MacArthur, who retired as Executive Director of the Delta College Foundation and Delta's Executive Director of Institutional Advancement in 2007, is honored through this endowment that bears her name. The MacArthur Endowed Teaching Chair is restricted for projects focused on the following subject areas: art, languages, music, literature, psychology or history. Proposals should set forth primary values exemplified by Karen MacArthur during her tenure at Delta College: creativity and innovation.

Most recent recipients:

Lauren Smith, Associate Professor of English, and Amee Schmidt, Adjunct Instructor of English, for their project Star Writers, Star Students: Experiential Learning for Greater Success (2022)

The Robert R. “Dr. Bob” Zimmermann Endowed Teaching Chair was established to provide professional development opportunities for faculty members. Dr. Bob joyfully worked at Delta College from 1980 until his retirement in 1995, directing the program for parents of children with disabilities, assistant directing assessment services, and serving as Assistant Professor of Psychology from 1989 until 1995. Dr. Bob found teaching at Delta rewarding because his efforts resulted in both immediate and long-lasting gains for his students. In addition, he felt a deep affiliation with many of the Delta College faculty. He often said that he’d found his professional home at Delta College and greatly appreciated the opportunity to join the Delta community. Proposals must demonstrate the primary values exemplified by Dr. Bob during his tenure at Delta College, including his belief all students should be treated equitably, with an equal opportunity to learn.

Most recent recipients:

Ralph Worthing, Professor of Psychology; David Baskind, Professor of Psychology; Chris Curtis, Professor of Psychology; Maureen Donegan, Associate Professor of Psychology; Jeff Dykhuizen, Professor of Psychology; Nancy Hartshorne, Professor of Psychology; Susan Harvey, Professor of Psychology; and Spring Schafer, Adjunct Instructor of Psychology; for their project Reinventing Introduction to Psychology from a Diversity, Equity, Belongingness, and Inclusion Perspective (2022)

2022 service award recipients

Congratulations to the following employees honored for their years of service.

Susan Nowicki (Bay City), Manager of Business & Auxiliary Services

Tina Gwizdala (Bay City), Coordinator - Library
Timothy Piechowiak (Bay City), Printing Production Coordinator
Steven Rosin (Midland) Professor of Mathematics
Ralph Worthing (Saginaw) Professor of Psychology

Linda LaRoche (Bay City), Student Billing Specialist
Erik Radomski (Bay City), Custodial Supervisor
Patrick Randall (Kawkawlin), Academic Data Analyst

Nathan Blecke (Essexville) Professor of Mathematics
Jeanne Doyle (Bay City) Accountant
Charles (Jeff) Dykhuizen (Midland) Professor of Psychology
Nicole Gwizdala (Bay City) Student Billing Office Coordinator
Jill Harrison (Auburn) Professor of Child Development
Raymond Lacina (Midland) Professor of English
Natascha Rivet (Bay City) Professor of Mathematics
Maureen Schultz (Saginaw) Laboratory Manager

Amy Ames (Caro) Business Service Manager, Great Lakes Bay MI Works!
Melanie Dancer (Saginaw) Student Success Counselor
Chey Davis (Midland) Associate Professor of English
Charles Eldridge (Bay City) TV Traffic Coordinator
Jennifer Gaumer (Freeland) Student Success Advisor
Leanne Govitz (Beaverton) Director of Marketing & Public Information
Bernadette Harkness (Midland) Associate Professor of Chemistry
Cindy Kramer (Bay City) Professor of Radiography
Peter Larkowski (Midland) Professor of Chemistry
Amy McKinstry-Barnard (Saginaw) TAA Case Manager, Great Lakes Bay MI Works!
Ryan Petersen (Midland) Associate Professor of Political Science
Crystal Starkey (Sanford) Professor of English
Patrick Truszkowski (Auburn) Associate Professor of Biology
Thomas Wells (Stillwater) Associate Professor of Mathematics
Anna Willman-Onstott (St. Louis) Programs Director, Great Lakes Bay MI Works!

Loyce Brown (Saginaw) Director of Employee Development & Equity/Title IX Coordinator
Thomas Delaney (Bay City) Team Supervisor
Julie Dorcey (Saginaw) Foundation Manager
Daniel Francke (Essexville) Assistant Manager
Dorian Phelps (Saginaw) Saginaw Center Coordinator
Kathleen Phillips (Freeland) Postal/Parcel Specialist
Harvey Schneider (St. Charles) Manager, Skilled Trades
Susan Steiss (Burton) Assistant Professor of Sociology

Loni Benkert (Saginaw) Employment Services Advisor, Great Lakes Bay MI Works!
Adam Bennett (Freeland) General Maintenance
Shane Bishop (Midland) Aquatic Coordinator/Operations Supervisor
Nicholas Bovid (Midland) Director of Facilities Management
Craig Bowen (Bay City) Mechanical Maintenance Person
Martha Crawmer (Midland) Dean of Teaching & Learning
Sarah DuFresne (Essexville) Vice President of Finance & Business Services
Michael Goodall (Sanford) Academy Coordinator/Police Sergeant
Kevin Hobart (Midland) Institutional Research Data Analyst & SES Research Specialist
Marcia Hulett-Jones (Saginaw) Educational Opportunity Center Advisor
Kimberly Katzer (Bentley) Assistant Registrar/Technologist
Brian Kennedy (Essexville) Planetarium Show Specialist
Jordan Kolm (Auburn) Manager of Development, Corporate Services
Pamela Livingston (Fenton) Assistant Professor of Dental Hygiene
Elsa Olvera (Saginaw) Director of Educational Opportunity Center
Danielle Petersen (Midland) Manager of Teaching/Learning & Testing Center
Andrew Straub (Auburn) Admissions Technologist/Communications Coordinator
Sara Thomas (Midland) Administrative Assistant
Gerald Russell (Saginaw) Business Services Representative/Apprenticeship Specialist
Carol Wieland (Kawkawlin) Instructor of Dental Hygiene
Anna Williams (Midland) Administrative Assistant to the Vice President