Texarkana College announced its recipients of the annual National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Excellence Awards at the Board of Trustees meeting held Monday. Each year TC recognizes two individuals as NISOD nominees, one faculty member and one staff member, who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment and contribution to their students and colleagues. 2023 honorees include Mark Storey, who serves as an associate professor of biology, and Phyllis Deese, who serves as TC’s vice president of administrative services.
Storey has worked in higher education for more than 30 years and has helped numerous students successfully matriculate to professional programs in veterinary medicine, medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy, science teaching, and nursing programs. Although he is proud of every single student who has achieved their personal and professional goals, Storey says he is the proudest of the success of underprepared or at-risk students who initially lack confidence in their own abilities.
“When a student earns a hard-fought C in one of my courses, I was able to convince them that they could learn and appreciate a scientific discipline despite their many past failures, barriers, or disappointments,” said Storey. “There is nothing better for me than to watch them walk across the stage during commencement and know that together we not only changed their life, but that of their family also.”
Associate Professor Storey’s leadership service at TC includes TC Faculty Association, Achieving the Dream, distance education, club sponsorships, biology department chairperson and liaison for dual credit courses, and many more. In addition, Storey was named the 2021-2022 Texarkana College Faculty Association’s Endowed Chair for Teaching Excellence which is a competitive, peer-led nomination process and honor.
Dr. Dixon Boyles, Vice President of Instruction, said Storey is an excellent colleague who is well respected and liked by everyone who knows him.
“Mark Storey makes a huge impact on all types of biology students at TC: dual credit, traditional college, and adult learners in both face to face and online settings,” said Dr. Boyles. “We are so grateful for Mark’s demonstrated leadership and professionalism both in and out of the classroom. His commitment to student success and excellence in teaching leaves a lasting impact on our students and our community. It is an honor for TC to have Mark as a member of our STEM faculty and a role model for our students.”
Dr. Catherine Howard, STEM Division Dean, said knowing and working with Storey has made her a better teacher and a better person.
“Mark has a sense of reason that draws people to him,” said Dr. Howard. “He personally gets to know every single one of his students, encourages them, corrects them with kindness, and urges them to be the best that they can be. He makes Texarkana College a better place on so many levels.”
Staff honoree, Phyllis Deese, is also a career educator who exemplifies excellence and integrity in her professional role at TC as head over the college’s human resources and administrative services. Deese has served 32 years in education, with the last 11 years in higher education at TC. Deese said that she is honored to be among the list of NISOD honorees who have served as incredible mentors and educators.
“To say it was an honor to be recognized as TC’s NISOD recipient this year is an understatement,” said Deese. “TC’s prior recipients are incredible, and to accept alongside Mark Storey was absolutely the best – he is amazing!”
While at TC, Deese has helped guide the college through challenging times including a historical expansion of TC’s tax base, reaffirmation of accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, state and national recognition of student success milestones, and navigating a successful campus-wide transition toward hybrid operations and instruction during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Deese said that her opportunity to serve TC as an administrator has provided her with a chance to interact with every employee on campus.
“I love everything about my job and my team at TC!” said Deese. “I consider myself and my team as the luckiest group on campus as we have the chance to interact with every single employee. So, it is easy for me to say that we have the absolute best employees around! I have been lucky in my career – I have enjoyed everywhere I have worked. But my only regret in coming to work at TC 11 years ago is that I did not get here sooner! I have never enjoyed any place as much as I love TC!”
TC President Dr. Jason Smith said the NISOD Award underscores the culture of excellence at TC by rewarding the work of our talented faculty and staff.
“TC is committed to celebrating the extraordinary work of our faculty, administrators, and staff whose service to our students, colleagues, and community deserves our special recognition,” Smith said. “I am so proud of the work done on behalf of TC by our NISOD Excellence Award recipients this year, and I’m honored to be able to work alongside such talented individuals.”
More information about NISOD and information regarding all Award of Excellence honorees can be found at www.nisod.org.