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Amy Duffy, Professor of Medical Assisting, has been named the 2016 Online Instructor of the Year. Amy is well known for being an online innovator. She was one of the first to move her courses to Canvas, the new learning management system for MJC. She is also a dedicated member of the Distance Education Committee and keeps the Allied Health Division well-apprised of online teaching issues.
Professor Duffy’s colleagues write, "I love how detailed, informative and concise her reports are that she sends out. She really knows her stuff and I'm sure she's a very valuable member of that committee. They are lucky to have her." Another writes that she is "one in a million...diligent, articulate, on time and kind. Who could ask for more?"
Duffy’s students praise how clearly she has organized her courses and her responsiveness to student questions. She is truly “present” in every online class she teaches. One student writes, “She has been very understanding. She is very clear on expectations and on course requirements. She had great discussion boards with issues that are so well debated that it made you think before typing in a post. She provided the perfect amount of resources to help fully understand the material.”
Another student has this to say, “Instructor Duffy does an amazing job with visual presentation for her online course. In addition, she is always available, always giving feedback on assignments, she is supper quick at grading assignments and quizzes and lastly, stays very well organized and on top of her work.”
Duffy joined the faculty of MJC in 2006 and teaches several online and face-to-face courses for the Medical Assisting Program, including Introduction to Medical Assisting, Introduction to Disease and Pharmacology, Laboratory Procedures and Medical Terminology. She is passionate about online learning and thrives as both a student and instructor in this environment. As a military family, she and her family moved 7 times in 9 years, and online education proved the perfect vehicle for both she and her husband to persevere in their educational goals. She finds online learning both challenging and compelling. She strives to continually improve her courses by including new content relevant to the ever-changing medical field and creating course activities designed to aid medical assisting students in their goal of becoming certified medical assistants. When not learning or teaching, Amy enjoys the beach, hosting family dinners, and making her award-winning Lemon Supreme Cheesecake for family and friends.
Kim Gyuran, professor of speech communication, was named the 2015 Online Instructor of the Year by Modesto Junior College during the Fall Institute Day on August 21.
In presenting this year’s award Rebecca Ganes, the 2014 Online Instructor of the Year, noted that 257 nominations were received this year, with most of them coming from students.
Gyuran was praised for her dedication to instructional excellence and outstanding efforts in building and teaching effective and engaging online communications courses.
One of Gyuran’s students wrote in her nomination, “Her course is my favorite online course by far. The teacher is present every week with weekly videos and throughout the online course, has multiple videos of herself explaining the projects or assignments in depth. I've never felt confused or lost in this course. I've known exactly what to do, and every week has been easy to follow. You can tell that she puts in a lot of work into her online class and tries to make it easy to follow as well as enjoyable for her students.”
Gyuran joined the faculty of MJC in 1994 and teaches both online and classroom communications courses, including online Intercultural Communication classes, and Storytelling and Group and Organizational Communications in a classroom format.
A student nominator wrote of Gyuran, “The professor is so enthusiastic in her work if not more than enthusiastic because it seems that she's always online, always there to respond to our questions and very organized.”
Another student nomination noted, “It's like having a professor and cheerleader in one.”
Professor Rebecca Ganes is the 2014 Online Instructor of the Year. Professor Ganes, a Central Valley native who attended Merced College as a re-entry student before finishing her master's degree in Psychology from Stanislaus State University, began teaching psychology at MJC in 1991.
Becky started teaching online course about five years ago, and when asked what attracted her to the online world, she said "it was the flexibility at first, but I discovered I can connect with students more personally online than on campus where I teach large lectures. When I am online, I can reach every student."
Becky soon realized that online teaching is a 24/7 job and is much more work than teaching on campus. She says it's worth it though because "I enjoy finding ways to create online assignments that can meet or exceed the rich experience of on-campus assignments." She finds that online students tend to use technology in creative ways to express themselves, including with video. "I could not do the number of interactive activities on campus as I do online," Becky says.
Becky keeps her courses lively by making Facebook an option and keeping her students engaged with different types of activities, such as volunteering to be subjects in online research projects. One of her students wrote, "She created a dynamic, interactive teaching environment where she seemed accessible and virtually present the entire semester. Her assessment plan was flawless; every single reading correlated with meaningful assignments in the course."
As a former re-entry entry student herself, Becky knows that online courses give students educational opportunities they would not have without it: "It was an experience that helped me understand our [MJC] students. I had kids and the whole bit." As the 2014 Online Instructor of the Year, Professor Rebecca Ganes does everything she can to make her students' online experiences rich and rewarding.