Bochnovic wins top state teaching award

Carteret Community College’s Bochnovic wins top state teaching award

Cheryl Burke, Carteret County News-Times

Karen BochnovicMOREHEAD CITY — Carteret Community College instructor Karen Bochnovic is now considered the top community college teacher in the state.

The State Board of Community Colleges named her the winner of the Excellence in Teaching Award for 2021 Thursday.

The award, sponsored by the R.J. Reynolds Foundation and established in 1985, recognizes community college faculty members who “exemplify the highest quality and standards of instruction throughout the NC Community College System,” according to the NCCCS website.

Ms. Bochnovic, a math and college success course instructor, said she was surprised to receive the award.

“I am both honored and humbled to have been selected as the winner of the Excellence in Teaching award,” she said. “It is a privilege to be counted among so many accomplished educators.  Teaching has been my passion since before I can remember. To be recognized for doing what you love, there is no better feeling.

“This award is certainly not about the recognition of an individual,” she continued. “I would not be where I am today without the support and guidance of those who have become a part of my life through teaching. I am so grateful to be surrounded by such astounding administrators, faculty, staff and students at Carteret Community College. I thank each of them for their support and encouragement.”

As the top award winner, Ms. Bochnovic receives a cash prize of $8,000, a certificate and a plaque for receiving the prestigious award. In addition, the CCC foundation will receive a cash prize of $2,000.

Of the 58 state community colleges, 38 submitted nominations last fall for the Excellence in Teaching Award. After a rigorous screening process by a state committee, the list was narrowed to seven semi-finalists, then four finalists. Finalists were interviewed again and the committee recommended Ms. Bochnovic to the State Board of Community Colleges as the winner.

CCC President Dr. Tracy Mancini, who nominated Ms. Bochnovic for the award, said she was deserving of the recognition.

“Karen Bochnovic is a worthy recipient of this statewide distinction. Her commitment to the first-year experience for students has been a guiding light for many,” Dr. Mancini said. “In addition to being an outstanding instructor, Karen Bochnovic is well respected by her peers as an effective faculty leader.”

Dr. Mancini said Ms. Bochnovic is a “patient instructor” of math and ACA 122, a college success course. She also built the Moodle learning platform and created training resources for ACA instructors “to ensure students have a positive experience and learn the resources available to help them succeed at Carteret Community College.”

Ms. Bochnovic started at CCC as lead instructor for developmental math and redesigned the ACA 122 course to meet the needs of all students, regardless of program of study. One former student in development math calls her “the greatest of all time,” according to the State Board of Community Colleges press release.

She led a statewide workshop on a new model for developmental math and English, known as RISE. She worked to bring faculty from across the state to CCC for the N.C. Mathematical Association of Two Year Colleges meeting. She has served as chairperson of the college’s Faculty Executive Committee and is a recipient of the college’s Meritorious Service Award.

She also created student training videos when the college switched to a new online platform for student advising and registration.

“Her collegial attitude and desire to collaborate are exemplary,” Dr. Mancini said. “Her pleasant, professional demeanor makes her a wonderful role model for students and for all of us.”

Contact Cheryl Burke at 252-726-7081, ext. 255; email Cheryl@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @cherylccnt.

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