Employees Nominated, Honored for Statewide Innovation Awards
Dr. Minda Chuska (right) receives A. Wade Martin Award from Bruce McCord, President for the SCTEA (left) at the Awards Ceremony.
Horry-Georgetown Technical College (HGTC) is proud to announce the nominees and statewide winner for the A. Wade Martin Innovator of the Year Awards 2023. HGTC nominated Dr. Minda Chuska, Chair and Professor - English, Communications, Fine Arts & Humanities, to represent the College for the A. Wade Martin Innovator of the Year for her innovation to revolutionize the admissions process by eliminating the need for a college placement test that is a barrier for students and creating a direct path to college-level courses.
HGTC also nominated its Workforce Development Team to represent the College for the A. Wade Martin Innovation Team of the Year for the vision and innovation to serve as the exclusive implementation team for a special partnership with Horry County Councilman, Mr. Orton Bellamy, and other Horry County public officials, to serve the community through an educational grant funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
Members of the Workforce Development Team include Brandon Haselden, Assistant Vice President for Academic and Workforce Development; Dean for Advanced Manufacturing, Engineering, Business & Natural Resources; Jeff Ball, Chair for Academic and Workforce Development; Vincent Myers, Workforce Development Manager; Kristi Evans, Program Manager; Courtney Sterbenz, Program Manager; and Katelyn Clay, Community Development Coordinator.
(left to right) Jeff Ball, Courtney Sterbenz, Vincent Myers, Kristi Evans, and Brandon Haselden.
The A. Wade Martin Innovator of the Year Awards are presented annually by the SC Technical College System Foundation at an Awards Ceremony held at the South Carolina Technical Education Association (SCTEA) Conference in February. The A. Wade Martin Award recognizes individuals in the technical college system who employ innovative approaches to meet the ever-changing needs in the technical education arena and whose achievements impact most positively in the system’s statewide efforts in economic development and the education of technical college students. A. Wade Martin was the executive director of South Carolina’s first technical and industrial training program.
HGTC is proud to announce, for the third year in a row, a HGTC faculty member has won the prestigious statewide award. Dr. Minda Chuska, the Chair and Professor of English, Communications, Fine Arts & Humanities was excited to receive the A. Wade Martin Innovator of the Year 2023. Dr. Chuska is a leader at HGTC and within the SC Technical College System. She has worked for HGTC for 26 years and spent more than two decades in a leadership role within her department. Prior to joining HGTC, Dr. Chuska worked as an English Professor at Black Hills State University. She is known for her student-centered pedagogy and can-do attitude. Dr. Minda Chuska worked with others to begin a phased in approach to streamline the general education curriculum and develop a Multiple Measures Placement (MM4) and Assessment Process for students entering all programs requiring English 155 or 101. At the time of its creation, this process was the first of its kind in South Carolina. Dr. Minda Chuska’s goal was not only to assist placing students appropriately during the pandemic but also to shorten their path to graduation by removing unnecessary courses along their academic journey to a diploma, certificate, or degree.
“Her innovation, compassion, and high standards are the epitome of excellence. She embodies the true heart and spirit of a higher education administrator. Horry-Georgetown Technical College is blessed to have Dr. Chuska as a Department Chair, educator, and highly esteemed colleague. I am grateful to work with and learn from Dr. Chuska. I support her as she continues to make advanced strides within higher education leading to student success,” said Dr. Heather Hoppe, HGTC Registrar.
“These innovative changes are just a couple of ways that Dr. Chuska has proven to be an asset at HGTC. She is highly respected among her peers at HGTC and within the South Carolina Technical College System. The impact of the changes she has made is immeasurable. Students are now reaching their academic goals faster by saving precious time and financial aid in the process. I’m more than proud to work alongside Dr. Chuska,” said Dr. Candace Howell, HGTC Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs/Dean of the School for Arts and Sciences.