• Three Educators Earn the AHE Lighthouse Leader Award

    Posted by AVID Center on 10/21/2019

    AHE Lighthouse Leader Award Winners Guiding the charge to transform their institutions, the spotlight was on three leaders for their accomplishments during the AHE Leadership Symposium at the AVID Summer Institute in Denver on July 16. The reasons why these educational torchbearers lead the way show in their character and innate talent.

    Dr. Tamara Clunis, Amarillo College (AC)

    Dr. Russell Lowery-Hart, President of AC, remarks, “Of all the leaders I’ve worked with, Dr. Clunis is the most studentcentered. With every initiative, pedagogy shift, structural change, and course redesign, Dr. Clunis places students at the center of every reform. She is masterful and works tirelessly to use AHE as a vehicle to help all students be successful.”

    Dr. Tamara Clunis is an innovator, leader, student advocate, and change maker. She is a humble, quiet storm, driven to ensure AC serves all students. Her enthusiasm is contagious. A stellar staff developer for AHE, Dr. Clunis is uniquely talented to engage faculty from across disciplines to help the electrician, cosmetologist, and nurse learn how to better teach students in a manner that is both rigorous and fun. Dr. Clunis is a world-class leader and a masterful strategic thinker. She sees how structures and organization fundamentally lead to student learning.

    Dr. Deana Guido, Nash Community College (NCC)

    NCC’s AHE implementation would not have been so successful without the support of Associate Vice President of Transfer Initiatives, Dr. Deana Guido.Dr. Deana Guido facilitated the implementation throughout the campus, engaged instructional improvement processes through AVID, and has even taken the AVID story throughout the nation. Dr. Guido knows that it is about the students, and NCC appreciates her “all-in” efforts. Dr. Deana Guido is focused, passionate, and a visionary. She works tirelessly to ensure the important details make the big picture come together.

    In 2016, NCC became certified as one of only two National Demonstration Sites for AHE. NCC is known for its understanding that one change in one area is not enough to ensure student success. NCC’s leadership and faculty work together to create a student-centered campus committed to preparing students for successful college transfer and rewarding careers. This is the key to its success on the NCC campus. But much of the reason AVID continues to improve student outcomes is because the people at NCC embrace the strategies—using a common language and utilizing proven instructional methods across all programs.

    Michelle Hernandez, Director, Antelope Valley College (AVC)

    Six years ago, Michelle accepted the challenge of creating the First-Year Experience with AHE. She has continued to embrace AVID and create a cultural shift through the training of hundreds of faculty and staff during her years at AVC. Michelle’s desire to create brave spaces for students to be open and to engage in their own learning is most notable. Michelle is a role model to faculty and staff for how to best teach and support students across campus.

    Furthermore, she is dedicated, tenacious, and creative. Ms. Hernandez demonstrates a dedication to student success through intentionality of planning and follow-through as well as an unrelenting commitment to educational equity. Combined with this passion, she creates a culture of evidence of what’s working and why. As a career-long educator, Ms. Hernandez goes above and beyond to help all students succeed. She began her career at AVC more than 13 years ago as the Director of Student Activities and Community Outreach. In this role, she helped students transition from high school to college and created programs to ensure their success.


    Learn more about AVID for Higher Education at www.avid.org/highered.

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