LA JUNTA — Otero Junior College is proud to announce the names of faculty and staff members who have been named ‘Employees of the Year’. Three categories of employees are recognized each year at OJC for their outstanding service and dedication to the college. Those categories included: faculty, classified and administrator pro/tech. The honorees are selected by their peers.
This year’s honorees include: Stephen Simpson, Faculty of the Year; Rebecca Horton, Classified Employee of the Year and Denise Mosher, Administrator Pro/Tech of the Year. In addition to being honored at OJC during the All Staff Meeting last week, each of the honorees will also be recognized at a special awards ceremony later in the spring, hosted by the Colorado Community College System, in Denver.
Stephen Simpson – OJC Faculty of the Year
Stephen Simpson, a six-year member of the Otero Junior College Arts Department, has been named the 2011-2012 OJC Faculty of the Year. Simpson teaches English composition, public speaking and all the theatre classes. He is also Director of Theatre, which involves managing and directing plays for the Otero Players, serving as the tech manager of the Ed Stafford Theatre, training and supervising student technicians and providing sound and lighting support for all events in the theatre.
Simpson said the greatest joy he receives from teaching is the satisfaction he experiences when students take him up on his constant challenge to think critically and to deeply question instead of blindly accepting.
Simpson grew up in northern Colorado and graduated from Loveland High School. He attended Doan Collage and was a member of the inaugural class of graduates from Aims Community College in Greeley in 1969. He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in theatre from Colorado State University, a master’s degree drama from the University of Oklahoma and is currently working toward a PhD in theatre studies from Florida State University; his dissertation defense is scheduled for spring 2012.
Simpson said he enjoys teaching at OJC because he was once a community college student himself.
“As the first and only member of my family to attend college, I have personally seen the value of what a dedicated, empathic teacher at the junior college level can bring to a student. I enjoy the diversity of our student population and find it an interesting challenge to introduce students to theatre and to find new and effective ways to make theatre meaningful to students who may not have encountered it before,” he said.
Rebecca Horton – OJC Classified Employee of the Year
Rebecca Horton, a three-year employee at Otero Junior College, has been named the 2011-2012 OJC Classified Employee of the Year. Horton is an Accounting Tech I in the Human Resource office.
Horton began her tenure with OJC as a workstudy student in the business office. For two years while she was completing her Associate of Science degree she assisted the human resource department with payroll. Today, her main responsibility is processing payroll. According to her supervisor, Marlene Boettcher, since Horton began processing payroll in July 2007, she has not had one payroll error.
“Becky is extremely efficient in all of her job responsibilities and is very detailed oriented. She is always willing to help on any project, she’s extremely knowledgeable in Excel and has automated many tasks that were done manually prior to her taking over,” said Boettcher.
Boettcher said that Horton also played a major role in helping to successfully implement the college’s new employee time and leave system. “Becky is a great asset to the business office and I am very happy that she received this most deserving award.”
Denise Mosher – Administrator Pro/Tech of the Year
Denise Mosher, a six-year employee of Otero Junior College’s Instructional Services Department, has been named the 2011-2012 Administrator Pro/Tech Employee of the Year. She serves as the Coordinator of Instructional Services Programs.
Prior to becoming full-time in the Instructional Services Dept. in 2005, Mosher had worked for several years as a part-time assistant in the OJC Agri-Business Management program. Raised in Minnesota, Mosher holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business from Winona State University. She and her husband, Chris, farm and ranch in the Cheraw community north of La Junta. They are the parents of two high-school age sons.
Jim Herrell, Vice President of Instruction at OJC, is Mosher’s supervisor. Herrell said that her efficiency and dedication to the college makes her an excellent choice for this honor.
“Over the past several years Denise Mosher has assumed a larger role in the Instructional Services Dept. and during that time her work ethic has been exceptional. Her attention to detail and ability to finish projects at a high standard has ensured that students and staff receive the very best of services here at Otero Junior College,” said Herrell.