2022 Lifelong Learning Awards
The Trustees' Lifelong Learning Award recognizes outstanding employees who demonstrate continued intellectual and professional growth and exemplify qualities such as leadership, professional achievement, and a cooperative spirit.
Each winner will receive a grant of $1,500 to pay for teaching and learning activities such as meetings, conferences, classes, and college coursework.
The following award recipients were recognized at Convocation on Tuesday, September 20, 2022.
Full-Time Faculty, Early Childhood Education
North Seattle College
Noris Daniel has spent nearly three decades as an educator, mentor, leader and advocate for North Seattle College’s Early Childhood Education program and has earned copious praise from her peers and fellow educators for her tireless commitment and enthusiasm. In her 27 years with NSC she has supported and inspired entire generations of educators, and in her role as lead faculty mentor for the ECE program she has helped many new faculty find their footing, supporting them as they in turn go on to do good works as well.
Daniel’s advocacy has not been confined to NSC; her peers have praised her work at the local and state level to support children, families and early care and education professionals all across Washington. This work led to the recent creation of the Noris E. Daniel Fellowship, which supports 3 BIPOC, multilingual alumni of North Seattle College’s ECE program through a master’s degree with mentoring and support to successfully enter the higher education faculty pool.
Many of Daniel’s peers have come forward to praise her leadership, warmth and vision; as one of her fellow faculty members said, “Noris is intentional with every interaction and seeks to bring out the true potential in all of us with kindness, humility, humor, depth, and authenticity. She shines her light for all to see each and every day. She is a true gift to us, to this program, to the college, and to the field of early childhood education.”
Part-Time Faculty, Electronics
North Seattle College
Chris Sanders has dedicated himself to North Seattle College’s electronics program for more than 30 years, first as a student, then a lab assistant, and eventually a part-time faculty member. Today, he serves NSC as the Electronics Lab Manager while continuing to teach electronics courses as part-time faculty.
Sanders’ peers have praised his bottomless well of patience and kindness in his roles both as educator and lab manager, where he has for decades led students and faculty in operating the lab’s electronic systems. As well as teaching users to operate the equipment in the electronics lab, Sanders also spends long hours maintaining and repairing the lab’s many tools, components and test equipment, and can often be found in the lab long into the evening.
Sanders’ nomination was accompanied by considerable praise for his collaborative spirit and commitment to the college, saying, “Chris’s leadership in management of the NSC electronics labs is a testament to professionalism and fostering a spirt of cooperation with both students and faculty.”
Maria Cecilia Jimenez
Administrative Assistant, Mainstay/SAILS
Seattle Central College
For the last six years Administrative Assistant Maria Cecilia Jimenez has been a rock of dependability for her team at Seattle Central College, and her work with Mainstay/SAILS has earned her a reputation as a model of patience, determination, grit and positivity. Her willingness to learn new processes, collaborate across teams and share knowledge have all been called out by her peers, earning her this award.
As well as praising her work ethic and willingness to share her knowledge with others, her peers praised Jimenez for her commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, citing her work with hiring teams for Central to ensure their staff reflect the diversity of their community, her furthering of outreach to underserved schools and programs, and her dedication to the students and job seekers Mainstay/SAILS serves directly.
Jimenez is described by her nominator as a dedicated problem solver who can be counted on to work tirelessly for solutions, saying, “She stretches herself to learn every day…she challenges herself to take extra professional trainings to better herself and any team she works on. If she doesn’t know the answer, she’ll find it. If she doesn’t know how to do something, she’ll learn it. Then, she’ll teach others.”
Executive Director of Institutional Effectiveness
North Seattle College
As North Seattle College’s Executive Director of Institutional Effectiveness, Stephanie Dykes has earned a reputation as a skilled leader and collaborator and as a champion for diversity and inclusion efforts. Her peers praise her deep commitment to the students of NSC, as well as her commitment to raising awareness of transgender issues in higher education, healthcare and society.
Dykes has used her time at NSC to increase visibility of critical data around student success, race and ethnicity, helping create systems to more accurately track and report key demographic information. She also volunteers her time to committees such as NSC’s Accreditation Team, Title III R&D Committee, Statewide Research and Planning Commission and Demographics Committee.
As well as devoting her time to her numerous committee responsibilities, Dykes has delivered numerous presentations on the transgender experience in academia, and also finds time to volunteer as an announcer and/or singer during campus celebrations and events such as the NSC Grad Fair, Annual Holiday Party, and Annual Service Awards. “I am honored to work with Stephanie at North, and am inspired by her calm and steady approach,” said one of her peers, “Stephanie has been and continues to be an outstanding colleague whose daily presence and way of relating emphasizes that we are learners together.”