SCC honors Maura Cavanagh Dick and Gary Washko for academic excellence

SCC honors Maura Cavanagh Dick and Gary Washko for academic excellence

Salem Community College educators Maura Cavanagh Dick and Gary Washko received the 2016 Academic Excellence Awards at the recent Convocation.

Honorees go above and beyond the call of duty in interacting positively with colleagues and students, creating a climate conducive for learning, and participating in professional development.

An Associate Professor of Biology, Cavanagh Dick joined SCC in 2006.  She chaired the Outcomes Assessment Committee from 2007-2010 and recently led the Middle States Self-Study steering committee.  An active member of the Human Anatomy and Physiology Society, she has presented at the national conference and served on the curriculum and learning outcomes committee.

She earned her bachelor of science degree in kinesiology at The College of William and Mary in 1990.  She later earned a master’s of education in exercise physiology in 1996 from Temple University and has completed the doctoral coursework and comprehensive exams in exercise physiology at Temple.

“Maura’s nominators commend her as an exemplary instructor who can take a very complex subject matter and make it understandable,” said Dr. Eric T. Pellegrino, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer.  “She is a nurturing mentor who eagerly takes younger instructors and new academic committee chairs under her wing.   Everyone turns to Maura because she is a great source of information about the College.”

Washko is an adjunct instructor in the new Process Operator Technology program, which will graduate it first students on May 18.  He has been instrumental in the program’s development, having taught and written the curriculum for four courses.

Washko dedicated 35 years to the petroleum energy industry, including 30 years at the refinery in Paulsboro, N.J.  He retired in 2009 as continuous improvement manager at Valero Energy.  He also devoted 13 years as manager of capital projects at Mobil Oil Corp. at the Paulsboro plant.  He started his career as a field engineer for Foster Wheeler Energy Corp. in Houston.

Steve Schneider, SCC’s instructional chair for Process Operator Technology, nominated Washko: “Gary’s energy, extraordinary analytical skills and passion for the welfare of his students and the program have convinced me how important he is to the mission of not only our program but also our College.”

Washko, who holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology, is the first part-time instructor to earn an Academic Excellence Award.