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Five Miami Dade College Professors Earn National Recognition

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Miami, March 1, 2011 - Five Miami Dade College (MDC) professors have been selected to receive 2011 NISOD Excellence Awards. The National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) at The University of Texas at Austin is a consortium of more than 700 colleges and universities internationally, distinguishing faculty, staff, and administrators for outstanding contributions to teaching, leadership, and learning. 

The recipients, representing various MDC campuses, are: Valerie De Angelis, assistant professor of psychology; Mario F. Ortega, associate professor at the School of Architecture; Lyle Culver, associate professor at the School of Architecture; Steven Ritter, associate professor at the School of Biology, Health and Funeral Services; and Dorothy Avondstondt, associate professor of ESL/Foreign Languages.    

Each academic year since 1989, NISOD member presidents select individuals at their colleges who define the best in teaching and learning practices that encourage student achievement. From harnessing the power of social networking media, using learning communities and other mediums to make learning more accessible and meaningful, to thoughtful advising and forward-thinking leadership, NISOD Excellence Award recipients represent the best in community college education. 

About Miami Dade College

Miami Dade College is the nation’s largest institution of higher education with an enrollment of more than 170,000 students. It is also the nation’s top producer of associate in arts and science degrees. The college’s seven campuses and two centers offer more than 300 distinct degree programs including several baccalaureate degrees in education, public safety, supervision and management and nursing. In fact, its academic and workforce training programs have served as national models of excellence. MDC is also renowned for its rich cultural programming. It is home of the Miami Book Fair International, Miami International Film Festival, the Cultura del Lobo performing arts series, the National Historic Landmark Miami Freedom Tower, a sculpture park and a large art gallery and theater system. MDC has served nearly 2,000,000 students since it opened its doors in 1960.

About the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development

Since 1978, NISOD has been dedicated to the professional development of faculty, administrators, and staff; and to the continued improvement of teaching and learning, with the ultimate goal of student success. This year marks the 33rd annual NISOD International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence, honoring over 1,200 dedicated community college educators for outstanding contributions to the field.  More than 700 community colleges around the world are NISOD members, including almost every large community college district, the majority of urban and technical colleges in the United States and Canada, and more than 200 small, rural colleges around the world. NISOD is a service and professional development initiative of the Community College Leadership Program (CCLP) in the College of Education at The University of Texas at Austin. CCLP is a doctoral-level program training community college chancellors, presidents, vice presidents, and deans for 65 years. 

To learn more about NISOD, please visit the NISOD website at

Media-only contacts:
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611,, MDC communications director
Tere Estorino Florin, 305-237-3949,, MDC media relations director
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710,, media specialist
Tarnell Carroll, 305-237-3359,, media specialist
Alejandro Rios, 305-237-7482,

Miami Dade College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.
Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Miami Dade College.
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