Celebrating Excellence: Harris and Van Horsen Awarded for Outstanding Contributions

Community Colleges for Iowa announced Karla Harris and Alicia Van Horsen as the recipients of the 2023 Outstanding Faculty and Staff Awards. This recognition highlights their significant contributions to education across Iowa’s 15 Community Colleges. The awards ceremony will take place at the inaugural Community Colleges Convention and Tradeshow on November 29, 2023, at the Hilton Des Moines, honoring exceptional service and leadership in the academic community.

Emily Shields, Community College’s for Iowa Executive Director, states, “The remarkable achievements of Iowa’s Community Colleges are a direct result of the commitment and dedication of professionals like Harris and Van Horsen. Their efforts not only benefit their immediate students and colleagues but also serve as an inspiration across our statewide network.”

Karla Harris: A Beacon of Educational Excellence
Karla Harris, Instructor of Math, has made a lasting impact at NCC through her innovative approach to teaching. Starting in NCC’s Academic Center, Harris’s journey to becoming a respected math instructor is marked by her use of unique teaching strategies. Her work has been instrumental in helping students overcome challenges in math, particularly those in trade programs. Harris’s involvement in the Alternative High School further demonstrates her commitment to student progress and success, truly reflecting NCC’s educational values.

Upon receiving the notification of the award, Karla Harris shared, “Helping students achieve their goals and supporting faculty at NCC has been incredibly rewarding. I am very thankful and honored to be recognized for my service and leadership in teaching and education.”

Alicia Van Horsen: The Architect of Student Success
Alicia Van Horsen, Coordinator – Learning Management System and Digital Content, plays a significant role at NCC and has been an integral part of the College for many years. Her expertise in NCC’s learning management system, CANVAS, keeps students connected, faculty supported, and staff serving students. She plays a pivotal role in creating efficient processes, maintaining compliance, and leading assessment initiatives. Her efforts to provide affordable education resources have a direct positive impact on student accessibility and success. Van Horsen’s comprehensive approach to her work embodies NCC’s dedication to service and educational excellence.

Reflecting on her award, Alicia Van Horsen shares, “It is an honor to receive this award. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve students and faculty in my role at the college to provide them with the support they need to succeed.”

Leah Murphy, Executive Dean of Student & Academic Services, comments, “Karla and Alicia are true examples of how dedication in education can positively affect both individuals and the broader community. They have both played a key role in shaping an environment conducive to learning and growth.”

For more details on all the award recipients, please visit the Community Colleges for Iowa website at Community Colleges for Iowa Awards.

Karla Harris                                  Alicia Van Horsen