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Central Carolina Community College honors two of their own

Posted Friday, September 30, 2011

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Pittsboro, NC - The faculty and staff at Central Carolina Community College have honored two of their own as the best of the best at the college. Ellen Bland, humanities, communications and theater instructor, is the recipient of the college’s 2011 Excellence in Teaching Award. MontE Christman, associate director of Information Technology, is the 2011 Staff Person of the Year Award. Candidates for the awards are nominated and chosen by their peers at the college.

The two will now compete at the state level against nominees from the North Carolina Community College System’s other 57 colleges to receive the NCCCS 2012 Excellence in Teaching and Staff Person of the Year awards.

“CCCC has many outstanding faculty and staff,” said college President Bud Marchant. “We are delighted that they have selected Ellen and MontE, who have established strong reputations for excellence in service to students, the college, and their communities. Any educational institution is only as good as those working for it. Ellen and MontE help CCCC to be the excellent community college it is.”

Ellen Bland

Ellen Bland, of Pittsboro, has been motivating humanities, communication and theater students at CCCC for 20 years. Prior to coming to the college in 1992, she taught at Marshall University and Northwood High School.

At CCCC, Bland has taught at both the Chatham and Lee campuses, earning high praise from her students and co-workers for bringing out the best in her students, increasing their self-confidence, and giving them skills that carry over into everyday life.

“I believe that, regardless of the subject, my job as a teacher is to help the student be successful in all areas of her/his life in addition to the subject matter,” Bland said.

In addition to her excellence in teaching, Bland has put the college on the map as a source of quality theater productions. Each year, under her tutelage, students and community members present shows that sell out and bring rave reviews.

After directing plays at the Lee County Campus, her first major CCCC production in Chatham County was “Millworker.” Bland created the script, which is based on a UNC-Chapel Hill Southern oral history project, “Like a Family: The Making of a Southern Cotton Mill Worker.” “Millworker” received the 2005 State Community Theatre Award and played to audiences around the state totaling more than 4,000.

Her students also produce one-act plays that they take to area elementary schools and libraries. They have also performed dinner theaters as guest artists for local social services fundraisers.

“I was fortunate to know early in life what I wanted to do – be a teacher, and I consider myself fortunate to have done it for 29 years,” Bland said. “It has been a wild ride, and I am very grateful to receive this recognition that I not only have survived the ride, but did some good along the way.”

MontE Christman

MontE Christman, of Sanford, graduated from CCCC in 2004 with an Associate of Applied Science in Computer Programming. He returned to the college to teach that subject and received high marks from his students.

Christman moved into a staff position in 2006, become the college’s database administrator. In 2007, he became associate director of the Information Technology Department.

His responsibilities include overseeing the college’s networking, security, server, backup and email systems. He also creates software programs that improve the functioning of the college’s information technology systems for all employees and students, such as student accounts within Blackboard and organizing faculty credential information.

“I am excited about receiving this award,” Christman said. “Our department has always tried to focus on how best to serve the college, employees and students. I am honored to receive this recognition. I like to think that I am a strong representative for the IT department and entire college staff.”

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Central Carolina Community College honors two of their own
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