AWC professors receive Endowed Faculty Achievement Awards

YUMA, Ariz. –  Reetika Dhawan, Arizona Western College Professor of Mathematics, and Ellen Riek, AWC Professor of English, have been named recipients of the Endowed Faculty Achievement Awards.

In a press release send by AWC, the school stated the purpose of the award is to recognize faculty for their outstanding contributions to their profession, their college, their students, and their community. It is based upon evidence of excellence in supporting and motivating students, advancing AWC through career, participation on committees, student activities, partnerships, and community outreach.

There were two awards available this year, each for $2,000. The awards are supported by two separate endowed funds. One is the Shadle/Edgecombe Endowed Fund, established by Steve and Bobbie Shadle in recognition of Bobbie’s parents and their dedication to higher education.  The second one is the Frances Morris Endowed Fund, established in honor of Frances Morris, a board member of AWC for 28 years who was a strong proponent of education and passionately supported the college in many ways.

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Reetika Dhawan was selected as the Shadle/Edgecomb Endowed Faculty Award Winner for 2015.  Before coming to Arizona, Reetika Dhawan taught Physics at Dayanand Anglo Vaidik College in India from 2001 until August 2007. She moved to United States in 2007 and taught at Parker High School as Physics and Math Teacher until 2009.  She joined AWC in fall 2008 as a part-time instructor at Parker Learning Center and transitioned to a full-time teaching role in 2009. In 2010 Reetika joined the main campus as Professor of Mathematics, the position in which she serves in today. She holds master’s degree in Physics from Guru Nanak Dev University in Punjab India and Applied Math from The University of Washington. She represented Yuma and La-Paz County as a Regional Director for Arizona Science teacher Association from Jan 2011until 2013. She is a member of Society of Industrial and Applied Math, and Arizona Mathematical Association for 2 year colleges.  She is also a member of the American Mathematical Association for 2 year colleges.

Ellen Riek was selected as the Frances Morris Endowed Faculty Award Winner for 2015.

Ellen Riek began her teaching career in 2001, inspired and guided by many gifted teachers along the way, most notably her father, who taught English part-time for AWC from 2009 through Fall 2014.  Ellen has published several articles on curriculum development and pedagogy, and presented her work at a variety of regional and national conferences through the years.  Since her arrival at AWC Ellen has been fortunate to collaborate with many of AWC’s talented faculty and staff on projects including renovating the Writing Center, coordinating the annual Student Showcase,  revising and updating the general education curriculum,  and designing writing courses to support students applying for scholarships, summer research internships, and graduate school.  In 2010 Ellen was selected as the AWC Teacher of the Year and currently serves as the AWC Faculty Association President.  In the spirit of English teachers everywhere, in her free time Ellen enjoys grading papers.

“I am proud to call both Ellen and Reetika friends and colleagues.  They are dedicated to their profession and the students at Arizona Western College” said Christina Hawkey, Director of Institutional Advancement at AWC. “They are both very deserving of this award and represent our community with professionalism, integrity, and a commitment to student learning.”

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