Dobek, Heffner named 2015 Faculty Excellence winners

TRAVERSE CITY — A science instructor and a social science instructor were named the 2015 winners of NMC's annual Faculty Excellence awards at commencement ceremonies May 2.

Dr. Jerry Dobek, who teaches math and astronomy and also heads NMC's Joseph H. Rogers Observatory is the Imogene Wise Faculty Excellence Award winner. Brian Heffner, who now leads NMC's Police Academy, is the Adjunct Faculty Excellence Award winner. Chosen by a student selection committee, criteria for both awards include teaching excellence, rapport with students, innovation in the classroom and a sense of dedication.

Dobek began at NMC in 1989 as an adjunct instructor, and in 2002 won the Adjunct Faculty Excellence Award. He is also an NMC alumnus. In their nominations students said:

  • "This professor has a 'leave no one behind' mentality which is evident from the beginning of each new semester. With the teacher's consistent mentorship, you will have no doubt that you will pass."
  • "This instructor has an amazing gift and ability to teach in a way that is fun."
  • "With his real-life way of looking at math from all angles, you see and learn that yes, we use math all the time."

Heffner began in 2007 as an adjunct instructor as well, and was hired as director of NMC's Police Academy this past January. In their nominations, students said:

  • "This instructor shows a real interest in the students and is always a positive and wonderful role model."
  • "The instructor does an excellent job engaging students from the start of class."
  • "The course material is clearly organized and I feel people that have taken these classes have learned more from the way the instructor teaches the material."

The Faculty Excellence award was initiated by a contribution from longtime NMC benefactors Harold and Imogene Wise in 1970 and first awarded to a full-time faculty member in 1971. The Adjunct Faculty Excellence Award was created in 1999 as a companion.

See previous Imogene Wise winners »

See previous Adjunct Faculty Excellence winners »

Release date: may 5, 2015

For more information:

Diana Fairbanks
Executive Director of Public Relations, Marketing and Communications
(231) 995-1019


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