Cochise College is proud to announce its recipients of the annual National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Excellence Awards. 2019 honorees include Gabriel Galindo, director of Center for Lifelong Learning and Dan Guilmette, instructor and Cybersecurity program coordinator.
NISOD’s Excellence Awards recognize men and women each year who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment and contribution to their students and colleagues. In 1989, in connection with a University of Texas at Austin national study of teaching excellence, NISOD hosted its first ceremony honoring NISOD Excellence Award recipients. The response to that ceremony was so positive that NISOD began what has become the largest and most inspiring gathering that recognizes the contributions and achievements of community and technical college faculty, administrators, and staff.
Colleagues nominated the recipients for their service to students, their department, the college, and their communities.
Gabriel Galindo has been working with the college for about six years. He started as an academic career advisor and transitioned to the director of the Nogales Center. Currently, he is the director of the Center for Lifelong Learning and working on his Ph.D. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology.
“Being nominated and chosen for the NISOD award has been one of the most rewarding aspects of my career,” Galindo explained. “My proudest moment is being part of the academic life of students. One should never stop doing the ‘little things’ because those little things may occupy the most significant part of their hearts.”
In addition to working for the college, Galindo is the music director for Mariachi Plata in Nogales. “I have been playing the trumpet for the past 29 years, and I believe music is the universal language,” Galindo said. “I enjoy sharing my passion for music in education.”
After nearly 30 years in the military and retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel, Dan Guilmette settled in Sierra Vista. He has been part of the Cochise College community for about 21 years starting as an associate faculty in 1994. Guilmette earned a master’s degree in computer science from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey California and a bachelor’s in general engineering from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in New York.
“Receiving the NISOD award from the college and my peers for a second time is very humbling,” Guilmette said. “Often in our everyday duties, we can get swamped. Knowing that my colleagues understand my desire to motivate students makes working all the long hours worthwhile.”
Guilmette’s extensive background has helped him gain insight into some of the struggles students face. “Many students are working full-time, parenting full-time and attending college full-time. Our greatest success comes from students,” Guilmette explained. “Seeing the tremendous effort students put into making a difficult schedule work and completing their degree is a marvelous motivation.”
Cochise College President Dr. J.D. Rottweiler said, “I’d like to thank Gabriel Galindo and Dan Guilmette for their dedication and commitment to student success. Both have demonstrated exceptional work in the lives of students, colleagues and the communities we serve.”
Excellence Award recipients will be celebrated during NISOD’s annual International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence, May 25-28, in Austin, Texas. During the Excellence Awards Dinner and Celebration, held in conjunction with NISOD’s annual conference, each Excellence Award recipient receives a specially cast, pewter medallion hung on a burnt-orange ribbon. The names, titles, and colleges of all Excellence Award recipients are included in a special booklet that features congratulatory ads from many of the recipients’ colleges. In addition, presentations at the conference involving Excellence Award recipients are indicated in the Conference Program with a special icon.