Congratulations to This Year's W. Jeff Wallis Faculty of Distinction Award Honorees!
Congratulations to faculty members Yocary Luna Maldonado, Suzette Seepersad, Danielle Thomas, and Aldith Williams, this year's W. Jeff Wallis Faculty of Distinction Award honorees!
Earning the Faculty of Distinction Award is a very big honor indeed, for the winners are determined largely through nominations by peers and student course evaluations. It truly does celebrate excellence in teaching.
This year’s honorees were announced at a virtual faculty reception held during the College’s Faculty Appreciation Day. In addition to honoring this year’s award-winners, the event served as a broader celebration of the work that the College’s 400+ faculty members do to improve students’ lives through education.
The W. Jeff Wallis Faculty of Distinction Award is presented annually to exceptional faculty members who demonstrate relentless dedication to student achievement, innovation in the classroom, strong professional standards, and a commitment to the College’s core values.
It is named in honor of Dr. Jeff Wallis, a former Vice President of Academics at the College whose dedication to students and passion for continuous improvement continues to inspire all. The College was honored to have Mr. Wallis join College administrators and faculty members for the announcement of this year’s awardees.
Each year, the honorees are selected from nominations submitted by fellow faculty members. The submissions are then supported by a review of student course evaluations over the prior three years. Additionally, students and alumni are encouraged to contact the President’s Office to share anecdotes about the professors who shaped their journeys at Monroe and had the biggest impact on their success.
“Our Faculty of Distinction Award honorees are our academic standard-bearers,” said Marc Jerome, the College’s president. “As educators, they absolutely shine in the classroom. They truly have their students’ backs and are there for them no matter the hour or the need. I am so proud of Professors Maldonado, Seepersad, Thomas, and Williams and am honored to call them colleagues. Congratulations to them all!”
About this year’s nominees:
Yocary Luna Maldonado: Professor Maldonado started her time at Monroe as a student, earning undergraduate degrees and an MBA with a concentration in Human Resources. Following graduation, she earned her teaching credentials and returned to the College’s Culinary Institute of New York as an adjunct faculty member in February 2015. She became a full-time professor in September 2016. Students shared that she “…is by far just amazing at what she does” and “with a big heart, she does everything in her power to make sure we get it and understand.”
Suzette Seepersad: Professor Seepersad is a popular, long-time faculty member with the College’s General Education team. Prior to joining Monroe in September 2002, she taught for several years in Trinidad and wrote for Trinidad Style, a women’s general interest magazine, among other roles. At Monroe, her students truly appreciate her. One student wrote that she is “an amazing professor, always pushing us to do better” while another succinctly noted, “she is the best.”
Danielle Thomas: Professor Thomas has been with the College for nine years, the last six as full-time faculty. A beloved educator in the School of Criminal and Social Justice, students described her as “one of the best professors I have worked with since attending Monroe” and “the epitome of dedication.” Earlier in her career, she served as a New York City Police Sergeant for more than 21 years. She was also an instructor at the Police Academy and worked in the Office of Management and Planning as an analyst. Prior to her retirement from the NYPD in 2011, she was assigned to the Counter Terrorism Bureau of the NYPD for three years.
Aldith Williams: Professor Williams is a faculty member with the School of Business and Accounting. She joined the College as an adjunct in September 1999 and became a full time employee in January 2001. She brings to the classroom a wealth of knowledge and expertise cultivated across her 25 years as an operations executive in the healthcare sector. As one student wrote in a course evaluation: “Professor Williams has become more than a professor or a mentor. She can be called upon anytime to assist students with issues they may face with course material or even in the working environment.”
Congratulations to all the honorees. We are SO PROUD of you!