Abby McNamara

Glen Oaks recognizes award recipients during 54th annual commencement ceremony

Glen Oaks President Dr. David H. Devier recognized several individuals during the 54th Annual Glen Oaks Community College commencement ceremony on Friday, May 6. Those receiving awards were:

  • Outstanding Service Award – Tom Miller
  • Adjunct Faculty Teaching Excellence Award – Carmen Hochstetler
  • J. Shaheen Chair for Teaching Excellence – Susan Louis
  • Distinguished Alumni Award – Jade Klingler, FNP
  • Fellows Award – Raymond H. Dresser (Posthumously) and Gretchen M. Dresser; James E. Riley (Posthumously); and Dale E. Gray (Posthumously) and Phyllis E. Gray
  • President’s Award – Abby McNamara

The Outstanding Service Award went to Tom Miller. This award recognizes employees of Glen Oaks for outstanding performance and contributions to the college. Miller, of Centreville, is a maintenance assistant who is said to do outstanding work and always goes above and beyond expectations to serve his colleagues and the entire college. The knowledge and skills that he brings to his role have proven to be an asset for all. He is said to have a service attitude and brings value to every job that he does. He is seen as a shining example of a model employee.

The Part-Time Faculty Teaching Excellence Award went to Carmen Hochstetler – This award is presented annually to a part-time faculty member or adjunct who demonstrates excellence in teaching and reflects the value of education to students. Hochstetler teaches in the nursing program in the clinical setting. One of her nominees said that “her expertise and personality made difficult learning objectives easier for all her students. She went above and beyond every day to help us be as successful as possible.”  In addition, she also worked full-time as a frontline worker during the global pandemic.

Although announced in mid-April by the Glen Oaks Foundation who presents this award, this year’s E. J. Shaheen Chair for Teaching Excellence was Susan Louis – The award was initiated in 1984 with a generous donation from E. J. Shaheen, one of the original Glen Oaks board members. Shaheen, a college professor, lawyer, and business owner, placed a high value on education and spent much of his later life promoting high quality education and educational institutions, including Glen Oaks.  Louis, professor of nursing, received her MSN and BSN from Western Michigan University, and completed her RN and LPN studies at Kalamazoo Valley Community College.  Prior to joining the Glen Oaks faculty in August 2015, she worked for over 29 years in medical surgical nursing developing expertise in neuroscience nursing.  One of her nominators said, “Mrs. Louis is dedicated and makes sure all of her students understand, she takes her time, gives great examples, and goes into detail to help us connect the dots of nursing.”

The Glen Oaks Foundation presented this year’s Distinguished Alumni Award to Jade Klingler, NFP – This award recognizes alumni who have distinguished themselves through professional excellence and personal service. Klingler received her Practical Nursing Certificate (2007) and Associate of Applied Science in Nursing (2008) from Glen Oaks Community College.  While working at Coldwater Hospital, she pursued her BSN and MSN-FNP at Goshen College.  She worked at Sturgis Hospital and Colon Medical Clinic, where she learned about health care in small communities.  Her experience led to her opening Revolution Health, PC, in Sturgis, a primary care general practice, seeing anyone of any age.  Recently, she opened a second Revolution Health clinic in Colon. Both locations are staffed by nurse practitioners. “Jade started Revolution Health in Sturgis in response to a community need for more health care providers and the need for a walk-in clinic,” wrote her nominator. “Many health care providers were retiring and leaving their practices.”

President Devier awarded three Fellows Awards. This award is given to an individual, individuals, or institution who have provided outstanding support to the college as evidenced by one or more of the following:

  • Long-term Dedication and Commitment to the college
  • Extensive Community Level Support for the College
  • Direct and Continuing Support of the College and Students via Contributions to the GOCC Foundation or College Board of Trustees

The first of the Fellows Award recipients were Raymond E. Dresser (Posthumously), and his wife, Gretchen – a couple who have provided for Glen Oaks over many years. Raymond E. Dresser served on the Foundation Board from its inception until his passing in 2013 and Gretchen E. Dresser served on the Board of Trustees from 1987 until 2005. In addition to their tireless efforts in these positions, they were tremendously generous in their financial support. They are most well known for their significant gift in 1995 that created the Dresser Business Development Auditorium.

The second Fellows award went to James E. Riley (Posthumously). Riley was president of the GOCC Foundation and served 14 years on the board. During his leadership, the Foundation raised more than $1 million for the Gray Science Wing. He was fully committed to supporting students via scholarships and facilities improvements. He passed away in September, 2021. His family, his wife, Sheila, his daughters Jessica and Ashley; and his mother-in-law, Mrs. Phyllis Gray accepted the award in his honor and memory.

The third Fellows award went to Dale E Gray (Posthumously), and his wife, Phyllis. The Grays were integral in helping the college secure the funding for the Dale E. Gray Science Wing in 2005. Their generous donation was a significant portion of the million dollars raised under the guidance of their son-in-law; James Riley. The Gray Science Wing provides state-of-the-art instruction in the sciences and all students over the past 17 years are truly appreciative of their generosity.

President Devier presented the 2022 President’s Award to Abby McNamara. This award recognizes a student who has been nominated by the faculty for high achievement in academics and excellence, and contributions in the classroom.  McNamara, of Centreville, MI, is graduating Summa Cum Laude with an Associate of Applied Science in Nursing and an Associate in General Studies. She has been described as one of the most motivated students ever taught. She is an exceptional student who is a very hard worker, very motivated and driven, always striving to do her best, and is an exemplary role model for all students to follow. She is a 2020 Centreville High School graduate and attended Glen Oaks during the most difficult of times – the Covid-19 pandemic where many of her classes were transitioned to hybrid or online formats. McNamara will be attending Northern Michigan University to obtain her bachelor’s in nursing. She plans to work in medical surgery for a few years and eventually she would like to work in hospice care.