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June Wells is the 2023 Harriett Kirk Crago IRSC Faculty Member of the Year

June Wells is the 2023 Harriett Kirk Crago IRSC Faculty Member of the Year

April 28, 2023 Jon Pine

FORT PIERCE—June Wells, Assistant Professor of Communications at Indian River State College, was awarded the 2023 Harriett Kirk Crago Faculty of the Year Award at the Student Leadership and Engagement (SEAL) Awards Ceremony held Wednesday, April 12, at the College. The recognition is given to an instructor selected from the Faculty of the Month honorees nominated by students each academic year. The recipient exhibits both expertise in the classroom and enthusiasm and warmth that significantly enhances the quality of life at IRSC.

June Wells Faculty of the Year

From left: IRSC President Timothy Moore; Andy Wells, June's son; June Wells; Laura Kauffman, a faculty member and donor of the Harriett Kirk Crago Faculty of the Year Award; and June's husband, Pete Wells.

“What is most remarkable about June Wells is, even after 50 years of teaching, she is still amazingly passionate about helping her students succeed,” said IRSC Dean of Liberal Arts Scott Stein, PsyD. “She is constantly trying new things in class and experimenting with new teaching methods to improve student performance.”

Wells earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Speech and English Education in 1970 from the University of South Florida (USF) and a Master of Arts Degree, majoring in Rhetoric and Public Address, two years later from USF. After working for a year for the Florida Department of Commerce, Wells was hired by what was then Indian River Community College in 1973. Today she is Assistant Professor of English and Communications.

Wells helped to create IRSC’s five Bachelor of Science programs in Education, which included creating courses, determining learning objectives, creating syllabi, and choosing textbooks. Creating the program was among the College’s most challenging tasks.

Wells also created the SPC 1300 Interpersonal Communications Class and designed an Interpersonal Communications course for the two-year Fire Science program. She placed special emphasis on verbal and nonverbal communication and other issues that may be involved in crisis communication. The program has been so successful that Wells was asked to create a similar course for the two-year Law Enforcement track.

For nearly 10 years, Wells also coached the IRSC Cheerleaders, leaving that behind after she got married and had a child. She was named Outstanding Club Advisor for 1980-81.

In nearly 50 years at IRSC, Wells has taught more than 12,000 students. For 15 years she served as the Chair of the Student Awards Committee.

Wells’ students speak of her with admiration: “Mrs. Wells brings great enthusiasm to all of her students,” said one of her charge. Another said, “She cares for her students and makes sure that we understand the meaning of public speaking.”

“She’s an amazing teacher,” said another student. “I always struggled with public speaking but she made it super easy and prepares you for the future.” Another said, “She is my favorite professor ever! Her classes are so interesting and fun. Her stories are fun to listen to and she is very understanding.” And still another said, “Mrs. Wells is an excellent teacher. She is very caring, accessible, and always gives helpful feedback. She does whatever it takes to keep students on track and successful both in and out of the classroom.”

“June Wells is one of the most dedicated faculty members here at IRSC,” said Rochelle Popp-Finch, IRSC’s Director of Student Development. “Her passion that she had 50 years ago is still the same as it is today. During COVID, she was the one faculty member that was consistently here face-to-face almost every day, proving that she is committed to student success and retention. She was one of the most influential faculty members when I was a student here 23 years ago. She taught me to be fearless and confident during any public speaking opportunity.”

Wells was selected as the recipient of the Harriett Kirk Crago Faculty of the Year Award from the following 2022-’23 Faculty of the Month recipients:

  • September: Jon Bell, Associate Professor, Physical Sciences
  • October: Kurt Efinger, Adjunct, Humanities
  • November: Kelly Caffery, Associate Professor, Social Sciences
  • December: Rosemarie Mason, Associate Professor, Nursing
  • January: Richard “Dick” Dewey, Assistant Professor, Public Service Education
  • February: Roger Rosenthal, Master Instructor, Mathematics
  • March: June Wells, Assistant Professor, English and Communications
  • April 2022: Elizabeth Zeiss, Assistant Professor, Mathematics
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