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IRSC Professor Dr. Helen Wiersma-Koch Honored with John & Suanne Roueche Excellence Award

IRSC Professor Dr. Helen Wiersma-Koch Honored with John & Suanne Roueche Excellence Award

March 29, 2019 Robert Lane

Dr. Helen Wiersma-Koch, Assistant Professor, Biology, was named a recipient of the prestigious John & Suanne Roueche Excellence Award at the League for Innovation Conference held in New York City on February 27. Wiersma-Koch has a proven record of classroom innovation at IRSC, evident in her approach to teaching, curriculum development, and student-focused research, and her daily student interactions. 

Dr. Helen Wiersma-Koch Assistant Professor, Biology.Dr. Wiersma-Koch has adapted the Whole Brain Teaching (WBT) Strategies to enhance student engagement in her sections of General Biology I (a science major’s course) and Life Science (a non-science major’s course). WBT incorporates visual, auditory and kinesthetic learning modalities to enhance subject-matter retention of short, focused learning modules.  As an innovation leader, Wiersma-Koch has shared WBT with fellow faculty members through the IRSC Institute of Academic Excellence program for the past three semesters and will present again during the Spring semester.

Dr. Wiersma-Koch’s success rates are among the highest within the biology department, and the students involved in her various teaching and research programs have gained cutting-edge skills and knowledge that they can take with them as they continue their careers in medicine or scientific research.

John E. and Suanne D. Roueche, leaders in the community college field and early proponents of the idea that teachers have major responsibility for how well students perform in the classroom and have been partners and friends of the League for Innovation in the Community College for over thirty-five years.

In recognition of the long tradition of excellence in community college teaching and leadership, the League established the John & Suanne Roueche Excellence Awards in 2012. These awards celebrate outstanding contributions and leadership by community college faculty and staff. Recipients are recognized in a series of activities and promotions and honored at special events at the League's Innovations Conference each spring.

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