News Release, College of Southern Maryland
La Plata, MD- College of Southern Maryland (CSM) Faculty Excellence Award Recipients Dr. Melanie Osterhouse and Latasha C. Gatling have been selected as the college’s 2020 honorees for the annual National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Excellence Awards.
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.
“These are two very deserving faculty members,” said CSM President Dr. Maureen Murphy. “Both Melanie and Latasha reflect faculty excellence on a daily basis. Their impact goes far beyond the classroom for their students, by inspiring them to see far beyond their current circumstances and to dream big.”
In addition to the NISOD excellence award, Osterhouse and Gatling have been recognized as CSM’s Faculty Excellence Awardees for their outstanding contributions to teaching, professional development, the CSM mission, and the community-at-large. CSM’s Faculty Excellence Awards are presented twice a year to honor full-time faculty as well as adjunct faculty members.
Latasha Gatling Presented Faculty Excellence Award Honoring Adjunct Faculty
Gatling received the 2019-2020 Faculty Excellence Award Honoring Adjunct Faculty during the college’s 21st winter commencement. Gatling is an adjunct professor, teaching history in the Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, and Education Division since 2006. Described as a dedicated and innovative instructor, she was recognized by her colleagues for her ability to use multiple methods to engage students and she developed the college’s first hybrid history class.
“LaTasha has been, in every way, an asset the history program, eager to support our students and faculty,” wrote CSM Humanities Coordinator Dr. Christine Arnold-Lourie in Gatling’s nomination. “She has been with CSM for over a decade, during which time she has taught all five of our history survey courses, in every platform. Her work, however, has gone beyond simply teaching classes. She is a dedicated and innovative teacher, using multiple methods to engage students; I have observed her classes and her students are clearly learning and enjoying the work. I cannot think of a better recipient of this award.”
According to Faculty Senate President Dr. Sarah Merranko, a woman who had previously been a student of Gatling reached out to Gatling via email last fall and wrote:
“Many years ago I was a student of yours in History 1031 at the College of Southern Maryland during which time, I shared with you how your class impacted me in a lot of ways. Needless to say, I am now teaching social students in a high school environment. I am sitting at my desk and looking at my students and I thought of you. All I know is you were there for us and what you shared with me stayed in my heart all these years.”
Within the community, Gatling serves on the board for the Historic McConchie One-Room School and has been a contributor to the Teaching Professors Conference as well as to the Association of Faculties for Advancement of Community College Teaching (AFACCT) conference. Gatling received her bachelor’s degree from Bowie State University and her master’s degree from Morgan State University. In addition, she has completed CSM’s Faculty Adjunct Certification Program, gaining Level III certification.
Dr. Melanie Osterhouse Presented Faculty Excellence Award Honoring Full-time Faculty
Osterhouse, a professor of biology at CSM’s Prince Frederick Campus, was awarded with the 2019 Faculty Excellence Award during the 2019 Spring Commencement. Osterhouse, a full-time faculty member at CSM since 2005, was acting chair of the Science and Engineering division for spring 2019 and previously served as program coordinator of biological sciences. She is also the discipline coordinator for allied health sciences.
“[Osterhouse] has held multiple positions of institutional responsibility to include chair of the Faculty Evaluation Committee and chair of the Promotion-Tenure Committee,” said CSM Professor Margaret Bolton in announcing the award. “She serves on the Institutional Review Board (IRB) and the Academic Learning Assessment Committee. She is also part of the Honors Program Development Committee and has been active in mentoring new faculty.”
Along with being licensed as a diplomate of the American Chiropractic Board of Radiology, Osterhouse is a sought-after speaker for chiropractic associations and conferences. She is also active in her community and serves as a charter member with Project Lead the Way Advisory Board for the Calvert County Biomedical Program. She has also participated as a science fair judge for the Calvert and Charles county fairs.
“I try to create a positive and engaging learning environment by building relationships with my students,” Osterhouse said. As a frequent presenter during the college’s Women + STEM annual program, Osterhouse appreciates being able to help students “broaden their horizon of choices. Students are capable of much more than what they may think. One of the most exciting things for me is to help students see farther than what they do for themselves.
NISOD’s Excellence Award recipients will be celebrated during NISOD’s annual International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence, May 23-26, 2020 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.
“Recognizing those individuals who have contributed to student success and their colleges’ mission is something we look forward to doing each year,” said Dr. Edward J. Leach, NISOD’s Executive Director. “The extraordinary work of these men and women includes not only what they do for their students and colleagues, but what they do for the communities in which they live and work. We’re honored to be able to play a part in celebrating their achievements.”
The National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) is a membership organization committed to promoting and celebrating excellence in teaching, learning, and leadership at community and technical colleges. NISOD provides budget-friendly, high-quality, and faculty-focused programs and resources for community and technical colleges that want to make the most of their professional development dollars. For over 40 years, NISOD has aligned a wide array of benefits with the needs of our members, which explains why the American Association of Community Colleges named NISOD, “The country’s leading provider of professional development for community college faculty, staff, and administrators.” For more information about NISOD, visit www.nisod.org.