information icon

Registration for Fall 2024 classes is now open. You can register today!

Northland Trio Earns National Recognition for Teaching, Learning, and Leadership Excellence

Northland Trio Earns National Recognition for Teaching, Learning, and Leadership Excellence

Recipients will be honored at the NISOD International Conference on Teaching & Leadership Excellence May 28-30, 2022

February 16, 2022 – A passionate Northland ag instructor and two dedicated staff members have been added to the rolls of the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development’s (NISOD) Excellence in Teaching, Learning, and Leadership award winners.

Northland’s 2022 NISOD honorees are Ag Instructor ADawn Nelson, Kirsten Michalke, Director of Workforce Development, and Sara Johnson, Director of Academic Success Center.

NISOD is a membership organization committed to promoting and celebrating teaching, learning, and leadership excellence at community and technical colleges.

“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.”

“It continues to be challenging for faculty and staff to navigate all the uncertainties that have arisen with this pandemic,” expressed Brian Huschle, Northland Provost. “They continue to rise to this challenge and strive to provide the best for our students.”

Sara Johnson

Sara Johnson

Sara Johnson, Director of Northland’s Academic Success Center, shared, “I am truly honored to receive this award. I certainly couldn’t do my job without my amazing team in the Academic Success Center. Administration, faculty, and staff at Northland work hard every day to help our students succeed, and I’m so proud to be part of this great institution.”

“Sara strives to assure access to all students fairly and fully,” Huschle continued. “This is reflected in work she has done within the department to assure consistent determination and provision of disability services. She has undertaken a statewide leadership role, furthering her learning and development.”

Kirsten Michalke

Kirsten Michalke

“I’ve always considered myself lucky to have a position that is both challenging and rewarding,” adds Northland’s Director of Workforce Development, Kirsten Michalke. “I embrace the variety of what I do from learning about different industries from our business partners and working with a broad range of students at each stage of their educational journey. It’s humbling to be nominated for this award by co-workers who are also making an impact in the communities we serve.”

“Kirsten is active throughout the community, including business and industry leadership groups through the region,” stated Huschle. “She works diligently to ensure we meet training needs as we adapt to the changing education environment.”

ADawn Nelson

ADawn Nelson

Northland Agriculture Instructor ADawn Nelson expressed, “I am honored and humbled for the recognition from my colleagues as being a NISOD winner. In the past few years, dealing with the challenges in education, this honor is even more meaningful. With all of my heart, thank you.”

“ADawn continually reaches out to our communities and potential students to promote agriculture and ag education,” Huschle explained. “She is active statewide and locally with leadership roles and brings her passion for learning to all she does.”

The recipients will be celebrated during the Excellence Awards Dinner and Celebration in conjunction with NISOD’s annual International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence, May 28-30, in Austin, Texas.

About NISOD

For community and technical colleges that want to make the most of their professional development dollars, NISOD provides budget-friendly, high-quality, and faculty-focused programs and resources. For over 40 years, NISOD’s customer-focused approach has helped align our wide array of benefits with the needs of our members. For more information about NISOD, visit www.nisod.org.