Each year Monroe County Community College students, faculty and staff have the opportunity to nominate faculty members for the annual MCCC Outstanding Faculty Member award. This year two very highly regarding English instructors have been selected for the honor.
Lori Jo Couch, assistant professor of English, is not only a member of the faculty of MCCC, she is a graduate of the college, having earned an associate of science degree in 1989. She continued to pursue her higher education goals earning her bachelor of science degree from Troy State University and earned a master of arts degree from Eastern Michigan University. Prior to joining the faculty of MCCC, she was an editorial assistant and teaching assistant at EMU and a full-time faculty member in the English department at TSU.
Since joining MCCC in 1998, she has taught a variety of English courses, including English Composition II, African American Literature, American Literature, Advanced Composition and co-developed the college’s College Skills foundational course. She has served as supervisor of student tutors who work as tutors in MCCC’s Writing Center, assisting fellow students, and has been very involved of the college’s Writing Fellows program. In addition, Couch serves on several committees outside her normal teaching responsibilities and has been active in Monroe County’s 4-H program and Summerfield Schools.
“I am genuinely honored to receive the MCCC Outstanding Faculty Award. I came to a new student orientation at MCCC over 30 years ago and knew immediately this was the place for me,” said Couch. “With the guidance and mentoring of the excellent faculty here, I realized that I wanted to teach. MCCC was always home to me, and I was blessed to be hired here 20 years ago. Since then I have developed as an educator and am proud to follow in the footsteps of the educators who inspired me.”
Ian Dixon, adjunct faculty member, is also an instructor in MCCC’s English department. Dixon has been with MCCC for six years. In submitting one of the many nominations he received, one of his students said, “He gives us a safe environment where we feel comfortable using writing and literature as an outlet for our feelings and creativity. He also gives us the freedom to write about what we want which, to me at least, makes writing so much more fun and makes me want to keep doing it and improving my skills.”
Dixon has a master’s degree in literature and holds an advanced certificate in the teaching of writing. In addition to his responsibilities as an English instructor, Dixon is an avid reader and gardener. He has two sons with whom he is actively involved in scouting with the Boy Scouts of America. One son has already earned his Eagle Scout award, the highest award scouts can earn in the organization, and his other son is currently working on his community service project for completing his Eagle Scout journey.
Dixon, too, is very honored to be recognized by his peers and students for the MCCC Outstanding Faculty Award. “Teaching is my passion, and instilling a love for English in my students is my goal,” said Dixon. “I'm always excited to be in front of a new class, and always saddened when the semester ends and I lose the great batch of students that I have been working with. I'm truly blessed, I have had the opportunity to teach some really fantastic young men and women.”
“More than 25 full-time faculty members and another 10 adjunct faculty were nominated this year,” said Dr. Grace Yakee, vice president of instruction for MCCC. “That many wonderful nominees, and the statements made in support of them by fellow instructors, staff and students made the selection process difficult, which is a very positive statement about the quality of our instructors and programs.”
About Monroe County Community College
Founded in 1964, Monroe County Community College is a public, two-year institution supported by tax monies from Monroe County, educational funds from the State of Michigan and student tuition.
The college’s mission is to enrich and transform lives by providing opportunities and excellence in higher education. The Main Campus is located at 1555 South Raisinville Road, Monroe, Mich., 48161, with easy access to Toledo and Detroit. The Whitman Center is located at 7777 Lewis Ave.,Temperance, Mich., 48182, near the Ohio-Michigan Border. Detailed information about MCCC is available at www.monroeccc.edu.