21 May Catherine Kraft, NC Professor Recognized as 2019 NISOD Excellence Award Recipient
Navarro College is proud to announce Ms. Catherine Kraft as one of the five recipients of the 2019 National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Excellence Award. NISOD’s Excellence Awards were established in 1991 to provide colleges with an opportunity to recognize individuals each year who have demonstrated outstanding commitment and contribution to the students and colleagues on their campuses.
Since 2008, Ms. Catherine Kraft has taught several Spanish courses on the Corsicana Campus, including Beginning and Intermediate Spanish I & II. During her undergraduate years at Monterrey TEC in Monterrey, México, she fell in love with the language and culture of the Spanish-speaking world. When she completed her BA in Spanish at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), she accepted a teaching position at a private school in San José del Cabo, México. A year later, Catherine returned to San Antonio to complete an MA in Bicultural Studies with a Spanish-language focus. On the day of her graduation at UTSA in 2007, she didn’t walk across the stage to receive her diploma. Instead she was interviewing for the position at Navarro College, and she has served as Department Chair of Foreign Language and Associate Professor of Spanish since then.
“At our school, we emphasize the ‘community’ part of community college,” said Kraft. “In the classroom, we strive to encourage and inspire students to do and be their best, but we find that the true connection comes from participation outside of the classroom: attending students’ sporting events, band and theatre performances, and choir concerts. Students appreciate the support, and this connection makes them eager to participate in and successfully complete classes. It is truly a gift to witness students’ successes, inside and outside of the classroom.”
Kraft who is receiving the award for the second time (2010 & 2019), describes her favorite moments at Navarro. “Each semester, I like to watch students file into a classroom on Day 1, as strangers, and exit on the day of their final exam, as friends. Also, Dr. Shellie O’Neal, Director of the Theatre Department, has been kind enough to include me in some of her performances: I’ve played a witch, an angel, and a gnome!”
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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 nearly 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.