Five faculty and staff members at Highline College have recently won awards recognizing their professional excellence and achievements.

The award winners are Arline Garcia and Michael Girvin, both of Seattle; Jean Munro of Des Moines; Rashad Norris of Tacoma; and Allan Walton of Normandy Park.

Arline Garcia

Described as passionate about her students’ success, Arline Garcia received the Highline College Outstanding Faculty award for 2015–16, a peer-nominated award recognizing her professional excellence.

Originally from Panama and now a resident of Seattle, Garcia is a tenured faculty member who has taught Spanish at Highline since 1997.

Arline Garcia

Arline Garcia

She is also coordinator of the World Languages department and chair of the Tenure Review Committee.

In nominating her for the award, colleagues described her as one who values risk and innovation and sees those actions as part of the learning process in her classroom. She exemplifies the commitment to serve and engage all of her students and to speak for social justice.

“I’m a good teacher, but I’m not the best teacher. I’m constantly learning; there’s so much more to learn,” said Garcia upon receiving the award.

As a teacher, she is known as being one who cares deeply for students and is dedicated to the art of engaging them.

Garcia first came to Highline as a student, earning an associate degree. She has since earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Washington, where she has completed all but her dissertation for a doctorate.

A $1,500 cash award provided by the Highline College Foundation accompanies the honor. The Outstanding Faculty award has been given annually to a full-time tenured faculty member since the 1987–88 academic year.

Michael Girvin

Michael Girvin, of Seattle, was named a Microsoft Excel Most Valuable Professional for 2016, an award he has won each year since 2013. The annual award recognizes approximately 100 exceptional technology community leaders worldwide who share their expertise of Microsoft Excel with others. Girvin has been a faculty member in the Business department since 2002.

Michael Girvin

Michael Girvin

Girvin is internationally recognized for his more than 2,700 free Microsoft Excel how-to videos on YouTube. With over 300,000 subscribers to his channel ExcelIsFun, the video tutorials receive more than 1 million views each month.

He began working with Excel in the early 1990s and created his first video in the summer of 2005. He noted that early on, it was hard to get students to watch his videos because there wasn’t a universal delivery method. Once he began using YouTube in 2008, viewership took off.

According to Girvin, a single 60-minute video — and the associated Excel and PDF files — takes 30 to 50 hours to produce and may include upwards of 60 video pieces and thousands of edits.

He is the author of two books on Excel, “Slaying Excel Dragons” and “Ctrl + Shift + Enter: Mastering Excel Array Formulas.”

Girvin holds an MBA from California State University–Hayward, a B.F.A. in art history and painting from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a B.A. from the Evergreen State College.

Jean Munro

A Des Moines resident since 1983, Jean Munro was named the Highline College Employee of the Year for 2015–16 for embodying the Highline spirit and special commitment to community.

 Jean Munro

Jean Munro

Munro was nominated for the award by her peers. They recognized her not only for what she helps students accomplish, but also for the way she does it, bringing a generosity of spirit to each interaction.

As a coordinator, advisor and retention specialist for Women’s Programs and WorkFirst Services, she helps students who are underserved in higher education gain access through funding and support.

In voicing their support for Munro, students spoke of her as an “unsung hero who helped me find a way” and “the reason I’ve been able to stay in college.” Another said, “She found a way to help me be a success in ways I could not imagine.”

Munro earned her associate degree from Highline and went on to earn her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Western Washington University. While at Western, she began working at Highline in 1998 as a student intern to complete her practicum, a requirement of her bachelor’s program in Human Services. She was quickly offered part-time work and in 2000, was hired full time.

The Employee of the Year award, which comes with a $1,500 cash award provided by the Highline College Foundation, is one of two premier employee awards given annually at the college (Arline Garcia, above, won the other). All permanent classified staff, professional staff and administrative employees are eligible for the award, which has been given each year since the 1990–91 academic year.

Rashad Norris

Rashad Norris, of Tacoma, won the Rhonda Quash Coats Award for Excellence in Multicultural Student Services.

Rashad Norris

Rashad Norris

Presented by the Multicultural Student Services Directors Council (MSSDC), the annual award recognized Norris for local and statewide contributions in creating authentic, meaningful campus and community support for students of color. The MSSDC is comprised of directors from the state’s 34 community and technical colleges.

In his role as Highline’s Director of Community Engagement, Norris regularly visits middle and high schools and community organizations to advocate for the importance of education and the two-year college option. He is known for building and maintaining positive relationships with students, teachers, staff members and mentors, making him a well-known leader and advocate in south King County.

He was nominated for the award by the members of the Black and Brown Male Summit and Y.E.L.L. Female Summit committees on Highline’s campus. Norris was instrumental in creating both summits at Highline.

The Black and Brown started in 2011 with about three dozen young men of color attending. By 2015, the summit welcomed approximately 600 students and adults to the free daylong event. Geared toward students who are undecided about attending college, the summit is one of the few events of its kind in the nation and the only in Western Washington. Y.E.L.L. began in 2014, giving young women of color a day of their own to attend workshops and participate in leadership activities.

A Highline employee since 2007, Norris earned his bachelor’s degree from University of Puget Sound and his master’s degree from The Evergreen State College.

Allan Walton

Allan Walton, of Normandy Park, received a lifetime achievement award from the Washington Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges.

 Allan Walton

Allan Walton

Nominated by colleagues for his service in mathematics and mathematics education, Walton has worked on improving the placement test for math students, been a steady voice in the support of rigor for STEM students, and, through Highline, has taught at a local high school as part of his effort to keep calculus courses in the high schools, to name just a few of his accomplishments.

He has also garnered statewide respect for his dedication to higher education and community college funding issues.

At the statewide level, Walton worked with the Washington Education Association, the state’s largest union of public school employees, to advocate for funding of faculty increments, an effort that proved successful.

For the Highline College Education Association, which is the union representing all faculty at the college, he has served as vice president for approximately 30 years and chief negotiator for a significant portion of that time. Across campus, he is known for his collaborative style, creating truly collegial working relationships.

In all, he has taught for 45 years and has been at Highline since 1981. His work in mathematics extends to his volunteer activities, where he coaches math teams, tutors students and donates money for scholarships.

Walton earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Oregon and his master’s degree from the University of Virginia.

Professional Excellence at Highline

Arline Garcia and Jean MunroArline Garcia, left, and Jean Munro have joined the ranks of honored Highline employees, named as winners of the college’s two premier awards for the 2015–16 academic year.

The awards recognize professional excellence by full-time staff and tenured faculty members as nominated by their peers.

The full list of winners is below.

Outstanding Faculty Award Winners

Academic YearAward RecipientRecipient’s Department
1987–88Edith BaileyDevelopmental Studies
1988–89Bob MaplestoneEngineering
1989–90Bill HofmannWriting
1990–91Carol SatterbergNursing
1991–92Joan FedorWriting, Literature
1992–93Ellen HofmannArt History, French, Humanities, Writing
1993–94Mary Lou HollandHealth Services
1994–95Lonny KanekoEnglish
1995–96Maggie BrownPsychology
Hellyn PawulaArt
1996–97Ed MorrisMathematics
1997–98Doug Whipple Offset Printing
1998–99Kathy Dunn Transportation
Phil SellEngineering
1999–00Billie Lindh Medical Assistant
2000–01Barbara Clinton Speech Communication
2001–02Wendy Swyt English
2002–03Vickie Ropp Speech
2003–04Susan Landgraf Humanities, Journalism, English
2004–05Joan Graham Education
2005–06Phil Droke Economics
2006–07Bruce Roberts Economics
2007–08Darryl Brice Sociology
2008–09Erik Scott Mathematics
2009–10Rich Bankhead Engineering
2010–11Michael Girvin Accounting
2011–12Jodie White Education
2012–13Laura Manning Communication Studies
2013–14Bevin Taylor ESL
2014–15Lisa Bernhagen English
2015–16Arline GarciaWorld Languages

Employee of the Year Award Winners

Academic YearAward RecipientTitle
1990–91Patty von BehrenFaculty Secretary, Business Division
1991–92Arlynn KnutsonAdministrative Assistant to Dean of Instruction
1992–93Gus NyquistMaintenance Mechanic
1993–94Pat RichardProgram Assistant, Financial Aid Office
1994–95Wilma BartonFiscal Technician Lead in Accounts Payable
1995–96Sandy MoserSecretary to the Dean of Instruction, Occupational Programs
1996–97Chris BrixeyFacilities Supervisor
1997–98Karen SteinbachProgram Coordinator, Running Start
1998–99Jeff SynderAdvising Manager, Worker Retraining
1999–00Siew Lai LilleyDirector for Transfer Center Education Planning
2000–01Frank CunninghamInterim Director for Administrative Technology
2001–02Joyce RileyDirector of Childcare Services
2002–03Tam DuongCustodian
2003–04Denise KledzikHuman Resources Representative
2004–05Linda QuickFaculty Secretary, Pure and Applied Science Division
2005–06Ronda O’BrienOffice Assistant, Program Coordinator
2006–07Patricia DanielsCustomer Services Manager, Administrative Technology
2007–08Patricia OvermanInstructional Resources
2008–09Linda FaarenESL
2009–10Lauri SpiveyFaculty Secretary, Arts and Humanities Division
2010–11Judy Perry Executive Director, Community Services and Supported Employment
2011–12Rus HigleyMaST Center
2012–13Donn WalterBiology Lab
Sabine Walter Instruction
2013–14Suzy HolmesFacilities
2014–15Natasha BurrowesMulticultural Affairs
2015–16Jean MunroWomen’s Programs and WorkFirst Services