Charity McKenzie named Innovative Educator of the Year

The Wyoming Distance Education Consortium has named Charity McKenzie, a full-time Sheridan College math faculty member, the 2021 Innovative Educator of the Year for Northern Wyoming Community College District. McKenzie will be honored at the 5th Annual Wyoming Innovations in Learning Conference, which will be held virtually Sept. 30 through Oct. 1.

WyDEC, an advisory committee for the council of Academic Vice Presidents of the Wyoming Community College Commission, awards one faculty member nominated by each of the seven community colleges and the University of Wyoming each year. The Innovative Educator Award recognizes exemplary educators who demonstrate a commitment to education by bringing innovative learning experiences to their students. They embed innovation in their instructional practice to create a collaborative, student-centered and active learning experience, thereby demonstrating connectedness with students and their learning.

“This award recognizes those faculty members who, through their commitment to quality and innovation, push the envelope to ensure we’re providing the best education possible for students,” said NWCCD President Dr. Walt Tribley. “I’d like to congratulate Charity on this significant accomplishment and thank her for her contributions.”

In addition to teaching full-time, McKenzie is a member of the Instructional Support Team within the Sheridan College Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence as well part of the Digital Learning Workgroup. In these roles, she implements and teaches educational hardware and software to faculty and adjuncts. McKenzie also represents NWCCD on a statewide level through WyDEC.

According to nominator Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Estella Castillo-Garrison, she is a leader who is always willing to help others.

“Charity’s expansive knowledge of technology and willingness to, in addition to teaching her own classes, support and teach other faculty members, has really improved our online courses for students,” said Castillo-Garrison. “She truly embodies everything this award represents.”

McKenzie has taught mathematics at the college, high school and middle school levels since 2001. She earned her bachelor’s degree in mathematics secondary education from Boise State University and an MBA from the University of Phoenix Boise Campus. She has taught college level classes for the University of Phoenix Idaho campus, Northern Idaho College and the College of Western Idaho. She started teaching at Sheridan College in 2017 and became a full time instructor in fall 2018. McKenzie teaches both online and in-person business, math, algebra and statistics courses. ???????

“I’m truly honored to receive this award,” said McKenzie. “I really enjoy helping others not just present curriculum online but design online classes that provide students with everything they need to be successful.”

Claire Barnes, NWCCD Public Relations Specialist