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CVTC Honors Three for Teaching Excellence

Awards presented at start of new academic year

Thursday, September 7, 2017
Photo of CVTC Honors Three for Teaching Excellence

Honored for excellence in teaching at CVTC are, from left, Domer Award winner Justin Borgwardt, and Fuerstenberg Award winners Don Raymond and Pam Entorf.

Two educators lauded for their dedication, experience and ability to engage students have earned them the 2017 Roy and Jan Fuerstenberg Teaching Excellence Awards, Chippewa Valley Technical College’s top awards for teachers.

Pam Entorf, a Dental Hygienist instructor since 2000, and Don Raymond, a Respiratory Therapy instructor since 2004, were presented with the awards, which include stipends of $1,500, on Aug. 24 as CVTC prepared to open its 2017-18 academic year. In addition, Justin Borgwardt, a Residential Construction instructor at CVTC’s River Falls campus, was presented with the Domer Award for new faculty.

Student Christine Rush of Bloomer, one of two students to nominate Entorf for the award, described her as dedicated, engaging and experienced. “Pam challenges students to succeed by having high expectations of her students,” Rush wrote.

Fellow Dental Hygienist instructor Deb Schumacher said she met Entorf when she completed a student teaching assignment at CVTC. “It was at that time I realized Pam's leadership skills and how visionary she is,” Schumacher said. “Many years ago, Pam worked with the leadership at CVTC to make the CVTC Dental Clinic a reality, and it has been a great asset for our community as well as our students.”

The CVTC Dental Clinic has an affiliation agreement with the Marquette University School of Dentisty. “The Marquette relationship with Chippewa Valley Technical College has been our most successful partnership ever fostered,” said Sheila Stover, director of the advanced Endodonics program at Marquette. “This is 100 percent due to the dedication to education of Ms. Entorf.”

Even fellow Fuerstenberg Award winner Raymond joined in to support Entorf’s nomination, as they work together in cross-training students. “Pam is a highly motivated teacher who inspires her students and other professionals with whom she works,” Raymond said. “She provides leadership for her staff, students, and the challenging work environment of the dental clinical that is truly impressive.”

“Don is not only a wonderful teacher, but an amazing person. He goes out of his way to make sure that each and every one of his students succeeds in his courses, but also outside of his class,” said student Abigail Desmonde of Colfax in nominating Raymond.

“Don truly lives and breathes his passion for his profession and the students who he teaches,” said Shelly Olson, dean of health and emergency services at CVTC. “Don's caring attitude for his students compares to that of a proud father. He promotes the highest in quality patient services, often reminding his students of their importance in the health care team.”

Raymond has shown tremendous results in teaching his students. Respiratory therapists begin at a CRT, or certified respiratory therapist but can go on to become an RRT, or registered repiratory therapist. The majority of CVTC graduates become RRTs.

“Very few programs can back the quality of their program with this statistic,” Olson said. “CVTC has multiple RRTs now employed at area hospitals and clinics.”

“Don has helped shape my enthusiasm and passion for the Respiratory Therapy profession because his enthusiasm is contagious,” said graduate Kirsten Holbrook of Mayo Clinic Health System. “He encouraged me to join our professional association and I now hold a seat on the board of directors. Don continues to be a mentor and teacher to me 5 years after graduation.”

The Domer New Faculty Teaching Award is presented to a CVTC instructor who demonstrates outstanding effectiveness in the classroom during the first two years of full-time teaching. Borgwardt was instrumental in starting the Residential Construction program at CVTC’s River Falls campus when he came to CVTC two years ago. In addition, he has helped develop the skills of his fellow instructors by presenting breakout sessions at faculty in-service and making presentations on successful teaching practices.

“When I observed Justin last fall, a student let me know what a great instructor Justin was,” said Deb Walsh, recently-retired director of professional development at CVTC. “One student I particularly recall going in to great lengths as to why Justin was an excellent instructor was a returning adult student. It was clear by the feedback and observation that Justin was effective with students of varying ages and abilities.”