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Employees Receive Awards at Kickoff

Laura Otrimski (right), psychology instructor at Edgecombe Community College, received the 2023 Excellence in Teaching Award. With her is ECC President Dr. Greg McLeod.

An Edgecombe Community College instructor and staff member along with advisors to a student organization received special awards from the ECC Foundation at the college’s fall semester kickoff held in August.

Laura Otrimski, psychology instructor, received the 2023 Excellence in Teaching Award. In announcing the award, ECC President Dr. Greg McLeod said, “Thirteen years ago, she joined our faculty, and has been making a tremendous impact on our students ever since. She not only teaches her students, but listens to them and guides them. She is caring and compassionate.”

She has served on numerous committees and in various pivotal roles at the college. She is a key member of the QEP Committee and serves as a pre-nursing advisor. In addition to her role in instruction, Otrimski is the distance education trainer for faculty and students.

She received the 2020 Excellence in Teaching Award. Otrimski was further honored during an awards luncheon held following the employee kickoff, during which she received the 2023 Hitachi Astemo Endowed Faculty Chair.

Shawn Dawes, (right), Early College liaison and high school coordinator at Edgecombe Community College, received the 2023 Staff Award. With her is ECC President Dr. Greg McLeod.

Shawn Dawes received the 2023 Staff Award. She is the college liaison at the Edgecombe Early College High School and high school coordinator. Dawes joined the college in 2007 and transitioned to full time in 2016.

According to Dr. McLeod, “During her tenure, the college has experienced significant dual enrollment growth – from just under 300 dual enrolled students to nearly 500 today.” Dual enrolled students are high school students who are enrolled in ECC classes. These students comprise nearly a third of the college’s student body.

“Mrs. Dawes is a staunch student advocate who makes sure our dual enrolled students have as much support as possible,” Dr. McLeod said.

The SkillsUSA team of faculty advisors at Edgecombe Community College received the Eagle Pride Team of Excellence Award. From left are SkillsUSA advisors Dr. Johnica Ellis-Kiser, Carolyn Sherrill, Rebecca Stamilio-Ehret, Trey Cherry, Josh Briggs, Warren Lynch, and ECC President Dr. Greg McLeod.

The ECC Foundation presented the Eagle Pride Team of Excellence Award to college instructors who serve as advisors to the SkillsUSA student organization. SkillsUSA provides leadership-building activities for students enrolled in trade, industrial, technical, and health occupations programs.

“When we look for a department or team of excellence, we look for a group that exemplifies the greatness that is ECC,” noted Dr. McLeod in announcing the award.

“For the past eight years, this group has represented ECC with excellence and commitment to a high standard of achievement. Since 2015, our SkillsUSA team has won twenty-five gold, nine silver, and two bronze medals at the state competition, and six gold, one silver, and one bronze at the national competition,” Dr. McLeod said.

The team is led by “exceptional, dedicated, and committed ECC faculty” and includes Trey Cherry, chair of Information Technology Studies; Rebecca Stamilio-Ehret, instructor of physics and industrial technologies; Dr. Johnica Ellis-Kiser, chair of Business Administration; Carolyn Sherrill, chair of Cosmetology; Warren Lynch, welding instructor; and Josh Briggs, welding instructor.