Speech Communications Instructor Kent Dahlman has been selected as this year’s Outstanding Educator for Minnesota West Community & Technical College. Dahlman will represent the college as a candidate for Minnesota State Board of Trustee’s Educator of the Year Award.
Outstanding Educators are faculty identified at a college or university who are exemplary educators, identified through a local committee process, and nominated by the college or university president for selection as an Educator of the Year. In September, nominations were requested from staff and faculty based on the award guidelines. After the survey closed, the college Deans developed the formal nominations and the decision was reviewed by a college-wide committee. Provost Arthur Brown submitted the nominee on Nov. 1.
Dahlman has worked to deepen his understanding of immigrant and refugee groups around Worthington to increase the efficacy of his teaching and interactions with his students. His work in the Communication Studies Department at Minnesota West, including the courses he teaches like Intercultural Communication, aligns well with his commitment to culturally responsive classrooms.
Dahlman has reviving study away/abroad opportunities for Minnesota West, combining his passion for communication with travel. He led a small group to Puerto Rico in the spring of 2022 and is leading a Storytelling in Ireland group in the Spring of 2023. He has been instrumental in reviving this program at the college, to the benefit of students, staff, and faculty, which is all part of his efforts in expanding global competence and understanding.
“While developing and offering new courses can be a challenge, Mr. Dahlman has a positive attitude and willingness to try new avenues and opportunities,” said Dr. Kayla Westra, Dean of Liberal Arts and K-12 Partnerships at Minnesota West. “I look forward to his continued programmatic work and engagement college-wide to expand offerings in his area of expertise. Our students benefit greatly from his willingness to stretch professionally.”
The following academic division finalists were also selected at Minnesota West: Allied Health -- Stacy Christensen. Math/Science -- Heidi Tarus. Trades -- Shawn Berning. Social Sciences -- Anita Gaul.