Hughes named Innovative Educator

By: Lisa S. Icenogle
Photograph of Casper College instructor Jill Hughes.

Casper College English instructor Jill Hughes was recently named the Casper College Innovative Educator of the Year for 2019-2020 through the Wyoming Innovations in Learning Conference.

“This was a wonderful surprise as well as an honor to be recognized for something I’ve really worked hard at. Having completed over 100 credits of online learning for my own degrees gives me an advantage when I design my hybrid and online courses. I can see things from both perspectives, and I use universal instructional design strategies that support learning,” said Hughes.

Hughes, who is also the English placement coordinator at Casper College, has been an instructor at CC since 2001 and a part of distance education since it began at the college. “I credit my success as an online educator to the two master’s degrees and two graduate certificates that I have earned totally online,” she said.

According to David Siemens, director of the Digital Learning Center at Casper College, the criteria for the award include “ … inspiring passion and commitment from his or her students; using available technology to enhance varied learning styles, participating in ongoing professional development opportunities, and communicating best practices and pedagogy of online learning.”

Hughes received her bachelor’s in English with a concentration in English from High Point University; a master’s in adult and postsecondary education from the University of Wyoming, a master’s and a graduate certificate in composition studies from Indiana University East, and a graduate certificate in literacy studies from the University of Cincinnati.

Each year an innovative educator is selected by their respective institutions, including the Wyoming community colleges, the University of Wyoming, and the Wyoming Department of Education. According to Wyoming Innovations in Learning, those recognized “ … are talented academics who are accomplished in their craft; skilled practitioners impacting the lives of learning throughout Wyoming and beyond.”

Past Casper College Innovative Educator of the Year winners have been Todd Jones, agriculture instructor; Kaela Bretz, paramedic technology instructor; and Diana Quealy-Berge, Ph.D., psychology instructor.

Media contact: Lisa S. Icenogle

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