Polly McMahon named Faculty Member of the Year
Posted: 5/2/2017 8:50:16 AM

Spokane Falls Community College (SFCC) human services faculty, Polly McMahon, has been named 2017 Faculty Member of the Year by Washington State Association of College Trustees (ACT).

McMahon will be recognized at the ACT Awards Dinner on Thursday, May 25 at Big Bend Community College in Moses Lake.

Known affectionately as “Doc Polly” to students, McMahon was hired at SFCC to teach social services and gerontology in 1995 and was awarded tenure in 1998. McMahon was one of the first SFCC instructors to use online teaching and to offer an online degree program. She’s been an advocate for students with disabilities and a pioneer in creating courses using open educational resources, which reduces the cost to students.

“She is an instructor but recognizes that teaching is more than just what happens in the classroom,” said SFCC President Janet Gullickson. “Teaching, for Doc Polly, is about relationships, and her passion for teaching leads her to bring her vision for student success and authentic learning to her colleagues across the SFCC campus.”

Her students often return to tell her of their successes. “Doc Polly was an incredibly understanding and highly supportive professor when I needed one,” wrote former student David Klingensmith in a letter of support for her nomination. “I continually work today to pay forward the gift of knowledge, caring and understanding she gave me.”

McMahon has served as a member of the Community Colleges of Spokane Foundation Board of Directors since 2011. She personally created and funded a student scholarship through the foundation to support gerontology and social services students who are financially struggling.

A recognized expert in her fields of social services and gerontology, McMahon works as a reviewer for textbooks and training manuals and also consults with local and state social service providers. She has participated in national research and publication efforts relating to curriculum development and contemporary trends in the aging population.

“Teach with joy and clarity and compassion at all times. A lot of humor helps,” said McMahon of teaching. “Try to do no harm. Encourage the shy. Silence the noisy. Tame the angry. Inspire the weary. Give hope and a bit of chocolate to everyone.”

The annual award recognizes dedication to Washington’s 34 community and technical colleges and the nearly 386,000 students they serve each year. Award nominees were submitted by the boards of trustees of the community and technical colleges.

Posted: 5/2/2017 8:50:16 AM by Gretje Witt
Tags: Faculty, SFCC
Share this story
Share on Facebook Tweet us Email us