Lake Tahoe Community College Foundation honors outstanding faculty members | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Lake Tahoe Community College Foundation honors outstanding faculty members

Special to the Tribune

Lake Tahoe Community College business instructor Treva Thomas, math and physics instructor Bruce Armbrust, and adjunct instructor/work experience and internship coordinator Jenna Palacio are all being honored for their outstanding work in the classroom and their dedication to LTCC's students.

Thomas was chosen by her fellow faculty members as the Distinguished Faculty Award winner for 2017. Palacio was also selected by faculty members as Adjunct Instructor of the Year. Armbrust was tapped by LTCC's students as their choice for Teacher of the Year. Each winner will personally receive $500 thanks to a generous donation by the LTCC Foundation. They will also each get to direct another $500 toward the LTCC program or scholarship of their choice.

Thomas came to LTCC in 2000 as a full-time business office administration instructor. Prior to that, she earned an AA at LTCC as a student, then got her B.S. degree from CSU Sacramento, then finished with an M.B.A. degree from National University. She has taught business classes at LTCC for years, but her focus has shifted in the past few years toward online education.

She is currently serving as the distance education coordinator for LTCC, and as a point of contact for California's Online Education Initiative (OEI), where she has elevated LTCC's online offerings into state-level prominence. She is the on-campus expert for other faculty members seeking professional advice on how to build great online courses. This has significantly improved the quality and effectiveness of LTCC's online class offerings.

Thomas has also made a significant contribution to the college through her active leadership and participation in the Academic Senate, both as an officer and a representative senator.

Math and physics instructor Armbrust started at LTCC in 1999, and has been a perennial favorite with students ever since. He's known for being tough but extremely fair and approachable, with a great sense of humor. One student wrote of him, "He treats students with respect. There are no such things as dumb questions in his class, ever. He's articulate, clear in his instructions, and pretty entertaining too."

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To other college faculty members and staff, Armbrust is known to be clutch and willing to step in to solve a problem without hesitation. He's been active in Academic Senate, has been a student club advisor to the Honor Society, and has been the friendly "Mad Scientist" at LTCC's popular Halloween Treat Street event for a few years now. Armbrust earned his B.A. from DePauw University and his M.S. from Colorado State University.

Palacio came to LTCC in 2014 as the work experience and internship coordinator, growing that program to serve more students than ever before, and to connect with more local businesses to develop a stronger local workforce while helping students get practical, hands-on experience in a number of different careers while earning valuable college credits.

She has an associate degree from Diablo Valley College and a B.A. from UC Davis. Palacio's background encompasses communications, marketing and public relations. She has been an active member of the Tahoe Regional Young Professionals group, serving on their board of directors.

LTCC's Distinguished Faculty Award, Distinguished Adjunct Faculty Award, and the Teacher of the Year Award are made possible through the support of the college's Foundation and its many donors. The Foundation recognizes the importance of high-quality instruction, and each year honors the very best instructors at the college with financial support they can use to further their own educations and to enhance the quality of their academic programs at LTCC.

This article was provided by Lake Tahoe Community College.

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