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“I love showing students that art is all around us.” — Alison Napier

Alison Napier is the recipient of the Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Award. She is an art historian recognized for her significant contributions to course development and her focus on student success. 

Her passion for Art History comes from her curious nature and investigative spirit. “Art History is fascinating because you look at history, what’s happening in the world, and the cultural impact and then you are able to see how those factors result in the artwork of the day,” she said. “You really get to play an art detective.”  

Napier saw that Art History had a stigma of being for the elite and was drawn to being a professor in order to help everyone understand the joy of the subject. Throughout her career, Napier has taught at a variety of schools. She spent 20 years teaching at high schools and has worked at both small and large universities.

She enjoys teaching at a community college and working with a diverse student population who are all in different places in their lives. She says, “I love showing them that art is all around us and how it all ties together in the big picture.”

As an accomplished teacher of online courses, Napier was approached by the Distance Learning department and asked to create Open Educational Resource versions of four art courses. She created those course offerings, and now they use free online resources instead of textbooks.

Napier recognizes that oftentimes class resources can provide a financial barrier to students, and she gladly made these contributions to course development. In addition, she applied the same free resources in her own classes to help keep students enrolled and moving forward in their education.

Napier said, “I was honored to receive this award, and it is proof that we are overcoming the stigma around online courses. It is an acknowledgment not only of me, but of all online teachers.”  

Outside of teaching at TCC, Napier is a doctoral candidate writing her dissertation and working a full-time job. She holds two master’s degrees from Old Dominion University – one in humanities and art history and the other in applied linguistics and teaching English as a second language. She is at work on her doctorate in American studies and material culture from the College of William and Mary. 

She enjoys free time with her husband and two Labrador retrievers. Napier also enjoys driving her jeep to the beach, swimming and going to art museums to stay current on art exhibits to share with her students.

TCC Professor Thomas Geary awarded Outstanding Faculty Award by SCHEV

Tidewater Community College Professor Thomas Geary, Ph.D., was recognized with the 2022 Outstanding Faculty Award by the State Council of Higher Education and Dominion Energy.

Geary is one of 12 recipients in the Commonwealth and will receive a $7,500 gift from Dominion Energy at a ceremony on March 1, 2022.

Geary is a professor of English at the Virginia Beach campus at TCC.  He regularly teaches composition, rhetoric, technical writing, developmental writing and humanities courses. He also serves as the editor of Inquiry, the peer-reviewed journal for faculty, staff and administrators at Virginia’s Community Colleges. He is an elected representative on the Modern Language Association Delegate Assembly and an executive committee member of the Two-Year College English Association.

Since 1987, these Outstanding Faculty awards have recognized faculty at Virginia’s institutions of higher learning who exemplify the highest standards of teaching, scholarship and service.

“Truly, this is the greatest honor of my professional career. I am humbled to receive such a prestigious award and be recognized alongside an exceptional group of faculty in our state,” Geary said. “Even more so, I am thrilled that TCC shares in this honor; our incredible administration, faculty, and staff work so hard every day to guide our students to be successful in their academics and as contributors to our community. I’m grateful to work alongside everyone in fulfilling our mission.”

This year, the program received 85 nominations. This group narrowed to a field of 25 finalists and then to the 12 recipients. Geary is one of two Virginia Community College faculty to receive the award.