September 29, 2017

The East Central Community College Foundation recently awarded four Oliphant-Martin Faculty Excellence Fund Grants to assist instructors in meeting the college’s institutional commitments of Student Success and Teaching & Learning.

The grant program, which was unveiled during the fall 2017 Faculty and Staff Convocation on the Decatur campus, was developed to assist the academic divisions, career & technical programs, and healthcare curriculums on campus in dealing with state appropriation reductions. 

The Faculty Excellence Fund was established in 1997 and renamed in 2010 to the Oliphant-Martin Faculty Excellence Fund to acknowledge generous contributions by Dr. Beverly (Henry) Oliphant-Martin ’58 and her husband, John Martin. 

“Beverly and John were directly involved with this departmental grant idea from the beginning,” said David LeBlanc, director of alumni relations and the foundation.  “They hope that it will continue to raise the bar of academic excellence at East Central. The Martins’ generosity is rooted in a desire to pay-forward the help they received while attaining their education.  I hope their example will inspire other alumni and friends of the college to contribute to the Foundation and ensure East Central’s future success.” 

Fifteen grant applications were submitted by various departments during the program’s inaugural year. Applications were reviewed by a committee co-chaired by Dr. Teresa Houston, vice president of instruction, and LeBlanc. 

Selection criteria included items such as the number of students/staff positively affected, creativity, and the impact on the institutional commitments of Student Success and Teaching & Learning found in the college’s 2020 Vision strategic plan

Four $5,000 grants were awarded to the following divisions/programs: the Science Division for active learning models, the Automotive Technology and Collison Repair Technology Programs for oscilloscopes and scan tools, the Business and Office Technology Program for learning lab improvements, and the Practical Nursing Program for intravenous arms. 

“The response was fantastic for the first time to offer these grants,” LeBlanc said.  “I am excited to see these new items in action across campus and the positive impact they will have on current and future students.” 

The grants will be offered again in the fall of 2018.