SANFORD - Bianka Rhodes Stumpf, History & Social Sciences Lead Instructor at Central Carolina Community College, is receiving national attention in this year's American Association of Community College's (AACC) Dale P. Parnell Faculty Distinction Recognition.
"No teacher really enters the classroom with the expectation of acclaim or accolades. You teach because you have a passion for your content and feel a pull to connect with others and help them divine their purpose and mine their potential," said Ms. Stumpf. "I have kept every letter, card, or other personal outreach from students in my 23-year career. On a tough day, I'll pull out a few -- a postcard from a former student traveling abroad for the first time, a seashell a student gave me, or the like. Those feel like awards, but of course, to receive national recognition for teaching excellence from the American Association of Community College is affirming and so appreciated."
Ms. Stumpf - who also serves as a CCCC University Transfer Academic Advisor and Academic & Cultural Enrichment Series Coordinator -- was a finalist for the North Carolina Community College System's 2018 Excellence in Teaching Award.
Ms. Stumpf makes history engaging by integrating primary sources and current events. Group projects, discussions, journals, and oral histories ensure students consider multiple perspectives. Students debate Syrian Civil War causes. They dance the Charleston. Students handle realia -- handpicking seeds from cotton and reading World War II-era newspapers. Her students connect to the world. Archaeologists from ancient Mayan digs and first-hand history-makers like Holocaust survivors present on campus and virtually. Her teaching repertoire even includes cooking -- wassail and hard tack for American history or nsima and borscht in global courses.
"My embrace of arts exposure evolved into the Academic and Cultural Enrichment Series (ACES) I now coordinate," said Ms. Stump. ACES provides no-cost access to experiences including lectures, theatre performances, concerts, workshops, and art installations, both on campus and at local venues. ACES serves students and citizens who might not otherwise have access due to financial or geographic challenges. Since 2015, ACES has benefitted more than 12,000 people.
Ms. Stumpf strives to emphasize community. She coordinates ice cream socials and documentary screenings on campus. With her family in tow, she is a fixture at college athletic events. She workshops college admission essays. She volunteers alongside students at non-profits. Timed to arrive at university transfer move-in, her care packages encourage fellow first-generation students she has advised or taught.
Ms. Stumpf's institutional contribution includes directing the distance education program and helping launch an early college.
"Community colleges have open doors," said Ms. Stumpf. "I am honored to have entered then and now to hold the door for others."
Dr. Lisa M. Chapman, CCCC President, says of Ms. Stumpf: "Her passion for the students and the classroom is particularly evident in her efforts to convince students of history's insights into the past and impact on the present. ... Going above and beyond what is required to ensure that students are successful in their academic endeavors is just an example of how Bianka Stumpf does everything.
"Ms. Stumpf's support of students clearly extends both inside and outside of the classroom," said Dr. Chapman, adding that her "analytical skills, her passion for education, her energy, innovation, and accomplishments all combine to have an incredible impact on her students and colleagues."
Ms. Stumpf received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Catawba College, her Master of Education degree from Campbell University, and has done Post-Graduate work at Fayetteville State University.
Bianka Rhodes Stumpf, History & Social Sciences Lead Instructor at Central Carolina Community College, is receiving national attention in this year's American Association of Community College's (AACC) Dale P. Parnell Faculty Distinction Recognition.