OCtech Instructor Nominated for Professor of the Year


Katherine L. Haigler (in picture) of Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College was recognized on Thursday, March 1 as a finalist for the Governor’s Professor of the Year Award. The state's Higher Education Foundation hosted a luncheon at the University of South Carolina honoring professors nominated for the awards and the state’s two winners.

Haigler, a Biology and Chemistry Instructor, has taught at OCtech for 9 years. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from Clemson University and a Masters of Arts in Teaching Science at South Carolina State University.

In addition to teaching, Haigler is also the Supplemental Instructor (SI) Program Coordinator. SI is a peer tutoring program that Haigler implemented at OCtech in the Fall of 2008. She has worked as the coordinator ever since and has managed to grow the program to support multiple courses, including science and history.

Haigler admits that when she first began teaching fresh out of college it was more of a job than anything. Once she started working in the classroom and getting to know her students, she developed a passion for encouraging them and getting them excited about science. “Once I started teaching at OCtech, I saw that I could help people change their lives for the better by giving them the education they need to be successful,” Haigler said. “Watching students achieve their dreams is such a rewarding experience.”

Haigler is active in her community, helps with the OCtech Foundation and is also involved in her church, Resurrection Lutheran Church in Cameron, where she serves as a Sunday School teacher and council member.

Honored to be nominated by Dr. Walt Tobin, President of OCtech, Haigler feels that the support and encouragement of the administration at OCtech helped make this accomplishment possible. “To be nominated, and then to be a finalist, has been a truly humbling experience.”

Dr. Hendrikus E. van Buick of USC Sumter and Dr. Conway F. Saylor of The Citadel were named winners for 2012. They were chosen from 35 candidates nominated by two-year and four-year colleges. Honorees exemplify excellence in teaching and student advising.

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