By Raylyn Bowers
Faculty members have chosen the 2013 Piper Professor nominee for Amarillo College.
Jill Gibson, assistant professor of mass communication and speech and honors program coordinator, was selected by members of the faculty senate for the honor earlier this semester.
Established in 1958, the Minnie Stevens Piper Award Program recognizes professors who have been nominated by their institution for superior teaching at the college level. Each year the program awards $5,000 each to 10 finalists in Texas. Professors from two and four-year universities across the state, both public and private, have received the award.
“We feel strongly that Jill’s superior teaching at AC deserves state-wide recognition,” said Bruce Moseley, faculty senate president.
Gibson has been an instructor at AC for over 10 years, and has taught subjects ranging from public relations and broadcast news to interpersonal communication and honors speech. Students in her classes said the classes are interesting and engaging, allowing them to absorb more information than usual.
“A good instructor will convey information to their students so they may retain it and move to the next level. A great instructor will do this but also instill in their students the desire to learn more and be the best in their field. Professor Gibson is the latter,” said Amanda Castro-Crist, mass communications major and Ranger editor. “She frequently encourages students from the different concentrations to work together to bring the news to the rest of the college.”
Prior to being an instructor, Gibson was college relations director. She currently serves as adviser to the student newspaper, The Ranger, and the student magazine, AC Current, and as producer of the radio and video editions of the AC Report. She also collaborates on several projects for the college TV station, Panhandle PBS.
“As projects are finished, she offers constructive criticism to help the students continue to improve,” said Castro-Crist. “Her leadership has contributed to the large number of awards student media has won across the state year after year.”
Gibson has also served as co-founder of the Panhandle Student/Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and has moderated a panel of local media professionals as well as organized meetings to increase membership in the chapter.
Through her work with students at AC, students said Gibson has influenced them in positive ways and helped them realize what direction they wanted to take in life while offering encouragement to them along the way.
“Back when I was a general studies major, it was Gibson who recommended I switch to mass communications,” said Kollin Mosley, a mass communications major. “I am glad I did. She’s been my professor twice since. She is amazing.”
Students who have her as a professor said they recognize her enthusiasm and knowledge of the subject she is teaching, and they are drawn in and encouraged to learn as much as they can.
“Mrs. Gibson has been an amazing influence on how I am looking at my career, and has impressed me with her knowledge in mass media,” Toscanna Reis, mass communications major, said.
The official announcement of the Piper award recipients will be made on May 1, 2014.