GWINNETT— Gwinnett Technical College recently named Amber Walden, Humanities Program Director, their Rick Perkins Instructor of the Year recipient. Walden discovered her love of teaching during a graduate assistantship and quickly found that she loved teaching and knew she had found her calling and passion: helping students to learn, grow, achieve, and succeed.
“I love seeing the look of enlightenment on students’ faces when they realize their potential and build a strong sense of self-confidence. Along with the knowledge and insight students gain in my classes, I also love helping to expand students’ life experiences through class activities that get students out of the classroom environment and into “real world” encounters with the course topics. I am most inspired by the students who exhibit significant personal growth through their persistence to succeed. Some of my best and most successful students are those who had a rough start, but instead of giving up, they learned from their experiences, faced their fears head-on, and worked hard to overcome adversity. Whenever I face similar difficult situations, or if I’m unsure or intimidated by tasks set in front of me, I often think of these students, and their impressive willpower to push through and flourish, states Walden.
“I feel incredibly honored to represent Gwinnett Tech as the Rick Perkins Instructor of the Year, as I greatly admire the school, its faculty and staff, and especially its students. I strongly believe that technical education is the best resource for building a robust and successful community. I hope to use this platform to help prospective students, educators, local governments, and industry professionals understand technical education’s incredible value and importance. Along with learning meaningful job skills, students at technical colleges also receive a high-quality, well-rounded education which creates the informed and experienced citizens necessary to developing and maintaining thriving local communities,” states Walden.
Walden holds a Master of Fine Arts from Ohio University, a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Georgia. Walden was born and raised in Gwinnett County, Georgia, and currently resides in Lawrenceville, Georgia. She is an active member of the local arts and is currently organizing and developing a L.A.R.P. (live-action role play) organization.
The Rick Perkins Award for Excellence in Technical Instruction began in 1991 and is designed to recognize and honor technical college instructors who contribute significantly to technical education through innovation and leadership in their fields.
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