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EFSC Communications Professor Honored as Distinguished Educator

January 4, 2018 - Associate Professor Susan Houts has received the prestigious Distinguished Educator Recognition Award for 2018 from Eastern Florida State College.

Three women with award plaque
EFSC Professor Susan Houts receives the 2018 Distinguished Educator Award from the two most recent recipients, Sharon Cronk-Raby, pictured left, and Ashley Spring, on the right.

Houts, who teaches Speech and Communications on the Palm Bay campus, was selected for her work in bringing students, faculty and staff together to improve student success.

She received the award Thursday during the college’s superhero-themed Welcome Back program for faculty to mark the start of the 2018 Spring Term.

“Associate Professor Houts has a passion for teaching that is exemplary and in the best traditions of the college,” said Dr. Linda Miedema, Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs and Chief Learning Officer.

“Her enthusiasm immediately rubs off on students, getting them engaged and willing to try new things. She also works with others to build support for her initiatives. We’re fortunate to have her on our faculty.”

In a nomination letter, student Matylda Zamudio said Houts’ mentoring made her a better student and solidified her decision to become a journalist.

“Professor Houts' support allowed me to step out of my comfort zone and take risks in rewarding school programs, such as the Core Scholar tutoring program where I now work as a tutor in our campus' Writing Center,” said Zamudio.

“She also encouraged me to participate in EFSC's Women Who Shaped History Month where I received third place in the college-wide (speech) finals. She also encouraged me to participate in the Junior Achievement program and campus debate team.

“Professor Houts is not only an amazing teacher to all of her students, but a profound role model. I will always appreciate everything she has done to help me become the student I am today.”

Houts’ many initiatives include starting a workshop to help students conduct and write research, and helping prepare students for the workplace with strong interpersonal communication skills.

She also serves as a student mentor, and plans to hold a 2018 Holocaust Remembrance Week event for the Palm Bay campus that will include a trip to the Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center in Orlando.

The Distinguished Educator Recognition Award began in 1989 and is presented annually to a faculty member who demonstrates excellence in scholarship, instructional effectiveness and connecting with students. The recognition includes a $1,500 award.

Nominations are made by faculty, students and staff, with representatives from each group comprising the selection committee.

View additional photos from the Welcome Back event on the EFSC Facebook page.