MPCC instructors recognized for excellence in teaching

Two instructors from Mid-Plains Community College have been honored with Excellence in Teaching awards from the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development. Clay Grizzle is a speech and theater instructor in McCook, and HaLea Messersmith is an adjunct biology instructor in Broken Bow and North Platte. Both were selected to receive Excellence in Teaching Awards based on their outstanding commitment and contribution to students and colleagues. They were recognized Sunday during NISOD’s International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence in Austin, Texas. “Both Clay and HaLea are extremely deserving of this award,” said Dr. Jody Tomanek, area vice president for Academic Affairs and NPCC. “They are two of our best instructors and are always putting students first. Attending the conference to receive their medallions is also a great way for them to go to conference sessions that are geared toward teaching and learning. Both were nominated by their colleagues for this opportunity.”  Grizzle has been teaching speech and theater at MCC since 2013. “It’s the perfect job because every day I get to encourage students to get enthused about what I think is important,” Grizzle said. “In the classroom, I try to relate everything I’m teaching to what I think is relevant and important in my students’ lives.” Grizzle received his bachelor’s degree at Hendrix College in Conway, Ark., his master’s degree in communication from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas and has 70 hours toward his Ph.D. from Texas Tech. As a professional actor, he has worked in most major American cities and directed more than 200 shows. His all-time favorite role was playing Starbuck in “The Rainmaker.”