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Bevill Employees Recently Honored at ACCS Chancellor's Awards

December 10, 2013

Pictured with President Dr. Anne McNutt (center): Amanda Laird, Dr. Reitha Cabaniss, Melissa Stowe, Dr. Steve Rizzo recently honored as college representatives in the 2013 annual ACCS Chancellorís Awards and Art Exhibition in Birmingham.

Bevill State employees Melissa Stowe, Dr. Reitha Cabaniss, Dr. Steve Rizzo and Amanda Laird were recently honored as college representatives in the 2013 annual Alabama Community College System (ACCS) Chancellor’s Awards and Art Exhibition in Birmingham.

The Chancellor’s Awards were established to recognize individuals from each of the 25 colleges in the ACCS who demonstrate the highest standards of professional performance and service among college employees. Each college nominates employees in four categories—administrator, technical faculty, academic faculty and staff.

Melissa Stowe, Assistant Dean of Admissions, Financial Aid and Student Services, was chosen by her peers to represent the administration category. Stowe has been employed with the college since 1992 and has held several positions in the Student Services and Federal Programs arena. She serves on numerous regional, state and institutional committees including the Alabama Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (ALACRAO) Executive Committee and is a graduate of the Alabama Community College Leadership Academy and the Fayette County Leadership Charter Class. In addition, she has served on the Fayette County High Hopes Advisory Board and the Fayette County Relay for Life Committee. Stowe earned an Associate of Arts from Northwest Community College, a Bachelor of Arts from Stillman College and a Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration from the University of Alabama.

Sumiton English and Developmental Reading instructor Dr. Steve Rizzo was nominated for the academic faculty category. Rizzo began his career with Bevill State as an adjunct instructor and became a full-time employee in 2000. He serves on numerous institutional committees including Bevill State’s SACS Reaffirmation Resource Committee and is currently serving on the Chancellor’s Transitional Education Task Force for the Alabama Department of Postsecondary Education. He has published several articles and a collection of essays, has served as a literary consultant for the short animated To a Beach Mouse, shown at the Birmingham Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival, and has presented at numerous conferences. In addition, he is a charter member of the East Walker County Civitan Club, is active in the Relay for Life annual fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, and currently serves as the President of the Grand Lodge of the Order of Sons of Italy in Birmingham. Rizzo earned a Bachelor of Arts from Jacksonville State University, Master of Arts in Education from UAB, Master of Music from Samford University, and Doctorate of Philosophy in Professional Studies in Education from Capella University.

Dr. Reitha Cabaniss, nursing program director and Jasper campus nursing division chair at Bevill State, was chosen to represent the technical faculty. She has been an employee with the college since 1987. She has served as a member of the National League for Nursing (NLN) Task Group on Excellence in Nursing Education, is an active board member of the Alabama Constituent League, and has contributed to the National Standard Setting Study by serving on two content expert panels and participating in the cut score setting activities directed by Assessment Technologies Institutes (ATI). Additionally, she is an Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) program evaluator,  and has served on NCLEX item writing/item review panels. Her community activities include Leadership Walker County, high school advisory committees and co-sponsor of the Walker County Autism Awareness Motorcycle Ride. Cabaniss earned her Associate of Science from Walker College, Bachelor and Master of Science in Cardiovascular Nursing from UAB, a postmasters certificate in Gerontology from UAB  and Doctorate of Education from the University of Alabama.

Amanda Laird, Federal Programs administrative assistant, was nominated to represent the staff category. Laird has been an employee with the college since 1998. Throughout her career with the college she has served as assistant to several directors of the Student Services, Talent Search, and Upward Bound areas. She participates in a variety of college events and committees. Her service activities include serving on the American Cancer Society’s Bevill State Relay for Life committee, supporting the Phi Beta Lambda food drive and working to help the many individuals and families affected by the April 27, 2011 tornado disaster and the Hurricane Gustav evacuation. Amanda is a graduate of Walker State Technical College and is currently studying for an Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts at Bevill State.

“I am extremely proud of our great employees,” said Bevill State President Dr Anne McNutt. “Although each of these individuals has a different role, they all work as a team to make sure students are successful and have a great Bevill State experience.”

The Alabama Community College System, which is comprised of 25 community and technical colleges across Alabama, Marion Military and the Alabama Technology Network, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.


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