Two Faculty and Two Staff Members at SOWELA Cited for Their Years of Service and Dedication to the Statewide College System
(Lake Charles, Louisiana – October 10, 2022)
Two staff members and two faculty members at SOWELA Technical Community College were honored for their service and dedication at the Louisiana Community and Technical College System’s annual conference in September in New Orleans.
This year’s four SOWELA honorees include Nursing Associate Professor Elizabeth “Kaye” Martin, Safety and Security Manager Carl Wilkerson, Marketing and Communications Manager Darlene Hoffpauir and Dean of Instruction Stephanie Smith.
Each year, colleges in the statewide system honor up to four outstanding faculty or staff members for the awards handed out at the annual LCTCS conference.
SOWELA’s first honoree, Nursing Associate Professor Elizabeth “Kaye” Martin, was nominated for “Outstanding Faculty Member.” An excellent role model due to her genuine desire to help SOWELA students succeed, Martin was one of four faculty members at SOWELA hired to develop and implement the Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) degree program. Her peers also lauded her love of teaching and desire to help students as reasons for her nomination.
SOWELA’s Facilities Safety and Security Manager, Carl Wilkerson, was the school’s “Outstanding Professional Staff Member.” Wilkerson, who joined SOWELA in 2018, was honored for his role in SOWELA’s recovery efforts after Hurricanes Laura and Delta as he worked to ensure SOWELA’s buildings were secure and the campus was safe for students and employees. As Facilities Safety and Security Manager, he is responsible for the security of the main campus in Lake Charles and the three instructional sites in Oakdale, Jennings and Leesville.
SOWELA’s Marketing and Communications Manager Darlene Hoffpauir was the school’s honoree for “Outstanding Professional Support Staff Member.” Hoffpauir joined SOWELA in 2015 and is responsible for SOWELA’s internal and external communications, public relations and advertising. Hoffpauir was honored for her excellent communication skills, ability to listen, work ethic, attention to detail, and ensuring the college’s brand is consistent.
The honoree for “Distinguished Retiree” from SOWELA was Dean of Instruction Stephanie Smith. Smith initially joined SOWELA’s faculty in 1997. In her early years at SOWELA, she was instrumental in ensuring general education courses from technical schools were recognized on the transfer matrix. As SOWELA continued to grow and evolve, Smith led faculty in creating guidelines for faculty rank and promotion. She also held leadership roles in developing SOWELA’s Work Ethic Initiative, implementing College Success Skills and developing the school’s first SACSCOC Quality Enhancement Plan. She was honored for providing leadership for the Dual Enrollment and Adult Education programs and for facilitating numerous projects, including curriculum proposals, academic calendars and academic appeals, as well as her friendliness and positive attitude.
About SOWELA Technical Community College
SOWELA Technical Community College provides traditional, distance, and lifelong learning experiences and awards associate degrees, technical diplomas, and certificates. The College empowers learners in career and technical education and enables transfer students to pursue a four-year degree, so all learners excel as globally competitive citizens. The College has been educating the region’s workforce for more than 80 years.