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Outstanding educators

Two Central Lakes
College instructors are nominated for Outstanding Educator awards bestowed each
year by the Board of Trustees of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. Darci Goeden, Nursing, and Leon
Dahlvang, Communication Art and Design, are now eligible for the Educator the
Year award. The award is intended to recognize superior teaching. The pair was nominated by CLC President Larry Lundblad and will be
among about two dozen MnSCU instructors recognized this spring at an award

Goeden began teaching at CLC in 2002 and since 2004 has been part of the
Associate Degree Nursing faculty while continuing as a Registered Nurse at St.
Joseph’s Medical Center, Brainerd, where she has been employed 15 years.
She earned her Master of Science degree in Nursing
from the University of Phoenix in 2004 after earning a Bachelor’s degree from
the University of North Dakota in 1997.
            Last September Goeden became
a Certified Nurse Educator with membership in the National League for Nursing.
            “I am very honored by this
distinction,” she said of the CNE designation. Requirements for the
certification include additional college courses, seminars, workshops, conferences,
presentations, and leadership and community service activities.
            “Being a nurse and
teaching others are two things that I love,” Goeden said. “I can honestly say
that there has not been a day that I have not loved going to work and actively
caring for patients or working with students.”
            Connie Frisch, CLC
director of nursing, said: “Darci is continuously seeking additional knowledge
and determination of best practices and willingly networks with her colleagues,
both here at CLC and across the state. I consider her to be a ‘master teacher’.”
            Dahlvang, a graduate of
Verndale High School and Wadena Technical College, has been a college
instructor since 1986 (Staples Technical College) and was named CLC Faculty
Member of the Year in 2004 and 2010. As a student he attended the Computer Graphics
program at the Staples campus and soon was hired to teach.
            Injured in a 1979 accident,
Dahlvang said the life-threatening moment prompted a decision to “make a
difference in as many people’s lives as I could.” He cherishes a capacity to
care for students, regardless of their skill level. “They are coming from all
walks of life.” That prompts his respect an understanding.
            “I believe my own
experiences dealing with immediate family members who suffer from mental
illness drive me to care for each student as an individual,” he said.
            “Teaching has been an
incredible journey,” he said, noting that the greatest reward is knowing he has
impacted students’ lives in a positive way.
            Jeff Wig, a former dean at
CLC, said: “Leon has always been a driver of innovation both in and out of his
classroom. In a field where technology changes are constant, he researches to
ensure he and colleagues are preparing students for the latest graphic arts systems.”
Previous CLC honorees were Jan Kurtz, Spanish and
Latin American Studies (2008), Kari Frisch, Speech (2009), Janet Bedard,
English, and Gary Carson, Natural Resources (2010), Betsy Picciano, Reading, and
Nancy Smith, Health (2011), and Steve Anderson, Instrumental Music, and Martha
Kuehn, Psychology (2012). Picciano was also one of four instructors named Educator
of the Year by the MnSCU board.
Faculty who are designated as Outstanding Educators by their campus
president must prepare a teaching portfolio which will be reviewed by a
system-wide review committee. All faculty currently full-time and unlimited,
tenured, or tenure-track, and who have at least three years of full-time
teaching service at their home institution are eligible.

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