Four Snead State Community College employees received 2023 Chancellor’s Awards as sponsored by the Alabama Community College System.
Chancellor’s Awards recipients are chosen in the categories of Administrator, Faculty and Support Staff from each college within ACCS. This year’s Chancellor’s Awards recipients from Snead State include Director of Admissions and Recruiting Tristin Callahan in the Administrator category, Industrial Systems Technology Instructor Dr. Todd Freshwater and Office Administration/Business/Computer Science/Sociology Instructor Kelly Snyder in the Faculty category, and Custodian Susan West in the Support Staff category.
“This year’s recipients are a great representation of the exceptional work our employees do every day. They serve in different areas at our college, but they all have a vital role in supporting our students’ success. They are conscientious and work hard at their jobs. We’re proud to have Mrs. Callahan, Mrs. Snyder, Dr. Freshwater, and Mrs. West as part of the Snead State family,” said Snead State President Dr. Joe Whitmore.
Mrs. Callahan as been a part of the Snead State family for nine years, seven of which as a full-time employee. She began her career at the College serving as a Library Clerk. She eventually became a Student Success Navigator before being appointed as the Director of Admissions and Recruiting. She is an alumna of Snead State, having earned her Associate degree in 2015. She holds a Bachelor degree from Jacksonville State University and an MSACE Student Services in Higher Education.
“As a first generation, dual enrollment, traditional and transient student at Snead State, I have a unique perspective that helps me relate to all of our students,” Mrs. Callahan said. “I love helping people and watching them succeed. Meeting students at recruiting events, assisting them with admissions and enrollment, and awarding their degrees to transcripts when they graduate is the best part of my job.”
Dr. Freshwater joined the faculty at Snead State in 2020. He holds an Associate degree from Gadsden State, a Bachelor degree from Jacksonville State University, a Master degree from Athens State University and an Ed.D. from Liberty University. He brings over 20 years of industry experience to the classroom. He also served on a SACSCOC Accreditation Narrative Committee, the Library Committee, and the Admissions Appeal Committee.
“The best part of my job is working with students who truly wish to learn and improve their career opportunities,” Dr. Freshwater said.
Mrs. Snyder has been a full-time instructor at Snead State for 25 years, placing her in the top 5 among faculty who have been at the College the longest. She has served as Program Director for Office Administration and as a member of the Academic Advising Council, the SACSCOC QEP Committee, SACSCOC Leadership Team, Distance Learning Committee, Business Committee, and Library Committee. As part of her work with the College’s SACSCOC QEP Committee, she developed the College’s Quality Enhancement Plan theme: GPS: Guiding Parsons to Success. She holds an Associate degree from Snead, Bachelor and Master degrees from Auburn University, and certifications in Digital Marketing, Social Media Marketing, and Microsoft Office Specialist. She has completed additional post graduate coursework in Sociology and Computer Science.
Mrs. Snyder had deep connections to Snead State. Her parents attended Snead, and as an alumna of the College, she hopes to pass the legacy on to her children. Her niece currently attends Snead. Mrs. Snyder also met her husband, Matt, while both of them were instructors at Snead. Matt teaches Biology and is currently the Division Director for Natural Sciences.
“My parents played a huge part in my becoming an instructor at Snead State. Without their encouragement and support early on, there would not have been the opportunity to even apply for my instructor position at Snead. Life experiences have definitely played a part in helping me excel as an instructor. The experience of being a mom to my two children with all of the rewards and responsibilities that comes with that job has made me a better educator over the years,” she said.
“The most positive aspect of my job is first simply getting to say that I have the privilege to be employed at Snead State. Snead is a family, and I am honored to be a member of that family. Another positive aspect is being able to make a difference in the lives of my students. I hope that in the 25 years I have been here, I have positively impacted my students because I know they have done that for me,” Mrs. Snyder added. “The tradition that Snead offers is one I am proud to say that I have experienced both as a student and as an educator. It is an honor to say that ‘I get to go’ to Snead to work each and every day. I am thankful for that.”
Mrs. West has been at Snead State for 26 years, beginning as an Admissions Clerk before deciding to serve in a completely different role as Custodian. She holds an Associate degree.
“I like to think that the buildings I take care of are clean and a pleasant environment for students who come to classes each day,” Mrs. West said.
The Chancellor’s Awards began 33 years ago as a way to reward and encourage outstanding performance, creativity, and dedicated service. The awards ceremony is held in conjunction with the annual conference hosted by the Alabama Community College Association in November each year.