Award Winners

Award Winners

  • Aileen Creighton Award

    Aileen Creighton Award 2017

    Richard Rupp

    Richard Rupp accepts an award on stage from President Mark Escamilla.

    The Dr. Aileen Creighton Award for Teaching Excellence is highly coveted among Del Mar College (DMC) faculty. During fall convocation today, the College announced Richard D. Rupp, Mathematics Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Physics, as the 2017 Creighton Award recipient.

    Rupp is the 16th recipient of the award, which Del Mar first established in 2002 and named the honor for Dr. Aileen Creighton, Dean Emeritus of Arts and Sciences. The award represents the late educator’s legacy as a “master teacher” and serves as the benchmark faculty must emulate to receive the honor. Dr. Creighton was known for her dedication to students and higher education, along with the inspiration she provided to other educators during her 41-year career at the College.

    “It’s very flattering and an honor to receive this award,” Rupp said after accepting this year’s honor. “The award for teaching accolades is the best I’ve ever had, but it’s all about the students.”

    Letters of support from faculty and former students supported Rupp’s nomination for the Creighton Award.

    “His enthusiasm at the idea of bringing into his classroom a service specifically targeting student success and persistence told me volumes about the lengths Professor Rupp will go to boost student success,” wrote DMC colleague and professor of sociology Ron Huskin. “Since 2009, he has worked with the Supplemental Instruction (SI) program identifying promising students to serve as leaders for his classes.”

    “Restoring the student’s confidence is our real purpose and the goal I endeavor to pursue in my teaching,” noted Rupp. “With confidence comes the drive to be successful and the empowerment inherent in feeling able to pursue any major or career without worrying if they can pass the necessary coursework. How to attain this goal, that is the $50,000 question, and the driving impetus in the development of my teaching method.”

    Rupp adds that with the use of SI leaders, he realized that students learn more by doing than by watching. This assisting of others reflects a third core principle of his teaching philosophy—learning occurs best when it is shared. Rupp notes that all of this fosters greater student independence, greater creativity, greater student willingness for collaboration and dramatically improved problem-solving capabilities.

    "Professor Rupp gave me the opportunity to explore a new possibility. He saw something in me I had not yet witnessed myself." Aimee Maceyko

    Rupp’s recognition and dedication to education is evident with his receiving several awards related to his teaching, including the 2008 Master Teacher Award, nominee for the 2009 Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation Piper Professor Award and the 2010-2011 Del Mar College East Campus Instructor of the Year award.

    Outside of the classroom, he immersed himself into the operations of the College accepting multiple extra duties and assignments. He served on the faculty council with terms as both vice-chair and chair became very involved in course content analysis and design and participated in many endeavors relating to college algebra and the creation, course justification and instruction of a mathematics sequence required for future elementary and middle school teachers previously only taught at senior institutions.

    Rupp dedicated a combined 21 years of service to major initiatives, projects or grants supported by both the State of Texas and the National Science Foundation focused on improving the content knowledge and quality of instruction of K-16 educators.

    Underlying all his service, Rupp always kept his students his top priority, vowing to keep his classroom environments relaxed and to teach the way he would want to be taught. His commitment to providing quality instruction has been repeatedly noticed and recognized.

    A member of the Del Mar faculty since 1997, Rupp earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Saint Olaf College, Northfield, MN, and a master’s degree in mathematics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

    Aileen Creighton Award 2009

    Exie Hall accepts an award onstage from Brian Hart and President Mark Escamilla.

    Introduction given for Ms. Hall by Brian Hart

    Exie Hall

    Del Mar College named Mathematics Professor Exie Hall as the eighth recipient of the Dr. Aileen Creighton Award for Teaching Excellence. Hall has taught math courses for the Department of Mathematics and Physics for nearly 35 years.

    The College established the Creighton Award in August 2002 with faculty and administrators agreeing that the vision, ability to teach on the cutting-edge and other educational contributions during Dr. Aileen Creighton's official 42-year career at DMC merited creating an annual award in her name. Faculty members who emulate her legacy are recognized as a “master teacher.” The Dean Emeritus of the Division of Arts and Sciences, who died at age 97 in December 2008, received the first award.

    Hall's ties to the College extend beyond teaching, back to the days when she was a young mother of two in search of a career.

    While accepting the Creighton Award, Hall recalled how her husband, the late Jim Bickham, steered her toward math and physics although she “had no background for it.” Hall soon discovered she had a passion for the discipline and graduated summa cum laude from Del Mar College in 1970. She was also named “Outstanding Student in Math.”

    Hall earned her bachelor's degree in math in 1971 and masters degree two years later from Texas A&I University in Kingsville. Prior to her career at Del Mar College, Hall taught freshman math courses at Texas A&I as a graduate student as well as high school math at Carroll High School for two years.

    Hall's long and influential career as a teacher has shaped many lives for the better. Having a former student-turned-colleague nominate her for the prized faculty recognition award was only fitting.

    In her nomination letter, Barbara Finnegan, DMC associate professor of mathematics, recalled her own days as a student in Hall's classes and noted that her instructor was patient and worked closely with students to ensure their success.

    Fellow math faculty member Eric Moller concurred, adding, “As a past Calculus student of hers, she was very thorough, very organized and meticulous in her lectures.”

    Current students also share a deep affinity for Hall's teaching style. Ashley Vela, who took Hall's College Algebra class, wrote that the professor’s due diligence has helped her become a stronger student in the subject. “She (Hall) has made learning math, which I consider one of the toughest subjects in school, a pleasant learning experience,” Vela wrote in her letter of support.

    DMC assistant math professor Moller and several other colleagues who wrote letters of support for Hall noted that the professor uses textbooks that she has written for her courses.

    Department of Mathematics and Physics Chair Antonio David added in his letter that Hall localizes examples to promote better understanding. David observed, “A unique aspect of her textbooks is that she uses examples of local organizations, people, buildings and incidents in problems to make them more meaningful and interesting.”

    Among her credits, Hall was instrumental in creating the College's Math Learning Center, a tutoring lab that began operation in 1996. She also led the charge to establish the DMC Math Testing Center four years later. The testing center administers and monitors exams while giving instructors more time to review course content and students a two- to three-day window to take exams.

    Currently, Hall hopes to assist with expanding the Math Testing Center to accommodate more students in the near future.

    A humble professional by nature, Hall told members of the DMC faculty, administration and staff yesterday, “I'm honored to receive an award for something I love doing. My students have convinced me that I need to be in the classroom.”

    She added, “Above all, I want students to learn that they CAN learn anything. I keep my standards high so that my students can compete with students from the big universities.”

  • NISOD Award

    Barbara Finnegan, 2011

    Barbara Finnegan

  • Teacher of the Year Award

    Douglas Harley, 2015

    Maria Bujak Goodman

    Maria Bujak Goodman, 2012

    Maria Bujak Goodman

    Richard Rupp, 2011

    Richard Rupp

  • Outstanding Math Student of the Year

    Mary Hoyle Bain Mathematics Scholarship Recipient

    Hae Kyong (Kay) Choi

    2013, Hae Kyong (Kay) Choi

Page last updated November 23, 2019.

Contact Information

Department of Mathematics
101 Baldwin Blvd.
Corpus Christi, TX 78404
(361) 698-1238