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GMC Names 2020-2021 Educator and Adjunct Educator of the Year

Georgia Military College Names 2020-2021 Educator of the Year and Character Educator of the Year

Georgia Military College has named Dr. James Bland Educator of the Year, and Moulare Keese Adjunct Educator of the Year for the 2020-2021 school year. Both Bland and Keese have had impactful careers at Georgia Military College. Bland is an Associate Professor of Mathematics at the GMC-Augusta campus, and he serves as the Department Chair for Business, Computer Information Systems, and Mathematics for the Eastern Region. Keese is an Adjunct Professor of Economics at GMC-Fayetteville.

Bland joined the GMC-Augusta team in August of 2015 and since then, the Warner Robins native has consistently made a positive impact in the classroom and across the Augusta campus. In the submission for Educator of the Year, GMC-Augusta Academic Dean Brian Hendricks says, “Dr. Bland works very intentionally and thoughtfully in evaluating classroom results and methods for improvement. He has been diligent in experimenting with pedagogy and sharing possibilities with other faculty. Last year, he shifted from an emphasis on volume of homework to prepare students to increase quizzing, instead. This produced a significant grade increase over those from the previous year. Mr. Bland worked with Mr. Nathan Sweigart to implement team teaching strategies in MAT 225. This did have an effect of increasing student participation and engagement in the classroom and they plan to try the strategy in other classes. That MAT 225 was unbelievably lively for an 8:00 AM Math class. Currently, he is utilizing criterion referenced assessments to determine if this is more accurate and productive in attaining student success.”

Hendricks’ submission goes on to say, “Students repeatedly express their appreciation for how Dr. Bland conducts class and shows concern for their needs. As a MAT 112 student pointed out, ‘Professor Bland made me feel extremely comfortable to voice-fully participate without any negative feedback or feelings,’ and another shared, ‘Professor Bland is one the most intuitive instructors I have had at GMC so far and truly loves to teach which makes it easy to learn and retain the material. This was my second time taking Precalculus and it all finally made [sense] because of the way Professor Bland delivers the information.’ Two students in MAT 109 shared, ‘I liked how the instructor was able to convey the information in a way that made sense. He was also able to break down the way the problem actually worked, enabling us to figure it out more easily,’ and, ‘Literally, he is one of the nicest and smartest teachers I’ve had. I would tell every single person to take his class as he is truly a good teacher.’ One student sums it up, ‘Professor Bland, Thank you for being there for me. In the beginning things were a little challenging, but at the end, I was able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I sincerely thank you.’”

Keese is a native of West Africa, having now been in the United States for 26 years. He joined the team at GMC-Fayetteville in 2018. He says his time at GMC has been a great opportunity to enrich his teaching philosophy of student-focused learning. Dr. Namaan Pamoja, GMC-Fayetteville Academic Dean, says in his submission, “The word ‘commitment’ best sums up Mr. Kesse’s value and contributions to the Fayetteville campus and the larger GMC community. He is an esteemed professional who strives for optimal compliance with academic policies and is considerably timely and reliable. In the classroom, he works diligently to simplify for students the often-daunting task of learning and understanding the quantitative analytical models associated with the study of Economics. Mathew Trotter, a former student of Professor Kesse once stated he was taking Professor Kesse’s class as an elective ‘only because his teaching style makes Economics easier to understand.’”

Pamoja’s submission goes on to say, “Professor Kesse’s commitment to assist GMC students achieve success with the study of Economics has remained true this year despite the unprecedented circumstances presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. He afforded virtual one-on-one tutoring to each of the five students across the past several quarters this year who needed to quarantine due to COVID-19 issues. Although he had to step down from his teaching assignments during the 2021 winter term due to kidney issues resulting from his own hospitalization after contracting COVID-19, he helped his substitute instructors readily and rapidly ramp up for classroom instruction via phone from his hospital bed to ensure a smooth handover to the new instructors so as not to disadvantage his students. An inspired servant leader of character with a compassionate spirit and exceptional performance in ensuring student success, Mr. Moulare Kesse continues to shine brightly in a constellation of exceedingly talented faculty at the Fayetteville Campus and throughout the Atlanta Metropolitan Region and Georgia Military College.”

Despite a challenging and unprecedented academic year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, both Bland and Keese remained focused on student success, and committed to the Mission & Vision of Georgia Military College. Congratulations to Dr. James Bland for being named GMC Educator of the Year, and to Mr. Moulare Keese for being named GMC Adjunct Educator of the Year!