Bradley Named Outstanding Faculty of the Year

 

Portrait of woman
Tosha Bradley, Faculty Member of the Year

Every year, the Arkansas Association of Community Colleges holds a recognition ceremony for staff, faculty, students, and alumni, among the state's two-year colleges.
 
Tosha Bradley, computer information systems (CIS) instructor, was voted UACCM's faculty of the year by her colleagues.
 
Below, Bradley describes her journey to UACCM, how she began teaching CIS, and how she adapted to virtual learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Tell me about where you are from—your hometown and what it was like growing up there.

Lonoke, Arkansas: a small farm town, just east of Little Rock. Everyone seemed to know everyone, and there was a friend anywhere you went in town. When you walked into a restaurant, you didn’t look around for an empty table, you looked around to see who was there you knew, and you interrupted their lunch to visit. Many of my classmates are still connected via social media, and we still communicate regularly.

 

What got you into teaching CIS?

I have worked in higher education since I received my bachelor’s degree. I was working in the office of Academic Affairs, and the vice president at the time encouraged me to work on my master’s degree. I really had no intention of completing it; I just thought I would take classes to enhance learning. Before I knew it, the degree was complete, and along with it an opportunity to teach Introduction to Computer as an adjunct instructor. That was 18 years ago this fall. In the summer of 2009, my family relocated to south Arkansas, and that is where I began teaching full time as a computer information systems instructor at UA Community College at Hope.

 

Tell us your favorite things about the UACCM CIS program?

Unquestionably, the students and my teaching partner, Jim Isom. 

The COVID-19 pandemic created new challenges across the college, but especially faculty since everything was being moved online. 

 

Tell me about how you adapted to virtual learning?

I have been teaching on Blackboard since 2002, and I have always put my content online for my students. The transition for me was not nearly as difficult as what other instructors were faced with who generally provide all content in a face to face environment. Since I didn’t have to move my course content around, I focused most of my efforts on providing support to other faculty on campus.

 

What is something your campus colleagues would be surprised to know about you?

When I was young, it was my dream to become a professional hair stylist.

 

What personal and/or professional accomplishment are you most proud of?

Of course, FOTY is an incredible honor.  But I am also proud of being an ACC Leadership Institute Graduate (2015).

 

Tell me about your reaction about being voted as faculty member of the year by your colleagues.

This was an incredible honor coming from my colleagues because we were all faced with an inconceivable uphill challenge in the spring semester. Many faculty put in such hard work and many hours to teach their students and ensure quality of education was not lost. This recognition, for me, is more than just a pat on the back. It felt like a message of appreciation for supporting them (although from my perspective, it didn’t seem like much) through this difficulty transition.

 

Any advice to current students?

Stay the course. Do not give up when it gets tough. And do not be afraid to ask for help along the way.

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