New Horizons 2022 Awards Winners

Each year, outstanding faculty, staff, and administrators from across the state are recognized and honored for their extraordinary skills, commitment to students, and contributions to the Virginia Community College System. Awards range from individual recognition for teaching and learning contributions, to team awards for groups at colleges working together to advance the VCCS mission. The VCCS proudly acknowledges excellence in a variety of ways.

Jump to an award here:

SCHEV Outstanding Faculty Award    Vaughan

Thomas M. Geary, Tidewater Community College
Kwabena Konadu, Northern Virginia Community College

State Council of Higher Education for Virginia – Outstanding Faculty Awards (SCHEV OFA)

The State Council of Higher Education and Dominion Energy announced the recipients of the SCHEV 2022 Outstanding Faculty Awards on December 16, 2021. Nominees are selected by the institutions, reviewed by a panel of peers and chosen by a committee of leaders from the public and private sectors. In all, 85 nominations were received. This group was narrowed to a field of 25 finalists and then to the 12 recipients. Two winners this year are from the VCCS:

  • Thomas M. Geary, Professor of English, Virginia Beach Campus of Tidewater Community College. Dr. Geary serves as the editor of Inquiry, the peer-reviewed journal for faculty, staff and administrators in Virginia’s community colleges.


  • Kwabena Konadu, Professor and Discipline Chair of Cybersecurity at Northern Virginia Community College.

Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE)

The Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence, also known as the CATE, is awarded annually to one teaching faculty member in the VCCS who distinctly represents the teaching excellence found at Virginia’s Community Colleges. The award provides the recipient with a VCCS stole for wearing with academic regalia and $5,000.00.

This year’s CATE recipient, Richard Clark, has had the privilege of serving Virginia Western Community College, his colleagues, and students as Program Head of Engineering for the past sixteen years.  During this time, he has successfully expanded the facilities, capabilities, and resources at the college. Richard Clark has worked diligently to equip the new STEM building with state-of-the-art teaching and research equipment, to engage local industry through innovative partnerships, to develop sought-after online course offerings, to establish collaborative research efforts with university partners, and to secure numerous Federal and State grants which support STEM students. Through these efforts, the Engineering program at Virginia Western Community College has grown significantly in size and prominence within the community. Richard Clark has made learning fun as well as competitive and his personal commitment to his students is exemplary.

Marian Clifton, Thomas Nelson Community College (becoming Virginia Peninsula CC)
Floyd Schwartz, Northern Virginia Community College

George B. Vaughan Leadership Award for Outstanding Adjunct Faculty

The George B. Vaughan Leadership Award for Outstanding Adjunct Faculty which is made possible in part by support from the George B. Vaughan Leadership Endowment Fund through the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education to honor Dr. Vaughan’s distinguished service of over 40 years as a national leader in community college education. Each recipient receives an honorarium paid at the end of the spring semester. Marian Clifton serves as an adjunct Assistant Professor in the Human Services Department at Thomas Nelson becoming Virginia Peninsula Community College. She is a Certified Workforce Development professional and holds the credentials of Certified Federal Career Counselor and Certified Federal Job Search Trainer. Marian Clifton is also a founding board member of the Menchville House, a home for women in transition. She serves as the Chief Operating Officer of a community-based non-profit organization.  A transformational leader, Marian Clifton is passionate about organizational and fund development, including proposal writing.  She loves poetry and has been an invited guest to read her work on a national level. If she hasn’t done enough, she has completed the Harvard University School of Divinity Leadership Institute and is scheduled to complete doctoral studies at Trevecca Nazarene University in August 2022. Floyd Schwartz managed several major data centers during his career including Dept. Labor, United Mine Workers, Dept. Of Transportation and Department of Energy. Currently retired but still teaching at NOVA which included 3 courses this spring term, this 55-year veteran of NOVA’s IT department is proud he had the opportunity to help build a community college and IT program that ranks as one of the top programs in the United States. With continued commitment to the VCCS and a desire to bring cutting edge technology and education to our students, one reviewer stated Floyd Schwartz is the epitome of the award itself!