Palm Beach State College professors win NISOD excellence awards

Palm Beach State College is proud to announce Associate Professor Colette Chiacchiero from the Health Information Management Department and Associate Professor Candace Walker from the Biology Department are recipients of this year’s National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Excellence Awards.

“This is a unique opportunity for us to take time and pause and thank Professors Chiacchiero and Walker because they have put in so much hard work and dedication,” said President Ava L. Parker, J.D. “They do it without expecting the kudos, but they are the heart of what makes our students successful.”

NISOD’s Excellence Awards recognize men and women each year who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment and contribution to their students and colleagues. In 1989, in connection with a University of Texas at Austin national study of teaching excellence, NISOD hosted its first ceremony honoring NISOD Excellence Award recipients. The response to that ceremony was so positive that NISOD began what has become the largest and most inspiring gathering that recognizes the contributions and achievements of community and technical college faculty, administrators, and staff.

“Professors Chiacchiero and Walker embody the very best of PBSC’s outstanding faculty,” said Dr. Roger L. Yohe, Vice President, Academic Innovation and Strategy   “Their passion for teaching, their commitment to student achievement, and their innovative approaches to education are most deserving of NISOD’s national recognition.”

During her 15 years at PBSC, Chiacchiero has made invaluable contributions to the Health Information Management program. Her innovative teaching methods, unwavering dedication to her students, and leadership in curriculum development epitomize the spirit of excellence that NISOD celebrates. “The feedback from her students makes it clear the immense impact she has made on their education and careers,” Yohe said.

Professor Colette Chiacchiero

Chiacchiero takes inspiration from the Mark Twain adage “find a job you enjoy doing and you will never have to work a day in your life.”  “Educating healthcare professionals and encouraging students to continuously grow in their knowledge of the profession is very rewarding,” Chiacchiero said. “The recognition of my work is very much appreciated.”

One of the rising stars of PBSC’s Biology faculty, Professor Walker has quickly become a cornerstone of the department.  through her collaborative approach.  She recently worked with a team of PBSC colleagues to research and develop a much-needed online lab course. “Her thoughtful mentorship helps students thrive,” said Yohe.  “Student evaluations consistently praise her ability to make complex topics comprehensible and her genuine care for each student’s success.”

“Given the high caliber of previous recipients, it’s an honor to be amongst them,” Walker said.

Professor Candice Walker

NISOD Excellence Award recipients will be honored during NISOD’s annual International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence, May 25-28, 2024.  “Recognizing those individuals who have contributed to student success and their colleges’ mission is something we look forward to doing each year,” said Dr. Edward J. Leach, NISOD’s Executive Director. “The extraordinary work of these men and women includes not only what they do for their students and colleagues, but what they do for the communities in which they live and work. We’re honored to be able to play a part in celebrating their achievements.”


The National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) is a membership organization committed to promoting and celebrating excellence in teaching, learning, and leadership at community and technical colleges. NISOD provides budget-friendly, high-quality, and faculty-focused programs and resources for community and technical colleges that want to make the most of their professional development dollars. For over 40 years, NISOD has aligned a wide array of benefits with the needs of our members, which explains why the American Association of Community Colleges named NISOD, “The country’s leading provider of professional development for community college faculty, staff, and administrators.” For more information about NISOD, visit

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