Wayne Community College has recognized faculty member Sondi Jones Hoffman with its highest honor.
Hoffman, lead biology instructor, is the recipient of the college’s 2022 George E. Wilson Excellence in Teaching Award. She was surprised with the award during the college’s curriculum commencement ceremony.
Hoffman was presented a framed certificate and stipend from the Foundation of Wayne Community College.
She will be WCC’s nominee for the 2023 Excellence in Teaching Award given by the State Board of Community Colleges.
This is the 37th year that the college has presented the award. An anonymous donor established it with the Foundation of Wayne Community College to honor the late George E. Wilson. Wilson was known for his service to others and his contributions as a WCC trustee and civic leader in Wayne County and the state.
A fellow faculty member nominated Hoffman for the award. She was selected by a committee of community leaders that was tasked with selecting the recipient who demonstrated the highest standards of teaching from this year’s pool of nominees.
Hoffman’s career at WCC started in the fall of 2013. Prior to that she worked at Johnston Community College and University of North Carolina Wilmington.
She attended UNCW for both a bachelor of science degree in Marine Biology and master of science degree in Biology.
Hoffman’s nomination emphasized “her fun personality, generous nature, and willingness to help anybody with anything.”
A former student said that “Ms. Hoffman consistently showed professionalism, expertise, and a passion to teach. She offered a myriad of resources for help with her class and expounded on the various biological cycles in wording that everyone could easily understand. Ms. Hoffman is also compassionate and understanding, taking additional time out of her day to have collaborative study sessions before each test or make review videos, to make sure her students fully grasped the concepts at hand.”
Hoffman teaches General Biology I and II and is occasionally tapped to conduct honors sections of those courses that require additional effort for the students and for her. She chose to provide a Marine Biology course, her area of expertise, and has developed the curriculum for Introductory Life Sciences for agriculture students.
Hoffman’s work goes beyond classes and labs, offering an optional “BIOcenter” session each week that provides not just review but also an interactive learning experience related to the current course topic.
She has presented at internal, state, and national conferences on innovative teaching techniques she employs, ranging from scratch-off cards to online tools.
Hoffman spearheads WCC’s participation in the statewide NC Science Festival. The college hosted official Science Festival events for the public in 2018 and 2019. After 2020’s plans were scuttled by the pandemic, Hoffman and her team found ways to hold virtual events in 2021 and this year.