Friday, June 12, 2009

Master Teacher.....

Jim Hamilton attends a BioFuels Training Session in 2007. He later went on to play a major role in the procurement of $135,000 in grant funds for a BioFuels Center at HCC.

HCC selects Hamilton as 2009 Master Teacher
Written by Diana Conard (HCC PIO) published by Mountaineer
Sunday, 07 June 2009 16:57
Haywood Community College recently awarded the 2009 master teacher award to Dr. Jim Hamilton, an instructor in the forestry program. The HCC master teacher award begins with nominations from students and ends with a professional portfolio review by a panel of the instructor’s peers.

Hamilton wears many hats at the college and brings experience from a diverse background to each role. He teaches students in Haywood Early College, as well as traditional college students. He teaches online and face-to-face courses. He is co-advisor to the forestry club where he travels with the students to timber sports competitions.

The Alabama native is also the forestry program coordinator and was instrumental in making forestry courses available to students at Cherokee High School. Hamilton has written several grants, which resulted in numerous opportunities for HCC.

Hamilton received a bachelor’s degree from the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., in Natural Resources and Anthropology. He earned a master’s degree from Auburn University and a doctorate from N. C. State University in forestry.

Hamilton worked as an extension agent in Boone for three years. He also served three years in the Peace Corps in Paraguay and South America. He also worked as a Peace Corps trainer and an environmental consultant with the Michigan Cooperative Extension, N.C. Cooperative Extension, and the Southern Coastal Agromedicine Center to expand an outreach model for Integrated Pest Management and pesticide/farm safety education for the Christmas tree industry. He is currently developing an online training course in silvopasture to compliment this handbook.

Hamilton acknowledges that developing online content for forestry programs, which is traditionally an outdoor hands-on program, has been a challenge. However, his background in working with a wide demographic range and diverse clientele has severed him well with the community college environment.

“My mentors while I was a student were always the instructors who were the most approachable,” Hamilton said. “At HCC, we have a very strong department and each instructor is committed to the success of our students and to the success of our program.”
Hamilton said his goal is to teach his students a big picture view of the world in natural resources. “I want them to have a true appreciation of natural resources and a way to express that,” he explained. “But the most important thing is that they learn to be enthusiastic about their career path.” Hamilton said there are several things he enjoys about HCC. “I like the technical nature of the curriculum and the nature of the student body. I appreciate how active the forestry club is and how driven they are to excel.”

According to Matt DeLozier, HCC liaison of high school programs, “Jim takes the time to help students that are struggling and also finds ways to challenge the students that are more advanced.” For an example of his creativity in the classroom visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2A52xiIhQI to hear Hamilton’s Soil Order Song, which helps his students remember soil types. Hamilton enjoys spending time with his two sons, Cristian and Lucas and enjoys playing racquetball.

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