Imperial Valley College Biology Professor Dr. Thomas Morrell was named recipient of the 2016 Rafael Santos Award by the Academic Senate of IVC.
The award is presented at the close of each academic year by the Academic Senate to honor a faculty member for distinguished contributions to students, with the primary criterion being the recognition of teaching excellence.
Morrell, who retires this month, has taught biology classes (mostly anatomy and physiology courses) for 11 years at IVC. He was chosen because of his determination to insure that the students in these upper-level classes are prepared upon entering the college’s nursing program.
“Tom’s excellent skills at lecturing and getting students focused on the material at hand is a major factor for students realizing what it takes to become successful and achieving their goals,” Science Department Chair Dr. Daniel Gilison wrote in his nominating letter. “Years after they have taken his class, his students are still affected by him and the way he taught his classes. When he walks around on campus, his former students (usually now in the nursing program), are always excited and happy to see him again, and will stop and chat with him.”
In his letter, Gilison said Morrell was the one faculty member who worked the hardest to bring a cadaver on campus for anatomy and physiology classes, calling that “one of the best additions to all of the anatomy and physiology classes.”
The award was inspired by the late Rafael Santos, a 25-year IVC Business professor who died in a traffic accident in 1999.