OTC student Samantha Adams is a winner of the 2019 Scott Wright Student Essay Contest organized by The National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD). Adams was one of three winners selected from more than 160 contest entries nationwide.
Held each year, NISOD’s student essay competition honors the memory of Scott Wright, past editor of “Community College Week” and winner of the 1998 Award for Excellence in Higher Education Journalism. Wright’s reporting focused national attention on developmental education and the unique open access mission of community colleges.
To participate in the contest, students at NISOD-member colleges describe a faculty member, staff member, or administrator who encouraged him or her to complete a course, finish a semester, or graduate from college, and explain how that encouragement helped him or her reach that goal.
Adams, a Glendale High School graduate, wrote her essay about John Landon, an adjunct criminal justice instructor who also serves OTC as a safety and security officer. Adams enrolled at OTC in the fall of 2018 where she took Landon’s Introduction to Criminal Justice course. She hopes to become a Missouri Highway Patrol officer someday.
“If it wasn’t for Mr. Landon I would still be wandering through life not sure what path to take; too busy doubting my abilities and seeing my gender as a roadblock from opportunity,” Adams wrote in her essay. “I can now say with confidence that my gender makes no difference in my career choice. I am going to be a police officer. A female police officer at that. Thanks to one teacher who thought it was fantastic.”
As part of the award, Adams and Landon will each receive $1,000 and a trip to Austin, Texas to be recognized during NISOD’s International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence, May 25-28. Adams’ essay will be published on the NISOD website and OTC will receive a complimentary 2019-2020 NISOD membership.
“Each year NISOD looks forward to awarding students who take the time to thank someone who helped them reach their goal,” said Edward J. Leach, NISOD’s executive director. “Each student who entered the contest is to be congratulated, as are the individuals at our member colleges who continually make a positive difference in the lives of their students.”
More information about the Scott Wright Student Essay Contest is available at nisod.org/sec.