TNCC Biology Professor Awarded by VCCS for Teaching Excellence

Published: November 12, 2008

Thomas Nelson Community College’s Martin D. Zahn, associate professor of Biology has received the 2008 Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence.  Virginia Community College System (VCCS) Chancellor Glenn DuBois presented the award during the State Board Annual meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2008 in Richmond, Va.

The prestigious award is given annually to one faculty member in the VCCS “who distinctly represents the teaching excellence found at VCCS colleges.” The VCCS accepted only one nomination per campus for the award. As this year’s honoree, Mr. Zahn received a VCCS stole and $5,000.

Zahn has been a TNCC faculty member for 15 years bringing new dimensions to Biology instruction in the process. He incorporates technology in the classroom as a member of Virginia Community Colleges MERLOT project which strives to identify quality educational sites and tools on the Internet that faculty can use as modules.

In addition to incorporating numerous MERLOT materials, he includes podcasting using iTunes University in the delivery of supplemental instruction. To date he has posted more than 100 lectures that are available to students through

Further, he has served in leadership positions within the Science and Allied Health Division including Biology department head and assistant division dean.

Mr. Zahn was selected for the 2008 Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence by a committee comprised of one college president, one academic vice president, two deans (one academic and one student services), three faculty members and the director of professional development. Criteria for the award include instructional effectiveness, student focus, discipline competence, and personal attributes, among others.

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