Leisha Klentzeris, Director of the English as a Second Language (ESL) program at Hodges University, was named Employee of the Year at the Institution. The award recognizes her exemplary work for the University and the explosive growth in the ESL program. The award was announced at a campus ceremony in December.
“It is with great pleasure that we honor Leisha with this award,” said Dr. Terry McMahan, President of Hodges University. “The University has seen tremendous growth in our ESL program over the past few years, and much of that growth is a credit to the hard work and dedication to our non-English speaking students that Leisha brings to Hodges University every day. When you think about how this program has impacted so many people in our community who wish to better themselves by learning the English language, you get a sense of how devoted a director of such a program needs to be. Leisha exemplifies that dedication, and our institution is fortunate to have someone with her passion part of our institution.”
Each year, administrators, faculty and fellow employees nominate a co-worker for the award with a committee represented by members of the administration electing the winning candidate.
Leisha began to direct the ESL program at Hodges University in Naples in 2004. She designed a curriculum which enabled students to develop English language skills for both practical and academic purposes. In 2005 and 2008, she was responsible for launching the ESL programs in Ft. Myers and Immokalee respectively. Since she began to head the ESL department, enrollment has increased from 8 students to 250 on all campuses. Leisha is presently pursuing her Ed.D. at Nova Southeastern University, majoring in Higher Education and TESOL.
This year’s winner of the Professor of the Year award was Ken Comer. Professor Comer teaches chemistry classes and when needed, math classes. He has been with the University since 2004.
“His teaching philosophy includes providing an environment of mutual respect and patience, as well as flexibility to meet the individual needs of the students,” said Dr. Jeanette Brock, Executive Vice president of Academic Affairs at Hodges. “He enjoys working with students, and hopes that his enthusiasm and occasional humor help them to stay engaged and meet their academic goals. His teaching philosophy includes providing an environment of mutual respect and patience, as well as flexibility to meet the individual needs of each of his students.
“Though chemistry is a difficult subject, students have commented that Professor Comer manages to get them to understand the subject and to succeed in it as well. His professionalism and remarkable attitude towards life and the subjects he teaches are impeccable.”
The Professor of the Year nomination process provides the opportunity for students, faculty, and staff to nominate the professor they feel is most deserving of this recognition.