Deb Crislip-Baker, department chair of learning strategies at Victoria College, was recently named the 2021 recipient of VC’s Distinguished Teaching Award.
The award, presented by the Victoria College Foundation, honors excellence, promotes effective teaching and recognizes exceptional faculty for their contributions to student learning through classroom teaching.
“I am very honored to receive this award,” Crislip-Baker said. “We have excellent faculty here at VC, and I truly wish that every one of them could also receive this award. Our students are extremely lucky to be taught by such knowledgeable and dedicated professionals.”
Nominees for the award were judged on résumés, student evaluations and letters of recommendation from students, faculty members and others.
“Congratulations to Dr. Crislip-Baker on being named the recipient of the 2021 Victoria College Distinguished Teaching Award,” said VC President Jennifer Kent. “Deb’s passion to help students is inspiring, and she embodies the true spirit of excellence. Her high expectations paired with genuine concern for her students exemplifies the caring culture we value at VC.”
Crislip-Baker, who has been employed at Victoria College for almost nine years, was a first-generation college student who overcame poverty and challenges of early motherhood to accomplish her higher-education and career goals.
“I graduated from high school in June, got married in July and started my first college semester in August,” Crislip-Baker said. “I also had my daughter while I was in college, so I know what it’s like to raise a family, work and take classes.”
Crislip-Baker said her experiences have helped her to understand the struggles that many college students must overcome.
“I can relate to the students I teach because I was in their exact positions,” Crislip-Baker said. “But I also know how valuable education is and how it can change one’s life.”
While she was pursuing her doctorate, Crislip-Baker was diagnosed with a brain tumor.
“I’ve never quit, even when other people thought I should,” Crislip-Baker said. “I’ve always given my all to everything that I do, and it’s all paid off and been worth it in the end. I definitely know that I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t pursued my education.”
Photo caption: Pictured from left are Ben Galvan, Victoria College Foundation president; Cindy Buchholz, VC executive vice president – chief academic officer; Crislip-Baker; and Dr. Jennifer Kent , VC president.