Thomas selected Academic Instructor of the Year at ECCC

From press reports

Denita Thomas of Noxapater was recently selected “Academic Instructor of the Year” at East Central Community College, where she has been employed as an Associate Degree Nursing instructor since 2008 and was recently named Dean of Healthcare Education effective July 1, 2012. Upon her selection, Thomas said, “I am honored to be named ECCC’s Instructor of the Year. As a graduate of the College’s first Associate Degree Nursing Program in 1996, it is with great pride that my path in life has lead me to return as an instructor in this outstanding program at My EC!” Thomas has served in various capacities as an ADN instructor, including teaching in the classroom, supervising students in the hopital setting, assisting students with learning in the skills lab, advising students, serving as coordinator for the LPN to RN Bridge program and coordinating and teaching students in the simulation lab. Her family has been the most influential on her career as she said they have always been encouraging and supportive. And it’s assisting students as they learn that keeps her movtivated. “As a nurse educator, I assist in preparing our future nurses to be knowledgeable, caring and professional,” she said. “It is motivational to assist students in learning new information that helps open their minds and expand their knowledge base to prepare them to care for others. I enjoy being a part of the team of instructors at ECCC that helps prepare students to achieve their educational goals, which also helps our communitites.” In addition to serving as an instructor at ECCC, Thomas works as a family nurse practitioner with Quality Hospice in Philadelphia. Prior to her employment at the College, she served as a nurse practitioner with Neshoba Pediatric Medical Clinic in Philadelphia and Louisville Group Homes-Hudspeth Center of Louisville. She began her nursing career in 1996 with Magna Home Health of Philadelphia. “I have enjoyed all of my nursing opportunities. Since becoming a registered nurse 15 years ago, I have worked in areas of home health and mental health. Since 2007, as a family nurse practitioner I have experience in areas of pediatrics, hospice and education. I enjoy working with patients and students,” she added. In addition to her associate’s degree from East Central, Thomas holds the bachelor and master’s degrees in nursing from the University of Southern Mississippi. She will complete the Mississippi Community College Leadership Academy in Jackson in May 2012. She was awarded the Excellence Award from the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) this year. She is a member of the Pulmonary Hypertension Association, Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, Mississippi Nurses Association, American Nurses Association, University of Southern Mississippi Alumni Association, East Central Community College Alumni Association and the East Central Community College Faculty Association. Thomas is married to Sergeant Major John Thomas and they have two children: Alex, a sophomore at East Central, and Adam, a 5th grader at Winston Academy.