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OACC 2023 10-34 (1)


Three Carl Albert State College (CASC) employees have been recognized by the Oklahoma Association of Community Colleges (OACC) for their accomplishment in providing exceptional coursework and support services to CASC students.

Crystal Armstrong, Assistant Director of Financial Aid, received the Outstanding Professional Staff Award.  Armstrong graduated from Northeastern State University in 2016 with a Bachelor’s in General Studies and began working in CASC Financial Aid in 2017.   She has earned 16 nationally recognized professional certifications for extended knowledge in various financial aid topics.   Said Armstrong- “I am passionate about my field and about helping students succeed so I feel honored to be recognized by my coworkers for the work I’m doing.”

Receiving the award for Outstanding Support Staff was Katie Gullick, who serves as the assistant to the Food Service Director.   Gullick has been employed by CASC since 2014.  “I strive to welcome our students every time they walk through the doors,” she said. “In addition, I do my best to greet each and every walk-in customer with a friendly and welcoming smile.”

Lastly, instructor Steve Hughes was recognized as the Outstanding Faculty Member.  Hughes has been married to Kim for 33 years; they met while both students at CASC, then Carl Albert Junior College.  A member of the Scholars Program from 1986-88, Hughes graduated from CASC in 1988 and then went on to graduate from the University of Oklahoma with a bachelor’s degree, and then earned a masters degree from Northeastern State University.  Hughes serves as a Chemistry and Physical Science instructor at CASC.  He is also a Bivocational Pastor at Calhoun Baptist Church.  “My goal in teaching has always been to be the very best teacher that I can be for my students, and to never stop learning or trying new ways to teach my subject,” said Hughes.  “I didn’t come up with that goal, that was what I received over 30 years ago from my instructors at what was known then as Carl Albert Junior College.  So, you could say I am simply standing on the shoulders of those who came before me.  I hope I am living up to the standard that has been set, and passing that standard to those who will come behind me.”

“We are immensely proud of each of these outstanding individuals,” said President Jay Falkner.  “Their dedication to our students, no matter the capacity in which they serve, is unmatched and inspiring.  I am personally proud to serve alongside each one of them.”

The mission of the OACC is to raise awareness about Oklahoma community colleges and they students they serve through fostering partnerships, facilitating annual workshops, and fueling support and engagement from fellow state agencies.


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