Spanish instructor receives Durham Tech Excellence in Teaching award

John Lance Lee has been named the 2015 Excellence in Teaching award recipient at Durham Technical Community College.
Lee, an Instructor of Spanish and Coordinator of Faculty Development, was one of five faculty nominees who submitted Excellence in Teaching portfolios.
Lee goes beyond teaching Spanish to his students — he creates a learning environment that allows students to engage with language learning through real-world, authentic tasks. Lee has been instrumental in the development of Integrated Performance Assessments (IPA) in the Foreign Languages department. These assessments require students to demonstrate language competency in very real and meaningful ways, ways that may prove useful outside of the college classroom.

John Lance Lee

John Lance Lee

Lee’s all-encompassing, research-based teaching philosophy is designed to cultivate students as whole persons. This is evident in his interactions with students and colleagues around the world through social media as well as through his belief that happiness and success come from a state of mind and a choice.
“It’s exciting, but I also feel like there are so many other people,” Lee said. “There’s a lot of people that apply for it and others that don’t apply for it. I feel like it’s a shared award.”
Lee is a staunch advocate of community colleges and the students they serve, calling community colleges an “often overlooked gem in education.” His involvement with campus committees and initiatives like PRESS for Completion and Achieving the Dream, a national non-profit that champions evidence-based institutional improvement, along with his belief that good instruction starts with collaboration further emphasize his representation of the excellence Durham Tech exemplifies.
Lee was chosen by a three-person committee comprised of former Excellence in Teaching award winners: Kerry Cantwell, 2014 EIT award recipient; Lyndsay Al-Shibli, 2012 EIT award recipient; and Peter Wooldridge, 1993 EIT award recipient.