Billy Veczko receives award, Joe Pickens
Jeannine Morgan receives award, Joe Pickens
SJR State Orange Park Faculty Receive Awards

St. Johns River State College presented two faculty awards at the College’s annual fall Faculty Convocation held at the Thrasher-Horne Center for the Arts. The 2015 Distinguished New Faculty Award was presented to mathematics professor Billy Veczko, and the 2015 Outstanding Faculty Award was presented to communications instructor Jeannine Morgan. Both teach at SJR State’s Orange Park campus.

The Distinguished New Faculty Award pays tribute to a new faculty member who has demonstrated strength using new pedagogical techniques and creative ways of thinking to successfully guide students into the future. The faculty member’s depth and breadth of expertise, sensitivity, enthusiasm and dedication are all factors considered for this award. Additionally, the recipient excels at inspiring students to perform beyond normal expectations and is responsive to addressing needs within and outside the classroom.

SJR State Dean of Arts and Sciences Laura Boilini, Ph.D., said, “Professor Veczko is a dynamic force in the classroom. He is student-centered and keys in on engaging strategies to reach all students. To see Billy in action, both inside and outside the classroom, is to see the epitome of what academic enthusiasm can be. It is an honor to work with him.”

Veczko attributes his success to hard work. “As the old saying goes, ‘hard work pays off,’” he said. “This is certainly true, and I am honored to have been recognized for this award. I’ve accomplished quite a bit in my four short years at SJR State, the most important of which is my role serving as the director of our Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), which aims to improve student learning and success in mathematics across our entire college. It is rewarding to know I am leading a team and having an impact College-wide and not just in my own classroom.”

The Outstanding Faculty Award pays tribute to a faculty member who continuously demonstrates a commitment to the unique mission of the College and whose accomplishments in teaching and service are prodigious and of the highest quality. The recipient of this award must be an inspiring, challenging and effective teacher whose concern and respect for students are evident both in and out of the classroom. Additionally, the faculty member must make important and extensive contributions to the field and share those contributions with peers.

According to SJR State Vice President for Workforce Development and Orange Park Campus Executive Director Anna Lebesch, Ed.D., “Jeannine’s leadership and guidance are invaluable to students and the College. She engages students, faculty and colleagues in a process that encourages and fosters a sense of self-awareness and self-reflection.”

Morgan, who has taught at SJR State’s Orange Park campus for 25 years, said, “It is hard to believe that 25 years have passed. I will always be grateful that I was offered a full-time position here at SJR State straight out of graduate school. The College has provided me with many opportunities for growth within my profession, and I have truly enjoyed engaging students to pursue their goals and strive for excellence in and outside the classroom. Teaching truly is a noble profession. I am blessed to have pursued it and am grateful to my colleagues who nominated me for the Outstanding Faculty Award.”


Orange Park campus mathematics instructor Billy Veczko (left), pictured with SJR State President Joe Pickens, receives the 2015 Distinguished New Faculty Award.

Orange Park campus communications professor Jeannine Morgan (left), pictured with SJR State President Joe Pickens, receives the 2015 Outstanding Faculty Award.