Workforce Development names Faculty of the Year
St. Johns River State College recently awarded the 2016 Workforce Development Faculty of the Year Award to Criminal Justice Academy instructor John Gifford. The 2016 Workforce Development Adjunct Faculty of the Year Awards were awarded to Jerry Baker, also from SJR State’s Criminal Justice Academy, and Business Law Professor Michael Hrin.
Gifford, who has been serving the College’s Criminal Justice Academy since 2007, worked for the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office for more than 33 years. He is currently the High Liabilities instructor and training coordinator at SJR State.
Dean of SJR State’s Criminal Justice Academy Angela Sockwell said, “I believe Mr. Gifford is an invaluable asset to St. Johns River State College’s Criminal Justice Academy and our community. We provide the criminal justice agencies in our area some of the best candidates for employment, in large part because of John Gifford’s hard work and dedication to each and every one of our students. John Gifford truly cares for every one of his students, and he wants them all to receive the best training we can possibly provide.” Sharing examples of his strong team-player work ethic, Sockwell added, “Mr. Gifford has improved the success rate for students in firearms training by reorganizing the remediation process to increase student confidence before attempting to requalify.”
Baker has worked at SJR State’s Criminal Justice Academy for the past six years and is certified to teach general topics, firearms, defensive tactics, and vehicle operations. Baker has eight years of experience with the Clay County Sheriff’s Office and was employed as a corrections officer with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office for four years. For the last 10 years, he has worked as a fire investigator for the State Fire Marshal’s Office.
According to Sockwell, “Given Mr. Baker’s experience and high training standards, we rely upon him to act as lead instructor to ensure all college and Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) rules are followed. He is highly respected by all of the faculty, staff, adjunct instructors and students who have had the opportunity to work with him or be in his classes. Mr. Baker takes to heart that the training he provides will directly impact the outcome of life-and-death situations these students will face.”
Hrin has been teaching business law at the associate and bachelor’s levels at SJR State for five years. His background includes working for a county attorney’s office and in private practice. Hrin currently works with the Office of the State Attorney in Jacksonville, where he wears different hats, including adult drug court director, veteran’s court director, juvenile drug court director, and prosecution support specialist. SJR State Director of Organizational Management Karen Balcanoff, said, “Students enjoy Michel Hrin’s classes and remark about his real-life examples and funny criminal stories.”
Criminal Justice Academy instructor John Gifford, left, receives SJR State’s 2016 Workforce Development Faculty of the Year Award from SJR State President Joe Pickens, right.
Criminal Justice Academy instructor Jerry Baker, left, receives SJR State’s 2016 Workforce Development Adjunct Faculty of the Year Award from SJR State President Joe Pickens, right.
Business Law adjunct faculty Michael Hrin, left, receives SJR State’s 2016 Workforce Development Adjunct Faculty of the Year Award from SJR State President Joe Pickens, right.
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