SJR State presents 2022 faculty, staff excellence awards

John Donlon
   John Donlon (second from left)
Doug Mikutel
   Douglas Mikutel (middle)

St. Johns River State College’s (SJR State) 2022 faculty and staff excellence award winners were recently announced during the College’s Annual Professional Development Day. Sponsored by the SJR State Foundation, the Employee Excellence Awards Program is a College-wide recognition effort to acknowledge and thank exceptional employees. To be nominated, employees must have at least three consecutive years of service for their contributions, dedication and commitment to the SJR State community. Each honoree receives a plaque and a $250 check. “SJR State faculty and staff are core to the success of our students and programs,” said SJR State Vice President for Development and External Affairs Caroline Tingle.

The Faculty Excellence Award was presented to John Donlon, Criminal Justice Academy instructor and Public Service coordinator, and Douglas Mikutel, Business Education instructor. The Faculty Excellence Award pays tribute to faculty members who continuously demonstrate a commitment to SJR State’s unique mission as the “community’s” college. Nominees were evaluated on instructional excellence, contributions to their departments and disciplines, and above-and-beyond service.

Donlon, who began his career at SJR State in 1999, was nominated by Criminal Justice Academy Dean Tim Adams. According to Adams, “John always provides service above and beyond and inspires students to perform well beyond expectations. The personal interest he shows in the development and success of each student creates a learning environment, which facilitates performance beyond normal expectations. This has led to great overall academic success as well as a very impressive passage rate on the state law enforcement certification examination.”

Douglas Mikutel, who was nominated by Business Education director Joel Abo, began his SJR State career in 2018. According to Abo, “Douglas is always there for his students and has a good rapport with them,” adding that Mikutel “was one of 99 faculty chosen from the State of Florida to attend the Florida College Systems Career and Technical Education Conference, where he completed the AUCE Association of College and University Educators’ course entitled ‘Inspiring Inquiry and Lifelong Learning in Your Online Course.’” About this course, Abo explained that “practices from motivating students to using visualization tools that deepen learning and help students take greater ownership for their own learning in a variety of online courses” were addressed.

The Staff Excellence Award was presented to Jan-Hein Phelps, technical director for production at the Thrasher-Horne Center, which is owned and operated by SJR State, and Criminal Justice Academy workforce specialist Annette Quintieri. This award recognizes exemplary job performance, dedication and overall contributions to the College. Nominees were evaluated on the ability to exceed expectations in their positions, contributions to the College and their departments, as well as service and leadership.

Phelps kicked off his SJR State career in 1999 at the Florida School of the Arts located on SJR State’s Palatka campus and was nominated by Executive Director of the Thrasher-Horne Center Bob Olson. According to Olson, “Hein displays great leadership, innovation and commitment to the Thrasher-Horne Center that is truly inspirational and significant for our Center’s overall mission success.” Olson also highlighted Hein’s outstanding accomplishments on behalf of the Thrasher-Horne Center during challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic and capacity attendance. “Even with the challenge of COVID-19, Hein’s commitment and innovation towards our mission resulted in our Center being one of the only venues in the area to continue operations,” Olson said.

Quintieri joined SJR State in 2004, and Adams had a variety of reasons for nominating her. “She sets everything up to make sure I am in the best position to represent the College and Academy properly,” Adams explained. “Annette quietly does so many things behind the scenes to keep the Academy running smoothly. Because of her long history of being an invaluable resource to the Academy, everyone goes to her for guidance on how to do things properly. This includes students, staff, adjunct instructors and the Dean. Annette cares very much about the Academy staff. She quietly takes a personal interest in everyone,” he said.

Thanks to this level of commitment from SJR State faculty and staff, the College has built a solid reputation for over 60 years as a full-service college dedicated to meeting the educational and workforce training needs of its Northeast Florida district.

Jan-Hein Phelps
Jan-Hein Phelps (second from left)
Annette Quintieri
Annette Quintieri (second from left)



Susan Kessler
Director of Public Relations and Publications
(386) 312-4021