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Distinguished Faculty of the Year 2012

Distinguished Faculty Member of the Year awards are given to faculty members in each School who are nominated by students, staff and faculty for outstanding accomplishments. The recipients exemplify the finest qualities of the Excelsior College faculty and are representative of the extraordinary and truly distinguished service they provide to students and the College.


Joanne Bonesteel
Joanne Bonesteel

Joanne Bonesteel, MS, RN

School of Nursing

Joanne Bonesteel began working with Excelsior students in 1987, and for the past 25 years she has tirelessly ensured the excellence of the College’s competency-based, pre-licensure nursing program. She is an expert in associate degree (AD) nursing education and works collaboratively with many Excelsior faculty and staff to maintain a curriculum that is rigorous and contemporary. She chairs all eight of the AD in nursing theory examination subcommittees, provides exemplary leadership to adjunct faculty and makes data-driven recommendations to the curriculum committee. In her leadership role, she guides faculty to ensure nursing theory examinations test principles that support current clinical nursing practice and are consistent with the graduate competencies established by the National League for Nursing.

Additionally, Ms. Bonesteel created Critical Thinking and the Nursing Process, an online tutorial addressing important learning needs of new AD nursing students around enhancing critical thinking skills. She is expert at helping adult learners build on their strengths and address gaps in their learning. A student in the CPNE® workshop commented, “…by the end of the workshop, she made me feel good about myself and the CPNE!” Another commented, “Joanne’s determination to help students succeed is an asset to Excelsior College. She is a role model for her peers as well as an inspiration to her students. The positive influence she has had on my academic experience at Excelsior College makes me want to tell all prospective students to apply to Excelsior College because of the dedication to student success.” And another said, “She is a kind and caring teacher. She always gets you to the answer and makes you understand the material you are studying.” The appreciation from students continues. Another student wrote, “Joanne deserves this award for her outstanding dedication to online nursing students. She patiently explains and re-explains matters pertaining to the nursing process and provides us needed encouragement to learn and progress. I benefited a great deal from her comments on the discussion boards.” During Bonesteel’s long service at Excelsior College, she has been a tireless coach and advocate for Excelsior’s mission as an adult-serving institution.

Tracy Caldwell
Tracy Caldwell

Tracy Caldwell, PhD

School of Liberal Arts

Tracy Caldwell has served as a faculty program director and faculty advisor to the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MA/LS) program in the School of Liberal Arts for the past six years. She has developed and taught ENG 360 Literature for Children and Young Adults, ENG 350 Modern Fiction, and MLS 500 Graduate Research and Writing. She has also served on various college committees, including the Middle States accreditation committee, the Student Appeals Committee (chair), the Graduate Council, the Student Success Steering Committee, and the MA/LS Admissions Committee (chair).

Dr. Caldwell is being recognized for her outstanding service to the College in course development, assessment, and instruction. She introduced a course to help students better structure their time to complete the thesis, customized MA/LS courses to fit the student population, and realigned core courses to the liberal studies mission.

Additionally, Caldwell was recognized in 2008 as a NACADA Certificate of Merit recipient in the Outstanding New Advisor—Faculty Role category. She continues to receive extremely positive reviews from students for her thorough feedback on assignments, excellent leadership skills, and skillful management of the discussion boards. Caldwell advises and manages the thesis process for all MA/LS students. In recent course evaluations, students have made the following comments: “In the 5+ years that I have been associated with Excelsior, and the 20+ years that I’ve been engaged in higher education, I’ve never come across an advisor more willing and competent at helping students realize and accomplish their dreams.” Another student said, “Tracy helped me more significantly than any other professor I’ve ever had in my college career.”

Terry Conry
Terry Conry

Terry Conry, PhD

School of Business & Technology

Terry Conry joined Excelsior College in 2010 as a lead member of the School of Business & Technology faculty committee and began teaching online courses in 2011. Dr. Conry has taught undergraduate and graduate online courses and recently developed a new course, BUS 512 Compensation and Benefits, to support the newly approved MBA concentration in human resource management. 

Conry regularly exceeds student expectations, as evidenced in above-average ratings in all student course evaluations. He earned outstanding ratings, on a consistent basis, from periodic course audits in the areas of active and effective student engagement (via participation in weekly discussions), timely and meaningful assessment feedback, and effective classroom management. His commitment to supporting Excelsior College’s adult learner is represented in numerous accolades from students regarding his timely and useful feedback as well as his insightful postings to weekly classroom discussions.

One student noted, “Dr. Conry is the most engaged of the instructors I have experienced at Excelsior College.” Another student added, “Professor Conry was outstanding. He returned most of my papers within a day or two of submitting them, one within hours! His discussion responses were thoughtful and definitely stimulated discussion between students.” Conry is a motivator for adult learners, as evidenced by this student: “Terry Conry kept the class very interesting, and his responses to my posts kept me thinking about additional information on the topic. This class has me thinking very seriously about pursuing a master’s in human resource management.”

Carol Shenise
Carol Shenise

Carol Shenise, MS, RN

School of Health Sciences

Carol Shenise is a long-standing adjunct faculty member in the School of Health Sciences. In 2003, Ms. Shenise approached the College with an idea for an online education program to prepare nurses for employment in hospice settings that resulted in a grant award of $500,000 from the U.S. Department of Labor to create the Certificate Program in End of Life Care. She subsequently served on the committee charged with developing curriculum for this program and created and taught its first course: Introduction to End of Life Care. She has also developed HSC 402 Managing Stress and HSC 406 Introduction to End of Life Care as well as contributed to the curriculum development for the health education area of emphasis.

Regarded as among the most respected instructors in the School of Health Sciences, Shenise teaches an array of courses for which she consistently receives accolades from students. She is frequently recognized for her willingness to share knowledge, her collegial approach, and her unending patience in helping students to not only learn the content but also excel in their degree program.

Shenise’s commitment to the School of Health Sciences and to the College is strong. Since she lives in close proximity to Excelsior’s campus, Shenise is frequently called upon to participate in College activities. She is always willing to give her time and to share her considerable knowledge and expertise. Most recently, Shenise served as Health Science’s representative to the Academic Affairs Committee and a member of the End of Life Care curriculum subcommittee. She also participated in multiple meetings/events related to the recent Middle States accreditation site visit.

Through her work with students, Shenise embodies Excelsior’s values: lifelong learning, innovation, flexibility, excellence, integrity, caring and honesty.